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Anna Akage

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Russia Aims Again At Kharkiv, 15 Civilians Killed
In The News

Russia Aims Again At Kharkiv, 15 Civilians Killed

Attacks in Ukraine's second biggest city are reminiscent of strategy in Mariupol.

At least 15 confirmed civilian deaths were reported by this morning in Kharkiv, after the Russian army fired multiple Uragan rockets at an industrial area of the northeastern city where there were no military facilities, according to Serhiy Bolvinov, head of the Investigative Department of the Kharkiv Region Police Department.

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"Russian forces are now hitting the city of Kharkiv in the same way that they previously were hitting Mariupol, intending to terrorize the population," Ukrainian presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovych said in a video address.

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How Ukrainian TV Was Turned Upside Down After Feb. 24
In The News

How Ukrainian TV Was Turned Upside Down After Feb. 24

Banding together, once rivals created a wartime system where media groups share several air hours a day, which are broadcast by all six central TV channels to ensure around-the-clock broadcasting.

With the start of the full-scale war, the leaders of Ukraine’s largest television holdings — typically business (and sometimes, political) rivals quickly got together to reorder the way TV would be broadcast in the face of the Russian invasion.

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Ukrainian Pravda has reported on the back story of this momentous decision to effectively turn national broadcasting into an ongoing shared telethon.

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More Signs It Could Be A Very Long War
In The News

More Signs It Could Be A Very Long War

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg says the Russia-Ukraine war could last "years," and Boris Johnson concurs that signs show it won't be resolved anytime soon.

During an interview with the German newspaper Bild, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, said that the war in Ukraine “could take years.”

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Stoltenberg also used the interview in Germany’s most popular daily to clarify NATO's position in the war: “NATO will continue to support Ukraine in its self-defense, but is not part of the conflict. We are helping the country, but we will not send NATO soldiers to Ukraine.”

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photo of Macron, Draghi and Scholz in Ukraine
Geopolitics

Good Biden, Bad Scholz, Tail-Wagging Macron: How Ukrainians Really See World Leaders

Ukrainians assess their friends, enemies and frenemies...

Which of today's world leaders provides the full support Ukraine truly needs? Who plays into Putin's hands? Who's caught in the middle, and lacks the courage to choose sides?

With an overdue visit to Kyiv Thursday by three of Europe’s top leaders, Emmanuel Macron of France, Olaf Scholz of Germany and Mario Draghi of Italy, those questions were whispered far from the photo ops. The question of the solidity of its alliances are life-and-death for Kyiv, facing a much stronger military in an existential war against Russia.

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Ukraine has so far received about 10% of the military aid it needs from Western partners to counter Russian aggression, Deputy Defense Minister Anna Malyar said Tuesday during a television fundraising drive.

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Russians Try To Repeat Mariupol Playbook In Severodonetsk
In The News

Russians Try To Repeat Mariupol Playbook In Severodonetsk

Russians are besieging Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city, and urging troops there to surrender as they offer a shaky evacuation corridor for civilians. The siege and symbolism recalls the siege of Mariupol, which didn't end well for Ukrainians.

In a two-sided move that eerily recalls the tragic events in the southern port city of Mariupol, Russia has urged Ukrainian troops to surrender in Severodonetsk, the eastern Ukrainian city where fighting is raging, while at the same time pledging to spend the day evacuating civilians.

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Severodonetsk, in Luhansk region, has assumed a symbolic weight in the war as Russia focused on trying to win over control of Donbas and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky repeating that it is a “decisive” battleground. Russian troops have encircled the city over the past few weeks, trying to take it back from Ukrainian forces that had taken control in 2014 from pro-Russian separatists.

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Macron, Draghi To Meet Zelensky — But What About Scholz?
In The News

Macron, Draghi To Meet Zelensky — But What About Scholz?

For Europe's top leaders, travel details have not been confirmed ahead of what could be a momentous visit to Kyiv. But Ukrainian President Zelensky also had some frank words for German Chancellor Olaf Scholz

There are conflicting reports about the precise day and hour, but it appears certain that two of Europe’s key leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, are heading soon to Kyiv for the first time since Russia’s invasion.

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But the travel plans also raise the question of whether German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will join the other two European leaders for what would be a show of unity and support for Kyiv and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky at a moment that Russian troops are gaining territory and some analysts say that Ukraine should be ready to negotiate a settlement.

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New Probe Finds Russia's “Relentless” Bombing Of Kharkiv Is War Crime
In The News

New Probe Finds Russia's “Relentless” Bombing Of Kharkiv Is War Crime

Amnesty International has accused Russia of committing war crimes, causing “widespread death and destruction by relentlessly bombarding residential neighborhoods of Kharkiv” since the war began on February 24.

Amnesty International has accused Russia of committing war crimes during its efforts to capture the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. According to the international NGO’s 40-page report, Russian forces have caused “widespread death and destruction by relentlessly bombarding residential neighborhoods of Kharkiv” since the war began on February 24.

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“People have been killed in their homes and in the streets, in playgrounds and in cemeteries, while queueing for humanitarian aid, or shopping for food and medicine,” Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s senior crisis response adviser, said. “The repeated use of widely banned cluster munitions is shocking, and a further indication of utter disregard for civilian lives.”

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Photo of storks in a field during harvesting in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine
Geopolitics

Yes, The War Has Caused A Major Food Crisis — But Russia Can't Fix It Alone

For many countries, the global food crisis has already begun. As enough food to feed the world for several weeks remains trapped in Ukraine, Russia and Turkey met to discuss the problem. But they cannot solve it alone, says independent Russian media Kommersant.

MOSCOW — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was in Ankara to talk to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu this week to discuss Ukrainian grain. Lavrov tried to strike an optimistic tone: "Our military is in contact with Turkish friends to discuss the details of these processes, these initiatives. There have never been any obstacles from our side to solve this problem... If the position of authorities in Kyiv has matured, we will only be happy to cooperate."

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Turkey has reported that the Ukrainian side is ready to clear mines from its harbors, which the Russians say has prevented exports, Russian state news agency Ria Novosti reported.

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Angela Merkel Defends Her Handling Of Putin
In The News

Angela Merkel Defends Her Handling Of Putin

In her first interview since the end of her 16 years as German Chancellor, Merkel said she had "nothing to apologize for." Asked why she had opposed plans for NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia in 2008. “Ukraine was not the country that we know now."

Former German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her track record in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying she “has nothing to apologize for,” during her first public appearance since leaving office six months ago.

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In a public interview Tuesday night with Der Spiegel in Berlin, Merkel was asked about her government’s opposition of a U.S.-led plan for NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia in 2008. The Chancellor said she did not regret the decision. “Ukraine was not the country that we know now. It was a Ukraine that was very split” and “ruled by oligarchs at the time.”

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Photo of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky delivering his daily video address to Ukrainians
Ideas

Servant Of The People: Why Zelensky Will Concede Nothing To Russia

Those calling for Kyiv to negotiate away part of its territory, understand neither history nor the current reality of Ukrainian democracy.

In democracies, politicians depend on the will of the people. Making choices that defy the wishes of the majority may, at worst, cause them to lose the next election. But in transitional democracies like Ukraine, when the majority disagrees with a leader who has suddenly strayed too far in his own direction, it can cost him far more than an election. A fast-rising career can suddenly implode in a wave of protests that often force the dethroned to spend the rest of his days in exile, with no right to a name and no position in society.

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This is what happened to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, who did not abide by the public desire for Kyiv to move closer to the European Union. Four years after his legitimate 2010 election victory, when he tried in vain to quelch student demonstrations in Maiden Square, he was forced to flee to Russia.

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Ukrainian Navy Claims Success In Black Sea
In The News

Ukrainian Navy Claims Success In Black Sea

Ukrainian officials say a fleet of Russian ships has been forced more than 100 kilometers from the Ukrainian coast, which could be used to alleviate the economic pressure of the Russian blockade.

The Ukrainian Navy claimed yesterday that it had pushed a fleet of Russian ships more than 100 kilometers from the Ukrainian coast. Ukraine alleged that as a result, Russia had been forced to change its tactics in the northwest part of the Black Sea to rely on coastal defenses in occupied Kherson and Crimea, rather than seaborne air defenses.

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The U.S. think-tank the Institute for the Study of War reported that it is likely Ukraine will try to use these successes to alleviate the economic pressure of the Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports.

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Photo of Ukrainian soldiers walking through a field near Donetsk on May 17
Ideas

Why Western Military Aid For Ukraine Is Never Enough

The U.S. and Europe have again committed to supplying weapons to Kyiv, whose gratitude has its limits in the face of the life-and-death struggle against the Russian invasion.

-Analysis-

With a quick glance at the headlines, it may seem like a running contradiction — or even ingratitude. The West announces another new round of military support to Ukraine, and Ukraine promptly says: “Thank you, but it’s not enough.”

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Just in the last 48 hours, the U.S. approved a $700 million package of military support for Ukraine that included longer-range Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS), while German Chancellor Olaf Scholz promised to send state-of-the-art air defense systems and tracking radar.

Over the past three months, there have also been shipments of weapons and munitions from more than 30 other nations, including the UK, much of Europe, Australia and Japan.

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