Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 34 n° 201

Why Russian generals have been dying at a remarkable rate

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 8 aprile 2022

It’s always hard for editors to judge when it’s right to turn attention away from a huge story. We are well into the second month of fighting in Ukraine. Evidence is mounting, as Russian soldiers withdraw from areas near Kyiv, to suggest large number of civilians were killed by the invading forces. Whereas the coming days may bring dramatic developments (a ceasefire? the fall of Mariupol? further withdrawal of some Russian units?) it is as likely that the war will grind on without big movements on the ground.Russian generals have been dying at a remarkable rate. Hard fighting persists in the east, for example in Kharkiv. Diplomatic efforts continue, such as attempts to see if India might rebalance its old friendship with Russia. We have argued that Western support for Ukraine must not let up, because Volodymyr Zelensky’s forces can achieve a great deal yet.But none of this points to a decisive end to the war soon. Look, for example, at what happened in the Donbas region, where war erupted in 2014. It has since seen periods of intense violence and spells of relative quiet, but in reality that war has never stopped. One question we will be considering is what sort of international security guarantees would be strong enough for Ukraine to feel less threatened by its aggressive neighbour, while not so robust that Russia would find them provocative. This week we will look for more stories from farther afield. Most obvious is France, where divisions—of geography, wealth, education, religion and more—are painfully real. In the first round of the presidential election, late this week, our forecast model suggests that Emmanuel Macron will come first, and be joined in the run-off vote later this month by Marine Le Pen. I lived in France in 2017, when the far-right candidate got to the second round of voting. I remember watching her woefully bad performance in a televised debate with Mr Macron. Yet it is hard to imagine she will blunder so badly a second time. Mr Macron is most likely to be re-elected, and he deserves to be, but he should brace for intense challenges in his second term.Another big story, and one with potentially massive economic consequences, is the spread of covid-19 in China, where the Omicron variant—and efforts to lock down cities such as Shanghai—are testing the idea of Xi Jinping’s zero-covid strategy. We should see more data in the coming days setting out how broad and painful the latest stage of the pandemic is proving to be, two years after it first raged around the world.Once again, thank you for a deluge of messages and commentary. Many wrote to say how they support standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Mr Zelensky in the face of Russia’s invasion. Paul Dee says that Russia, in any future negotiations, “should not obtain a land corridor from Donbas to the Crimea” and urges tougher financial sanctions to deter it. I agree, Russia would severely limit Ukraine’s prospects were it to hamper its access to the sea. David Court, in Frankfurt, suggests Joe Biden’s comment that Mr Putin should be forced from office was deliberate (even if unscripted) and welcome as an effort to isolate the autocrat from other powerful figures inside Russia. Finally, Michael Rubal disagrees with our coverage in general and suggests that we—and presumably Western governments—have been banging “the war drums” in Ukraine. In my view, standing with the victims of Mr Putin’s aggression is both the right and the smart thing to do. Adam Roberts Digital editor The Economist

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