Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky condemned Russia's strike Wednesday on a maternity ward in southern Ukraine that killed a baby born two days ago. The newborn’s mother and a doctor were pulled from the rubble of the hospital in Vilnyansk, located in the Zaporizhzhia region.
The morning strike was part of what appears to be another day of nationwide air attacks, with sirens and explosions heard around the country early Wednesday afternoon.
"The enemy has once again decided to try to achieve with terror and murder what he wasn’t able to achieve for nine months and won’t be able to achieve,” Zelensky said. “Instead, he will only be held to account for all the evil he brought to our country."
First Lady Olena Zelenska also took to twitter to comment on the maternity hospital attack “Russia Federation crimes are insane. Horrible pain. We will never forget and never forgive.”
The hospital is in Vilnyansk is a Ukrainian-controlled city. Parts of the wider Zaporizhzhia region are occupied by Russia in violation of international law. The strike came from an S-300 missile, according to the Ukrainian prosecutor's office, which has started a pre-trial investigation of possible war crimes, according to a statement on Telegram.
According to recent data from the World Health Organization (WHO), Russia has attacked around 703 health care facilities in Ukraine since February. In March, the international community roundly condemned another Russian attack on a maternity and children’s hospital, this one in the southern city of Mariupol killed three people including a pregnant woman.
West Running Low On Ammunition To Supply Ukraine
The West is running low on arms and ammunition reserves, raising fears that European and U.S. allies won’t be able to keep providing military support to Kyiv in its fight against Russia.
"Western ammunition stocks are being depleted extremely quickly. From now on, countries must draw from their critical reserves if they want to keep supporting Ukraine," French daily Le Monde quoted Estonian Ministry of Defense’s secretary Kusti Salm, as saying.
Shortage worries run high on both sides of the Atlantic, as U.S. experts recently voiced concerns about the country’s stockpiles — including 155mm artillery ammunition, Stinger anti-aircraft shoulder-fired missiles, HARMs anti-radiation missiles, GMLRS surface-to-surface missiles and portable Javelin anti-tank missiles, CNN reports.
Meanwhile, the British Ministry of Defense has announced it will send helicopters to Ukraine for the first time since the beginning of the war.
Croatian President Refuses To Help EU Train Ukrainian Soldiers
Croatian leader Zoran Milanovic has refused to participate in joint training of the Ukrainian military along with other EU allies. Milanovic has cited strain on Croatian forces in bowing out of the most extensive common training mission, in which at least 20 countries are expected to participate.
This is not the first time that Milanovic, accused by Ukrainians of being pro-Russian, has blocked EU or NATO decisions. In May, he announced that he would vote against Finland and Sweden joining NATO; and has categorically opposed Ukraine's membership to the European Union.
Government opinion about Russia, however, is divided. Croatian Defense Minister Marijo Banožić said he favors participating in the training of Ukrainian soldiers, and says that a parliamentary majority is needed to take these decisions.
Russia Reduces Gas Supply To Europe Through Ukraine
Gas distribution point of the Chisinau in Moldova
Russian energy company Gazprom said it will reduce natural gas supply to Europe starting next Monday by stemming flow to a pipeline that runs through Ukraine. The state-owned company said gas meant for Moldova is being held in Ukraine so it will reduce supply to make up for the difference. "Gazprom accused Ukraine of stealing gas once again. In short: this is not true,” Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz said on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Moldova has declared that it will pay for gas supplied by Russia. "The volumes of gas Gazprom refers to that remain in Ukraine are our reserves and they are stored in warehouses in Ukraine. Our country has always paid for these quantities and will continue to pay in full," he added.
Russian Propaganda, False Documents Found In Raid On Kyiv Orthodox Monastery
St. Michael's Golden Domed Monastery in Kyiv
A Ukrainian government raid of a prominent Kyiv monastery has so far turned up pro-Russian literature used in seminary and parochial schools, including for propaganda of the Russkiy Mir, (Russian world) theory.
When asked for their documents during Tuesday’s search at he Pechersk Lavra monastery, some of the clergy presented passports and military cards of the USSR; others did not have original papers but only copies, or had passports of Ukrainian citizens with signs of forgery or damage. They are currently undergoing in-depth checks. The Security Service found more than $150,000 worth of cash in dollars, Ukrainian UAH and Russian rubles.
Ukrainian authorities suspect that some religious institutions that fall under the auspices of the Moscow Patriarchate are working on behalf of the Kremlin.The Russian foreign ministry called the raid on the 1,100-year-old monastery a “godless” operation.
CIA Recruiting Spies Among Russians Opposed To Ukraine War
According to the Wall Street Journal, David Marlowe, the Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director of operations, told a select audience of university faculty and staff that the invasion of Ukraine has been an opportunity for Western intelligence agencies to recruit among Russians opposed to the war.
He made a pitch to potential agents, “We’re looking around the world for Russians who are as disgusted with that as we are. Because we’re open for business.”
Among the Russians opposed to the February invasion of Ukraine are military officers and oligarchs who have seen their fortunes slashed by sanctions.
After Kherson, Negotiations Are Even Less Likely
Volodymyr Zelensky speaking at NATO's 68th Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Madrid, Spain
The reconquest of Kherson seemed like a turning point in the Ukraine war. But while Kyiv and the West can see it as an encouraging sign for the long-term fate of the war, it makes negotiations a veritable non-starter now.
In his analysis for French daily Les Echos, geopolitical expert Dominique Moïsi asks the hard questions: “The Russian people’s attachment to their identity as an imperial power is both a strength and a weakness for Putin, and an obstacle on the road to negotiations. Zelensky’s demand that Russia agrees to re-establish the 1991 borders — drawn up when Ukraine became independent — makes Putin’s removal a necessary condition for restoring peace. What Russian leader could stay in power when he has ‘lost Crimea, if not Ukraine’?”
“But,” Moïsi continues, “what Ukrainian leader could — after the immense sacrifices made and the remarkable victories won — be content with re-establishing the borders that existed before Feb. 24, 2022?”
Read the full analysis on Worldcrunch.
Boris Johnson Calls West Out On Misjudging Start Of War
Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has claimed France was in “denial” regarding the Russian invasion in Ukraine, and also accused the German government of initially favoring a quick Ukrainian defeat over a long conflict.
“The German view was at one stage that if it were going to happen, which would be a disaster, then it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly, and for Ukraine to fold,” Johnson said in an interview with CNN Portugal.
“I couldn’t support that, I thought that was a disastrous way of looking at it. But I can understand why they thought and felt as they did,” Johnson continued about German leaders. Germany has rapidly sought to reduce its reliance on Russian energy since Moscow’s invasion.
“War Of Attrition” On French Daily Front Page
La Croix shows a weary-looking Ukrainian soldier in Shandryholove, eastern Ukraine, as the French daily features reportage from the Donbas and Kherson regions, 10 months into the Russia-Ukraine war — hinting at a protracted and “difficult war, that will be tough on the nerves and bodies.”
Polish President Gets Pranked By Russian Macron Impersonator
\u201cPolish leader Duda got pranked by Vovan and Lexus pretending to be Macron about the missile incident. \n\n"Emmanuel, believe me, I am extra careful," Duda informs the caller. "I don't want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.\u201d\u201d— Nina \ud83d\udc19 Byzantina (@Nina \ud83d\udc19 Byzantina) 1669145204
Two Russian comedians known as Vovan and Lexus managed to get on the phone with Polish President Andrzej Duda, with one of them pretending to be French President Emmanuel Macron.
The hoax call happened on the evening that the Polish village of Przewodow near the Ukrainian border was hit by a missile, leading several heads of state to call Duda to address fears of war spreading over.
During the seven-and-a-half minute prank call, Duda can be heard saying “Emmanuel [...] I don’t want to have war with Russia and believe me, I am extra careful, extra careful.”
As The Guardian notes, it is the second time in recent years that the Russian comedians have managed to speak with Duda, having impersonated UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres back in 2020.