When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

The Ukraine War, A Perfect Case Of The Limits Of The UN

Global politics have gotten in the way of humanitarian aid when it comes to the flooding in Ukraine. Zelensky points the finger towards a deep, structural UN shortcoming.

Rescue Operations Save Residents Of Ukraine's Flooded Kherson Region Following Kakhovka Dam Destruction

Members of Ukraine's police force, military, and emergency services have been leading efforts to evacuate people - and in some cases, their beloved pets.

© Cover Images via ZUMA PRESS
Pierre Haski


PARIS – Humanitarian disasters often reveal political contradictions. The catastrophic floods caused by the partial destruction of the Kakhova dam on the Dnipro River, in southern Ukraine, are a case in point.

First, there is the now expected oppposition between the Ukrainian and Russian leaders' reactions. Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelensky – as he has done since the beginning of the war – was on the ground, among the civilians in distress, despite ongoing Russian bombardments.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the other hand, was filmed in the Kremlin talking to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accusing Ukraine of being behind the disaster. Two distinct atmospheres, two political styles.

Then there are the accusations made this week by the Ukrainian President against the United Nations. Zelensky points out one of the major contradictions of this war: the UN's withdrawal, in all but two major areas — nuclear power and grain movements.

Powerless in New York

But it's also an unfair criticism, as the UN is not an independent actor, but the sum of its member states: when they are divided, the UN becomes powerless.

When the aggressor is a permanent member of the UN Security Council Council, with veto power, it is unrealistic to expect the UN to maintain its role.

A photo circulated around the world yesterday showed a UN car in Kyiv, tagged as "Useless" in large graffiti letters. Clearly, Ukrainians have decided it's time to denounce the situation.

It's true that in wars all over the world, the UN normally deploys members of its specialized agencies to help the local population. Admittedly, Ukraine is a country with infrastructure, and is less dependent on such assistance. But above all, the obstacle is political — Russian, to be precise.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Emergency Meeing on Kakhovka Damn Destruction

Zelenskyy chairs an emergency meeting of the National Security and Defense Council on the situation at the Kakhovka Hydro-power plant, at the Mariinsky Palace in Kyiv.

Planet Pix via ZUMA Press Wire

Moscow's red light

Moscow is not letting the UN get involved as it should. A green light from the Security Council would be needed, and therefore, a lack of Russian veto. This absence is cruelly felt on the Russian side of the Dnipro River, where witnesses report meager rescue efforts.

Relief has become a political question. The Ukrainians are relaying calls for help from inhabitants of Russian-occupied villages on the left bank of the Dnipro, who have been left abandoned on the roofs of their flooded homes.

Ukrainian videos even show volunteers on boats rescuing civilians in the Russian zone — high-risk operations, but good for Ukrainian publicity. Kyiv went further, with Zelensky calling on international organizations to rescue "those whom the occupier has condemned to death," those left in Russian occupied territory.

This call is unlikely to be heeded, as Moscow will not let UN aid workers into its occupied zone, in the middle of its defense lines. But, at least, Ukraine will have been able to clearly point the finger at those who oppose humanitarian aid.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Migrant Lives

How Nepal’s “Left-Behind” Children Of Migrants Hold Families Together

Children left to fend for themselves when their parents seek work abroad often suffer emotional struggles and educational setbacks. Now, psychologists are raising alarms about the quiet but building crisis.

How Nepal’s “Left-Behind” Children Of Migrants Hold Families Together

Durga Jaisi, 12, Prakash Jaisi, 18, Rajendra Ghodasaini, 6, and Bhawana Jaisi, 11, stand for a portrait on their family land in Thakurbaba municipality.

Yam Kumari Kandel

BARDIYA — It was the Nepali New Year and the sun was bright and strong. The fields appeared desolate, except the luxuriantly growing green corn. After fetching water from a nearby hand pump, Prakash Jaisi, 18, walked back to the home he shares with his three siblings in Bardiya district’s Banbir area, more than 500 kilometers (over 300 miles) from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. As it was a public holiday in the country, all his friends had gone out to have fun. “I’d like to spend time with my friends, but I don’t have the time,” he says. Instead, Jaisi did the dishes and completed all the pending housework. Even though his exams are approaching, he has not been able to prepare. There is no time.

Jaisi’s parents left for India in December 2021, intending to work in the neighboring country to repay their house loan of 800,000 Nepali rupees (6,089 United States dollars). As they left, the responsibility of the house and his siblings was handed over to Jaisi, who is the oldest.

Just like Jaisi’s parents, 2.2 million people belonging to 1.5 million Nepali households are absent and living abroad. Of these, over 80% are men, according to the 2021 census on population and housing. The reasons for migration include the desire for a better future and financial status.

Keep reading...Show less

The latest