How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, May 30

Sasha Sverdlova

Business Insider reports more than 115 members of Russia’s internal security force – Rosgvarida – have been fired because of violating commands in Ukraine. They issued a lawsuit claiming their dismissal was illegal, however, it was rejected. Business Insider cites their lawyer, who said the plaintiffs could not call up certain witnesses, and the court rejected some documents. A similar case happened in March back then other 12 guardsmen were fired for refusing to fight in Ukraine. The outlet writes that the national guardsmenʼs refusal to fight fits a consistent pattern of reports that Russian troops have been running low on morale since the initial weeks of the war in Ukraine.

The New York Times published an op-ed by Zachary Karabell, American writer and founder of the Progress Network, where he claims the U.S has to make a choice between Russia and China. Even following the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the White House sees China as the biggest threat to the American-championed world order. Karabell believes the intensifying fixation on China’s potential to disrupt the world order shrinks space for cooperation with Beijing and distracts from the real threat in the world: Russia. It’s Putin who demolished Grozny, invaded Georgia, and used its air force in Syria. It’s the Kremlin regime that uses cyberattacks and assassinates domestic opponents. To stop Russia, global cooperation is required, including with China. The author acknowledges horrible human rights violations in China and its’ military and economic strengths, and the fact that the Chinese communist party views the US as an adversary. At the same time, Karabell thinks that China is willing to engage diplomatically and it respects the inviolability of state borders. China is also deeply intertwined with the US and the global economy. Russia, on the other hand, is constrained only by Putin’s will. Karabell urges US leadership to rather nurture than endanger ties with China, as they are crucial for the prosperity of both countries and as this path would allow Washington to focus on taking down Putin.

Foreign Affairs writes about the impact the Russian invasion of Ukraine has on the South Caucasus and namely Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia is the closest military and economically to Armenia, and it has signed a partnership agreement with Azerbaijan. As Russia is busy in Ukraine, Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks continue with the EU supplanting Russia as the primary mediator between the two parties. The reduced influence of the Kremlin has caused some instability, including an upsurge of violence in and around Karabakh. Still, it also allows Armenia and Azerbaijan to work toward a definitive and historic peace settlement. Azerbaijan feels confident as it might substitute gas previously supplied by Russia and as it won the war in 2020. Armenia seems ready to negotiate peace, with the current prime minister, Pashynian saying that Karabakh is the issue of rights, not the territory. Currently, the sides seek an agreement on the transport routes through the disputed territory. In light of the war in Ukraine, a deal would boost the so-called Middle Corridor, the little-used transit route between western China and Turkey that bypasses Russia through Central Asia, the Caspian Sea, and the South Caucasus. For the first time in decades, Armenia and Azerbaijan have space to seek a peace agreement, thanks to the mediation of the EU. In the next few months, it will become clear if both sides of the conflict decide they want to make the most of a chance to seek an elusive peace.

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