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Ukrainian grain goes to sea, war is still fierce

  On the morning of August 1, the 10,000-ton freighter “Razoni” loaded with corn left the port of Odessa, Ukraine. It continued to sail after being inspected in Istanbul, Turkey, to the port of Tripoli, Lebanon. After it left Odessa, at least 16 freighters were lined up to leave the port. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Griffiths said he hopes to eventually export 5 million tons of food a month through Ukrainian ports, returning to the level before the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
  This progress is due to the grain export agreement reached by the United Nations, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey in Istanbul on July 23. The agreement aims to ease the problem of international food supply and food prices by dredging grain export routes in the Ukrainian ports of Odessa, the Black Sea and the South. The agreement mainly stipulates that Russia and Ukraine allow each other to export food, fertilizers and other products to the international market through the Black Sea, and conduct joint inspections of ships at ports to avoid the transport of arms in the process.
War may be more intense in the future

  ”Eastern Europe’s granary” Ukraine’s resumption of grain exports is a blessing for the international market. June-July is the harvest season of Ukrainian wheat. At present, there is a backlog of nearly 20 million tons of grain in the ports of the Odessa region. Industry insiders estimate that if Ukrainian grain continues to accumulate in the port, by the fall of this year, the grain stranded in Ukraine may reach about 75 million tons.
  On the other hand, in the first half of this year, the World Food Program warned more than once that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine exposed the interconnected nature and fragility of the agricultural system, and that mankind may face the biggest food crisis after World War II; There may be more than 300 million people in the world at risk of starvation.
  For Russia, which is also a major food exporter, the security issue of shipping in the Black Sea has been resolved, benefiting both others and itself. But it is worth noting that the food security transportation agreement signed by the representatives of the above-mentioned four parties was signed by the representatives of Russia and Ukraine, and the officials of the United Nations and Turkey respectively. The two “tripartite agreements” in the actual sense highlight that the relations between Russia and Ukraine are still at a standstill, and there is still a huge gap of trust between the two sides. Less than 24 hours after the signing of the grain export agreement, the port of Odessa suddenly was attacked.
  ”Russia and Ukraine reached a food export agreement, which plays an important role in alleviating the food crisis caused by military conflicts, and also plays a certain role in alleviating tensions in Europe.” Xu Haiyun, a professor of the history of international relations at Renmin University of China, said, “This kind of Partial de-escalation, or specific agreements, cannot represent the major strategic intentions of the two sides in the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. The end of the Russian-Ukrainian war is still far away.”
  “In fact, Russia’s goal of taking special military operations is far from being achieved. The Ukrainian counteroffensive plan is also under implementation. The reason why Russia is willing to accept the coordination between the United Nations and Turkey and reach an agreement with Ukraine is to improve its disadvantaged position in the international community; and the reason why Ukraine is willing to reach an agreement is to get out of the war At the same time, it is necessary to win the support of European countries as much as possible. Therefore, for both Russia and Ukraine, restoring the grain exports through the Black Sea is a strategic consideration, and both sides are winning hearts, public opinion and public opinion.”
  The departure of grain ships from the port of Odessa did not bring any hope of comprehensive peace. Lu Gang, director of the Center for Central Asian Studies at East China Normal University, believes that Russia hopes to maximize its reputation in the international community by signing a grain export agreement. “Using grain as a weapon will hurt not the developed countries, but the vast developing countries, and their own grain exports will also be damaged.”
  Ukraine’s grain exports have always been extremely dependent on shipping. “Crops and grain are one of Ukraine’s main economic sources. If the export of grain continues to be interrupted, the grain business contacts and trade orders established by Ukraine and other countries may all be gone.” Lu Gang said.
The two “tripartite agreements” in the actual sense highlight that the relations between Russia and Ukraine are still at a standstill, and there is still a huge gap of trust between the two sides. Less than 24 hours after the signing of the grain export agreement, the port of Odessa suddenly was attacked.

  After nearly half a year of war, both Russia and Ukraine were very tired. “Russia has a battlefield advantage in eastern Ukraine, but in southern Ukraine, the war balance is slowly tilting. Russia needs a period of adjustment for the war and will transport its troops from eastern Ukraine to the south.” Lu Gang said, “The same is true for Ukraine. , after all, Russia is a military loss, while Ukraine is a comprehensive loss, and it takes time to adjust. Moreover, after a large number of Western weapons assistance is in place, the Ukrainian army needs time to train and adapt. In this sense, future wars It could be more intense.”
Russia Introduces Iranian Drones?

  Recently, in eastern, northeastern and southern Ukraine, Russia is stepping up its offensive: in the northeastern city of Kharkiv, Russian tank fire covered a dozen towns and launched air strikes; After dealing with Russia in agricultural products, fertilizers and other related transactions, in the early morning of July 31, the southern port city of Nikolayev in Ukraine was attacked by a violent air strike, which also resulted in the death of a well-known local grain exporter. On August 9, the Russian military base in Crimea exploded, causing great losses.
  In the battle of the Donbass positions, the losses on both sides were particularly considerable. The news that Russia is seeking external assistance has spread more and more widely. On July 11, U.S. National Security Adviser Jack Sullivan said that Iran is ready to provide Russia with hundreds of drones and plans to train the Russian military to use these drones, including strike drones.
  According to public information, during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, Iran used drone reconnaissance as an effective way to control mass casualties. In June 2019, the Iranian military announced that it had shot down a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance plane in its airspace. In recent years, including the “Ababil” drone used by the Houthis in Yemen, Iranian-made drones have performed well in actual combat. In May of this year, Iran also exported a complete production line of “Ababil” drones to Tajikistan.
  ”It can be seen from the Naqqa war in 2020 that UAVs have become a force capable of changing the battlefield situation. With the improvement of battlefield situational awareness, the improvement of the level of intelligence, the advancement of engine technology, the accuracy of this weapon The proliferation of guidance technology and the popularization of stealth technology will continue to shine on the stage of war.” While affirming the important role of drones in the future battlefield, Yang Zhen, deputy director of the Northeast Asia Research Center and military expert of Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, believes that , Russia has deficiencies in the above-mentioned technical fields, “in addition to not paying special attention to the research and development of UAVs, and the technical blockade of Western countries, its UAV fleet cannot meet the needs of the battlefield.”
  He predicts that with the development of the war between Russia and Ukraine in the future, it is a high probability event that Russia and Iran and other countries will strengthen cooperation in the field of drones. “After all, without this force multiplier, the dominant Russian military will pay a heavier price, which will lead to a decline in its deterrent effectiveness against the West.”

  According to Wen Shaobiao, an assistant researcher at the Middle East Institute of Shanghai International Studies University, the United States took the initiative to “leak” rumors of Russia-Iran military cooperation with UAVs out of strategic intentions of deterrence and interference. “This is both a warning to Iran or other Asian countries not to allow them to engage in military cooperation with Russia and to prevent the development of this trend, and it is also a deliberate attempt to tie Iran to Russia’s war situation in order to prompt the West to extend and escalate sanctions against Iran, Interfering with
  the Iranian nuclear negotiation process, forcing Iran to make crucial compromises and keeping it at a distance from Russia.” On August 4, representatives of all parties gathered in Vienna, Austria, to continue negotiations on restarting the nuclear agreement reached in 2015. “Currently, the multi-party game between Western countries, Iran and Russia over the Iran nuclear negotiation has entered a critical period, and the Iran nuclear deal is at a ‘crossroad’. In such a significant and sensitive period, Iran must balance itself with Russia, the United States and other countries. Relations with other Western countries, if they have sensitive military cooperation with Russia, will inevitably lead to more severe sanctions from Western countries, which will seriously hinder Iran from achieving its priority goals.” Wen Shaobiao predicted to the South Wind Window that in the future, Iran will Delineate the scope of cooperation with Russia and weigh the costs.
High-tech warfare features prominently

  At the Navy Day military parade on July 31, Putin said that Russia will install “Zircon” hypersonic missiles in the next few months to enhance the naval strength in the Black Sea and the Sea of ​​Azov.
  In the past, “Zircon” was called an aircraft carrier killer; now, with the evolution of the battlefield situation, especially the sinking of the flagship “Moscow” cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet and the sacrifice of several generals at the level of major generals, Russia plans to use this Such a big killer was thrown into the Ukrainian war. It can be expected that more lethal weapons and equipment are being put into the battlefield.
  In Yang Zhen’s view, Russia is considering the use of “Zircon” hypersonic missiles, the main reason is not only to save the face of the armed forces, but also for the future market share of Russian arms. “The weapons aided by Western countries to Ukraine have gained a lot on the battlefield, coupled with the deliberate propaganda of Western media, their reputation has grown. Russia is a country with a relatively single economic structure, and arms are an important product for its foreign exchange earnings. After this war, Russia is worried that the share of Russian equipment in the international market will drop significantly, so it has to show such a big weapon.” In addition, the “Zircon” missile has a strong anti-aircraft carrier combat capability, “Russia is considering using the “Zircon” Missiles, also have the intention of (with the United States in) the geopolitical field.”
  According to previous relevant introductions by Russian media, “Zircon” is mainly launched by ships, with a range of 1,000 kilometers away – for the neighboring country Ukraine, which is a target, this seems to be a bit mismatched. In this regard, Lu Gang said that there is some kind of “dislocation” in Russia’s battlefield equipment: “In the world, Russia’s small number of strategic weapons are relatively advanced. As a big country, its strategic opponents and imaginary enemies are all big countries. Strategic weapons are all used in the confrontation between major powers, and I never thought that they would be used in Ukraine.”
“Around the world, Russia’s small number of strategic weapons are relatively advanced. As a big country, its strategic opponents and imaginary enemies are all big powers. Its strategic weapons are all used in the confrontation between big powers, and it never thought that it would be used in Ukraine. .”

  On the other hand, thanks to the military assistance provided by NATO countries, Ukraine’s weapons have improved significantly. Lu Gang said that in some weapons and equipment, the Russian and Ukrainian armies have even formed a generational difference. The most eye-catching among them should be the “Haimas” multiple rocket launcher system aided by the United States. As of July 20, the United States has provided Ukraine with 16 sets of this long-range strike weapon. As the wheeled self-propelled rockets with strong maneuverability have been delivered to the front line one after another, their battlefield performance has also attracted much attention from the outside world.
  The Ukrainian military said that since June this year, it has carried out dozens of strikes against the Russian army using the “Himas”, including high-value targets such as air defense systems and ammunition depots. According to public information, the launcher of the “Haimas” rocket can be installed with 6 medium-range guided rockets, or a long-range guided Army tactical missile (with a range of up to 300 kilometers). Although the “Haimas” assisted by the United States is only equipped with medium-range rockets out of concern that Ukraine will use this equipment to attack the Russian mainland, it has played a role in making up for the shortcomings of the Ukrainian army’s lack of conventional firepower during the war with the Russian army. The role cannot be ignored, so much so that Russian Defense Minister Shoigu ordered on July 25 to “prioritize the use of high-precision weapons against the enemy’s long-range missiles and artillery systems.”
  Yang Zhen pointed out: “The ‘Haimas’ rocket launcher is a high-mobility artillery system with operational-level offensive capabilities. It has a high degree of automation and informatization. Coupled with the blessing of the entire NATO system’s battlefield intelligence support capabilities, it has played a more significant role on the battlefield. The role of the Russian army caused heavy losses to the Russian army. For the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict that has entered a protracted stage, although it failed to reverse the decline of the Ukrainian army, it improved the morale of the latter and made it last longer. Longer.”
  Xu Haiyun said to the south wind window that the shape of the Russian-Ukrainian war will undergo further changes. “Because Ukraine has received a lot of assistance from Western countries, and Russia is a traditional geopolitical power, this kind of high-tech war will continue for a long time. This will become an incentive for the war to continue, and it will also cause damage to both Russia and Ukraine. Huge losses. Therefore, the future development of the conflict depends more on the extent to which both sides can bear the war losses caused by high-tech warfare, as well as the ability of each party to bear high-tech wars.”
  Yang Zhen also believes that a higher level of UAV competition between Russia and Ukraine may become a reality, and the competition of electronic countermeasures systems will also be possible. “With the continuous availability of high-tech weapons from the West, the strong resistance of the Ukrainian army and the advance of the Russian army are not as expected, making the victory of the war the main goal of the Russian army. In other words, military goals will no longer be dominated by political considerations at the beginning of the war.”