The First Time since the War Between Ukraine and the Russians: Arms Deals with the Orthopaedic Osteopath and Zlatev
Mr. Zlatev and his new business partner, a local osteopath, took their first crack at international arms dealing. The deal relied on layers of middleman and transit across seven countries according to documents obtained by The New York Times. It exists in a legal gray area which is meant to skirt the arms export rules of other countries.
“Time is of the essence,” the pair recently wrote to Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense. They outlined a plan to sell arms to the other side.
The Biden administration has quietly sped up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of private arms sales to Ukraine, lightening a weeks-long approval process in a matter of hours. In just the first four months of the year — the latest data available — the State Department authorized more than $300 million in private deals to Ukraine, government documents show. The amount of such sales authorized by the department during the fiscal year was less than fifteen million dollars.
Ukrainian air defense battalions have become innovative: One video from Monday, referenced by Zelensky, showed a soldier using a shoulder-held missile to bring down a Russian projectile, purportedly a cruise missile.
If the Russians continue with the tactic of using swarms of missiles it will wreak greater havoc among the civilian population than if the Ukrainians were already in harm’s way.
The big question is whether the Russians will use older, less accurate but equally powerful missiles to replenish their inventories or not.
The Pentagon believed at the time that Moscow had more than half of its pre-war inventory but that Russia was running the lowest on cruise missiles.
The S-300, an air defense missile, has been adapted as an offensive weapon by the Russians. Their speed makes it hard to intercept them, and they have wreaked havoc in several places, among them Zaporizhzhia and Mykolaiv. But they are hardly accurate.
There has been a great deal of damage caused by the missile attacks this week. According to Ukraine’s Energy Minister, around 30% of the country’s energy infrastructure has been hit by Russian missiles.
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 also had plenty of practice in using their limited air defenses, mainly BUK and S-300 systems. But Yurii Ihnat, spokesman for the Air Force Command, said Tuesday said of these systems: “This equipment does not last forever, there may be losses in combat operations.”
It is un economical to waste systems on taking out cheap drones. There may be other answers for the hundreds of attack drones Russia isDeploying. Zelensky claims that Russia has ordered 2,400 Shahed-136 drones from Iran.
The new security package comes as Russia intensifies its attacks on civilian targets in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who visited the White House last month, has called for additional assistance from western nations to protect against Russian aggression. He said that the support was an investment in the global security and democracy.
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.”
The system is considered one of the most capable to defend airspace against incoming missiles as well as some aircraft. Because of its long-range and high-altitude capability, it can potentially shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft far from their intended targets inside Ukraine.
Western systems are beginning to trickle in. The arrival of the first IRIS-T from Germany, and two units of the US National Advanced Surface-to-Fly Missile System, expected soon, was stated by the Ukrainian Defense Minister on Tuesday.
But these are hardly off-the-shelf-items. The IRIS-T was made for Ukranian. Western governments do not have a large amount of such systems. The large country ofUkraine is under attack from three different directions.
Putin’s War in Ukraine as a Challenge for the Middle East, NATO and the West: CNN’s Frida Ghitis
Ukraine’s senior military commander, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, tweeted Tuesday his thanks to Poland as “brothers in arms” for training an air defense battalion that had destroyed nine of 11 Shaheeds.
He said Poland had given Ukraine “systems” to help destroy the drones. Last month there were reports that the Polish government had bought advanced Israeli equipment (Israel has a policy of not selling “advanced defensive technology” to Kyiv) and was then transferring it to Ukraine.
Frida Ghitis is a former CNN producer and correspondent who now writes about world affairs. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN and a columnist for The Washington Post. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. You can see more opinions on CNN.
Russia will be looking for replacements as it looks at ways to launch missiles at Ukraine. Iran may not be the only country willing to provide Russia with goods in the future.
Iran’s opponents in the Middle East, NATO members and nations interested in restoring the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, have been drawn to the strengthened relationship between Moscow and Tehran.
The war in Ukraine is driving a far-right push for more influence between Putin and his followers in the West. In Europe, likeminded people are trying to promote their views by pointing out how burdensome their country is in comparison to the US, just as the former Trump aide Stephen Miller argued against spending onUkraine because of poverty and crime in the US. Support for Europe and the US continues to be strong, but Republicans are less enthusiastic.
If Russia is allowed to win, Putin’s war would mark the beginning of a new era of global instability, with less freedom, less peace and less prosperity for the world.
Ukraine’s ongoing metamorphosis from legacy Soviet force to NATO clone hasn’t just been about the mechanics or even diplomacy of getting tanks, fighting vehicles, air defenses and artillery, it’s been about bringing NATO member states’ near-billion people along with their politicians. In parliament on Wednesday, he said that point.
Today, a lot of the things that happened far away from the battlefields have repercussions. When oil-producing nations, led by Saudi Arabia, decided last month to slash production, the US accused the Saudis of helping Russia fund the war by boosting its oil revenues. The Saudis deny the accusation.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently reiterated that “Israel supports and stands with Ukraine, NATO and the West,” but will not move those systems to Ukraine, because, “We have to share our airspace in the North with Russia.”
Russia shut down Ukraine’s grain exports just after the war started because it had attacked Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea. The head of the World Food Program, David Beasley, warned in May that the world was “marching toward starvation.”
Higher prices have consequences, not only for family budgets. When they come with such powerful momentum, they pack a political punch. Inflation, worsened by the war, has put incumbent political leaders on the defensive in countless countries.
The War on the Front: Supporting the Resurrection of the Crimes against the Russian Army in the Djenyi Region
It is more than just on the fringes. Kevin McCarthy, who could become speaker of the House after next week’s elections, made a suggestion that Republicans may reduce aid to Ukraine. Progressive Democrats released and withdrew a letter calling for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official during the Obama administration, said they’re all bringing “a big smile to Putin’s face.”
The scale of Russian losses in these infantry advances is uncertain. The advances were described by the institute as being impaling units on defensive positions of Ukraine. The Ukrainian military believes it is inflating its estimates of Russian casualties, but a slight increase in reported numbers seems to suggest that the toll is rising. More than 800 Russian soldiers were wounded or killed over the course of two days by the Ukrainian military.
According to the statement posted on Telegram, Russian forces had tripled the intensity of attacks on parts of the front. He didn’t say where the attacks were coming from or what the time frame was.
“We discussed the situation at the front,” General Zaluzhnyi wrote. He said he had told his colleague that the Ukrainians were coming back and that they had the strength to do it.
An assessment from the Institute for the Study of War, a Washington-based analytical group, also said that the increase in infantry in the Donbas region in the east had not resulted in Russia’s gaining new ground.
The assessment stated that the Russian Army wanted to gain a quick breakthrough and was massing enough soldiers to make sure they got there. The attacks have been directed at several towns and villages.
In its two counteroffensives in the northeast and the south, the Ukrainian military has reported step-by-step gains in cutting supply lines and targeting Russian ammunition and fuel depots with long-range rockets and artillery.
The Ukrainian military said it fired more than 160 times at Russian positions in the past 24 hours, but that Russian returned fire into Ukrainian positions.
With Russian and Ukrainian forces apparently preparing for battle in Kherson, and conflicting signals over what may be coming, the remaining residents of the city have been stocking up on food and fuel to survive combat.
Ukrainian officials and lawmakers have in recent months urged the Biden administration and members of Congress to provide the Ukrainian military with cluster munition warheads, weapons that are banned by more than 100 countries but that Russia continues to use to devastating effect inside Ukraine.
CNN has learned that senior Biden administration officials have been fielding this request for months and have not rejected it, a detail that has not previously been reported.
Do US Cluster Munitions Have a Last Resort to Russian Attacks? CNN’s Sarah Hiznay and Robertson-Sundrum: What the Ukrainians Think about the Patriot System
Cluster munitions are imprecise by design, and scatter “bomblets” across large areas that can fail to explode on impact and can pose a long-term risk to anyone who encounters them, similar to landmines. 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 never dropped the option as a last resort, even if the stockpiles begin to run low. But sources say the proposal has not yet received significant consideration in large part due to the statutory restrictions that Congress has put on the US’ ability to transfer cluster munitions.
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. The administration has indicated to the Ukrainians that it’s not likely that President Joe Biden will overrule that restriction in the near term.
“The ability of Ukraine to make gains in current and upcoming phases of conflict is in no way dependent on or linked to their procuring said munitions,” a congressional aide told CNN.
The Defense Ministry told CNN that it does not comment on reports regarding requests for particular weapons systems or bullets, preferring to wait until an agreement with a supplier is reached.
“They [DPICMs] are more effective when you have a concentration of Russian forces,” the Ukrainian official told CNN, noting that Ukraine has been asking for the weapons “for many months.”
The US is finalising plans to send the system to Ukraine, which was reported by CNN. Russia’s US embassy warned of unpredictable consequences on Wednesday.
Zakharova said that many experts questioned the rationality of such a step which would lead to an increase in the conflict and increase the risk of the army being dragged into combat.
The expensive and complicated system could be used to guard against Russian attacks that have left millions without power, but requires intensive training for many people who are unfamiliar with it.
The Pentagon press secretary was asked if the Russian warnings about the Patriot system wereprovocative. Gen. Pat Ryder said those comments would not influence US aid to Ukraine.
It’s ironic that officials from a country that brutally attacked its neighbor in an illegal and unprovoked invasion would choose to use words like provocative to describe defensive systems intended to save lives and protect civilians.
However, he added, “The US is not at war with Russia, and we do not seek conflict. We want to give the security assistance thatUkraine needs to defend itself.
The video that the defense ministry shared of the installation of the Yars missile into a silo was subtle and may be related to the call for a missile defense system in Europe.
Nuclear threats are Russia’s most effective deterrent. Loose talk from Russia about using nuclear weapons has died down a little recently, but a decade or more of driving home the message of inevitable nuclear response if Russia is cornered or humiliated has already had its effect.
Appearing this week on Russian state TV, Commander Alexander Khodakovsky of the Russian militia in the Donetsk region suggested Russia could not defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.
Comment on “Russia’s Resurrection of the Second World War” by J.D. Zelensky, Sgr. Jens Stoltenberg, and I.J. Ripley
The larger crews are required to operate the missiles, which make them different from smaller air defense systems. The training for Patriot missile batteries normally takes multiple months, a process the United States will now carry out under the pressure of near-daily aerial attacks from Russia.
In an interview with The Economist published Thursday, Zelensky also rejected the idea recently suggested by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ukraine seek to reclaim only land seized by Russia since February 2022 and not areas like Donbas and Crimea, which have been under Russian control since 2014.
NATO still has two main objectives: to provide aid to Ukraine and to make sure that NATO doesn’t get involved in the war, according to the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The old weapon is old ammo. A US military official told CNN that Russian forces have had to use 40-year-old shells because their supplies of new bullets are rapidly running out.
The official said that when you load the ammunition you cross your fingers that it will fire or explode.
In the trenches. CNN’s Will Ripley filed a video report from trenches and fortifications being built along Ukraine’s border with Belarus, where there is growing concern about Russia once again assembling troops. Ripley talks to a sewing machine repairman turned tank driver.
Striking Donetsk. The Russian-installed mayor of the Donetsk region claims that Ukrainian forces have launched a serious attack in the area.
Sanctions have not been enough to shake Russia’s determination to restore its empire at the cost of peaceful neighboring states. The US and other western backers should change the terms of the conflict to stop setting targets for Russia when they want it to fall. The international community must do more than simply tolerate Russia’s naked aggression and the savagery with which it is pursuing its war of colonial reconquest. More direct intervention is what is needed.
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.
Since well before February’s invasion, portentous but vague threats from Russia of unspecified but alarming responses have been sufficient to serve as a massive brake on Western support for Ukraine.
In doing so, the West has played along with the Kremlin’s pretense that it is not at war, only waging a “special military operation.” In effect, it has protected Russia from the consequences of its own aggression.
That sets a disastrous example for other aggressive powers around the world. 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.
There are two deliverables: first, the Patriot missile systems. They have been described as the US’s “gold standard” of air defense. NATO requires personnel who operate them to be trained, because almost 100 in a battalion are needed to operate each weapon.
More precision weapons are vital: they ensure Ukraine hits its targets, and not any civilians remaining nearby. It means that Ukraine does not have to deal with the large number of shells Russia appears to burn through as it bombards areas it wants to capture.
guidance kits and Joint Direct Attack Missiles will likely be included in the new deal, which will allowUkraine to launch unguided missiles or bombs. This will help them with their accuracy by increasing the rate at which their forces burn through bullets. Funding the replacements is expected to be around $1.8 billion.
The Cold War in Ukraine and the Cold War Between the West and the Kremimlov Conserved in the Light of the U.S.
But Moscow is struggling to equip and rally its conventional forces, and, with the exception of its nuclear forces, appears to be running out of new cards to play. The option of using nuclear force is much less likely due to China and India joining the West in making open statements against it.
Western analysts have said Russia has complained about these deliveries but has not been as aggressive in its response to crossing what may have been considered red lines.
Yes. There is an immense aid package in the works, but it is part of a consistent drumbeat from the Biden administration. The message is simple, and that is that aid will not stop becauseUkraine is receiving as much aid as Washington can provide.
Biden wants Putin to hear headline figures in Billions, to sap Russian resolve, push European partners to help more, and to make Ukraine’s resources seem limitless at a time when military aid is opaque.
It’s difficult. Kevin McCarthy, who is expected to be the next Speaker of the House, warned the Biden Administration not to expect a “blank check” from the new Republicans.
The remnants of the Trumpist America First elements have questioned how much aid should be sent to the edge of eastern Europe.
Realistically, the bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this dark and lengthy conflict is relatively light for Washington, given its near trillion-dollar annual defense budget.
Kyiv and its Western allies are “set for a long confrontation with Russia” following President Volodymyr Zelensky’s momentous visit to Washington, Moscow said as the war in Ukraine approaches 10 months.
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 Pats are a weapon system: Can it go after drones, or is it offensive? Comment on Hertling at the Ukrainian Embassy
He said the system will not go after drones or smaller missiles. Can it do that? Absolutely. The return on investment is not very good when you consider that Russia buys a number of missiles with a value of up to $5 million. The low and medium systems could be freed up to go after those targets.
The Center For Strategic International Studies describes the air defense system as consisting ofsurveillance, tracking and engagement functions in one unit. The system does not need a decision from the humans operating it to use it to engage in aerial threats.
“These systems don’t pick up and move around the battlefield,” Hertling said. Someone told me that they put them in a city to defend their most strategic target. If anyone thinks a system that can be spread across the 500 mile border between Russia and Ukraine will work, they don’t know how it will work.
The Army says that only one battery is used for logistical reasons, and includes computers, engagement control system, radar, power generating equipment, and up to eight launchers.
According to CSIS, the missile rounds for the anti-ship weapon come in at approximately $4 million each. The rounds probably won’t be used to shoot down every missile Russia launches toward Ukranian territory.
And in Ukraine’s case, Hertling says offensive operations are far more important than the Patriot system. CNN first reported last month that the US was considering a dramatic increase in the training provided to Ukrainian forces by instructing as many as 2,500 troops a month at a US base in Germany. The Pentagon said this month it would begin combined arms training of battalion-sized elements in January.
The Pats are a weapon system with emphasis on defensive, Hertling said. “You don’t win wars with defensive capabilities. You win wars with offensive capabilities.”
The “Monstrous Crime” of the Regime in Kyiv: Russia’s Highest-Energy Heavy-Ion Collision
The Russian Foreign Ministry said it was condemns what it called the “monstrous crimes” of the “regime in Kyiv.” after US President Joe Biden promised more military support to Ukraine.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West provides to the Ukrainian government, “they will achieve nothing.”
“As the leadership of our country has stated, the tasks set within the framework of the special military operation will be fulfilled, taking into account the situation on the ground and the actual realities,” Zakharova added, referring to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Zelensky’s speech was a historic one as he expressed gratitude for the assistance the US has given in fighting Russian aggression.
Peskov added that “there were no real calls for peace.” Zelensky said during his address to the US Congress that “we need peace” and reiterated the 10-point plan devised by Ukranian.
Peskov told journalists that the meeting showed that the US is in a proxy war against Russia with the last Ukrainian.
Regardless of whether Russia lost 400 men as Ukraine claims, or 89 as Moscow says, the result of the attack is the same: Russia’s highest single-incident death toll since the war began more than 10 months ago.
Ukrainian and pro-Russian accounts of the strike claim that it took place on New Year’s Day at a school housing Russian conscripts.
According to Russian officials, the missiles hit the school where the force was housed, which is near a large arms depot. The Russian air defense system shot down two of the rockets.
The Russian defense ministry claimed that 63 Russian servicemen died in the attack, which would be one of the biggest losses of life in the war.
Russian senator Grigory Karasin said that those responsible for the killing of Russian servicemen in Makiivka must be found, Russian state news agency TASS reported Monday.
War effort in Donetsk : a Russian propagandist complains that military equipment is not equipped to fight mass murder in Ukraine
The video from the scene of the attack was widely spread on Telegram, an official Ukrainian military channel. It shows a pile of smoking rubble, in which almost no part of the building appears to be standing.
“Greetings and congratulations” to the separatists and conscripts who “were brought to the occupied Makiivka and crammed into the building of vocational school,” the Strategic Communications Directorate of the Chief Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Telegram. “Santa packed around 400 corpses of [Russian soldiers] in bags.”
Daniil Bezsonov, a former official in the Russia-backed Donetsk administration, said on Telegram that “apparently, the high command is still unaware of the capabilities of this weapon.”
The person responsible for using this facility should be reprimanded, Bezsonov said. There are plenty of abandoned facilities with sturdy buildings, and basements where personnel 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.
Most of the military equipment, that stood close to the building without any signs of camouflage, was destroyed. There are still no figures on the number of casualties, as many people are still missing.
Girkin has long decried Russian generals whom he claims direct the war effort far from the frontline, calling them “unlearned in principle” and unwilling to listen to warnings about putting equipment and personnel so close together in HIMARS range. 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.
Boris Rozhin, who also blogs about the war effort under the nickname Colonelcassad, said that “incompetence and an inability to grasp the experience of war continue to be a serious problem.”
Even after several months of a war, some conclusions are not made, which leads to the unnecessary losses, if precautions were taken to ensure the safety of personnel.
Ukrainian High-Energy Forces in the Light of the Bakhmut Air Raiders: A Joint Statement from Zelensky and Scholz
Russian forces “lost 760 people killed just yesterday, (and) continue to attempt offensive actions on Bakhmut,” the military’s general staff said Sunday.
Russian missile strikes hit several regions over the weekend causing air raid sirens to sound. The attacks killed at least six people in the Donetsk, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, while a man was injured early Monday.
The Biden administration was considering sending Bradley armored fighting vehicles to Ukraine. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was urging the dispatch of heavier battle tanks, despite the French President announcing that he would send light tanks. The pressure is on the Chancellor to add its powerful Leopard 2 tanks to the mix.
On their phone call, Biden and Scholz “expressed their common determination to continue to provide the necessary financial, humanitarian, military and diplomatic support to Ukraine for as long as needed,” a joint statement read.
Those systems had been at the top of Zelensky’s wish list because it will allow his military to target Russian missiles flying at a higher altitude than they were able to target previously.
The Vlasov attack: How Russian forces should respond to the attack and what their actions tell us about war in the early 1920s
Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. His views in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion.
According to the Russian version, the cell phones that the novice troops were using in violation of regulations allowed the Ukrainians to target them most accurately. Ukraine has not stated how the attack was executed. But the implications are broader and deeper, especially for how Russia is conducting its war now.
It is telling that days after the deadliest known attack on Russian servicemen, President Vladimir Putin called for a temporary ceasefire, citing 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.
The satellite-guided HIMARS — short for High Mobility Artillery Rocket System — currently have a range of 80 kilometers. A longer-range 300-kilometer HIMARS has not yet been authorized, despite repeated Ukrainian pleas. The longer-range system has the Biden administration worried because it could expand the war beyond the borders of Ukraine.
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.
Other experts share the same view. “Bad communications security seems to be standard practice in the Russian Army,” James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), told me in an e-mail exchange.
The troops 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 deeply sub-standard equipment and weapons.
Indeed, a number of the most recent arrivals to the war are inmates from Russian prisons, freed and transferred immediately to the Ukrainian front. One can only imagine the appeal of using cell phones to prisoners who have been isolated for years with little or no contact with the outside world.
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 the Ministry of Defense if it could not have determined where soldiers were in a school building using drones or a local source.
Putin’s Last Battle: Defense Ministry Shakeup, Russia’s Promise, and the Role of the German Army in the War on the Ukraine
The question is when the blame will begin shifting from the military to Putin himself, particularly since he has seemed ill-prepared to change the leadership at very the top. The last change was the appointment of Sergei Surovikin as the first person to be placed in overall command of all Russian forces on the Ukraine front — an army general formerly in charge of the brutal Russian bombardment of Aleppo in Syria.
A month earlier, the defense ministry underwent a shakeup when Col. Gen. Mikhail Y. Mizintsev, known to Western officials as the “butcher of Mariupol,” was named deputy defense minister for overseeing logistics, replacing four-star Gen. Dmitri V. Bulgakov, who had held the post since 2008. The location of the arms depot, adjacent to the Makiivka recruits, would likely have been on Mizintsev’s watch.
The defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, had told his forces in a celebratory video that their victory was inevitable.
Russia invested heavily in the 700-mile undersea route linking it to Germany, and wanted to increase global sales, and increase economic leverage over Europe and its power hungry heavy industries. Germany, a leading consumer, was on board from the get-go. Washington was not.
The United States didn’t want the new, high-capacity subsea supply to supplant old overland lines that transited Ukraine, providing vital revenue to the increasingly Westward-leaning leadership in Kyiv.
Russia’s ambassador to Germany said Berlin’s move to send tanks was ” extremely dangerous” and accused it of not acknowledging the historic accountability of the people who were killed by the Nazis. Biden and the White House were accused of being intent on the strategic defeat of Russia by Washington.
Europe has been slow to respond to the deep fissures in US politics and the uncertainty another Trumpian-style presidency could wreak on its allies. Decades of a reasonably unshakable reliance, if not complete trust, in the US, has been replaced by stubborn European pragmatism – and Germany leads the way.
Former Chancellor Merkel was Europe’s moral compass. On Wednesday, as he flashed a rare moment of steely leadership, he won thunderous applause in Germany’s Bundestag and found unexpected metal in his ponderous, often stop/go/ wait traffic-light governing coalition.
Vladimir Putin, the US, Russia, and the Kremlin: A Primer on the Battle of the War in Ukraine and a Key to a New Deal in the Cold War
“Trust us,” he said, “we won’t put you in danger.” He spelled out how his government had already handled Russia’s aggression and how fears of a freezing winter and economic collapse were not realized. He says the government handled the crisis and that they are in a better position.
The loud applause at the steps of his speech came as a loud contrast to his words. In short, Scholz got it right for Germany, bringing with him a population typically averse to war and projecting their own power, and deeply divided over how much they should aid Ukraine in killing Russians and potentially angering the Kremlin.
CNN spoke with some Moscow residents after the announcements by Biden and Scholz about tanks confused. The US and Germany were lumped together as the victors even though many were worried about the war and frustrated that Putin did not listen to their concerns.
While it is not certain how much Scholz is aware of the change in popularity of Putin, his actions to send tanks may be able to give Putin a break.
Longer debates about the next military moves for Ukraine will likely signal to Zelensky that more of a German leash is needed, and less is needed by the United States.
This shift in the power dynamic may not change the way the war is fought but could impact the contours of a final deal and shape a lasting peace when it comes.
Ukrainian troops will begin training in the United Kingdom to use the country’s Challenger 2, following the British government’s pledge to send a squadron of the tanks to Ukraine.
NPR’s State of Ukraine: Highlights from the International Monetary Fund’s WMF/LAF World Economic Outlook on Monday
The International Monetary Fund releases its latest World Economic Outlook (Tuesday morning in Singapore, Monday night ET). The IMF has stressed that the Russia-Ukraine war is a big factor causing economic slowdown and recession in some countries.
European Union leaders are planning to hold a summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the following day, when a group of European Commission leaders will visit.
The Ukrainian military acknowledged the Russian takeover of Soledar, but retreated from the east after a battle. Russian forces continued their offensive around Bakhmut and other parts of the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine.
The US had a new ambassador to Russia, which at the same time was experiencing strong tensions with Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. On Monday, Tracy was reportedly heckled by protesters as she entered the Russian Foreign Ministry to present her credentials.
Estonia and Latvia told Russia’s ambassadors to leave after the Kremlin said it expelled the Estonian ambassador and downgrading relations with the Baltic NATO member state over what it called “Russophobia.”
You can read past recaps here. You can find more NPR’s coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.
The Russian War of 1918: The Oryx Military Arms and Tanks? The Case for a Modern Tank, Says Janovsky
Russia’s equipment losses include all infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, and other vehicles added to the tanks.
Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused visual evidence of military equipment losses to be collected by Oryx.
That toll does not include losses Oryx has not been able to visually confirm, said Jakub Janovsky, a military analyst who contributes to the Oryx blog. He believed the toll could be more than 2,000 tanks.
Ukrainian officials had repeatedly pleaded with their Western allies to provide modern battle tanks that could be used not only to defend their present positions but to take the fight to the enemy.
In the first few months of the war, analysts noticed a design flaw in Russian tanks that meant one anti-tank round could explode their stores. The turrets on the Russian tanks often get hit in a “jack in the box” effect when the blast blows them off.
Experts have also noted that Russian armor was maintained poorly before the war and some tanks in storage may have been scavenged for parts to keep those sent to the front lines working.
Sanctions may lead to the replacement of electronic components with inferior alternatives, but the amount they can produce is a fraction of what they are losing. He said in September that the material losses are not sustainable.
Politics of the European Armed Forces – Predictions for the next war and its implications for the future defence and security system (revised version)
It is hard to get precise numbers on the weapons held by individual nations due to the sensitivity of the information. But multiple European defense and security sources have told CNN that there are serious concerns at just how much of Europe’s ammunition has been used on the battlefield and not replaced. Even the biggest supplier of weapons to Ukraine and the world’s top military exporter, the United States, is having trouble keeping up with the demand, as CNN reported late last year.
On Monday night, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters ahead of a meeting of alliance officials thatUkraine’s current rate of spending on weapons is much higher than our current rate of production.
Policy makers kept low stock on the assumption that there wouldn’t be a land war like the one in World War II and didn’t want to make a big deal of it.
“The combination of no immediate threat and the financial pressures on European governments over the past couple of decades led to a conspiracy of dressing the shop window while letting the stockroom empty out,” said Nick Witney, senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
policymaking often is based on convenient assumptions of the best-case scenario, as has been discovered by the upcoming ammunition crisis. Taking no action is often cheaper than taking action.