Allied countries pledge more support to Kiev after the Ukrainian request for help

The Ukranian foreign minister recently called for urgent military aid in order to respond to the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the Russian spokesman acknowledges the failure on the “battlefield”, but continues to deny war crimes and blame NATO.

Dmitri Peskov (russian spokesman) recently acknowledged in an interview that Russia suffered considerable troop losses, a “huge tragedy”. Although he did not clarify the extent of the casualties, at the end of March, the official version counted 1351 soldiers dead and 3825 wounded. A week earlier, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported online 9861 dead and 16151 wounded. (the Russian tabloid later said it was hacked)

According to data from the Ukrainian military, 18900 Russian soldiers died since February 24. Speaking to Sky News, Dmitri Peskov reiterated that the 2014 uprising in Kiev was an illegal coup and that from then on the country became anti-Russian.

“Everything that took place in Ukraine was directed against our country”, he said as a way to justify the aggressive actions against the neighboring country.

Peskov also declared that the bombing of the Mariupol maternity hospital did not exist and that the war crimes in Bucha are nothing but a “bold farce.”

However, German intelligence (BND), intercepted radio transmissions in which Russian forces discussed the execution of people in the north of Kiev, Der Spiegel reported. The conversations were intercepted from Russian military radio and include one serviceman telling another to first  interrogate people and then kill them. The BND sent this and other evidence to the parliamentary intelligence oversight committee.

Among the material collected are satellite images showing bodies lying in the streets of Bucha during the time Russian forces occupied the city. The spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, told that the murders were committed by Ukrainian forces. She accuses Ukrainian forces for having transported the corpses from outside with the complicity of the media.  France Presse entered Bucha at the same time as the Ukrainian military and witnessed upon arrival the bodies of 20 men in civilian clothes, scattered over hundreds of meters. However “Not a single civilian was injured by the Russians,” Zakharova said.

In response to the Russian invasion, new sanctions were announced by the European Union and the G7. The US Congress also ended trade relations between both countries.

The other NATO countries accepted Ukraine’s request to supply more weaponry.

Horrifying Scenes

On the “battlefield,” the head of the United Nations emergency coordination, Martin Griffiths, described the scenes of death and destruction he witnessed in Bucha and Irpin as horrifying.

The BBC reviewed a video circulating on social media in which Ukrainian forces execute a detained Russian soldier. Asked about the footage, the Ukrainian foreign minister admitted the existence  of “isolated incidents”. However, he considers that the Ukraine’s army respects the rules of war and that such violations would be investigated. 

Still, Dmytro Kuleba showed understanding for soldiers taking revenge on the enemy when they learn that a person they know was raped four days in a row among other atrocities.

“This is not an excuse for those who violate the rules of war on both sides of the front line, but there are some things that you just can’t understand, I’m sorry.” 

Kuleba also criticized his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. 

“The fact that he justifies the bombing of a hospital in Mariupol and the war crimes committed in Bucha and other Ukrainian towns and villages in Ukraine and calls them fake, makes him an accomplice to these crimes.”

During the Sky News interview, the Russian spokesman again criticized the Atlantic Alliance.

 “We have to take additional measures to ensure our own security, because we are still deeply convinced that NATO is a fighting machine. It is not a peaceful alliance. The main purpose of its existence is to confront our country,” he said.

At a meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Dmytro Kuleba told journalists that the discussion would not be about a “list of weapons” but about the urgency of delivering them. “The battle for the Donbass will remind you of World War II, with large operational maneuvers, the involvement of thousands of tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, artillery,” the Ukrainian minister said.

Nothing specific about military aid came out of the meeting that took place in Brussels, but there are indications that the countries are willing to provide more military hardware.

After failing in its attempt to take Kiev, Moscow withdrew the troops it had deployed against the capital and Chernihiv in northern Ukraine. Russian forces are now advancing in eastern Ukraine, where local officials are calling for an urgent withdrawal of residents before it becomes dangerous. “Russia has its plan, we have ours, and the outcome of this fight will be decided on the battlefield.”

In addition, the Ukrainian military warned that Russian forces are gathering more troops for a new offensive in Mariupol, and that a third of the soldiers sent to Belarus remain in the country, so a new attempt to seize the capital cannot be ruled out.

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photography of Giorgia Meloni / crédit @Andreas Solaro
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