Western media continue to write about the war in Ukraine: on April 6, the media covered South Korea's desire for its nuclear weapons, the need for a decisive defeat of Russia in the war, and Boris Johnson's words that the events in Bucha really look like genocide.
In addition, the media paid attention to China's position on the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the purchase of Russian oil and gas by various countries.
South Korea wants its nuclear weapons
The New York Times writes that South Koreans want to create their nuclear weapons in case of an attack from North Korea.
When Ukraine gave up nuclear weapons in the 1990s, experts debated whether the decision would make Kyiv safer or more vulnerable to the Russian invasion, the paper said.
Now, when Russia is destroying Ukrainian cities and committing atrocities against civilians, South Korea has begun to say that there is no room for debate.
Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, South Koreans have flooded online chats with discussions about the need for nuclear weapons to prevent a North Korean invasion. North Korea warned on April 5 that it would use nuclear weapons at the beginning of the war if it started with the South.
Like Ukraine, South Korea had nuclear weapons. Seoul gave up it in the 1970s in exchange for security guarantees from the United States. But observing how Ukrainians fight Russia and beg for outside help, many South Koreans fear it was a mistake.
'We must build our own defense, arming ourselves with nuclear weapons, unless we want to find ourselves in the sorry state Ukraine is in now', users say.
Russia has to lose decisively, Putin has to go
The New York Times also published a column by columnist Bret Stephens entitled 'Biden is still right. Putin has to go'.
'The brutalization of civilians has been the Putin regime’s calling card since its inception — from the Moscow apartment bombings of 1999, where the weight of circumstantial evidence points the finger at Vladimir Putin and his security service henchmen, to the murders of Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, Sergei Magnitsky and Boris Nemtsov to Russia’s atrocities in Grozny, eastern Ukraine, Aleppo and now Bucha', the author writes.
Generally it is easier for the world to make excuses to get along with Putin than to work against him, he added. He cites Germany as an example, whose dependence on Russian gas has grown from 35% to 55% since 2015.
The country continues to buy Russian gas, oil and coal worth $2 billion a month. The money keeps the ruble afloat and helps the Kremlin's military machine work, Stephens said.
He also warns that a quick truce would consolidate most of Russia's territorial gains in the war and allow it to continue terrorizing captive Ukrainians. It would also give Putin the opportunity to present himself as a winner within his own country. And, of course, he could resume the war in the future.
The columnist insists that Ukraine must be supported to achieve a decisive military victory.
'That would mean more than simply beating back Russian troops in the vicinity of Kyiv. It would also mean clearing them out of every other area they’ve seized since February, if not of what Russia seized in 2014', he wrote.
This would require months of fighting and the supply of necessary weapons to Ukraine. The author emphasizes that the West is also deeply interested in Russia losing decisively, as this will show that the sovereign borders of states cannot be touched.
Johnson says Bucha massacre 'may amount to genocide'
The Times quoted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson who said, unlike Joe Biden, that Russia's actions in Bucha may amount to genocide.
The British government has not used previously the term genocide, stressing that this definition should only be applied by a competent court. But on April 6, Johnson said:
'When you look at what's happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what Putin has done in Ukraine, which doesn't look far short of genocide to me'.
He expressed confidence that the international community and Great Britain would first move towards harsher sanctions against the Kremlin dictator's regime.
EU: We give Putin much more money than Ukraine
The Times also quoted European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen who said that the EU's promised package of sanctions would not be the last. According to her, after the coal embargo, the schedule of the Russian oil embargo is being discussed.
At the same time, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell noted that continued European purchases of Russian oil and gas had given the Kremlin many times more money than the bloc's financial assistance to Ukraine:
'We have given Ukraine 1 billion euros... but a billion euros is what we pay Putin every day for the energy he provides us'.
He also called on the bloc to provide Ukraine with more weapons, as this is what Ukrainians expect.
China propagates Russia's version about 'staging' in Bucha
CNN reports that Bucha's shocking images have sparked a global horror around, but a different narrative is playing out on China's state-run media.
In its controlled media, Beijing hastened to emphasize the refutation of Russia's atrocities, and two well-known television reports by the national broadcaster CCTV quoted Moscow as saying that 'the situation was staged'. One of the reports contains a caption with the words 'Ukrainians shot a good show'.
'Beijing's apparent boosting of Russian propaganda is consistent with its stance since the beginning of the invasion, as it refuses to condemn Russia — at home or in its diplomacy — even as the civilian death toll grows', CNN wrote.
The author admits that growing tensions with the United States have brought Moscow and Beijing closer in recent years, and China has come under significant Western pressure since the Russian attack on Ukraine. But Chinese officials have refused to use the term 'invasion'.
At a UN Security Council session on April 5, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun acknowledged that the images of civilians killed in Bucha were 'deeply disturbing', but called on 'all parties to exercise restraint and avoid unfounded accusations'.
At the same time, as China intensifies Russian rhetoric in the media, some public skepticism can be seen on local social media.
China avoids new oil contracts with Russia
Reuters also reported on Beijing, which said China's refiners are honoring existing Russian oil contracts but avoiding new ones.
Chinese state-owned companies do not want to be seen as openly supporting Moscow by buying more oil, the newspaper said, citing its sources.
'SOEs are cautious as their actions could be seen as representing the Chinese government and none of them wants to be singled out as a buyer of Russian oil', said one of the people.
China is the main buyer of Russian oil with 1.6 million barrels per day. At the same time, Unipec, Sinopec's trading division and China's leading oil buyer in China, has been warning teams about risks at regular internal meetings in recent weeks.
Another source says Unipec told its plant to find a replacement oil from Moscow to maintain normal operation:
'Beyond shipments that have arrived in March and due to arrive in April, there will be no more Russian oil going forward'.
Other state buyers — PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinochem — have shunned Russia's ESPO blend for May loading, sources said.
According to another source, state-owned banks are trying to cut funding for even existing Russian oil deals.
In contrast, India has purchased at least 14 million barrels since February 24, or about 2 million tons of Russian oil, compared to almost 16 million barrels for the whole of 2021.
Hungary ready to buy gas for rubles
Reuters writes that Hungary has stated its readiness to pay in rubles for Russian gas, although the EU has refused to do so.
Budapest will pay for supplies in rubles if Russia so requests, said Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned Europe that it risks cutting gas supplies if it does not pay in rubles.
Hungary has been one of a few EU member states that have rejected energy sanctions against Moscow.
Budapest, dependent on Russian gas and oil imports, signed a new long-term agreement in 2021 to supply 4.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
Meanwhile, Putin discussed with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić the expansion of Moscow's economic cooperation with Belgrade.
Serbia's contract for Russian gas expires on May 31, so Belgrade plans to sign a new one 'as soon as possible'.
Instead of an afterword. The promise of new sanctions and the EU's recognition that the West is giving Putin's bloody regime as much money every day as it has given Ukraine since the invasion is a good sign that the Russian economy is on its way to being suppressed more.
Unfortunately, it is still clear that many countries continue to indirectly fund Kremlin war crimes, and some are not even very concerned about their own reputation and atrocities in Bucha.
At the same time, the fact that Beijing, although quoting Russian lies in its media, does not want new oil contracts with Moscow, raises some hopes. However, given the amount that the EU pays to the Kremlin every day, the issue is more in Europe's dependency on Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine has been fighting for its right to exist for 42 days.