This video was shot in July. Recently, Ukrainian drone strikes in Crimea have put the Russia-Ukraine War into starker focus. Editor-in-Chief Atul Singh makes sense of the conflict here.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In the early days of the Russia-Ukraine War, Ukrainians held off the attack on Kyiv. The tanks at the front of the column were blown off by drones and anti-tank missiles, causing a giant traffic jam.
Russia has since recalibrated and is focusing on taking over Eastern Ukraine. They are securing their land bridge to Crimea, which has come under drone strikes in the third week of August. Under Catherine the Great, the Russian Empire seized Crimea in 1783. It had been under Ottoman control earlier. In 1954, Nikita Kruschev gifted Crimea to Ukraine at a time when both Russia and Ukraine were a part of the Soviet Union.
Russians like President Vladimir Putin have never reconciled themselves to the collapse of the Soviet Union and see Ukraine as a part of their “near abroad.” Crimea is Russia’s only warm water port. Russian ships can sail the Black Sea from Crimea and enter the Mediterranean Sea. Eastern Ukraine offers a land bridge to Crimea. It is also the industrial region of Ukraine and offers Russia manufacturing heft.
The Russia-Ukraine War has caused a massive supply shock to the global economy. Natural gas, coal, uranium, nickel, aluminum, and copper supplies have been hit hard. Russia and Ukraine supplied much of the world’s wheat, corn, and sunflower oil. Now large parts of the world, especially Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, find themselves in a food crisis. About 250 million people are at risk of starvation.
As inflation bites and food shortages kick in, will Europe have the will to hold together? Will Russia be able to overcome its initial setbacks as in World War II and win the battle of attrition with Ukraine? Will Ukraine have the manpower, resources, and weapons to turn the tide against Russia?
To dive deeper into this issue, read the article by Atul Singh and retired CIA officer Glenn Carle dated December 24, 2021, on Vladimir Putin’s long game: https://www.fairobserver.com/region/europe/making-sense-of-vladimir-putins-long-game/