The Ukrainian counteroffensive has shown initial successes in recent weeks; several breakthroughs have been reported, especially in the southeast. It remains to be seen whether these territorial gains can be extended before the autumn rains. What can be stated, in any case, is that some experts wrote off the counteroffensive as a failure too early.
The death of (or rather murder of) Yevgeny Prigozhin has strengthened Putin’s position in Russia. Through the June uprising, the Wagner Group challenged Putin’s power. Putin could not let this betrayal go unanswered and also wanted to send a signal to all within the Russian elite that they could face repression if they opposed Putin.
The deal with North Korea is a win-win for both sides, but is limited to the transactions sought. Mangott does not believe Russia will share technological knowledge with North Korea. The artillery shells will stabilize Russia’s military positions.
Other topics covered in this conversation include the recent diplomatic rift between Poland and Ukraine, the G20 meeting in India and the divided reaction to the Russian aggression, the American primaries and possible downsides for Ukraine should a Republican be elected in just over a year, and the remarks of Günther Verheugen and Jens Stoltensberg’s press secretary regarding ceding territory in peace talks.
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