“As of today, there are about 100,000 people in the city. In inhumane conditions. In a complete blockade. No food, no water, no medicine. Under constant shelling, under constant bombing.”
Thank you, everyone, who reads these posts. We cannot allow this war to go behind the curtain, literally and figuratively. The media has ignored it for eight years (I’m a broken record on that on purpose) and I feel it slipping away again.
Anyway, Russia still surrounds Mariupol. The Russians have destroyed most of the town but the Ukrainians will not give in and surrender. Biden’s administration warns the Russians could launch a cyberattack on Americans. Biden will also announce more sanctions on Russia during his Europe trip.
Russia Expelling U.S. Diplomats
Poland expelled Russian diplomats. Now Russia gave the U.S. Embassy a list of diplomats it wants out of the country:
Russian state media says the foreign ministry has given the US embassy a list of American diplomats it is expelling.
The move comes after 12 Russian diplomats were expelled from its mission to the United Nations in New York earlier this month.
The Russian foreign ministry said that the Americans were “firmly told that any hostile actions of the United States against Russia will receive a decisive and adequate response”, Interfax reported.
Will Finland Join NATO?
Support in Finland to join NATO has doubled since just one year ago, with a majority now voicing support for the first time since polling started in 1984.
Finnish Business and Policy Forum EVA has collected data twice each year for almost 40 years to track attitudes and values, which includes politics, economics, foreign relations, the environment and well-being. Chief among those interests remains whether Finland should join NATO.
Results from Autumn 2021 found only 26% of the population supported joining NATO, but following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine that number has leapt to 60% support for NATO membership. The same percentage of Finns support taking a decision this year on the matter.
New World Order?
Departing the White House Wednesday morning, Biden was asked what he will say to European partners.
“I’m going to say it all to their face,” Biden told reporters. “I’ll be happy to talk to you guys when I get back.”
But then Zelenskyy did the same thing. Only he said it to France:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told France’s parliament Wednesday that the county could lead a new European order following Ukraine’s war with Russia.
“We need to think now of how we want to live after the war. We need guarantees,” Zelenskyy said. “And for these guarantees to be stable and to make sure war like this – the one were are having right now – will never happen again. We need a new security system in which maybe France will be the leader.”
Zelenskyy also said Russia’s military “does not distinguish different buildings — they just destroy everything.
“They burn food supplies and medical supplies as well as universities. They do not take into account the concepts of war crimes,” he said. “They only bring terror to the Ukrainians.”
Putin Tells People to Pay in Roubles
This is what happens when you rely on Russia for energy:
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia will only accept payment for gas in roubles from “unfriendly countries”, which includes all EU members, following the imposition of Western sanctions on Moscow.
“I have decided to implement a set of measures to transfer payment for our gas supplies to unfriendly countries into Russian roubles,” Putin said during a televised government meeting.
He added that Russia will continue supplying the volume of gas outlined in its contracts and will require the country’s central bank to implement the new payment system within a week.
“It is clear that delivering our goods to the European Union, the United States and receiving dollars, euros, other currencies no longer makes sense to us,” Putin said.
Ukraine said the move signalled a “key economic battle” that the West “must collectively win”.
Poland Expelling Russian Spies
Pay attention, people. It’s growing louder between Russia and Poland, especially after Medvedev’s essay:
Poland has identified 45 Russian intelligence officers using diplomatic status as cover to stay in the country and authorities are seeking to expel them, officials said Wednesday.
Poland’s Internal Security Agency said it was asking the Foreign Ministry to urgently expel the Russians, who were described as a danger to Poland’s security.
“Due to Russia’s policy towards the Republic of Poland and its allies, as well as taking into account Russian aggression against Ukraine, the head of the agency requests the expulsion of the indicated persons from the territory of the Republic of Poland,” said Stanislaw Zaryn, the state security spokesman.
Zelenskyy says only 100,000 people remain in Mariupol:
“As of today, there are about 100,000 people in the city. In inhumane conditions. In a complete blockade. No food, no water, no medicine. Under constant shelling, under constant bombing,” he said in his nightly Facebook address.
He added that efforts to rescue civilians there through humanitarian corridors have been interrupted by Russian “shelling or deliberate terror”.
One humanitarian column was captured by Russia on Tuesday, he said, adding that Ukrainian government workers and their bus driver had been taken prisoner.
“Despite all the difficulties,” he says, “7,026 Mariupol residents were rescued” from the city on Tuesday.
Zelensky added that Ukraine has received over 100,000 tonnes in humanitarian aid in the past two weeks.
He said new Western sanctions would be unveiled against Russia this week when world leaders attend a Nato conference in Brussels.
Zelensky also said he had spoken to Pope Francis on Tuesday, and invited him to visit Ukraine.
“I believe that we will be able to organise this important visit, which will unequivocally support each of us, each of the Ukrainians,” he said.
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