We would have hoped for a more definitive answer. Interviewed on CNN, Dmitry Peskov, the main spokesman for Vladimir Putin, did not rule out the use of nuclear weapons on Tuesday “in the event of an existential threat to our country”. Matt Tait, a security issues consultant quoted by BBC, quickly put the statement into perspective, recalling that this disguised threat was not particularly new. “Do not mistake yourself. The Russians like it when the Americans freak out about their nuclear arsenal, but that comment doesn’t reflect a noticeable shift in posture.” explained the expert.
On the ground, the number of Russian troops would have fallen for the first time since the start of the invasion below 90% of the 150,000 men mobilized at the start, the Pentagon believes. the FinancialTimes lingers on a report by the Institute for the Study of War according to which the Russian army is experiencing logistical difficulties with a lack of medicines and food or ammunition reserves which do not exceed three days for certain units. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces goes so far as to say that the “invaders” have lost 15,300 men since February 24. Added to this are 509 tanks, 99 planes, 123 helicopters and many other pieces of equipment, according to kyiv, even if “the calculation is complicated by the high intensity of hostilities”, highlighted Ukrainska Pravda.
“Bombs continue to rain down on Ukraine but talks between Moscow and kyiv continue. This paradox is only apparent. The work of diplomats does not end with hostilities. On the contrary”, abstract The weather. The Swiss daily notes that the statements of each camp “do not necessarily reflect the state of discussions” but rather fall under the “posture, as the war also unfolds on the information front”.
And on this front, Volodymyr Zelensky undoubtedly remains the most active. On Tuesday, he exchanged with the pope by telephone, reports Vatican News. The Ukrainian president invited Francis to play the role of mediator. He then spoke by videoconference to Italian deputies and senators, asking them to imagine the port of Genoa “completely burned” to understand the current situation of Mariupol, besieged and still the victim of two bombs “superpowered” this Tuesday. “Our people have become the army. The price of war is this: 117 children killed”he insisted, relief La Repubblica. Mario Draghi spoke after his speech. “Today Ukraine is not only defending itself but defending our peace, freedom and security. Italy is alongside Ukraine. Italy wants Ukraine to join the European Union”, said the President of the Council.
There have also been discussions, and again, between Emmanuel Macron and Vladimir Poutine. Still without result, recognized the Elysée. The President of the Republic has asked Moscow to “negotiate in good faith”, notice El Mundo. Even before the announcement of this exchange, the Daily Telegraph had mocked Tuesday morning the efforts of the French leader, seeing in him more a Neville Chamberlain, unable to stop Adolf Hitler, than a Winston Churchill. “When the war in Ukraine ends, will the French president be remembered as a European peacemaker or as the useful idiot of a deceitful Kremlin?” the daily wonders.
Navalny sentenced to nine additional years in prison
France’s role is also mentioned by the New York Times through the example of Total, which will no longer buy Russian oil by the end of the year. “TotalEnergies is in a difficult position. The company says it has been charged with complicity in war crimes because it continues to work in Russia. At the same time, its activities in Russia, particularly investments in natural gas, are an important part of its strategy which it has found difficult to abandon”, reports the American newspaper.
The Biden administration, for its part, is preparing new sanctions, indicates the wall street journal. They will target 300 Duma elected officials. The American president must officially announce them on Thursday during his visit to Europe and his meeting with NATO members. “Sanctions have so far failed to deter the Russian president from invading Ukraine,” however, recalls the daily.
Vladimir Poutine, precisely, is always so ruthless with the opposition. Alexei Navalny, already imprisoned, was sentenced on Tuesday to an additional nine years in prison for embezzlement, reports Radio Free Europe Free Liberty. The sanction was widely criticized around the world, although it came as no surprise to anyone. “Even behind bars, Navalny called for demonstrations against military operations in Ukraine”, observes the BBC, concluding that there is “no place for opposition to President Putin in today’s Russia”.