La guerra in Ucraina continua a mostrare i suoi orrori. Ogni giorno ha la sua pena. Ma non smetteremo di contare i morti fino a quando si continuerà a soffiare sul fuoco. Purtroppo questa guerra, e i suoi effetti, non sono una novità. La tensione sembra salire e le diplomazie e le cancellerie balbettano o fanno danni: il proliferare dei mediatori (molto spesso guidati dai loro interessi) non ha mostrato risultati sostanziali. Come altri autocrati, è doveroso che Putin e il suo gruppo di potere si trovino a fare i conti con il diritto internazionale per la inaccettabile invasione portata alla sovranità dell’Ucraina e al suo popolo (l’unica vera vittima). Dall’altra parte, però, il dirsi democratici deve andare di pari passo con una necessaria auto-critica.
Il fatto che la Polonia abbia firmato un accordo con Washington per l’acquisto di 250 carri armati Abrams, per rafforzare le sue forze armate nel tentativo di scoraggiare la potenziale aggressione russa al confine orientale (Reuters), è un ulteriore segno di escalation. Questo avvicina o allontana la pace ?
E, ancora, la guerra in Ucraina mette in pericolo la possibilità di mantenere aperti i canali di approvvigionamento nel Mar Nero. E’ un altro sul quale riflettere. Da Reuters: “The risk of coming across floating mines in the major Black Sea shipping route is adding to perils for merchant ships sailing in the region, and governments must ensure safe passage to keep supply chains running, maritime officials say. The Black Sea is key for shipping grain, oil and oil products. Its waters are shared by Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia and Turkey, as well as Ukraine and Russia”.
La Croce Rossa Internazionale ha dato l’allarme sul sensibile peggioramento della grave carenza alimentare in Africa (da Reuters). Essa colpisce circa 346 milioni di persone contro i 286 milioni dell’anno scorso. I fattori scatenanti sono il conflitto, il cambiamento climatico e l’aumento dei prezzi di cibo e carburante. E’ l’altra guerra, spesso dimenticata. Cinismi da terzo millennio.
Immersi nella guerra mondiale a pezzi, il Mali è un luogo sensibile e dal quale non viene alcunché di buono. Le truppe maliane e i sospetti mercenari russi avrebbero giustiziato circa 300 civili in cinque giorni durante un’operazione militare in una città del centro, ha affermato Human Rights Watch (HRW) in un rapporto. Le uccisioni sono avvenute tra il 27 e il 31 marzo a Moura, una cittadina rurale di circa 10.000 abitanti nella regione di Mopti, punto caldo dell’attività jihadista che si è intensificata e diffusa nei Paesi vicini del Sahel (da Reuters).
(di Marco Emanuele)
- AROUND THE WORLD
- DEFENSE – MILITARY – SPACE – CYBER SECURITY
- RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)
AROUND THE WORLD
- Hunger in Africa surges due to conflict, climate and food prices, April 5. By Ayenat Mersie, Reuters. Conflict, climate change and rising food and fuel prices are pushing about a quarter of Africans towards hunger, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday. (read more)
- Alleged Janjaweed leader denies Darfur atrocities at war crimes court, April 5. By Reuters. A man accused of leading Sudan’s feared Janjaweed militia pleaded not guilty to dozens of war crimes charges on Tuesday, at the start of the International Criminal Court’s first trial over the Darfur conflict. (read more)
Europe – USA
- US, European nuclear workers condemn hostilities and misinformation : Regulation & Safety, April 5. By World Nuclear News. In a joint statement, the European Nuclear Society (ENS) and the American Nuclear Society (ANS) demand an end to further hostilities at any nuclear energy facilities and “denounce misinformation spread by any party regarding the safety status of nuclear facilities”. (read more)
Guatemala – USA
- Rural poverty, climate change, and family migration from Guatemala, April 4. By Sarah Bermeo, David Leblang, and Gabriela Nagle Alverio, Brookings. Annual apprehensions of people from Guatemala arriving in family units at the U.S. southern border grew exponentially between 2012 and 2019—from just 340 to a whopping 185,134 (Figure 1). As a proportion of total Guatemalan apprehensions, those apprehended as family units grew from less than 5 percent to 70 percent in the same period. This increase happened before the pandemic, before the 2020 hurricanes that devastated parts of Central America, and before President Biden was elected. The underlying conditions driving migration predate these events and still exist today and—without an adequate policy response—seem set to continue. (read more)
Hungarian radwaste management system robust, says IAEA : Waste & Recycling, April 5. By World Nuclear News. Hungary is committed to the safe and effective management of used nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, a team of experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has concluded. However, it noted areas where it could be further enhanced. (read more)
- Kuwait’s government resigns in latest standoff with parliament, April 5. By Ahmed Hagagy, Reuters. Kuwait’s government submitted its resignation on Tuesday, state news agency KUNA reported, ahead of a no-confidence vote against the prime minister in parliament, amid a lengthy political feud that has hindered fiscal reform in the Gulf oil producer. (read more)
- Malian and foreign soldiers believed to have killed hundreds in town siege, Human Rights Watch says. April 5. By Reuters. Malian troops and suspected Russian mercenaries allegedly executed around 300 civilian men over five days during a military operation in a central town, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report on Tuesday. The killings took place between March 27 and 31 in Moura, a rural town of around 10,000 inhabitants in the Mopti region, a hotspot of jihadist activity that has intensified and spread to neighbouring countries in the Sahel region. (read more)
- Pakistan court adjourns hearing on PM’s bid to stay in power, April 5. By Asif Shahzad and Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam, Reuters. Pakistan’s Supreme Court adjourned until Wednesday a hearing to decide the legality of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s blocking of an opposition bid to oust him, a dispute that has led to political turmoil in the nuclear-armed country. Former cricket star Khan lost his parliamentary majority last week and had been facing a no-confidence vote tabled by a united opposition that he was expected to lose on Sunday. (read more)
- Solar power mooted for Virginia uranium site : Uranium & Fuel. April 5. By World Nuclear News. Building a solar energy generation facility at Coles Hill in Virginia would be an important step towards the future development of the Coles Hill uranium project, providing low cost, low carbon energy for the area as well as an onsite source of low-carbon power for future operations, according to Virginia Energy Resources Inc. (read more)
- Credit, crises, and infrastructure: The differing fates of large and small businesses, April 5. By Todd H. Baker, Kathryn Judge, and Aaron Klein, Brookings. This essay sheds new light on the importance of credit creation infrastructure in determining who actually receives government support during periods of distress, and who continues to benefit after the acute phase of a crisis and the government’s formal support programs come to an end. The pandemic revealed, and the government’s response accentuated, meaningful asymmetries in the capacities of small and large businesses to access needed funding. (read more)
- Despair and resilience in the US: Did the COVID pandemic worsen mental health outcomes?, April 4. By Emily Dobson, Carol Graham, Tim Hua, and Sergio Pinto, Brookings. The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented shock to U.S. society at a time when the nation was already coping with a crisis of despair and related deaths from suicides, overdoses, and alcohol poisoning. COVID’s impact was inequitable: Deaths were concentrated among the elderly and minorities working in essential jobs, groups who up to the pandemic had been reporting better mental health. (read more)
DEFENSE – MILITARY – SPACE – CYBER SECURITY
- L3Harris Stands Up Group to Speed Military Tech Development, April 5. By Marcus Weisgerber, Defense One. L3Harris Technologies has created an internal cell to create technologies to meet urgent national threats. Called the Agile Development Group, the unit of 2,500 engineers is working to get these new technologies to the battlefield quicker, Dave Duggin, the president of the group, said in an interview. (read more)
- Release the hounds: Army event to feature drone swarms that behave like a wolf pack, April 5. By Jen Judson, Defense News. The U.S. Army plans to experiment with drone swarms that behave more like a wolf pack at its second aviation-focused exercise leading up to Project Convergence later this year, the director of the service’s Future Vertical Lift Cross-Functional Team told Defense News. The Edge 22 drill will take place in the spring at Dugway Proving Ground, Utah, and will feed into Project Convergence, a bigger campaign of learning scheduled for the fall. Project Convergence has grown from an Army event in the Arizona desert at Yuma Proving Ground in 2020 to a joint evaluation in 2021 and then to a coalition-level exercise this year. (read more)
- US Army shelves advanced CH-47F rotor blades due to issues in testing, April 5. The U.S. Army has decided to shelve its Advanced Chinook Rotor Blades it was developing as part of the Boeing-manufactured CH-47F cargo helicopter’s latest upgrades due to issues that cropped up during testing, according to Brig. Gen. Robert Barrie, the program executive officer for Army aviation. In 2020, the service was dealing with excessive rotor blade vibrations from the ACRBs as it headed into a limited-user test scheduled for early 2021, so the service decided to cancel that test until it had worked through the issues. (read more)
RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reactions, consequences)
- Ukraine’s Deeply Flawed Blueprint for Guaranteed Neutrality (Part Two), April 4. By Vladimir Socor, The Jamestown Foundation. Russian forces have perpetrated mass-scale, intentional atrocities on civilians in the Kyiv region. Uncovered in the wake of the Russian military’s defeat and withdrawal from that region (March 31–April 4), the evidence horrified the free world while the Kremlin remains impervious and unrepentant. These latest atrocities on the ground add to Russia’s war crimes against Ukrainian civilians through air bombing and missile attacks. (read more)
- Kyiv’s Request for S-300 Air-Defense Systems, and the Looming Battle for Donbas, April 4. By Roger McDermott, The Jamestown Foundation. As March drew to a close, Moscow recalibrated its maximalist war aims in Ukraine, officially designating the “special military operation” as now aimed primarily at “liberating” the entire Donbas region. The demonstrated regrouping of Russia’s forces in the vicinity of Kyiv and Chernihiv is supposed to presage a much wider and deeper Russian assault on the Ukrainian “Joint Forces Operation” (JFO) military units, which had been engaged along the line of control in Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts until February 24, 2022, when the Kremlin launched its massive re-invasion of the country. (read more)
- Putin’s First Assertive Move on the Energy Front Misfires, April 4. By Pavel K. Baev, The Jamestown Foundation. Combat operations on all key fronts of the Russo-Ukrainian war continue non-stop, even if without decisive action, but the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe through Ukraine’s pipeline system persists without interruptions. (read more)
- Can Russia Be Held Accountable for War Crimes in Ukraine?, April 4. By David J. Scheffer, CFR. Countries including the United States are ramping up calls for war crimes investigations following an apparent massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. Could Russian leaders be brought to justice under international law? (read more)
- Focus on what Ukraine needs to fight Putin’s reign of terror, April 5. By Jim Jones, The Hill. President Biden concluded his forceful speech in Poland on March 26 with these words about Russian President Vladimir Putin: “For God’s sake, this man cannot remain in power.” I suspect that most Americans heartily agreed. After all, Putin has shown himself to be a pitiless mass murderer and war criminal. (read more)
- DoD to fast-track $300 million in Ukraine aid procurements, April 5. By The Defense Department plans to “expedite” an additional $300 million designated for military supplies for Ukrainian forces, including drones and armored vehicles it must procure from industry, a spokesman said Monday. The aid, announced Friday, includes the AeroVironment-made Puma and Switchblade unmanned aircraft, armored vehicles, laser-guided rocket systems, night vision devices and ammunition. Also included are secure communications systems, machine guns and commercial satellite imagery services. (read more)
- Poland signs deal for purchase of 250 Abrams tanks, April 5. By Reuters. Poland on Tuesday signed a deal with Washington to purchase 250 Abrams (GD.N) tanks as it seeks to bolster its military in an effort to deter potential Russian aggression on its eastern border. (read)
- Germany working on freeing Moldova from Russian dependency, April 5. By Reuters. Germany and partners including the European Union, France and Romania are exploring ways to reduce Moldova’s exposure to Russia, on which Europe’s poorest country relies for energy supplies, Germany’s foreign minister said on Tuesday. (read more)
- EU to propose import ban on Russia coal, chemicals, wood -source, April 5. By Francesco Guarascio, Reuters. The European Commission will propose on Tuesday to EU nations sweeping new sanctions against Russia, including banning imports of coal, wood, chemicals and other products worth about 9 billion euros ($9.86 billion) a year, an EU source told Reuters. (read more)
- Satellite images show civilian deaths in Ukraine town while it was in Russian hands, April 5. By Gerry Doyle, Reuters. Satellite images taken weeks ago of the town of Bucha in Ukraine show bodies of civilians on a street, a private U.S. company said, undercutting the Russian government’s claims that Ukrainian forces caused the deaths or that the scene was staged. (read more)
- Kyiv mayor calls for halt to ‘bloody money’ flow to Russia, April 5. By Oleksandr Khozhukar and Pavel Polityuk, Reuters. The flow of “bloody money” to Russia must stop, Kyiv’s mayor said on Tuesday as the West prepared new sanctions on Moscow after dead civilians were found lining the streets of a Ukrainian town seized from Russian invaders. (read more)