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DAY 138

Victory Chronicles
-DAY 138

July 11,2022

Bakhmut in flames this weekend, hit by Russian incendiary weapons.  Photo via New York Times

WAR HIGHLIGHTS

Above: Civilian shelling largely wiped out a small village in Donetsk – Chasiv Yar – where dozens are trapped in rubble.  Photo via New York Times

  • Enemy cowards bombarded civilians in several cities across the east and south, killing and wounding dozens.  Analysts can’t say how long Russia can keep up relentless artillery terror on civilians, but it could be months and months.  Towns and villages and Donetsk are particular targets now, with dozens of civilian deaths reported in Chasiv Yar as first responders race to pull victims from the rubble of apartment buildings.
  • As enemy “units” in Donbas take a HIMARS-induced holiday, President Zelensky’s latest orders to create battle plans to retake southern Ukraine might spoil their vacation.  In an interview with The Times, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov revealed that Ukraine is amassing a million-strong fighting force equipped with Western weapons to take back the southern Azov Sea and Black Sea coastal areas.
  • According to Mr Reznikov, “We’re people of the free world and with a real sense of justice and liberty. We have approximately 700,000 in the armed forces and when you add the national guard, police, border guard, we are around a million strong.”  The defense minister believes that the world has united to end the Russian empire once and for all.  “Our partners in London and Washington DC and other capitals, they are invested in us, not only with money but the expectations of their people that we have to make the Kremlin lose. We have to win this war together,” affirmed Mr Reznikov.

LITTLE LITHUANIA STANDS UP TO RUSSIAN THREATS

Above: Lithuanians rally in support of Ukraine in Vilnius.  Photo via LRT.LT

  • In the face of Kremlin threats of invasion and even nuclear weapons deployment over LIthuanian blockage transiting sanctioned goods from Belarus to Kaliningrad, Lithuania expanded restrictions on Monday.  Additional products banned include concrete, wood, alcohol and alcohol-based chemicals.
  • Meanwhile, Moscow and Minsk huddled to discuss joint actions that could be taken against Lithuania.  Unlike Germany and other big EU economies, Lithuania was the first European country to stop using Russian gas based on a plan implemented a decade ago.

GERMAN GAS PAINS

Above: Total Russian gas flows to Europe dropped steeply in June as the Kremlin stopped supplying some countries and blamed maintenance on general reductions in Nord Steam.  July will see more drastic reductions.  Chart via S&P Global

  • The Russian gas monopoly Gazprom announced a halt of the supply of gas to Germany via Nord Stream I pipeline for ten days, purportedly due to routine annual maintenance.  But politicians and markets are less sure that the shut down isn’t politically motivated to put pressure on Russian-gas-dependent countries to weaken support for Ukraine. Many expect the shutdown could last for much longer as Europe scrambles to build reserves ahead of winter.
  • Although Canada has been criticized for agreeing to return a repaired Russian-owned turbine to Germany for the Nord Stream I pipeline on a “time-limited and revocable permit”, Canada also announced new sanctions against the Russian energy sector on Saturday.  Canada’s new sanctions “will apply to land and pipeline transport and the manufacturing of metals and of transport, computer, electronic and electrical equipment, as well as of machinery,” said the Canadian statement.

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