Guardian’s correspondent has been to captured Horlivka city and met Ukraine’s rebel chief Igor Bezler, nicknamed the Demon.
The interview with Bezler had gone wrong. While the Demon was answering the first question about hostages, he said those who were fighting with the Ukrainian army, they kept as prisoners. Those who were fighting with volunteer battalions, they questioned them and then shot them on the spot. His voice grew louder as he grew more angry, shouting how he hates Ukrainian “fascists”. He even threatened to execute Walker, who was making notes in his notebook. After journalists were searched they drove them to the separatists’ checkpoint and let them go.
Sanctions and Russia’s political leaders’ split: famous critics of Russian authorities say Putin and the hard-line leaders overreached by suggesting Russia could thrive without the West.
The New York Times:
Grumbling over “the creeping isolationism” has grown louder, the newspaper thinks. “But there has been no direct indication from Putin that he wants to change tacks,” the newspaper comments. Analytics think economic issues are likely to broaden the split between liberal economists and the conservative members of security services.
Swiss newspaper Tagesanzeiger calls for the West to admit “it is impossible to persuade Putin.”
Under no circumstance Russia should get military weapons. “NATO should buy Mistral warships. For this every country should increase its payments to alliance’s budget.” It is impossible to imagine how we could get back to the prewar level of relations with Russia in the future – Russian authorities have deliberately decided not to let it happen. Putin has signed his verdict. It is unknown how much time will pass until people realize they are fed up with self-isolation. But this moment will happen.
Some western media emphasize if Putin is put under constant pressure, there could be “an unpredictable chain of events”. Der Spiegel calls not to increase pressure on Putin.
“Instead of continuing to increase the pressure, the West should – although it is tedious and unpleasant – to resume the dialogue,” Kaminer is sure. “It is necessary to show the way out of the situation where Russia is today: economic sanctions have destabilized Russian economy. Russia’s policy has become a risk factor, no bank, no financial institution will risk investing money in Russia.” :Russia’s isolation could make the country more dangerous, make its foreign policy more unpredictable. One must not let Russia stew in its own juice,” Kaminer sums up. Besides, Russians “play bad football, but if no one plays with them, they will be strengthened in their faith that they are the best players in the world.”
New Republic’s senior editor Julia Ioffe emphasizes the West has got Putin cornered, but under these circumstances he has become very dangerous.
“Putin backed into a corner is not a great outcome for the West,” says Masha Lipman, a prominent Russian political analyst. “Sanctions might force Putin to pursue a policy he doesn’t want to pursue.” But Putin has also shown that, given the opportunity to make it look like he made the decision himself and to make himself look level-headed and benevolent, he will pleasantly surprise – at least those with an untrained eyes. Ioffe underlines two precedents – Mykhail Khodorkovsyky’s release from jail and handling down the situation with Syria chemical weapons.
English newspapers react on the new sanctions against Russia, which was announced on Tuesday.
“Closing a 25-year chapter with Russia”.
“Stronger Sanctions on Russia, at Last” – exclaims
The New York Times in its headline.
“Europe Acts At Last” – echoes
The Times in its title.
“The U.S. and European Union on Tuesday finally made good on their threats of robust sanctions on Russia. The question now is whether this new approach isn’t too late to save Ukraine.”