Russia’s war and a look ahead are what’s new in Ukraine
The Russian War on the War and the Fall of the Soviet Union: A Declaration of Reconciliation and Return of the Ukrainians and the Promise of the Year of Return
Putin used a grandiose Kremlin ceremony in September to illegally annex the Kherson region and three other Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation.
That does not bode well for Russia’s plans 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. Ukraine and its supporters made it clear that neither of these conditions is acceptable. It is not clear whether Russia will be able to reach either goal, as the Ukrainians continue to make progress in the south.
Putin, however, attempted to claim that the referendums reflected the will of “millions” of people, despite reports from the ground suggesting that voting took place essentially – and in some cases, literally – at gunpoint.
He said that one wish was for all Ukrainians. “Let this year be the year of return. The return of our people. The soldiers are with their families. Prisoners — to their homes. Immigrants — to their Ukraine. We will return our lands. The temporarily occupied will become free of charge.
The Russian president said the annexation was an attempt to correct a huge mistake that took place after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Putin’s speech echoed his major foreign policy aim: restoring Russia as a major global power charged with protecting the Russian speaking world from the continued threat posed by Western forces.
Russia will now, despite the widespread international condemnation, forge ahead with its plans to fly its flag over some 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles) of Ukrainian territory – the largest forcible annexation of land in Europe since 1945.
Russia is attempting to halt recent Ukrainian advances by indoctrinating the whole front line while rebuilding its ground forces decimated during eight months of war. The deployment of Russian men to the front line areas had been predicted by military analysts after a chaotic mobilization in September. Russian forces are attacking in the east, but on defense in the south.
The next day, Sept. 28, The officials in the occupied parts of Ukraine made appeals to join the Russian Federation. Putin’s approval rating fell in a Levada Center poll. More than one billion dollars in security aid was announced by the U.S. Defense Department.
For that reason, Ukraine received massive support from the West, led by the United States. The war in Ukraine reinvigorated NATO, even bringing new applications for membership from countries that had been committed to neutrality. Many eastern European states were attracted to orienting their future toward Europe and the West because of it.
There are past recaps here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.
The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World,” CNN’s Peter Bergen, Editor’s Note: From Ukraine to the Kremlin
Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a vice president at New America, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. Bergen wrote ” The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World.” The views expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion on CNN.
Pro-Russian leaders in Ukraine have been installed by Putin. Ukrainians pushed back with massive street protests in 2004. The president of Ukraine fled to Russia in the late 90s.
The Ukrainian counteroffensive has seized Russian-controlled territory in recent days, including the transportation hub city of Lyman.
Earlier this month Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky warned that “Russia is now concentrating its forces and preparing for an attempt at revenge not only against Ukraine, but also against free Europe and the free world.”
Still, he continues to hold, as he did in a Tuesday address in the Kremlin, that “attempts made by certain countries to rewrite and reshape world history are becoming increasingly aggressive, ultimately and obviously seeking to divide our society, take away our guiding lines and eventually weaken Russia.”
Giles thinks that Russia can make the war personal for both the people of Ukraine and Europe by pressuring governments to remove their support.
When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in December 1979, they planned to install a puppet government and get out of the country as soon as it was feasible, as explained in a recent, authoritative book about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, “Afghan Crucible” by historian Elisabeth Leake.
During the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the US was initially reluctant to escalate its support for the Afghan resistance, fearing a wider conflict with the Soviet Union. The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan after the CIA gave the Afghans anti-aircraft missiles, which ended their air superiority.
In 2022, American weapons are again playing a decisive role in Russian fortunes on the battlefield. At the start of the war in Ukraine, the US was hesitant about deeper involvement due to fears of a conflict with the Russians.
“These air defense systems are making a difference because many of the incoming missiles [this week] were actually shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems provided by NATO Allies,” he said.
From Russia to Ukraine: Vladimir Putin’s carpet bombing of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant and the capital of Kiev
Putin is also surely aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was hastened by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan two years earlier.
The Russian loss in the 1905 war weakened the Romanov monarchy and he must have been aware of it. Czar Nicholas II was feckless during the First World War and caused the Russian Revolution in 1917. Subsequently, much of the Romanov family was killed by a Bolshevik firing squad.
The retired professor at King’s College London wrote a book titled “Command: The Politics of Military Operations from Korea to Ukraine” explaining how Putin plunged his countrymen into the Ukrainian morass.
Freedman writes that Putin is “a tragic example of how the delusions and illusions of one individual can be allowed to shape events without any critical challenge. They are able to order their subordinates to follow foolish instructions because they put their cronies into key positions.
The economic damage has already put an end to Putin’s two-decades strong reputation for providing “stability” — once a key basis for his support among Russians who remember the chaotic years that followed the collapse of the USSR.
The main reason for this action was Putin’s inhumane carpet bombing of Ukrainian infrastructure. This is the part of Putin’s misguided attempt to hammer the nation into submission – a hail of rockets designed to knock out critical civilian infrastructure as winter looms.
The barrage continued on a day when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights activists in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, an implicit rebuke to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin, for his invasion of Ukraine.
The rockets at Nikopol, across from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, damaged power lines, gas pipelines, and a raft of civilian businesses and residential buildings, Ukrainian officials said. In the past several months, Russia and Ukraine have accused each other of shooting at and around the nuclear plant. It’s run by its Ukrainian staff, who are under Russian control.
The capital of the country, which has not been hit in five months, is one of the places where several people are dead. It’s also the closest strike to the center of the city since the war began, coming just over 1,000 yards from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office.
The massive Russian response seemed intended to calm Putin allies who have grown increasingly critical of the Kremlin’s military strategy as Russian forces have repeatedly ceded territory to an ongoing Ukrainian advance. Many had been openly lobbying President Putin to strike Ukraine harder.
According to the Energy Minister, Lviv, Kyiv and Odesa were hardest hit and had emergency power cuts when the grid was shorted out.
Explosions hit the Ukrainian city of Kyiv and other cities in the morning of the invasion of Russia by Zhokhev Zelenskyy
Zelenskyy recalled in the video that he took the night Russia invaded that it was a difficult morning dealing with terrorists. “They’re choosing targets to harm as many people as possible.”
The National Philharmonic concert halls and at least two museums have sustained heavy damage in the Ukrainian city of Kyiv. According to the National Railway, trains were delayed during the morning rush hour due to a damaged passenger terminal.
Explosions rocked civilian areas of Dnipro, a major southern city. Between high rise apartment buildings there was a bus stop that was hit. A missile slammed just a few feet in front of a bus on its morning route to pick up commuters, destroying the bus and blowing out the windows in the nearby apartments.
“This happened at rush hour, as lots of public transport was operating in the city” said Ihor Makovtsev, head of the department of transport for the Dnipro city council. He added that the bus driver and four passengers had been taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
“It’s difficult for me to find any logic to their so-called artillery work because all our transportation is only for civilian purposes,” Makovtsev said.
Viktor Shevchan’s apartment was damaged by an air raid siren in Kiev after the tragedy of the Kerch Strap over the weekend
While waiting for his bus, 81-year-old Viktor Shevchan looked out from his first floor balcony just next to the bus stop. The ground was covered with shattered glass. He said he went to the kitchen to make breakfast after he watered the plants on his balcony.
“The explosion blew open all of my cabinets, and nearly knocked me to the ground,” he said. A lot of glass would have been on the balcony, and I would have been there just five minutes before.
“We warned Zelenskyy that Russia hadn’t really started yet,” wrote Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a loyalist to Putin who repeatedly has attacked Russia’s Defense Ministry for incompetence in carrying out the military campaign.
Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He contributes to CNN Opinion. His own opinions are in this commentary. CNN has more opinion.
Even though there was great jubilation in Ukraine after the massive explosion that hit the important and symbolic Kerch Straight bridge over the weekend, there were fears of a reprisal by the Kremlin.
As of midday local time, the area around my office in Odesa remained eerily quiet in between air raid sirens, with reports that three missiles and five kamikaze drones were shot down. Usually at this time of the day, restaurants nearby would be busy with customers and chatter of upcoming weddings and parties.
Energy infrastructure facilities were damaged as the result of the attack and an explosion occurred in one city district, the mayor said. It was not immediately clear if that was caused by drones or other weaponry. Emergency power outages were underway in the capital and a wounded man was hospitalized.
In the northeastern city of Kharkiv, which has seen more bombardments than Kyiv, residents shifted to war footing and stocked up on canned food, gas and drinking water. Yet they also entertained themselves at the Typsy Cherry, a local bar. Its owner said that its mood was cheerful, as reported by The Times. “People drank, had fun and wondered when the electricity will resume.” The power came back hours later.
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.
The attacks could cause another blow to business confidence since many asylum seekers are coming back to their home countries.
These attacks began at the outset of the war and have only increased in scope and virulence since Ukrainian forces last month attacked a bridge – one particularly close to Putin’s heart – between mainland Russia and Crimea, which the Russians annexed in 2014.
Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. In 2018, Putin personally opened the Kerch bridge – Europe’s longest – by driving a truck across it. The president of china did something that was the first thing he did after Beijing reclaimed the territories of Macau and Hong Kong. The $20 billion, 34-mile road bridge opened after about two years of delays.
What Putin did before the Ukrainian Revolution became a reality: urging the world to stop sitting still and for China and India to intervene urgently
The humor of the meme lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. Many shared their sense of jubilation via text messages.
For Putin, consumed by pride and self-interest, sitting still was never an option. He unleashed more death and destruction with the force that will most likely come natural to a former KGB officer.
It was also an act of selfish desperation: facing increasing criticism at home, including on state-controlled television, has placed Putin on unusually thin ice.
Before Monday’s strikes, the Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, had told Ukrainian journalist Roman Kravets in late August that, “by the end of the year at the minimum we have to enter Crimea” – suggesting a plan to push back Russian forces to pre-2014 lines, which is massively supported by Ukrainians I’ve spoken to.
On October 10th, there was a reminder of that history. A missile slammed into the street outside the Ukrainian House of Teachers.
What is crucially important now is for Washington and other allies to use urgent telephone diplomacy to urge China and India – which presumably still have some leverage over Putin – to resist the urge to use even more deadly weapons.
There are important energy infrastructure and high tech defense systems needed to protect it. It is important that heating systems are protected with winter close by.
The Russian War in Ukraine: What a Cold Cold Cold World Wants to Play for the Whist? And what will the Russian Army do?
Turkey and the Gulf states which receive many Russian tourists need to be pressured by the West to agree to trade restrictions and travel restrictions on Russia.
Anything short of these measures will only allow Putin to continue his senseless violence and further exacerbate a humanitarian crisis that will reverberate throughout Europe. A weak reaction will be taken as a sign in the Kremlin that it can continue to weaponize energy, migration and food.
State television reported on the suffering and also flaunted it on Monday. It showed a picture of smoke and carnage, empty store shelves and a long-range forecast that said months of freezing temperatures were on the way.
The war is entering a new phase for the first time. “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.
Both the Russian and Ukrainian armies are preparing for the winter season, which could lead to some of the most titanic battles in Europe since the Second World War. It is worth looking at what is going on right now.
The prospect of aUkraine victory is now much more plausible than it was previously. Russia is likely to escalate its response.
Ukrainian troops hoist the country’s flag above a building in Vysokopillya, in the southern Kherson region, last month. Ukrainian officials say they have liberated hundreds of settlements since their counter-offensive began.
Anticipation is mounting for a possible battle for Kherson, a Russian-occupied city in southern Ukraine. Kremlin-installed officials have been evacuating civilians in preparation for a potential Ukrainian counteroffensive.
The counter-offensives have changed the flow of the war and disproved the idea that Ukraine wasn’t able to seize ground.
The Russians want to avoid a collapse in their frontline before winter sets in, which is why they are playing for the whistle.
“If they can get to Christmas with the frontline looking roughly as it is, that’s a huge success for the Russians given how botched this has been since February.”
Ukrainian troops are focused primarily on pushing Russian forces eastwards, having crossed the Oskil River in late September, with Moscow likely preparing to defend the cities of Starobilsk and Svatove in the Luhansk region, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW).
Landing a major blow in Donbas would send another powerful signal, and Ukraine will be eager to improve on its gains before temperatures plummet on the battlefield, and the full impact of rising energy prices is felt around Europe.
Giles said that there is an incentive for Ukraine to get things done quickly. “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.”
Ukrainian national electricity company, Ukrenergo, said that it had restored the electricity supply to the central regions of the country after it was disrupted by Russian missile attacks 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.
Western experts think that Russia will not form a recurrent pattern of bombardment and that Moscow isn’t capable of keeping it up.
“We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out,” Jeremy Fleming, a UK’s spy chief, said in a rare speech on Tuesday.
Russia may be limited in its ability to disrupt ongoing Ukrainian counter-offensives due to its limited supply of precision weapons.
Justin Bronk, a military expert with the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), agreed with that assessment, telling CNN that, “Ukrainian interception success rates against Russian cruise missiles have risen significantly since the start of the invasion in February.”
“The barrage of missile strikes is going to be an occasional feature reserved for shows of extreme outrage, because the Russians don’t have the stocks of precision munitions to maintain that kind of high-tempo missile assault into the future,” Puri said.
Some help for Putin may be on the way. An announcement by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that Belarus and Russia will “deploy a joint regional group of troops” raised fears of deepened military cooperation between the close allies and that Belarusian troops could formally join Russia in its invasion. Observers say it could be a clue that the Ukrainians are planning to involve themselves in the security of the country.
Giles said that the reopening of a northern front would be a new challenge for Ukraine. It would give Russia a new route into the region, which has been regained by Ukraine, should Putin decide to attempt to regain it.
By flipping the narrative of the conflict over the past two months, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has achieved one of his own key objectives: showing Ukraine’s Western allies that their military aid can help Kyiv win the war.
Ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers inBrussels, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine needs more systems to be able to stop missile attacks.
Ukraine “badly needed” modern systems such as the IRIS-T that arrived this week from Germany and the NASAMS expected from the United States , Bronk said.
Moscow’s rocket attack on Kiev and the destruction of Ukrainian villages in Donetsk and Bakhmut, Ukraine, as reported by RIA Novosti
There will be mobilized forces that will be used. If used in support roles, like drivers or refuelers, they might ease the burden on the remaining parts of Russia’s exhausted professional army. They could also fill out depleted units along the line of contact, cordon some areas and man checkpoints in the rear. They are, however, unlikely to become a capable fighting force. Soldiers in Russian garrisons have signs of discipline problems.
KYIV, Ukraine — Pro-Kremlin officials on Sunday blamed Ukraine for a rocket attack that struck the mayor’s office in Donetsk, a city controlled by the separatists, while Ukrainian officials said Russian rocket strikes hit a town across from the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, among other targets.
On the front line, “the key hotspots in Donbas are (neighboring towns) Soledar and Bakhmut, where extremely heavy fighting continues,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address Sunday.
Western intelligence officials have claimed that Zelenskyy’s allegations about Russia including convicts with long sentences for serious crimes is true.
The office said Moscow was shelling towns and villages along the front line in the east and that hostilities continued in the southern Kherson region.
Two men shot at Russian troops preparing to deploy to Ukraine, killing 11 people and wounding 15 before being killed themselves, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 15.
— France, seeking to puncture perceptions that it has lagged in supporting Ukraine, confirmed it’s pledging air-defense missiles and stepped-up military training to Ukraine. Up to 2000 Ukrainian soldiers will be embedded with military units in France for a number of weeks of combat training, specialized training for logistical needs and training on equipment supplied by France, according to an interview published in Le Parisien.
The Institute for the Study of War alleged that Moscow had forced the deportation of Ukrainians, which it said likely amounted to ethnic cleansing.
There were statements this week by the Russian authorities which claimed that thousands of children from a southern region of Moscow had been placed in rest homes and children’s camps. The original remarks by Russia’s deputy prime minister, Marat Khusnullin, were reported by RIA Novosti on Friday.
Russian authorities have previously admitted to placing children from Russian held areas of Ukraine who were orphans for adoption with Russian families, in a potential violation of an international treaty on genocide prevention.
The Ukrainian military said that pro-Kremlin fighters evicted civilians from occupied territories to house officers in their homes, an act that it described as a violation of international humanitarian law. It said the evictions were happening in Rubizhne, in the eastern Luhansk region. It didn’t offer evidence for its claim.
Putin has seemed unprepared to change leadership at the top and thus the military will start shifting blame from them to him. The last change is the appointment of an army general who led the Russian bombardment of Syria in order to be the general in charge of all Russian forces on theUkrainian front.
Investigating the Downing of Flight 17 and its Implications for the Future of Russian-Armed Conflict in the Invasion of Crimea
An international wanted list has been created over his alleged involvement in the downing of Kuala Lumpur-bound Flight 17 in which more than 300 people died. He remains the most high-profile suspect in his murder trial and a verdict is expected in November.
Recently, Girkin’s social media posts have lashed out at Moscow’s battlefield failures. A $100,000 reward will be offered to anyone who captures him, according to the Ukrainian defense intelligence agency.
NATO will hold nuclear deterrence exercises starting Monday. NATO warns Russia not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine but says the drills are a yearly activity.
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.
American officials say there is little chance of a widespread collapse in Russian forces that would allow Ukraine to take another huge swath of territory, similar to what it claimed last month. But individual Russian units could break in the face of sustained Ukrainian pressure, allowing Kyiv’s army to continue retaking towns in the Donbas and potentially seize the city of Kherson, a major prize in the war.
Andelman: Putting the Powers to the President of Europe to the Test via Gas Caps and Trade-Industrial Investments
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 are his own in this commentary. CNN has more opinion.
He is trying to distract his nation from the fact that he is losing on the battlefield and utterly failing to achieve his objectives, and that he is also trying to distract it from the fact that he is losing on the battlefield.
Putin is hoping the political clock and start of winter in Europe will hurt the Western powers that have eviscerated his military-industrial machine and destroyed the armed might of Russia.
This ability to keep going depends on a host of variables – ranging from the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the coming winter, to the popular will across a broad range of nations with often conflicting priorities.
In the early hours of Friday in Brussels, European Union powers agreed a roadmap to control energy prices that have been surging on the heels of embargoes on Russian imports and the Kremlin cutting natural gas supplies at a whim.
These include an emergency cap on the benchmark European gas trading hub – the Dutch Title Transfer Facility – and permission for EU gas companies to create a cartel to buy gas on the international market.
After leaving the summit, the French president said there was only a “clear mandate” for the European Commission to work on a gas cap mechanism.
Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is skeptical of price caps. There are concerns in Germany that caps would encourage higher consumption, meaning more restrictions on supplies.
Putin has a fondest dream and these divisions are part of it. Manifold forces in Europe could prove central to achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint, which amounts to the continent failing to agree on essentials.
France and Germany are at odds over a lot of these issues. Though in an effort to reach some accommodation, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday.
Italy’s new prime minister: the pro-Russia war in Italy, the left-right wing of the US, and the right-wing lobbying in Washington
There is a new government in Italy. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in Saturday as Italy’s first woman prime minister and has attempted to brush aside the post-fascist aura of her party. One of her far-right coalition partners meanwhile, has expressed deep appreciation for Putin.
Silvio Berlusconi, himself a four-time prime minister of Italy, was recorded at a gathering of his party loyalists, describing with glee the 20 bottles of vodka Putin sent to him together with “a very sweet letter” on his 86th birthday.
During the campaign Matteo Salvini said that he didn’t want to harm those who impose sanctions on Russia more than those who are hit by them.
At the same time, Poland and Hungary, longtime ultra-right-wing soulmates united against liberal policies of the EU that seemed calculated to reduce their influence, have now disagreed over Ukraine. Poland is upset about Hungary’s populist leader making pro-Putin statements.
Similar forces seem to be at work in Washington where House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, poised to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take control after next month’s elections, told an interviewer, “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it.”
The influential Congressional progressive caucus wants Biden to begin talks with Russia to end the conflict, while the Russians are still occupying vast areas of the country and have missiles and drones in the interior.
Mia Jacob, the caucus chair, sent out a statement clarifying her comments in support of Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also called his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba to renew America’s support.
Since Biden took office, the US has offered more than $60 billion in aid and only the Republicans have voted against it.
The West is putting more pressure on Russia. The State Department released a detailed report about the impact of sanctions on the Russian military-industrial complex.
The report said that Russian production of hypersonic missiles had stopped because of the lack of semi-conductors. Plants that made anti-aircraft systems have shut down, and Russia is having to return to Soviet-era defense stocks for replenishment. The Soviet era ended more than 30 years ago.
Putin has attempted to establish black market networks abroad to source what he needs to fuel his war machine but has been stymied at most times. The United States has begun to sanction networks of shadow companies and individuals from Taiwan to Armenia, Switzerland,Germany, Spain, France, and Luxembourg, in order to source high-tech goods for Russia.
The Justice Department is charging individuals and companies with violating sanctions for trying to smuggle high-tech equipment into Russia.
Ukrain and the war of aggression in the Middle East: a critical look at the past, the future and the prospects for the future
Hardliners still include the leader of the Russian puppet, who wanted to convinceUkrainians that they were not going to kill them. But if you don’t want to be convinced, we’ll kill you. We can either kill 1 million, 5 million, or the whole of you.
Editor’s Note: Frida Ghitis, (@fridaghitis) a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She is a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, a contributing columnist to The Washington Post and a columnist for World Politics Review. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. CNN has more opinion on it.
The Kremlin opposed the transaction and said the US would prolong the Ukrainian people’s suffering.
The strengthening relationship between Moscow and Tehran has drawn the attention of Iran’s rivals and foes in the Middle East, of NATO members and of nations that are still – at least in theory – interested in restoring the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which aimed to delay Iran’s ability to build an atomic bomb.
There is a push for more influence by far-right groups that can be attributed to the war in Ukranian. The same people, including the former Trump aide Stephen Miller, are trying to promote their views by arguing that helping Ukraine is the same as helping poverty and crime in the US. For now, support for Ukraine remains strong in Europe and the US, although flagging among Republicans.
According to the historian Yuval Noah Harari, a victory by Russia would reopen the door to wars of aggression because many countries had come to reject invasions of one country by another since the Second World War.
The events that happen far away from the battlefields have consequences there. 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.
The War Between Israel and the United States and the Implications for the Security and Security of the Cold War on the United Nations and the Middle East
As others have noted, Israel is reluctant to let go of its defensive systems partly because it could need them for its own defense. Hezbollah in the north holds a massive arsenal of missiles, and Hamas in the south has its own rockets.
Russia’s assault on Ukrainian ports and its patrols of Black Sea halted Ukraine’s grain exports just after the war started, causing food prices to skyrocket. The head of the World Food Program warned that the world was on the verge of being forced to eat less.
Higher prices not only affect family budgets and individual lives. They pack a political punch when they have strong momentum. Inflation, worsened by the war, has put incumbent political leaders on the defensive in countless countries.
It is not limited to the fringes. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader who could become speaker of the House after next week’s US elections, suggested the GOP might choose to reduce aid to Ukraine. The Progressives released and withdrew a letter calling for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas, who was a former Pentagon official, said that they were bringing a big smile to Putin.
The U.S. and Russian Warfare in the Kherson Campaign: Observations and Associated Video Footage of the Crimes of Insurgents
Russian news media has reported on soldiers telling their relatives about high casualty rates, and videos filmed by Ukrainian drones show Russian infantry being struck by artillery in poorly prepared positions. The videos have not been independently verified and their exact location on the front line could not be determined.
The commander of the Ukrainian military said in a statement on the Telegram that the Russian military had tripled the intensity of attacks along some of the front. He did not say what the time frame was or where the attacks were coming from.
“We discussed the situation at the front,” General Zaluzhnyi wrote. He said he had told his colleague in the U.S. that the Ukrainian troops were beating back the attacks.
The Institute for the Study of War said that the increase in infantry in the east did not result in Russia gaining new ground.
The institute said on Thursday that if Russian forces had waited until enough personnel arrived, they would have had more success.
In the south, where Ukrainian troops are advancing toward the Russian-occupied city of Kherson, the Ukrainian military said Friday morning that its artillery battalions had fired more than 160 times at Russian positions over the past 24 hours, but it also reported Russian return 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.
With some Republicans warning that funding for Ukraine could be limited if the Republicans take control of the House of Representatives,Ukraine will be watching America’s election results this week.
Russian withdrawal to the eastern bank of the Dnipro river in the wake of the Nov. 2 attack on the Ukrainian Embassy in Kherson
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 UN General Assembly holds a session about Ukraine on Wednesday. The Security Council is discussing theNord Stream line with Russia. Russia’s parliament will hold special meetings.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” as the aerial bombardments have left many people without heat amid freezing temperatures. Ukrainian officials say Moscow is “weaponizing winter” in its effort to demoralize the Ukrainian resistance.
Russia reentered a UN brokered deal to export grain and agricultural goods from Ukraine on Nov. 2. Russia had suspended its part in the deal after saying that Ukraine had attacked its Black Sea ships.
The US has provided other armored vehicles to Ukraine in the past, including Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles and armored utility vehicles. The US also paid for the refurbishment of Soviet-era T-72 tanks.
The agency said it would protect the rights of Russian soldiers left in Kherson by their military leadership and urged them to surrender.
You were told to dress in civilian clothes and try to escape Kherson. Obviously, you won’t succeed,” the Ukrainian statement said.
Videos and photos showing the raising of the Ukrainian flag atop the Kherson city administration building and police headquarters have surfaced online, as well as jubilant locals in nearby villages. Several videos appeared to show Ukrainians tearing down Russian billboards.
The announcement of the Russia’s withdrawal was made after reports of the destruction of the area’s lone bridge over Dnipro. Videos shared online appeared to show a large section of the bridge sheared off completely. Russian and Ukrainian officials traded accusations over who was responsible for the damage.
In what appeared to be carefully staged remarks, Surovikin called the decision to withdraw to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River “difficult,” but one that would allow Russia to save the lives of military personnel and preserve Russia’s combat capability.
Though Ukrainian officials have been sounding the alarm about new Russian attacks in the East, there is also skepticism on the Ukrainian side about Russian capabilities as those forces currently stand.
In an interview on Thursday, the defense minister of the Ukraine said that it would take a week for Russian forces to leave the city.
Despite abandoning Kherson to Ukrainian forces, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Russia still maintains a legal hold over the territory. “Here there can be no changes,” Peskov said.
The Russia-Ukraine War and the Return to the G8: Putin’s Last Respiration in the U.S., Biden and the UK Prime Minister
The Russia-Ukraine war loom large in Indonesia, where the G-20 summit is taking place. On the sidelines Monday, President Biden discussed Ukraine among other issues with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Biden is going to meet the British Prime Minister.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield visited Kyiv, Nov. 8, to talk about world hunger and press for renewal of the grain deal, due to expire Nov. 19. That followed a Ukraine trip the week before by the top U.S. diplomat on European and Eurasian affairs, Assistant Secretary of State Karen Donfried.
Following Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison, fans, friends and family are celebrating the basketball player’s return to the U.S. Some Republican politicians complained about the prisoner swap and other Americans still being held by Russia.
Polish and NATO leaders suspected that a Ukrainian rocket may have been involved in intercepting the Russian missile that landed in Poland on Tuesday. President Zelensky has insisted that the missile was not Ukrainian.
Whatever the exact circumstances of the missile, one thing is clear. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said there was ultimate responsibility for Russia as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.
His forces have planted mines in vast stretches of territory in Kherson from which they’ve recently withdrawn – much as the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia stretching back to the 1970s. Indeed, Cambodian de-mining experts have even been called in to assist with the herculean task facing Ukraine in 2022. The evidence of atrocities and torture left by the Russian armies are similar to those of the Khmer Rouge.
A growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled against what they were being asked to do and refuse to fight. The UK’s Defense ministry believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot retreating or deserting soldiers.
Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.
Putin is increasingly isolated on the world stage. He was the only head of state who did not attend the G20. Though Putin once lusted after a return to the G7 (known as the G8 before he was ousted after his seizure of Crimea), inclusion now seems but a distant dream. Russia’s sudden ban on 100 Canadians, including Canadian-American Jim Carrey, from entering the country only made the comparison with North Korea more striking.
Putin said it was part of a cleansing of Russian society from spies and traitors. Russian officials are said to be suggesting that those with left the country of their passport. Yet there are questions whether Russia can thrive without many of its best and brightest.
One leading Russian journalist, Mikhail Zygar, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me last week that while he hoped this is not the case, he is prepared to accept the reality – like many of his countrymen, he may never be able to return to his homeland, to which he remains deeply attached.
Russian President Petrovich Putin as a Leader of the Future Combat Air System and the High-Redshift Future of the European Space Mission
Rumbling in the background is the West’s attempt to diversify away from Russian oil and natural gas in an effort to deprive the country of material resources to pursue this war. The President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday that they had learned that it was an unsustainable dependency and that they wanted forward-looking connections.
Moreover, Putin’s dream that this conflict, along with the enormous burden it has proven to be on Western countries, would only drive further wedges into the Western alliance are proving unfulfilled. On Monday, word began circulating in aerospace circles that the long-stalled joint French-German project for a next-generation jet fighter at the heart of the Future Combat Air System – Europe’s largest weapons program – was beginning to move forward.
Speaking in a televised meeting in Russia with members of his Human Rights Council, Putin described the land gains as “a significant result for Russia,” noting that the Sea of Azov “has become Russia’s internal sea.” In a reference to a Russian leader, he said “Peter the Great fought to get access” to that body of water.
In response to an increasing influx of advanced Western weapons, economic, political and humanitarian aid to Kyiv and what he saw as Western leaders’ inflammatory statements, Putin has periodically hinted at his potential use of nuclear weapons. Putin wouldn’t guarantee that Russia wouldn’t be the first to use weapons like that when asked by the Human Rights Council member. If Russia agreed not to use nuclear weapons first and got hit with a nuke, it would be impossible for them to use them again.
He said that it would be pointless to use it in the event of a nuclear attack on our area because there wouldn’t be any chance of a second use.
“We haven’t gone mad. Putin said that they were fully aware of what nuclear weapons were. He said that their is more advanced and state-of-the-art than what any other nuclear power has.
In his televised remarks, the Russian leader didn’t address Russia’s battlefield setbacks or its attempts to cement control over the seized regions but acknowledged problems with supplies, treatment of wounded soldiers and limited desertions.
New concrete anti-tank barriers known as “dragon’s teeth” have been posted in open fields in theKursk region. On Tuesday, the governor had said a fire broke out at an airport in the region after a drone strike. In neighboring Belgorod, workers were expanding anti-tank barriers and officials were organizing “self-defense units.” Belgorod has seen numerous fires and explosions, apparently from cross-border attacks, and its governor reported Wednesday that Russia’s air defenses have shot down incoming rockets.
Putin’s “Heroes of Russia” speech to the Kremlin: “What is an act of genocide”
Speaking after an awards ceremony for “Heroes of Russia” at the Kremlin, he addressed a group of soldiers receiving the awards, clutching a glass of champagne.
At the awards ceremony, Putin continued to list alleged aggressions: “Who is not supplying water to Donetsk? Not supply of water to a city is an act of genocide.
The reference to Kursk appears to reference Russia’s announcement that an airfield in the Kursk region, which neighbors Ukraine, was targeted in a drone attack. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has offered no comment on recent explosions, including in Kursk, which are deep within Russia. The countries declared drones are well beyond the reach of the targets.
Water and Ukraine’s assault on Bakhmut – a reminder of Kiev’s shelling campaign by the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine
He claimed that he wasn’t mentioning the water situation. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. At no point! Complete silence ,” he said.
Russian authorities reported on this week’s shelling of the city, which was annexed by Putin in defiance of international law.
Ukrainian authorities have been stepping up raids on churches accused of links with Moscow, and many are watching to see if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy follows through on his threat of a ban on 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.
On Tuesday, France will co-host a conference with Ukraine in support of Ukrainians through the winter with a video address by the Ukrainian President.
The new measures against Russian oil revenue went into effect December 5. They include a price cap and a European Union embargo on most Russian oil imports and a Russian oil price cap.
Zelenskyy said the city of Bakhmut was turned into burned ruins by Russian forces. Fighting has been fierce there as Russia attempts to advance in the city in the eastern Donbas region.
The House of Teachers in Kyiv during the First Year of World War II: President Biden and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
On Monday, President Biden made a brief, unannounced visit to Kyiv, aimed at expressing solidarity with Ukrainians as Russia’s invasion of their country heads into a second year. Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who is in charge of the eastern part of the country that Russia annexed last September.
The Russian empire became bigger with the help of Ukraine. Many Russians think the empire can’t exist without Ukraine. Volodymyr Viatrovych, a member of Ukraine’s parliament and a prominent historian, said that they keep coming back because of that.
He lives near the Kyiv suburb of Bucha, which the Russians pulverized in the first days of the war. When the Russians invaded Ukraine before dawn on Feb. 24, Viatrovych says he immediately sent his wife and 6-year-old son to western Ukraine for their safety.
martial law was declared in parliament after he went for a drive to get there. By 2 p.m. that day, he received a rifle so he could join the security forces defending the capital.
The office of the Ukrainian House of Teachers can still be found in the elegant, whitewashed building in the center of Kyiv that was declared independence from Russia in 1918.
The explosion blew out windows in the hall where independence was declared in 1918. The windows are boarded. Shards of glass still cover the floor.
Steshuk Oleh, the director of the House of Teacher, said there were parallels to a century ago. The building was damaged in the fighting. And now it’s damaged again. Don’t worry. We will rebuild everything.
Vladimir Putin is the Only Real Guarantor of Ukraine’s Territorial Integrity: His 15-Year-Old Fighting Campaign in New York
Andrew Weiss, with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, notes that during the Soviet era, Kremlin leaders repeatedly crushed Ukrainian protests and rebellions — which helps explain why Ukrainians are fighting so fiercely today.
“If you look at all the hardships that Ukraine experienced in the 20th century, and they’re vast, this is the moment where all the wrongs of the last hundred plus years need to be redressed,” he said.
“I have said it before, but I want to say it again: Russia can be the only real guarantor of Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” Putin said earlier this month.
Our generation has an opportunity to end this. Ukrainians are more united, more mobilized, more ready to fight than in 1918,” he said.
Because “if he’s losing a war, especially a war of his own making, he doesn’t survive,” he said. “The outcome may signal the end, not just of Putin’s era, but the era of the empire. This is the 21st century. It’s time for empires to go.”
Kasparov was still living in Russia 15 years ago when he entered politics and challenged Putin’s hold on power. After it became apparent that his safety was at risk he left Russia and relocated to New York.
Why the Russian invasion of Ukraine is likely to happen without a resolution on the battlefield and it isn’t a priority of the United States
Military analysts believe the war will not produce a clear resolution on the battlefield. They say it’s likely to require negotiations and compromises.
That’s not a popular opinion in Ukraine. President Zelenskyy says he wants all the Russian troops out of the country. Zelenskyy told Time magazine, “We are dealing with a powerful state that is pathologically unwilling to let Ukraine go.”
The region would become stable if Ukraine joins NATO, said Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the United States. This is what the government ofUkraine desires, though it is unlikely that they join the alliance in the near term.
He said that being a buffer zone or gray zone is not good from a diplomacy point of view. “If you are a gray zone between two security blocs, two military blocs, everybody wants to make a step. This has happened with Ukraine.”
An official announcement is expected on a European Union cap on natural gas prices, the latest measure to tackle an energy crisis largely spurred by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Rishi Sunak meets Vladimir Putin in the Commons Liaison Committee: Ukraine War, Russian War and the War in Ukraine (Belgium, Russia)
The UK’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak makes his first appearance as a head of state at the Commons Liaison Committee, where the Ukraine war and other global issues are discussed. That follows Sunak’s meeting on Monday in Latvia with members of a U.K.-led European military force.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will hold virtual talks sometime this month, according to Russian news reports.
Ukrainians and Russians are starting to celebrate their first Christmas since the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine in late February.
The International Atomic Energy Agency reached an agreement with the Ukrainian government to send nuclear safety and security experts to each of its nuclear power plants.
A 65 person prisoner exchange resulted in an American being freed from Russian controlled territory. Suedi Murekezi told ABC he spent weeks in a basement and months in a prison after being tortured in eastern Ukraine.
And there seems to be little suggestion that the West will be letting up on its support for Ukraine. The US and Europe have committed to raising funding by $2 billion in a few years, so they are both hoping to see Ukraine through this winter and beyond.
Moscow said that the war in Eastern Europe is set for a long confrontation with Russia, following President Zelensky’s visit to Washington.
Russia’s foreign ministry condemned what it called the “monstrous crimes” of the “regime in Kyiv,” after US President Joe Biden promised more military support to Ukraine during Zelensky’s summit at the White House on Wednesday.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West provides to the Ukrainian government, “they will achieve nothing.”
“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training. The offensive from different directions that we are planning on doing in the next two to three weeks, I can tell you that.
Zelensky had a historic speech at the US Capitol in which he expressed gratitude for American aid to fight Russian aggression since the war began.
Kyiv has repeatedly asked for the US Army’s Patriot – an acronym for Phased Array Tracking Radar for intercept on Target – system, as it is considered one of the most capable long-range air defense systems on the market.
Democracy in Ukraine: Why you should stay, but what you don’t: How the government is trying to make the most of the power grid attacks
There were no real calls for peace. Zelensky said during his address to the US Congress that we need peace.
Peskov told journalists, however, that Wednesday’s meeting showed the US is waging a proxy war of “indirect fighting” against Russia down “to the last Ukrainian.”
“It’s like the central nervous system of the human body: If you mess with it, you put all sorts of systems out of whack,” says Rajan Menon, a director of the Defense Priorities think tank who recently returned from a trip to the Ukrainian capital, speaking about Russia’s power grid attacks. It’s not only an annoyance, 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 says his comments can apply to Russia’s cyberattacks five years earlier, when the NotPetya malware was released by Russia’s GRU hackers. He says that the goal is the same, though they’re different in the technicalities. Demoralizing and punishing the civilians.
At least two people were killed and many more were injured in Thursday’s missile attacks on Ukrainian villages and cities, according to the Ukrainian government.
Authorities have been cautioning for days that Russia was preparing to launch an all-out assault on the power grid to close out 2022, plummeting the country into darkness as Ukrainians attempt to ring in the New Year and celebrate the Christmas holidays, which for the country’s Orthodox Christians falls on January 7.
Elsewhere in the capital, Halyna Hladka stocked up on water as soon as the sirens sounded and quickly made breakfast for her family so they would have something to eat. They heard the sounds of detonations for nearly two hours. She told CNN that it seemed like they were close to the area but it was actually air defense. We will celebrate the new year with the family, even after an attack.
Hryn said: “After the sirens went off, life in the capital was back to normal, with my neighbors and child getting to the cinema on time.” Parents took their children to school and people went to work, while others continued with holiday plans in defiance.
Vladimir Putin does not want to negotiate with Kyiv on the basis of a 10-point peace formula: Defense of the Ukrainian Revolution in Kiev and the Defence of Ukraine
As the war looks set to stretch into another year, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday that Moscow will not negotiate with Kyiv on the basis of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s proposed 10-point peace formula, which includes Russia’s withdrawal from all Ukrainian territory, a path to nuclear safety, food security, a special tribunal for alleged Russian war crimes, and a final peace treaty with Moscow.
Still, he stressed Russia was open for diplomatic solutions, echoing comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days that he wanted an end to the war. Putin’s claim that he is open to negotiating was roundly dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a ruse.
At least three people, including a 14-year-old, were injured and two people pulled from a damaged home on Thursday, Klitschko said earlier. The city military administration says that the buildings and playground in the capital were damaged in attacks on Kyiv.
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.
Authorities in Odesa, in southern Ukraine, said that emergency power outages had been rolled out amid the missile attacks. “They are introduced due to the threat of missile attacks to avoid significant damage if the enemy manages to hit energy facilities,” DTEK, a utility company, said in a statement.
“Senseless barbarism.” It was the only words that came to mind whenUkraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba saw a fresh wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities ahead of the New Year.
At the time, Putin insisted his forces were embarking on a “special military operation” — a term suggesting a limited campaign that would be over in a matter of weeks.
War against Ukraine has Left Russia Isolated and Struturing with More Tumultum-Ahelved: Evidence from Russian Parliament, Media, and Business
The invasion has grown into the biggest land war in Europe since World War II, forcing millions of Ukrainians from their homes, decimating the Ukrainian economy and killing thousands of civilians.
Yet the war has also fundamentally upended Russian life — rupturing a post-Soviet period in which the country pursued, if not always democratic reforms, then at least financial integration and dialogue with the West.
Defending the military or leadership has been made a crime by the new laws passed in February. Nearly 20,000 people have been detained for demonstrating against the war — 45% of them women — according to a leading independent monitoring group.
The repressions extend elsewhere: organizations and individuals are added weekly to a growing list of “foreign agents” and “non-desirable” organizations intended to damage their reputation among the Russian public.
Even Russia’s most revered human rights group, 2022’s Nobel Prize co-recipient Memorial, was forced to stop its activities over alleged violations of the foreign agents law.
The state has also vastly expanded Russia’s already restrictive anti-LGBT laws, arguing the war in Ukraine reflects a wider attack on “traditional values.”
For now, repressions remain targeted. Some of the new laws are unenforced. There is no doubt that the measures are to crush dissent.
Leading independent media outlets and a handful of vibrant, online investigative startups were forced to shut down or relocate abroad when confronted with new “fake news” laws that criminalized contradicting the official government line.
There are restrictions on internet users. American social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook were banned in March. More than 100,000 websites have been blocked by the internet regulators in the Kremlin.
Technical workarounds such as VPNs and Telegram still offer access to Russians seeking independent sources of information. State media propaganda is favored by older Russians, which is reflected in angry TV talk shows.
War Against Ukraine Has Left Russia Isolated And Stuck With More Torturbing Ahedral Freedom: Implications for Putin and the United States
Many of the government opponents left in the early days of the war due to fears of persecution.
Yet Putin’s order to mobilize 300,000 additional troops in September prompted the largest outflow: Hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled to border states including Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia in an attempt to avoid the draft.
Meanwhile, some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus predict their economies will grow, even as the swelling presence of Russians remains a sensitive issue to former Soviet republics in particular.
The ruble regained value thanks to Russian price controls. Several brands, including McDonald’s, were brought back under new names and Russian ownership. By year’s end, the government reported the economy had declined by 2.5%, far less than most economists predicted.
Ultimately, President Putin is betting that when it comes to sanctions, Europe will blink first — pulling back on its support to Ukraine as Europeans grow angry over soaring energy costs at home. It was announced that oil exports would be banned for five months to countries that abide by the price cap.
When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. Russia’s Defense Ministry provides daily briefings recounting endless successes on the ground. Putin, too, repeatedly assures that everything is “going according to plan.”
Yet the sheer length of the war — with no immediate Russian victory in sight — suggests Russia vastly underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.
At home, the true Russian losses are a highly taboo topic. Western estimates place the figures much higher.
Russia’s invasion has backfired in its primary aims, which is to see NATO expand towards Russia’s borders.
It would have been unthinkable in the Soviet era to criticize Russia’s actions out of concern for their own sovereignty. India and China have eagerly purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped short of full-throated support for Russia’s military campaign.
The World Comes to CNN During the Fourth And Fourth Military War, and What Has Happened in Ukraine In The Last Four Years?
The state of the nation address was scheduled to be delivered in April but will not happen until next year. The annual “direct line”, in which Putin fields questions from ordinary Russians, was canceled completely.
The annual December “big press conference” which allows the Russian leader to handle questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media has been tabled until 2023.
The Kremlin did not offer a reason for the delays. Many suspect it might be that, after 10 months of war and no sign of victory in sight, the Russian leader has finally run out of good news to share.
It was historic and deadly as it was not another year that tried patience and nerves. Russia’s president launched the largest land war in Europe since World War II. In Uvalde, Texas, there were more mass shootings in the United States than any other place. And, inevitably, luminaries who brought light to our lives were extinguished.
When news breaks, the world comes to CNN, as it has for more than 40 years on television and more than 25 years on digital platforms. More than 165 million of you came to CNN Digital from all over the world in the past four years according to Comscore.
The war in Ukraine dominated the year like no other news, proving, as the pandemic has, that our interests are global and our news coverage needs to be, too. CNN has excellent coverage of the conflict in Ukraine and six of their top 10 stories were live stories that followed the news throughout the day.
The overturning of Roe v. Wade and its impact on women’s lives and US politics were a recurring top story, as were the numerous mass shootings and natural disasters.
The Covid-19 Pandemic: Where will we go? Where do we stand, where do we are and where are we going? Where are we today? How many of us have been?
The Covid-19 Pandemic waned in interest and fear but the last few weeks of the year have caused new concerns in China. History has taught us that pandemic developments know no borders.
Entertainment news brought millions of you to CNN. The death of Stephen “tWitch” Boss, the DJ for ” The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” is one of our top entertainment stories. Good Samaritans that helped strangers were some of the bright moments.
Our internal data shows that every piece of our Top 100 Stories list has received over 3 million visits this year.
Thank you for being here with us through it all. We promise we will be here for you in 2023, for every breaking news story and for every piece of joy, delight and triumph.
Valery Zaluzhny said his air defenses successfully defended against a total of 12 incoming attacks. There were some unknown number of incoming attacks.
Several locations around the city were dispatched by the emergency services. Videos published to social media and geo-located by NPR show several apparent injuries, including partially severed limbs and bloodied faces on one residential street.
The four star hotel in the entertainment district of the city was hit by missiles, according to a top emergency adviser to the Ukrainian president. The operator of the power grid told reporters that it shut off electricity to several areas in the capital region but there was no damage to the infrastructure.
Putin said that the West had lied about wanting peace. It was preparing for aggression and now they are using Ukraine and its people to weaken and split Russia.
A Year of Fighting for Ukraine: Volodymyr Zelensky During the Crimes of Feb. 24 – After the Ukrainian Independence
The Russian leader later bestowed the country’s highest military honor – the Order of Saint George – on the commander of its forces in Ukraine, Gen. Sergei Surovikin.
Russia’s Defense Ministry also announced the return of 82 Russian prisoners of war following what it said were negotiations with “territories under the control of the Kyiv regime.”
KYIV, Ukraine — President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine delivered a rousing New Year’s Eve address on Saturday night, recalling a year that he said truly “began on Feb. 24” with fear over Russia’s invasion but ended with his country hopeful for victory.
In a video speech Mr. Zelensky said that there were a number of notable moments from the war, such as the attack on a maternity hospital, the destruction of a Russian bridge, and the intense fighting at a steel plant.
“This year has struck our hearts,” he said, according to a translated transcript posted on his official website. We have cried out all the tears. All the prayers have been shouted. 311 days. We have something to say about every minute.”
Ukrain’s Defense Minister: “The Last Year” was a “Summer War” for All Ukrainians, says Prime Minister Vladevsky Petrovich
All Ukrainians — those working, attending schools or “just learning to walk” — are participating in Ukraine’s defense, Mr. Zelensky said. He said it was not the right way to think of it because it could be called a year of losses.
The world has rallied around Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky said, from the main squares of foreign cities and their halls of government to the top of Google’s search results.
Ukrainian forces fired six rockets from a HIMARS launch system and two of them were shot down, a defense ministry statement said. It didn’t say when the strike happened.
In recent months, Russia has been dealt a blow by the counteroffensive by the Ukrainians using the precision weapon that was used in the strike.
The Ukrainian military seemed to acknowledge the same attack as Russian authorities reported, although they didn’t directly confirm it.
The Strategic Communications Directorate of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed Sunday that some 400 mobilized Russian soldiers were killed in a vocational school building in Makiivka and about 300 more were wounded. That claim was not independently verified. The Russian statement didn’t say that the strike occurred in the Vocational school.
Five people were wounded in the Monday morning shelling of a Ukraine-controlled area of the southern Kherson region, its Ukrainian Gov. Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Telegram.
The Russian forces attacked the city of Beryslav, the official said, firing at a local market, likely from a tank. There are three wounded and they are being evacuated to Kherson.
New Year’s Eve Violation in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine: Russian-made drone attacks on the country’s energy infrastructure
Ukraine’s Air Force Command reported Monday that 39 Iranian-made exploding Shahed drones were shot down overnight, as well as two Russian-made Orlan drones and a X-59 missile.
There was a missile destroyed in the Dnipropetrovsk region. He said that the energy infrastructure in the region was being targeted.
At least four people were killed and dozens were wounded in a devastating New Year’s Eve assault in the country. The last victim was a resident of Kyiv, who passed away at the hospital on Monday.
The Bryansk region in Russia has an energy facility which is located near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said on Monday. He said a village was left without power.
Biden affirmed the new commitment in a call with the German Chancellor. Germany will also send Ukraine new fighting vehicles, along with a Patriot missile battery to protect against Russian air attacks.
The Bradley fighting vehicle can hold around 10 troops and can be used to transport personnel into battle. The United States and Germany will train the Ukrainians on the vehicles being provided to them.
Do cell phones prevent war crimes? Commentary on the attack on a Russian Army soldier killed in Makiivka: a “critique of the intelligence community”
Zelensky wanted those systems to be able to target Russian missiles at a higher altitude, which would allow his military to do more harm than good.
The cell phones the novice troops were using in violation of the regulations allowed the Ukrainian forces to target them more accurately. Ukraine, however, has not indicated how the attack was executed. But the implications are broader and deeper, especially for how Russia is conducting its war now.
After the Russian servicemen were killed in the attack, Putin called for a ceasefire during the Christmas season. 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.
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, the director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said that bad security communications are common in the Russian Army.
Compounding the problem, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said after the recent Makiivka strikes that “the Russian military has a record of unsafe ammunition storage from well before the current war, but this incident highlights how unprofessional practices contribute to Russia’s high casualty rate.”
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 how appealing the use of cell phones would be to prisoners accustomed to years of isolation 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 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.
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.
Shoigu told his forces in a celebratory video that their victory, like the New Year, is inevitable.
Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is not willing to give up on war without a war, says a top official in the Russian-Ukraine security ministry
Russia is gearing up for a “maximum escalation” of the war in Ukraine, potentially as soon as the next few weeks, according to a top Ukrainian national security official.
“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
Military representatives from the two countries will plan the use of troops based on their prior experience of armed conflicts, according to the ministry.
President Zelenskyy went on a Europe tour, meeting people in London, Paris and Brussels and repeating his call for NATO to send fighter jets to his country.
Biden’s historic visit came days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, providing a symbolic boost to Kyiv at a crucial juncture in the conflict.
Russian forces are unlikely to be better organized, so less successful, and seem willing to send more troops into the meat grinder, according to a British official.
The senior Ukrainian diplomat told CNN that they have enough manpower to take one or two small cities. They were trying to build in Ukraine, but it was overwhelming.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday in Brussels that the US is not seeing Russia “massing its aircraft” ahead of an aerial operation against Ukraine.
We are peaceful people. We know what war is and we don’t want war,” the authoritarian leader Lukashenko, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said at a press conference in Minsk on Thursday.
CNN-Belarus Press Tour of the U.S. Embassy in Kiev during the February 24 Ukrainian-Brusrus Insurgency
The CNN team were 100 meters (328 feet) away from the Ukrainian side, where they saw the Belarusian government’s fortification of the border area with barbed wire in a carefully orchestrated and tightly controlled press tour.
Belarusian officials told CNN the border crossing from their side in the small town of Dyvin is still functioning but that the Ukrainian side has closed the crossing.
CNN was able to see a red and white flag which is associated with the opposition in Belarus, as well as a Ukrainian flag on the side of the border crossing.
The invasion of the Ukraine began on February 24, with Russian troops crossing into the country from Belarus. In the first days of the assault, Russian Tu-22 “Backfire” bombers used Belarusian airspace to launch coordinated cruise missile attacks on targets within Ukraine. More recently, the two nations have engaged in joint military drills near the Belarus-Ukraine crossing.
Gen. Mark Milley said this is a critical moment. The battlefield is extremely difficult and as bloody as it can be so it’s going to be very important for both Presidents to decide if they’re going to go.
“This is something that leads me to the question – for whom do we document all these crimes?” Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties, told us. “Because I’m not a historian, I’m a human rights lawyer, and we document human pain in order sooner or later to have all these Russians … brought to justice.”
The Chinese War on the Cold War: Taiwan’s Foreign Minister and the Problem of the Expansion–The Ukraine’s War-Anniversary
Joseph Wu, Taiwan’s Foreign Minister, said that his country is keeping a wary eye on China and is learning from the war in Ukraine.
They have an expansionist motivation. They would like to expand their sphere of influence. They want to continue to expand their power. They’ll continue to march on if they’re not stopped.
“We’ve managed to avoid conflict directly between great powers,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NPR. “This system is works for all its flaws.” But now it is being challenged.
When Vladimir Vladimir Putin came to Ukraine during the First Battle of the Cold War, Natalia and Zelensky was shot in the back by the Russian Army
They tried to flee in the first days of the war, but the family car was shelled, Natalia believes, by Russian forces. Her husband and nephew were killed. Vova had seven gunshots in his body and was hospitalized for months.
The audio for this story was produced by Danny Hajek; edited by Barrie Hardymon and Natalie Winston. Additional editing and production help came from Carol Klinger. They provided translation and reporting help.
The debate over Biden’s visit will be unwelcome to Putin, who will on Tuesday make a major speech to the Federal Assembly in which he will discuss the ongoing invasion.
According to a statement on Telegram, Biden received security guarantees in advance and finally went to Kyiv. “And of course, there were mutual incantations about the victory that would come with new weapons and a courageous people. It is important to note that weapons and money are delivered frequently by the West to Kyiv. In huge quantities, allowing the military-industrial complex of NATO countries to earn money and steal weapons to sell to terrorists around the world.”
Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Igor Girkin meanwhile suggested that Biden could have visited the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and escaped unharmed.
“Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.
Girkin is among a number of hardline military bloggers – some of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers and provide analysis of the conflict for large swaths of the Russian population – who have repeatedly criticized what they consider a “soft” approach on the battlefield by Putin’s generals.
Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, has a reputation for making statements in an attempt to shore up his nationalist credentials.
Foreign guests will not be invited, but participants of the military operation will be, the Kremlin’s spokesman told reporters.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy opened the Munich Security Conference, speaking via video link to attendees including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president later told the gathering that Russia had committed “crimes against humanity.”
NATO defense ministers met in Lisbon, Portugal, where the Secretary General told them that the Kremlin is ready to launch new attacks on Ukraine.