We heard it, we saw it, and then we opened fire

Cold War in Lyman-dominated Russia, a warning from the general population and a no-go theorem of Vladimir Putin

After weeks of fighting, Russia retreats from Lyman, a riverbank that has served as a natural dividing line between Russian and Ukrainian front lines.

But a curious shift is underway in Russia’s tightly controlled information space. As a result of the counteroffensive waged by the Ukrainian military, it is difficult to conceal the losses of the Russian military. It was last month that Putin declared a partial military mobilization, sending a message to the general population that the sacrifice of their leader was no longer sacrosanct.

In an unusually candid article published Sunday, the prominent Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that in the last few days of their occupation, Russian forces in Lyman had been plagued by desertion, poor planning and the delayed arrival of reserves.

That is not a good sign for Russia on the battlefield. Right now, Mr. Putin seems to have two immediate goals: to sustain control of as much of the occupied Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions as he can (with Russia’s desired boundaries not yet defined); and to freeze the front line, establishing a frontier Ukrainian forces cannot broach, possibly sealed by a cease-fire. That would enable a more sustainable defense, as well as allow the military to rotate troops and regenerate its forces. Neither of these conditions is acceptable, and that’s what Ukraine and its supporters have made it clear. And as the Ukrainians’ continued headway in the south suggests, it’s far from clear that Russia will be able to attain either aim.

Many Russians felt untouched by the war after Mr. Putin ordered the military to be drafted. Many men have been drafted and are ineligible due to factors such as age or disability.

The David v. Goliath Uprising: How the Israeli Women and Iranians fought for their freedom in London, Syria, and Afghanistan

The author is a former CNN producer and correspondent named Frida Ghitis. She writes for CNN, The Washington Post, and World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.

Two groups of people came together on the same day in London. One was waving Ukrainian flags; the other Iranian flags. When they met together, they yelled “All together we will win.”

If Iran’s ” Women, life, freedom!” uprising doesn’t go well, think about how this would affectUkraine, who was supposed to be a strong base for military forces to gain control of their country.

These David v. Goliath battles show bravery that is almost unimaginable to the rest of us – and is inspiring equally courageous support in places like Afghanistan.

In Iran, the spark was the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last month. Known as “Zhina,” she died in the custody of morality police who detained her for breaking the relentlessly, violently enforced rules requiring women to dress modestly.

In scenes of exhilarated defiance, Iranian women have danced around fires in the night, shedding the hijab – the headcover mandated by the regime – and tossing it into the flames.

It’s why women are climbing on cars, waving their hijab in the air, like a flag of freedom, and gathering crowds of supporters in city streets, and in universities, where security forces are opening fire to try and silence them.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/04/opinions/iran-ukraine-autocracies-struggle-democracy-ghitis/index.html

Russian President Putin’s invasion of the Syrian Civil War and the fate of the Islamic Revolution in the era of the Arab Spring in the Middle East

Russian President Putin entered the Syrian civil war to save Assad, like Iran did, in less than a decade ago.

The president of the Ukrainian government has achieved his goal of showing that the Western allies can help win the war by flipping the story over the past two months.

The symptoms of the problem, not their cause, are being addressed by increasing air defense support and supporting the civilian infrastructure. Representing the West in a way that makes use of its rules is the best way to respond to Russia.

Yesterday, Russia hit at least 11 Ukrainian cities with missiles in its broadest aerial assault against civilians since the invasion’s early days. But even amid destruction, many people sheltered for only a few hours. The people went back to their lives quickly. Megan Specia, a Times foreign correspondent, left the shelter and saw the people riding scooters and walking dogs.

The repressive regimes in Moscow and Tehran are now isolated, pariahs among much of the world, openly supported for the most part by a smattering of autocrats.

It is no wonder that Putin traveled to Iran for his first outside the former soviet Union since the start of his war in Ukraine. Russia is believed to have received advanced drones from Iran, and Iran’s training of Russian forces is said to be a reason for the murder of Ukrainians.

The regimes that are very different in their ideologies have plenty in common for example their willingness to project power abroad and their repressive tactics.

Niloofar Hamedi was the first journalist to report on what happened to Mahsa Amini. In Russia as well, journalism is a deadly profession. Analyzing Putin is also doing so. The charges were made to keep Navalny in a penal colony after attempting and failing to kill him.

There’s more than interest in the low probability that the Iranian regime could fall for people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It would have a profoundly positive effect on their countries and their lives. Iran has a constitution that encourages the spread of its Islamist revolution.

The coming weeks are therefore crucial both on the battlefield, as well as in Europe and around the globe, experts suggest. Where Putin goes next depends on how the rest of the world responds. Western countries have failed to confront and deter Russia.

On the destruction of Russian forces across the border in the Kherson reshaping of the war, a case study of the Makiivka attack

One video shows a tank running into a minefield and exploding, followed almost obliviously by an infantry fighting vehicle that suffers the same fate. The others show Ukrainian drones dropping charges on static tanks in open country, and a graveyard of abandoned armor.

Personal care, helmets, and everything else was dropped, according to the commander. “I think it was a special unit, but they were panicking. They dropped everything because the road was bad and it was raining.

KYIV, Ukraine — Ukrainian and Russian forces traded fire on Monday from across the broad expanse of the Dnipro River that now divides them after Russia’s retreat from the southern city of Kherson, reshaping the battlefield with a victory that Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, declared marked “the beginning of the end of the war.”

The errors by the Russian military are now becoming so blatant, and as the Makiivka attack shows, so deadly to Russian forces, that some of Putin’s most ardent apologists have now begun turning on the military establishment.

The leader of the defense committee in Russia’s State Duma demanded that officials stop lying and level with the public.

Kartapolov complained that the Ministry of Defense was evading the truth about incidents such as Ukrainian cross-border strikes in Russian regions neighboring Ukraine.

The strike by the Ukrainians demonstrates not only how western-backed weapons can be effective but how strategic errors can be made from either stupidity or carelessness.

Valuyki is in Russia’s Belgorod region, near the border with Ukraine. Kyiv has generally adopted a neither-confirm-nor-deny stance when it comes to striking Russian targets across the border.

The Great Patriotic War: A Tale of Two Worlds and Two Arms in the Arms of a Terrorist State: The Case of Lyman

It is a serious problem, Boris said, because people don’t grasp the experience of war.

Kadyrov is a lot less reticent about blaming Russian commanders after the retreat from the strategic Ukrainian city of Lyman.

Writing on Telegram, Kadyrov personally blamed Colonel-General Aleksandr Lapin, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, for the debacle, accusing him of moving his headquarters away from his subordinates and failing to adequately provide for his troops.

“The Russian information space has significantly deviated from the narratives preferred by the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) that things are generally under control,” ISW noted in its recent analysis.

The Great Patriotic War, a reference to the World War II that took place in Russia, is a feature of Putinism. The Red Army’s brutal tactics, including using punishment battalions to send soldiers accused of desertion, cowardice or wavering against German positions ascannon fodder, are often praised by those in Russia’s party of war.

Kadyrov – who recently announced that he had been promoted by Putin to the rank of colonel general – has been one of the most prominent voices arguing for the draconian methods of the past. He recently said in another Telegram post that, if he had his way, he would give the government extraordinary wartime powers in Russia.

Kadyrov made a statement in which he said that if he were President he would declare martial law around the country and use any weapon to defend his country.

Russia’s practice of carrying out missile and artillery strikes on civilian targets has already become notorious, from the Mariupol theater airstrike in May that killed 600 people to the bombings of multiple sites in central Kyiv that Russia carried out in October in retaliation for the destruction of the Kerch bridge linking the Crimean peninsula to Russia. The repeated failures of Russia’s military to take or hold territories in the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive seems to have amplified the Kremlin’s preference for softer, nonmilitary targets. “We are fighting against a terrorist state,” Reznikov wrote.

What Russian authorities are calling a truck bomb on Saturday hit the huge bridge linking Russia with the Crimean Peninsula, which Moscow annexed eight years ago from Ukraine. An important supply route to the Kremlin’s forces was damaged and a sharp blow to Russian prestige was dealt by the interruption of road and rail traffic on the bridge.

“We have already established the route of the truck,” he said, adding that it had been to Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia and Krasnodar — a region in southern Russia — among other places.

Ukraine’s actions in Zaporizhia are not enough: air raid sirens and drone attacks on the city’s central buildings

The attacks on Zaporizhzhia came just a few hours after it was attacked with multiple strikes on apartment buildings. At least 17 people were killed and several dozens injured.

Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of theUkraine’s armed forces, said on Telegram that the Russians had launched air and sea-based cruise missiles. The Iranian Shahed drones were shot down by the Ukrainian military.

The fighting has focused in the north of the peninsula. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lamented the latest attack in a Telegram post.

Klitschko’s office says several residential buildings were damaged. He added that rescuers pulled 18 people from the rubble of one building and are looking for two more. Emergency services close many of the city’s central streets.

When Anastasiia Hryn, a 34-year-old Kyiv resident, woke up to the sound of air raid sirens followed by an explosion, she and her son descended to the basement shelter beneath their building. But they were not particularly surprised, nor did they let it dampen their spirits.

The attack and response of the Russian president to a bombing bridge incident in Crimea, South of the Mauritania peninsula, as seen by international media

About 3 kilometers (2 miles) away in another neighborhood ravaged by a missile, three volunteers dug a shallow grave for a German shepherd killed in the strike, the dog’s leg blown away by the blast.

An independent Russian political analyst said that the Russian president did not respond strongly enough to satisfy the angry war hawks who were upset by the bridge explosion. The attack and response, he said, has “inspired the opposition, while the loyalists are demoralized.”

“Because once again, they see that when the authorities say that everything is going according to plan and we’re winning, that they’re lying, and it demoralizes them,” he said.

It seems that dictators like to hardwire new territory with record-breaking infrastructure projects. In 2018, Putin personally opened the Kerch bridge – Europe’s longest – by driving a truck across it. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. The $20 billion, 34-mile road bridge opened after about two years of delays.

There is a lot of tourists in the resort of Crimea. People trying to drive to the bridge and onto the Russian mainland on Sunday encountered hours-long traffic jams.

The wake of the Kerch bridge: how Russian forces attacked and reconnected the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Hanson

The first 20 bodies were exhumed from a mass burial site in the devastated Ukrainian city of Hanson, which was recently captured by the Ukrainian army. Some people are buried in one location, but other people are buried in another location, with the bodies of dead Ukrainian soldiers in the second grave. The civilians, including children, were buried in single graves, while members of the military were buried in a 40-meter long trench, according to police.

Fierce battles were taking place between Russian forces and the Ukrainian army around Bakhmut and Avdiivka in the east of the country. The General Staff of the Ukrainian Army did not acknowledge any loss of territory, but it did state that “the most tense situation” had arisen around those two cities.

— The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, meanwhile, said that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, Europe’s biggest, had been reconnected to the grid after losing its last external power source early Saturday following shelling.

Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. The opinions he gives in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion.

Recent days have shown that the sites beyond the theater of ground fighting are not impervious to attacks. It is unclear how the attack on the Kerch bridge was carried out, but the fact that there is a target so deep in Russian territory suggests a serious Ukrainian threat towards key Russian assets.

Unverified video on social media showed hits near the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and close to Maidan Square, just a short stroll from the Presidential Office Building. Ukrainian officials said that five people died as a result of strikes on the capital.

As of midday local time the area around my office in Odesa remained eerily quiet between air raid sirens, with reports that three missiles and five drones were shot down. At this time of day, restaurants are packed with customers and chatter about upcoming weddings and parties.

Zelensky’s Explosion in Ukraine: Why Russia is going after so much? Why the world is moving faster than ever, and what the West should do

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of “energy terrorism,” as attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure left more than 4 million Ukrainians without electricity.

The sirens sounded and residents bundled in winter coats, hats and scarves gathered in the underground stations. Huddled on escalators, their faces were lit by their phones as they scrolled through updates.

Indeed, millions of people in cities across Ukraine will be spending most of the day in bomb shelters, at the urging of officials, while businesses have been asked to shift work online as much as possible.

With so many asylum seekers back in their homes, the attacks on Ukraine could cause another blow to business confidence.

The only bridge linking mainland Russia and Crimea is symbolism for Putin. His ability to survive humiliation and shame is an added blow to an older autocrat who had his 70th birthday a day after the attack.

There was a quick reaction from Ukrainians to the explosion. People shared their jubilation through text messages.

The message was obvious for the world to see. Putin does not intend to be humiliated. He won’t admit defeat. He is prepared to cause carnage and terror in response to his string of battlefield reversals.

Putin has been placed on thin ice by growing criticism at home, and this act of desperation was also an act of selfishness.

The wide bombardment echoed the early days of Russia’s scattershot initial invasion in February, but also underlined that the conflict in Ukraine, which for months appeared to be descending into a slow and painful grind in the Donbas, has erupted once again as winter nears.

It is important for the US and other Allies to use urgent phone diplomacy to encourage China and India to resist the urge to use more deadly weapons because they have some leverage over Putin.

The most important thing to show for the West right now is unity and resolve, because of a man who probes for weakness and exploits divisions. Western governments also need to realize that rhetoric and sanctions have little if no impact on Putin’s actions. Even if sending military experts closer to the battlefield helps to integrate high technology weapons, it’s still important to arm Ukrainians and provide vital training.

High tech defense systems are necessary to protect important infrastructure around the country. The need to protect heating systems is urgent because of the upcoming winter.

The rush-hour attacks in Ukraine, and Russia’s need for international cooperation after the Decay of the Krasnoyarsk Bridge

The time has also come for the West to further isolate Russia with trade and travel restrictions – but for that to have sufficient impact, Turkey and Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board.

The city dwellers who were hit in the war in subways have been able to restore their lives but are worried about a new strike because of the attacks.

The targets on Monday had nothing to do with the military value and they were a reflection of Putin’s need to find new targets because of his inability to win battles against Ukraine on the battlefield.

The bombing of power installations, in particular, Monday appeared to be an unsubtle hint of the misery the Russian President could inflict as winter sets in, even as his forces retreat in the face of Ukrainian troops using Western arms.

The attacks on civilians, which killed at least 14 people, also drove new attention to what next steps the US and its allies must take to respond, after already sending billions of dollars of arms and kits to Ukraine in an effective proxy war with Moscow.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is expected to be in the White House later this month where he is going to meet with US President Joe Biden. The significant boost in aid is expected to be headlined by the Patriot missile defense systems that are included in the package, a US official told CNN.

John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, suggested Washington was looking favorably on Ukraine’s requests and was in touch with the government in Kyiv almost every day. “We do the best we can in subsequent packages to meet those needs,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

Kirby was also unable to say whether Putin was definitively shifting his strategy from a losing battlefield war to a campaign to pummel civilian morale and inflict devastating damage on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, though he suggested it was a trend developing in recent days and had already been in the works.

“It likely was something that they had been planning for quite some time. Kirby is not saying that the explosion on the bridge accelerated some of their planning.

But French President Emmanuel Macron underscored Western concerns that Monday’s rush-hour attacks in Ukraine could be the prelude to another pivot in the conflict.

Retired officer. Col Alexander Vindman, former director for European Affairs on the National Security Council, said that by attacking targets designed to hurt Ukrainian morale and energy infrastructure, Putin was sending a message about how he will prosecute the war in the coming months.

Exploding drones are a rapidly emerging class of weapons that are proliferating around the world and likely to become a staple of modern armed conflicts, military analysts say. That is a point that Ukrainian officials have been making in seeking air defense assistance from their allies. If Ukraine can learn to shoot the drones down with its three-pronged effort, allied countries’ militaries could reap the benefits of this hard-won experience, Mr. Sak said.

Any prolonged campaign by Putin against civilians would be aimed at breaking Ukrainian morale and possibly unleashing a new flood of refugees into Western Europe that might open divisions among NATO allies that are supporting Ukraine.

The lesson of this war is that Putin has only strengthened and unified the nation because he does not believe in the right to exist.

Olena Gnes, a mother of three who is documenting the war on YouTube, was angry at a new round of Russian aggression because she was afraid for the safety of her children.

“This is just another terror to provoke maybe panic, to scare you guys in other countries or to show to his own people that he is still a bloody tyrant, he is still powerful and look what fireworks we can arrange,” she said.

Russia has not delivered missiles to Ukraine since the Ukrainian invasion of Ukraine: A request for more missiles and early warning capability on Ukraine’s request-list

The use of drones in the conflict has increased since Russia acquired new drones from Iran over the summer, but their role has remained the same since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow understands that a percentage of missiles will get through whenUkraine tries to shore up its missile defenses.

Last Monday, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, claimed that Russia had nearly exhausted its arsenal of high-precision weapons, but that it still had enough supplies to inflict harm. John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council added that Iran has not delivered a missile to Russia.

The Pentagon’s view at the time was that of its weapons stocks, Russia was “running the lowest on cruise missiles, particularly air-launched cruise missiles,” but that Moscow still had more than 50% of its pre-war inventory.

The Russians have been adapting the S-300, an air defense missile, to be an offensive weapon. The speed of these makes them difficult to catch, and they have wreaked destruction in Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv. But they are hardly accurate.

He told CNN’s Richard Quest that this was the “first time from the beginning of the war” that Russia has “dramatically targeted” energy infrastructure.

Over the past nine months, the Ukrainians have had extensive practice in using their limited air defense systems like BUK and S-300. There may be losses in combat operations because these systems may not last forever, says the spokesman for the Air Force Command.

Yermak said the drones were Shahed models, known for crashing into the targets with explosive payloads. TheUkrainian air defense system is overwhelmed by 2,400 drones from Iran that Russia ordered. The Air Force of Ukraine claims to have shot down 11 drones.

Instead, it is in protecting the civilian population from Russia’s drone and missile campaign against critical civilian infrastructure – a campaign designed to end Ukrainian resistance by making the country uninhabitable.

Ukraine’s wish-list – circulated at Wednesday’s meeting – included missiles for their existing systems and a “transition to Western-origin layered air defense system” as well as “early warning capabilities.”

He said that the system would not control the airspace over Ukraine but it would control the priority targets thatUkraine needs to protect. What you’re looking at really is short-range low-altitude systems and then medium-range medium altitude and then long-range and high altitude systems, and it’s a mix of all of these.”

Western systems have begun to trickle in. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Tuesday that a “new era of air defense has begun” with the arrival of the first IRIS-T from Germany, and two units of the US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) expected soon.

These are not off-the-shelf items. The IRIS-T was manufactured for the country of Ukraine. Western governments have limited inventories of such systems. Ukraine is under attack from three different directions.

The Russian Air Defense Forces in Ukraine: What Can We Learn from the Recent Ukrainian War and How Does It Affect Ukraine? A Senior Advisor to the International Institute for Strategic Studies

General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the senior military commander of the Ukranians, thanked Poland for training an air defense battalion that destroyed nine Shaheeds.

He said Poland had given Ukraine “systems” to help destroy the drones. There were reports last month that the Polish government had purchased advanced Israeli equipment and was then transferring it to Ukraine in order to not violate the policy of not selling advanced defensive technology to Kyiv.

Not for the first time, the war is teetering towards an unpredictable new phase. “This is now the third, fourth, possibly fifth different war that we’ve been observing,” said Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme.

Though wary of making precise predictions, American and Ukrainian officials say the fighting is likely to continue for months more despite the fact that the war has favored Ukraine recently. More difficult fighting conditions in December and whether Europe’s unity can be maintained this winter are all variables that could become more relevant in changing the trajectory of the conflict.

It means that, as winter approaches, the stakes of the war have been raised once more. Giles said that Russia would like to keep it up. The recent successes of the Ukrainians have sent a direct message to the Kremlin. “They are able to do things that take us by surprise, so let’s get used to it,” Giles said.

The Ukrainian military said a number of settlements in the regions of Kiev and Kharkiv were targeted by shelling from Russian territory.

The head of the Kherson regional military administration, Yaroslav Yanushevich, urged the tens of thousands of remaining residents in the city to evacuate while Ukrainian forces worked to clear land mines, hunt down Russian soldiers left behind and restore essential services.

These counter-offensives have shifted the momentum of the war and disproved a suggestion, built up in the West and in Russia during the summer, that while Ukraine could stoutly defend territory, it lacked the ability to seize ground.

The Russians want to avoid a collapse in their frontline before the winter season begins, according to a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

If the Russians can get to Christmas with the frontline looking fairly normal, that will be a huge success.

The Kremlin was facing growing setbacks so it appointed a new commander. The pace of the Ukrainian counter-offensives makes it difficult to know if Gen. Sergey Surovikin can lead his forces onto the front foot by the end of the year.

The Institute for the Study of War says that Ukrainian troops are focused primarily on pushing Russian forces eastwards, having crossed the Oskil River in late September.

If Ukraine were to win the war in Donbas they would receive another powerful signal and rising energy prices would have an effect on Europe.

There are a lot of reasons why things can be done quickly in Ukraine. “The winter energy crisis in Europe, and energy infrastructure and power being destroyed in Ukraine itself, is always going to be a test of resilience for Ukraine and its Western backers.”

NATO leaders have vowed to stand behind Ukraine regardless of how long the war takes, but several European countries – particularly those that relied heavily on Russian energy – are staring down a crippling cost-of-living crisis which, without signs of Ukrainian progress on the battlefield, could endanger public support.

The national electricity company in Ukraine, Ukrenergo, says it has been able to restore the power supply in the country after Russian missiles slammed into the country on Monday and Tuesday. But Ukrainian Prime Minister has warned that “there is a lot of work to do” to fix damaged equipment, and asked Ukrainians to reduce their energy usage during peak hours.

Jeremy Fleming, the UK’s spy chief, claimed in a speech on Tuesday that Russian commanders were aware that their supplies were running out.

“Russia’s use of its limited supply of precision weapons in this role may deprive Putin of options to disrupt ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensives,” the ISW assessed.

It is not clear how the tide will change in the coming weeks because of the amount of weaponry and manpower each side has left. On Tuesday and Monday it says it intercepts 18 cruise missiles, but it is urging its Western allies for better protection against future attacks.

The impact of such an intervention in terms of pure manpower would be limited, as there are less active duty troops in Belarusian than in Russia. But it would threaten another assault on Ukraine’s northern flank below the Belarusian border.

“The reopening of a northern front would be another new challenge for Ukraine,” Giles said. He said that it would give Russia a new route into the region, which has been wrested from Ukrainian control.

Now Zelensky will hope for more supplies in the short-term as he seeks to drive home those gains. The leader has sought to highlight Ukraine’s success in intercepting Russian missiles, saying more than half of the missiles and drones launched at Ukraine in a second wave of strikes on Tuesday were brought down.

Before a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine needed more missile defense systems.

UAV kamikaze: On the nature of “military drones” and “forces of the military” in Ukraine

The drones are disposable and so the name is “kamikaze”. They are used to hit enemy lines and destroy them, unlike the more traditional military drones that come home after a long deployment.

The Ukrainian Air Force claimed to have shot down 30 out of 35 drones launched from Sunday night into Monday, but those that got around air defenses damaged power systems and civilian targets.

That’s not to say mobilized forces will be of no use. If used in support roles, like drivers or refuelers, they might ease the burden on the remaining parts of Russia’s exhausted professional army. Along the line of contact, they could fill out reserves and also cordon off some areas. They are, however, unlikely to become a capable fighting force. There are indications of trouble among soldiers who have been sent to Russian garrisons.

The attack has led to vocal criticism of Moscow’s military from pro-Russian military bloggers, who claimed that the troops lacked protection and were reportedly being quartered next to a large cache of ammunition, which is said to have exploded when Ukrainian HIMARS rockets hit the school.

At least two people were killed in attacks on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region. Oleh Synie Hubov, the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said four rockets had struck the city, and that the intended target was critical infrastructure.

The chief-of-staff of Zelenskyy again called on the west to provide Ukraine with air defense systems. He said there was no time for slow actions.

Klitshchko posted a photo of shrapnel labeled “Geran-2,” Russian’s designation for the Iranian drones, but he removed the picture after commenters criticized him for confirming a Russian strike.

State of Ukraine at the Luxembourg High High-Energy Embassies Conference: Summary of a U.N. Security Report

The European Union foreign ministers are in Luxembourg for a meeting. Before the meeting, Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, told reporters that the bloc would look into “concrete evidence” of Iran’s involvement in Ukraine.

The mayor of the city of KYiv said that a person was found dead under the rubble of a destroyed building. He said another person remains trapped.

Nuclear deterrence exercises will be held by NATO. The “Steadfast Noon” drills are an annual training activity and NATO has warned Russia not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine.

Russian agents detained eight people on Oct. 12 suspected of carrying out a large explosion on a bridge to Crimea, including Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian citizens.

The United Nations General Assembly roundly condemned Russia’s move to illegally annex four regions of Ukraine. In the Oct. 13 session, four countries voted alongside Russia, but 143 voted in favor of Ukraine’s resolution, while 35 abstained.

You can read past recaps here. There are more in-depth stories that you can find here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.

The Challenge of a Heavy-Ion Reaction: The Shahed Drones, the Pentagon, Pumas, UAVs, and the Middle East

Another disadvantage of the Shahed drones is their speed, said Ret. Marine Col. Mark Cancian, who now serves as a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“The problem with them is that they’re slow,” Cancian said. “They’re propeller-driven and you know, like all propeller-driven drones, they’re just not very fast so they’re susceptible to being shot down by either missiles or by aircraft guns.”

Russia is going to look for replacements as it looks to launch missiles at Ukranian. And Iran may not be the only country willing to supply Russia in the future.

“Iran has time and again declared that it is siding with no side in the Russia-Ukraine war. Iran has not given arms to either warring side,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.

Both Nadimi and Cancian compared the Russian decision to target cities as it is losing on the frontlines to The Blitz – the German bombing campaign that targeted London in World War II.

By focusing on the cities, Cancian added, Ukraine’s military would likely have more time to recover on the front lines, similar to Britain’s recovery in WWII.

At the same time, the U.S. has said it is speeding up its delivery of NASAMS, the same ground-based air defense systems that are used to protect the White House in Washington, D.C., and the systems are expected to be in Ukraine in a few weeks.

In August, the Pentagon said it would send Puma drones — small aircraft that soldiers toss into the air to launch and then control by remote control from up to nine miles away. There are paumas at altitudes of 500 feet.

The folk hero of the Iranian Shahed-136 drones killed by a turbulence-induced jet in Ukraine

How long Putin can insulate himself and prevent the blame from turning on himself is the key question in the wake of Makiivka. There is no indication that the Ukrainian forces have any desire to ease the pressure on their Russian allies while the war is still going on.

The Ukrainian pilot who shot down the Iranian Shahed-136 drones was named a folk hero in Ukraine, but only because he crashed the last one after getting wind of the last one. The pilot, Karaya — who identified himself by only his nickname, according to military policy — told the local news media afterward, “Within a short period of time, we are adapting to this kind of weapon and are starting to destroy it successfully.”

After colliding with the airborne debris, he said, Karaya steered his MiG away from Vinnytsia and ejected. The jet crashed into houses in an outlying area, but injured nobody on the ground. Karaya apologized at the site.

“I visited the scene, said I was sorry for the discomfort I caused the residents and thanked them for their steel nerves,” he wrote on Instagram, saying he showed up in his tattered uniform, missing epaulets. He joked that it was a violation of military protocol. He said that he lost them while leaving the office.

The First Days of the War with Russia: Anatoliy Nikitin and Stas Volovyk’s Families in Mykolaiv

The second day of the war with Russia, Anatoliy Nikitin and Stas Volovyk were ordered to give anti-tank missiles to their fellow soldiers in the suburbs north of Kyiv. Nikitin, who goes by the nickname Concrete, said they received new orders after standing exposed on a highway.

“A guy on the radio said, ‘There are two Russian tanks coming at you. Try to hit one and livestream it!,” recalls Nikitin, sitting on a park bench in the southern city of Mykolaiv, as artillery rumbles in the distance.

Neither soldier had ever fired an NLAW. So, as the tanks approached, they hid amongst some trees and looked up a YouTube video on how to do so. They took their positions, prepared the missiles.

The commander said, “Oh, it’s ours!” It’s ours! ‘” recalls Volovyk, who goes by the nickname Raptor. “So, we did not fire. It was a very close call.

Nikitin and Volovyk have fought in both environments and describe their on-the-job training as a mix of terror, adventure and black comedy. The two men offer an unvarnished view of the fighting and say the first days of the war were filled with confusion.

“I wore a salt-and-pepper beard because it was so chaotic,” says Nikitin, who heads a construction company. “It’s lucky for us that the Russians were more chaotic than us.”

Volovyk wore a camouflaged cap with the message “Don’t worry, be ready”, and asked if the fight was their best or if they were just mocking him.

The Russians began to retreat from the suburbs. Two men followed orders and headed south to fight a different type of war. They left behind the protection of suburban buildings and forests outside the capital for sweeping farm fields with little cover. They started at the bottom: working the trenches.

“It sucks,” says Volovyk. You dig. You dig. That’s the only thing you can do, because this is an artillery war and unless you dig, you’re pretty much dead.”

Two weeks later, the men were offered new jobs. It’s dangerous work that involves getting close to enemy lines and trying to evade detection. But the men leapt at the opportunity — anything to get out of the trenches.

Their recon team, known as the “Fireflies,” has its own Instagram account and YouTube channel. In one of their videos, they launch a drones from a field and place it in an abandoned farmhouse. Then they help guide a shell that misses a Russian armored personnel carrier and crashes into a cloud of smoke. It’s a reminder that, even with all the advanced technology, it’s still hard to hit a moving target.

The soldiers had a couple of heart-breaking moments. Nikitin was with a group of engineers when they came across a soldier in a field.

“He looks at me, I look at him and he jumps into the bushes,” says Nikitin. He then told the engineers to go shoot the Russian and any of his fellow soldiers.

The army reserve was formed after the Russians invaded Crimea. They knew that the rest of Ukraine would be taken by Russia. Here down south, their goal is to liberate Kherson, the regional capital.

Russian news media have reported that soldiers told relatives high casualty rates as a result of the Russian infantry being struck by shelling in poorly prepared positions. The videos have not been independently verified and their exact location on the front line could not be determined.

The statement said that Russian forces staged up to eighty assaults per day, and that there was a telephone conversation between the general and the American general.

An assessment from the Institute for the Study of War said that the increase in infantry in the east did not result in Russia gaining new ground.

“Russian forces would likely have had more success in such offensive operations if they had waited until enough mobilized personnel had arrived to amass a force large enough to overcome Ukrainian defenses,” the institute said in a statement on Thursday.

Earlier, Russia claimed that more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a Russian strike in Kramatorsk carried out in “retaliation” over the Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Makiivka last week, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.

The Russians and Ukrainians appear to be preparing for a battle in Kherson, and so the remaining residents of the city have been stocking their homes with food and fuel.

Some Republicans said that funding for Ukraine could be limited if America’s Democrats win control of the House of Representatives.

The final hours of Russian occupation of BLAHODATNE, Kyiv, are chaotic and disorienting for a country that is neither Turkey nor the United States

Also Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson. Erdogan insists Sweden must meet certain conditions before it can join NATO.

The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday is scheduled to discuss an International Atomic Energy Agency report, in which Ukraine is expected to be on the agenda.

Russia agreed to allow the safe export of agricultural goods from Ukraine on Nov. 2. Moscow had suspended its part in the deal a few days prior after saying Ukraine had launched a drone attack on its Black Sea ships.

Yes. An enormous $45 billion aid package is in the works, part of a consistent drumbeat from the Biden administration. The message is simple: Ukraine is receiving as much aid as Washington can provide, short of boots on the ground, and that aid will not stop.

BLAHODATNE, Ukraine — Ukraine’s troops entered the key city of Kherson on Friday, its military said, as jubilant residents waved Ukrainian flags after a major Russian retreat.

A group of people cheering and waiting to see a group of Ukrainian troops arrive on the shores of the Dnipro River shortly after Russia said its forces there had been withdrawn, was shared by Ukrainian government officials on social media.

The loss of Kherson would be Russia’s third major setback of the war, following retreats from Kyiv, the capital, last spring, and from the Kharkiv region in the northeast in September. Russia invaded Kherson in February and it was a major link in their efforts to control the southern coastline along the Black Sea.

The scenes of people greeting Ukrainian troops across the region were in sharp contrast to claims by Russian-appointed officials in Kherson six weeks ago that 87% of voters there supported integration into the Russian Federation, in a referendum widely condemned by the international community as a sham. Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia in September.

The grateful civilians of Kherson descended on the central square, hugging the newly arrived Ukrainian soldiers, snapping selfies and waving Ukrainian flags.

Voitsehovich, the commander of the Ukrainian drones, said he had seen no Russian troops or equipment in his zone north of Kherson city.

The apparent final hours of the Russian occupation overnight Thursday to Friday featured several explosions and were chaotic and disorienting, according to residents of Kherson reached by telephone on Friday morning.

Serhiy, a retiree living in the city who asked not to be identified for security reasons, said in a series of text messages that the conditions in the city had deteriorated overnight.

“At night, a building burned in the very center, but it was not possible even to call the fire department,” he wrote. “There was no phone signal, no electricity, no heating and no water.”

Zelensky tweeted: “Stay in Kiev, never again” — a protest against the shelling of Debaltseve

Four people living in the city said they saw Russian soldiers dressed in uniforms moving about parts of the city.

The Russian forces were shelling the Ukrainians across the river on the eastern bank of the Dnipro after they captured the city of Debaltseve.

On Friday evening, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky posted a night-time video of celebrations in Kherson city, where a crowd was waving flags and chanting “ZSU,” the Ukrainian acronym for the armed forces.

“Not a single piece of military equipment or weaponry was left behind on the right [west] bank,” the statement added. Russian servicemen moved to the left bank of the Dnieper.

The Ukrainian military claimed that hundreds of Russians were killed and hundreds were wounded, without acknowledging a role. CNN is unable to independently confirm the numbers or the weapons used in the strike. Some pro-Russian military bloggers have also estimated that the number of dead and wounded could run in the hundreds.

The east bank of the country did not receive any fire on Friday, but seven people were killed in a missile attack on the city of Mykolaiv.

Earlier Friday, the Ukrainian military’s southern operational command said Russian forces had been “urgently loading into boats that seem suitable for crossing and trying to escape” across the river.

The destruction of the main conduit between the Dnipro and Kherson regions during the war on the Kherson peninsula, as seen by the local media on Friday

The main conduit between the Dnipro and Kherson regions was destroyed in images and video posted on social media Friday.

There were a number of photos that were uploaded and verified by CNN that show the Ukrainian forces were able to reach the village despite the destruction of the bridge by the Russians. Several bridges in the Kherson region have been destroyed during the conflict.

Now that Kherson is in the grasp of Ukrainians, the two sides face each other across the river over a distance of about 250 kilometers, from the area around the Zaporisk nuclear power plant to the edge of the Black Sea.

A video which was uploaded to social media on Friday showing a group of people welcoming Ukrainian forces on the main highway in Tyahinka was made available to the public. The village is just 14 miles (20 km) west of the hydroelectric dam and bridges that stretch across the Dnieper river at Nova Kakhovka.

One video showed a Ukrainian flag flying over a World War II memorial, while another showed residents tearing down propaganda billboards with a young girl holding a Russian flag.

Kyiv officials had warned that retreating Russian troops could turn the regional capital of Kherson into a “city of death” on the way out, and an official in southern Ukraine warned residents Friday to be wary of quickly returning to recently liberated territory due to the threat of mines.

“There are a lot of mines in the liberated territories and settlements,” Vitaliy Kim, head of Mykolaiv region military administration, said on Telegram. “Don’t go there for no reason. There are people who have died.

The Antonivsky Bridge in Kherson, Ukraine: On the state of the art of resolving the Russian war-fought front line

During the regular news conference with journalists, Peskov mentioned that this is a subject of the Russian Federation. It has been fixed and defined. There cannot be any changes here.

The Dnipro is the new front line in southern Ukraine, and it’s been warned of continued danger from fighting in regions which have already been occupied by Russia.

Through the afternoon, artillery fire picked up in a southern district of the city near the destroyed Antonivsky Bridge over the Dnipro, stoking fears that the Russian Army would retaliate for the loss of the city with a bombardment from its new positions on the eastern bank.

Mortar shells struck near the bridge, sending up puffs of smoke. Near the riverfront, incoming rounds rang out with thunderous, metallic booms. It was not immediately possible to assess what had been hit.

There are dangerous mines. Four people were killed when a family drove over a mine outside the city, Mr.Yanushevich said. Six railway workers were injured as they tried to restore service. Ukrainian officials said that at least four children had been injured by mines across the region.

The deaths underscored the threats still remaining on the ground, even as Mr. Zelensky made a surprise visit to Kherson, a tangible sign of Ukraine’s soaring morale.

Mr. Zelensky spoke to hundreds of people in the city’s main square as they celebrated on Monday.

Russian Forces Using Cluster Munition in a Dam-Breaking Town: A CNN Message to the U.S. Military

The southern command of the Ukrainian military said that Russian forces continued to shoot from across the river at towns and villages that had been captured by Ukrainian forces. The military said that the missiles hit the town of Beryslav, which is north of a critical dam. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.

“Occupants rob local people and exchange stuff for samogon,” or homemade vodka, said one resident, Tatiana, who communicated via a secure messaging app from Oleshky, a town across the river from Kherson City. “Then they get drunk and even more aggressive. We are so scared here.” She asked that her surname be withheld for security.

“Russians roam around, identify the empty houses and settle there,” Ivan, 45, wrote in a text message. He lives south of Kherson city and asked that his name be not used because of his safety concerns. “We try to connect with the owners and to arrange for someone local to stay in their place. So that it is not abandoned and Russians don’t take it.”

The Ukrainian military has been urged by officials to get cluster munition, weapons banned by more than 100 countries, but which Russia continues to use to devastating effect, by members of Congress.

Senior Biden administration officials have been fielding this request for months and have not rejected it outright, CNN has learned, a detail that has not been previously reported.

The Challenge of Cluster-Militon Transfer in Ukraine, a Human Rights-Leading Expert Explains the Latest U.K. U.S. and Russian Drone Attacks

There is a risk to anyone who comes in contact with cluster munitions because they can fail to explode on impact and pose a long-term risk to anyone who encounters them. They also create “nasty, bloody fragmentation” to anyone hit by them because of the dozens of submunitions that detonate at once across a large area, Mark Hiznay, a weapons expert and the associate arms director for Human Rights Watch, previously told CNN.

The Biden administration has not taken the option off the table as a last resort, if stockpiles begin to run dangerously low. The proposal has not received much attention due to Congress restrictions on the transfer of clustermunitions, sources say.

Those restrictions apply to munitions with a greater than one percent unexploded ordnance rate, which raises the prospect that they will pose a risk to civilians. President Joe Biden could override that restriction, but the administration has indicated to the Ukrainians that that is unlikely in the near term.

The Defense Ministry told CNN it does not comment on reports regarding requests for particular weapons systems or ammunition, choosing to wait until any agreement with a supplier is reached before many any public announcement.

The Ukrainian official told CNN that the weapon was more effective when the Russian forces were more concentrated.

President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that Russian drone strikes on the southern port city of Odesa left more than 1.5 million people in that region without power Saturday night, the latest attacks in an ongoing series of assaults on Ukrainian energy infrastructure by the Kremlin.

The repeated assaults on the plants and equipment that lend warmth and light to Ukrainians have drawn condemnation from world leaders, causingUkraine to go into a grim cycle in which crews rush to restore power only to have it knocked out again.

Ukraine’s Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said that Lviv, Kyiv and Odesa were particularly hard hit, and experiencing emergency power outages – when the electricity is protectively turned off to diminish damage from the grid shorting out.

He urged people to reduce their power use, because of an acute shortage in the power system.

“It must be understood: Even if there aren’t any heavy missile strikes, this doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. “Almost every day, in different regions, there is shelling, there are missile attacks, drone attacks. Energy facilities are hit on a daily basis.

French President Volodymyr Zelenskyy speaks out against a Russian invasion of the Russian Orthodox Church in the French and Turkish governments

Ukrainian authorities have been stepping up raids on churches they believe to be linked to Moscow, and many are watching to see whether President Zelenskyy follows through on his threat of banning the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosts European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store for a working dinner Monday in Paris.

Also in France, on Tuesday, the country is set to co-host a conference with Ukraine in support of Ukrainians through the winter, with a video address by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

The basketball player was freed in December after being in Russian custody for over a year. The U.S. handed over the convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout in exchange for her release. Her spouse was back in the U.S. Bout is back in Russia and is reported to have joined an ultranationalist party.

The Russian oil revenue measures took effect. They include a price cap and a European Union embargo on most Russian oil imports and a Russian oil price cap.

On December 11th President Zelenskyy spoke to President Biden, as well as the leaders of France and Turkey in an apparent step up in diplomacy over the Russian invasion.

The trauma of Tarasov’s basement: how awful is the puddle in Bakhmut, the hardest shelling town?

The streets outside Tarasov’s home are damaged by shell blasts. The buildings aren’t very attractive and are mostly empty.

Tarasov had to live in his basement as a result of the shelling. He bought vegetables to make the national dish of borscht.

His face pales as he relays the graphic images still fresh in his mind. “I was wearing a leather jacket and if it wasn’t for that, I would have blown apart. My guts would have been all over the place. I lost a lot of blood. I remember seeing it — a huge puddle.”

After Tarasov was killed in the blast that tore through his body, he realized he might not make it. “I’ll tell you the truth,” he says. “I prayed to survive.”

When Tarasov arrived, he begged the doctors to save his limb. I asked first if I could have my arm sewn back on. I saw that it was completely torn off and was just hanging in the sleeve. And my stomach was burning. I figured it must be the intestines coming out. There was blood everywhere.”

Russian attacks on the energy grid have caused power failures and water shortages at the hospital. For eight hours one day last week, they had to rely on generators to keep the lights and heating on.

“She’s a resident of Bakhmut. She came under artillery fire and suffered a shrapnel wound to her abdomen with damage to several organs. People with wounds are seen every day. Every day.

The shelling is much closer to the west of Kostiantynivka than it is to the east. The hospital director said that the town had been hit almost every day since the beginning of the month.

“It’s been quite loud lately,” Khassan El-Kafarna, a surgeon from Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF), stationed at the hospital, says. His colleague, nurse Lucia Marron, agrees. She says there is more movement around in general. We’re used to it. You get to a point where you understand what is dangerous and what is not.”

Russian-backed rebels launched attack on the Kherson city during the 2014 riots: The Energy Security Project (ESPP) in Kyiv

“If I had a lot of money, I would rather live abroad,” Tarasov says. I don’t have any money, but everything I had saved up was invested there. I had no money and nowhere to go.”

A Russia-installed official says that the biggest attack on the occupied region since the summer of-2014 was launched by the Ukrainians.

Russian-backed rebels have been in control of the region for eight years and in October Moscow tried to annex it.

There were forty rockets fired at civilians in the city and a key intersection in the city came under fire.

Four people died in the city of Kherson when it was liberated by the Ukrainian army in November, as a result of the attacks which targeted critical infrastructure, residential buildings, medical aid and public transport. Shelling also set a multi-storey apartment building ablaze, and the body of a man was found in one apartment, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office said. The city is struggling to provide basic services.

The strikes in Kherson left the city “completely disconnected” from power supplies, according to the regional head of the Kherson military administration, Yanushevych.

Kyiv’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said the city “received machinery and generators from the U.S. Government to operate boiler houses and heat supply stations.”

The Energy Security Project delivered over 130 generators and four excavators, according to the founder of the project. All equipment was free of charge.

The Kremlin’s response to Zelensky’s three-step proposal and the problems Ukraine is having with its air defenses

He said that Russia was open for talks with other countries, as he had said recently in regards to the war. Putin’s claim that he is open to negotiating was roundly dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a ruse.

“The Ukrainian side needs to take into account the realities that have developed over all this time,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Tuesday in response to Zelensky’s three-step proposal.

He said that the Russian Federation has new subjects, referring to the areas Russia has claimed to have annexed.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal claimed that the missiles fired at the country were shot down by the air defense forces.

The Engels air base, which is home to Russia’s long-range, nuclear-capable bombers, was targeted in a drone attack in early December, according to the Kremlin, slightly damaging two planes. The attack has not been claimed by Kyiv.

An MiG-31K, a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a Kinzal hypersonic missile, was also seen in the sky over Belarus during the air attacks on Friday in Ukraine, according to Ukraine’s Armed Forces. It was not clear from their statement whether Kinzal was used in the attacks.

“We know that their defense industrial base is being taxed,” Kirby said of Russia. They know they are having trouble with that pace. We know that he’s (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) having trouble replenishing specifically precision guided munitions.”

He declined to announce any details on the next security assistance package for Ukraine, but said that there “will be another one” and that additional air defense capabilities should be expected.

Ukrainian Response to the Iranian Drone Attack on the Sea of Azov – A Reflection on the Russian Intervention in the Third World War

The Iranian drones were launched from the east coast of the Sea of Azov, according to the Air Force.

Popko added that two areas in central and western Kyiv bore the brunt of the damage. A road in Solomyanskyi was damaged and fragments of a drone landed on a high rise residential building in Shevchenkivskui district.

Zelensky said that he appreciated the people who carry out the repair works around the clock. “It is not easy, it is difficult, but I am sure: we will pull through together, and Russia’s aggression will fail.”

Ukrainians far from the eastern and southern frontlines of the ground war want to have some semblance of normalcy in the run-up to Christmas.

The mayor of the city said on Telegram that an artificial Christmas tree in the center of the city was decorated over the weekend, and will illuminate with energy saving garlands that will be powered by a generator at certain times.

The tree in Sophia Square will be adorned with a number of colored balls and doves. Flags of countries that are supporting Ukraine will be placed at the bottom.

He said that Ukrainian children wrote to St. Nicholas requesting air defense, weapons, and victory.

Keir Giles is an employee at Chatham House, a think tank in the UK. He is the author of a book. What does it mean for you? The views he has expressed in this commentary are his own. Read more opinion on CNN.

In fact, repetition of the narrative that any one of a wide range of events that Russia would dislike will ensure “guaranteed escalation to the Third World War” has been highly effective in shaping US and Western behavior.

The West has done the same thing as the Kremlin claims it is not at war, only doing a special military operation. Russia has been protected from the consequences of its own aggression.

Moscow is struggling to equip and rally its conventional forces, with only the exception of its nuclear forces having new cards to play. China and India have joined the West in open statements against the use of nuclear force, which has made that option even less likely.

It sets a bad example for other aggressive powers. It says possession of nuclear weapons allows you to wage genocidal wars of destruction against your neighbors, because other nations won’t intervene.

If that’s not the message the US and the West want other aggressor states around the world to receive, then supply of Patriot should be followed by far more direct and assertive means of dissuading Moscow.

The first deliverables are the Patriot missile systems. They have been said to be the US’s “gold standard” of air defense. NATO preciously guards them, and they require the personnel who operate them – almost 100 in a battalion for each weapon – to be properly trained.

Ukraine needs more precision weapons to not fall victim to civilians remaining nearby. Ukraine does not go through the large amounts of shells Russia appears to burn through when it bombards areas it wants to capture.

Russia has complained persistently about these deliveries, but it hasn’t done much in response to the recent crossing of what could have been considered red lines.

Whatever the eventual truth of the matter – and military aid is opaque at the best of times – Biden wants Putin to hear nothing but headline figures in the billions, to sap Russian resolve, push European partners to help more, and make Ukraine’s resources seem limitless.

This is trickier. Republican Kevin McCarthy, the likely Speaker of the Congress, has told the Biden administration that they can not expect a blank cheque from the new GOP-led House of Representatives.

Investigating the killings of 234 Ukrainians in the 1992-97 Russian civil war: The investigative reports of the Times and other media outlets

The remnants of the America First elements of that party have raised doubts about the amount of assistance the US should be giving to eastern Europe.

The bill for the victory in the war against Russia is less than the defense budget of the United States.

Zelensky’s physical appearance in Washington will remind Republicans that a victory for the Ukrainians would lead to Moscow launching a nuclear-backed attack on NATO and the US being forced into a boots on the ground war.

He is an inspiring rhetorician, and – as a former reality TV star turned unexpected president – the embodiment of how Putin’s war of choice has turned ordinary Ukrainians into wartime heroes.

The report and produced by Yousur Al- HLOU was titled, “Investigation.” Other people who worked on the report were: Masha Froliak, Dmitriy Khavin.

After Russian forces withdrew, the reporters at the Times spent months interviewing residents and gathering security camera footage, as well as obtaining records from government sources. The killings along this one street in New York were reconstructed by investigators from the Times. Phone records and decoded call signs from Russian radio channels are some of the most damning evidence implicating the 234th.

The evidence shows that the killings were part of a deliberate and systematic effort to ruthlessly secure a route to the capital, Kyiv. Soldiers interrogated and executed unarmed men of fighting age, and killed people who unwittingly crossed their paths — whether it was children fleeing with their families, locals hoping to find groceries or people simply trying to get back home on their bicycles.

Journalists and investigators relied on a single photo or video to expose war crimes. In 1992, Time magazine published a photo of an emaciated prisoner in Bosnia on its cover. Almost 20 years later, a video captured the execution of captured Tamil Tiger fighters in the final days of Sri Lanka’s civil war.

The majority of the victims were civilians or Ukrainian P.O.W.s. They could be killed and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court if they were found to be war crimes. The killings in the area could be considered to be crimes against humanity because of their systematic nature. Russia has not joined the I.C.C., and is unlikely to cooperate in future cases involving Russian soldiers.

The Times used phone numbers and social media profiles from Russian soldiers to confirm the identity of two dozen paraphrasings from the 234th battalion. In many cases, we interviewed their relatives and spoke to some of the soldiers themselves, two of whom confirmed they were in the 234th and served in Bucha. We cross-referenced our findings with personal data sourced from leaked and official Russian databases provided by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit group focused on global security.

The Times identified three dozen people killed on Yablunska Street in March. We reviewed death certificates for most of these victims, and the predominant cause of death was gunshot wounds.

The victims were people of all ages and professions. Tamila and her daughter, Anna, were killed in the attack on March 5. They were among four women fleeing Bucha when Russian soldiers fired on their blue minivan.

After Russian troops retreated from the Kyiv region, Lt. Col. Gorodilov received a promotion to colonel in April from the then-head of the airborne forces, Col. Gen. Andrey Serdyukov. The ceremony was held days after the shocking images from Bucha emerged.

Ukraine’s drone attack in Engels: a probe of what Russia is doing, and if so, when Russian air defense officials realize it

Evan Hill, Ishaan Jhaveri, and Julian Barnes wrote the report. Translations and research by Aleksandra Koroleva , Oksana Nesterenko and Milana Mazaeva .

Three Russian servicemen were killed Monday after a Ukrainian drone was shot down by air defenses as it approached a military airfield in Saratov Oblast, deep inside Russian territory, according to Russian state news agencies, citing the defense ministry.

Governor Roman Busargin said on Monday that law enforcement agencies are investigating the incident at the airfield. The comments were made on his official Telegram channel, after an explosion was reported in the city.

There were no emergencies in the city’s residential areas and no civilian infrastructure was damaged. He also extended his condolences to the families of the servicemen, saying the government would provide them with assistance.

In comments Monday, Ukrainian Air Force spokesperson Yurii Ihnat did not claim direct responsibility for the drone, but did suggest the attack was the “consequence of what Russia is doing.”

There could be some repetition of events from December 5, when the Russians launched a massive missile strike. Take it into account in our plans and savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay savesay

A bomb went off in the sky in Engels earlier this month. At the time, Gov. Busargin also reassured residents that no civilian infrastructure was damaged and that “information about incidents at military facilities is being checked by law enforcement agencies.”

Demoralizing civilians: How Russia didn’t shell Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, during the quiet nights in Ukraine

In Ukraine, the night from Sunday into Monday appeared unusually quiet. For the first time in weeks, the Russian forces didn’t shell the Dnipropetrovsk region, which borders the partially occupied southern regions of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, its Gov. Valentyn Reznichenko reported on Telegram.

The quiet nights have come since the Russians started shelling areas around the city of Nikopol. Nikopol is located across the Dnieper River from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is under control of the Russian forces.

The governor of the Kherson region said that Ukrainian controlled areas were bombarded 33 times in the past 24 hours. There were no casualties.

The director of the Defense Priorities think tank was recently in Ukrainian capital and spoke about the importance of the human body’s central nervous system. “It’s not only an inconvenience but an enormous economic cost. It’s an effort to create pain for the civilian population, to show that the government can’t protect them adequately.”

Menon notes, however, that every one of his comments could just as easily apply to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet—such as the NotPetya malware released by Russia’s GRU hackers, which five years earlier destroyed the digital networks of hundreds of government agencies, banks, airports, hospitals, and even its radioactivity monitoring facility in Chernobyl. The goal is the same, even though they’re different in the details. Demoralizing and punishing civilians are things they do.

Ukraine’s electrical infrastructure is blowing up: Vladimir Putin vows to keep fighting in the light of Russian-Russia’s commitment to Ukraine

The lead for disaster response in the Ukrainian president’s office said that several residential buildings in the capital were destroyed.

An explosion near a playground made some windows shake. Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko urged residents to charge their electronic devices and fill water containers in case of shortages.

In western Ukraine, Lviv Mayor Andrii Sadovyi said 90% of the city was without power, cautioning that the city’s waterworks could also to stop working with electricity down.

Strikes of the scale like Thursday’s have become less frequent since October 10. Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said Russia is running out of cruise missiles.

Russia will continue to pursue its objectives in Ukraine with perseverance andpatience, declared Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in separate comments to Russian media.

Russia’s onslaught on Thursday was aimed at the country’s electrical infrastructure, and knocked out power in several regions. Engineering crews were racing to restore services as the New Year’s holiday approaches this weekend.

Avatar movie in the capital, Ukraine: air and sea attacks on Ukrainian defence industries and civilians killed in a Kiev assault on Noviraki

After the sirens gave the all clear, life in the capital went back to normal, Hryn said: “In the elevator I met my neighbors with their child who were in hurry to get to the cinema for the new Avatar movie on time.” Parents took their children to school and people went to work, while others continued with holiday plans in defiance.

In the capital, Halyna Hladka was able to have breakfast for her family quickly because she had stocked up on water. They heard explosions for nearly two hours. She told CNN that air defense was the reason why they were very close to our area. “Not a single attack will cancel the fact that we will celebrate the new year with the family.”

Two people were removed from a damaged home on Thursday, and at least three people, including a 14-year-old, were injured. There were damages to homes in the capital, an industrial facility and a playground.

“Senseless barbarism.” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said those were the only words that came to mind watching Moscow launch a fresh wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities ahead of the New Year, adding there could be “no neutrality” in the face of such aggression.

All the targets have been neutralised. The attack has resulted in stopping the production and maintenance of military hardware and ordnance, as well as in terminating the redeployment of reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine from western regions of Ukraine,” the defense ministry said in a statement.

In its daily summary of operations, the ministry said that Russia’s armed forces launched a ” massive attack, using high-precision long-range air and sea-based weaponry, at the military control framework, and power facilities that ensured operating of Ukrainian defence industry.”

The ministry did not claim any gains against the Ukrainian forces, adding credence to reports that both sides are locked in a stalemate.

The Ukrainian military said later on Monday that the number of Russian servicemen killed in Makiivka is “being clarified” after claiming earlier that around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and a further 300 were wounded. It has not directly acknowledged a role in the strike. CNN cannot independently confirm those numbers or the weapons used in the attack.

The Russian defense ministry claimed that 63 Russian troops died in the attack and it is one of the most lethal episodes of the war so far.

Russian Senator Grigory Karasin said those responsible for the killing of Russian servicemen must be found, according to the state news agency.

The destruction of the Makiivka school building after the coupling of the Russian national security force with a weapon of mass destruction, according to an official Ukrainian military channel

Video reportedly from the scene of the attack circulated widely on Telegram, including on an official Ukrainian military channel. It shows a pile of smoking rubble, in which almost no part of the building appears to be standing.

The Chief Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Ukraine sent greetings to the people who were brought to the occupied Makiivka and crammed into the school building. “Santa packed around 400 corpses of [Russian soldiers] in bags.”

According to Bezsonov, the high command is still unaware of the weapon’s capabilities.

“I hope that those responsible for the decision to use this facility will be reprimanded,” Bezsonov said. There are plenty of abandoned facilities that can be quarters.

A Russian propagandist who blogs about the war effort on Telegram, Igor Girkin, claimed that the building was almost completely destroyed by the secondary detonation of ammunition stores.

“Nearly all the military equipment, which stood close to the building without the slightest sign of camouflage, was also destroyed,” Girkin said. There are still no final figures on casualties, as many people are still missing.

Russian generals who are accused of directing the war effort far from the frontline have always been called un-learned in principle and unwilling to listen to warnings. Girkin was previously minister of defense of the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic, and was found guilty by a Dutch court of mass murder for his involvement in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine in 2014.

“As you can see, despite several months of war, some conclusions are not made, hence the unnecessary losses, which, if the elementary precautions relating to the dispersal and concealment of personnel were taken, might have not happened.”

Bakhmut, Ukraine: “We’ve broken the defence,” the head of the Wagner private military enterprise told a Russian state television news conference on February 24

Russian forces “lost 760 people killed just yesterday, (and) continue to attempt offensive actions on Bakhmut,” the military’s general staff said Sunday.

Moscow’s full scale invasion on Feb. 24 went awry, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his ground forces struggle to hold ground. He said in his New Year’s address to the nation that 2022 was “a year of difficult, necessary decisions.”

The West condemns Putin’s claim that he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine because it was threatening Russia’s security.

The governor of the Kherson region of Ukraine said on Telegram that five people were wounded in Monday’s shelling.

A blistering New Year’s Eve assault killed at least four civilians across the country, Ukrainian authorities reported, and wounded dozens. The 46-year-old resident of the city died on Monday morning in the hospital.

The head of Russia’s Wagner private military company has attempted to explain his group’s failure to capture the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which has for months been the scene of intense fighting.

The leader of the fighters on the front line told him that there was a fortress in every house, and also said that there were only clowns who predicted things.

“They say, ‘the combined forces have advanced into Artyomovsk and broken the defense,’” he said, referring to Bakhmut by its Soviet name. Bakhmut was changed back to it’s old name.

Artyomovsk, the Wagner PMC, and the Allied Army in the Convaint Army of the U.S.

He said that breaking through the defense means breaking through the defense of the next house.

The question is, who is going to take Artyomovsk? Which forces joined together? It’ll be the Wagner combined forces,” he said. “And who else? Other than Wagner PMC, who else is there?”

Biden and Scholz expressed their determination to provide the necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support for as long as needed according to a joint statement.

The Bradley fighting vehicle, which moves on tracks rather than wheels, can hold around 10 troops and is used to transport personnel into battle. The White House said the US and Germany would provide training to Ukrainian forces on the respective vehicles being provided to Kyiv.

Zelensky wanted those systems because they would allow his military to shoot down Russian missiles at a higher altitude than they were able to do before.

When Russian Forces Become Cold: The Case of the Ukrainian-launched HIMARS Attack and Russia’s War on the Christmas Holiday

David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN and author of ” A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still happen” is a knight of the French Legion of Honor. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views in this commentary are of his own. View more opinion at CNN.

If the Russian account is accurate, it was the cell phones that the novice troops were using in violation of regulations that allowed Ukrainian forces to target them most accurately. The attack was executed, however, Ukraine has not given an example of how it was done. But the implications are broader and deeper, especially for how Russia is conducting its war now.

Following the death of a Russian soldier, President Putin called for a short ceasefire on the Orthodox Christmas holiday. The move was rightly dismissed by Ukraine and the US as a cynical attempt to seek breathing space amid a very bad start to the year for Russian forces.

Russian officials said that four Ukrainian-launched HIMARS rockets hit the vocational school where its forces were housed, apparently adjacent to a large arms depot. (Another two HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses).

The rocket system has a range of 80 kilometers. A longer-range 300-kilometer HIMARS has not yet been authorized, despite repeated Ukrainian pleas. (The Biden administration has worried that the longer-range system could expand the war beyond Ukraine’s frontiers and lead to an escalation of hostilities.)

Russia meanwhile continues to stockpile arms and ammunition in large quantities close to the troops they will supply and well within range of enemy weaponry. Standard military practice dictates that large depots be broken up and scattered and that they be located far behind enemy lines — even within Russian territory that western powers have declared off-limits to Ukrainian strikes.

Chris Dougherty, a senior fellow for the Defense Program and co-head of the Gaming Lab at the Center for New American Security in Washington, has told me that Russia’s failure to break up or move large arms depots is largely a function of the reality that their forces cannot communicate adequately.

It’s a view shared by other experts. James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the CSIS, told me that bad security communications were a standard practice in the Russian Army.

The troops who were killed in Makiivka seem to have been recent conscripts, part of a larger picture of Russian soldiers being shipped to the front lines with little training and inferior equipment.

The most recent arrivals to the war include inmates from prison in Russia, who were released and sent to the Ukrainian front. I can only imagine how appealing using cell phones would be to prisoners who are used to being alone for a long period of time.

Semyon Pegov, who blogs under the alias WarGonzo and was personally awarded the Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin two weeks ago, attacked the Ministry of Defense for its “blatant attempt to smear blame” in suggesting it was the troops’ own use of cell phones that led to the precision of the attack.

He questioned how the Ministry of Defense could be “so sure” that the location of soldiers lodging in a school building could not have been determined using drone surveillance or a local informant.

One month ago, the defense ministry underwent a change in leadership, with Gen. Bulgakov replaced by Col. Gen. Mikhail Y. Mizintsev, known to Western officials as the butcher of Mariupol. The location of the arms depot was likely to have been monitored by Mizintsev.

Still, Putin-favorite Sergei Shoigu remains defense minister — as recently as Saturday, before the Makiivka attack, telling his forces in a celebratory video: “Our victory, like the New Year, is inevitable.”

WIRED World Report on Kramatorsk (Russia): The Digital Age of Armed Forces and the Status of the DPR-Kremlin Conflict

Digital technologies will provide transparency and precision in conflict and confrontation, merging with advances in robotics, data in a secure cloud, and artificial intelligence. The combination will cause armed forces to be more than just people who operate equipment, but teams of people who are autonomously capable as well. This is a process that starts out by augmenting how today’s armed forces organize, operate, and train, but as technology advances and experience grows, it will be as transformative as Airbnb has been to accommodation or Uber to transportation. The Digital Age will drive the most profound transformation in how states confront and conflict. The winners will be bold enough to move quickly while the loser will have succumbed to the comforts of gentle change during this decades-long competition.

The story is from the annual trends briefing of WIRED World. Read more stories from the series here—or download or order a copy of the magazine.

The nature of war is always going to be about killing people and breaking their stuff quicker than you can. It will still be a contest of wills, an aspect of the human condition that is far from being eradicated for all its ferocity, irrationality, and despair. The outcome will remain an unscripted mix of reason, emotion, and chance. Technology is only changed how we fight.

A CNN team on the ground has seen no indication of any massive casualties in the area. There is no unusual activity in and around Kramatorsk, including in the vicinity of the city morgue, the team reported.

A Reuters reporter in Kramtorsk also reported no signs of a significant Russian strike on two college dormitories that Russia claimed had been housing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers.

The Russian government and some pro-Kremlin leaders got into a public spat after Moscow blamed its soldiers on the use of cell phones.

But that account was angrily dismissed by an influential military blogger and implicitly contradicted by the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, pointing to discord in the Russian command over Moscow’s response to the attack.

The Krematorsk blast of Thursday, October 23: A major civilian casualty attack in a Ukrainian city surrounded by a helium-dominated missile system

As soon as the next few weeks, a top Ukrainian national security official said, there will be a maximum escalation of the war in Ukraine.

The Secretary of Ukrainian’s National Security and Defense Council stated in a Sky News interview that the war will be defining months.

Military representatives from the two countries will work together to plan the use of troops based on their experience with armed conflicts, according to the ministry.

A bombardment of missiles blew through the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, sending fireballs and thick billowing smoke into the air, as screaming civilians scramble to find shelter.

At least one person was wounded and paramedics rushed to the scene. Kramatorsk Mayor Oleksandr Honcharenko also confirmed that there had been a strike on the city, and urged residents to stay in bomb shelters.

Rescue workers searched through piles of rubble to try and locate survivors in the aftermath of Wednesday’s attack, which damaged eight apartment buildings. Authorities also evacuated people to a local school for shelter.

The attack of the Russian Army on the area of Seredyna-Buda, Kherson, in the western half of the city of Kharkiv

A country that is completely evil. To reduce to zero the chance of such tragedies happening again, a country has to overcome it. We will find and punish the people who committed the crime. They do not deserve mercy.”

In Dvorichna, a village east of the city of Kharkiv, two people were killed, according to the head of the regional military administration. Russian forces occupy positions on the east bank of the Oskil River.

The area of Seredyna-Buda is right near the Russian border and the occupiers continued to shell it 12 times on Wednesday evening. No casualties were reported.

The Russians reached a highway northwest of the city and the fighting was continuing there according to an unofficial Telegram account of the troops in the 46th brigade who have been in Bakhmut for several weeks.

Russians are conducting measures against civilians in occupied areas of Kherson, the military said. Filtration measures include detention and deportation to Russian territory.

The scenes are chaotic: Russian tanks veering wildly before exploding or driving straight into minefields, men running in every direction, some on fire, the bodies of soldiers caught in tank tracks.

CNN and military experts evaluated the videos which were released by the Ukrainian military and found that at least twenty Russian tanks and infantry vehicles had been disabled or destroyed in a few days. Satellite images show intensive patterns of impacts along tree lines where Russian tanks tried to advance.

The Russian Defense Ministry insists the assault is going according to plan, despite the fact that the 155th Marine brigade is involved. In remarks recorded for a Sunday television show, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the “marine infantry is working as it should. Yeah right now. Fighting heroically.”

But the leader of the self-declared, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, acknowledged Friday that the area was “hot” and said “the enemy continues to transfer reserves in large quantities, and this slowed down the liberation of this settlement.”

Is Moscow Calling Blind? Comment on “Russian Army Fighting Violent Isotopes in Vuhledar”

According to Cooper the Russians built a formidable force of 20,000 troops and 90 MBTs. It is possible that there are two times as many infantry fighting vehicles and more than 100 artillery pieces.

Attacks launched in the last week of January were flawed, according to him. Cooper wrote on his blog that the rebels had advanced along a relatively narrow route, and had now faced 500 meters of emptiness on the eastern side of the town.

The best tanks and parachutes from the war were destroyed, as stated by Strelkov on Telegram.

In another post on Telegram, Strelkov wrote: “Only morons attack head-on in the same place, heavily fortified and extremely inconvenient for the attackers for many months in a row.”

Moscow Calling stated that the older T-72 tanks deployed in Vuhledar lack the improvements that would improve the driver’s vision. That may help explain several instances in which Russian tanks seemed to get entangled or reverse blindly.

How are armored personnel carriers equally blind to the blind infantry? And then how to coordinate any actions if there is no communication and situational awareness?” he wrote.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/13/europe/russia-ukraine-vuhledar-donetsk-fiasco-intl/index.html

Rustam Muradov: The 155th Men of the Eastern Group of Forces and their Disruption in Vuhledar

Several Russian commentators have called for the dismissal of Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, the commander of the Eastern Grouping of Forces. When the 155th men protested that his tactics had caused disastrous losses in November, Muradov was in charge.

Another Russian blog with more than 500,000 followers said of Muradov’s team: “These people killed a significant number of personnel and equipment [in November] and did not bear any responsibility. After which, with the same mediocrity, they began to storm Ugledar [Vuhledar]. Impunity always causes permissiveness.

Poor leadership is only one part of the problem as the Institute for the Study of war claims that poorly trained mobilized personnel are more indicative of the problem than poor command.

Ukrainian military officials say there is a random mix of Russian forces in the Vuhledar area, including professional units, the recently mobilized, militia of the DPR and infantry of a private military company called Patriot, which is said to be close to the Russian defense ministry.

The commander of the Ukrainian forces stated on Saturday that effective fire damage is the key to success on the battlefield.

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