Ukraine War, March 23, 2022 (I): Retrospective; Zelensky appeals to national legislatures; “The war is not a country, it is the story of each person.”

Developing

Dispatches

1) Nathalie Guibert, “Guerre en Ukraine : de l’offensive ratée au carnage, un mois de guerre de l’armée russe; Les fronts sont figés, quatre semaines après l’invasion lancée par Moscou le 24 février. Revers tactiques et pauses volontaires des troupes s’entremêlent et l’hypothèse d’un échec militaire devient envisageable,” Le Monde, le 23 mars 2022 (05h33, mis à jour à 07h12);

2) Allan Kaval et Faustine Vincent, “Devant les parlementaires français, Volodymyr Zelensky évoque la devise de la République et Jean-Paul Belmondo; Lors de son allocution mercredi, le président ukrainien a appelé les entreprises françaises à « quitter le marché russe »,” Le Monde, le 23 mars 2022 (20h50, mis à jour à 23h25);

3) Piotr Smolar, “Face à la Russie, les Etats-Unis entravés par leurs propres lignes rouges; Joe Biden, qui participera jeudi à Bruxelles à un sommet extraordinaire de l’OTAN, cherche à préserver la cohésion des alliés au sujet de l’invasion russe en Ukraine,” Le Monde,”le 23 mars 2022 (15h00, mis à jour à 01h51);

4) Elena G. Sevillano, “Scholz rechaza cortar de forma inmediata las importaciones alemanas de gas y petróleo rusos; El canciller alemán asegura que la economía entraría en recesión, pero reitera que su Gobierno trabaja para reducir la dependencia de Moscú,” El País, el 23 de marzo 2022 (09:17 EDT);

5) María R. Sahuquillo (Járkov), “80 proyectiles al día contra Járkov, la gran ciudad rusófona de Ucrania; En una morgue se apila un millar de cadáveres y ya no quedan bolsas para los cuerpos. Las fuerzas rusas ahondan en la destrucción de la urbe, la más asediada en la guerra después de Mariupol, El País, el el 22 de marzo 2022 (00:40 EDT, actualizado el 23 de marzo 2022 a las 03:46 EDT);

Commentary

María R. Sahuquillo brings home in the story of one person the barbarism and the tragedy of the war. She recounts the story of one woman, 41, who in the blink of an eyelash lost everything, her sister and her son:

Revised Google translation

The walls of the modest apartment resounded with force. The loud noise was brutal. And then a piece of the roof collapsed and the fire started. Nina Verloka had prepared dinner that day and her son and her sister were sitting at the kitchen table. Ready to begin eating. Before Nina’s stunned and desperate eyes, the furious bombardment, one of many that day in Kharkov, killed both of them and injured the 41-year-old woman. Also four other people from her building. In an instant, in the blink of an eyelash, Nina lost everything. Lying on a bed in hospital number 4 in Ukraine’s second largest city, she wrings her hands and shows on her cell phone a photograph of the very young family: a tall, smiling teenager and a 19-year-old girl with a sweet face and light, straight hair who smile at the camera.

Nina is furious. She is furious with Vladimir Putin, with the Russian troops, with the ability of a single man to bring catastrophe and destruction to her life and that of the whole of Ukraine. “We had a wonderful country, with good people. And now he says that he wants to free us, protect us? From what, from whom? why do they do this to us? I don’t get it,” she exclaims. Like thunderclaps, a rosary of explosions, forceful and one after the other, not too far away, guide her words. It is the soundtrack that accompanies her. The explosions sound near the hospital.

In hospital number 4, in Nina Verloka’s room, five other women wounded by bombings listen attentively to her, sometimes speaking in broken, incoherent sentences, talking about her son, her sister, her house. Poleshuk, the medical director of the center, looking at Nina, says: “The war is not a country, it is the story of each person. It is each one of us.”

Sahuquillo also describes in broader terms the bombardment of Kharkov, after Mariupol the second most-bombed city in Ukraine.

The Trenchant Observer

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