Putin wants his supporters to know that he won’t be humiliated

Vladimir Putin’s Remark on the “Independent” Decree of the Ukrainian Peninsula: “It wasn’t my fault, I didn’t”

Putin wants to call up 300,000 more troops as well as annex a swath of Ukrainian territory in the south and east.

Despite Russian control of a portion of the territory, Putin formally recognized both Kherson and Zaporzhia as “independent” from Ukraine on Friday.

Reports from the ground suggested that voting took place at gunpoint, but Putin insisted the referendums reflected the will of millions of people.

“A lot of buses arrived with Russian citizens who came to vote for leaving Ukraine and joining Russia. We knew this was not what we could do. It went against our values and conscience, as well as our loyalty to Ukrainian citizens.

The Russian president thought that the annexation was to fix a mistake that occurred after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Putin’s speech echoed his major foreign policy aim: restoring Russia as a major global power charged with protecting the Russian speaking world from the continued threat posed by Western forces.

Russia will continue with its plan to fly its flag over some 100,000 square kilometers of Ukrainian territory despite international condemnation.

The leader of the Russian Federation spoke in St. George’s Hall, the same place that he made a statement about the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimean.

Several of Mr. Putins cabinet ministers and the 4 Russian-imposed leaders of the occupied Ukrainian regions sat in the audience.

His remark came amid Russia’s tireless bombardment of Ukraine’s energy grid with rockets and missiles, which has sought to wipe out the country’s power as it enters its cold winter months, and follows a ten-month invasion in which Putin has repeatedly attempted to denigrate Ukraine’s sovereignty.

Putin’s “nuclear weapons” warning to the Ukrainian people during the Russian-Ukraine war on the 19th century and the emergence of new physics

The British Opium War in China in the 19th century is just one of many military actions the Western countries have taken over the centuries.

In response to an increasing influx of advanced Western weapons, economic, political and humanitarian aid to Kyiv and what he saw as Western leaders’ inflammatory statements, Putin has periodically hinted at his potential use of nuclear weapons. When a member of the Human Rights Council asked him Wednesday to pledge that Russia would not be the first to use such weapons, Putin demurred. If Russia decided not to use nuclear weapons in the first place, then it would not be able to use them again.

But with the ability to target major Ukrainian cities, including the capital, Russia has shown that it can still cause immense damage and dislocation. Russia-Ukraine conflict is one of the most dangerous phases since the conflict began. There was already tension because of Putin’s statements that nuclear weapons were still on the table.

A celebration is taking place on Red Square. Official ratification of the decrees will happen next week, said Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman.

Putin’s decision to leave Ukraine during the February 26 parliamentary referendum: The situation in Ukraine as seen by the UN and the Kremlin

The moves followed staged referendums in occupied territory in defiance of international law. Much of the provinces’ civilian populations has fled fighting since the war began in February, and people who did vote sometimes did so at gunpoint.

The hold that Russia has over the two eastern regions is something the president considers his main prize, and cementing it will allow the Kremlin to declare a victory at a time when Russians are concerned about the lack of attention being paid to the fighting by Russian forces.

The recent draft of hundreds of thousands of civilians into military service that encountered opposition in Russia is one of the challenges that Mr. Putin faces in regaining control over the war.

Mr. Putin is expected to deliver a “voluminous” speech, his spokesman said. He is likely to downplay his military’s struggles in Ukraine and rising domestic dissent. He will probably ignore the international condemnation of discredited referendums that took place in occupied Ukraine as well as the forced votes that took place in Russia.

” The people made a decision and that’s all I can say,” said Putin at the signing ceremony. “And that choice won’t be betrayed” by Russia, he said.

And the US is in agreement. White House spokesman John Kirby told reporters last week that Putin has “shown absolutely zero indication that he’s willing to negotiate” an end to the war, according to Reuters. Kirby said everything he was doing on the ground and in the air was a sign that he wanted to visit violence upon the Ukrainian people.

Outside the Kremlin, preparations were under way for an evening concert and rally with banners saying Russia and the newly integrated territories are “together forever.”

27: The people chose to join the Russian Federation in the staged referendums that were held in four occupied regions of Ukraine according to Russia. The process was called a sham by the leaders of the United Nations.

“The United States will never, never, recognize Russia’s claims on Ukranian territory,” Biden said. The referenda were a sham and the results were manufactured in Moscow.

The decision was framed as a historical justice by Putin, following the break up of the Soviet Union that had left Russian speakers separated from their homeland.

Russia has accused the Western nations of turning the conflict into a proxy war before. Iran acknowledged giving military drones to Russia.

Formal ratification of the territories into the Russian Federation will now move to Russia’s parliament and constitutional court — whose approval is widely seen as a foregone conclusion.

The Russian government’s annexation has unfolded as it works to deploy an additional 300,000 troops to bolster its military campaign amid a Ukrainian counteroffensive that has retaken territory in the south and northeast of Ukraine.

Russian officials have warned that the newly incorporated territories are entitled to protections under Russia’s nuclear umbrella.

Kurt Volker, who was US Ambassador to NATO and US special representative to Ukraine under Donald Trump, thinks that Putin is getting ready for peace. I think that he wants to brandish the nuclear weapons, make all kind of threats to Europe, and then say, “Alright, let’s negotiate a settlement.” And let me keep what I have already taken.”

The Russian Particle Flux During the First World War: The Case for Changing the Nuclear Taboo in the Kremlin

The total exodus was put even higher by the independent Russian media. They say there’s been more military age men flee the country since the war started, with an estimated 200,000 to 180,000 leaving so far.

CNN is unable to verify the Russian figures, but the 40 kilometers (around 25 miles) traffic tailbacks at the border with Georgia, and the long lines at crossings into Kazakhstan and Finland, speak to the backlash and the strengthening perception that Putin is losing his fabled touch at reading Russia’s mood.

Kortunov says he doesn’t know what goes on in the Kremlin but that he understands the public mood over the huge costs and loss of life in the war. “Many people would start asking questions, why did we get into this mess? Why, we lost so many people.

The war will last longer and the more the success of the Ukrainian forces, the greater the concern about Putin trying to change the equation. While some strategists think that he is bluffing, or that there are no real strategic advantages to breaking the nuclear taboo, there is a real concern in Western governments about Putin. All of his previous tactical assumptions and decisions in Ukraine have backfired and don’t show the kind of strategic caution and clear thinking that is critical when the question becomes whether or not to use nuclear weapons.

US officials are concerned that Putin could use a tactical nuclear weapon inUkraine to try and change the course of the war. The White House warned the Kremlin that such a decision would be catastrophic, though it has not said how they would respond and there is speculation NATO could target Russian forces, a scenario that could lead to a dangerous escalation.

Insights from Zelensky’s regime on the fate of the Russian war machine guns: the case of Nord Stream 2

Both Danish and Swedish seismologists recorded explosive shockwaves from close to the seabed: the first, at around 2 a.m. local time, hitting 2.3 magnitude, then again, at around 7 p.m., registering 2.1.

The Danes and the Germans sent warships to protect the area after roiling patches of sea were discovered.

Russia denies responsibility and has begun an investigation. John Brennan, the former CIA chief, said there were signs that Russia could sabotage the lines, which are only 200 feet or so of water.

Brennan thinks that the most likely culprit for the sabotage is Russia, and that Putin wants to send a message that Russia can reach beyond his borders. Who knows what he is going to do next.

Nord Stream 2 was never operational and the first one was stopped by Putin as Europe rushed to replenish their gas reserves, dialling back demands of Russian supplies and searching for replacements.

The war is unpredictable and fluid. As Baunov noted, the recent decision by Germany, the United States and other European allies to deliver main battle tanks to Ukraine may test Putin’s long game.

It was 2019. And the successful TV comedian turned commander in chief had traveled to Paris for a summit to negotiate a peace deal with Putin. Despite the doubts of many, Zelensky managed to walk away giving few concessions.

With Scholz taking on the diplomatic helm, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky may face a difficult time restoring his nation’s sovereignty before peace talks with Putin. The German chancellor and other friendly leaders have been at the forefront of pressing for a quick end to the war and the return of economic stability to Europe.

It’s not comforting that Moscow does a lot of wrong things. It is still something of a wild card to have a nuclear arsenal. Nuclear weapons use can be traumatic for victims and ordinary Russians. But that’s not stopped Putin up to now.

For Ukrainian Orthodox Jews Asher and David Cherkaskyi, a father and son both fighting on the front lines in the eastern Donbas region, beating Russia has become especially important to them because of their faith.

Russia is forcing convicts to run directly into the hail of bullets from the machine guns of Ukrainians while Ukraine is sending its best and brightest to fight.

Rosh Hashana, Hebrew Mass, and the First Jewish Day of Atonement: NPR with David and the Cherkaskys

In July NPR spoke with the father and son over the phone, while Jews around the world were celebrating the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashana, and prepared for the Day of Absence, also known as the Day of Atonement, which begins Tuesday evening.

“If you said you were Jewish, you’d be downgraded in school. You wouldn’t get a medal if you were fighting in the army. You’d just be sent to the most dangerous places,” he says. I remember the stories of humiliation and intimidation they gave to us. Jews and other nationalities were considered inferior. The Russians were good enough to rule the Soviet Union.

Ukraine first declared independence from Russia in 1918, doing so in an elegant, whitewashed building in the center of Kyiv that still stands and now serves as the offices for the Kyiv House of Teachers.

Before David was to deploy to the front in the Donbas, NPR was in Dnipro where the Cherkaskyis lived. One of the top sofruts in the world is a center for religious calligraphy and it’s located in a large Jewish city.

Asher said that he started identifying as a Ukrainian Jew when Russia took control of the peninsula. He remembers the trumped-up referendum over unifying with Russia.

Asher Cherkaskyi says the so-called voting process the Kremlin just staged in an attempt to justify seizing four Ukrainian regions was even tougher and more cynical than Crimea’s referendum.

Cherkaskyi says that Putin’s move to conscript a number of new soldiers “is not going to affect the Ukrainian soldiers’ spirits in the least.”

Rosh Hashana, Asher, Putin, NATO, and the War of the Cold War: The Case for Lyman and Drobysheve

But this past Rosh Hashana, Asher says they were able to celebrate as usual, with blessings, apples and honey. And, he says, they said a “a prayer for the light to overcome the darkness approaching Europe and the whole world from the Russian Federation.”

Volodymyr Zelensky, President of the Ukranian Republic, said on Sunday that his country had taken back the village of Lyman, while the Ukrainian military claimed that they had captured the nearby villages of Drobysheve and Torske.

But the visit caused fury in Russian pro-military and ultranationalist circles, as it upstages Putin on the eve of a major address in which the Russian president is expected to tout the supposed achievements of what he euphemistically calls a “special military operation.”

According to an article published Sunday by the Russian newspaper Kom somolskaya Pravda, in the last few days of their occupation, Russian forces were plagued by desertion, poor planning and a delayed arrival of reserves.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Putin lost Lyman not long after publicly declaring that the DONETSK region was now annexed by Russia.

But the soldiers interviewed on the Sunday broadcast said they had been forced to retreat because they were fighting not only with Ukrainians, but with NATO soldiers.

Speaking after an awards ceremony for “Heroes of Russia,” he addressed the group of soldiers receiving the awards. He said of the attacks, “yes, we are doing it. But who started it?”

The broadcast seemed intended to convince Russians who have doubts about the war or feel anger over plans to call up as many as 300,000 civilians that any hardships they bear are to be blamed on a West that is bent on destroying Russia at all costs.

The idea that Russia is fighting a broader campaign was repeated in an interview with Aleksandr Dugin, a far-right thinker whose daughter, also a prominent nationalist commentator, was killed by a car bomb in August.

This military support for Ukraine has been credited with allowing the country to limit Russia’s invasion and has led to succesful counteroffensives that have reclaimed territory seized by Russia.

Mr. Dugin, like Mr. Putin, has accused Western countries of damaging the Nord Stream gas pipelines, which ruptured after underwater explosions last month in what both European and Russian leaders have called an act of sabotage.

The west accuses us of blowing up the gas network ourselves. “We must understand the geopolitical confrontation, the war, our war with the West on the scale and extent on which it is unfolding. We must join this battle with a mortal enemy who does not hesitate to use any means to achieve their goals.

The nonstop messaging campaign may be working, at least for now. Many Russians feel threatened by the West, said Aleksandr Baunov, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace who is from Russia.

It was anger that fueled me during the first weeks of the war. Anger that these Russians have the right to take away our freedom and the anger that they should also have the right to take away our democratic future.

The US began training the Ukrainian army on an arms fighting strategy following the Russia’s invasion of the peninsula. Though Russia’s invasion of Ukraine paused the efforts last year, they have restarted with a new sense of urgency. In late December, the US announced that it would dramatically expand the number of soldiers being trained on more sophisticated battlefield tactics, including coordinating infantry maneuvers with artillery support.

The president’s visit only served to expose growing opposition to the war among conservative Republicans at home – which, if not yet near the levels that could force him to desert Ukraine, is sufficient to raise concerns about the size of future aid packages and what a new president after 2024 – Trump or a GOP leader who shares his “America First” tendencies – could mean for Ukraine.

At their summit in March last year, NATO leaders agreed to equip, arm and train Ukraine to NATO standards. It wouldn’t be a member, but the message was clear to Moscow that in the future it would fight like it did in NATO.

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

US officials privately hope the massive influx of weaponry to Ukranian can help it win the war and make it easier for Zelensky to negotiate an end to the war.

“What we’re seeing now is a kind of change in the battlefield dynamics,” Austin said. “They’ve done very, very well in the Kharkiv area and moved to take advantage of opportunities. The fight in the – the Kherson region’s going a bit slower, but they’re making progress.”

Russian Ambassador to Ukraine: “We Are Sorry, but I Know You Don’t Want to Tell You!” Russian Response to Musk’s Embedding in Ukraine

The contests have failed to meet international standards of free and fair elections. Reports from the ground suggested that voting was held at point blank range.

Countries across the world quickly condemned Putin’s announcement that the regions would be annexed. The European Union and the G7 have vowed to impose more economic costs on Russia because they did not agree with the Kremlin’s control of the regions.

EU member states began summoning Russian ambassadors in a coordinated manner on Friday to “convey strong condemnation of these actions” and demand the “immediate halt to steps undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity and violating UN Charter and international law,” a spokesman for the bloc said.

But when Aleksandr was captured outside the eastern city of Lyman last week, he was thinly dressed, without the customary armband denoting his allegiance — usually red or white for Russia and blue or yellow for Ukraine. To keep him warm, the Ukrainian soldiers gave him a Russian parka they had lying around in their trench.

“He came out of the forest and went to our positions,” said Serhiy, one of the Ukrainian soldiers who had found Aleksandr, recounting the capture to a pair of reporters from The New York Times visiting their position near the front line.

The scale of Russian losses in these infantry advances is uncertain. The institute described the advancement as an attack onUkraine’s battle-hardened troops. The Ukrainian military’s estimates of Russian casualties are seen to be inflated, but the relative increase in the reported numbers suggests a rising toll. The Ukrainian military said 800 Russian soldiers had been wounded or killed within the previous 24 hours.

Russian officials welcomed Musk’s message. Dmitry Medvedev, the deputy chairman of the Security Council of Russia and a former Russian president and prime minister, tweeted Musk “kudos” and predicted Musk’s next tweet would say that “Ukraine is an artificial state.”

A majority of respondents on Twitter voted “No” in response to Musk’s poll. In a follow-up tweet, Musk appeared to blame these results on a “bot attack.”

Musk himself and one of his companies, SpaceX, became involved early on in the war in Ukraine, after SpaceX sent Starlink internet terminals, which can be operated from anywhere with power and a clear view of the sky, to the war-torn country.

But his latest musings were not well-received by Ukrainian officials, after a months-long war that has left a trail of untold devastation in the region.

The Kyiv Post said Musk’s birthplace was referenced in his poll. You are a cool guy and thank you for the Starlink. It would be wonderful to vote on things that you know about. The publication stated that votes on Nelson Mandela wouldn’t be carried out.

Musk continued to tweet out defenses for his initial Twitter thread, seeming to suggest that there was little chance of victory for Ukraine, which recently began swiftly reclaiming territory in its northeast, including the strategically important transport hub of Lyman.

Musk’s foreign policy commentary came one day after Tesla announced lower-than-expected delivery and production numbers for the third quarter and days after the car company unveiled an underwhelming humanoid robot. It comes as his fight to back out of his proposed $44 billion deal to purchase the company heats up.

Syrian riots and the death of a 17-year-old Ukrainian woman killed in a London nightclub by a Syrian army

Editor’s Note: Editor’s note: Frida Ghitis, (@fridaghitis) a former CNN producer and correspondent, is a world affairs columnist. She writes for The Washington Post, World Politics Review, and is a weekly contributor to CNN. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.

On Sunday, almost by accident, two groups of demonstrators came together in London. One was waving Ukrainian flags; the other Iranian flags. When they met, they cheered each other, and chanted, “All together we will win.”

Twelve months into this war, Ukraine and Ukrainians have transformed. There are unconfirmed reports that many civilians and fighters are dead. Millions of people have been driven from their homes.

The bravery exhibited by these David v. Goliath battles is almost unimaginable to the rest of us and is inspiring equally brave support in places like Afghanistan.

In Iran, the spark was the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last month. She died while in the custody of morality police who held her because of her breaking the rules that made her dress modestly.

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

Their peaceful uprising is not about the hijab, it is about eliminating oppression and men have joined them in large numbers even as the regime kills more and more protesters.

Zelensky, Putin and Surovikin: Russia’s Armed Forces in Syria and the War in the Crimes of the Ukraine

Russia has been a dominant military force in Syria since 2015, helping maintain the government’s grip on power. But the change could herald shifts in the balance of power in one of the world’s most complicated conflict zones, and may lead Israel — Syria’s enemy — to rethink its stance toward the Ukraine conflict.

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego of Arizona, who visited Ukraine earlier this month, said on CNN’s “AC360” that Zelensky was coming to Washington on a specific mission. He is trying to draw some correlation between our support and the survival and future victory of Ukraine, according to a member of the armed services committee.

An onslaught on civilians would be consistent with the resume of the new Russian general in charge of the war, Sergey Surovikin, who served in Syria and Chechnya. In both places, Russia indiscriminately bombarded civilian areas and razed built-up districts and infrastructure and is accused of committing serious human rights violations.

The Russian public is being harassed by “non-desirable” organizations intended to damage their reputation.

Now, CNN has reported Iran is about to start sending even more – and more powerful – weapons to Russia for the fight against Ukraine, according to a western country closely monitoring Iran’s weapons program.

These regimes have similar tactics of oppression and willingness to project power abroad because they are very different in their ideologies.

Multiple Putin critics have suffered mysterious deaths. Many people have fallen. And both Iran and Russia have become leading practitioners of transnational repression, killing critics on foreign soil, according to Freedom House and other democracy research and advocacy groups.

For people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, there’s more than passing interest in the admittedly low probability that the Iranian regime could fall. It would make a huge difference for countries and their lives. After all, Iran’s constitution calls for spreading its Islamist revolution.

Putin and Xi, the world’s leading autocrats, looked ascendant, unstoppable even. Western democracies were roiled by sometimes violent protests against Covid-19 restrictions. Putin was getting ready for the victory. Xi was hosting the Olympics, basking in attention, and preparing to solidify his control of China.

Despite that Russia does not have full control of four war-torn regions of Ukraine, President Putin expects the situation to improve after signing legislation to annex them on Wednesday.

However, pro-Russian media has been uncommonly critical of the war effort in recent days, delivering gloomy reports that Russia’s campaign is suffering an operational crisis while Ukraine takes advantage on the battlefield.

Russian forces have had to retreat from settlements in the south that they once ruled as the Ukrainians are on the verge of forcing their way into the city of Kherson.

Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the Uzbekiv invasion of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions during Teachers’ Day

In a bid to celebrate the news, Putin took the opportunity in a televised meeting for Teachers’ Day to congratulate educators from “all 89 regions of Russia,” a number that includes the newly annexed territories.

Rogov also said that Ukrainians “have concentrated significant number of militants in Zaporizhzhia direction” and that the risk of storming the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant “remains high”.

One of the difficulties of making wartime assessments is that the war has gone through different phases and one side has an advantage. The Ukrainians defeated the Russians in the battle for Kyiv, but Russia continued to fight in the Donbas during the summer.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the military for their “fast and powerful advances” in his Tuesday evening address, before celebrating that “dozens of settlements have already been liberated” this week.

In the Kherson region, he said that all but one of the buildings were back to their original state.

Zelensky on Wednesday assembled his top military and security staff to consider plans for “further liberation of Ukrainian territories,” according to the readout of the meeting from the President’s office.

Asked by CNN how to interpret the language of the laws signed by Putin – which refers to the borders of the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions as “the territory which existed on the day of its adoption in the Russian Federation” – Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said, “I will leave this question unanswered.”

Beyond that, it appears that Russia is massing replacement soldiers and additional units to launch an offensive to take the portions of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in the southeast, that they do not control – while also establishing defensive positions in depth in other areas that they control in the south.

The phrase “regrouping” was also used by the Russian Defense Ministry in September to describe the retreat of the Russian military in response to Ukraine’s offensive that recaptured the key city of Izium, in the Kharkiv region.

Alexander Sladkov, a leading Russian war correspondent, placed the blame for the loss of 17 settlements in the Kherson region on US weapons delivery and intelligence gathered via satellite.

Alexander Kots, a correspondent for the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper who has embedded with Russian forces in the occupied eastern city of Svatove, told his Telegram followers Wednesday that there was not enough manpower to hold off a further Ukrainian advance into the Luhan.

Russia said it would evacuate the residents of Kherson to other areas as Ukrainians continued to advance in the region. The announcement came shortly after the head of the Moscow-backed administration in Kherson appealed to the Kremlin for help moving residents out of harm’s way, in the latest indication that Russian forces were struggling in the face of Ukrainian advances.

Is there a chance to save Russia from its enemies, or is it possible to save a country by joining the battle? A regular reporter on the frontline of the war against Russia

They have no issues with the intelligence data or high-precision weapons they are always using. We are just waiting for our reserves to join the battle.

Meanwhile, state media reporter Evgeniy Poddubnyy, a correspondent for Russia 24, said Tuesday that “we’re going through the hardest time on the frontline” and that “for the time being it will become even harder.”

“This doesn’t mean that we’ve collapsed like a house of cards. There are mistakes that aren’t huge strategic failures. We are still learning what’s new. It is difficult to hear in the eighth month of the special operation. But we are reporters. We are waiting for reinforcements.

He added: “It’s as painful as getting thumped on your melon. We’ve suffered losses. It is war. And these kinds of things happen in war. Reinforcements are coming along with their equipment. I don’t lie or engage in propaganda. I’m a regular reporter who gives an insight into what is happening.

On the same day that Russian forces suffered heavy losses in a Tuesday, Sladkov admitted to State TV that he had also done so. At the beginning of the interview, Sladkov said he only told the truth on Tuesdays.

We do not currently see Russia massing its aircraft for a massive aerial attack. He said that Russia has a lot of capabilities left and that there is a substantial number of aircraft in its inventory. “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.”

So, like the Berlin visits of Kennedy and Reagan, the true historic sweep of Biden’s perilous journey to Ukraine can only be judged in the light of subsequent events. If Russia is victorious in the war, his gesture will be an empty one.

“He’s not joking when he talks about potential use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons because his military is, you might say, significantly underperforming.”

US officials have also said, however, that they have detected no sign that Russia is moving or readying any of its tactical nuclear weapons, which can be small enough to target soldier formations or big enough to destroy a city.

What is Putin trying to find out, and what does he think about the war in the world? A memorial to the late President John Biden

“I’m trying to figure out what is Putin’s off ramp,” Biden said. Where is he able to find a way out? Where does he find himself in a position that he does not not only lose face but significant power within Russia?” Biden said something.

The President may have thought of Kennedy when he talked about the dangers of weapons that could end the world during his graduation address at American University in 1963.

“Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war,” Kennedy said.

In the nuclear age, adopting that type of policy would be a sign of our policy’s inability to cope or of a death-wish for the world.

Nuclear weapons are too bad to be used, and any country that did would be writing their own death warrant.

At a campaign event, Biden said that he did not believe that there was anything to be gained by using a tactical nuclear weapon.

The commander of the battalion came across the abandoned Russian armored vehicle after racing down the road with his men. Inside there was a sniper rifle, rocket propelled grenades, helmets and belongings. The men were nowhere to be found.

“They dropped everything: personal care, helmets,” said the commander, who uses the code name Swat. “I think it was a special unit, but they were panicking. They dropped everything because of the rain and the road was bad.

The Cost of Chaos: The Trump Administration and the World. Comments on Bergen, Czar Nicholas II, Vladimir Putin, Robert Putin, and Peter Bergen

Editor’s Note: Peter Bergen is CNN’s national security analyst, a vice president at New America, and a professor of practice at Arizona State University. Bergen wrote The Cost of Chaos: the Trump Administration and the World. The views expressed in this commentary are of his own. CNN has more opinion on it.

(Indeed, his revisionist account defines his rationale for the war in Ukraine, which he asserts has historically always been part of Russia – even though Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union more than three decades ago.)

According to a recent book, “Afghan Crucible,” the soviets planned to install a puppet government in Afghanistan and get out as soon as possible.

During the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, the US was initially reluctant to escalate its support for the Afghan resistance, fearing a wider conflict with the Soviet Union. After the Soviets ended their air superiority in Afghanistan in 1986, it took the CIA three years to give them anti-aircraft missiles to train the Afghans.

The United States, and other countries, are increasing the range of weapons they give to the Ukrainians, according to the Kremlin. This does not make for a rapid settlement of the situation.

The US gave the Ukrainians the Javelin missiles and HIMARS missiles and they pushed back against the Russians.

Putin is also surely aware that the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 was hastened by the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan two years earlier.

The Romanov monarchy was weakened by the loss of Russia in the war against Japan in 1905. The Russian Revolution was caused by Czar Nicholas II’s feckless leadership during the First World War. Subsequently, much of the Romanov family was killed by a Bolshevik firing squad.

On February 22 – just two days before Russia’s invasion – former US President Donald Trump, who has always fawned over Putin, publicly said that the Russian autocrat was “genius” and “savvy” for declaring two regions of eastern Ukraine independent and moving his troops there in a prelude to full-blown invasion.

Putin has attempted to convince the world that democracy and human rights are fake values because, he argues, they have offered no protection against the reality of war and the projection of power. That’s why we, in turn, must demonstrate justice. We must be able to say yes, there was a period when the law didn’t work, but it was only temporary. We must fix this problem, and hold Russian war criminals accountable.

If Russia is allowed to win, Putin’s war would mark the beginning of a new era of global instability, with less freedom, less peace and less prosperity for the world.

Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Lyman’s country and the stance of the Russian government on the border between Ukraine and the Kremlin

“First of all, we need to stop lying,” said Andrei Kartopolov, a former colonel-general in the Russian military and a member of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party. “We brought this up many times before … It seems that it isn’t getting through to individual senior figures.

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

Valuyki is in Russia’s Belgorod region near the border with Ukraine. The stance of the Ukrainian government when it comes to hitting Russian targets across the border is neither confirm nor deny.

“There is no need to somehow cast a shadow over the entire Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation because of some, I do not say traitors, but incompetent commanders, who did not bother, and were not accountable, for the processes and gaps that exist today,” Stremousov said. Many think that the minister could shoot himself as an officer, if he allowed the situation to happen. The word officer is a new word for many.

But after Russia’s retreat from the strategic Ukrainian city of Lyman, Kadyrov has been a lot less shy about naming names when it comes to blaming Russian commanders.

Kadyrov blamed Colonel-General Lapin, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, for the mess, saying he failed to provide enough for his troops.

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

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

“Yes, if it were my will, I would declare martial law throughout the country and use any weapon, because today we are at war with the whole NATO bloc,” Kadyrov said in a post that also seemed to echo Putin’s not-so-subtle threats that Russia might contemplate the use of nuclear weapons.

Ukrainian missile arsenal in the city of Enerhodar following U.S. military strikes on Ukraine’s electrical grid, says an U.K. official

A senior official said on Sunday that crews restored power and cellular connections in the city of Enerhodar, which is near a Russian-operated nuclear power plant.

Rogov, a pro-Russian leader in the Zaporizhia government, said on Sunday that the water supply will be restored soon.

Ukrainian authorities tried to deliver aid to the city with food, hygiene products and so on, but they were stopped by Russian forces who refused to let humanitarian aid through.

Ukraine’s long-range strikes have coincided with a depletion of Russian cruise and tactical ballistic missiles. After repeated forays on electrical power plans, substations and other infrastructure targets through the fall and early winter, Russia has enough missiles for two or three more waves of strikes on Ukraine’s electrical grid, Kyrylo Budanov, Ukraine’s military intelligence chief, told the Ukrainian news outlet Liga.net in an interview published Monday.

Over the last three days, the Russians have been using a mix of their missile stocks. The majority were air-launched cruise missiles, some delivered by bombers based near the Caspian Sea. But they also deployed ship-launched Kalibrs from the Black Sea, ground-launched Iskander cruise missiles and dozens of attack drones.

For several hours on Monday morning Kyiv’s subway system was suspended, with underground stations serving as bunkers. The air raid alert in the city was lifted at midday as rescue workers raced to save people from the rubble.

The bombing of the Crimea bridge by the terrorist country Ukraine: State of the affairs in Kiev and the crisis in Kyiv, Ukraine

According to the Prime Minister, a total of 11 crucial infrastructure facilities have been damaged in eight regions.

In the capital, the hum of generators is the soundtrack to daily life. Cafes and restaurants are full, offering partial menus even during power cuts. Shelves in shops are stocked. On February 15, the Mayor of Kyiv said that the city was restarting electric transport services after days of no power. The energy minister of Ukraine said two days later that electricity generation in the country was enough to meet demand.

Putin held an operational meeting of his Security Council on Monday, a day after he called the explosions on the Crimea bridge a “terrorist attack” and said the organizers and executors were “Ukrainian special services.”

The strikes began two days after the explosion that damaged the bridge, which is the only crossing between the annexed Crimean peninsula and Russia. The blast that was used by the Kremlin as a justification for Monday’s attack gaveUkraine a significant strategic boost.

The Russian-appointed head of annexed Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said he had “good news” Monday, claiming that Russia’s approaches to what it calls its special military operation in Ukraine “have changed.”

I have said from the first day of the military operation that if we were able to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure, we would have defeated the regime in May.

Russian citizens are being hit in the form of shelling by the terrorist country. Kherson. In the morning, on Saturday, on the eve of Christmas, in the central part of the city,” he said.

The EU Foreign Policy Chief said that more support would come from the EU after the strikes.

He asked for help inBrussels, with many Ukrainians dying. I simply haven’t got the right to come back home without the results.”

The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced the attacks as another unacceptable episode of the war and said civilians were paying the highest price.

Zaporizhzhia: the largest city in Ukraine and the second anniversary of the Russian-occupied occupation of the territory by a superpower plant

Zelensky said on his account on social media that he would address the G7 meeting, which will take place via video conference.

Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and once was a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He writes for CNN Opinion. His own opinions are expressed in this commentary. View more opinion at CNN.

Many residents of the city felt anxious on Friday as they were concerned that Russia might launch another attack on the day of the anniversary.

The strikes are close to the government quarter and can not be overstated. Western governments should see it as a red line being crossed on this 229th day of the war.

As of midday local time, the area around my office in Odesa remained eerily quiet between air raid sirens, with reports of three missiles and five drones being shot down. Normally at this time of day, nearby restaurants would be full with customers and talk of upcoming weddings and parties.

Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power Plant in Europe, was hit by multiple strikes on apartment buildings, most of them while people slept. The 17 people who died and the several dozens who were injured were all killed.

Energy operators in Ukranian are getting used to repairing power plants. Zelensky said on Tuesday that most of the towns and villages that terrorists wanted to leave already had electricity and communication.

The residents said that when Russian troops came in at the beginning of the war, it was the city that tried to resist.

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

There is a risk that the attacks will cause another blow to business confidence in the country, since many of the asylum seekers are returning home.

Back then, anyone predicting how the anniversary of the war would be marked might have mused about a Russian military parade and a visit by Putin himself to a puppet leader he installed in a nation again under Moscow’s iron fist.

Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. In 2018, Putin personally opened the Kerch bridge – Europe’s longest – by driving a truck across it. After Beijing reclaimed Macau, it was one of the first things they did to connect the territory with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. The $20 billion, 34-mile road bridge opened after about two years of delays.

Petraeus: Why Putin was so thin ice last year? The hilarious meme lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree, and the demand for high tech weapons in Ukraine

The humorous meme lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. Many shared their sense of jubilation via text messages.

Sitting still was never an option for Putin because of his pride and self-interest. He responded by unleashing more death and destruction with the force that comes natural to a former KGB agent, in the only way he knows how.

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.

Petraeus is mentioned. Putin made the Chief of the General Staff,General Valery Gerasimov, the Commander of the war in Ukraine, to ensure that the Russian Military and Ministry of Defense do all that they can to increase their forces on the battlefield. And Russia has been seeking additional arms, ammunition, and weapons systems from other countries – such as Iran and North Korea – to make up for the shortfalls in production of Russia’s military industries that are constrained by export controls.

China is playing a role in the broadening power brouhaha. The top diplomat of the country was sent to Moscow for high-level talks even though the US had warned Russia not to give arms to the Ukrainians.

The most important thing for the west right now is to show resolve against a man who probes for weakness and uses divisions. Western governments need to know that the only thing that will have an impact on Putin is rhetoric. They need to keep providing arms and training for Ukrainians, even if it means sending military experts closer to the battlefield to speed up the integration of high technology weapons.

Furthermore, high tech defense systems are needed to protect Kyiv and crucial energy infrastructure around the country. The need to protect heating systems is urgent with the cold weather around the corner.

The attacks on Ukrainian cities and infrastructure as a sign of Putin’s “frustration” in the Russian-Russia proxy war for the second year

Turkey and the Gulf states, which receive lots of Russian tourists, need to be pressured to come on board for the sake of the West’s further isolation of Russia with trade and travel restrictions.

The attacks snatched away the semblance of normality that city dwellers, who spent months earlier in the war in subways turned into air raid shelters, have managed to restore to their lives and raised fears of new strikes.

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.

The bombing of power installations appeared to be a sign that the Russian President could cause a lot of misery even as his forces retreat in the face of Ukrainian troops using Western arms.

The attacks on civilians and the US’s proxy war with Russia made for a new focus on the next steps the US and its allies need to take, and how they will respond.

On Monday, President Biden made a brief, unannounced visit to Kyiv, aimed at expressing solidarity with Ukrainians as Russia’s invasion of their country heads into a second year. Biden met with Zelenskyy and announced new aid when he saw that Russian forces were preparing to take control of the eastern Donbas region.

John Kirby said that he was in touch with the government in Kyiv almost daily, and that Washington was looking favorably on their requests. “We do the best we can in subsequent packages to meet those needs,” he told CNN’s Kate Bolduan.

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

They had been planning it for a long time. Now that’s not to say that the explosion on the Crimea bridge might have accelerated some of their planning,” Kirby said.

The French president said the rush hour attacks in Ukraine could be the beginning of another 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.

“So imagine if we had modern equipment, we probably could raise the number of those drones and missiles downed and not kill innocent civilians or wound and injure Ukrainians,” Zhovkva said.

If Putin were to launch a campaign against civilians, it would be used to break the Ukrainian sense of identity, and possibly unleash a new wave of refugees in Western Europe, which might cause more division within the NATO alliance.

Revenge is not an appropriate way to act off the battlefield and Putin does not appear to have learned that in the final analysis it is likely to undermine Russia, possibly irreversibly.

On the Return of Fear to the Lives of Ukrainians: A Brief Account of a New Round of Russian “Terror,” says Olena Gnes

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.”

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

The Russian 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.”

In the age of nuclear weapons, all accepted modes of just war — self-defense, justice and punishment for wrongdoers, recovery of international borders; in essence, all notions of right and wrong — are irrelevant. It really doesn’t matter who was the aggressor, who the aggrieved, who committed crimes against civilians, who was merely acting in self-defense.

In an asymmetrical exchange of nuclear missiles in which hundreds of millions could die, it does not really matter who was right and who was wrong. No historians will survive to tell the story.

President Biden should publicly muse about alternatives and dispatch his diplomats immediately to Russia to give Vladimir Putin off ramps. An immediate cease-fire must occur, and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine must be pressured to agree.

WARSAW — President Aleksandr G. Lukashenko of Belarus announced on Monday that Russian troops would return to his country in large numbers, a replay of the military buildup there that preceded Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine.

“This won’t be just a thousand troops,” Mr. Lukashenko told senior military and security officials in Minsk, the Belarusian capital, after a meeting over the weekend with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in St. Petersburg.

He gave no details on Monday of the size or precise purpose of the new joint force, stirring speculation that Belarus might send troops into Ukraine to help Russia’s flailing military campaign. The country could be preparing for thousands of Russians who were recently drafted, as well as some of them who were former convicts and others who were ill trained.

The strongman, who has resisted pressure from Moscow to deploy his own troops, claimed that Ukraine had planned attacks from the south, without citing evidence.

There could be a psychological impact from continued involvement in the war. “Everyone’s mind in Ukraine and in the West has been oriented towards fighting one army,” he said. Inside Russia, Belarus joining the invasion “would play into Putin’s narrative that this war is about reuniting the lands of ancient Rus states.”

He said that Mr. Lukashenko would try to resist the deployment of his own troops because it would be so dangerous. It would be catastrophic politically.”

On Monday, state television reported on the suffering and also showed how miserable it could be. It showed plumes of smoke and carnage in central Kyiv, along with empty store shelves and a long-range forecast promising months of freezing temperatures there.

It is a strategy that has been used by Russia. With its slow advance and defensive lines, Russia has tried to drag Ukraine into this kind of extended war, believing it can outlast the Ukrainians, officials said.

As Ukraine races to shore up its missile defenses in the wake of the assault, the math for Moscow is simple: A percentage of projectiles are bound to get through.

Experts believe it remains unlikely that Russia’s aerial bombardment will form a recurrent pattern; while estimating the military reserves of either army is a murky endeavor, Western assessments suggest Moscow may not have the capacity to keep it up.

Moscow had more than 50% of its pre-war inventory, but the Pentagon believed that Russia was running the lowest on cruise missiles, especially air-launched cruise missiles.

Some of that inventory was dispatched this week. But Russia has recently resorted to using much older and less precise KH-22 missiles (originally made as an anti-ship weapon), of which it still has large inventories, according to Western officials. They’re designed to take out aircraft carriers. A shopping mall in Kremenchuk was the scene of dozens of casualties in June.

The Russians have also been adapting the S-300 – normally an air defense missile – as an offensive weapon, with some effect. These have wreaked havoc across the country and their speed makes it difficult to stop them. But they are hardly accurate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made rare public comments specifically addressing the attacks from the Russian Armed Forces on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

A senior Defense Department official added that work was continuing on improving Ukrainian air defenses, including “finding Soviet-era capabilities to make sure that countries were ready (and) could donate them and help move those capabilities.”

Last month, the US deputy undersecretary of defense for policy, Sasha Baker, said the US had seen “some evidence already” that the Iranian drones “have already experienced numerous failures.”

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

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

Western systems are beginning to trickle in. The first of two US units of the NASAM is expected soon, according to the Ukrainian Defense Minister.

“This is only the beginning. And we need more,” Reznikov said Wednesday before tweeting as he met with Ukraine’s donors at the Brussels meeting:” Item #1 on today’s agenda is strengthening (Ukraine’s) air defense. Feeling optimistic.”

The IRIS-T arrived from Germany and is expected from the United States. , Bronk said.

The Ukraine war is moving into a new phase: Russian expectations, and Ukrainian outlooks for the next few months (I): a senior consultant at Chatham House

Poland has been thanked by the senior military commander of Ukraine for training an air defense battalion that destroyed nine of 11 Shaheeds.

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

For many Ukrainians like Ievheniia, the war didn’t start this year but in February 2014, when Russia invaded the east of their country and annexed Crimea. The international community turned a blind eye to Russia’s aggression, which killed her brother and her brother’s partner in four years in the Ukrainian armed forces.

The war is moving into a new phase that is unpredictable. Keir Giles is a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House and he said that this war was the third, fourth, or fifth different war they have been observing.

“What seemed a distant prospect for anything that could be convincingly described as a Ukraine victory is now very much more plausible,” Giles said. Russia is likely to respond further.

Oleksii Hromov, a senior Ukrainian military official, said last week that Kyiv’s forces have recaptured some 120 settlements since late September as they advance in the Kharkiv, Donetsk and Kherson regions. On Wednesday, Ukraine said it had freed more settlements during its push in Kherson.

Since the end of the summer, the ground war in eastern and southern Ukraine has been defined by a series of decisive counter-attacks that have pushed back Russian forces and crystallized Western optimism that Kyiv can win the war.

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

It will be a huge victory for the Russians if they are able to get to Christmas with some semblance of a frontline.

It is possible that a blow to the rebels in the Donbas region would send a strong message to its allies, and it is likely that Ukraine will try to improve on its gains before winter sets in.

To knit the grid back together will require a great deal of investment, Lorkowski said. At the request of the European Commission, the Energy Community set up the Ukraine Energy Support Fund to procure much-needed supplies. The fund, to which governments and companies have committed €156 million ($166 million), has delivered more than 1,000 tons of specialized equipment and spare parts to Ukraine (of about 4,600 tons the country has received in total). Ukraine’s Energy Ministry is constantly updating a list of tens of thousands of priority items: from high-voltage autotransformers, to circuit breakers, cables and switchers. Is the delivery the biggest so far? An autotransformer from Lithuania weighing 200 tons, to be transported by sea.

Ukraine’s national electricity company, Ukrenergo, says it has stabilized the power supply to Kyiv and central regions of Ukraine after much of the country’s electricity supply was disrupted by Russian missile attacks on Monday and Tuesday. But Ukrainian Prime Minister has warned that “there is a lot of work to do” to fix damaged equipment, and asked Ukrainians to reduce their energy usage during peak hours.

“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 massive influx of weapons, ammunition and armor sent by the United States and other countries over the past few months was intended, in large part, to help Ukraine secure battlefield gains that could strengthen its position at a to-be-determined negotiating table with Russia.

The impact of an intervention on pure manpower would be limited, as there are no more active duty troops in Belarus than Russia. But it would threaten another assault on Ukraine’s northern flank below the Belarusian border.

“The reopening of a northern front would be another new challenge for Ukraine,” Giles said. He said it would give Russia a new path into the Kharkiv oblast, which has been captured by the Ukrainians.

The United States and other Western nations have been shipping tranches of arms, tanks and ammunition to Ukraine, steadily increasing what they are willing to provide in the hopes of changing the trajectory of the war. It’s not enough for Zelensky, who wants heavier weapons and fighter jets.

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 in the Pentagon: From his experience in the air force to his defeat of Gorbachev and his support of rebel rebels in Ukraine

The commander of the Russian forces in Syria spoke at the Russian Defense Ministry in Moscow.

Notably, he previously played an instrumental role in Russia’s operations in Syria – during which Russian combat aircraft caused widespread devastation in rebel-held areas – as Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

Andrea Kendall-Taylor, director of the Transatlantic Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, also told CNN this week that Surovikin’s appointment “reflects the ascendancy of a lot of hardline voices inside Russia… calling on Putin to make changes, and to bring in someone who would be willing to execute these ruthless attacks.”

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met with service personnel who took part in Syria operations at the Kremlin in December.

Irisov then began what he hoped would be the start of a career as an international journalist, as a military reporter with Russian state news agency TASS. His wife worked there and he felt at the time it was “the only main information agency” that tried to ​cover news in an “unbiased” way, with “some opportunity of freedom of speech,” he said.

Their lives are dramatically and completely different within a few hours. Putin launches his invasion of Ukraine the next day.

He knew exactly what to do once the full-scale invasion happened because of his gut feeling, according to Hlibovytsky.

He worked as an aviation safety and air traffic control employee at the La takia air base in Syria. He said he spoke to high-ranking officers under him while he was on some missions.

“He made a lot of people very angry – they hated him,” Irisov said, describing how the “direct” and “straight” general was disliked at headquarters because of the way he tried to implement his infantry experience into the air force.

The private military company that has operated in Syria has strong ties to the Russian government, according to Irisov.

In 2004, according to Russian media accounts and at least two think tanks, he berated a subordinate so severely that the subordinate took his own life.

According to a book in Washington DC, the failed coup attempt against former Soviet President Gorbachev lead to the death of 3 protesters and the imprisonment of the commanding officer.

In a 2020 report, Human Rights Watch named him as “someone who may bear ​command responsibility” for the dozens of air and ground attacks on civilian objects and infrastructure in violation of the laws of war​” during the 2019-2020 Idlib offensive in Syria. The UN estimates that the attacks killed at least 1,600 people and forced the displacement of over one million people.

When Sergei Surovikin was appointed commander of the Russian invasion forces: What happened when Alexander Dvornikov became commander in Kherson?

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 European Union has imposed sanctions on a head of theAerospace forces in order to undermine and threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

But Clark, from the ISW, suggests the general’s promotion is “more of a framing thing to inject new blood into the Russian command system” and “put on this tough nationalist face.”

His appointment “got widespread praise from various Russian military bloggers as well as Yevgeny (Prigozhin), who’s the financier of the Wagner Group,” Clark said.

What is happening now is a reflection of what happened in April, when Alexander Dvornikov was named overall commander of the operations.

“Similarly, he before then was a commander of one of the groupings of Russian forces and had sort of a master reputation in Syria much like Surovikin for brutality, earning this sort of name of the ‘butcher of Aleppo,’” Clark said.

On Tuesday, the newly appointed commander of the Russian invasion, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, acknowledged that his army’s position in Kherson was “already quite difficult” and appeared to suggest that a tactical retreat might be necessary. General Surovikin said he was ready to make “difficult decisions” about military deployments, but did not say more about what those might be.

That’s not to say mobilized forces will be of no use. If used in support roles, like drivers or refuelers, they might ease the burden on the remaining parts of Russia’s exhausted professional army. They could also fill out depleted units along the line of contact, cordon some areas and man checkpoints in the rear. They’re unlikely to become a capable fighting force. Already there are signs of discipline problems among mobilized soldiers in Russian garrisons.

Vladimir Putin isn’t afraid of the West, but he does want to stay in Ukraine, according to a top CIA officer

The Defense Ministry of Russia stated that the shootings were a terrorist attack in a statement cited by state media. Two men from a former Soviet nation shot at soldiers at a shooting range, killing one of them.

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

Russian agents believe that eight people were involved in a bridge explosion that occurred in the month of October.

Russia’s Defense Ministry said in October that two men shot at Russian troops and killed 11 people and wounded more than a dozen before killing themselves.

The first convoy of Russian troops arrived in Belarus on October 15th, as part of a “regional grouping” of forces to protect it from threats at the border from the West.

“Even if President (Volodymyr) Zelenskyy reached some conclusion that maybe we should, to stop the punishment, we should negotiate. I do not think he can do that now that he knows that the Ukrainian people are guilty.

The annual conference in Sea Island, Ga., run by The Cipher Brief brings together members of the national security community and looks at the big picture on global security.

The conflict needs to end with a victory for the Ukrainians on the battlefield, according to a top Ukrainian official.

The Russian leader doesn’t want to leave the conflict, according to a former CIA officer who runs an intelligence project at Harvard. He says it’s the opposite. Putin’s memory is his muscle memory, and it goes crazy when he runs into an obstacle. “There’s a lot of tricks he can still pull out to try to undermine morale in Ukraine and in the West.”

This annexation is a huge deal. Dmitri Alperovitch, who runs the thought tank Silverado Policy said that Putin is betting his presidency on staying in Ukraine.

David Petraeus, the Ukrain Foreign Minister and Greg Myre: The Russian-Russian War is Coming to an End in Finality

Charap agrees that the conflict could drag out indefinitely. He says that the war won’t end in a short period of time. “There is a conflict that goes on for many years.”

Meanwhile, the fast approaching winter will likely slow the pace of the war, but is not expected to halt the fighting. David Petraeus thinks the harsh weather favors the Ukrainians on the battlefield. The Ukrainians can go to the door and have a bowl of soup from their fellow citizens. He said that they’re welcomed as liberators, whereas the Russians are trying to kill them.

No one said the war was nearing an end at the Georgia conference. “I don’t see any prospects of negotiations in the near term, because wars end with negotiated solutions, whether that comes out of stalemate or defeat,” said the former CIA official.

The war started with a Russian invasion in 2014, and is now even more intense. Greg Myre is a national security correspondent for NPR. Followgregmyre1, which he did.

Moscow’s First Martial Law: Warnings to Russians from the Ruin of the Great Synchrotron Collider and the War on Intermediate Scales

Some regional officials seem to be taking precautions to offer reassurances. Mr. Sobyanin wrote that no measures were being introduced to limit the life rhythm of the city.

Despite the new power given to them, the regional governors said they wouldn’t impose entry or exit restrictions.

But many Russians are sure to see a warning message in the martial law imposed in Ukraine, the first time that Moscow has declared martial law since World War II, analysts say.

She said that people were worried about the borders being closed, and that the siloviki, the men in the Kremlin who were close to Putin, would do what they wanted.

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

The Ukrainian military has made gains in both of its counteroffensives, cutting supply lines and attacking Russian depots with long-range rockets.

Donald Vance, the Republican Senator and the Kremlin: How Does the United States Evade Russia? A Comment on CNN.com/Dean Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah is a former attorney and is the host of a radio show and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow him @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has opinions on it.

Vance’s initial reaction was callous and inflammatory, but House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s recent comments were even more alarming. McCarthy said that if the Republicans win the House in November, there will be no need for US assistance to be a blank check.

The GOP Senate candidate in Ohio later flip-flopped, saying that he wanted “the Ukrainians to be successful.” The Washington Post reported that Ukrainian Americans who are lifelong Republicans will end up supporting Tim Ryan in the Senate race because of Vance’s original remark.

The possible next speaker is aware of pressure from his right flank, and has warned against giving Ukraine a “blank check” from the new House. Even though there is still strong Republican support in the Senate that supports Ukraine, this kind of shifting political dynamic appears to inform the Kremlin about how long US resolve will last in a conflict which Putin’s political survival may depend on.

He knows better but he is willing to sacrifice all for his own political gain, I think, because he knows that America won’t stand for freedom in the future.

Meanwhile, GOP Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene — who recently declared that if Republicans win the House in next month’s elections that she expects McCarthy “to give me a lot of power and a lot of leeway” — blamed Ukraine for the war shortly after Russia’s attack, saying that “Ukraine just kept poking the bear and poking the bear, which is Russia, and Russia invaded.”

Tucker Carlson has been laying groundwork with members of the Republican base to prepare them for the possibility of an end to US assistance for Ukraine.

Carlson tried to paintUkraine in a negative light in the months preceding Putin’s attack on Russia, but it was not enough. Carlson called Zelensky apuppet of the Biden administration and claimed that Ukraine was not a democracy.

Last week, Ingraham said our massive military is too strapped to help other countries such as Ukraine and derided former Vice President Mike Pence for referring to the United States as the “arsenal of democracy”. Jim Banks of Indiana, who also agreed with McCarthy about aid for Ukrainians, was welcomed by Ingraham during that same episode.

McCarthy may or may not get it according to Biden. But there’s one person who fully gets it: Vladmir Putin. Few people will have greater cause for celebration if the GOP wins back control of the House.

PUTIN PROONGE War: EU Gas Caps in the Era of a Cold War and the German-German Correspondence

Petraeus studied warfare for decades and practiced its application. He was the US and coalition commander of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and later served as director of the CIA. He earned his doctorate from PRINCETON with a thesis on Vietnam War lessons for the American military. Petraeus is also the co-author, with British historian Andrew Roberts, of the forthcoming book, “Conflict: The Evolution of Warfare from 1945 to Ukraine.”

First, he’s seeking to distract his nation from the blindingly obvious, namely that he is losing badly on the battlefield and utterly failing to achieve even the vastly scaled back objectives of his invasion.

It is dependent on a variety of variables, from availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the coming winter to the popular will across a broad range of nations.

In the early hours of Friday in Brussels, European Union powers agreed a roadmap to control energy prices that have been surging on the heels of embargoes on Russian imports and the Kremlin cutting natural gas supplies at a whim.

These include an emergency cap on the benchmark European gas trading hub – the Dutch Title Transfer Facility – and permission for EU gas companies to create a cartel to buy gas on the international market.

There was only a “clear mandate” for the European Commission to begin work on a gas cap mechanism, according to French President Emmanuel Macron, as he left the summit.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, is skeptical of price caps. The German government worried that caps would encourage higher consumption, so they want ministers to work out details.

Putin wants these divisions to be part of his dream. Europe could be central to achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint because the continent is failing to agree on essentials.

Many of the issues are already being argued over by Germany and France. Though in an effort to reach some accommodation, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/10/25/opinions/putin-prolonge-war-ukraine-winter-andelman/index.html

Italy’s New Prime Minister: U.S. Aid to Ukraine at the Crossroads of Fascism and Political Dilemma

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

In an audio clip obtained by LaPresse, Berlusconi said he had returned Putin’s gesture with bottles of Lambrusco wine.

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.”

At the same time, Poland and Hungary, longtime ultra-right-wing soulmates united against liberal policies of the EU that seemed calculated to reduce their influence, have now disagreed over Ukraine. Poland has taken deep offense at the pro-Putin sentiments of Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.

Similar forces seem to be at work in Washington where House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, poised to become Speaker of the House if Republicans take control after next month’s elections, told an interviewer, “I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine. They just won’t do it.”

Meanwhile on Monday, the influential 30-member Congressional progressive caucus called on Biden to open talks with Russia on ending the conflict while its troops are still occupying vast stretches of the country and its missiles and drones are striking deep into the interior.

Mia Jacob sent a clarification to reporters with her statement about their remarks in support of Ukraine. The Secretary of State called the Ukrainian counterpart, Dmytro Kuleba, to thank him for America’s support.

Indeed, while the US has proffered more than $60 billion in aid since Biden took office, when Congress authorized $40 billion for Ukraine last May, only Republicans voted against the latest aid package.

The Failure of Hypersonic Rocket Production in Moscow and the Russian Military-Industry Complex: An Enduring Cold War Against the Kremlin

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 produced anti-aircraft systems have shut down and aircraft are being cannibalized for spare parts. The Soviet era ended more than 30 years ago.

Putin has also tried, though he has been stymied at most turns, to establish black market networks abroad to source what he needs to fuel his war machine – much as Kim Jong-un has done in North Korea. The United States has uncovered a massive network of shadow companies and individuals from Taiwan to Switzerland, Germany to Spain, France and Luxembourg to source high-tech goods for Russia.

The Justice Department charged individuals and companies with violating sanctions by trying to smuggle high-tech equipment into Russia.

The Impact of the 2016 Ukrainian War on Human History and the Middle East: Comments on the Case of the United Kingdom and Ukraine (with an Apparent Spoken Russian)

The University College London has an associate lecturer in Ukrainian, who is also a project curator at the Ukrainian Institute London. She obtained a PhD in English and Comparative Literature from University of London. She divides her time between the UK and Ukraine. She is supported by a project called Documenting Ukraine. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. CNN has more opinion on it.

The strengthening relationship between Moscow and Tehran has drawn the attention of Iran’s rivals and foes in the Middle East, of NATO members and of nations that are still – at least in theory – interested in restoring the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which aimed to delay Iran’s ability to build an atomic bomb.

The historian Yuval Noah Harari has argued that no less than the direction of human history is at stake, because a victory by Russia would reopen the door to wars of aggression, to invasions of one country by another, something that since the Second World War most nations had come to reject as categorically unacceptable.

There are repercussions to what has happened far from the battlefields. 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. (An accusation the Saudis deny).

Israel will not install its systems in Ukranian due to the fact that it has to share its airspace with Russia.

Russia halted the shipment of Ukrainian grain after the war began and food prices went up. The head of the World Food Program warned that the world was on the verge of starvation.

Everyone is affected by the war in Ukraine. Fuel prices have gone up as a result of the conflict.

Higher prices not only affect family budgets and individual lives. When they come with such powerful momentum, they pack a political punch. Inflation worsened by the war has put incumbent political leaders in a tough spot.

The War on the Front: The U.S. Embedded in Ukraine, Secretary to State, and Secretary of State to the Institute for the Study of War

And it’s not all on the fringes. McCarthy suggested the GOP may reduce aid to Ukraine after next week’s US elections. Progressive Democrats released and withdrew a letter calling for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas, a former Pentagon official during the Obama administration, said they’re all bringing “a big smile to Putin’s face.”

The reports of soldiers telling their families about high casualty rates in the Russian news media was supported by the videos filmed by the Ukrainian drones. The exact location of the videos on the front line is not certain because they have not been independently verified.

Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the commander of the Ukrainian military, said in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app on Thursday that Russian forces had tripled the intensity of attacks along some parts of the front. He did not say what the time frame was or where the attacks were coming from.

“We discussed the situation at the front,” General Zaluzhnyi wrote. He said he had told his U.S colleague that Ukrainian forces were doing a good job of fighting back the attacks.

The Institute for the Study of War said in its assessment that the increase in infantry in the east had not led to new ground being gained by Russia.

The institute said in a statement on Thursday that Russian forces would have had more success in their offensive operations if they had waited until enough people had arrived.

The remaining residents of the city have had to stock up on food and fuel as they prepare for battle with the Russian and Ukrainian forces.

“History is coming”: Volodymyr Zelensky tells the Ukrainian people in the newly reclaimed areas of Kherson

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that Friday was “a historic day” for Ukraine after Russia announced its withdrawal from the west bank of the Kherson region.

He handed over a simple Ukrainian flag signed by troops from the besieged area of Bakhmut to Pelosi, asking lawmakers to think of it and support Ukraine. She handed him an American flag that had been flown over the US Capitol, which he carried out of the chamber.

stabilization measures would be put in place due to the threat of mines. The occupiers left a lot of explosives and mines at vital facilities. We will be clearing them,” he said.

Police, rescuers, power engineers are following our defenders. Social services, medicine, and communications are all coming back. He said that life is returning.

The people who were forced to leave their homes in the newly reclaimed areas of Kherson were told on Friday to stay away.

The Restoration of Life in the Liberated Territories. I. Kherson, Ukraine: From a Free Zone to a Major Urban Operation

The head of the regional military administration of Mykolaiv went to Snihurivka on Friday to talk about the restoration of life in the liberated territories.

I warn local residents to be careful, despite the fact that the relevant services have started moving mines in the liberated territories.

The key city of Kherson was freed from Russian control by the late summer and into the fall as Ukrainian forces hit back in a dramatic counteroffensive.

Some in the crowd of locals sang the national anthem while others shouted, “Slava Ukrayini!” as the crew filmed live in Kherson.

Locals have been climbing on the top of buildings in the square to put up Ukrainian flags. Soldiers driving through are greeted with cheers and asked to sign autographs on flags.

“We were terrified by [the] Russian army, we were terrified by soldiers that can come any moment in our house, in our home – just open the door, like they are living here, and steal, kidnap, torture,” Olga said.

Everyone is celebrating in the square. People are wearing the Ukrainian flag, they’re hugging the soldiers, they’ve come out to see what it’s like to have freedom,” Robertson said.

Katerina described the liberation as the “best day” of her life after eight months under Russian occupation. She told CNN her street is free.

Speaking Saturday on the next steps for the Ukrainian military, CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton said: “This is going to be a major urban operation. What you are going to see is a methodical operation to clear buildings of potential booby traps and mines.

On Friday evening, the president posted a video on his official website showing a crowd in a city waving flags and shouting “ZSU”, the Ukrainian acronym for the armed forces.

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

In the middle of the journey through smaller towns and settlements, we were forced to drive through fields and bridges full of craters and anti-tank mines.

People in the city have no water, no internet, and little power. But as a CNN crew entered the city center on Saturday, the mood was euphoric.

The military presence is still limited, but huge cheers erupt from crowds on the street every time a truck full of soldiers drives past, with Ukrainian soldiers being offered soup, bread, flowers, hugs and kisses by elated passersby.

As CNN’s crew stopped to regroup, we observed an old man and an old woman hugging a young soldier, with hands on the soldier’s shoulder, exchanging excited “thank yous.”

Everyone would like you to understand what they have been through, how excited they are, and how grateful they are to the countries that have helped them.

In the southern region of Kherson, Pavlo Skotarenko doesn’t expect much to change. “They shell us every day, people die in Kherson every day. He said that the temporary measure wouldn’t change anything.

Belchings and thefts at the hands of russian soldiers in Kherson, Ukraine: the beginning of the end of the Ukrainian war

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.

There were puffs of smoke after mortar 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 mines are dangerous. An 11year-old and four other people were killed when a car ran over a mine outside the city, Mr.Yanushevich said. Another mine injured six railway workers who were trying to restore service after lines were damaged. Ukrainian officials reported that at least four more children had been injured by mines across the region.

The threats remained on the ground despite Mr. Zelensky’s surprise visit to Kherson.

The city was a hive of celebrations on Monday after Mr. Zelensky made a short appearance in the main square.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/11/14/world/russia-ukraine-war-news/kherson-residents-describe-beatings-and-thefts-at-the-hands-of-russian-soldiers

Russian troops haven’t left, but they do. So they don’t take it, say Tatiana and Ivan, a resident in Skadovsk

According to the Ukrainian Military’s southern command, Russian forces continued to shoot across the river at towns and villages that were captured by the Ukrainians. The Russian missiles hit the town of Beryslav, which is just north of a critical dam. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.

In the past two months, Ukraine’s power grid has come under relentless bombardment by Russian bombs, taking down as much as half of the country’s electric infrastructure and at times leaving the majority of the country without power. In Kyiv, more than 200 miles west of the ongoing fighting in the region known as Donbas, Ukrainians are reduced to hunting for generators, storing food outside to prevent it from spoiling, charging their phones and computers during the few hours a day of reliable power, and keeping backup food and water supplies in apartment building elevators in case someone is trapped inside during a blackout. Some of the country’s railways have been disrupted, as have the water supplies. Only a tiny amount of the country’s heating systems are functioning.

“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 afraid here. She asked that her surname be withheld for security.

Ivan wrote that Russian people are roaming around and 888-609- 888-609- 888-609- 888-609- 888-609-. 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 so we can find someone to stay in their place. So that it is not abandoned and Russians don’t take it.”

United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi chunping in Indonesia: The Birth of a Better World, After the Kherson Crisis

After two years, the leaders of the world’s two most powerful countries, United States President Joe Biden and Chinese President XI chunping, spoke in person on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia.

The results of the elections gave a strong message to the world that the US will remain engaged, Biden said. But there was a bigger message. The health of America’s democracy is the most important signal to the world from the mid-terms. The US elections not only went smoothly and peacefully, but they also dealt a harsh blow to many of the most antidemocratic elements in the country.

That’s not the only reason, however, why this was the perfect moment — from the standpoint of the United States and for democracy — for this meeting to occur: There’s much more to this geopolitical moment than who controls the US House of Representatives and Senate.

As Biden and Xi were meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an emotional, triumphant return to the devastated, now liberated city of Kherson, the one provincial capital that Russian invaders had conquered.

Putin’s adventure turned to disaster as the Ukrainians defended their country with unexpected tenacity and as Biden rallied allies in a muscular push to support Ukraine.

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, Wang’s visit will provide an opportunity for China and Russia to continue to develop their strategic partnership and “exchange views” on “international and regional hotspot issues of shared interest” – a catch-all phrase often used to allude to topics including the war in Ukraine.

Putin chose not to go to the G20 summit in Indonesia in order to escape confrontations with world leaders, who were becoming a pariah on the global stage.

“I want to live”: Hotline and Telegram for defecting troops in the light of the Russia-Russian missile attack on Ukraine

Biden is not the only leader with a strong hand. After securing a third term as China’s leader, he can now rule for as long as he wants. He does not have to fret about elections, the press or the party. He will rule a mighty country for many years to come.

And yet Xi faces a mountain of daunting problems. China is hesitant to reveal economic data because of the slowing economy. China’s Covid-19 vaccine is a disappointment. China’s imposing a lot of lockdowns is due to the Pandemic, and as the world slowly returns to normal, the rest of the world is also imposing lock downs.

A key aspect in the competition is showing that democracy works, defeating efforts of authoritarian countries to undermine it, and proving that wars of aggression will not succeed.

Poland is facing repercussions from the attacks. Russian projectiles have knocked out power across neighboring Moldova, which is not a NATO member and therefore attracted less attention than the Polish incident.

Whatever the exact circumstances of the missile, one thing is clear. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday.

Russia is sending many ill-trained and ill-equipped troops. In many cases, those troops are meeting their demise in short order. And so we can expect to see more of that.

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.

Vladimir Putin’s nuclear weapons comments on Ukraine’s “sea of Azov” as a weapon of deterrence

One leading Russian journalist, Mikhail Zygar, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me last week that while he hoped this is not the case, he is prepared to accept the reality – like many of his countrymen, he may never be able to return to his homeland, to which he remains deeply attached.

The West is attempting to keep Russian oil and natural gas out of the country in order to prevent it from pursuing this war. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, told the G20 on Tuesday that there was an “unhealthy and unsustainable dependency” on it.

The burden it has had on Western countries is proving to be unfulfilled, as was Putin’s dream that this conflict would drive wedges into the Western alliance. 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.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country’s nuclear weapons were making the conflict in Ukraine less violent, but acknowledged that his “special military operation” inUkraine was taking longer than expected.

In his meeting with the Human Rights Council in Russia, Putin remarked that the Sea of Azov had become Russia’s internal sea. In one of his frequent historic references to a Russian leader he admires, he added that “Peter the Great fought to get access” to that body of water.

If it doesn’t use it first under any circumstances, it means that it won’t be the second to do so, since there’s a chance of a nuclear strike on our territory.

Putin rejected Western criticism that his previous nuclear weapons comments amounted to saber-rattling, claiming they were “not a factor provoking an escalation of conflicts, but a factor of deterrence.”

We have not gone mad. Putin said that they were aware of what nuclear weapons were. He added, without elaborating: “We have them, and they are more advanced and state-of-the-art than what any other nuclear power has.”

In his televised remarks, the Russian leader didn’t address Russia’s battlefield setbacks or its attempts to cement control over the seized regions but acknowledged problems with supplies, treatment of wounded soldiers and limited desertions.

The governor posted photos of the new concrete “dragon’s teeth” in the open fields. On Tuesday, the governor had said a fire broke out at an airport in the region after a drone strike. In Belgorod, there were workers who were expanding anti-tank barriers and officials organizing self-defense units. Belgorod has seen numerous fires and explosions, apparently from cross-border attacks, and its governor reported Wednesday that Russia’s air defenses have shot down incoming rockets.

But the attacks, which remain sensitive enough that the Ukrainian government has not publicly acknowledged them, have forced Russia to move planes, potentially complicating Moscow’s campaign of aiming cruise missile strikes at Ukraine’s energy grid.

Moscow responded with strikes by artillery, multiple rocket launchers, missiles, tanks and mortars at residential buildings and civilian infrastructure, worsening damage to the power grid. Private Ukrainian power utility Ukrenergo said temperatures in eastern areas where it was making repairs had dropped to as low as minus 17 degrees Celsius (near zero Fahrenheit).

“This book is a confession. I am guilty for not reading the signs much earlier. I too am responsible for Russia’s war against Ukraine. My predecessors and the forebears are in the same boat. Regrettably, Russian culture is also to blame for making all these horrors possible.”

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.

He ended his apparently off-the-cuff comments by claiming that people seem to refrain from mentioning that water has been cut off from Donetsk. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. It was at all! Complete silence.

Local Russian authorities in Donetsk — which Putin claimed to annex in defiance of international law — have reported frequent shelling of the city this week.

The President made a rare public comments at a reception, specifically addressing the Russian military’s attacks on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

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.

He continued to question who was not giving water to Donetsk in the Kremlin appearance. Not supplying water to a city of million is an act of genocide.”

Revealing Ukraine’s deterioration of the energy grid as a genocide: a statement by Mr. Ukrenergo

He concluded the speech by adding that “it won’t interfere with our combat missions,” before raising a toast to the listening soldiers and sipping from his champagne glass.

The race to restore power to homes is being hampered by wind, rain and cold, Ukrenergo said in a statement.

A top Ukrainian official said that the attacks on the energy grid are a form of genocide. Ukrainian prosecutor-general made the comments to the British Broadcasting Corp.

He said the strikes 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 said that although repair crews were busy, it wouldn’t be long before power was restored to civilians.

In his nightly address on Saturday, Mr. Zelensky said Ukraine had shot down 10 of the 15 drones that Russian forces used. It was not immediately possible to verify his tally.

The repeated assaults on the plants and equipment that Ukrainians rely on for heat and light have drawn condemnation from world leaders, and thrust Ukraine 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 civilian infrastructure in different regions of our country. Residential buildings, hotel, (a) shop, place for festivals were damaged. There are dead and injured people.

“Brittney” Griner and the Russian Invasion of Bakhmut, Ukraine: a Rejoinder of Ukraine and the French and Turkish Premiers

Ukrainian authorities have been stepping up raids on churches accused of links with Moscow, and many are watching to see if Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy follows through on his threat of a ban on the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine.

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

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

Fans, friends and family are celebrating the return to US of Basketball player, Brittney “Brittney” Griner who was freed from a Russian prison. Meanwhile, some Republican politicians have been complaining about the prisoner swap and other U.S. citizens still held by Russia.

Russian oil revenue was targeted by new measures on December 5. A price cap and European Union embargo on Russian oil imports are included.

Russian forces turned the city of Bakhmut into burned ruins, Zelenskyy said. Russia attempted to advance on the city in the eastern Donbas region.

The leaders of France and Turkey were the ones who received a call from President Zelenskyy on December 11, in what seemed to be a stepped up of diplomacy over the Russian invasion.

A Dark Ukrainian Fairy Tale of the First Evacuation from Kyiv to Kiev by the Russian Army and the Implications for Human Rights and Civil Liberties

Long nights with the promise of a miracle: December is the month of fairy tales, when we peer into the darkness only to be reassured of the “happily ever after.”

We used to say our life was like a dark fairy tale with a happy ending. Ievheniia, a Ukrainian woman who’s in Poland this December with her two-month-old son, says that now is the right time to say goodbye.

On the day after Russia launched its full- scale attack, Ievheniia and Denys were two of the thousands of Ukrainian men and women who wanted to join the army. Ievheniia was convinced by Denys to first evacuate his relatives from Kyiv to westernUkraine.

The key moments in this dark Ukrainian fairy tale are taken place via video link. This is the way love looks in a war-torn time, shifted to the digital space and disrupted mid-plot.

I have met many people around the world since my organization, the Center for Civil Liberties was named a winner of the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. They ask me what motivates me to keep on fighting. How do I get up in the morning and eat breakfast while documenting the hideous atrocities committed against the people of Ukraine by the Russian armed forces?

Europe was plunged into darkness by the Russia’s imperialist war as we rushed to bring gifts to our loved ones.

A fairy tale tale of death in Ukraine, and a young boy’s escape from war: the case of Ievheniia and Denys

After driving across the country under Russian air assaults, Ievheniia arrived at an enlistment office. She was told to sign a contract with the military on Monday after she had been interviewed on a Friday.

On the weekend, she decided to take a pregnancy test, just in case. The ground slipped under her feet when she was at war and evacuated. It was discovered that I was pregnant.

The pregnant woman who planned to defend her homeland instead joined the refugees looking for safety in Poland, thanks to the pregnancy test.

Separated by war, Ievheniia and Denys sought to validate their partnership in the eyes of the state. Ukrainian servicemen now are allowed to marry via video call because of the ingenuity of the country at war. “Instead of (by) boring civil servants, we got married remotely by a handsome man in a uniform. I had nothing to complain about,” Ievheniia said.

Denys continued with his magic via the Internet, ordering flowers and professional photos for Ievheniia from the trenches.

When one morning she did not pick up the phone, Denys raised the alarm all over Warsaw and a rescue squad found Ievheniia unconscious in her rented flat. There is a possibility of death if there is a delay. A Caesarean section was followed. The father was able to meet his son because he was two months early.

Even though Ukrainian men are fighting age, they are not currently allowed to leave the country. Yet as is appropriate for a fairy tale, Denys got permission, crossed the border, and spent five days with his family.

“It was a magical time filled with ordinary things: shopping, registering with a pediatrician, laughing, talking. Then he left. It was his birthday on November 17 and we sent him greetings,” Ievheniia remembered. He was killed the next day.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/14/opinions/ukraine-christmas-fairy-tales-death-dovzhyk/index.html

Donetsk: The most dangerous region of Ukraine in the past 24 hours, a Russian-installed official told Ievheniia

Italo Calvino, the celebrated Italian journalist and editor of folktales, among other works, called them “consolatory fables” because it is that a rare fairy tale ends badly. If it does, it means the time to be consoled has not yet come. It is time to act.

And we must not be deluded by the narrative logic of a fairy tale. The wily kid won’t use magic to defeat the monster. Ukrainians need military aid more than ever, because they need to bring a decisive victory over Russia. Our collective effort will determine the outcome of Ukrainian victory.

“As a teenager, I was reading a lot of fantasy books and wondering how I would act in a fight against absolute evil. Would I be able to turn away and proceed with my daily life?” Ievheniia told me. “Today, all of us have a chance to find out.”

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.

He said that in the city there were 40 rockets fired at civilians and that a key in the city had come under fire.

The city was hit 86 times with “artillery, MLRS, tanks, mortars and UAVs,” in the past 24 hours, according to the regional head of the Kherson military administration.

A member of the international organization was one of the victims. They were killed by enemy shells while they were on the street.

The U.S. Response to Ukraine’s Three-Step Campaign for a Patriot Surface-to-Air Missile System is “Provocative”

The regional head of the Kherson military administration,Yanushevych, said the city was completely disconnected from power supplies because of the strikes.

The critical infrastructure facility was hit by the enemy. Shell fragments damaged residential buildings and the place where the medical aid and humanitarian aid distribution point is located,” Yanushevych later said in a Telegram video on Thursday.

international financial institutions and the US Agency for International Development have worked to rebuildUkraine’s infrastructure and get private industry back to peaceful parts of Ukraine, Power said.

Four excavators and over 130 generators were delivered by the Energy Security Project. All equipment was free of charge.

Nearly a year since Russian forces rolled into Ukraine, there are no real signs of a way out of the conflict. Neither side appears to be in a position to win the war, and progress at the negotiating table is not likely.

In response to Zelensky’s three-step proposal, the Ukrainian side needs to take into account realities that have been developed over the course of this time.

The new, $1.8 billion package Biden will unveil includes a Patriot surface-to-air missile system, which has been a longstanding request of Ukraine’s to fend of Russian air attacks. CNN was first to report the US was expected to send the Patriot systems to Ukraine.

“Earlier, many experts, including those overseas, questioned the rationality of such a step which would lead to an escalation of the conflict and increase the risk of directly dragging the US army into combat,” Zakharova said at a briefing in Moscow.

Until then, US officials had argued that the Patriot system was too complex and scarce to give to Ukraine. Russia’s targeted campaign on civilian infrastructure jettisoned those arguments.

Asked Thursday about Russian warnings that the Patriot system would be “provocative,” Pentagon press secretary Brig. The comments would not affect US aid to Ukraine according to Gen. Pat Ryder.

“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.

Russia’s defense ministry shared a video of the installation of a “Yars” intercontinental missile into a silo in the Kaluga region for the commander of the Kozelsky missile formation.

The commander of Russia’s militia in the eastern region of the country appeared on state TV and suggested Russia could not win a conventional war against NATO.

The Russian Empire: Why Ukrainians Want to Stay with Russia and Why Russia Necessarily Doesn’t Wanna Join NATO?

Unlike smaller air defense systems, Patriot missile batteries need much larger crews, requiring dozens of personnel to properly operate them. The United States will have to train Patriot missile batteries several times in a row, a process that normally takes a long time.

In an interview with The Economist published Thursday, Zelensky also rejected the idea recently suggested by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Ukraine seek to reclaim only land seized by Russia since February 2022 and not areas like Donbas and Crimea, which have been under Russian control since 2014.

Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the United States, said the region would be more stable if Ukraine wins the war and joins NATO. This is what the Ukrainian government would like, though it is not likely to join the alliance in the near term.

In addition to the problem, the Ministry of Defense of Britain noted that the Russian military has a history of unsafe storage in the past and this incident highlights how unreliable their practices are.

“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 talks to a sewing machine repairman turned tank driver.

“The Russian empire started to expand with Ukraine. Many Russians feel that their empire is not viable without Ukrainians. That’s why they keep coming back,” said Volodymyr Viatrovych, a member of Ukraine’s parliament and a prominent historian.

He went to parliament in order to declared martial law. He was able to join the security forces after he received a rifle.

As Russia’s war on Ukraine approaches its one-year mark, Ana not only worries about her parents as they face winter, but also feels anxious over where the next errant missile from the neighboring battlefield might fall.

Ongoing fight to free itself-from-russia: Ukraine’s referendum on independence in 1991, during the Blast blew out by Soviet Union

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. There are shards of glass on the floor.

The director of the House of Teachers said there were parallels to a century ago. This building was damaged during the fighting. It has been damaged again. 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.

Ukrainians thought this matter was finally resolved in December 1991, when they held a referendum on independence. Ninety-two percent of the voters agreed to go their own way. The Soviet Union collapsed later that month.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2022/12/16/1142176312/ukraine-ongoing-fight-to-free-itself-from-russia

War, Peace, Freedom, and the End of the Era: Vladimir Kasparov’s Case for a New Century in Russo

“If he’s losing a war, even a war of his own making, he doesn’t survive,” he said. The outcome may signal the end of the era of the empire. It’s a new century. It is time for an empire to end.

Kasparov was still living in Russia 15 years ago when he entered politics and challenged Putin’s hold on power. When it became clear his safety was at risk, he left Russia, and now lives in New York.

This shift in the power dynamic may not change the way the war is fought but could impact the contours of a final deal and shape a lasting peace when it comes.

“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 another country.

Zelensky said that the American people would win through to victory. The people of the Ukrainian nation will win as well.

Russian propaganda videos posted on social networks are trying to appeal to Russian men through their narratives of patriotism, morality, and upward social mobility in an attempt to attract more volunteers to the front.

A young man chooses to fight instead of partying with his male friends and buys himself a car in one of the videos that was posted on December 14.

In another video, posted on December 15, the former girlfriend of a soldier is newly impressed with his courage and begs him to get back together with her. A further example shows a middle-aged man leaving the factory job that doesn’t pay him enough to sign a military contract and go to the front.

One video has a group of Russian men loading a car and being asked by elderly women where they are going. One of the men replies: “To Georgia. Forever.” When one woman spills a bag of groceries, the men just get into the car and leave, instead of helping, while younger Russian men rush to pick up the groceries. One of the elderly women says that the boys left and the men stayed.

Many of the videos portray the war as an escape for men from a bleak daily reality of drinking vodka, poverty and helplessness. Meanwhile, reports and complaints of shortages of provisions and equipment in the Russian military continue to emerge.

Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that it was better to die fighting for the motherland than to drink out of a bottle.

Earlier this month, addressing a news conference after a summit of Eurasian countries in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Putin attempted to reassure the public that there were no plans for additional mobilization.

Questioned about reports of continuing military equipment shortages on the front lines, Putin said he was working closely with the Russian defense ministry and that the issue was being resolved.

Zelensky traveled to the lysée Palace in a small car, while Putin used an armored limousine. (The host, French President Emmanuel Macron, hugged Putin but chose only to shake hands with Zelensky).

Zelensky was able to achieve the thing Putin most wanted to do but failed to accomplish, which was to rally support domestically in order to distract from his failures at home. In Putin’s mind, to be shown up by a mere ‘decadent’ comedian must be excruciatingly painful for him,” New York-based geopolitical and business analyst Michael Popow told me.

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.”

It is perhaps easy to forget that Zelensky honed his political muscles earlier in his career standing up to another bully in 2019 – then-US President Donald Trump, who tried to bamboozle the novice politician in the quid pro quo scandal.

It has been a long while since the campaign celebration in a rehabilitated nightclub in which Zelensky spoke of victory and thanked his supporters. He looked in shock on stage as he found out that he had defeated Petro Poroshenko.

Zelensky had suffered a serious drop in popularity ratings from the very high point of his first days as president to the point where they were at before the invasion of Russia.

He had a professional life as a TV comedian before founding 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.

Zelensky: Communicating Fairly with General Relativity in the Age of Modernization and a United Kingdom View of Black Holes

“By wearing T-shirts and hoodies, the youthful, egalitarian uniform of Silicon Valley, rather than suits, Zelensky is projecting confidence and competence in a modern way, to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such,” Kimberly Chrisman-Campbell, a fashion historian and author of “Red, White, and Blue on the Runway: The 1968 White House Fashion Show and the Politics of American Style,” told NPR.

“He is probably more comfortable than Putin on camera, too, both as an actor and as a digital native,” she added. “I believe both of them want to come across as relatable, not aloof or untouchable, although Zelensky is definitely doing a better job balancing authority with accessibility.”

Zelenska has showed herself to be an effective communicator when she travels to where her husband can’t. Most recently, she met with King Charles during a visit to a refugee assistance center at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family in London. (Curiously, TIME magazine did not include Zelenska on the cover montage and gave only a passing reference in the supporting text).

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.”

Zelensky flew aboard a US military aircraft out of his country, but the US officials wouldn’t say whether that was before the trip. Transit in and out of the country has been exceedingly difficult. Western leaders who have visited Kyiv in the past year have taken a long train ride from Poland.

It was a tightly held visit, which took place at a time when Russia was preparing for an attack.

Zelensky, who wanted to visit the US, decided to use those parameters and the US was going to execute them. The trip was finally confirmed on Sunday.

The official said US troops would train Ukrainians to use the system in a third country. CNN reported that the training would take place at a US Army base in Germany.

Biden’s Holocaust Visit to the Kremlin: The Importance of Extra US Support to the War on the Warsaw Puzzle for Ukraine

Biden could have been referring to Gorbachev, or the poetry of Ich bin Ein Berliner. The Biden visit was instantly compared to the two Berlin trips of the Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan which sent their own image of the US resolve to the Kremlin.

Zelensky will hope that extra US support will mean that the Roosevelt administration has actually “drawn the sword for freedom and cast away the scabbard” and that is what they said in their address to Congress on December 26, 1941.

Zelensky’s appearance was facilitated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as one of her final acts before relinquishing the speaker’s gavel. She went to meet with Zelensky in the country she calls home.

The decision on Patriots, which would satisfy a long-standing Ukrainian request, reflects a US process of matching its aid to the shifting strategy of Russia’s assault. The missile attacks onUkrainian cities and electricity installations by Russia have caused great concern among Ukrainian people, so it has mounted a plan to distract the public from the real issue.

“I do think this is a critical moment,” Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told NPR. “The battlefield, as difficult as it is and as bloody as it is … is something that’s going to play a very major factor in both President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy and President [Vladimir] Putin’s calculations as to whether or not to go to the negotiating table … and under what conditions.”

His visit to Congress will also play into an increasingly important debate on Capitol Hill over Ukraine aid with Republicans set to take over the House majority in the new year. Billions of dollars in US money sent to the Ukrainian government should be used to shoring up the US border with Mexico, according to some members of the pro-Donald Trump wing of the GOP.

Zelensky, President Roosevelt, and the War of 1917: When the US and its Cold War Wars Shared a Common Understanding with the West

In March, for instance, Zelensky evoked Mount Rushmore and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I have a Dream Speech” during a virtual address to Congress. He also referred to two days of infamy in modern history when Americans directly experienced the fear of aerial bombardment.

The wartime British leader sailed to the United States aboard HMS Duke of York, dodging U-boats in the wintery Atlantic and took a plane from the coast of Virginia to Washington, where he was met on December 22, 1941, by President Franklin Roosevelt before their joint press conference the next day.

Over days of brainstorming and meetings – fueled by Churchill’s regime of sherry with breakfast, Scotch and sodas for lunch, champagne in the evening and a tipple of 90-year-old brandy before bed – the two leaders plotted the defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and laid the foundation of the Western alliance that Biden has reinvigorated in his support for Ukraine.

It was the key to defeating Hitler, and it was only through the US’s involvement that we won the war. However, during his visit, he said that he did not feel far from his country, or his family.

The historical parallels could be why the Ukrainian leader is fond of them. In a speech to the British members of parliament in March, he quoted from Churchill’s most famous wartime speech.

There are two key headline deliverables: first, the Patriot missile systems. Complex, accurate, and expensive, they have been described as the US’s “gold standard” of air defense. NATO protects them and it requires the personnel who operate them to be properly trained, which is almost 100 for each weapon.

It is important that Ukraine hits its targets and not any civilians remaining nearby. Russia appears to burn through hundreds or thousands of shells as it bombards areas it wants to capture.

Petraeus: Western tanks and infantry fighting vehicles will be added to the Ukrainian side, along with larger precision and longer-range rockets from the US that will enable precise strikes out to 150 kilometers.

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

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

Remnants of the “America First” part of the Trump party have questioned how much aid the US should give to eastern Europe.

The bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this dark and lengthy conflict is relatively light for Washington given its huge defense budget.

The Story of George W. Zelensky: The American War on Crime and Human Rights, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, December 22, 2012

The speech “connected the struggle of Ukrainian people to our own revolution, to our own feelings that we want to be warm in our homes to celebrate Christmas and to get us to think about all the families in Ukraine that will be huddled in the cold and to know that they are on the front lines of freedom right now,” Clinton said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” Wednesday.

Her comments came after Zelensky delivered a historic speech from the US Capitol, expressing gratitude for American aid in fighting Russian aggression since the war began – and asking for more.

“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.

Clinton met Putin when he was US secretary of state and he said that the leader is impossible to predict as the war turns in Ukraine’s favor.

This story was adapted from the December 22 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. You can subscribe to read past editions.

At a time when there is increasing skepticism about the cost of US involvement, the comic actor-turnedwartime hero made the fate of millions of Ukrainians in the hands of American lawmakers, taxpayers and families.

Zelensky handed Pelosi and Harris a Ukrainian flag he retrieved from the fighting at Bakhmut, at the end of his speech in the House chamber.

He said that members of the House of Representatives and senators had been asked to bring the flag to them because it could save millions of people.

He said that this is not just about war in Russia and Ukraine, but about the deaths of women and children because of the fighting. It is about human rights.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that Russia had lost tactically, strategically, and operationally. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Wednesday that “Putin must realize that he cannot win” as he explained the rationale for rushing arms and ammunition to Ukrainian forces. And Julianne Smith, the US ambassador to NATO, told CNN’s Becky Anderson that Washington was doing all it could to “continue to apply pressure on Moscow to affect (Putin’s) strategic calculus.”

— To Americans, Zelensky professed deep thanks for tens of billions of dollars in weapons and aid offered and to come. Implicitly, he argued they couldn’t abandon this gritty, independence hero without also suppressing something of their own patriotic national identify.

The welcoming of the Ukrainian leader to the chamber by the incoming GOP majority made them think that they would be shamed if they stopped aid.

Zelensky’s unified view of the Russian-Russian conflict and the need for a new war in the 21st century

— To Europeans, enduring their own grim winter of high electricity and heating prices after cutting off from Russian energy, and who may be minded to push for an end to the conflict on Putin’s terms, Zelensky showed that the West is united and that Biden means it when he said Wednesday the US is in “for as long as it takes.”

He observed that Ukrainians will celebrate Christmas by candlelight because there will be no electricity. Russia has destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure and electrical grid.

Is it going to happen after thePatriots are installed? Zelensky said at the White House news conference that they would send another signal to Biden after that. In his address to Congress, he said: “We have artillery, yes, thank you. We have it. Is it enough? Honestly, not really.” Both times, he was joking but that didn’t mean that he wasn’t deadly serious. In his address to Congress, Zelensky pleaded with Washington to send more offensive weapons to spur victory.

The president tried to put as little power into the weapons he sent to the battle as possible so that he wouldn’t cause a major conflict with Russia and so that he wouldn’t cross invisible red lines which could be seen only to Putin.

The differences in power between the US and Germany have been made clear by Chancellor Scholz’s refusal to be pushed to send tanks alone in order to avoid sparking a fight with Putin.

However, given partisan fury that will erupt in a divided Washington next year, there is no guarantee that America’s lawmakers will even be able to fund their own government – let alone one fighting for its survival thousands of miles away.

Volodymyr Zelensky, a warrior soldier, in the battle for minds of the world: A presidential address to the US House Wednesday night after a critical look at Ukraine

Republican congressmen who have reservations about aid to Ukraine did not applaud when Zelensky was introduced.

Fresh from a trip to the bloody front lines in Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky strode onto the ornate US House floor on Wednesday evening in his signature green military wear to shore up his supply line.

On the dais where heads of state usually sport suits, Zelensky embraced the look of a warrior as he used confident English to claim “joint victory” in what he said was the defeat of Russia in the “battle for minds of the world.”

He did not mention the elephant in the room, but it was clear from his speech that he needed Republican lawmakers to stay with Ukraine.

His remarks came as Congress prepared to vote this week on a year-long spending bill that includes $45 billion in emergency assistance to Ukraine and NATO allies.

The Battle of the Bulge during World War II is remembered by him as a time when troops were surrounded in the snow after getting a foothold in Europe.

“He’s already established in the American people’s mind we’re in this together, but then pointing out that they’ll do the fighting for us – ‘just give us the tools and we will finish the job.’ That is what he said, according to a story by CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

An address to Congress is the most prestigious platform for a foreign president in the US. It’s in contrast to Vladimir Putin, who canceled his annual year-end press conference.

Zelensky had faced then-president Donald Trump for calling for him to investigate Biden in exchange for military aid, and the White House reception on Wednesday could not have been the one he had in mind. And now Zelensky was thanking Americans for their help against Russia in the very chamber where Trump was impeached three years ago for pressuring Zelensky.

Zelensky and Biden know that this is the ideal time for the US to re-enter the public eye, as Russia continues its war with no signs of an end in sight.

The money the White House promised to Ukraine was a part of a larger spending bill that needs to be passed by Friday.

Zelensky’s Trouble with the West: How Do U.S. and Ukraine Stand During Biden’s March on Crimea in Ukraine?

Kevin McCarthy, who is vying to be the speaker of the House, met with Zelensky and three other congressional leaders.

A majority of Americans still support Ukraine and are in favor of keeping sanctions on Russia according to recent polls, but in December the share of Americans who said that the US should support Ukraine for as long as it takes dropped10 percentage points. There was just a third of Republicans who agreed with the survey findings.

There are concerns about corruption in Zelensky’s administration and skepticism about some of the aid to Ukraine, which is the only Ukrainian-born member of Congress.

On Friday, Germany’s Chancellor said that it is wise to be prepared for a long war in Ukraine and that Allies will remain together for the duration.

It was over long before this week’s anniversary when Biden and his aides tried to keep a low profile in theUkraine conflict. Biden has declared Putin a “war criminal” and a “pure thug,” accusing Russia of genocide and, in his castle speech, making an implicit call for regime change.

“The West’s ability and willingness to sustain Ukraine’s economy and military are up against Russia’s capacity, willingness and ability to continue to sustain its operation,” he says. It is difficult to figure out how long that will last.

“Russia is preparing for maximum escalation. It is doing drills and training. I can say that there will be at least one offensive scenario in the next two to three weeks.

Zelensky had asked if the White House could assign some members of the US team to help develop a 10-point peace proposal, which he first unveiled last year. Yet that work remains ongoing, and there was little talk of peace talks during Biden’s trip this week.

The US is in a proxy war against Russia, according to Peskov, who stated that the meeting showed this.

According to a Russian history professor at the school, the Russians mostly buy that line from the Kremlin.

Zelenskyy and Ukraine have stated that they want a just peace, and the US has been helping the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

Moscow had warned last week that it would see the reported delivery of Patriot missiles to Ukraine as “another provocative move by the U.S.” Does Sloat worry this could provoke a Russian escalation?

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday used the word “war” to refer to the conflict in Ukraine, the first known time he has publicly deviated from his carefully crafted description of Moscow’s invasion as a “special military operation” 10 months after it began.

Putin told reporters that his goal was not to spin the military conflict but to end it. “We have been and will continue to strive for this.”

Nikita Yuferev said on Thursday that he had asked Russian authorities to prosecute Putin because he spread fake information about the army.

There was no decree to end the military operation, according to Yuferev. There are many thousand people who have been condemned for words about the war.

A US official told CNN their initial assessment was that Putin’s remark was not intentional and likely a slip of the tongue. In the coming days, officials will be looking to see what figures inside the Kremlin say about it.

“We never refused, it was the Ukrainian leadership that refused itself to conduct negotiations … sooner or later any party to the conflict will sit down and negotiate and the sooner those opposing us realize it, the better,” he said.

The Russian President Vladimir Zelensky vowed to keep the Ukrainian people in the face of the dark: A defiant Christmas message

The Kremlin would invest significant funds in many areas of the military, as was declared by Putin and Shoigu. Increasing the size of the armed forces, the deployment of a new generation of hypersonic missiles and speeding up weapons programs are all part of the initiatives.

In a defiant Christmas address after a wave of Russian strikes decimated the city of Kherson, President Zelensky told theUkrainian people to have faith andpatience.

He told the nation to keep their strength in the face of all the problems such as the winter’s energy cuts, the absence of loved ones and the threat of Russian attacks.

“There may be empty chairs around it. And our houses and streets can’t be so bright. And Christmas bells can ring not so loudly and inspiringly. Through air raid sirens, or even worse – gunshots and explosions.”

He said that even if the internet and communication services were not functioning, the Ukrainian people would still sing Christmas carols and listen to the greetings of family and friends.

“And even in total darkness – we will find each other – to hug each other tightly. We will give a big hug if there is no heat.

Zelensky concluded: “We will celebrate our holidays! As always. We will smile and be happy. As always. There is a difference. We won’t wait for a miracle. After all, we create it ourselves.”

The branch of the church in Ukraine that is called the Orthodox church announced last month that it would allow its churches to celebrate Christmas on December 25. And many younger Ukrainians are now choosing to observe the holiday on December 25 in a bid to move away from Russia and towards the Western world.

Killing for intimidation and pleasure: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Yanushevych says a peace summit is aimed at February 28 – not for Russia

Yanushevych said Sunday that a total of 16 people had been killed in 71 Russian attacks across the wider Kherson region on Saturday, including three state emergency workers who were killed during demining operations. 64 people received injuries of varying severity, he said.

He wrote on Telegram that they are not military facilities. According to the rules defined, this is not a war. It’s killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure.

The missiles on the ground at the Russian airfields could be destroyed by strikes since some cruise missiles are launched from the airfields.

He explained that he could not confirm the strikes and that he did not speak for the government. There isn’t a reason to not try to do this.

The most sophisticated missile in Russia’s arsenal, the Kinzhal, a hypersonic weapon that can reach targets in minutes and is all but impossible to shoot down, is in even shorter supply, Mr. Budanov said.

The Ukrainian foreign minister said on Monday that the government is aiming for a peace summit by the end of February, and that the UN could be used as a possible mediator.

Asked about whether they would invite Russia to the summit, he said that Moscow would first need to face prosecution for war crimes at an international court.

U.S. Peace talks with Ukraine and the United States: a pleasure to have seen, not seen, and appreciated by President Zelenskyy

Kuleba said that he was very pleased with the outcome of President Zelenskyy’s visit to the U.S. last week. Usually, the training takes up to a year.

Ukraine can win the war this year, he said, as long as its allies remain united “like a fist” and Western weapons continue to be delivered on agreed-upon timelines.

The UN would be a good broker for those talks according to the Foreign Minister. “The United Nations could be the best venue for holding this summit, because this is not about making a favor to a certain country,” he said. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”

At the Group of 20 summit in Bali in November, Zelenskyy presented a 10-point peace formula that includes the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression and security guarantees for Ukraine.

Kuleba mentioned that he had proven himself to be an efficient negotiator and an efficient mediator, as a man of principle and integrity. He would be welcome to participate.

“They regularly say that they are ready for negotiations, which is not true, because everything they do on the battlefield proves the opposite,” he said.

Kuleba said that this shows how important the U.S. is for both Ukraine and the United States.

Vladimir Putin’s comments during the Ukrainian ground and air war have been ignored by the U.S. and the world body, and as a way to buy time in the war

He said that the U.S. government developed a program for the missile battery to complete the training faster than usual “without any damage to the quality of the use of this weapon on the battlefield.”

While Kuleba didn’t mention a specific time frame, he said only that it will be “very much less than six months.” He added that the training will not take place in Ukranian.

During Russia’s ground and air war in Ukraine, Kuleba has been second only to Zelenskyy in carrying Ukraine’s message and needs to an international audience, whether through Twitter posts or meetings with friendly foreign officials.

On Monday, Ukraine called on U.N. member states to deprive Russia of its status as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council and to exclude it from the world body. Kuleba said they’ve been prepared for this step to uncover the fraud and deny Russia’s status.

According to the Foreign Ministry, Russia never went through the legal procedure for becoming a member of the UN Security Council after the fall of the Soviet Union.

In a daily assessment of the war, the Institute for the Study of War wrote that Putin’s talks of negotiations have focused on the West rather than with Australia and he still believes that Ukraine is a Western pawn.

The vaguely conciliatory tone from Putin was quickly changed by a heavy-handed message from one of his key officials, just as has been the case throughout the conflict.

Sergey Lavrov, Putin’s foreign minister, said Monday that Ukraine must fulfill Russia’s demands for the “demilitarization and denazification” of Ukrainian-controlled territories.

Alexander Rodnyansky, an economic adviser to President Zelensky, told CNN Tuesday that Putin’s comments were likely an effort to buy time in the conflict.

Russia has already lost the war. There are variables that could lead to a stalemate or reversal of fortune. NATO could lose patience or nerve over weapons shipments, and seek economic expediency over long-term security, pushing for a peace unfavorable to Kyiv. But that does, at this moment, seem unlikely.

Zelensky might not be willing to accept all the parameters the US is willing to offer in peace negotiations, and the US has refused to define what a settlement would look like beyond saying it will be Zelensky’s decision.

Kuleba told the AP that every war ends in a diplomatic way. Every war ends because of the actions taken at the negotiating table and on the battlefield.

The steps includes a path to nuclear safety, food security, a special tribunal for alleged Russian war crimes, and a final peace treaty with Moscow. He also urged G20 leaders to use all their power to “make Russia abandon nuclear threats” and implement a price cap on energy imported from Moscow.

Zelensky, Ivanenko, and the Russian Army: a decade after the end of the Russian War, and a battle they will never forget

A decisive swing on the battlefield in the New Year could force a change in the calculus, but both sides are dug into what will many observers believe could become a long and grinding conflict.

Zelensky traveled to the US for the first time in a decade and he showed that he intended to keep his friends focused on the conflict.

“It was horrible to live under Putin and it was very far from the idea of democracy, but you still had some established institutions which you would almost take for granted that they would exist no matter what, and all of a sudden, everything collapsed,” he said, pointing to the near complete eradication of any remaining independent media, civil society and human rights groups.

Ivanenko lives near the Antonov airfield in Hostomel, on the outskirts of the capital, where Russian paratroopers landed on February 24, and she spent the first weeks of the war living under occupation. Compared with that experience, the power outages are nothing, she said. “Maybe to someone it’s a problem, when there’s no power. But not to me. I have seen worse. I compare it to what I’ve been through before. I think, ‘Can I survive this?’ I can. It’s alright.

Maria has asked CNN not to publish her name or employer because of her personal security concerns. Maria is at risk of persecution because her organization is considered a foreign agent under Russia’s law on foreign agents.

Some opposition voices have been jailed for questioning the conduct or strategy of the Russian Army and the sentences have been meted out.

Like Yashin and hundreds of others, he is accused of spreading false information about the Russian military and law enforcement and is now on Russia’s wanted list. He says he was only reporting the truth about the actions of the Russian government in the runup to and during the invasion of Ukraine.

Technical workarounds such as VPNs and Telegram still offer access to Russians seeking independent sources of information. But state media propaganda now blankets the airwaves favored by older Russians, with angry TV talk shows spreading conspiracies.

The US Border Patrol recorded 36,271 encounters with Russian citizens between October 2021 and September 2022. The number includes people who were expelled by the border force, and is higher than the previous two years, when 13,840 and 5,866 were recorded.

OK Russians, a non-profit helping Russian citizens fleeing persecution, said its surveys suggest those who are leaving are on average younger and more educated than the general Russian public.

“If you take the Moscow liberal intelligentsia, and of course, I’m talking only about the people I know and I know of, I would say that maybe 70% left. The people from universities, schools, artists, and foundations that were closed down in Moscow are journalists, Soldatov said.

“If you are losing the educated middle-class portion of the population, then it matters for your economic prospects, but it also matters for the potential political reconstitution of the country,” said Kristine Berzina, a Russia expert at the German Marshall Fund of the United States. She pointed to the exodus of liberal, educated Iranians following the country’s 1979 revolution as an example of what can happen when large numbers from such demographics leave the country.

Maria is determined to stay in Russia despite the fact that her friends and son have left. Maria does not want her mother to leave, and she does not want to travel outside of the country. “If I knew for sure that the borders would not be closed and I could come at any time if my mother needed my help, it would probably be easier for me to leave. She told CNN she is scared by knowing that something else could happen.

She still believes her work is important, but said she is struggling to see any hope for the future. She described her life as a constant cycle of fear, shame, and doubt.

Are you to blame? Did you not do enough? Can you do something else or not, and how should you act now?” She said that she did. “There are no prospects. I didn’t have everything figured out but I knew what would happen next. Nobody knows anything. People don’t even understand what will happen to them tomorrow.”

He said he was questioning his own identity. He said that the memory of the Second World War, like the other things they held dear, became completely compromised by Putin.

“It’s part of the Russian national identity that the Russian army helped to win the war (against Hitler’s Germany) and now it feels absolutely wrong because this message was used by Putin. You start questioning the history,” he said, adding that the favorable reaction by some parts of the Russian society to the invasion prompted him to research pre-war rhetoric in Germany.

Speaking about Russians as “us” had begun to feel wrong because he deeply disagreed with Russia’s actions, he said. But saying “Russians” didn’t seem right either. “Because of course, I’m Russian, I also have some partial responsibility for what is going on and I do not want to hide from it.”

Maria is a historian by training and has spent her life taking part in anti-government protests. I knew we should not have a person from the KGB as our leader. It is too deeply rooted with horrors, deaths and all that,” she said.

Berzina said that the expectation of some in the West – that “once people start feeling as though their leaders are doing wrong, that there is an immediate wave of protests on the streets and call for government change that actually has an effect” – does not reflect the reality of life in Russia.

“Almost all opposition leaders and opinion leaders are now either in prison or abroad. There is no leader and no power base for the people to take political action, she said.

“It is probably difficult for people from democratic countries to understand the realities of life in a powerful autocracy,” she said. It is a frightening feeling of being alone in front of a huge machine of death and madness.

“It’s like the central nervous system of the human body – if you mess with it, all your other systems will be out of whack”, says Rajan Menon, a director of the Defense Priorities think tank who recently returned from the Ukrainian capital. It’s not only an annoyance, but an enormous economic cost. It’s an effort to create pain for the civilian population, to show that the government can’t protect them adequately.”

Menon notes, however, that every one of his comments could just as easily apply to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet—such as the NotPetya malware released by Russia’s GRU hackers, which five years earlier destroyed the digital networks of hundreds of government agencies, banks, airports, hospitals, and even its radioactivity monitoring facility in Chernobyl. “They’re different in the technicalities, but the goal is the same,” he says. Demoralizing and punishing civilians is what it is.

Authorities have been cautioning for days that Russia was preparing to launch an all-out assault on the power grid to close out 2022, plummeting the country into darkness as Ukrainians attempt to ring in the New Year and celebrate the Christmas holidays, which for the country’s Orthodox Christians falls on January 7.

Ana said thatMoldova had never been in such a situation before. “A never-ending string of hardships hit this country in a manner no one could predict: a war next door, the energy shortage and now rockets falling near our homes.”

Hryn met his neighbors and their child in the elevator who were on their way to the cinema to watch the new movie, when the sirens went off. Parents took their children to school and people went to work, while others continued with holiday plans in defiance.

War Against Ukraine Has Left Russia Isolated And Struturing With More Tumult ahedral Power: Two Detached People and Two Broken Social Media Accounts

At least three people, including a 14-year-old, were injured, and two of them were pulled from a damaged home on Thursday. Homes, an industrial facility and a playground in the capital were damaged in attacks on Kyiv, according to the city military administration.

It was Putin who claimed that his forces were embarking on a special military operation and that it would be over in a matter of weeks.

The war interrupted a post-Soviet era in which the country pursued democratic reforms and caused an upheaval in Russian life that included financial integration with the West.

The most revered human rights group in Russia was forced to stop activities due to alleged violations of the foreign agents law.

Russia’s restrictive anti-LGBT laws have been vastly increased by the state as they argued the war in Ukraine reflected a wider attack on traditional values.

For the time being, repressions are still targeted. Some of the new laws are not enforced. The measures could be intended to crush dissent, should the moment arise.

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.

Internet users have restrictions as well. American social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook were banned in March. More than 100,000 websites have not been able to access since the start of the conflict.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2022/12/31/1145981036/war-against-ukraine-has-left-russia-isolated-and-struggling-with-more-tumult-ahe

The Great Power of Putin: Russia’s defeat in the early stages of the Second World War and the consequences for the world, as interpreted by Western analysts and analysts

Many of the perceived opponents of the government left in the early days of the war due to concerns of persecution.

Some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus predict that their economies will grow even as Russians remain a dilemma for former Soviet republics.

In the initial days of the invasion, Russia’s ruble currency cratered and its banking and trading markets looked shaky. Hundreds of global corporate brands, such as McDonald’s and ExxonMobil, reduced, suspended or closed their Russian operations entirely.

Ultimately, President Putin is betting that when it comes to sanctions, Europe will blink first — pulling back on its support to Ukraine as Europeans grow angry over soaring energy costs at home. He announced a five-month ban on oil exports to countries that abide by the price cap, a move likely to make the pain more acute in Europe.

Observers also note that Russia’s military has been adapting. While Putin did not receive a victory parade, he has appointed a new battlefield commander to signal a change of strategy.

Yet the sheer length of the war — with no immediate Russian victory in sight — suggests Russia vastly underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.

The true number of Russian losses – officially at just under 6,000 men – remains a highly taboo subject at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.

But this is a more limited scenario for Russia’s defeat than NATO war planners could have gamed. The Great Power wasn’t meant to collapse so quickly, or to cause so much angst in the opponents it had worked so hard for.

Longtime allies in Central Asia have criticized Russia’s actions out of concern for their own sovereignty, an affront that would have been unthinkable in Soviet times. India and China have eagerly purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped short of full-throated support for Russia’s military campaign.

Vladimir Zelensky in Kiev: Bringing peace to the Kremlin during a war-torsion dominated region of Ukraine

An annual December press conference that allows the Russian leader to handle questions from the pro-Kremlin media was also tabled until 2023.

The Kremlin has given no reason for the delays. Many suspect it might be that, after 10 months of war and no sign of victory in sight, the Russian leader has finally run out of good news to share.

Zelensky switched to speaking Russian in his nightly address on Saturday to send a message to the Kremlin and Russian citizens, as Moscow launched a series of deadly strikes that swept several regions of Ukraine ahead of New Year.

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.

One person was wounded in the Zaporizhzhia region. Two were killed and one wounded in the Kharkiv region. One person died and two were wounded in the Kherson region.

The enemy’s air strikes were on civilian infrastructure. The Shahed-136 UAVs were used by the occupant but all of them were shot down. The General Staff said in its most recent operational update that the enemy made 80 attacks from multiple rocket-launchers and also hit civilian settlements.

“The municipal ‘life support system’ of the capital is operating normally. Currently, 30% of consumers are without electricity. Due to emergency shutdowns,” he said on Telegram.

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.”

Rejoinder of Zelenskyy and the Ukraine During World War II: A Memories of Alyona Bogulska

I want to win and have more positive emotions from 2023. I miss it very much. I’d love to travel and open borders. I also think about personal and professional growth, because one should not be still. I have to develop and work for the benefit of the country,” said Alyona Bogulska, a 29-year-old financier.

The pharmacy employee said that it is a symbol that we survived the year.

“And I want to thank everyone who helps Ukraine. We’ve made a lot of friends. We have to go through bad things in order to understand that we have many good things. But so many people are doing real miracles for Ukraine.”

New Year’s Eve is expected to be a celebration of joy and hope. Ukrainian cities are again covered by missile wave from Russia,” Zelenska tweeted.

Zelenskyy, along with his chief of staff and Ukraine’s prime minister, were standing next to a baroque building in the heart of Kyiv on the second day of the war. Zelenskyy used his phone to send a defiant message.

He said that this year has struck his heart, according to the translated transcript. We were crying out all the tears. All the prayers have been yelled. 311 days. We have something to say about every minute.”

How did Ukraine prepare for the coming Cold War? And what do the West and Russians want to know about the invasion of Ukraine with a nuclear power?

By March, my initial shock and fear of the war turned into a desire to act through sports. Athletes could fight against Russian propaganda in the best way. We just had to tell the truth about the war and Ukrainians – how strong, kind and brave we are. How we banded together to defend our country.

The world has rallied around Ukraine, Mr. Zelensky said, from the main squares of foreign cities and their halls of government to the top of Google’s search results.

And finally, to those who felt nuclear saber-rattling was an oxymoron in 2022 – that you could not casually threaten people with nukes as the destruction they brought was complete, for everyone on the planet.

Still, as 2022 closes, Europe is left dealing with a set of known unknowns, unimaginable as recently as in January. The military used to be considered the world’s third most formidable, but has invaded its smaller neighbor and excelled in IT and agriculture.

Russia has also met a West that was happy to receive some of Russia’s military equipment to its eastern border. Western officials might also be surprised that Russia’s red lines appear to shift constantly, as Moscow realizes how limited its non-nuclear options are. Not one of this events was supposed to happen. Now that Europe has, what do they do to prepare?

And finally, Moscow is left with a question nobody ever wants to learn the answer to: if its supply chains for diesel fuel for tanks 40 miles from its border do not function, then how can they be sure The Button will work, if Putin reaches madly to press it? There is no greater danger for a nuclear power than to reveal its strategic missiles and retaliatory capability do not function.

America has done this before. The Soviet Union shifted in position quickly during the Cuban Missile Crisis, which was the most dangerous nuclear confrontation so far. The United States might have accepted an inferior compromise that weakened its security if it had used red lines.

Jay Parini: The First War in a Totally Connected World, Addressed by Vladimir Putin, and Critics of Moscow

Jay Parini is a poet and novelist at the college. His most recent book is “Borges and Me,” a memoir of his travels in the Highlands of Scotland in 1971 with Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentine fabulist. The views expressed in this commentary belong to the author. You can get more opinion at CNN.

It is an unprecedented conflict in modern times, as Thomas L. Friedman notes in The New York Times. The first war in a totally connected world is what Friedman is referring to in his article, World Warwired.

It’s a large-scale invasion that’s being “livestreamed, minute by minute, battle by battle, death by death, to the world,” as Daniel Johnson, an Iraq War veteran and journalist wrote in Slate. Those of us lucky enough to be far away from the shelling, the missile strikes and the gunfire are able to watch the unfolding events on our smart phones.

His gifts for communication and his remarkable grasp of social media make him a formidable opponent for Putin, even though the army he commands, in sheer numbers and resources, pales beside Russia’s.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered his defense minister to implement a temporary ceasefire in Ukraine for 36 hours this week to allow Orthodox Christians to attend Christmas services, according to a Kremlin statement Thursday. The proposal was quickly rejected by Ukrainian officials.

Serhiy Haidai said that the people in Luhansk wanted to get a pause for a day or two to pull even more reserves.

During his nightly address on Thursday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia aims to use Orthodox Christmas “as a cover” to resupply and stop Ukrainian advances in the eastern Donbas region.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak responded to Putin’s move on Twitter by saying that Russia must leave “occupied territories” in Ukraine before any “temporary truce.”

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price described it as “cynical” and that the US had “little faith in the intentions behind” Russia’s proposed ceasefire.

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on Thursday also warned that the promise of a ceasefire would not bring “either freedom or security” to the people living under Moscow’s brutal war.

Kirill gave a sermon in which he said military duty washes away all sins, and he has been a vocal supporter of Russia.

The Orthodox Church of Ukraine’s announcement has worsened the conflict between the Russian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox believers.

In recent years a large part of the Orthodox community in Ukraine has moved away from Moscow, a movement accelerated by the conflict Russia stoked in eastern Ukraine beginning in 2014.

The temporary ceasefire announcement looked like an effort to clean up Russia’s image according to a Ukrainian soldier from the frontlines.

“I do not think that this is done for some military tactical purpose, one day will not solve much,” the Ukrainian soldier, who goes by the call sign Archer, told CNN by phone.

“Perhaps this is done to make the image of the whole of Russia a little more human, because so many atrocities are constantly emerging, and this could earn them few points of support from the people,” the soldier said.

And in the capital Kyiv, where Russian attacks during New Year soured even the most modest celebrations, Halyna Hladka said she saw the temporary ceasefire as an attempt by Russians to win time.

Russia has been using faith in a lot of ways. Russia has not behaved itself as a country capable of following through on promises in the war, she said.

The Kremlin Behaviour of the Defense Ministry: How Russian Forces Can Communicate With Usage of Cell Phones?

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a Russian strike in Kramatorsk, in reprisal for the Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Makiivka.

The cell phones used by the young troops in violation of regulations were what allowed the Ukrainian forces to target them most accurately, according to the Russian account. Ukraine, however, has not indicated how the attack was executed. But the implications are broader and deeper, especially for how Russia is conducting its war now.

Russian officials said that four rockets came from Ukrainian territory and hit the school where the forces were housed. (Another two HIMARS rockets were shot down by Russian air defenses).

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 is a view shared by many experts. James Lewis, director of the Strategic Technology Program at the CSIS, told me in an e-mail exchange that bad security communication is standard practice in the Russian Army.

The troops killed in Makiivka seem to have been recent conscripts, part of a larger picture of Russian soldiers being shipped to the front lines with little training and deeply sub-standard equipment and weapons.

Indeed, a number of the most recent arrivals to the war are inmates from Russian prisons, freed and transferred immediately to the Ukrainian front. One can only imagine how appealing the use of cell phones would be to prisoners accustomed to years of isolation with little or no contact with the outside world.

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

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

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

Sergei Shoigu, the defense minister, told his troops in a video on Saturday that their victory was inevitable.

Russian attacks in Kramatorsk, Ukraine: The U.S. had no choice but to send it, or was Washington willing to do so?

Sullivan said that the U.S. has flexibility on weapons as the administration considers the risks of a military conflict with Ukraine. Biden agreed to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine – which the US has argued aren’t as relevant as German Leopard tanks – because Germany wanted the US to provide tanks before it was willing to do so itself, he said.

Ukrainian officials on Sunday dismissed Moscow’s claim that a large number of Kyiv’s soldiers were killed in a Russian attack last week in Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine.

There has been no indication of any massive casualties according to a CNN team on the ground. There are no unusual activities in or around Kramatorsk, according to the team.

The two college dormitories that Russia claimed had been housing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers, were not reported to have been struck by a significant Russian strike.

After the strike, a rare public blame game took place between the Russian government and some pro-Kremlin leaders and military experts, as Moscow seemed to blame it on its own soldiers using 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.

Russia had invested heavily in the 750-mile undersea pipeline linking it to Germany and wanted to increase global sales and ramp up economic leverage over Europe and its power-hungry heavy industries. Germany was the first consumer to sign up. Washington wasn’t.

The United States didn’t want the new, high-capacity subsea supply to supplant old overland lines that transited Ukraine, providing vital revenue to the increasingly Westward-leaning leadership in Kyiv.

From Merkel to the Kremlin: How Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin fought each other in the first few months of Russia’s Cold War

Europe has been slow to respond to the deep fissures in US politics and the uncertainty another Trumpian-style presidency could wreak on its allies. Germany leads the way, because it has replaced a fair amount of a reasonably unshakable reliance with stubborn European pragmatism.

Former Chancellor Merkel was Europe’s moral compass. Scholz has found unexpected metal in his ponderous, often stop/go/wait traffic-light governing coalition and won thunderous applause in Germany’s Bundestag on Wednesday as he flashed a rare moment of steely leadership.

Helping matters for the Russian government is the unexpected durability of parts of the Russian economy, despite heavy Western sanctions. The war cost the country a larger than expected deficit in the year after it ended, with the International Monetary Fund estimating a small return to GDP growth for Russia.

The applause at each step of his carefully crafted speech spoke as loudly as his words. Germany was given it right by Scholz, bringing with him a population that was less inclined to war and projecting their own power, and deeply divided over how much help they should give the Ukrainians in their fight against Russians.

It is not clear whether Putin is relevant at this moment, but his actions, by sending tanks, may help keep him in power.

Russia’s ambassador to Germany said Berlin’s move to send tanks was “extremely dangerous” and accused Scholz of refusing “to acknowledge its [Germany’s] historic accountability to our people for the horrific crimes of Nazism.” Meanwhile his counterpart in Washington accused the White House of “blatant provocation” and Biden of being intent on the “strategic defeat” of Russia.

Russia would use nuclear weapons if attacked and would never allow itself to be defeated, said former Russian president and deputy chairman of its national security council, Dimitry Medvedev.

CNN witness the first attack on Kramatorsk, Ukraine: a clash of armed forces in the early stages of the next Ukrainian war?

CNN spoke to some Russians who were confused by Biden and Scholz’s announcements on tanks confused. Many people said that Russia would win, but a large number were worried about the war and frustrated that Putin ignored their concerns.

Longer debates about the next military moves for Ukraine could be coming and will likely signal to Zelensky that weapons supplies will be on more of a German leash, and less unilaterally led by Washington.

Russia is gearing up for a “maximum escalation” of the war in Ukraine, potentially as soon as the next few weeks, according to a top Ukrainian national security official.

“These will be defining months in the war,” Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Sky News in an interview broadcast Tuesday.

” We are on the edge of a very active phase of hostilities in Febrary and March, and will be very active”, Yusov said on national television.

“During the week, military representatives from the two countries will practice joint planning of the use of troops based on the prior experience of armed conflicts in recent years,” the ministry said in a statement.

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.

The CNN team heard the first strike on Kramatorsk. CNN witnessed the second attack in about one minute. Two ladies jumped out of their car and ran yelling at people who were in the shelter. Shrapnel bounced off the blastproof glass of one CNN vehicle.

Paramedics rushed to the scene to treat at least one wounded civilian. The Mayor of Kramatorsk urged residents to stay in bomb shelters because there was a strike on the city.

Rescue workers searched for survivors through the rubble after the attack, which damaged eight apartment buildings. People were evacuated to a school for shelter.

Ukrainian leader says: “I belong to the European family,” he told a press conference in Kyiv, Ukraine, during a joint news conference

“A country bordering absolute evil. And a country that has to overcome it in order to reduce to zero the likelihood of such tragedies happening again. We will find and punish the people who did it. They do not deserve to be pardoned.

“My colleagues and I have come here to Kyiv today with a clear message: Ukraine belongs to the European family,” Scholz said during a joint news conference in Kyiv with Zelensky.

During an address to the European Parliament, Zelensky said his country and the EU share the same values, and that the “European standard of life” and the “European rules of life” are “when the law rules.”

The president of Russia told European lawmakers that the country wants to return to the 1930s and 1940s. “The answer for us to that is no,” he said. We are defending ourselves. We must defend ourselves.”

Europe will be with us until we win, that’s what you said to me. I have heard it from a number of European leaders and I am very grateful to them for this,” Zelensky said during a press conference following the European Council meeting.

“I’ve heard about the readiness to give us the necessary weapons and support, including the aircrafts. And I’ll have a number of bilaterals now and we are doing to raise the issue of the fighter jets and other aircrafts,” he said. We are working and will continue doing so in Brussels.

Zelensky seemed confident but coy about getting the jet fighters he wanted, even though he said certain agreements were positive.

The Ukrainian leader believes that his visit to London has achieved results because of his track record of persuading allies.

His meeting with German Chancellor and French President in Paris extended that conversation. I think this meeting is positive and we are talking about concrete decisions. I would like to keep it under wraps, but I can say that we will work towards the enhancement of our capabilities.

Earlier, Macron told Zelensky that France is “determined” to assist Ukraine in its war against Russia. “We stand by Ukraine, determined to help it to victory,” Macron said. “Ukraine can count on France and its allies to win the war, Russia should not and will not win the war.”

He said that they knew Russia would lose. We know victory will change the world, and this will be a change the world needed. The United Kingdom is marching with us towards the most important victory of our lifetime. The victory over the very idea of war.

Ukrainian Ambassador to the U.S. Oksana Markarova attended President Biden’s State of the Union speech, for the second year in a row, but the war in Ukraine received far less attention in the address this time.

The international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 says it’s “strong indication” that Russians gave the go-ahead to supply anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels.

“It’s unlikely Russian forces will be particularly better organized and so unlikely they’ll be particularly more successful, though they do seem willing to send more troops into the meat grinder,” a senior British official told CNN.

The senior Ukrainian diplomat told CNN that there were only a few small cities left in Donbas. “Underwhelming, compared to the sense of panic they were trying to build in Ukraine.”

The US is not seeing Russia massing its aircraft ahead of an aerial operation, according to US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Is it the first truly open-source war? The war in Ukraine is being fought in part on social media by Zelensky; commercial overhead satellites capture Russian battle groups moving around in real-time, and the social media accounts of Russian mercenaries in the Wagner Group document what they are doing.

Petraeus: It’s not completely. In an interview with The Atlantic published shortly before the Russian invasion, I explained the considerable difficulties I expected Russia would encounter and noted that an invasion force of some 190,000 was much less than what likely would be required, especially if the Ukrainians proved to be as determined as I thought they would be (and they have been even more so).

So, the situation is essentially a stalemate at present, albeit with Russia making costly attacks in several areas, and with both sides building up forces for offensive operations expected in the late winter (likely the Russians) and spring/summer (the Ukrainians).

The Future of War between Advanced Powers: How Does NATO Operate? What Have We Learned About NATO in 2018, and What Do We Need Now?

But, again, these are just hints of what the future of war between advanced powers would be. The intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems will be more capable in such a conflict, because they will have vastly greater range, speed and explosive power.

And there would incomparably greater numbers of vastly more capable unmanned systems (some remotely piloted, others operating according to algorithms) in every domain – not just in the air, but also at sea, sub-sea, on the ground, in outer space, and in cyberspace, and operating in swarms, not just individually!

I recall an adage back in the Cold War days that stated, “If it can be seen, it can be hit; if it can be hit, it can be killed.” In those days, we didn’t have the capabilities needed to truly operate that adage. All platforms, bases and headquarters are likely to be susceptible to being hit and destroyed in the future unless there are significant defenses and hardened of those assets.

“We’ve been able to avoid a conflict between great powers, that’s what we’ve been able to do,” said the Secretary of State. The system works for all of its flaws. But now, it’s being challenged.”

Thanks to Putin, the description of NATO as suffering from “brain death” by French President Macron in late 2019 has turned out to be 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 still has enormous military capacity and is certainly still a nuclear superpower, as well as a country with enormous energy, mineral and agricultural blessings. It also has a population (about 145 million) that is nearly double that of the next largest European countries (Germany and Turkey, each just more than 80 million).

The Russian-Ukraine War During World War II: How Will Russia Become a Nation of Protons and Nuclei?

And it is still led by a kleptocratic dictator who embraces innumerable grievances and extreme revanchist views that severely undermine his decision-making.

Bergen: You know the observation sometimes attributed to Stalin: “Quantity has a quality all its own.” Will a larger population for Russia make a difference to the war in Ukraine?

Nonetheless, it is estimated that as many as 300,000 new recruits and mobilized reservists are being sent to the frontlines, with up to 100,000-150,000 more on the way. And that is not trivial – because quantity does, indeed, matter.

It is not clear if many of the Russians are fighting for the same thing as the Ukrainians, who are fighting for the independence of their country.

And the Ukrainians also have demonstrated a very impressive ability to learn how to employ new weapons systems and vehicles much more rapidly than anyone anticipated, as they want to master new capabilities as quickly as is possible and get back to the fight.

However, having sat around the Situation Room table in the West Wing of the White House, I know that it is far easier to second-guess from the outside than it is to make tough calls in office. 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.

The transition from eastern bloc aircraft to western ones is going to happen eventually. There aren’t any more MiGs to give them, and they have too many pilots than aircraft.

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. I think the Administration has done a very impressive job, and is proven to be indispensable in this particular situation, with important ramifications for other situations around the world.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/14/opinions/petraeus-how-ukraine-war-ends-bergen-ctpr/index.html

How Russian War Ends: The Case for a Chinese Invasion of the Black Sea? An Analysis of the Case of the Moskva

Bergen: The quasi-private Wagner Group is the force that Putin sends into the meat grinder of the toughest battles. Is it necessary to use mercenaries, many of whom are convicts as a tactic?

Petraeus: What Russia has done with what are, in essence, mercenaries, as you note, is somewhat innovative – but also essentially inhumane, as it entails throwing soldiers (many of them former convicts) into battle as cannon fodder, and with little, if any, concern for their survival.

These are not the tactics or practices that, at the end of the day, foster 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? Does the sinking of the Moskva, the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea navy, reshape how the Chinese might think about this question?

And especially if the target of such an operation has a population willing to fight fiercely for its survival and be supported by major powers – not just militarily but with substantial economic, financial, and personal sanctions and export controls.

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

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/14/opinions/petraeus-how-ukraine-war-ends-bergen-ctpr/index.html

How Does the War in Ukraine End? A Rhetorical Question that Petraeus (Moldova) Asks Putin to Tell Us

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

The person is Petraeus. I think it ends in a negotiated resolution, when Putin recognizes that the war is unsustainable on both the battlefield (where Russia has in the first year likely taken many times the losses that the USSR took in nearly a decade in Afghanistan) and on the home front (which has been heavily impacted by economic, financial, economic, and personal sanctions and export controls).

When Ukraine reaches the limits of its ability to endure missile and drone strikes, a plan developed by the US and G7 should be used to rebuild the country and get an ironclad security guarantee.

Editor’s Note: Cristian Gherasim is an analyst, consultant and journalist focusing on Eastern and Central European affairs. You can follow him on this social networking site. The views that he expresses are his own. CNN has more opinion.

In that way, as in many others, Moldova offers a parallel to Ukraine’s position, in miniature. But in every crisis there is opportunity. Moldova can become a stronger player in world affairs. The strategic position and regional know-how make it possible to do that. International support, both military and economic, is crucial, as is the fight against extreme poverty and corruption as the pro-EU government said it will do. If we ignore an important piece of the puzzle in Eastern Europe, it would make us closer to war.

Since power shortages hitMoldova, the trips she makes to the small country from the Romanian capital of Bucharest have gotten more frequent.

Last month, Moldovan President Maia Sandu said border police had found missile debris near the village of Larga in Moldova’s north. It was not the first such incident – Moldovan police also found missile debris in December – and it left many to wonder what will happen if the next time luck runs out and a stray rocket hits closer to home.

Europe has another reason to care: Without Moldova, Europe would have a bigger refugee problem. More than 765,000 people have crossed from Ukraine to Moldova since Russia invaded it last February, according to the UN.

Seizing Odesa could have allowed Russia’s army to connect with that territory where some 1,500 Russian troops are stationed—turning the tiny sliver of land into a new Donbas, this time much closer to the doorstep of NATO and the EU.

Now, there is fear that Russia could launch a new effort to reach Moldova, and there’s reason to worry about other countries being dragged into the war, if Moscow does. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has warned that Russia is trying to “freeze” the war before a spring assault, which many fear might bring Russian forces once again near Odesa.

During a visit to Chisinau earlier this spring, UN Secretary General António Guterres talked about the fragile position Moldova is in, noting that “Moldova is by far the country that has received the most refugees, as proportion of its own population.” The country is on the front line of preservation, peace and stability in the world. But what does that mean, exactly?

Firstly, Moldova took substantial pressure off Europe’s shoulders in dealing with refugees. It isn’t a big deal, but 108,000 Ukrainian refugees spread out throughout Europe and beyond is a lot for a small country.

The problems of Moldova have more to do with internal factors. The country’s corruption and oligarchic system are decades-long issues that the current pro-EU government has struggled to curb. Moldova’s judicial shortcomings have been also highlighted in a recent Council of Europe report, with its judiciary system coming again under scrutiny following a disputed contest for the top job of chief prosecutor.

It’s losing people as well. According to World Bank statistics, Moldova has lost more than 12% of its population since 1991, as it has been hit hard by the demographic decline seen throughout many parts of post-communist Europe.

All pales in comparison with Moldova’s current energy problem. It has been almost two decades since independence from the soviet union but the country is still dependent on both Russia and Ukraine for energy.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu, plain spoken and charismatic, is leading a charm offensive; Sandu has met with Western leaders and gave an inspiring commencement speech at Harvard, helping to bring attention to Moldova’s plight. She knows that there would be nothing worse for Moldova than to be forgotten and ignored on the world stage.

Ukrainnian President Lukashenko and the first day of the Warsaw process: a two-day visit to Poland for the White House

“We are peaceful people. Lukashenko said that he didn’t want war at the press conference on Thursday.

The CNN team were 100m away from the Ukrainian side of the border and saw the fortified area with barbed wire.

The entry of Ukrainian refugees who are looking to return to their homes in their country is not allowed because of the risk of another Russian invasion of their country.

CNN was able to see a Ukrainian flag and a red and white flag associated with theBelarus opposition on the Ukrainian side of the border crossing.

Next week marks the one- year anniversary of the Russian invasion and US and Western leaders are looking forward to a show of unity in order to create once and for all a NATO that will not be defeated until Moscow is defeated.

Biden will be in Poland for a two-day visit. The President will meet with the president of Poland in Warsaw, the White House said.

The War Between the US and Russia is Coming and Going: A View from the House of Representatives to Senator Gaetz, Secretary of State to the Senate and the Special Advisor to Ukraine

In the US House for instance, some members of the new Republican majority are skittish. Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz last week demanded an end to aid to Ukraine and for the US to demand all combatants “reach a peace agreement immediately.” A bipartisan majority for saving Ukraine still exists in the House and the Senate. But it’s not certain Biden can guarantee massive multi-billion dollar aid packages for Ukraine in perpetuity. If Donald Trump or another Republican wins the election in 2024, US aid might be in serious doubt.

The outside world knows that Putin isn’t about to concede victory in the war and won’t leave until there is a diplomatic framework for truce talks.

Fiona Hill, a leading expert on Russia and Putin, who worked in Trump’s White House, said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday that there were few signs Putin’s determination is waning.

The flight of a Chinese spy balloon over the US this month brought about a lurch in US-China relations and it was unlikely that the war would end without China leaning on Putin.

Sherman said at the event that he was worried about China and Russia getting along at a time when the US was locked in a fight with each power.

It’s the evening of February 23, 2022. The boss of a news site relaxes with bath and candles. In Zaporizhzhia, a young woman goes to bed planning to celebrate her husband’s birthday in the morning. In Moscow, a journalist happens to postpone his travel plans to Kyiv.

February 23, 2022: A One Year Anniversary Putin War Ukraine Weakly Weave Opinions ctpr/index.html

The war has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced millions more, and occurred over a period of a year. It has unleashed unfathomable atrocities, decimated cities, driven a global food and energy crisis and tested the resolve of western alliances.

February 23, 2022, is Zaporizhzhia. I went to bed thinking that I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. My husband was running his own business. Our daughter became friends with many people at school. Our son had a special needs nursery and we were lucky to find support services for him. I finally had time to work. I felt happy.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/18/opinions/one-year-anniversary-putin-war-ukraine-russia-wrap-opinions-ctpr/index.html

From Kiev to Kiev, and back again: How I survived the invasion and what I learned from teaching Ukrainian literature in a refugee camp in Ukraine

We are trying to live in the here and now. We are distraught, that is the truth. Our hearts were in Ukraine, even though we were in the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic gave my husband a job because of the opportunities for Ukrainians there. I found classes for my son. He now attends an adaptation group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter goes to a Czech school while studying in her Ukrainian school remotely.

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 thought it was a moral obligation. I could no longer stay on the territory of the state that has become a fascist one.

We moved to Berlin. The main railway station is next to a refugee camp, where thousands of Ukrainians arrive every day. And I started writing a new book. It starts like this:

Russian planes have just fired missiles at several cities inUkraine, including my adopted city of Odesa. The air raid sirens blare as we run for shelter. I was brought a pot of borscht to help make me feel normal.

There was also another challenge, trying to get my life back. The life Russia stole from me and millions of other Ukrainians.

The eyes of three old men thrust into our van in Posad Pokhrovka, in the early days of the war, desperate to flee shelling that had torn their world apart, still haunt me: Not even the Nazis beat them like that, they said, sobbing. They never thought they would live to see worse things.

A year into the full-scale invasion, my passport is a novel in stamps. My life is split between London, where I teach Ukrainian literature, and Ukraine, where I get my lessons in courage.

My former classmates from Zaporizhzhia whom, based on our teenage habits, I expected to perish from addictions a long time ago, have volunteered to fight. My hairdresser, whom I expected to remain a sweet summer child, turned out to have fled on foot from the Russia-occupied town of Bucha through the forest with her mother, grandmother and five dogs.

My capital, which the Kremlin and the West expected to fall in three days, has withstood 12 months of Russia’s terrorist bombings and energy blackouts. These dark winter nights, one sees so many stars over Kyiv which the Russians have only managed to bring closer to eternity.

The recent speculation focused on whether some of Russia’s power elite are trying to stop Prigozhin. Some of the considerations that account for Prigozhin’s rise have been being offered by a Russian political analyst. In a recent article published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, she noted that Prigozhin has rivalries with Russia’s power ministries and doesn’t have much showing in polls.

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

By aborting the past, he canceled the future. When your superiors decide everything for you and you take for granted everything you’re told by the propaganda, it’s easier to live this way.

It is impossible to adapt to disasters of the magnitude that happened for me and my family. As an active commentator on the events, I was labeled by the authorities as a “foreign agent,” which increased personal risk and reinforced the impression of living in an Orwellian anti-utopia.

On February 23, I washed my dog, cleaned the house, took a bath, and lit candles. I have a one-bedroom apartment in the north of the city. I loved taking care of it. I had a great life. The small routines and struggles are all it is. That night was the last time my life mattered.

The next morning my phone was buzzing from all the messages and missed calls. There is a headline in all caps on the website of the Kyiv Independent.

The loss of Sergei Orlov, the officer who lost his life to Russian gun fire in Ukraine, and the fight for freedom in the era of war

I remember talking to colleagues, trying to assemble and coordinate a small army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. My parents need to organize buying supplies.

The life I knew started falling apart soon after, starting with the small things. I no longer cared what cup of tea I drank, how I dressed or whether or not I took a shower. Life itself no longer mattered, only the battle did.

It was hard to remember the moments of the pre-war era, just a few weeks into the full-scale invasion. I no longer relate to the way I was upset with my boyfriend. On February 24 my life was taken from me.

I no longer cared about my personal ambitions. The only thing that was important was to raise our flag to show that we are still fighting despite the circumstances.

I couldn’t enjoy my victories on the track. They were only possible because so many defenders had laid down their lives. Soldiers on the frontline sent me messages. They were so happy to follow our achievements, and it was my primary motivation to continue my career.

The officer in the Ukrainian national guard didn’t see what hit him, but he did know that the car he was riding in was on fire. He suspects Russian gun fire.

Pinned in the back seat, Orlov says he was initially unable to get out of the vehicle – his feet had been crushed by the car and his legs had been wounded by the explosion. He and his team lay in the grass in disbelief as they looked at the flames and their next steps.

Orlov was eventually taken to a Ukrainian hospital. He may need to have a leg amputation or never walk again due to strains on resources after months of war, which is what he was told.

“(There are) a lot of wounded guys, you know?” Orlov told CNN. “Our doctors, everybody (is) working hard like from morning to evening, working absolutely hard but (there’s) no free space, ya know? (There’s not) enough medicine because it’s war,” he said in limited English.

Orlov’s Foot: How Will We Walk Again? – Gary Wasserson explains the “Uniting for Ukraine” project to the United States

The video got the attention of some US volunteers and later made its way to Gary Wasserson, a retired American businessman from New York who was already coordinating volunteer aid resources to the region.

Wasserson said he sponsored Orlov to come to the United States under the “Uniting for Ukraine” program, which provides a temporary pathway for Ukrainians to come to the United States for two years if they have someone who can provide them with financial assistance. Getting the attention of Homeland Security to comprehend the medical issues at hand was Wassersons toughest task.

While Fufa is optimistic about the path forward for Orlov’s feet, she is quick to point out that while reconstruction is one thing, being able to walk again is not guaranteed just yet.

“The complexity comes from the fact that he had both soft tissue wounds as well as bone defects or missing bone from the blast injuries and the multiple fractures in each of the feet,” Fufa told CNN.

“I’ve warned him that this is such a long road that I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point we hit roadblocks where it feels like this is taking too long or that this is too challenging to continue to face,” Fufa said.

He hopes he can walk again, but his hopes for his country are much bigger than that – he said he wants the world to know this isn’t simply about two countries in conflict.

The chancellor said that the decision should be one where we are willing to do it as long as necessary, and that we will do our best.

“We just do it together with our friends and partners, and especially with the United States,” Scholz said, adding that he really appreciates his government’s “strong alliance” with the US.

Security Conference Report on “The Russian-Russian War on the Crimes of Crime against Science and Technology” (Taiwan, Taiwan)

“I learned many are not able to deliver the most modern things … but in the ones they are delivering we will give the support as well,” Scholz said. There is a large number of older tanks which we will deliver.

Scholz said there was need for a “permanent production of the most important weapons.”

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius was also present at Friday’s meetings, saying the Munich conference is “more important than ever,” given the Russian invasion.

The security conference has always been a place of understanding and dialogue. The war of aggression being waged by Russia against Ukraine is currently taking place in Europe at the same time, and this is new, Pistorius said. The conference’s stakes go even higher with that.

“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 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Joseph Wu, said his country was keeping a careful eye on China and that it was learning from the war in Ukraine.

“They have expansionist motivation. They want to continue to expand their sphere of influence. They want to increase their power. And if they are not stopped, then they will continue to march on,” Wu told us.

The Battle of Stalingrad: A Cold War in the First Republic of Ukraine, and the Struggle for New Democracy and Human Rights in Russia

They tried to flee during the first weeks of the war, but their car was destroyed, according to Natalia. 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.

Danny Hajek produced and edited the audio for this story. Additional editing and production help from Carol Klinger, Denise Couture and Nina Kravinsky. Hanna Palamarenko and Tanya Ustova provided reporting and translation help.

Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny is fond of a phrase, “the wonderful Russia of the future,” his shorthand for a country without President Vladimir Putin.

Since last February’s invasion, Putin has shrugged off protests and international sanctions. Independent media and human rights groups have been branded as foreign agents or shut down entirely.

“Putin arrived in Volgograd, which was renamed Stalingrad for a few days on the occasion of the anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad,” Rogov wrote on Telegram. “The anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, which is perceived as a turning point in the Patriotic War, is, of course, used as a great allusion and patriotic warm-up before the decisive second offensive against Ukraine that is being prepared.”

The first Mobilization made major tremors in Russian society. Hundreds of thousands of Russians voted with their feet. Police faced off with anti-mobilization demonstrators in multiple cities in the country’s ethnic minority regions. Russian social media saw a rise of videos and public complaints about the lack of equipment and appalling conditions for newly mobilized recruits.

Yugozhin and the war in Russia: How people have been affected by Putin’s actions in the past, and what they hope to do

Many of the advances have been led by soldiers of the private military company, headed by Yevgeny Prigozhin. Many reports on Wagner have focused on the group’s brutal tactics, including human-wave attacks and summary execution for waverers or deserters.

“Is Prigozhin ready to challenge Putin?” She wrote about something recently. “While the answer is negative, there is one important ‘but.’ It is difficult to remain balanced and sane after going through bloody meat grinders and losing a significant part of one’s personnel. As long as Putin is relatively strong and able to maintain a balance between groups of influence, Prigozhin is safe. Even though the easing could have an impact on power, even if they don’t directly challenge Putin at first. War creates monsters, whose desperation and recklessness can become a problem for the state.

“He’s the first folk hero (in) many years,” Zygar said. “He’s a hero for the most ultraconservative – the most, I would say, fascist – part of Russian society, as long as we don’t have any liberal part in Russian society, because most of the leaders of that part of Russian society have left, he’s an obvious rival to President Putin.”

Against that backdrop, some Russians have taken refuge in a form of political apathy. CNN spoke to several Russians about how their lives have changed since last year on the condition that they do not speak about their criticism of the government.

“There have been a lot of changes (in Russia), but I can’t really make a difference,” said Ira, a 47-year-old who works for a business publication. I try to keep an internal balance. Maybe I’m too apolitical, but I don’t feel it (further mobilization) is going to happen.”

Ira said she felt anxious in February and March of last year. She had just bought an apartment and was worried that work might dry up and she wouldn’t be able to pay her mortgage.

“It got a lot worse in the spring,” she said. It looks like we have gotten used to a new reality. I started to meet and go out with girlfriends. I started to buy a lot more wine.”

She said that the restaurants are full, but that the faces are different. The hipsters – you know what hipsters are? – There are fewer of them.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/19/europe/russia-ukraine-war-anniversary-intl-cmd/index.html

A woman’s perspective on a war-anniversary in Ukraine and how to get a Mercedes Benz: a case study of Olya and her family

Olya, who has two teenage children, said that her family decided for more domestic holidays. Europe is largely closed to direct flights from Russia, and opportunities to travel abroad are more limited.

Life carries on, Olya said, even though there is a war on. “I can’t influence the situation,” she said. My friends say, we do what we can. It doesn’t help to be depressed.

“Those who adapted quickly reorganized, they are seeing growth,” he said. “In January we concluded an unusual number of deals, and most of our activity usually picks up in February.”

He said that the cutoff of Western imports had nothing to do with everyday life. It might be difficult for parts for a Mercedes Benz G-Class.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/19/europe/russia-ukraine-war-anniversary-intl-cmd/index.html

The Return of History: Russian Forces in the Battle of Mariupol, Ukraine, and the War Between the West and the Kremlin

Georgy said he was skeptical of state media, saying he looked for other sources of information. He acknowledged that there was a possibility that he would be called up in more than one wave.

Russia then shifted its offensive to the south, where its forces captured the city of Mariupol after a devastating siege in an effort to secure a corridor along the Black Sea coast linking the Crimean peninsula and the Donbas region, areas Moscow invaded and annexed in 2014.

“Ukrainians don’t want to sacrifice the integrity of the country,” says a Harvard University professor of Ukrainian history.

Neither can Putin politically afford to sign a negotiated deal if it means giving up any territory, according to Vladislav Zubok, a history professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

It looks like a military solution is unlikely, despite the losses of Russian soldiers and armor in the battle between Ukrainians and Russians.

It’s believed that Putin will go down, but some kind of second collapse similar to the Soviet collapse would happen. It’s a really good game. A very, very dangerous game.”

But while the nightmarish threat is real, Harvard’s Plokhy doesn’t think Putin would ever follow through, given the likelihood of a full military response from the West.

Russia’s heavy losses of military equipment and ammunition have been widely reported, and the Kremlin has been forced to turn to North Korea for rockets and artillery and to Iran for drones.

The return of history, a book written by the author, is due for release in May.

Alexseev thinks that it’s “wishful thinking” to think that Russia is running out of things it needs to wage war. Defense factories are in three or four shifts in Russia.

Despite Western sanctions choking off Russian supplies of microchips needed in high-tech weapons, the Kremlin’s forces still pack a powerful punch, he says.

“They have adjusted their strategy [and] learned from their defeats,” he says, and now Russia has a fresh infusion of some 300,000 troops after a major mobilization in the fall.

“They are burning through ammunition very quickly, faster than we’re manufacturing it,” Watling recently told NPR. Zelenskyy said at the annual security conference in Germany that fatigue could be a problem for Western military aid donors.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/19/1153430731/ukraine-russia-war-one-year-anniversary-how-will-it-end

War with Crimea, or the Siege of Mariupol 2.o: What Will Russia Do if Ukraine Retweet Crimea?

If Ukraine mounts a serious threat to Crimea, however, it could harden the resolve of Russians, according to Charap of the Rand Corp. He thinks it’s likely to be a bitter fight, and that Ukraine won’t be able to capture it.

Instead, an outcome that would satisfy no one seems the most likely. The siege of that city in the early months of the war has been referred to as Mariupol 2.o. “But on the scale of the whole Ukraine,” he says.

I should tell you what happened. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Chechnya was one of the two autonomous republics of the newly independent Russian Federation that claimed independence. The other one was in Tatarstan. World leaders were fed up with the idea that all of the Union republics that had been branded simply as administrative units of Russia were actually real things. The West was surprised by the new geography and Independent Ichkeria did not have the best chance of recognition.

The US Security Threats to Ukraine as a Cold War: A Challenge for Beijing, China, and the United States in a Cross-Continuum

Biden said the US would follow through on the sanctions, and that he intended to provide more security assistance than had ever been given to Ukraine. Biden made the pledge “crystal clear,” a senior administration official recalled.

A Telegram account managed by Russian army and naval servicemembers, Zapiski michmana Ptichkina, noted ironically that Biden had reached Kyiv before Russian President Vladimir Putin. It said that they are waiting for the leader of the Russian Federation inKyiv rather than for the President of the United States.

Biden’s trip to Kyiv was shrouded in secrecy, a reflection of the steep security concerns. Reporters riding on Air Force One were not allowed to carry their devices with them after the plane left under cover of darkness.

Biden is traveling with a relatively small entourage, including national security adviser Jake Sullivan, deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon and personal aide Annie Tomasini.

Several of Biden’s top lieutenants have traveled to the Ukrainian capital to pledge new assistance. White House officials and CIA Director Bill Burns were in Kyiv last month.

Last year, on Mother’s Day, Biden’s wife paid a surprise visit to a small city in the far southwestern corner of Ukraine. She met with Zelenska at a temporary housing facility for displaced Ukrainians, which was a former school.

Yet security precautions had prevented Biden from making a similar trip. The White House did not explore the option of a trip across the border when Biden visited Poland in April of last year.

This week’s developments do not mean that the future national security threats to the US from Beijing and Moscow are the same. The war in Ukraine has often exposed Russian weakness while worries about China’s rising power will preoccupy Washington for much of this century. Even though both of the US enemies see ways that they can harm the interests and power of the US, they are not locked in a formal alliance.

US officials have shared the intel with partners and allies at the Berlin Security Conference over the last several days, but would not specify what intelligence they have seen suggesting a shift in China’s stance.

Wang, who was named Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s top foreign policy adviser last month, is expected to arrive in Moscow this week, in the first visit to the country from a Chinese official in that role since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The president of the United States strolled through the city, visiting a historic church in the middle of the day as air raid sirens wailed and stood exposed in the square next to Zelensky.

But by not visiting Ukraine, Biden would have been implicitly admitting that there were some things that Putin could prevent him from doing – in effect showing US weakness.

“President Biden has claimed the upper hand … and tomorrow Putin will have to reply to what happened today,” Rudik said, referring to a speech in which Putin is expected to rally the Russian people on Tuesday.

Biden is in the middle of a dilemma with regards to his war strategy, how far to go to try to help the Ukrainians win and avoid a direct clash between the West and Russia.

Texas Rep. Mike McCaul, the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, complained on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that Washington had taken too long to send game-changing weapons to Ukraine in the past and should not make the same mistake with warplanes. Asked if the Biden administration was now considering the dispatch of F-16 fighter planes, the Texas Republican replied: “I hope so,” and added, “I think the momentum is building for this to happen.”

Biden was worried that Russia’s campaign on civilian infrastructure would make it difficult for the Ukranian air defense to defend its troops in the field.

A grueling and dangerous journey that required energy and endurance felt like a jab at critics who question whether Biden should be contemplating a reelection race at the age of 80.

The issue of securing the southern border will be at the forefront of the election in 10 years, according to many Americans on the right who agree that Biden hasn’t done enough. But Greene’s comment did not just exemplify the deterioration in civility in US politics. It was revealing from a pro-Trump Republican who has been supportive of the insurrectionists who tried to destroy American democracy on January 6, 2021.

“This is incredibly insulting. Today on our President’s Day, Joe Biden, the President of the United States chose Ukraine over America, while forcing the American people to pay for Ukraine’s government and war. I cannot tell you how much Americans hate Joe Biden.

There may be nothing more presidential than standing for the foundational US values of freedom and democracy and the right of a people to repel tyranny enforced at the point of the gun from a more powerful foreign oppressor whose fight for independence mirrors America’s own.

Biden went to Kyiv after securing the necessary security guarantees, said Medvedev in a statement. There was a belief that the victory would come with new weapons and a brave people. And here it is important to note that the West already delivers weapons and money to Kyiv quite regularly. NATO countries are allowed to earn money and steal weapons in huge quantities by allowing the military-industrial complex.

Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Igor Girkin meanwhile suggested that Biden could have visited the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and escaped unharmed.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.

Girkin is among a number of hardline military bloggers – some of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers and provide analysis of the conflict for large swaths of the Russian population – who have repeatedly criticized what they consider a “soft” approach on the battlefield by Putin’s generals.

U.S. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg Address the Munich Security Conference on Ukraine

Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security adviser, said that the US informed Russia of the plans to visit the Ukrainian capital for “deconfliction purposes.”

As deputy head of the Security Council, Medvedev is known for making statements in a bid to shore up his nationalist credentials.

Participants of what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” will be in attendance but foreign guests or representatives will not be invited, the Kremlin’s spokesperson told reporters Monday.

On Wednesday, the U.N. General Assembly will hold a special session on Ukraine. Russia requested that the Security Council talk about the Nord Stream pipeline. And Russia’s parliament will hold extraordinary meetings.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy opened the Munich Security Conference, speaking via video link to attendees including German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron and Vice President Kamala Harris. The vice president told the crowd that Russia had done horrible things.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg spoke at the NATO meeting in regards to the upcoming Russian attacks on Ukraine.

The Russian government is operating at least 40 child custody centers for the sake of thousands of Ukrainian children, a potential war crime reported by a Yale University team.

Servant of the People: A Real-life Story of a Sensitive Ukrainian Presidential Campaigning Against Wartime Crimes and Corruption

People had wondered if Zelenskyy would flee. Daria Kaleniuk, who runs the Anti-Corruption Action Center, a public watchdog group, pointed out that Zelenskyy had downplayed the threat of war and seemed unprepared. That he stood his ground in Kyiv, she says, “honestly, it was a surprise for me.”

It’s about an earnest high school history teacher who rails against Ukraine’s corruption and corrosive politics. Zelenskyy’s character becomes a sensation after a student captures a rant on video and posts it on social media.

Zelenskyy was a sensation as a real-life candidate as he won with more than 70% of the vote. He named his political party Servant of the People.

When he stayed in Kyiv early in the war, his decision turned out to be unpopular with the public. By the end of August, a majority of Ukrainians approved of his job performance. In a time of crisis the character actor understood the needs of the Ukrainian people.

Zelenskyy took part in international support. Six days into the invasion, he addressed the European parliament by video and brought the English interpreter to tears.

Speaking to the U.S. Congress in December, this time in English, he quoted another wartime leader, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, drawing huge rounds of applause.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/20/1158150926/volodymyr-zelenskyy-president-ukraine-russia-war

Velodsky Zelenskyy: The enigmatic president of the Kherson region, in the aftermath of a Russian invasion

I saw him in the Kherson region less than two weeks before the invasion. He was there to observe drills to defend against Russian sabotage. Zelenskyy held an impromptu news conference after that, in which he was confused and defensive. Zelenskyy downplayed the threat of a massive invasion from the U.S. officials.

There is too much information about a full-scale war in today’s information space, said the president while standing in the middle of a street near a table filled with microphones.

Chornovol was a lawmaker in the parliament of Ukraine. Later she joined the military. I met her in the Kherson region last fall, where her job was to fire small missiles at Russian armor.

According to Chornovol, the Ukrainian army left the route north of Kyiv open to invasion before the war began.

Chornovol showed me her camouflaged missile launcher, which she said had been used to commit the crime. There was no way to prepare for the invasion. In no way was Kyiv fortified.

Jack Watling, senior researcher in land warfare at the Royal United Services Institute in London, says a brigade and a half of troops were supposed to be deployed to the area, but weren’t. Ukrainian officers warned higher-ups the south was vulnerable to a Russian attack.

Because of the war, parliamentarians are careful not to launch domestic political attacks. Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze, a Ukranian lawmaker with the European Solidarity party, says they will be asking tough questions about what happened in the south after Ukraine defeats Russia.

People here blame the swift loss of the region on the SBU, Ukraine’s intelligence service. In July, Zelenskyy fired the head of the SBU, Ivan Bakanov, a longtime friend who had no security experience.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2023/02/20/1158150926/volodymyr-zelenskyy-president-ukraine-russia-war

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were a lawyer”: Alina Fialko-Smal, Zelenskyy, and Volodymyy

“He’s a good president during war,” she says. “He’s not a very good president during a non-war period. He is trusting people who are his friends but is not tolerant of different opinions.

Alina Fialko-Smal was an actor there at the time. Zelenskyy was interested in becoming a dramatic actor and used to watch her troupe perform. Zelenskyy is too small for her.

Zelenskyy studied law at Kryvyi Rih Economic Institute, where his father is a renowned educator. Professor Natalya Voloshanyuk recalls Volodymyr as clever, funny and self-assured.

His answer to her was “one day you will be proud that you taught me.”

“After the Soviet Union collapsed, you can create something new,” he says. “I think Zelenskyy’s one of one of those people. The good thing is that these people think that impossible is nothing and you can create anything.”

“People really recognize themselves in him, identify themselves with him, or he identifies himself with the people. This is the most important thing to me.

The War in Ukraine: Where Do We Stand, Where Are We Going? Why Do We Live, and How Do We Need to Be? When Will the War End?

The differences between the two speeches were stark, both in content and character. Biden was introduced in Warsaw to a pulsing pop anthem; Putin seemed to put some members of his audience to sleep with his hour-and-45-minute address. Biden said that it was a mistake for Putin to suspend his country’s participation in the New START treaty.

Nearly a year later, Biden returns to the Royal Castle this week to mark the anniversary of a war that has increasingly put him directly at odds with the Russian leader, a Cold War dynamic underscored by Biden’s highly secretive visit to Kyiv a day earlier.

The White House said ahead of his trip that Biden would speak by phone over the course of the week with other Western leaders, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak of the United Kingdom and President Emmanuel Macron of France.

We need to be clear eyed and honest as we plan for the year ahead. The defense of freedom isn’t done one day at a time. It’s always difficult, it’s always important,” Biden said.

Biden has been unable to give an exact time frame for that, making this week much about the year ahead as it has been in the past.

While the visit of Biden did nothing to answer the questions of how and when the war will end, it is difficult to ignore them as Air Force One returns to Washington.

This has become a grinding war of attrition and therefore it is a battle of Logistics, according to Jens Stoltenberg. “The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of ammunition and depleting allies’ stockpiles. The current rate of Ukraine’s ammunition expenditure is many times higher than our current rate of production.”

“I think it is wise to be prepared for a long war,” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who will visit Biden at the White House early next month, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Friday.

The end of the Warsaw war: Why the West can’t do it without the support of the US, and the impact on the rest of the world

The West can’t provide unlimited support for a long time as evidenced by recent polls showing support for the war effort waning.

“I do have to say that there is a concern, both in Poland and in Ukraine, about the staying power of the US beyond this administration. The German Marshall Fund’s managing director said the war would be different without the support of the US.

“The fact is that we are fighting with time, right?” Baranowski said. It is not necessarily whether time is on the side of Russia, who has lots of resources to deplete us in the West. That’s what gives me pause. I hope we have the staying power.”

White House officials said that in Biden’s upcoming speech from Warsaw’s castle marking the anniversary of the war, the president plans to speak to the costs the war has inflicted on the rest of the world. He and his staff have downplayed the possibility that Republicans would cut aid to Ukranian, saying GOP leaders are very supportive.

In an indication of the massive number of refugees Poland has absorbed since the start of the war, his remarks will be translated into both Polish and Ukrainian.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/21/politics/joe-biden-poland-trip/index.html

Kirby, Putin, Zelensky and the War on the Balkans: When the U.S. and the Cold War Become One

John Kirby, the strategic communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said the president’s message would be for “people all around the world.”

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.

Recall that in the early days of the invasion, Ukraine said it found Russian forces had brought along their dress uniforms apparently expecting a victory parade.

Biden is 80 and walks with a stiff gait. Biden has no shortage of courage, nor competence, though he did sound air raid sirens over Kyiv.

Biden made mincemeat of Putin’s strategy to make it look as if the war was a result of a Ukrainian provocation, revealing the plan before it unfolded. Then he rallied the NATO alliance, which had been so grievously disparaged by former President Donald Trump.

Zelensky said Biden’s visit will have repercussions in the battlefield, and bring us closer to victory.

When Russia Made It Great Again: A Critical Analysis of the Cultural Warfare of the U.S. and of the Nazi Implications to the Left Behind

In his book “OK Boomer, Let’s Talk: How My Generation Got Left Behind”, the writer is a journalist based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely her own. CNN has more opinion on it.

For Americans who came of age after the end of the Cold War, the threat of nuclear attack is frightening; for those who lived through the initial Cold War, it is hair-raising.

Biden is correct that this is indeed a battle between freedom and oppression. It’s worth nothing, though, that Putin’s emphasis on cultural and gender warfare is also correct, in its own way.

He is of course lying and fear-mongering when he fulminates about same-sex marriage or the prospect of a gender-neutral God and when he says that the West seeks “the destruction of the family, cultural and national identity, perversion and the abuse of children are declared the norm.” There is a clear historical and contemporary correlation between conservative religiosity and autocracy on one hand and liberal tolerance and democracy on the other.

The previous era of Russian autocracy, which was irreligious, shows that conservatism is not a requirement for autocracy. The autocrats in Beijing don’t seem to be bringing the conservative Christian principles to China.

They are embracing a lot of the same things. Among analysists of global authoritarians, a familiar refrain has emerged: Make [x country] Again, great. Evan Osnos wrote about the New Yorker that the Chinese president is trying to make the country great again. “Putin set out to ‘Make Russia Great Again,’” Gen. David Petraeus told CNN earlier this month. And, of course, we all know the American version.

It’s informative, though (and scary) to realize the extent to which a number of right-wing Americans believe Putin has a point about the West being degenerate, and seem comfortable bringing a strongman in to restore the traditional order.

The most salient divide is not between East and West; it’s between those who want pluralistic liberal democracies that allow people to live freely no matter what their religious beliefs, sexual orientations and aspirations – and those who prefer autocratic strongmen who use the law to impose conservative, traditional values whether people like it or not.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/21/opinions/vladimir-putin-russia-ukraine-war-one-year-filipovic/index.html

The Road Towards a Democractic Republic: The Story of the U.S. Crime against Neo-Nazis in Ukraine

Donald Trump elevated the status of Putin as a pro-Trump conservative because he supported the dictator. As of a year ago, Republicans in the US had a more favorable view of Putin than of Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party.

Meanwhile, Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that “NATO has been supplying the neo-Nazis in Ukraine with powerful weapons and extensive training on how to use them.”

This is not just a divide between Russia and the US. It’s a divide within Russia itself, as the nation’s feminists, LGBTQ rights advocates, and democracy activists continue to push (often at great personal risk) for a freer and fairer country. And it’s a divide within the US, too, between the Americans who want liberal democracy to thrive, and those who want their ideology to rule us all.

The path towards a democratic path that began during this revolution has been taken by Ukraine. Government was decentralized to give more rights to local communities. Parliament adopted anti-corruption legislation, making it difficult to hide misuses of power. Judicial reform was able to be accomplished due to the changes to our Constitution. We were on the right path and there are a lot of things that need to be done.

Is April 14, 2014 Ukraine a Game Changer? The Center for Civil Liberties of Ukraine and the War on Crimes in the occupied territories

My organization, the Center for Civil Liberties, has been documenting abductions, illegal detentions, rapes, tortures and extra-judicial killings in the occupied territories since 2014. Since February last year, the river of horrors has turned into a flood.

Over the last year, the emotions I have felt have changed. Yes, I still feel anger over the death and destruction inflicted on Ukraine. I have also felt a surge of love.

I have found that we can still rely on people despite the fact that the international order does not protect us.

This was the spirit I saw before in Maidan Square during the 2014 protests. Those protests kept on, despite the police beatings, and then the killings, because we believed in something better. And it came.

And so this love extends further, perhaps, to the vision of a country that can rise from all this — of a future Ukraine where human rights are respected. Where perhaps we no longer need a Center for Civil Liberties to fight for them. Perhaps even to a vision of the world where this spirit of shared humanity prevails.

Back in Washington, the attacks were a game-changer. President Joe Biden was so outraged by the threat to civilians that he directed the Pentagon to find a way to get Ukraine America’s most advanced missile defense system, the Patriot – a move his administration had previously dismissed.

Jake Sullivan, the National security adviser, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and the Chairman of the Joint chiefs of staff all speak to their counterparts at least once a week.

Both Sullivan and Milley hold joint calls with the Zelensky adviser and the commander in charge of the Ukrainian armed forces. These calls give Sullivan and Milley a chance to get the latest reports from the battlefield and assess the Ukrainian military’s needs.

Ukrainian requests through these various channels are then funneled over to the Pentagon, where officials conduct rigorous analysis of the requests to assess the impact they will have on the battlefield, how quickly the Ukrainians can train and integrate the new weapons and the impact of transferring the weapons on US military readiness.

Even as the process has gotten more organized, with US equipment now often landing in Ukraine within days of Biden approving a security package, the urgency persists.

The official said that they have never seen the bureaucracy work as quickly as it is doing.

An administration official said that the president was angry and pushed for help to help the Pentagon fight the problem.

During the town hall, Sullivan touted the latest US security assistance that the Biden administration has authorized to Ukraine – a $2 billion package of weapons that’s expected to be officially announced on Friday as the war hits the 1-year mark.

“We really went around the world and found for them, not only additional systems that other countries had and persuade them to transfer them, but parts,” the official said, allowing Ukraine to get non-operational S-300 systems back online.

The US increased security assistance in a number of ways, most notably with the providing of howitzers in April and the multiple rocket launchers and tanks in June.

At every stage of the conflict we have adapted to make sure the Ukrainians got what they wanted, said a senior administration official. “We have adapted, they have adapted.”

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing the West in its support for Ukraine as the war enters its second year is sheer logistics, and maintaining the pace of weapons and ammunition supplies to Ukraine as stockpiles dwindle.

Europe has less than ideal industrial capacity when it comes to how fast the bullets can be made, according to the Estonian Ministry of Defense Permanent Secretary.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said earlier in the month that NATO needs to increase production capacity in order to meet Ukraine’s needs.

The Ukrainian military has instinctively wanted to fight an artillery war, US officials say, which involves firing a crushing amount of heavy artillery at the enemy’s defensive lines.

US officials have urged Ukraine to shift to a maneuver warfare style of fighting used by the US and other modern militaries – that is, fighting that uses rapid, unanticipated movements and a combination of different combat arms rather than relying too heavily on artillery.

There are calls for Russia to withdraw from Ukraine, a special tribunal to prosecute Russian war crimes, and the release of all Ukrainian prisoners of war.

“I think strategically the allies are getting to the realization that this is going to be a longer war,” said Salm, the Estonian 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.”

Zelensky’s room to maneuver in terms of what he is willing to accept has “gotten a little smaller” as Russia’s atrocities have grown, however, the senior State Department official said.

The US understands the position, according to a senior State Department official. An end goal “has to be something that any democratically elected leader in Ukraine can sell to his or her public,” the official said. “But I think he’s committed to get there.”

Joe Biden, the Ukrainian War Zone, and the U.S. Embassy to Ukraine: What he really wanted to tell the American people

Joe Biden barely slept as he was about to hit the warzone of the former Yugoslavia, sitting awake as his train car crossed into it, and then he went back to sleep.

As the second year of the conflict inUkraine nears, Biden will leave Europe three days later and recommit himself to backing the country despite some doubt about the reliability of American support.

In conversations with aides, foreign counterparts and even by phone with his wife over the course of his visit, Biden has asserted his trip this week was essential in showing the world the US wouldn’t waver in its support.

Yet underneath Biden’s pledges of continued support for Ukraine remains a lingering concern, shared with his European allies, that the war could descend into a stalemate as each side sees small gains and losses without a clear trajectory.

There are concerns about how Ukraine is utilizing its resources and President Zelensky was urged by some US and European officials to focus on planning a spring counteroffensive rather than fight on multiple fronts.

When Biden arrived in the warzone, Sullivan said he spent a great deal of time scheming out how he would raise his issues with Zelensky inside the Mariinsky Palace.

There will be further talks between the US and Ukrainian officials in the coming days and weeks, according to aides to Biden.

Biden intended to reach a number of audiences, including the trapped Ukrainian people, a Polish population that has had to bear much of the burden, and Russians who may be dissatisfied with their leaders.

But, at least in the view of some on his team, most important were listeners in the United States, thousands of miles from the frontlines, without a direct stake in the war and – according to polls – softening in their support for continued US assistance.

Biden’s critics used his trip this week to paint him as inattentive to his own country’s needs, seizing upon a toxic chemical spill caused by a train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, as an example of an American crisis deserving his attention.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, asked if Biden should be with the people in Ohio if he was over in Poland. You have to always go to the people in the middle of a crisis.

He captioned the photo of the call that he posted on IG with a commitment to make sure they had everything they needed.

A U.S. Ambassador During the Ukraine War: Emerging from the War in Ukraine and the Implications for the Future of the United States

He used the chance to blast the Republicans for making it more difficult to strengthen rail safety and for losing regulations, which made it more difficult to strengthen them.

Initially viewed skeptically by the Biden administration for his human rights record and reversal of certain democratic norms, Duda has emerged as the United States’ top partner in Eastern Europe amid the raging war in Ukraine, overseeing a massive influx of refugees and turning Poland into a logistics hub for the shipments of Western military assistance over the border.

Speaking across the table from Biden on Tuesday, Duda placed this week’s events within a century-old context of robust American presence on the continent.

“The United States … has demonstrated on multiple occasions its responsibility for European matters during the First World War, during the Second World War, during the Cold War. Every single time, they restored the democratic rules. He said that the United States brought back freedom every time.

Putin welcomed Wang and told him that the relations between Beijing and Moscow were on a new path.

In a conversation with Putin, Wang said that the two nations face crisis and chaos but have opportunities in a crisis to turn it into chaos.

But this moment finds the United States negotiating worsening foreign policy crises at the same time – with its former Cold War adversaries in the Kremlin and its belligerent new superpower rival led by Xi Jinping. Both these rivals are openly challenging the international rule of law and rejecting norms that have underpinned the international system for decades.

And this new and complicated foreign policy picture is not just a problem for American diplomats. Rising challenges abroad as well, as the depletion of US and Western weapons stocks as arms are sent to Ukraine, pose questions about military capacity and whether current defense spending is sufficient. Key Republicans meanwhile are accusing Biden of snubbing voters facing economic and other problems, even as he tries to position Democrats as the protectors of working Americans as the 2024 campaign dawns.

And Biden vowed, “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail,” he added.

The fact that Biden traveled to Russia showed that the estrangement between the US and Russia is close to being over.

Putin, for example, announced Tuesday that Russia would suspend participation in the New START nuclear treaty with the United States. It was not clear what practical impact this would have since Moscow has stopped fully implementing the deal.

The Secretary of State said that Washington was willing to discuss the situation with Russia, even if it were not in talks with the other nuclear powers.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that such a step would cross a US red line but did not specify what consequences could result.

All current thinking of the course of the war could change if China is given Putin’s army. It is not just China that Mr. Zelensky is worried about.

Secretary Austin told Ari thatUkraine would decide what victory looked like. I do not want to speak for Zelenskyy or the Ukrainian people.

We’re gonna focus on what’s in front of us right now and put [Ukraine] in the best possible position to continue to be successful. And I think that’ll lead us to Ukraine being in, again, a good a good place, whether or not the fighting continues; or whether or not they decide to go to the negotiating table.

I don’t want to speculate at this point. I want to provide the capabilities required to achieve their objectives. I and the chairman are going to stay focused on that.

War, War is War: The Story of a Newlywed Couple and the End of the Cold War: How Putin Decided to Leave Ukraine

I mean, they can be driven out, or Putin can decide to take his forces back out of Ukraine because he’s in such a bad position. It could happen as well. He could do this today. We know that this is happening because of one man’s desire to remove his neighbor’s boundaries and occupy his neighbor’s territory. This is, again, unprovoked. And Putin could end this at any point in time in the future.

Newlyweds who separated hours after saying their vows in order to allow the groom to return to the front, were some of the stories I heard one year ago. A tax preparer in Boston who quit her job to return to Ukraine with suitcases full of medical supplies. In order to get women and children to the other side of the border, the wife of a border guard made a three hour trip from Lviv to the Polish frontier almost daily.

How sad that human beings survived deadly waves of Covid only to get right back into the business-as-usual of killing one other. 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. It’s lunacy that farmers in a breadbasket of the world have gone hungry hiding in bomb shelters. Russian soldiers have been accused of murdering civilians and raping others in their country, right before Putin declared Ukrainians to be part of his own people.

Governments gussy up war. They talk of victory because it makes soldiers believe in themselves. In the end, war is only worth death in a muddy hole. It’s an existential fight over a frozen field with no strategic value. Atergenerational grudges can get new generational grudges. It’s an $11 billion, roughly 740-mile pipeline laid across the Baltic Sea rendered useless overnight. It’s some of the largest steel plants in Europe unable to produce or ship a single metal sheet. It’s a charming seaside city emptied out by bombings and siege.

The Adventures of Dmitri Alperovitch and the Russian War, or: The Strangeness that Becomes Happens When You’re Born in Russia

“He was seeing Ukraine slip away from his orbit. And when he saw that he could no longer control it, it was pretty clear to me that he was going to try to move in and attempt a regime change,” said Alperovitch.

Kremlinolgists tried to get a sense of the Soviet Union from the information they received from the Communist leadership. Analysts argue against the idea of Putinology because it is too simplistic to see Russia through the eyes of one man. Putin wants Russians and the rest of the world to believe he has control over all aspects of Russia because of the idea of an all-powerful leader.

He was born in Moscow and came to the U.S. at a young age. Putin has shaped his life, but he’s never returned to Russia. He was the founder of the cybersecurity firm, CrowdStrike, which was often used to investigate Russian computer hacks. Here’s how he describes the Russian leader: “I’ve always viewed him as a gambler. He’s got most of the time. His biggest gamble has not worked out very well so far.

Yet Putin has consolidated his hold on Russia throughout his more than two decades in power, and critical decisions — like invading Ukraine — are widely seen as the work of Putin alone.

But she adds, “You can go to jail for spreading ‘fakes about the Russian army.’ It feels incredibly risky to go. Dmitri Alperovitch knows he would not be welcome. The most bizarre thing that happened to me last year was the fact that I was born in Russia. “It is somewhat of a badge of honor, but nevertheless there’s certainly a bittersweet feeling about it.” Putinologists may now be in great demand, but incurring the wrath of the Kremlin is an occupational hazard. Greg Myre is an NPR national security correspondent. He worked for The Associated Press in Moscow from 1996-99, where he covered the war in Ukraine. Follow him @gregmyre1.

“He created this cult around World War II. That supports war. That sanctifies war. And then once a war starts, it’s pretty easy to convince Russians that this is a war just like that and that they need to go in and do it,” she said.

The Russian dead, a cataclysmic horror story, revisited: Russia’s attack on Ukraine during the first quarter of the Cold War

The extent to which the West has become familiar with its values and purpose is the biggest surprise in where we are now.

The Russian dead I witnessed, sprawled all over the roadside as Ukraine advanced in Kherson this summer, were scruffy, with a sleeping mat and workout gloves for comfort, and only rusting armor at their backs.

Europe was headed in the opposite direction a year ago when Russia decided to seek its strategic defeat in Ukraine over appeasement.

Defense budgets were growing to the point where there was hope that Putin would be a nice guy and not a war criminal bent on restoring an empire that hadn’t changed in more than a century.

Is that a bad thing? Whose sacrifice should have never happened was the case for Ukraine. I recall being in the administration building at the start of the war, and being very cold. When it was destroyed in two in March, I can’t think of how many were inside.

The young mother and father of the four-year-old were fast asleep and woke up to a noise they did not know was an engine noise.

A drone flew across the sky like a kite from their perch on the 23rd floor of an apartment block. They heard an explosion and then a black cloud in the air. The woman said she felt paralyzed as she stood at the spot.

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 triangular bombs darted past them towards the thermal power plant which provides electricity and heat for the capital.

The UN says Russia’s attacks violate international humanitarian law that forbids the targeting of civilians. Human Rights Watch said in a report that Moscow’s tactic appeared to be to spread terror among the civilian population in order to violate the Additional Protocol I to theGeneva Conventions.

“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 think that this cynical weaponization of winter was something that we encountered earlier. It was not about using the cold weather season as a war tactic, but about lack of care for civilians and indiscriminate strikes. That is new to me.

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). Though this winter has been milder than most, life has been brutal for those in towns and villages pummelled in the country’s east, parts of which haven’t had electricity for months.

Bringing Ukraine to a stone age: A response to Putin’s attack on Ukraine and the role of its economic power, a humanitarian, and humanitarian sector

Doctors have done heart surgeries under the lamps, families have cooked meals on a camping stove and students have done homework by flashlight during periods of blackouts. 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. Serhii said that it could have worked. We were able to survive.

Russia requested that the test be pushed back to February 24. “Very, very few people know about this,” Mariia Tsaturian, a spokesperson for Ukrenergo, told CNN. We thought that this might actually be when they invaded, because Ukraine would seem weak.

“It made our system stronger. It made us more robust against Russia’s attacks, and Oleksandr is a former adviser to Ukraine’s energy minister. He pointed out that the successful emergency synchronization also allowed Ukraine to start trading power with the EU in June, bringing in much-needed revenue while also providing affordable electricity to Europe during a time when prices were sky high.

In part, because ofUkraine’s Ministry of Energy, the scale of destruction has been difficult to assess.

There is a question mark about how to make up the deficit. There is no sign that it will be able to balance the need if Zaporizhsky were to come back online. The costs of electricity imported from the EU would be higher than the country’s consumers could bear, so they are looking into it.

A country of this size is at war and has an energy sector that is being weaponized by Russia. They have proved that they can run the system even though they have committed atrocities and shelling. It is for this reason, that I hope it continues until the end of the winter.

Brown claimed that the UN is making sure communities are getting what they need in the fight to prevent people dying from the cold. Humanitarian aid trucks are carrying warm clothes, blankets, and hygiene kits, as well as repairing windows and roofs. The goal is to get to the end of February, when it is expected to start warming up.

“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.

One of the UN convoys recently traveled to Siversk, a flattened town about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Soledar, which was captured by Russian forces in January. About 1,000 residents are still without electricity or running water. Older people with disabilities and others with chronic conditions are the most vulnerable of those who have stayed behind.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2023/02/europe/putin-ukraine-energy-infrastructure-attack/index.html

Where did the battery come from? A woman’s dream about moving to Irpin, a country where Russian forces attacked a film producer

In December, she felt like she was getting used to the power outs. She was teaching at the university and taking Liza back to kindergarten.

We have been waiting to reach our dream for so long that I thought about moving, but only for a moment. This apartment, our home,” Lysenko said.

In order to get to Irpin, where she runs an accounting company, you must take a tram from Hostomel. She works from a library that has been turned into an “indestructible point,” which is a place that can 888-269-5556 888-269-5556 888-269-5556.

“Unfortunately, I cannot afford to get a generator for the office, so for now, this is our way out. 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.

A car battery is a temporary power source for her 67-year-old father, who lives in Hostomel. Where did he get that battery? He stole it from the ruscists [Russian soldiers], from their car,” she said. He is fearless.

Russian forces launched an attack on the city of Kyiv after the film producer came home from the hospital, where he was being treated for a stroke.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2023/02/europe/putin-ukraine-energy-infrastructure-attack/index.html

The life in Kharkiv: How Ukrainian people lived in an unsafe environment during the Russian attacks on energy infrastructure during the second world war, according to Oleg Yevtushenko

He and his wife were able to sleep in their bathroom for the first few days of the war because the tub was small. 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.

“This is very illustrative of what you see across Ukraine. The associate director at the Human Rights Watch, Lokshina said that it is about cafes and restaurants sharing their generators, it is about special places where you can charge your phone at gas stations, and it is about special places in shopping centers. “It’s about helping others, not only taking care of your own, and that’s how people are surviving.”

They have been trapped in their high-rise apartment in the left bank of Kyiv 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, residents leave vital supplies in elevators if there is a cut. Most people didn’t remember the last time they used the lift, worried about being trapped inside.

The most recent head of HRW’s Moscow bureau, Lokshina has been working in exile from Tbilisi, Georgia, since Russia’s Ministry of Justice revoked the organization’s registration in April, along with other foreign rights groups. At the height of Russia’s attacks on energy infrastructure, she carried out research in the Kharkiv region. People living in towns and villages with no electricity for months have been visited by her. They were most devastated by a lack of connectivity, she said, unable to get in touch with friends and relatives, to find out how they were and what was happening in the outside world.

When she returned to Kyiv, Lokshina was struck by how life carried on. She tried to get her nails done before the meeting, but couldn’t because every salon was booked until the curfew. The attacks happen even though the electricity is off, despite the unpredictability of it. There are risk factors. People make a point out of doing their best to live a normal life,” she said.

”You don’t need much for happiness. A warm house with lights and water, a beautiful sky above our heads, and some small comforts. “That is all,” Yana said. “Our values have changed a lot. In fact, we have changed.”

How the US is supporting Ukraine in the fight against Russia: CNN Town Hall Report on the One-Year Anniversary of Russia’s Invasion

Senior Biden administration officials said the US is prepared to support Ukraine for a long time in the fight against Russia and is confident that they will prevail during a CNN town hall marking the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion.

Both Sullivan and Samantha Power, administrator of the US Agency for International Development, took questions at the town hall from Americans and Ukrainians Thursday, on topics ranging from how the US will keep arming Ukraine to an assessment of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions and the role China may play in the conflict.

Sullivan argued that one year into the conflict, the main objective of Russia’s was stopped by the Ukrainians.

“Sitting here today, we do not see movements in Russia’s nuclear forces that lead us to believe that something fundamentally has changed from how things have been over the course of the past year,” Sullivan said.

The package includes new money for contracts such as 155 millimeter cannon fire, drones, counter-drone equipment, mine clearing equipment and secure communications equipment.

Sullivan was asked by a Ukrainian soldier named Yegor, currently serving on the front lines, whether the US would be able to increase production of ammunition and other weapons to Ukraine, such as 155-millimeter artillery shells and HIMARS.

The Biden administration has often transferred weapons it had initially resisted sending to the Ukrainians in spite of the Ukrainians asking for more.

The F-16 fighter jets that the Biden administration is not currently providing to Ukraine are not the key to a counteroffensive against Russian forces, according to Sullivan.

Zakaria asked Sullivan for his first reaction Thursday evening to a 12-point plan Beijing released calling for the end of hostilities in Ukraine and pitching itself as a mediator between Moscow and Kyiv.

“Well my first reaction to it is they could stop at point one, which is respect the sovereignty of all nations,” Sullivan said. “This war could end tomorrow if Russia stopped attacking Ukraine and withdrew its forces. Ukraine wasn’t attacking Russia, NATO wasn’t attacking Russia, the United States wasn’t attacking Russia. This was a war of choice waged by Putin.

Both Sullivan and Power brushed aside criticism from some of Biden’s Republican critics that the billions of dollars the US is spending in Ukraine would be better spent at home.

“I would say to those senators, yes, let’s do these things at home. Are you saying that American doesn’t have the ability to serve as a force of good in the world? Sullivan said.

There is pessimism in the argument these senators are making. President Biden has an optimistic view, which is that we can do it and that we should do it.

When a mother of a Ukrainian origin asked Power about the similarities between her country and the US, she argued that US support for Ukraine was one of the rare issues where there was strong bipartisanship in Washington.

Lera, a 14-year-old Ukrainian girl, asked Power whether she could rely on American to feel safe in her country. The US wanted to make Ukrainians feel safe despite the war, Power said.

We stand with you, not just on the battle front, but in trying to help you feel as much safety as possible when one man attempts to take that away, Power said.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/24/politics/takeaways-cnn-ukraine-war-town-hall/index.html

The Magic Day of 2022: When Ukrainian Rail Workers Returned During the First Month of World War II. Vladimir Kamyshin in Mariupol, Ukraine

Power acknowledged the long road ahead for Ukraine to rebuild the country when the war ends. Some estimates have totaled the damage to date at $130 billion, she noted.

The Biden administration and other allies are focused on making sure the money that is dedicated to reconstruction is well spent, because major projects are still ahead.

We want to look at the big ticket items, most of which will only happen when there is peace, Power said.

“But we have to make sure resources are going to be well spent,” she added. “When you have those huge investments, which go well beyond what is being provided right now, that’s when of course you want to make sure that you have the safeguards in place so that all outside investors and donors can know and say to their citizens that this is money that’s going to be well spent.”

Kamyshin says that it was a magic day. “We saw the faces of the people seeing the train, crying, waving their hands. It was unforgettable and I can’t say enough about it. That’s one of the days to remember forever.”

During the first three weeks of last year’s war, the railway’s main focus was on moving humanitarian aid into towns and cities being attacked by Russians. Passenger trains went west toward the Polish border carrying refugees, then returned to the front filled with supplies.

It has taken place under constant attack. “[The Russians shell] tracks, stations, bridges, power stations, cranes, they shell everything,” Kamyshin says. There were two hundred and fifty people who died. Only railwaymen and women are present. That’s the price we paid in this war.”

In Mariupol, a port city on the Black Sea close to the Russian border that was bombarded relentlessly until resistance finally collapsed in May 2022, rail workers managed to get trains in and out several times before the tracks were destroyed. The stranded crews were able to evacuate by road, but two trains are still stuck there.

The former President of Russia said on Friday that Russia was aiming to push borders of threats to the country as far as possible even if those are the borders of Poland.

Ukraine’s First Year of World War II: Zelensky, Blinken, and the Golden-Domed Monastery

Zelensky used the first anniversary of the war to rally troops and renew calls for international assistance for his country. He made a visit to soldiers and then held a press conference.

The leader of the Ukrainian army spoke to military personnel in Kyiv on Friday. He told them it was they who would determine the future of the country.

landmarks around the world were lit up in colors of the Ukrainian flag and new weapons and funding announcements on Friday, in a show of support for the country.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the international community not to let Putin’s crimes “become our new normal,” at the United Nations Security Council.

Fumio Kishida said that he will present the idea of imposing new sanctions against Russia during a virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Zelensky.

Two former students of her school died in the war, and she went to the Golden-Domed Monastery to remember them.

It was a bitterly cold morning in Kyiv, but Pahitsky said she felt it was her duty as the student president of her school to represent her classmates and pay her respects to the fallen heroes.

“Their photographs are here on the main street. It is a great honor. They died as heroes. It’s very important for us. And it would have been for them,” she said.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/24/europe/kyiv-war-anniversary-intl-cmd/index.html

Olexander Atamas: he felt good about Ukranian victory, but when did Russia look like it? The Israeli military response to the Ukrainian crisis

Olexander Atamas, who was an IT worker before the war and now serves with the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said it was hard to describe his feelings on Friday.

I don’t feel a fear but I feel more confident in my abilities, so I would prefer to describe it that way. “One year ago … I felt fear, I was stressed, psychologically it unsettled me. There is no fear right now.

Mr. Zelensky thinks that Russia will not find a way to rebuild its military quickly, which is the reason why he is so confident in Ukranian victory.

He treads carefully when talking about China and doesn’t shy away from questions if he thinks they could be doing more to help Ukraine.

Asked about reports that Beijing was considering providing Moscow with lethal weapons, Mr. Zelensky initially ignored the question. When it was raised a second time, he said that working to ensure China did not arm Russia was one of his top priorities.

Mr. Zelensky had the question translated a second time and then engaged the reporter directly, telling her that it was not about geography or geopolitics but basic principles.

How Do We Get There? Asking a Russian Foreign Minister about Israel’s Nuclear Power Plant, Nuclear Security, and Human Rights? The Case of Mr. Zelensky

Does China believe that innocent people shouldn’t be killed? That a nuclear power plant should not be occupied? Is that respect for the nation’s sovereignty a requirement that an invader should leave?

“I am already starting public diplomatic relations here,” he said, before switching to English to stress his openness to direct talks with China. We have a lot of the same issues and have to speak between us.

Iran is already providing attack drones to Russia, and the West has warned the Moscow is also seeking to acquire ballistic missiles. It was in this context that Mr. Zelensky was asked about Israel. Israel and Ukraine share a common enemy, he was asked, so why are they not stronger allies?

He said that he understood Israel’s long and complex history with Russia but said that he had wished for Israel to take a firmer stance against it since the start of the war.

There were hard questions about possible internal disputes in his government. A journalist from Azerbaijan wanted a photograph with the Ukrainian leader for his son. (Mr. Zelensky obliged.)

The most common question was about whenUkraine could win the war, even if it would only be on the battlefield.

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