Weekly megathread for news/updates/discussion of Russian invasion of Ukraine - July 7
This thread is posted weekly on Thursday - please try to post relevant content in here, such as news, updates, opinion articles, etc. Especially significant updates may warrant a separate topic, but most should be posted here.
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"Responding to Boris Johnson's resignation, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says Britain is "full square" behind Ukraine and the country knows it."
Checking in from Germany, because I haven't reported on the local happenings in a while. I'll cite german sources, you can use deepl if you want to read the details. I can cross-check its translations upon request.
Zelensky fires UA ambassador to germany Melnyk - he's been a very vocal critic of the german government, courting conservative news outlets with a less-than-stellar reputation. His behavior has been undiplomatic at times. Here's my take on some of that from April However, the actual cause seems to be that he's had a unusual opinion of Stepan Bandera, including some historical revisionism and support for Bandera in there.
The probably much bigger item in German news is the looming energy crisis. I've given a few opinions on the topic (The battle for german hearts and minds is important imo, also Russia isn't too happy with us, having just cut gas deliveries.) (Quick history of the last few decades of german energy policy as it relates to fossils vs renewables vs nuclear) But that's all old news. The more recent development is that since Russia has cut their gas deliveries down, we're looking at the very real possibility of not having enough gas for the winter. Germany's manufacturing industry, firstly, is highly reliant on gas. Both the chemical and metalworking branches are very vulnerable there. Then, lots of domestic heating is done using gas furnaces. Thirdly, of course, gas fueled power plants. The result is that if this gets bad, it gets real bad. The government has already announced that in case of shortfalls, industry are the first to be cut off. Which of course averts the humanitarian crisis, but gets us a very thorough economic one instead. Fuck, I really don't want to be Habeck right now, having to manage this mess. Meanwhile he's saying we have to prepare for the worst. Habeck calls it a "stress test the likes of which we haven't seen in a long time". In the meantime, Scholz announced we're firing up additional coal plants to save gas, while emphasizing the current unprecedented pace at shifting from fossils to renewables.
Interesting, maybe in particular for the Canadians here: There's a turbine component of the Nord Stream I pipeline that was undergoing maintenance in Canada - Canada was then unwilling to give it back to Russia, what with the now imposed sanctions. The current state of affairs seems to be that Canada is willing to give it to Germany instead, and we'll have to get our own hands dirty. Fair enough. Important info: Russia says it's fulfilling all contractual obligations, and it's not using gas deliveries to pressure Germany. The reduced deliveries are due to supposed technical issues.
Edit: Nord Stream 1 is now completely offline for routine maintenance. There's a general concern going about that this could be a welcome excuse to completely stop gas deliveries. Basically, if Russia wanted to stop deliveries while maintaining plausible deniability for as long as possible, artificially extending maintenance is the way to go.
RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JULY 7 (Institute for the Study of War)
RUSSIAN OFFENSIVE CAMPAIGN ASSESSMENT, JULY 8
White House says Iran is preparing to supply Russia with weapons-capable drones
Well, I suppose it's only fitting that Germany was able to secure ammunition for the Gepard SPAA right about now. ;) Just as a minor side note.
Russians 'in Panic Mode' Over Strikes by U.S.-Supplied HIMARS: Ukraine
Here's a Twitter thread (unrolled) by a retired Australian general putting this into context:
Inside the Ukrainian resistance (Unherd)
Canada announces new Russia sanctions targeting disinformation (CBC)
Big Think | How Russia’s war in Ukraine is birthing a new global order | Ian Bremmer