War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

It is not good when some are more equal than others

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky called for the restoration of full respect for basic values on the European continent.

“We must restore full respect for basic values on our continent. We must clearly and at all levels fight for the principle 'Every nation matters, the interests of no nation can be ignored,” he said in a video address to the Latvian Parliament on Thursday.

“We must firmly and on all levels defend the principle that each state and nation matters. No country’s interests can be ignored. No country can be subjugated. Only if this principle will be respected there will be unity in Europe and Russia will stand no chances of winning the war against Ukraine or any other country.

“It is also being said that Ukraine should not be given all the weapons it needs, as if the Ukrainian people was less valuable and important than other peoples. They also say that Ukraine should give up some of its land as a necessary compromise. Such talk also suggests that the Ukrainian people are not worthy enough to take their interests seriously.

“We are also being asked to wait a bit with accession to the European Union, which might take years or even decades. Some are not only unwilling to grant us full membership in the bloc but are also objecting to and questioning granting the status candidate state. If Russia attacks another country, God forbid, Latvia, then all NATO member states will have to decide - to protect Latvia or not,” Zelensky said

Convicts at the Kremlin’s service

Of the 953 Chechens who went to fight in Ukraine in March, at least 101 have a criminal past or present, according to the Russian opposition channel We Can Explain. Furthermore, many volunteers from Chechnya are or were on the lists of Rosfinmonitoring as participants and accomplices of the clandestine bandit.

“Soviet Union is the same Russia, but with another name” (V.V.Putin, 2011)

The Russian President Vladimir Putin wants to conquer Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, the Baltic states and demands that Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia should leave NATO. He needs all these for Russia to restore the influence the USSR had in Europe, Yuri Felshtinsky, a Russian-American historian, stated for the online publication GORDON. According to Felshtinski, Putin wants to control Eastern Europe up to the border with Germany.

God help them

Severodonetsk is under the Ukrainian flag, Russian troops have not advanced beyond the Mir Hotel, the head of the Luhansk OVA Sergey Gaidai stated. He noted that fighting continues in the villages on the outskirts of Severodonetsk.

For his part, Ramzan Kadyrov, the head of Russia’s Chechen Republic, said on Saturday that Russia has taken control of the town of Severodonetsk in the Lugansk People’s Republic and the residents can rest easily as they are no longer in jeopardy from now on.

The Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. think tank, says Russian progress around the eastern city of Severodonetsk results largely from the fact that the Kremlin has concentrated forces, equipment and material from all other axes on this one objective. Analysts at ISW said Ukrainian forces in Severodonetsk are facing their most serious challenge since the isolation of the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol.

Lithuanians do not intend to defend themselves with cudgels

Ukrainskaya pravda said the Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas enumerated the measures that will help to ensure a better defense of the country. The spending for defense in Lithuania since 2014 has been raised from 2% of the GDP to 2.5%.

Russians torture Ukrainian prisoners

After returning to Ukraine following PoW exchanges, Ukrainian soldiers say that Russians routinely torture, threaten, and humiliate their captives, Ukraine’s parliamentary ombudsman Lyudmyla Denisova said in a Facebook post.

Denisova heard their stories at a healthcare facility where some Ukrainian soldiers are being cared for following their capture near Mariupol.

According to them, they were initially kept in cellars and industrial buildings and later transferred to detention centers in Moscow-controlled areas of Donetsk Oblast. Eventually, they ended up in detention in Russia’s Taganrog and Voronezh.

Some soldiers said that they were injected with an unknown “M” substance, which caused them to pass out and suffer memory loss. Their captors forced them to recite the history of Russia’s coat of arms and flag, a poem called “Forgive us, dear Russians,” and sing the Russian national anthem.

Russian army is strong with weak ones

The number of civilians affected by the full-scale armed invasion of Russia’s aggressor country is at least ten times higher than the number of Ukrainian defenders. This indicates that Russia is at war with the civilian population of Ukraine, said the Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal.

Russian invasion is cause of all evils, not something else

Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a conversation with French and German leaders Emmanuel Macron and Olaf Scholz, pointed out the danger of pumping Ukraine with Western weapons. He warned European colleagues that this carries the risks of destabilization. Putin also announced Moscow's readiness to facilitate the search for options for the unhindered export of grain.

For his part, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said sanctions on Russia have no connection to the unfolding global food crisis. “The sole reason for shortages, rising prices, and threat of hunger is the Russian military physically blocking 22 million tons of Ukrainian food exports in our seaports. Demand Moscow to end its blockade.”

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