In Other News – War in Ukraine Means Domestic and International Policy Shifts – 7/13/2022

July 13, 2022

Adapting to a war of attrition in Ukraine necessitates domestic and international policy shifts. Earlier today, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, who is rightfully distrustful of Putin after Moscow’s repeated historic land grabs, stated that Kyiv isn’t planning on ceding territory to Russia as part of any peace deal. Ukraine’s chief negotiator also recently Tweeted that for talks to resume, there would first need to be “Ceasefire. Z-troops withdrawal. Returning of kidnapped citizens. Extradition of war criminals. Reparations mechanism. Ukraine’s sovereign rights recognition.” While Ukraine is standing firm in its defense, the war continues to take a heavy toll on Ukrainian society– the latest UN statistics reveal that over 9 million Ukrainians have crossed the border since the Russian invasion in late February, and that over 5,000 Ukrainian civilians have been killed.

Meanwhile, Moscow also shows little indication of shifting course. In a recent speech to the Russian parliament, Putin expressed that Russia was just getting started in Ukraine and that prospects for negotiation were growing slimmer by the day. Moscow is also pushing a military recruitment drive and is promising high financial rewards to those who enlist. Further, Putin continues to demonstrate his long-held and delusional belief that Ukrainians want to be Russian, and this week Moscow simplified rules for all Ukrainians to become Russian citizens. Germany quickly dismissed the decree as propaganda, but it’s still revealing as to Putin’s true intentions to eliminate any concept of Ukrainian sovereignty.

To address the global ramifications of the war, however, the international community is also trying to bolster itself for the long haul. Attempting to lessen the food crisis, Turkish-moderated talks to resolve the blockage of grain exports from Odesa resumed on Wednesday, although the UN recently expressed that there’s still “a long way to go.” This week, President Biden is visiting Israel and Saudi Arabia for the first time since assuming office, and it’s anticipated that he’s going to ask Riyadh to increase its oil output. Putin is also slated to travel to the Middle East next week to meet with Iranian leadership, ostensibly to discuss Syria, but likely also to solidify a large transfer of Iranian drones to Russian forces.

Further east, the US has been coordinating with Japan to jointly address rising food and energy prices, and North Korea has reaffirmed its support of Moscow by recognizing the independence of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”. China also doubled down on its “neutral” war stance in a recent meeting with the US Secretary of State, and Beijing likely assumes a Russian victory will help its own political positioning. But with the many recent diplomatic meetings and conversations, the international environment remains dynamic even if the war between Ukraine and Russia has reached a state of attrition. As such, it’s likely that global leaders will continue to adjust their strategies accordingly with their national interests, resulting in new and unanticipated political and economic deals.