Ukraine Monitor Articles
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has delivered a severe blow to the Ukrainian gas sector. Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine have decreased while many infrastructure facilities were badly damaged in Ukraine. Gazprom’s price war elevated prices for European countries and Ukraine will need more gas before the heating season.
Ukraine’s politicians and top military officials have announced a counteroffensive in the south of the country. Heavy fighting is taking place in almost the entire territory of the Kherson region. Yet Ukrainian forces will not retake Russian-controlled swathes of land quickly. It is another phase of a long-term operation that could last until October after weeks-long artillery shelling.
Ukraine’s main intelligence and security agency SBU reported suspicion of treason to the temporary acting head of the Institute for the Training of Legal Personnel for the Security Service of the Yaroslav Mudry National University of Law. He is another person suspected and detained for spying for Russia.
A series of attacks on Russian military facilities in Crimea coincided with the second summit of the Crimean Platform. Perhaps the brave deeds of the Ukrainian army were to promote the diplomatic initiative. Eight years after Russia unlawfully seized Crimea from Ukraine, the prospect of its liberation has not resonated louder than now. It is both about Ukraine’s military efforts and Western solidarity.
The six-month Russian invasion of Ukraine has claimed the lives of many senior Russian military officials. Others were relieved from their duties. As recently reported, a new commander has been appointed to the Russian Black Sea Fleet amid a series of setbacks it had seen, including the sinking of its flagship vessels and recent blasts in Crimea.
Western countries declare more weapon supplies to the Ukrainian army. U.S. President Joe Biden marks Ukraine’s Independence Day with Washington’s largest aid package to the war-torn country.
A recently reported suicide of a senior SBU officer is another bad news for Ukraine’s intelligence services. As Ukraine’s SBU intelligence agency performed poorly after the country had been invaded by Russia, Zelensky said he would cleanse the special services. The problem is not in personnel but in the fact who oversees Ukraine’s most powerful intelligence outlet.
Russia often makes political or military decisions based on history and symbolism. Ukraine is afraid its infrastructure might be struck in an attack on Independence Day (August 24). The Kremlin could seek to retaliate for the killing of Darya Dugina, daughter of ideologue Alexander Dugin, and a series of Ukrainian attacks against Russian targets in Russian-occupied Crimea.
Although the two countries seem to share a number of common economic and political interests, the synergy of cooperation in many important areas is still not being exploited. Polish-Ukrainian trade, although growing year on year (mainly due to the activity of SMEs), has not reached its peak.
Turkey as a NATO member would be an interesting partner to Ukraine, albeit potentially unstable. Currently the Turkish-French conflict on the situation in Libya, Azerbaijan and Syria escalates. It’s a point for Ukraine.
Joe Biden’s presidential election victory raised high hopes among pro-state Ukrainian elites. The supposedly pro-Russian Trump was to be succeeded by an experienced politician well acquainted with the problems of Eastern Europe, having great sensitivity to human rights and human injustice.
Although Russian politicians accepted the collapse of the USSR, already in the 1990s they did not treat Ukraine as a permanent entity, but as a temporary creation devoid of history and nation, forcibly separated from Russia by the hostile imperialist forces of the “Collective West”.
On August 27, Ukraine suspended all interstate relations with Belarus. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba, this is a clear condemnation of the actions of the Belarusian authorities.
Almost half of Ukrainians believe that the country is heading in the right direction. It is over twice as much as a year ago.