Russia and Ukraine continue to fight as the war reaches its 108th day. The fighting in the east of the country has intensified, centred in Sievierodonetsk – the last area of Luhansk province that has not yet been claimed by Russia. Ukrainian cities have been severely damaged and millions have been forced to flee their homes. But Mike Green, Former Special Assistant to President George W Bush, has said this week that Russia will also feel the pain from the bloody conflict.
He says that the international community has united against the Kremlin, something that will “hurt” Putin.
Mr Green told Times Radio: “Putin’s calculation is very likely wrong. The entire international community is beginning to turn on Putin.
“The developing world was not as opposed to Putin’s invasion as NATO, Japan, Australia and Korea. But by blocking grain exports, he made the international community blink.
“Putin is creating more enemies in the developing world…he has brought European, Asian and American allies together. It’s going to hurt Putin, hurt Russia and hurt China.
“Strategically and geopolitically, he’s isolating Russia and threatening Russia’s future in ways that could be almost existential for him.”
The UK Ministry of Defence has painted a grim view of the war in Ukraine this week.
They said says there have been big losses on both sides.
Analysis read: “As of 10 June, Russian forces around Sievierodonetsk have not made advances into the south of the city. Intense street-to-street fighting is ongoing and both sides are likely suffering high numbers of casualties.
“Since April, Russian medium bombers have likely launched dozens of 1960s era Kh-22 (NATO designation, AS-4 KITCHEN) air-launched, heavy anti-ship missiles against land targets.
“These 5.5-tonne missiles were primarily designed to destroy aircraft carriers using a nuclear warhead.
“When employed in a ground attack role with a conventional warhead they are highly inaccurate and can therefore cause significant collateral damage and civilian casualties.
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“Russia is likely resorting to such inefficient weapon systems because it is running short of more precise modern missiles, while Ukrainian air defences still deter its tactical aircraft from conducting strikes across much of the country.”
Another fallout between Kyiv and Moscow surrounds the sale of grain – Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing grain from the country and selling it.
The allegations come as many fear a global food crisis could be on the horizon.
Russia has blockaded Ukraine’s ports, meaning the country is unable to export its grain.
Ukraine’s agriculture minister Mykola Solskyi said in April: “I personally hear this from many silo owners in the occupied territory. This is outright robbery. And this is happening everywhere in occupied territory.”
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Earlier this week, the New York Times reported that the US sent an alert to 14 countries, mostly in Africa, about Russian cargo vessels loaded with what the State Department described as “stolen Ukrainian grain”.
The Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey echoed the accusations this week.
Vasyl Bodnar said: “Russia is shamelessly stealing Ukrainian grains and getting them out from the invaded Crimea. These grains are being shipped to foreign countries, including Turkey.
“We have made our appeal for Turkey to help us and, upon the suggestion of the Turkish side, are launching criminal cases regarding those stealing and selling the grain.”