It is difficult to verify how successful the counteroffensive launched yesterday by Ukrainian forces in the southeast of the country has been so far, says political scientist Prof. Gerhard Mangott. What is confirmed is that the fighting in this region has intensified.
Obviously, the so-called special operation is not as successful as Russia expected. In any case, the enlargement of the army by 137,000 additional soldiers shows that Vladimir Putin assumes that the war in Ukraine will last for a long time. The fact that especially minorities and poor Russians are among the victims among the Russian soldiers so far is – as in other armies – mainly due to the fact that people without economic perspectives tend to join the military.
As fighting continues around the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya, the situation is still dangerous. At least both sides were able to agree to send IAEA experts to the power plant – the largest of its kind in Europe – for an inspection.
Mangott rejects the idea of excluding all Russian citizens from visas, which has been propagated by Eastern European countries in particular: Russian civil society, which is already under pressure, must continue to have the opportunity to make personal contact with the West. Moreover, doing so would confirm the image Putin paints of the West.
The role of Erdogan in the negotiations, the attack on the daughter of Putin’s alleged ideological mastermind Aleksander Dugin, the latter’s role in Putin’s thinking, the burning of Russian natural gas that is not delivered to the West, and the issue and impact of sanctions are further topics of this conversation.
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