Is peace on the horizon between Russia and Ukraine? President Vladimir Putin assures us of his desire to see the conflict end as soon as possible, but the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken believes that the Kremlin has shown no “significant” desire to end the war. The conflict has been raging for 302 days.
The main information to remember:
- A museum in the city of Kherson was heavily hit in the strikes.
- The establishment housed 180,000 objects of local history.
- On the side of diplomatic exchanges, the Kremlin denounced Zelensky’s visit to Biden.
- Vladimir Putin lamented a lack of “willingness to listen to Russia”.
Meanwhile, in Kherson, in southern Ukraine, the head of the city’s local history museum discovers with horror the building heavily damaged by Russian strikes.
In Kherson, a museum in shock after Russian looting
“Everything was broken and destroyed”: at the sight of broken display cases and desperately empty shelves, Olga Goncharova, head of a museum in Kherson, a city in the south of l’Ukraine recently taken back from the Russians, felt “like a stab in the heart”. After more than eight months of Russian occupation, she discovered, appalled, the state in which the occupants left these places that she has been surveying since 1978.
Devoted to local history, the Kherson Regional Museum housed around 180,000 objects in its collections before the Russian invasion launched at the end of February. “Everything that had material value, they stole it or took it in an unknown direction”, criticizes the acting director of the Museum, during a visit to this establishment. “All the photos, the documents, all the things that were there… everything was familiar to me,” she explains. “It’s my second or maybe my first home.”
But the state of desolation she discovers on her return leaves her speechless. “It was incomparable emotions. Like a stab in the heart,” she laments. “It was a terrible shock.”
Kremlin sees ‘no willingness to listen to Russia’ after Zelensky’s visit to Washington
The Kremlin on Thursday denounced a lack of “willingness to listen Russia“after the visit to the United States of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, when Vladimir Putin said he wanted the dispute ends “as soon as possible”.
On his way back to his country, Volodymyr Zelensky met the Polish head of state Andrzej Duda in Poland, before arriving in Ukraine a few hours later. “We are coming back from Washington with good results. With something that will really help,” he said in a video shot in Poland, referring to the delivery of an American Patriot missile system, which kyiv had been asking for months. .
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin brushed aside the benefits for Ukraine of this “rather old system”. “Our opponents assume it’s a defensive weapon. Fine, we’ll keep that in mind. And there’s always an antidote,” he said. “It’s only a way to prolong the conflict, that’s all… We will try to make sure it ends. And the sooner the better, of course.”
Grain harvest in Ukraine will drop by 40% in 2022
The grain harvest in Ukraine, one of the world’s leading producers, will fall by about 40 percent this year compared to 2021 due to the Russian invasion, according to estimates by the National Grain Association announced towards the end of the harvest. After 106 million tonnes harvested in 2021, a historic record, “this year, it is forecast that the harvest will be up to 64-65 million tonnes”, indeed explained to AFP the director of this association, Serguiï Ivashchenko.
“The main reason is the war”, which led to the reduction of the cultivated area and the drop in yield, he explained. Triggered at the end of February in eastern, southern and northern Ukraine, the Russian invasion turned the agricultural industry of this country upside down at a time when, renowned for its very fertile black soils, it was the world’s fourth largest exporter of maize and on the way to becoming the third exporter of wheat.
The military offensive first caused a shortage of fuel “hindering the sowing campaign”, underlined Serguiï Ivashtchenko. The blockade of Ukrainian seaports by the Russian army has also prevented grain exports for months, and the proceeds from them are used to finance the sowing campaign, he added.