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In The News

Zelensky Rejects Calls In West To Negotiate “With A Gun To My Head”

Talking to an Italian daily, the Ukrainian president says only Russia has the power to stop the war. Meanwhile, 30 progressives from the U.S. Congress are calling on President Biden to demand negotiations.

Zelensky Rejects Calls In West To Negotiate “With A Gun To My Head”

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy Presents Medals to Service Members on the Day of Defenders of Ukraine

Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger and Alexander Hurst

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky pushed back against a growing call in the West calling on him to seek a negotiated exit to the war with Russia. In an interview Tuesday with Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Zelensky dismissed what he called the “new narrative” that it was somehow Ukraine standing in the way of a negotiated settlement.

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“I've always wanted to talk, but not with a gun to my head,” he said. “But from the start, it was never a dialogue, rather a long series of ultimatums imposed by force by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

After a recent spate of far-left European politicians calling on Zelensky to negotiate, a group of the most progressive Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives wrote a letter urging President Joe Biden to change his strategy to push for a negotiated settlement, instead of just supplying Kyiv with military and humanitarian aid.

“Given the destruction created by this war for Ukraine and the world, as well as the risk of catastrophic escalation, we also believe it is in the interests of Ukraine, the United States, and the world to avoid a prolonged conflict," reads the letter released on Monday — an initiative led by Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Those pushing for talks note that Zelensky hardened his line last month, saying he wouldn’t negotiate with Russia so long as Putin was president.

In the exclusive interview with Corriere della Sera, Zelensky said Putin’s Russia is speaking with its actions when it comes to any prospect of peace.

“If you want dialogue, don't occupy a nuclear power plant, don't kill civilians, don't fire over 130 missiles in a single day,” Zelensky said. “It is not in my hands to stop the war: All I can do is not to lose it, to fight to defend myself […] it is [Russia] who invaded our land. If they withdraw, then it will be possible to start negotiating and start living together as neighboring countries.”

Zelensky’s Interview With Corriere Della Sera

Corriere della Sera

Russia Doubles Down On “Dirty Bomb” Claims, UN Nuclear Watchdog To Go Back To Ukraine Sites

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said that Russia's accusation that Ukraine is planning to use a radioactive device is "all fake" and "an act of Russian nuclear blackmail" after multiple Russian reports about a would-be Kyiv 'dirty bomb.”

So-called “dirty bombs” are cheap to create, and contain radioactive material, such as uranium, which is scattered through the air when its conventional explosive detonates. Russia has not offered any evidence to support the allegations, which NATO allies have also dismissed in support of Ukraine.

According to the IAEA, UN's nuclear watchdog, inspectors have regularly visited two sites in Ukraine in light of Russian claims that Kyiv is preparing an attack using the bomb. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has voiced concerns that Russia’s allegations could be a pretext that Russia itself is planning a nuclear attack.

Though a United States military official said Monday that there are no indications that Russia has decided to employ a nuclear weapon, biological weapon or chemical weapon, Energoatom, a state enterprise operating all four nuclear power plants in Ukraine, reported that within the past week, Russians have been carrying out unauthorized construction work near a nuclear fuel storage facility (SNFSF) at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. Ukrainian personnel and representatives of the IAEA are banned from the Russian-occupied ZNPP site.

Russian Journalist On Both Kremlin And Opposition Blacklists

Russian journalist Alexei Venediktov has received the dubious honor of being only the second individual to be added to opposition leader Alexei Navalny's “list of 6,000” a collection of names of allegedly corrupt and pro-war officials, after first being condemned by Moscow as a foreign agents.

The 66 year-old former editor-in-chief, host and co-owner of the Echo of Moscow radio station was accused of promoting electronic voting, which helped the authorities rig city council elections.

The so-called “list of 6,000” was created in April by a team working with Alexei Navalny, who is currently in a Russian prison. It contains the names of politicians, journalists, military, cultural figures, and business people thought to be corrupt or actively participating in the war against Ukraine, and is designed to help Europe and the United States decide on sanctions.

Venediktov is only the second person to be simultaneously included in the "list of 6,000" and in the Kremlin’s registry of "foreign agents," after Russian political journalist Oleg Kashin.

Zelensky Regrets Not Having “Own Iron Dome,” Hints At Russia-Iran Nuclear Collusion

President Volodymyr Zelenskyrepeated his request for Israel to supply Ukraine with anti-missile air defenses. Israel has so far limited its support to humanitarian aid, refusing to provide weapons systems to Ukraine out of concern of harming relations with Russia, which has a military presence in Syria.

Israel has come under increasing pressure to provide military support for Ukraine following Russian use of Iranian-made drones against Ukrainian civilian infrastructure and cities. On Monday Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told his Ukrainian counterpart that Israel would not provide weapons to Kyiv. An airstrike — widely believed to have been carried out by Israel —destroyed an Iranian drone manufacturing and storage site in Syria.

Zelensky has stepped up the push for Israeli military aid since the revelation that Iran was supplying drones to Russia, pointing out the risks for Israel in increased cooperation between Russia and Iran, including the development of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Meanwhile, Iran has condemned a call by Britain, France and Germany for the United Nations to investigate accusations that Russia had used Iranian-origin attack drones.

Go further with Worldcrunch:Why Iran Has Decided To Arm Russia, And The Price To Pay

German Chancellor Details “Marshall Plan” For Ukraine

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier stands at the train station in Ukraine

Michael Kappeler/dpa/Zuma

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the reconstruction of Ukraine will be a "Marshall Plan for the 21st century," as well as an opportunity to build a more stable and strong country.

In his speech at the opening of the International Expert Conference on the Restoration, Reconstruction and Modernization of Ukraine opening in Berlin, Scholz noted that despite not knowing when the war will end, it is important to start planning reconstruction.

He also put an emphasis on making Ukraine more sustainable and strong: "An important producer of green energy, an exporter of industrial and agricultural products, a digital center with some of the best IT experts, as well as a member of the EU with appropriate infrastructure and legal framework."

Scholz said Germany supports Ukraine's full membership in the EU in the future, therefore the reconstruction of the country should take place taking this into perspective.

Meanwhile, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, arrived in Ukraine for a surprise visit on Tuesday, making this his first trip to the country since Russia’s invasion began last February. “My message to the people of Ukraine is: You can rely on Germany! We will continue to support Ukraine: militarily, politically, financially and humanitarianly,” said Steinmeier, who earlier in the war was criticized in Kyiv for past ties with Moscow.

World Bank And Australia Pledge Additional Help For Ukraine

The World Bank has announced it is pledging an additional $500 million to Ukraine in the wake of the Russian invasion. Meanwhile, the government of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has earmarked an extra $213 million to help Ukraine over the next five years.

U.S. Basketball Star Brittney Griner Appeal Rejected, Risks Russian Penal Colony

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner's appeal was rejected by the Russian court on Tuesday. She was appealing her nine-year prison sentence in the Moscow Regional Court, three months after being convicted for bringing a small amount of cannabis oil into Russia.

Griner’s fate has become entwined with the U.S.-Russia conflict over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Her lawyers have argued that the harshness of the sentence for a first-time offense was politically motivated.

With the appeal rejected, Griner now risks being sent to a penal colony, where her most likely chance at an early release would be as part of a prisoner-swap with the U.S., which the Biden administration raised with Russian officials in July.

Ministry Of Defense Tells Russian Soldiers To Fight Like It’s World War I

Screenshot of video


The Russian Ministry of Defense publishes a monthly Bulletin of Military Education, a scientific and methodological magazine launched under Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. A new textbook was recently published; it is intended for soldiers participating in a so-called special military operation. Here are some of the recommendations Shoigu's publication gives to Russian soldiers in Ukraine:

  • To become a good commander, you need to suppress the militant in you and give rise to the problem-solver. First, throw out the ammunition from the knapsacks, and leave two magazines for the machine gun and a couple of grenades.
  • Soldiers don't need night-vision googles. They’re too hard to use anyway.
  • There's no need to shoot beyond 150 meters. Even if you're an excellent shot, don't shoot — your enemy will get tired of it, and a retaliatory artillery strike or mortars will fall on the heads of your comrades-in-arms.
  • Forget modern shoes. There's nothing better than than cowhide boots and slippers.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Why Poland's Break With Ukraine Weakens All Enemies Of Russia — Starting With Poland

Poland’s decision to stop sending weapons to Ukraine is being driven by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party's short-term electoral calculus. Yet the long-term effects on the world stage could deeply undermine the united NATO front against Russia, and the entire Western coalition.

Photo of ​Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Lutsk, Ukraine, on July 9

Bartosz T. Wieliński


WARSAW — Poland has now moved from being the country that was most loudly demanding that arms be sent to Ukraine, to a country that has suddenly announced it was withholding military aid. Even if Poland's actions won't match Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki’s words, the government has damaged the standing of our country in the region, and in NATO.

“We are no longer providing arms to Ukraine, because we are now arming Poland,” the prime minister declared on Polsat news on Wednesday evening. He didn’t specify which type of arms he was referring to, but his statement was quickly spread on social media by leading figures of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party.

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When news that Poland would be withholding arms to Ukraine made their way to the headlines of the most important international media outlets, no politician from PiS stepped in to refute the prime minister’s statement. Which means that Morawiecki said exactly what he meant to say.

The era of tight Polish-Ukrainian collaboration, militarily and politically, has thus come to an end.

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