Spies, grain and fuel: A Ukraine war update

Front Burner

26-07-2022 • 25 mins

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been raging since Feb. 24. The war has triggered a global food and fuel crisis, because Ukraine is a major exporter of grain, and Russia is a major exporter of oil to Europe. In recent days, however, a deal was struck to lift a blockade and allow grain to be exported from Ukraine. Russia also agreed to restart the flow of natural gas, fuel that is absolutely vital for countries like Germany. At face value, both moves appear as if Russia is taking a more conciliatory tack. But is it? Ukraine is also making advances to take back parts of the country it lost early in the war. But does it have the capacity to do that swiftly enough to turn the tide of this war? Its efforts are being hindered by reports of Russian infiltration in Ukraine’s sprawling spy service, the SBU. Last week, Ukraine’s president dramatically shook things up by firing two of his top officials — one of them his childhood best friend and the head of the intelligence agency. So we’re talking to the Wall Street Journal’s James Marson to unpack the latest developments and to get a better idea of who is winning — and where things could go from here.