Putin’s new approach about Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov

The successful Ukrainian counteroffensive, backed by Western new weapons and shared intelligence resources, obliged president Putin to come out. It took the form of a televised address to the nation, against a background of leakages and unusual stage crafting. It was first due to take place on the 20th evening, then it was postponed for the next day, at 8, then at 9 o’clock. That was enough to unleash new speculation concerning Putin’s physical and moral condition. The usual well-informed sources said that he had been so affected by fever and coughs that he was unable to face the cameras, despite the dispatch of a large medical staff; and that the program shown as a single tirade was in fact a re-mix of interrupted sessions.

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Grain war in the Black Sea

By Nina Bachkatov

Three months after the invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, a new front has been open – about grain’s exports and global food security. The concept was hardly mentioned before the fall of Mariupol, when international attention switched from the fights around Azovstal to the inaccessibility of Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea. The accent has been put on its global consequences, from the prices’ increase of basic food in the West to the risk of famine in poor countries. In a couple of weeks, Westerners preoccupied with energy bills discovered that a third of the 200-300m tonnes of cereals exchanged yearly through the world were coming from Russia and Ukraine.

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Geopolitical election in Ukraine

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

If someone is tempted to ignore we are living in a fudgy post-Cold war atmosphere, suffices to look at Ukraine’s presidential elections. Those have been turned into a geopolitical game by outsiders, but also by the candidates. Part of that singularity is linked to the country’s war condition, but only part. Continue reading “Geopolitical election in Ukraine”

Crimea for ever?

By Nina Bachkatov and Andrew Wilson

Celebrations in Crimea lasted 4 full days and included a visit of president Putin. In Moscow, there were a few flags, but no official celebrations. Seemingly, the Kremlin wants to show that Crimea is just another member of the Federation, no more no less. Continue reading “Crimea for ever?”