(Note: The left bank is south of the river. The right bank is north of the river.)
This is the kind of propaganda that comes out of the side that is losing a war.
I’d be fascinated to know what this one means, or doesn’t actually mean but is intended to appear to mean.
The first article notes that “The ministry’s announcement does not constitute an official end to the country’s partial mobilization, however. This can only be done with an official decree from Russian President Vladimir Putin.”; so it could be that the announcement is substantially a lie, intended to tamp down the discontent that the mobilization has caused; it could be an actual halt, but with the door left open to resuming without needing to re-issue the official decree; it could be the Defense Ministry concluding for itself that what the mobilization was dragging in wasn’t worth the trouble. If it’s especially short-term and cynical it could be an attempt to flush out some of the draft dodgers so that they can be more easily bagged(though past uses of that tactic have been at the local level).
Possible Russian nuclear use has dominated discussion about how the Russo-Ukraine War might escalate. We dare not ignore this possibility but the intense focus upon it glides over the role that nuclear weapons have been playing in Russian strategy from the start of the war. They have enabled Russia to pursue an aggressive war against Ukraine, including measures designed to hurt the Ukrainian people, without risk of other major powers intervening directly.
For obvious reasons I’m inclined to suspect the bad faith option; but I’ll be curious to see if by ‘investigation’ Russia means “we have an understandable interest in how exactly a bunch of clever but ultimately low-velocity and relatively fragile drones slipped past our point defense systems” or if they mean “we demand a show trial concerning how the terrorist anti-Russia Kiev regime used the humanitarian grain corridor to cheat at a war we are supposed to be winning!”
If it were my navy I’d certainly be real touchy about letting it go to sea again prior to getting a comprehensive understanding of the point defense failure; but the latter sort of ‘investigation’ would be more in line with how they’ve treated the export corridor situation up to now.
They mean “we will use a never-ending investigation as an excuse for never returning to the deal”.
Using denial of food to the international community is one of the few weapons that’s worked out for Russia in this war. Putin will do what he can to keep that going.
It looks as if he can’t.
Russia to resume participation in Black Sea grain deal – Erdoğan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Russian participation in a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain export deal was to resume on Wednesday.
Reuters reports that in a speech in parliament, Erdogan said that Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu informed his Turkish counterpart that the deal would resume.
State-owned Russian news agency Tass carried a statement from Russia’s defence ministry which said:
It was possible to obtain the necessary written guarantees from Ukraine on the non-use of the humanitarian corridor and Ukrainian ports, determined in the interests of exporting agricultural products, for conducting military operations against the Russian Federation. The Russian Federation believes that the guarantees received at the moment appear to be sufficient and resumes the implementation of the agreement.
Earlier the Kremlin had only confirmed that Russia was still in contact with Turkey over the deal. Russia has summoned the British ambassador in Moscow to protest what it claims is British involvement in an attack on the Russian Black Sea fleet in Sevastopol at the weekend.
I wonder how effective it is against a modern naval ship, though. They tend to have radar controlled miniguns and autocannons specifically against small surface threats. It seems like the Russians tried to stop it with barely directed fire from a helicopter, which isn’t the same thing.
After its diplomatic retreat, Russia’s future threats to hold the deal hostage will probably be taken less seriously by the international community.
Russia may have balked because the grain deal was also popular with countries in Africa and the Middle East facing shortages of food imports. Moscow has sought to curry favour with those countries to provide diplomatic support for its invasion of Ukraine.