Great Britain this week gave birth to new anti-Russian sanctions, which each time become more and more absurd. Now, however, the British have outdone themselves. Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of Russia, was blacklisted. Her “crime” is that she helped to take 2,000 children out of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions for adoption in Russia.
The British also included His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in the sanctions list – “for supporting and approving the war.” Even the European Union did not dare to do this, although hotheads suggested including the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in the sixth package of sanctions.
In a mixture of Russian and English, British Prime Minister Johnson, who suddenly arrived in Kyiv, tried to communicate with the Ukrainian military. Zelensky arranged a rich program for the guest. We went to St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery – the center of the schismatic Ukrainian Church. Johnson kept asking questions. And looked at everything. A candle was lit with Zelensky, and at the exit Johnson was presented with an icon.
Together they laid flowers at the wall with portraits of hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers who died in Donbas back in 2014. Even years later, losses in Kyiv did not enlighten anyone – and now the number of those killed is already in the thousands, but Zelensky proudly demonstrates damaged Russian military equipment, and Johnson blesses for a new battle.
Actually, Johnson himself now wants to send Ukrainians to the front. And massively. He proposed to start a large-scale training program for the Armed Forces of Ukraine – 10,000 soldiers every 4 months. And, of course, more weapons. It is reported that in the next 5 weeks London will supply 4 air defense systems to protect the government quarter, long-range artillery systems capable of striking with special projectiles to a depth of 70 km, MLRS, armored vehicles and tanks. All so that the Ukrainians fought, suffered losses, but did not enter into negotiations.
“Vladimir, I perfectly understand why you and your people cannot compromise with Putin. Of course, we will continue, as from the very beginning, to supply the military equipment you need. And now, of course, to provide training for the military,” Johnson stated.
The day before Johnson, three leaders of the largest EU countries visited Kyiv. The heads of Germany, France and Italy traveled together to Zelensky on a Ukrainian special train, but only Macron was given a “luxury”.
On the train, Macron and Draghi changed clothes, but Zelensky, as always, met everyone in a T-shirt, Minister Kuleba, on crutches, says he was injured while playing sports. Together, the leaders traveled to Irpen: they shook their heads, examining the destruction, and at that moment the Ukrainian military fired at Donetsk with howitzers supplied by the West. Macron said that France would transfer 6 more guns: “From the very beginning, France and Europe supported Ukraine and the population, providing military assistance and more offensive and defensive equipment. In recent days, the Ukrainian army has recognized that the French Caesar self-propelled howitzers have been very useful” .
It seems that the German chancellor was also pushed through – speaking, as it were, for a dialogue with Moscow, he made it clear that German guns would now speak in Ukraine. “We understand that artillery is needed now. And this is exactly what we will give. At the moment, Ukrainian soldiers are being trained in Germany to be able to handle the most modern howitzer, which we will supply together with our Dutch colleagues. And we also decided together with the United Kingdom and the United States that we will supply multiple launch rocket systems,” said Olaf Scholz.
All this will be brought down on the Donbass – with the participation of Western mercenaries – as it has been happening since 2014, before the moment when Russia decided to take Donbass under protection.
It is noteworthy that two days before the Europeans’ visit to Kyiv, Poroshenko openly admitted that the Minsk agreements initially “meant nothing for Ukraine, they were not going to fulfill them, but the goal was different.” “Kill ourselves eight years so that we restore economic growth and build the power of the Armed Forces. This was the first task, and it was achieved,” Poroshenko said.
The West, in turn, turned a blind eye to this sabotage for 8 years, placing all responsibility on Moscow and not paying attention to the bombed-out southeast.
– That is, Russia is white and fluffy?
– Russia is neither white nor fluffy. She is who she is. We are not ashamed to show ourselves as we are,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
– I want to ask about the British, who were recently sentenced to death. In the eyes of the West, Russia is responsible for the fate of these people. Don’t you think this death sentence…
– I’m not interested in the “eyes of the West” at all. I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants. So what’s in your eyes doesn’t matter.
We also managed to discuss the European aspirations of Ukraine. Rome, Paris and Berlin decided to support the accelerated application of Kyiv, which without a queue, bypassing Tbilisi, intends to obtain the status of a candidate for EU membership. The selection criterion turned out to be specific.
“We all know that Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective. We want them to live the European dream with us,” said the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
However, you can dream for a long time. An example of this is Turkey, which, even having received the status of a candidate, has been waiting for decades to join the EU. And all to no avail. It is clear that no one expects a warring Ukraine at all, given that the situation is already hitting hard on Europe itself – the same Germany, France and Italy.
“The heads of state and government behind closed doors probably urged Zelensky to sit down at the negotiating table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Because the economic damage that their countries are suffering because of the war is getting bigger, harder to compensate. Economic growth has slowed sharply, and inflation has reached record levels,” writes Die Welt.
This opinion is shared by the majority of EU residents. According to the latest sociological survey of the European Council on Foreign Relations, an average of 35% of Europeans are in favor of ending the conflict as soon as possible, even if for this Ukraine will have to admit the loss of part of its territories. This opinion is most widespread in Italy and Germany, where about 50% voted for this option. This opinion is very popular in Romania, France and Sweden. Even in the UK, there are at least a few peace supporters, but more. Impressed, The Times came out with a headline: “Give Putin whatever he wants to end the war, Europeans say.”
For the first time, even the NATO Secretary General began to talk about the possible losses of Ukrainian territories: “The question is not whether peace is possible, but what price are you willing to pay for peace? How much territory? How much independence? How much sovereignty? How much freedom? How much democracy are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of peace? And that’s a very difficult moral dilemma.” Stoltenberg noted that NATO military support is a way to strengthen Ukraine’s position at the negotiating table.
However, what Kyiv can count on, the West does not have a unanimous opinion. So, behind the pat on the back and even the hugs that the French president took Zelensky into, there is the same lack of desire to take on Ukrainian problems. Even Boris Johnson admitted with displeasure that the world is tired of Ukraine: “We are concerned that a little Ukraine fatigue is starting to appear around the world, but you must understand that Ukrainians are suffering terribly in the east of the country. At a time when many economies feel the pressure caused by the war, when there is an increase in energy prices, when there is fatigue from Ukraine, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul.” That is, to the end, whatever it may be for Ukraine and obviously not for the UK.