Russian incompetence or a monstrous war crime?
Journalists from Der Spiegel explore the theories surrounding the catastrophe of 5 June, when the Nova Kakhovka Dam, located in the Russian-controlled areas of the Herson region near the front line, was destroyed. Eighteen trillion litres of water poured through the large breach at the centre of the dam, flooding towns along the banks of the Dnieper river.
The incident at the Kakhovka Dam is also covered by journalists at The Guardian, who look into the dark side of Russian military tactics and analyse its devastating impact on Ukraine. Beneath the masquerade of "tactics", Russia reveals a stupidly lucid pursuit of mindless destruction, write the authors in a disturbing piece highlighting the atrocities and apocalyptic consequences for settlements, nature and agriculture. Kremlin is seemingly incapable to create, but chooses to destroy, leaving behind a landscape of terror and desolation.
As Ukraine ramps up the counteroffensive on its front, with depleted military resources and an ineffective winter offensive, Kremlin is forced to seek a way out of this crippling conflict. Replacing Western imports with domestic products, keeping Russians tourists in the country and restoring the prestige of the Russian armed forces have been on Putin's agenda for decades, but in the end, only the war proved capable of inspiring Russian bureaucrats to really implement them. A Foreign Policy analysis shows why Putin will never agree to defuse the conflict.
Give peace a chance!
South Africa, host of this year's BRICS summit, faces a crucial decision: seems willing to step down from its role to avoid international pressure to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin and hand him over to the Hague International Tribunal, writes The Guardian. Amid this complex political manoeuvring, Ukraine's hope lies in the global south, where peace plans are being developed and a major conference on the horizon.
No licence to build
Australian Parliament adopted new legislation to prevent Russia from building a new embassy in the vicinity of Parliament. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated that the law would counter threats of espionage and political interference. Australia, a major supporter of war efforts in Ukraine, stepped up sanctions against Russia and condemned the invasion, blaming Russia for a cyber attack on a health insurance company.
Putin and the Russian spy
Lithuania exposed a vast Russian spy network operating under diplomatic cover, reports vsquare.org, describing how a Lithuanian investigative team, working with international partners, revealed the identities and activities of secret agents operating in Lithuania for several years. The spies sought political, economic and military intelligence. The investigation shows how Russian spies carried out their operations and their influence on Lithuania's political decisions.
Homeland Night's Watch
Romania is one of the countries seriously considering the reintroduction of compulsory military service, sparking intense debate lately. Deutsche Welle writes about the position and proposals of Romania and other European countries willing to adopt similar measures, in light of recent events in Ukraine and their impact on the continent's security.
Royal United Services Institute looks into the war strategy Ukraine may have to adopt. There is a fine line separating success from failure in this war, and Kiev needs to reshape the battlefield to increase its chances of making a breakthrough, note the authors. With Russian morale an increasingly erratic variable, international partners are in for a tough summer.
Rivalling the most beloved son
"When Zaluzhny enters a dark room, he doesn't turn on the light, he turns off the darkness," the Ukrainians say about General Valery Zaluzhny, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army. BBC paints a portrait of this national hero, a key figure at the heart of the conflict with Russia, whose name became synonymous with courage and determination. His popularity rivals that of President Zelensky, but behind his courage lies a story of ambition, humanity and crucial decisions.
Keep it real, demand the impossible
According to Kyiv International Institute of Sociology, who published the results of a survey conducted in Ukraine from 26 May to 5 June 2023, 84% of respondents are opposed to territorial concessions, even if it means prolonging the war and facing new threats. Only 10% of respondents think it is possible to give up some territories in order to achieve peace and preserve independence. Regardless of region of origin, language or nationality, Ukrainians remain determined to refuse territorial concessions to the Russian aggressor.
Education of Ukrainian children is severely affected in the context of war. School buildings are under attack and teachers and students live in fear. El Pais tells the story of 9-year-old Milana, who took refuge with her mother in Poland, and points out that this story is just one out of hundreds of thousands set among chaos and loss. For these children, their education and their future are in jeopardy and efforts to rebuild the nation are under threat.