Western media continue to cover the war in Ukraine: on April 13, the media reported about Emanuel Macron’s statement about "brothe peoples" and the refusal to recognize the war in our state as genocide, the UN’s fears about the rights of Ukrainian female refugees, and Kyiv’s refusal to receive the President of Germany.
Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court has already launched an investigation into war crimes in the Kyiv region.
Macron and tracing Putin’s "brother peoples"
The Washington Post reports that French President Emmanuel Macron declined on Wednesday, April 13, to call the actions of Russian troops in Ukraine "genocide," saying that "an escalation of rhetoric" would not help stop the war, a day after President Biden used the term.
Macron told national broadcaster France 2 that he was "careful" about using "such terms today because these two peoples are brothers."
"What we can say for sure is that the situation is unacceptable and that these are war crimes," Macron said. "We are living through war crimes that are unprecedented on our soil — our European soil."
In a recent interview with Le Point magazine, Macron said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s long-standing resentment against the West has "metabolized into paranoia."
Macron's statement about "brother peoples" has already caused outrage on Ukrainian social media: users believe that he uses Soviet and Russian narratives. Ukrainians advise the President of France "to ramble less on the phone with Puilo (Putin — Ed. note)."
Risks of exploiting Ukrainian women in Britain
The Guardian reports that the UN decided to intervene in the situation with refugees from Ukraine following claims that predatory men are using the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The UN refugee agency has called on the UK government to intervene to stop single British men from being matched up with lone Ukrainian women seeking refuge from war because of fears of sexual exploitation.
The United Nations high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) told the Guardian a more appropriate matching process could be put in place to ensure women and women with children are matched with families or couples.
The suggestion from the global refugee agency follows reports that Ukrainian refugees, predominantly women and sometimes accompanied by children, are at risk in the UK of sexual exploitation.
Under the government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme, British hosts must link up with Ukrainian refugees themselves, leaving tens of thousands of people to resort to unregulated social media groups to connect.
A government-backed matching service run by the charity Reset offers to match UK hosts with refugees but has been operating for just over a week. Those who want to move to the UK must have a sponsor before applying for a visa.
Tinder for "sex traffickers"
Leading refugee charities raised their concerns about the Homes for Ukraine scheme in a letter to Michael Gove, the minister in charge of the scheme.
Louise Calvey, the head of safeguarding at the charity Refugee Action, told the Observer it was at risk of being a "Tinder for sex traffickers".
One 32-year-old woman from Bakhmut, Ukraine, who has been searching for an appropriate person to match in the UK, wrote that she had received disturbing messages from men on Facebook’s Messenger app:
"I was approached by one older guy from London who said that I would have to share a bedroom with him, and was asked if I was OK with that."
The Times journalist posing as a 22-year-old Ukrainian woman from Kyiv found that within minutes of posting a message on the largest Facebook group for UK hosts she was inundated with inappropriate messages.
Some men lied about having several bedrooms in their one-bed homes while another proposed sharing a bed, writing:
"I have a large bed. We could sleep together."
Another sent a voice note that said:
"I am ready to help you and maybe you can help me also."
The UN also raised concerns the six-month minimum duration on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
The representative of the organization noted:
"Appropriate training and information are needed to ensure that hosts make an informed decision when applying to become sponsors. Housing a stranger in an extra bedroom for an extended period is not, for some people, sustainable."
Kyiv does not want to see Steinmeier
Deutsche Welle reports that German politicians reacted with surprise after Ukraine refused a visit by German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
He planned to visit Kyiv alongside the heads of state of Poland and the Baltic republics of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia. However, the Ukrainian leadership rejected those plans.
The reason is that Steinmeier previously fostered a detente with Russia. At the same time, Ukraine has also made clear that it expects a visit from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
German lawmaker Michael Roth (SPD) expressed "great disappointment" at the cancellation of the visit.
"I couldn't believe it at first. Especially now, it is important to remain in conversation."
Jeopardizing future visit by Scholz?
The deputy chairman of the FDP said the snub for Steinmeier meant any visit to Kyiv by Scholz should not take place.
"I cannot imagine that the chancellor of a government supported by the FDP traveling to a country that declares the head of state of our country an undesirable person," he stated.
Those sentiments were echoed by another party's member Alexander Müller, who serves on the Bundestag's defense select committee.
"This decision from the Ukrainian government to not invite Steinmeier is not a good sign for the relationship of Germany and Ukraine," Müller said. "It will lead to our chancellor probably not traveling to Kyiv in the next days or weeks."
He explained that when Steinmeier is excluded from Ukraine, Scholz cannot go there either.
The foreign policy expert for Germany's Christian Democrats Jürgen Hardt believes that the Chancellor should talk directly to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to "put all complaints on both sides on the table."
"Sooner or later, Scholz himself will also have to seek direct talks with Zelenskyy in the region, ideally in Kyiv."
Meanwhile, the Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, Andriy Melnyk, told German television that his country wanted a visit by the German chancellor that would focus on how Germany might help Ukraine with heavy weapons:
"My president is looking forward to that."
Steinmeier admits mistakes toward Putin
Steinmeier last week admitted mistakes in policy toward Russia in his previous jobs, having served twice as Chancellor Angela Merkel's foreign minister and before that as the head of the chancellery under Gerhard Schröder.
The German president said Berlin had "failed on many points," including efforts to encourage Russia toward democracy — particularly regarding the time after 2014.
Steinmeier was also a supporter of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. This had cost the country "a lot of credit and credibility" in eastern Europe, Steinmeier conceded.
Interestingly, the former boxing world champion Volodymyr Klitschko — the brother of Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko — said he hoped there would still be a visit by Steinmeier.
"Germany is partner number one in financial assistance to Ukraine, provides humanitarian support, helps refugees on a massive scale and is sending more and more weapons."
International Criminal Court reaches Bucha
The American outlet Barron's reports that on Wednesday, April 13, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, visited Bucha.
"Ukraine is a crime scene. We're here because we have reasonable grounds to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court are being committed," he stated. "We have to pierce the fog of war to get to the truth. That requires independent, impartial investigation."
According to him, an ICC forensic team was set to work:
"We have to keep an open mind and we have to follow the evidence. The law needs to be mobilized and sent into battle to protect civilians".
Instead of an afterword. Emmanuel Macron's statement about the "brother" peoples of Ukraine and Russia, which surprisingly replicates the personal narratives of the bloodthirsty dictator Vladimir Putin, is a cause for concern.
It is also not yet clear how the cancellation of the German President Franco-Walter Steinmeier’s visit will turn out for Kyiv. While emotions about his previous policies are understandable, from a diplomatic standpoint there are now questions about Chancellor Olaf Scholz's possible visit to the Ukrainian capital.
On the other hand, the political leadership of our country gives clear signals that Kyiv is not in the mood for political talks now: we really need weapons before a serious second wave of the war with Russia the same American military experts report about, saying that it still retained up to 80% of the army’s capability.
Ukrainian experts say that the real capacity of the invaders is less because they have already hurled the best forces into the first wave of invasion and lost, but, nevertheless, the battle will be more than serious.
In addition, in the already occupied territories and in the blockaded Mariupol, civilians continue to die and be subjected to abuse and torture.
It is a good sign that the UN drew attention to the risks for Ukrainian women, who must themselves look for a sponsor in Britain, and that experts from the International Criminal Court have already begun investigating war crimes with signs of genocide in Bucha. Even modular houses were brought from the United States for the specialists, so that they can live right at the scene of the investigation.
Ukraine continues to fight for its borders for 49 days.