Possible Future Target
It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin has planned to launch a military operation in Moldova, after Ukraine. A video of Belarusian President Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko, surfaced recently via the Internet, has triggered the speculation.
President Lukashenko recently held a meeting with members of the Security Council of his country. The video of that meeting has shown the President standing in front of a map in which Ukraine is divided into four parts. Later, the New York Post reported that Belarusian President was talking about plans to attack Moldova from southern Ukraine. Incidentally, Belarus has always been considered as a close ally of Russia. Defence experts are of the opinion that it is quite possible for President Lukashenko to know about the future plan of his Russian counterpart.
Meanwhile, US daily The Hill has claimed that the map in video showed how the Russian forces would conduct military operations in Ukraine, and their possible targets. So far, the Russian forces have conducted operations in Ukraine as described by President Lukashenko in the video. The US daily further claimed that Russia might launch an attack on Moldova from Odessa, the port city on the Black Sea in southern Ukraine. It may be noted that the Russian forces have attacked several Ukrainian cities from the southern region of neighbouring Belarus, from Donbass in the east, and from Crimea in the south. According to AFP, President Lukashenko ordered the deployment of more troops to the southern part of his country during that meeting. At the same time, he decided to deploy more troops near the Polish border in western Belarus.
In a separate development, all staff of a Russian television channel resigned during a recent live broadcast, protesting the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Staff of TV Rain (Dozhd) declared ‘No to War‘ in the final telecast. They made the decision after the concerned authorities in Moscow suspended operations of the channel over its coverage of the Ukraine War. Reuters reported that Natalia Sindeyeva, one of the founders of the channel, said “No to war” in its last telecast, as the employees staged a walkout from the studio. Immediately after they walked out, TV Rain telecast a video of the Swan Lake ballet. It may be noted that all the Russian state-run television channels had telecast the Swan Lake during the collapse of the erstwhile Soviet Union in 1991. Later, TV Rain issued a statement, stressing that it suspended the operation indefinitely.
Earlier, the Ekho Moskvy (Echo of Moscow) radio station suspended its operation due to pressure over the coverage of the Ukraine War. In the last week of February (2022), the radio station interviewed a Ukrainian journalist who narrated the horrors of the Russian invasion. It was then, the Government of Russia put Echo of Moscow under tremendous pressure. Finally, the authorities of the station decided to suspend its operation. Even Editor-in-Chief of Echo of Moscow Alexei Venediktov was fired from his post. Later, Venediktov made it clear that the station would not abandon the independent editorial line that has been its hallmark for three decades, stating: “Our editorial policies won’t change.“
The Global Community has strongly criticised Russia for launching a “full war on Media Freedom and the Truth” by blocking independent news outlets, and preventing the Russians from receiving information about the invasion of Ukraine. In a statement, the US State Department said: “Russia’s Government is also throttling Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram platforms that tens of millions of Russia’s citizens rely on to access independent information and opinions.” As expected, the Kremlin has not commented on this particular issue.
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