“Argumenty i Fakty” Weekly No. 11. Substitution competition 03/16/2022
Now the number of cyber attacks has increased dramatically in Russia. In addition, scammers have become active.
How to protect yourself from hacking and other unpleasant consequences?
Install or update your antivirus. It is better if it is a domestically produced program, and licensed at that.
Use complex passwords in social networks, e-mail, Internet banks. They must be at least 12 characters long, including numbers and capital letters.
Try to use different passwords for different services and accounts.
Enable multi-factor authentication (access control method) wherever possible. Then, when you log in, you will need to enter not only the password, but also the code from the SMS or push notification.
Make online payments on secure sites whose web addresses begin with https:// (not http://), and there is a lock icon to the left of the address bar.
Don't click on questionable links or ads. Be suspicious of all unfamiliar phone numbers, SMS, letters that lead to super promotions, mega bonuses, etc.
Do not download incomprehensible applications to your smartphone.
Control that you publish about yourself on the Internet. Don't share everything.
Back up your important files offline, to an external hard drive, or to the cloud.
Source: Donetsk News Agency
The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, said on Saturday that “another well-fortified Bandera base was recaptured by Russian troops” .
According to him, “a large group of civilians was released, whom the Nazis kept all this time without water, food and medical care.”
Kadyrov noted that the Chechen fighters provided freed people “food, water and medicines”, provided medical assistance and took them to a safe place on their special equipment.
According to the Chechen leader, the republic's security forces “decently solve” the tasks “set by the leadership of the Russian Federation.”
Earlier on Saturday, Kadyrov announced that “a whole battalion of volunteers” from Chechnya had arrived in Ukraine. They were met and admonished personally by State Duma deputy Adam Delimkhanov, who is taking part in a Russian special operation.
Varna, Constanta, Trabzon…
The Ukrainian navy seems to have seriously complicated navigation conditions in the Black Sea. Fearing Russian amphibious assault ships in the Odessa region, the Ukrainian military sailors mined the water area near the coast.
At the same time, Soviet anchor mines were used, which could not withstand the storms and turned into a wandering deadly threat to any ships in the Black Sea.
A total of 420 old anchor mines were laid out near the ports of Odessa, Ochakov, Chernomorsk and Yuzhny. New mines, obviously, were not found in the Ukrainian Navy. It's a pity. Modern modifications are equipped with timers and self-destruct mechanisms. Old mines will now drift until they are thrown into the shallows or until a ship collides with them.
In the Black Sea, according to hydrographers, there are several strong currents. One of them goes from the coast of Turkey in the direction of the Crimea. From there, dissecting, it is divided into western and eastern currents. The western current just moves towards Odessa, and then along the coast of Romania, Bulgaria to the Turkish Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. So, it is quite likely that it will be possible to catch Ukrainian mines there.
This, by the way, is not the first time that the Ukrainian military sends “hello” to their friends from NATO. Recently, they lost control over the drone and it flew across the Balkans to Croatia, where it crashed in Zagreb.
Commenting on the Ukrainian mine threat, German political scientist Alexander Sosnovsky wrote in his Telegram channel: “This is how the Armed Forces of Ukraine fight. Mines are placed in the water area, where there is a busy trade and passenger traffic. Who is Ukraine fighting with? The answer is clear.”
In turn, political scientist Dmitry Evstafiev wrote in his Telegram channel “Professor Looks at the World”: you krivoruky, they sail quite to others. Bosphorus is fine. It's far, maybe they'll catch it. And, here, Varna, Constanta, Trabzon … Much more dangerous. I worry about them.”
Biden will travel to Europe next week to attend the NATO summit. Poroshenko called the US president a “very good friend” and called on him to visit Ukraine as a sign of solidarity
Former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko believes that American President Joe Biden, who will visit Europe next week to attend the NATO summit in Brussels, you should visit his country.
“Why not, why not my very good friend, very good friend of Ukraine, Joe Biden, leader of the global world<…> not come here next week as a symbol of our solidarity?»— he said in an interview with CNN.
According to Poroshenko, this move was the best way to demonstrate that “the whole world is with us against Russia.”
An extraordinary NATO summit, which will discuss the situation in Ukraine, will be held March 24. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier that Biden would come to Belgium to participate in it, and also attend the European Council summit. Then he will take part in the G7 meeting, which was initiated by Germany.
The current president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, invited Biden to visit his country in mid-February, before the start of the Russian military operation. Then the White House said that the American leader had no such plans.
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki agrees that Biden, along with the leaders of Great Britain, Germany, France and other EU countries, should come to Ukraine , who had previously visited Kyiv more than once. “They must look into the eyes of women and children and help them maintain their lives and their independence,” said Morawiecki.
The last time the head of the Polish government came to Kyiv was on March 15th. Together with him, the Ukrainian capital was visited by Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa and Deputy Prime Minister for Security Affairs, head of Poland's ruling Law and Justice party. Yaroslav Kachinsky. In Kyiv, they met with Zelensky and Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Shmyhal.
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Australia has banned the export to Russia of resources needed for aluminum production. The founder of the largest aluminum company UC Rusal, Oleg Deripaska, is already under Australian sanctions jpg” alt=”Australia banned the export of alumina and aluminum ore to Russia” />
Australian companies are banned from supplying alumina, aluminum ores and bauxite to Russia. This is stated on the website of the country's Foreign Ministry.
The purpose of the sanctions, as stated in the Australian Foreign Ministry, is to limit the ability to produce aluminum, which is one of the key elements of Russian exports. It is claimed that 20% of Russia's alumina needs are met by supplies from Australia.
Sanctions were introduced against the backdrop of a rise in aluminum prices. In early March, during trading on the London Stock Exchange, the price of aluminum reached $ 3,707.5 per ton. Thus, prices broke a record on February 24 — $3480 per ton. The largest aluminum producer in Russia— UC Rusal— occupies 13% of the global metal market (excluding China). According to Reuters, the price could rise due to the risks of sanctions that were imposed by Western countries against Russia.
This is the fifth package of sanctions that Australia has imposed against Russia since the start of a military special operation in Ukraine. The National Wealth Fund of Russia and the Ministry of Finance, as well as Sberbank, Gazprombank, VEB.RF, VTB, Rosselkhozbank, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Alfa-Bank and Credit Bank of Moscow were subject to restrictions.
In addition, Australia imposed sanctions against a number of individuals. In particular, Roman Abramovich, head of UC Rusal, Oleg Derepaska, Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the board of directors of Gazprom, were subject to restrictive measures. Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Board of Rossiya Bank Dmitry Lebedev, General Director of Rostec Sergei Chemezov, as well as the son of the head of Rosneft Igor Sechin Ivan, wife of businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin Lyubov, his daughter Polina and son Yevgeny and others. For the truth” Zakhar Prilepin, TV presenters Vladimir Solovyov and Anton Krasovsky.
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Reuters: The United States discussed with Turkey the transfer of S-400 purchased from Russia to Ukraine US officials discussed with Ankara the possibility of transferring Russian-made S-400 missile systems to the Ukrainian military, the agency learned.
The United States discussed with Turkey the possibility of sending S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) to Ukraine, which Ankara acquired from Moscow, Reuters reports citing three sources.
According to the agency, this is a discussion, no official proposals have been made on this topic.
This topic was raised by American officials in February, as well as in early March during a visit to Turkey by US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. According to Reuters, it was raised as part of a discussion about how Washington and its allies can support Ukraine in the face of a Russian military special operation.
Experts cited by the agency believe that Turkey will “probably reject” the idea of handing over the S-400 to the Ukrainian military. Reuters sources in Turkey agree with this point of view: according to them, Ankara will consider the proposal inappropriate due to possible technical difficulties and unwillingness to spoil relations with Moscow.
Officially, the authorities did not comment on these reports. The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not respond to the agency's request.
Turkey bought four divisions of the Russian anti-aircraft missile system from Russia for $2.5 billion. The deal was concluded in December 2017. In October 2019, at Rosoboronexport reported that Russia fulfilled the terms of the contract ahead of schedule by supplying all elements of the S-400 Triumph, including missiles. As reported by the head of “Rostec” Sergei Chemezov, Moscow is waiting for Ankara to decide on the second batch of S-400s.
The United States has repeatedly spoken out against the deal. In December 2020, Washington imposed sanctions on the Turkish Defense Industry Authority (SSB) and its head, Ismail Demir, for purchasing Russian S-400 systems. They include a ban on the issuance of licenses and export permits for SSB, as well as a freeze on the assets of Demir and other officials of the department in the United States.
In January 2021, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken called on Ankara to get rid of the Russian S-400s. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the deal with Moscow a profitable and correct decision.
According to Turkish Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu, after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Ankara received offers to return the S-400 to Russia. He considered these appeals “mentally retarded”.
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The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine suspended the activities of the Opposition Platform for Life and the Sharia Party due to “ties” with Russia During the martial law in the country, the activities of the Opposition Platform – For Life, the head of the political council of which is Medvedchuk, the Sharia Party and others, were suspended, taking into account the “connections of some political structures” with Russia
The National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine decided to suspend the activities of 11 political parties during the martial law imposed due to the Russian military operation. President Volodymyr Zelensky announced this in a video message on his Telegram.
According to the head of state, the decision was made taking into account “the connection of some political structures”; with Russia. It affected the following political forces:
Zelensky said that the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine was instructed to immediately ensure the cessation of the activities of these parties. The President promised that “any activity of politicians aimed at splitting or collaborating will not succeed, but will receive a harsh response.”
The Political Council of the “Opposition Platform” For life» headed by Viktor Medvedchuk, who has been under house arrest since May last year on charges of treason. According to the prosecution, the deputy transmitted data on the location of the “secret military unit of the Armed Forces of Ukraine” party member Taras Kozak, who was at that time in Russia, and created an organization that collected information about Ukrainians, recruited them and distributed pro-Russian propaganda. In addition, the politician was charged with conspiracy against Ukraine to undermine the country's energy security. In the Opposition Platform for Life, the criminal cases against Medvedchuk are considered “reprisals against political opponents”, as well as the establishment of “absolute dictatorship” Zelensky and his entourage.
On February 27, Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, said that Medvedchuk had fled; a few days later, the Lychakovsky District Court of Lvov arrested him in absentia.
Medvedchuk— godfather of Russian President Vladimir Putin (in 2004, Putin baptized Medvedchuk's daughter together with Dmitry Medvedev's wife Svetlana).
Martial law in Ukraine was introduced on February 24, after Russia announced the start of a military special operation in the country with the aim of “demilitarization and denazification”. The Verkhovna Rada extended its validity until the end of April.
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The British government center, which is supposed to fight “Russian disinformation”, is also promoting the British position on the situation in Ukraine among Russians, writes
The Ukrainian president called such interactions difficult, but necessary. The French leader, in turn, announced the prospect of overcoming the crisis
Emmanuel Macron (left) and Vladimir Zelensky
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky discussed military operations in Ukraine with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. He announced this in a video message published on Sunday night.
“We spoke with the President of the French Republic about our interaction, about finding a solution for peace, for the liberation of our territories. To save our people,"— Zelensky said.
He called the negotiations with the Russian side “difficult and unpleasant”, but necessary.
According to the French channel BFM, Macron in a conversation pointed to “a possible prospect of overcoming the crisis.”
Prior to this, the presidents of Ukraine and France called on Thursday.
On February 24, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine to “demilitarize and denazify”. Kyiv then severed diplomatic relations with Moscow, and the European Union, the United States and other countries condemned the hostilities and introduced several packages of sanctions.
Since the beginning of the operation, the delegations of Russia and Ukraine have held three rounds of negotiations in Belarus, after which the discussion continued in video format. On March 10, the foreign ministers of the countries, Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba, met in Antalya. At the talks, Russia demands, among other things, the recognition of the independence of the DPR and LPR and the belonging of Crimea to Russia. Kyiv proposes a new treaty on security guarantees for Ukraine, offering neighboring states, Turkey and the United States, as guarantors.
Macron has already phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin seven times since February 24. During the last conversation, the leaders again discussed the situation in Ukraine, Putin said that the Russian military “is doing everything possible” to save the lives of civilians. Macron expressed 'extreme concern' situation in Mariupol.
On March 17, the French president said he would come to Kyiv “when it would be useful”, but now, according to him, negotiations with Putin and Zelensky remain a priority.
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North Korea fired four multiple rocket launchers into the Yellow Sea within an hour, the South Korean military said. This is the 11th such incident since the beginning of the year. South Korean Security Council meets
North Korea fired four alleged multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) into the Yellow Sea, Yonhap news agency reported, citing the South Korean military.
As a South Korean military spokesman said, shots were fired from an unidentified location in South Pyongyang province within an hour of 7:20 (1:20 Moscow time). This was the 11th such incident since the beginning of the year.
The South Korean National Security Council held an emergency meeting of deputy ministers regarding the shootings, the military spokesman added.
“We remain ready to the defense, closely following the relevant events, & mdash; official added.
Niinistö called strengthening cooperation with the United States and Sweden as an alternative to membership in the alliance. According to him, the risks of escalation in Europe exist regardless of the actions of Finland, but when making a decision, one must take into account the dangers
Accession to NATO is one of the alternatives to the current status of Finland, but one must “be aware of the risks”, President Sauli told the Financial Times in an interview Niinistö.
Finland is not a member of the military bloc— the country, like Sweden, has the status of a state— alliance partner. Another option for the country Niinistö called deepening defense cooperation with Washington and Stockholm.
“All these alternatives have the advantage of strengthening our security,”— said the head of state, noting, however, that there are dangers. “Now the main risk” this is an escalation of the situation in Europe,»— he explained.
Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson previously spoke about the risks for Europe in the event of an application to NATO. When asked by the FT if he agreed with this position, Niinistö replied: “We do not have an escalation in this region. We start from this. I would just say that it is necessary to carefully study all the elements that need to be taken into account.
The President stressed that he does not link the possible deterioration of the situation in Europe directly with Finland's decision to join or not to join NATO. “If there is an escalation, it will significantly affect everyone. So I'm pointing out the risk of escalation without linking it to our behavior or decisions,” — he said.
In January, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin said the country retained the option of applying to join NATO. She also announced the intensification of defense cooperation with the EU. A few days later, Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said that Finland “is not discussing with NATO either joining the alliance or future plans in this regard.”
February 24, the President of Finland announced that the start of the Russian military operation on Ukraine came as a shock to the Finns, but does not mean that the country will immediately ask for NATO membership in response. The possibility of an urgent entry into the alliance was then rejected by the head of government. She noted that Finland will be ready to take such a step if the issue of its national security becomes acute.
A petition created after the outbreak of hostilities to join NATO has collected more than 50,000 signatures needed for consideration in parliament.
Published on March 14, the results of a Yle survey show that 62% of Finnish residents support the country's accession to NATO— this figure was a record, in two weeks the number of those who supported such a step increased by 9 p.p. 16% of respondents were against membership in the alliance.
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Fighter pilots detected and intercepted air targets and destroyed Ukrainian air defense systems,
flights of Su-35 fighters during the military operation in Ukraine. The Russian pilots carried out the detection and interception of air targets and destroyed the means of air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the ministry said. said the Ministry of Defense.
From February 24, Russia has been conducting a special operation in Ukraine to “demilitarize and denazify”. The military department emphasizes that they strike only at military infrastructure facilities. As of March 18, Russian forces have destroyed over 1,400 tanks, 1,200 vehicles, 142 multiple rocket launchers, and 184 drones.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has declared martial law in the country and mobilization, as well as severed diplomatic relations with Russia.
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The missiles destroyed the Ukrainian base for storing fuel and lubricants, Igor Konashenkov said. The Ministry of Defense also announced a strike on the center “where the foreign mercenaries who arrived in Ukraine were based”
The Russian military destroyed the base storage of fuels and lubricants of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the area of Konstantinovka (Nikolaev region). The strikes were delivered from the waters of the Caspian Sea by Kalibr sea-based cruise missiles, as well as from the air over the territory of the Crimea— aviation missile systems “Dagger”, said the official representative of the Ministry of Defense Igor Konashenkov.
“From this base, the main supplies of fuel for Ukrainian armored vehicles were carried out in the combat areas in southern Ukraine,” — he said.
In addition, the Russian fleet from the Black Sea with Kalibr missiles destroyed the workshops of the Nezhinsky plant, where damaged Ukrainian armored vehicles were being repaired.
“High-precision air-launched missiles struck at the training center for special operations forces of the Ukrainian armed forces, where foreign mercenaries who arrived in Ukraine were based, near the settlement of OVRUCH, Zhytomyr region. Destroyed over 100 special operations forces and foreign mercenaries, — said Konashenkov.
Aviation shot down a Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter in the air near the village of Kokhanoy (Zaporozhye region), six drones near the village of Shibennoye (Kyiv region) and a Tochka-U missile. near Chistovodovka (Kharkiv region). Artillery destroyed six Bukovel mobile electronic warfare systems.
Aircraft hit 62 Ukrainian military targets overnight: three command posts, installation of multiple launch rocket systems, two depots of rocket and artillery weapons, one fuel depot, and also 52 places of accumulation of military equipment, said a representative of the department.
“In total, since the beginning of the special military operation, destroyed: 207 unmanned aerial vehicles, 1467 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 148 installations of multiple launch rocket systems, 573 field artillery guns and mortars, as well as 1262 units of special military vehicles, — said the Ministry of Defense.
From February 24, Russia has been conducting a special operation in Ukraine to “demilitarize and denazify”. The Ministry of Defense says that they strike only at military targets. Ukraine has declared martial law and declared mobilization.
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Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu announced rapprochement between Ukraine and Russia on “important issues” But a meeting between Putin and Zelensky is necessary to resolve some issues, Turkey is ready to accept them, the minister said s0.rbk.ru/v6_top_pics/media/img/2/94/756477652193942.jpg” alt=”Cavusoglu announced the convergence of the positions of Kyiv and Moscow on “important issues”” />
Some of the key issues in the talks between Russia and Ukraine should be decided at the level of presidents, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview with Hurriyet.
“There is a convergence of the positions of both sides on important and key issues. In particular, we see that they almost agreed on the first four points. Some issues need to be resolved at the level of leaders, — said the minister.
“The first four points”, according to the Turkish administration, are:
Two more points— the status of the republics of Donbass and the belonging of Crimea. As Ibrahim Kalyn, a spokesman for the Turkish President, said in an interview with Al Jazeera, Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that the positions of the parties on these two issues have not come close enough.
RBC sent a request to Russian Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov.
Cavusoglu expressed hope for an early cessation of hostilities if the parties “do not retreat from their current positions.”
In his opinion, neither Putin nor Zelensky is against a personal meeting. “If there is an agreement, they will definitely meet,” — the head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry is convinced, not ruling out that the talks of the heads of state will be held in Turkey.
“We will be happy to host them in Turkey. But in reality, it is only important that they meet, — in Turkey or anywhere else,— he emphasized.
Turkey has repeatedly offered to organize a meeting between Putin and Zelensky in order to reduce tensions that have arisen in the region, and continued to make such a proposal after the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. On March 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan again proposed holding talks between the leaders in Istanbul or Ankara.
So far, the parties are negotiating at the level of delegations. Three meetings were held in Belarus, then the discussion continued in video format. On March 10, Foreign Ministers of Russia and Ukraine Sergey Lavrov and Dmitry Kuleba met in Antalya.
On March 18, the head of the Russian delegation, presidential aide Vladimir Medinsky, said that the representatives of the two countries had become as close as possible in discussing the neutral status of Ukraine and were “somewhere halfway”; on the issue of demilitarization.
Mykhailo Podolyak, a member of the Ukrainian delegation and an adviser to the presidential office, did not rule out that the negotiations could drag on for several weeks due to “mutually exclusive legal issues.” He called “a ceasefire, the withdrawal of troops and a political settlement on the issue of disputed territories” as the main requirements of the Ukrainian side.
Zelensky, from the beginning of the military operation, declares his readiness for negotiations with Putin. The Kremlin called such a meeting “conceptually possible,” but emphasized that delegations and ministers must do their work first. According to Cavusoglu, Putin said in a conversation with Erdogan that he was not against meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart. The Minister also stated that Russia is not against Turkey as one of the guarantors of Ukraine's security.
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source: Donetsk News Agency
On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry reported that the Russian Aerospace Forces had been hit by high-precision missiles at the center of the Special Operation Forces of Ukraine under Zhitomir, where foreign mercenaries were based.
The center was located in the village of Ovruch.
According to the official representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, Igor Konashenkov, more than 100 servicemen and militants were killed as a result of missile strikes.
Read also: French veteran volunteer on the flow of disinformation in Ukraine: “a feast of lies”
After the start of Russia's military operation in Ukraine, the flow of fake news in the Western media turned into a tsunami, he said in an interview RIA "Novosti" French army veteran sniper Ervan Castel — a volunteer who has been in the Donbass since 2014.
Kastel serves in the People's Militia of the DPR, he is 58 years old.
He assessed the flow of fake news about what is happening in Ukraine for 8 years: « such a flow of disinformation, which can be described as a tsunami, began at the time of the special operation of the Russian army in the Western media.
The interlocutor of the agency cited as an example the strike inflicted by Ukrainian troops on the center of Donetsk with the Tochka U rocket. And he noted that “… the photographs taken in Donetsk” he “saw in an Italian newspaper with a report about the bombing of Kyiv by the Russian army.”
Western media, in his opinion, “are using photos of a missile attack on Donetsk by Ukrainians to accuse the Russian army of bombing Kyiv.”
And no one, as the volunteer noted, “does not check such reports for the truth, does not study the work of a journalist, unfortunately, the Western public consumes everything. This is a feast of lies.
Castel also drew attention to the fact that the bombing of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant by the National Guard of Ukraine was passed off as a strike by the Russian army. And the Western media used cuts of the footage to blame the RF Armed Forces.
“This is complete absurdity, boundless hysteria, lies,” — the Frenchman was indignant.
At the same time, he noted that “in the West, the public — undereducated by school education — trusts the media so much that they are ready to believe anything anything. This is actually Western theology.
source: Donetsk news agency
On Sunday, the Donetsk People's Republic reported that groupings of the republic's troops had regained control over 98 settlements.
“Currently, 98 settlements are under our control, including Vuhledar”, — clarified at the headquarters of the territorial defense of the Donetsk People's Republic.
They also reported that “in the result of military aggression” armed formations of Ukraine damaged 30 houses and 13 civilian infrastructure facilities of the DPR. And they named the total number of ammunition used by Ukrainian militants – 222 units.
Over the past 24 hours, according to the headquarters, as a result of shelling of the territories previously liberated by the DPR group of troops , 16 people were injured, including 2 children. In just a day, 18 civilians received injuries of varying severity throughout the territory of the DPR.
source: Donetsk news agency
Petrovsky district of Donetsk was shelled on Sunday by the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Grad multiple rocket launchers.
This was reported in the telegram channel of the DPR representative office in the Joint Center for Control and Coordination of the Ceasefire (JCCC).
The shelling, as specified, was recorded by the armed formations at 8:10 am , in the direction of the settlement Krasnogolovka – Petrovsky district of Donetsk. 15 missiles from the BM-21 Grad were fired in this direction.
Earlier, the DPR reported that the troops of the republic returned 98 settlements under their control.
At the same time, in a day 222 ammunition was used by Ukrainian troops on the territory of the DPR. As a result of shelling, 18 civilians received injuries of varying severity.
Finnish President Sauli Niinistö said that applying to join NATO involves a “serious risk” of escalation in Europe. He said this in an interview with the Financial Times.
According to him, when joining the alliance, it may seem that the country's worries are over. However, this involves risks that Helsinki must be aware of.
There is another option for Finland, namely deepening defense cooperation with the US and Sweden. According to him, both options involve strengthening the country's security.
Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the North Atlantic Alliance never claimed that Ukraine's entry into it was inevitable. According to him, NATO's open door policy affects not only Ukraine. He added that Sweden and Finland, which are not members of NATO, also categorically oppose decisions not to expand the alliance.
Source: LDPR website
Leader of the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia Vladimir Zhirinovsky said in an interview with RIA Novosti that the goal of the US military campaign in Iraq was the fragmentation of the country into small states. And in general, in the Middle East, in his opinion, the United States pursued the same goal.
“They hoped to dismember Iraq,” Zhirinovsky said.
He believes that they planned to separate the Kurdish part with the proclamation of an independent Kurdistan. It was also supposed to separate the Shiites – to “the south and the Persian Gulf.” And leave the Sunnis “separately in Baghdad.”
Thus, the leader of the LDPR noted, the United States was going to “dismember all the states in the Middle East so that there are dozens of small states, and Israel would dominate them all with a powerful army.”
Then, as Zhirinovsky said, “it seemed to them that there would be order in the interests of the West, but it did not work out.” At the same time, he stated that Washington's actions in Iraq related to the assassination of Saddam Hussein only aggravated the situation in the entire region and provoked the emergence of the IS terrorist group (its activities are banned in Russia). At the base of this group, as the politician said, were officers of the Iraqi army recruited by the CIA.
Zhirinovsky thinks that Iraq will be able to restore its statehood and the unity of the territory – so that representatives of all faiths can live well there.
Plans similar to those prepared in Iraq, according to him, Washington failed to implement in Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.
Sunday marks 19 years since the invasion of Iraq by the international coalition led by USA. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was executed under the pretext of fighting international terrorism and searching for weapons of mass destruction in the country. He was caught and executed on November 5, 2006. However, no traces of prohibited weapons have been found in the country.
Photo: Frame from video
The Kiev design bureau “Luch” on its Facebook page reports that the leaders of “Ukroboronprom” abducted and tortured acting Director of “Spetsoboronmash” Denis Serdyuk, forcing him to sign the necessary testimony. It is indicated that Roman Zabarchuk, Deputy Director General of the State Concern Ukroboronprom, and Andriy Artyushenko, Head of the Precision Weapons Department, are involved in the incident.
The publication says that Serdyuk took part in the transfer of rocket and artillery weapons to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard of Ukraine since February 24 and SBU. The weapon was located in the bombed-out branch of Spetsoboronmash in the town of Malin and belonged to the Luch Design Bureau. A report on this was sent to the Ministry of Defense, the National Security and Defense Council and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
However, on March 18, Denys Serdyuk was detained by force at the entrance to Ukroboronprom. They confiscated weapons and documents from him, after which they beat him. Further, Roman Zabarchuk and Andriy Artyushenko kept Serdyuk in “interrogation” for more than eight hours, applying physical and psychological pressure to him.
In the process, Zabarchuk and Artyushenko spoke several times about the permission of the general director of Ukroboronprom, Yuriy Gusev, to use such measures. They demanded that Serdyuk give out information on which particular units the weapons were transferred to. As a result, acting The director of Spetsoboronmash was forced to sign pre-prepared testimony.
The Luch Design Bureau in the post asks the President of Ukraine, the head of the SBU and the Prosecutor General to remove Roman Zabarchuk and Andriy Artyushenko from their positions. The state enterprise also calls them “Russian agents”, based on the fact that Zabarchuk’s relative works in the Russian government, and Artyushenko headed the Department of Development and Procurement of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and the missile and artillery department of the Armed Forces of Ukraine under Yanukovych.
Photo: Still from video
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a telephone conversation with French leader Emmanuel Macron on Saturday announced the need to organize negotiations with Russia. Zelensky stated this in a video message.
The Ukrainian president said that negotiations are needed to find a solution for peace, liberate territories and save people. However, he noted that the negotiation process is complicated and unpleasant.
Zelensky noted that Ukraine is interested in a peaceful solution.
Macron, in turn, announced the existence of a prospect of overcoming the crisis – about this reports the BFM channel. It is not specified what specific areas of work were discussed.
Zelensky had previously contacted Macron this week to discuss Russia's special operation. The French President also said that he had called Vladimir Putin.
Recall that following the conversation between Macron and Zelensky on Thursday, it became known that the French leader was not opposed to visiting Kyiv. However, he made a reservation that his trip should contribute to the settlement of the conflict.
Emmanuel Macron also held talks with US President Joe Biden at the beginning of the week. The leaders of the countries agreed to tighten sanctions against Russia, reports the website of the Elysee Palace. The President of France expressed support for Kiev and spoke about the assistance provided to Ukraine.
Reports from the Ministry of Defense, statements by politicians, the economic situation
The Russian Armed Forces continue to conduct a special operation in Ukraine. On March 19, it became known that an employee of the SBU department for Donetsk and Lugansk regions had surrendered to the Russian military. He took part in the preparation of sabotage groups. The surrendered officer reported on terrorist attacks planned by Azov militants (the organization was recognized as a terrorist organization and banned in Russia) in Lvov against the diplomatic missions of the United States and other countries. In this way, the Kyiv regime intends to present attacks on diplomatic facilities as an attack on the Russian military.
Photo: Donetsk News Agency
From the waters of the Black Sea cruise missiles "Caliber" managed to destroy the shops for the repair of damaged Ukrainian armored vehicles. Also, a large base for storing fuel and lubricants for the Ukrainian military in the Nikolaev region was destroyed from the waters of the Caspian Sea. based on fuel. It supplied fuel for Ukrainian armored vehicles.
10:00 China does not accept external pressure. Beijing also opposes unfounded accusations against it on the Ukrainian issue, as stated by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He added that China is going to continue to adhere to an independent position on Ukraine.
9:50 The German Meteorological Society talks about possible problems with obtaining data due to a special operation in Ukraine. Now data from Russia and Ukrainian regions, in which there are no hostilities, are coming through channels agreed upon by the UN. But the channels of communication with Russia are limited.
9:40 At least 16 people (including 2 children) were injured in a day after Ukrainian troops shelled the liberated territory of the DPR. This is reported by the headquarters of the territorial defense. According to the representative office of the DPR in the JCCC, 19 people were injured.
9:33 Erdogan's spokesman said it was necessary to hear Russia's arguments. As Ibrahim Kalyn said, any steps taken by the West in relation to the Russian Federation will have an impact on the new security architecture. He stated this in an interview with The New York Times.
9:10 The Russian Ministry of Defense for the first time published a video of night flights of the Su-35 during a special operation. During the performance of flight missions, fighter pilots of the Russian Aerospace Forces discovered and intercepted air targets and destroyed air defense systems of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
In Ukraine, the activities of a number of political parties have been suspended for the period of martial law, which, according to the authorities, they are connected with Russia.
The Washington Post notes that the authorities of Western states believe that the leaders of Ukraine give unclear and contradictory signals regarding the progress of negotiations with Russia. Some NATO states fear that Kyiv will make too big concessions.
The head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, warned that GPS could be turned off in Russia. According to him, the States are considering such a scenario.
"MK" hosted online events in Ukraine on March 19
“Beijing will never dance to the tune of the US”
Time will tell China is on the right side of history, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after Friday's video talks between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden. According to the Chinese minister, Beijing's position on Ukraine is “objective, fair and in line with the wishes of most countries.”
Photo: Global Look Press
The Chinese Foreign Minister said that Chinese President Xi Jinping has clearly and comprehensively classified Beijing's position on the Ukrainian issue, and the key message is that China always stands for peace, writes the Beijing-based Global Times.
This position is rooted not only in China's historical and cultural traditions, but also in a consistent foreign policy, Wang Yi said, adding that Beijing will continue to objectively and fairly make independent judgments based on the merits.
“We will never accept any external coercion or pressure, or any baseless accusations and suspicions against China,” said Wang Yi.
According to the Chinese minister, the priority is that all parties should push forward dialogue and negotiations, an immediate ceasefire to avoid civilian deaths and prevent a humanitarian crisis. The long-term plan is to abandon the Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation in order to create a truly balanced, efficient and sustainable regional security structure. Only in this way can we ensure the lasting security of the European continent, Wang Yi said.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, during his talks with US President Joe Biden on Friday, urged the United States and NATO to negotiate with Russia to solve problems related to with the Ukrainian crisis, and expressed his disagreement with “indiscriminate sanctions”.
Friday's talks between Washington and Beijing lasted almost two hours. Both Xi Jinping and Joe Biden agreed that this was constructive and called on working groups on both sides to make appropriate efforts to resolve the Ukrainian crisis.
At the same time, according to the Chinese edition of Global Times, “the close relationship between China and Russia has become a thorn in the side of the United States, especially against the backdrop of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis. The situation is heating up, and it is becoming clear that Washington is seeking to use the Russian-Ukrainian conflict to drive a wedge between Beijing and Moscow.”
First, the Global Times points out, senior White House officials have repeatedly accused China of not putting enough pressure on Russia to stop the military operation in Ukraine. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Thursday ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping that Washington is “charged” for any support Beijing gives to Russia's actions against Ukraine. He urged Beijing to take “responsibility for using its influence and protecting the international rules and principles that it supposedly supports.”
Secondly, the Chinese edition continues, “there are more reports and analytical materials from Western media hype” that China's ties to Russia are dangerous for the Chinese side of the problem, and warn that Beijing risks isolation if it does not distance itself from Moscow.
“NATO's eastward expansion is the main reason for Russia's anger and the military operation in Ukraine,” says the Global Times. “It is the United States that must put out the fire they lit in Ukraine. It is ridiculous to demand that Beijing do this work at the cost of damaging Sino-Russian relations. This is unwise and insidious. By pushing China to condemn Russia and calling on China to bear responsibility for the fatal strategic mistake made by the US and NATO in building so-called European security, Washington does not intend to hide its desire to sow discord between China and Russia.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Monday that Beijing could use its unique relationship to end Russia's actions against Ukraine. “What nonsense,” writes the Global Times about this. – Russia is an independent major power, and China does not have the ability to influence Russia's decision on the Ukrainian issue… If China really puts pressure on Russia that is incompatible with the comprehensive strategic partnership and coordination between China and Russia, this will only undermine Sino-Russian relations and sabotages mutual trust, which would be a huge strategic loss for both sides. This is what the US wants and is happy to see.”
“Washington knows that China cannot influence Russia or force it to do anything,” the Chinese publication continues. “But he saw the Ukrainian crisis as a good chance to tear the two countries apart. The more discord Washington can sow between China and Russia, the more it will be in US interests. But how can Beijing and Moscow allow such an evil trick to succeed? Unlike petty followers that Washington can manipulate at will, China and Russia are independent great powers. In addition, China takes a consistent position on the Ukrainian issue, emphasizing the need to respect and protect the interests of all parties in the field of security. His position is in his own interests and those of the region. He will never dance to the tune of the United States and will not sacrifice relations with Russia in order to meet the demands of the United States.
The Global Times also recalled that “regardless of how the Ukrainian crisis develops and how seriously the United States will now attack Russia, Washington still sees China as its biggest strategic competitor. China must always remember this. This should not give the US a chance to drive a wedge in Sino-Russian relations.”
“Floating death” will be washed up on the coast of Romania
The anchor mines installed by Ukrainian sailors near Odessa could not withstand the storm, broke off and began to drift freely. An analysis of the wind situation in this region of the Black Sea shows that the free drift of mines can last until about March 24th. Sergey Stanichny, Head of the Department of Remote Investigation Methods of the Marine Hydrophysical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Sevastopol), came to this conclusion.
Photo: pixabay .com
Earlier, the Russian FSB reported that 420 anchor mines were planted near Odessa. Due to a strong storm, the mines came off and now pose a danger to any ships in the Black Sea.
As Sergei Stanichny from the Sevastopol Marine Hydrophysical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences told MK, wind conditions are now conducive to the southwestern transfer of mines from the area Odessa.
—I made a calculation using the FOTS program developed by me and Arseniy Kubryakov,” the scientist said. — It takes into account drift and geostrophic wind currents using satellite altimetry data. The movement is quite fast towards the Bosphorus. But it is very likely that floating objects could be washed ashore in Romania and Bulgaria in this wind as well.
Scientist presented a diagram for calculating the movement of mines and other floating objects from March 18 to March 22.
“Human bodies remain lying on the streets”
The city of Rubizhne, which was under the control of the Armed Forces of Ukraine until February 24, has now been returned to the Lugansk People's Republic. On March 19, a commission headed by the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the LPR, head of the project “Let's not forget. We won’t forgive” Anna Soroka visited the city in order to record the consequences of war crimes of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and provide humanitarian assistance to civilians. The MK correspondent accompanied them on this trip and, along with everyone else, came under Ukrainian shelling.
Photo: Lina Korsak
Rubezhnoye is not just another liberated city, it is a strategically important settlement. After all, the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk are located behind it, where the remaining forces of the nationalist formations of Ukraine are concentrated.
Despite the fact that officially Rubizhne has already been liberated from the Ukrainian authorities, the situation here is extremely turbulent. The shelling by the Armed Forces of Ukraine does not stop for a minute, and civilians have been forced to live in bomb shelters for almost a month now. The People's Militia of the LPR has already begun to provide humanitarian assistance to people.
Dilapidated houses, broken windows, abandoned cars with traces of bullets. Retreating, the Ukrainian armed formations mercilessly beat the peaceful sector. Without unnecessary need, people try not to leave their shelters, because the shelling continues now. Human bodies still lie on the streets.
Local resident Tatyana says:
— The shelling began on February 24, but the first two days were even more or less bearable. From the 26th we do not get out of the basement. Together with the residents of neighboring houses, we hide in the basement of the school, which was hastily equipped. After all, none of us even could not imagine that & nbsp; such grief can come to our homes. Very scary. But we believe that soon all this will end…
The woman says that she has to survive in inhuman conditions. People have no light, no heat, no food. All the supplies that the residents of Rubizhne were able to take out of their apartments under shelling have long since run out. There is no water either, so we have to melt the snow. Old people and small children are already literally on the verge, many of them begin to get sick from constant hypothermia. But there is nowhere to get even the simplest medicines.
Photo: Lina Korsak
Not a soul near the school building. On the metal doors, on an A4 sheet, the inscription “NO PLACES” in bold type. Hearing the sound of cars approaching, people cautiously begin to go outside.
— Son, have you brought bread? — a thin old woman addresses the military in a trembling voice.
People begin to pull themselves up to the cars in a string. Women with babies in their arms, children, old people. The military is now their last hope.
— The military brought us some meat yesterday, — says Anna, one of the local residents. — Thank you so much, at least we were able to cook soup for the children.
People just beg to take them to a quiet place. They say that even the most persistent ones run out of strength.
— There, a direct hit on the house, — the scream of a man running towards the school makes everyone turn around.
Residents, forgetting about the distribution of food, rush to him with horror with questions. Someone bursts into tears. After all, many relatives who stayed in the apartments did not want to move to shelters.
The shelling is heard louder and closer, people with fear in their eyes rush back to the basement. It is not safe to stay outside, and we also move underground.
It is not easy to go down in pitch darkness without skill. There is not enough space on makeshift beds, and some people just sit on the steps.
— We are here because of urgent need, because the square of the school is being shelled with 122mm shells, — Anna Soroka comments on what is happening.
As the Deputy Minister explains, this is not just a humanitarian catastrophe. The Ukrainian army completely blocks the exit of civilians from the city. There are simply no moral rules for them.
Photo: Lina Korsak
A temporary lull provides an opportunity for evacuation.
It is simply impossible to accommodate everyone in the available vehicles: there are only three cars, and people – dozens, if not hundreds. Therefore, women and children are the first to leave the city. Native people say goodbye to each other with tears.
— Grandma, I won’t go anywhere without you, — a girl of ten years old starts crying, hugging an elderly woman.
Grandma, as best she can, calms the child.
— I'll come to you soon, — wiping her tears, she kisses the baby.
— No, no, you won’t come, — the girl doesn’t calm down. — Mom, I won't go without my grandmother.
A young woman hugs her mother and hugs her daughter. The heart is torn to pieces from such scenes.
A young man, helping his wife with a small son to fit in the car, as best he can, calms both. A one-year-old baby, as if understanding everything, pulls his hands to his father.
– The main thing is that you are safe. And everything will be fine with me, — promises the head of the family.
The farewell is delayed, and it is necessary to leave as quickly as possible. The breaks are getting closer again.
— Faster, faster we sit down. There is no time to hesitate, — the military urges. — We need to get through.
— Will you come back for us? — barely audible with hope in her voice an elderly woman addresses the military man. Two little funny dogs that came with her, wagging their tails, spin between the legs of those leaving.
— Let's go back, mother, let's go back, — soothes her officer.
Photo: Lina Korsak
Cars one at a time start to move. It is dangerous to travel in a column. The target is too noticeable for the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the servicemen of the People's Militia explain.
We move around the city as quickly as possible. Deathly silence reigns in the car, only the one-year-old toddler continues to sob, ignoring his mother's attempts to calm him down.
The tension subsided only at the entrance to Varvarovka, this is the next settlement after Rubizhne in the direction of Lugansk. The situation there is much calmer. The village is under the control of the fighters of the Chechen Republic.
An hour later we drive into Starobelsk. There is now a camp of the Ministry of Emergency Situations for the temporary reception of evacuees. Aleksey Firsov, an employee of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Lugansk People's Republic, explains that the temporary reception and heating point for forced refugees from the territories where hostilities are now underway began its work on March 15.
— In four days, more than five hundred people have already passed through our checkpoint. Here, people receive medical care and hot meals, as well as personal hygiene products and warm clothes. Many, leaving their homes, were deprived of the opportunity to take elementary essentials.
The rescuer explains that for those who wish to stay, they find places to settle nearby. Those who want to go further, to Lugansk, help with transport.
The evacuation of residents of the liberated Rubizhne to the LPR was caught on video
Watch the video on the topic
Many tears and much sorrow have befallen these people. But despite all the horror of the experience, they confidently declare: “We know that these changes are for the better. And at home. Well, what's at home? We will rebuild them so that there is no more war.
Chinese Media: 'The United States Continues to Think It's Exceptional'
The US continues to push tough rhetoric to pressure China over the Ukraine crisis. In Beijing, Washington's actions were described as “self-deception” and “a useless move.”
Following a highly publicized virtual summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden on March 18, some US officials and mainstream US media continue to try to push tough rhetoric against China with headlines such as “Biden warns China of consequences.” Global Times.
The Beijing edition, speaking of Washington's attempts to inflate Russia's isolation and demonstrate “toughness” The United States in relation to China, cites the opinion of analysts who note that such a self-deceptive narrative will not help solve the Ukrainian crisis, and if the United States does not take practical action, the consequences of the crisis will not only be unbearable for Europe, but America will not be spared either.
Shortly after the nearly two-hour video summit, China released an official recording of what Xi Jinping and Biden were talking about. Although the White House report came hours later and was very short, it mentioned that during a meeting with Chinese President Xi Joe, Biden “described the consequences” if China provided material support to Russia as part of the Ukraine crisis.
However, in the aftermath of the Sea-Biden meeting, in response to media questions about what the implications were and how Biden achieved it, a senior US administration official was reluctant to reveal the details and said they would not “state the situation publicly.”
The official then went on to say, “The President has not really made specific requests to China. He gave his assessment of the situation. The official also reiterated that “China will make its own decisions.”
China has done a deliberate and meticulous job of managing relations with the US, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China University of Foreign Affairs, told Global Times. This shows that China takes its relationship with the United States very seriously and wants both sides to advance their relationship on the basis of dispute management.
“The White House report testifies to the utilitarianism of the United States in relations with China, focusing only on its own concerns without regard to how to preserve the overall landscape of Sino-American relations. It also reflects an inaccurate understanding of the summit by the American side, », — said Professor Li.
By publishing one-sided data, the US government has tried to further fuel the atmosphere that Russia is isolated from many countries, and the White House has stepped up the controversy to force more states to distance themselves from Russia, Lu Xiang, a researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, comments to the Global Times.
After Friday's talks between Xi Jinping and Biden, some of the mainstream US media, including The New York Times and The Washington Post, reported on the event with a headline that emphasized: “Biden warns China.”
Underlining “warning” Biden to China — it is the US government's way of creating its own diplomatic narrative to demonstrate to the American public its toughness and ability to put pressure on Beijing, further isolate Russia, and drive a wedge between China and Russia, Lu Xiang argues, noting that, however, this is “self-deception”.
Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the US and NATO to negotiate with Russia to resolve the Ukrainian crisis and expressed opposition to indiscriminate sanctions.
Washington is seeking to influence China's attitude towards the Ukraine crisis, but as the situation develops, China's largely neutral stance on this issue is being strengthened, Global Times notes. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine has serious implications, but it has also opened up a new geopolitical space, observers say.
The US tried to force China to meet its own needs. This way — an unhealthy and problematic way to deal with China and other major powers, according to Beijing. But this is in line with the intimidating nature and logic of Washington, which does not seem to be accepted by China and many other countries. In addition, according to Professor Lee, this norm of intimidation has made many international problems more difficult to resolve.
Just hours before the Xi Biden meeting, Beijing sent strong signals that it would never accept threats and coercion from Washington on the Ukraine issue and promised to respond strongly if the United States took action that harmed China's legitimate interests. In an exclusive interview with Global Times, an unnamed Chinese official said that China has accepted the US proposal for video talks between the two leaders on Sino-American relations and the situation in Ukraine out of bilateral relations, facilitating peace talks and urging the US to take the right stand.
The United States continues to consider itself exceptional, develops the theme of the Global Times. The dominance mentality leads the US to believe that it can make the rules around the world and then operate outside of those rules. Washington believes that a pressure campaign can solve all problems, and sanctions can bring whatever it wants, said Professor Lee.
However, the US is overlooking the broken ties between itself and Russia due to its sanctions of the last three decades, which contributed to the Ukrainian crisis. Moreover, the US wants to apply this logic to its relationship with China. “Didn't the US learn a lesson from this tragedy?” — wonders Li Haidong.
Most of the states of the Black Continent evade criticism of Moscow's actions
Against the background of attempts by the West to punish Russia because of the situation in Ukraine, not only with total sanctions, but also with global diplomatic isolation African states largely evade condemning Moscow's actions.
UN General Assembly Photo: en.wikipedia.org
Speaking about the position of African states on the Ukrainian crisis, the Associated Press news agency cites Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni as an example, who recently noted that the Russian conflict with Ukraine should be viewed in the context of Moscow being the “center of gravity” of the Ukrainian crisis. for Eastern Europe. And his son, Lieutenant General Muhuzi Kainerugaba, was more emphatic, saying that most Africans “support Russia's position in Ukraine.” and “Putin is absolutely right.”
As the Associated Press acknowledges, amid a chorus of condemnation of Russian actions in the context of the Ukraine crisis, twenty-five of the 54 African countries abstained or did not vote on the United Nations General Assembly resolution earlier this month condemning Russia.
“Reason? – asks the Associated Press and answers: – Many countries on the continent of 1.3 billion people have long-standing ties and support from Moscow, dating back to the Cold War, when the Soviet Union supported the anti-colonial struggle. In recent years, this relationship has intensified: as US interest in Africa seemed to wane under President Donald Trump's administration, Russia — together with China — has expanded its influence by expanding its economic influence to include everything from agricultural programs to power plants. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, in 2019 dignitaries from 43 African countries attended the summit with Russia, which has also become a major arms exporter to sub-Saharan Africa.
As the Associated Press notes, these events have not gone unnoticed. Last month, European Union leaders held a long-delayed summit in Brussels to discuss ways to counter Russian and Chinese influence in Africa, while Western military and civilian leaders are concerned about Russia's growing presence in both the African continent and the Middle East, seeing it threatens the security of the West. China is also among the countries that support Moscow.
The Associated Press cites Kenya and Ghana as “an exception to the flood of sympathy flowing through Africa”, which have criticized Russia's actions. “But in other parts of the continent, countries not only refrain from criticism, but seem to be celebrating their alliances with Russia, – The news agency states, mentioning that against the background of the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, the leaders of the ruling African National Congress party in South Africa attended an event at the Russian diplomatic mission in Cape Town, dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between South Africa and the Russian Federation.
ANC has ties to the Kremlin, dating back to the Soviet Union's diplomatic and military support for the anti-apartheid struggle, which the Western powers did not provide. Some South Africans point out that Russia was not among the colonizers of Africa.
South Africa's friendship with Russia is “rooted in bonds of brotherhood,” said MP Floyd Shivambu, leader of the left-wing opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party. Shivambu said that Russia's actions in Ukraine are necessary to prevent NATO expansion.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country refrained from a UN resolution condemning Moscow's actions because it did not call for “significant engagement”; with Russia. “We have seen how over time countries have been invaded, wars have been unleashed over the years, and this has led to devastation,” — Ramaphosa told lawmakers on Thursday, criticizing NATO expansion in Eastern Europe. – And some leaders of some countries were killed. Muammar Gaddafi was killed on our continent (in Libya).
South African President said he thinks Russia feels “national existential threat” from NATO.
Also abstained from voting in the UN, the Republic of Zimbabwe, neighboring South Africa, which had previously avoided its own sanctions in the UN — on allegations of human rights violations and election corruption — thanks to Russian and Chinese vetoes.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa called Russia and China “reliable pillars,” referring to the aid they provided in the 1970s struggle against white minority rule in Rhodesia.
Russia has major investments in Zimbabwe, including a multibillion-dollar mining joint venture in the Great Dike region, home to one of the world's largest platinum deposits, according to the Associated Press. Russia is also involved in gold and diamond mining in Zimbabwe.
In Uganda, where the Associated Press claims Russia is helping to maintain military equipment, authorities recently announced the signing of a contract with a Russian firm to install tracking devices on vehicles to fight violent crime. The representative of this East African country in the UN said that Uganda refrained from adopting a General Assembly resolution on Russia in order to protect its neutrality as the next chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, which consists of 120 member states, which includes almost all African countries. But President Museveni went further, actually meeting with the Russian ambassador as the conflict raged in Ukraine. The leader of Uganda, who has been in power since 1986, criticized the “aggression” West against Africa. Museveni's government has clashed in recent months with the United States and other countries that have expressed concern over last year's controversial elections from a Western perspective and growing allegations of human rights violations. Museveni also accused the West of interfering in domestic affairs, including through pressure to recognize the rights of the LGBT community.
After meeting with Ambassador Museveni, in a tweet, he urged Africans to find what he called the “center of gravity” ;, that is, what he says Russia is for the “Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe.”
According to the Associated Press, this post was later removed, but the president's son, General Kainerugaba, commander of the infantry forces Uganda, was unequivocal in his comments on social media. “Most of humanity (non-white) supports the position of Russia in Ukraine, — he tweeted on February 28. — Putin is absolutely right! When in 1962 the USSR deployed missiles with nuclear warheads in Cuba, the West was ready to blow up the whole world because of this. Now that NATO is doing the same thing, do they expect Russia to do things differently?»
“200,000 Polish homeless people have fewer rights than Ukrainians”
Residents of European countries that have supported Kyiv and have already accepted more than three million Ukrainians have recognized refugees from an unusual side. It turns out that not all of them are ready to behave in a European way at a party. Many behave in a boorish way with the inhabitants of those countries that have accepted them with sympathy. The Europeans wrote about this on social networks, where you can find many video messages with indignation.
Photo: Global Look Press
Several video messages from citizens of Moldova were published on the Web. They condemn Ukrainian refugees who behave in a foreign country as in their own: shouting nationalist slogans in the street, zigging and forcibly forbidding others to speak Russian. And this despite the fact that, according to official statistics, Russians make up about 4% of the population in Moldova, hundreds of thousands work in Russia and speak Russian.
A resident of Latvia spoke about this problem on TikTok. According to her, several conflicts have recently taken place: Ukrainians beat a security guard in a shopping center, attacked an elderly man who addressed them in Russian. In another case, a Russian-speaking child was sprayed with pepper spray in the eyes, and his mother's bag was taken away and its contents scattered down the street to humiliate him.
At the end of the video message, the woman called on caring men to create patrols against aggressive Ukrainian refugees, as the authorities turn a blind eye to their crimes.
In the capital of Greece, unknown people desecrated a monument by writing on a pedestal with yellow paint the name of the Nazi battalion “Azov” banned in Russia and drawing the symbol of this armed formation.
There is no doubt that among the millions of Ukrainian refugees there are many adherents of neo-Nazism ideas. So, in one of the social networks, a Ukrainian military man posted a video message, whose body was covered with tattoos depicting a swastika. An armed man, waving a submachine gun and a pistol, told the camera that he had successfully reached Poland, and now he was waiting for his colleagues.
It is no coincidence that some citizens in Poland do not agree with the position of their government on refugees. They wrote about this on social networks.
Photo: Global Look Press
Dr. Piotr Podgurski posted on Twitter: “I think there will be more conflicts on this topic in the future. Helping our neighbors is noble, but we ourselves now have fewer rights than refugees. We welcome Ukrainians, we treat them well, while many of our compatriots are starving and do not know where to find an apartment for the night,” the user writes. “I am outraged that 200,000 Polish homeless people have fewer rights than Ukrainians. I myself help refugees as much as possible, but everything should be in moderation!”
A Polish user with the nickname “Griselda” wrote: “After the third dose of the vaccine, I went to the market with all my strength. There were no vegetables there, everything was distributed free of charge to the refugees, and the remaining food is too expensive. Meanwhile, my husband calls me and says that loan payments have increased by 50%. I am afraid that if the situation does not change, after some time the depopulation of the Polish nation will begin. There will be no more of us, and only Ukrainians will live in Poland.”
A user with the nickname “Ulaa90” left a message: “Today, a friend from Krakow (a city in Poland) wrote to me that she almost did not hear Polish in shopping time in one of the supermarkets, only Ukrainian!”.
From COVID and Ukraine to more expensive gasoline: American voters are angry at the head of the White House
Joe Biden's stay in the White House, which lasts just over a year, has been called the “damned presidency.” As head of state for 14 months, the President of the United States has faced the effects of the COVID pandemic, inflation, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and energy prices – and it seems he can not rest.
Photo: Global Look Press
'The left is calling for a green energy revolution. The right bellows the battle cry “Storms, baby, storms.” And American voters, tired of political excuses, get angry, – thus begins an article by The Guardian's Washington bureau chief David Smith about the “curse”; Biden's presidency.
Rising fuel prices have become a new headache for Joe Biden in the year of the midterm elections, he writes. Republicans accuse the President of promoting a “radical anti-American energy program” while Democrats blame “greedy oil companies” and the Russian military operation in Ukraine. While some argue that the crisis is an opportunity, consumers are feeling stifled by the latest tangled issue of a US president who, after 14 months in office, seems to be unable to breathe.
“Biden has a damn presidency,” — says Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for Policy and Management Studies at the University of Minnesota. According to him, the American president is trapped by the ongoing COVID pandemic, by inflation spiraling out of control, by Russia's actions, and now by soaring energy prices hitting voters' wallets: ;They want to be able to fill up their cars with gas without spending a hundred bucks.
Gas station prices, which reached a record high of $4.43 a gallon average last weekend, were rising long before how Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine as demand recovered from coronavirus lockdowns, The Guardian notes. But by announcing a ban on the import of Russian oil into the United States, Biden tried to present the fuel situation as “Putin's price increase”.
Republicans, however, saw a political bludgeon with which to defeat Biden. They claim that Biden, as part of his campaign promises, declared war on domestic energy production, signed an executive order to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, etc.
Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, tweeted: “No one is buying into Democrats blaming 14 months of bad policy on a three week crisis in Europe. Inflation and gas prices were skyrocketing and hurting families long before the end of last month. The White House needs to stop denying its mistakes and start correcting them.
Republicans have also denounced the White House for reportedly considering making deals with authoritarian regimes for reserve oil supplies, undermining Biden's moral authority at a critical moment on the world stage, The Guardian notes. Former President Donald Trump told supporters at a rally in South Carolina, “Now Biden is crawling around the world on his knees, begging for mercy from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela.”
As a solution to the problem, Republicans are calling for a significant increase in domestic oil and gas production in order to end dependence on foreign countries. Introducing the legislation, Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri said, “To be strong and free as a nation, we must be energy independent. My bill will reverse Joe Biden's disastrous energy capitulation that allowed Russia to dominate energy, and instead fully open up American manufacturing.”
But critics say that while "energy independence" seems like a resonant campaign slogan it's based on a false premise. The price of oil is set on the world market, not by American producers. According to the Energy Information Administration, the US exported more oil than it imported in 2021 and also increased its total crude oil production.
Nikos Tzaphos, an energy and geopolitics expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank in Washington, DC, states: “We are energetically independent by the definition people use. We are a net exporter of energy, and this does not protect us in any way, which is not surprising for those who have ever thought about energy markets.
There is still a problem, the author of article in The Guardian continues. Consumer fuel prices usually move in tandem with oil prices, but this week, with oil prices falling below $100 a barrel as the COVID-19 outbreak threatened demand in China, little has changed at gas stations. Democrats accuse giant oil corporations already making billions of dollars of speculation.
Biden tweeted: “Oil prices are down, fuel prices should be too. The last time oil was $96 a barrel, gasoline was $3.62 a gallon. Now it is 4.31 dollars. Oil and gas companies should not increase their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans.
Chuck Schumer, Senate Majority Leader, and Frank Pallone, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, demanded that oil executives testify before Congress on April 6. Schumer said on the Senate floor: “The striking discrepancy between falling oil prices and rising gas prices smacks of price gouging.”
In an interview with The Guardian, Ed Markey, Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, noted that oil companies already have all the land they need to heed the Republican call to “drill, baby, drill” but won't because it's against their business model.
“Chevron, Exxon, BP, Shell — last year they had a combined net income of $75 billion and despite all their crocodile tears right now about this crisis, they have already announced that they are going to return $38 billion to their shareholders – instead of taking $38 billion and drilling on federal lands in the United States for oil and gas, — Marky said. – The reason they are not going to do this is because they are hypocrites, they are liars. They don't want to drill because if we produce more oil, it will lower prices for consumers. So it's all one big lie.
Senator Ed Markey welcomed Biden's decision to use the US strategic oil reserve, which contains 600 million barrels. But he added: “In the long term, we need a technological revolution. If we do this, then historically we will look at all these companies and countries in the rearview mirror. We need to move on to “turn it on, baby, turn it on.” We need wind, solar, battery technology, all-electric vehicles, all other innovative technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also eliminate the need for oil and gas for our economy, the European economy, the economy of Japan and all of our allies.
Biden is also under pressure from the grassroots, continues The Guardian. More than 200 environmental and indigenous organizations have signed a letter demanding that he use the Defense Production Act, which is commonly used by presidents in wartime, to force companies to produce weapons, to force businesses to produce solar panels, wind turbines and other sources of clean energy.
Biden has given little hint of such a move as he is counting on Congress to take action. But his signature Build Back Better plan, which would put about $550 billion into the clean energy and climate business, doesn't seem to be going anywhere. One of the main obstacles has been Democratic Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who recently told an energy conference that he “really hates” see the development of electric vehicles.
Public opinion polls show that Biden's handling of the crisis in Ukraine has broad public approval, but with hints of a new wave of coronavirus, the list of his problems is never shortened. Whatever the causes of inflation, history suggests that voters can punish a Democratic president at the ballot box.
Biden's legislative ambitions for the climate crisis and other priorities are about to collide with the midterm elections, in which all signs point to a Republican victory in the House of Representatives and possibly the Senate. As a result, The Guardian predicts, Biden could spend the second half of his term vetoing laws rather than signing them.