War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

It is seen better from far away, sometimes

Bloomberg: “No matter what it says, Kyiv cannot reconquer Crimea, Luhansk or Donetsk. Putin annexed a territory and recognized the “independence” of the so-called “republics” in Donbas with the evident intention of annexing them. He cannot renounce these regions and to state at home that he won.

“But Kyiv should insist on the maintaining of control over the coast of the Black Sea or Ukraine will be blocked on land and will be deprived of defense in the long term.(...)  The devastating reality of Putin’s war is that this can generate accidental and tragic consequences. Few or nothing cannot be the solution. The success, no matter what it is, will reside in the avoidance of even more serious disasters,” stated Bloomberg.

Property in occupied Zaporozhe will be “nationalized”.

The illegal "head" of the occupied territories of Zaporizhzhia oblast, Yevhen Balytsky (former deputy of the Verkhovna Rada), signed a "decree" on the "nationalization" of property belonging to Ukraine.

Russian propaganda media reported that Balytsky had instructed to plunder and appropriate land, natural resources, strategic industries and property owned by Ukraine as of February 24, 2022, in the occupied territories of the oblast.

At the International Security Forum in Bratislava, Volodymyr Zelenski said: "The main point of the EU sanctions packages is not just to harm Russia, but to make Europe independent of Russia, cut off all critical ties between Russia and European countries, which Moscow uses as a weapon, in particular energy," he said.

Gloomy forecasts for Ukraine

Ukrainian minister of finance Serhiy Marchenk said it will be hard for Ukraine’s economy to sustain a long war. “If the war lasts more than another “three or four months”, painful measures will be needed, involving huge tax rises and swinging spending cuts. The real fear is that what has become in recent years a fairly market-driven, freewheeling economy might see a wave of nationalizations, undoing years of hard-fought progress,” he stated for The Economist.

Military salaries are another big burden. It all adds up to a financing gap of around $5bn every month. That is roughly 5% of Ukraine’s depleted GDP for every month that the war goes on.  The Government resorted to issuing and selling of war bonds, to foreign loans and printing of additional money mass. But the given methods can be used up until autumn.

Ukrainian volunteers and officials imprisoned and shot

In Mariupol district of Donetsk region, Russian invaders imprison and shoot Ukrainian volunteers and officials.

"In Mariupol district, the occupiers imprison and shoot Ukrainian volunteers and officials. All of them refused to cooperate with collaborators and the occupying power," the Mariupol City Council posted on Telegram, citing Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boychenko.

According to him, the fake ‘DPR’ court sentenced a village head to 10 years in prison. Moreover, at least one civil servant was executed by firing squad.

"A Ukrainian judge, who considered several high-profile separatism cases, is also awaiting the sentence of the fake republic. There are reports on torture against her," the mayor noted.

Grain exports still blocked

Ukrainian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Oleg Nikolenko said Russia must take the first step to unblock Ukrainian food exports by withdrawing forces from the country’s maritime waters and providing security guarantees against attacks on ports and merchant ships.

His statement came in response to recent comments from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who said Moscow would guarantee the safe passage of grain vessels if Ukraine demines the Black Sea’s coastal waters.

According to Nikolenko, about 22 million tonnes of grain are stuck in ports and cannot reach final consumers, primarily in Africa and Asia, due to the Russian blockade.

Ukraine has moral right to ask weapons

Adviser to the Head of the President’s Office Mykhailo Podolyak, said Ukraine has the moral right to ask weapons from the West. Today, some politicians say: "Nobody owes anything to Ukraine. Fight with what you have and stop demanding weapons." Of course, Ukraine is extremely grateful for any help. But there is a nuance that requires a historical excursus.”

Angela Merkel, solidary with Ukraine

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed solidarity for Ukraine in what she described as a "barbaric war" with Russia at an event on Wednesday, after months of silence prompted criticism of her own policy towards Moscow.

Merkel, chancellor for 16 years until December, said she would not offer advice from the sidelines but she supported the government's efforts to "find an end to this barbaric war".

"My solidarity goes to Ukraine," the participant quoted her as saying at a farewell ceremony for the outgoing president of the DGB trade union confederation.

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