Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Officials have ordered an evacuation of Kupiansk, a city in Kharkiv, after an uptick in attacks. More than 40 missiles have struck Kharkiv this year, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Saturday. The northeastern city’s residents have lived through a back-and-forth of Russian occupation and liberation during the war.
- Shelling struck Kupiansk and other Kharkiv areas Sunday, according to the general staff of the Ukrainian armed forces. Russia maintained a “significant military presence in the border areas” to prevent Ukraine’s troops from moving elsewhere, the Ukrainian military said on Facebook.
- Ammunition shortages are Ukraine’s “number one” problem, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. Kuleba said that he does not expect Western allies to send fighter jets soon but that Ukrainian pilots should be trained for when a decision is made.
- The head of Ukraine’s armed forces also asked the Pentagon’s top general, Gen. Mark A. Milley, for better air defenses. Gen. Valery Zaluzhny said he “emphasized the issue of the defense needs of Ukraine, namely ammunition and materiel,” according to a Ukrainian readout of their telephone call. The year-old conflict is challenging the West’s ability to keep up with Kyiv’s need for arms.
- Wealthy families in Moscow and St. Petersburg appear to have been relatively unaffected by Russia’s military draft, Britain’s Defense Ministry said Sunday, adding that in many places, ethnic minorities have taken “the biggest hit.”
- Fierce fighting continues in the eastern town of Bakhmut, where the Ukrainian foreign minister said Ukrainian troops would continue to defend. Russian fighters have taken control of most of the eastern part of the city in recent days, while Ukrainian forces are holding their ground in the west, British defense officials said.
- British defense officials described the Ukrainian-held parts of Bakhmut as a “killing zone,” making it hard for Russian mercenaries to advance in the west. A Ukrainian military spokesman said more than 500 Russian fighters had been killed or injured over a 24-hour period. The Washington Post could not independently verify that claim.
- Two civilians were killed and three injured in a missile strike Saturday in the city of Kherson, according to the Ukrainian military. The likelihood of further strikes “remains quite high,” it added. In his nightly address, Zelensky said the victims were at a store to buy groceries….
The war is testing Swiss tolerance for standing on the sidelines and serving the world’s elite on equal terms, putting the country in a bind of competing interests.
Its arms makers say their inability to export now could make it impossible to maintain critical Western customers. European neighbors are pulling the Swiss in one direction, while a tradition of neutrality pulls in another.
“Being a neutral state that exports weapons is what got Switzerland into this situation,” said Oliver Diggelmann, an international law professor at the University of Zurich. “It wants to export weapons to do business. It wants to assert control over those weapons. And it also wants to be the good guy. This is where our country is stumbling now.”
Switzerland has managed to cling to neutrality for centuries and through two world wars. It is a position supported by 90 percent of its 8.7 million people, who uphold it as a national ideal. Hosts to the United Nations and the Red Cross in Geneva, they see themselves as the world’s peacemakers and humanitarians….
A senior Western official, who did not want to be identified because he was negotiating with the Swiss, said the status quo left Western diplomats feeling Switzerland was pursuing “a neutrality of economic benefit.”
Months of hand-wringing have not endeared the Alpine nation to neighbors.
“Everybody knows this is hurting Switzerland. The entire E.U. is annoyed. The Americans are upset. The resentment comes from the Russians too. We all know this is hurting us,” said Sacha Zala, a historian of Swiss neutrality at the University of Bern. “But it shows just how deep this belief in neutrality goes in our heads.”
To historians, Switzerland’s neutrality has had far more to do with waging war than avoiding it…..
“There are only two options — that’s it,” said Walter Wobmann, a conservative lawmaker promoting the initiative. “Can you be half pregnant? You can only be pregnant, or not. Either we’re neutral, and we go with that all the way. Or we go into an alliance,” such as NATO. “Which is it? Switzerland has to decide.”…
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