The Russian offensive in Ukraine is not weakening. Fighting is still focused in the east of the country, even if bombings continue to target other cities and Snake Island is still disputed. Meanwhile, the West wants to do without Russian oil and Finland wants to join NATO. like every week, 20 minutes Explores the war in Ukraine in four infographics.
The front line was largely stabilized on the 79th day of the war
The land bridge that Russia wants between the Donbass and the Crimea is almost completed and seems to be tightly controlled by the Russian army, although the Azovstal plant is resisting Mariupol. According to the British Ministry of Defense, Russia is making “significant efforts” in the Izyum and Severodonetsk regions to make progress towards Kramatorsk, the main city in the Ukrainian-controlled part of Donbas.
Elsewhere, the front line moves very little, and even looks favorable to the Ukrainians who drove Russia from the suburbs of Mykolaiv in the south and Kharkiv in the northeast. The Kherson region occupied by the Russian army can request its annexation to Vladimir Putin, according to the pro-Russian authorities.
How do you join NATO?
While Finland’s CEO has supported “immediate” membership in NATO, and an official Swedish report also supports that option, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan showed himself hostile to the idea on Friday. This statement casts a cold eye on the process that has so far supported most NATO members and the Alliance’s Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, is ready to welcome them “with open arms”. Once a third country has made the decision to join, NATO members must unanimously accept their invitation to join them.
However, these nominations would mark a real shift in the balance of power, after decades of breaking out of Helsinki and Stockholm’s military alliances. According to recent polls, nearly half of the ten million Swedes now support joining the alliance, a share that rises to two-thirds if Finland joins as well. And in Finland, which shares a 1,300 km border with Russia, more than three-quarters of the population of 5.5 million people want to join the NATO umbrella.
Among the refugees, many skilled workers
More than six million Ukrainians have fled their country since the start of the invasion launched by the Russian army on February 24, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in Geneva on Thursday. Of these, 2.75 million are of working age according to the International Labor Organization and “may want to seek work in these countries” if circumstances force them to stay in the host country for an extended period.
Women and children make up 90% of the refugees, while men between the ages of 18 and 60 are prohibited from leaving Ukraine, it is mostly working women who are more likely to look for work. Nearly half of these workers hold high-skilled jobs, compared to 15% of those with low-skill jobs. Therefore, integrating these refugees into the labor market is a real challenge for the host countries, particularly Poland, which has seen an influx of nearly 200,000 highly qualified Ukrainian women.
The G7 wants to dispense with Russian oil
In a video meeting on May 8, G7 members pledged to phase out Russian oil in the long term, without a specific timeline. “The entire G7 pledged today to ban or halt imports of Russian oil,” the White House said in a statement on Sunday. This decision “would deal a blow to the main artery that fuels (Vladimir) Putin’s economy and deprive him of the income he needs to fund his war” on Ukraine, says the US executive.
The energy sector is the sector where Western sanctions are least advanced, due to the dependence of certain economies on Russian oil or gas. For European members of the G7, this commitment could quickly be incorporated into the planned EU-wide ban, if the 27 countries agree. But Russian oil will not be easy to replace for everyone. Thus Germany imported 800,000 barrels per day in November 2021, more than 20% of its imports.