War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

EU wants connections and diverse doors for defense seekers

President of the European Council Charles Michel proposed a reform of the EU accession process as well as a formation of a European Geopolitical Community. He said that the problem with the current enlargement process is that it is “all or nothing”, which creates disillusionment, adding that new momentum is needed. He said that the process should be faster, gradual, and reversible.

Michel called for the formation of the European Geopolitical Community, whose aim would be to forge convergence and deepen operational cooperation to address common challenges, and to promote peace, stability and security on the continent. He noted he had started to consult the 27 leaders on this subject and that he would put it on the agenda of the June meeting of the European Council.

His proposals come a week after the President of France Emmanuel Macron proposed what seems to be a similar concept – a European Political Community.

“Russian world” wants to repeat “1984”

Belarus has banned the sale of George Orwell's novel “1984.” This is stated in the relevant order, according to the publication “Nasha Niva.”

George Orwell’s dystopia “1984” describes a totalitarian society. The residents are deprived of civil rights and individuality, the idea of order is absolute, there is a personality cult of Big Brother, and people are required to fully and uncritically submit to authority. The book had been banned in the Soviet Union and other totalitarian states in Eastern Europe until 1987.

 Back to USSR

The executive director of the Ukrainian Institute for the Future Vadym Denysenko said a State Duma deputy on behalf of Crimea proposed restoring the red flag of the USSR. Also, the Duma is to consider the possibility of annulling the autumn governor elections so as to avoid criticism about the “special operation”.

Putin’s press secretary Peskov said Putin knows where he is leading the country (this sentence is permanently repeated in different interpretations in TV programs in Russia).

EU wants “Rebuild Ukraine”...,

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday proposed extra aid to Ukraine of up to nine billion euros ($9.5 billion) this year to help Kyiv cope with the ravages of war.

The money would be raised by the EU on the markets and offered to Ukraine in the form of loans. In a broadcast statement, von der Leyen also said it was time to think about rebuilding Ukraine whenever the war ends, adding the EU has “a strategic interest in leading this reconstruction effort”.

Other countries and international institutions should also be part of the reconstruction project, she said.

... Russia offers its “friendly family”

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Husnullin, who visited the occupied territories, offered Ukraine to buy electricity from the Zaporizhia NPP, which is temporarily under the control of the Russian aggressors.

If Ukraine is ready to accept and pay, it will work for them. It will not accept, it will work for Russia. Nuclear electricity is one of the cheapest types, absolutely competitive. There will be no questions about where to sell electricity,” Husnullin said after visiting occupied Melitopol, noting that the prospect of Zaporizhia region  is “to work as part of our Russian friendly family”. According to him, Russia will finance and restore all “the liberated territories of Ukraine”.

Ukrenergo ruled out the possibility of supplying electricity produced by the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant captured by the Russian occupiers to Russia. Zaporizhzhya NPP is in the Ukrainian network, under the control of Ukrainian specialists, the company stressed.

Mariupol will be restored with an emphasis on the resort business. This was stated by the head of the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Denis Pushilin. A techno-park is to be opened instead of the metallurgical plant Azovstal after this is demolished.

Gloomy forecasts for Russian army

A retired Russian colonel, who also worked in the Russian Army General Staff, had a particularly critical speech on Russia’s strategy in Ukraine on the public television station Rossiya-1. Colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok warned that the Russians are “sedated” by propaganda, while the Ukrainians are particularly motivated in the fight and, on top of that, they will also benefit from modern weapons in the West.

Ukraine could arm a million well-trained and highly motivated soldiers with the help of the United States and the EU, which could pose serious problems for the Russian military, Russian Colonel Mikhail Khodaryonok said in a broadcast on Rossiya-1.

“Ukraine’s armed forces can arm a million people, and they say so themselves. Given that the American and European (military) aid is about to be activated, the reality is that we will have one million armed Ukrainians “, the Russian military underlined.

For protection of political and war prisoners

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the Ukrainians on the Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Crimean Tatar Genocide that is celebrated on May 18. During his address, Zelensky signed a law “On Social and Legal Protection for Persons Deprived of Personal Freedom as a Result of Armed Aggression against Ukraine, and for Members of Their Families.” According to him, the law is to protect all Ukrainians who have been repressed by the invaders and who have been taken prisoner by them.

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