Russia Monitor Articles
Ukraine’s Kharkiv Offensive Foiled Russian Plans

Ukraine’s Kharkiv Offensive Foiled Russian Plans

The Ukrainian offensive near Kharkiv, which started in early May, is the first large-scale operation Kyiv started since the war has broken out. Indeed, Ukrainian forces recaptured considerable areas in the country’s north and northeast from where Russian troops had withdrawn. By their successful assault east of Kharkiv and some earlier efforts throughout the region, Ukrainian forces show their attempts to seize areas in the south are not just an empty boast.

Russia Targets Ukrainian Energy Facilities, Attacks Refineries, Siphons Off Gas

Russia Targets Ukrainian Energy Facilities, Attacks Refineries, Siphons Off Gas

Kyiv halted the use of a major transit route blaming interference by occupying Russian forces, the first time exports via Ukraine have been disrupted since the invasion. Kyiv says Russia intensifying its assault with attacks reported on oil facilities. The goal is to curb the fuel supplies available and cripple the whole economy.

Prospects For Ukraine Joining NATO Are Dim

Prospects For Ukraine Joining NATO Are Dim

Kyiv is insisting on the set of peace proposals it submitted in late March in Turkey. The proposals mean that Ukraine would not host any military bases in exchange for security guarantees from most countries, including Russia. But recent occurrings may make Kyiv change its position.

No Armored Battle In Ukraine’s Donbas And On Southern Front

No Armored Battle In Ukraine’s Donbas And On Southern Front

The much-debated battle of Donbas unfolds differently than some expected. Vladimir Putin cannot announce the Russian seizure of the whole regions of Donetsk and Luhansk on May 9. Perhaps Russian forces will not be able to seize the very last Ukrainian stronghold in Mariupol, either. They are seeking to attain some goals in the regions of Kherson and Zaporizhia. A Russian invasion of Odesa or Kryvyi Rih is unlikely to succeed.

Russia Cuts Off Gas To Poland, Bulgaria

Russia Cuts Off Gas To Poland, Bulgaria

Russia’s Gazprom cut Poland and Bulgaria off from its gas for refusing to pay in roubles, which was a purely political move. Moscow somehow had to respond to the fact that European clients had rejected Vladimir Putin’s demand that foreign purchasers of Russian gas pay in the Russian currency. It was the Kremlin’s tit-for-tat move after the West imposed a batch of sanctions that crippled the Russian currency. It was a brazen demand as Putin’s demand to pay in roubles was a breach of contract. Once it is met, EU recipients would violate the sanctions against Russia. Putin thus incites some discrepancies within the EU while seeking to display the bloc’s weakness at the time of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

Germany Ready To Confiscate Rosneft Oil Assets

Germany Ready To Confiscate Rosneft Oil Assets

The biggest Russian oil company is unable to award a tender to sell oil while Germany has signaled a change of control at the country’s Schwedt oil refinery that is run by Rosneft. In a major shift in its stance, Germany says it is prepared to ditch Russian oil supplies. Its cooperation with Poland could be vital in this context.

EU Prepares To Hit Russian Oil Exports

EU Prepares To Hit Russian Oil Exports

Russia’s oil production is on track to drop by 17 percent this year as Western sanctions and departing foreign oil companies complicate extraction, the Russian finance ministry said in a statement. The first quarter of this year was beneficial to Russian oil firms, though.

Russian Invasion Of Ukraine: Fears Of Attack On Odessa

Russian Invasion Of Ukraine: Fears Of Attack On Odessa

As Russia stepped up its artillery and rocket attacks on cities in southern Ukraine and massed its forces, many reports are that Russian forces are seeking to take Odesa. At the same time, Moscow could order an offensive along the right flank by striking an area stretching from Zaporizhia to Kryvyi Rih.

Tensions Surge In Moldova’s Breakaway Region Of Transnistria

Tensions Surge In Moldova’s Breakaway Region Of Transnistria

A Russian plan to set up a special payment facility to pay for gas in roubles was a game that the Kremlin played with Western countries that seek to reduce their gas imports from Russia. EU nations did not bow to Russian pressure though Moscow has forced Armenia, its ally, into paying for gas in roubles to show that the new payment system is in force. Although Russia said it would start forcing “unfriendly countries” to pay for their natural gas supplies in roubles, Armenia is certainly not one.

The Fiasco Of “Rouble Blackmail” Despite Armenian Example

The Fiasco Of “Rouble Blackmail” Despite Armenian Example

A Russian plan to set up a special payment facility to pay for gas in roubles was a game that the Kremlin played with Western countries that seek to reduce their gas imports from Russia. EU nations did not bow to Russian pressure though Moscow has forced Armenia, its ally, into paying for gas in roubles to show that the new payment system is in force. Although Russia said it would start forcing “unfriendly countries” to pay for their natural gas supplies in roubles, Armenia is certainly not one.

Russia’s Lukoil Chief Alekperov Resigns

Russia’s Lukoil Chief Alekperov Resigns

Russian billionaire Vagit Alekperov has resigned as CEO of Lukoil. The oil tycoon joined a handful of Russian business leaders that have departed their firms following the invasion of Ukraine and possible personnel reshuffles in Putin’s Russia. Those who retire are long-serving senior officials, giving way to young technocrats who owe their careers to Vladimir Putin.

Japanese Firms Are Unlikely To Exit Sakhalin-2 Project

Japanese Firms Are Unlikely To Exit Sakhalin-2 Project

Energy giant Shell says it will exit all Russian operations, including the Sakhalin-2 LNG project in the Russian Far East. According to some reports, Shell is in talks with some Chinese companies to sell its stake in the Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas project in Russia. Two Japanese firms that hold shares in the project say they will not exit the venture despite Tokyo’s harsh crackdown on Moscow following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Will Russia Create New “People’s Republic” In Kherson?

Will Russia Create New “People’s Republic” In Kherson?

According to the Ukrainian intelligence agency, Russia is planning to proclaim what is known as a “people’s republic” in the Moscow-occupied southern Ukrainian region of Kherson. No details are known about how far it will stretch. It will probably cover the whole area of the Russian-occupied Kherson region and the southern bit of the Zaporizhia region. The name of the “republic” is not incidental––Kherson is the region’s major city to fall to Russian forces after their February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

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