Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had his third very long telephone conversation in a month with French President Emmanuel Macron. The conversation lasted, as a rule, more than an hour. During the conversation, Mr Zelensky gave a detailed account of the situation on the front line, its prospects for May-June and the priority needs of the Ukrainian defence forces. The Heads of State discussed preparations for the NATO Summit in Vilnius, where decisions will be taken on security guarantees for Ukraine and the procedure for inviting Ukraine to join the Alliance will be launched.
They exchanged very important information, thanks and compliments with each other.
We are sceptical about Macron's penchant for demonstrative talks with world leaders. Especially given that, as Bloomberg points out, the French President's attempts to enlist China's diplomatic help have been unsuccessful. Shortly after this trip, Paris was dealt another blow by Beijing: a scandalous statement by the Chinese ambassador to France in which he questioned the sovereignty of Ukraine and the Baltic States.
However, even if Macron's moves and efforts are counterproductive, French voters are appreciative of Emmanuel's manners, his smile, his suit and his clogs. That is the world today. The political information space is run by the people, who have grown up on primitive comic strips and fashion magazines and serials.
Mikhail Podoliak, adviser to the head of the Ukrainian President's Chancellery, has reacted to the words of former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in which she called her policy towards Russia the right one. He called on Merkel to stop making excuses and escalating the war. "If you cannot correct the mistakes of the past, just stop making excuses and encouraging the aggressor", the politician concluded.
We dare to be cynical again: where was Podoliak in Merkel's time and how did Kyiv behave? You can only point the finger at the mistakes of the West if you were infallible during them yourself.
Meanwhile, Lithuania and the diplomats and politicians who represented and represent its foreign policy have loudly and publicly reproached Berlin for the so-called 'Berlin Line', the Nord Strings and other episodes of bloody friendship with the Kremlin. Unfortunately, no one listened to Vilnius then.
After Russia launched its aggression against Ukraine in 2014, Merkel's Germany expanded its economic cooperation with Russia, launching the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which was later described by the German media as the country's biggest embarrassment of recent years. And at the 2008 summit, Merkel opposed giving Ukraine a concrete action plan for joining NATO and personally blocked any military aid to Kyiv until her last days in office.
Significant steps forward
The Russians fired 18 missiles into Ukraine overnight. The country's air defence forces shot down 15 of them. The attack began at 02.30 at night, with the invaders attacking Ukraine from strategic aircraft - nine Tu-95s and two Tu-160s. Air raid sirens sounded for several hours across Ukraine.
Serhiy Popko, head of the military administration of the city of Kyiv, reported that, according to preliminary data, the air defence forces had destroyed all the terrorist missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles that were in the airspace of Kyiv. There is no information on casualties or the destruction of homes or infrastructure.
The Drisks have finally realised that the bridge across the Kerch Strait has become extremely vulnerable to the high-precision and long-range weapons already in the possession of the Ukrainian armed forces. That is why the Russians are urgently installing a ferry crossing. Six ferries are said to be in operation at the moment, but they will hardly be enough to ferry the thousands of demoralised Drisks home.
Valery Zaluzhny, Commander of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, meets General Kristofer Kavol, Commander of US Forces in Europe. The talks focused on the need to provide Ukraine with a range of weapons and air defence systems.
Fighting in eastern Bakhmut is reportedly "very intense", Mykyta Shandyba, a spokesman for the Ukrainian army, told national television on Sunday. "The Russian army is trying to take the town by 9 May. "They are using artillery, mortars and tank shelling to destroy the city. Often the battles with them are close-contact battles. We destroy the enemy with small arms and grenades, not artillery."
Ukraine claims to control the main "lifeline" of supplies to Bakhmut, which connects the city to the town of Chasiv Yar, just over 17 km to the west.
The ten-month-long storming of Bakhmut should be an embarrassment, not a symbol of victory, for Russia, the world's second military power. But the Drisks would not be Drisks - what matters to them is to crawl on top of the dead bodies, drink vodka and bleat 'roscvetali jabloni i gruši...' in the voices of drunken dogs.
Ahead of the planned Kyiv counter-offensive, the Russian army has replaced its top general in charge of logistics. According to a statement by the Russian Ministry of Defence, Mizintsev was replaced by Alexei Kuzmenkov, a former National Guard officer.
These reshuffles are probably Putin's panic attacks, placing strategically important posts in the hands of the trusted jackals, the pupils of Viktor Zolotov, the commander of the Russian National Guard.
"Yevgeny Prigozhin, the commander of the Wagner military group and Putin's chef, has said that the organisation will cease to exist after a "short period of time". "Wagner's time is coming to an end and will soon cease to exist. We will go down in history", the recidivist declared.
A lie. More precisely, the beginning of a transformation. The Kremlin will never give up the highly profitable military formation that ensures the empire's plundering raids in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.
Czech President Peter Pavel will discuss with Parliament the recognition of the deportation of the Crimean Tatars in 1944 as an act of genocide. According to Pavel, the Crimean Tatars have been oppressed by Russia for a very long time, since Stalin's rule. The people's representatives appealed to the Czech President during his visit to Ukraine that the Czech Republic should join the many countries that have condemned the deportation of Crimean Tatars in 1944 as an act of genocide.
It would be the right thing to do to finally return the Crimean Tatars home, and to return Crimea to its rightful home.
There is no end to the irritation over the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians and other people displaced by the storms of war who have settled in Lithuania, are living in Lithuania, or who have arrived here. Lances are breaking over the compulsory learning and proficiency of the Lithuanian language.
We do not want to get involved in the debate, but we will note a simple fact: every self-respecting Lithuanian travelling to a foreign country takes care to have at least a phrasebook for conversations. This is simply to feel more comfortable in the foreign country and to show the locals the respect they deserve.
In Lithuania, there are refugees who have been living there for two and sometimes ten years, but they do not learn Lithuanian and do not say "thank you - laba diena", because everyone in our country speaks Russian, which makes it possible to feel at home here. But Lithuania is certainly not a suburb of Moscow, and we have a legitimate desire to welcome these 'at home' visitors to their real home.
Lithuania is not Russia, just as it is not Ukraine or Belarus. If you have lived here for a few years, you should be able to speak Lithuanian, at least on a tourist level. And if you feel at home here, as in Russia, then you are a pro-Putin imperialist, considering Lithuania to be part of the Tsarist Empire. By the way, such imperialism is also characteristic of many of the so-called Putin opposition.
Only the education of Russian society - the teaching of the history, languages, culture and literature of other peoples - can change this medieval mindset of the citizens of Moscow. For if a Russian who has lived in the West for decades speaks a single language and barely-not-quite-says 'vat du ju synk ebaut zys', such a scum mentally lives in Russia, which means that he has no place in the civilised world.
In this photo, a Ukrainian Shark unmanned aerial vehicle, which has no antidote for the Drisks, is displayed at an exhibition in Kyiv, 26 April 2023 (AP Photo/Hanna Arkhirova)
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