Serhij Zhadan, winner of the Ukrainian Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, condemns the demands of prominent Germans for negotiations between Ukraine and Russia. In an article for the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, the 47-year-old wrote that the biggest fallacy of the people demanding this was to believe that the Russians wanted to negotiate. “We cannot give up our resistance, otherwise we will be destroyed. We must demand weapons from the West, otherwise we will be destroyed,” said the writer.
In another open letter last week, German celebrities such as Juli Zeh and Richard David Precht called on politicians to end the Ukraine war through negotiations. This appeal was also published in Die Zeit.
Zhadan replied: “By clinging to a misconceived pacifism – which reeks of cynical indifference – the authors legitimize the Putinian propaganda narratives that say Ukraine has no right to freedom, no right to exist, no right to a… voice of his own because her voice might irritate the great and terrible Putin.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has accused the UN Security Council of failing to respond to Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Ardern said in a speech in Sydney that the Security Council’s failings in dealing with the Russian invasion of Ukraine are due to the fact that Russia has a veto right in the body.
Russia is using its position on the Security Council to represent a “morally bankrupt position in the wake of a morally bankrupt and illegal war,” New Zealand’s PM said. New Zealand will work to reform the highest UN body to prevent its values and relevance from falling.
According to the United Nations, the explosion in food and energy prices has pushed an additional 71 million people into poverty in just three months. They have to make do with less than four euros per day and person. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported that ‘spread-aid’ aid — through tax cuts or blanket energy subsidies — is less effective than direct payments to those most affected to keep people out of poverty.
“The report concludes that targeted cash transfers are fairer and more cost-effective than blanket subsidies,” the UNDP said. Flat-rate subsidies include a temporary reduction in energy taxes to make petrol cheaper, as in Germany.
Political advisor Richard Gowan, who works for the United Nations, believes that Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine is also having a serious impact on the supply of starving people in Syria. “Russia’s veto power could set a number of conditions at the last minute in the UN Security Council for the continuation of cross-border aid deliveries from Turkey to north-western Syria,” Gowan told the Evangelical Press Service (epd).
Gowan, the Crisis Group’s director of UN affairs, is considered one of the leading experts serving the world body. In 2021, the US and Russia would still have negotiated quite constructively on cross-border aid, he said. Since the invasion of Vladimir Putin’s troops in Ukraine in February of this year, however, there have been hardly any bilateral contacts on this topic. Relations between the two countries collapsed because of the war in Ukraine.
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Armed Forces, Eva Högl (SPD), would like the Bundeswehr to repair more weapons themselves. “We should make more use of the skills of our troops, who want to repair their devices themselves,” Högl told the “t-online.de” portal. “We’re at a high level there, so we should rely more on our own abilities.”
So far, according to the portal, the army has only been allowed to repair almost half of the approximately 50 main weapon systems itself for legal reasons. The aim of an expansion must be to “improve operational readiness,” said Högl. “In order for this to succeed, we should also rethink the issue of stocking spare parts and tools.”
The general secretary of the craftsmen’s association ZDH, Holger Schwannecke, considers it appropriate to switch off leisure activities first in the event of a gas emergency. Everyone should ask themselves what they would be willing to do without so that “other, important elements in the value chain can continue to be supplied with gas,” Schwannecke told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
“In such an exceptional situation and in view of the goal of ensuring that production and services of general interest can be maintained, I think it is appropriate that products and offers for leisure activities should first be taken ‘off the grid’ first.”