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Putin’s humiliation, nuclear threat, and peace from Beijing: Foreign media digest as of March 18

The Western media continue to report about the war in Ukraine: today, on March 18, the media covered the unworthiness of Russian military actions in Ukraine and warned that a nuclear threat in Europe is still possible precisely because Putin suffered defeat with the capture of Kyiv.

Meanwhile, after Joe Biden's conversation with Xi Jinping, American media cite Beijing's statements that it, together with the United States, must stop the war. In addition, the Patriarch of Rome condemned Russia's aggression, the Baltic countries are expelling Moscow diplomats, and Putin was "personally offended" by the words of the US president.

Foreign media rhetoric has changed a lot over the past week: for example, The Telegraph that recently wrote about the "golden ladder" that needs to be built for Putin to believe that he had won, today posted a photo by the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

The photograph shows 109 empty prams placed on Rynok Square in Lviv.

Quote"Thatʼs the number of Ukrainian children mercilessly killed by Russian troops since the beginning of a full-scale war," it says.

The Page offers an up-to-date review of what the European and US media are reporting, covering 23 days of active Russian invasion.

Ukraine humiliates Russia on battlefield


The BBC quotes a British military expert as saying that Ukraine "humiliates" Russia on the battlefield and "wipes the floor with them in terms of world opinion."

Prof Michael Clarke, former director of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) think tank, says:

Quote"The Russians are making almost every tactical mistake it is possible to make."

Speaking on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Clarke explains:

Quote"They [Russian troops] look like forces that were completely unprepared, that hadn’t thought through what a major campaign might look like. The Ukrainians are stalling the Russian advance in all areas and even operating now quite effective counter attacks. The Russians are losing a lot of equipment and troops."

Prof Clarke says Ukraine has a "Nato standard" battlefield command and control system, built with help from Nato countries since 2014.

The attack on a plane maintenance plant in Lviv this morning makes it clear that

Quote"The Russians are going for the infrastructure that is keeping Ukrainian aircraft in the air."

He adds that striking the western city just 70km from the Polish border is also "an attempt to frighten the West out of helping Ukrainians as much as they have been."

The war is absolutely going the Ukrainian way, but there is a nuclear threat

Photo: Pixabay

Photo: Pixabay

Sky News quotes Former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, General Sir Richard Shirreff as saying the war in Ukraine is "absolutely going the Ukrainian way" but Europe should be prepared for nuclear attacks.

He stated that the Russian forces have shown extraordinary incompetence and lack of professionalism, adding:

Quote"Amateurs talk tactics and professionals talk logistics."

According to him, morale among Russian troops is "absolutely rock bottom."

Quote"They were expected to be greeted by flag-waving crowds and they have been greeted by ferocious defense," the military stressed

He continued:

Quote"Putin cannot accept defeat and therefore he is acting in typical KGB style. We should be on our guard to chemical attack, quite potentially the use of tactical nuclear."

He added that nothing can be taken for granted and a ramp-up of forces would lead to a general war that "could easily go nuclear."

The outlet also quoted Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov: according to him, the United States wants the world to look like an American saloon, where the Americans Americans call the shots.

Beijing: China and US must work together for peace

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

CNN, citing Chinese state media, quoted Chinese President Xi Jinping as saying to US President Joe Biden during a video call on Friday that conflict and confrontation were not in anyone's interest.

Quote"State-to-state relations cannot go to the stage of military confrontation. Conflict and confrontation are not in the interests of anyone. Peace and security are the most cherished treasures of the international community," CCTV quoted Xi as saying.

According to him, China and the US have a responsibility to ensure peace.

Quote"As permanent members of the UN Security Council and the world's two largest economies, we must not only lead the development of China-US relations down the correct path, but also shoulder our international responsibilities and make efforts for world peace and tranquillity," Xi Jinping stressed.

The world is neither peaceful nor tranquil, Xi acknowledged, adding:

Quote"The Ukraine crisis is something we don't want to see."

Biden's words offended Putin personally: "He must be tired"

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Reuters reports that the Kremlin on Friday called US President Joe Biden's comments about his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin "personal insults" and said Biden's remarks appeared to to have been fuelled by irritation, fatigue and forgetfulness.

Biden has labelled Putin a "war criminal" and a "murderous dictator" after the Russian leader launched an invasion of Ukraine on February 24, calling it a "special operation" root out the "Nazis".

Quote"We hear and see statements that are actually personal insults to President Putin," Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated.

At the same time, he assured that Russia would not react to such aggressive statements.

Quote"Given such irritability from Mr Biden, his fatigue and sometimes forgetfulness… fatigue that leads to aggressive statements, we will not make harsh assessments, so as not to cause more aggression," he added.

Pope Francis condemns Russian 'vicious' aggression

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Reuters also reports that Pope Francis, stepping up his indirect criticism of Russia, on Friday called the war in Ukraine a "perverse abuse of power" waged for partisan interests which has condemned defenceless people to violence.

The Pope has not actually named Russia in his condemnations but he has used phrases such as "unacceptable armed aggression" to get his point across.

Quote"The tragedy of the war taking place in the heart of Europe has left us stunned," he said, adding that few people would have imagined scenes similar to the two world wars in the 20th century.

While Moscow calls its actions a "special military operation," the Pope has rejected that term, saying it could not be considered "just a military operation" but a war that had unleashed "rivers of blood and tears".

Baltic states expel Russian diplomats


The Telegraph reports that the Baltic states are expelling ten Russian diplomats.

In particular, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania have expelled a total of ten Russian diplomats, the foreign ministries of the three Baltic countries said on Friday.

Lithuania expelled four diplomats while Latvia and Estonia each expelled three.

Quote"This was done in a coordinated move "in connection with activities that are contrary to their diplomatic status and taking into account ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine," Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics tweeted.

Estonia's foreign ministry said it had expelled diplomats because they "directly and actively undermined Estonia's security and spread propaganda justifying Russia's military action."

The outlet notes that Bulgaria is also expelling 10 Russian diplomats, citing a Russian news agency after they were accused of "activities incompatible with their diplomatic status."

Putin complained to Scholz about the "crimes of the Ukrainian army"

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The Guardian reports that differing accounts have emerged of the one hour telephone conversation held between Germany’s chancellor Olaf Scholz and Vladimir Putin on Friday morning.

According to Scholz’s office the German leader tried to "put pressure" on the Russian president to enforce a ceasefire in Ukraine.

Giving no further details as to whether progress had been made, the office of Germany's chancellor added that the conversation had been focused on the war and attempts to stop it.

In the Kremlin’s version of the conversation, it was described as "harsh but businesslike", with Putin complaining about war crimes he said had been committed by the Ukrainian Army in Donetsk and Makiivka which had led to "numerous deaths".

Quote"These war crimes are being ignored by the west," Putin said and assured that the Russian Army "is doing everything to avoid civilian victims".

According to the Kremlin’s account, Putin accused Ukraine of trying to "slow down" the discussions with Russia, and said that the government in Kyiv was making "unrealistic suggestions."

Putin was interrupted at the stadium by his own television

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

The Guardian also reports that a live broadcast of President Vladimir Putin's speech at an event marking the eighth anniversary of Crimea’s annexation at the crowded Luzhniki stadium in Moscow was suddenly replaced by a video with patriotic songs.

Addressing thousands of people waving Russian flags, Putin hailed the genocide that Russia calls its "special operation in Ukraine." One concert visitor said Putin had finished his speech and left the stage, Reuters reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated the abrupt suspension of the broadcast was due to a "technical glitch on the server," according to the Russian propaganda agency RIA.

Instead of an afterword. It seems that the Western world continues to look for ways to diplomatically end the war in Ukraine, relying not only on its own capabilities, but on promises to resume full-fledged trade with China in exchange for Beijing's attempts to convince Moscow to stop its criminal actions.

According to Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, there is almost no talk of a taboo on any sanctions in the West, but NATO still has fears of a nuclear threat because the former KGB officer Putin, humiliated by the defeat in Ukraine and ridiculed by the entire civilized world, can really go for further inhuman crimes.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainians continue their successful counter-offensives and try to save as many civilians as possible from Mariupol that is actually dying out over the blockade of the invaders. Ukraine has been fighting for its existence for 23 days.

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