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You are here: Home The War in Syria, Russian Tension and Hope for Reconcilliation in Berlin

The War in Syria, Russian Tension and Hope for Reconcilliation in Berlin

No End In Sight - The War in Syria

Syrian civil defense volunteers and rescuers removed a baby from the rubble of a building after a reported airstrike on a rebel-held neighborhood in Aleppo in April. Credit Ameer Alhalbi/Agence France-Presse


Berlin / Damascus -  Despite peace talks between major players in the region, the conflict in Syria continues to worsen. There was some hope for peace after talks in Geneva, which aimed to bring a ceasefire between warring factions. Tragically though, the ceasefire broke down and violence returned throughout the country. Assad, backed by Russia, is seeking to regain all control, prompting hostile reactions from rebel groups. The situation is particularly severe in cities such as Aleppo, which now stand unrecognisable after severe conflict.

In the middle of this bloody war are the Syrian people, who continue to suffer. It has become increasingly difficult to bring aid to those in dire need of it. The country’s infrastructure has been pushed to breaking point, and civilian buildings like schools and hospitals continue to be targeted. It has prompted the largest refugee crisis in recent history. Now, with the European Union changing its stance on refugees, many of these victims are stranded indefinitely in refugee camps throughout the Middle-East and beyond.

Cinema for Peace continues to organise screenings of films for refugees affected by the crisis, both here in Berlin and further afield. It is our belief that, through film, people displaced by war can find some kind of relief and escape at unimaginably difficult times.

 

Russia - Living in The Past Century?

Moscow - There are echoes of the past in recent developments between Russia and Ukraine. In February 2015, the Minsk II agreement was put into place in an effort to bring peace to the Donbass region of Ukraine. However, there have been constant violations of this and the casualties of the conflict continue to rise. The tension between Russia and NATO is intensifying. Putin, who once claimed Russia might join NATO, is now threatening it. His government has vowed that any attempts to enhance NATO’s self-defence will be met with “appropriate responses”. This may include the possibility of neighbouring countries like Finland to join NATO.

At these times, it is pertinent to look back at past leaders of Russia. "He who comes too late is punished by life" said Mikhail Gorbachev. The former leader of the USSR made bold changes to end the division between Russia and the West. Despite predictions from politicians like Erich Honeker, who stated the Berlin wall would stand for another “50 or 100 years”, unification came. Now, two decades later, Putin is acting to increase divisions once more, both in Ukraine and with regards to NATO.

 

Hope for Reconcilliation in Berlin

Berlin - One man who is hoping to ease these tensions is German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.Steinmeier has arranged for diplomatic talks in Berlin to take place on May 11th. The meeting will bring together Russian, Ukranian and French leaders in an effort to secure a proper truce between the divided nations. This is a positive step towards aiding peace at a time of conflict. But with tensions continuing to ride high between Russia and Ukraine, will Steinmeier succeed in his ambitions? Only time will tell.


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