As of March 1, 2023, it can be stated that the big winter offensive of the Russian Federation did not take place. Also, the Russian strategy to destroy the energy infrastructure of Ukraine did not achieve its main goals - the creation of a blackout, and, as a result, a humanitarian crisis, a wave of refugees, and a weakening of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. At the same time, missile strikes in general caused significant damage to the economy of Ukraine, which now needs additional funding from Western partners. Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion as a result of missile and drone attacks, as well as due to the occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine has lost 44% of its nuclear generation and three-quarters of its thermal power plants. But at the same time, a deficit in the Ukrainian energy system is not predicted (power outages are observed only in the Odesa region), all types of power plants operate in the energy system, and despite the consumption growth, electricity imports are approaching zero.
This week, on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian invasion, special attention was paid to two options for a peaceful settlement of the war in Ukraine.
On February 23, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by Ukraine and its partners on the principles of a future peace settlement. This is a list of 10 conditions President V. Zelensky. Which implies the surrender of the Russian Federation, it does not contain any concessions from the Ukrainian side and provided for severe demands and restrictions imposed on Russia - including compensation for damages; providing international security guarantees to Ukraine; criminal conviction of the leadership of the Russian Federation for the crime of aggression, etc.
24 February The PRC has published its proposals for a peaceful settlement, which consists of 12 main points. It is worth noting that the Chinese proposals are not a peace plan, but rather a set of principles or a concept. It does not contain specifics on Ukraine: clear proposals on what each of the parties to the conflict should do, in what sequence, and timing. Therefore, if desired, the parties can interpret the content of its clauses in their favor (such as, for example, Respect for the sovereignty of all countries), which is happening now. China insists on a direct dialogue between the Russian Federation and Ukraine and offers itself as an intermediary. The literal implementation of the PRC's proposals could lead to a freeze of the war at the present stage (along the front line). China raises attention to possible nuclear confrontation. It is obvious that they categorically do not support the use of nuclear weapons - this is a signal for the Russian Federation. It is especially noteworthy that this is happening against the backdrop of Russian threats and the suspension of START-3. It is also obvious that China is seriously concerned about the issues of the world economic system. The PRC stands for global stability in international markets, including food markets. Therefore, China supports the functioning of the "grain deal", and opposes primary and secondary sanctions, which play into the hands of the Russian Federation, China itself, and countries cooperating with them.
It is possible that the PRC sought to create a political split between the US and the EU on this issue (against the backdrop of recent calls for increased EU independence from the US). Also, these are retaliatory actions to strengthen the American presence in Taiwan, preparations for helping the Russian Federation (if Western countries reject the peace plan), or diplomatic sabotage against the American-Ukrainian peace plan ("V. Zelensky's 10 steps", providing for peace only after the capitulation of the Russian Federation) in ahead of his UN vote.
The allied countries will likely try to present V. Zelensky's peace plan as the only alternative formula for ending the war, and therefore China's peace plan was rejected. At the same time, the very reaction of Western countries and Ukraine was very cautious, because of the fear of losing in the eyes of countries not involved in the war.
China is trying to strengthen its international reputation as a peacemaker and win in the eyes of the countries of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and other countries that advocate a peaceful end to the conflict and bear the costs of war. That is, between the United States and China there is a struggle for the opinion of these countries. And the goal of the Chinese peace concept is not so much a peaceful settlement in Ukraine, but rather counter-positioning and global ideological competition with the United States and other countries that advocate a forceful solution to the conflict.
Overall, US-China relations continue to deteriorate rapidly. First, US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Christopher Wray said the Covid-19 pandemic was likely caused by a virus leak from a Chinese lab in Wuhan. This potentially opens the way to financial claims against China to compensate for the losses that countries have suffered in the world due to the covid epidemic. In addition, the US has imposed sanctions on 4 large Chinese companies that are accused of cooperating with the Russian Federation. On February 28, the visit of the head of Belarus A. Lukashenka to China began, which may mean the beginning of military-technical cooperation between Russia and China through Belarus, given how large-scale Chinese investments are in the machine-building and technology sector of Belarus. In general, the production of the Chinese-Belarusian Industrial Park (KBIP) is organized within four clusters: automotive components, electric vehicles and electrical equipment, medical products, and equipment (pharmaceuticals), as well as integrated logistics.
This week, the leaders of Ukraine, the United States, and the Russian Federation separately made certain messages to the citizens of their countries and the world community during a personal press conference.
So on February 21, President of the Russian Federation V. Putin delivered a message to the Federal Assembly. V. Putin's speech was addressed primarily to Russian society and the hesitant countries of the global south. There was a strong impression that the President of the Russian Federation, first of all, was trying to calm Russian society, remove elements of tension and hyper-mobilization, and demonstrate that the war in Ukraine, although important, is not critical for the Russian state. Therefore, about 80% of the speech was devoted to domestic socio-economic issues. Periodically changing his image, V. Putin tried to influence the key recipients of his appeal: the external public, the passionate part of society (veterans, volunteers), families, and Russian students. Regarding the fact that the Russian Federation suspends its participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START 3). This allows us to talk about a new round of nuclear pressure and blackmail on Western countries. At the same time, the Russian Federation is trying to "pull" The global confrontation is moving from the sphere of conventional weapons, where the Russian Federation does not win, to the sphere of nuclear weapons, where parity or advantage is possible. This is the logic that will require the leadership of the Russian Federation to take new steps to create the threat of a nuclear clash - a new "Caribbean crisis" the Russian Federation may try to create new nuclear bases, including in the occupied territories or Belarus. V. Putin tried to look like the president of a country on the defensive, and not waging an aggressive offensive war. He shifted the responsibility for starting the war in Ukraine to the countries of the collective West, led by the United States.
In parallel, US President D. Biden delivered his speech in Warsaw. D. Biden's speech was aimed at solving specific foreign and domestic political tasks (the appeal to the Russians was secondary): Consolidation of NATO and the EU countries around the United States, to assure the countries of Eastern Europe of the United States' loyalty to allied obligations. As well as consolidation around the Democratic Party. D. Biden described the Ukrainian conflict as a struggle between "freedom" and "autocracy", in which not only Kyiv but also "all democracies" were at stake. D. Biden appealed to the people of Eastern Europe, opposing the dictatorship of V. Putin, to assure them that the United States will protect them, and directly to the Kremlin to inform him that they "will never win in Ukraine. "Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia." - D. Biden said. This speech, probably by design, was to create for the President of the United States the image of a military leader opposing an existential challenge and almost infernal evil. D. Biden refers to the value that America will defend always and everywhere - this is freedom.
On the anniversary of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky gave a big press conference for journalists from different countries. The President of Ukraine made it clear that any negotiations with Russia can only be based on the "peace formula" of Ukraine, which implies the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. Regarding the counteroffensive, the President said that Ukraine was preparing to liberate Crimea by military means. The main topic of the President's answers was the problem of maintaining and increasing foreign military and financial assistance. More than 60% of the answers from the President of Ukraine dealt with this topic. In the speech of the Ukrainian President, socio-economic issues were completely absent - about 90% of the answers were devoted to the war, and the remaining 10% were of a personal and humanitarian nature. The President emphasized that the United States must understand that if Ukraine loses, then the United States will lose NATO and global leadership, there will be a threat of the 3rd World War, and American soldiers will die defending the Baltic countries from the Russian Federation; Ukraine needs security guarantees on its way to NATO (and not instead of NATO); over the next year, the situation for Ukraine should improve significantly; a positive assessment of the PRC proposals for a peaceful settlement ("there is a lot in common with Ukrainian principles") and a clear desire to use these proposals to go to a meeting with the PRC leader Xi Jinping ("it is better for the PRC to be where it is now, and not with the Russian Federation) ; ambivalent assessment of the President of Turkey: on the one hand, gratitude "for what he did", and on the other hand, a direct refusal of his intermediary services in organizing a meeting with V. Putin ("earlier (before the war) he could not, and now we can not"); Ukraine has evidence of the organization of the Russian Federation to overthrow the government and destabilize Moldova. On the part of V. Zelensky, an attempt was seen to use the peace proposal of the PRC as a pretext for a dialogue with Beijing, and thus win him over to his side. Probably, for this purpose, V. Zelensky initiated a meeting with Xi Jinping. In turn, China has so far made it clear that such an event is not planned shortly.
At the front, the RF Armed Forces continue to advance in the Kupyansky, Limansky, Bakhmutsky, Avdeevsky, and Shakhtyorsky directions. The main battles are taking place in the areas of the cities of Kremennaya, Svatovo, Bakhmut, Avdeevka, Marinka, and Vugledar. The situation near the city of Bakhmut is becoming more complicated (the tensest situation is in the northern regions of Stupka and Yagodnoe). Also, the RF Armed Forces are striving to break through the front in the southwest to cut off the only road along which the supply of Ukrainian troops in the city of Bakhmut through Khromovo (Artemovskoe) is being carried out. If this happens, it is possible that in the coming days or weeks, the Armed Forces of Ukraine may leave the city.
According to official figures, since the beginning of the war, Russian troops have occupied 1877 Ukrainian settlements. As of June 2, there were 2,603 settlements under the control of the Russian Federation.
The escalation on the border with Belarus is growing. On February 25, on the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, a serviceman of the territorial defense of Ukraine was killed during a combat mission. Details of the incident have not yet been disclosed. According to preliminary information, they could also shoot at him from Belarus. But the State Border Service of Belarus denied the shooting at the border.
An additional reason for nuclear threats from the Russian Federation is the aggravation of the situation around unrecognized Transnistria. The Russian Defense Ministry is actively disseminating information that Ukraine has allegedly stepped up preparations for a provocation with an invasion of Transnistria. The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that Ukraine was preparing a "dirty bomb provocation" there. They assure that these "radioactive substances with English markings could be delivered through the ports of the Odessa region participating in the grain deal." There are calls in the Russian public that in the current configuration, the only adequate response would be the use of tactical nuclear weapons in an uninhabited area as a deterrent.
A probable operation in Transnistria could become a serious blow to the Russian Federation and allows not only to get rid of the Russian contingent in Transnistria but also to solve the issue of shell hunger along the way. It is not yet known whether Ukraine is preparing an operation in Transnistria, but such an option is being considered by the Ukrainian leadership. At the same time, Ukraine needs to obtain consent (a formal invitation) from the leadership of Moldova. So far, it is more likely that the issue of Transnistria in Moldova will be sought to be resolved peacefully.
So far, the situation regarding the supply of weapons remains unclear. Ukraine is promised to receive long-range GSP-guided Jdam-ER bombs with a range of up to 45 miles (more than 72 km), this will allow for destroying ammunition depots and personnel concentrations in the rear, which in turn can significantly slow down the offensive of Russian troops. But let us remind you that earlier deliveries of missiles with a range of up to 150 km, that is, twice as much, were announced to Ukraine. The US leadership allegedly demands an effective counteroffensive from Ukraine (probably, we are talking about the elimination of the Russian land corridor to Crimea). Information is spreading in the Western media that if significant successes are not achieved at the front by autumn, Ukraine will be persuaded to negotiate with the Russian Federation. At the same time, the situation at the front directly depends on the supply of Western weapons and the nomenclature, and the time of delivery does not yet allow the Armed Forces of Ukraine to go on an active counteroffensive.
The administration of the incumbent US President D. Biden continues to be under pressure from representatives of the Republican Party, who now dominate the House of Representatives of the US Congress, and demand reports on spending 113 billion dollars allocated to assist Ukraine.
At the same time, since the beginning of the war, the United States has provided Ukraine with budgetary support totaling over $13 billion. US Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen announced in Kyiv that the next tranche will be transferred shortly, after which it will exceed $14 billion to replenish the Ukrainian budget. At the same time, the United States has not yet decided to confiscate frozen Russian assets. The deficit of the state budget of Ukraine for 2023, is about - $ 38 billion. will be covered by international donors. The authorities have already agreed with Western partners to raise $33 billion, and the remaining $5 billion will come from the IMF.
The intensification of arms supplies to Ukraine provokes an aggressive reaction from representatives of the Russian authorities and provokes new nuclear threats. Thus, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation D. Medvedev declares that “if the question of the existence of Russia seriously arises, it will be resolved not on the Ukrainian front, but together with the question of the further existence of the entire human civilization ... We do not need a world without Russia.”
The situation in the Kharkiv region: The RF Armed Forces are trying to advance in the Kupyansk direction.
In Donbas: The RF Armed Forces are advancing in the Kupyansky, Limansky, Bakhmutsky, Avdiivsky, and Shakhtarsky directions. The main battles are taking place in the areas of the cities of Kreminna, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka, and Vugledar. The attacks of the RF Armed Forces were repulsed in the area of the settlements of Kuzemivka and Dibrova, Stelmakhivka, Kreminna, Bilogorivka, Fedorivka, Makiivka, Nevske in the Luhansk region. In the Donetsk region attacks were repelled - in the areas of the settlements of Kaminka, Peremoha, Gorikhovo-Vasilyvka, Berkhivka, Yagidne, Ivanovske and Pivnichne, Nevelske, Krasnogorivka, Vodyane, Novomykhailivka, Dubovo-Vasylivka, Bogdanivka, Chasiv Yar and Bila Gora.
The situation in the South direction: no significant changes. The Russians are building up the defense of Crimea and building fortifications. 150 conscripts arrived from the Chelyabinsk region to perform engineering work.
Black Sea-Azov direction: In the Black Sea, the Russian ship group has been increased to 17 ships, including 5 launch vehicles, including two submarines. The total volley of "Caliber" can reach 32 missiles.
According to the draft State Budget of Ukraine for 2023, the country's budget deficit for this year is $38 billion. The G7 countries reported that they are allocating $39 billion in benefits to Ukraine for 2023 - White House. "We will continue to support the economic and financial stability of Ukraine, in particular, address urgent short-term economic needs"
Prime Minister D. Shmygal, in an interview with Forbes, outlined the structure of external allocations to Ukraine for this year. The authorities have already agreed with Western partners to raise $33 billion, and they want to take the remaining $5 billion from the IMF.
- macro-financial assistance from the European Union for $18 billion has already been announced;
- $10 billion should be allocated by the United States by September;
- Norway will give $7.5 billion over five years;
- $1.5 billion this year will be given by Canada.
There are also agreements on smaller amounts with other countries, and negotiations have begun with the IMF to attract the remaining $5 billion.
Last year, Ukraine received more than $31 billion in external grants (38%) and loans (62%).
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in Kyiv confirmed a new tranche to replenish the Ukrainian budget, but not the confiscation of the reserves of the Russian Central Bank. It is reported by the BBC. " Since the beginning of the war, the United States has provided Ukraine with budgetary support totaling over $13 billion. Yellen announced that the next tranche will be transferred shortly, after which it will exceed $14 billion. By September 30, Ukraine should receive another $8.65 billion for similar items,” the publication says. The BBC also reports that Prime Minister Denys Shmygal, receiving the guest, returned to the idea of sending funds from Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves frozen in Western banks to the needs of Ukraine. “ The Biden administration believes that there is no legal possibility for their final confiscation. Yellen reaffirmed this stance in a telephone briefing to reporters shortly before the visit.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion as a result of missile and drone attacks, as well as due to the occupation of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Ukraine has lost 44% of its nuclear generation and three-quarters of its thermal power plants.
The situation in the energy system of Ukraine has stabilized and the deficit is not predicted. According to NEC Ukrenergo, all types of power plants operate in the energy system. Because of the flood, hydroelectric power plants are actively working. Electricity imports are approaching zero. The company reported that with the beginning of the working week and an increase in consumption in the Odessa region, the consequences of enemy shelling are making themselves felt. Because of this, there was an emergency shutdown of individual elements of the transmission system in the region. There are no network restrictions in other regions.
But power cuts may resume in Ukraine, Dmitriy Sakharuk, DTEK Executive Director, warned on the air of the telethon. " That is, in fact, we now have the maximum amount of generation that Ukraine can afford using the capacities that we have," Sakharuk says. But in the foreseeable future, it will be necessary to prepare stations for the winter of 2023/24, it will be necessary to bring individual units, including nuclear ones, into repair. The flood will end - they will generate fewer hydroelectric power stations. " All this can lead to the restrictions that we have had since October last year," warned DTEK's chief executive.
According to the survey, which was conducted by the Ilko Kucheriv Democratic Initiatives Foundation together with the sociological service of the Razumkov Center with the support of the MATRA program from December 13 to 21, 2022.
24% of Ukrainians said that one of their relatives was mobilized into units of the Defense Forces of Ukraine, and 18% of respondents noted that one of their relatives voluntarily joined the Armed Forces of Ukraine or other units. About 61% of Ukrainians somehow joined the volunteer assistance to the Defense Forces of Ukraine or their fellow citizens: someone helped with physical labor (about 10%), 31% helped financially, and about 20% - both financially and with work. About 15% of Ukrainians said they did not join such assistance but plan to. Almost 18% have not joined and do not plan to.
The majority of citizens (71%) positively or satisfactorily evaluate the preparation of local authorities in their settlements for crises with public services. This assessment dominates even though the most frequently cited effect of the war on the daily lives of citizens was power outages. The reason for this is that Ukrainians consider the Russian Federation, which is shelling Ukraine's critical infrastructure, the main culprit in power outages.
One way or another, the full-scale Russian war against Ukraine has affected almost every Ukrainian family. Most often (52%), power outages were mentioned as a direct consequence of the war, which affected the lives of citizens. Among other humanitarian consequences of the war, about 17% of those surveyed said that their relatives were forced to leave for another region or locality and that they had to part with their relatives. Naturally, this problem was mentioned more often in the south (25%) and east (27%) of Ukraine. About 21% of Ukrainians indicated that the financial condition of their families has deteriorated significantly. Among the types of assistance that would be appropriate for their families, Ukrainians most often named assistance related to improving their financial situation: subsidies for utilities, direct cash assistance, benefits for the purchase of medicines, and food security.
The situation around Ukraine.
This week, on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian invasion, the leaders of Ukraine, the United States, and the Russian Federation each separately made a certain message to the citizens of their countries and the world community during a personal press conference.
So on February 21, President of the Russian Federation V. Putin delivered a message to the Federal Assembly. His performance passed without sensations. It is noteworthy that from a technological point of view, V. Putin's entire speech was built cyclically on three paradigms: care, defense, and creation. At least three times, V. Putin consistently walked through these topics, respectively, entering the role of either a father, a warrior, or a creator, thus realizing his program of suggestion.
The main points of V. Putin's message are as follows:
• Despite the hostilities, stability remains in the state, and its social character does not change; The socioeconomic contract between the elites and Russian society is not canceled: the state deliberately increases pensions and salaries, develops various kinds of social services, and so on.
•The contract is also preserved internally between the elites. The statement that all elections will be held on time is an appeal from the Kremlin to the regional elites regarding the fact that political competition in the Russian state remains.
• Statement that the Russian Federation is suspending its participation in the Strategic Offensive Arms Treaty (START 3), which regulates the number of nuclear weapons of the Russian Federation and the United States, and also establishes control mechanisms for them. It is noted that in the context of the modernization of the nuclear triad, the Russian Federation does not want to allow third-party observers to its nuclear facilities.
• About Ukraine. V. Putin continued the rhetoric that the Russian Federation is not at war with the Ukrainian people, but believes that the state is occupied.
At the same time, twice in his speech, V. Putin recalled the so-called. "Novorossia". Perhaps this is an element of the Russian plan, which provides for the creation of some kind of buffer or quasi-formations in the occupied territories of Ukraine.
• There is a direct statement that the Russian Federation will continue the offensive and the so-called. "SVO". In addition, the offensive will continue in the territories that the Russian Federation did not formally include in its Constitution. Due to the receipt of long-range weapons by Ukraine, the Russian Federation will seek to move the demarcation line inland to a safe distance.
In parallel, US President Joe Biden held a meeting in Warsaw with the leaders of the "Bucharest Nine", which includes the countries of NATO's eastern flank. D. Biden at the meeting will assure the countries of Eastern Europe of the loyalty of the United States to allied obligations and will discuss their assistance to Ukraine. Most of the Bucharest Nine countries are in favor of increasing assistance to the Ukrainian army.
Also, US President D. Biden spoke in front of the palace in Warsaw. He described the Ukrainian conflict as a struggle between "freedom" and "autocracy" in which not only Kyiv but "all democracies" were at stake. D. Biden turned to the peoples of the East, opposing the dictatorship of V. Putin, to assure them that " we will not tire of defending them ", and directly to the Kremlin to inform him that he "will never win in Ukraine" and that he will fight for the independence of Ukraine, and " horrible crimes " will have to pay. D. Biden made a loud statement that “ Ukraine will never be a victory for Russia. Never ."
The White House stated that the US President's speech in Warsaw had been planned for a long time and was not intended to be a "response" to V. Putin's appeal to the Federal Assembly. Nevertheless, the world media still write about the “duel of speeches” and undertook to compare the atmosphere and essence of the speeches of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin. If Biden stepped onto the podium to a "driven electronic pop song," then in Moscow, some of Putin's listeners " seemed to fall asleep during his speech, which lasted an hour and 45 minutes ." Biden mentioned Putin's name 10 times in his speech, saying that his "cowardly lust for power and territory will fail," while the Russian dictator, in a "long and belligerent" address from Moscow, never directly mentioned the US president. D. Biden did not call V. Putin a war criminal, as he did last March in Warsaw, but made several accusations against V. Putin, including the kidnapping of Ukrainian children in an attempt to steal the future of the country and the cessation of Ukrainian grain exports, which led to a global food shortage.
Press conference of the President of Ukraine V. Zelensky.
On the anniversary of Russia's full-scale military invasion of Ukraine, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky gave a big press conference for journalists from different countries. Unlike V. Putin's monologue message, V. Zelensky's press conference was a lively dialogue with journalists, only some elements of which were orchestrated. The President of Ukraine summed up the first year of the war, while the Russian Federation - just a calendar year. V. Zelensky spoke about the achievements of the present and future challenges in the war, Putin simply lulled his society. And if V. Putin relied on textual technologies, the team of the President of Ukraine counted on his skill as a public speaker and charisma. In general, the President of Ukraine during the entire press conference was involved, emotional, persistent and reactive, cruel, and demonstrated faith in himself and his words, that history had endowed him with a mission and he was on the side of justice.
The main topic of the President's answers and the issue that probably worries him the most was the problem of maintaining and increasing foreign military and financial assistance. In general, more than 60% of the answers from the President of Ukraine dealt with this topic. In the speech of the Ukrainian President, socio-economic issues were completely absent - about 90% of the answers were devoted to the war, and the remaining 10% were of a personal and humanitarian nature.
In particular, the President of Ukraine made it clear that any negotiations with Russia can only be based on the "peace formula" of Ukraine, which implies the withdrawal of all Russian troops from Ukraine. V. Zelensky believes that Ukraine's victory will be already this year, if everyone, including Western partners, will do their "homework" in full. He noted that the UK will supply long-range missiles to Ukraine, not ATACMS, but others. Regarding the counteroffensive, the President said that Ukraine was preparing to liberate Crimea by military means.
Of the important statements of V. Zelensky, it is also worth noting:
- The United States must understand that if Ukraine loses, then the United States will lose NATO and global leadership, there will be a threat of the 3rd World War, and American soldiers will die defending the Baltic countries from the Russian Federation;
- Ukraine needs security guarantees on its way to NATO (and not instead of NATO);
- Over the next year, the situation in Ukraine should improve significantly;
- a positive assessment of the PRC proposals for a peaceful settlement (“there is a lot in common with Ukrainian principles”) and a clear desire to use these proposals to meet with PRC leader Xi Jinping (“it is better for the PRC to be where it is now, and not with the Russian Federation );
- an ambivalent assessment of the President of Turkey: on the one hand, gratitude “for what he did”, and on the other hand, a direct refusal of his intermediary services in organizing a meeting with V. Putin (“earlier (before the war) he could not, and now we can not");
- Ukraine has evidence of the organization of the Russian Federation to overthrow the government and destabilize Moldova;
Deputy head of the Pentagon Colin Kahl said that the conflict in Ukraine could last for the next three years.
Ukraine requested from Washington up to 128 4th generation fighter jets; Washington believes that Ukraine needs from 50 to 80 F-16 fighters in the future. At the same time, the United States sees no point in starting training Ukrainian pilots to use the F-16 now, since Ukraine "may never get them."
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will draw up a list of weapons needed by Ukraine and send them to the United States. This was reported by CNN concerning Michael McCall, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress. During a meeting with V. Zelensky, the Republican Party congressmen promised to consider a list of weapons and other essentials. It is known that the list also includes F-16 fighters. Representatives of the Republican Party, which now dominate the House of Representatives of the US Congress, are demanding that the Administration of the incumbent President D. Biden submit reports on the spending of 113 billion dollars allocated to assist Ukraine.
There are signals from the Western media that Western countries may put pressure on Kyiv to negotiate with Moscow if Ukraine does not achieve significant success at the front by autumn. This probably means a reduction in the supply of weapons, if, for example, the land corridor of the Russian Federation to Crimea is not eliminated by the end of the year.
As the German publication Bild writes, the West may put pressure on Ukraine to negotiate with Moscow if significant progress is not made at the front by autumn. With the help of new weapons in the West, they want to give Ukraine a chance to regain more of the occupied territories by autumn. But if the counteroffensive fails, pressure on Kyiv to negotiate with the Kremlin will intensify, the newspaper writes, citing information from US and German government circles.
The intensification of arms deliveries to Ukraine causes nervous reactions among representatives of the Russian authorities and provokes new nuclear threats. Thus, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of the Russian Federation D. Medvedev writes for Izvestia that “ the West still has illusions that they will be able to bury Russia without any problems for themselves, but it will not work like with the USSR. If the question of the existence of Russia seriously arises, then it will be resolved not on the Ukrainian front, but along with the question of the further existence of the entire human civilization. According to him, " puffing up weapons " in Kyiv will continue to " impede any opportunity to revive the negotiations ." According to him, “ the enemies are doing just that, not wanting to understand that their goals lead to a fiasco .” “ Loss for everyone. Collapse. Apocalypse. " We don't need a world without Russia," Dmitry Medvedev wrote.
On February 23, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proposed by Ukraine and its partners on the principles of a future peace settlement. This is a list of 10 conditions, or "10 steps to end the war," that Zelensky presented at the G20 summit last November. This plan is an initiative beneficial to Ukraine, it did not contain any concessions from the Ukrainian side and provided for severe demands and restrictions imposed on Russia - including compensation for the damage caused by its aggression; providing international security guarantees to Ukraine; criminal conviction of the leadership of the Russian Federation for the crime of aggression, etc.
On February 24, the anniversary of the start of the war in Ukraine, China published its proposals for a peace settlement, which consists of 12 main points.
1. Respect for the sovereignty of all countries. Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, must be strictly observed.
2. Rejection of the Cold War mentality. The security of one country should not be ensured at the expense of others.
3. Cessation of hostilities.
4. Resumption of peace negotiations.
5. Settlement of the humanitarian crisis. All measures that contribute to the mitigation of the humanitarian crisis must be encouraged and supported.
6. Protection of the civilian population and prisoners of war. The parties to the conflict must strictly observe the norms of international humanitarian law.
7. Ensuring the safety of nuclear power plants.
8. Reducing strategic risks. Nuclear weapons must not be used, and nuclear wars must not be waged.
9. Promoting the export of grain.
10. Ending unilateral sanctions.
11. Maintaining the stability of industrial chains and supply chains.
12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction.
China offers its participation in the post-conflict reconstruction and financing of Ukraine.
China categorically does not support the use of nuclear weapons - this is a signal for the Russian Federation. As well as increasing attention to a possible nuclear confrontation.
It is worth noting that the Chinese peace plan is not a plan, but rather a set of principles or a concept that is devoid of specifics on Ukraine, there are no clear proposals on what each of the parties to the conflict should do. The plan should provide specific steps, deadlines, and responsibilities of the parties. This is not in the Chinese peace plan. It is noteworthy that the Chinese peace plan is based on the previously proposed Global Security Initiative and is more about the overall organization of world security than specifically the war in Ukraine. There is an attempt to freeze the conflict at the stage at which it exists (along the front line). China insists on a direct dialogue between the Russian Federation and Ukraine and opposes other mediators. But this point can also be interpreted as directed against the desire of the Russian Federation to change the unipolar world and build its new spheres of influence. This requires negotiations with the United States and its allies.
The Chinese peace plan was received coolly in the West. For example, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said that in the Chinese plan, only the first paragraph, which refers to respect for the sovereignty of all countries, is enough for him. " Ukraine did not attack Russia. NATO did not attack Russia. The United States did not attack Russia. It was a war of choice waged by Putin," Sullivan said. US President D. Biden opposed the role of China as a mediator in the settlement of the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. "The idea that China will negotiate the results of a war that is unfair for Ukraine is simply irrational," Biden said. In addition, the United States accuses China of being a military ally of Moscow, CIA head William Burns said he was confident that China was "considering the possibility" of sending lethal weapons to Russia.
As for Ukraine, they reacted here in the same vein as Western countries. The head of the Servant of the People parliamentary faction, David Arakhamia, also drew attention to the fact that China did not call for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukraine, although Beijing declares " the need to respect the sovereignty of each country ." President Zelensky, on the other hand, spoke diplomatically. " I don't think this is a peace plan. It seems to me that China just expressed its thoughts. It's good that China started talking about the war in Ukraine. Another question is what is behind the words," the Ukrainian leader said. He also added that there are thoughts in China's proposals that he does not share, but there are also those that suit Ukraine (for example, about supporting territorial integrity). V. Zelensky also said that, first of all, he plans to meet with Xi Jinping, and China should support the Ukrainian "peace formula" and achieve the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine if the PRC respects the sovereignty of other states. But Chinese Foreign Ministry Mao Ning said that China's position on Russia's war against Ukraine, which Beijing calls the " Ukrainian crisis," is " consistent and very clear ."
The Russian Foreign Ministry responded to Chinese proposals to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. The ministry said it " shares Beijing's views" and "highly appreciates China's desire to contribute to resolving the conflict ." The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation states that " Russia is open to achieving the goals of the "Northern Military District" through political and diplomatic means ." The main obstacle to resolving the conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry called the official refusal of Ukraine to negotiate with President Putin, as well as the demand to withdraw Russian troops from the territory of Donbas, Crimea, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson regions.
The situation in Moldova.
The Russian Ministry of Defense is actively disseminating information that Ukraine has allegedly stepped up preparations for a provocation with an invasion of unrecognized Transnistria. Russia records a significant accumulation of personnel and military equipment of Ukrainian units near the Ukrainian-Pridnestrovian border Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation D. Peskov said that for the Kremlin, the situation around Transnistria is the subject of the closest attention and cause for concern, the situation there is provoked from outside.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also said that Ukraine was preparing a "dirty bomb provocation" in Transnistria. They assure that the indicated " radioactive substances with English markings could be delivered through the ports of the Odessa region participating in the grain deal ." There are calls in the Russian public that in the current configuration, the only adequate response would be the use of tactical nuclear weapons in an uninhabited area as a deterrent. From my side "President" of Transnistria Vadim Krasnoselsky. He urged citizens to remain calm and not succumb to panic. The message says that if people are in danger, then " the president will inform about it ."
In Ukraine, it is indeed often said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine could, if the Moldovan authorities made a corresponding request, return control over Transnistria to Chisinau. President of Ukraine V. Zelensky denied such plans but confirmed that in conversations with the Moldovan authorities, he spoke about the need to somehow solve the problem of Transnistria. Moldovan President Maia Sandu did not say that she was going to turn to Ukraine for military assistance to regain control over Transnistria.
Ukrainian Ambassador to Chisinau Marco Shevchenko told Free Europe that his country would support any status of Pridnestrovie within the Republic of Moldova. " Ukraine traditionally takes the position that it will support any special status of Pridnestrovie within the Republic of Moldova, which will be agreed with the government in Chisinau. And for us it does not matter at all whether it will be autonomy, federation, confederation, special status with special powers, or a mix of these powers ", - said M. Shevchenko.
The very probable operation on Transnistria is a blow to the Russian Federation in the region where it will be extremely difficult for it to defend itself. For Ukraine, this provides an opportunity to get rid of the Russian contingent in Transnistria, and along the way allows you to solve the issue of shell hunger. But so far it is not known exactly whether Ukraine preparing an operation on Transnistria. But this is possible only with a direct appeal to Ukraine by representatives of the Moldovan authorities. So far, it is more likely that the issue of Transnistria in Moldova will be sought to be resolved peacefully.
Ruslan Bortnik, Oksana Krasovskaya, Andrey Timchenko
for the Ukrainian Institute of Politics