At least 18 people were killed when a Russian missile hit a busy shopping centre in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday, June 29. The participants of the G7 summit have called the attack a war crime and threatened Russian President Vladimir Putin with consequences. Ukrainian media discuss what turn the war will take now.
Today, Europe’s press debates the shocking Russian attack in Kremenschuk. Here are some opinions from a selection of European publications presented by eurotopics.
The war is close and everywhere
Now people in Ukraine must adjust to war being part of their daily lives, explains exiled Russian journalist Arkadiy Babchenko in NV:
“Change your behavior patterns, your sleeping place, your algorithms for moving around the city, your algorithms for visiting open, unprotected places and shopping centres. Particularly in high-alert phases. Just as they do in Israel. This is a war in which the enemy is using reactive long-range heavy weapons. Ukraine no longer has any safe havens. The Russians now have the capability to strike anywhere in the country. And that is what they will do for the time being.”
A sign of powerlessness
The growing number of missile attacks also shows that Russia has not been successful on land, an expert from the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Centre explained on Ukrainian Radio:
“According to Serhii Kuzan, it has now ‘switched to open and brutal terrorism, using missiles to try to destroy the civilian infrastructure. … This tactic by Russia aims to create a social crisis and trigger panic among the population by launching missiles. And for the West it is a show of strength’. … At the same time the expert explains that the Russian Federation’s current actions are a sign of powerlessness because they show that the Russians are unable to gain a significant advantage on the battlefield.”
A crime against humanity
Putin has nothing to lose and that is what makes him so dangerous, writes Visão:
“Putin is furious over the G7 summit and the Nato summit in Madrid, and intent on showing how powerful his arsenal is and that he is capable of hitting any Ukrainian city, no matter how far away and peaceful it is. … Putin is at a stage where he has nothing left to lose. Or to win. He is dangerous and reckless, and will never regret the thousands of civilians killed. To him they’re ducks at a shooting gallery. The deliberate destruction of a shopping centre or a residential building is not an act of war. It is a crime against humanity that must be punished.
Missiles are the Kremlin’s preferred option
Olga Musafirova, Ukraine correspondent for Novaya Gazeta Europe, deconstructs Moscow’s ‘if-then logic’:
“To give an example: has the West supplied Ukraine with the long-awaited weapons? … Russia has now declared that it has the right to target ‘decision-making centres’ in Kyiv. And has hit an apartment block….. It is a particular pleasure to strike the capital of the [EU accession] ‘candidate’ while people there are still rejoicing over this foreign policy success. … The Russian leadership has learned nothing from the two Maidan protests. They didn’t prompt it to address the real questions: Are these Ukrainians really a different people? Are they willing to pay such a high price for freedom?”
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