Western media continue to report about the war in Ukraine: on April 2-4, the media covered the reaction of Western countries to the atrocities of Russian invaders in the Kyiv region, in particular, the shock over the images from Bucha, promises and calls to tighten sanctions against the Russian Federation and conduct an independent investigation of each crime against humanity. At the same time, the West is discussing the victory of "Putin's friends" in Serbia and Hungary.
There will be no immediate embargo on bloody oil
BBC reports that Berlin won't be imposing an instant embargo on Russian energy, despite the atrocities in Ukraine, says German economy minister Robert Habeck.
But he says the EU's largest economy is working towards cutting off Russian energy.
"We are working towards an embargo, with measures that every day are hurting Putin. We are on a good course and this week we will make more progress on that course. We are working on independence from Russian gas, coal and oil", Habeck assured.
He added that before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, 35% of Germany’s oil came from Russia, now it’s more like 25%. In previous statements he has said since the invasion German dependence on Russian gas has gone from 55% to 40%.
According to him, because of the civilian killings in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine new sanctions against Russia would be decided this week.
Georgia strongly condemned Bucha massacre
BBC also reports that the Georgian Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the killings of civilians in the town of Bucha.
The ministry tweeted:
"We are devastated by the scenes of brutal atrocities. All those involved in these war crimes must bear responsibility!"
President Salome Zourabichvili said the "Bucha massacre" was a "crime against humanity".
The Georgian government has been under fire from the opposition for its lukewarm support for Ukraine. The Cabinet of Ministers has repeatedly voiced support for Ukraine but refused to join sanctions against Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recalled Ukraine’s ambassadors to Georgia last week, saying:
"With all due respect, if there won’t be weapons, won’t be sanctions, won’t be restrictions for Russian business, then please look for other work".
Elimination of Ukraine and people: Russian fascists’ new plans
Sky News drew attention to an article by Russian media expert pundit Timofei Sergeitsev, published by the state media RIA Novosti. The outlet notes that the article is disturbing, especially because of the coverage of Moscow's apparent aims in Ukraine.
Russian rhetoric on "denazification" is nothing new, of course — and it's worth repeating from the outset that claims Ukraine is run by Nazis are false, a fact underpinned by the fact President Zelenskyy is Jewish, the outlet reports.
Nevertheless, some of the remarks by Sergeitsev are particularly shocking, the author of the article notes.
Some lines from his article entitled What should Russia do with Ukraine?:
"Besides the elite, a significant part of the masses of the people, who are passive Nazis, are accomplices to Nazism. They have supported the Nazi authorities and indulged them."
"The just punishment for this part of the population is possible only as the bearing of the inevitable hardships of a just war against the Nazi system."
"The name Ukraine can seemingly not be retained as the title of any fully denazified state formation on the territory liberated from the Nazi regime."
"The social 'swamp' which actively and passively supports it must undergo the hardships of war and digest the experience as a historical lesson and atonement."
We already reported about how the Russian propaganda outlet RIA-Novosti accidentally published on February 26, 2022 an article about the victory of Moscowia, as well as about Putin’s "new multi-vector world", who planned not only to destroy Ukrainian independence, but also to force the Anglo-Saxons to their knees.
Russia may be expelled from UN Human Rights Council
Sky News also reports that the United States will demand the removal of Russia from the UN Human Rights Council. The Americans will appeal to the UN General Assembly with a corresponding request, said US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
A two-third majority vote by the 193-member assembly in New York can suspend a state from the council for persistently committing gross and systematic violations of human rights during its membership.
Obviously, such a statement is connected with the images of the Russian invaders’ atrocities in the Kyiv region that flew all over the world this weekend. We described the world's reaction to the Bucha massacre and also explained why it could become the black swan of Russia's war against Ukraine.
UN shocked by photos of dead residents of Bucha
The Guardian cites the UN high commissioner for human rights, Michelle Bachelet as saying she was "horrified" by images of civilians lying dead on the streets in the Ukrainian town of Bucha:
"Reports emerging from this and other areas raise serious and disturbing questions about possible war crimes, grave breaches of international humanitarian law and serious violations of international human rights law."
The UN rights office said that its staff on the ground had not yet been able to verify the numbers or details reported by Ukrainian officials. Bachelet stated:
"It is essential that all bodies are exhumed and identified so that victims’ families can be informed, and the exact causes of death established."
The Guardian also cites Poland’s prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, who has aimed some very strong words at the president of France, Emmanuel Macron.
"How many times have you negotiated with Putin and what have you achieved? We do not discuss, we do not negotiate with criminals. Criminals have to be fought against. Nobody negotiated with Hitler. Would you negotiate with Hitler, with Stalin, with Pol Pot (Cambodian revolutionary and politician, dictator, leader of the Khmer Rouge — Ed. note)?"
Morawiecki called for investigation into Russian actions in Ukraine, and for further sanctions to be applied:
"These bloody massacres committed by Russians, by Russian soldiers, deserve to be called what they are. This is genocide and it must be judged."
He also had a message for the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, over economic sanctions, saying:
"It is not the voices of German business leaders, of German billionaires who are probably stopping you from taking action, that should be listened to in Berlin today, but the voices of innocent women and children."
Moscow wants to return fugitive specialists
Reuters reports that Russia is looking for ways to lure highly qualified specialists from abroad.
Moscow is studying what extra incentives it needs to offer highly skilled Russian expatriates to persuade them to return home.
Russia has a reputation for producing world-class engineers and other technical specialists, but has for years been trying to counter an exodus of its brightest scientists, the outlet recalls.
Moreover, Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine has prompted thousands of Russians to leave the country.
The current return benefit program includes compensation for the cost of moving, six months of unemployment benefits and other financial incentives.
The pro-Kremlin media are citing sources close to the government as saying that specialists were showing interest in returning to Russia because they faced pressure in Western countries.
Friends of Putin: Orban called Zelenskyy an opponent
CNN analyzes what the victory of the pro-Putin leaders who won in Hungary and Serbia means.
The victory of openly pro-Russian parties in these countries gave the bloodthirsty dictator a chance to make sure that he still has "friends" in the West, the outlet believes.
The most significant victory came in the form of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his nationalist Fidesz party winning a landslide. What is important is that Hungary is a member of both the European Union and NATO.
Orban said the party had to fight against a huge amount of opponents. Included in that list of opponents were "Brussels bureaucrats", international media, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Putin was quick to congratulate Orban on his win. But it will do little to affect the EU's resolve on Ukraine, although Hungary is trying to block the embargo on Russian energy carriers, CNN believes.
Serbia: Dependence on Russian gas and Kosovo
The situation is very different in Serbia in that it isn't a member of the EU or NATO. Serbia's president, Aleksandar Vučić, has been placed in a difficult position by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
For years, he has tried to balance maintaining strong diplomatic and economic ties to Russia and a particular fondness for Putin with the Western embrace.
During the election campaign, Vučić didn't deviate from this balance. Serbia is almost entirely dependent on Russian gas, while its army maintains ties with Russia's military.
Although Serbia backed two United Nations resolutions condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine, it refused to impose sanctions against Moscow. The Kremlin supports Belgrade's opposition to Kosovo's independence.
Instead of an afterword. Despite the shock of the entire civilized world over the images of the horrors that took place in the Kyiv region, one should not expect an instant reaction from the West to the atrocities of the Russians. However, the statements and promises of the US and the EU are encouraging, because an even greater noose on Moscow’s economy accelerates its impoverishment and isolation, and therefore — potentially reduces the duration of the invasion active phase.
The results of the elections in Serbia and Hungary are disappointing, but they were predictable, and Kyiv could hardly expect significant assistance from these countries.
At the same time, Georgia's harsh condemnation of the occupiers’ actions in Ukraine suggests the possibility of Tbilisi joining in more active steps, or at least investigating crimes against humanity that the Putin regime creates. Also inspiring are Poland's calls for really serious sanctions due to Russia's violation of all possible laws and rules of war and the invasion itself. Ukraine has been fighting for its independence for 40 days.