UKRAINIAN WORLD CONGRESS

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DAY 121

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 121

June 24,2022

COMBAT HIGHLIGHTS

Above: Bravery and determination against inhuman brute force.  Photo via CNBC

  • Belarussian forces near Brest and Gomel continue border area war games.  Most analysts doubt the Belarussian people would support an invasion of Ukraine, but instead, the games are a means to keep Ukrainian troops tied up on the northwestern front. Lukashenko’s balancing act has been plagued by strong Belarusian opposition resistance and reconnaissance activities.
  • Ukrainian fighters have been ordered to withdraw from Severodonetsk.
  • Ukrainian fighters pulled out of a mini pocket north of Popasna and redeployed towards Lysychansk.  Most analysts believe that soon Ukrainian forces will withdraw from Severodontestk and Lysychansk.  While their loss is not strategic in the overall war, enemy resources have been severely depleted in the weeks-long battle.  Some analysts look for the exhausted Donbas invaders halting offensive operations in the coming weeks.

UKRAINE TO EU

Above: Millions of Ukrainians twice took to the streets – in 2004 and 2013 – to protect their fragile democracy.  Photo via The Nation 

  • Both Ukraine and Moldova were granted EU candidate status by the European Council on Thursday.  Georgia was given a pre-candidacy set of conditionalities. While some pundits call it largely symbolic, for Ukrainians worldwide, it is a huge step towards Ukraine’s European future and requires dogged work ahead to shed corrupt Soviet legacies.
  • The historic decision lays out a list of mandatory reforms that the countries must achieve on the road to full membership.  For Ukraine, it means further reforms to the judicial system, rooting out corrupt officials, reducing the power of oligarchs, enforcing anti-money laundering and intellectual property laws and protecting minority rights. Milestones have been set that Ukraine must achieve by certain dates in order to retain candidate status.
  • According to Euro-integration expert Serhiy Sydorenko, the most important conditions are those concerning anti-corruption and judicial reform. The minority rights condition is included to appease Hungary over the Hungarian-speaking population in Zakarpattya. Money laundering and intellectual property are low hanging fruits that will give Ukraine an opportunity to show progress early. Anti-oligarch legislation has been in the works for some time and is a matter of finding balance within the EU framework.

ARM UKRAINE

Above: Loading weapons and equipment bound for Ukraine.  Photo via U.S. Department of Defense

  • US High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems have reached the battlefield in Ukraine.  HIMARS have twice the range of M777 howitzers and are badly needed by Ukraine to prevail in Russia’s artillery onslaught.  Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov tweeted, “Summer will be hot for Russian occupiers.”
  • The Pentagon on Thursday announced the thirteenth Ukraine military drawdown on approved assistance funds.  The US will provide Ukraine with another USD 450 million in weapons including four more HIMARS, ammo, armored vehicles, grenade launchers, patrol boats and machine guns.
  • NATO will hold a summit in Madrid next week where US President Joe Biden will join fellow leaders to discuss strengthening alliance security.  For the first time, Indo-Pacific leaders from Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea will join. Putin’s war folly has caused the alliance to gain newfound unity and resolve not seen in decades.
  • The US Department of Defense has started an evaluation of US capacity to restock its own munitions and equipment stockpiles as it continues to supply significant quantities to Ukraine.

RUSSIAN WAR CRIMES: CITIZEN ABDUCTION

Above: In early March, Defense Intelligence of Ukraine started reporting on the forced deportation of Ukrainian citizens to remote Russian work camps. Photo via Front News

  • Ukraine’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Reintegration of the Temporarily Occupied Territories Iryna Vereshchuk met with representatives of the International Organization for Migration to work out models for returning forcibly deported Ukrainians to their homeland. The government of Ukraine estimates that hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian have been illegally deported to Russia. Sometimes with the help of Russian “underground railroads”, some Ukrainians are escaping, gradually making their way back home.

RUSSIAN WAR CRIMES: WEAPONIZED FOOD

Above: A Ukrainian farmer wearing body armor works the topsoil in Zaporizhzhya Oblast.  Photo via Daily Sabah

  • Ukrainian farmers are bravely planting and harvesting under enemy bombardment. Most of Ukraine’s wheat production comes from small- and medium-size farms where harvest is the difference between sustenance and destitution.  Russians purposefully attack Ukraine’s fertile farmland, burning crops, killing farm animals, destroying equipment and buildings.  Neighbors are banding together to find ways to not only harvest, but to get crops to buyers over dangerous roads.
  • After 25 years, Ukraine and Moldova will resume rail connections between Berezyna, southern Odesa Oblast, and Basarabeasca, Moldova. Both countries’ infrastructure ministers signed a memorandum of understanding that will start the rebuilding of twenty-three kilometers of rail line over the summer.  The rail line will give Ukraine another overland export route for agrucultural products blockaded by Russia. Moldova will export the goods through its ports on the Danube River.  The project is not without controversy, in particular, the Ukrainian port of Ismail is concerned about redirection of cargo through the new route.

RUSSIAN WAR CRIMES: WEAPONIZED ENERGY

Above: Nord Stream I pipeline runs through the Baltic Sea between Russia and Germany.  Russia decreased flow by 40% this week. Germany bet its energy security on Russia despite warnings from countries who knew better. Image via UNB.News

  • Germany is in the process of implementing a three-stage emergency plan to tackle a shortage of gas due to Russian manipulation of gas supplies.  The German Economic Minister on Thursday said that Germany is in a gas crisis. Europe’s largest economy has called upon all energy consumers from households to industry to reduce gas consumption as soon as possible.  Analysts believe this is part of Russia’s plan to break European political will to oppose its imperialistic ambitions.

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