Russia is bruised by the approaching winter

U.S. troops will not let Ukraine go, but Russian forces are planning to push back a new dynamo — an opinion of Russian President Zelenskyy

That’s not a popular opinion among Ukrainians. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and many citizens say they want all Russian troops driven out of the country. Zelenskyy recently told Time magazine, “We are dealing with a powerful state that is pathologically unwilling to let Ukraine go.”

According to a Russian newspaper, Russian stragglers in the key city of lyman were taken back from Russia by the Ukrainian forces on Sunday, and despite the baseless claim by Moscow, it was still left with empty eyes.

It would seem that Russian President Putin has been more cunning than ever in creating new enemies, even bigger ones, and bolstering the resolve of those he wants to conquer. In pursuit of a victory, Putin seems to have no limits on his appetite to wreak havoc.

In September, Ukrainian forces began a counteroffensive that has taken back vast swaths of territory. They have pushed Russian forces out of the Kharkiv area and moved east across the Oskil River.

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.

Meanwhile, on the Russian-annexed Crimean Peninsula, the governor of the city of Sevastopol announced an emergency situation at an airfield there. There were huge billows of smoke and blasts from a distance from the beach in the Russian held resort. Authorities said a plane rolled off the runway at the Belbek airfield and ammunition that was reportedly on board caught fire.

On the heels of other attacks across Ukraine, Monday’s strikes came on the heels of them. Last week, Russian forces intensified missile attacks on residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia over the past week, with at least 43 civilians dead in the past week, including 14 on Saturday alone, according to Zelensky. Parts of the bridge that connects annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland collapsed due to the huge explosion that occurred early Saturday. Russian officials said there were at least three deaths. The explosions were an attack byUkrainian special services, according to Putin.

The speech was just one of the hundreds Mr. Zelensky has given this year in a relentless campaign not only to steel his country to fight Russia’s army but to galvanize support for Ukraine abroad.

The destruction of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in the Kharkiv district of Kyiv by Russian artillery and missile attacks

The governor of the Kharkiv region, Oleh Syniehubov, said 24 civilians were killed in an attack this week on a convoy trying to flee the Kupiansk district. He called it “сruelty that can’t be justified.” He said 13 children and a pregnant woman were among the dead.

Photographs of the convoy that was attacked were uploaded by the Security Service of Ukraine. There were burned corpses in the truck bed after it was blown up. There was a vehicle that was on fire at the front of the convoy. Bodies lay on the side of the road or still inside vehicles, which appeared pockmarked with bullet holes.

Russia’s practice of launching missiles and artillery strikes on civilian targets has become known as the Mariupol theater airstrike that killed 600 people in May and the bombing of several sites in central Kyiv in October. The repeated failures of Russia’s military to take or hold territory in the face of the Ukrainian counteroffensive seem only to have amplified the Kremlin’s preference for softer, nonmilitary targets: In late November, Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov wrote that fully 97 percent of Russia’s 16,000 missile strikes have targeted civilians. “We are fighting against a terrorist state,” Reznikov wrote.

The director-general of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was seized by the Russian forces in an attempt to get control of the newly annexed territory.

In March, Russian armoured vehicles and tanks took control of the Zaporizhzhia power station — Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Conditions rapidly deteriorated. Today, all six reactors are shut down. In August, Russia used artillery located at the plant to shell the city of Nikopol, provoking counterattacks from Ukrainian forces. As witnessed by an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) team sent to report on the situation in September, shelling has disconnected main power lines, knocked out radiation-detection sensors and damaged water pipes, walkways, the fire station and the building housing fresh nuclear fuel and solid radioactive waste1. More power losses in October left backup diesel generators as the only electricity supply to keep fuel rods cool. External power was restored, only to be disrupted again by a landmine explosion. One wrong move is all it could take to cause another Chernobyl.

With the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant now disconnected from the Ukrainian grid, Ukraine loses a substantial proportion of its power generation. Russia has been attacking energy delivery infrastructure over the past couple of months.

When Putin came to power in Russia, there were other things he wanted to do. The leader of Russia doesn’t agree with the fact that it’s part of Russia. He claims that only Russia is capable of protecting Ukraine.

US President Joe Biden is expected to announce an additional amount of security assistance for Ukraine during President Zelensky’s visit to the White House. The significant boost in aid is expected to be headlined by the Patriot missile defense systems that are included in the package, a US official told CNN.

Whether it’s a wedding in the aftermath of a rocket attack, throwing Molotov cocktails in response to missiles or keeping a family business open against all odds, one thing Putin has done is galvanized the Ukrainian people.

Russian forces were plagued by desertion, poor planning, and a delayed arrival of reserves, according to an article published Sunday in the Komsomolskaya Pravda.

Russia launched over 200 attacks on the country’s energy facilities until the end of January, according to the prosecutor general’s office. The power grid has already been attacked 15 times in February. Within 24 of Ukraine’s 27 administrative regions there were strikes on infrastructure, according to data collected by the office and shared with CNN.

The fate of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine: State-of-the-art studies and plan to work with the European political community

Governor Oleksandr Starukh wrote on his Telegram channel that many people were rescued from the multi-story buildings, including a 3-year-old girl who was taken to a hospital for treatment.

The risk of a militant storming the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant remains high, according to Rogov.

Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to talk with Ukrainian officials about the Russian move. He will also discuss efforts to set up a secure protection zone around the facility, which has been damaged in the fighting and seen staff including its director abducted by Russian troops.

Meanwhile, leaders from more than 40 countries are meeting in Prague on Thursday to launch a “European Political Community” aimed at boosting security and prosperity across the continent, a day after the Kremlin held the door open for further land grabs in Ukraine.

Peskov did not specify which additional Ukrainian territories Moscow is eyeing, and he wouldn’t say if the Kremlin planned to organize more of the “referendums” in Ukraine that the Ukrainian government and the West have dismissed as illegitimate.

That said, in the short term, having failed to take control of Kyiv and replace President Zelensky with a pro-Russian figure, Putin is seeking to expand the area of Ukraine controlled by Russian forces. Russia does not need to rely on the Kerch Strait Bridge for connection with Ukraine, because the provinces that connect Russia with Chechnya in the so-called land bridge, would be under Russian control.

On Wednesday, the Ukrainian military said the Ukrainian flag had been raised above seven Kherson region villages previously occupied by the Russians. The closest of the liberated villages to the city of Kherson is Davydiv Brid, some 100 kilometers (60 miles) away.

The army is degraded in both capability and quality. A large part of Russia’s military force in Ukraine have been wounded or killed in the course of the war, and this has dramatically altered the composition of the force. The Russian military may not know how they will react in the face of frigid combat conditions or reports of Ukrainian assaults. In September the troops left their positions in panic, as they did in the Kharkiv region.

After Russian troops withdrew from the city of Lyman in the weekend, they left behind their bodies. The people were still lying on the side of the road.

Lyman sustained heavy damage both during the occupation and as Ukrainian soldiers fought to retake it. One of the people who lined up for aid was a 71- year-old man named Mykola who gave only his first name.

Vladimir Putin’s comments on the Ukrainian Cross-Border Strike in Russia: “The end of the world is coming to an end”

“We want the war to come to an end, the pharmacy and shops and hospitals to start working as they used to,” he said. We haven’t got anything yet. Everything is destroyed and pillaged, a complete disaster.”

In his nightly address, a defiant Zelenskyy switched to speaking Russian to tell the Moscow leadership that it has already lost the war that it launched Feb. 24.

“When Russia entered the war in Syria in 2015, it used the same tactic, but it was never held accountable for that, so it decided to use it again in Ukraine,” Kovtoniuk told CNN.

The head of the defense committee in Russia’s State Duma demanded in a recent interview that officials stop lying to the Russian public.

The Ministry of Defense was not telling the truth about the Ukrainian cross-border strike in Russian regions.

Located in Russia’s Belgorod region is Valuyki. In regards to striking Russian targets across the border, Kyiv has adopted a constant refrain of neither confirm nor deny.

As the Makiivka attack demonstrates, the Russian military is making so many errors, that some of the apologists for Putin have begun turning on the military establishment.

Kadyrov was less reticent about blaming Russian commanders after Russia retreated from a strategic Ukrainian city.

“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.

One of the central features of Putinism is a fetish for World War II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. The use of punishment battalions, in which soldiers were accused of cowardice or desertion, is one tactic used by the Red Army to fight the Wehrmacht.

Kadyrov, the leader of Chechnya, recently announced that he had been promoted to the rank of colonel general, and was one of the most prominent voices in arguing against the methods of the past. He recently said in another Telegram post that, if he had his way, he would give the government extraordinary wartime powers in Russia.

Kadyrov said in a post that he would declare martial law throughout the country because they are at war with the NATO bloc.

The UN’s nuclear watchdog condemned new shelling near Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which just disconnected the plant from Ukraine’s power grid, according to its operator.

The resumed shelling is “irresponsible,” the International Atomic Energy Agency Director General said in the press release.

The Russian attack on Tuesday on the Enerhodar nuclear power plant in Energiy: State-of-the-art analysis of the critical infrastructure

The plant can be put back into operation if Russian officials are right, according to a senior pro-Russian official.

A senior official said Sunday that power and cellular connection were restored in the city that is near the nuclear power plant that is currently under Russian control.

“Water supply will be restored in the near future,” Rogov, a pro-Russian leader in the regional Zaporizhzhia government, wrote in a telegram post Sunday

Orlov said “the Ukrainian authorities have repeatedly tried to deliver humanitarian supplies with food, hygiene products and so on to the city,” adding that Ukraine is “ready to organize prompt delivery and distribution of drinking water in Enerhodar” but that Russian forces have not let humanitarian aid through.

Ukrainian authorities said that missiles and drones were struck by Russia. Catch up on everything you need to know on Monday’s developments so far:

The power went off in a big part of the city, according to the mayor. diesel generators kicked in to power emergency services after the outage. Public transportation there ground to a halt.

Mr. Putin said he had ordered the bombardment in order to avenge the damage done to the bridge by the truck bomb. Moscow has tried to minimize the impact of the attack, but new satellite images show that it has been substantial.

China and India are both calling for a de-escalating of the situation in Ukraine. India said it was deeply concerned and asked for an “immediate cessation of hostilities and return to the path of dialogue.” European leaders have condemned the attack.

“The enemy hit a critical infrastructure facility. According to a Telegram video on Thursday, Shell fragments damaged residential buildings and the place where the medical aid and humanitarian aid distribution point is located.

Zelenskyy said in the video that it was a tough morning when dealing with terrorists. They’re targeting people to harm them as much as possible.

Heavy damage to the city of Kharkiv by a day-after-afternoon blast: Viktor Shevchenko and his balcony balcony

In Kyiv, Ukraine Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko says that at least two museums and the National Philharmonic concert halls sustained heavy damage. A nearby strike damaged the country’s main passenger terminal, delaying trains during this morning’s rush hour, according to Ukraine’s National Railway.

Several missiles went off in the north of the region, damaging energy facilities and a hospital according to Oleh Syniehubov, head of the regional military administration. The city of Kharkiv lost power for much of the day, but it was beginning to be restored by nightfall. According to the mayor of Kharkiv, there is huge damage to the city and residents are being instructed to get assistance from the so-called “invincibility points”.

Ihor Makovtsev, the head of the department of transport for the Dnipro city council, said that the wreck happened at rush hour because lots of public transport was operating in the city. The bus driver and four passengers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

“All our transportation is only for civilian purposes and I don’t see how it could be logic to work that way,” Makovtsev said.

81-year-old Viktor Shevchenko looked out from what once were the windows of his first floor balcony, just next to the bus stop. The ground was covered with shattered glass. He said he had been watering the plants on his balcony just minutes before the blast, but went to his kitchen to make breakfast.

He said the explosion blew open all of his cabinets and nearly knocked him to the ground. I was on the balcony, full of glass, just five minutes before.

Kiev’s biggest attack of the 229th day of the Russian occupation: a warning to protect civilians and to return to their homes

The need for this needs is understood by Ukraine’s allies. General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chief of Staff, said that after Russia attacked the Ukrainian civilians, we will be looking for air defense options that will help them.

In his letter Ramzan Kadyrov warned Zelenskyy that Russia had not started yet and that he was against the military campaign.

Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former 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. CNN has more opinion.

Recent days have meanwhile shown that sites beyond the current theater of ground fighting are far from immune to attacks. It remains unclear exactly how the Kerch bridge bombing was carried out – and Kyiv has not claimed responsibility – but the fact that a target so deep in Russian-held territory could be successfully hit hinted at a serious Ukrainian threat towards key Russian assets.

The significance of the strikes on central Kyiv, and close to the government quarter, cannot be overstated. Western governments should see it as a red line being crossed on this 229th day of the war.

With reports of missiles being shot down, the area around my office in Odesa was eerily quiet as of midday local time. Normally by this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be crowded with customers and chatter of upcoming weddings and parties.

At least 11 Ukrainian cities with missiles were hit by Russia yesterday, in its biggest attack against civilians since the invasion began. But even amid destruction, many people sheltered for only a few hours. They went back to their lives. As my colleague Megan Specia, a Times foreign correspondent, left a shelter in the capital of Kyiv, she saw residents walking dogs and riding electric scooters.

The officials in the Ukrainian government ordered millions of people in the cities to spend most of the day in bomb shelters and that businesses have been asked to shift workers to the internet.

The attacks might cause another blow to business confidence, as many asylum seekers are returning to their home countries.

Russian Missile Attacks on Ukraine: Resolving the Pomeron of a Great Disaster with China, India, and the United States

Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. Putin opened the bridge in Europe with a truck. 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 from Ukrainians to the explosion was quick and funny. Many shared their joy through text messages.

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 enormous US and western support of Ukraine means, Petraeus observes, that while the Russians may be preparing to send hundreds of thousands of soldiers into Ukraine in a new offensive, they will face off in the coming months with better-trained and better-organized Ukrainian soldiers armed with American longer-range missiles, armored vehicles and a tremendous amount of ammunition. Petraeus said his money is still going to the Ukrainians.

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.

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.

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.

Anything short of these measures will only allow Putin to continue his senseless violence and further exacerbate a humanitarian crisis that will reverberate throughout Europe. The Kremlin will take a weak response as a sign that it is able to weaponize energy, migration and food.

The Ukrainian State Emergency Service said 19 people were killed and over 100 were injured in Russian missile attacks on Ukraine on Monday.

More than 30 fires broke out across 12 regions and the capital wherecritical and civil infrastructure was hit, the emergency services said.

Russian attacks on civilian infrastructure: the response of Moscow, the White House, and the Ukrainian Embassy on Monday, Oct. 10. Putin had no intentions of destroying Ukraine

Russian strikes on civilian infrastructure were condemned by the White House. Kirby said that the attacks showed that Moscow was “again trying to put fear into the hearts of the Ukrainian people and to make it that much harder on them as winter is now upon them.”

A reminder of that history came just two months ago, on Oct. 10. That’s when a Russian missile slammed into the street outside the Kyiv House of Teachers.

The city dwellers, who spent months in air raid shelters after the subways were attacked, have returned to normal but are now afraid of new strikes.

Putin does not seem to have learned that revenge is not an appropriate way to act on or off the battlefield and in the final analysis it is most likely to cause Russia to be isolated and weakened.

But the targets on Monday also had little military value and, if anything, served to reflect Putin’s need to find new targets because of his inability to inflict defeats on Ukraine on the battlefield.

As winter sets in, the bombing of power installations on Monday seemed to be a sign that the Russian President could really cause misery, even as his forces retreat in the face of Ukrainian troops.

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

The White House did not say what kind of advanced air systems Biden offered the Ukrainian president, but he did offer to defend against Russian air attacks.

John Kirby, the communications chief of the national security council suggested that Washington was looking favorably on Ukraine’s requests and was in contact with the government every day. “We do the best we can in subsequent packages to meet those needs,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

Kirby couldn’t say if Putin was going to shift his strategy from a losing battlefield war to a campaign to weaken civilian confidence and damageUkrainian cities and infrastructure and if it was already in the works.

“It likely was something that they had been planning for quite some time. Kirby doesn’t believe that the explosion on the bridge might have sped up some of their planning.

The lesson of the terrible war for Ukraine: Putin’s tyrant is ready to fight for it, and what he can do about it

The UN says that Russia’s attacks violate international law that prohibits the targeting of civilians. Human Rights Watch, in a report released in December, said that Moscow’s tactic appeared to be designed to spread terror among the civilians in order to violate Additional Protocol I of the Conventions.

The president of France said that the attacks could be the beginning of a new pivot in the conflict.

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

If we had modern equipment, we could probably increase the number of those drones and missiles downed and not kill innocent civilians or hurt Ukrainians.

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, a mother of three who is documenting the war on YouTube, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper live from her basement in Ukraine on Monday that she was angry at the return of fear and violence to the lives of Ukrainians from a new round of Russian “terror.”

It’s another reason to frighten you guys in other countries or to show to his own people that he’s still a bloody tyrant, it’s just another reason to be scared.

He concluded, “May the New Year bring all this. We are ready to fight for it. That is the reason each of us is here. I’m here. We are here. You are here. Everyone is here. We are all Ukraine.”

State television also reported on the suffering and flaunted it on Monday. There were empty store shelves, and a long-range forecast promising months of freezing temperatures in the central part of the country.

“In terms of whether or not Russia is massing its aircraft for some massive aerial attack, we don’t currently see that. 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.”

The math for Moscow is simple, as Ukraine looks to shore up its missile defenses, a percentage of projectiles are bound to get through.

The great unknown is just how far such a blitz is depleting Russian inventories – and whether increasingly they will resort to stocks of older, less accurate but equally powerful missiles.

It’s not easy to estimate Russian missile inventories. In May, Zelensky said that Russia launched 2,540 missiles and had used up a majority of its missile arsenal. That looks like it’s not really happening.

We see that fire-and-forget anti-tank missiles were provided by the westerners. We’ve seen the impact of anti-ship missiles on other ships. The Russians have not had great success with their offensive cyber capabilities.

According to the Energy Minister of Ukraine, Russian missiles hit about 30% of the energy infrastructure in that country on Monday and Tuesday. The minister told CNN that this was the “first time from the beginning of the war” that Russia has “dramatically targeted” energy infrastructure.

The Secretary General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg told the press that more systems would be needed to stop missile attacks. The air defense systems that NATO allies have provided are making a difference because many incoming missiles were shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems. “But of course, as long as not all of them are shot down, of course there is a need for more.”

Yermak said the drones were Shahed models, known for crashing into the targets with explosive payloads. Ukraine estimates that Russia ordered 2,400 of the drones from Iran, a number that overwhelms Ukrainian air defense systems. The Ukrainian Air Force claimed to have shot down 11 drones by 10am.

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

The system is used to defend airspace against incoming missiles as well as some aircraft. Because of its long-range and high altitude capability, it can potentially shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft, even if it isn’t near the intended targets.

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

“I hope that they will send more than one,” she added. She noted there had been some reluctance by the US and NATO to provide advanced equipment, but she added that she had seen how effective the Ukrainian military was.

But these are hardly off-the-shelf-items. The IRIS-T was destined for the Ukranian market. Western governments have limited inventories of such systems. Ukraine is being attacked by missiles from three directions.

Russian Maritime Security Assistance in Ukraine After the Violation of the Oslo Assist Plan, and its Effect on Security Checkpoints before the Explosion

Ukraine’s senior military commander, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, tweeted Tuesday his thanks to Poland as “brothers in arms” for training an air defense battalion that had destroyed nine of 11 Shaheeds.

He said that Poland gave systems to help destroy the drones. Last month there were reports that the Polish government had bought advanced Israeli equipment (Israel has a policy of not selling “advanced defensive technology” to Kyiv) and was then transferring it to Ukraine.

On Tuesday, about 70 countries and international organizations pledged more than $1 billion to help repair Ukraine’s infrastructure. Last week, the Pentagon announced that an additional $275 million in security assistance for Ukraine had been approved, including weapons, artillery rounds and equipment to help Ukraine boost its air defense. In November, the US announced a $53 million package to support repairs to Ukraine’s power system.

The pictures show hundreds of cargo trucks waiting to cross from Crimea into Russia by ferry after the bombing. There is a large roadblock at the port in Kerch and a line of trucks next to an airport that is being used as a staging area.

Oleg Ignatov, a senior Russia analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the long lines for the ferry crossing had been exacerbated by security checkpoints set up after the bridge explosion.

The Russian War in Ukraine: The Consequences for the Security and Security of the Cold War and for the Kremlin to Come

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

With the cold months approaching, experts say the next weeks of the war are vital, and there is a chance of another spike in intensity over Ukraine as each side seeks to strike another blow.

The stakes of the war have been raised as winter approaches. “There’s no doubt Russia would like to keep it up,” Giles said. But the Ukrainian successes of recent weeks have sent a direct message to the Kremlin, too. Giles said they are able to do things that take us by surprise and that we should get used to it.

The counter-offensives have shifted the pace of the war and disproved the idea that Ukraine lacked the capacity to take advantage of its territory.

The Russians are hoping to avoid a collapse in their frontline before the winter sets in, said a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

If they can get Christmas with the frontline looking as it is, that will be a huge success for the Russians.

It would be useful for the Ukrainian army to make headway before the temperatures plummet on the battlefield, and it is also likely that rising energy prices will affect the rest of Europe.

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

The war in eastern Europe is stoking a far right push for more influence, with the help of Putin’s supporters in the West. Likeminded figures in Europe are trying to promote their views, by pointing to their country’s struggles as the cost of helping Ukraine, just as the political action committee linked to former Trump aide Stephen Miller is arguing against spending on that country. In the US and Europe, there is strong support for Ukraine.

“I don’t think Russia would measure the success in cyberspace by a single attack,” the Western official said, rather “by their cumulative effect” of trying to wear the Ukrainians down.

“We know – and Russian commanders on the ground know – that their supplies and munitions are running out,” Jeremy Fleming, a UK’s spy chief, said in a rare speech on Tuesday.

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.”

The majority of cruise missiles fired at Ukraine were downed by the Ukrainian defense forces, according to preliminary data. Klitschko said 16 missiles were destroyed by Ukraine’s air defenses over Kyiv.

The impact of such an intervention in terms of pure manpower would be limited; Belarus has around 45,000 active duty troops, which would not significantly bolster Russia’s reserves. But it would threaten another assault on Ukraine’s northern flank below the Belarusian border.

Giles said that the reopening of a northern front would be a new challenge for Ukraine. It would give Russia a new road into the region that has been occupied by Ukrainians, should Putin prioritize his efforts to wrest control of that territory.

Mr. Zelensky wrote about moments of despair and triumph, as the new year approached. The first missiles in February, he said, “destroyed our labyrinth of illusions” but had also shown Ukrainians “what we are capable of.”

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Tuesday that Ukraine needed “more” systems to better halt missile attacks, ahead of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.

Vladimir Putin’s next move depends on the response of the rest of the world, according to the World Bank and Russian Embassy in Donetsk

The coming weeks are therefore crucial both on the battlefield, as well as in Europe and around the globe, experts suggest. Giles said Putin’s next move depended on how the rest of the world responded. The failure of Western countries to confront and deter Russia is what has shaped its attitude.

Petraeus is the director of CIA. In order for it to be possible, Putin would have to mobilize all of Russia. The partial Mobilizations have been partial, as Putin seems to fear how the country will 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.

In the past year, the US and other countries have funneled billions in aid to Ukraine because it has global consequences. Victory by Russia could mean new rules to the world order that global powers have lived by to avoid a third world war.

There are strikes in the Belgorod region next to Ukraine and the destruction of a municipal administration building in the city of Donetsk which shows that the havoc unleashed by President Vladimir V. Putin is spreading far beyond the front lines.

The Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement that the shootings were a terrorist attack. Two people from a former soviet nation fired on soldiers during target practice at a shooting range, it said.

Ukraine’s response plan to Wednesday night’s attack on a critical power infrastructure in Kamianske: first results from the European Parliament’s foreign minister’s visit to Ukraine

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

Anton Gerashcenko, a spokesman for Ukraine’s Internal Ministry, reported attacks on infrastructure near the city’s main rail station, but lines were operating as normal midmorning Monday.

The enemy can attack but it won’t break us. The President of Ukraine wrote that the occupiers will only be punished for their actions and they will get victory.

Sullivan and Milley hold regular joint calls with the Zelensky adviser and the commander in chief of the Ukrainian armed forces. The latest reports from the battlefield are given to Sullivan and Milley by these calls.

After commenters accused him of confirmation of a Russian strike on Iran, he took the photo out of his post.

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

The attack on energy infrastructure in the Kamianske district of the Dnipropetrovsk region caused “fire” and “serious destruction,” according to regional military official Valentyn Reznichenko.

The services are trying to eliminate the repercussions of shelling and reestablishing electricity supply. Each region has a crisis response plan, said Shmyhal.

“We ask Ukrainians, in order to stabilize the energy system, to take a united and conscious approach to economical consumption of electricity. Especially during peak hours.

The power grid in the country is under control, stated Ukrenergo, adding that repair crews are working to prevent the effects of the attacks.

Shmyhal’s announcement comes as Ukraine grapples with sweeping attacks on critical energy facilities, following deadly Russian strikes over the past week.

NATO will hold nuclear deterrence exercises starting Monday. NATO has warned Russia not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine but says the “Steadfast Noon” drills are a routine, annual training activity.

The UN General Assembly Resolution on Ukraine’s Second Emergency Emergency Plan (after the Crimea Spikes) and a Special Report by David A. Andelman

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

Russia’s move to annex four regions ofUkraine was condemned by the UN General Assembly. Four countries voted with Russia, but only 143 voted in favor ofUkraine’s resolution, while 35 abstained.

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

Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views that he expresses are his own. View more opinion at CNN.

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.

Putin Prolonge War UKraine Winter-Andelman: France’s Unpopularity with European Union and Germany’s Concerns with Gas Caps

A host of variables can affect this ability to keep going, from the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the coming winter to the popular will across a broad range of nations.

European Union powers have agreed to a plan to control energy prices that have risen since the embargo on Russian imports and the cut in natural gas supplies from Russia were imposed.

The Dutch Title Transfer Facility, which is the benchmark European gas trading hub, and permission for EU gas companies to create a group to buy gas on the international market are included in these.

The French president went to the summit with the goal of maintaining European unity but conceded that there was only a “clear mandate” for the Commission to start working on a gas cap mechanism.

Germany is skeptical of any price caps. Germany is worried that caps would encourage higher consumption, which would impose more burdens on restricted supplies.

These divisions are all part of Putin’s fondest dream. It can be said that Europe is failing to agree on essentials in order to achieve success from the Kremlins viewpoint.

France and Germany are at odds with regards to many of these issues. The conference call was scheduled in an effort to reach some accommodation with the German Chancellor.


Italy’s First Woman Prime Minister: Bringing an End to the Poynting Post-Fascist Anomaly

There is a new government in Italy. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in Saturday as Italy’s first woman prime minister and has attempted to brush aside the post-fascist aura of her party. A member of her far-right coalition partners has expressed a deep appreciation for Putin.

Silvio Berlusconi, himself a four-time prime minister of Italy, was recorded at a gathering of his party loyalists, describing with glee the 20 bottles of vodka Putin sent to him together with “a very sweet letter” on his 86th birthday.

The other leading member of the ruling Italian coalition, Matteo Salvini, named Saturday as deputy prime minister, said during the campaign, “I would not want the sanctions [on Russia] to harm those who impose them more than those who are hit by them.”

Poland and Hungary, two of the most right wing countries in the EU, were united in their dislike of the EU’s policies and now disagree over Ukraine. Poland has taken deep offense at the pro-Putin sentiments of Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.

This is not easy. Kevin McCarthy, the likely new Speaker of Congress, warned the Biden administration not to expect a blank check from the GOP-led House.

The Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to hold talks with Russia to end the conflict while its troops are still in the interior and its missiles and drones are still hitting.

After facing criticism, the caucus chair, Mia Jacob, sent reporters a clarifying statement. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called his counterpart in Ukranian to ask him to keep supporting the US.

What have Ukrainian successes in the last thirty years of the Russian Revolution been like for the Russians? An analysis by Bergen, H.M. Bergen and R. Orekhov

There is every incentive for Putin to prolong the conflict so that he can allow the West to kick in. A long, cold winter in Europe, persistent inflation and higher interest rates leading to a recession on both sides of the Atlantic could mean irresistible pressure on already skeptical leaders to dial back on financial and military support.

Bergen: What technologies have proven key to Ukrainian successes in this war? 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. The Russian targets have been destroyed by US-supplied rockets. 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.

All these actions point to an increasing desperation by Russia to access vitally-needed components for production of high-tech weaponry stalled by western sanctions and embargos that have begun to strangle the Kremlin’s 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 stopped production, and Russia has to turn to Soviet-era defense stocks for replenishment. Thirty years ago the era of the Soviets ended.

The US seized the property of the top Russian procurement agent Yury Orekhov, who was responsible for procuring US-origin technologies for Russian end- users.

The Justice Department accused individuals and companies of violating sanctions by attempting to bring high-tech equipment into Russia.

The World’s Most Disappearing Brains: CNN’s Michele Ghitis Reflects on Russia’s Putin’s 2014 Russia-Ukraine Deal

A former CNN producer and correspondent, Ghitis now writes a column about world affairs. She is a columnist for The Washington Post, a weekly opinion contributor to CNN, and a columnist for World Politics Review. Her own views are expressed in this commentary. CNN has more opinion on it.

There’s “strong indication” Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the go-ahead to supply anti-aircraft weapons to separatists in Ukraine, according to the international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

The strength of the relationship between Russia and Tehran has brought the attention of Iran’s rivals and foes in the Middle East, of NATO members and of nations that are still looking to save the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.

Turkey’s borders with Iraq and Syria have been highly unstable, complicated further by persistent conflict with its Kurdish minority and the extremist Islamist movement Daesh. There have been no border fights between India and Pakistan since the 1999 Kargil war. India– China relations are tense but it seems unlikely that a Ukraine scenario would happen. The most immediately concerning situation would be the deployment of troops from the Chinese mainland to Taiwan, which has three civilian nuclear reactors.

Yuval Noah Harari believes that a victory by Russia will lead to wars of aggression, something that most nations have come to reject since the Second World War, and that’s because the direction of human history is at stake.

Much of what happens today far from the battlefields still has repercussions there. When oil-producing nations, led by Saudi Arabia, decided last month to slash production, the US accused the Saudis of helping Russia fund the war by boosting its oil revenues. The Saudis deny the accusation.

The War in the Middle East: The Impact of US Aid on the Security and Security of the Near-Sea Forces, Embedded States, and the War on Ukraine

Israel is unwilling to let go of its defensive systems because it might need them for its own defense. Hamas in the South has its own rockets and Hezbollah in the north has a lot of missiles.

The effect of months of military aid. CNN reported last month that the US is running very low on weapons systems and bombs for Ukraine. Look for that storyline to become part of the US aid debate after Republicans take control of the House of Representatives next month and promise more scrutiny of US aid for Ukraine.

Higher prices have a big impact on families and lives. They pack a political punch when they come with such power. Inflation, worsened by the war, has put incumbent political leaders on the defensive in countless countries.

Nuclear Safety and Security for a High-Energy, Low-Radiation Nuclear Power Reactor in Ukraine: Recommendations to the IAEA and Other Parties

And it’s not all on the fringes. The Republican leader who could become speaker of the House suggested that the GOP might reduce aid to Ukraine. The progressive Democrats withdrew a letter that called for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official during the Obama administration, claimed they are bringing a big smile to Putin.

The IAEA’s call for the demilitarization of the Zaporizhzhia site is consistent with the Geneva Conventions and should be enacted urgently. It is a complex matter regarding a nuclear safety and security protection zone.

The main concern is the integrity of the reactor core and storage pools. If fuel rods are exposed, a core meltdown and uncontrolled release of radiation is likely, as happened at Fukushima, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 19792. “And so, one mine or one missile or whatever”, warned Ukraine’s energy minister Herman Halushchenko, “could stop the working of the generators and then you have one hour and probably 30 minutes, not more than 2 hours, before the reaction starts.”

Russian control of the plant also delayed the IAEA from conducting its required annual inspection, which is crucial for ensuring safety and verifying the secure disposal of nuclear fuel and preventing its diversion for military uses1.

There are 57 new nuclear power units under construction around the world, most outside Europe. China will add 150 new nuclear power plants, which will cost about US$400 billion, in order to quadruples nuclear generation to 180 giga watt by the year 2035. Bangladesh, Belarus, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries to build a reactor.

The risk assessments need to consider interactions between existing and future nuclear builds, as well as the risks of Conflict, specific site vulnerabilities, and potential loss of life and land from radiation release. Some limited studies seem to have been done but they remain classified; scholars would need to be given access and the information shared internationally (perhaps under IAEA auspices). This is a substantial task that requires significant industry and government investment. It would spur and guide regulators and governments to action.

The five-yearly review conference of the treaty, in August, was fractured by division and ended in a stand-off. The draft outcome document would have strengthened the treaty by considering the safety and security of nuclear-power plants in conflict zones for the first time.

There are no attacks on military objectives near nuclear-power stations under the Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. This prohibits military attacks on “works or installations containing dangerous forces, namely dams, dykes and nuclear electrical generating stations … even where these objects are military objectives, if such attack may cause the release of dangerous forces and consequent severe losses among the civilian population”.

Yet the protocol provides a get-out clause. It permits strikes on “other military objectives located at or in the vicinity of these works or installations only if they are used in regular, significant and direct support of military operations and if such attack is the only feasible way to terminate such support”.

Demilitarization of the site, subject to a UN Security Council resolution, would be uncontroversial. What measures could be taken to monitor and secure this situation? A small, neutral international peacekeeping force tasked with supporting the IAEA’s mission there is one option. However, if attacks on the plant continue, they might be faced with the need to suppress troop incursions or rocket or artillery strikes on the site. This would require rapid access to air power and can lead to serious risks.

Given Russia’s veto on the Security Council, a resolution would be impossible to obtain without prior agreement. A resolution should nonetheless be pursued. Negotiations about ceasefires, pullouts and the deployment of troops are running in tandem. Commandants can be put under a lot of moral and strategic pressure with a well-designed deployment.

Russian cyberattacks on Ukraine come after Russia’s February 8th invasion: a wake-up call for government actions in the country’s cyber infrastructure

More resources need to be devoted to making nuclear plants safer, as well as scholars and non-governmental organizations.

There are new reactor, fuel storage and site designs that can be used to fight terrorism. The 9/11 Commission discovered that al- Qaeda considered crashing planes into US nuclear plants, so Congress commissioned a report that recommended better fuel pool designs and quicker transfer of fuel to dry storage. It did not consider the danger of military attack. Industry resisted the recommendations because of their cost, and similar analysis for nuclear plants outside the United States is sparse.

Russia, Ukraine and much of eastern Europe will be lucky if the Ukraine war ends without disaster at Zaporizhzhia. The world should be ashamed that after 70 years people are still relying on luck. Governments have the power to prevent disasters. Will they act?

For eight years before the invasion of its neighbor in February, Russia waged a limited war in the eastern part of the country, throwing that area into a state of turmoil and then unleashing cyberattacks onUkraine’s critical infrastructure. There were many military and cybersecurity observers around the world who warned that Russia’s hacking was an example of a tactic that would be used in other countries as well, and it turned out to be true.

A senior US official said that after the bridge explosion in October, Putin was trying to create a big showy public response because cyber operations can be hard to plan.

Microsoft said in April that at least six different Kremlin-linked hacking groups did over 200 cyber operations against Ukrainian targets after Russia’s February invasion. The White House blamed the Kremlin for disrupting internet in the Ukranian region on the eve of Russia’s invasion.

Four officials from one of Ukraine’s main cyber and communications agencies — the State Service of Special Communications and Information Protection (SSSCIP) — were killed October 10 in missile attacks, the agency said in a press release. The four officials did not have cybersecurity responsibilities, but their loss has weighed heavily on cybersecurity officials at the agency during another grim month of war.

Menon thinks that his comments can be applied to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet, such as NotPetya, which caused hundreds of digital networks to be destroyed five years ago. They’re different in some respects, but the goal is the same. “Demoralizing and punishing civilians.”

In 2017, as Russia’s hybrid war in eastern Ukraine continued, Russia’s military intelligence agency unleashed destructive malware known as NotPetya that wiped computer systems at companies across Ukraine before spreading around the world, according to the Justice Department and private investigators. The incident cost the global economy billions of dollars by disrupting shipping giant Maersk and other multinational firms.

The operation involved breaching Ukrainian software, injecting malicious code and then using it to weaponize it.

It was an effective way to respond to cyber incidents for years, according to Olney. It takes time and opportunities that are difficult to just conjure.

Kiev plan for worst-case scenarios if the Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure become aggressive and the Kremlin will be armed with a large number of heating centers

Zhora, the Ukrainian official who is a deputy chairman at SSSCIP, called for Western governments to tighten sanctions on Russia’s access to software tools that could feed its hacking arsenal.

The ambassador-at-large for cyber affairs from Estonian told CNN he believes the Russians could ramp up cyberattacks as they struggle with their battlefield struggles.

Sepp said that their main goal was to put the former Soviet state in a bad light on the international stage.

The Ukrainian capital of Kyiv is preparing for worst-case scenarios in the event of further Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure which could potentially leave the city without electricity or water, according to its mayor Vitali Klitschko.

“If you have extended family — this is for if we consider the worst case, if we were left without electricity and water supply — or friends outside Kyiv, where there is autonomous water supply, an oven, heating, please keep in mind the possibility of staying there for a certain amount of time,” the mayor said.

In his address in the Kremlin on Tuesday, he said that attempts by some countries to rewrite and change world history were becoming more aggressive, and that they were looking to divide our society and weaken Russia.

Tkachuk said each district within the city will have about 100 heating centers to operate in case of emergencies in the winter. These heating centers will be equipped with heat, lighting, toilets, canteens, places to rest, warm clothes, blankets and an ambulance crew will be on duty near such centers, the statement said.

If Republicans win control of the House, they might limit funding for Ukraine, which is somethingUkraine will be watching this week.

Ukrainian Defense Forces in Kyiv, Ukraine: “The Beginning of the End of the War” after the Kherson Retorsion

The Turkish President will be hosting the Swedish Prime Minister on Tuesday. Sweden is required to meet certain conditions before joining NATO.

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

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

Russia rejoined a U.N.-brokered deal to safely export grain and other agricultural goods from Ukraine, on Nov. 2. The deal was suspended by Moscow a few days ago after it was claimed that Ukraine had attacked its Black Sea ships.

The new deal will include the supply of guidance kits, which will allow Ukraine to use unguided missiles or bombs. The rate in which Kyiv’s forces burn through bullets will be increased by this. The amount is expected to be used to fund stock and munitions replacements.

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

The Dnipro has become the new front line in southern Ukraine, and officials there warned of continued danger from fighting in regions that have already endured months of Russian occupation.

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

The shells hit near the bridge. Near the riverfront, incoming rounds rang out with thunderous, metallic booms. It was not immediately possible to assess what had been hit.


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

The mines are a significant danger. Four people, including an 11-year-old, were killed when a vehicle they were riding in ran over a mine outside the city. Another mine injured six railway workers who were trying to restore service after lines were damaged. Ukrainian officials said there were at least four children who were injured by mines across the region.

As Mr. Zelensky made his shock visit to Kherson, it was clear that the threats were still alive and well.

“We are, step by step, coming to all of our country,” Mr. Zelensky said in a short appearance in the city’s main square on Monday, as hundreds of jubilant residents celebrated.

Russian forces continued to fire from across the river on towns and villages newly recaptured by Ukrainian forces, according to the Ukrainian military’s southern command. The town of Beryslav was struck by two missiles just north of a critical dam. It was not clear if there were any casualties.

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

In a text message, Ivan explained that Russians were roaming around and finding empty houses. He lives in Skadovsk, which is south of Kherson city, and asked that his surname not be used out of concern for his safety. “We try to connect with the owners and to arrange for someone local to stay in their place. So that it is not abandoned and Russians don’t take it.”

The War Between Russia and the G20: What Has Putin Learned in the First Two Years? An Update on Russian Operational Instability

Poland is facing the consequences from these attacks. 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.

A laundry list of horrors that Putin has launched over the last few years only seems to have driven his nation further away from the civilized powers that he once sought to join.

As in Cambodia, his forces planted mines in vast parts of Kherson from which they have recently withdrawn. Cambodian de-mining experts have even been called in to assist with the daunting task facing Ukraine in a few short years. At the same time, Russian armies have also left behind evidence of unspeakable atrocities and torture, also reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge.

A number of Russian soldiers have refused to fight and rebelled against what was demanded of them. Amid plummeting morale, the UK’s Defense Ministry believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot retreating or deserting soldiers.

Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.

Diplomatically, Putin finds himself increasingly isolated on the world stage. The G20, which Zelensky called the “G19.” was only the head of state who stayed away from it. Though Putin once lusted after a return to the G7 (known as the G8 before he was ousted after his seizure of Crimea), inclusion now seems but a distant dream. Russia banned Canada’s 100 citizens, including Jim Carrey, from entering the country, which made the comparison with North Korea even more striking.

Putin believes it was part of a self-cleaning of Russian society from traitors and spies. Russian officials have suggested stripping those who left the country of their passports. There are questions as to whether or not Russia can thrive without some of its best and brightest.

One leading Russian journalist, who has settled in Berlin, told me last week that he hopes this is not the case, but he is prepared to accept the reality that he may never be able to return to his homeland.

The failure of the future combat air system project by Russia and its implication for Ukrainian energy and water systems in Mykolaiv, Moldova

The West’s attempt to separate itself from Russian oil and natural gas in order to keep the country from having material resources to pursue this war isumbling. Ursula von der Leyen, the President of the European Commission, told the G20 that it was an unsustainable dependency and that they wanted reliable and forward-looking connections.

The conflict, along with the huge burden it has had on Western countries, is proving insufficient for Putin to have his dream of a united Western alliance fulfilled. 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.

Ukrainian energy operator Ukrenergo reported on Friday that more than 50% of the country’s energy capacity was lost due to Russian strikes on thermal and hydroelectric power plants and substations, activating “emergency mode.”

The nuclear reactor were not reconnected to the national grid after the brief emergency shut them down.

In the southern region of Mykolaiv, the military administrator, Vitaliy Kim, also said the nuclear plant in his area has been cut from the grid, leading to a risky shutdown of the reactors there.

The cascading effect of power cuts on the heat and water in many cases is stressed by Ukrainian officials. The water in pipes could be frozen if the temperature is below freezing.

In Moldova, President Maia Sandu wrote on Facebook that they can’t trust a regime that leaves them in the dark and cold.

President Zelenskyy at the Kremlin: “Heroes of Russia”, Vladimir Putin, in response to “An attack on the Ukrainian airfield in Kursk”

Ukraine is scrambling to prepare for the winter. President Zelenskyy said in a video address that there are 4,000 centers to take care of civilians if power is cut.

He claimed they will provide a lot of services, such as phone charging and internet access. Many will be in schools and government buildings.

Speaking after an awards ceremony for “Heroes of Russia” at the Kremlin, he addressed a group of soldiers receiving the awards, clutching a glass of champagne.

The reference to Kursk appears to reference Russia’s announcement that an airfield in the Kursk region, which neighbors Ukraine, was targeted in a drone attack. The Ukrainian Defense Ministry has offered no comment on recent explosions, including in Kursk, which are deep within Russia. Officially, the targets are well beyond the reach of the country’s declared drones.

At the awards ceremony, Putin continued to list alleged aggressions: “Who is not supplying water to Donetsk? Not supplying water to a city of million is an act of genocide.”

He ended his comments by saying there was no mention of the water situation. No one has said anything about it. At all! Complete silence ,” he said.

Vladimir Putin and Ukraine: Why do we need to act hard on Russia if we want to attack Ukraine? How did the Russian military attack on the Kerch Bridge happen?

In October, Moscow attempted to annex four Ukrainian regions in violation of international law, one of which is DONETSK, which has been held by Russian-backed rebels for eight years.

Putin made a rare public comments at a Kremlin reception about the Russian military’s attacks onUkraine’s energy infrastructure.

This book is not a good one. I was guilty of not reading the signs earlier. I was responsible for the war between Russia and Ukraine. As are my contemporaries and our forebears. Regrettably, Russian culture is also to blame for making all these horrors possible.”

In the days following the bridge explosion, Putin said, “Any act of terrorism on the territory of Russia will be harsh.”

Last week Putin appeared on the Kerch Bridge, where he was shown repairs and drove a car across the structure that he himself officially opened in 2018.

The Russian president tersely compared the difference in reactions to attacks on Russia and attacks on Ukraine, saying, “as soon as we make a move, do something in response – noise, clamor, crackle for the whole universe.”

Ukraine’s Chernobyl disaster and nuclear energy dependence on the world’s largest energy supplier: a report by S.E. Zelensky

“The pace of restoration [to household consumers] is slowed down by difficult weather conditions,” it said, with the damage “made worse by the freezing and rupture of wires in distribution networks.”

In his nightly address on Saturday, Mr. Zelensky said Ukraine had shot down 10 of the 15 drones that Russian forces used. It was difficult to verify his total.

Nonetheless, he said, the strikes, using Iranian drones, had left many in the dark. Mr. Zelensky called the situation in the Odesa region “very difficult,” noting that only the most critical infrastructure there remained operational. He warned that restoring power to civilians would take days, not hours.

The repeated assaults on the plants and equipment that Ukrainians rely on for heat and light have drawn condemnation from world leaders, and put Ukranians into a grim cycle in which crews hurry to restore power only to have it knocked out again.

“The power system is now, to put it mildly, very far from a normal state — there is an acute shortage in the system,” he said, urging people to reduce their power use to put less strain on the battered power grid.

There are attacks on infrastructure in different parts of the country. Residential buildings, hotel, shop and place for festivals were damaged. There are dead and injured people.

The chief environmental inspector at Kyiv’s city hall at the time of the Chernobyl explosion was Yuriy Samoilenko. He knew there were risks associated with nuclear energy but felt misled by the government in Moscow about the scope of the blasts. The power plant is 60miles north of the biggest population center in Ukranian.

“Moscow developed nuclear energy above all to control everything — to keep it close and protected from possible conflict,” says Oleksandr Sukhodolia, a Ukrainian energy policy expert.

She heard from friends and relatives who worked at the Chernobyl plant that authorities would cut corners and pump up power production for the USSR to export to other Eastern bloc countries.

The Chernobyl cleanup took a substantial chunk of newly independent Ukraine’s national budget. Meanwhile, dependence on nuclear energy crept up to 55% of the country’s production, according to the IAEA. That rate of production is second only to France.

I didn’t understand why we needed to be independent. Samoilenko knows that we are no less deserving of dignity than Russians.

Green World was founded by environmental scientists who joined with the dissidents. The group pushing for Ukrainian independence was a tolerated group by the Soviet government.

“The only way to protect the environment is through democratic action — because everybody has to be involved in protecting the things that affect everybody,” says Samoilenko.

She is afraid of the Russians: A retired mayor’s experience with the Zaporizhzhia area of Kupovate

Sophia Arkadiyivna is now retired as mayor of her hometown of Kupovate. Ukraine’s government erased the village from the map in 1999. That’s because it’s in the 60-mile-wide “exclusion zone,” which was deemed too dangerous for the public after the Chernobyl disaster.

She returned to teaching despite the dangers, even after she retired from her other job. The government turns a blind eye to pensioners like her who opted to return to their abandoned houses. She spends most days now alone, tending to her garden, her main source of sustenance.

She speaks Ukrainian and uses a few words in the process. This village is closer to the border with Belarus — just 10 miles to the east — than to the former Chernobyl plant. She used to think there was no different between Ukrainians, Belarusians and Russians.

“Us old folks raised our kids to believe in God: Don’t steal, don’t kill, don’t bother anyone, live virtuously, have a soul, help people,” she says while angrily chopping vegetables to pickle for the winter.

Hundreds of other retirees like her lived through the Russian occupation of the exclusion zone in March, as did thousands of Ukrainian officials and workers who continue to maintain the vital power infrastructure that passes through the zone.

Oleksandr Havrylenko, the safety chief in the exclusion zone, says the Russians stole radios, tires, batteries or alternators from his entire fleet of vehicles. Many had damage to windows or doors.

Instead of working on necessary tasks around the zone, Havrylenko and his team are still cleaning up after the Russian occupation. Having survived the month-long occupation, though, they can hardly imagine the stress that people working at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant are under.

The top official with the Ukrainian agency that manages the exclusion zone says that he is very scared. He’s worked on the Chernobyl Cleanup for 37 years.

After Russia took control of the territory, Ukrainian nuclear workers were forced to sign contracts acknowledging their Russian control, according to the power utility.


Ukraine’s Next Major Attack on the Russov Defense Forces: A Skype Talk with the Prime Minister of the European Commission and France’s Prime Minister

Ackermann says people want their energy production to be even more local. They’re looking to the lifestyles of people like Arkadiyivna, relying on off-grid utilities like batteries and solar panels to survive.

The threat of banning the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukrainian has prompted Ukrainian authorities to increase raids on churches, and many are watching to see if Zelenskyy follows through.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will be in Paris with the prime minister of Norway to have dinner.

The conference will be held in France and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will give a video address.

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was freed Dec. 8 after nearly 10 months in Russian detention and following months of negotiations. Her release occurred in exchange for handing over a convicted Russian arms dealer. Griner is back in the U.S. and reunited with her wife. According to a report, Bout has joined an ultranationalist party.

The new measures against Russian oil revenue took effect. The price cap and embargo on most Russian oil imports are included.

Russian forces began their next major offensive in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk, attacking Ukrainian defensive lines and making marginal advances, according to the Institute for the Study of War. Analysts at the Atlantic Council also said Russian forces are pushing to encircle Bakhmut, a city in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

President Zelenskyy had a phone call with President Biden on Dec. 11, as well as the leaders of France and Turkey, in an apparent stepping up of diplomacy over the 9 1/2-month-long Russian invasion.

The largest assault since November 2014 in the Donetsk area of Kherson, Ukraine, according to a Russian-installed official

Ukrainian forces have unleashed the biggest attack on the occupied Donetsk region since 2014, according to a Russia-installed official, in the wake of heavy fighting in the east of the country.

A key in the city’s intersection had come under fire and forty rockets from BM-21 were fired at civilians in the city.

The military administration of the area says that the attacks continued in Kherson despite the city being liberated by Ukrainian forces in November. Shelling also set a multi-storey apartment building ablaze, and the body of a man was found in one apartment, the Ukrainian Prosecutor-General’s Office said. The city is still struggling to restore basic services.

A volunteer member of the rapid response team was one of the victims. He said that they were killed by fragments of enemy shells when they were on the street.

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

The US government gave machinery and generators to the city, according to the mayor.

Four excavators and more than 130 generators were delivered by The Energy Security Project. There was no charge for the equipment.

Russia is open to solutions that would bring about an end to the Ukrainian war: Zelensky’s response to Putin’s three-step proposal

He said that Russia was open to solutions that would bring about an end to the war. Putin’s claim that he is open to negotiating was roundly dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a ruse.

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

“And these realities indicate that the Russian Federation has new subjects,” he said, referring to four areas Russia has claimed to have annexed, Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia.

Two US officials and a senior administration official say that the Biden administration is making plans to send the most advanced ground-based air defense system in the US to Ukraine. The Ukraine government has requested the system for many years to protect it from Russian missile and drones. The system would be the most effective long range defensive weapon system sent to the country, and it would help prevent terrorist attacks in eastern Europe.

Zakharova said that many experts were questioning the rationality of such a step, which would lead to an escalation of the conflict, and increase the risk of dragging the US army into combat.

Until then, US officials had argued that the Patriot system was too complex and scarce to give to Ukraine. Those arguments were thrown away by Russia’s campaign on civilian infrastructure.

Asked Thursday about Russian warnings that the Patriot system would be “provocative,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. The comments would not have an affect on US assistance to Ukranian.

“I find it ironic and very telling that officials from a country that brutally attacked its neighbor in an illegal and unprovoked invasion … that they would choose to use words like provocative to describe defensive systems that are meant to save lives and protect civilians,” Ryder told reporters.

NATO troops on the ground are not part of the equation. NATO does not have planes in the air over Ukraine. But we are supporting Ukraine in their right to defend themselves,” he said.

Russia shared a video of the installation of a Yars intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo in the Kaluga region for the commander of the Kozelsky missile formation.

In a Russian state TV appearance this week, Alexander Khodakovsky, commander of the Russian militia in the eastern part of the country, said Russia wouldn’t defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.

In the trenches: Volodymyr Viatrovych, a former Ukrainian prime minister and historian in Kiev’s history of war with the United States

Unlike smaller air defense systems, Patriot missile batteries need much larger crews, requiring dozens of personnel to properly operate them. The training for Patriot missile batteries normally takes multiple months, a process the United States will now carry out under the pressure of near-daily aerial attacks from Russia.

Zelensky was quoted in an interview with The Economist as saying he doesn’t agree with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s suggestion that the territory seized by Russia should be reclaimed by Ukrainians only.

Jens Stoltenberg told France 24 that NATO still has two main objectives, one being to provide aid to Ukraine and the other to make sure that NATO don’t get involved in the war.

The recent strikes by Russians highlight how the Russian military has a history of unsafe storage in the past, according to Britain’s Ministry of Defense.

“You load the ammunition and you cross your fingers and hope it’s gonna fire or when it lands that it’s gonna explode,” said the official, speaking to reporters.

In the trenches. CNN’s Will Ripley filed a video report from trenches and fortifications being built along Ukraine’s border with Belarus, where there is growing concern about Russia once again assembling troops. Ripley is talking to a sewing machine repairman.

“The Russian empire started to expand with Ukraine. Many Russians think their empire cannot exist without Ukraine. That’s why they keep coming back,” said Volodymyr Viatrovych, a member of Ukraine’s parliament and a prominent historian.

Kateryna and Oleg moved to a safer area when the invasion began, like many other people from the capital. But they never wanted to leave the country. The draw of home brought them back to the city.

He went to parliament inorder to declare martial law. By 2 p.m. that day, he received a rifle so he could join the security forces defending the capital.

A war that is still playing out was the subject of high drama. But as an historian, Viatrovych also sees the actions of President Vladimir Putin as part of a pattern of behavior by Russian leaders.

The building where independence was declared in 1918 is still standing. It was destroyed by a blast and rebuilt by the people of Ukraine, as declared by the Ukrainian House of Teachers

The office for the Ukrainian House of Teachers is located in a whitewashed building that still stands, and was where the country first declared independence from Russia in 1918.

The blast blew out the windows, as well as parts of the glass ceiling in the hall where independence was declared in 1918. The windows are boarded up. Shards of glass still cover the floor.

Steshuk Oleh, the director of the House of Teachers, said that there were parallels to a century ago. The building was damaged during the fighting. And now it has been damaged a second time. But don’t worry. We will rebuild everything.”

“If you look at all the hardships that Ukraine experienced in the 20th century, and they’re vast, this is the moment where all the wrongs of the last hundred plus years need to be redressed,” he said.

December 1991 was when the Ukrainians held a referendum on independence. Ninety-two percent voted in favor of going their own way. The Soviet Union collapsed later that month.

“I believe our generation has an opportunity to put an end to this. Ukrainians are more united, more mobilized, more ready to fight than in 1918,” he said.

Zelensky said that Russia is not in the war with NATO as its propagandists say. It isn’t for something historical. It’s for one person to remain in power until the end of his life.

When he entered politics 15 years ago Kasparov still lived in Russia. When it became clear his safety was at risk, he left Russia, and now lives in New York.

The Russian attack on Ukraine: what we’ve learned from the air raid sirens, the playground window, the water shortage and the crowded streets of Odesa

The war is unlikely to produce a clear resolution on the battlefield according to many military analysts. It is likely to require negotiations and compromises.

“Being a buffer zone or gray zone is not good from a geopolitical point of view,” he said. “If you are a gray zone between two security blocs, two military blocs, everybody wants to make a step. This has happened with Ukraine.”

The Prime Minister of Ukraine said that the goal of the attackers was to leave Ukrainians without light, water and heat.

As I write, Russia has just fired dozens of Kalibr missiles towards several cities in Ukraine, including my adopted city of Odesa. Air raid sirens blare as we run for shelter. My landlady brings me a pot of borscht to help create a sense of normalcy.

An explosion near a playground rattled the windows of nearby homes. In the event of a water shortage, Vitaliy told residents to charge their electronic devices and fill water containers.

Moscow air attack on a Russian missile target in the city of Kryvyi Rih and emergency power outages in Odesa

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

The air attacks on Friday in Ukraine, in which an supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a Kinzal hypersonic missile was seen, were also witnessed by Belarus. But it was not clear from their statement whether a Kinzal was used in the attacks.

Kirby said that Russia’s defense industrial base was being taxed. They’re struggling to keep up with that pace. We know that he’s (Russian President Vladimir Putin’s) having trouble replenishing specifically precision guided munitions.”

He did not give any details on the next package of assistance but did say that more air defense capabilities should be expected.

“Water supply has been restored to all residents of the capital. Half of Kyiv residents already have heating and we are working to restore it to all residents of the city,” the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a post on Telegram on Saturday.

Rescuers have pulled the body of an 18-month-old boy from the rubble of an apartment block that was destroyed by a Russian missile in the city of Kryvyi Rih.

The boy’s parents and a 64-year-old woman were also killed, according to local officials. Another 13 people, including four children, were injured, Reznichenko said.

The apartment block that was hit was home to over 100 people, according to the head of the city’s military administration. They and residents of neighboring homes which also suffered damage are being looked after in a temporary accommodation, he said Friday.

Oleh Synie Hubv, head of the regional military administration, said that critical infrastructure facilities were hit in the northeastern city of Kharkiv.

Emergency power outages were rolled out in Odesa because of the missile attacks. “They are introduced due to the threat of missile attacks to avoid significant damage if the enemy manages to hit energy facilities,” DTEK, a utility company, said in a statement.

The minister said that 9 power-generating facilities were damaged in the attacks and warned of more emergency power cuts.

Zelensky, Putin, and the Path to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The Voices of Putin, Putin and Putin

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 host, French President, hugged Putin, but did not shake Zelensky’s hand.

In the days leading up to Russia’s full-scale invasion, Zelensky was in a steep, downward trajectory in popularity ratings from the all-time high in the first days of his administration.

Failure to demonstrate further progress on the battlefield with billions of dollars worth of military kit could stir unease among Western backers. But capitulation to Russia would be a political death sentence.

Mikhail was editor in chief of the independent Dozhd TV news channel before becoming a journalist. He is the author of “All the Kremlin’s Men”. Inside the Court of Vladimir Putin” and upcoming book “War and Punishment. Putin, Zelensky, and the Path to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine.

He knew what he needed to do after being attacked by someone like Vladimir Putin, says Yevhen Hlibovytsky, the founder of the think.

This, after all, is the leader who when offered evacuation by the US as Russia launched its full-scale invasion, quipped: “I need ammunition, not a ride.”

Who can forget the infamous phone call after which Trump was impeached, when Zelensky implored the US President for help to deter an aggressive Russia? Trump asked if he could push for an investigation against Biden but he claimed that Biden was the most effective opponent.

The campaign celebration of Zelensky in a renovated nightclub where he thanked his supporters for a huge victory seems a long way from now. 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. Following the invasion, Zelensky’s ratings approval went up to 90% and remain high today. 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, a press conference held on the platform of a Kyiv metro station in April featured perfect lighting and curated camera angles to emphasize a wartime setting.

As for his skills as comforter in chief, I remember well the solace his nightly televised addresses brought in the midst of air raid sirens and explosions in Lviv.

The New Millennium: Bringing Out the Vicious: Celebrating Zelensky at a Crossroads in the Wars of Russia and Ukraine

Zelensky wears T-shirts and hoodies, rather than suits, in a way to show his confidence and competence to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such.

“He is probably more comfortable than Putin on camera, too, both as an actor and as a digital native,” she added. Zelensky is definitely doing a better job balancing authority with accessibility as I believe both of them want to come across as personable.

Journeying to where her husband can’t, Zelenska has shown herself to be an effective communicator in international fora – projecting empathy, style and smarts. During her visit to London, she met King Charles at the refugee assistance center in the Holy Family Cathedral. (Curiously, TIME magazine did not include Zelenska on the cover montage and gave only a passing reference in the supporting text).

Zelensky has strong international influence, but there are signs that may be waning. Zelensky tried to get the price cap set at $30, but the G7 ignored him and imposed a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian crude.

As Zelensky said in a recent nightly video address: “No matter what the aggressor intends to do, when the world is truly united, it is then the world, not the aggressor, determines how events develop.”

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

The second are precision-guided munitions for Ukrainian jets. Russia and Ukraine are mostly equipped with dumb weaponry that is fired at a target. Ukraine has been provided with more and more Western standard precision artillery and missiles, like Howitzers and HIMARS respectively.

Moscow is struggling to equip and rally its conventional forces, and appears to have run out of new cards to play. It’s less likely now that India and China are against using nuclear force due to their statements against it.

Russia constantly complains about these deliveries but has been relatively quiet in the way it responds to crossing what could have been seen as red lines.

Whatever the truth of the matter, Biden wants Putin to hear about huge sums of money in order to draw Russia into the war, to push European partners to help more, and to makeUkraine’s resources seem out of thin air.

The remnants of the Trumpist party have doubts about how much aid the US should send to eastern Europe.

Realistically, the bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this dark and lengthy conflict is relatively light for Washington, given its near trillion-dollar annual defense budget.

She made her comments after Zelensky spoke from the US Capitol and expressed gratitude for American assistance in fighting Russian aggression since it began.

The speech asked us to think about the Ukrainian people and their families when we celebrate Christmas and to remember that they are on the frontlines of the war.

Clinton, who met Putin before becoming US secretary of state, said he was impossible to predict as the war began to favor Ukraine and his reputation began to fade.

“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.

Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West gives to the Ukrainian government, it will not accomplish anything.

Russia is preparing for a great increase in violence. It is training and doing drills. I can tell you that we don’t exclude any scenario in the next two to three weeks, when it comes to offensive from different directions.

At Zelensky’s request, US officials have provided input on a 10-point peace plan Zelensky has been showcasing since November, National Security Council official John Kirby said last week.

Peskov told journalists, however, that Wednesday’s meeting showed the US is waging a proxy war of “indirect fighting” against Russia down “to the last Ukrainian.”

The country has undergone a state of change since Russia invaded it. Ukrainians had to relearn how to think of what is normal as being monthly, weekly, daily and hourly.

At first glance, the war was not visible during the summer months. “Normal” would mean bustling restaurants and bars, and the people were happy with the victories of both the Russians and Ukrainians.

The summer’s chorus of birds and street musicians gave way in the fall to more ominous sounds, like the steady purr of generators. Nowadays, Kyiv’s winter “normal” is a combination of scheduled and impromptu power, water and network disruptions, as a result of Russia’s frequent missile assaults on the city.

As Ukraine nears the one-year anniversary of the invasion, Kyiv’s newest normal may be darker and colder, but life goes on: Volunteers sew camouflage netting and build power banks, soldiers go to church, and people visit Christmas markets, wearing headlamps to navigate darkened streets.

The crisis in Ukraine, from the perspective of the civilian population: Why Russia can’t defend itself against missile attacks in the air-defense system, according to a commentator

Since some cruise missiles are launched from bombers that fly from the airfields hit in the attacks, the strikes could potentially destroy the missiles on the ground at the Russian airfields before they can be deployed.

He stated that he was not speaking for the government and could not confirm the strikes. There is absolutely no strategic reason not to try to do this.”

Serhiy Hrabskiy, a retired colonel and commentator on the war for Ukrainian news media, said that Ukraine’s military has not hesitated to hit airfields, fuel tanks and ammunition depots that are legitimate military targets. Targeting sites in Crimea and cross-border artillery duels have become routine as the war has moved closer to Russia and the occupied peninsula.

The Kinzhal, the most sophisticated missile in Russia’s arsenal, is limited in supply and it is almost impossible to shoot it down.

If you mess with the human body, it’s like putting all sorts of systems out of whack, according to a director of a think tank who recently returned from a trip to the Ukrainian capital. It’s an enormous economic cost when you consider how inconvenient and confusing it is. It is an attempt to create pain for the civilian population so they know that the government cannot adequately protect them.

Several residential buildings in the capital Kyiv were destroyed, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the lead for disaster response in the Ukrainian presidential office.

Maksym Marchenko, the administrator for that region along the Black Sea, said that the air defense systems shot down 21 cruise missiles near Odesa. But successful missile strikes left the city without electricity or water.

Strikes of the scale have been less frequent since Oct. 10. Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said this week that Russia was running low on cruise missiles.

In separate comments to Russian media Wednesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted Moscow would continue to pursue its objectives in Ukraine with “perseverance” and “patience.”

Living in the dark: a Ukrainian woman’s fearful tale of blackout, murder, and invasion during the first year of the Russian occupation of Ukraine

Anna Kovalchuk, another Kyiv resident, said she was determined not to let the Russians ruin her upcoming celebrations. “I’m more worried that most likely there will be no electricity on New Year’s Eve and the holiday will have to be spent in the dark. But I began to prepare myself for such a scenario in advance, stocked up on garlands, power banks, so the blackout would upset us, but not stop us,” she told CNN.

This news is good news for the people of the city who struggle with the fact that they don’t know if they will be able to cook a breakfast or if they will have to rush downstairs to take shelter. The family doesn’t have a generator, after a few explosions, authorities roll out a public information campaign, and some people install them on balconies, despite the fact that it’s not safe to use them indoors. They worry about how the stress has impacted their daughter Liza, who now draws pictures of Russian missiles before bedtime.

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

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

Putin insisted his forces were embarking on a limited military campaign, suggesting it would wrap up in a few weeks.

The one-year mark of the war brings up many emotions, including deep admiration for the Ukrainian people as well as disgust over the Russian offensive. But another feeling comes up, too, that doesn’t get talked about enough: awe at the breathtaking waste of war.

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.

The War in Ukraine Has Left Russia Isolated and Struggling with More Tortuttle-Ahelved: The View from a Global Perspective

The military or leadership is not spared by the laws passed in February. Women make up 45% of those arrested for protesting against the war, according to a leading independent monitoring group.

Long prison sentences for questioning the conduct or strategy of the Russian army was meted out to high profile opposition voices.

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 vastly expanded by the state in order to argue that the war in Ukraine has a bigger attack on traditional values.

For now, repressions remain targeted. There are some new laws that are not enforced. It’s possible that the measures are intended to crush wider dissent.

Leading independent media outlets and a handful of vibrant, online investigative startups were forced to shut down or relocate abroad when confronted with new “fake news” laws that criminalized contradicting the official government line.

There are restrictions on internet users as well. In March, American social media giants were banned. Over 100,000 websites have been blocked by the internet regulator in Russia since the start of the conflict.

Technical workarounds such as VPNs and Telegram still offer access to Russians seeking independent sources of information. Older Russians enjoy watching angry TV talk shows and state media propaganda.


What Putin Did to Make Russia Great Again and What He Did in the First Two Years of World War II: The Legacy of the Russian Exodus

Thousands of perceived government opponents, including activists and civil society workers, left in the early days of the war because they were afraid of persecution.

Yet Putin’s order to mobilize 300,000 additional troops in September prompted the largest outflow: Hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled to border states including Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Georgia in an attempt to avoid the draft.

Some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus believe their economies will grow even though Russians are still a sensitive issue for former Soviet republics.

Russia’s economy did weaken as a result. It also showed resilience. Russia diverted its oil to Asia as demand fell in Europe. The country’s central bank staved off a currency crisis with aggressive capital controls and interest rate hikes. Military expenditure supported the industrial sector, while the scramble to replace Western equipment and technology lifted investment.

Over the next year, cracks will start to show and they will widen. The European Union spent more than $100 billion on Russian fossil fuels in just one year. The bloc, which dramatically reduced its dependence on Russian natural gas last year, officially banned most imports of Russian crude oil by sea in December. It enacted a similar block on refined oil products this month.

The economic damage has already put an end to Putin’s two-decades strong reputation for providing “stability” — once a key basis for his support among Russians who remember the chaotic years that followed the collapse of the USSR.

The government has not changed its tone when it comes to Russia’s military campaign. Daily briefings from Russia’s Defense Ministry recount endless successes on the ground. Putin, too, repeatedly assures that everything is “going according to plan.”

The sheer length of the war suggests Russia underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainians to resist.

It’s a taboo subject in the US to mention the actual number of Russian losses. Western estimates place that figure at more than a thousand dollars higher.

Petraeus: This question gets at one of the ironies of the situation. Putin set out to “Make Russia Great Again.” However, what he has done is make NATO great again – with two very capable, historically neutral powers (Finland and Sweden) seeking NATO membership; with substantially increased defense spending by NATO members, most notably Germany; with augmentation of NATO forces in the Baltic states and eastern Europe; and with the greatest unity among NATO members since the end of the Cold War.

The Soviet times would be hard for longtime allies in Central Asia to criticize Russia’s actions because of their own sovereignty. India and China have purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped giving full support to the Russian military campaign.

The Russian General Staff Describes the Operation ‘Invasion of the Donetsk Region’ by Gen Gen. Gen. Igor Zelensky

The state of the nation address was scheduled to take place in April, but it won’t happen until next year. Putin’s annual “direct line” — a media event in which Putin fields questions from ordinary Russians — was canceled outright.

The December “big press conference” is a semi-staged affair that allows the Russian leader to handle questions from mostly pro-Kremlin media.

The US military had assessed it would take as long as until May for the Russian military to regenerate enough power for a sustained offensive, but Russian leaders wanted action sooner. A senior US military official told CNN that the US now believes that Russian forces are going to move before they are ready.

Zelensky said that the Russian leader is hiding behind the troops, behind missiles, and behind his own people. He hides behind you, burning your country and your future. No one will ever forgive you for terror,” Zelensky emphasized.

Three people died and three more were wounded in the Donetsk region, Deputy Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Kyrylo Tymoshenko said on Telegram.

There was a person wounded. Two were killed and one wounded in the Kharkiv region. Two people were wounded and one died in the Kherson region.

The enemy carried out 26 air strikes on civilian infrastructure. The 10 Shahed-136s that were used by the occupant were shot down. In addition, the enemy made 80 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, civilian settlements were also hit,” the General Staff said in its latest operational update.

Inviting Russia to Help Ukraine During the Second World War: Violation of Crimea’s Law and the Victims’ Right to Vulnerabilities

Russia continues to engage in offensive actions at the Bakhmut and Lyman directions, and is attempting to improve the tactical situation at the Avdiivka and Kupiansk directions.

The life support system for the capital is functioning normally. Currently, 30% of consumers are without electricity. He said that it was due to emergency shutdowns.

Klitschko also reported that the restrictions were applied to check the open section of the red metro line in the city “for the presence of remnants of missile debris.”

I really want to win and have more positive emotions from now on. I’m very much missing it. I want to travel and open borders as well. And I also think about personal and professional growth, because one should not stand still. I have to develop and work for the benefit of the country,” said Alyona Bogulska, a 29-year-old financier.

It is a symbol of survival, not a small victory, says a 43 year old pharmacy employee.

“On New Year’s Eve, cities should be covered by wave of celebration, joy and hope. Ukrainian cities are again covered by missile wave from Russia,” Zelenska tweeted.

There were many notable moments from the war, including the attack on the maternity hospital, the fighting at the Azovstal steel plant, and the destruction of the Russian bridge to Crimea, as Mr. Zelensky detailed in a videotaped speech.

“This year has struck our hearts,” he said, according to a translated transcript posted on his official website. We cried out all the tears. The prayers have been said. 311 days. Every minute there’s something we have to say.

The Crimes of Crime: Crime, Repression, and the War on Crime. The Crime of Crime in Ukraine, as Revealed by a Family of Ukrainians

All Ukrainians are involved in the defense of Ukraine, said Mr. Zelensky. He said that it was not right to think of it as a year of losses.

The world has come together over Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky said, from the halls of government to the main squares of foreign cities.

America has done this before. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most dangerous nuclear confrontation so far, the Soviet Union’s position shifted in a matter of days, ultimately accepting an outcome that favored the West. Had “red lines” thinking been in vogue, America might well have accepted an inferior compromise that weakened its security and credibility.

Like many other Ukrainians, they helped a family that had fled the frontlines earlier in the war. The mother had given birth in the midst of Russian shelling of their hometown of Kreminna in eastern Luhansk region. When the family settled in a Kyiv suburb, Oleg and Kateryna helped them out with warm clothes and food.

They are also preparing for the arrival of twin boys. Kateryna, who is 34, is eight months pregnant. CNN agreed to use only first names for her and Oleg as they fear for their privacy.

The Poltava dacha: an apartment in the city for living under the sirens or the twins of Sergei Sergei

When the sirens aren’t wailing, Kateryna said, there is another noise that is new to her neighborhood: the chattering of generators as homes and businesses try to compensate for being without electricity twelve for as much as 12 hours a day.

Kateryna still uses one of the co-working spaces that have popped up across the Ukrainian capital despite the risk and the imminent arrival of the twins.

The spaces have become quite professional thanks to furniture, heat, lighting and reliable internet provided through Starlink terminals, purchased from the company owned by Musk.

Yevtushenko said that Russia’s attacks have made people more determined and that it became a meme: without water, but without streetlights, but without you. But it’s not as easy to be self-sufficient in the city, adding that he’s thankful his parents live in a dacha in the Poltava region, where they have everything they need — a wood fire, well and garden.

Kateryna says she sometimes needs to shop with a flashlight, since there isn’t enough food in the stores. They keep about two months’ worth of food supplies stacked in the house, just in case the situation goes from bad to worse.

“I have thought about moving maybe, but only for a quick moment, because we’ve been waiting to reach our dream for so long. This apartment, our home,” Lysenko said.

The Makiivka Crisis: Why Ukraine and the US are Frustrated? Kateryna is concerned by the Russian Defense Ministry and the Pentagon

Kateryna feels they are both involved in the effort to secure Ukraine’s future. She helped raise money for warm clothes and equipment for the Ukrainian army in the early months of her pregnancies.

“The company my husband works for has a fund and they help the Ukrainian fighters who are on the front line with equipment like drones and pick-up trucks. She said they helped collect money for the equipment.

I want my kids to be safe in a free Ukranian. They have the right to safety and protection just like all other children in the world. She wants them to live a happy life and not be afraid of dying from a rocket.

Her one concern – beyond giving birth to healthy children – is that she might find herself lying in the hospital amid another wave of missile attacks. At that point, she will pray very hard, she said.

The Russian Defense Ministry said “the main cause” of the Makiivka strike was the widespread use of cell phones by Russian soldiers, “contrary to the ban,” which allowed Ukraine to “track and determine the coordinates of the soldiers’ locations.”

It is telling that days after the deadliest known attack on Russian servicemen, President Vladimir Putin called for a temporary ceasefire, citing the Orthodox Christmas holiday. The move was rightly dismissed by Ukraine and the US as a cynical attempt to seek breathing space amid a very bad start to the year for Russian forces.

Russian officials said that the school where the forces were housed was hit by four Ukrainian-launched rockets. (Another two HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses).

Petraeus: There will be several new features this year, most significantly the additional capabilities on the Ukrainian side: Western tanks and infantry fighting vehicles; longer-range and larger precision munitions for the US-provided HIMARS (high mobility artillery rocket systems) that will enable precise strikes out to 150 kilometers (twice the range of the current precision munition); additional air defense systems of various types; augmented air defenses and additional wheeled armored vehicles, as well as enormous quantities of additional ammunition of all types.

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

It’s a view shared by other experts. The director of the Strategic Technologies Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said that bad security communications are a standard practice in the Russian Army.

There are some troops killed in Makiivka that appear to be conscripts, and they are part of a larger picture of Russian soldiers being shipped to the front lines with very poor equipment and weapons.

A number of inmates from Russian prisons were freed and sent to the Ukrainian front after arriving in the war. Imagine the appeal of cell phones to prisoners used to years in isolation with little or no outside contact.

Semyon Pegov, who was awarded the Order of Courage by President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin two weeks ago, slammed the Ministry of Defense for its attempt to implicate the troops in the use of cell phones.

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

The Russian Army, Military and the Ukraine War: What Has the Military Learned? Investigated Moscow after the Makiivka Attack

The question is when the blame will begin shifting from the military to Putin himself, particularly since he has seemed ill-prepared to change the leadership at very the top. The last change was the appointment of Sergei Surovikin as the first person to be placed in overall command of all Russian forces on the Ukraine front — an army general formerly in charge of the brutal Russian bombardment of Aleppo in Syria.

A month earlier, the defense ministry underwent a shakeup when Col. Gen. Mikhail Y. Mizintsev, known to Western officials as the “butcher of Mariupol,” was named deputy defense minister for overseeing logistics, replacing four-star Gen. Dmitri V. Bulgakov, who had held the post since 2008. The location of the arms depot, adjacent to the Makiivka recruits, would likely have been on Mizintsev’s watch.

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

Biden administration stated the US was considering sending Bradley vehicles to Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron also announced he would be sending light tanks, though Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky was urging the dispatch of heavier battle tanks. All of which puts German Chancellor Olaf Scholz under increasing pressure to add its powerful Leopard 2 tanks to the mix.

Moscow claimed that a large number of Ukrainian troops were killed in eastern Ukraine after a Russian attack last week.

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

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

A rare public blame game broke out between the Russian government and some pro-Kremlin leaders and military experts in the aftermath of the strike, after Moscow appeared to blame its own soldiers’ use of cell phones.

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

A fresh barrage of missiles ripped through the city of Kramatorsk in eastern Ukraine Thursday, sending flames and thick plumes into the air as screaming civilians scrambled to find shelter.

CNN just arrived at the scene and heard the first strike on Kramatorsk. The second attack happened about one minute after CNN broadcasted the first. Two women jumped from their car and ran yelling while other civilians took shelter wherever they could. Shrapnel bounced off the blastproof glass of one CNN vehicle.

“A country bordering absolute evil. Reducing to zero the chance of tragedies happening again requires a country to overcome it. We will definitely find and punish all the perpetrators. They don’t deserve mercy.

Water Level at the Kakhovka Reservoir in Ukraine since the Kramatorsk Explosion in November of 2022: Evidence of Russian Operation

Russia launched a attack in Kramatorsk, just hours after a top official from the Ukrainian government said that Russia was ready for a big war in their country.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News that they will be defining months in the war.

Russia appears to be draining an enormous reservoir in Ukraine, imperiling drinking water, agricultural production and safety at Europe’s largest nuclear plant, according to satellite data obtained by NPR.

Since early November of 2022, water has been gushing out of the Kakhovka Reservoir, in Southern Ukraine, through sluice gates at a critical hydroelectric power plant controlled by Russian forces. As a result, satellite data shows that the water level at the reservoir has plummeted to its lowest point in three decades. The commercial companies Planet and Maxar showed the water pouring through the gates and shoreline as a result of the rapidly falling water levels.

The decreased water level may become a source of concern if it’s allowed to continue, according to the IAEA’s director General.

The reservoir is essential to supplying water to otherwise arid farmland in the southern part of the country, according to Brian Kuns, a geographer at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who has studied farming in southern Ukraine. Over 500,000 acres of farmland can be found on the network of canals leading from the reservoir. Kuns says it’s important in the area.

The explosion seemed to have destroyed the road, but left the dam’s sluice gates mostly intact.

However immediately after the detonation, it appears that Russian forces deliberately used two gantry cranes on the Russian-controlled side of the dam to open additional sluice gates, allowing water to rush out of the reservoir.

The result has been startling. A radar data shows that the level is 14 meters, 2 meters below its normal height. In the last 30 years of satellite observation, the water level has plummeted in the last few months.

The statement from the Zaporizhzhia Regional Military Administration also warned that several cities that rely on the reservoir, including Enerhodar, Melitopol and Berdyansk may face water shortages, though it noted that all three are currently under Russian occupation, so little is known about their water supply.

But Kuns is less certain of Russia’s intent. He states that most of the affected areas are in Russia. It’s quite odd that they’d be doing scorched-earth on the territory that they claim to want to keep.

For now, there’s little to be done except watch the water as it drains away. “I don’t know what the purpose of it is,” says Kuns. “But it is very worrying.”

Zelenskyy vs. Kuznetsk, Petraeus, and the Future of Warfare for Advanced Powers (The View from CNN)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise Europe tour, meeting leaders in London, Paris and Brussels, and reiterating his call for allies to send fighter jets to Ukraine.

The war in Ukraine received much less attention in the speech than last year and Ukrainian Ambassador to the US Oksana Markarova attended it.

The senior British official told CNN that they don’t think the Russian forces will be better organized or more successful.

According to a senior Ukrainian diplomat, they have enough manpower to take only one or two small cities. They were trying to build panic in Ukraine, but it was overwhelming.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Tuesday in Brussels that the US is not seeing Russia “massing its aircraft” ahead of an aerial operation against Ukraine.

Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. View more opinion on CNN.

Petraeus: I think we should recognize that, with a few exceptions, Ukraine is not the future of warfare. Had the Cold War turned hot in the mid 1980s, we would have seen mostly Cold War weapons systems,albeit with some modernization.

Petraeus, who criticized the Biden administration’s withdrawal of Afghanistan, strikes a different tone on Ukraine. The president’s team has done a wonderful job leading NATO and the west to counter the Russian invasion and there were times he would have liked to have seen more quickly made decisions on weapons systems.

Petraeus. It is not Russia. Russia has, after all, lost the Battles of Kyiv, Sumy, Chernihiv, and Kharkiv; failed to take the rest of Ukraine’s southern coast (not even getting through Mykolaiv, much less to the major port at Odesa).

The most significant gains will be made by the side that has the most well-equipped and capable forces. I think my bet is on Ukraine.

These are just suggestions of the future of war between advanced powers. The intelligence,surveillance, and reconnaissance systems would be more capable, with better range, speed, and explosion power in a conflict.

For the first time, we see a war taking place in a world that includes the widespread presence of smart phones, internet, and social media.

How NATO got its first shot at Vladivostok in January of 2017: How NATO was seen and killed, and why NATO is not going to be seen

There would be a much greater number of vastly more capable uncouth systems in every domain, not just in the air, but also at sea, on the ground, in outer space, and in cyberspace.

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.” In truth, we didn’t have the surveillance assets, precision munitions and other capabilities needed to truly “operationalize” that adage in those days. In the future, however, just about everything – certainly every platform, base and headquarters – will be seen and thus be susceptible to being hit and destroyed (unless there are substantial defenses and hardening of those assets).

We must transform our systems and forces by taking countless actions, that’s what this underscores. In order to deter future conflict, we need to make sure that there are no questions about our capabilities or willingness to employ them, as well as doing everything we can to ensure that competition among great powers does not turn into conflict.

Thanks to Putin the description of NATO as suffering from brain death by the French President in late January was more than a bit premature.

Petraeus: All of the above and more. The list is long, including poor campaign design; wholly inadequate training (what were they doing for all those months they were deployed on the northern, eastern, and southern borders of Ukraine?); poor command, control, and communications; inadequate discipline (and a culture that condones war crimes and abuse of local populations); poor equipment (exemplified by turrets blowing off of tanks when fires ignite in them); insufficient logistic capabilities; inability to achieve combined arms effects (to employ all ground and air capabilities effectively together); inadequate organizational architecture; lack of a professional noncommissioned officer corps; a top-down command system that does not promote initiative at lower levels and pervasive corruption that undermines every aspect of their military – and the supporting military-industrial complex.

Petraeus: Not at all. Russia is a country with an enormous military capacity and nuclear strength, as well as having great access to mineral and agricultural resources. The next largest European countries have populations of less than 80 million.

The Russian War in Ukraine: What have we learned from the Soviets? And what do we have to learn from the US embassy? — Petraeus’s perspective

A dictator who loves grievances and extreme revanchist views still leads it, even though his decision-making is severely undermined.

Bergen: You know the observation sometimes attributed to Stalin: “Quantity has a quality all its own.” Russia has a far bigger population than Ukraine: Will that make a critical difference to the Ukraine war over the long term?

More than a quarter of a million new recruits and mobilized reservists are going to be sent to the frontlines by the end of the year. And that is 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.

It has been demonstrated that the Ukrainians have excelled in the use of McGyver solutions such as fixing battle damaged armored vehicles left on the battlefield by the Russians.

I know that it’s harder to make tough decisions from the outside than it is in office, having sat around the Situation Room table in the West Wing of the White House. But there are some additional capabilities (advanced drones, even longer-range precision munitions, fighter aircraft, and additional air defense and counter-drone capabilities) that I would like to see us provide sooner rather than later.

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). They don’t have any more MiGs to provide, they have more pilots than aircraft at this point.

So, we might as well begin the process of transition, noting that it will take a number of months, regardless, to train pilots and maintenance personnel. The Administration has done an amazing job in this situation, and I think they will have a big impact on other situations around the world.


Using mercenaries in Russia to end the black-sea-water war: How do the Chinese learn about the threat of invasion?

Bergen: The quasi-private Wagner Group is the force that Putin sends into the meat grinder of the toughest battles. Any thoughts on using mercenaries, many of whom are convicts, as a tactic?

The use of mercenaries in Russia is innovative but also inhumane, as it entails throwing soldiers into battle with little or no concern for their survival.

These techniques and practices do not promote the development of well-trained, disciplined, capable, and cohesive units that 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 may think about this question differently after the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea navy.

A population that will fight for its survival is more likely to support such an operation with major powers behind it, and economic sanctions and export controls.

The consequences of using nuclear weapons for Russia would be catastrophic, to quote the US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, so it is critical that the leaders of the US and other western nations convey this clearly and repeatedly.


How does the war end in Ukraine? Is it possible to tell me how the end of the war in Ukraine is coming to an end?

Petraeus. I think it is. This is the first war in which social media and smartphones have been available to so many people. The result is unprecedented transparency and an extraordinary amount of information available – all through so-called “open sources.”

Ukrainian forces will be more capable than the Russians at achieving the kind of combined arms effects I have described, which will enable much more effective offensive operations and will unhinge some of the Russian defenses. 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.

Bergen: In 2003, at the beginning of the Iraq War, you famously asked a rhetorical question: “Tell me how this ends?” How does the war end in Ukraine?

The person is Petraeus The end of the war is likely to come in a negotiated resolution when Putin recognizes the war is unsustainable both on the battlefield and on the home front, which have been heavily impacted by the economic downturn.

Also when Ukraine reaches the limits of its ability to withstand missile and drone strikes, getting a Marshall-like plan (developed by the US and G7) to help rebuild the country, and gaining an ironclad security guarantee (either NATO membership or, if that is not possible, a US-led coalition guarantee).

February 23, 2022 is the evening. In Kyiv, the boss of a news site relaxes with a bath and candles. In Zaporizhzhia, a young woman goes to bed planning to celebrate her husband’s birthday in the morning. A journalist in Moscow is planning on going to Kyiv.

February 23, 2022: a day after the last day of World War II. Zaporizhzhia and a year before the end of the world

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.

February 23, 2022, Zaporizhzhia. I went to bed thinking that I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. My husband is the proprietor of his own business. Our daughter had started school and made friends there. We were lucky to have arranged support services and found a special needs nursery for our son. I had some time to work. I felt happy.


Putin is coming to terms with the war. Why did we move to a country where we had to live? — One year after the invasion put us into a Russian wrap

Completely exhausted, crushed and scared, we had to brace ourselves and come to terms with our forced displacement. I will always be grateful to everyone who helped us adjust to our new life in a foreign land.

Thanks to the opportunities for Ukrainians provided by the Czech Republic, my husband got a job. I found special needs classes for my son. He has been to an adaptation group for Ukrainian children, as well as a learning support assistant. My daughter goes to a Czech school while studying in her Ukrainian school remotely.

That morning we woke up to learn that the invasion started. I wrote an open letter denouncing the war, which was co-signed by 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures. Soon it was published, and tens of thousands of Russian citizens added their signatures.

We left Russia on the third day. I felt that it was some kind of moral obligation. I could no longer stay on the territory of the state that has become a fascist one.

We moved to Berlin and found ourselves there. The main railway station was the site of a refugee camp where thousands of Ukrainians had arrived every day. And I started writing a new book. It begins like this.


How did I get my Russian citizenship? How I became a diplomat during the Russian invasion of 1932-33 and how I became an Orwellian anti-utopia

I’m aware the Russian people have an illness with imperialism. We must come a long way to heal our country from the idea that Russia was a great empire.

Since the Russian invasion started, I have been haunted by the darkness in my father’s eyes during the re-telling of the chilling stories of relatives shipped off to the soviet gulag, never to return. There were millions of Ukrainians who died in the famine of 1932-33.

My passport depicts a novel in stamps after a full-scale invasion. I teach literature in London, but also in Ukranian, and get my lessons in courage.

I expected to die from addictions a long time ago, but my former classmates have volunteered to fight them. My hairdresser and her mother, grandmother and dogs fled from the Russia-occupied town of Bau to the forest, where they hid for over a week.

Andrei Kolesnikov is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of several books on the political and social history of Russia, including “Five Five-Year Liberal Reforms.” The origin of Russian modernization and the life and work of Egor Gaidar.

It seems that since February 2022 we have experienced several eras. The first was euphoric, when Putin suddenly, after a significant time of stagnant ratings, received more than 80% approval from the population.

And in the fall, public demobilization was replaced by mobilization – Putin demanded that citizens share responsibility for the war with him with their bodies. This caused a lot of anxiety, but the majority of the population preferred adaptation.

He canceled the future by aborting the past. 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 not easy to adapt to catastrophes like what happened to my family. I was labeled as a foreign agent by the authorities when I was an active commentator on the events, which made me look like an Orwellian anti-utopia.

On the evening of February 23 I washed my dog, cleaned the house, took a bath and lit candles. I own a one-bedroom apartment in the northern district of Kyiv. I loved taking care of it. The life I had was wonderful. There were the small routines and the struggles. That night was the last time my life mattered.

I spoke to my colleagues to organize a small army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. My parents need to organize buying supplies.

The life I was used to was soon falling apart, starting with small things. It no longer mattered what cup I used to drink my morning tea, or how I dressed, or whether or not I took a shower. Life itself no longer mattered, only the battle did.

Just a few weeks into the invasion, it was hard to recall some of the happier moments of the pre-war era. I would remember being upset about my boyfriend, but I could no longer relate. On February 24, my life was taken from me.

And besides the obvious battles, there was another one to fight – trying to claim my life back. The life Russia stole from me and millions of Ukrainians.

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 couldn’t enjoy my victories 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 so happy to follow our achievements, and it was my primary motivation to continue my career.

Life values have changed. Like never before, I enjoy every opportunity to see or talk to relatives and friends. I think that our victory is something that will lead to the return of our beloved country. But we need the world’s help.

The people of the United States and other countries have largely accepted their enormous costs in the support of the Ukrainians. The political resistance in the United States has been mostly from the far right and far left. When the war goes on, questions will become more common. There should be no blank check on anything, said Representative Kevin McCarthy, the speaker of the House, a Republican and a strong supporter of Ukraine.

The moral and ethical obligations of the world’s democracies to help a nation where freedom is threatened by an authoritarian power is some of the reasons why the response from the West was immediate. National self-determination is a guiding principle of American foreign policy. The US has honored it imperfectly and so does the country with so many guiding principles. But it remains valuable in finding a way forward. In sending an armored column toward Kyiv and seeking to overthrow its government, Mr. Putin clearly violated that principle, and threatens to return Europe to the instability of previous eras, when nations frequently invaded each other and altered the continent’s borders by force.

Gen. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thinks this is a critical moment. The battlefield is incredibly difficult and bloody and will play a large part in both President Zelenskyy and President Putin’s decision about whether or not to go.

“This is something that leads me to the question – for whom do we document all these crimes?” Oleksandra Matviichuk, the head of the Center for Civil Liberties, told us. “Because I’m not a historian, I’m a human rights lawyer, and we document human pain in order sooner or later to have all these Russians … brought to justice.”

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister and Ukrainian War-Anniversaries as a Probe of the First Days of World War II: Ukraine’s Nuclear Forces

Taiwan’s Foreign Minister said that his country is keeping a leery eye on China, while learning from the war in Ukraine.

“They have expandedist motivation.” They want to continue to expand their sphere of influence. They want to keep increasing their power. “If they don’t stop, then they will keep on walking,” he told us.

Natalia thinks that the family’s car was hit by Russian forces in the first days of the war. Her husband was killed, along with her 6-year-old nephew, Maxim. Vova survived the attack but was hospitalized for months with seven bullets in his body.


The First Day of the U.S. War: Joe Biden’s Plan to Warn Ukraine During the First Anniversary of the Ukrainian Invasion

The audio for this story was produced by Danny Hajek; edited by Barrie Hardymon and Natalie Winston. Additional editing and production help from Carol Klinger, Denise Couture and Nina Kravinsky. Hanna Palamarenko and Tanya Ustova provided reporting and translation help.

As the world prepares to mark the first anniversary of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden made a historic, unannounced visit to the capital of the embattled country.

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.

An Ukrainian service member, who asked to remain unnamed, said that it was incredible that the president was coming to the country at this time.

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 walks with a limp. But he has no shortage of courage (air raid sirens sounded over Kyiv while Biden was there) or, crucially, competence.

Biden showed the plan before it unfolded, revealing that Putin was going to make it appear as if the war was the result of a Ukrainian provocation. He came to the aid of the NATO alliance, which was trashed by Donald Trump.

A joyous Zelensky said Biden’s visit “brings us closer to victory,” adding it will “have repercussions on the battlefield in liberating our territories.”

GOP members criticized Biden for going to Ukraine. The trip was called “incredibly insulting” by Rep. MarjorieTaylorGreene. And Rep. Scott Perry — at the center of a legal dispute with the Justice Department over his cell phone in the special counsel’s January 6 probe — described as “breathtaking” that Biden would help Ukraine defend its borders and not do the same for America.

The hospital attack in Bashtanka: A wake-up call for international human rights laws to end the impunity for wanton violence against medical workers in Ukraine

Several patients were undergoing surgery and a number of women were in a labor ward at the time, Bashtanka Hospital director Alla Barsehian told CNN last week.

All patients were evacuated safely, but health care workers did not show up to work the next day. They had friends and family with them and they had to clean up the debris by hand. All windows and doors were covered in plastic wrap and the facility was reopened within a half day.

“We are the lifeblood of this district,” Barsehian said. After she returned to the destroyed buildings, patients approached her and asked when their next appointment was, which she realized they needed to carry on. We didn’t have time to think so we had to restore everything and keep doing our jobs.

The explosion in Bashtanka came just over a month after a similar attack destroyed Mariupol maternal hospital in March 2022. Russian officials then claimed that the hospital was a justifiable military target, but a pattern was emerging.

CNN reviewed a new analysis on the attacks on Ukrainian hospitals that happened during last year’s Russia invasion and found nearly one in 10 of them to have been damaged.

“These findings should be a wake-up call for the global community to act now to end impunity for wanton violence against health workers, in Ukraine and around the world,” Christian De Vos, report co-author and research director at Physicians for Human Rights, a US-based human rights NGO, told CNN.

At the time of the war, nearly 200 medical workers were either killed, injured, kidnapped or arrested because they were protected by international human rights laws.

Between February and December, researchers documented hundreds of health care attacks, including damage to facilities, strikes by ground-launched explosives, and other attacks, such as looting, denial of access to health care, and disruption of patients’ access to utilities necessary for medical care.

The method of warfare that was seen in the data is incompatible with the respect for international humanitarian law and needs to be addressed, Wille said.


United Nations Report on the Crimes of Crime against Humanity in Ukraine: Theoretical Interpretation of the Mariupol Data and its Report on Crimes in Crime

A survey conducted by the United Nations shows that almost one in three Ukrainians do not have access to medical services.

The areas that have seen active combat have less access to medical care for civilians than other areas. According to a previous research, 80% of Mariupol’s health care facilities have been destroyed leaving the city’s remaining 100,000 people vulnerable or elderly on their own. By June last year, at least 320,000 Mariupol citizens have either fled, been forcibly relocated or died, according to Mariupol’s City Council.

For locations that were impossible to reach due to combat or occupation, a group of Ukrainian and international investigators gathered social media reports and checked them against satellite imagery to verify that the events actually took place, Kovtoniuk said.

In indiscriminate bombing in populated areas, failing to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and deliberately directing attacks against medical units, transport, and personnel are all war crimes according to the Geneva Conventions. The United Nations considers intentional targeting of civilians a crime against humanity.

The coalition of investigators from the UHC, MIHR, PHR, Insecurity Insight and eyeWitness is urging the international legal community to investigate the evidence it gathered.

The report was “damning”, said Richard Goldstone, the former justice who helped endapartheid in South Africa. He said in an email that it would help to bring the criminals responsible for the atrocities to justice.

Stephen Rapp said the Tuesday report will probably be presented at a non-binding tribunal this week. Rapp, a former US ambassador-at-large for war crimes issues, is one of three judges hearing evidence on aggression in Ukraine. A tribunal will have to determine whether there is enough evidence to indict Putin and issue a warrant for his arrest. We hope the UN General Assembly will authorize the secretary general to enter into an agreement with Ukraine so that a tribunal can be set up to adjudicate cases of aggression in that country.


Putin’s Russia hasn’t Give Up: How Russia Survived the 2014 Crimea Crisis and What It Means for Modern Business and Economics

The hospital in Bashtanka was rebuilt by the end of summer 2022, according to Barsehian. And far from scaring the health workers away, the attacks have only made them more determined.

“The Russian economy and system of government have turned out to be much stronger than the West believed,” Putin said in a speech to Russia’s parliament Tuesday.

Russia’s economy contracted by 2% last year, according to a government estimate. But the hit was more limited than forecasters initially expected. When sanctions were first imposed, some economists predicted a contraction of 10% or 15%.

An expert on Russia’s economy said that the era of windfall profits from the oil and gas market is over.

The ruble has fallen to its weakest level against the US dollar in over a year. The currency’s weakness has contributed to high inflation. A recent survey revealed that most businesses can’t grow right now due to high levels of economic uncertainty.

One reason for Russia’s unexpected pluck was its push toward self-sufficiency following Putin’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Through a policy known as “Fortress Russia,” the government boosted domestic food production and policymakers forced banks to build up their reserves. That created a degree of “durability,” said Ash at Chatham House.

Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter of crude, was able to send barrels that would have gone to Europe to countries like China and India. The European Union imported an average of 3.3 million barrels of Russian crude and oil products a day in 2021, and it was still purchasing 2.3 million barrels per day as of November, according to the International Energy Agency.

The former deputy minister of finance of Russia said at the event that the question is about natural resources. The economy experienced a decline but didn’t go bust, he said.

After the European oil embargo took effect in January, the price of Urals crude fell to $48 a barrel, the lowest in almost a year. By comparison, the global benchmark stood around $82. That suggests that customers with a smaller pool of interested buyers are more likely to get a better deal. Russia’s 2023 budget is based on a Urals price of more than $70 per barrel.

Finding new buyers for processed oil products, which are also subject to new embargoes and price caps, won’t be easy either. Ben McWilliams said that China and India prefer to buy crude from their own refineries.


Russian Economy and Ukrainian Economy in the Post-World War II: The Challenge of 2023 for Russia and the Ruin of the Automobile Industry in Ukraine

“Whatever energy resources are obtained, they’ll be spent on military needs,” said Gulnaz Sharafutdinova, acting director of the Russia Institute at King’s College London.

The International Monetary Fund still expects Russia to grow in the next couple of years. Yet any outlook is contingent on what happens in Ukraine.

“Whether the economy shrinks or expands in 2023 will be determined by developments in the war,” Tatiana Orlova, an economist at Oxford Economics, wrote in a note to clients on Tuesday. Shortages of workers tied to military conscription and emigration pose a key risk, she noted.

Sectors that rely on imports have been particularly vulnerable. Domestic car makers such as Avtovaz, which manufactures the iconic Ladas, have struggled with shortages of key components and materials.

Russia’s auto industry was already weakened after companies such as Volkswagen

            (VLKAF), Renault

            (RNLSY), Ford

            (F) and Nissan

            (NSANF) halted production and began to sell their local assets last year. Chinese firms have stepped up their presence, part of a broader trend. Even so, sales of new cars dropped 63% year-over-year in January, according to the Association of European Businesses.


Ukrain Security Assistance During the Joe Biden Era: What have we Learned? The Ukranians, the Pentagon and the United States

“In normal times, we might have said that the population would protest against that,” Sharafutdinova said. “But of course, these are not normal times.”

Back in Washington, the attacks were a game-changer. President Joe Biden was so angered by the threat to civilians that he ordered the Pentagon to find a way to get the most advanced missile defense system in the country.

The US would go ahead with the sanctions and Biden outlined his intent to provide more security assistance to Ukranians since Russia illegally annexed the peninsula. A senior administration official said that Biden made the pledge crystal clear.

While the US has denied requests fromUkraine for more advanced weapons, such as missiles and fighter jets, the Ukrainians have continued to push for them. Zelensky pressed Biden on both during his surprise visit to Kyiv, hoping a personal appeal would sway him.

In addition to lower-level military contacts, National security adviser Jake Sullivan, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley all speak directly with their counterparts multiple times a week.

The Pentagon scrutinizes Ukrainian requests through various channels in order to assess the impact of the requests on the battlefield, how quickly the Ukrainians can train and integrate the new weapons, and the impact on US military readiness.

The process has gotten more organized, with US equipment now landing in Ukraine in days after Biden approves a security package.

One senior State Department official said that they have never seen the bureaucracy work as quickly as it is doing.

“The president was obviously outraged about this, as we all were, and really pushed our teams, particularly at the Pentagon, to look at what we could do on our side to help them defend against this problem,” a senior administration official said.

Biden was also concerned that Russia’s targeted campaign on civilian infrastructure would leave Ukraine’s air defenses spread too thin, forcing Kyiv to make an impossible choice: deploy its limited air defense assets to protect its frontline troops, or its cities.

At the White House, where Sullivan is a member of the National Security Council, there is an effort to coordinate the government-wide effort to support Ukraine.

The official said that they went around the globe and found more systems than other countries had and were able to get the systems back up and running.

The ramping up of US security assistance has been matched or complemented by allies at key points in its evolution from April to June.

“At every stage of conflict, we have adapted to make sure the Ukrainians had what they needed to be successful – and they have,” a senior administration official said. They have been adapted to it.

This has become a battle of attrition and therefore it’s a battle oflogistics, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. There is an enormous amount of military equipment being consumed by the war in Ukraine. The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production.”

Europe’s industrial capacities are limited as a result of the shortage of ammunition stock, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defense.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier this month that Europe and NATO’s production capacity needs to be ramped up if the West is going to meet Ukraine’s needs.

US officials say the Ukrainian military wanted to fight an war, and that it involved firing a crushing amount of heavy artillery at the enemy.

The US has urged the Ukrainians to use a more maneuver warfare style of fighting in order to avoid relying on too much shelling.

The first group of 635 Ukrainians training on this style of fighting did not finish until last week, according to a Pentagon press secretary. Pat Ryder was a military leader. The second group of soldiers began the training course two months ago.

The plan includes calls for the restoration of Ukraine’s state borders with Russia and the withdrawal of Russian troops, a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, and the release of all Ukrainian prisoners of war.

The allies are getting to the realization that this is going to be a longer war, said the defense secretary. “It’s going to be an extremely costly war and in order to manage this strategy, you need to have an end goal.”

The senior State Department official said that the US understands the situation. An end goal is something that any democratically elected leader in Ukraine can sell to his or her public, the official said. I think he is committed to getting there.

I’ll never forget the stories I heard on the Ukrainian-Polish border one year ago: Newlyweds who separated hours after saying their vows so the groom could return to the front. A tax preparer left her job in Boston to return to her hometown of Ukraine and bring with her suitcases full of medical supplies. It was the wife of a border guard who made the 3 hour round trip from Lviv to the Polish border to drop off fleeing women and children every day.

How sad that people survive waves of Covid, only to die when they hit another person. It’s senseless to spend tens of billions of dollars on missiles, tanks and other aid, when more needs to be done to help communities adapt to rising oceans and drying rivers. Farmers in a breadbasket of the world are hiding in bomb shelters because they have gone hungry. It’s madness that Vladimir Putin declared Ukrainians to be part of his own people — right before he sent his army into the country, where Russian soldiers have been accused of raping and murdering civilians.

Governments gussy up war. They talk of victory because of the hope and will that it gives to the soldiers. But in the end, war is death in a muddy foxhole. It’s an existential fight over a frozen field with no strategic value. It is a new generation of grudges. It’s an $11 billion, roughly 740-mile pipeline laid across the Baltic Sea rendered useless overnight. Some of the biggest steel plants in Europe are unable to produce a single metal sheet. It’s a charming seaside city emptied out by bombings and siege.

On the Kremlin’s “Suicide” Drone: A Case Study in Kiev during the Winter of 2004-2005 Energy-Infrastructure Attack

Kyiv, Ukraine — Yana and Serhii Lysenko were fast asleep, their four-year-old daughter in her bedroom down the hall, when they awoke at sunrise to a noise they didn’t recognize — the ominous buzz of an engine, like a motorcycle or lawnmower.

A woman named Yana remembers leaping out of bed and rushing to the window to look outside. “And there it was, right above us, right above our heads, flying.”

The weapon, later identified by authorities as an Iranian Shahed-136, known as a “kamikaze” or “suicide” drone for the way it explodes on impact, was soon followed by several more. The couple watched in horror as the menacing triangular munitions darted past, careening and dive-bombing towards a thermal power plant just over a mile from their home, which provides electricity and heat for the capital.

“After not being able to win the war for months on end, the Kremlin devised this particularly cynical tactic,” said Tanya Lokshina, HRW’s associate director for Europe and Central Asia, who has researched Russia’s armed conflicts in Chechnya, Georgia and Syria. I don’t believe that this cynical weaponization of winter was something that happened earlier. It was rather about absolute lack of care for civilians, and indiscriminate strikes, but not specifically using the cold weather season as a war tactic. That is new.”

Temperatures in Ukraine during the winter months typically range between 23 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit (-4.8 C and 2 C), and regularly plunge to -5 degrees Fahrenheit (-21.6 C). Life has been terrible in some parts of the country that haven’t had electricity for months, despite the mild winter.


Bringing Ukraine back to “points of invincibility”: Evidence from Ukraine during a Russian war on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure

During blackouts, doctors have carried out heart surgeries under headlamps, families have cooked meals on camping stoves in their apartments and students have done homework by battery-powered flashlights. Meanwhile, parents have taken their children to “points of invincibility,” tents equipped with generators, to get a hot cup of tea, charge phones and, according to one photograph that went viral, connect life-saving medical equipment.

“Nobody expected or could have thought that Russia would resort to such barbarism … to turn winter against us and bring us back to some sort of stone age. And it could have worked,” Serhii said. “But we were able to survive.”

On March 16th, a year and a half early, Ukranian hooked into the European power grid. It was an early signal that, rather than driving a wedge between Ukraine and the European Union (EU), Russia’s war was bringing the country closer to the bloc, accelerating its integration.

The test was going to be held in February but was pushed to February 24 by Russia. “Very, very few people know about this,” Mariia Tsaturian, a spokesperson for Ukrenergo, told CNN. “We agreed, but we kept thinking in the back of our minds, that this might actually be when they would invade, because Ukraine would seem weak.”

The scale of destruction at individual sites has been difficult to assess, in part because Ukraine’s Ministry of Energy has restricted the dissemination of information detailing damages.

In October alone, the UK-based Centre for Information Resilience identified more than 30 attacks on energy facilities and verified them using satellite imagery, as well as reports on social media. CNN couldn’t verify individual cases after reviewing the data. Nearly 60% of those were substations, located mostly in western and central Ukraine.

“No one on the planet has experienced such a challenge … a country of this size being at war and their energy sector being weaponized in the way that Russia is doing to Ukraine,” Lorkowski said. Despite all the atrocities and shelling they have shown they can keep the system running. It’s the source of hope for me that it is going to continue until the end of the winter.

When she was hired as the UN’s resident coordinate in Ukranian last summer, she had one priority and that was getting ready for winter.

“When I arrived in August, the winterization plans were the first thing I jumped into because my fear was, we’d get to the middle of winter and it would be minus 20, and I would get reports of people freezing to death and this was what kept me up at night,” Brown told CNN in late January after visiting the city of Vovchansk, in the northeastern Kharkiv region, where she said it was minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Russian forces captured Soledar in January, and the UN convoys recently traveled to Siversk, a flattened town about 20 kilometers (12 miles) away. Only about 1,000 residents remain, without any electricity or running water. Those who have stayed are the most vulnerable, including older people, people with disabilities and chronic conditions who can no longer leave their homes.

When the power outages started in October, Yana Lysenko said she felt stressed and sick. She didn’t know whether she should take her daughter to the shelter or not, and she wasn’t sure if the cuts would have heating or water.

Yulia Ivanenko commutes every day from her apartment in the Kyiv suburb of Hostomel to the nearby town of Irpin, where she runs an accounting company. She works from the local library, which has been converted into an “Invincibility point” for providing power and internet, instead of her office.

We will be leaving because I cannot afford a generator for the office. But hopefully it will get better,” she said, adding that her employees, who still work in the office, often only have four hours of electricity before they need to go and work remotely elsewhere.

Her 67-year-old father, who also lives in Hostomel, uses a car battery as a temporary power source for his small home. Where did he get that battery? He stole it from the ruscists [Russian soldiers], from their car,” she said. “He’s fearless.”

Eduard Yevtushenko, a 55-year-old film producer, had just gotten home from the hospital, where he was in rehab for a stroke, when Russian forces launched their attack on Kyiv.


The home-stay of Yevtushenko and his wife, Yukiv, during the first few months of World War II : How many of us have changed in Kyiv?

For the first days of the war, he and his wife slept in their small bathroom — her in the tub and him sitting on a stool beside her. Now they use the room, the safest in their home, as a personal “invincibility point,” stocked with water jugs, candles and flashlights, food for their dog and power banks to charge their phones and laptops.

The couple have stayed in their high-rise apartment in Kyiv’s left bank, unable to flee, during the war. The stress of relentless strikes, air raid sirens and outages have set his progress back, Yevtushenko said, adding that if not for the stroke he would have joined the armed forces.

In most high-rise apartment buildings in Kyiv, residents leave vital supplies — some food, water and diapers — in elevators in case of cuts. Most people who spoke to CNN didn’t remember the last time they used the lift, worried about being trapped inside.

This is a good example of what you can see in the country. “It’s about cafes sharing their generators, it’s about the special places where people can charge their phones being created at shopping centers, at gas stations, you name it,” said Lokshina, associate director at the human rights watchdog. It’s about helping other people, not just taking care of your own.

”You don’t need much for happiness. A beautiful sky above our heads and some small comforts in a warm house. “That’s all we can do right now.”Yana said. “Our values have changed a lot. In fact, we have changed.”

Two days after the Russian troops left Kherson, Ukraine Railways CEO Alexander Kamyshin says the entire city was devastated by the November 11, 2022, attack

Two days after Russian troops retreated from Kherson on November 11, Ukraine Railways CEO Alexander Kamyshin arrived in the city accompanied by Ukrainian special forces and a small team of railway workers. Before the army arrived they reached the central train station, and got to work. The first train arrived in liberated Kherson six days later.

“It was a magic day,” Kamyshin says. “We saw the faces of the people seeing the train, crying, waving their hands. Trust me, it was unforgettable. That is a great day to remember.

Kamyshin and Ukraine’s rail workers had a number of important decisions that were not in the pre-Invasion script. They stopped ticketing so anyone who needed to travel could do so immediately. They slowed the trains down so that there would be no deaths in the event of a train wreck. Over the past 12 months, Ukraine Railways estimates 130,000 animals have traveled as evacuees brought their pets with them.

All that work has taken place under near constant attack. Kamyshin says the Russians shell tracks, stations, bridges, power stations and cranes. A total of two hundred and fifty people died and 800 were injured. That’s only railwaymen and women. That’s the price we paid in this war.”

The city of Mariupol was bombarded relentlessly until May 2022, when resistance finally came down, and rail workers were able to get trains in and out several times. The stranded crews were able to evacuate by road, but two trains are still stuck there.

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