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Thursday, August 11, 2022

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    Moscow reaches first milestone in Ukraine

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    Over the weekend, Moscow achieved a first milestone in this war: to bring the entire Luhansk region under its control. In fact, it is the first region in Ukraine to be fully controlled by Russia or pro-Russian forces.

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    What experts agree on: Even more important than the (comparatively small) gain in territory is the condition of the troops after this battle. The Russian army paid a horrendous price for its success. High numbers of casualties among the soldiers, comparatively high losses in material. However, the Ukraine has also had to accept serious losses in an attempt to slow down the Russian advance as much as possible. A detailed analysis of the battle for Luhansk and its possible consequences can be found below in the reading recommendations.

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    Given the intensity of the fighting there, it is understandable that the Donbass is currently receiving the most attention in reporting. However, the other scenes of the war should not be forgotten. And the Ukrainians have had some minor successes to report in the past few days.

    Thus, they were able to destroy two Russian trains with supplies that were going from Crimea to the occupied territories of southern Ukraine. Western weapon systems also played a role here, because the route is far behind the front. In addition, Russia is said to have moved around 50 tanks from near Zaporizhia to the front near Cherson. Apparently the Ukrainians are building up so much pressure there, destroying so much material that supplies are needed. In return, the Russian commanders are apparently even willing to weaken another sector of the front.

    • Turkey detains Russian grain carrier: The freighter “Zhibek Zholy” lies in front of the Turkish port of Karasu. Ukraine hopes to seize Russian ship More here.
    • TikTok blocks video with Melnyk statements on controversial partisan leader: The ambassador has already received a lot of criticism for the statements about Stepan Bandera. The largest social media platform is now banning the video excerpt. More here.
    • Ex-Russian diplomat calls Foreign Ministry “childlike bunch”: In May, Boris Bondarev resigned as a Russian UN diplomat in protest against the war. He accuses his ex-colleagues of being obedient to Putin. More here.
    • The NATO forces in Europe get a new commander. A lot of work awaits the Russia expert Christopher G. Cavoli. More here.
    • The Ukrainian government wants to finance the reconstruction of its war-torn country largely with Russian money. According to estimates, at least 750 billion dollars (almost 720 billion euros) are needed, said Prime Minister Denys Schmyhal. The assets of the Russian state and oligarchs of around 300 to 500 billion dollars should be used, which are frozen worldwide, Schmyhal said. More in our news blog.
    • Britain wants to impose a new package of sanctions on Belarus on Tuesday. The reason for this is the support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko for the Russian attack on Ukraine, the government in London said. Among other things, Lukashenko’s regime deployed troops and fired rockets. The new package includes import and export bans on goods worth around £60million.
    • Pope Francis is considering a trip to Moscow and Russia-invaded Ukraine. Going to Ukraine is now possible as soon as he returns from his trip to Canada at the end of July, the head of the Catholic Church said in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
    • The Greens reacted with incomprehension to the recent letter from prominent Germans on the war in Ukraine. Co-Chairman Omid Nouripour stressed: “Anyone who wants to protect human life must now stand by Ukraine.”
    • The foreign ministers of Sweden and Finland are in talks with NATO about the formal start of the accession process led to the military alliance. Sweden’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde wrote on Twitter that she would be taking part in the talks at NATO headquarters on Monday. A Finnish diplomat confirmed the participation of Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in the meeting in Brussels.
    • The Ukrainian flag flies again over Snake Island. “The territory was returned to the sovereignty of Ukraine.” Russian troops cleared the island last week.
    • Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Bärbock takes part in the meeting of the heads of departments of the G20 countries in Indonesia on Thursday and Friday. The circle also includes Russia, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov is expected at the meeting. In view of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, a meeting between Baerbock and Lavrov is “not up for debate,” said a spokesman for the Federal Foreign Office.


    1. Ten Weeks in the “Meat Grinder”: A Reconstruction of the Battle of Luhansk
    With the Ukrainian withdrawal from Lysychansk, Russia has now conquered the entire Luhansk region. The battle could have a lasting impact on the course of the war.

    2. Search for solutions in the Ukraine war: The earlier negotiations begin, the more lives are saved
    In an appeal, German intellectuals called for a ceasefire in Ukraine – and received criticism. But it is not about the question of guilt. A guest post.

    3. How the Russia sanctions are implemented: the hunt for the assets of Putin’s supporters
    Authorities must track down accounts, properties and yachts belonging to Vladimir Putin’s supporters. In Bavaria, investigators caught a Russian politician. A search for clues.

    4. Victim photographs from the Ukraine war: “Basically, this is propaganda”
    Countless images from the war are being shared on the Internet – including by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence. An expert explains what that does to us.

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    Source: Tagesspiegel

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