Ukrainian forces mounted a counter-attack this week, halting Russian advances in some areas and recapturing areas they had previously lost. Kyiv said its forces had retaken Makariv, a strategically important city west of the capital, and pushed back Russian troops from the southern city of Mykolaiv, a key point on the Crimea-Odessa route.
Inspired by his country’s resistance, President of Ukraine Zelenskyy vowing never to surrender large cities to Russia and refusing a Russian offer of safe passage for civilians from the besieged city of Mariupol should Ukrainian forces there surrender. He renewed calls for talks with Putin and said any major “compromises” would have to be put before the Ukrainian people in a vote.
However, Russia continued its bombing of Ukraine. Strikes were reported in residential areas of Odessa and in Kyiv, where eight people died Monday when a missile destroyed a shopping center. Russia continued to do the same devastate Mariupol, which was shelled by warships in the Sea of Azov. Local officials said the city was becoming “the ashes of a dead land”. Negotiators said Putin is not yet ready to meet Zelenskyy and that there has been “no significant progress” in peace talks so far.
Europe has already ‘changed forever’
It was only a month ago that Russia invaded Ukraine, he said The Sunday Times, and Europe has “changed forever”. Thousands of lives have been lost; Cities like Kharkiv and Mariupol were destroyed; The continent is facing its biggest refugee crisis since World War II. As long as Putin stays in power, Russia will be a pariah.
Putin wants to help Russia to new heights, he said The Independent. Instead, it has only managed to humiliate its “ill-organized” forces; persuade countries to cripple Russia’s economy with sanctions; and to unite a once fractured West against him.
With Western arms still “pouring” into Ukraine, Putin’s problems are only getting worse, he said The economist. Last week, the US announced it would send an additional $800 million in military aid — a package that includes 800 Stinger anti-aircraft systems and 2,000 Javelin anti-tank missiles, as well as drones believed to be able to take out tanks a distance of 25 miles.
The West should now bring its advantage home, he said The Wall Street Journal. Through this exceptional resilience, “Ukraine has earned the right to determine what concessions, if any, it can live with” in exchange for peace. In the meantime, the only “egress ramp” that should be offered to Putin was a “complete withdrawal from Ukraine.”
Is Putin threatened with defeat?
Don’t bet on Putin being beaten in Ukraine, Andrew Neil said in the Daily Mail. His troops suffer enormous losses and lack food, fuel and ammunition. At least 7,000 have died. Ukrainian forces have destroyed 500 Russian armored vehicles, 32 fighter jets and 240 tanks – more than in any military action since World War II. Five Russian generals were killed; Putin fired eight others.
Although Russia has grown in the south, said Max Boot in The Washington Post. It is likely that Mariupol will fall and Russia will get its “land bridge” between Crimea and Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine. But elsewhere the situation is “bleak”. Russians were expelled from Mykolaiv, a city of 470,000 people; and Kyiv and Kharkiv, a largely ethnically Russian city expected to fall quickly, remain in Ukrainian hands.
Maybe so, Niall Ferguson said in The Post on Sunday, but Putin won’t stop until he controls enough of southern and eastern Ukraine to win concessions that he can then present as a victory. The West still fills the Kremlin’s coffers by buying a billion dollars a day of Russian oil. And anyone who saw Putin’s “splenetic” speech to a large crowd in Moscow last week will know that he is not thinking rationally. The more desperate he becomes, the more drastic his measures become: Russia has already launched hypersonic missiles traveling at ten times the speed of sound; it could yet unleash chemical weapons.
President Biden’s “naivety” in assuring Moscow that NATO would intervene “under no circumstances” was extraordinary, said Simon Tisdall The guard. As long as Putin is confident that we won’t retaliate, “bloodbath after bloodbath beckons.”
Putin’s goal now ‘unattainable’
Putin needs to know that his goal of bringing all of Ukraine under his control is now “unattainable,” said William Hague The times. But “even in the unlikely scenario” that he engages in good faith in Turkey-brokered peace talks, the issues are “impressively” complex. The future status of Crimea, Donetsk and Luhansk is extremely contentious, as is how Ukraine should be compensated for damage to their cities, for the loss of lives and for the millions of people uprooted. The Ukrainians’ offer of neutrality gives hope for talks. “But they need muscular, confident, robust independent neutrality if they’re ever going to sleep soundly in the future.”
Nearly 100,000 people remain trapped in Mariupol and face starvation, Zelenskyy warned this week. He repeatedly called on Russia to allow safe humanitarian corridors, saying civilians were facing “inhumane conditions…without food, water, medicine” and were “under constant fire.”
Ukrainian officials fear their country is running out of guns. The times Reports: Your forces are consuming more ammunition than expected, and there have been delays in shipments from Germany, France, and other nations. President Biden was due to hold summit talks with NATO, EU and G7 allies in Europe this week, aimed at increasing support for Kyiv and pressuring Russia further by tightening sanctions.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/world-news/europe/956199/how-europe-changed-forever-in-one-month-of-ukraine-war How Europe ‘changed forever’ in a month’s Ukraine war