As Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine grinds on, there are moments when certain events seem almost impossible to comprehend. From the latest absurd claims of the Russian regime to tests of international law, and from one man attempting to hold Western aid hostage to the Pope’s seemingly hollow prayers of hope.

Let’s take a look at some of these in a bit more detail.

Mystery of the downed Il-76 in Belgorod

For the purpose of this analysis, I am presuming that Ukrainian missiles did indeed down a Russian plane near Belgorod in Russia. There has not been, nor will there be, an international investigation either by the International Red Cross or the United Nations since Russia will not allow it. Russia asserted that it was conducting its own investigation. A Russian truth finding investigation is an oxymoron.


Russia accused Ukraine of downing the Il-76, alleging that it carried 65 Ukrainian Prisoners of War (POWs) for a swap at the border. To date, almost two weeks after the event, only the bodies of five crew members have been unearthed in the rubble. Ukraine has asked for the bodies of the POWs for burial. To date, Russia has not produced them.

What would have been the motive of the Ukrainian side in killing their own POWs? None! The only possible answer would be that there was a mistake on the Ukrainian side. There does exist the probability that Ukraine was unaware of the Ukrainian POWs on board, but Ukraine has stressed that it was not informed of the POWs being transported.

ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 24, 2024
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ISW Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, April 24, 2024

Latest from the Institute for the Study of War.

The Russians in their best defense asserted that notice was given 15 minutes in advance. Questions persist as to whom the notice was provided and whether 15 minutes’ notice is reasonable.  

Russia would be highly motivated to kill Ukrainian soldiers by simply not informing Ukraine of the transportation route and then blaming Ukraine in order to sow discord among Ukraine’s population. According to Russian accounts, some eight Russians lost their lives, which would be deemed minor collateral damage since Russia treats so many of its people as cannon fodder


And so, in all probability, the truth will never be known.

A test of international law

Russian President Vladimir Putin was planning a visit to Turkey at the invitation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Why is that of any interest? Turkey is a signatory of the Rome Treaty which formed the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Granted, the Turkish Parliament has not ratified the Treaty, and the Parliament of Turkey means relatively little in the Erdogan authoritarian setup, yet the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Putin.

This potentially therefore becames a test for the relevance of international law and its structures.

Putin suddenly postponed the visit less that week before it was supposed to take place. 

Hungary as a fly in the ointment

Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba recently met with his counterpart from Hungary, Peter Szijjarto. Kuleba came away saying that Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban was not pro-Russian, but a Hungarian patriot. Kuleba is the quintessential diplomat often at the expense of his own country. 

In any event, pressured by the EU, including not only withholding funds earmarked for Hungary but also a loss of his veto power, Orban caved in and the EU allocated €50 billion to Ukraine on Feb. 1.


Nevertheless, questions remain as to the continued intention and ability of Hungary and Orban to damage the EU's and Ukraine's interests.  

Prayers without sympathy

Finally, despite Ukrainian Catholic insistence and the fact Ukrainian Catholics do pray for the Pope at least four times at each Mass, the Pope is not a dear friend of the Ukrainian people.

A recent compendium of the Pope’s “Ten Prayers for a Future of Hope” published in 2023 sets a aside one chapter to the “madness of war.” Ukraine is mentioned twice, but merely as a venue. A “humanitarian crisis” is referred to, but no sympathy is expressed for the people of Ukraine. Russia is never mentioned as the aggressor or perpetrator of the “madness.”

Russia's ban on the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine's occupied territories has not been condemned or even addressed by the Pope.

Perhaps Ukrainian Catholics should pray for the Pope more often. He certainly needs their prayers to approach simple humanity, let alone spiritual leadership.

The views expressed are the author’s and not necessarily of Kyiv Post.

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Comments (5)
David Steel
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If Trump wins the US election and drops support for Ukraine, Europe will be forced to act and replace the missing US aid with frozen Russian assets which are held primarily in Belgium.

A Trump victory will ensure the EU rolls with the punch and hands $300 billion of Russian money to Ukraine to defend our entire continent from Putin.

Putin cannot win no matter who wins the US election and supporting Trump he is like a turkey voting for christmas.

I think the war ends this year.
I think Putin will die this year.
I think the Democrats will win the US election with Michelle Obama as the new President.
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@Faith and hope & @ANNIE WILLIAMSON , russian troll monikers ordained by KGB agent Patriarch Krill to absolve the sins of their despot KGB thug leader putin.

2 March 2022: United Nations General Assembly Resolution ES‑11/1 . "It deplored Russia's invasion of Ukraine and demanded a full withdrawal of Russian forces and a reversal of its decision to recognise the self-declared People's Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk. The tenth paragraph of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution of 2 March 2022 also confirmed the involvement of Belarus in unlawful use of force against Ukraine.[1]". The resolution had 141 voting in favour and only 5 against.

This war is essentially russia against the law abiding world. Oppressive, backwards, law defying, nihilist country russia.

So YES all nations of the world please do send Ukraine weapons and other support Whatever it takes. Send them your old weapons, send them your new. Help them with intelligence. Sanction russia and freeze / seize their foreign assets. More and faster thanks. Don't worry about costs. The debt will be fully repaid by the instigator nation russia.

In sustaining their psychopathic Kremlin regime, both russian kleptocrats and common folk have each accepted responsibility for all expenses incurred. Despair and suffer as you deserve.

There will be global justice.
Annie Williamson
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There is no mystery. You shot it down because you are clowns who can't think past your own Nazi links

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@Annie Williamson,
There are more Nazi links in Russia than there ever were in Ukraine, beginning with the Stalin-Hitler ( Molotov-Ribbentrop) pact, in which the likeminded dictators agreed to disemember Eastern Europe, and divide it between them. Ukrainians in WWII did not have the option of being a nice liberal democracy. Their options were an invader, or the guy who had just starved 4 million Ukrainians to death, in order to subdue Ukrainian resistance. Putin has hosted the Night Wolves, Rusic, and other fascist paramilitaries, to express his thanks for the role they played in infiltrating Ukraine.
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If Ukraine is going to fight a defensive war on the ground, then it will go on forever until Ukraine gives up the fight and Russia wins.

No, this will not do. Ukraine has already neutralized the Russian Black Sea fleet. The naval drones are superb.
Ukraine needs to do whatever it has to do to achieve air superiority. After that, bomber aircraft can be sent deep into Russia and Russian troops on the ground can be defeated.
Ukraine is already a world leader in drones, and they will only get better at it. The average Russian needs to feel the pain. The future plans do not include the destruction of civilians. That would make Ukraine just like Russia. No, the areas would include military sites and energy sources such as oil depots and refineries. The bombing of generating stations such as those serving Moscow. The destruction of commercial structures at night or on weekends.

Also to be destroyed are the naval bases at Sevastopol and Novorossiysk. The Kerch bridge. The Kremlin. The President of Russia.

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@Imokru2, Amen. Well stated!

Putin opened this can of worms, and hopefully very shortly they will feed on him.
Faith and hope
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Do not buy into politics . LOOK at the international court and the case of assisination of the Lebanese prime minister Raffic elhariry that led to nothing and so is it in Syria ...
Actions speak louder than words.
These western nations aim to sell weapons in these wars to get rid of their older weapons and renew them with more modern ones , take advantage of the natural resources of weaker nations after wars as what has happened in Syria , Iraq and now Russia plus having more political influence worldwide ...They encourage all geniuses and skilled labor to migrate into the west to keep them more advanced and ahead of others ...
Be aware and love your countries and be the change you want to see in the world to get rid of neocolonism...
At least , we can make the world more equitable and just ...