RUSSIA'S TERRORIST POTENTIAL IS WANING (10 04 2023)
Political strategic level
On Easter, Pope Francis prayed for peace in the world and asked God to "comfort the wounded and all those who have lost loved ones as a result of war". He appealed to the Russians over the war they have launched against Ukraine and condemned the violence in the Middle East. "Help the beloved people of Ukraine on their path to peace and shine the light of Easter on the people of Russia," the Pope said.
The pontiff is still trying to "reconcile" Ukrainians and Russians. For two years, the Vatican hosted a "Crusade" in which both Ukrainians and Russians participated. This year, teenagers from both warring countries took part.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry considered the event offensive because the "Procession" equated the aggressor with the victim. Oleh Nikolenko, spokesman for the Ministry, said: "we are disappointed that the Holy See did not take into account the arguments of the Ukrainian side about the offensive nature of such a gesture."
We understand both Kyiv and the Vatican. Ukraine is at war and experiencing endless pain and loss. Meanwhile, the Vatican, however unacceptable to some, is guided by church canons and the Ten Commandments.
On the occasion of Easter, the leaders of our country and our Church also wished us light and the belief that light will prevail. It is good to have faith, but would it be good to know how we should behave, what we should do, so that that light comes and surrounds us?
Apparently, first of all, we must learn not to judge. We must learn to understand. At least try to. To think without prejudice, without emotion or the imposition of someone else's opinion. Without anger and hatred. That is what we wish you this Easter.
Hatred breeds violence and violence breeds war. Unfortunately, while humanity's technological advances have reached cosmic speeds, so too has the darkness. This is evidenced by French President Emmanuel Macron's statement that, in the context of the war between Russia and Ukraine, 'the air is now military' and that the time for negotiations has not yet come.
"I think that China is making the same observation that we are making, which is that the weather today is military. The Ukrainians are resisting and we are helping them. Now is not the time for negotiations, even if we are preparing for them and even if we have to set benchmarks", said Macron.
He also said that the aim of his dialogue with China is to consolidate views on the war.
While the world's great powers are watching and evaluating the war as if it were a movie theatre, thousands of people continue to die around the world.
However, Macron is right when he says that there can be no security architecture as long as there are countries under attack or frozen conflicts in Europe. Nor is the killing stopped by the fact that more and more Ukrainians are turning away from the Julian calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church, which would have made Easter next week, and celebrating Easter earlier.
Yesterday, Russian terrorists responded to the Pope's call for a halt to the war by launching a missile at a residential building in Zaporizhzhya. A 50-year-old man and his 11-year-old daughter were killed and a 46-year-old mother was pulled alive from the rubble. The eldest daughter was not at home at the time of the attack.
According to the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights, at least 8 317 civilians have been killed since last February as a result of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the actual number of civilian casualties is likely to be much higher. We do not know, but we can anticipate the horrific crimes of the Russian army that will be revealed once Mariupol is liberated.
Last week, more than 30 children were returned to Ukraine from Russia. According to Kyiv, almost 19 500 children have been taken back to Russia since February last year.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is this year's winner of the Charlemagne Prize, an award given to individuals for their services to European unity. The ceremony will take place on 14 May in the German city of Aachen. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who will deliver the speech, expects Mr Zelensky to be present in person to receive the award.
We, of course, also congratulate the President of Ukraine, but we believe that it is far too early to hand out prizes, stars, medals and other honours. Let us defeat Russia, let us end the war, and then we can celebrate and adorn ourselves with medals and titles.
Yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron, in an interview with the French daily Les Echos, called on the EU to maintain an independent foreign policy towards China. "We don't want to get caught up in the logic of bloc against bloc", he said, arguing that Europe "should not be dragged into a world mess and crises that are not ours".
According to Macron, it is not in the EU's interests to escalate the Taiwan issue: "the question we Europeans are being asked is: is it in our interest to escalate the Taiwan issue? No. The worst thing we Europeans could do would be to be followers of this topic and to adapt to the American rhythm and the Chinese overreaction. Why should we follow someone else's rhythm?"
It is regrettable that the leader of one of Europe's largest democracies does not understand the architecture of the global world. If China attacks Taiwan, it will mean that war is the tool of choice for solving not only Europe's problems, but also Asia's. It will mean the end of the existing world order and the beginning of a new era based on violence and military force. This is what Moscow and Beijing are insisting on imposing on us today. Wars on the continents would not only mean the deaths of thousands and millions of people, but also millions of refugees, chaos and economic decline throughout the world.
Unfortunately, we are governed by leaders who are incapable of foreseeing even one step ahead. They only deal with a problem when it arises.
The Russians are very slowly pushing forward in Bakhmut. Every metre costs the occupiers thousands of lives. In this way, the Ukrainian army is "tying up" the Russian offensive potential, which is running out of steam. The Russian leadership is already sending regular troops to Bakhmut because the Wagner mercenaries are no longer up to the task.
Every day there are reports of military aid to Ukraine. It is announced that Ukraine is mobilising its forces and preparing for a crushing attack and the liberation of Crimea. It is the battle for Crimea that will determine the outcome of the bloodiest war of the 21st century, according to Ben Hodges, the former commander of the US army in Europe.
Dear readers. These days, we must be aware of the anticipation of an attack on Ukraine. We must be aware that both sides are spreading and will continue to spread a great deal of misleading and frightening disinformation against the opponent. We recommend that you use and rely exclusively on information provided by the Ukrainian Defence Staff, the US and allies.
Ukraine is expected to receive Patriot and Samp-T surface-to-air missile systems in the near future. Patriot missiles are particularly important for Ukraine as they are capable of shooting down not only cruise missiles and aircraft but also Russian ballistic missiles. So far, Ukraine has not had the means to shoot them down.
The Russians in Crimea are making very serious preparations for their defence. Territorial defence, volunteer and Crimean militia units are being set up on the peninsula, and top Russian officials are actively involved in this process. Resort beaches have been disfigured and children's summer camps dismantled. All the seaside towns and settlements are being turned into trenches and fortresses. The Crimean people feel that the atmosphere is heating up and that a storm is approaching with every passing day.
The hail of missiles from the storm of attack is the price of the 'Krym naš' referendum.
Meanwhile, Kyiv is urging the Russian arrivals to pack their bags and go home, because after the 'storm', all the occupiers and collaborators will be rewarded.
The tactical level
The offensive potential and resources of the Drisksy are diminishing.
Yesterday the Russian occupiers launched 26 air and 4 missile strikes. Two Russian S-300 missiles struck civilian infrastructure in Zaporizhzhya, killing and injuring civilians and destroying and damaging residential buildings.
Two other S-300 missiles were fired at civilian infrastructure in Kostyantynivka. The terrorists launched 60 salvo attacks, mainly against civilian targets.
The occupier continues to dig defensive fortifications on the Zaporizhzhya and Kherson axes.
The Ukrainian army continues to destroy enemy anti-aircraft missile systems, live meat and ammunition depots.
People smash Easter eggs and BWM cars over the Easter long weekend in Lithuania.
Drivers were killed and passengers were crushed.
Priests proclaimed that people were drifting away from the essence of Easter, even though they had never come very close to it.
Apparently, there is some truth in that. "The BWM, like other manufacturers' cars whistling along at the speed of sound, was certainly approaching fast. Not to the essence of Easter, but to your own death and the death of others.
Photo: partisan activity in occupied Melitopol.
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