The Ukraine Crisis Situation Update #25
Foreign Policy Brief #84 | By: Ibrahim Castro | July 27, 2023
Photo taken from: https://www.ft.com/
Russian authorities have accused Ukraine of launching a drone attack on Moscow early Monday that saw one of the aircraft fall near the Russian Defense Ministry’s headquarters. This is another attack in what has become a series of drone attacks and bombings in the Russian capital since the beginning of the war. Russia later launched its sixth air attack on Ukraine’s capital this month, but all incoming drones were shot down and reports indicated no damage or casualties. The recent attack on Kyiv, came the day after Russia warned of “tough retaliatory measures” for the attempted drone strike in Moscow. Russian airstrikes also severely damaged dozens of Ukrainian architectural landmarks, including a historic Orthodox cathedral in the southern city of Odessa, sparking outrage and prompting Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to vow retaliation.
With the war in Ukraine came the strengthening of ties among some allies and increase in distrust among rival states. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently warned Poland that any attack on Belarus will be considered an attack on Russia, in a direct threat to the NATO ally. Putin made such threats in response to Warsaw’s decision this week to station military units to the east of the country, closer to the Belarusian border. Poland stationed troops closer to its border in response to thousands of Wagner mercenary troops holding military exercises with Belarusian troops near the Polish border. Putin though, claimed, “that Poland appeared to have interests in retaking eastern territories it lost to former Soviet Union leader Joseph Stalin, including “a good chunk of Ukraine … to take back the historic lands… it’s well known that they dream of Belarusian lands as well.” Adding that Moscow would treat any aggression against Belarus with all means at its disposal.
Russia-Ukraine grain deal
Russia announced last week that it was suspending its participation in a deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain to the rest of the world, once again raising fears over global food supplies and upending a rare diplomatic breakthrough since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. Wheat prices have risen more than 14% since last week, and corn prices are up more than 10%. Russia has for some time complained that it is being prevented from adequately exporting its own goods under sanction, while Ukraine is able to ship grain out of the country, and Russian foreign minister Peskov cited that objection as the reason for pulling out of the deal. The UN Chief, Antonio Guterres, on Monday, urged Russia to resume the internationally brokered deal so that grain could be shipped from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports, saying that otherwise, the world’s most vulnerable among the hungry will suffer the worst consequences.