Ukraine: A Week in Review

Sunday, 3 July 2022 — The van says…

LisichanskResidents of Lisichansk were elated to finally see Russian troops enter the town. Photo©️Intel Slava Z

Author’s note. The author wishes to apologize for the drop in output over the last week, work being very intense at this time of year. With there being a whole week since the last post, it is hoped that the material makes up for the wait! With the work situation being what it is, articles will unfortunately be published less frequently until a better work-life balance can be achieved.

Preamble

This week has seen not only the slow but steady progress of Russian troops, but also the continuing ineffectiveness of western nations in spite of NATO holding its summit in Madrid. Measures are placed and words are spoken, yet just like so many weeks over the preceding months, it has been the West talking the talk whilst Russia has gone places walking the walk.

Step by Step

In spite of there being no great steps forward in the Ukraine, the Russian army has continued a slow but steady advance with Saturday seeing Lisichansk eventually coming under the control of Donbass and Russian forces. This operation has being ongoing for a few weeks, yet it appears that a great number of Ukrainian troops may have been able to escape the noose of encirclement, but at immense expense regarding lost equipment. The battles in this area have exacted a very heavy toll on Kiev’s resources, and even in spite of the boundless ‘generosity’ being shown by the West, Zelenskiy is husbanding ever scanter materiel.

Heart of the Matter

A myriad of videos on social media have shown the warm welcome being given to the Russians as they have taken towns and villages, but we have to question public spirits in the Ukraine. With no good news from the war and all bad news censored, the morale of the general Ukrainian public must be taking a hit. With an increase in the enlistment of women in the armed forces as well as the body bags coming home, there must be millions of homes that have lost a loved one or may see one leave soon.

Pit of Vipers

The fact that the Russians have left Snake Island has been hailed as a major victory by Kiev in the western media, yet with Russia leaving this location, with the express purpose of allowing Kiev’s ships to pass, the Ukrainians can no longer claim that Russia presents a danger to shipping in the region. Both the Ukrainian and western governments are desperate to export as much grain as possible in order that overseas markets remain manageable, yet how the country will be able to feed itself into the future has not been investigated. Should there be a famine next winter, you can guarantee that Russia will be blamed for a Holodomor 2.0.

NATO Summit

This week saw Madrid host the NATO summit and other than Sweden and Finland agreeing to extradite a number of individuals wanted in Turkey in exchange for Ankara dropping its objections regarding Stockholm and Helsinki joining the Atlantic Alliance, little more was achieved. The new Strategic Concept was wheeled out, yet there was no landmark announcement that was not wholly predictable. The Atlantic Alliance is using Russian operations in the Ukraine as an excuse to beat its chest whilst the immense quantities of weaponry being sent to the country create all kinds of inventory issues amongst members. The facts that NATO wishes to re-equip and train Kiev with western kit, members spend more than 2% of GDP on defense, and the alliance continue to support the country in every way possible means that this proxy war is not going to go away any time soon. The economic consequences of this conflict will last just as long and with western nations already suffering the effects of their own international brinksmanship, daily life for most will get a lot worse before it gets any better.

Scarecrow Tactics

Boris Johnson said this week that Russia’s Special Military Operation in the Ukraine was to ‘the perfect example of toxic masculinity.’ Aside from the fact that so many Brits these days cannot decide if they are male, female or otherwise, he ought to be thankful that is is the somewhat reserved Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin and not someone more proactive such as Maria Zakharova, because had she been at the helm over the last decade, Russia would undoubtedly not have waited to launch its operation for as long as it did.

Not to be outdone by the verbal diarrhea coming from London, Olaf Scholz also chimed in this week, saying that sanctions against Russia will not be lifted if a truce in the Ukraine is achieved under terms dictated from Moscow. Unless the German chancellor has had his head in a box since taking office, he must surely have noted that Moscow has restructured its entire trade apparatus to not only sidestep western measures, but is moving away from western markets. What is even more ironic is that Russian gas is far more important to Berlin than German gas sales now are to Moscow.

On the subject of fuel supplies, with Japan siding with the West and Putin making changes to the ownership of the Sakhalin-2 natural gas project, Tokyo is now looking to alternative sources to fuel its future. With Europe already is a real dilemma concerning the blowback from its politics, other than the US shale gas industry, nobody will come out on top in the western race to the bottom.

Furthermore, with the Nord Stream 1 pipeline undergoing essential maintenance for ten days this month, an already tight energy situation will be stretched even further. The Germans will receive a few shipments by tanker, but for all the sunshine that Europe is presently enjoying, winter is looming and with it Germany’s Cold War will leave both manufacturing and the masses out in the cold.

Kaliningrad Corridor

After attempting to prevent the Russian Federation from supplying the region of Kaliningrad through Lithuanian territory as has been the case since 1991, some lucidity appears to have finally come from Brussels, the European Commission again planning to allow the transit of Russian goods. This has not yet been finalized, but with the woes that the EU is already suffering, further antagonizing the Russian Bear would hardly work in its favor.

In a similar move from Bulgaria, the decision to expel a number of Russian diplomats was halted amid the political turmoil that is presently rampant in the country. For all the fanfare that European nations have been keen to play to, the fact that the western world is losing billions in arms to Ukraine at the same time that Russia is making the gains that it is now seems to be realized by certain bodies.

Summary

Whilst no earth-shattering events have occurred over the last week, not only is Russia making the progress it desires and more importantly in the manner it wishes to, but the consequences of western malfeasance are becoming powerful enough to affect the West in a multitude of ways. The excuses are coming as thick and fast as the measures that were previously placed, yet with Russia now looking the other way whilst western consumers bite the bullet for a Washington-led war, the motormouths of the media might as well talk to the wall.

The author would again like to apologize for the long wait, another article will be coming soon!

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