04:15 March 13
ISW: Putin on the hunt for scapegoats for Russian failures
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Putin is using the heavy losses of the Wagner group, as well as reports of low troop morale and war crimes, to distract the public from the army's bigger problems. "Most of the Russian coverage of the battles for Bakhmut focuses on heavy Wagnerian losses, which allows the Russian Ministry of Defense to hide or minimize other losses of Russian forces," the report said. The ISW stresses that the Defense Ministry remains in Putin's favor, despite the crushing defeats suffered at the beginning of last month. "While Prigozhin saw Bakhmut as an opportunity to gain influence over the Kremlin and the Russian Defense Ministry to achieve his own commercial and political goals, Putin used the Wagner group to protect his regime from the disastrous consequences of mobilization," the analysts add.
03:30 March 13
Politico.com: Cracks in relations between the US and Kiev
The site Politico.com reports cracks within the US administration over the relationship with Kiev. The topics range from the sabotage of Nord Stream, to the brutal and exhausting defense of Bakhmut, considered non-strategic, to the plan to fight for a region where Russian forces have been present for almost ten years. According to sources cited by politico.com some within the administration are concerned about Kiev's excessive use of ammunition as it could jeopardize Ukraine's ability to face a spring offensive.
00:30 March 13
SIPRI: Arms imports to Europe doubled in 2022 with war
According to a report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), arms imports to Europe almost doubled in 2022, thanks to massive supplies to Ukraine, which has now become the world's third largest destination for war supplies. With a 93% surge compared to the previous year, imports also increased due to increased military spending by several European states such as Poland and Norway, and is expected to accelerate further, according to the baseline study. Excluding Ukraine, the increase in European imports in 2022 was 35%, according to SIPRI data.
00:20 March 13
Paris 2024. Viulnius and Prague: No to Russian and Belarusian athletes at the Olympics
Lithuania's parliament has voted unanimously to ask the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes from the Paris 2024 Olympics until the end of the war in Ukraine, and called on parliaments of all countries around the world to oppose any proposal allowing Russian and Belarusian athletes and sports officials to participate in the Olympic Games under a neutral flag. In Prague, the Senate of the Czech Republic by a narrow majority (67 to 63) directed the National Olympic Committee not to allow the participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes in the Paris Olympics. "It is unthinkable that a country that provoked a war would promote its regime through its athletes," said Senate Vice President Jiri' Ruzcka.
03:32 March 13