Author: brother Mao this article is reproduced under the authorization of official account brother Mao’s vision (ID: maogeshijue).
August 24 is the 31st independence day of Ukraine, and also the time node of Russia’s special military action against Ukraine for half a year.
To tell the truth, this war not only tired the Chinese melon eaters, but also sounded the voice of “Zelensky fatigue” in Europe and the United States, which have been providing assistance to Ukraine, and their support for Ukraine is not as good as before.
The reason is simple, because Europe has more important things to do now – the energy war between Russia and Europe.
A war other than this one may completely subvert the existing global pattern.
The stalemate of the Russian Ukrainian war
First, let’s take a look at what Russia and Ukraine are doing recently.
As we all know, since the Russian army took Mariupol, the war situation in udong has been in a tepid state. Today I bombard a position, tomorrow you attack an ammunition depot, and the war is in a small-scale battle stalemate similar to that in Syria.
This stalemate can be said to be inevitable. For Ukraine, the elite and technical weapons of the Ukrainian army in eastern Ukraine have been almost lost, and it is impossible to recover the lost land.
For Russia, since winning North Donetsk and lisichansk, the goal of the second phase of the special military operation has been basically completed, just one shy of slavyansk in Donetsk state.
The Ukrainian army has established a dense defensive position with an area of more than 170 square kilometers here, storing a large amount of weapons, ammunition, fuel, lubricating oil and food. Moreover, the Ukrainian army has placed heavy weapons in densely populated areas and firepower points in apartment buildings and private houses.
It can be said that this is a hard bone, which is not easy to chew. Therefore, the Russian army is not in a hurry to attack, but is methodically consolidating order in the occupied area of Lugansk, rotating troops, and accumulating strength. It may be that after the weather turns cold, Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will increase, and then military and politics will work together to completely solve the problem of eastern Ukraine. At that time, the second stage goal of “liberating Donbass” will be achieved, Whether we are talking about a truce or continuing to attack, we can advance, attack and retreat.
Therefore, regardless of whether it is active or passive, the battlefield in Wudong has basically calmed down, but the Kherson area in southern Wunan is boiling.
After occupying Kherson, the Russian army has been instigating a referendum in this region. Because the Russian people here do not have an advantage and can not copy the Crimean model, Russia directly ordered Kherson and zaporoze oblasts to cancel all Ukrainian bank loans and housing loans owed by local people, and to provide subsidies to local people, such as 10000 rubles per retiree, disabled people and pregnant women, and 4000 rubles per month for children under 18 years old, It was welcomed by the local people.
The date of the referendum is tentatively set for September. Judging from the current situation, if the referendum is really held, Kherson will be really lost like Crimea!
Therefore, the Ukrainian army started the so-called summer counter offensive at the end of August. It invested several brigade level combat teams in the direction of Kherson, raising the whole battle to the campaign level. The equipment deployed included t-72m1 main battle tanks, M113 armored vehicles, and the long-standing Su-25 fighter. Even the anti Russian artifact haimas fire and arrow gun and the latest agm-88 anti radiation missile provided by the United States appeared, which can be regarded as the largest force that can be produced in southern Ukraine, This is completely different from the previous counter offensives of a theatrical nature.
Judging from the war situation, the Ukrainian army has recently continuously used haimas rockets to attack the Russian army’s assembly site and ammunition depot, and even attacked the Dnieper River Bridge, hoping that the capital of Kherson, which is isolated on the north bank, will not be reinforced by the Russian army in the south.
It is said that the Ukrainian army once broke through the Russian army’s defense line for 4 kilometers, and a special force of the Ukrainian army has penetrated into the city. It is said that it has assassinated many Russian appointed officials.
However, under the flexible defense of the Russian army, the Ukrainian army’s counter offensive is still probably not successful. As of September 6, almost all the Ukrainian troops participating in the war have been beaten back, and most of the recovery areas have been lost, including the 66th reserve aircraft brigade, which has just been refitted with NATO equipment. They have been beaten by the 126th coastal defense brigade and the 247th paratrooper regiment of the Russian army. Fortunately, the Russian army has limited forces in south Ukraine, so it is not possible to pursue and expand the results.
This is a huge blow to the morale of the Ukrainian army. After six months of strength and the latest military assistance, even the lone army in the Kherson protrusion can’t move. How can we counter attack Crimea? How to recover Donbass?
Therefore, the war situation in southern Ukraine will probably calm down like that in eastern Ukraine until the day when the Russian army thinks the time is ripe to break the deadlock.
European energy crisis
The battlefield filled with gunpowder smoke is Ukraine, but the more exciting energy war is being fought between Russia and Europe.
The EU had a firm attitude in support of Ukraine a while ago, and the people were also full of morale. They would boycott Russia all over the industry and the people would march in support of Ukraine. However, there was a saying in soldier assault: glory lies in blandness, and arduousness lies in length. Europeans are just the ones who can’t stand being dull and long.
Now the stalemate battlefield is difficult to attract the attention of Europeans. Europeans have also become tired from the excitement at the beginning and began to pay more attention to their own lives. After all, after the parade and protest, they also have to go home for dinner.
As a result, when I went home for dinner, I found that I could hardly afford to eat. Affected by the sanctions on Russian crude oil, Europe was in an energy crisis and a food crisis. In June, the average price of common wheat and durum wheat in the EU increased by 84% and 90% year-on-year.
Natural gas and electricity are more expensive. By the end of this summer, the price of natural gas in Europe had soared nearly threefold, reaching about 2500 US dollars per thousand cubic meters. Electricity prices are even more out of control. Electricity prices in Germany and France are breaking records almost every day, and electricity prices have soared nearly 10 times in the past year.
This energy crisis can be said to have been entirely caused by Europe itself.
On the one hand, Europe is very dependent on Russian energy. About 45% of the 500 billion cubic meters of natural gas consumed in Europe each year comes from Russia. Germany’s dependence on Russian natural gas is as high as 61.9%, and Bulgaria and Finland’s dependence on Russian natural gas is 100%.
On the other hand? Encouraged by the United States, the European Union constantly collided with Russia’s security bottom line, directly leading to the outbreak of the Russian Ukrainian war and sanctioning Russian crude oil. As a result, Russia used energy as a weapon to put pressure on the European Union, leaving the European Union facing a structural shortage of energy.
Compared with the shortage caused by market allocation, this kind of structural shortage is the most troublesome, because there is no energy supply that can make up for the shortage in a short time. It is not like you go to the vegetable market to buy vegetables. If there is no food, you go to that one. The supply and consumption of natural gas, a commodity, are basically stable. Once there is a problem with the supply, you can almost run all over the vegetable market and can’t buy enough vegetables.
Competition between Europe and Russia on energy issues
Europe clearly understands that Russia uses energy as a weapon to force Europe to submit. When Europe comes to winter and needs to beg Russia for warmth, Russia can impose conditions and take the initiative to end the Russian Ukrainian war.
This is an overt conspiracy, so Europe is also using overt conspiracy to resist this energy bottleneck. At present, the most effective solution is to hoard gas. Don’t you want to force me to submit with natural gas? I’m starting to hoard gas ahead of time. I’m hoarding enough for the winter, but I don’t ask you!
At present, through the replenishment of various natural gas channels, by the end of August, Europe had completed 79.4% of its natural gas reserves, two months ahead of the target of 80%. However, it should be noted that the natural gas reserve capacity of Europe is limited. Even if the maximum reserve is reached, it can only guarantee the civil natural gas until March next year, which is a severe challenge to the gas consumption of the manufacturing industry.
Where does Europe’s gas come from? It’s interesting to talk about this. Quite a few are actually from China!
According to Türkiye’s new dawn news, China’s imports of liquefied natural gas from Russia this year exceeded its actual demand. At present, it is selling the extra part to European countries deeply in the energy crisis. Sinopec alone sold at least 45 batches of liquefied natural gas to Europe, accounting for 6% of Europe’s total imports in the first half of this year. This gave Russian natural gas a wonderful journey of “crossing the ocean to see you”.
China not only sells Russian gas, but also sells American natural gas forced to buy in the first phase of the Sino US trade agreement to the European Union at several times the price. The ship does not need to be unloaded in China, but directly sails to the European Union. China has earned tens of billions of dollars in tears. Europe still needs to thank us.
For example, in the previous paragraph, China was praised by the British media as the “knight in white” to save the EU. This term generally refers to the act of helping one company when it is facing business disasters.
The Turks bitterly commented that China has earned a huge price difference in natural gas transactions, which may “indirectly violate the European embargo”.
Why did Türkiye expose this deal? Because Türkiye also wants to do this business!
Türkiye has a trans Anatolian TANAP natural gas pipeline from Azerbaijan to Türkiye. After Türkiye obtains these natural gas, it can sell it to Europe at a high price.
However, the flow of the trans Anatolian pipeline is limited, and the annual supply is less than 10% of the European demand. Although Türkiye and Azerbaijan reached an agreement to double the pipeline flow in August, the construction also takes time.
It’s normal for Türkiye to scratch its ears and make sour remarks against China when it sees that the EU has demand but can’t make money due to its transportation capacity.
Russia seems very calm about the gas hoarding in Europe. You can hoard it. I cut off the gas source!
Russia recently announced that it would stop the gas supply of Beixi No. 1 on the grounds that “due to the discovery of multiple equipment faults”, until the faults are eliminated. However, the problem is that the production of natural gas will not be stopped for a while, and the pipeline will not be exported even if it is stopped. Russia has chosen to directly ignite and burn these natural gas, which seems wasteful, but it is a way to pressure Europe with practical actions: we have natural gas, and we would rather burn it than give it to you!
As mentioned above, Europe’s largest natural gas reserve is barely enough for civil gas. With the interruption of Russia, Europe’s industrial gas is also gone.
Although the cut-off of industrial gas is not as dynamic as the cut-off of civil gas, the impact is actually much greater than the cut-off of civil gas. Natural gas is not only a fuel in the industrial field, but also a source of raw materials and power.
The cut-off has brought about a shortage of raw materials and soaring production costs in European manufacturing. Generally speaking, the energy cost accounts for 10% of the operating cost of the factory. If it is too high, it will greatly erode profits, and when the enterprise is unprofitable, it will close down.
For example, at present, the production of chemical fertilizer in Europe with natural gas as the main raw material has basically stagnated, resulting in a 9% gap in the world’s chemical fertilizer supply and the closure of a large number of chemical fertilizer plants.
Riedel, the world’s oldest glass manufacturer, also plans to shut down its production because it can’t guarantee 24-hour power to the glass furnace.
The two largest metal smelters in the EU were also forced to close down because they could not afford the soaring power costs, resulting in a huge impact on more metal production capacity in Europe, and the output of aluminum and zinc dropped by nearly half.
We should know that aluminum is widely used in industry. Once production is interrupted, the supply chain of industries ranging from electrical appliances, electronic products and home decoration to pharmaceutical packaging and batteries will be affected.
Germany, a manufacturing country, is even worse. A large number of factories have been closed one after another because of high energy costs and can not be loaded. The CEO of BIW, a German silicone manufacturer, said: “the German economy will gradually deindustrialize.” German economy minister habeck also believes that this is a major warning for Germany.
When real gold and silver suffer losses, capital will not care how glorious it is to support Ukraine, but will only move factories to places with lower production costs at the first time.
According to the survey, among more than 500 industrial companies in Germany, nearly 2 / 3 are worried that energy costs will lead to a decline in competitiveness, and more than 1 / 5 want to transfer production abroad or have taken action.
Therefore, a large number of German enterprises have fled this year, and the first choice is naturally China with a complete industrial chain. For example, BASF, a chemical giant, invested 10 billion euros to build an integrated base in southern China. Haila, a German auto parts supplier, announced that it would expand its production capacity in China and build a new lamp factory in Changzhou. German discount store oleqi will also open hundreds of new stores in China. BMW opened its third factory in Shenyang in June, and Volkswagen has repeatedly said that it will transfer its production capacity to China.
In the first half of this year alone, German investment in China reached 10 billion euros, 38 euros more than the previous peak of 6.2 billion euros.
In the foreseeable second half of the year, the trend of German manufacturing flight will continue to increase, and the anxious German Chancellor Schultz stated that “do not rely too much on China”.
But what’s the use of lip service? You’re trying to lower energy prices!
Another counterattack of
In order to further put pressure on Russia, the G7 finance ministers’ meeting announced that it would limit the price of Russian oil.
Many people don’t understand. If other sellers don’t cut prices, what’s the meaning of your buyer’s unilateral price limit?
In fact, this ban is not for Russia, but for transport enterprises and financial companies. According to the meaning of G7, if anyone exceeds the maximum price to buy Russian oil, then G7 will not provide derivative financial services such as oil transportation services and insurance
The transnational trade of oil is inseparable from two conditions, one is transportation and the other is financial services. Coincidentally, these two conditions are in the hands of the West. In the world, European Union, British and American companies account for about 90% of the global oil transportation insurance and reinsurance, and about 95% of the global tanker fleet is in the charge of the international protection and compensation club group (P & amp; I Club) in London and some companies in continental Europe.
Although customers who buy Russian oil can ignore the price limit, transportation and financial enterprises can’t ignore it. Don’t forget that Westerners still have the big trick of long arm jurisdiction. If anyone disobeys and underwrites Russian crude oil transportation beyond the price limit, the West will use western hegemony to sanction this transportation enterprise or insurance company, which is almost fatal.
Even if I know that the west is unreasonable, I am also very helpless. This move was used by the United States when it sanctioned Iran’s oil, and the effect was very good.
If there is really a transportation company that needs to transport oil, do you believe that a group of Somali pirates will be killed on the way?
Therefore, this move has eaten transport enterprises and financial enterprises to death. As soon as the news came out, the international oil price fell by 1%.
Whether the G7 price limit order can be implemented smoothly depends on the attitude of a country, which is China, because China not only has huge transportation capacity, but also has an independent financial system that can provide logistics and financial credit. Of course, if China’s transportation system and financial system and the G7 hardtop are also at risk of being collectively sanctioned by the West.
But China is also the beneficiary of this price limit order, so why should we wade into this muddy water?
This is the virulence of the G7 price limit order, which not only threatens global shipping companies with a big stick, but also creates carrots to benefit related countries.
In the face of Western sanctions, Russia has also just announced that it will ban oil exports to unfriendly countries. Note that the scope of Russia’s prohibition on oil export here is unfriendly countries, not countries participating in price limit orders, which is to reserve a resale channel for future oil exports.
It is estimated that the final result will be that China, India, Saudi Arabia and other countries will act as “white knights”, buying oil from Russia and reselling it to the EU, making a tearful profit.
Now you know why Ukraine must launch a Kherson counterattack when the conditions are not ripe? It is for fear that because of the energy crisis in Europe, more and more countries are demanding to stop sanctions against Russia and assistance to Ukraine, which is the most fatal thing for Ukraine.
Therefore, even if many troops become cannon fodder, this Kherson counterattack must be fought. No matter whether it is well fought or badly fought, publicity and packaging as a victory can more or less provide a little hope for the European people. Please bear with it, and victory is just around the corner.
Er, continue to pay!
I believe that at this moment, European countries must be in a dilemma. Give in. It’s not easy to make a turn in the previous statement of firm support for Ukraine, nor can the United States pass the test there. Don’t give in. If the manufacturing industry escapes because of the energy crisis, the future of Europe will be over.
Therefore, as long as the Russian Ukrainian war does not end and the EU energy crisis is prolonged, this trend of manufacturing flight will spread from Germany to the whole of Europe, and the decline of the EU will be inevitable. With the accelerated flow of EU manufacturing technology to China, China’s status as a global manufacturing power will be more stable, and China will become a manufacturing power with full coverage of middle and low-end.
On September 6, Gazprom announced that it would change the payment method of Russian natural gas supply to China to ruble and RMB, and completely eliminate the United States dollar and euro.
So why is Russia now completely rejecting the euro?
This is entirely the result of the EU’s own decision.
On the one hand, the exchange rate of the euro has fallen sharply this year, falling by 20% in the first half of the year. Russia has suffered a lot from holding the euro. Looking around the world, apart from the US dollar, even the renminbi is the strongest, and it has appreciated against the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound.
On the other hand, the G7, which is joined by Germany and France, the main member states of the European Union, wants to limit the price of Russian oil. Russia’s countermeasures are to cut off the oil supply of unfriendly countries. Seeing that Russia and Europe and the United States have to be hard decoupled from each other’s energy, it is no longer meaningful for Russia to hold the euro.
The superposition of the two will lead to the supply of natural gas from Russia to China only in rubles and RMB. All this is the result of the European Union’s divine assistance.
Without doing anything, we suddenly have the only currency settlement right for natural gas with the largest reserves in the world, accounting for 28% of the world, which is of great significance.
It’s true that people sitting at home can drop pies from the sky.
In this Russian Ukrainian war, the United States got the capital that fled, China got the right to settle the global currency of the fleeing industry and Russian energy, and Europe was the biggest sacrifice of this war.
This article is reproduced under the authorization of official account cat brother’s vision (ID: maogeshijue).