SITUATION IN UKRAINE: June 16-22, 2022

Over the week, the situation for Ukrainian troops on the Donetsk front continued to worsen. The crisis for the Armed Forces of Ukraine around the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk intensified. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation advanced toward the town of Lysychansk from the south after capturing the settlement. Toshkovka and several other settlements, the Seversky Donets River no longer acts as an obstacle to the advance of the city of Lysychansk from the side of the city of Severodonetsk. Ukrainian troops control only the industrial zone of the Azot plant in the town of Severodonetsk and may leave the city in the coming days. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are also developing an offensive against the towns of Sloviansk and the city of Bakhmut. They are trying to cut off Ukrainian land communications with the town of Lysychansk - to take control of the Bakhmut-Lysichansk highway. According to unverified data, units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Zolote-Gorske area were surrounded.

At the same time, the RF Armed Forces cannot achieve a strategic breakthrough on the front in the Donbas or complete the encirclement of the Ukrainian armed forces in the region. Heavy battles of attrition continue with tactical results.

The Russian Federation and the occupying "authorities" continue to pursue a policy of annexation of the occupied territories of Ukraine. In general, the Russian Federation demonstrates its readiness to absorb the occupied territories of Ukraine, despite the sanctions and political pressure.

The search for opportunities to ensure the export of Ukrainian products from ports to world markets continues. But due to the lack of any agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on this issue, the process is gradually coming to a standstill. The Russian leadership seeks to solve the problem of grain exports "bypassing" the search for a compromise solution with Ukraine. In this regard, the confrontation between Ukraine and the Russian Federation in the Black Sea is escalating: the Russian tugboat "Vasily Bekh" was sunk. A missile attack was launched on gas rigs under the control of the Russian Federation in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, and the fighting around Zmiiny's Island escalated.

At the same time, the supply of weapons to Ukraine from Western countries is slower than necessary for the armed forces of Ukraine. Ukraine's military spending reaches $5-7 billion per month. And while maintaining the high current intensity of hostilities, military assistance from Western partners will still not be enough. In the next month, the Russian Federation may capture the Luhansk region, and by the beginning or middle of autumn, it may capture the entire territory of Donbas.

It is possible that despite the stated position, the leaders of Germany, France, and Italy may persuade the President of Ukraine, V. Zelensky, to resume the negotiation process and search for a compromise with the Russian Federation. And the visit of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to Kyiv was aimed at preventing a possible sharp turn of Ukraine in the direction of agreements with the Russian Federation and balancing European pressure.

The European Commission made its recommendation, and Ukraine received assurances that the country would be granted candidate status for membership in the European Union. At the same time, it is expected that bargaining between Ukraine and EU leaders regarding the conditions for obtaining funding, as well as the actual terms of EU accession, will be complex and may include not only political principles and economic goals but also the issue of peace negotiations with the Russian Federation.

Within the ruling power, two main friction lines appear between the Office of the President and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Office of the President, and the National Security and Defense Council.

New confrontation zones between the Russian Federation and the West are outlined in Moldova and Lithuania (and the Baltic as a whole).

Even though the continuation of the war in Ukraine and the pressure of the West intensified the turn of the Russian Federation to Asia and the alliance with China. China's refusal to condemn Russia is becoming less popular abroad and at home. There are already indications that Beijing may be rethinking its relationship with Russia.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has once again declared a new Russian foreign policy course, which provides for a military-political confrontation with the West while simultaneously trying to keep the Russian economy open within the global economy.

Combat actions.

In the Slobozhansky direction: The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation are conducting combat operations to contain units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and prevent them from reaching the state border. The intensity of shelling of the city of Kharkiv and adjacent territories has increased. In the north of the Kharkiv region, there were battles. Rubizhne to the north of Stary Saltiv on the right bank of the Seversky Donets and in the settlement area. Ternove is near the border with Russia.

On the Donbas: In Severodonetsk, fighting occurs at the Azot plant. Ukrainian troops may leave the city entirely in the coming days. The Armed Forces of Ukraine repulsed the assault in the suburbs of Sirotino and Voronovo. In the Sloviansk direction, the RF Armed Forces are approaching the town of Barvenkovo. Battles are underway for the settlements Krasnopilya and Bogorodichne. In the Luhansk region, the assault on the city of Zolote was repulsed. In the Donetsk region, near the Bakhmut-Lysichansk highway, there were attacks on the settlement Vasylivka and Berestove. The RF Armed Forces control the Bakhmut-Lysichansk highway in three places - near the settlements of Yakovlivka, Belogorivka, and Berestove (all three villages are in the Donetsk region). The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation captured Vrubivka - a settlement that blocks the grouping of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the cities of Gorske and Zolote from the west, and also took control of the town of Toshkivka - south of the city of Lysychansk, control over which allows you actually to block Ukrainian troops in the village of Gorske and the town of Zolote.

In the southern direction: the cities of Odesa and Mykolaiv are subjected to regular rocket and artillery shelling. The RF Armed Forces are building up forces in the Vasilevsky and Pologovsky districts. Ukrainian troops continue the counteroffensive in the Kherson region. According to local authorities, in the Kherson region, the Armed Forces of Ukraine have driven back Russian forces from the first line of defense over the past two weeks. Now, the Russian military is strengthening the second and third lines of protection. Still, there are no reports of the capture of any settlements. Counter-offensive actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were taken near the settlement of Sofiyivka, near the village. Davydov, where the RF Armed Forces entrenched themselves on the coast of the river Ingulets.

Black Sea-Azov direction: the situation is beginning to worsen. There are now 6 Russian carriers of cruise missiles in the Black Sea - three ships and three submarines. A Harpoon missile hit it, and the Russian tug "Vasily Bekh" was sunk. Also, Ukrainian troops launched a missile attack on Chernomorneftegaz drilling platforms previously owned by Ukraine in the northwestern part of the Black Sea. The battles for about Zmiiny (under the control of the Russian Federation). The Armed Forces of Ukraine inflicted a series of strikes on the island, hitting the Pantsir C1 anti-aircraft missile system, a radar station, and vehicles were recorded.

Combat maps




The situation in the occupied territories.

The Russian Federation continues to pursue a policy of annexation of the occupied territories of Ukraine. It is expected that from September of this year, the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant will be directly reassigned to Rosatom, and its electricity will be used for the needs of the newly occupied territories and Crimea. At the same time, the Russian Federation will offer Ukraine to “buy” this electricity. ZANUPP is the largest power plant in Europe, generating 20% of Ukraine's electricity.

In the occupied territories of the Kharkiv region, Russian became the only state language, and Ukrainian received the status of a regional language. Currently, in the captured part of the Kharkiv region. The informal "regional center" is the city of Kupyansk. In the southern areas, the occupying "authorities" are promoting the process of granting Russian citizenship to residents of the occupied territories. The mass distribution of Russian citizenship is a tool to prepare for the absorption of the occupied territories. Thus, the Russian Federation is preparing the conditions for a "referendum,” trying to strengthen the local population's loyalty and the elites' dependence. At the same time, by accepting new citizens, the demographic problem of the Russian Federation is partially solved (the population is increased). Russia has already stated that its troops have deported 1,936,911 Ukrainians to Russia since the beginning of the war, of which 307,423 are children.

Along with this, the Russian Federation in the future seeks to create in the Donbas a kind of “showcase” for the restoration of a relatively prosperous life, which may be attractive to the rest of the territory of Ukraine. The Russian Federation plans to invest more than 2 trillion rubles (about $35 billion) over the next two years to restore Donbas.

In general, the Russian Federation demonstrates its readiness to absorb the occupied territories of Ukraine, despite the sanctions and political pressure.

Negotiations between Ukraine and Russia.

Currently, the negotiation process is blocked. Only consultations are being held on the exchange of prisoners and dead bodies. Representatives of the Ukrainian authorities continue to insist that one can speak with the Russian Federation only from a position of strength.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Ukraine this week. Romanian President Klaus Iohannis also came to Kyiv, but separately. During the talks, the leaders of European countries expressed support for Ukraine's accession to the EU and discussed food security and arms supplies. The negotiations also had a significant closed part.

The three leaders (Germany, France, and Italy) have publicly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine more than once, but they often remained loyal to the Russian Federation. The leading economies of the European Union are facing difficulties from the sanctions imposed on Russia, and the situation with the supply of arms to Ukraine remains difficult. It is possible that despite the stated positions, the leaders of Germany, France, and Italy may persuade V. Zelensky to resume the negotiation process and search for a compromise with Moscow.

Immediately after the visit of the leaders of France, Germany, and Italy, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in Kyiv. The approaches of the leaders of the European Union and Great Britain regarding the war in Ukraine differ significantly.

The British leader may seek to maintain control over Ukraine and fears that Europe may push Ukraine to new peace talks with the Russian Federation, using EU membership and possible financing of Ukraine as an instrument of persuasion. Probably, B. Johnson decided to make sure that the President of Ukraine, V. Zelensky, still did not agree to any severe compromises with the Russian Federation. The President's Office discussed with B. Johnson the need to supply heavy weapons and air defense systems, economic assistance, and expanding sanctions against the Russian Federation. The visit ended with the conclusion of new agreements to ensure support for the armed forces of Ukraine in the war with the Russian Federation.

Based on B. Johnson's statement, we can conclude that until the end of the war, no one will provide security guarantees to Ukraine, which could become part of a peace treaty.

Ukraine is likely to receive the status of an “EU candidate,” but bidding will continue on the funding necessary to achieve the “membership criteria” and the reality of membership itself. To a large extent, much will depend on the ability of V. Zelensky and his team to find a balance with the EU, Russia, the US, and Britain, as well as on the situation at the front.

Public opinion.

According to a study by the Sociological Group "Rating,” 93% of respondents are confident that Ukraine will be able to repel a Russian attack. A high level of confidence is observed among residents of all macro-regions and representatives of different ages.

Despite the high confidence level in victory, the respondents "soberly" assess the timing of achieving success in the war. 67% believe it takes at least six months or more to win. A quarter of respondents believe in victory in a few months, about 6% in a few weeks.

69% of Ukrainian citizens are confident that the country will be admitted to the EU within five years.

• 40% - within 1-2 years,

• 29% - in five years.

• another 14% believe that Ukraine will become a member of the EU in the next 5-10 years,

• 3% - in 10-20 years.

• 7% do not believe that Ukraine will integrate into the European Union.

The socio-economic situation in Ukraine.

Disagreements in the government team.

Within the ruling power, two main lines of friction are outlined, the main reason for which may be competition for public opinion, Western political support, and financial assistance. As well as an attempt to appoint a culprit for heavy human losses and a problematic military situation at the front.

Office of the President of Ukraine and the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy recorded a video in which he made Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine V. Zaluzhny responsible for the poor equipment of the Ukrainian army. Also, a wave of confessions about the military losses of Ukraine begins. In particular, government officials voiced the loss of Ukrainian troops at the front from 60 to 500 dead per day.

Office of the President and the National Security and Defense Council.

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexei Danilov often made statements that were not consistent with the overall communication strategy of the state. In addition, a conflict has recently been growing between him and the head of the Presidential Office, Andriy Yermak. Responding to criticism by the advisers to the head of the OP, NSDC Secretary A. Danilov criticized the "figures" who called the loss of Ukrainian troops at the front 200, 300, or 1000 dead per day; and who previously collaborated with V. Yanukovych (meaning the adviser to the head of the OP M. Podolyak).

Several “pro-Russian” parties have been banned in Ukraine.

Eighth Court of Appeal in Lviv on June 20, 2022, satisfied the claim of the Ministry of Justice and banned the political party "Opposition Platform - For Life" (already the 9th party).

The day before, the court banned the Left Opposition Party, the Sharij Party, and the Socialist Party, functioning since 1991. The Lviv Court also prohibited the Opposition Bloc, Socialists, Derzhava, Vladimir Saldo Bloc, NASHI, and the Justice and Development Party. The ban on "pro-Russian parties" is an important symbolic step, primarily aimed at demonstrating to the Ukrainian society the patriotism of the current government. At the same time, it is possible that in this way, the field is being cleared for new parties of the left type but is already under the control of the Office of the President.

Introduction of a visa regime with the Russian Federation.

From July 1, 2022, Ukraine will introduce a visa regime for entry for citizens of the Russian Federation. From March 1, 2020, crossing the Ukrainian border with the Russian Federation was carried out only on a passport. In early May, a petition to create a visa regime for citizens of the Russian Federation gained more than 25,000 signatures, which became the reason for its consideration by the President of Ukraine. The introduction of a visa regime with the Russian Federation, taking into account the borders closed between the countries since the beginning of the war, is aimed at limiting and establishing control over the entry into the territory of Ukraine of citizens of the Russian Federation through the western borders with the EU, among which there may be not only employees of the Russian special services but also toxic representatives of the Russian opposition. Now the conditional "Nevzorovs" or "Ovsyanikovs" will first have to apply for visas at the embassies of Ukraine and third countries (representing the interests of Ukraine).

The authorities are going to cut the state apparatus three times.

Due to digitalization, the Ukrainian authorities plan to reduce the state apparatus by three times. The proposal is to leave only 65,000 employees instead of 238,000 while almost halving budget spending on salaries for officials - from UAH 46 billion 500 million. Up to UAH 26 billion, respectively.

The reduction of the state apparatus is also an attempt to save budgetary funds, as well as to “clean out” an element of the state apparatus that is disloyal to the current government since it was formed mainly by the team of ex-president P. Poroshenko, Ukrainian oligarchs, who have lost some of their influence. At the same time, this will provoke additional unemployment among officials and intensify the crisis in relations between the bureaucracy and the authorities.

The situation around Ukraine

Ukraine's accession to the EU.

The European Commission has recommended granting Ukraine and Moldova the status of candidates for membership in the European Union. All 27 Member States must approve the final decision on granting the status. This issue will be discussed at the summit of European leaders, which will be held in Brussels on June 23-24. So far, everything is moving towards granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership.

According to Bloomberg, all 27 member states of the European Union have agreed to grant candidate status to Ukraine. European support for Ukraine's EU membership is now the highest in 15 years. According to Reuters, almost two-thirds of Europeans support Ukraine's membership in the European Union.

But in Europe, they make it clear that granting Ukraine the status of a candidate for EU membership is the beginning of a long negotiation process with certain conditions. In particular, Clément Bon, Minister Delegate for European Affairs at the French Foreign Ministry, said there would be no accelerated procedure for Ukraine and that the country had to fulfill several strict requirements to join the EU.

According to the recommendations of the European Commission, Ukraine needs to fulfill the following conditions:

- "anti-oligarchic" law must start working

- Media legislation needs to be brought into line with European audiovisual legislation.

- Complete the reform of the legislative framework for the rights of national minorities.

- Adoption and implementation of legislation on the procedure for selecting judges of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine.

- Completion of the integrity check of candidates for members of the High Council of Justice and selection of candidates for the High Qualifications Commission of Judges of Ukraine.

- Strengthening the fight against corruption, in particular at a high level. Completion of the selection and appointment of a new director of NABU and head of SAP.

- Adoption of a comprehensive strategic plan for reforming the entire law enforcement sector.

The conditions include the removal of Ukrainian oligarchs’ instruments of influence on the Ukrainian state and transferring many areas of the economy and public administration under the control of European partners.

At the same time, in concluding Ukraine's compliance with the requirements for a candidate state, the European Commission proposes that the EU can cancel the candidate's status if Ukraine violates its obligations.

The status of a candidate for the EU is a significant symbolic victory for the team of V. Zelensky, which will further mobilize public opinion in their support. In addition, this enables Ukraine to attract EU funds to equalize living standards and implement various infrastructure projects. For the new financial period 2021-2027, the budget package for the instrument of assistance at the stage before accession to the EU IPA III is 14.162 billion euros for all participants, which Serbia already uses, Turkey, Albania, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, and North Macedonia. But it is evident that, if possible, the allocation of these funds to Ukraine may be a separate stage of the auction, which will depend on fulfilling the conditions put forward by the EU.

It is expected that bargaining between Ukraine and EU leaders regarding the terms of obtaining funding and the timing of EU accession will be complex and may include political principles and economic goals and the issue of peace negotiations with the Russian Federation.

Deliveries of weapons to Ukraine.

Following the Ramstein meeting of the Ukrainian Defense Contact Group, US President Joe Biden promised to provide $1 billion in military assistance, including coastal defenses, advanced missile systems, artillery, and ammunition to support Ukrainian operations. Also, D. Biden announced an additional allocation of humanitarian aid to Ukraine for $225 million. In addition, the United States will spend about $1.5 billion monthly to Kyiv for 4-5 months to support the work of the Ukrainian government. At the same time, according to the information Head of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), S. Power Ukraine's military spending reaches $5-7 billion a month. According to S. Power, these are staggering costs, and even the $7.5 billion that the US Administration is preparing to allocate to Ukraine as a general aid will not be enough to cover the expenses caused by the war.

The Minister of Defense of Ukraine, A. Reznikov, announced three possible stages of stabilizing the situation in Ukraine thanks to new weapons:

1️ Prevent further losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from Russian troops;

2️ Push Russian troops back to their positions before the February 24th invasion;

3️ Discuss with Ukraine's partners the question of "how to liberate territories, including Crimea." At the same time, Ukraine, according to the minister, is not going to attack Russian territory.

As a result of Ramstein-3, Ukraine will receive the following assistance package:

2 - launchers of the Harpoon coastal missile system

18 - Howitzer M777

36 thousand - shells caliber 155mm.

18 - tractors for howitzers

3-PU MLRS M270

Ammunition for MLRS HIMARS

2- recovery vehicles with spare parts

1000 - walkie-talkies with secure communication

1000 - night vision devices

3 - PU MLRS M270

Guided projectiles for MLRS

Ammunition for UAV Bayraktar TB2


NATO members have additionally announced that they will continue to supply Ukraine with heavy weapons and long-range systems. They plan to agree on a new aid package after consultations with the Ukrainian Defense Ministry. At the same time, US Army General Mark Milley, referring to the data of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, said that the international community had sent to Ukraine:

- 12 artillery battalions (10 were requested)

- 97 thousand anti-tank systems

- 237 tanks (200 were requested)

- 300 infantry fighting vehicles - (100 were requested)

- 1600 air defense systems and about 60 thousand missiles for them.

- cannon artillery - 383 units and almost half a million artillery shells.

After that, the Pentagon, on its official website, summed up the military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion. It is noted that its total amount is approximately 5.6 billion dollars. Following this, the German government also, for the first time, published a list of weapons provided to Ukraine and a plan for further deliveries. Among other things, Germany will supply Ukraine with 30 Gepard self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, an IRIS-T air defense system, 3 Mars-type multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) and other weapons, 22 trucks, 80 Toyota pickups, etc.

Likely, the publication of the list of weapons supplied to Ukraine by the United States and Germany is a response to criticism from representatives of the Ukrainian authorities that the West does not provide Ukraine with weapons on time and in the required quantity. As well as an attempt to abdicate responsibility for possible negative development of events on the Donbas front and transfer responsibility to the Ukrainian military-political leadership.

It's to be expected that the Russian Federation will use the publication of the list of weapons supplied to Ukraine as a propaganda tool within Russian society to confirm the thesis of a global war between Russia and the West on the territory of Ukraine.

The situation with the unblocking of Ukrainian ports and the export of grain.

The search for opportunities to ensure the export of Ukrainian products from ports to world markets continues. But due to the lack of any agreement between Ukraine and the Russian Federation on this issue, the process is gradually coming to a standstill. Russia and Turkey discussed the export of commercial vessels with cargo. In particular, the Russian Federation is ready to allow sea grain convoys from Ukraine, provided Ukrainian ports are cleared of mines. But in Ukraine, they fear that the Russian Federation may use grain corridors to attack the south of Ukraine.

According to the Turkish side, negotiations between Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, and UN representatives on the issue of grain export from Ukraine will be held in Istanbul next week. The meeting may be attended by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But in Ukraine, they said that agreements on the panel had not yet been reached.

In parallel, the Russian leadership seeks to solve the problem of grain exports from the occupied territories, "bypassing" the search for a compromise solution to this issue with Ukraine. In particular, the process of exporting grain from the ports occupied by the Russian Federation begins. The Russian Defense Ministry announced opening two "humanitarian corridors" for 70 foreign ships from 16 states blocked in Ukrainian ports. But the Minister for Reintegration, Iryna Vereshchuk, said this process was not coordinated with Ukraine.

Also, on the part of Ukraine, they report looting at elevators in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories and exporting stolen grain by Russia for sale to African and Asian countries. The Russian-appointed Kherson Occupation Administration has announced that the Kherson Commercial Sea Port has resumed operations and will begin cargo transportation. Also, in the Russian Federation, they intend to strengthen control over access to ports in the Black Sea under the protection of a fortified naval presence on Zmiiny Island. The situation in the Black Sea is aggravated now there are 6 Russian carriers of cruise missiles - 3 ships and three submarines. The likelihood of a Russian operation in the region of the cities is increasing. Ochakiv, Mykolaiv, to capture the mouth of the Dnieper River and ensure the functioning of the port of Kherson.

Also, the Russian Federation is not against globalizing the “food crisis” scenario. The UN notes that the problem of exporting grain from Ukrainian ports, if left unresolved, could lead to political instability – famine, and mass migration worldwide. In particular, shortages of wheat and other grains could affect 1.4 billion people. Europe is already expecting some 150,000 migrants by the end of this year. But, considering the decline in production in Ukraine by 40-50% and the gradual replacement of Ukraine in international markets by Russia, India, etc., the food crisis is likely not as devastating as previously predicted. As a result of the blockade of seaports by Russia, Ukraine cannot export from 22 to 25 million tons of grain. The loss of Ukraine due to the shortfall in the harvest of crops is estimated at $9.6 billion. And the total indirect losses in agriculture due to a decrease in production, blockade of ports, and an increase in the cost of production factors are estimated at $23.3 billion. According to President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, 75 million tons of grain may already be blocked by autumn.

The partnership between China and Russia.

The continuation of the war in Ukraine and increased pressure from the West will only increase Russia's turn to Asia and strengthen its alliance with China. Even though China and the Russian Federation, without signing certain agreements and did not create a formal military bloc, often share common goals and play a classic game. President of China Xi Jinping, for the first time since the start of the war in Ukraine, voiced support for Russian theses on security and sovereignty: “China is ready to work with Russia to promote bilateral business cooperation for sustainable and long-term progress. China is ready to continue to support each other with Russia on issues related to core interests and major issues such as sovereignty and security” (according to the PRC Foreign Ministry).

Also, at the BRICS forum, Chinese leader Xi Jinping demonstrated that his position on the issues of the United States, NATO, and the war in Ukraine is close to Russia's: " History shows us that hegemonism, bloc formation politics, and camp opposition will not bring us peace and security, but will lead us to wars ."

In particular, the BRICS states - Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa, and China- have not imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation and are increasing trade with it in Russian liquid goods - grain and oil.

In January-April of this year, the trade turnover between Russia and China grew by 25.9% yearly and reached $51.09 billion. Military-technical and other goods, resources, and technologies continue to be actively supplied to the Russian Federation and from the Russian Federation to China. The union of these two countries, although it will not be equal since China is in a more advantageous position, will allow the Russian Federation to remain in global markets and China to receive cheap Russian energy resources, which will only accelerate China's GDP growth and its leadership position in many markets.

But China's refusal to condemn Russia is becoming less popular abroad and within the country. There are already indications that Beijing may be rethinking its relationship with Russia. China has removed Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng from his post. The decision to suspend Le Yucheng from international relations may reflect the concern of members of the Chinese Communist Party that Russia has become too close to China. Le Yucheng has been strengthening ties with Russia in recent months. But given China's centralized decision-making process, Le Yucheng cannot be entirely responsible for such political decisions.

The conflict between Lithuania (EU) and Russia.

Lithuania, in agreement with the EU, announced the termination of rail transit under the sanctioned goods of the Russian Federation to the Kaliningrad region through its territory. About 50% of Russian imports and exports, including steel and ferrous metal products. For its part, the Russian Federation promises to take “retaliatory measures” shortly and threatens Lithuania and the EU with consequences. The transit ban can reduce the volume of Russian supplies to the Kaliningrad region four times. Since it was the railway, and not the sea or road, that was the main supply channel. Lithuania is a member of NATO, and the conflict over transit restrictions to the Kaliningrad region creates additional tension between the Alliance and the Russian Federation. But it is quite possible to expect further conditions on trade relations between the Russian Federation and Lithuania (EU), the refusal of the Russian Federation from agreements on the recognition of borders in the region, and a naval blockade of Lithuanian ports. It is also impossible to completely exclude the possibility of a Russian operation to seize the so-called Suwalki corridor - a land corridor from the territory of Belarus to Kaliningrad. A draft law has already been submitted to the State Duma, which provides for the extension of the simplified procedure for obtaining Russian citizenship for citizens of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Russian parliamentarians have already adopted amendments to a streamlined process for obtaining Russian citizenship by residents of Ukraine, Moldova, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

The situation in Moldova.

Increases the risk of destabilization in Moldova. In particular, the armed forces of Moldova began receiving Western military assistance, and perhaps, they will start to switch to NATO standards shortly. At the same time, we can say that all pro-Russian influences are beginning to be cleared out in Moldova. Moldovan President Maia Sandu signed a law banning Russian news, analytical programs, and military films from the Russian Federation. Along with this, the joint session of the Parliament of Moldova and Romania marks the formation of a pro-Western, Moldovan-Romanian coalition. Perhaps this is the way to create a new confederal federative Moldavian-Romanian state. Of course, in such a situation, the Russian Federation will increase pressure on Moldova. Suppose Moldova manages to make a pro-Western transition. In that case, the risk of a military operation in Moldova or a joint Ukrainian-Moldovan operation in Transnistria will increase, possibly another war zone. All sorts of attempts at a military coup and assassination attempts on state leaders inspired by the Russian Federation are possible. Large-scale rallies have already been held in the capital of Moldova against incumbent President Maia Sandu. The action was organized by the New Life movement, close to the Shor party.

Speech by Russian President Vladimir Putin at the plenary session of the St. Petersburg Economic Forum (PEMF).

V. Putin's speech demonstrated that the Russian Federation is not yet ready to abandon its goals in Ukraine. At the same time, it is not yet striving to raise the degree of military escalation or expand the conflict zone. It was noted that the Russian Federation does not threaten the world with nuclear weapons but warns that it is ready to use them in case of a threat to sovereignty.

In particular, it was noted:

- The decision to conduct a special operation was forced and necessary. All tasks will be solved.

- Sanctions against the Russian Federation are insane and thoughtless. We are gradually normalizing the economic situation.

- The EU has finally lost its political sovereignty. The current situation in Europe will lead to a surge of radicalism and, in the future, to a change of elites.

- Only the direct losses of the EU from the sanctions fever can exceed $400 billion in a year, people bear these costs, and inflation in some eurozone countries is already above 20%.

- Russia does not interfere with food supplies from Ukraine. We did not mine the Black Sea ports of Ukraine.

- Shortly, cargo traffic along the North-South transport corridor will grow steadily.

- The budget of the Russian Federation in 2022 will be executed with a surplus of 3 trillion rubles.

- Russia's goal is to achieve an inflation rate of 4%

-The third and fourth principles of the development of the Russian economy are balanced macropolitics and social justice.

V. Putin outlined his concept of world processes. He positions himself as a "fighter for a just world order,” challenging the global power of the West. He blamed the West for the current problems of humanity and the world economy - the energy and food crisis and rising inflation. In this way, V. Putin turned to the third-world countries, trying to win them over to his side. This suggests that the Russian economy and politics continue reverting toward the East and South (Asia, the Middle East, and Africa).