Winter is coming to Europe, just as supplies of Russian natural gas are being choked off. Is this an unfortunate coincidence, or do the geopolitics of Putin’s bloody war on Ukraine have something to do with it?
For years, mainly under former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s watch, the country became hooked on cheap Russian gas, which covered industrial and household needs. With Europe now trying to push back against Russia in the wake of the Ukraine war, President Vladimir Putin is using gas as his crucial bargaining chip.
The pain inflicted by Putin is beginning to hurt ordinary Germans. “Utility companies are passing on the increased costs of gas to their customers. Gas heats more than half of the homes in Germany, and many residents will struggle to pay for it,” German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported last month.
Since then, the prices have soared even further, with the German newspaper Bild noting on August 12 that the “electricity and gas prices are going through the roof. The electricity already costs more than four times as much as it did a year ago, and gas seven folds as much.”
Days after Russian state-owned energy Gazprom announced that it was temporarily halting its main natural gas pipeline to Europe (Nord Stream 1), another gas pipeline — this time the one that brings gas from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan via Russia — has gone out of operation “due to damage.”Bracing for Winter
Meanwhile in Ukraine, the Game is Attrition and Logistics Degradation
Ukraine’s strategy: “To cause the Russians to have as many casualties as possible rather than defending specific pieces of terrain. And then what we see around Kherson is that Ukraine has figured out a way to accelerate that attrition among the Russians by luring them into a trap where they send reinforcements into an essentially undefendable area.” So the frontline isn’t moving, but “the Ukrainians expect them to run out of supplies eventually, and then it will be easy.”Another Logistics Failure
Who Killed Daria Dugina? Who Usually Kills Inconvenient Russian Journalists?
Multiple unlikely scenarios of how the killing came about, but who is the likely culprit, and why?
Her murder came via the FSB and the Putin camp. Of that much I am fully convinced. Putin needs something to rally the people, to overcome the reluctance (and even possible mutinies in the armed forces) to mobilize more fully if not fully to deal with the Ukraine. A pretext for that and/or crackdowns in Russia.
Ms. Dugina had become problematic in terms of her presentations to the West, discussions in public of what she would do if she was the defense minister versus her cynical reversals in private, and even attempts to usurp her father. Neither are the close Putin allies they portrayed themselves as being, as I noted yesterday that is a thing of the West, not Russia.Putin Kills Everybody in Russia!
By murdering Daria Dugina, Putin kills three birds with one stone. He gets rid of a troublesome journalist, he forces Alexander Dugin to toe the line or else, and he justifies his own brutal and unprovoked attack against a sister nation. Only in Putin’s mind . . .
The beating that Russian forces are taking can only get worse. If Putin survives this fiasco, he may not be able to hold the dangerously fragmenting Russian state in one piece.