Once on Ukrainian soil, the Russians try to steal everything they can, paying special attention to agriculture. The US public broadcaster NPR has published a story about Ukrainian farmers whose occupiers are left without machinery and crops, and often take their lives. As an example, the journalists chose the farm of 70-year-old Anatoliy Kulibaba from the village of Bilka, not far from Trostyanets, Sumy Oblast. Traces of human bodies can still be seen in the hay in his barn, where the Russian military slept. Some of Kulibabaʼs cars donʼt have glass: the occupiers knocked it out. At the beginning of the war, the Russians killed Kulibabaʼs son who just walked in the village. Then they took away all the fuel. And when they fled, they took out a combine harvester and part of other valuable equipment, for which Kulibaba still pays loans. Now the farmer is afraid to work in his fields because of the risk of running into a mine. Hundreds of such stories, say the NPR, predicting a food crisis in the world due to the actions of the Russians.
The Guardian analyzes the so-called open letters of German intellectuals: some call on the German government not to supply Ukraine with weapons and work for a "mutually beneficial diplomatic solution to the conflict", others call on Berlin to be more determined to supply heavy weapons to Ukrainians. It turned out that the signatories of the first letters are usually much older than those who are in favor of more active provision of weapons to Ukraine. The average age of the former is 76, and the latter is 54. Some of the signatories of the "pacifist letters" still date back to the post-World War II era. "I was happy to see the US military march through the streets of my city in 1945, and I donʼt see anything wrong with surrendering," said Alexander Kluge, a 90-year-old filmmaker who signed the anti-gun letter. Younger Germans see history differently. "Fascism cannot be stopped by indulgences. Talks about pacifism about Russians are seldom supported by Germans whose relatives died in the Holocaust,” says German writer Daniel Kelman.
The prospect of a military victory in Ukraine is becoming increasingly illusory for Putin, but he is unable to concede defeat ― much less offer it to the Russians. So how exactly will the Russian president try to "save face"? Al Jazeera interviewed several Western researchers of the Russian government about the most likely scenarios for further public behavior of the Russian government. There are only two of them. The first is that they will try to present as the greatest victory the "liberation" of Mariupol ― as well as the fact that the Russians are currently control a larger-than-before area of Donbas. However, this scenario does not provide for the likelihood that the Ukrainian military will regain control of all or most of the currently occupied territories. Therefore, the second scenario seems more realistic: in the absence of real success, Putin will manipulate facts and public opinion with the help of his propagandists. In order to stay in power, Putin will create his own reality on television, in which it is possible to proclaim "the final achievement of the goals of the special operation" at any time.
The New York Times is analyzing Russian television propaganda about the war in Ukraine. The publication considered the most resonant episodes of the war ― the Russian bombing of a maternity hospital in Mariupol, the massacres in Bucha, the seizure of the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant and the sinking of the Russian “Moscow” flagship. Both in Ukraine and in the West, there is a consensus on these events due to numerous irrefutable evidence. The Russians have their own evidence: the NYT describes a predictably distorted picture of all events and "alternative facts" that propagandists often do not even try to disguise effectively.