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

Sasha Sverdlova

Bloomberg writes about how Poland will unwittingly win due to a full-scale war in Ukraine. It is about the economic benefits that Poland receives due to the mass influx of refugees from Ukraine. Two million newly arrived people is an impressive figure for a country with a population of 38 million, the publication writes. As of the end of July, 385 000 of those two million had found work in Poland, and the government and businesses want as many people as possible to stay in the country permanently, which will boost economic growth. Bloomberg writes that Polandʼs approach is appropriate, and other countries should pay attention to it when forming their migration policy.

Columnist and investigative journalist Casey Michel writes in The Wall Street Journal about Russiaʼs tradition of colonialism, which the Kremlin denies. The policy of the Russian Federation in Africa is based on the thesis that Russia, unlike the West, has not stained itself with the crimes of colonialism, and therefore African countries should support its war in Ukraine. The Kremlin hides the fact that Russia has never had formal colonies in Africa, Latin America or South Asia — however, Michel writes, this does not mean that Russia is not a colonial state. According to the author, the difference between Russia and traditional metropolises lies in the fact that the others colonized remote territories beyond the sea, while Russia — adjacent territories on land. "From the Caucasus to the Crimea, from the Arctic to the Amur, from the Volga to the Pacific Ocean, Russiaʼs colonial campaigns conquered countless nations, bulldozing local cultures and local sovereignty and resorting to the practice of genocide," writes Michel. The war in Ukraine is another proof of the colonialism of the Russian Federation, which threatens with nuclear weapons to return the former colony. According to the author, Russia will threaten world security until it is decolonized. And in order to start this process, the Russians must realize their colonial crimes, both past and present.

"Germanyʼs Ukrainian problem" is the title of an essay by the former German ambassador to the United States, Wolfgang Ischinger, on Foreign Affairs. Among other allies of Ukraine, Germany has the most difficulties with the timely fulfillment of its promises. So, back in March, Berlin announced the provision of heavy weapons to Kyiv, but as of the end of July, only a small part of them was transferred. In the essay, Ischinger reflects on the reasons for such delay and the general vulnerability of Germany to threats from the Russian Federation. Among European countries, the author writes, the Russian invasion caused the strongest policy change in Germany. For decades, the idea of pacifism dominated society, and now Chancellor Scholz is turning the country into a major player in the defense of the EU. At the same time, the complete rejection of Russian gas is a big challenge for the state. Ischinger writes that perhaps the Scholz government hopes that partners and allies will understand the scale of the political changes and forgive Germany for its procrastination on Ukraine. However, according to the author, Germany should intensify its support for Ukraine, otherwise it risks losing its influence in Europe and harming its own interests — because the longer the war lasts, the more unstable and polarized the situation in the region will be. In the essay, Ischinger suggests steps Scholz can take to revive German influence in the EU and beyond and ultimately take a leadership role in countering Russiaʼs imperialist campaign in Ukraine.

The author of The Atlantic, Anne Applebaum, who has been writing a lot about Ukraine lately, visited Odesa and reflected on local life and the volunteer movement in a recent essay. Applebaum describes a strange combination of fatalism (no one goes to the shelters during sirens) and "normal" life in a resort town (Odessians drink coffee under the umbrellas of central coffee shops). But it cannot be said, the author writes, that the city has become sluggish. On the contrary, many people are very busy — we are talking about volunteers who, with faith in victory, perform functions that were beyond the power of officials. Applebaum spoke with Anna Bondarenko, the founder of the Ukrainian Volunteer Service (UWS), an organization that since February 24 has been able to direct more than 100,000 volunteers to more than 900 organizations across the country. The Ukrainian Air Force even coordinates volunteering in the occupied territories using encrypted communication channels. After talking with several volunteers, the author writes that there is a connection between the desire to participate in public life and Ukrainian patriotism, and something in common pushes people both to help their communities during the war and to strive for a better future for a democratic, free Ukraine.