1. On May 23, Kyiv’s Solomyansky District Court will sentence Russian military man Vadim Shishimarin, who is accused of killing a civilian in Sumy Oblast. The verdict will put an end to the first trial for Ukraine, in which a serviceman of the Russian army is a participant, and the subject of consideration is atrocities and war crimes of the occupiers on Ukrainian soil. Shishimarin was convicted of premeditated murder, he was charged under the article Violation of the laws and customs of war (Part 2 of Article 438 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine). The prosecutor’s office is demanding life imprisonment for Russia’s military, which is the most severe punishment under this article. (Source: NV).
2. Today, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky will make a special address (at 12:15 in Kyiv) at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which will begin on May 23 and last until Thursday. On the website of the forum, the speech of the President of Ukraine with a preliminary introductory speech by the founder and chairman of the WEF Klaus Schwab opens the sessions marked with a special sign as “mandatory for review”. Davos Forum President Berge Brende called for a Marshall Plan to rebuild Ukraine. In an interview with the Süddeutschen Zeitung, he said it was about infrastructure, electricity, schools, roads and bridges, where the private sector also has an important role to play in rebuilding the country. (Source: NV).
1. ISW: Russian troops are preparing an offensive in the southern direction. At the same time, on May 22, they achieved only minimal achievements in eastern Ukraine. The Institute for the Study of War suggests that Russian troops will provide additional reinforcements to maintain their positions on the west bank of the Seversky Donets. The enemy is probably seeking to open a new line of advance north of Popasna to complete the encirclement of Severodonetsk while moving west to Bakhmut, although Russian forces are unlikely to be able to actively advance in either direction. (Source: NV).
2. Kudryk: The dominance of Kremlin propagandists can now be seen in the Italian media. “Some experts have already said, ‘If Putin has not won in Ukraine, he has already won in Italy,’ because [there is] a predominance of Russian, Kremlin propagandists in the Italian media, especially on television, through which Italians mostly receive information. Their presence is outrageous. And not only propagandists from the Kremlin, such as Solovyov, Popov, Zakharova, or Lavrov, politicians themselves, but also enough propagandists of “local spill” – Italians who work with the Edinaya Rossya party, “- said Radio Svoboda correspondent Natalia Kudryk. The journalist believes that Russian propaganda influences public opinion in Italy: “People are constantly confused and do not understand who is right and who is guilty. It seems that everyone wants this war to end sooner because they are too tired to look at these bloody pictures <…> It is no secret that many politicians and businessmen dream that everything will end soon and then restore relations with Russia <. ..> There are also fears that even if Russia falls apart later, as happened with the Soviet Union, then there will be even more problems. And this, they say, should be avoided. ” However, Kudryk notes, Prime Minister Mario Draghi has played an important role in supporting Ukraine, although he has been under pressure in recent weeks: “The politician is very authoritative in Europe, America and the world <…> Respectable ministers, who are convinced Euro-Atlanticists and support the way America and the West defend Ukraine, have met with great opposition.” These are the parties of Matteo Salvini, Giuseppe Conte, and Silvio Berlusconi. The influence of these political forces is different, the journalist explains, but they still believe in Italy: “They said that it might be possible to provide weapons to [Ukraine], but not so much and not so heavy <…> They believe that providing these weapons can help Ukrainians not only defend themselves but insult, attack Russia, launch a counteroffensive <…> They are thus trying to take away the electorate and show such manipulative, pacifist appeals that Italy seeks peace.” (Source: NV).
Economy, Social life, and Culture
1. MIA Ukraine: In the Kyiv region, sappers of the National Guard have already found and destroyed about 10,000 explosive devices. They were left behind by the occupying forces. On some days, sappers find several hundred dangerous munitions left behind by the occupying forces. Also among such items are shells that are prohibited by the Geneva Convention. The day before, the Kyiv City State Administration told which places in the capital are dangerous to go to. They reminded that due to hostilities during the defense of Kyiv, both the Ukrainian military and the Russian occupiers mined the area. (Source: NV).
2. Pekar: Now the war is different, multilevel – not just frontal, it is an economic, sanctions, diplomatic, informational, psychological, cyberwar, etc., up to very large and high, complex levels of war, which only philosophers talk about. “The war is largely exhausted, who will die first: is Ukraine from the blows that the Ukrainian economy has suffered from the aggressor, or Russia from the blows that it has suffered from international sanctions,” told businessman Valery Pekar <…> time is playing on Ukraine because it gets the latest weapons, and if Ukraine survives, stays in the economic sense, the day will come when the Ukrainian military will simply drive Russian troops to the border <…> The Russian economy is under the influence of sanctions, which are not yet apparent. One should not think that Putin has declared capitulation or peace, and sanctions will be easy to remove. Many sanctions are very long-term, for a generation, they simply cannot be lifted. There is another moment, such as Russia’s withdrawal from major oil and gas markets, and there are many countries that happily go there and will never give this place back to Russia <…> oil is one of the important causes of this war, namely oil pumped money into Russian authoritarianism. Many oil countries are essentially authoritarian: Russia, Iran, Venezuela… Oil is constantly producing authoritarianism, authoritarianism is producing war. Fossil fuels produce environmental crises and possible climate change. That is, all this: oil, the Russian invasion, climate change – part of one big process. And the world, abandoning fossil fuels, is struggling with these consequences comprehensively, obviously, there will be no going back. If the world is less dependent on fossil fuels, Russia will simply return to where it was 500 years ago. It will be such a relatively small regional country that has some ambition but has nothing to support it. And this is in Ukraine’s interests – they are not to expel the last Russian soldiers from their territory, but to ensure that Russia never poses a threat to Ukraine again. Vladimir Putin imposed the most sanctions on the Russian economy <…> of all the world leaders. These are the losses that the Russian economy suffers from the complete restructuring of the military, the abandonment of modern economic models, and the immersion in a kind of absolute Stalinism … The Ukrainian economy has suffered very great losses. Metallurgy – of course, Azovstal can be mentioned only with great pain. The second export sector is agriculture. <…> The main thing is blocked ports, and that is why Ukrainian missile attacks on Russian ships are approaching the moment when ports will be unblocked <…> Ukraine is somehow involved in the food security of 400 million people on earth. There are countries that are completely dependent on Ukrainian exports, such as Egypt or Indonesia <…> The third export industry – information technology <…> few will place orders in a country at war <…> The fourth industry – work abroad. In times of such huge losses, it is necessary to understand that as it was before, it can no longer be. Ukraine is a country with a non-free economy: as of 2021, the situation in Ukraine was, according to international estimates, worse than in Russia and Belarus. With such indicators (and this is the 130th place in the world in terms of economic freedom), the country has no chance to survive after the war, even to survive the war <…> In wartime, we must release absolutely all restrictions that come from the Soviet times <…> The first and most important thing is judicial reform <…> The second is maximum deregulation <…> The third is privatization. Parliament has not been able to approve simplified privatization. There are a lot of government facilities in Central and Western Ukraine needed by businesses moving from endangered areas <…> Fourth, a transparent tax system. (Source: NV).