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Ukraine Updates: Blinken, Austin Visit Kyiv, Ukrainians Celebrate Easter as War Rages On

Ukraine Updates: Blinken, Austin Visit Kyiv, Ukrainians Celebrate Easter as War Rages On

Austria doesn’t support Ukraine joining the EU…ever.

Europe has sent its leaders to Kyiv, Ukraine. The world saw British Prime Minister Boris Johnson walking the quiet streets with President Vlodomyr Zelenskyy.

We sent Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. It took the U.S. a long time to send anyone to Ukraine but we couldn’t send President Joe Biden? The leader of the free world? I wonder why. (That’s rhetorical)

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow a few weeks ago.

Nehammer described it as unfriendly. It sounded like Nehammer went tough on Putin. But what did Putin say to Nehammer because now Austria won’t support Ukraine joining the EU.

Blinken: “Russia is Failing”

Blinken spoke to the press after he met with Zelenskyy:

“The strategy that we’ve put in place — massive support for Ukraine, massive pressure against Russia, solidarity with more than 30 countries engaged in these efforts — is having real results,” Blinken said the day after the meeting.

“When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding. Russia has sought as its principal aim to totally subjugate Ukraine, to take away its sovereignty, to take away its independence. That has failed,” he added.

Austin added that the U.S. wants “to see Russia weakened to the point where it can’t do things like invade Ukraine.”

Ukrainians Celebrate Easter

Ukrainians celebrated Easter on Sunday, a holiday full of rebirth and hope.

Their faith in God and Ukraine remains as strong as ever. It also reminded them of the importance of traditions and family:

Anna Mukoida, 22, said this was the first Easter she would spend away from her family, who stayed in Bila Tserkva, a town 50 miles south of the capital, Kyiv, while she fled to the southwestern city of Chernivtsi.

Despite the danger and uncertainty, many Ukrainians were determined to hold on to tradition.

“Easter in the time of the war is like the sun on a rainy day,” said Ms. Mukoida. “It is very important now to have such days just to feel alive and remember that there was life before the war.”

Neonila Vodolska, 22, was also displaced. She was staying in the western city of Kalush, far from her family in Kyiv. To ease the pain of separation from her family, she said she bought a white shirt with traditional dark red embroidery to wear on Easter Day.

“Now I fully understand the importance of saving such traditions,” Ms. Vodolska said. “Doing something normal, celebrating something that reminds me of the good times, of my childhood, brings me hope.”

The reminders are especially strong in eastern Ukraine because curfews and the war kept many at home watching Mass on the television.

New Russian Textbooks?

It sounds like Russia wants to remove Ukraine and Kyiv from textbooks:

Independent Russian news outlet Mediazona reported that higher-ups in one of the country’s oldest publishers ordered employees to remove all mentions of Ukraine and Kyiv from textbooks.

Two employees of Prosveshcheniye spoke on the condition of anonymity and claimed they had been forced to remove the mentions of Ukraine or lose their jobs.

“We have a task – to make it seem as if Ukraine simply does not exist,” one of the employees said. “It is much worse when there is nothing about a particular country in the textbook. People grow up without a knowledge base about a country, and then it is much easier to believe what they are told on TV.”

Authors and editors already followed a policy of minimizing mentions of Ukraine and Kyiv since 2014, but the new order would see them purge any mention at all.

No More Austria Support

Nehammer visited Moscow after he went to Ukraine. He claimed he saw the horrors left behind in Bucha. He brought up the Russian war crimes in Bucha along with the sanctions placed on Russia. So Nehammer after his meeting with Putin in early April:

While he did not expect Putin to change his view, Nehammer said it was important to confront him “with the facts.”

“What is important is a personal meeting, phoning is one thing, but you really need to look each other in the eye, you need to talk about the cruelty of war,” Nehammer said.

“Of course, when you talk to him for the first, second, third time, we can’t expect him to change his view … I didn’t expect that. But it is important to confront President Vladimir Putin. Every day is a day too long in the war, every … death is one too many.”

Austria now:

Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg spoke at the 14th European media summit this week, saying that Ukraine should not receive candidate status in June. He reiterated Austria’s dedication to neutrality as a key element of the nation’s “self-definition.”

“We don’t belong to any military alliance and we don’t want to,” he said, but he highlighted the contributions Austria has made to Ukraine’s defense, adding that E.U. membership and neutrality are “compatible.”

Schallenberg repeated his stance to Austrian publication Heute, but went further and said Ukraine should not, in principle, become a member even in the future. He called for a “different way” for Ukraine to develop ties with Europe.

Blinken and Austin

How lovely. The prime ministers, presidents, and other ministers of European countries can visit Ukraine and meet with Zelenskyy. But our president? Nope.

Zelenskyy met Vice President Kamala Harris in Munich on February 19. That was five days before Russia launched the full-scale invasion.

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Comments

Ukraine doesn’t need to join the EU, and I don’t think it would ever happen. They need to join NATO. If Brussels is pushing for EU membership, then they are just trying to grab a playground where anything goes. I doubt it happens but if it did, look for Ukraine to be treated very differently on oversight compared to the rest of the EU.

    CommoChief in reply to healthguyfsu. | April 25, 2022 at 12:52 pm

    IMO, offering EU membership for Ukraine under irregular circumstances where Ukraine wouldn’t be required to comply with all the hurdles every other EU applicant did is a disastrous idea. Turkey desperately wanted into the EU. They were strung along, made incremental reforms and adjustments demanded by the EU only to have the EU repeatedly move the goalposts and deny membership. This rejection had consequences; it undermined the more western minded parties and strengthened the Islamist parties.

    Pulling in Ukraine would be viewed as deliberate insult to Turkey which would further drive home the message that Turkey, no matter how many reforms it makes, will never be considered western enough for EU membership. This attitude will push Turkey further away from the west and more fully into the Islamist camp.

Ukraine has a president who was a comedian. The US has a president who is a bad joke. Just waiting for Hasbro to come out with Austin, Blinkin and Milley Action Figures as part of their Woke Warrior series.

Blinken and Austin—Dumb and Dumber—going to visit a comedian. You can’t make this stuff up.

Did winkin’ Blinken nod?

thad_the_man | April 25, 2022 at 1:45 pm

Didn’t Blinken say the riots were mostly peaceful? Yeah, Russia doesn’t look like it is losing. If it were losing, why are we worrying about Russia taking Odessa, which is all the way on the West side?

As for Austria, the answer is simple. Here is how the conversation went.

Austria: The EU want’s us to sanction you.
Putin: Which do you like more. The people who will treat you like Hungary if you do something to piss them off, or our oil.
Austria: Good point.

    That’s about the short and long of it. Russia has a national interest to retain legal title and access to the port in Crimea, and the Kiev regimes provided a moral basis for, first, the “annexation” (with democratic consent), by disenfranchising, denying essential services, and assaulting Ukrainians in that region, and, second, the Biden administration offering affirmative support for NATO expansion, and, finally, Ukrainians in the East requesting support to counter the assaults of the Kiev-aligned military and paramilitary forces. Eight years since the Maidan/Slavic Spring, and two years under the Zelensky regime, in progress. And, of course, the funding and operation of illicit Wuhan-style labs didn’t help Biden or Kiev’s stature in either Ukraine, Russia, or the international community.

Free State Paul | April 25, 2022 at 5:23 pm

“When it comes to Russia’s war aims, Russia is failing. Ukraine is succeeding.”

I dunno.

Seems to me Putin is slowly completing his punch list. Project is way over budget and way behind time, but still seems on track.