The Eastern Europe Weekly Geopolitical Watch: Clelia Frouté, Alicia Tintelin.
10/03/2022: Ukrainian Foreign Minister continues diplomatic tour of Africa. – Alicia Tintelin –
From 3 to 12 October, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dmytro Kouleba, makes numerous visits to the African continent. According to the National Press Agency of Ukraine, these visits will mark «the first tour in African countries in the history of Ukrainian diplomacy».
The Minister’s official agenda stressed the importance of this initiative by stating that its main goal will be «the consolidation of political support for Ukraine from the global South in the context of Russian aggression». The next step in this attempt at diplomatic rapprochement would be the holding of a future Ukraine-Africa summit, say Ukrinform and Interfax.
On Monday October 3, Dmytro Kouleba landed in Dakar, where he met with Senegalese Foreign Minister Aïssata Tall Sall. «Ukraine wishes to open a new chapter of mutually beneficial partnership with Senegal» assured the Ukrainian minister before being received, in the same day, by the President of the Republic Macky Sall as well as the Minister of Economy Oulimata Sarr. On his Twitter account, Dmytro Kouleba said he discussed «ways to further facilitate trade between Ukraine and Senegal» as well as «ways to develop cooperation in the fields of digital transformation, informatics, agriculture and pharmaceuticals».
In the second stage of his African tour, the Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Côte d’Ivoire where he was received by Vice-President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné. «Côte d’Ivoire is a brother country. I would like to pay tribute to the good relationship between our two countries» said the Minister, who also took advantage of the meeting to deliver a letter from the Ukrainian President to Alassane Dramane Ouattara. the Ivorian President. Dmytro Kouleba finally met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kandia Camara to discuss the issue of «promoting cooperation in digital transformation, agriculture and education».
On Thursday, he then went to Ghana to meet with President Nana Akufo-Addo and Foreign Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. The Ukrainian minister has already announced the intention to open an embassy in Accra, in order to «develop political dialogue, trade, cultural exchanges and educational links».
10/06/2022: Washington reveals Ukrainian government involvement in the murder of Daria Dugina. – Clelia Frouté –
An American intelligence source revealed on October 6, 2022 that the Ukrainian government was involved in the assassination of Daria Dugina.
An investigation by the New York Times made it possible to retrieve the information, assuring at the same time that the United States was not involved in any way in the case. The CIA reportedly gave the results of its investigation to the US government at the end of September. Kiev is said to have authorised the operation, although it is not clear whether the Ukrainian President signed off on the mission or which official might have ordered the killing. Indeed, the authors of the investigation note that «US officials do not have a complete picture of the competing centres of power within the Ukrainian government, including the military, intelligence agencies and Zelensky’s office», «which may explain why some parts of the Ukrainian government may not have been aware of the plan».
It was confirmed that Moscow’s suspicions about the guilt of Ukrainian citizen Natalia Vovk, who fled through Estonia without being found, were well-founded. Indeed, the FSB quickly made the information official and claimed to be trying to arrest the culprit, which raised serious doubts about the accusations quickly put forward. Immediately after the explosion that killed Dugina, Kiev denied any involvement in the attack.
The US investigation reports concerns that this new element could further escalate the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
10/06/2022: Ukraine gains territory from its counter-offensive. – Clelia Frouté –
Volodymyr Zelensky announced on October 6, 2022 that he had recovered about 500 km2 of territory since October 1, following his counter-offensive in southern Ukraine, in the Kherson region, including a total of 29 localities.
According to the Russian army, four tactical battalions were deployed by Ukrainian forces near Dudchany, Sukhanove, Sadok and Bruskinskoye. Vladimir Putin assured that the situation would «stabilise».
Kiev is also said to have retaken most of the Kharkiv region in the north-east and the strategic areas of Izum, Kupiansk and Lyman in the east.