How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, May 6

Anton Semyzhenko

The war in Ukraine prompted US President Joe Biden to rearm all of Europe, writes Politico. The recently approved $33 billion aid package includes weapons for the Baltic states, Georgia, Poland and Slovakia, increased armed reserves ― and dozens more positions to strengthen the EUʼs military. In addition, the United States is increasing its military presence in Europe by 20,000 soldoers and is inclined to respond positively to Estoniaʼs request to deploy a US military battalion on its territory. Analysts say that the United Statesʼ military presence on the continent has not been so strong for at least 20 years ― and Washingtonʼs current steps will affect the situation in Europe for at least 20 years ahead. So far, it turns out that Putin achieved quite the contraty of what he wanted: it is no longer just about Ukraineʼs victory in the war with Russia, but about a significant military strengthening of Western democracies in the long run.

RKG-3 is a developed in the late 1940ʼs hand-held Soviet anti-tank grenade. Similar in shape to a wine bottle, it can seriously damage or even destroy a tank during an explosion, but the grenade must be thrown by hand ― that is, it is useful only in close combat. Therefore, RPG-7 grenade launchers, which can be used from a distance of a hundred meters or more, have become much more widespread. This was the case until 2022, when the Ukrainian initiative "Aerorozvidka" began to arm RKG-3 drones, writes Radio Liberty. To the end of the grenade, the Ukrainian military attaches a 3D-printed "tail" which ensures its stable flight. Then inexpensive drones simply drop a grenade on top of a Russian tank. Sometimes Russian troops manage to shoot down a drone, but there are at least a few cases where a grenade worth less than $100 neutralized hundreds of thousands of dollars in occupiersʼ equipment.

"Belarus Is the Other Loser in Putin’s War" ― an article with this title appeared on Foreign Policy. Belarus is providing its territory for the Russian invasion of Ukraine ― but as Putinʼs campaign falters and the West rallies around Ukraine and supplies more and more weapons, Lukashenko is no longer sure of his decision. If in the first weeks of the campaign the Belarusian dictator actively spoke about the threat from Ukraine and the fact that Belarus was "forced to do something for self-defense", but lately Lukashenko has not been heard. Until yesterday, when he said that "the special operation does not seem to be going according to plan", that Belarus has never attacked Ukraine and that a nuclear war would be a "terrible mistake". Lukashenko understands that Putinʼs victory in this war is far from guaranteed, the article states, so the Belarusian dictator is trying to change his shoes. However, the evidence of Belarusʼ active participation in the war is irrefutable, the behavior of its leadership in the first months of 2022 is shameful, so a partnership with European institutions is out of the question. On the other hand, the weakness of the Belarusian army and the unpopularity of the war among Belarusian citizens hinder Lukashenko from being "to the end" with Putin.

The American public broadcaster NPR published a detailed article about the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, where Ukrainian troops are still fighting back against the Russian occupiers. The metallurgical plant was built in 1933, so it caught the Second World War. At that time, people, including factory workers, were also hiding in Azovstalʼs shelters. In 2014, when pro-Russian separatists briefly gained control of Mariupol, Azovstal again became a haven for hundreds of civilians seeking refuge from the fighting. However, the current war may be the last for the plant: Russian aircraft and navy are deliberately destroying its production facilities. So that, even if the Russians are expelled from Ukraine, one of the largest metallurgical plants in Europe could not compete with Russian metallurgists for some time.