Newsletter by Romeo Kokriatski, Managing Editor, New Voice of Ukraine Friday, September 12th, 2022
Weekend Catch-up Edition:
In a stunning counter-offensive in Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv Oblast, Ukrainian forces have managed to rout Russian defenses there out of almost the entire region. The blitzkrieg liberation began with the news of the successful liberation of the town of Balakliya, followed swiftly by reports of a liberated Kupyansk, then Izyum, and the rest of the oblast.
Ukrainian forces have managed to advance as far as the town of Lysychansk, near the occupied city of Luhansk, and Lyman, near occupied Donetsk. In total, this represents a historical military loss for Russia in the Battle for Kharkiv, and will have incredible ramifications for the full-scale war going forward.
Russia has reacted to this loss by claiming that its utter withdrawal from the grand majority of Kharkiv Oblast was only an effort to “regroup” its units to reinforce its Donbas defenses. This is, of course, a lie.
Ukraine’s rapid advance and unprecedentedly swift victory has not escaped the notice of Russian collaborators and agents in Ukraine — Denis Pushilin, the head of the Donetsk puppet authority, has reportedly fled the city, and his current whereabouts are unknown.
“There is good news from the south, and it’s the most important good news,” said a spokesperson for the Ukrainian military’s Operational Command South. “We’re advancing, and that’s obvious. We’ve advanced from two to several tens of kilometers deep into enemy positions.” While the military has said that a number of settlements have been liberated, no official confirmation of these settlement’s names has been provided, and the military continues to adhere to a strict media blackout regarding the progress of Kherson’s liberation.
The last functioning reactor, Reactor #6, has been put into cold shutdown following a decision by Energoatom, Ukraine’s nuclear operator. Energoatom was able to restore the plant’s connection to the Ukrainian grid, after repairing the shelling damage to the last remaining backup power line, but as a precaution decided to transfer the reactor to its safest state, the operator explained.
The region, which is majority ethnically Russian and Russian-speaking, has long relied on the presence of Russian troops to ensure its de facto autonomy from Moldova, but according to Ukrainian intelligence, this relationship is quickly souring. Failing mobilization efforts at home has forced Russia into a heavy reliance on foreign mercenaries, forcibly conscripted slaves from occupied Donbas, and extravagant monetary incentives to shore up its quickly depleting manpower, but even that seems not to be enough. “Attempts by the Russian military command to launch a broad campaign to recruit contract soldiers in Transnistria are not yielding practical results,” the intelligence said.
According to Justice Minister Denis Malyuska, this amount corresponds to the international assets of the Central Bank of Russia, which were frozen under sanctions. Malyuska also demanded access not only to these funds, but also the foreign assets of Russian state-owned enterprises and confiscated property of Russian oligarchs. European Investment Bank chief Werner Hoyer said in late June that Ukraine may need as much as EUR 1 trillion
($1.1 trillion) in outside assistance to repair the damage inflicted by Russia’s invasion.
The company, which is one of the “Big Four” fossils fuel service firms, has announced its final exit from the Russian market. The company sold its business in Russia to local management, although the acquisition price and other details were not disclosed. Halliburton held about 2% of the Russian oil services market prior to its departure. “The Russia-based management team now owns and operates Halliburton’s former business and assets in Russia under the name BurService LLC, which is independent from Halliburton,” the company said,
The day’s long read: The most comprehensive answer to the question: is Russia a fascist state?
Nestor Barchuk breaks down how Russian fascism looks to Ukrainians, and speculates on the possible response to this new global threat.
NV spoke to the Bankova official to get a sense of how Ukraine’s political leadership is viewing the the events of the past week, especially the liberation of Kharkiv Oblast.
The damage inflicted by the full-scale Russian invasion is immense, and to understand how to move forward, NV spoke to World Bank Regional Director for Eastern Europe Arup Banerji, who explained how reconstruction will be funded.