Russian bombs on Ukraine, Kiev approves the new mobilization. The aim is for another 500 thousand soldiers


By John

The night brought yet another hail of dozens of Russian missiles and drones that hit all of Ukraine, which Moscow is trying to bring to its knees by striking especially the energy infrastructure. In total, 80 bombs were launched throughout the country, from the tormented Kharkiv – 200 thousand returned in the dark – to Odessa and also on the western territory of Lviv and Kiev, where a power plant near the capital was destroyed.

The raids are only one aspect of the renewed Russian offensive which is putting the Ukrainians in extreme difficulty at the front as they are short of weapons – according to German Bild the missiles for the Patriot and Iris-T systems have run out – and are awaiting new aid from the West .

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Parliament has approved the new and controversial law on mobilization at second reading, which aims at the ambitious goal of 500 thousand recruitments during the year.

283 deputies voted in favor of the law, which took months to develop and which will attempt to equalize – or at least bring closer – the numbers of forces in the field: General Yury Sodol, commander of the Ukrainian troops in the regions of Kharkiv, Donetsk and Lugansk, he in fact said in Parliament that “the enemy surpasses us seven to ten times” in terms of soldiers in the east, “we lack military personnel”.

A framework to justify the new law, which was received with dismay at the front. In fact, a clause providing for the demobilization of soldiers who served for 36 months was removed from the text. “We are shocked,” the military told AFP.

“99% of men want to rest,” according to Yevgheni, a 39-year-old paratrooper based in Donetsk. «There are soldiers who haven't returned home for a year. It is very unfair”, just as the current enlistment system is considered unfair by many Ukrainians, branded as inefficient and often corrupt. The decision to cancel the clause was made at the suggestion of the commander of the Ukrainian armed forces Oleksandr Syrsky, who in a letter to Defense Minister Rustem Umerov suggested instead inserting the provisions on the rotation of soldiers at the front in an ad hoc bill , to be drafted soon.

But while waiting for the bureaucracy, there are those at the front who have been fighting for up to two years, and now even without ammunition. From Lithuania, where he received a new ten-year pact of security guarantees, Ukrainian President Zelensky has once again asked the allies to “keep their promises” on military supplies, as the beginning of the summer approaches in which a new major Russian offensive.

“We need air defense, not long discussions”, underlined the Ukrainian leader who meanwhile appealed to the whole world to participate in the conference for peace in Ukraine organized in Switzerland on 15 and 16 June. The participation of Western partners is taken for granted, just as the presence of US President Joe Biden is expected, according to the media.

The real turning point would be the presence of traditional allies of Moscow and above all of China, which has long been called upon by the West to intercede with Russia, leading it to give up – or at least reduce – its aspirations on the Ukrainian territories. Russian President Vladimir Putin instead met his faithful Belarusian ally Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow, while the Kremlin downplayed the significance of the Swiss summit: “A negotiation process without Russia makes no sense and, in fact, it is an empty negotiation process” , said Tsar's spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova is harsher: Western countries “need” the summit on Lake Lucerne “only to give weight to a certain collective ultimatum that they will present to Russia”, she said before addressing Putin's historical allies , including Beijing: «We hope that our partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America will be vigilant and not allow themselves to be dragged into another anti-Russian adventure».