Lula spoke with Zelenski by video call

President Lula da Silva spoke this Thursday by video call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodimir Zelenski, and reiterated his proposal that Brazil participate in an eventual multinational dialogue process to end the war between Moscow and Kiev. “I now had a video meeting with the president of Ukraine. I reaffirmed Brazil’s desire to talk with other countries and participate in any initiative related to the construction of peace and dialogue,” Lula wrote. On twitter. “The war cannot interest anyone,” she added.

The call comes a day after Brazilian Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. Lula has declined requests to send ammunition to Ukraine, and instead promotes the creation of a group of third countries to seek a negotiated peace to the conflict that already exceeds a year.

The Brazilian president had made his proposal public for the first time, after a conversation with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Brasilia on January 30. And he pitched his idea to US President Joe Biden during a visit to Washington in early February, as well as to French President Emmanuel Macron. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Galuzin said last week that Moscow is evaluating the proposal.

In an article in the newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo, Lula’s foreign minister assured last Friday that Brazil “does not have a ready solution,” but that it seeks to dialogue with other nations to address “roads for the construction of peace”. Lula caused a stir last year when he claimed that Zelensky was “as responsible” as Russian leader Vladimir Putin in the conflict.

the battle of bakhmut

The Russian Wagner paramilitary group, on the front line in Ukraine, claimed on Friday to have “practically surrounded” the city of Bakhmut, in the east of the country, and asked President Zelensky to withdraw his troops. The battle of Bakhmut, an industrial city with strategic importance, has been going on since last summer and caused heavy losses to both sides. The city has become a symbol of war, as it is the epicenter of the fighting.

In recent weeks, Russian forces have advanced north and south of Bakhmut, cutting off three of the four supply roads for Ukrainian forces. “Wagner’s units have practically surrounded Bakhmut, there is only one road left” to leave the city, the founder and head of the paramilitary group, Yevgeny Prigozhin, declared this Friday in a video posted on Telegram.

Prigozhin asked Zelensky – who had promised to defend Bakhmut “as long as necessary” – to order Ukrainian troops to withdraw from the largely destroyed city. “If before we were faced with a professional Ukrainian army, which was fighting against us, today we see more and more old people and children. They fight, but their life in Bakhmut is short, a day or two,” Prigozhin warned. “Give them a chance to leave town,” Wagner’s boss added. The video then cuts to three people, an older man and two young men, asking Zelenski, on camera, to let them leave.

The Ukrainian military command had admitted on Tuesday that the situation was “extremely tense” in Bakhmut in the face of the Russian push. On the same day, Zelenski had confirmed an increase in the “intensity of the fighting” around the city, which had 70,000 inhabitants before the conflict and now only 4,500.

The symbolic role of the city

The battle of Bakhmut, one of the hardest and longest of the war in Ukraine, has acquired a symbolic value over the months that goes beyond its strategic interest. The fate of the eastern Ukrainian city recalls that of the southern port of Mariupol, ravaged by months of fierce fighting until its fall into Russian hands, in the first half of 2022.

Bakhmut was devastated after eight months of fighting with incessant artillery fire and meter by meter advances. Civilians – several thousand of whom remained hidden in basements – also paid a heavy price, as did the Ukrainian and foreign volunteers who came to help them.

Volodimir Zelensky said in an interview that “From a strategic point of view, Bakhmut doesn’t matter much because the Russians completely destroyed the city.”

According to retired Australian General Mick Ryan, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, “The Battle of Bakhmut has used massive human and material resources. This investment is out of proportion to the importance of the city; it is not a high-value military objective. “. For Belgian military analyst Joseph Henrotin, Bakhmut has served to “degrade everyone’s potential.” “Since December, the Russians have been trying to weaken the Ukrainian position by forcing them to deploy forces everywhere and preventing them from concentrating. Bakhmut is only one piece of the puzzle. Its fall does not mean anything if the other points resist“, he says. However, in the long term it may lead the way to Kramatorsk, a large industrial city further west, but still highly protected.

Bajmut was acquiring a symbolic dimension. Zelensky personally visited the “Bajmut Fortress” in December. The chief of the Wagner militia, Yevgeny Prigozhin, made it almost a personal battle to prove the worth of his mercenaries. “The magnitude of the losses gave Bakhmut political importance,” says Mick Ryan. “It is quite a symbol, both for the Ukrainians and the Russians,” agrees Thibault Fouillet, of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS). “But some things that were already announced as definitive turning points in the war, were not,” he asserts, citing the Russian withdrawal from the Kharkiv region in April or the Ukrainian recapture of Kherson. “I think we will quickly move on to the next hot spot on the front, which is the hallmark of this war of attrition,” he adds.

Bakhmut’s capture would mark Russia’s first victory since the Ukrainian counter-offensives in the fall and is at the center of the rivalry between Russia’s defense ministry and Wagner’s boss, who has been trying for months to gain political stature. In recent weeks, Prigozhin has lashed out at “the monstrous military bureaucracy” and “politicians”, and even accused the chief of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, and the Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, of “treason” for not delivering ammunition to his mercenaries.

Ukrainian attack on Russia

Last Wednesday, in the Russian region of Briansk, bordering Ukraine, according to Moscow yesterday, there was an incursion of Ukrainian “saboteurs” into its territory. According to Russian security services, the group fired at a car, killing two civilians and injuring a child in the town of Lyubechane, right on the border with Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said Friday that Moscow “will take measures” to prevent Ukrainian incursions.

The Ukrainian presidency denied the claims, saying the incident was a “deliberate provocation” by Russia to justify its invasion. The Russian Investigative Committee announced on Friday that it had sent a team to the scene, saying the situation was “under the control of law enforcement.”

Russian authorities this week reported several strikes with Ukrainian drones in Crimea, the peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. And for the first time, a drone crashed in the Moscow region, causing no damage or casualties. On Friday, several law enforcement sources, cited by the Russian agency TASS, reported the explosion of a drone in the Kolomna region, 100 km southeast of Moscow.

Recent Articles

Related News

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here