The third month of the war against the Russian invaders continues in Ukraine. Western media this week discussed the blocking of the sixth package of sanctions against the Russian Federation, especially the requirements of Hungary.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has invited George Bush to Ukraine and is going to deliver a speech at a G7 video meeting, and the US is cautiously commenting on its assistance with intelligence that helped destroy Russian generals and the cruiser Moskva.
Zelenskyy invites Bush to Kyiv
Zelensky invited Bush to Kyiv
Volodymyr Zelenskyy invited former US President George W. Bush to visit Ukraine during a video conference.
Bush in turn conveyed his support for the president and the people of Ukraine, CNBC reports.
"Your courage is very important for further success. If you continue to do what you do, you will always have our support if you continue to fight as you do now," he stressed.
Bush also called Zelenskyy "the Winston Churchill of our time."
Zelenskyy expressed his appreciation for support from the U.S. and Americans.
"Americans are sincere, open-minded people, and I feel it. We have common values. I feel that it is from the heart."
Did the United States help destroy Moskva?
The United States provided Ukraine with intelligence that helped sink Russia's flagship missile cruiser Moskva in the Black Sea. At that time, the Western media called the sinking of the ship Vladimir Putin’s "personal disgrace".
This was in response to a request from Ukraine to the United States regarding a ship sailing to the south of Odesa, the BBC reports, citing several American media outlets.
Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say the US responded to a request and helped confirm the location of the cruiser Moskva.
Subsequently, Ukraine hit it with two missiles. The Pentagon has not officially commented on the situation, but a spokesperson acknowledged that the United States provided intelligence to Ukraine so it could defend itself.
At the same time, informally, officials said they were unaware of Ukraine's plans to target Moskva after the Americans helped identify its location.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied earlier media reports that the US was providing information about the locations of senior Russian generals on the battlefield.
According to him, Ukraine combined information that the US and others provided with their own battlefield intelligence.
"We do not provide intelligence with the intent to kill Russian generals."
The Pentagon estresses that Ukraine makes its own decisions on how to use the information it receives.
Hungary blocks sixth EU sanctions package
Orban is considered a pro-Russian politician, although he explains his position by saying that new EU restrictions, including an oil embargo, will destroy the state's energy security.
The leader of Hungary said the European Commission's current proposal banning Russian oil imports would amount to an "atomic bomb" dropped on the Hungarian economy.
At the same time Orban added that Hungary was ready to negotiate if it sees a new proposal that would meet the country's interests.
has already reported that the EU on Wednesday, May 4, proposed the toughest package of sanctions against Moscow, but several countries, concerned about the consequences of stopping oil imports from Russia, blocked the possibility of its approval.
A handful of eastern EU countries are concerned that the halt would not allow them enough time to adapt, even though diplomats said Hungary and Slovakia would be given until the end of 2023.
Bulgaria also wants a grace period, while Slovakia is asking for a three-year grace period, not a year and a half.
Five years without embargo and big money
According to Orban, Hungary would need five years during which it will make huge investments in its refineries and pipelines to be able to transform its current system which relies around 65% on Russian oil.
Also, according to him, the country needs huge investments in refineries and the shipping system so that Budapest can import non-Russian oil.
Orban also questioned whether it was wise to make investments on that scale for a result in four to five years' time, while the war in Ukraine was happening now.
He added that Hungary was waiting to see a new proposal from the Commission:
"I don't want to confront the EU but to cooperate... but this is only possible if they take our interests into account."
Evidence of executions and torture of Bucha residents
Amnesty International has collected compelling evidence of war crimes committed by Russian troops.
This includes extrajudicial executions of civilians in the Kyiv region in February and March 2022, The Guardian reports.
Civilians also suffered abuses such as reckless shootings and torture at the hands of Russian forces in the early stages of the invasion, the report reads.
Donatella Rovera, Amnesty’s senior crisis response adviser, said:
"These are not isolated incidents. These are very much part of a pattern wherever Russian forces were in control of a town or a village."
Russian troops had committed a host of apparent war crimes in Bucha, including numerous unlawful killings, most of them near the intersection of Yablunska and Vodoprovidna streets, the document reads.
The organization stated it had documented 22 22 cases of executions by Russian troops of civilians in Bucha and nearby areas.
At the same time, Ukrainian authorities are investigating more than 9,000 potential war crimes by invaders. The international criminal court is also looking into alleged war crimes.
Zelenskyy to attend G7 meeting
Zelensky was invited to speak before the G7
G7 leaders will hold a video conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday, May 8.
This was stated by the spokesperson of the German government Christiane Hoffmann, CNN reports.
"The German chancellor Olaf Scholz will hold the third video conference since the start of the year with his G7 partners," she noted (Germany currently holds the G7 presidency).
The spokesperson went on to say that May 8 is a historic date marking the end of World War II in Europe. According to Hoffmann, the video conference will cover current issues, particularly the situation in Ukraine:
"Ukrainian President Zelensky will take part and report on the current situation in his country."
The German chancellor will also give a televised address to the German nation in the evening of May 8.
Hoffmann added that May 8 has a special meaning this year as the two countries that were once victims of Nazi Germany are now at war with each other.
The United States continues to support Ukraine, but is trying to be careful about comments on intelligence that help Ukraine destroy the enemy — in particular, beheading the leadership of the Russian army and burning Russian ships.
Indicative, although expected, is Hungary's demarche regarding the sixth package of EU sanctions: Budapest set conditions that it itself recognizes as too long and costly, and they will bring zero benefits, given that the war in Ukraine continues here and now.
Meanwhile, the first international evidence about the war crimes of Russians in the Kyiv region, in particular, about the executions and torture of civilians in Bucha, is already beginning to be made public, and all Russia's statements about fake and provocation will not help it escape punishment — quickly or not very quickly, but there going to be consequences for that.
Inviting Volodymyr Zelenskyy to the G7 meeting is not only a logical, but probably also a diplomatic and conciliatory gesture on the part of Germany, because relations between the countries have deteriorated amid publications about the cancellation of President Steinmeier's visit to Kyiv and general criticism of Berlin for trying to sit on all chairs at once.
Here we are talking about the desire to simultaneously maintain business ties with Russian energy companies and help Ukraine cope with Russian aggression and terrorism. Olaf Scholz was even threatened with resignation over the slowdown in the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Ukraine has been fighting for its right to exist for 72 days, or almost 2.5 months.