A brutal new phase in the war could result from Putins rage against civilians
Putin’s Russia and the War for Crimea: The Crimes against Crimea and Russia in Crimea After the Ukrainian Invasion of Ukraine
This is the logic that Putin seems to be following, rubber-stamping the sham referendums in the Luhansk region of Ukraine, as well as declaring them part of Russia.
The Russian leader spoke in the chandeliered St. George’s Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace — the same place where he declared in March 2014 that the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea was part of Russia.
Several hundred Russian members of parliament and regional governors sat in the audience for Mr. Putin’s speech.
Moscow’s troubles have been highlighted by it’s illegal annexation of four territories of Ukraine following unrecognized referendums in September.
The fact that leaders of Russian-backed Syrian entities have a habit of dying violently, is something Stremousov may be aware of, but some of this criticism is not new. Just weeks after Putin launched the full-scale invasion of Ukraine, one of his key domestic enforcers, Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, urged the Russian military to expand its campaign, implying that Moscow’s approach had not been brutal enough.
He presented a lengthy history of military actions by the western world, from the British Opium War in China in the 19th century to the invasions of Germany and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
The United States, he said, was the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. “By the way, they created a precedent,” Mr. Putin added in an aside.
The large-scale Russian bombardment struck several cities – including far reaches of western Ukraine close to NATO’s eastern flank – across the country almost simultaneously, propelling the conflict into a new phase and coming just as much of the country was starting to roar back to life.
The annexation of both Luhansk and Donetsk provinces in eastern Ukraine and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Provinces in the south are part of a carefully orchestrated process.
The scale of the attacks became clear when the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Telegram that they were trying to wipe them off the face of the earth. “That’s it, in a nutshell. They are trying to kill our people who are sleeping in their homes. They are trying to kill people who are on their way to work.
The Russian War Between Ukraine and the Kremlin: An Empirical Letter to the Prussian President and an Embedded Member of the Parliament
Friday’s events include a celebration on Red Square. Official ratification of the decrees will happen next week, said Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman.
In defiance of international law, fake referendums were held in occupied territory. The war began in February and the civilian population of the provinces has fled to other parts of the country.
The two eastern regions that Mr. Putin considers his primary prize could be cementing Russia’s hold over them, at a time when Russians are not happy about the Russian forces’ lack of action against Ukrainian forces.
But Mr. Putin nevertheless faces huge hurdles to reassert his control over an increasingly chaotic war, including a recent draft of hundreds of thousands of civilians into military service that has encountered opposition in Russia.
Fiona Hill, who has advised three US Presidents on national security about Russia, also thinks Putin may be attempting an end game. He feels a sense of urgent need and is trying to exit the war the same way that he entered it. With him being the person in charge and him framing the whole terms of any kind of negotiation. There is a hyperlink to this page
The numbers that have left Russia pale in comparison to the more than 4.8 million Ukrainians who have registered as refugees across Europe because of the war, but the huge outflow of mostly educated people is having a significant impact on Russian society.
The 40 kilometer traffic tailbacks at the border with Georgia, and long lines at crossing into Cyprus speak to the feeling that Putin is losing his touch, despite the fact that he still believes in it.
Kortunov understands the public sentiment about the cost and loss of life in the war and he doesn’t know what goes on in the Kremlin. How did we get into this mess? Why, you know, we lost so many people.”
He used the same playbook annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and now, like then, threatens potential nuclear strikes should Ukraine, backed by its Western allies, try to take the annexed territories back.
Western leaders are in a battle of brinksmanship with Putin. Jake Sullivan told NBC’s “Meet the Press” last year that Washington would respond very forcefully if Russia deployed nuclear weapons against Ukranian.
Do we really need Russia? The first two days of the Nord Stream pipeline detonation in Vladivostochowa, Russia
The first detonation was registered at 2 a.m., followed by a second detonation at 7 p.m.
Within hours, roiling patches of sea were discovered, the Danes and the Germans sent warships to secure the area, and Norway increased security around its oil and gas facilities.
The Nord Stream pipeline sabotage could, according to Hill, be a last roll of the dice by Putin, so that “there’s no kind of turning back on the gas issues. Europe is not going to be able to build up its gas reserves for the winter. Right now, Putin is throwing everything at this.
Western intelligence sources have told us that Russian naval vessels were seen in the region in the days prior. NATO’s North Atlantic Council has described the damage as a “deliberate, reckless and irresponsible act of sabotage.”
Nord Stream 2 was never operational, and Nord Stream 1 had been throttled back by Putin as Europe raced to replenish gas reserves ahead of winter, while dialling back demands for Russian supplies and searching for replacement providers.
Putin is playing desperately for time, as he hopes the political clock and the beginning of winter in Europe will weaken the Western powers who have destroyed his military- industrial machine and wiped out the armed might of Russia.
All conflicts end with some kind of negotiations, as Putin said as he accused Zelensky of refusing to negotiate.
Volker expects Putin to pitch France and Germany first “to say, we need to end this war, we’re going to protect our territories at all costs, using any means necessary, and you need to put pressure on the Ukrainians to settle.”
Putin knows he is in a corner, but doesn’t seem to realize how small a space he has, and that of course is what’s most worrying – would he really make good on his nuclear threats?
Lyman Fall: The First Casualty in War with the West — A State of the Debate in Russia’s Political News of the Week
On Russia’s flagship political show, ” News of the Week”, the fall of Lyman wasn’t even mentioned until after more than an hour of laudatory coverage of Russia’s growth from 85 to 89 regions in an annexation most of the world views as illegal.
A day earlier, two powerful Putin supporters railed against the Kremlin and called for using harsher fighting methods because Lyman had fallen just as Moscow was declaring that the illegally annexed region it lies in would be Russian forever.
But the soldiers interviewed on the Sunday broadcast said they had been forced to retreat because they were fighting not only with Ukrainians, but with NATO soldiers.
These are not toys anymore. They are part of a systematic and clear offensive by the army and NATO forces,” the unnamed deputy commander of one Russian battalion told the show’s war correspondent, Evgeny Poddubny. The soldier claimed that his unit was intercepting conversations by other soldiers on their radios, not Ukrainians.
Truth, the saying goes, is the first casualty in war. There is a campaign of false advertising going on in Russia to sell the invasion of Ukraine to the public.
The father of a well-known nationalist commentator who was killed by a car bomb in August said in an interview that Russia is fighting a broader campaign.
Mr. Dugin, like Mr. Putin, has accused Western countries of damaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which ruptured after underwater explosions last month in what both European and Russian leaders have called an act of sabotage.
“The West already accuses us of blowing up the gas pipeline ourselves,” he said. “We must understand the geopolitical confrontation, the war, our war with the West on the scale and extent on which it is unfolding. In other words, we need to join this battle with a mortal enemy who is not afraid to use any means to destroy us.
The nonstop messaging campaign may be working, at least for now. Many Russians feel threatened by the West, said a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who is from Russia.
Whether it’s going through with a wedding in the aftermath of a rocket attack, pitching in to make Molotov cocktails, shifting classes to a Kyiv subway station as missiles fly or keeping a family business open against all odds, one thing Putin’s invasion has done is galvanize the Ukrainian people like never before.
Russian forces were on the run in Ukraine as the Ukrainian military made gains in the south of the country.
The disarray on the ground was reflected by the Kremlin, which did not yet know what new borders it would claim in southern Ukraine. “In terms of the borders, we’re going to continue to consult with the population of these regions,” Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Monday.
We do not currently see that Russia is massing its aircraft for a massive aerial attack. We do know that Russia has a substantial number of aircraft in its inventory and a lot of capability left,” he said. “That’s why we’ve emphasized that we need to do everything that we can to get Ukraine as much air defense capability as we possibly can.”
Peter Bergen is a national security analyst for CNN, a vice president at New America and a professor at Arizona State University. View more opinion on CNN.
What Technologies Have Helped the Ukranian in the Cold War? A Reflection of Putin’s Perplexing View of History
With his allies expressing concern, and hundreds of thousands of citizens fleeing partial Mobilization, an increasingly isolated Putin has once again taken to making rants on his distorted view of history.
“There are many things Russia can do to make the war personal, not just for people of Ukraine but around Europe, to try to force pressure on governments to remove their support for Ukraine,” Giles said.
The author of a recent book about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan said the Soviets planned to have a puppet government in place and leave the country as soon as possible.
The US initially resisted escalating its support for the Afghan resistance because they were afraid of a bigger conflict with the Soviet Union. It took until 1986 for the CIA to arm the Afghans with highly effective anti-aircraft Stinger missiles, which ended the Soviets’ total air superiority, eventually forcing them to withdraw from Afghanistan three years later.
Petraeus is a person. The future of warfare should be seen from a few exceptions, and Ukraine is one of them. In large measure, it is what we would have seen had the Cold War turned hot in the mid-1980s – with largely Cold War weapons systems (albeit with some modernization).
What technologies have helped the Ukranian’s war successes? Several newish technologies seem to have proven important: Elon Musk’s Starlink mobile satellite systems kept communications open for the Ukrainians after the Russians had partially destroyed the phone system and jammed it. Russian targets, supplied by the US, have been decimated. Clearview AI, a controversial facial recognition technology used by some US police departments, has enabled the Ukrainians to identify Russian soldiers on the battlefield. TB2 Turkish armed drones have proven devastating to Russian targets and cheap commercial drones have helped the Ukrainians find targets.
Putin is not a fool: How Stalin’s death changed the fate of Russia in 1917 and how it caused the collapse of the Soviet Union
Putin knows that the collapse of the Soviet Union was caused by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan.
The Romanov monarchy was weakened by the Russian loss in the 1904 war with Japan. Czar Nicholas II’s feckless leadership during the First World War then precipitated the Russian Revolution in 1917. Subsequently, much of the Romanov family was killed by a Bolshevik firing squad.
In the early hours of that day, President Vladimir Putin announced that he had ordered Russian troops into Ukraine. Everything we still believed in got completely compromised, according to a Russian journalist who lives in self-imposed exile.
Instead, the war has given the world an unending series of surprises. The army of Russia was far less competent than expected, and Putin wasn’t as good as people thought.
Putin is a sad example of how the delusions and illusions of one individual can be allowed to shape events without being challenged. Autocrats who put their cronies into key positions, control the media to crowd out discordant voices … are able to command their subordinates to follow the most foolish orders.”
The economic damage has already put an end to the strong reputation for stability that was provided by Putin over the past two decades.
Kremlin or Lapin? The Russian information space is under control, according to Chechnya strongman Kirill Stremousov
The head of Russia’s State Duma’s defense committee recently demanded that officials stop lying to the Russian public.
Kartapolov complained that the Ministry of Defense was evading the truth about incidents such as Ukrainian cross-border strikes in Russian regions neighboring Ukraine.
Valuyki is in Russia’s Belgorod region, near the border with Ukraine. When it comes to striking Russian targets across the border, the Ukrainian government generally adopts a neither-confirm-nor-deny stance.
Some criticism has also come from Russian-appointed quislings who have been installed by Moscow to run occupied regions of Ukraine. In a recent four-minute rant on the messaging app Telegram, the Russian-appointed deputy leader of Ukraine’s occupied Kherson region, Kirill Stremousov, lambasted Russian military commanders for allowing “gaps” on the battlefield that had allowed the Ukrainian military to make advances in the region, which is illegally claimed by Russia.
The entire Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation is not need to be shadowed by traitors, but incompetent commanders who did not bother, and were not accountable, for the gaps that exist today, according to Stremousov. Many say that the Minister of Defense could shoot himself if he wanted to. Officer is a word that many don’t know.
Kadyrov is less reticent to blame Russian commanders now that they have retreated from the strategic Ukrainian city of Lyman.
Writing on Telegram, Kadyrov personally blamed Colonel-General Aleksandr Lapin, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, for the debacle, accusing him of moving his headquarters away from his subordinates and failing to adequately provide for his troops.
“The Russian information space has significantly deviated from the narratives preferred by the Kremlin and the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) that things are generally under control,” ISW noted in its recent analysis.
The Chechnya strongman Kadyrov who recently was promoted to the rank of colonel general, is one of the most outspoken voices on the subject of cruel methods of the past. He recently said in another Telegram post that, if he had his way, he would give the government extraordinary wartime powers in Russia.
“Yes, if it were my will, I would declare martial law throughout the country and use any weapon, because today we are at war with the whole NATO bloc,” Kadyrov said in a post that also seemed to echo Putin’s not-so-subtle threats that Russia might contemplate the use of nuclear weapons.
Russian attack drones and air raids on Ukraine on Monday after a major bomb attack on Ukraine’s Kerch bridge near the Crimean peninsula
The bombs which exploded across central and western Ukraine on Monday were far from the battlefields in the northeast, east and south where Russian troops have been pushed back in recent weeks.
Moscow fired at least 84 cruise missiles toward Ukraine on Monday, the Ukrainian military said, 43 of which were neutralized by missile defense systems. Russian attack drones were used in the fight, as well as 24 other drones.
The strikes followed weeks of Ukrainian ground gains and began two days after a huge explosion damaged the Kerch bridge, the only crossing between the annexed Crimean peninsula and Russia. The blast, which the Kremlin used as a justification for the attack on Monday, inflicted severe psychological damage on Russia and gave Ukraine a strategic boost.
Russia is getting ready for a large increase in violence. It is gathering everything possible, doing drills and training. I can assure you that there will be more than one scenario available in the next couple of weeks.
The subway was suspended for several hours on Monday. But the air raid alert in the city was lifted at midday, as rescue workers sought to pull people from the rubble caused by the strikes.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Rectified the Crimea Bombings as a Threat to the Security of the International Atomic Forces and the Security Council
A total of 11 infrastructure facilities in eight areas have been damaged, according to the Prime Minister.
The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said the electricity supply had been cut in a number of places. In the rest of the country, it was partially disrupted.
Putin held an operational meeting of his Security Council on Monday, a day after he called the explosions on the Crimea bridge a “terrorist attack” and said the organizers and executors were “Ukrainian special services.”
The Russian-appointed head of annexed Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said he had “good news” Monday, claiming that Russia’s approaches to what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine “have changed.”
The special military operation would have been completed by May if action had been taken to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure every day, he said.
Ukraine’s Western allies doubled down on their support for Kyiv following the strikes, with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell Fontelles tweeting that “additional military support from the EU is on its way.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the attacks “another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price.”
The G7 group of nations will hold an emergency meeting via video conference on Tuesday, the office of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed to CNN, and Zelensky said on Twitter that he would address that meeting.
The attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure during the Monday night shooting of Zaporizhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe
Michael Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. You can read more about it at CNN.
The strikes occurred as people headed to work and while kids were being dropped off at schools. A friend in Kyiv texted me that she had just exited a bridge span 10 minutes before it was struck.
At midday in Odesa, the area around my office remained quiet between air raid sirens, with reports that five drones and three missiles were shot down. Usually at this time of the day nearby restaurants would be crowded with customers and chatter of upcoming weddings and parties.
Monday’s attacks also came just a few hours after Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit by multiple strikes on apartment buildings, mostly while people slept. Several dozens of people were injured.
In a video filmed outside his office Monday, a defiant President Volodymyr Zelensky said it appeared many of the 100 or so missile strikes across Ukraine were aimed at the country’s energy infrastructure. At least 11 important infrastructure facilities in eight regions and the capital have been damaged; some provinces are without power, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.
Some media outlets in the city temporarily shifted operations to underground bomb shelters, in scenes reminiscent of the early days of the war when Russian forces were near the capital. A group of people took cover on platforms while a small group sang patriotic Ukrainian songs in a metro station serving as a shelter.
Millions of people in cities across Ukraine will be spending the majority of the day in bomb shelters at the request of officials. Businesses have been asked to shift work online as much as possible.
The attacks may cause another blow to business confidence, as many asylum seekers are returning home.
The Response of Ukraine to Putin’s Opening of the World’s Largest Bridge and the Opening of Russia’s Longest Sea Crossing Bridge
Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. Putin personally opened Europe’s longest bridge by driving a truck across it. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. The $20 billion, 34-mile road bridge opened after about two years of delays.
The reaction among Ukrainians to the explosion was instantaneous: humorous memes lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. They shared their jubilation with text messages.
The message was obvious for the world to see. Putin doesn’t plan on being humiliated. He will not admit defeat. He is prepared to cause carnage and terror in the aftermath of his battlefield reversals.
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.
The Ukrainian offensive will be launched in the spring or summer with better trained, better equipped, more capable Ukrainian forces.
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.
Victory will go to the West if they maintain a front against Russia. Zelensky has warned Western leaders that if they do not support Ukraine in getting Putin to back off, their own nations’ security could be in danger.
Furthermore, high tech defense systems are needed to protect Kyiv and crucial energy infrastructure around the country. With winter just around the corner, the need to protect heating systems is urgent.
Russian attack on civilians in Ukraine is not the prelude to a new pivot in the war in the 21st century, but the consequences for the United States and the West
The time has also come for the West to further isolate Russia with trade and travel restrictions – but for that to have sufficient impact, Turkey and Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board.
The city dwellers who had spent months in the air raid shelters have since regained their lives, but were frightened by the new attacks.
The targets on Monday were low in military value, reflecting Putin’s desire to find new targets despite his inability to destroy Ukraine on the battlefield.
As winter looms, the bombing of power installations appeared to be a hint that the Russian President may be able to impose misery on the people of Chechnya, even while his forces retreat.
The recent attacks on civilians in Ukraine have caused new attention to the fact that the US, its allies and Moscow are engaged in a proxy war.
The US President unveiled a package of assistance to Ukraine that includes the request by the country to counter air attacks from Russia.
John Kirby, the coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council, suggested Washington was looking favorably on Ukraine’s requests and was in touch with the government in Kyiv almost every day. He told Kate that they do the best they can in the subsequent packages to meet those needs.
Kirby was also unable to say whether Putin was definitively shifting his strategy from a losing battlefield war to a campaign to pummel civilian morale and inflict devastating damage on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure, though he suggested it was a trend developing in recent days and had already been in the works.
It was something that they had been planning for a long time. Now that’s not to say that the explosion on the Crimea bridge might have accelerated some of their planning,” Kirby said.
An onslaught on civilians would be consistent with the resume of the new Russian general in charge of the war, Sergey Surovikin, who served in Syria and Chechnya. In both places, Russia indiscriminately bombarded civilian areas and razed built-up districts and infrastructure and is accused of committing serious human rights violations.
But French President Emmanuel Macron underscored Western concerns that Monday’s rush-hour attacks in Ukraine could be the prelude to another pivot in the conflict.
“He was telegraphing about where he is going to go as we get into the winter. He is going to try to force the Ukrainian population to compromise, to give up territory, by going after this infrastructure,” Vindman said on CNN’s “New Day.”
If we had modern equipment, we would be able to shoot down drones and missiles more often and not kill innocent civilians or hurt Ukrainians.
In that case, Mr. Putin could do more to hurt Ukrainians. The attacks of the past week — particularly striking critical civilian infrastructure — could be expanded across Ukraine if missile supplies hold out, while Russia could directly target the Ukrainian leadership with strikes or special operations.
The lesson of this horrible war is that everything Putin has done to fracture a nation he doesn’t believe has the right to exist has only strengthened and unified it.
Olena Gnes told Anderson Cooper that she was angry at the return of fear and violence to the lives of Ukrainians from a new round of Russian terror.
“This is just another terror to provoke maybe panic, to scare you guys in other countries or to show to his own people that he is still a bloody tyrant, he is still powerful and look what fireworks we can arrange,” she said.
The Russian Army of Ukraine: The War, the Phenomenology, and the Prospects for the Next Few Days of the Cold War
The Russian army used a large part of the country’s territory as a base for its assault on the Ukrainian capital. Moscow still has hundreds of troops in Belarus, from which it launches missiles and bombing raids, but their number is now expected to increase sharply.
After meeting with the Russian president in St. Petersburg on Saturday, Mr. Lukashenko said this wouldn’t be just a thousand troops.
Mr Lukashenko said he had started the creation of a joint regional group of troops to repel possible aggression against his country by NATO and Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials have been sounding alarm about new attacks by Russian troops in the East, but they also have skepticism about the capabilities of those forces.
There will be a stronger view in Ukranian that Belarus is indeed a co-aggressor after the establishment of a joint force with Russia.
Artyom Shraibman is a political analyst in Warsaw and he said that Mr. Lukashenko would probably resist sending his troops to Ukraine because it would be so dangerous. It would be terrible on a political level.
On Monday, state television not only reported on the suffering, but also flaunted it. It showed smoke, carnage, and empty store shelves as a preview of a long-range forecast in which the temperature would fall into the low twenties over the next few months.
With the cold months nearing and likely bringing a slowdown in ground combat, experts say the next weeks of the war are now expected to be vital, and another potential spike in intensity looms over Ukraine as each side seeks to strike another blow.
Not for the first time, the war is teetering towards an unpredictable new phase. “This is now the third, fourth, possibly fifth different war that we’ve been observing,” said Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme.
As winter approaches, the stakes have been raised again in the war. Giles said that Russia would like to keep it up. The success of the Ukrainians in the recent weeks has sent a direct message to the Kremlin. Giles said, “They are able to do things that take us by surprise and let’s get used to it.”
The military official Oleksii Hromov stated last week that Kyiv’s forces have regained control of 120 settlements in the Kharkiv, Donetsk and Kherson regions. On Wednesday, Ukraine stated that it had liberated more settlements in Kherson.
Russia said Thursday its forces would help evacuate residents of occupied Kherson to other areas, as Ukraine’s offensive continued to make gains in the region. The announcement came just a few hours after the head of the Moscow-backed administration in Kherson appealed to the Kremlin for help moving residents out of harm’s way, indicative that Russian forces werestruggling in the face of Ukrainian advances.
These counter-offensives have shifted the momentum of the war and disproved a suggestion, built up in the West and in Russia during the summer, that while Ukraine could stoutly defend territory, it lacked the ability to seize ground.
“The Russians are playing for the whistle – (hoping to) avoid a collapse in their frontline before the winter sets in,” Samir Puri, senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the author of “Russia’s Road to War with Ukraine,” told CNN.
If they can get to Christmas with the frontline looking the same it would be a huge success for the Russians.
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.
Within Ukraine, the economy continues to stumble from the impact of war and persistent missile and drone attacks on critical power infrastructure – including at least 76 strikes on Friday. As winter bites, millions of Ukrainians are enduring long periods without heat, electricity and water. (However, indicative of the resiliency that Ukrainians have displayed since the start of the war, many say they are prepared to endure such hardship for another two to five years if it means defeating Russia).
The sites beyond the current theater of ground fighting are not immune to attacks. It’s not known how the attack on the bridge was carried out, but the fact that it was successful suggests a serious Ukrainian threat towards key Russian assets.
The power supply to the capital city of Ukrenergo and the central regions of the country has been stable since Russian missile attacks disrupted the electricity supply. The Ukrainian Prime Minister told his people to reduce their energy usage during peak hours, as there was a lot of work to be done to fix damaged equipment.
Experts believe it remains unlikely that Russia’s aerial bombardment will form a recurrent pattern; while estimating the military reserves of either army is a murky endeavor, Western assessments suggest Moscow may not have the capacity to keep it up.
Jeremy Fleming, the UK’s spy chief, said in a speech on Tuesday that Russian commanders on the ground know that their supplies are running out.
That conclusion was also reached by the ISW, which said in its daily update on the conflict Monday that the strikes “wasted some of Russia’s dwindling precision weapons against civilian targets, as opposed to militarily significant targets.”
According to a military expert with the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), success rates against Russian cruise missiles have risen since the start of the invasion.
“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.
Petraeus: It could if Putin mobilized all of Russia successfully. However, to date, the mobilizations have been partial, as Putin seems to fear how the country might respond to total mobilization. In fact, reportedly, more Russian men left the country than reported to the mobilization stations in response to the latest partial call-up of reserves.
“The reopening of a northern front would be another new challenge for Ukraine,” Giles said. It would give Russia a new route to get into the region, which has been wrested back from Ukraine, he said.
One of the key objectives of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been to show his Western allies that their military aid can help win the war.
Ahead of the NATO defense ministers meeting, Jens Stoltenberg said that Ukraine needed more systems to stop missile attacks.
Ukranian systems such as the IRIS-T arriving this week from Germany and the NASAMS that are expected from the United States are badly needed. , Bronk said.
The Russian War and the First Russian Operation in Ukraine (with a brief interview with Irisov on the first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine)
Russia has a new overall commander for operations in the war after Ukraine recently regained more territory than Russia did in the last six months.
He was Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Force during the time in which Russian combat aircraft caused widespread destruction in rebel-held areas.
The appointment of a new commander is not likely to change how Russian forces are carrying out their war duties, according to analysts. The Russia Lead at the Institute for the Study of War said it is intended tomollify the nationalist and pro-war base within Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Russian armed forces personnel who took part in operations in Syria at the beginning of the year.
Irisov then began what he hoped would be the start of a career as an international journalist, as a military reporter with Russian state news agency TASS. He felt that it was the only main info agency that tried to cover the news in an impartial way, with some opportunity of freedom of speech.
Within hours, their lives are dramatically and radically transformed. The next day, Russian President Vladimir Putin launches his full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
She told CNN anyone who is against the war saw their lives destroyed. “We can’t complain now, because someone will immediately tell you – and quite reasonably so – that no one is interested in you right now. It’s Ukrainians who suffered the most. The conditions they’re in are worse now. But that doesn’t mean we’re okay.”
Vladimir Putin and Sergey Surovikin during the Idlib offensive in Syria: The role of the Air Force and its Joint Operation with the Wagner Group
The 29-year-old says he worked in air traffic control, aviation safety, and flight coordination while at Latakia air base. He says he saw Surovikin several times during some missions and spoke to high-ranking officers under him.
A general who tried to implement his infantry experience into the air force was disliked by many people at headquarters.
The Wagner group is a private military company which has operated in Syria.
In 2004, according to Russian media accounts and at least two think tanks, he berated a subordinate so severely that the subordinate took his own life.
A book by the think tank in Washington DC says that during the failed coup attempt against Gorbachev, soldiers under his command killed three people and led to him spending at least six months in prison.
In a 2020 report, Human Rights Watch named him as “someone who may bear command responsibility” for the dozens of air and ground attacks on civilian objects and infrastructure in violation of the laws of war” during the 2019-2020 Idlib offensive in Syria. According to the UN figures, the attacks killed 1,600 civilians and forced the displacement of over one million people.
Vladimir Putin (left) toasts with then-Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev next to Sergey Surovikin after a ceremony to bestow state awards on military personnel who fought in Syria, on December 28, 2017.
In February this year, Surovikin was sanctioned by the European Union in his capacity as head of the Aerospace Forces “for actively supporting and implementing actions and policies that undermine and threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine as well as the stability or security in Ukraine.”
Clark says that it is highly probable that Putin is involved in decision-making at a very tactical level and in some cases that the senior Russian military officers are not involved.
His appointment “got widespread praise from various Russian military bloggers as well as Yevgeny (Prigozhin), who’s the financier of the Wagner Group,” Clark said.
He believes what’s happening now is a reflection of what happened in April, when another commander, Alexander Dvornikov, was appointed overall commander of the operations in Ukraine.
“Similarly, he before then was a commander of one of the groupings of Russian forces and had sort of a master reputation in Syria much like Surovikin for brutality, earning this sort of name of the ‘butcher of Aleppo,’” Clark said.
Petrabrass: Putin has yet to get a failing grade. To get the overall strategy correct is the first and most important task of a strategic leader. Putin clearly has failed abysmally in that task, resulting in a war that has made him and his country a pariah, set back the Russian economy by a decade or more (losing many of Russia’s best and brightest, and prompting over 1,200 western companies to leave Russia or reduce operations there), done catastrophic damage to the Russian military and its reputation and put his legacy in serious jeopardy.
In the past, we have seen Russian commanders throwing recently mobilized, inadequately trained, and poorly equipped soldiers into tough fights, largely because of the lack of that. And supported by massive artillery and rocket fires, to achieve grinding, costly, incremental gains, possibly even an occasional limited breakthrough (assuming they maintain the supply of artillery rounds and rockets).
David Petraeus: What can we learn from the failure of Zelensky in 2022 if Russia wins on the battlefield?
Petraeus spoke at an annual conference in Sea Island, Ga., run by The Cipher Brief, which brings together members of the national security community — current and former — to stand back and look at the big picture on global security.
Who could have imagined in 2022, when Ukraine’s situation looked so hopeless that the United States offered to evacuate Zelensky — and he famously refused — that a year later the Ukrainian people would have put up such a strong resistance, and the West would have given so much support for their efforts? Biden would be going to the Mariinsky Palace, the official residence of the Ukrainian President, instead of going to the military parade in Kyiv.
A top Ukrainian official, Andriy Yermak, the chief of staff to President Zelenskyy, told the conference the conflict needs to end with a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield.
The leader of Russia is not interested in finding a way out of the conflict, as claimed by a former CIA officer. In fact, he says, just the opposite. “Putin’s muscle memory when he runs into an obstacle is to escalate,” said Kolbe. He can still pull a number of tricks to try to undermine the confidence of the people in the West.
Putin is also calling up 300,000 more troops, and he annexed a swathe of Ukrainian territory in the south and the east, claiming it’s now part of Russia forever.
“That is essentially a metaphorical burning of bridges,” said Alperovitch. “What this means is that this war is likely to continue for many, many months, potentially many years, as long as he’s in power and as long as he has the resources to continue fighting.”
The fast approaching winter will probably slow the war, but it won’t stop it. David Petraeus thinks the harsh weather favors the Ukrainians on the battlefield. “Ukrainians can go knock on the door, get taken to a room and get a bowl of soup from their fellow citizens.” And of course, they’re welcomed as liberators, whereas the Russian occupiers, the Ukrainians are trying to kill them,” he said.
However, Ukraine’s civilians remain extremely vulnerable in the face of Russian air strikes. “The threat of blackmail of energy by cutting off gas supplies, shutting off electricity, and bombing electric substations all over Ukranian is what this is about”, says Dmitri Alperovitch. He said that Putin’s strategy will cause pain. But he added, “when your kids are dying, you’re going to keep fighting even if you don’t have heat, even if your economy of your country is in dire straits. And I think he’s miscalculated on this front.”
The Georgian War of 2014: How Putin and Kolbe fought, but failed to re-convent the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq
At the Georgia conference, in a ballroom filled with experienced national security types, no one suggested the war was near an end. “Most wars end with some sort of negotiated solution, whether that comes out of stalemate or defeat, but I don’t see any prospects of talks in the near term,” said Paul Kolbe, the former CIA official.
This war began with a Russian invasion in 2014, he noted, and is now as intense as it’s ever been. Greg Myre is an NPR National Security Correspondent. I will follow him.
Petraeus has studied warfare for decades and practiced its application. He was the US and coalition commander of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and later served as director of the CIA. The lesson the American military learned from the Vietnam War was one of the reasons why he earned his PhD. Petraeus is also the co-author, with British historian Andrew Roberts, of the forthcoming book, “Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine.”
First, he’s seeking to distract his nation from the blindingly obvious, namely that he is losing badly on the battlefield and utterly failing to achieve even the vastly scaled back objectives of his invasion.
Depending on a variety of variables, including the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the upcoming winter, to the popular will across a broad range of nations, it’s possible to keep going.
In the early hours of Friday in Europe, European Union powers agreed on a plan to control energy prices that have skyrocketed after Russia and the Putin government imposed sanctions on each other.
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.
While he was happy to leave the summit with a clear mandate for the EU to work on a gas cap mechanism, France’s President conceded that it wasn’t enough.
Germany, the biggest economy in Europe, is skeptical of price caps. Now energy ministers must work out details with a Germany concerned such caps would encourage higher consumption – a further burden on restricted supplies.
All of these are part of Putin’s dream. Manifold forces in Europe could prove to be a central component of achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint.
Germany and France are already at loggerheads on many of these issues. Though in an effort to reach some accommodation, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday.
Italian PM and Deputy Prime Minister: How the U.S. has fought back against the EU in the post-fascist era
And now a new government has taken power in Italy. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in as Italy’s first female prime minister on Saturday, but she has begun to distance herself from the post-fascist aura of her party. One of her far-right coalition partners meanwhile, has expressed deep appreciation for Putin.
In the LaPresse audio clip, Berlusconi stated that he returned Putin’s gesture with bottles of Lambrusco wine because he knew him as a peaceful and sensible person.
The other leader of the Italian government, Matteo Salvini, was named the deputy prime minister, and he did not want sanctions against Russia to hurt those who imposed them.
Poland and Hungary are long time allies against the EU that seem to reduce their influence, now they have differing opinions on the situation in Ukranian. Poland has taken deep offense at the pro-Putin sentiments of Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.
McCarthy, if the Republicans win control of Congress, will be Speaker because he thinks people are going to be sitting in a recession and not writing a blank check. They just won’t do it.”
Meanwhile on Monday, the influential 30-member Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to open talks with Russia on ending the conflict while its troops are still occupying vast stretches of the country and its missiles and drones are striking deep into the interior.
Mia Jacob, the caucus chair, sent reporters a statement clarifying their remarks in support of Ukraine. The Secretary of State called his counterpart in Ukranian to express the United States’ support.
Indeed, while the US has proffered more than $60 billion in aid since Biden took office, when Congress authorized $40 billion for Ukraine last May, only Republicans voted against the latest aid package.
This support in terms of arms, materiel and now training for Ukrainian forces have been the underpinnings of their remarkable battlefield successes against a weakening, undersupplied and ill-prepared Russian military.
The West is putting a lot of pressure on Russia. Last Thursday, the State Department released a detailed report on the impact of sanctions and export controls strangling the Russian military-industrial complex.
Russian production of hypersonic missiles has all but ceased “due to the lack of necessary semi-conductors,” said the report. Plants that make anti-aircraft systems have shut down, as well as aircraft who are cannibalized for spare parts. It was more than 30 years ago that the Soviet era ended.
A day before this report, the US announced it had seized the property of a top Russian procurement agent and his agencies for procuring US-origin technologies for Russian end- users.
The Justice Department charged individuals and companies for attempting to bring high-tech equipment into Russia in violation of sanctions.
Putin’s putin putin putin tells NATO: Putin, NATO, NATO and the NATO session elapsed in February, Putin in Berlin does not want to leave
Now Poland is facing the repercussions from these attacks – and it’s not the only bordering country. Russian rockets have also knocked out power across neighboring Moldova, which is not a NATO member, and therefore attracted considerably less attention than the Polish incident.
The missile’s circumstances are clear. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday.
That said, a growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled at what they have been asked to do and refused to fight. Amid plummeting morale, the UK’s Defense Ministry believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot retreating or deserting soldiers.
In the first two months of its existence, the hotline and Telegram channel have taken off, booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.
Diplomatically, Putin finds himself increasingly isolated on the world stage. He was the only head of state that didn’t attend the session of the G20. The inclusion ofPutin in the G7 is not a priority after he was ousted from the G8 after his seizure of Crimea. 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.
After fleeing in March, a leading Russian journalist has settled in Berlin and is prepared to accept the reality of never being able to return to his homeland.
Russian Propaganda Videos Posted on Social Networks During the G20 Summit on the Future Combat Air System: “Not Just a Wedge for Russia”
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. “We have understood and learnt our lesson that it was an unhealthy and unsustainable dependency, and we want reliable and forward-looking connections,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday.
Putin had hoped that the conflict would drive wedges into the western alliance, but it isn’t happening. 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.
In an attempt to attract more volunteers to the front, Russian propaganda videos posted on social networks in the past few days are trying to appeal to Russian men through the narratives of patriotism, morality and upward social mobility.
A young man who is choosing to fight instead of partying with his male friends and then surprise everyone by buying himself a car with his money he made from fighting on a military contract was featured in one of the videos that was posted on December 14.
The former girlfriend of a soldier posted a video on December 15, asking the soldier to get back together with her, after he impressed her with his courage. A further example shows a middle-aged man leaving the factory job that doesn’t pay him enough to sign a military contract and go to the front.
Another of the videos shows a group of 30-something, well-off Russian men loading a car as they are asked by elderly women where are they going. One of the men said he was going to Georgia. It is forever. Younger Russian men rush to pick up groceries when a woman spills a bag, because the men just get into the car and leave. One of the old women says that the boys have left and the men stayed.
Many of the videos portray the war as an escape for men from a bleak daily reality of drinking vodka, poverty and helplessness. Meanwhile, reports and complaints of shortages of provisions and equipment in the Russian military continue to emerge.
Putin said it was better to be killed fighting for the motherland than to drink and die.
Putin said at the news conference that there were no plans for additional Mobilization.
Questioned about reports of continuing military equipment shortages on the front lines, Putin said he was working closely with the Russian defense ministry and that the issue was being resolved.
In Paris at the time, I witnessed how Zelensky pulled up to the Élysée Palace in a modest Renault, while Putin motored in with an ostentatious armored limousine. The hosts hugged Putin but chose to shake hands with Zelensky.
Zelensky is the brand even beyond the man. The olive green t-shirts the Ukrainian leader wears when meeting people from Vogue journalists to military commanders and world leaders are almost impossible to disassociate from.
Zelensky was described in a new book by the Economist as being an ordinary man thrust into extraordinary circumstances.
This is the leader of the US who when offered to evacuate was joking, “I need bullets, not a ride.”
Zelensky called the US President for help to deter Russia in the aftermath of Trump’s impeachment. “I would like you to do us a favor though, trying to push Ukranian into launching investigation against Biden, the candidate Trump claimed was weak, even though he feared him as his most effective opponent.”
It seems that a long time has passed since Zelensky thanked his supporters for their support at the campaign reception in a Kyiv nightclub. Standing on stage among the fluttering confetti, he looked in a state of disbelief at having defeated incumbent veteran politician Petro Poroshenko.
The war appears to have turned his ratings around. Zelensky’s ratings approval skyrocketed after the invasion and remain high to this day. Even Americans early in the war rated Zelensky highly for his handling of international affairs – ahead of US President Joe Biden.
His bubble includes many people from his previous professional life as a TV comedian in the theatrical group Kvartal 95. Even in the midst of the war, the press conference held on the platform of the metro station in April featured perfect lighting and camera angles to emphasize a wartime setting.
He was a comforter in chief because he was so comforting in the midst of air raid sirens and explosions.
Voice of Ukraine: “We’re All One,” says Volodymyr Zelensky in a Video Address to the United Nations
Zelensky is projecting confidence and competence in a modern way by wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the youthful uniform of Silicon Valley, instead of suits, according to a fashion historian.
She said that he is probably more comfortable than Putin on camera as both an actor and a digital native. “I believe both of them want to come across as relatable, not aloof or untouchable, although Zelensky is definitely doing a better job balancing authority with accessibility.”
Zelenska has shown herself to be an effective communicator when she journeyed to where her husband can’t. Most recently, she met with King Charles during a visit to a refugee assistance center at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. (Curiously, TIME magazine did not include Zelenska on the cover montage and gave only a passing reference in the supporting text).
Despite the strong tailwinds at Zelensky’s back, there are subtle signs that his international influence could be dwindling. For example, last week, in what analysts called a pivotal moment in geopolitics, the G7 imposed a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian crude – despite pleas from Zelensky that it should have been set at $30 in order to inflict more pain on the Kremlin.
Zelensky said in his video address that when the world is truly united, it’s not the aggressor that determines how events develop.
Putin’s comments Thursday followed a historic trip by Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington, where the Ukrainian president gave an impassioned speech to Congress appealing for greater US support for the war effort.
It connected the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our desire to be warm in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to know that all the families in Ukrainian are on the front lines in the war”), as well as to encourage us to think about them during the Christmas season.
I believe that they will send more than one. She noted there’s “been some reluctance in the past” by the US and NATO to provide advanced equipment, but added “We’ve seen with our own eyes how effective Ukrainian military is.”
Clinton, who worked for the US as a secretary of state, said the leader was likely impossible to predict as the war between Russia and Ukraine progresses and his popularity fades at home.
“I think around now, what [Putin] is considering is how to throw more bodies, and that’s what they will be – bodies of Russian conscripts – into the fight in Ukraine,” Clinton said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday used the word “war” to refer to the conflict in Ukraine, the first known time he has publicly deviated from his carefully crafted description of Moscow’s invasion as a “special military operation” 10 months after it began.
The goal is to end the war, according to Putin, who was in Moscow for the State Council meeting on youth policy. We have tried for this and will try again.
Nikita Yuferev, who left Russia because of his antiwar views, said on Thursday that he asked Russian authorities to prosecute Putin for spreading fake information about the army.
The special military operation was not ended by decree, according to Yuferev. “Several thousand people have already been condemned for such words about the war.”
A US official told CNN their initial assessment was that Putin’s remark was not intentional and likely a slip of the tongue. However, officials will be watching closely to see what figures inside the Kremlin say about it in the coming days.
Zelensky told Congress about the 10-point peace formula he told Biden about while they were at the White House. The leader of the Ukrainians claimed that Biden supported peace initiatives.
The Ukrainian leadership refused to conduct negotiations with us so we never refused, that is why we are here now, so the sooner the better.
How Russian Demonstrated against the February 24 Crimes in Bucha, Ukraine, has risen to the Anti-Democracy Front
The Kremlin would invest in many areas of the military, according to Putin and Shoigu. Putin said Russia would have to deploy a new breed of hypersonic missiles to prepare it for conflict with its adversaries.
“It was horrible to live under Putin and it was very far from the idea of democracy, but you still had some established institutions which you would almost take for granted that they would exist no matter what, and all of a sudden, everything collapsed,” he said, pointing to the near complete eradication of any remaining independent media, civil society and human rights groups.
CNN will speak with a woman who lives in Moscow who said February 24 was the point of no return. She told CNN that her life has turned into a nightmare due to the protests, which resulted in more security forces than civilians. The other is our country. This terrible massacre is being waged on my behalf.
CNN is not publishing the woman’s name, due to her personal safety, and is therefore using a pseudonym for her. Speaking to foreign journalists about her involvement in the demonstrations – and even the use of the word “war” as opposed to the Kremlin-approved term “special military operation” – puts her at risk of arrest and potentially a lengthy prison sentence.
Draconian laws passed since February have outlawed criticism of the military or leadership. Nearly 20,000 people have been detained for demonstrating against the war — 45% of them women — according to a leading independent monitoring group.
A court in Moscow used the law earlier this month when it sentenced Kremlin critic Ilya Yashin to more than eight years in prison for speaking up about the alleged killing of civilians by Russian troops in the Ukrainian town of Bucha, outside Kyiv. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the mass killings, while reiterating baseless claims that the images of civilians bodies were fake.
Any remnants of a free press have been wiped out since the war started. Western publications and social media sites have been blocked online forcing Russians to use virtual private networks to access the internet, which provides an alternative to the official propaganda on the internet. According to Sensortower, the top eight VPNs were downloaded around 80 million times in Russia this year despite the government cracking down on their use.
The US Border Patrol had 36,270 encounters with Russian citizens. The number of people who had been expelled or arrested by the border force was higher than the previous two years.
OK Russians, a not-for-profit helping Russian citizens fleeing persecution, said those leaving are younger and more educated than the general Russian public.
I would say that between 70% and 80% of the people in the Moscow intelligentsia are still alive. It is journalists, schools, artists and people who have clubs in Moscow who are the ones who got closed down, Soldatov said.
If you lose the educated middle-class part of the population, it affects your economic prospects, but it also affects the political reconstitution of the country, said a Russia expert. She pointed to the exodus of liberal, educated Iranians following the country’s 1979 revolution as an example of what can happen when large numbers from such demographics leave the country.
Maria said she remains determined to stay in Russia, even though all of her friends and her son have left. Her elderly mother can’t – and doesn’t want to – travel abroad, and Maria is not willing to leave her. It would be easier to leave if I knew that the borders wouldn’t be closed and I could come whenever my mother needed me. But knowing that something else could happen at any moment scares me,” she told CNN.
She believes her work is important, but she doesn’t believe in hope for the future. She described her life as a constant chain of panic, horror, shame and self-doubt.
You are torn apart continually: are you to blame? Did you not do enough? How should you act now that there is no more work to be done? She said it was true. “There are no prospects. I’m an adult, and I didn’t exactly have all my life figured out, but all in all I understood what would happen next. Now nobody understands anything. The people don’t know what will happen tomorrow.
Soldatov said he had begun to question his own identity. He said that things like the memory of the Second World War, which were important to them, had been compromised by Putin.
It feels terrible because the Russian army helped to win the war against Hitler’s Germany, and now it feels wrong because the message was used by Putin. You start questioning the history,” he said, adding that the favorable reaction by some parts of the Russian society to the invasion prompted him to research pre-war rhetoric in Germany.
This is a book of confession. I’m responsible for not checking out the signs earlier. I was responsible for Russia’s war against Ukraine. As are my predecessors and our predecessors. Regrettably, Russian culture is also to blame for making all these horrors possible.”
Maria, a historian by training, spent many years taking part in anti-government protests because she was opposed to Putin, a former KGB agent. “I always knew that our country should not be led by a person from the KGB. She said it is too deeply entrenched with horrors and deaths.
Berzina said that the expectation of some in the West – that “once people start feeling as though their leaders are doing wrong, that there is an immediate wave of protests on the streets and call for government change that actually has an effect” – does not reflect the reality of life in Russia.
“Almost all opposition leaders and opinion leaders are now either in prison or abroad. People have a huge potential for political action, but there is no leader and no power base,” she said, adding that civilians will not come out against the armed police, the National Guard, and other security forces.
“It is probably difficult for people from democratic countries to understand the realities of life in a powerful autocracy,” she said. It was frightening to see my own insignificance and helpless appearance in front of the machine of death.
War against Ukraine has left Russia isolated and struggling with more turbulent-ahedral-times. Report of the “Discriminatory Action”
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.
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.
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.
Russia’s anti-LGBT laws have been greatly expanded by the state, which argued that the war in Ukraine reflects a broader attack on traditional values.
For now, repressions remain targeted. Some of the new laws are still unenforced. The measures are intended to crush dissent should the situation arise.
The new “fake news” laws that criminalized the reporting of false news forced a number of media outlets to shut down or move outside of the country.
Internet users are also subject to restrictions. The ban on American social media giants went into effect in March. Since the start of the conflict more than 100,000 websites have been blocked.
Putin’s Cold War With Russia: The Misleading History of the Soviet Revolution and the Political Consequences for the Western Hemisphere
Many perceived government opponents left in the early days of the war due to concerns of persecution.
Some countries that have absorbed the Russians predict their economy will grow even though Russians are still a controversial topic for many former Soviet republics.
Helped by Russian price controls, the ruble regained value. McDonald’s and other well-known brands were relaunched under Russian ownership. By year’s end, the government reported the economy had declined by 2.5%, far less than most economists predicted.
Europe will blink first and pull back its support to Ukraine as Europeans start to get angry over soaring energy costs at home, according to President Putin. He announced a five-month ban on oil exports to countries that abide by the price cap, a move likely to make the pain more acute in Europe.
Russia’s military has been adapting, according to observers. While Putin never got the victory parade in Kyiv his generals were planning for, he has appointed a new battlefield commander, signaling another change in strategy.
The length of the war suggests that Russia underestimated the Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.
It has lost some of the things it gained in the province. The Ukrainians had taken out the headquarters and logistics sites and isolated the rest of the Russian forces west of the Dnipro River, which meant that it had to withdraw its forces there.
The true number of Russian losses – officially at just under 6,000 men – remains a highly taboo subject at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.
NATO is expected to expand towards Russia’s borders, with the addition of long-neutral states Sweden andFinland, as payback for Russia’s invasion.
In Soviet times, it would have been unthinkable for an ally in Central Asia to criticize Russia’s actions because of their own sovereignty. India and China have bought discounted Russian oil, but they haven’t given full support to Russia’s military campaign.
Russia is gearing up for a possible escalation of the war in Ukraine, according to a top US official and the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence
A state of the nation address, originally scheduled for April, was repeatedly delayed and won’t happen until next year. The annual “direct line” in which Putin fields questions from Russians was canceled completely.
An annual December “big press conference” – a semi-staged affair that allows the Russian leader to handle fawning questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media – was similarly tabled until 2023.
Russian leaders wanted to take action sooner because the US military said it would take as long as until May. The US now sees it as likely that Russian forces are moving before they are ready due to political pressure from the Kremlin, the senior US military official told CNN.
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.
The representative of the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence said on the television that February and March would be very active.
The ministry said that representatives from the two countries would practice joint planning of the troops based on their experience in armed conflicts.
“It’s unlikely Russian forces will be particularly better organized and so unlikely they’ll be particularly more successful, though they do seem willing to send more troops into the meat grinder,” a senior British official told CNN.
The senior Ukrainian diplomat told CNN that there wasn’t enough manpower to take more than one or two small cities. The sense of panic they were attempting to build in Ukraine 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.
There is an impact of fire-and-forget anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles. There is an impact of select use of Anti-ship missiles. Despite not having huge success, the Russians have used offensive cyber capabilities.
Petraeus differed from the Biden administration when it came to the withdrawal of Afghanistan. He thinks that the President’s team has done a wonderful job of defeating the Russians, though he would have liked to see decisions made sooner on certain weapons systems.
Petraeus: It is not Russia. Russia has lost several Battles inUkraine, but failed to take part in the rest of the coast.
The side that generates the most capable, well-trained and well-equipped forces by then will make the most significant gains. And my bet is on Ukraine in that regard.
But, again, these are just hints of what the future of war between advanced powers would be. In a conflict, the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems would be better equipped with precision munitions that have greater range, speed and explosive power.
It is quite possible that we see a war taking place for the first time in a context of the widespread presence of smart phones, internet connection and social media.
How can Russia survive the Cold War? How will we see it? How Putin will end the NATO conflict? Comment on Vladimir Petraeus
And there would incomparably greater numbers of vastly more capable unmanned systems (some remotely piloted, others operating according to algorithms) in every domain – not just in the air, but also at sea, sub-sea, on the ground, in outer space, and in cyberspace, and operating in swarms, not just individually!
I recall an adage back in the Cold War days that stated, “If it can be seen, it can be hit; if it can be hit, it can be killed.” We weren’t able to “operationalize” that motto in those days because we didn’t have the surveillance assets. Everything will be seen and susceptible to being hit and destroyed in the future, unless there are substantial defenses and hardening of those assets.
It is obvious that we must take many action to transform our forces and systems. In order to deter future conflict we must ensure that there is no questions about our capabilities or willingness to hire them, and also that competition among great powers does not turn into conflict among them.
The description of NATO as suffering from brain death by French president in late 2019, thanks to Putin, was more than a bit premature.
All of the above, plus more, was said by Petraeus. They had a number of problems including poor campaign design, inadequate training, and poor command, control, and communications.
Petraeus: Not at all. Russia still has enormous military capacity and is certainly still a nuclear superpower, as well as a country with enormous energy, mineral and agricultural blessings. It has a population that is nearly double that of the next largest European country, Turkey, with 80 million.
How Does the Comparison Between Russia and Ukraine Ends its Bergen-Ctpr? An Empirical Comment on “The War Between the Ukraina and the Kremlin Regime”
And it is still led by a kleptocratic dictator who embraces innumerable grievances and extreme revanchist views that severely undermine his decision-making.
According to Stalin, “quantity has a quality all its own.” Will the population difference between Russia and Ukraine make a difference in the war over the long term?
More than one million new recruits and mobilized reserves are expected to be sent to the frontlines within the next year. That’s not trivial because quantity does indeed matter.
Thus, Ukrainians know what they are fighting for, while it is not clear that the same is true of many of the Russian soldiers, a disproportionate number of whom are from ethnic and sectarian minorities in the Russian Federation.
Petraeus: All of those technologies have proven very important, and the Ukrainians have demonstrated enormous skill in adapting various technologies and commercial applications to enable intelligence gathering, targeting and other military tasks.
However, having sat around the Situation Room table in the West Wing of the White House, I know that it is far easier to second-guess from the outside than it is to make tough calls in office. I would like to see us provide additional capabilities sooner rather than later, such as advanced drones, even longer-range precision munitions, fighter aircraft, and additional air defense and counter-drone capabilities.
Eventually, for example, Ukraine is going to have to transition from eastern bloc aircraft (e.g., MiG-29s) to western ones (e.g., F-16s). There just aren’t any more MiGs to provide to them, and they reportedly have more pilots than aircraft at this point.
We can start the transition process because it will take many months to train pilots and maintenance personnel. The Administration has done an outstanding job in this situation, and has shown themselves to be an important component in other situations around the world.
How would the Chinese invade the country if the Ukrainus invasion ended its territorial invasion? Petraeus: What are the lessons of Ukraine for the Chinese?
The force Putin sends into the toughest battles is the quasi-private Wagner Group. Any thoughts on using mercenaries, many of whom are convicts, as a tactic?
What Russia has done with mercenaries is innovative and inhumane, as it entails throwing soldiers into battle as cannon fodder, and with little concern for their survival.
These are not the tactics or practices used that foster development of well-trained, disciplined, capable, and cohesive units who have trust in their leaders and soldiers on their left and right.
Bergen: What are the lessons of Ukraine for the Chinese if they were to stage an invasion of Taiwan, which would not be over a neighboring land border but over a 100-mile body of water? The Chinese might think about a question differently if the Moskva is not found.
If the target of such an operation is a large population that is willing to fight fiercely for its survival and be supported by major powers, it will be easier to conduct the operation.
Petraeus: I think it is. This is the first war in which smartphones and social media have been so widely available and also so widely employed. The result is unprecedented transparency and an extraordinary amount of information available – all through so-called “open sources.”
How does the war in Ukraine end? Petraeus: What do Ukrainian forces have to do to help rebuild Ukraine after the Iraq War?
Russia is massing replacement soldiers and other units to launch an offensive in order to take out parts of the southeast that they do not control, and also setting up defensive positions in areas that they control in the south.
There is no particular innovative new plan given the limitations of the professional capabilities of the Russian forces and their demonstrated inability to generate combined arms effect.
I believe that Ukrainian forces will be even more capable of defeating the Russians than they are at this point, and that will give them a major advantage over the Russians in offensive operations and thus unhinge the Russians. We may not see all this, however, until the spring or even summer, given the amount of time required for Ukrainian forces to receive and train on the new western tanks and other systems.
At the beginning of the Iraq War, you asked a rhetorical question, “how this ends?” How does the war in Ukraine end?
Petraeus: I think it ends in a negotiated resolution, when Putin recognizes that the war is unsustainable on both the battlefield (where Russia has in the first year likely taken many times the losses that the USSR took in nearly a decade in Afghanistan) and on the home front (which has been heavily impacted by economic, financial, economic, and personal sanctions and export controls).
Getting a Marshall-esque plan for rebuilding and getting an ironclad security guarantee for NATO membership is one way to help rebuild the country when it reaches the limit of missile and drone strikes.
I was supposed to be in Ukrainian capital city of Kyiv. But a few days before that, my husband broke his shoulder and we had to stay in Moscow. At 9:00 a.m. that day he had surgery.
Zaporizhzhia, February 23, 2022: One Year Anniversary Putin War UKraine Russia Wrap Opinions ctpr
In the space of a year, the war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions more. It has unleashed unfathomable atrocities, decimated cities, driven a global food and energy crisis and tested the resolve of western alliances.
Zaporizhzhia, February 23, 2022. I went to bed thinking that I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was improving. My husband owned his own business. Our daughter had started school and made friends there. We were able to arrange support services and a special needs nursery for our son. I finally had time to work. I felt good.
I’m in Ukraine. How my husband and I left the Soviet Union in 1931-1933. How I came to a country that became fascist
We are trying to live in the here and now. But the truth is, we are heartbroken. Our hearts remain in Ukranian even though we are in the Czechs.
Thanks to the Czech Republic, my husband was able to get a job. I found special needs classes for my son. He now attends an adaptation group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter goes to a Czech school while studying in her Ukrainian school remotely.
The invasion started after we woke up that morning. I wrote an open letter denouncing the war, which was co-signed by 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures. Tens of thousands of Russians add their signatures when it is published.
On the third day we, my husband and I, left Russia. I felt that I owed it to the people I care about. I couldn’t stay on the territory of the state that has become fascist.
We moved to Berlin. My husband went to work as a volunteer at the refugee camp next to the main railway station, where thousands of Ukrainians had been arriving every day. And I started writing a new book. It starts like this:
This whole year has been full of tears and worries. I read the news about people close to me killed by Russians – a teammate, the director of a sports school, or a friend’s parents.
They were trying to claim my life back, one of the obvious battles. My life was taken by Russia and millions of Ukrainians.
As a result of the Russian invasion my father is haunted by the darkness he sees in my eyes during the re-telling of dinnertime tales of relatives that were shipped off to the Soviet Gulag. Stories of millions of Ukrainians who starved to death in Stalin’s manmade famine of 1932-33.
My passport is a novel in stamps, a year into the full-scale invasion. I teach Ukrainian literature in London, while in Ukranian I get my lessons in courage.
My former classmates from Zaporizhzhia whom, based on our teenage habits, I expected to perish from addictions a long time ago, have volunteered to fight. My hairdresser, whom I expected to remain a sweet summer child, turned out to have fled on foot from the Russia-occupied town of Bucha through the forest with her mother, grandmother and five dogs.
My capital, which the Kremlin and the West expected to fall in three days, has withstood 12 months of Russia’s terrorist bombings and energy blackouts. Russians have been able to bring closer to eternity the stars that one sees over Kyiv during these dark winter nights.
Recent speculation has centered on whether rivals within Russia’s power elite have been trying to clip Prigozhin’s wings. Stanovaya, a Russian political analyst, recently offered a skeptical opinion on Prigozhin’s rise that factors in some of those considerations. In a recent article published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she noted that Prigozhin has rivalries with Russia’s power ministries and doesn’t have much showing in polls.
It seems that since February 2022 we have experienced several eras. After a significant time of stagnant ratings, Putin was given approval from more than 80% of the population.
By aborting the past, he canceled the future. Those who were disoriented, preferred to support Putin: it is easier to live this way when your superiors decide everything for you, and you take for granted everything you are told by propaganda.
It is impossible to adapt to a catastrophe of that magnitude and magnitude for myself and my family. As an active commentator on the events, I was labeled by the authorities as a “foreign agent,” which increased personal risk and reinforced the impression of living in an Orwellian anti-utopia.
On the night of February 23 I washed my dog, took a bath, lit candles, and cleaned the house. I have a cozy, one-bedroom apartment in a northern district of Kyiv. I loved being able to take care of it. I loved the life I had. All of it – the small routines and the struggles. That night was the last time I mattered.
The next morning my phone was buzzing from all the messages and missed calls. The Kyiv Independent website had a headline in all caps that read: “PUTIN DECLARES WAR ON UKRAINE.”
Towards a common understanding of the Cold War and Russian Propaganda: From the newsroom to the front lines of the Ukrainian air ambulance service
I remember talking to colleagues, trying to assemble and coordinate a small army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. And calling my parents to organize buying supplies.
The life began falling apart as soon as I became aware of it. It was no longer relevant whether I drank my morning tea in a cup or not. The battle mattered more than life itself.
Just a few weeks into the full-scale invasion it was already hard to remember the struggles, sorrows and joyful moments of the pre-war era. I would remember being upset about my boyfriend, but I could no longer relate. My life didn’t change on February 24, it was stolen from me on that day.
By March, my initial shock and fear of the war turned into a desire to act through sports. Athletes could fight against Russian propaganda in the best way. We just had to tell the truth about the war and Ukrainians – how strong, kind and brave we are. We have worked together to defend our country.
I was no longer concerned with my personal ambitions. Only the common goal was crucial – to raise our flag and show that we are fighting even under these circumstances.
I didn’t enjoy winning on the track. They were only possible because so many defenders had laid down their lives. But I got messages from soldiers on the frontline. They were fond of following our achievements and that motivated me to keep going in my career.
Prigozhin, the Russia of the Future: The Battle of Stalingrad and the War Between Russia and the Oligarch’s Soldiers
The term “the wonderful Russia of the future,” which Navalny prefers, is a shorthand for a country without Putin.
Putin has not been bothered by protests and international sanctions since the invasion last February. Independent media and human rights groups have been branded as foreign agents or shut down entirely.
“Putin arrived in Volgograd, which was renamed Stalingrad for a few days on the occasion of the anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad,” Rogov wrote on Telegram. The anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad is seen as a turning point in the Patriotic war and is being used as a warm-up before the second offensive against Ukraine.
Those who draw the European countries into a war with Russia and think they’ll win it are not really aware of what’s going to happen.
Russia has just set its sights on a new strategy that would be ruined if there was a return to rapid warfare with tanks. This may be risky because new people could be needed to hold the front.
Exactly why this is risky should be clear: The first mobilization caused major tremors in Russian society. People voted with their feet. Police faced off against anti-mobilization demonstrators in several cities, while protests erupted in ethnic minority regions. Russian social media saw a surge of videos and public complaints about the lack of equipment and appalling conditions for newly mobilized recruits.
The mercenary group says it is no longer recruiting prisoners, but Wagner’s costly battlefield successes have raised Prigozhin’s profile. While there isn’t a government office or administrative power, the oligarch’s ability to deliver results and his swaggering PR operation have vaulted him closer to Putin.
“Is Prigozhin ready to challenge Putin?” She wrote a piece recently. “While the answer is negative, there is one important ‘but.’ It is very difficult to remain balanced and sane after you have gone through meat grinder and lost some people. As long as Putin is relatively strong and able to maintain a balance between groups of influence, Prigozhin is safe. Even if not directly to Putin, even the smallest easing could be enough to allow Prigozhin to challenge power. War makes monsters, whose desperation can become a challenge to the state.
“He’s the first folk hero (in) many years,” Zygar said. He’s a hero for the most Ultraconservative part of Russian society, as long as we don’t have any liberal part in Russian society, he’s an fascist.
Some Russians have taken refuge in political apathy. CNN recently spoke to several people in Moscow, who said their lives have changed because of the risks of publicly complaining about the government.
Ira does not have a son, so she doesn’t have to worry about him being mobilized. But she did say that her 21-year-old daughter has started going out to kvartirnik – informal, word-of-mouth gatherings in private apartments, somewhat reminiscent of the underground performances held in the Soviet era.
Ira said she felt acute anxiety in February and March of last year, immediately after the invasion. She was worried that her work would stop and that she would not be able to afford her mortgage after she bought an apartment.
“It got a lot worse in the spring,” she said. “Now it seems we’ve gotten used to a new reality. I started to meet and go out with girlfriends. I was buying more wine.
The restaurants are now full, she said, but added: “The faces look completely different. The hipsters – you know what hipsters are? – There are more people.
The Russian War on Ukraine and its Implications for the International Monetary Fund and the Russo-Mexican Statistical Economy
Olya said that her family chose to have more domestic holidays. Europe is largely closed to direct flights from Russia, and opportunities to travel abroad are more limited.
Life carries on, Olya said, even though there is a war on. She said that she couldn’t influence the situation. Friends tell me we do what we can. It isn’t helpful to get depressed.
Helping matters for the Russian government is the unexpected durability of parts of the Russian economy, despite heavy Western sanctions. The war has been costly for the government – the country’s Finance Ministry recently admitted it ran a higher-than-expected deficit in 2022, in large part due to a 30% increase in defense spending over the previous year – but the International Monetary Fund is projecting a small return to GDP growth for Russia in 2023 of 0.3%.
Those who reorganized quickly are seeing growth, he said. Our activity usually picks up in February, and we did an unusual number of deals in January.
Practically nothing has changed in terms of everyday life, he said. “If we’re talking parts for a (Mercedes Benz) G-Class, it might be trickier.”
The Kremlin and the Military Operations: Commentary on General Relativity and Military Blogosphere Criticism of Biden and Medvedev
He looked for other sources of information, and he was skeptical of state media. And he acknowledged that he could theoretically be called up in another wave of mobilization.
CNN has reached out to the Kremlin, which has not yet publicly commented on Biden’s trip. The trip was dismissed by the former Russian President, because of the US support for Ukrainians.
“Biden in [Kyiv]. Russian journalist Sergey Mardan wrote in a sarcastic response that Russia had been humiliated. “Tales of miraculous hypersonics may be left for children. Just like spells about the holy war we are waging with the entire West.”
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.
The grandfather is no good for anything but simple provocations anyway and there will be very little to do to him.
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, is known for making belligerent pronouncements in an apparent bid to shore up his nationalist credentials.
Participants of what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” will be in attendance but foreign guests or representatives will not be invited, the Kremlin’s spokesperson told reporters Monday.
The Kremlin Legacy of the Cold War: The Case of a Former U.S. Senator and Former World Affairs Reporter Sarah Alperovitch
There is a former CNN producer and correspondent who is now a world affairs columnist. She writes a column for World Politics Review and is a columnist for The Washington Post. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. You can also give your opinion on CNN.
The risky trip on Monday to an active war zone was not just a powerful symbol of American support, it was a shot in the arm to a population that has endured Russia’s devastating attacks on civilian apartment blocks, hospitals, schools and the power stations that provide heat and electricity.
There is something unbelievable about the President of the United States coming to Kyiv at a time like that, according to a Ukrainian service member.
Recall that in the early days of the invasion, Ukraine said it found Russian forces had brought along their dress uniforms apparently expecting a victory parade.
Biden is 80 and walks with a stiff gait. Biden sounded air raid sirens over Kyiv while he was there, but he has no shortage of courage or competence.
Zelensky said that Biden’s visit will bring us closer to victory and that it will have repercussions on the battlefield.
Of course, some GOP members criticized Biden for going to Ukraine. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called the trip “incredibly insulting,” a sign of an “America Last” policy. In the case of the Justice Department over his cell phone, Scott said that Biden would not do the same things for America as he would for Ukraine.
In the afternoon of his visit to Kyiv, Biden will give a major speech in order to bring the world to Ukraine’s aid and to assure them that he will continue aiding their fight for independence and democracy.
Ukraine was slipping away from him. And when he saw that he could no longer control it, it was pretty clear to me that he was going to try to move in and attempt a regime change,” said Alperovitch.
Kremlinolgists tried to interpret the Soviet Union from fragmentary information coming out of highly secretive Communist leadership, which often consisted of multiple factions. Some analysts argue against Putinology, saying it’s too simplistic to interpret a sprawling country like Russia through the study of one man. Some say the notion of an all-powerful leader also plays into the hands of Putin, who would like Russian citizens and the wider world to believe he has control over all aspects of Russia.
Alperovitch arrived in the US at the age of 13 after being born in Moscow. He’s never returned to Russia, though that country — and Putin — have shaped his life. He was a founder of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, which often investigated Russian computer hacks, like the 2016 breach of the Democratic National Committee. Here’s how he describes the Russian leader: “I’ve always viewed him as a gambler. Most of the time he’s gotten lucky. The one gamble that has not worked out well so far is the one inUkraine.
Critical decisions, like invading the Ukraine, are seen as Putin’s work alone, since he has consolidated his hold on Russia over the last two decades.
But she adds, “You can go to jail for spreading ‘fakes about the Russian army.’ It feels incredibly risky to go.” Dmitri Alperovitch knows he would not be welcome. One of the most bizarre things that happened to him last year was the fact that he was born in Russia. “It is somewhat of a badge of honor, but nevertheless there’s certainly a bittersweet feeling about it.” Putinologists may now be in great demand, but incurring the wrath of the Kremlin is an occupational hazard. Greg Myre is a NPR national security correspondent. He has covered the war in Ukraine and was based in Moscow from 1996-99 with The Associated Press. Follow him @gregmyre1.
“He created this cult around World War II. That glorifies war. That calms the war. She said it’s easy to convince Russians that a war like that is necessary and that they need to go in.