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

Sasha Sverdlova

The Atlantic ʼs staff writer Tom McTague reflects on the signs of the decline of the American world order and the impact of these processes on Europe in a recent essay. Russiaʼs full-scale invasion of Ukraine demonstrated that the world order relies on the military and financial power of the United States, McTague writes. However, internal divisions and the threat of Donald Trumpʼs return call into question the stability of the Pax Americana [literally from Latin ― "the American world"]. McTague spoke with various diplomats and officials in Europe, many of whom say the issue of Americaʼs decline is weighing on European politics. This threat partially led to the EUʼs strategy to strengthen economic ties with US competitors, in particular with Russia and China, the author believes. However, the Russian invasion of Ukraine changed everything, and Europe turned out to be even more dependent on American support than ever. "Even a divided, incapacitated and declining United States of America was able to provide much more aid to a European country than other NATO allies," McTague quoted one of the British officials as saying. The EU has some plans to strengthen its position in the event of Americaʼs decline — including creating a European cloud storage, developing the semiconductor industry, energy networks and strengthening defense capabilities. However, the development of Europe is complicated by internal problems. One of the officials with whom McTague spoke noted that it is not only countries like Hungary that are creating problems, but also Germany because of its "irrational" behavior. So, the author summarizes, America today is strong and vulnerable at the same time, it both guarantees the world order and puts it at risk — and other powers cannot do anything about it.

A difficult ally, without which it will be even more difficult — this is what Ivo Daadler, the former US ambassador to NATO, calls Turkey in a column on Politico. President Erdogan manages to deal with both NATO allies and enemies of the West, such as Russian President Putin or Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, and this makes him a difficult ally, Daadler writes. At the same time, Turkey is of great strategic importance for the Alliance — both because of its geographical position and because of the opportunity to act as an intermediary for other countries, as, for example, during the recent agreement on the resumption of Ukrainian grain exports. In addition, the Turkish army is the second largest in NATO and has combat experience. At the same time, Turkey is the only NATO country recognized by the international organization Freedom House as not free in terms of political and civil liberties. Daadler also gives other reasons why Erdogan should be considered dangerous, analyzing his actions in recent years, such as creating obstacles to invite Finland and Sweden to join NATO and refusing to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation. This raises doubts about the expediency of Turkeyʼs membership in the Alliance, the author writes. However, there are at least two problems associated with the idea of excluding the country from NATO. First, the principle of consensus makes it impossible for Turkey to withdraw from the Alliance without its consent. And secondly, the strategic location of the country and its close ties play an important role that other allies cannot take over, Daadler believes.

The New York Times writes about the flowering of Ukrainianism in Italy, where after the start of a full-scale war, the Ukrainian diaspora acquired new meanings. The publication talked to various Ukrainian women in Italy, who have been living there for some time, and noticed the difference between the period before February 24 and after. The war drew the attention of foreigners to Ukraine, its history, culture and music, the NYT writes, and also motivated Ukrainians to change their vision of their roots. As a result, the fighting spirit of Ukrainians suddenly spread to the diaspora. Marina Sorina, who has lived in Italy for almost 30 years, says that her Ukrainian association "Ukrainian Malvy" has tripled in size since the beginning of the war. Not so long ago, the situation was different — Ukrainian women were perceived as second-class people, and now they are heroines, not outsiders. And even embroidered shirts are in fashion, says one of NYTʼs interlocutors.

The Wall Street Journal writes about the role of drones in the Ukrainian war in a long report from the village of Prybuzke in the Mykolayiv region, where the publication communicated with the aerial reconnaissance platoon "Terra". Although drones have been used in military operations for decades, their high concentration on the front line is a unique feature of the war in Ukraine, the publication writes. Professional military aircraft are sometimes used here — in Ukraine, these are "Stork", "Fury", Bayraktar TB-2, Switchblade and Warmate, but commercial civilian drones such as DJI quadcopters are more common on the front lines. They are bought by volunteers, relatives and friends of the military, and these UAVs become the eyes of front-line units. Most of the members of the "Terra" unit, which works as such "eyes" in connection with one of the infantry units in the Mykolaiv region, are familiar with each other through a common interest in the reconstruction of the Flemish knightly tournaments of the 15th century in Kyiv. The publication describes the work of the platoon, the challenges and hopes that its members face every day at the front, hoping to defeat the enemy.