Diplomatic advance cools amid Russian military offensives and defensive rearmament by the West


Ukraine is still in the dark under a constant rain of bombs and projectiles while, behind the curtain, the diplomatic channel seems to cool. Russia’s proposed fifteen-point ceasefire has reportedly been put on hold, while kyiv continues to rearm to defend itself. How? ‘Or’ What? With a new package of weapons worth 800 sent by the United States, with 20 million bullets, 2,800 missiles or 100 drones. In addition, the United Kingdom has announced that it will deploy the Sky Saber anti-missile system on Polish territory and will proceed to send a hundred soldiers on the ground as the Russian invasion progresses. The West protects its eastern flank from what might happen.

“We are going to deploy a missile defense system and 100 troops to make sure we are on Poland’s side, protect its airspace from any possible Russian aggression“, argued the British government while the Alliance insists that there will be no troops of his own in Ukraine. But he is in good health in case Vladimir Putin’s regime wants to repeat maneuvers beyond Ukrainian territory and make the leap to another sovereign state.

But Ukraine does not trust and calls for a new international coalition against the Kremlin in the face of NATO’s “inability”, as Zelensky’s adviser Mikhail Polodiak commented. “What matters to us is not the status, but the allies who are ready to fight alongside us. The invasion of Ukraine has shown that the whole European security architecture must be reconsidered”, he said, adding that Putin “alone can only be stopped by force”. “and now the Alliance “does not have that strength”.

More than three weeks after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Russian armed forces are concentrating on the southern front, in particular in Mariupol and Zaporizhia, while the bombardments continue in kyiv and the fighting in the Donbass. In the capital, at least one person was killed this morning and three were injured after several fragments fell from a Russian missile shot down by Ukrainian forces. The National Emergency Service of Ukraine reported the fire and destruction of a residential house. In the east, where reports of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian troops are scarce, two people were killed and five injured in attacks by Russian troops in Lugansk. Kyiv also adds 21 other dead after a Russian attack in the Kharkov region and fifty in Chernigov.

In the south of the country, in the besieged city of Mariupol, Ukrainian sources reported Wednesday of a Russian bombardment in a theater which would have served as a refuge for hundreds of people. “The air-raid shelter resisted. The rubble began to be dismantled, people made it out alive”, explains a Ukrainian parliamentarian, while another MP put the survivors at over 100. For its part, Moscow accused the fact of a false flag attack by the neo-Nazi Azov battalion. Besides, in Odessa the offensive intensifies as part of the Russian idea of ​​controlling access to the sea. For now, the Ukrainian resistance remains in control of the city.

This drift continues to cause a massive exodus of refugees to neighboring countries, with more than 3 million people who have already left Ukraine, according to UNHCR data. The situation is so delicate that the EU has made it official that it will deploy Frontex troops to Moldova (a country that is not a member of the bloc) to control the presence of mafias and trafficking networks. Moreover, the UN estimates that at least 780 civilians died on Ukrainian territory since the start of the invasion, and of these up to 58 are minors (a figure that Ukraine puts at over 100). The injured already exceed 1,250, but the figures, warns the UN, are far from clear.

“In a way they are behind the wall again, not the Berlin wall, but in the middle of Europe, where there is freedom”

Zelenski continually appeals to the emotional as war rages and Ukrainians fight back. “Somehow they are behind the wall again, not the Berlin wall, but in the middle of Europe, where freedom reigns. And this wall is stronger with each bomb that falls on our soil in Ukraine”, declared the Ukrainian president in a speech before a German Parliament which received him with an ovation. kyiv continues to insist on “more measures” against Moscow because the sanctions, Zelensky said, “they don’t stop” the conflict.”Russia is bombing our cities and destroying everything in Ukraine. They are homes, hospitals, schools, churches, everything. With missiles, with aerial bombs, with artillery,” he warned.

Russia, for its part, maintains the nationalist discourse with which Putin spoke on Wednesday of the “purification” of society in Ukraine. This Thursday, the Kremlin spokesman, Dimitri Peskov assured that there are “traitors who turn their backs on Russia in these difficult times”. Peskov spoke not only of resignations or exiles, but also of criminally punishing those who might break the law. Russia has toughened penalties in recent weeks for those who question the role of the armed forces, with sentences of up to 15 years in prison.

In this same sense, the Russian ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina warned that this country could be the next pin on Putin’s map: “Like Ukraine, we showed what we expected. If there is a threat, we will react“. However, the diplomatic channel coexists with the noise of the attacks and this Thursday it was the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who proposed Ankara or Istanbul for a meeting between Putin and Zelensky, which Ukraine strongly demands but which , moment, Moscow refuses.

Support for Ukraine, although still external, is growing. Amid an idea of ​​Chinese mediation that has yet to materialize, France announced an increase defense spending because, according to Macron, “we must prepare for a high-intensity war”. NATO assumes the conflict is ‘long-lasting’, but there are partners, like Germany, who are cautious when making decisions: both Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock , assured that on the one hand on the one hand the Alliance will not intervene directly in the confrontation and on the other hand, the German country is not able to send more weapons to Ukraine , although it is financial assistance.

Meanwhile, the EU remains immersed in how to mitigate soaring energy prices and the OECD is already warning of the coming economic crisis: the body calculates that the war in Ukraine will subtract two points of GDP from the Union and one from the world in general, mainly due to inflation. In the case of the bloc of 27, the risk is even greater because, according to the OECD, “it will pay for its dependence” vis-à-vis Russia in terms of energy sources. In addition, they also warn of possible famines that could occur in the short and medium term, particularly in Africa and the Middle East, resulting in particular from serious problems in the supply of goods and raw materials.


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