War Russia Ukraine, Zelensky raises doubts whether Putin is still alive. From the Kremlin they deny: “he IS alive. You accept him”
The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, stated that he did not know who to talk to in Russia regarding peace negotiations why “Not sure if Vladimir Putin is still alive.”
Speaking via video link at a press briefing on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, the Ukrainian president wondered if Putin “makes the decisions” in Russia, implying that in the recent visit to St. Petersburg instead of Putin he could have been a stunt double.
“I’m not sure who to talk to and about what. I’m not sure if he’s really the Russian president,” Zelensky replied to a question about the possibility of peace talks.
He quickly answered him Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov: “It is clear that Zelensky would prefer that there was neither Russia nor Putin. Both are a big problem for Ukraine and Zelensky”. He then went on to say that Russia and Vladimir Putin “are and will be there”.
Ukraine: Zelensky welcomes Charles Michel, the president of the European Council
Zelensky welcomed Charles Michel, the president of the European Council today in Ukraine, with these words: “I welcome the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, to Ukraine. Thank you for your constant and strong support! We are starting an important meeting”. The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote it on social media, publishing two photos of Michel’s arrival in Kiev and their embrace.
European Parliament calls for special tribunal over Russian aggression on Ukraine
MEPs are calling for the Russian political and military leadership to be held accountable for the crime of aggression against Ukraine and, therefore, urge the establishment of a special international courtin close cooperation with Ukraine and the international community.
In a non-legislative text, adopted with 472 votes in favor, 19 against and 33 abstentions, the MEPs underline on the one hand “that the atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces in Bucha, Irpin and many other Ukrainian cities reveal the brutality of the war” and on the other “the importance of coordinated international action to establish accountability under international humanitarian law”.
In this context, for the EU Parliament, the establishment of a special court would “fill the serious gap” in the current institutional set-up of international criminal justice as well as complementing the investigative efforts of the International Criminal Court, which currently cannot investigate the crime of aggression against Ukraine. From a practical point of view, even if the exact composition and mode of operation of the special court have yet to be determined, the court should have the competence to investigate these crimes.
The Wagner group controls the entire village of Klishchiivka in Donetsk
The village of Klishchiivka, a Ukrainian stronghold in the Donetsk People’s Republic south of the city of Bakhmut, is completely controlled by Wagner units. This was stated by the head and founder of the mercenary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, according to whom his men, who have fought tirelessly in recent weeks to try to advance into eastern Ukraine, have captured the small village.
The Ukrainian army, which in the last few hours had said it had repelled the Russian attacks, did not reply after the announcement. The loss of the village could endanger Ukraine’s ability to hold Bakhmut and thus cut supply lines to the city. The whole area has been the scene of very violent clashes for weeks, because Russia is trying to capture the whole area of Donbass.
The Wagner Group is officially an independent private mercenary group, but according to various sources it would be a unit headed by the Russian Defense Ministryused by the Russian government in conflicts where deniability is required.
Kiev to allies: “Leopards are needed urgently”
Kiev calls on its allies to step up arms supplies. “We appeal to all partner states that have already provided or are planning to provide military aid, urging them to considerably increase their contribution,” Ukrainian foreign and defense ministers Oleksiy Reznikov and Dmytro Kuleba wrote in a joint statement.
The two solicit a dozen countries including Turkey, which proposes itself as a mediator in the conflict, and the Germania – which according to the Ukrainians is slow to respond to requests from Kiev – to provide the Leopard tanks, “one of the most urgent and pressing needs” of the army.
The Leopard 2 is one of the most widely used western tanks even if, with the end of the Cold War, heavy vehicles are scarce in most of the West and many countries have drastically reduced their armies since the fall of communism.
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