KHERSON REGION, UKRAINE - JULY 22, 2022: A serviceman of the Odessa Brigade is seen at a combat position. The Russian Armed Forces are carrying out a special military operation in Ukraine in response to requests from the leaders of the Donetsk People s Republic and Lugansk People s Republic for help. Sergei Bobylev/TASS PUBLICATIONxINxGERxAUTxONLY TS13B401

According to estimates by British secret services, the lack of morale among Russian troops in Ukraine may also be due to poor pay. In addition to the high number of casualties and increasing combat fatigue, the salary is one of the greatest grievances, according to a short report by the British Ministry of Defense on Sunday.

In this situation, Putin is playing the last and strongest trump he still has: a complete stop to gas supplies through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline deliver it to the West. He’s quite successful with that. Gas and the associated electricity prices have risen a hundredfold on the spot markets.By February at the latest, when the reservoirs are empty, it will become clear whether the full-bodied assurances that we can deal with the delivery stop are true or whether it is blackout coming. Maybe then Putin will triumph. But not for long. Because he has so discredited Russia as a gas supplier that the Europeans are making themselves independent of his pipelines. Much to the delight of Norway, Holland, Belgium and Azerbaijan.Putin’s Nord Stream 1 and 2, which should have supplied Europe with gas for at least 50 years, are becoming an 18 billion dollar industrial ruin. And the annual 100 billion euros from gas exports to Western Europe will be sorely missed in Russia. A bloody own goal – without meaning or purpose.