Video footage circulating on social media purportedly shows a train carrying Russian nuclear equipment on its way to Ukraine. Experts suspect Putin is using the footage to underscore his threats to resort to nuclear weapons. At the same time, Russia has suffered further military setbacks in southern and eastern Ukraine. Europe’s press takes a closer look at Moscow’s threatening rhetoric.

Today, Oct. 5, Europe’s press debates the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are some opinions from a selection of European publications, presented by eurotopics.

We are on the brink of disaster

The fact that hardly any politicians are putting forward proposals for peace negotiations could have dramatic consequences for the whole world, Avvenire fears:

“It is understandable that countries that are at war lose their heads. … But the others? Europe, the US? Do we really believe that it’s enough to repeat that Vladimir Putin is to blame for everything and that it will all be over when he loses power and Russia is defeated? What if that is not the case? What if this only happens after many years of war, with social tensions in an impoverished Europe and parts of the world in turmoil because of food shortages? … Or after a nuclear conflict that could wipe several European cities and their inhabitants off the face of the earth?”

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Putin also targeting Kyiv’s allies

Ukraine’s successes in the east and south could trigger unpredictable reactions from Vladimir Putin, Trouw fears:

NATO Summit: What's the Upshot?
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NATO Summit: What's the Upshot?

A selection of what European newspapers are saying about the results of the NATO summit this week.

“What Putin’s next move will be is completely unclear at this point. His actions do not always seem rational, at least not from the perspective of the countries that support Ukraine. … Putin’s fierce anti-Western rhetoric in his annexation speech last week suggests that in any case he also plans to hit the countries that are supporting Ukraine in places where they least expect it. The Netherlands had better steel itself for that, too.”

Only good at propaganda and rhetoric

Putin has failed in every respect, El País concludes:

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“The only victories Vladimir Putin has achieved are propagandist ones. His successes are terrible and bloody because they consist of avenging military defeats by bombing defenceless civilians. … Or rhetorical, like Moscow’s gloomy celebration of the annexation of four Ukrainian provinces at the same time as his troops were fleeing the Ukrainian enemy in Lyman. The Russian president is a master only of threats and intimidation. As commander-in-chief of an increasingly discredited army, he has so far displayed little skill and lamentable political and diplomatic deficits in the international management of the conflict.”

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