How the international media covered the Russo-Ukrainian war, July 9

Sasha Sverdlova

The Wall Street Journal writes about the military training Ukrainian recruits receive in the U.K. While Ukraine is starting to apply advanced long-range artillery sent by allies, it also needs infantry to hold positions and retake territories along the eastern front. The UK is helping to instruct new recruits within a new training program that aims to prepare up to 10 thousand soldiers every three months. The three-week program seeks to set the foundation that enables the soldiers to survive. According to Brigadier Justin Stenhouse, no amount of training could fully prepare Ukrainians for the trench warfare they are likely to face in Ukraine’s east. Most recruits have no previous military experience. WSJ talked to one of them - 34-year-old e-commerce from Cherhnihiv, who signed up for the war a few weeks ago following the destruction of his hometown. Ukrainians are worried about the resignation of Boris Johnson, as the training program was his initiative, writes the outlet. However, Ben Wallace, the Defense Minister and one of Johnson’s potential successors ensures that the leadership change would not affect Britain’s commitment to Ukraine.

Barry R. Posen, an international professor of Political Science at MIT, wrote an essay providing his vision of the future of the Russo-Ukrainian war on Foreign Affairs. He claims Ukraine and its’ allies should reconsider their ambitions and shift toward finding a diplomatic compromise to end the war. As Ukraine and its’ western allies agree that Ukraine must fight to victory and restore at least the pre-wae status quo, there are two key scenarios for the expected victory, writes Posen. The first is that with the help of the West, Ukraine can defeat Russia on the battlefield. The second path goes through Moscow: a combination of sanctions and military losses would convince Putin to end the war or convince someone else to get rid of Putin. According to Posen, both these theories are grounded on “shaky foundations”, and the most probable outcome of the current strategy would be not a Ukrainian triumph but a log, bloody, and ultimately indecisive war. Posen believes that if Ukraine relinquishes considerable territory and Russia commits to renounce future territorial claims, there could be a working peace agreement. NATO would also have to negotiate with Russia to limit the intensity of military deployments along their respective frontiers, and Western allies would have to relax many of the economic sanctions imposed on Russia, summarizes his vision Posen.

The Brittney Griner case has been widely covered by international media, and Politico published an overview of what the Russian persecution of Griner has to do with the Russo-Ukrainian war and global geopolitics. Politico talked about this case with Kimberly St. Julian-Varnon, who researches Black experiences in the Soviet Union, Russia, and Ukraine. Brittney Griner is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in basketball, who pleaded guilty to drug charges as she had vape cartridges containing hashish oil when she traveled to Russia in February. There are other Americans currently convicted in Russia, one of them is Paul Whelan, who spent years in a Russian prison under accusations of espionage. Considering US support towards Ukraine, it seems Russia is blackmailing the US with imprisoned Americans. One of the possible demands Moscow has is to get back Viktor Bout, флф “Merchant of Death”, who is serving a 25-year sentence for selling arms. Brittney’s case is particularly interesting as her race or sexuality does not necessarily matter in Russia, her case probably was selected because she is a celebrity to attract wider attention in the US. However, because she is black and gay, her imprisonment in Russia mobilized the Black community in the US, accusing Biden of inaction, which, eventually would aid Putin.