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IAEA, powerful explosions near Zaporizhia plant ANSA news agency

Yesterday the war against Hitler, today the fight against “Neo-Nazis in Ukraine”. Two companies that the soldiers of Moscow always see as protagonists. Vladimir Putin chooses the commemoration day to reaffirm the ideological underpinnings of the armed intervention against Kyiv, as a mark of continuity with the greatness and glory of the past that have now become the hallmark of his historiography. The memory of the Holocaust also becomes a battlefield. “Forgetting the lessons of history leads to the repetition of terrible tragedies,” the Russian president said, accusing Ukrainian leaders of “crimes against civilians” and “ethnic cleansing.” Volodymyr Zelensky – from a Jewish family – responded from Kyiv, saying that “Today, as always, Ukraine honors the memory of millions of victims of the Holocaust” and warned that “indifference kills like hatred”. For the first time, Russia was not invited to the memorial service at Auschwitz, near the Polish city of Oswiecim, to commemorate the liberation of the Nazi death camp by Moscow troops in 1945. A decision that Russia’s Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar condemned as “a humiliation”. But defended by Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who accused Putin of “building new fields”. While EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders argued that “in Ukraine we are dealing with the highest number of war crimes in history”. From memories of the past also arises the eternal Russian fear of encirclement. Or rather, by a West that wants to destroy Russia using Ukraine as a tool. If US President Joe Biden wanted to end the conflict, he could do so “very quickly” because he has “the key” to the government in Kyiv, but chooses to continue the confrontation by pumping new weapons into Ukraine, accused Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. Moscow admits that it is based on recent statements by Donald Trump, who criticized the sending of American and German tanks to Kyiv. “First come the tanks, then the nuclear warheads,” warned the former White House chief. “One can agree with these words in the sense that there is an escalation of tensions,” commented Peskow. Not only that, Trump also said that if he were president, he could end the conflict “in 24 hours.” This power that Russia ascribes precisely to Biden and accuses him of not wanting to use it. North Korea also got involved in the affair and was accused by Washington of having supplied weapons to Moscow. Kim Yo-jong, leader Kim Jong-un’s powerful sister, has argued that the US had “crossed the red line” in supplying the tanks. In this scenario, according to officials and advisers quoted by the Bloomberg agency, Putin would prepare for a new major offensive between February and March. The goal would be to force Kyiv and its allies to accept a ceasefire that would give Moscow control of the occupied territories. And that’s before German Leopards and American Abrams are deployed on the ground. But in the meantime, the fighting does not stop in Donbass, where, having captured Soledar, Russian troops are trying to complete the siege of Bahmut and Ugledar. According to Ukrainian sources, a Russian shelling on Chasov Yar in the same Donetsk region killed two people and wounded five others. Meanwhile, Ukraine is still dealing with the damage caused by the shower of Russian missiles that hit many cities yesterday. Observers from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) also reported powerful explosions near the Russian-occupied Zaporizhia nuclear power plant, according to Rafael Grossi, the UN agency’s director-general. Renat Karchaa, an adviser to the Russian agency that manages the country’s nuclear power plants – Rosenergoatom – denied speaking of “fake news” to divert attention from allegations by Russian intelligence agencies against Ukrainians of hiding weapons at the power plants they control to have.