Russia Rising Tension

July 26, 2022
A map of Europe

Rising Tensions

From pipelines to prisons, from the sea to outer space, Russia ratchets up tensions five months into its invasion of Ukraine.
What To Know: Why It Matters

What To Know:

  • Russia's invasion of Ukraine began roughly five months ago, on February 24, 2022.

  • Russia has cut energy resources to Europe, slashing already limited natural gas exports.

  • Russia bombed a major port in Ukraine *after* the U.N. brokered a deal b/t Russia & Ukraine to export again from the region.

  • American Brittney Griner ("wrongfully detained" in Russia, according to the U.S.) remains behind bars.

  • Russia just announced plans to no longer participate in the International Space Station.

“Today’s decision ensures we will not have to face dramatic consequences in winter …”

Czech Republic Minister of Industry and Trade Jozef Síkela, after Tuesday's emergency meeting in Brussels of European Union energy ministers as they approved a plan to cut EU usage of Russian natural gas by 15% (with some exceptions). The Kremlin has slowly cut gas exports to Europe in recent weeks & announced further reductions Tuesday, raising fears of more shortages in the colder winter months. The EU depends on Russia for nearly half of its natural gas supply.

"The decision to leave the station after 2024 has been made."

The new head of Russian space agency Roscosmos, Yuri Borisov, on Russia's *potential* departure from the International Space Station — which has provided a place for astronauts from all over the world to live and work since 2000 and is "one of the last areas of cooperation between the U.S. and the Kremlin" (Associated Press). Russia and the U.S. run the massive research complex along with Japan, Europe, and Canada. This comment casts doubt on the future of the ISS, since Russia operates a main section of it.

"It was prescribed by a doctor."

Defense attorney Alexander Boykov represents American Brittney Griner, who pleaded guilty in a Russian court to bringing cannabis oil (for vaping) into the country. Her trial is in the sentencing phase; the two-time Olympic gold medalist WNBA player faces up to ten years behind bars. She was arrested in February, just days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Her lawyers say she accidentally packed the cannabis (which they say she uses medically to treat pain) with no intent to commit a crime. Cannabis is illegal in Russia.

"That's all you need to know about deals with Russia."

Estonia's Prime Minister Kaja Kallas after Russia bombed the Ukrainian port of Odessa only one day after the United Nations & Turkey brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine to start moving exports (particularly grain) out of southern ports — which Russia has continued to attack. The recent lack of the region's exports have stoked fears of a growing global food crisis; large parts of the world, such as Africa, depend on the Ukrainian/Russian "breadbasket."

What happens next? TBD. Russian President Putin recently visited Iran and has focused on developing relationships with China and India. He criticized the West and the "elite" in a recent speech, arguing, "One gets the impression that the West is simply unable to offer the world a model for the future of its own … A new era and a new stage in world history are coming."

Timeline of Russian invasion: CLICK HERE

Russian gas cut to Europe hits economic hopes after Ukraine grain deal

Russia to drop out of International Space Station after 2024

Russian expert at Griner's trial discusses medical cannabis

Outrage as Russian missiles strike Odesa port one day after grain export deal agreed

Russian President Vladimir Putin's Address Transcript

by Jenna Lee,