Russian cities Belgorod and Kursk seem to have been hit with explosions as Lysychansk has been surrounded.
- Russian forces seized the remaining territory between Lysychansk and Luhansk Oblast’s administrative borders on July 3.
- Russian forces launched assaults northeast of Bakhmut and north of Slovyansk but did not secure new territorial gains.
- Russian forces conducted extensive artillery attacks in the western part of the Southern Axis likely to disrupt Ukrainian counteroffensives.
- The Kremlin continued to set conditions for potential Russian annexation of proxy republics.
- Ukrainian partisans reportedly derailed a Russian armored train carrying ammunition near Melitopol on July 2.
It is already using pretty much all conventional weaponry it can deploy, including ballistic missiles and strategic bombers. It has committed pretty much all of its combat-capable manpower available for foreign operations.
And it runs low on reserves and manpower in general as operations in Ukraine are extremely slow and costly.
The shock of the cringe-krieg of February and March is over. Much of its most combat-capable formations, including airborne and naval infantry, have been…
…severely depleted in the failed February offensive.
The Battle of Donbas goes on for over 70 days now. And Severodonetsk and Lysychansk are what Russia has managed to achieve amid immense effort, losses, and the commitment of nearly 45% of its forces in Ukraine…
…including collaborationist forces in occupied Donbas, which is subject to relentless general mobilization due to a severe lack of manpower. In Russia, they continuously have problems generating high-quality forces with its “covert mobilization.”
That’s why their advances are so extremely slow, costly, and painful. +0.3% to occupied Ukrainian territories through June should tell you a lot about Russia’s military might in 2022. And that’s at expense of other axes in the south.
Even in Donbas, they have failed to achieve their main objective and had to set much more narrow goals. They celebrated the taking of Toshkivka as if they had seized Dnipro. In some aspects, such as the use of UAVs, they run far behind the Ukrainian military.
They’d defeat the Ukrainian military and occupy most of Ukraine if they could, but all they can is to be smashing their faces against Severodonetsk for three months until they raze it to the ground and occupy the dead ashes.
It’s been the 5th month, but Russia has not even managed to impose full supremacy in the air, and its sustains losses in the sea. It has lost at least 800 tanks — which corresponds to the armored force of the UK, France, Germany, and Italy combined.
It is unlikely to be able to take the whole of Donbas, let alone the whole of Ukraine, given the weak battle performance Russia is demonstrating. In the present condition, it has zero chances in a conventional war with NATO. Lots of myths have been busted here.
We’ve been hearing this “let’s not provoke Putin” for months. But then the West started sending Ukraine tank killers, then advanced artillery, then MLRSs, then air defense. Guess what — no “escalation” followed. What followed…
…was Ukrainian military getting stronger and more capable of putting a real end to this war end sooner. The only sort of “escalation” Russia is capable of is firing hordes of missiles against Ukrainian civilians as Ukraine’s military smashes Russian ammo depots with new M142s.
And don’t get me started on scary nukes and the global holocaust — those guys in the Kremlin are very much in love with luxury, money, and being alive. And they are afraid of declaring official mobilization and calling this a war, let alone hitting the red button.
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“You have created an impressive anti-corruption machine,” she said. “But now these institutions need teeth, and the right people in senior posts.” Von der Leyen also told Ukraine to name new heads for two anti-corruption agencies, the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and the National Anti-Corruption Bureau.
Our conversation has been lightly edited and condensed.
What are some of the challenges Ukraine faces in eradicating corruption?
Corruption in Ukraine and in other countries of the former Soviet Union, and especially in Russia, is the malign legacy of the Soviet Union, where government did not work.
The leadership were stealing and padding their own nests, and the people were left to figure out how they were going to get medical services for a family member, how they were going to get telephones hooked up in their apartment, etc.
And you find a way. You find a person who can help you and you give them a little consideration.
In normal times, Ukraine is a leading exporter of foodstuffs. A Russian naval blockade now prevents Ukraine from exporting grain. 2/16
If the Russian blockade continues, tens of millions of tons of food will rot in silos, and tens of millions of people in Africa and Asia will starve. 3/16
The horror of Putin's hunger plan is so great that we have a hard time apprehending it. We also tend to forget how central food is to politics. Some historical examples can help. 4/16
The idea that controlling Ukrainian grain can change the world is not new. Both Stalin and Hitler wished to do so. 5/16
For Stalin, Ukraine's black earth was to be exploited to build an industrial economy for the USSR. In fact, collectivized agriculture killed about four million Ukrainians. 6/16
Notably, as people began to die in large numbers, Stalin blamed the Ukrainians themselves. Soviet propaganda called those who drew attention to the famine "Nazis." 7/16
Actual Nazis had related ideas. They liked the idea of controlling Ukrainian agriculture. This was in fact Hitler's central war aim. 8/16
Hitler wished to redirect Ukrainian grain from the Soviet Union to Germany, in the hope of starving millions of Soviet citizens. 9/16
The Second World War was fought for Ukraine and in considerable measure in Ukraine, between dictators who wanted to control food supplies. 10/16
Russian memory politics prepared the way for a 21st-century hunger plan. Russians are told that Stalin's famine was an accident and that Ukrainians are Nazis. This makes theft and blockade seem acceptable. 11/16
Putin's hunger plan is, I believe, meant to work on three levels. First, it is part of a larger attempt to destroy the Ukrainian state, by cutting off its exports. 12/16
Putin's hunger plan is also meant to generate refugees from North Africa and the Middle East, areas usually fed by Ukraine. This would generate instability in the EU. 13/16
Finally, and most horribly, a world famine is a necessary backdrop for a Russian propaganda campaign against Ukraine. Actual mass death is needed as the backdrop for a propaganda contest. 14/16
When the food riots begin, and as starvation spreads, Russian propaganda will blame Ukraine, and call for Russia's territorial gains in Ukraine to be recognized, and for all sanctions to be lifted. 15/16
Russia is planning to starve Asians and Africans in order to win its war in Europe. This is a new level of colonialism, and the latest chapter of hunger politics. 16/16
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