War in the neighborhood: IPN updates

Belarusians detest war in Ukraine, while their generals do not

Doctor of Sociological Sciences Andrey Vardomatsky presented the results of a new sociological poll. According to this, over 85% of the people of Belarus are against their army’s participation in the Russo-Ukrainian war and only 8.2% are in favor of Belarus taking sides with Russia in the war. 41.2% support the deployment of Russian troops in Belarus, while 51.4% disapprove of Russia’s actions in this war.

At the same time, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Belarus, Ruslan Kosygin, said Belarusian forces will strike primarily at Poland’s infrastructure.

“The territory of Poland with its military infrastructure becomes the primary target of an attack in the event of a conflict, namely decision-making centers, elements of the management system, points of permanent deployment of the national armed forces, arsenals and bases, and as well as critically important objects of their economy and transport infrastructure,” Kosygin said. He concluded that "the West must clearly understand that our response to any armed provocations will definitely be adequate and tough.”

Russian army smart only on TV screen

According to Forbes, Russia has more than two thousand of old Kh-55 and Kh-22 missiles left, which may be enough for several more months of bombing. And their inaccuracy can lead to dire consequences. At the beginning of the war, Russia had almost 7,000 medium- and short-range missiles (up to 5,500 km). Almost half of them are low-precision Kh-22, Kh-55 missiles and missiles of the “Tochka-U” complexes.

At the first stage of the war, Russian troops used Kalibr-type sea-based missiles and Iskander missile complexes. Also, the Russians fired slightly fewer Kh-101 missiles over Ukraine. Several times they announced the use of their latest development, the Kh-47 Dagger. According to Forbes, the stock of such missiles was not too large — 2,000–3,000 units.

Johnson leaves, the UK shattered

Scandal-ridden Boris Johnson announced on Thursday he would quit as British prime minister after he dramatically lost the support of his ministers and most Conservative lawmakers, but said he would stay on until his successor was chosen. He said he was proud of his achievements in office, citing taking the UK out of the EU, the government's response to Covid and rolling out the vaccine program.

He also said he had led “the West in standing up to Putin's aggression in Ukraine.” Addressing the Ukrainian people, he said: "We in the UK will continue to back your fight for freedom for as long as it takes.”

President Volodymyr Zelensky praised Mr Johnson for realizing the threat of the Russian monster and always being at the forefront of supporting Ukraine.

Journalist Con Coughlin from The Telegraph said “the crisis that has engulfed Boris Johnson may spell the end of his political career, but it has also inflicted serious damage on Britain’s global standing when it can least afford it. Think what you like about Mr Johnson’s questionable handling of the various scandals at Downing Street, but on the key international issue of the day, the war in Ukraine, the Prime Minister has demonstrated much-needed clarity of purpose and vision.

“At the start of the war, when Germany showed an alarming lack of awareness of the gravity of the Ukraine crisis by closing its airspace to military shipments, Mr Johnson was at the forefront of efforts to provide the Ukrainian forces with support. It is questionable whether Mr Zelensky would even be alive today were it not for the thousands of NLAW anti-tank weapons that the UK shipped to Ukraine. They proved essential in thwarting Moscow’s assault on Kyiv that was meant to result in the Ukrainian leader’s assassination and the installation of a pro-Russian puppet regime.”

Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said the news would be seen as a blow in Kyiv. This was not because Ukrainian officials doubted that British support for Kyiv would remain but because Mr Johnson's personal style was helpful in rallying support in the West. 

Kazakhstan has a say

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev on Thursday told his government to diversify its oil supply routes, a day after a Russian court ordered the Caspian Pipeline Consortium to suspend activity for 30 days. Tokayev said he sees the transportation of oil across the Caspian Sea as the most promising alternative.

The situation around the Russian vessel Zhibek Zholy, which tried to transport stolen grain from occupied Berdyansk to the Turkish port of Karasu, was an outrageous one.

“Thanks to the prompt intervention of the Ukrainian, this vessel was unable to unload the stolen goods and was detained. A request was sent to the Turkish side to seize the vessel and cargo,” the Foreign Ministry said.

However, the agency noted that Turkish authorities ignored the appeal of the Ukrainian side, and released the cargo ship in the evening on July 6. Ukrainians are deeply disappointed by Turkish decision to ignore their appeal and demand to open a criminal probe into the case and provide a comprehensive answer on how this had happened. Ukrainian authorities also urged to prevent similar situations in the future by all means.

“Russian world” with French revolution mask

President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday (7 July) that Russia had barely got started in Ukraine and dared the West to try to defeat it on the battlefield, while mentioning that Moscow was still open to the idea of peace talks.

In a hawkish speech to parliamentary leaders more than four months into the war, Putin said the prospects for any negotiation would grow dimmer the longer the conflict dragged on.

“Today we hear that they want to defeat us on the battlefield. What can you say, let them try,” he said. “We have heard many times that the West wants to fight us to the last Ukrainian. This is a tragedy for the Ukrainian people, but it seems that everything is heading towards this.”

Russia accuses the West of waging a proxy war against it by hammering its economy with sanctions and stepping up the supply of advanced weapons to Ukraine.

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