How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, July 1

Sasha Sverdlova

CNN writes about the potential hypocrisy behind Boris Johnson’s enthusiastic support of Ukraine. While Johnson is absolutely right when he urges the world to support Ukraine until it wins, it is odd as the British Prime Minister is partly serving Putin’s strategic goals in Europe. First, Johnson fought to leave the EU, the international body that Putin worked hard to undermine, and Ukraine is willing to join. Second, Johnson has no respect for international law, which Ukrainians hope so much to establish justice for the victims of Russian atrocities, writes the article. For example, the British Prime Minister is threatening to leave the European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction, as the court has stopped Britain from sending asylum seekers to Rwanda. Johnson is having troubles at home, he has survived only one vote within his party to unseat him, and these domestic challenges might explain his passionate interest in Ukraine, writes CNN. Therefore, Johnson’s articulated commitment to NATO needs can’t be trusted, concludes the article.

Defense and security expert Michael O’Hanlon writes about the perspectives of an end-game in Ukraine in an opinion piece in The Washington Post. As the war in Ukraine is killing hundreds of people every day, it must be brought to an end as soon as possible. According to Hanlon, any progress toward peace would likely begin with a cease-fire before next winter. Hanlon believes that if this happens, Russia will remain in control of most of the land in the East, the Crimean peninsula, and the land bridge between them. Until Putin is gone and these lands return to Ukraine, which could happen in the 2030s, Russia would remain under sanctions, writes Hanlon. The author believes that even with Western artillery systems, Ukrainian attempts to recapture most of the territory Russia holds would be futile, and eventually, Ukraine would agree to establish a cease-fire. Hanlon then describes three potential scenarios for Ukraine to avoid the outright concession of its’ land. First is a future referendum to determine sovereignty over disputed territories. Another option would be the establishment of autonomous zones in the areas where both Ukraine and Russia claim sovereignty. The third option would be deterring the complications, simply leaving the disagreement as it is. Hanlon believes that the alternative of an indefinite continuation of this terrible war is so bad that the West should try to convince Zelensky to start the talks.

Mykolaiv oblast head Vitaliy Kim became a hero for a recent article in The New York Times. The outlet describes Kim as a passionate leader who has been applying the principles of taekwondo to unite people in the face of the full-scale Russian invasion. His unwavering belief in victory and light, humorous approach conveyed the message that the enemy is not as scary and got Kim almost half a million Instagram followers. While Mykolaiv has held off Russia, the city is still in danger: Russia launches its missiles at the residential areas, and there are problems with drinking water. Yet, writes NYT, “we will win” is a common phrase heard on the city streets. Kim’s decisions and confidence helped turn back Russian forces and unite residents. The outlet writes about the Kim memes and their role in raising Ukrainians’ spirit and tells the story of the Kim family, partly of Korean descent. Despite everything he has been through, Mykolaivʼs oblast leader remains optimistic and believes Ukraine has a great future as a European country after it deals with “the bad neighbor”.