Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 349

How to help Ukraine as Putin bombards its cities

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 9 marzo 2022

What prospects for the fighting in Ukraine? As expected, the Russian invaders made gains, notably in the south, in the past week. The human costs are all too awful. But Vladimir Putin must by now, more than ten days in and despite his public claims, judge that his war has not gone to plan. His hopes for swift decapitation, perhaps to force Volodymyr Zelensky to flee, have evaporated. Ukrainians are showing brave resistance. An immense armoured column of Russian vehicles remains jammed to the north of Kyiv—a humiliating symbol of the failure of Mr Putin’s army. And though a grim siege of the Ukrainian capital looms, its swift collapse looks unlikely. One debate that will probably grow more intense is over the question of whether NATO should impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. It’s tempting for a host of reasons, but in our view it would ultimately be dangerous and futile.Look for possible deals for civilians in some cities to escape the worst violence in the coming days, despite failures of these over the weekend. Could some broader peace talks beckon? Probably not. It’s more in Mr Putin’s nature to double down, not back down. At home expect him to become more repressive, not least as he learns how few ordinary Russians support his senseless war. News outlets in Russia are being forced to close and foreign ones to stop broadcasting. Sadly, Mr Putin is likely to try to escalate the conflict, to stir up anti-Western feeling among Russians and in the hope of intimidating European democracies. We have called for strong resolve in the face of that. Without it, the world will pay a higher price later.Internationally, Russia looks increasingly isolated, even if China won’t condemn it. Western sanctions will really bite in the coming weeks, as imports to Russia slow and hard currency grows scarce. How businesses, for example in America, learn to cope with these changes will be one story to watch. We’re interested to see how China’s trade with Russia might grow. And we’ll be looking to see how other parts of the world are affected by—and responding to—the conflict in Ukraine. Take wheat. Along with many commodities, the price of the foodstuff is soaring, because both Russia and Ukraine are big exporters. This is terrible news for importers, especially poor ones, such as in Egypt and elsewhere in Africa.Beyond Ukraine, we’re keeping an eye on inflation in America. Ahead of the Fed decision on raising rates, in mid-March, we’ll get data on consumer-price rises in February. Emmanuel Macron is campaigning for re-election, so check out our forecast model for France. South Korea holds general elections. And in India the results of state elections, including in the massive state of Uttar Pradesh, will hint at the popularity of the ruling party. We’re also delighted to announce that the Nobel laureate, Malala Yousafzai, will be guest editing our By Invitations columns to mark International Women’s Day on Tuesday.Once again, thank you for your many thoughtful, generous emails. This week we’re trying something new. To share more of your responses, we’ve published a selection of them on this page. Let me know if we should do so again. I was particularly moved by a plea for peace from Kornelis “Kees” Huizinga, a farmer in Ukraine. Another writer, Gringo Capet, in Malaysia, asks if I “discern any merit at all in Mr Putin’s allegations” against NATO and the West. In short, I really don’t. Mr Putin has no justification for acting the way he has. History will record that he is a war criminal who has killed thousands in Ukraine in an unprovoked attack. By Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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