Press review: Russia installs new defense minister and Ukrainian terror in Belgorod

MOSCOW:  Putin appoints new defense minister, Ukraine carries out terrorist attack in Belgorod and Russian military's onslaught on Khark...


MOSCOW:  Putin appoints new defense minister, Ukraine carries out terrorist attack in Belgorod and Russian military's onslaught on Kharkov. These stories topped Monday's newspaper headlines across Russia.

Vedomosti: Putin appoints new defense minister

Late last night, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that Sergey Shoigu had been relieved of his duties as Russian defense minister by a presidential decree and appointed secretary of the Russian Security Council. He added that Nikolay Patrushev had been dismissed as Security Council secretary and his next appointment would be announced in the near future.

Belousov, an economist by trade, will be tasked with modernizing the Russian army, says Grigory Dobromelov, head of the Department of State Consulting analytical center. Belousov is very well-versed in military economics, but has no military background himself, Viktor Murakhovsky, editor-in-chief of the Arsenal of the Fatherland military journal, highlights.

He thinks that, following the appointment of the new minister, some reshuffle in the ministry’s leadership may follow, including the head of the General Staff.

In addition to his superb knowledge of military economics, which will play a key role in the outcome of the special operation, Belousov fully understands how important it is that the military become more sophisticated, said Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies Director Ruslan Pukhov. His approaches to introducing innovations were one of the reasons for his appointment as the implementation of new technologies in the armed forces will be one of his main tasks going forward. The expert reiterated that the Russian president has prioritized introducing new technologies to stay a step ahead of the adversary.

Izvestia: Ukraine shells Russia’s Belgorod using Western weapons

One should not expect the West to say anything about the May 12 tragedy in Belgorod, experts polled by Izvestia said. As before, Ukraine’s allies will most likely keep quiet about this latest attack against Russian civilians. A section of a residential apartment building has completely collapsed following a Ukrainian strike, killing 15 and sending 20 people to the hospital, including at least two children and three rescue workers. Some of the building’s residents are still missing. While the rescue operation was underway, air raid sirens sounded several times. In order for Belgorod to be safe from Ukrainian terror attacks, the line of military engagement needs to be pushed further away, experts think.

Bogdan Bezpalko, a member of the Russian Presidential Council for Interethnic Relations, thinks that the West could react in two ways to the Belgorod incident.

"The first is total indifference," he told Izvestia. "Western leaders have already claimed that Ukraine has the right to deliver strikes on Russian territory - this is considered by them as ‘self-defense.’ The second is apprehension and fear that Russia may unexpectedly respond. For example, with strikes on Ukraine, wiping out some hotel where foreign advisors are staying."

Ordinary European residents are unaware of such shelling attacks on civilians in Belgorod, Mateusz Piskorski, a political scientist and columnist for the Mysl Polska newspaper, told Izvestia.

According to him, leading Western news outlets will not cover this incident, instead focusing on events in Ukraine. The expert noted that this has become common practice. He thinks that the political community realizes that all of this is simply leading to an escalation and the continuation of an armed conflict.

Nezavisimaya Gazeta: Russian troops target Kharkov

Following Russia’s onslaught in the Kharkov area, the Ukrainian armed forces intensified shelling attacks of the borderline Belgorod Region. The US and NATO are treading carefully as they assess Russia’s actions. Despite concerns about the effectiveness of aid to the Kiev regime, the West continues to offer support to the Ukrainian army.

Military analyst Colonel (Ret.) Nikolay Shulgin told Nezavisimaya Gazeta that all of this is happening amid Russia's non-strategic nuclear forces drills "which Moscow and Minsk tie with the possible arrival of NATO servicemen in the Ukrainian armed forces."

The expert noted that French President Emmanuel Macron had again hinted at the presence of Western troops in the Ukrainian conflict zone. "While the US, striving to boost the Ukrainian army’s combat potential, has sent to Kiev a new large-scale military aid package, which, in addition to combat vehicles, artillery shells and air defense systems, includes ATACMS tactical ballistic missiles, capable of hitting targets 300 km away. Apart from that, the Americans approved Germany's purchase of HIMARS multiple launch systems for Ukraine which launch long-range projectiles," the expert noted. He thinks that Russia’s large-scale advance in the Kharkov area may herald serious positive changes for Russia on the frontline.

Vedomosti: UN grants Palestine special status, but official statehood still a ways away

The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution recognizing Palestinians’ full-fledged rights in the international organization, that is, Palestine’s independence, and has called on the Security Council to approve this issue. The document was supported by 143 out of 193 countries with nine opposing and 25 abstaining, the UN press service said.

According to Dmitry Maryasis, researcher at the Department of Israel Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies, the resolution will not fundamentally change Palestine’s position at the UN. The US will block any proposals on Palestine’s independence at the Security Council so it is too early to talk about it obtaining statehood, the expert noted.

The voting at the General Assembly is mostly for show and is not a real step toward the creation of a Palestinian state, Ivan Bocharov, program coordinator at the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), concurs. "Even if one supposes that the UN Security Council supports this decision, multiple problems still remain: Israel will not implement the Security Council’s decision. This resolution is mostly of an advisory nature," the expert noted. Additionally, according to Bocharov, Palestine’s domestic situation is not yet ripe for statehood. "Accordingly, the Palestinians do not yet have a united political force which can negotiate with Israel on behalf of the entire nation," the expert explained

Izvestia: Asia joins lithium race

Asian countries are hopping on the lithium bandwagon amid the growing production of electric cars and the need to switch to renewable energy sources. Thailand, Indonesia and China, the world leader in lithium processing, are actively tapping this precious resource. That said, China’s own supplies are quite modest and the country may see a shortage of lithium amid its economic standoff with the US, which is also trying to increase production.

"Winning the 'lithium race' would mean control over the global 'green' agenda. Many countries took on obligations on carbon neutrality, that is, on zero carbon dioxide emission. Such goals are impossible to implement without switching from gasoline to electric vehicles," said senior researcher at the Center for World Politics and Strategic Analysis of the Institute for Systems Analysis of Russian Academy of Sciences Yekaterina Zaklyazminskaya.

"In my opinion, currently, Latin American countries are more interested in cooperating with China than with the US. The actual production volumes of accumulators in China tell the leaders of the ‘lithium triangle’ countries [Bolivia, Chile and Argentina] that demand for this product will be ensured mostly by China rather than by the US," she noted.

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Local Glob: Press review: Russia installs new defense minister and Ukrainian terror in Belgorod
Press review: Russia installs new defense minister and Ukrainian terror in Belgorod
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