How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, June 22

Sasha Sverdlova

Western planes are falling apart in Russia, writes Wired. Due to Western sanctions, Russian companies have no access to spare parts for their planes, and this issue has started showing. According to Ascend by Cirium data, the Russian commercial jet fleet shrank from 968 planes in late February to 876 at the end of May. Most of them are Airbus or Boeing planes, and both companies stopped supplying spare parts to Russia. Because planes are not as simple, and due to the high-stakes nature of flight, explains the Wired, some aircraft parts need to be changed very regularly. For example, tires need to be replaced every 120 to 400 landings, planes’ computer systems require regular maintenance, and some of them are even life-limited – meaning they stop working at some point and have to be replaced by new ones. And while Russia has its own aircraft manufacturing industry and the country announced plans to build a parts production plant in Kazan by 2023, but so far Russian operators are most probably “cannibalizing” other planes they have to ensure domestic flights. Presumably, they also use parts of the aircraft that Russia has illegally sequestered. Wired summarizes that none of the experts the outlet spoke to said they’d rush to step onto a plane operating in Russia at the moment.

Seth Cropsey, who has served as a naval officer and deputy undersecretary of the Navy, described his view on ensuring Ukrainian grain reaches foreign ports in a commentary on The Wall Street Journal. Cropsey writes that Putin is aiming to convince the West that Russian victory is inevitable and supporting Ukraine is fruitless, however, the situation on the ground contradicts Kremlin’s narrative. While Ukraine is getting more soldiers and more arms, Russia will run short of men, shells, and cannons over time. What’s left for Putin is to keep hoping Western allies will fall under economic and global food crisis pressure. The apparent response, writes Cropsey, is to free up Ukrainian grain exports by creating a corridor from Odesa to the eastern Mediterranean. US should act with an ad-hoc coalition rather than through NATO, believes Cropsey, because France, Italy, and Germany would veto such a massive naval mission. Washington should deploy an overwhelming naval task force with submarine and air support to ensure Russia is reluctant to intervene, writes Cropsey.

The Washington Post columnist David Ingnatius writes about Russian cyber efforts failure in Ukraine. According to Ignatius, Ukrainian army of hackers backed with western allies has succesfuly countered Russian cyber attacks, which became one of the surprises of the war. Aside from western support, the success became possible due to one of the superpowers of Ukrainians – the ability to repair networks, according to an expert. The cooperation between US technology companies and Western cybersecurity agencies became one of the side stories of war, writes Ignatius. Microsoft’s President Bard Smiths claims that greater cooperation between private and public actors is viable for effective cyber responses. Ukraine’s cybersecurity defense efforts included cooperation with US Cyber Command, Microsoft and Google months before war, these efforts ensured effective response to Russian cyber attacks that started immediatlely. However, claims Ingatius, Ukraine’s own expertise might be an X-factor, as the country has 8 years of experience of war against Russia and overal digital savvy. The paradox is that the longer the war lasts, the less effective Russia’s cyber capability will likely become considering Russian dependence on western technologies.