Russian officials openly admit the problems starting the invasion, but the British say they remain. In almost conquered Mariupol, Kadyrov could soon be in charge. Finland and Sweden are trying to join NATO, but Turkey has torpedoed the application. The 84th day of war at a glance.
The Russians see the failure of the launch of the invasion
Russia acknowledged the difficulties and mistakes in its war of aggression against Ukraine, but announced that the fighting would continue. “Despite all the difficulties, the special military operation will continue to the end,” National Security Council Deputy Secretary Rashid Nurgaliev said. The head of the Russian republic of Chechnya in the North Caucasus, Ramzan Kadyrov, even spoke of “mistakes” at the start of the February 24 war against Ukraine. “At first there were mistakes, there were some shortcomings, but now everything is 100% according to plan,” Kadyrov told a political forum.
British report insufficient troop reinforcements
According to British intelligence, however, problems with the Russian army persist, especially with supplies and troop reinforcements. The Ministry of Defense said in London that Russia should deploy many auxiliary troops to break Ukrainian resistance, including thousands of fighters from the autonomous republic of Chechnya. “The combat deployment of such diverse personnel demonstrates Russia’s significant resource problems in Ukraine and likely contributes to an uneven command that continues to hamper Russian operations.”
Russia massively increases military spending
Russia increased its military spending by almost 40% in the first four months of the year. This is according to preliminary data from the Department of Finance. As a result, the Moscow government spent 1.7 trillion rubles (25.1 billion euros) on defense from January to April. This already corresponds to almost half of the funds planned for the whole of 2022.
1000 more fighters entrenched in Azovstal
Despite all the difficulties, the Russian army can report successes. According to Russian sources, nearly 700 other Ukrainian soldiers have moved from the besieged Azov steelworks to Mariupol. In the past 24 hours, 694 fighters have surrendered, including 29 wounded, the Russian Defense Ministry said. A total of 959 Ukrainian soldiers have visited the Mariupol plant since Monday. However, according to separatist leader Denis Puschilin, there are still around 1,000 fighters inside the steelworks. Among them would be many troop commanders.
Bald Kadyrov “Herr über Mariupol”?
The city’s future could be significantly shaped by Chechen leader Kadyrov and his fighters. The online newspaper Ukrayinska Pravda, citing statements by the adviser to the mayor of Mariupol, Petro Andryushchenko, reported that it was planned to entrust the reconstruction of the city to Kadyrov and his soldiers, known as Kadyrovtsy. Their primary role should therefore be to “intimidate and repress” possible resistance.
Russia announces anti-drone lasers
Militarily too, Russia wants to continue to work for its success. Some sort of laser system that is currently being tested and may soon enter “serial” service should help. As reported by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borissov, it should have a range of five kilometers and be able to shoot down drones and light aircraft at this altitude. Apparently, targets hit would burn in five seconds, according to Borisov.
Human Rights Watch documents horrific abuses
In the regions of Ukraine from which Russian troops have already withdrawn, events are being processed. For example, Human Rights Watch has documented cruel attacks on civilians in the Kyiv and Chernihiv regions. According to the report, there were numerous attacks against 17 villages and towns. According to the organization, Russian forces detained more than 350 villagers in a school basement for 28 days. Many of them were children or old people. The human rights organization said conditions were cramped, suffocating and unsanitary. Ten people died in the basement, seven others were shot or “disappeared”.
Launch of the first Russian war crimes trial
Elsewhere, the reassessment process has already gone further. The first war crimes trial has started in the kyiv District Court. A 21-year-old is charged. He is accused of shooting dead an unarmed civilian from a stolen car in the village of Chupakhivka in northern Ukraine on February 28. If found guilty, he faces a life sentence for war crimes and murder. According to his lawyer, he admitted to killing the 62-year-old man.
Struggles to Join NATO – Turkey Pulls Through
Meanwhile, the Europeans continue to work to support Ukraine and defend themselves. Finland and Sweden officially applied for NATO membership today. The ambassadors of the two countries presented the relevant documents to NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels. However, NATO member Turkey initially torpedoed early membership talks. As has been learned in Alliance circles, it has not been possible for the NATO Council, as originally planned, to take the necessary decision to start the admission process. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the two NATO candidates of supporting PKK terrorists and makes his approval dependent on his country’s approach to security issues.
Exchange of rings with the Czech Republic takes shape
There could also be a little more movement in arms deliveries to Ukraine. For example, Germany will make 15 tanks available to the Czech Republic and finance them through an exchange of rings. The Bundeswehr is also responsible for training Czech soldiers, according to a press release from the Federal Ministry of Defence. The Czech Republic wants to deliver many main battle tanks, armored personnel carriers and howitzers to Ukraine. In order not to leave gaps in the defense capabilities of the Czech Republic, Germany will deliver 15 Leopard 2 A4 tanks, which are located in the German defense industry.
Von der Leyen wants to help with nine billion euros
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also pledged emergency aid to Ukraine of up to nine billion euros. Von der Leyen said she was offering “one-off new macro-financial assistance for Ukraine of up to nine billion euros” this year. The funds are intended to help cover the country’s acute financial needs in the war of Russian aggression.
EU focuses on renewable energy and savings
According to the European Commission, the European Union must invest up to 300 billion euros by 2030 in order to become less dependent on the supply of Russian energy sources. A proposed plan envisages, for example, many savings in industry and households, the massive expansion of renewable energies and the joint ordering of liquid gas and hydrogen by EU countries. Coal and nuclear power plants should also be able to operate longer.
Russians want money for Ukrainian electricity in the future
Ukraine may also soon become more dependent on Russian energy. Because the area around the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, currently occupied by Russian troops, should soon belong to Russia, according to Deputy Prime Minister Marat Chusnullin. “I think the perspective of the region is to work in our harmonious Russian family,” he said. The Zaporizhia power station – the most powerful in all of Europe – should in future supply Ukraine with electricity only if it pays for it.
Deadlocked negotiations – mutual blame
Russia is also dominant in peace negotiations. He blamed Ukraine for the deadlock in negotiations to settle the conflict. “The talks are indeed not progressing and we see that the Ukrainian negotiators totally lack the will to continue this process,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Ukraine said on Tuesday the talks had been suspended due to Russia’s stance. Moscow does not understand “what is currently happening in the world and its extremely negative role”, said Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak.
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