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Ukraine as Putin's gateway to Europe and Kremlin's "non-banditry": Foreign media digest as of March 22

Western media continue to report about the war in Ukraine: today, on March 22, the media covered Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Italian Parliament, attacks on Ukrainian medical facilities, trauma of Ukrainian refugees, and Vladimir Putin’s unwinnable war.

In addition, experts believe that the West briefs the data on Russia's casualties in the war, meanwhile, European meteorologists continue to provide Moscow with weather data that could facilitate the preparation of a chemical attack against Ukraine.

The Page offers an up-to-date review of what the European and American media are reporting, covering 27 days of an active Russian invasion.

"Ukraine is a gateway to Europe for Russia"


The BBC reports details of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's address to the Italian parliament, in which he said Ukraine was on the brink of surviving its war with Russia and warned that Moscow wanted to break through to the rest of Europe.

Quote"For Russian troops, Ukraine is the gates of Europe, where they want to break in, but barbarism must not be allowed to pass," he said.

Italian PM Mario Draghi said his country wanted to see Ukraine in the EU, and that it must offer military aid to the country to halt massacres.

He also added:

Quote"The arrogance of the Russian government has collided with the dignity of the Ukrainian people, who have managed to curb Moscow's expansionist aims and impose a huge cost on the invading army."

Attacks on Ukrainian hospitals and refugees’ trauma


BBC also quotes the World Health Organization (WHO) that has verified 62 separate attacks on healthcare facilities in Ukraine since Russia's invasion began.

The organization said 15 people had died in the attacks, and at least 37 others had been injured.

Meanwhile, WHO officials in Poland say a rapid assessment suggests that about half a million refugees who have arrived there are suffering from mental health problems, primarily due to trauma.

In addition, health workers at the borders report children and mothers arriving who are suffering exhaustion and dehydration, while many older people arrive after traveling for days without medicines for underlying conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) now reports 3.557 million people have fled Ukraine. This figure is getting close to its original planning for four million, and the agency acknowledged today that it could be exceeded soon.

So far the agency has not revised its planning figure, but both it and the WHO say they are preparing — if the conflict continues — for "massive" numbers of people arriving very quickly.

Russia assures it is not engaged in banditry


Sky News reports that the Kremlin has refuted claims that it is planning a cyber attack after it was hit with a wave of sanctions by countries in the West.

Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters:

Quote"Unlike many Western countries, including the United States, Russia does not engage in state-level banditry".

The White House yesterday warned that the Russian government was exploring options for a potential cyberattack.

US President Joe Biden said he believed Russia was preparing for "false flag" operations — an act committed with the intent of pinning the blame on another party.

Quote "Putin's back is against the wall. He wasn't anticipating the extent or the strength of our unity. And the more his back is against the wall, the greater the severity of the tactics he may employ."

According to the American President, we have seen this before:

Quote"Whenever he starts talking about something he thinks NATO, Ukraine, or the United States is about to do, it means he's getting ready to do it."

He added that Russia's President Vladimir Putin may be preparing to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine (warnings about this have been heard a while — Ed. note).

West diminishes Russia's casualties


Sky News also provides abstracts on the analysis of Eliot A. Cohen, a former adviser to the US State Department and professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Quote"The evidence that Ukraine is winning this war is abundant," he writes in The Atlantic.

Cohen argues that many leading analysts in the West have been reluctant to acknowledge this, but points to the absence of Russian progress on the front lines and the failure of almost all of its airborne assaults.

Professor stresses the "staggering" scale of Russian losses — suggesting that Western officials are briefing "unsustainable" casualty rates.

He suggests that the response to this evidence should be for Western powers to provide Ukraine with even more support, while the country appears to have the upper hand.

Quote"The Ukrainians are doing their part," he writes. "Now is the time to arm them on the scale and with the urgency needed."

The endgame, Professor believes, should be driven by an understanding that Putin is a very bad man indeed, but not a shy one.

Quote"When he wants an off-ramp, he will let us know. Until then, the way to end the war with the minimum of human suffering is to pile on."

British Laborites call for "crippling" Russia

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

The Guardian reports that in the UK, opposition leader Keir Starmer has called on the British government to "ramp up" sanctions on Russia to "cripple" its ability to function as a country.

The Labour leader said Western powers needed to continue their support for Ukraine, including supplying more military equipment, while avoiding direct conflict with Russia.

Quote"Everybody understands why every step has to be taken to prevent this escalating into a direct NATO on Russia conflict," he said.

That is why it is necessary to provide more military support, that’s why sanctions have to be ramped up again and again and that’s why it is necessary to have a stronger humanitarian response, Starmer stressed.

Quote"Sanctions need to go beyond just isolating Russia. They have to cripple its ability to function."

UN Secretary General calls Putin's war 'no win'

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

The Guardian also quoted UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who, in a conversation with reporters, called the war in Ukraine "unwinnable".

According to Guterres, even if Mariupol falls, Ukraine cannot be conquered city by city, street by street, house by house.

The only outcome to all this is more suffering, more destruction and more horror.

He stressed that food, energy and fertilizer prices are "threatening to spiral into a global hunger crisis", with developing nations already "suffocating under the burden of Covid".

Guterres added:

Quote"This war isn’t winnable. Sooner or later it will have to move from the battlefields to the peace table. That is inevitable. The only question is how many more lives must be lost? How many more bombs must fall? How many married couples must be destroyed or many more Ukrainians and Russians will be killed?"

Weather data for chemical attacks

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

Reuters reports that Russian agencies are continuing to receive nearly instantaneous meteorological data from Western and other governments, which some weapons experts say could be used to plan a chemical or biological attack in Ukraine.

That includes measurements of wind speed and direction, sunlight, precipitation and other factors that could prove crucial in planning a biological or chemical weapons attack.

For instance, the European Organization for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), an intergovernmental organization based in Germany, says it continues to provide data feeds to Russian organizations, even as at least three other bodies in Europe have chosen to stop.

Quote"The EUMETSAT position is that the global and free exchange of meteorological data has been hugely important in supporting global weather forecasting and this is how we have operated so far," said Paul Counet, organization’s communications head.

At the same time, on Tuesday, a special council of member states is due to discuss whether to continue sharing data.

Instead of an afterword. The civilized world condemns the horrors taking place in Ukraine, while Russia continues to attack our cities with missiles, carry out shelling and leave people to die in cities like Mariupol. At the same time, Moscow officials and politicians continue to lie that the Kremlin "is not engaged in banditry at the state level." Which does not prevent propaganda TV from telling the citizens of the Russian Federation that Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and the Baltic states can be punished for brazen behavior and captured in almost half an hour.

Although there are occasional reports of some progress in negotiations between Russia and Ukraine, the Kremlin continues to bombard and shell civilian buildings, including hospitals, and there is growing concern abroad about refugees who have been traumatized and ended up in EU countries without the necessary life-saving medicines. Indeed, the question is how many more bombs must be dropped on Ukraine before Russia realizes that it cannot take it over. At the same time, the West should also understand that if Ukraine is destroyed, Putin will go further across Europe, because there are no reasons to suspect him of rationality yet. Ukraine continues to fight for itself for 27 days.

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