• Today Sunday, an American journalist was shot by the Russian army while traveling in a vehicle with other journalists in Irpin, a suburb of the capital Kyiv. He worked for the New York Times until 2015 and before him, a Ukrainian journalist also died when Russia attacked the largest television tower in Kyiv on March 1 th. • Russia has already kidnapped two mayors in cities in eastern Ukraine who refused to collaborate with the occupation forces. The objective with this is to impose 'puppet' local governments that are loyal to Moscow and exchange them for Russian prisioners of war. What has happened to these two mayors after being apprehended, hooded and taken away by Russian soldiers is totally uncertain so far. • Russia has said that it will attack the military convoys that NATO is sending to Ukraine. NATO has in turn responded that if this attack occurs in any member country this will be taken as an act of war; if the attack takes place with the convoy already inside Ukraine, NATO's response will also be very strong but different from the first scenario. • Putin has fired and punished many of his generals for proving bad intelligence information and the incompetence shown by the Russian army during the invasion; another reason is that many young soldiers who are not part of the army but are doing their military service have been sent to their deaths in Ukraine despite the fact that Putin had expressly ordered that these soldiers should not be mobilized. • It is estimated that about 5,000 Russian soldiers have died; on the Ukrainian side about 2,000 soldiers and a similar number of civilians. • Russia already controls almost all nuclear power plants in Ukraine. At the moment, there are no major leaks of radioactivity, but Russia has bombed several laboratories where nuclear fusion was being experimented. The Russian government accuses the Zelensky government of seeking to build a nuclear bomb and the United States of having clandestine laboratories in Ukraine to develop biological weapons. • Several Ukrainian officials have declared that this week Russia used phosphorus weapons in urban areas, which is prohibited by international laws of warfare on chemical weapons. NATO has said that this could be a valid reason to intervene militarily in Ukraine. • Putin threatened to nationalize the assets of more than sixty Western companies that have announced their abandonment of activities from Russia. Among them are Microsoft, Apple, Pepsico, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Ikea and various Japanese companies. Russian oligarchs have begun to criticize these Putin proposals, claiming that this would 'send Russia back to 1917'. • After Visa and Mastercard were restricted in Russia because of international sanctions, China is offering Russian citizens to open bank accounts and credit cards under its system called Unionpay, which replaces the dollar and the euro with the yuan as the reference currency. • About 200,000 Russian citizens have left the country in the last two weeks via the few international routes that remain open: train to Finland; plane to Istanbul, Middle East, Central Asia and Cuba. However, reliable polls reveal that 60% of the Russian population support Putin's actions in Ukraine while only 25% reject them. This taking into account that 80% of Russians get their daily information from state media controlled by the Kremlin, and that university-educated young people overwhelmingly reject this war. • Russia is the world's leading producer of wheat; Ukraine the fifth. Both are also major exporters of fertilizers and mineral resources. The increase in the price of these goods will affect the global supply chain, thus accentuating the humanitarian emergency that already exists in different parts of the world. • A delegation from the United States traveled to Venezuela this week to persuade the Maduro regime to increase its oil production in exchange for a normalization of trade relations between the two countries. In contrast, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia did not take Biden's call to discuss this issue. Trump has declared that with him Putin would not have dared to invade Ukraine, that he has been also the only US President in forty years who has not drawn the US into an armed conflict and that Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden, should be investigated for his probable corrupt actions in Ukraine. There is a very high risk of a Third World War starting anytime soon and the main ways for this to happen are the following: 1) Russia attacking a NATO military convoy heading towards Ukraine and this triggering a direct response against Russia. 2) That Finland and Sweden get closer to NATO, and Russia attacks both countries if this continues as the Kremlin has already threatened several times. 3) That Russia uses chemical weapons in an unacceptable way and NATO responds by sending troops in Ukraine because of this. 4) That a US or EU citizen is killed in Ukraine by Russian troops in a totally unjustifiable manner. 5) That Russia nationalize Western companies without any compensation, like Cuba did in the 60's.https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europ The frightening thing about the current situation is that if all the parties fulfill what they have promised to do under various scenarios, the result of this process is effectively a Third World War.
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