How the international media covered the Russian-Ukrainian war, April 15

Anton Semyzhenko

Euronews explores the impact of the sinking "Moskva" Russian warship on the war in Ukraine. The warship provided long-range and mobile air defense for the whole of Russiaʼs fleet in the Black Sea, therefore this fleet will be more vulnerable to attack, especially from the Ukrainian Air Force. Russia will not be able to replace the capabilities of the “Moskva” any time soon as it only has two other ships of the same class, which serve with Russiaʼs Northern and Pacific fleets. While the ship is quite outdated – it was designed in 1979 – it still was a symbol of Russiaʼs dominance in the sea and of the countryʼs military prowess. The loss of this flagship is a bitter blow for Russia, and embarrassing internationally. US officials have said that, while the sinking of the “Moskva” will have a symbolic impact, potentially boosting Ukrainian morale at the expense of Russiaʼs, it will not have a major impact on the course of the conflict.

The “Moskva” flagship was hit with a Ukraine homegrown “Neptune” missile. The article on The Washington Post reviews the story behind this missile. Since Russia invaded on Feb. 24, foreign-made weapons have poured into Ukraine, but Ukraine is a significant arms exporter itself, with a legacy of building missiles and rockets that goes back deep into the Soviet era. Russia was once a key export market for those weapons: between 2016 and 2020, 1 in 5 Ukrainian arms exports went to Russia. The Neptune missile is itself based on an old Soviet cruise missile called the Kh-35, which had been produced in Kharkiv. The company that developed Neptune, Luch Design Bureau, was founded in 1965 and had a long history of designing Soviet missiles.

An article on The Guardian focuses on the successful messaging strategies used by President Zelensky and his team over the course of an almost two-month war with Russia. Zelenskyʼs speeches to different audiences: both Ukrainian people and foreign parliaments around the world, have galvanized international support and strengthened morale at home. According to Orysia Lutsevych, manager of the Ukraine forum at foreign policy thinktank Chatham House, Zelenskiy’s previous career as an actor and comedian was key to his success. He can transform well and people are used to that, which helps accept him in this new role. The scope of his speeches works very well as their content is immaculately tailored to particular audiences. For example, he referred to Churchill when speaking to Brits, he made an accent on Mariupol - home to many ethnic Greeks - when he spoke to Greeks. Zelensky’s speechwriter is Dmytro Lytvyn, a 38-year-old former journalist and political analyst with fewer than 200 followers on Twitter. According to Lytvyn’s interview to the Observer, his role is to shape the speeches, while the content is developed by Zelensky – “The president always knows what he wants to say, and how he wants to say it.”, said Lytvyn.

Anne Applebaum and Jeffrey Goldberg talked to President Zelensky for an interview on The Atlanic. The idea of winning, according to Zelensky, is simple: Ukraine continues its existence as a sovereign state. Though, to have a secure future for Ukraine, the Russian information barrier will have to be broken. If Russians want to recover, “they have to learn to accept the truth. That’s how it worked in Germany.”