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Fake ambassador from Kremlin, appeal to Japan, and strengthening NATO: Foreign media digest as of March 23

Western media continue to report about the war in Ukraine: today, on March 23, the media covered President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s address to the Japanese parliament, the analysis of American experts on the weakening of the Kremlin’s military power, and Germany’s refusal of an instant embargo on oil from Moscow.

Meanwhile, Poland is expelling 45 spy diplomats from Russia, Vladimir Putin plans to attend the G-20 summit in Bali, and NATO is increasing forces on the eastern flank.

The Page offers an up-to-date review of what the European and American media are reporting, covering 28 days of active Russian invasion.

Japan was reminded of Fukushima and chemical attack in Tokyo

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

The New York Times reports the details of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's address to the Japanese Parliament.

The Ukrainian leader reminded the Japanese about the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that led to the displacement of thousands of people and the chemical weapon attack.

Zelenskyy warned that Russia could use chemical weapons, such as the nerve gas sarin, in Ukraine, which should be familiar to residents of the capital of Japan: in 1995, members of a Japanese cult used the chemical in an attack on Tokyo’s subway system, killing 14 people and injuring nearly 6,000.

The President of Ukraine thanked Japan for being the first Asian nation to take action against Russia after its invasion and urged Tokyo to tighten sanctions against the Kremlin.

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Zelenskyy stressed that the invasion had turned Chernobyl into a "war zone," adding:

Quote"When the war is over, it will take years to survey the extent of the environmental damage."

According to him, the war could have dangerous consequences for another 15 nuclear reactors in four locations in Ukraine.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters after the speech that he would consider increasing humanitarian aid to Ukraine and adding further sanctions on Russia.

Russia's combat power declines: U.S. data

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Reuters quoted a senior U.S. defense official as saying that Russia's combat power in Ukraine had declined below 90% of its pre-invasion level.

This happened for the first time since its attack began, suggesting heavy losses of weaponry and growing casualties.

The United States has estimated Russia assembled more than 150,000 troops around Ukraine before the Feb. 24 invasion, along with enough aircraft, artillery, tanks and other firepower for its full-scale attack.

Quote"For the first time they may be just a little bit below 90 percent," the U.S. defense official stated.

Ukrainians fight very smarty — USA


The BBC quotes the U.S. Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby as saying that Ukraine is defending parts of its country very smartly, very nimbly, very creatively:

Quote"We have seen indications that the Ukrainians are going a bit more on the offensive now. In some places, particularly in the south near Kherson, they have tried to regain territory."

Kirby added that Ukrainian forces had been planning counter-attacks and were now moving in that direction.

Quote"The Ukrainians are putting up a very stiff defense. The Russians have not achieved any of the strategic objectives that they set out to — or certainly not without loss."

Russian spy diplomats leave Poland

Photo: twitter.com/StZaryn

Photo: twitter.com/StZaryn

The BBC also reports that Poland has decided to expel 45 Russian diplomats.

45 Kremlin officials are either suspected being spies or are associates of spies, Stanislaw Zaryn, a spokesman for Polish special services stated.

One of them was identified during an investigation into a Polish citizen, who worked in the archive of Warsaw's civil records office, for alleged espionage.

The Pole was arrested last week and has been remanded in custody for three months.

Russia’s ambassador to Poland, Sergey Andreyev, denied the allegations after he was summoned to the Polish foreign ministry.

Quote"The Russian Ambassador repeated all the absurd lies that Russia has been telling since the beginning of the war against Ukraine. This man, to paraphrase his own words, is "one big fake," Zaryn wrote on Twitter.

Putin’s administration assures that there will be no nuclear war yet

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Reuters also reports that Russia is in no hurry to press the red button and use nuclear weapons.

For instance, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN that Russia's security policy dictates that the country would only use nuclear weapons if its very existence were threatened.

The comment came amid Western concern that the conflict there could escalate into a nuclear war.

Quote"We have a concept of domestic security and it's public, you can read all the reasons for nuclear arms to be used. So if it is an existential threat for our country, then it the nuclear arsenal can be used in accordance with our concept. There are no other reasons."

Putin plans a trip to Bali for the G-20 summit

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

According to The Washington Post, bloodthirsty dictator Vladimir Putin intends to take part in the G-20 summit that will be held in October 2022 in Bali. Meanwhile, Western countries are trying to exclude the Kremlin country from the G-20, Russian Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva stressed.

Quote"The reaction of the West is absolutely unproportional. Expelling Russia from the economic forum will not help economic problems to be solved," she stated.

She praised Indonesia’s "firm position" and urged it not to buckle under Western pressure. Indonesian President Joko Widodo recently told Japanese news magazine Nikkei Asia that he supported a cease-fire but viewed economic sanctions as a poor tool.

Polish Economic Development and Technology Minister Piotr Nowak proposed excluding Russia from the G-20 during a meeting last week with U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo.

Germany is not ready for a prompt embargo on oil from Kremlin

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

The Washington Post also reports that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on March 23 reiterated his call for energy independence from Russia. At the same time, he stressed that sanctions and import controls should not deal a heavier blow to Europe than to the Russian leadership.

According to Scholz, an immediate embargo of Russian oil and gas would wreak havoc on the German economy, risking entire sectors and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Last month Berlin halted certification of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline, but it has rejected demands to shut down its forerunner, Nord Stream 1. However, Scholz assured that Germany can rapidly wean itself off Russian supplies.

Germany has already faced skyrocketing fuel prices, but financial support for residents would offset painful price increases, the chancellor assured.

Scholz also hailed President Biden’s visit to Brussels for an emergency NATO summit, saying,

Quote"Rarely has the unity of the European Union, the solidarity within NATO and the agreement of the G-7 been as great as it is today."

NATO strengthens eastern flank and fears China

Photo: Getty Images

Photo: Getty Images

Sky News reports that NATO plans to increase forces on the eastern flank.

The alliance was worried China could support Russia's invasion of Ukraine, adding that the 30 member nations would discuss Beijing's role in the war on Thursday, March 24, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg stated.

Quote"China has provided Russia with political support, including by spreading blatant lies and misinformation."

He also mentioned concerns that China could provide "material support" for the Kremlin.

The Secretary General again emphasized NATO’s warning regarding the use of chemical weapons against Ukraine:

Quote"Any use of chemical weapons would totally change the nature of the conflict, it would be a blatant violation of international law and would have far-reaching consequences."

NATO nations' leaders would agree on Thursday to bolster forces on the alliance's eastern flank, with the deployment of four new battle groups in Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia, Stoltenberg noted.

Quote"I expect leaders will agree to strengthen NATO's posture in all domains, with major increases in the eastern part of the alliance on land, in the air and at sea."

As a result, NATO will have eight multinational groups along the alliance's eastern flank.

Instead of an afterword. The President of Ukraine continues to address the parliaments of the whole world, trying to unite them in helping Ukraine and further isolating Russia. Plans to strengthen the eastern flank of NATO are a good sign, while fears of Beijing helping Moscow in its annexationist actions are alarming.

The expulsion of Russian spy diplomats from Poland and Warsaw's calls for Russia's exclusion from the G20 can be considered good news. Because the participation of Vladimir Putin in the October G-20 summit would look like a mockery of the victims and destruction that Ukraine has been suffering from for almost a month now.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin's combat power is declining, and the Ukrainians are using every opportunity to prevent the occupation of our cities and to mount a counter-offensive. Ukraine has been defending its right to exist for 28 days.

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