Naval parade plays into Putin’s dangerous vanity

Combat ships lined the Neva River in St. Petersburg and crowded the harbor of the nearby Kronstadt naval base on July 25 for the parade marking the 325th anniversary of Russia’s navy, the Military-Maritime Fleet (Voyenno-Morskoy Flot – VMF). It was only the sixth such Navy Day spectacle to date. In 2017, Russian President Vladi­mir Putin decided that the annual May 9 Victory Day parade in Red Square in Moscow was not enough to convincingly demonstrate the full might of the Russian Armed Forces.

U.S.-Germany Nord Stream 2 agreement – a victory for Russia

The announcement on July 21 of the agreement between the United States and Germany allowing for the completion of Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project comes at a time when Russia is undertaking a full-scale effort to manipulate the European gas market, deplete European gas storages and send prices skyrocketing.

Ukraine takes a big step toward judicial reform

Ukraine took a potential landmark step toward judicial reform in mid-July when members of parliament adopted two laws that should establish credible foundations for the reboot of the country’s legal system.

Putin’s fixation on Ukraine is demagogic, delusional and dangerous

World leaders rarely publish their visions of current affairs in the form of essays, but President Vladimir Putin developed a habit of doing just that since returning to the Kremlin in 2012. His latest treatise, “On the Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,” stands out among his other works representing this vast body of literature.

EU includes Ukraine on its ‘green zone’ list

BRUSSELS – The Council of the European Union announced on July 15 that Ukraine has been added to its list of countries it believes no longer require certain travel restrictions. Member states of the EU use those recommendations to decide whether to impose COVID-19-related travel restrictions.