by Raffaele Crocco
It’s been 15 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. The war continues. It’s now time to take a closer look at these four crucial aspects of the war that are too often ignored as they may seem to be of secondary importance.
Humanitarian crises People are dying from bombs and bullets, but Ukrainian civilians are also facing starvation and hunger. So says the British government, which is sounding the alarm: nearly 18 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine,” says London, “has created a major crisis, despite the Kremlin’s declarations that it will not target civilians or civilian infrastructure. Action must be taken quickly to avoid a catastrophe, says the British executive branch. A catastrophe on a par with any of the 31 places in the world currently at war. Just think of the millions who are starving in Yemen or Syria, where – let us not forget – the fighting is still going on.
Killings and assassinations The enemy must be tracked down and eliminated, wherever he may be. And the plan to take him down is announced, not in detail, for goodness sake, but in intentions. Thus, the Ukrainian secret services told the world they wanted to kill Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Russian mercenary group Wagner – Intel Ukrainian General Vadym Skibitsky said so in an interview with the German newspaper, Die Welt. When asked about Prigozhin, he used no modesty or false coyness. His dry answer was: “We’re trying to kill him.”
Press freedom denial Propaganda is dominant in this war, and if Putin is rough on his opponents and non-aligned journalists, his watchdogs are even worse. So it turns out that pro-Russian blogger Konstantin Dolgov was sacked on the spot for publishing an interview with Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin on the pro-Kremlin media project Telega Online. As has often been the case in recent weeks, Prigozhin did not take it lightly. He said that a new revolution could shake Russia if its sputtering war effort in Ukraine continued. He then appealed to Putin for ‘martial law and a new wave of mobilisation’. “Russian losses – he said – are mounting and ‘all this could end in a revolution, just like in 1917. Soldiers will rise up and then their families will rise. It is wrong to think that there are hundreds, there are already tens of thousands of relatives of those who have been killed,” he finally claimed. Dolgov reported everything and was fired the next day without explanation. He was left with the support of Prigozhin, who called the owners of his media project “degenerates” and ” brainless creatures”.
Transfer of nuclear weapons abroad Non-strategic Russian nuclear weapons have just been deployed in Belarus, news agencies reported this week. Moscow and Minsk said the move was inevitable because they had been forced to take measures in the military-nuclear sphere in response to NATO activities in this area. Russia is not transferring control of these weapons to Belarus, and the decision on their use rests with Moscow,” Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.