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TOPIC: gas

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Putin’s Dream: Is The West’s Pro-Ukraine Coalition About To Unravel?

In a world divided between democracies and autocracies, the autocrats can count on the democrats eventually dividing among themselves— the freedom to disagree is, after all, the very cornerstone of democracy.

-Analysis-

PARIS — In a world divided between democracies and autocracies, the autocrats can count on the democrats eventually dividing among themselves— the freedom to disagree is, after all, the very cornerstone of democracy.

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In the global ideological clash playing out in the war in Ukraine, the moment has arrived where those divisions could wind up undermining the democratic cause itself. As Lucie Robequain writes for Les Echos, Vladimir Putin’s “dream” scenario is peaking over the horizon as France and Germany, the traditional co-drivers of European policy, are increasingly divided on a host of key issues from energy to industrial policy to arms production.

Supported by the West, Ukraine has managed to resist Russia’s invasion for eight long months.

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Nord Stream Sabotage: Why Underwater Pipelines Are So Vulnerable

Whatever caused the damage to the Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, it appears to be the first major attack on critical “subsea” (underwater) infrastructure in Europe. It’s now widely thoughtnot least by Nato – that the explosions that led to major leaks in the two pipelines were not caused by accidents.

The alliance says they were a deliberate act of sabotage.

The attacks occurred in the exclusive economic zones of Denmark and Sweden and demonstrate the risks that Europe’s subsea infrastructures are facing. This raises the question of the vulnerabilities of European pipelines, electricity and internet cables, and other maritime infrastructure. Europe will have to revisit its policies for protecting them.

But it is still unclear how the attacks were carried out. The investigations will probably take months to complete. Still, there are two likely scenarios.

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Tracking Massive Russian Exodus, From Finland To Mongolia

Russia’s neighbors — from Finland in the west to Mongolia 3,100 miles (5,076 km) to the east — are being flooded with the arrival of men fleeing the national draft announced last week as Moscow's invasion of Ukraine falters. Some 2,000 miles to the south of Helsinki, at the border with Georgia, there are reports of long lines of cars and bicycles trying to leave and Russian crackdowns on men trying to flee.

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In the first two days after Vladimir Putin announced the mobilization, 261,000 men of conscription age have left the country. Observers believe that has likely doubled since. The most popular destinations are the neighboring countries where one can enter without a visa or even without an international passport, such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Armenia.

But Finland too has reported a major uptick, with nearly 19,000 arriving, compared to 9,000 crossing in the opposite direction. "The arrival rate is about double what it was a week ago," Mert Sasioglu of the Finnish border guard told AFP.

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Where’s Putin? Russian Leader Stays Silent As Ukrainian Offensive Accelerates

The last sighting of Vladimir Putin was five days ago, when the Russian President appeared at the inauguration of a giant Ferris wheel in Moscow.

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Since then, as the Ukrainian army’s major counter-offensive in the northeast and south has gained momentum, and Russian troops make a hasty retreat, Putin has disappeared from the public space and made no comments on the dramatic events on the front of what he continues to call a “special military operation.”

The same is true of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, considered a loyal Putin insider and chief architect of the war, who has made no appearances or declarations.

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Geopolitics
Christine Kensche

Europe v. Turkey: A New Mediterranean Gas Race That May Turn Nasty

Europe needs new energy sources. One alternative to Russian gas could be in the eastern Mediterranean. But with Turkey also actively exploring the region for reserves, the potential for conflict is high.

It is the pride of the Turkish fleet. The bow of the "Abdülhamid Han" ship is painted red, with a crescent moon and star emblazoned on the sides. Like all four of Turkey's drillships, which are used for exploratory offshore drilling, it is named after a sultan and embodies Istanbul's claims of being a great power.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calls the state-of-the-art drilling ship a "symbol of Turkey's new vision in the energy sector."

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Green
Tobias Käufer

Germany's Cynical Solution To The Energy Crisis: "Green Colonialism"

Germany has supplies of climate-damaging resources like oil, gas, coal, lithium. But faced with an energy crisis, its government, including the Greens, has opted to outsource extraction to Latin America. The party's betrayal of its core values has not gone unnoticed.

-Analysis-

BERLIN — The experienced environmental activists from Ende Gelände, known for occupying coal mines, already have their sights set on the next target.

Their latest campaign was to defend the village of Lützerath in western Germany, close to the Dutch border, against eviction and demolition. The declared opponent is the energy company RWE. Its plans to promote lignite, the most polluting of coal types, were recently fought with a climate camp lasting several days and a demonstration to preserve the village.

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It is precisely these protests that Germany's so-called traffic light coalition, especially the Green Party's cabinet members Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, fear. They call into question their party's essence: climate and environmental protection.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Irene Caselli, Bertand Hauger, Lisa Berdet, Lila Paulou and Emma Albright

Ukraine Says 385 Square Miles Recaptured Since Counter-Offensive Began

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Ukrainian forces reclaimed 1,000 square kilometers (385 square miles) of territory in the south and east since launching their counter-offensive on Sept. 1. The troops continue to advance in both the Kharkiv and Kherson regions.

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“As part of ongoing defense operations, our heroes have already liberated dozens of settlements. And today (Thursday) this movement continued, there are new results,” Zelensky said in a nightly address on Thursday. Ukraine’s military has reportedly retaken 20 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast.

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In The News
Anna Akage, Bertrand Hauger, Lila Paulou, Chloé Touchard and Emma Albright

Zelensky Warns Of Russian “Energy Blow”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has warned Europeans that Russia was preparing "a decisive energy blow" during the next few months. He also praised his troops for the advances being made with the counteroffensive launched in southern Ukraine to reclaim Russian-occupied territories. He said that two settlements in the south of the country as well as a settlement in the eastern Donetsk region had been liberated. He added that Ukrainian forces had “advanced and regained certain heights” in the Lysychansk direction.

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His comments came ahead of the European Union’s energy ministers meeting Friday to discuss urgent measures in order to deal with the soaring energy prices, including gas price caps as well as the energy market.

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In The News
Cameron Manley, Bertrand Hauger, Lila Paulou, Chloe Touchard and Emma Albright

Offline Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Has The World Holding Its Breath

The transmission line connecting the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant with the power system in Ukraine was disconnected due to Russian shelling. Three other transmission lines had also been damaged during Russian shelling earlier in the conflict. As a result, two operating units of the power plant were disconnected from the grid, causing the complete disconnection of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant from the power grid.

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In his nightly address, the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that back-up diesel generators ensured power supply, which are vital for systems at the plant. "If our station staff had not reacted after the blackout, then we would have already been forced to overcome the consequences of a radiation accident," he said. He also stated that the coming winter will be the most difficult in the history of Ukraine due to high gas prices.

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In The News
Lisa Berdet, Chloé Touchard, Lila Paulou and Bertrand Hauger

Ukraine Refutes Dugina Accusations, UK Migrants Record, Jupiter’s Auroras

👋 Dobrý deň!*

Welcome to Tuesday, where Ukrainian ridicule Russian accusations that it is behind the murder Darya Dugina last week, the UK sees a record daily number of migrants reaching its shores, and the James Webb Telescope wows us again. Meanwhile, Hong-Kong-based outlet The Initium looks at the weight of new religious groups in Japan in the wake of Shinzo Abe’s assassination by a member of the Unification Church.

[*Slovak]

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In The News
Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

More Than 40 Ukrainian Prisoners Dead, Russia And Ukraine Blame Each Other

Russia and authorities in the occupied region of Donetsk say that more than 40 Ukrainian prisoners of war have been killed as well as at least 130 injured, after Ukrainian forces shelled a prison where they were being held. The prison located in Olenivka was housing Ukrainian soldiers taken into custody after the fall of Mariupol in April.

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Early Friday, Russian authorities accused the Ukrainian forces of targeting the prison to either prevent them from testifying against Kyiv or to discourage other Ukrainian armed forces from surrendering. In a statement, the Russian defense ministry said the prison “was hit by a missile attack from the American HIMARS multiple launch rocket system."

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In The News
Anna Akage, Anne-Sophie Goninet, and Emma Albright

EU’s One-Two Punch At Russia — Sanctions Extended To 2023, Gas Imports Cut 15%

The European Union has renewed its sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2023, while also taking a major step to try to reduce dependency on Russian energy exports.

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The EU energy ministers were in Brussels today for a special Energy Council, and were tasked with renewing a wide range of sanctions for another six months that include restrictions on finance, energy, technology, transport and luxury goods. First introduced in 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the tariffs were widely expanded after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

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