The Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education Pyotr Kucherenko died in unclear circumstances, after falling ill on Saturday, on the plane that was taking him back to Russia from Cuba, together with a government delegation. Since the beginning of the war, 13 members of the business world have died by suicide or for unexplained reasons, six of them employees of two of the country’s main energy companies. «Kucherenko fell ill on the plane on which he was returning, together with the Russian delegation, from a business trip to Cuba. The plane landed in Mineralny Vody, where doctors intervened but Kucherenko could not be saved», the ministry announced, in a sparse statement published on the site.
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The autopsy will be carried out tomorrow, the Zvezda TV channel announced. The family umed a heart attack. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today, answering questions from reporters, that he was unaware of the deputy minister’s death. The well-known journalist Roman Super, who fled abroad shortly after the start of the invasion, announced on his Telegram channel that he had spoken with Kucherenko “a few days before leaving the country”. Kucherenko had told him that he feared for his life and had encouraged him to leave. “Save yourself, and save your family. Leave the country as soon as possible. You cannot imagine the degree of brutality of our country. In a year, you won’t recognize Russia. By leaving, you are doing the right thing,” he had told him.
«For me, it is no longer possible to leave Russia. They took our pports. And there isn’t a place willing to welcome a Russian deputy minister after this fascist invasion», she had told him, adding that he was taking anti-depressants and tranquilizers «by handfuls, even if it doesn’t help me much». “I sleep hard. And I feel very bad. We have all been taken hostage. Nobody can say anything. Otherwise, they’ll crush us like roaches.”
For Ukraine, the Israeli model is being studied. No NATO, but military aid with a binding security agreement
All eyes are now on the counter-offensive: Kiev – according to its allies – has received enough weapons to penetrate the Russian defenses and retake at least some parts of the occupied territories. But how to guarantee the long-term security of Ukraine and more generally peace in Europe? The Wall Street Journal explains that the security model on which Western leaders seem to converge, including US President Joe Biden, is one inspired by the alliance relationship between the United States and Israel. Such an agreement clearly prioritizes the transfer of advanced technology and weapons, and therefore the training and supply of F-16 jets is part of the plan. The central point is to ensure the security of Ukraine, thanks to long-term military support, bearing in mind that Kiev’s accession to NATO will not happen soon.
Ukraine Russia, today’s war news 23 May
The idea is to formulate a series of binding security agreements to make Ukraine a bulwark against Russian aggression. And this agreement, or part of these agreements, should be signed in July after the NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, writes the Wall Street Journal. According to Western officials familiar with the talks, the security pact would be linked “to a process of bringing Ukraine closer to future NATO membership”, but without making NATO “a party to a possible conflict with Russia”. It seems like an apparently contradictory strategy, but the logic is this: it is too risky for the West to have Ukraine in the Atlantic Alliance; therefore it is kept out, however armed to the teeth, hoping that this will deter future Russian attacks, and in general convince Putin to give up his aims on Ukraine.
[[(gele.Finegil.StandardArticle2014v1) Guerra in Ucraina, si allungano i tempi per i jet F-16: tempi lunghi per l’addestramento dei piloti]]
The outlines of the agreement, even if based on the Israeli model, are still very fluid, explain those familiar with the talks. Israel is not a NATO member and the United States is not obligated to ist it in the event of an attack. However, the two countries are linked by a special relationship, which has meant billions of dollars in military istance (the US has allocated 38 billion dollars to Israel from 2019 to 2028). The calculation is that in the face of such an alliance, Putin is convinced that military support from the West is destined to last in the long term. Indeed Putin’s belief is that Western aid will diminish over time, and this gives him confidence that if he fights long enough he will eventually prevail. “Russia today must understand that Ukraine has these security guarantees and that these will not decay with time or with the fatigue of the West,” said President of Poland Andrez Duda, one of Ukraine’s staunchest supporters , in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.
At this point it is interesting to recall a discordant voice, that of Henry Kissinger, now almost a centenary, who in recent days has put forward his own theory, a bit counterintuitive but valid. Kissinger, former secretary of state, doyen of international relations, is convinced that for the good of Ukraine, of Europe, and “also of Russia”, Ukraine must be immediately admitted to NATO. Ukraine, after all this military aid, will simultaneously be “the best armed country in Europe and the one with the least strategically savvy leadership,” Kissinger told The Economist. “For Europe’s security, it is better for Ukraine to be part of NATO, where it cannot take (independently) national decisions regarding its territorial claims”.