MILLIONS OF REFUGEES, CHAOS IN EUROPE IN THE KREMLIN'S PLANS (14 03 2023)
Political strategic level
The European Commission says China cannot mediate between Russia and Ukraine because it has not condemned Russian aggression.
"You can be an honest broker of peace when you don't choose sides. When it comes to Ukraine and Russia, China actually chooses one side," says Peter Stano, the EC's spokesman on foreign affairs and security policy. The EU representative stressed that mediation proposals must be accepted by both sides.
"And as you have seen so far, Russia remains very indifferent and uninterested in any understandable peace proposals. Instead, Russia continues to aggravate the situation against Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure", the official said.
We pragmatic cynics do not accept any political show about who does and does not have the right to organise peace talks. If Beijing can do it - and it certainly can - put the flag in its hand. We have said repeatedly that all it would take is one phone call from Xi and the senseless massacres would end. Then we could think about dancing around the negotiating table and public headline declarations. It is very easy to manipulate the lives of a foreign nation and to prattle on about the morality of living in an oasis of security.
The Ukrainian President notes that he would like to discuss Beijing's proposals to end the war with Xi Jinping in person. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese dictator plans to talk to Volodymyr Zelensky remotely during a visit to Moscow.
According to press reports, Jingping plans to visit Russia next week to play the role of mediator to end the war in Ukraine. We doubt very sincerely the claims that Beijing is interested in ending the war in Ukraine, because the conflict is forcing China to balance between an uncertain partnership with Russia and growing mistrust and tension with the US and its allies.
Beijing is counting. It is looking at the benefits of a protracted war in Ukraine and the financial losses. The new Chinese government's statements of intent to improve relations with the US show that the realisation is finally dawning that this war is of no use to anyone. It will not change any of the world's centres of power, it will not destroy the West but strengthen it, it will not destroy the Russian Empire (yet), which means that it will only bring economic decline and chaos. We very much hope that the Chinese Communist leaders, who have a limited vision, will realise this.
Dmitry Peskov, the Russian President's spokesman, has stated that "it is only possible to achieve the objectives of the special operation by military means". The Kremlin mouthpiece claims that there are currently no preconditions for moving to peace positions.
Yes, the Mussolinians are not currently cornered on any front and therefore feel master of the situation. But as soon as they are kicked in the corner, they will apparently ask for a ceasefire. But will the Ukrainian fighters have the strength and are they listening well to the voice and advice of their US and NATO trainers?
Russia has agreed to extend the Black Sea grain deal for another 60 days, having previously hinted that it might reverse its decision. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin said after talks with the UN that his country "has no objection to another extension of the Black Sea Initiative beyond 18 March, when its second term expires, but only for 60 days". According to the UN, some 24.1 million tonnes have been exported under the Black Sea Grains Initiative so far.
Moscow has previously complained that while the agreement ensures the export of Russian agricultural products, sanctions on other industries, such as banking, hamper Russian trade. "Our future position will be determined by tangible progress in the normalisation of our agricultural exports, not in words, but in deeds," said Mr Vershinin.
Russian terrorists are playing tricks: we have no doubt that the Kremlin is seeking to use grain as a weapon, in the same and even more brutal way as oil. The Muslims are seeking to take over the main sources of grain supply, the Ukrainian ports, to become the world's main exporter of grain, which would automatically disable some of the sanctions for fear of a global famine crisis. Russia is manipulating these tools of hunger and food, setting the world against famine and Europe against a mass emigration crisis.
Italy has finally woken up. It turns out that its officials believe that Russia is to blame for the new flows of migrants from Africa. The Russian Wagner Group, which operates in Africa, is deliberately creating waves of refugees there, Rome says. Guido Crozetto, Italy's defence minister, has appealed to NATO and the EU for help with the growing flow of illegal migrants from Africa generated by Russia.
According to the Minister, the flow of illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean is growing geometrically. Crozetto is convinced that this is part of a "clear strategy of hybrid warfare" that Russia is pursuing against Europe. He points out that these waves of migrants should be seen as part of a wider global confrontation between the West and Russia. If the partners leave Italy alone to deal with this problem, the minister said, "cracks" could appear in NATO.
We stand for applause. The Italian Defence Minister speaks like a faithful reader of ours, who is beginning to attack and understand the tools and threats of Russia's hybrid warfare. Guido Crozetto is, of course, right, and this migration crisis posed by Russia is no less, and in the long term even greater, than the gas or oil 'war'. If NATO and the EU do not react in time, there will be huge problems for our allies, including Lithuania. We thought that Moscow would use migrants as a weapon on our borders last autumn and this winter, but so far this has not happened. It is far too early to be happy that the Kremlin has abandoned such plans.
The EU is extending its "crushing" sanctions against Russia for another six months, with 1,473 individuals and 205 entities from Russia sanctioned until 15 September. The measures include, in particular, not only visa bans and asset freezes, but also a ban on the transfer of funds or other economic resources to sanctioned natural and legal persons.
Mr Podoliak, advisor to the President of Ukraine, criticised the Oscars for not allowing Mr Zelensky to address the audience remotely during the ceremony. In a message on Twitter, the adviser said that "if the Oscars are beyond politics, how should we understand the manifesto of the documentary film Navalny, which is an exaggeration of Russia's internal politics?"
We believe that this film is a victory for Russia's soft power in the West. We recall that Navalny is one of Russia's most radical politicians, famous for his Nazi statements towards the peoples of the Caucasus and for attributing Crimea to Russia. Navalny is a fighter against the Putin regime, but a zealous and fierce defender of the Empire. We do not rule out the possibility that Navalny is one of the alternatives to Putin, when the bad tsar has to be replaced by a good one, but by a possibly even bigger monster.
The US State Department has stated that Lukashenko's visit to Tehran strengthens the interaction between Iran and Russia. Washington claims that the visit to Tehran by Lukashenko, who calls himself President of Belarus, is in the interests of the Kremlin.
It is time for the West to come to its senses and to state loud and clear: Minsk is a pawn in Moscow's games and Lukashenko is the Kremlin's messenger.
The situation around Bakhmut remains difficult, according to the Commander of the Ukrainian Land Forces, A. Syrsky. Wagner assault troops are attacking in several directions, trying to break through the defences of the Ukrainian troops and to penetrate into the central districts of the city. According to Mr Syrsky, the Ukrainian defenders are inflicting tangible losses on the enemy during the fierce fighting. They are repelling all attempts by the enemy to take the city with artillery and tank fire.
We question the tactics chosen by the Ukrainian commanders and support the rational methodology of US war planning in this regard. Defending a land of ruins by covering it with corpses and rewarding heroes after death may be heroic, but it is an outdated tactic. Contact battles, massacres and mass killings are a relic of the history of warfare in the last century. With modern, sophisticated weaponry, this is no longer the case. The main task of commanders should not be to preserve land or 'centimetres' of it, but to preserve the lives of soldiers. Not to die heroically, but to preserve life so that you can inflict as much damage on the enemy as possible - that would be the task of a modern army.
It hurts our hearts when the bravest, brightest, most educated young people in Ukraine are sent to their deaths.
Ukrainian troops have reportedly completed a four-week training course in Spain to operate Leopard 2 tanks. Tomorrow, 55 Ukrainian troops are due to fly to Poland and return to Ukraine and the front line, according to Spanish defence ministry sources.
The UK Royal Navy reported that it escorted a Russian frigate and a tanker in the waters off its coast. "The Royal Navy routinely responds by escorting warships in our territorial waters and adjacent sea areas to ensure compliance with the law of the sea and to deter malicious activity," the statement said.
The Drisks, with their rusty shells, decided to test the Allies' vigilance.
The UK government announces that it will build nuclear submarines with Australia and the US. Australia will establish a submarine industrial base and build its submarines in South Australia over the next decade, with some components manufactured in the UK. The first UK-built submarines under this project will be delivered in the late 2030s, replacing the current Astute-class vessels, and the first Australian submarines will be delivered in the early 2040s.
Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, has stated that it will take Russia several decades to rebuild its military capabilities after the war with Ukraine. The Russian army is said to have switched to using outdated models of military equipment as a result of heavy losses. Driskis have stashed away used T-62 tanks of retirement age in hangars.
The Russian defence industry has also started to produce hybrids of incompatible armaments. For example, armoured personnel carriers have been fitted with naval anti-aircraft guns.
The Muscola hordes continue to advance in the direction of Lyman and Avdiivka, with battles taking place in the streets of Bakhmut.
The Defence Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces reports that more than 100 enemy attacks have been repelled by units of the Defence Forces during the past day.
Russia continues to use terror tactics by shelling Ukrainian settlements in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law.
Over the past day, Ukrainian military aviation has struck 10 strikes on the occupiers' concentrations. Rocket forces and artillery units struck 5 Drisky ammunition depots and military equipment deployment sites and 4 occupiers' radio-electronic warfare vehicles.
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Photo shows Ukrainian troops shelling Russian positions in Ukraine's eastern Donbass region /Aris Messinis/AFP/
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