What is currently happening in Ukraine and Russia? Journalist Tommy Theis follows the morning The war in Ukraine closely. He updates you in this weekly update of Ukraine.
Also this week, the Ukrainian advance in the counter-offensive, which has now gone on for less than a month, remained limited—except for a small bridgehead in an unexpected place. Wagner’s chief Yevgeny Prigozhin’s rebellion against the Russian defense apparatus on the battlefield did not appear to have much effect.
Asked when to expect more “concrete changes” on the front again, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky responded with some annoyance on Saturday. This question was asked by Spanish journalists during the visit of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
Zelensky said that the “tangible result” for Ukraine is the liberation of the entire territory, but also and above all the preservation of the lives of its soldiers. “We can go fast, but the whole front is full of mines. I will not send people to their deaths to be in time for the next NATO summit.” (On July 11 and 12, ed.). Or because some of the partner countries are not satisfied. This is politics, but we live in reality. And that reality is that there is a war raging at a heavy price.”
Zelensky couldn’t put it more aptly. Also the ukrainian army with whom New York times Speaking this week, he warned of the daunting challenges they currently face on the battlefield. “There are mines everywhere and everywhere,” said one of them. Harrowing videos are emerging on social media of soldiers jumping off their armored vehicles and stepping on a land mine with their first step.
Clearing minefields is in itself a military and logistical action. Doing so under constant artillery fire and while bombarded by Russian “Alligator” attack helicopters, makes it nearly impossible for the Ukrainians to break through the Russian lines without anti-aircraft fire.
This does not mean that the attack is completely off for now. Ukraine is constantly adapting its tactics to changing circumstances and is still trying to achieve a breakthrough in several places. So their success is sometimes miraculous. There are also a lot of targets behind the lines. But the state should be content with the resources it has and receives from the West.
Due to the difficulties, many European countries have already introduced additional air defenses. It should make it easier for Ukraine to make the difficult choice: to protect its citizens in the cities, or to protect its soldiers at the front. The need arose again this week in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk. 12 people were killed, including children, and more than 60 people were injured in a Russian missile attack on a pizzeria where foreign volunteers and journalists were present. Pictures of the mother who said goodbye to her 14-year-old twin daughters on Friday passed marrow and shin.
But it seems that the new weapons should change the course of things. For example, the United States is now considering supplying cluster bombs and long-range missiles to Ukraine. Cluster bombs are controversial because they continue to cause (civilian) casualties after years of conflict. However, they can help take out not only Russian heavy armored tanks, but also dug-in Russian positions.
The long-range ATACMS missiles – with a range of 300 km – should ensure that more logistical and military targets can be hit behind the front. The United States has so far refused to supply them, fearing that Ukraine could also strike Russian territory, but positive experiences with Britain’s Storm Shadow missiles – which have a range of 250 km – could now make US President Joe Biden change his mind.
The whole paradox, of course, remains the same throughout the war, and is made more complicated by the new means: that weapons that cause death and destruction are necessary to finally achieve peace. Yet every day one man still has to put an end to this with the stroke of a pen and bring his troops home: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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• “It turns out that Putin is not as smart as some people think”: Harvard University Professor Serhiy Plokhy
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A mysterious deal ended the Wagner Group’s insurrection in Russia last weekend. Vladimir Putin’s image has been destroyed. What does this strange chapter in the war mean for the office of president, and what effect does it have on the battlefield? No, we are not looking at the last days of the Putin regime.
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