Russian drones attacked Kyiv as Moscow criticized a Ukrainian power grid
Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin Palace, and the Crimean Peninsula: A Memorandum on Russia’s “Forever”
In September, Putin presided over a lavish Kremlin ceremony in which he illegally annexed the broader Kherson region and three other Ukrainian territories into the Russian Federation — claiming the lands were now Russia’s “forever.”
The Russian leader spoke in St. George’s Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace, which was the location where he declared in March that the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea was part of Russia.
Hundreds of Russian members of Parliament and regional governors sat in the audience for Mr. Putin’s speech, as well as many of his cabinet ministers and the four Russian-imposed leaders of the occupied Ukrainian regions.
All territory that was captured by Russia will be reclaimed by the Ukrainians, despite their vow not to recognize the annexation. In his overnight address, the President stated that Russia will not get a new territory of Ukraine. “Russia will annex itself to the catastrophe that it has brought to the occupied territory of our country.”
Some of this criticism is not new and Stremousov might have been aware of the fact that troublesome leaders of Russian-backed entities have a habit of dying violently. The Chechen strongman, Ramzan Kadyrov, urged the Russian military to intensify their campaign, implying that Moscow’s approach had not been brutal enough.
He showed off a long list of military actions in the Western world from the British Opium War in China in the 19th century to the firebombing of Germany in the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
The United States, he said, was the only country to have used nuclear weapons in war. In an aside, Mr Putin said that they created a precedent.
Russian annexation of the Donbas province and the Day of Forgiveness: NPR meets Asher and David Cherkaskyi
As the Kremlin planned the elaborate ceremony, Russia launched a flurry of strikes against Ukrainian towns and cities, including an attack on Zaporizhzhia, which killed at least 25 people.
The moves are part of a carefully orchestrated process designed to provide a veneer of legality for the annexation of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces in eastern Ukraine and Kherson and Zaporizhzhia Provinces in the south.
Life values have changed. Like never before, I enjoy every opportunity to see or talk to relatives and friends. My belief in the victory is similar to that of other Ukrainians, we will return to our beloved country. But we need the world’s help.
Friday’s events include a celebration on Red Square. The Kremlin spokesman said that the finalization of the decree will take place next week.
There were staged referendums in occupied territory, which were in defiance of international law. People who did vote and fled the fighting often did so at gun point.
The precise borders of the areas Moscow is claiming remain unclear, but Putin has vowed to defend Russia’s territory — including the annexed regions — with any means at his military’s disposal, including nuclear weapons.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians entering military service is one of the hurdles that Mr. Putin has to overcome to reestablish his control over the war.
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.
NPR met the father and son in July and caught up with them again in September as Jews around the world prepared for the holiest day in Jewish worship, the Day of Forgiveness, which begins Tuesday evening.
Dnipro: A Jewish Orthodox Metropolis. The Ukraine’s First Prime Minister: Asher Cherkaskyi and the Asher-Origin Referendum
If you said you were a Jew, you would be punished for that in school. Even if you were brave, you wouldn’t get a medal in the army. He said you would be sent to the most dangerous places. I remember the anecdotes and propaganda to intimidate us. Jews and other nationalities were considered inferior. In the Soviet Union only Russians were good enough to rule.”
David is only familiar with an independentUkraine which declared independence in 1991. He tells NPR that it’s completely free inUkraine. You can do what you want here. You can go to church, you can be Muslim or Jewish, it is not a problem.”
NPR met the Cherkaskyis in their town of Dnipro, just hours before David was to deploy to the front in the Donbas. The city is home to a large Jewish population and one of the world’s top sofruts, which is a center of religious calligraphy.
Asher says that he first came to identify as a Ukrainian Jew during Russia’s occupation of the peninsula. He remembers the trumped-up referendum over unifying with Russia.
The voting process the Kremlin recently staged in order to justify seizing four Ukrainian regions was more cynical and tougher than the one that occurred in Crimea, says Asher Cherkaskyi.
Russian conscripting to the front line has been effective but high casualties are expected because of the newly intensified attacks.
Ukraine is using sophisticated Western-supplied weapons to help shoot down Russia’s missiles and drones, as well as send artillery fire into Russian-held areas of the country.
What Ukrainian Forces and IAEs Have Done to Overcoming the Russian Darkness During Putin’s Invasion of the Kherson Region
Asher stated that they were able to celebrate with blessings, apples and honey. They asked for light to overcome the darkness that was coming from the Russian Federation.
Ukrainian troops have moved forward and captured dozens of villages and settlements in the Kherson region after Russian forces left.
Whether it’s going through with a wedding in the aftermath of a rocket attack, pitching in to make Molotov cocktails, shifting classes to a Kyiv subway station as missiles fly or keeping a family business open against all odds, one thing Putin’s invasion has done is galvanize the Ukrainian people like never before.
In an article published Sunday, the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda reported that in the last few days of their occupation, Russian forces were plagued with desertion, poor planning and delayed arrival of reserves.
“This is a Russian region,” Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin’s spokesman, told reporters on Friday. It has been defined and fixed. There can be no changes here.”
The strikes came just hours after Ukraine’s president announced that the country’s military had retaken three more villages in one of the regions illegally annexed by Russia.
A child was taken to a hospital for treatment after being rescued from a multi-story building by the governor.
The region of Zaporizhzhia also was illegally annexed by Russia last month, despite the fact that some 20% of it remains under Ukrainian military control.
Rafael Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, plans to talk with Ukrainian officials about the Russian move. He will discuss efforts to set up a secure zone around the facility, which has been damaged in the fighting, and staff being kidnapped by Russian troops.
The Tyahinka village of Nova Khovka and the Russian Embassy in Kherson: “The first casualty in war” as Ukraine opens its door to new physics
Meanwhile, leaders from more than 40 countries are meeting in Prague on Thursday to launch a “European Political Community” aimed at boosting security and prosperity across the continent, a day after the Kremlin held the door open for further land grabs in Ukraine.
The village of Tyahinka, which was captured by the Ukrainian military on Friday, is near the town of Nova Kakhovka.
Russia said Thursday that it would help to evacuate residents of occupied Kherson to other areas, as Ukrainians continued to make gains. The announcement came just after the head of the Moscowbacked administration in Kherson appealed to the Kremlin for help moving residents out of harm’s way in the face ofUkrainian advances.
During the occupation and during the battle to regain it, there was heavy damage to it. Mykola, a 71-year-old man who gave only his first name, was among about 100 residents who lined up for aid on Wednesday.
“We want the war to come to an end, the pharmacy and shops and hospitals to start working as they used to,” he said. “Now we don’t have anything yet. Everything has been pillaged and destroyed.
In his nightly address, a defiant Zelenskyy switched to speaking Russian to tell the Moscow leadership that it has already lost the war that it launched Feb. 24.
“The Russians left all the villages,” he said. “We looked at dozens of villages with our drones and didn’t see a single car. We don’t see how they are leaving. They retreat at night.
The commander uses the code name Swat and said that they dropped personal care and helmets. “I think it was a special unit, but they were panicking. The road was bad and it was raining very hard.
It will be one of the things that the Ukrainians will have to do, is move their systems to the west so that they can combat any Russian equipment on the eastern side of the Dnipro River.
Truth, the saying goes, is the first casualty in war. In Russia, the Kremlin has engaged in a campaign of false advertising to market its invasion of Ukranian to the public.
Russia’s military bloggers have tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of subscribers to their Telegram channels. They have been highly critical of previous episodes in the campaign.
“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 looks like it is not getting through to individual senior figures.
The Ministry of Defense was lying about cross-border strikes in Russia and Ukraine, according to Kartapolov.
Valuyki is in Russia’s Belgorod region, near the border with Ukraine. At times, Kyiv does not confirm nor deny its intentions when striking Russian targets across the border.
There is no need to cast a shadow over the entire Ministry of Defense because incompetent commanders did not bother, and were not accountable, for the processes and gaps that existed today, according to Stremousov. “Indeed, many say that the Minister of Defense [Sergei Shoigu], who allowed this situation to happen, could, as an officer, shoot himself. For a lot, the word officer is new to them.
Kadyrov has been less reticent in naming Russian commanders after the retreat from the strategic Ukrainian city of Lyman.
Writing on Telegram, Kadyrov personally blamed Colonel-General Aleksandr Lapin, the commander of Russia’s Central Military District, for the debacle, accusing him of moving his headquarters away from his subordinates and failing to adequately provide for his troops.
The Russian information space has deviated from the narratives preferred by the Russians that everything is under control.
One of the central features of Putinism is a fetish for World War II, known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. And those in Russia’s party of war often speak admiringly of the brutal tactics employed by the Red Army to fight Hitler’s Wehrmacht, including the use of punishment battalions – sending soldiers accused of desertion, cowardice or wavering against German positions as cannon fodder – and the use of summary execution to halt unauthorized retreats.
Kadyrov – who recently announced that he had been promoted by Putin to the rank of colonel general – has been one of the most prominent voices arguing for the draconian methods of the past. He recently said in another Telegram post that, if he had his way, he would give the government extraordinary wartime powers in Russia.
Kadyrov wrote in a post that he would declare martial law and use any weapon because of the war the country was in with NATO.
Buildings and buildings destroyed by shelling of the Kerch bridge between the Dnipro River and the Kremlin-Kuzmin peninsula
The barrage continued on a day when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights activists in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine, an implicit rebuke to Russia and its president, Vladimir V. Putin, for his invasion of Ukraine.
According to the head of the military administration of the Dnipro River, at least ten homes and several apartment blocks were damaged when Russian rockets slammed into the area. He said that another man died and another was injured in Friday evening’s shelling.
At least one high-rise apartment building partially collapsed when windows in adjacent buildings were blown out by the blasts in the city.
The strike came after Saturday’s explosion caused the partial collapse of a bridge linking the peninsula with Russia, which was damaging an important supply arteries for the Kremlin’s faltering war effort in southern Ukraine.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, said Saturday that the Zaporizhzhia plant has since lost its last remaining external power source as a result of renewed shelling and is now relying on emergency diesel generators.
In some ways, Monday’s attacks were not a surprise – especially after Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday accused Kyiv of attacking the Kerch bridge, calling it an “act of terrorism.”
The security for the bridge and Russia’s energy infrastructure between the two countries was tightened late Saturday by Putin after he signed a decree putting Russia’s federal security service in charge.
Hours after the explosion, Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that the air force chief, Gen. Sergei Surovikin, would now command all Russian troops in Ukraine. The man who was put in charge of troops in southern Ukraine this summer was indicted for his part in the bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Putin personally opened the Kerch Bridge in May 2018 by driving a truck across it as a symbol of Moscow’s claims on Crimea. The bridge is important in sustaining Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine.
Traffic over the bridge was temporarily suspended after the blast, but both automobiles and trains were crossing again on Sunday. Russia also restarted a car ferry service.
Moscow’s Crimean Peninsula eruptive missile explosions killed at least 40 people and destroyed buildings – the first of many, many more
The Crimean Peninsula is a popular destination for Russian tourists and home to a Russian naval base. 50,000 people were estimated to be in the region on Saturday by a Russian association.
“We have already established the route of the truck,” he said, adding that it had been to Bulgaria, Georgia, Armenia, North Ossetia and Krasnodar — a region in southern Russia — among other places.
The key places to be on the front line wereneighboring towns. Soledar and Bakhmut, where extremely heavy fighting continues,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address Sunday.
Stunned residents watched from behind police tape as emergency crews tried to reach the upper floors of a building that took a direct hit. The apartments that used to be there smoldered in a chasm at least 40 feet wide. In an adjacent apartment building, the missile barrage blew windows and doors out of their frames in a radius of hundreds of feet. At least 20 private homes and 50 apartment buildings were damaged, city council Secretary Anatoliy Kurtev said.
Mucola Markovich said there was one explosion, then another. He lost his wife’s fourth-floor apartment in a matter of seconds.
The Russian-backed separatist attack on the Donetsk city of Lyman, annexed by Russian missiles and resolving the conflict in Ukraine
Three volunteers dug a shallow grave for a dog that was killed in the missile attack, the dog’s leg was damaged by the blast.
Abbas Gallyamov, an independent Russian political analyst and a former speechwriter for Putin, said the Russian president, who formed a committee Saturday to investigate the bridge explosion, had not responded forcefully enough to satisfy angry war hawks. He said that the attack inspired the opposition while the loyalists were demoralized.
“Because once again, they see that when the authorities say that everything is going according to plan and we’re winning, that they’re lying, and it demoralizes them,” he said.
— In the devastated Ukrainian city of Lyman, which was recently recaptured after a months-long Russian occupation, Ukrainian national police said authorities have exhumed the first 20 bodies from a mass burial site. The graves of around 200 people are believed to be in one location, with another having the bodies of fallen Ukrainian soldiers. The civilians, including children, were buried in single graves, while members of the military were buried in a 40-meter long trench, according to police.
Those towns and Donetsk are in the industrialized Donbas region, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting Kyiv since 2014. The Donetsk region is among four that were illegally annexed by Russia last month.
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. The Ukrainian Prime Minister warned that there is a lot of work to be done and asked people to reduce their energy usage during peak hours.
China and India called for de-escalator after the strikes in Ukranian. India has said it is “deeply concerned” by the escalation of the conflict and said that “escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest,” urging an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and return to the “path of dialogue. ” Other European leaders have also condemned the attack.
Editor’s Note: Michael Bociurkiw (@WorldAffairsPro) is a global affairs analyst. He is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a former spokesperson for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. The opinions expressed in this commentary are of his own. CNN has more opinion.
The Makiivka Explosion: Retaining Ukrainian Business Confidence in the Light of a New Year’s Resolution
Even amid irrepressible jubilation here in Ukraine in the aftermath of a massive explosion that hit the hugely strategic and symbolic Kerch Straight bridge over the weekend, fears of retaliation by the Kremlin were never far away.
The Makiivka strike took place just after midnight on New Year’s Day, targeting a vocational school housing Russian conscripts in Makiivka, in the Donetsk region, according to both Ukrainian and pro-Russian accounts.
As of midday local time, the area around my office in Odesa remained eerily quiet in between air raid sirens, with reports that three missiles and five kamikaze drones were shot down. (Normally at this time of the day, nearby restaurants would be heaving with customers, and chatter of plans for upcoming weddings and parties).
Energy infrastructure facilities were damaged as the result of the attack and an explosion occurred in one city district, the mayor said. It’s not clear if that was caused by drones or something else. Emergency power cuts were underway in the capital after a man was wounded.
Other videos showed cars driving in the city center beeping horns as people on the sidewalks shouted “Glory to Ukraine!” In one, Ukrainian soldiers drove slowly past a crowd as people reached out to touch the soldiers through the open windows.
Indeed, millions of people in cities across Ukraine will be spending most of the day in bomb shelters, at the urging of officials, while businesses have been asked to shift work online as much as possible.
The attacks risk causing another blow to business confidence and just as many regions of Ukraine were starting to roar back to life.
The explosion of the Ukrainian road bridge as a reminder of Vladimir Putin’s resolve to defend his country’s independence from Russian attacks on the Kremlin
Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. Putin personally opened the Europe’s longest bridge by driving a truck across it. That same year, one of the first things Chinese President Xi Jinping did after Beijing reclaimed Macau and Hong Kong was to connect the former Portuguese and British territories with the world’s longest sea crossing bridge. The $20 billion, 34-mile road bridge opened after about two years of delays.
The reaction among Ukrainians to the explosion was instantaneous: humorous memes lit up social media channels like a Christmas tree. Many shared their joy through text messages.
For Putin, consumed by pride and self-interest, sitting still was never an option. He responded in the only way he knows how, by unleashing more death and destruction, with the force that probably comes natural to a former KGB operative.
It was also an act of selfish desperation: facing increasing criticism at home, including on state-controlled television, has placed Putin on unusually thin ice.
Before Monday’s strikes, the Chief of the Main Intelligence Directorate at Ukraine’s Defense Ministry, Major General Kyrylo Budanov, had told Ukrainian journalist Roman Kravets in late August that, “by the end of the year at the minimum we have to enter Crimea” – suggesting a plan to push back Russian forces to pre-2014 lines, which is massively supported by Ukrainians I’ve spoken to.
What is crucially important now is for Washington and other allies to use urgent telephone diplomacy to urge China and India – which presumably still have some leverage over Putin – to resist the urge to use even more deadly weapons.
The priority for the West right now is to show unity and resolve against a man who probes for weakness. Western governments need to realize that rhetoric and sanctions have very little effect on the actions of Putin. Even if it means sending experts to the battlefield to speed up the integration of high tech weapons, they should continue to arm Ukrainians and give them urgent training.
Furthermore, high tech defense systems are needed to protect Kyiv and crucial energy infrastructure around the country. With winter just around the corner, the need to protect heating systems is urgent.
Russian Forces in the West Bank of the Kherson Region, a “Rebuilder” for the Russo Republik of Ukraine
Turkey and Gulf states, which have many Russian tourists, will need to come on board for the West to impose further trade and travel restrictions on Russia.
Last month, the occupation authorities ordered the evacuation of civilians from the west side of the river. They sent thousands of them eastward, to territory that is firmly held by Russia, blocking routes into Ukrainian controlled areas. The government installed by Moscow also departed, while looting the city, according to residents and Ukrainian officials.
In November, Russia’s military retreated from Kherson city, the only regional capital it had captured since the invasion began, in a major setback for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russian forces have been across the river from Kherson and regularly shell the city.
The Russian forces shelled Ukrainian-held areas of the partially occupied Kherson region 71 times over the past 24 hours, including 41 attacks on the city of Kherson, the region’s Ukrainian governor Yaroslav Yanushevich reported on Sunday.
“We suggested that all residents of the Kherson region, if there is such a wish, to protect themselves from the consequences of missile strikes, should go to other regions … to take their children and leave.”
The civilian transports were not an “evacuation” according to the deputy head of the Kherson region’s military administration.
In the past week, President Zelensky of Ukraine has told the international community just how much money his country needs to rebuild and keep its economy afloat. The figure was given to the boards of governors of both the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Mr. Zelensky said $17 billion was needed to rebuild schools, hospitals, transport systems, and housing, with $2 billion going toward expanding exports to Europe and restoring Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
The pictures show hundreds of cargo trucks waiting to cross into Russia by ferry after the bombing. The images, captured on Wednesday by Maxar Technologies, show a big backup at the port in Kerch and a line of trucks miles away at an airport that is apparently being used as a staging area.
Long lines for the ferry crossing had been made worse by the security checkpoints set up after the bridge explosion, according to a senior Russia analyst.
Ukranian drone attacks during the weekend: Implications for American, Ukrainian and European security & economic security in a new war and its prospects for Europe
The Air Force of the Ukranian republic claimed to have shot down 30 out of 35 drones it launched during the weekend, but most of them damaged power systems and civilian targets.
The war is entering a new phase not for the first time. “This is now the third, fourth, possibly fifth different war that we’ve been observing,” said Keir Giles, a senior consulting fellow at Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia Programme.
Despite the fact that the war has favored Ukraine, American and Ukrainian officials say fighting is likely to continue for months more. And a number of variables could become particularly pertinent in shifting the trajectory of the conflict: more difficult fighting conditions in December, the extent to which President Vladimir V. Putin is willing to escalate the fight, whether Europe’s unity can be maintained this winter as energy prices soar and the potentially changing political environment in the United States that could result in a decrease of military support to Ukraine.
In the south Kherson region, Ukrainian troops hoisted the country’s flag over a building last month. Ukrainian officials say they have liberated hundreds of settlements since their counter-offensive began.
The Russians are trying to avoid a large-scale fall in their frontline before the winter sets in, according to the senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
If they can reach Christmas with the frontline looking as it is, that is huge success for the Russians, given how bungled this has been since February.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces are likely to defend Starobilsk and other areas in the Luhansk region as Ukrainian troops aim to push their forces eastwards.
It is possible that a major blow to the rebels in Donbas will send another powerful signal and help the Ukrainians improve on their gains before the winter season sets in.
“There are so many reasons why there is an incentive for Ukraine to get things done quickly,” Giles said. “The winter energy crisis in Europe, and energy infrastructure and power being destroyed in Ukraine itself, is always going to be a test of resilience for Ukraine and its Western backers.”
Regardless of how long the war lasts, NATO will stand byUkraine even if it takes, but several European countries, especially those that relied on Russian energy, are facing a cost-of-living crisis that could endanger public support.
Experts believe it remains unlikely that Russia’s aerial bombardment will form a recurrent pattern; while estimating the military reserves of either army is a murky endeavor, Western assessments suggest Moscow may not have the capacity to keep it up.
Jeremy Fleming, the UK’s spy chief, said on Tuesday that Russian commanders on the ground knew that their supplies were running out.
That conclusion was also reached by the ISW, which said in its daily update on the conflict Monday that the strikes “wasted some of Russia’s dwindling precision weapons against civilian targets, as opposed to militarily significant targets.”
Exactly how much weaponry and manpower each side has left in reserve will be crucial to determining how the momentum will shift in the coming weeks. Ukraine said it intercepted 18 cruise missiles on Tuesday and dozens more on Monday, but it is urging its Western allies for more equipment to repel any future attacks.
“The barrage of missile strikes is going to be an occasional feature reserved for shows of extreme outrage, because the Russians don’t have the stocks of precision munitions to maintain that kind of high-tempo missile assault into the future,” Puri said.
Any further Belarusian involvement in the war could also have a psychological impact, Puri suggested. “Everyone’s mind in Ukraine and in the West has been focused towards fighting one army,” he said. The invasion of Russia would be seen by Putin as a war to return the lands of ancient Rus states.
“The reopening of a northern front would be another new challenge for Ukraine,” Giles said. It would provide Russia a new route into the Kharkiv oblast (region), which has been recaptured by Ukraine, should Putin prioritize an effort to reclaim that territory, he said.
Ten months into Russia’s war on Ukraine, Zelensky spoke of endurance and pushing through to the end, while acknowledging that “freedom comes at a high price.”
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.
“These air defense systems are making a difference because many of the incoming missiles [this week] were actually shot down by the Ukrainian air defense systems provided by NATO Allies,” he said.
The NASAMS expected from the United States and the IRIS-T that arrived this week from Germany are both badly needed modern systems. , Bronk said.
The Russian Counteroffensive and the U.S. Crimes: A Call to Stop the Russian War in Ukraine, Says Sergey I. Giles
It means that, as winter approaches, the stakes of the war have been raised once more. Giles said that Russia would like to keep it up. The recent successes of the Ukrainians have sent a direct message to the Russian government. “They are able to do things that take us by surprise, so let’s get used to it,” Giles said.
The blast sparked a feverish response from the Kremlin, which used the explosion to justify a wave of brutal airstrikes across Ukraine in scenes that echoed the early days of the invasion.
The strikes in Belgorod region next to Ukraine and the destruction of themunicipal administration building in Donetsk sent a powerful signal that the havoc unleashed by President Putin is spreading far beyond the front lines.
Meanwhile, Russia opened an investigation into a shooting in that region Saturday in which two men from a former Soviet republic who were training at a military firing range killed 11 and wounded 15 during target practice, before being slain themselves. The Russian Defense Ministry called the incident a terrorist attack.
Western intelligence officials have also said that Zelenskyy’s accusations were true, saying that Russia included convicts with long sentences for serious crimes in return for pay and amnesty.
France is increasing their military training in partnership withUkraine and pledgesair-defense missiles. Up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers will be embedded with military units in France, rotating through for several weeks of combat training, specialized training in logistics and other needs, and training on equipment supplied by France, the French defense minister, Sébastien Lecornu, said in an interview published in Le Parisien.
The Institute for the Study of War, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, suggested similar schemes are a “pretext for deporting Ukrainian citizens to Russian territory as they populate occupied areas with Russian citizens.”
It referenced statements made this week by Russian authorities that claimed that “several thousand” children from a southern region occupied by Moscow had been placed in rest homes and children’s camps amid the Ukrainian counteroffensive. RIA Novosti reported on Friday the original remarks by Russia’s deputy prime minister.
Russian authorities have previously admitted to placing children from Russian-held areas of Ukraine, who they said were orphans, for adoption with Russian families, in a potential breach of an international treaty on genocide prevention.
Girkin has long decried Russian generals whom he claims direct the war effort far from the frontline. A Dutch court found the former minister of defense for the self-proclaimed, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic, Arseniy Grakin, guilty of mass murder for his involvement in downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.
Recently, Girkin’s social media posts have lashed out at Moscow’s battlefield failures. The Ukrainian defense intelligence agency said on Sunday it will give a $100,000 reward if someone captures him.
The Second Day of NATO’s NATO Nuclear Deterrence Exercise: State of Ukraine with NPR’s Atomic Pulsar Broadcasting Channel
NATO will hold nuclear deterrence exercises starting Monday. NATO warned Russia not to use nuclear weapons on Ukraine, but it said the drills were an annual activity.
Russian agents detained eight people on Oct. 12 suspected of carrying out a large explosion on a bridge to Crimea, including Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian citizens.
There are past recaps here. You can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Also, listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine podcast for updates throughout the day.
Saldo said residents had the option of relocating to any part of Russia they wanted, and the Russian government would provide vouchers for people to move further from the fighting.
“We will not surrender the city, and we will fight to the end,” he said, adding that residents whose homes might be damaged from shelling could receive compensation from the Russian government.
In October, the President’s office and Deep State say that the Russian line was pushed back by 20 miles.
In what appeared to be carefully staged remarks, Surovikin called the decision to withdraw to the eastern bank of the Dnipro River “difficult,” but one that would allow Russia to save the lives of military personnel and preserve Russia’s combat capability.
The goal of our operation is to maximize the safety of civilians and soldiers. The Zvezda channel is run by Russia’s Defense Ministry.
On the second day of the war with Russia, Anatoliy and Stas Volovyk were ordered to deliver NLAW anti-tank missiles to fellow soldiers in the suburbs north of Kyiv. When they stood on the highway, Nikitin said that they had received new orders.
“A guy on the radio said, ‘There are two Russian tanks coming at you. As the sound of shells hitting the ground was heard in the southern city of Mykolaiv, Nikitin was sitting on a park bench.
The only problem was that both soldiers had never fired an NLAW. So, as the tanks approached, they hid amongst some trees and looked up a YouTube video on how to do so. They prepared the missiles.
The commander said, ‘Oh it’s ours!’ It’s ours! ‘” recalls Volovyk, who goes by the nickname Raptor. “So, we did not fire. It was a really close call.”
In the first month, soldiers used shoulder-launched missiles and hit-and-run tactics to defend Kyiv. These days, they are using drones and artillery as part of a high-tech trench war in the farm fields of the country’s’ south.
Nikitin and Volovyk have fought in both environments and describe their on-the-job training as a mix of terror, adventure and black comedy. The two men offer an unvarnished view of the fighting and say the first days of the war were filled with confusion.
“It was total chaos,” recalls Nikitin, who is 40, wears a salt-and-pepper beard and heads a construction company. “We’re fortunate that the Russians were more chaotic than us.”
Volovyk is a software engineer who studies English by playing video games. He says Russian tactics and decision-making have improved during the war, but he found some of their early actions perplexing. For instance, the Russians deployed riot police who headed toward Kyiv, only to be wiped out.
“We see how they advance, we see how they fight and we were like, ‘Okay, is this their best or are they just mocking us?'” recalls Volovyk, who wears a camouflage cap with the message “Don’t Worry, Be Ready.”
“It sucks,” says Volovyk. You dig. You dig. That’s the only thing you can do, because this is an artillery war and unless you dig, you’re pretty much dead.”
The men were offered new jobs after two weeks. It’s dangerous work that involves getting close to enemy lines and trying to evade detection. But the men jumped at the chance to get out of the trenches.
They now operate drones and have the power to help guide fire onRussian tanks in the Kherson region.
Drone operators are targets themselves. The Russians try to calculate the general area where the operators might be hiding and hit them with fire if they spot a drone.
The soldiers have had some heart-stopping moments. Nikitin recalls traveling with a team of engineers when they came across a Russian soldier in a field.
“He looks at me, I look at him and he just jumps into the bushes,” recalls Nikitin. He then told the engineers to go shoot the Russian and any of his fellow soldiers.
Six years ago, the Russians invaded the peninsula, and Nikitin and Volovyk joined the army reserve. Nikitin says they weren’t prophets, but they knew Russia would try to take the rest of Ukraine. Here down south, their goal is to liberate Kherson, the regional capital.
Grisly videos filmed by Ukrainian drones showing Russian infantry being struck by artillery in poorly prepared positions have partly supported those assertions, as has reporting in Russian news media of mobilized soldiers telling relatives about high casualty rates. The videos have not been independently verified and their exact location on the front line could not be determined.
The commander of the Ukrainian military said on Telegram that Russian forces had tripled the intensity of attacks along some parts of the front. He didn’t say where the attacks were coming from or what the time frame was.
An assessment from the Institute for the Study of War stated that there was no effect of the increase in infantry in the east on Russia.
“Russian forces would likely have had more success in such offensive operations if they had waited until enough mobilized personnel had arrived to amass a force large enough to overcome Ukrainian defenses,” the institute said in a statement on Thursday.
There was a claim from the Russian Defence Ministry that 600 Ukrainian troops were killed in a Russian strike on Kramatorsk in retribution for the Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Makiivka.
The remaining residents of the city have been stocking up on food and fuel to survive a battle with Russian and Ukrainian forces.
Viktor, the Russian “madness” of Kherson and his evacuees in Zaporizhia
Viktor pulled a red suitcase from the car he was in to Zaporizhia, and he still couldn’t believe he had left there. “The madness.”
His home is just outside Kherson. He and his wife Nadiya raised their three daughters there. The Russians broke into their house within hours of them leaving, Viktor says a neighbor told him.
At a Zaporizhzhia shelter, a volunteer who asks that he be called by his middle name, Artyom, helps care for Kherson evacuees as if they were his own family. Artyom wants us to not use his full name to protect his relatives in Kherson.
His wife stays at home as much as possible. But to earn money, she sells potatoes and vegetables she grows in her own garden at a local street market.
Artyom, Holovnya, Schevchenko, and the Russians aren’t listening: What do they want to tell us about Kherson?
Artyom says it’s not good. He counts his fingers as he lists off his various fears: He worries that the Russians will stop his wife. He worries that she’ll get sick. She is four months pregnant. He worries about the baby.
Holovnya, who is living in Kyiv, calls some of them collaborators. Some are people who are not allowed to leave. Many are older. Others have few resources. Their lives right now are “intense,” he says.
What little public interaction there is now in the city revolves mostly around the local street markets that popped up since the war began. Most of the stores in Kherson are either closed or have empty shelves, so local farmers and bakers have been selling and trading items at the street markets.
“From medicine to meat, most things can be purchased,” says Natalyia Schevenko, 30, who fled Kherson this summer. It’s not good to observe. On one car, they sell medicine on the hood while cutting meat on the side.
Schevchenko, who is volunteering at an Odesa nonprofit called Side-by-Side to evacuate residents from Kherson and other occupied territories, remains in contact with those in the city. She says her grandmother, who refused to leave, gives her regular updates.
Artyom and his wife talk when they have a good connection. They try to keep their conversations light and worried that Russians are listening in.
Russian Forces in the Western Region: The Loss of a Regional Capital, the Third Bound to Moscow’s War on the Northern Sea, and the Regime of General Relativity
Everyone we have talked to is aware of the upcoming days when the Russians could shell them here. It is also unclear whether all Russian troops have left Kherson and the wider region. Behind this euphoria, there’s still that uncertainty.
The Kherson regional military administration of the exiled Ukrainian claimed that Russian troops were to blame for the damage to the power lines.
Russian forces continued to fire from across the river on towns and villages newly recaptured by Ukrainian forces, according to the Ukrainian military’s southern command. Two Russian missiles struck the town of Beryslav, which is just north of a critical dam, the military said. It was not immediately known if there were any casualties.
Before the war there were some 250,000 people in the city. Ukrainian activists estimate that 30,000 to 60,000 people remain, but it is impossible to know how accurate such guesses are.
Some Ukrainian officials and residents say the civilian evacuation was a pretext for forced deportations. Others say it was about clearing space for newly mobilized Russian troops.
The loss of Kherson would be the third major blow to Russia’s war efforts – after retreats from the capital, last spring, and from the northeast in September. Kherson was the only provincial capital Russia had captured since invading in February, and it was a major link in Russia’s effort to control the southern coastline along the Black Sea.
The agency offered to protect the rights of Russian soldiers abandoned by their military leadership in Kherson if they chose to surrender.
You were ordered to dress in civilian clothes and try to escape Kherson. You won’t succeed, the Ukrainian statement said.
The Decay of the Kherson-Dnipro Conduit and the Ruling of the Kremlin’s Forces
The main conduit between Dnipro and Kherson has been destroyed, according to images and video on social media.
The Russian withdrawal was ordered on Wednesday during a choreographed meeting in Moscow between Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and General Sergey Surovikin, the commander of Russia’s forces in Ukraine, which was shown on Russian state media.
The Kremlin had just issued a statement saying that the withdrawal of its forces across the Dnipro River had been completed, but they were still in the city.
The initial announcement drew skepticism from Ukraine’s government, which previously voiced concern that a troop withdrawal there could be a Kremlin ploy to lure Ukrainian forces into the city.
Russia still has a hold over the territory, according to the spokesman for the Kremlin. “Here there is no need for any changes,” Peskov said Friday.
On Friday, residents waved Ukrainian flags as the military said its troops entered the key city of Kherson.
Videos shared by Ukrainian government officials on social media showed scenes of civilians who had endured nearly nine months of occupation cheering the arrival of a contingent of Ukrainian troops.
The Ukrainian government would be better off taking back control of Kherson, as it would bolster them in their argument that they should press on with their military campaign while Russians are on the run.
As he spoke, there was joy at the sight of residents who had suffered nine months of occupation by the Ukrainians.
The last hours of the Russian occupation of Kherson city were chaotic and disorienting, according to the Ukraine’s General Staff of the Armed Forces
Oleh Voitsehevsky, the commander of the Ukrainian drone squad, said he had seen no Russian troops near Kherson city.
The apparent final hours of the Russian occupation overnight Thursday to Friday featured several explosions and were chaotic and disorienting, according to residents of Kherson reached by telephone on Friday morning.
Serhiy, a retiree living in Kherson who asked that his last name not be published for security reasons, said in a series of text messages before Ukrainian soldiers swept in that conditions in the city had unraveled overnight.
He wrote that it was not possible to call the fire department at night after the building burned in the center. “There was no phone signal, no electricity, no heating and no water.”
While there was no visible Russian military presence in the city on Friday, four residents described seeing Russian soldiers dressed in civilian clothes — some armed — moving about parts of the city.
Russian forces were setting up positions on the eastern bank of the Dnipro and attacking the Ukrainians who were crossing the river.
On Friday evening, the President of the country posted a video of a celebration in Kherson city, where the crowd was waving flags and chanting “ZSU,” the Ukrainian acronym for the armed forces.
“Not a single piece of military equipment or weaponry was left behind on the right [west] bank,” the statement added. All of the Russians moved to the left bank of the Dnieper.
A missile attack on the city of Mykolaiv killed seven people early on Friday, but the east bank of the country did not receive any incoming fire.
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.
“The Russian invaders continue their looting of settlements from which they are retreating,” spokesman for the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces Oleksandr Shtupun said. The enemy is trying to damage Kherson region’s infrastructure.
A video circulating on social media on Friday, geolocated and authenticated by CNN, showed Ukrainian forces being greeted by residents on the main highway in Tyahinka. The village is located to the west of the hydroelectric dam at Nova Kakhovka, which spans the Dnieper river.
One video showed a Ukrainian flag flying in front of a World War II memorial, while another showed residents tearing down a propaganda billboards with a young girl holding a Russian flag.
The scenes of people greeting Ukrainian troops across the region were in sharp contrast to claims by Russian-appointed officials in Kherson six weeks ago that 87% of voters there supported integration into the Russian Federation, in a referendum widely condemned by the international community as a sham. Kherson was one of four Ukrainian regions illegally annexed by Russia in September.
Kyiv officials had warned that retreating Russian troops could turn the regional capital of Kherson into a “city of death” on the way out, and an official in southern Ukraine warned residents Friday to be wary of quickly returning to recently liberated territory due to the threat of mines.
Vitaliy Kim, the head of the Mykolaiv region military administration, said on Telegram that there are a lot of mines. Don’t go there for just that reason. There are casualties.”
“I am sorry but I have seen it all”: a response of the Ukrainians to the announcement of the Russian withdrawal from the Dnipro River
“This is a subject of the Russian Federation,” Dmitry Peskov said during a regular briefing with journalists. It has been defined and fixed. There can be no changes here.”
The experiences that terrified them after living under Russian rule include being taken and beaten by Russian soldiers, and being accused of being a spy. Residents told us they are overwhelmed by what this new found freedom means.
The trenches and checkpoints had been empty since Russians announced on Friday that they had abandoned the west bank of Dnipro River, leaving the regional capital of Kherson to the Ukrainians.
In Moscow, some hawkish commentators have lamented the withdrawal as a humiliation and an embarrassment. But others who were previously critical of the Defense Ministry have accepted the move. Ramzan Kadyrov said that it was a tough choice to sacrifice for loud statements and save a thousand soldiers, but that it was the right one.
President Volodymyr Zelensky hailed Friday as “a historic day” for Ukraine. “We are returning the south of our country, we are returning Kherson,” Zelensky said.
Success in Kherson may also allow exhausted Ukrainian units some respite, as well as allow redirected focus on Donbas, where fierce fighting continues in both Luhansk and Donetsk.
Bridges, dams and mines destroyed in the last 24 hours by Russian and Ukrainian forces in the Kherson region of Nova Kakhovka
Satellite images and other photos from Friday show at least seven bridges have been destroyed in the last 24 hours.
New damage has also appeared on a critical dam that spans the Dnipro in the Kherson region city of Nova Kakhovka, on the east bank of the river. For weeks, both sides have accused the other of planning to breach the dam, which if destroyed would lead to extensive flooding on the east bank and deprive the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia of water to cool its reactors.
As the crew filmed live in Kherson’s central square, some in the crowd of locals sang the national anthem while others shouted “Slava Ukrayini!” – glory to Ukraine, a patriotic greeting.
Locals have been trying to put up flags at the cinema in the square. Soldiers driving through are greeted with a lot of cheers and asked to sign autographs.
11 guys armed to the teeth, with their faces covered, wearing military fatigues and waving machine guns and pistols, were gathered around a table. “We had six people go upstairs to our apartment and the other one to her room.” She did not deny anything. She said, ‘Yes, I’m a Ukrainian patriot, and I hate you.’ And they took her away.”
“Everyone here is out celebrating in the square here. 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.
After eight months under Russian occupation, Katerina described the liberation as the best day of her life. “Our town is free, my street is free,” she told CNN.
The next steps for the Ukrainian military are going to be a major urban operation, according to a CNN military analyst. What you are going to see is a methodical operation to clear buildings of potential booby traps and mines.
Bridges over canals were blown up, and roads were full of craters and anti-tank mines when our team of CNN journalists traveled through smaller towns and settlements.
The outskirts of the city, which had been occupied by Russian forces since March 3, were deserted, with no military presence except for a Ukrainian checkpoint around 5 miles outside of the city center, where half a dozen soldiers waved CNN’s crew in.
There is no internet, water or power in the city. The crew from CNN went into the city center on Saturday.
Crowds on the street get excited every time a truckload of soldiers drives by, and Ukrainian soldiers are also offered food, flowers, hugs and kisses by happy onlookers.
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.”
With the occupiers gone, everyone wants you to understand what they’ve been through, how euphoric they feel right now, and how much they’re grateful to the countries who have helped them.
The first day of the war: a hero’s welcome back to Kherson, where a Russian soldier who went by the battle nickname Fox
An elderly neighbor greeted him with a bouquet of blue and yellow flowers, wrapped her arms around his shoulders and wept, according to a video Kostenko provided NPR.
“We’ve missed you so much,” said a villager in a black watch cap addressing the colonel and the soldiers accompanying him: Kostenko’s brother, Andriy, and their cousin, Denys.
Russian troops had lived in the courtyard of the one-story house where Kostenko had grown up for the last six months. He passed a vulgar sign they had left painted on a wall and then stepped inside.
The windows were broken, according to the text message from Kostenko. His medals and body armor were among the items that were stolen. All that remained was a bed, some old wardrobes and a grenade the Russians had left behind.
“We pretty much denied those troops their supply chains,” says Stanislav Volovyk, a Ukrainian drone operator who helps guide the fire of howitzers. We blew up the bridges. We got their supply routes under fire control with HIMARS and artillery.”
Various factors led to Ukraine’s routing of the Russians in this part of Kherson, but soldiers say the HIMARS had a big impact because they provided a range and level of accuracy the Ukrainians had never had before.
A reconnaissance soldier from Kherson who goes by the battle nickname Fox said he helped target a HIMAR that flew 24 miles before killing 20 Russian soldiers hiding in a bunker — a direct hit.
A seaman named Fox had worked on a ship in the Kherson port before the war. He left the army on the first day of the war but rejoined after he was drafted into the army. He was welcomed back to his neighborhood a hero’s welcome. His neighbors didn’t know he was going to become a soldier.
“They were completely surprised,” said Fox, who arrived in full battle gear. I didn’t tell them I joined the army because it could have caused problems when they were in Russian-occupied territory.
Fox said that his return to Kherson filled him with joy, and he doesn’t remember a happier moment in his life today.
The local military administration reported that the Russian sabotaged the city’s water, electrical, and mobile communications systems before they left.
The Russians were able to continue the fight within easy range of the city because they did not retreat across the Dnieper River.
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 newest front line in southern Ukraine, and officials there warned of continued danger from fighting in regions that have already suffered months of Russian occupation.
There are fears that the Russian army will retaliate for the loss of the city with a bombardment from its new positions on the eastern bank.
The mortar shells hit near the bridge. The rounds rang out with loud, metallic booms. It was difficult to assess what had been hit.
Witnesses of mine-mine safety: A surprise visit to Kherson City, Ukraine, during the first day of Vladimir Zelensky’s visit
The mines are a significant danger. An eleven-year-old and four other people were killed when a family car ran over a mine outside the city. Another mine injured six railway workers who were trying to restore service after lines were damaged. And there were at least four more children reportedly injured by mines across the region, Ukrainian officials said in statements.
The deaths underscored the threats still remaining on the ground, even as Mr. Zelensky made a surprise visit to Kherson, a tangible sign of Ukraine’s soaring morale.
Mr. Zelensky spoke in the city’s main square on Monday as hundreds of jubilant residents celebrated.
Residents of Kherson City said that locals were robbed and exchanged stuff for homemade vodka, according to one resident who spoke via a secure messaging app. “Then they get drunk and even more aggressive. We are so scared here.” She asked that her surname be withheld for security.
“Russians roam around, identify the empty houses and settle there,” Ivan, 45, wrote in a text message. He asked that his name not be used out of concern for his safety because he lives south of Kherson city. To connect with the owners and to find someone to stay in their place we try to do it locally. So that it is not abandoned and Russians don’t take it.”
The War Between Russia and the West: David Andelman in View of the Status of the Organization of Cold War Operations in the U.S.
David Andelman is a columnist for CNN and author of A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen. He formerly was a correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News in Europe and Asia. The views he makes in this commentary are his own. View more opinion at CNN.
The first missile to have landed in Poland – a NATO member – on Tuesday may well have been a Ukrainian anti-aircraft rocket intercepting an incoming Russian missile a short distance from one of Ukraine’s largest cities, Lviv, as suspected by Polish and NATO leaders. (President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, has insisted the missile was not Ukrainian)
Putin insists he had no choice but to send troops into Ukraine because it threatened Russia’s security — an assertion condemned by the West, which says Moscow bears full responsibility for the war.
That said, a growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled at what they have been asked to do and refused to fight. The UK’s defense ministry believes Russian troops may be prepared to shoot retreating soldiers.
Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.
Putin 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 already uncovered a network of shadow companies and individuals from Taiwan to Armenia, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, France, and Luxembourg to source high-tech goods for Russia.
Putin is becoming increasingly isolated on the world stage. He was the only head of state to stay away from a session of the G20, which Zelensky dubbed the “G19.” Although Putin wanted a return to the G7 before he was kicked out, inclusion is not a priority now. The ban on 100 Canadians, including Canadian-Americans Jim Carrey, from entering the country by Russia made the comparison with North Korea more striking.
Russian society was cleaned from traitors and spies by ridding it of them, argued Putin. The officials suggest stripping those who left the country of their passports. Yet there are questions whether Russia can thrive without many of its best and brightest.
One leading Russian journalist, Mikhail Zygar, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me last week that while he hoped this is not the case, he is prepared to accept the reality – like many of his countrymen, he may never be able to return to his homeland, to which he remains deeply attached.
The Russia-Ukraine War: The Last Days of the War, and the Implications for the Future of the Joint Air Force and DFAIR
The US and Europe are trying to diminish the country of material resources such as oil and gas to pursue this war. “We have understood and learnt our lesson that it was an unhealthy and unsustainable dependency, and we want reliable and forward-looking connections,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday.
The burden it has on Western countries, along with the vision that this conflict would drive further wedges into the Western alliance, are proving unfulfilled. On Monday, word began circulating in aerospace circles that the long-stalled joint French-German project for a next-generation jet fighter at the heart of the Future Combat Air System – Europe’s largest weapons program – was beginning to move forward.
Russia is most likely to be isolated and weakened because Putin doesn’t seem to have learned that revenge is not an appropriate way to act on or off the battlefield.
Putin made a rare public comment about the attacks carried out by the Russian military against Ukrainian energy infrastructure.
He held up a glass of champagne when he spoke after an awards ceremony for the “Heroes of Russia”.
“This book is a confession. I am guilty of not reading the signs sooner. I am responsible for the war between Russia and Ukrainians. As are my contemporaries and our forebears. Russian culture is to blame for all of the horrors that have taken place.
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.
Water and School Facilities in Kharkiv, Northern Ukraine: After the September 11, 2001 Black Outs, a Ukranian Foreign Minister Revisited
He ended his apparent off-the-cuff comments by claiming there is no mention of the water situation. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. At all! Complete silence ,” he said.
Russian shelling appears to be increasing in parts of Kharkiv region recaptured by Ukrainian forces last September, as well as in other areas of northern Ukraine.
During the week, he shares the school with nearly 1,000 students. The school also serves as a shelter, providing heat, food and water for the community when extended blackouts hit.
He says that power cuts have gone on for up to 24 hours. warehouses were destroyed in the agricultural region. He estimates business activity is one-third of what it was.
“The people coming are mostly from the houses on the main street. Olha Kobzar, a Ukrainian volunteer in charge of the temporary housing, says that they were destroyed and burned down.
Borel Ka Banksy Power Cuts in Kiev War: A Reflection on a Pushing Past of Taras Shevchenko
She stood in a dark hallway after the lights went out during an interview. She says she’ll wait a while to see if the power comes back. If it starts to get cold, she will turn on the generator. It’s like that on a daily basis, she says.
In the center of town is a bust of Ukraine’s national poet, Taras Shevchenko. In the 19th century, he pushed for independence from Russia. He wrote, “It’s bad to be in chains and die a slave.”
A British artist well-known for his street spray-paintings, Banksy surreptitiously painted on several badly scarred walls last month, later confirming it was his work on Instagram.
A young boy is throwing a man to the floor. Both are dressed in martial arts gear. The man is seen to be Putin, who is a competitor in the sport of mixed martial arts.
The missile attack on the city of Odesa: “The enemy is bullying the people, not the people who are going to sell them,” Yerko said
“People are happy we’re getting this attention. But the paintings are on buildings that were destroyed,” Yerko says. “We’re planning to remove the paintings and put them somewhere else.”
Ivan Fedorov said the occupiers of the Christian Church seized the building several months ago and turned it into their hideout.
Yevgeny Balitsky, Russia’s acting governor of Zaporizhzhia, said the missile attack on Melitopol had “completely destroyed” a recreation center where “people, civilians, and [military] base personnel were having dinner on Saturday night.”
Alexei Kulemzin, head of the Russian-backed city administration, said Ukraine launched 20 Grad missiles around 5:54 a.m. local time Sunday in the direction of the Voroshilovsky and Kalininsky districts.
The portal said there had been an explosion at a Russian military barracks and that there were dead and wounded.
Sergey Aksenov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, said on Telegram: “The air defense system worked over Simferopol. All services are working as usual.
He said that the strikes, using Iranian drones, had left many in the dark. Mr. Zelensky called the situation in the Odesa region “very difficult,” noting that only the most critical infrastructure there remained operational. He warned that although repair crews were working “nonstop,” restoring power to civilians would take “days,” not “hours.”
He said Ukrainian sky defenders shot down 10 of the 15 drones and that it will take a few days to restore electricity in the region.
Emergency power cuts had been put in place in southern Ukranian as a result of missile attacks. “They are introduced due to the threat of missile attacks to avoid significant damage if the enemy manages to hit energy facilities,” DTEK, a utility company, said in a statement.
“This is the true attitude of Russia towards Odesa, towards Odesa residents – deliberate bullying, deliberate attempt to bring disaster to the city,” Zelensky added.
Russian attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure and infrastructure: a grim cycle after the first day of the Cold War, and a rejoinder of the situation in Ukraine
Ukraine on Saturday received “a new support package from Norway in the amount of $100 million” that will be used “precisely for the restoration of our energy system after these Russian strikes,” Zelensky added.
The 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.
“It must be understood: Even if there are no big missile strikes, this doesn’t mean there aren’t problems. Almost every day in different regions, there is shelling and missile attacks. Most of the time, energy facilities are hit.
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.
The President of the European Commission and the Norwegian Prime Minister are in Paris for a dinner with the President of France.
France is set to co- host a conference with Ukraine in support of Ukrainians through the winter, with a video address by the Ukrainian President.
Indications of the Return of Brittney Griner to the U.S. When Putin Removed His Spouse from the Russian Prisoner Swap
Following Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison, fans, friends and family are celebrating the basketball player’s return to the U.S. Meanwhile, some Republican politicians have been complaining about the prisoner swap and other U.S. citizens still held by Russia.
New measures targeting Russian oil revenue took effect on December 5. There is a price cap and an embargo on imports of Russian oil from the European Union.
President Zelenskyy spoke with President Biden, as well as leaders of France and Turkey, on December 11 in an apparent step up of diplomacy over the Russian invasion.
The local authorities have implored civilians to leave the region for months. Tarasov felt like he was unable to flee his home for a safer area due to Ukraine’s old industrial heartland.
Tarasov, 48, was sheltering from the shelling in his basement where he now has to live. He dared to buy vegetables to cook the national dish of borscht.
Invisible power goes out: Tarasov, the injured civilians of Bakhmut, the most populous town in Turkey, recalls his childhood memories
He looks pale as he talks about the graphic images he still has in his mind. “I was wearing a leather jacket and if it wasn’t for that, I would have blown apart. My guts would have been all over the place. I had a lot of blood. I remember seeing a big puddle.
Tarasov is a devout Christian and believes an “invisible power” saved his life. The soldiers who took him in their truck to the hospital in Kostiantynivka were not the only ones who did this.
When Tarasov arrived, he begged the doctors to save his limb. The first thing I asked was if my arm could be sewn back on. I saw that it was completely torn off and was just hanging in the sleeve. And my stomach was burning. I thought it must be the guts coming out. There was blood everywhere.”
The power goes out at times, according to the chief surgeon. Water comes by the hour. There was no water over the weekend because of the shelling incident.
She is a resident of Bakhmut. She came under artillery fire and suffered a shrapnel wound to her abdomen with damage to several organs. We see people with these wounds every day. It’s every day.
As the Russian army intensifies its campaign to take Bakhmut, the shelling comes ever nearer to Kostiantynivka, 25 kilometres (about 15 miles) to the west. The hospital director says that the town has been hit every day for the month of August.
Medical staff hear the sound of cannon fire around Bakhmut when another patient may be on the operating table.
Tarasov and her husband, Denys, during the December 18 Ukrainian Warsaw Warsaw, fleeing in a Ukrainian fairy tale
Tarasov wants to live abroad if he has a lot of money. “But I have no money and everything I had saved up was invested there. I had no money and nowhere to go.”
Editor’s Note: Sasha Dovzhyk is a special projects curator at the Ukrainian Institute London and Associate Lecturer in Ukrainian at School of Slavonic and East-European Studies, University College London. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of London. She divides her time between the UK and Ukranian. Her work on Ukraine is supported by the IWM project Documenting Ukraine. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. View more opinion on CNN.
December is a month when we peer into the darkness and be reassured of the promised fairy tale endings.
“We used to joke that our life was like a dark fairy tale inclined towards a happy ending. Ievheniia is a Ukranian woman who is in Poland nursing her two-month-old son and is grieving for the child’s father.
On November 18, Ievheniia’s husband Denys was killed in action while defending Ukraine against Russian aggression. The place where the 47-year-old died is in the east of the country. Ukrainian forces have been holding the line there for months; soldiers waist-deep in mud amid trenches, bomb craters and charred trees.
In this dark Ukrainian fairy tale, pivotal moments – from marriage ceremony to funeral – take place via video link. This is what love looks like in a time of war, shifted to the digital space and disrupted mid-plot.
If called upon, Ievheniia has been ready to join the army for eight years. “I am not the kind of person who flees,” she explained.
The festive season is underway in the streets of Warsaw. The Christmas season is about to start. People don’t want to be reminded that someone somewhere is suffering,” Ievheniia said. They must be aware that this is happening right next to them.
Ievheniia finally arrived to an enlistment office after driving across the country in the midst of Russian bombardment. She was interviewed on a Friday and told to return the following Monday to sign a contract with the Armed Forces.
On the weekend, she decided to take a pregnancy test, just in case. “With war and evacuation, the ground was slipping under one’s feet,” she said with a laugh. “On top of that, it turned out that I was pregnant.”
There was a twist provided by the pregnancy test when it was revealed that a woman who planned to defend her homeland instead joined the flow of refugees in Poland.
Living in a fairy tale. Denys’s wife, Ieveniia, had to leave Kiev, the next day he was killed
Separated by war, Ievheniia and Denys sought to validate their partnership in the eyes of the state. The everyday ingenuity of the country at war was at work; now, Ukrainian servicemen are allowed to marry via a video call. “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.
Over the following months, Denys kept the magic alive via the Internet, with flower deliveries and professional photoshoots ordered for Ievheniia from the trenches.
When she didn’t pick up the phone on the morning of the 29th, Denys raised the alarm and a rescue squad found Ievheniia unconscious. A delay could have resulted in death. A section after a Caesarean section. Because the baby was born two months early, the father was able to meet his new son.
Ukrainian men fighting age, who are the only ones currently allowed to leave, are not allowed under martial law. Denys got permission, crossed the border, and spent 5 days with his family as if it was a fairy tale.
The time was filled with mundane things, and it was a pleasure to be there. Then he left the house. It was his birthday on November 17 and we sent him greetings,” Ievheniia remembered. “The next day he was killed.”
Ievheniia, I’m a Wily Kid: Leaving Ukrainians Without Water, Light, and Heat: An Italian Folktale Inspired Approach to Emergency Power Systems
Italo Calvino, the celebrated italian journalist and editor of folktales, called them “Consolatory fables” when they were rare. It is possible that the time to be consoled has not yet arrived. Instead, it is time to act.
And we must not be deluded by the narrative logic of a fairy tale. The wily kid will not defeat the monster with the aid of magic. Ten months ago, Ukrainians needed military aid to bring a decisive victory over Russia and not just prolong the fight. Ukrainian victory depends on our collective effort.
“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 ignore the noise and just continue with my daily life? I was told by Ievheniia. Today, everyone has a chance to find out.
According to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, the goal is to leave Ukrainians without water, light, and heat.
Ukrainian energy operator Ukrenergo reported on Friday that more than 50% of the country’s energy capacity was lost due to Russian strikes on thermal and hydroelectric power plants and substations, activating “emergency mode.”
The windows of homes shook from an explosion near a playground. Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko urged residents to charge their electronic devices and fill water containers in case of shortages.
Air Defense Systems for the Security Assistance Program in the Russian-Embedded Region of the Southern Hemisphere, as Described by Staruk and Kirby
Oleksandr Staruk, chief of the regional military administration, claimed that the southeastern region had been hit by over a dozen missile strikes.
The Kremlin claimed that the air base, where Russia’s long-range, nuclear-capable bombers are based, was attacked by drones in December. The city of Kyiv has not claimed responsibility for the attack.
The air attacks on Friday in Ukraine were witnessed by a supersonic plane, the MiG-31K, which was capable of carrying a Kinzal hypersonic missile. But it was not clear from their statement whether a Kinzal was used in the attacks.
Last Monday, Maj. Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, claimed that Russia had nearly exhausted its arsenal of high-precision weapons, but that it still had enough supplies to inflict harm. He added that Iran has not delivered any ballistic missile to Russia – analysis echoed by John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council (NSC).
Two US officials and a senior administration official have stated that the Biden administration is close to sending the most advanced ground-based air defense system in the United States to Ukraine. The system is needed by the Ukranian government to defend against Russian missiles and drones. The most effective defensive weapons system sent to the country would be used to secure airspace for members of the NATO alliance in eastern Europe.
He didn’t say if there would be another security assistance package, but he said that additional air defense capabilities should be expected.
The air-force attack on Donetsk, a city west of the border of the Sea of Azov: a reality of Ukraine, and a challenge to Russia
The Iranian-made, self-detonating Shahed-136 and Shahed-131 drones were launched from the “eastern coast of the Sea of Azov,” the Air Force said in a statement on Facebook.
Zelensky said that he appreciated everyone who carries out the repair works around the clock. We will pull through, and Russia’s aggression will fail, but it is not easy.
Ukrainians far from the eastern and southern frontlines of the ground war need a bit of normality in the run-up to Christmas.
An artificial Christmas tree in the center of Kyiv was installed and decorated over the weekend, set to be illuminated with “energy-saving garlands” that will be powered by a generator at specific times, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.
Roughly 1,000 blue and yellow balls and white doves will decorate the tree in Sophia Square, with a trident placed at the tree’s summit. Flags of countries that are supporting Ukraine will be placed at the bottom.
He stated that the children in their letters were asking for air defense and weapons in order to win the war.
Video reportedly from the scene of the attack circulated widely on Telegram, including on an official Ukrainian military channel. Almost no part of the building appears to be standing in a pile of smoking rubble.
Zelenskyy said it’s the real life of Kherson. The images showed cars on fire, bodies on the street and building windows blown out.
Earlier Saturday, the Donetsk regional governor, Pavlo Kyrylenko, said two people were killed and five wounded in shelling there over the past day. The deaths were in Kurakhove, a town of about 20,000 30 kilometers (18 miles) west of Russian-controlled Donetsk city.
At least three people, including a 14-year-old, were injured and two people pulled from a damaged home on Thursday, Klitschko said earlier. Homes, an industrial facility and a playground in the capital were damaged in attacks on Kyiv, according to the city military administration.
Stepne, a settlement on the outskirts of Zaporizhzhia, was also hit by shelling but there were no details on casualties, according to the governor, Oleksander Starukh,
Demoralizing Ukraine in the Light of the Kherson Crisis: “Weaponizing Winter with a Great Weapon” – President Volodymyr Zelensky
President Volodymyr Zelensky called on Ukrainians to have “patience and faith” in a defiant Christmas address after a deadly wave of Russian strikes pounded the southern city of Kherson.
He called on the nation to stay strong during this winter’s energy crisis, which was compounded by the absence of loved ones and the threat of Russian attacks.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has accused Russia of “energy terrorism” as the aerial bombardments have left many people without heat amid freezing temperatures. Ukrainian officials say Moscow is “weaponizing winter” in its effort to demoralize the Ukrainian resistance.
There could be chairs around it. Our houses and streets are not as bright as they could be. And Christmas bells can ring not so loudly and inspiringly. Through air raid sirens, gunshots and explosions.
He said that in this battle, we have a powerful and effective weapon that has been used for many years. The spirit and consciousness are held up by the hammer and sword. The wisdom of the Almighty. Courage and bravery. They incline us to do good.
He told the Ukrainian people that the country would sing Christmas carols louder than a power generator and still hear the voices and greetings of their relatives even if communication services are down.
“And even in total darkness – we will find each other – to hug each other tightly. We will give each other a big hug if there is no heat.
Zelensky concluded: we will celebrate our holidays! They’re as always. We will smile and be happy. As always. The difference is not significant. We will not wait for a miracle. After all, we create it ourselves.”
One branch of Ukraine’s 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.
U.S. Response to the Bakhmut Attacks: Russia’s Implications for the Energy Grid, Foreign Forces and Space Missions
“These are not military facilities,” he wrote on Telegram Saturday. According to the rules, this isn’t a war. It is terror, it is killing for the sake of intimidation and pleasure.”
Putin said in a state television interview, excerpts of which were released on Sunday afternoon that Russia is “prepared to negotiate some acceptable outcomes with all the participants of this process.”
He said that “it’s not us who refuse talks, it’s them” — something the Kremlin has repeatedly stated in recent months as its 10-month old invasion kept losing momentum.
The think tank cited Russian military bloggers, who it said have recently acknowledged “that Ukrainian forces in the Bakhmut area have managed to slightly slow down the pace of the Russian advance around Bakhmut and its surrounding settlements.”
An official says that 16 people have died in the Berislav district, including three emergency workers who died in the process of demining. 64 more people have been injured, according to the man.
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.
Since the missiles that fly into the air from the airfields were hit in the attacks, the missiles on the ground could be destroyed.
Mr. Zagorodnyuk, clarifying that he did not speak for the government and could not confirm the strikes, added: “You cannot consider, this person will attack you because you are fighting back. There is absolutely no strategic reason not to try to do this.”
The United States and Ukraine have agreed that Kyiv will not strike targets in Russia with American-provided weaponry. The Biden administration has pledged to avoid American involvement that could lead to direct confrontation with Russia. American officials said they wouldn’t object toUkraine striking back with its own weaponry.
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.
Ukrainian President Kyrylo Tymoshenko and the First Day of NATO Operation ‘Secret War’ in Ukraine’s Metropolit Kramatorsk
Several residential buildings in the capital Kyiv were destroyed, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the lead for disaster response in the Ukrainian presidential office.
Ukrainian air defense systems shot down 21 cruise missiles near Odesa, said Maksym Marchenko, the regional administrator for that region along the Black Sea. But successful missile strikes left the city without water or electricity.
Russia will continue to pursue its objectives in Ukraine with perseverance andpatience, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian media Wednesday.
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.
Hryn said that life in the capital was back to normal after the sirens gave the all clear and he met his neighbors in the elevator waiting for the new movie. People went to work and the parents took their kids to school even though they planned to go on a holiday.
A CNN team just arrived at the scene and heard the first strike on Kramatorsk. CNN saw the second attack, with two impacts about one minute apart. Two women ran from their car and civilians took shelter. The bullet traveled off the glass of the CNN vehicle.
“Senseless barbarism.” Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said those were the only words that came to mind watching Moscow launch a fresh wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities ahead of the New Year, adding there could be “no neutrality” in the face of such aggression.
The term “special military operation” was used by Putin to describe his forces’ campaign, a period that would wrap up in weeks.
Within hours, their lives are dramatically and radically transformed. On the next day, Putin launched a full-scale invasion ofUkraine.
The war has changed the Russian life dramatically, fundamentally upending the country’s post-Soviet period in which it pursued democratic reforms and at least financial integration with the West.
War against Ukraine Has Left Russia Isolated and Struturing with More Tumult Ahedral States: State Media Propaganda and Social Media Constraints
Draconian laws passed since February have outlawed criticism of the military or leadership. Nearly 20,000 people have been detained for demonstrating against the war — 45% of them women — according to a leading independent monitoring group.
The repressions extend elsewhere: organizations and individuals are added weekly to a growing list of “foreign agents” and “non-desirable” organizations intended to damage their reputation among the Russian public.
According to the foreign agents law, the human rights group was forced to halt its activities, even though it was the most revered group in Russia.
The state has also vastly expanded Russia’s already restrictive anti-LGBT laws, arguing the war in Ukraine reflects a wider attack on “traditional values.”
There are still targeted repressions. The new laws are still not enforced. But few doubt the measures are intended to crush wider dissent — should the moment arise.
New laws that criminalized “fake news” made it difficult for popular media outlets to stay in the country.
Restrictions extend to internet users as well. American social media giants such as Twitter and Facebook were banned in March. Roskomnadzor, the Kremlin’s internet regulator, has blocked more than 100,000 websites since the start of the conflict.
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 Russian War In Russia: The First Months After Russia’s Invasion and How It Affected Its People’s Political and Economic Persistent
Thousands of perceived government opponents — many of them political activists, civil society workers and journalists — left in the war’s early days amid concerns of persecution.
Hundreds of thousands of Russian men fled to border states such as Georgia in order to avoid the draft due to Putin’s order to mobilize 300,000 additional troops.
Meanwhile, some countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus predict their economies will grow, even as the swelling presence of Russians remains a sensitive issue to former Soviet republics in particular.
In the initial days of the invasion, Russia’s ruble currency cratered and its banking and trading markets looked shaky. McDonald’s and ExxonMobil were some of the global corporate brands that reduced or closed their operations in Russia.
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, which is likely to make the pain worse in Europe.
The economic damage has already put an end to Putin’s two-decades strong reputation for providing “stability” — once a key basis for his support among Russians who remember the chaotic years that followed the collapse of the USSR.
When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. The Defense Ministry of Russia has daily briefings about their successes. Putin, too, repeatedly assures that everything is “going according to plan.”
Yet the sheer length of the war — with no immediate Russian victory in sight — suggests Russia vastly underestimated Ukrainians’ willingness to resist.
Russian losses are officially reported at just under 6,000 men, but that is still very taboo at home. Western estimates place those figures much higher.
NATO looks set to expand onto Russia’s borders, with the addition of long-neutral states, after Russia’s invasion, which backfired in its primary aims.
Russia’s actions were criticized by longtime friends in Central Asia because they were concerned for their own sovereignty. India and China have eagerly purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped short of full-throated support for Russia’s military campaign.
The Killing of a Russian Serviceman in Makiivka, Ukraine: When the Kremlin has ruled out the next big press conference?
The state of the nation address was initially scheduled for April, but it has been delayed a number of times. Putin’s annual “direct line” — a media event in which Putin fields questions from ordinary Russians — was canceled outright.
Russia’s yearly December “big press conference” that allows the Russian leader to answer questions from the pro-Kremlin media was tabled until at least 2019.
The Kremlin has given no reason for the delays. The Russian leader ran out of good news after 10 months of war, in which there has been no sign of victory.
The Russian defense ministry on Monday acknowledged the attack and claimed that 63 Russian servicemen died, which would make it one of the deadliest single episodes of the war for Moscow’s forces.
The Russian state news agency reported Monday that the senator Grigory Karasin said that the people responsible for the killing of Russian servicemen in Makiivka must be found.
The communications team of the Chief Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Ukranian said on Telegram that they had greetings andcondos for the rebels and conscripts who were brought to the occupied district of Makiivka. “Santa packed around 400 corpses of [Russian soldiers] in bags.”
Daniil Bezsonov, a former official in the Russia-backed Donetsk administration, said on Telegram that “apparently, the high command is still unaware of the capabilities of this weapon.”
“I hope that those responsible for the decision to use this facility will be reprimanded,” Bezsonov said. There are plenty of abandoned facilities with nice buildings where personnel can be quartered.
The building was destroyed by the second detonation of ammunition stores, as stated by a Russian propagandist on Telegram, who claimed that the building was almost completely destroyed.
“Nearly all the military equipment, which stood close to the building without the slightest sign of camouflage, was also destroyed,” Girkin said. “There are still no final figures on the number of casualties, as many people are still missing.”
Even with several months of war, some conclusions aren’t made, which means the unnecessary losses, and if the elementary precautions related to the dispersal and concealment of personnel were taken, it would not have happened.
Russian forces attacked a school building in Mykolaiv, the southernmost northern province of the Andorevo region of Bakhmut
The general staff of the military said Sunday that Russian forces lost 760 people on Saturday and continue to attempt offensive actions on Bakhmut.
According to the armed forces’s communications arm, 400 Russian soldiers were killed and 300 more were wounded when they opened fire on a Vocational school building in Makiivka. That claim could not be independently verified. The statement said the strike happened in the area of Makiivka, but did not mention the school.
Ukrainian forces fired six rockets from a HIMARS launch system and two of them were shot down, a defense ministry statement said. When the strike happened was not mentioned.
A new setbacks was delivered to Russia by the strike, which was used to hit key targets and was supplied by the U.S.
Moscow’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 has gone awry, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his ground forces struggle to hold ground and advance. In his New Year’s Address, he said that there would be difficult decisions in the new year.
The Russian forces attacked the city of Beryslav, the official said, firing at a local market, likely from a tank. Three of the wounded are seriously injured and being evacuated to Kherson.
Gov. Vitali Kim claimed that seven drones were shot down over the southernMykolaiv region.
In the Dnipropetrovsk region, a missile was also destroyed, according to Reznichenko. He said that energy infrastructure in the region was being targeted.
The attack on a college dormitory in Kramatorsk, Ukraine, claimed by many Ukrainian soldiers as a counterattack to the Decay of Donetsk
Ukrainian authorities said at least four people have been killed and many others were wounded in a brutal New Year’s Eve assault. A 46-year-old resident of Kyiv died in the hospital on Monday.
A CNN team on the ground has seen no indication of any massive casualties in the area. There is no unusual activity in and around Kramatorsk, including in the vicinity of the city morgue, the team reported.
A Reuters reporter in Kramtorsk also reported no signs of a significant Russian strike on two college dormitories that Russia claimed had been housing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers.
The Russian Defense Ministry said “the main cause” of the Makiivka strike was the widespread use of cell phones by Russian soldiers, “contrary to the ban,” which allowed Ukraine to “track and determine the coordinates of the soldiers’ locations.”
But that account was angrily dismissed by an influential military writer and the leader of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, in eastern Ukraine, disagreed with the Russian command over Moscow’s response to the attack.
The buildings they damaged included 13 two-story buildings, three four-story buildings and a children’s clinic. Every day, Russians confirm their status as terrorists.
Rescue workers searched through the rubble to find survivors after an attack on eight apartment buildings. Authorities also evacuated people to a local school for shelter.
The Russian assault in Kramatorsk on Wednesday night: “The enemy has been destroying the Donetsk settlement,” said Vladimir Putin
A country that was bordering absolute evil. It has to be overcome by a country so as to reduce the chances of tragedies happening again. We will definitely find and punish all the perpetrators. They don’t deserve mercy.
Moscow’s attack in Kramatorsk came after a top Kyiv official said Russia is gearing up for a “maximum escalation” of the nearly years-long war in Ukraine.
In an interview broadcast Tuesday, the secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said that months will be defined in the war.
The head of the Kharkiv regional military administration has said that two people have been killed in Dvorichna. There are Russian forces on the east bank of the river.
“The occupiers continue to shell the border of Sumy region with mortars” 12 times on Wednesday evening in the area of Seredyna-Buda — which is right near the Russian border — according to Operational Command North. There were no casualties reported.
An unofficial Telegram account of troops in the 46th brigade that is part of the Ukrainian army, which has been in the Bakhmut area for several weeks, said that the Russians had penetrated northwest of the city and fighting was continuing there.
The scenes are chaotic; Russian tanks explode, some of them on fire, men run in every direction, some of them on fire, bodies of soldiers are caught in tank tracks.
The Ukrainian military released videos which showed that more than twenty Russian tanks and infantry vehicles were disabled or destroyed in a matter of days. Satellite images show intensive patterns of impacts along tree lines where Russian tanks tried to advance.
The Russian Defense Ministry has insisted that the assault is going according to plan and that the 155th Marine brigade is involved. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday that themarine infantry is working as it should. It’s right now. Fighting heroically.
But the leader of the self-declared, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, acknowledged Friday that the area was “hot” and said “the enemy continues to transfer reserves in large quantities, and this slowed down the liberation of this settlement.”
Vuhledar was built for the nearby coal mine (the name translates as “gift of coal”) and sits above surrounding plains. The Ukrainian 72nd is one of the most well- protected high-rise buildings. The advantage of mechanized as well as hardened underground cover.
The conflict in eastern Ukraine has been fought in and around the town. Russian forces are attempting to take it for three months. The success of Moscow would make it harder for the Ukrainians to shut down the nearby railroad that leads to the peninsula of Crimea and will allow the Russians to start their spring offensive.
The setbacks around Vuhledar aren’t good for a broader Russian offensive. They weakened the Russian community’s belief in the ability of Russian forces to launch a decisive offensive operation.
A lot of good T-72B3/T-80BVM tanks and the best parachutes and marines were all destroyed by the Nazis.
Only morons attack in the same place, heavily fortified and very inconvenient for the attackers for many months in a row.
Moscow Calling asserted that older T-72 tanks deployed in Vuhledar lack upgrades that would improve the driver’s breadth of vision. It’s possible that the Russian tanks seemed to get entangled or reverse blindly.
“How are blind, deaf tanks, armored personnel carriers, with equally blind, deaf infantry supposed to fight without columns? And then how to coordinate any actions if there is no communication and situational awareness?” He wrote it down.
Russian Defense Minister Rustam Muradov and the Ukraine Crisis: a State of the Union Addressed to Brussels by Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Several Russian commentators call for the dismissal of Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, commander of the Eastern Grouping of Forces. Muradov was in charge in November when men of the 155th protested that his tactics had caused disastrous losses.
Grey Zone, a Telegram channel affiliated with theWagner Government, wrote in an expletive-laden post that the Commander of one of the brigades involved in the Vuhledar assault was dead on the contact line.
But the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War (ISW) says that poor leadership is only part of the problem: the “highly dysfunctional tactics are far more indicative of the fact that the 155th Naval Infantry Brigade is likely comprised of poorly trained mobilized personnel than of poor command.”
Russian forces and a private company that is close to the Russian defense ministry are in the area, as well as professional units and the militia of the DPR, according to Ukrainian military officials.
“The key to success on the battlefield is effective fire damage, which requires an appropriate amount of weapons and ammunition,” said the commander of Ukrainian forces Valeriy Zaluzhnyi on Saturday.
Russian forces have an advantage in weaponry. On Saturday they launched a barrage of thermobaric missiles at Vuhledar, a reminder that they are more capable of inflicting destruction than taking territory.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise Europe tour, meeting leaders in London, Paris, and Brussels, and repeating his call for allies to send fighter jets to Ukraine.
The war in Ukraine did not get much attention in the State of the Union speech, but the Ambassador to the U.S. was there.
According to the international team investigating the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight number 17 in 2014, the Russian president gave the go-ahead to deliver anti-aircraft weapons to the people of eastern Ukraine.
Putin war ukraine russia wrap opinions ctpr – 50 years since I was in Kyiv
On February 24, 2022, I was supposed to be in Kyiv. My husband broke his shoulder a few days before that, so we were forced to stay in Moscow. At 9:00 a.m. that day he had surgery.
In the course of a year, tens of thousands of lives have been claimed and millions more have been displaced. It unleashed atrocities and decimated cities and tested the resolve of western alliances.
The First Day of the Second World War II: Russian Invasion of Odesa and a Return to the Landlady’s Nightmare
February 23, 2022. I thought I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. He was running his business on his own. Our daughter had started school and made friends there. We were lucky to have arranged support services and found a special needs nursery for our son. I finally had time to work. I was happy.
Completely exhausted, crushed and scared, we had to brace ourselves and come to terms with our forced displacement. I will be forever grateful to all those who helped us come to Prague and adjust to a new life in a foreign land.
Thanks to the opportunities for Ukrainians provided by the Czech Republic, my husband got a job. My son qualifies for special needs classes. He now attends an adaptation group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter is studying in her Ukrainian school while being sent to a Czech school.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has a senior fellow named Andrei Kolesnikov. He is the author of several books on the political and social history of Russia, including “Five Five-Year Liberal Reforms.” Origins of Russian Modernization and Egor Gaidar’s Legacy.”
We woke up to find out that the invasion had begun. I wrote an open letter denouncing the war, which was co-signed by 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures. Soon it was published, and tens of thousands of Russian citizens added their signatures.
We left Russia on the third day. I felt that it was some kind of moral obligation. I could no longer stay on the territory of the state that has become a fascist one.
We moved to Berlin. Thousands of Ukrainians were arriving every day while my husband was volunteering at the refugee camp next to the main railway station. I started working on a new book. It begins like this.
As I write, Russia has just fired dozens of Kalibr missiles towards several cities in Ukraine, including my adopted city of Odesa. Air raid sirens blare and we run for cover in the hallways. The landlady gives me a pot of borscht to make me feel normal.
Time and again since the Russian invasion started, I’m haunted by the darkness in my father’s eyes during the re-telling of chilling dinnertime stories of relatives shipped off to the Soviet gulag, never to return. Millions of Ukrainians were forced to starve in Stalin’s famine in the 1930s.
What has changed since February 24, 1992 when Russian missiles began to fall? As Ukrainians are faced with rockets and drones, they are angry rather than scared.
My passport is a novel in stamps a year into the full-scale invasion. I teach literature in London but also in Ukraine, where I get my lessons in courage.
I expected my former classmates to abandon their addictions a long time ago but they’ve volunteered to fight them. 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.
Russia has been hit by terrorist bombings and energy shortages over the past twelve months, but my capital has survived. The Russians have managed to bring closer to eternity the many stars over Kyiv during these dark winter nights.
It seems that since February 2022 we have experienced several eras. The euphoric first was when Putin received over 80% approval from the population after a period of stagnant ratings.
And in the fall, public demobilization was replaced by mobilization – Putin demanded that citizens share responsibility for the war with him with their bodies. The largest part of the population preferred to adapt, even though the situation provoked a lot of anxiety.
He canceled the future by aborting the past. It is easier to live like this when you are supported by your superiors and you do not take for granted what they are telling you.
For me personally and my family, what happened was a catastrophe to which it is impossible to adapt. 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, took a bath, and lit candles. I have a cozy, one-bedroom apartment in a northern district of Kyiv. It was nice to take care of it. I loved the life I had. All of it – the small routines and the struggles. That night was the last time my life mattered.
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 didn’t matter 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 relive the good times of the pre war era a few weeks into the full-scale invasion. I knew I was upset about my boyfriend, but I could no longer relate. My life didn’t change on February 24, it was stolen from me on that day.
And besides the obvious battles, there was another one to fight – trying to claim my life back. Russia stole the life of me and millions of Ukrainians.
I felt a need to act through sports after my initial shock of the war. It is possible for athletes to fight against Russian propaganda. We had to tell the truth about how brave we are and how strong we are. How we have united to defend our country.
I was no longer concerned with my personal ambitions. To raise the flag and show that we are fighting even under these difficult circumstances was the common goal.
I didn’t like winning on the track. They were only possible because so many defenders had laid down their lives. But I got messages from soldiers on the frontline. They were so happy to follow our achievements, and it was my primary motivation to continue my career.
I vividly recall the stories of newlyweds who separated afterwords so their groom could return to the front. A tax preparer in Boston who quit her job to return to Ukraine with suitcases full of medical supplies. The wife of a border guard made the daily three-hour journey from Lviv to the border to pick up supplies and dropped off fleeing women and children.
It is sad that after surviving deadly waves of Covid, human beings get right back into the business of murdering one another. 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. It’s insane that Putin claimed that Ukrainians would be part of his own people even though Russia is accused of raping and murdering civilians in the country.
Governments act in a way that undermines the war. They talk of victory because it shows soldiers that they can fight on. But in the end, war is death in a muddy foxhole. There is a fight over a frozen field. It’s a generational grudge that begets new generational grudges. It’s an $11 billion, roughly 740-mile pipeline laid across the Baltic Sea rendered useless overnight. Some of the largest steel plants in Europe are not able to produce a single metal sheet. It was a beautiful seaside city that was emptied out by bombings and siege.
Magic day in Mariupol, Ukraine: Alexander Kamyshin and the first train from Kiev to Kyiv, the capital of the Ukrainian war zone
Two days after Russian troops left Kherson, Alexander Kamyshin, CEO of the Ukranian Railways, arrived with a small team of railway workers. They reached the central train station even before the regular army arrived to secure the city, and got to work. The first train to leave from Kyiv arrived in Kherson six days later.
Kamyshin says that it was a magic day. The people were waving their hands as they saw the train. It was unforgettable, trust me. That’s one of the days to remember forever.”
Kamyshin and his colleagues have been working to keep the trains running since Russia began an assault on Ukraine a year ago. They’ve moved 4 million refugees and more than 330,000 metric tons of humanitarian aid, sending trains right up to—and sometimes beyond—the front lines of the conflict. In a program it calls “iron diplomacy,” Ukraine Railways brought at least 300 foreign delegations in to Kyiv because air travel is all but impossible. The US president was carried by a train to the Ukrainian capital for a symbolic visit.
It has taken place under a near constant attack. The Russians shell everything, says Kamyshin. “Two hundred and fifty people died, 800 people injured. Only men and women are included. That is what the price we paid in this war was.
The city of Mariupol was bombarded relentlessly until resistance finally fell in May of 2022. rail workers managed to get trains in and out multiple times before tracks were destroyed. The stranded crews were able to evacuate by road, but two trains are still stuck there.
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We have everything we need for it. The friends, diplomacy and motivation are what we have. You have all come together for this,” Zelensky said. “If we all do our important homework, victory will be inevitable.”
Meanwhile in Russia, former Russian President and Deputy Chair of Russia’s Security Council of the Dmitry Medvedev said on Friday that that Russia’s aim was to “push the borders of threats to our country as far as possible, even if these are the borders of Poland.”
Zelensky used the first anniversary of the war to rally troops and renew calls for international assistance for his country. He gave awards to soldiers before holding a press conference.
Earlier on Friday morning, the Ukrainian leader addressed members of the military in Kyiv. They were told that they would determine the future of the country.
There were new weapons and funding announcements on Friday, and the landmarks around the world were lit up in the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
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.
Germany said it would send a further four Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, increasing its original commitment from 14 tanks to 18. The prime minister of Sweden said that he would send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.
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During a virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Zelensky, the Japanese Prime Minister said he would like to present the idea of new sanctions against Russia.
While air-raid sirens are a daily fixture in Kyiv, there hasn’t been a major attack on the city in a few weeks, which means that whenever the alarms are activated, people are left gauging the level of risk.
Kathalina Pahitsky, a 16-year old student, went to the St. Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery in Kyiv to lay flowers in memory of two former students from her school who lost their lives fighting in the war.
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’s a great honor. They died as heroes. It is very important for us. And it would have been for them,” she said.
Olexander Atamas, who worked for an IT firm before the war, says it was hard to describe his feelings on Friday.
He told CNN that he does not feel a fear, but that he is confident in his abilities. “One year ago … I felt fear, I was stressed, psychologically it unsettled me. But currently there is no fear at all.”
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A prominent Russian military blogger, who goes by the name WarGonzo, said that fighters of the Wagner private military company had “attacked in several directions at once,” around Bakhmut. He claimed “a slight advance” to the east of the city and repeated Wagner’s claim that it now controls Berkhivka, a village north-west of Bakhmut.
Mariinka is one of the areas that has been almost obliterated by the fighting, according to Russian military bloggers.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian military reported that 23 communities were affected by cross-border shelling into the Kharkiv region.
Russian forces bombarded Ukrainian positions west of the city of Kreminna in Luhansk and inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainians there, according to the ministry.
She did not think Russians would attack the city which was founded by Catherine the Great.
Despite warnings from the west that Russia was about to invade Ukraine, Horobstova woke to a beautiful morning and watched the sunrise from her balcony. It turned the sky pink and illuminated green fields bursting with the winter harvest.
Invasion of the Kherson riverbank by Russian soldiers: Oksana Pohomii, a Ukrainian citizen and resident of the territory
“And then I heard the explosions. She says that she saw the explosions. There is one near the airport. The third at a gas station that seemed to turn everything red.”
“She asked what you were doing.” Maybe the Russians will come back?’ ” Pohomii recalled. She realized that we would make sure that Kherson is a permanent resident of the country. So she left for Russia. And many others like her left, too.”
The first days of the invasion in Kherson were chaotic. Serhiy, a soldier from a local brigade, watched in horror as Russian soldiers quickly overran the riverbank on the other side of the Dnipro River.
Many civilians wanted to help the Ukrainian military. Oksana Pohomii, an accountant and city council member, warned about the dangers of the Kremlin for a while, and says that first President Volodymyr Zelenskyy didn’t take the threat seriously.
Pohomii has dyed her hair red and braided it into a rattail. Just before the invasion, she applied to train as a soldier with the territorial defense, but the recruiting office turned her down, saying they were flooded with applicants.
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She remembered the boy with an amputation at the central market. “He played the guitar and sang the Ukrainian national anthem. It was brave and very brave. We would gather around him and sing along quietly, like bunnies.”
Pohomii took photos and videos of suspected collaborators and eavesdropped on conversations, then passed on the information to Ukraine’s security services.
Some of the people who were suspects, including some of her fellow city council members, a prominent doctor who helped the city survive COVID, and a childhood friend of hers, were teachers of Ukrainian history.
“I told them everything I saw about the Russian troops, where they live, where they put their vehicles and so forth,” Chupikova says.
“Sometimes I’d pretend I was going to the grocery store or waiting for the bus, and I tried to change my clothes as often as I could,” she says. “I’m not saying I’m Agent 007. Whatever made sense to me, I did.
“I don’t look like a threat, so I was hard to track,” she says. With her pixie cut and bright blue eyes, she looks like a Minnesota soccer mom about to offer you a freshly baked apple pie.
“They wanted us to look average, unremarkable, not easy to remember so we could work undetected,” she says, “as if we were moving between drops of rain.”
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Valerii Chupikov was recruited by her to work with her. They used the internet to find coordinates of the Russian convoys and then sent them via telegram to the contact of the Olha’s in the Ukrainian military.
She would take her phone out of her pocket and try to make a call when the internet was down and the cellphone wasn’t working.
Russian troops were keeping a close eye on everyone. Olha Chupikova says residents were getting arrested for simply giving Russian soldiers dirty looks.
Horobstova’s laptop was taken by the armed men because it was only used for her physics classes.
“And I kept saying ‘a breeding ground of what?’ ” she says. “I said, ‘This is the flag of our country where I live, and my daughter lives.’ You have a flag of your own. He kept yelling.
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The apartment manager had spent months looking into the affairs of Ukrainian politicians. He suspects the Russians may have found a way to listen to partisans’ conversations. Russians got information about cells from the torture of captured partisans.
The torture began almost immediately. His hands shake as he recalls four long torture sessions, three of them especially brutal. They electrocuted him and beat him with clubs, metal pipes and their boots. They asked him about a man in his espionage cell.
The screams of tortured partisans filled the jail. Russian soldiers raped a man in a corridor, remembers another imprisoned partisan.
But the Russians did end up taking Diakov for medical care. He had two surgeries. Russian troops were stationed outside of his door over the next several weeks.
I thought they were going to execute me in the forest instead of the doctor, he says. He had been in prison and heard of others dying that way.
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The son of a former teacher is one of the people who Oksana Pohomii saw on a list of locals who helped organize the referendum. She believes that her classmate forced the residents to go to the polls.
The results of the referendum showed that a lot of people wanted to join Russia. She says even the Russians knew it was a sham and that it made Russian President Vladimir Putin look desperate.
Politicians installed by the Russians were assassinated. When Ukraine got sophisticated missiles from the U.S., military officials say the partisans helped Ukrainian troops target sites like the Antonivka Bridge, which cut off Russian supply routes.
On Oct. 24, when a doctor helped Oleksandr Diakov escape from the hospital, Russian forces were already looting the city and starting to evacuate. Russian-installed officials even removed the bones of Grigory Potemkin, the 18th century Russian commander, from St. Catherine’s Cathedral.
“They were blasting Ukrainian music, and I realized our guys were entering the city,” he says. We waited for this every day. When I was tortured, I imagined that day when the Ukrainian soldiers would come home, and all our work would mean something.
It was obvious that Ukrainian troops were in control of Kherson. Residents poured into the streets and cheered. From his bed, the man couldn’t walk, but cheered.
They hit Kherson with everything from rockets to missiles. There are more than 80 people who have died. Only a fifth of the city’s prewar population of 300,000 remains.
A soldier from the local brigade is back in Kherson. He runs reconnaissance missions to the left bank of the Dnipro and is in touch with partisans there who tell him where collaborators and traitors are hiding.
“I guess they were nervous and afraid that we would seek vengeance on traitors and collaborators,” he says. “I felt bad not to be there. But I understand why I wasn’t.”
The bakery Oksana Pohomii runs in Ukraine as a spy on the Russian military: Herson Undefeated Bread
Oksana Pohomii now runs a bakery with her friend, Olha Chupikova, who used to spy on the Russian military. A large crater has been left by a missile strike outside a bakery.
On a recent morning, they are dusted in flour as they stack the warm loaves they call “Kherson Undefeated Bread.” The bread is free. Pohomii says they deliver it to stressed residents.
Tetiana Horobstova and her daughter Iryna: Two years after the war in Bakhmut – she is still in Russia
“We never try to force anyone to stay because not everyone can take it,” she says. “I know people who don’t leave their homes. I know people who could handle the shelling at first After the shelling killed people, something broke inside them. They stopped eating and drinking. And I said, “It’s time to leave.’ “
I always tell them no when they ask me if I’m going to leave Kherson. No way!’ “I say that.” she says. I will bake bread for 24 hours in a row, load the loaves onto a motorboat and bring them to them personally as soon as we liberate them.
She keeps in touch with the Ukrainian soldier that she worked with. The war in Bakhmut is fierce and there are many casualties. She says she worries about him and looks back on the work they did together with pride – and bewilderment.
Many partisans are still missing, presumed to be somewhere in Russian custody. Tetiana Horobstova’s daughter Iryna is among them. Horobstova hasn’t spoken to her daughter and isn’t sure where she’s being held, though there’s evidence she’s imprisoned in Russian-occupied Crimea.
“I worry that she is cold, because when they took her away, she was only wearing a summer top,” Horobstova says. She doesn’t have a change of underwear, hygiene pads or anything else.