MAccording to statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Russia only wants to delay the moment of its own defeat with the ongoing partial mobilization of the armed forces. Selenskyj made that clear in his video speech on Tuesday night. Around seven months after the war began, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered reservists to be mobilized on Wednesday. Since then, there has been horror in many places in Russia. There are protests across the country. There have also been several attacks on conscription centers.
Meanwhile, Putin’s confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin admitted for the first time that the feared mercenary group “Wagner” had been founded. Putin also granted Russian citizenship to well-known US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Zelenskyy: Russia wants to delay the moment of defeat
“They felt they were going to lose. And they’re just trying to delay that moment in order to have at least some activity on the front lines,” Zelenskyy said. “Unfortunately, the Russian people are not yet aware of the full brutality of the Russian government towards their own people,” Zelenskyy said. That must be made clear to the Russians.
Putin’s “cook” is committed to founding the Wagner combat group
The Russian businessman Prigozhin, who became known as the cook of Kremlin chief Putin, publicly admitted for the first time that he had founded the notorious mercenary group “Wagner”. Prigozhin explained on the website of his company Konkord that he formed the unit in 2014 for use on the Russian side in the Ukrainian Donbass. On May 1, 2014, a “group of patriots was born” – with the name “Wagner”.
Previously, Prigozhin had never clearly named connections to the “Wagner” troupe. Most recently, however, he indirectly hinted that it was his project. Insiders also confirmed this. Prigozhin has now confirmed, among other things, operations by the “Wagner” group in Syria, other Arab countries as well as in Africa and Latin America. A video recently caused a stir in Russia, which is said to show the businessman and Putin friend recruiting prison inmates to fight in the Ukraine war.
Putin grants Snowden Russian citizenship
Putin granted US whistleblower Snowden Russian citizenship. The 39-year-old’s name is on a list of new citizens published by the Kremlin. Snowden had previously revealed after his son’s birth in Russia that he was applying for citizenship to have the same rights as the child born in 2020, who received Russian citizenship automatically.
In 2013, Snowden gave journalists documents on spying activities by the US surveillance service NSA and its British counterpart GCHQ. According to his own statements, he wanted to flee via Hong Kong to Ecuador, but ended up stranded at the airport in Moscow after the US government canceled his passport.
No EU solution for dealing with conscientious objectors
The EU states are still looking for a common line in dealing with Russian conscientious objectors who want to leave their homeland. A first crisis meeting of the 27 EU ambassadors did not bring a solution. The EU Commission was asked to “review, evaluate and, if necessary, update the latest guidelines on visa issues, taking into account the security concerns of the Member States,” the current Czech EU Council Presidency said afterwards.
US supports Ukrainian prosecution with millions
The US government is providing millions in support to Ukraine’s law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised the Ukrainian government an additional 457.5 million US dollars (around 474 million euros) for this purpose. Since mid-December 2021, the USA has made more than 645 million US dollars (around 668 million euros) available for this area, including for the country’s police, it was said.
Part of the new funding is also earmarked to support the Ukrainian government “in documenting, investigating and prosecuting atrocities committed by the Russian armed forces”.
What will be important on Tuesday
In the Russian-occupied areas of Ukraine, the final day of mock referendums on joining Russia is taking place. Ukraine and the West see the compulsory voting as a violation of international law. It is expected that the areas will be annexed and possibly declared Russian state territory by Putin on Friday.