summer extravaganza: issue ten

Eastern Europe

A welcome with one hand and a weapon in the other

by Rachael Ward

image credit: Louisa Gouliamaki (AFP)

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, around 6,900,000 million Ukrainians have fled the country in search of a safe refuge. Because they border Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, and Romania have taken in vast numbers of Ukrainains. But which country has seen the greatest influx of Ukrainian refugees? That would be Russia, the very invader itself. As desperate Ukrainans flee their homeland, the place they are likely to be heading is the home of their aggressor – with over 1,300,000 million Ukrainians having found refuge in Russia since February. 

What’s more, Putin has just signed two separate decrees to make life more comfortable for Ukrainains on Russian soil, stipulating that those arriving from Ukraine, may settle in Russia indefinitely, whilst certain categories of people can receive monthly payments worth $166. One wonders whether such a move will convince Ukrainains of Putin’s ‘benevolence’ as missiles shower its motherland under his instruction.

The Battle for Kherson

by Connor Crout

image credit: Panoramio upload bot (Wikimedia Commons)

Kherson, a city in Ukraine, is currently the only city west of the Dnieper River in Russian hands. Recently, however, Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive to reclaim the city.

This move  to reclaim the important city of Kherson, however, has been signalled as early as mid-August. That is why Russia has reinforced its troops on the Kherson front, meaning that Kherson is more heavily defended than most areas across the Russian frontline. This may benefit Ukraine as Russia has had to move their troops away from other important areas such as the Donbas .

Despite enduring over six months of invasion and approximately 15,000 casualties, Ukraine clearly has no intentions of conceding to Russia. This proves that the Ukrainian resolve, both on and off the battlefield, remains strong.

Eastern Mediterranean

Greek ‘Watergate’ phone-tapping scandal shakes Greek government and puts added pressure on PM.
by Orestis Sechas

image credit: Greek economy (Wikimedia Commons)

Greece’s political opposition is set to launch a parliamentary inquiry into a spying scandal which has tarnished Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ reputation and revealed political corruption at the heart of Greek politics. The wiretapping scandal has intensified European pressure on the centre-right ruling government and has led to the resignations of Greece’s intelligence chief and the general secretary of the Prime Minister’s office. Following these revelations, leaders of the main Greek opposition parties have demanded Kyriakos Mitsotakis to resign. They have argued that the surveillance of the senior European Parliamentary Member and President of PASOK, Nikos Andreoulakis, was illegal and unethical.

However, the Greek PM has sought to deflect parliamentary attacks over this profound state scandal. The defence rests on the prime minister’s claim that the tapping was essential to the country’s national security. Mitsotakis says that the revelation of the scandal is merely an attempt by foreign forces to destabilise the nation.

Rising tensions: Erdogan, Greece and NATO

by Eleanor Austin

image credit: Shadow4dark (Wikimedia Commons)

This past week has seen the uncertain and tense relations between Greece and Turkey being tested again. President Erdogan has threatened that they will “come down suddenly” on Greece in the future. This response comes after Greece has been accused of harassing Turkish fighter jets. Turkish media has reported that the Greek S-300 missile system was locked on their jets. This, however, has been refuted by Greece. Further tensions arose concerning the Aegean Sea, with Turkey accusing Greece of militarising certain islands in the Aegean, breaking international agreements to ensure their neutrality.

Moreover, there were further disagreements after NATO’s Allied Land Command posted a congratulatory tweet for Turkey’s 100th Victory Day, which celebrates Turkey’s victory over Greece in the Greco-Turkish war. The tweet was swiftly deleted after Greek officials condemned it, calling it tasteless and unacceptable.

Consequently, with these recent events, the future relationship between these neighbouring nations remains tense.

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