War in Ukraine | Narrow victory for diplomacy

Dozens of civilians were able to breathe fresh air again after being evacuated from the Azovstal steel complex, where they were trapped by Ukrainian soldiers who were still defying the Russians. And the visit of the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, caused a surprise in Ukraine on Sunday.

Updated yesterday at 12:24 AM

Purple Dussault

Purple Dussault
The press

Hundreds of civilians were evacuated from Mariupol


Valeria (right), an employee of the Azovstal industrial complex in Mariupol, hugs her sister as they meet at an emergency shelter.

The United Nations (UN) confirmed on Sunday that the evacuation operation carried out on Saturday of the civilians trapped in the Azovstal Steelworks is still ongoing. The operation involves Russia, Ukraine and the International Committee of the Red Cross.

This is the first time that civilians holed up in the Azovstal complex – the last Russian-bombed Ukrainian resistance area – have been able to emerge after several failed attempts, despite the intervention of foreign officials and Pope Francis.

“It appears that this evacuation is the result of a diplomatic effort on the part of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who traveled to Moscow last week,” said Maria Popova, a professor of political science at McGill University specializing in post-Soviet affairs. “That’s what it means [Vladimir] Putin has not 100% abandoned the idea of ​​cooperation with the international community. »

News that, according to M., can be considered a small victoryme Popova.

In fact, the city of Mariupol, which had been besieged and bombed for weeks, is now under Russian control, with the exception of the Azovstal complex. “It is clear evidence that Russia’s war is a war of conquest,” says Maria Popova. Once they conquer a territory, they occupy it: they put flags on the buildings, they plan to change the currency: it’s a conquest. »

Nancy Pelosi on a surprise visit to Kyiv


Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, shakes hands with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy as she arrives in Kyiv on Sunday

The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, caused a surprise during a visit to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Sunday.

“Our delegation has traveled to Kyiv to send an unequivocal and resounding message to the whole world: the United States stands with Ukraine,” said the Congressional delegation, guarantor of American aid, which notably promotes a lend-lease program (Lend-Lease) is run through. , similar to that set up by the United States for its allies during World War II.

This meeting follows within a week that of the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin last Sunday, who then pledged $700 million in additional aid to Ukraine.

“The purpose of these visits is to largely reassure Americans and also Ukraine,” said Paul Lenze Jr., professor of politics and international affairs at Northern Arizona University and a member of the Raoul Dandurand Chair. “It shows the Russians that the Americans are here for the long haul. »

According to Maria Popova, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has managed to accumulate a lot of power over the past two months: “He managed to convince the West that Ukraine deserves his support,” she notes.

Violation of Swedish and Danish airspace by Russia

Russian ambassadors in Sweden and Denmark will be summoned after a Russian reconnaissance plane violated the airspace of those two countries on Friday, Scandinavian diplomats said on Sunday.

Presumably a “show of power by Russia”. A subtle and implicit threat,” analyzes Maria Popova.

Denmark is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), in contrast to Sweden, a non-aligned country where however a debate is ongoing and a possible candidacy is being considered.

However, Sweden’s defense minister said he had “no evidence” that the incident was linked to current discussions about Sweden’s possible membership of the North Atlantic Alliance.

While Finland is also considering a NATO candidacy, Russia has already warned that Stockholm, like Helsinki, must expect “consequences” both in “bilateral relations” with Russia and “for the European security architecture as a whole”.

According to Mr.me Popova. “They are already concerned about their neighbor’s aggressive attitude [la Russie], on the contrary, it could make them even more determined. »

Germany is weaning itself from its energy dependence on Russia

Germany’s dependence on Russian oil imports has fallen from 35% to 12% in recent weeks. The proportion related to coal has risen to 8%, compared to 50% previously, the Federal Ministry of Economics said in a report. On the other hand, reliance on Russian gas remains significant, although it has also fallen to 35% versus 55%.

“The federal government seems to be in the process of changing its long-standing policy of cooperation with Russia on the energy level,” emphasizes Maria Popova. And that’s because public opinion is calling for more to be done for Ukraine. »

In Brussels, European sources have indicated that the European Union is completing a phased phasing out of its purchases of oil and petroleum products from Russia to sanction the war in Ukraine and will announce a timetable and new measures this week.

More news of the day

  • According to the British government, pro-Russian trolls are conducting an information warfare from a former factory in St. Petersburg, targeting Western leaders and relaying Kremlin propaganda.
  • Pope Francis renewed his call to open humanitarian corridors to evacuate civilians from Mariupol.

With information from Agence France-Presse

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