Western officials say that the Russian offensive in eastern Ukraine is more than realistic

Vladimir Putin and the Forcible Annexation of Crimea: Beyond Molecule Attacks on Ukraine and the European Union Decay of Lysychansk

The Biden administration says it is ready to impose additional sanctions on Russia if it proceeds with the annexation of Ukraine. The European Union leaders issued a statement rejecting the annexation, as Mr. Putin spoke.

Following the capture over the weekend of Lyman, a strategic rail hub and gateway to the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian forces showed no sign of stopping, pushing eastward toward the city of Lysychansk, which Russia seized three months ago after bloody fighting. Any loss of territory in the Donbas undermines Mr. Putin’s objectives for the war he launched in February, which has focused on seizing and incorporating the region.

Putin, however, attempted to claim that the referendums reflected the will of “millions” of people, despite reports from the ground suggesting that voting took place essentially – and in some cases, literally – at gunpoint.

Now, a year later, “Kyiv stands, and Ukraine stands. The world stands with you, and the Americans stand with you, he said.

The Russian President believed the annexation was an attempt to fix a historic mistake that followed the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Putin gave a riposte in his annual address, suggesting that the warfare in Ukraine was more of a battle against the West. After Biden vowed the US will be with Ukraine for as long as it takes, Putin’s speech underlined just how long that may be, raising the possibility of more years of war that will stretch the commitment of Western governments and populations to the cause.

Russia will now, despite the widespread international condemnation, forge ahead with its plans to fly its flag over some 100,000 square kilometers (38,600 square miles) of Ukrainian territory – the largest forcible annexation of land in Europe since 1945.

The Russian leader spoke at the same place where he stated in March of 2014) 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.

But beyond these most recent missile attacks lies a laundry list of horrors Putin has launched that only seems to have driven his nation further from the pack of civilized powers that he once sought so desperately to join.

He reeled off a litany of Western military actions stretching over centuries — from the British Opium War in China in the 19th century to Allied firebombings of Germany and the Vietnam and Korean Wars.

The United States used nuclear weapons during war, he said. The leader added that the precedent they created was by the way.

Vladimir Putin and the Donbas: The Crime against Russia in the Crime during the October 10 Nov. 11 U.S.-Russia Invasion

Russia launched a barrage of attacks hitting Kyiv and cities across Ukraine, Oct. 10, in what’s considered its most extensive attack since the early days of its invasion of Ukraine this year.

There is a celebration on Red Square on Friday. The official vote on the decrees will take place next week, said the spokesman for the Kremlin.

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

The aim of Mr. Putin is to cement Russia’s hold over the two eastern regions that are collectively known as the Donbas.

The military conscription Mr. Putin ordered on Sept. 21 to bolster his battered forces has set off nationwide turmoil and protest, bringing the war home to many Russians who had felt untouched by it. The men were drafted based on their age or disability.

Putin will not mind the debate over Biden’s visit because he will discuss the ongoing invasion in the Federal Assembly on Tuesday.

Putin said that the people’s choice was made during the signing ceremony. “And that choice won’t be betrayed” by Russia, he said.

Still, he stressed Russia was open for diplomatic solutions, echoing comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin in recent days that he wanted an end to the war. Putin’s claim that he is open to negotiating was roundly dismissed by Kyiv and the West as a ruse.

Russia and the newly integrated territories are ” together forever”, banners were being put up for a concert and rally outside the Kremlin.

Sept. 27: The Russian Federation claimed that people in the occupied regions of Ukrainian voted to join the Russian Federation. The process was called a violation of international law by United Nations leaders.

“The United States will never, never, never recognize the claims of Russia on the territory of Ukraine,” Biden said. “This so-called referenda was a sham — an absolute sham — and the results were manufactured in Moscow.”

The decision was framed as a historical justice by Putin because of the break-up of the Soviet Union which left Russian speakers separated from their homeland.

The West accuses Russia of using staged votes to justify its annexation of Ukraine’s territory and it’s not the first time.

Legislative approval of the annexation, which is illegal under international law, is expected to be a formality, although it will take a couple of days. Putin and his allies effectively control both branches of the Russian legislature, and the space for political dissent in Russia has shrunk in recent years.

A counteroffensive by the Ukrainian army has taken back territory in the south and northeastern of the country, while the Russian government prepares to deploy 300,000 additional troops.

Russian officials have made it known that the newly incorporated territories would be entitled to protect their nuclear weapons.

What does Putin really need to do in the end game of the Cold War? The case for a geopolitical rivalry between Russia and the West

According to Hill, Putin may be attempting an end game. “He feels a sense of acute urgency that he was losing momentum, and he’s now trying to exit the war in the same way that he entered it. He was the person in charge with the whole terms of the negotiation. There is a word

More than 200,000 Russians have fled across their borders since the partial mobilizement was announced, according to official EU data. More than 66,000 were listed by the EU, which was a 30% increase from the previous week.

The backlash against Russia and the perception that the Putin is losing his touch at reading it all made it difficult for CNN to verify the Russian figures.

Kortunov understands the public sentiment over the huge costs and loss of life in the war, as he doesn’t know what goes on in the Kremlin. People starting asking questions, why did we end up in this mess? Why, you know, we lost so many people.”

He used the same playbook annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and now, like then, threatens potential nuclear strikes should Ukraine, backed by its Western allies, try to take the annexed territories back.

But to apply the special case of negotiation — with few parameters and a narrow range of outcomes — to a complex, fluid and much wider geopolitical rivalry is a category error. There is no special, separate category of actions the West or Ukraine could take that would cause a nuclear confrontation between them. Russia has no red lines: It only has, at each moment, a range of options and perceptions of their relative risks and benefits. The West should continually aim, through its diplomacy, to shape these perceptions so that Russia chooses the options that the West prefers.

Russia’s impact on the Ukraine war: From russia to Europe, Russia has the means to reach Europe, and it is not a surprise for Putin

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

Within hours, roiling patches of sea were discovered, the Danes and the Germans sent warships to secure the area, and Norway increased security around its oil and gas facilities.

Russia denies responsibility and says it has launched its own investigation. Russia has the capabilities to put on this type of damage because it has an underwater capability that will allow it to lay bombs near the lines, according to former CIA chief John Brennan.

Brennan’s analysis is that Russia is the most likely culprit for the sabotage, and that Putin is likely trying to send a message: “It’s a signal to Europe that Russia can reach beyond Ukraine’s borders. So who knows what he might be planning next.”

After Europe raced to replenish gas reserves ahead of winter and reduce demand for Russian supplies, Putin held back the Nord Stream 2 and 1 from being operational.

Now comes a new chapter in the international impact of the war in Ukraine. Some of Putin’s former friends have revolted against him, but not all. Several politicians and prominent figures in Europe and the US are in agreement with the claims made by Putin. Their hope is to leverage discontent which could get worse next winter as heating prices rise.

Days after saying he wanted an end to his war, the Russian President on Sunday repeated his claim that he was ready to “negotiate with everyone involved in this process about acceptable solutions,” the state news agency TASS reported.

Volker expects Putin to pitch France and Germany first “to say, we need to end this war, we’re going to protect our territories at all costs, using any means necessary, and you need to put pressure on the Ukrainians to settle.”

A pattern of miscalculation and misstep by Moscow is not entirely comforting. It leaves the use of its nuclear arsenal as something of a wild card still. We know the consequences of nuclear weapons being used in Russia. That doesn’t seem to have stopped Putin up to now.

In the east of the country, the forces made gains with the Russian army using the city of Lyman as a conduit to move troops in and out of the area.

It caused a lot of anger in Russian pro-military circles, as the visit upstages a major address by Putin in which he is expected tout the alleged achievements of what he calls a special military operation.

The losses have sparked an unusual amount of criticism from pro-Russian propagandists critical in recent days. The newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda said that the Russian forces were forced to leave the strategically important city of Lyman because they lacked manpower and communicated poorly.

On Russia’s flagship Sunday political show, “News of the Week,” on Channel 1, the fall of Lyman wasn’t even mentioned until after more than an hour of laudatory coverage of Russia’s growth from 85 to 89 regions in an annexation most of the world views as illegal.

Russian War with the West: Why we are so moving to the Tribunal, or why we are going to lose if we let the West down

The soldiers on the Sunday broadcast said they were forced to retreat because of the fighting with NATO soldiers.

The US-based think tank the Institute for the Study of War noted that Russian battlefield setbacks, coupled with the unease in Russian society over mobilization, “was fundamentally changing the Russian information space.” That has included robust criticism not just from hawkish men of power such as Kadyrov, but from pro-war milbloggers who have often provided a granular picture of battlefield realities for Russian forces.

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

An interview with a far-right thinker, who has a daughter murdered by a car bomb, suggested that Russia is fighting a broader campaign.

Mykhailo Podolak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, says Putin needs to come back to reality. “Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens. Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility. This is obvious, so we are moving to the Tribunal.”

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

He said that the west accused them of blowing up the gas line. “We must understand the geopolitical confrontation, the war, our war with the West on the scale and extent on which it is unfolding. In other words, we must join this battle with a mortal enemy who does not hesitate to use any means, including exploding gas pipelines.”

The nonstop messaging campaign may be working, at least for now. A senior fellow of the Carnegie Endowment forInternational Peace said that many Russians feel threatened by the West.

And in the fall, public demobilization was replaced by mobilization – Putin demanded that citizens share responsibility for the war with him with their bodies. This provoked unprecedented anxiety, but instead of serious protests, the bulk of the population again preferred adaptation.

Sept. 26: The first troops to be called up by Russia were at military bases with no training or trainers on hand. Putin later said “mistakes” in the call-up should be corrected.

Sept. 28: The Moscow-backed officials in occupied parts of Ukraine appealed to the regions to join the Russian Federation. The approval rating of Putin fell 6 points from a survey conducted by the Levada Center. The U.S. Defense Department, meanwhile, announced $1.1 billion in additional security aid to Ukraine.

For that reason, Ukraine received massive support from the West, led by the United States. New applications for NATO membership were brought from countries that were neutral during the war in Ukraine. It also helped reaffirm the interest of many in eastern European states – former Soviet satellites – of orienting their future toward Europe and the West.

Past recaps can be found here. For context and more in-depth stories, you can find more of NPR’s coverage here. Listen and subscribe to NPR’s State of Ukraine for updates throughout the day.

Lloyd Austin, Secretary of Defense for the US, said in an interview that he believes Kherson is making progress, thanks in part to weapons supplied by Washington.

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

Defending Crimea in the First World Referendum to the Presidency of the High-Dimensional Security Council (Seminar)

The contests have failed to meet the standards of free and fair elections that are internationally recognized. Reports from the ground suggested that voting was done at gun point.

Diplomatically, Putin finds himself 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.” Though Putin once lusted after a return to the G7 (known as the G8 before he was ousted after his seizure of Crimea), inclusion now seems but a distant dream. Russia’s sudden ban on 100 Canadians, including Canadian-American Jim Carrey, from entering the country only made the comparison with North Korea more striking.

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

A former CNN producer and correspondent is a world affairs columnist. She writes an opinion column for World Politics Review and is a columnist for The Washington Post. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. CNN has more opinion on it.

The peaceful uprising of women against the tyrannies of the UK and Iran, and the case of Mahsa Amini

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

For decades autocrats have been gaining ground while democracies looked almost spent, in retreat. When we least expected, there was a ferocious pushback against two of the most brazen tyrannies. In Iran and Ukraine, people have decided to defy the odds for the sake of their dignity, freedom and self determination.

This bravery is almost unimaginable to the rest of us, and is inspiring equally courageous support in places like Afghanistan.

In Iran, the spark was the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini last month. She died when she was in the custody of morality police, who arrested her for breaking brutally enforced rules requiring women to dress modestly.

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

Their peaceful uprising is not really about the hijab; it’s about cutting the shackles of oppression, which is why men have joined them in large numbers, even as the regime kills more and more protesters.

Moscow vs. Iran: The most repressive regime in the world and the most powerful tool for repressing critics in the fight against Syria

Russia, which has been a dominant military force in Syria since 2015 and helps maintain the government’s grip on power, still keeps a sizable presence there. The change could result in shifts in the balance of power in one of the planet’s most complicated conflict zones, and could cause Israel to rethink its stance against Syria.

Zelensky was very inspiring and steelier than any other leader in recent memory. NATO was more united, and Europeans more willing to support Ukraine than anyone — including Putin — anticipated.

Russia has a trail of war crimes, with hundreds of bombed hospitals, schools, civilian convoys, and mass graves filled with Ukrainians.

The repressive regimes in Moscow and Tehran are ostracized, pariahs in the world and supported by a few autocrats.

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

These are two regimes that, while very different in their ideologies, have much in common in their tactics of repression and their willingness to project power abroad.

There have been deaths of Putin critics. Many people fall out of windows. And both Iran and Russia have become leading practitioners of transnational repression, killing critics on foreign soil, according to Freedom House and other democracy research and advocacy groups.

For people in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, there’s more than passing interest in the admittedly low probability that the Iranian regime could fall. It would be transformative for their countries and their lives, heavily influenced by Tehran. Iran has a constitution that calls for spreading its revolution.

Russian President Vladimir Putin greeted teachers in a televised teacher’s day for teachers’ day (Tuesday and Thursday)

There is something tragic about how fast Russia has fallen. The first few years of Putin’s rule contained economic reform and progress for ordinary Russians despite their massacre in Chechnya and slow strangulation of dissent. Putin was creating the middle class that would ultimately risk his downfall.

Despite the fact that Russia’s military does not control the areas, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he expects the situation in those areas to return to normal after he signs legislation annexing them.

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

Russian forces appear to be taking a beating as Ukraine regains more territory in the south, where the Russians have had to retreat due to the counteroffensive towards Kherson.

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

Amid the uncertainty, Russia and Ukraine on Wednesday also issued conflicting announcements over the management of Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant. The head of Ukraine’s nuclear energy company, Energoatom, said that he was taking control of the plant after Putin signed a decree to claim it.

Part of the difficulty of making wartime assessments is that the war has gone through different phases, with one side and then the other having an advantage. The Ukrainians defeated the Russians, only for Russia to fight back during the fighting in the Donbas during the summer.

The Ukrainian President celebrated that many settlements had been liberated this week after thanking the military for their swift and powerful advances.

He said that the Kherson region had reclaimed many of its former inhabitants, including Zolota Balka.

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

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

The US military thought it would take as long as May for the Russian military to regenerate their power, but Russian leaders wanted action sooner. The military official told CNN that the US thinks that Russian forces will move before they are ready due to political pressure.

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

“In the Kherson region, we have lost 17 settlements,” Alexander Sladkov, a leading Russian war correspondent, conceded on state TV Tuesday, before placing the blame on “fat” US weapons deliveries and “intelligence gathered via satellite reconnaissance.”

Alexander Kots, correspondent for a pro-Kremlin tabloid and embedded with Russian forces in the occupied eastern city of Svtatve, told Telegram followers that the military lacks manpower to hold off an advance into the Luhan.

Kots confirmed that Russian forces were trying to fortify their defense at the line connecting the occupied cities of Kreminna and Svatova. Yuriy Podolyaka, a pro-Russian military blogger said on Monday that Russian troops had withdrawn to the Zherebets River, which runs just west of Kreminna and Svatova.

General Relativity and Nuclear Security: The Sladkov Effect in a State Media Reporter’s Interview with Vladimir Lukashenko

They don’t have a problem with the intelligence data or high-precision weapons they are constantly using. It’s just a matter of when our reserves become fit and join the battle.

On Tuesday, a state media reporter for Russia 24 said that they were going through the hardest time on the frontline.

“This doesn’t mean that we’ve collapsed like a house of cards. There are mistakes that aren’t huge strategic failures. We are still learning. I know this is hard to hear in our eighth month of the special operation. We are reporters. We are waiting for reinforcements.

He stated that it was just as painful as being hit on your melon. We have suffered losses. It is war. These things happen in war. Reinforcements are going along with their equipment. I don’t lie or engage in propaganda. I’m just a regular reporter who is describing what is happening.”

Sladkov’s admission on State TV was his second in less than a month, after he previously admitted that Russian forces had endured heavy losses on September 13, a Tuesday. At the beginning of this Tuesday’s interview, Sladkov quipped: “I only tell the truth on Tuesdays, and for other days I just make everything up.”

During his visit to St. Petersburg, Belarusian state media reported that Mr. Lukashenko had “stressed the need to take measures in case of the deployment of nuclear weapons in Poland,” a remark that some analysts interpreted as preparing the ground for the possible deployment of Russian nuclear weapons in Belarus, something that he has long said would never happen.

The Cost of Chaos: The CNN Investigative Analysis of the U.S. Invasion of Afghanistan and the Decision to Leave the Cold War Behind

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

He says that his rationale was the war inUkraine, even though it was declared independence from the Soviet Union more than three decades ago.

According to a recent, authoritative book about the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the Soviets wanted to install a puppet Government and get out of the country as soon as possible.

The US initially shied away from increasing its support for the Afghan resistance during the war against the soviets in Afghanistan to avoid a larger conflict with the soviet union. The Soviets ended their total air superiority in Afghanistan after three years when the CIA supplied them with highly effective anti-aircraft Stinger missiles.

America needs to focus on three things. First of all, it should not say that there are measures it won’t take or weapons systems it won’t give. It’s necessary to make a concession in order to signal restraint. Worse, it emboldens Russia to probe for, and try to impose, further limits on U.S. action — making the war more, not less, risky.

But the US put those fears to rest relatively quickly, and American-supplied anti-tank Javelin missiles and High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), GPS-guided missiles, have helped the Ukrainians to push back against the Russians.

The Russian Revolution is a bloodbath, but Putin didn’t win. In response to Russia’s referendum, Kyiv and Kadyrov

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

He knows that the Romanov monarchy was weakened after the Russian loss in 1905. Czar Nicholas II’s leadership during the First World War precipitated the Russian Revolution. The Romanov family was killed by a Bolshevik firing squad.

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

More than seven months into the war, the “genius” myth has unraveled. During the past two weeks, more than 200,000 Russian men voted to flee Putin’s partial mobilize order. They understand – despite the Herculean efforts of Putin’s propagandists – that this war is a bloodbath Russia is losing.

Putin’s gamble may lead to a third dissolution of the Russian empire, which happened first in 1917 as the First World War wound down, and again in 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union.

The head of the defense committee in Russia’s State Duma demanded that officials stop lying in an interview with Russian propagandist, Vladimir Solovyov.

The Ministry of Defense was alleged to be covering up Ukrainian cross-border strikes in Russian regions.

Near the border withUkraine, Valuyki is located. When it comes to hitting Russian targets, Kyiv has generally adopted a non-confirm-nor-deny stance.

“There is no need to somehow cast a shadow over the entire Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation because of some, I do not say traitors, but incompetent commanders, who did not bother, and were not accountable, for the processes and gaps that exist today,” Stremousov said. Many people say that the Minister of Defense could have shot himself if he had allowed this situation to happen. But, you know, the word officer is an unfamiliar word for many.”

Kadyrov used to be a lot more reluctant about naming Russian commanders that were blamed for the retreat from the 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 things are under control, according to a recent analysis.

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 said he would use any weapon if it were his will and that he was at war with the NATO bloc.

Ukranian missile attacks on civilian infrastructure in Kyiv, a rural village devastated by a border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

On the mountain-flanked steppes of southwestern Kyrgyzstan, the result in just one remote village has been devastating: homes reduced to rubble, a burned-out school and a gut-wrenching stench emanating from the rotting carcasses of 24,000 dead chickens.

All fell victim last month to the worst violence to hit the area since the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union — a brief but bloody border conflict between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, both members of a Russia-led military alliance dedicated to preserving peace but which did nothing to halt the mayhem.

A wave of missiles, rockets and drones has struck dozens of locations across Ukraine since Monday, according to officials, targeting civilian infrastructure in several major cities, including Kyiv, located hundreds of miles from the front lines in the east and south.

Preliminary data shows that 54 of 69 cruise missiles fired at Ukrainian territory on Thursday were shot down by the defense forces. There were missiles destroyed by the air defenses in Ukranian.

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

Demys Shmygal, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, said Monday that as of 11 a.m. local time, a total of 11 “crucial infrastructure facilities” in eight regions had been damaged.

Authorities in Odesa, in southern Ukraine, said that emergency power outages had been rolled out amid the missile attacks. “They are introduced due to the threat of missile attacks to avoid significant damage if the enemy manages to hit energy facilities,” DTEK, a utility company, said in a statement.

U.S. and EU response to the attack of a bridge between Kyiv and Crimea during the June 2015 Ukrainian War of Independence

On Monday, the Security Council held an operational meeting, a day after Putin said the bridge’s organizers and executors were Ukrainian special services.

These attacks began at the outset of the war and have only increased in scope and virulence since Ukrainian forces last month attacked a bridge – one particularly close to Putin’s heart – between mainland Russia and Crimea, which the Russians annexed in 2014.

The Russian-appointed head of annexed Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, said on Monday that his views on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine have changed.

He added that if the actions to destroy the enemy’s infrastructure had been taken every day, the Ukrainian regime would have been defeated in May.

The air raid sirens will not stop. Rockets continue to strike. Sadly, there are dead and wounded. I ask you: do not leave your shelters. Take care of your families and stay safe. Let’s hang in there and be strong,” Zelensky added.

The EU foreign policy chief said that additional military support from the EU was on its way.

“Again, Putin is massively terrorizing innocent civilians in Kyiv and other cities,” Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. The Netherlands condemns the heinous acts. Putin does not seem to understand that the will of the Ukrainian people is unbreakable.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the attacks “another unacceptable escalation of the war and, as always, civilians are paying the highest price.”

Ukraine’s nuclear power crisis in the light of an air strike from Russia on Monday, April 24: The NKRZ attack in Kyiv

The G7 group of nations will hold an emergency meeting via video conference on Tuesday, the office of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz confirmed to CNN, and Zelensky said on Twitter that he would address that meeting.

Michael Bociurkiw is a global affairs analyst. He was a spokesman for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe while at the Atlantic Council. He is a regular contributor to CNN Opinion. The opinions given in this commentary are of his own. View more opinion at CNN.

Many of the residents of Kyiv were worried about new attacks from Russia on Friday, the day of the anniversary.

A fake video on social media shows hits close to the Taras Shevchyh National University of Kyiv and just a short stroll from the Presidential Office Building. Ukrainian officials said five people were killed in strikes on the capital.

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. Typically at this time of the day nearby restaurants are busy with customers and chatter about weddings and parties.

Monday’s attacks also came just a few hours after Zaporizhzhia, a southeastern city close to the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, was hit by multiple strikes on apartment buildings, mostly while people slept. At least 17 people were killed and several dozens injured.

In a defiant video, President Volodymyr Zelensky said that many of the missile strikes across the country were aimed at the country’s energy infrastructure. At least 11 important infrastructure facilities in eight regions and the capital have been damaged; some provinces are without power, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

In scenes reminiscent of the early days of the war when Russian forces neared the capital, some Kyiv media outlets temporarily moved their operations to underground bomb shelters. In one metro station serving as a shelter, large numbers of people took cover on platforms as a small group sang patriotic Ukrainian songs.

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.

With so many asylum seekers returning home, the attacks could cause another blow to business confidence, as they are just as likely to roar back to life.

The symbolism of the only bridge connecting mainland Russia and Crimea can’t be overstated by Putin. That the attack took place a day after his 70th birthday (the timing prompted creative social media denizens to create a split-screen video of Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday, Mr President”) can be taken as an added blow to an aging autocrat whose ability to withstand shame and humiliation is probably nil.

Hardwiring newly claimed territory with expensive, record-breaking infrastructure projects seems to be a penchant of dictators. In 2018, Putin personally opened the Kerch bridge – Europe’s longest – by driving a truck across it. The world’s longest sea crossing bridge was connected to the former Portuguese and British territories of Macau and Hong Kong by Beijing in the same year. The bridge opened after two years of delays.

The Russian-Putini explosion: A reminder of self-determination and self-devastation under the pressure of the West

The explosion lit up social media channels like a christmas tree, provoking a reaction that was instantaneous. People shared their jubilation through text messages.

Putin never sat still even though he was consumed by self-interest. 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.

Facing increasing criticism at home, including on a state-controlled television station, has placed Putin on thin ice.

The full statement was issued by the Russian Federation on Thursday and said that a ceasefire along the entire line of contact between the parties will start from January 6th, 2023.

China is injecting its own play into the brouhaha. It sent its top diplomat Wang Yi – his ears ringing with US warnings not to send Russia arms to use in Ukraine – to Moscow for high-level talks, even as a Sino-American spy balloon feud simmers.

The moral and ethical obligation of the democracies in the world to help a nation that is threatened by an authoritarian power was the first reason for the response from the West. National self-determination has long been a guiding principle of American foreign policy. Various U.S. administrations have honored it in a different way than it is currently honored. It is still valuable to find a way forward. In sending an armored column toward Kyiv and seeking to overthrow its government, Mr. Putin clearly violated that principle, and threatens to return Europe to the instability of previous eras, when nations frequently invaded each other and altered the continent’s borders by force.

Furthermore, high tech defense systems are needed to protect Kyiv and crucial energy infrastructure around the country. The need to protect heating systems is urgent as the winter approaches.

Alexander Lukashenko, the man who ruled Ukraine, and the fate of the Russian-Mexican embassy in Ukraine, have not left Russia

Turkey and the Gulf states, which receive many Russian tourists, need to be pressed to come on board in favor of isolating Russia with trade and travel restrictions.

Russia massed tens of thousands of troops in Belarus before its February invasion and used Belarusian territory as a staging ground for its initial, unsuccessful assault on Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. Moscow still has hundreds of troops in Belarus, from which it launches missiles and bombing raids, but their number is now expected to increase sharply.

After meeting with Russia’s president in St. Petersburg, Lukashenko said that this won’t be a thousand troops.

He did not say what the purpose of the joint force was or how many troops would be in it. Some former convicts and many of them ill trained, could be preparing his country for the arrival of thousands of freshly drafted Russian soldiers.

Statements by Mr. Lukashenko, who is an eccentric and highly erratic dictator, are very rarely an accurate guide to current or future events. Just days before Russian troops stationed in Belarus attacked Ukraine in February, he emphatically denied that his territory would be used by Russia, a close ally, to attack his country’s southern neighbor.

Despite Alexander Lukashenko saying previously that his country was being dragged into the war, he has maintained that his country played no role in the invasion of Ukraine.

Andrei Sannikov, who served as deputy foreign minister under Mr. Lukashenko during his early period in power but fled into exile after being jailed, said Mr. Lukashenko was “running scared,” caught between pressure from Russia to help its demoralized forces in Ukraine and the knowledge that sending in Belarusian troops would be hugely unpopular, even among his loyalists.

Ukraine’s biggest land war since World War II: A message to the Kremlin and Russia, and a response to Russian attacks on power infrastructure

On Monday, state television not only reported on the suffering, but also flaunted it. It showed smoke and carnage in central Kyiv, along with empty store shelves, and a long-range forecast promising months of freezing temperatures there.

The invasion has led to the largest land war in Europe since World War II, causing millions of Ukrainians to flee their homes and decimating the Ukrainian economy.

It is not for the first time that the war is heading towards an unpredictable new phase. Keir Giles, a senior consultant at Chatham House’s Russia and Eurasia programme, said that this war was the third, fourth or fifth war they had been observing.

It means that the war has increased its stakes as winter approaches. Giles said that Russia would like to keep it up. The Ukrainian successes of recent weeks have sent a message to the Kremlin. “They are able to do things that take us by surprise, so let’s get used to it,” Giles said.

Ukrainian troops hoist the country’s flag above a building in Vysokopillya, in the southern Kherson region, last month. Ukrainian officials claim to have liberated hundreds of settlements since their counter-offensive began.

Over the summer, a series of counter attacks that pushed back Russian forces gave Western optimism that Kyiv could win the war.

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

“If they can get to Christmas with the frontline looking roughly as it is, that’s a huge success for the Russians given how botched this has been since February.”

A major blow to the Ukrainian forces in Donbas would be a strong signal that they are serious about their gains, and the impact of the rising energy prices on Europe would also be felt.

The economy has been badly affected by war and missile attacks on power infrastructure, including 76 strikes on Friday. Ukrainians are enduring long periods with no heat, electricity or water during the winter. The resilience displayed by Ukrainians since the start of the war is an indication that they are prepared to endure hardship for two to five years if it means defeating Russia.

Russian missile attacks on Monday and Tuesday disrupted the power supply in the central regions ofUkraine, but the national electricity company says that it has been able to restore it. The Ukrainian Prime Minister warned that there was a lot of work to be done to fix damaged equipment and asked the people of the country to use less energy during peak hours.

As Russia begins a new offensive in eastern Ukraine, the US and its allies are doubtful that Moscow has the manpower and resources to make significant gains, officials tell CNN. “It’s likely more aspirational than realistic,” said a senior US military official.

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

That conclusion was also reached by the ISW, which said in its daily update on the conflict Monday that the strikes “wasted some of Russia’s dwindling precision weapons against civilian targets, as opposed to militarily significant targets.”

How much leftover weaponry and manpower each side has will be important in determining how the momentum will shift in the coming weeks. The Ukrainian government said on Tuesday that it had taken down 18 cruise missiles on Tuesday and more than 50 on Monday, but that it was urging its NATO allies to have more equipment to defend against future attacks.

The Russians don’t have the stocks of precision munitions to maintain that kind of high-tempo missile assault into the future so it will be an occasional feature.

In terms of pure manpower, the effect of such an intervention would be small because the number of active duty troops in the country is very small. There was an attack on the northern flank of Ukraine below the border with Belarus.

The reopening of the northern front would be a new challenge for the country. It would allow Russia to go into the area that has been taken by Ukraine, he said.

Zelensky will look for more supplies to drive home the gains in the short-term. The leader has sought to highlight Ukraine’s success in intercepting Russian missiles, saying more than half of the missiles and drones launched at Ukraine in a second wave of strikes on Tuesday were brought down.

NATO Secretary General Jens Taltonenberg said Tuesday that Ukraine needed more systems in order to be able to stop missile attacks.

Ukraine “badly needed” modern systems such as the IRIS-T that arrived this week from Germany and the NASAMS expected from the United States , Bronk said.

Russian Defense Ministry confirms that a “terrorist attack” on Ukraine is a threat to NATO or the United States, and that it will not tolerate nuclear attacks

There are still mobilized forces that will be used, that is not to say they will be useless. Support roles like drivers or refuelers can be used to ease the burden on the exhausted professional army of Russia. They could also fill out depleted units along the line of contact, cordon some areas and man checkpoints in the rear. They are not likely to become a capable fighting force. Already there are signs of discipline problems among mobilized soldiers in Russian garrisons.

The war could be used as a pretext to disrupt or deter foreign military assistance to the Ukrainians. These efforts might involve attacking NATO satellites or other assets to render them temporarily or permanently inoperable. To inflict domestic costs on Kyiv’s supporters, Russia could also conduct cyberattacks against Europe or the United States, targeting critical infrastructure like energy, transportation and communications systems. The war then would no longer be confined to the borders of Ukraine.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the shooting was a terrorist attack, in a statement cited by two state media outlets. It said that the two attackers were from a former Soviet nation and that they fired at the soldiers during target practice.

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

Two men shot at Russian troops preparing to deploy to Ukraine, killing 11 people and wounding 15 before being killed themselves, Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Oct. 15.

Russian troops started arriving in the country on October 15, according to Minsk, which said that they were part of a regional grouping of forces to protect the country from threats from the west.

Moscow’s response to the Ukrainian crisis: a warning message from the Russian invasion commander Sergei Surovikin, commander of the invasion, and its implication for the Middle East

Some regional officials — including the mayor of Moscow, Sergey Sobyanin — appeared to be taking pains to offer reassurances. The normal rhythm of the city’s life isn’t being limited at the moment.

The governors of Kursk, Krasnodar, and Voronezh all said they wouldn’t impose entry or exit restrictions.

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

People are worried that the border will be closed and the siloviki will do what they want.

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

According to three senior officials based in the Middle East, Russia has recently relocated some of its troops from Syria in order to show its weakened influence elsewhere.

This support in terms of arms, materiel and now training for Ukrainian forces have been the underpinnings of their remarkable battlefield successes against a weakening, undersupplied and ill-prepared Russian military.

David Andelman: Putin Prolonges War on the European Balkans During the November 11th NATO Reionization Summit

The author of A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen is David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN and winner of the Deadline Club Award. He was a journalist for The New York Times and CBS News. His opinions are his own in this commentary. You can read more opinion at CNN.

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

This ability to keep going depends on a host of variables – ranging from the availability of critical and affordable energy supplies for the coming winter, to the popular will across a broad range of nations with often conflicting priorities.

The European Union powers reached an agreement in the early hours of Friday in Belgium to control energy prices that have risen after the Russian embargo and the Kremlin’s cut of natural gas supplies.

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

After leaving the summit, he conceded that the European Commission had only a clear mandate to begin work on a gas cap mechanism.

Still, divisions remain, with Europe’s biggest economy, Germany, skeptical of any price caps. Now energy ministers must work out details with a Germany concerned such caps would encourage higher consumption – a further burden on restricted supplies.

Putin had a dream that all of these divisions were part of. Manifold forces in Europe could prove central to achieving success from the Kremlin’s viewpoint, which amounts to the continent failing to agree on essentials.

Germany and France are already at loggerheads on many of these issues. Though in an effort to reach some accommodation, Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have scheduled a conference call for Wednesday.

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

Italy’s first woman prime minister and the role of Russia in the 2024 Ukrainian election: a warning to the Russian military-industrial complex

A new government has taken power in Italy. Giorgia Meloni was sworn in Saturday as Italy’s first woman prime minister and has attempted to brush aside the post-fascist aura of her party. One of her partners expressed appreciation for Putin.

At a gathering of his supporters, Berlusconi talked about the vodka Putin sent him on his birthday and how happy he was.

Matteo Salvini, named the deputy prime minister Saturday, stated during the campaign, “I would not want the sanctions against Russia to hurt those that impose them more than those who are hit by them.”

At the same time, Poland and Hungary, longtime ultra-right-wing soulmates united against liberal policies of the EU that seemed calculated to reduce their influence, have now disagreed over Ukraine. Poland dislikes the statements made by Hungary’s populist leader Viktor Orban.

Comments by DeSantis and other Republicans like House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who has warned against a “blank check” to Kyiv, show that while Biden can promise the US is with Kyiv for “as long as it takes,” he cannot guarantee it. The 2024 election may be as crucial for Ukraine as it is for the United States.

The Congressional progressive caucus, which has 30 members, called on Biden to start talks with Russia to end the conflict, while Russian troops are still in the country and its missiles and drones are hitting deep into the interior.

Hours later, caucus chair Mia Jacob, facing a firestorm of criticism, emailed reporters with a statement “clarifying” their remarks in support of Ukraine. The Secretary of State made calls to his counterpart in Ukranian to remind them of America’s support.

Yes. A big aid package is being worked on by the Biden administration, but not all military, which is a common drumbeat from the administration. The message is simple: Ukraine is receiving as much aid as Washington can provide, short of boots on the ground, and that aid will not stop.

The West is putting pressure on Russia. Last Thursday, the State Department released a detailed report on the impact of sanctions and export controls strangling the Russian military-industrial complex.

Russian production of hypersonic missiles has all but ceased “due to the lack of necessary semi-conductors,” said the report. Aircraft are being cannibalized for spare parts, plants producing anti-aircraft systems have shut down, and “Russia has reverted to Soviet-era defense stocks” for replenishment. The Soviet era ended more than 30 years ago.

The US announced the seizure of all property of Yury Orekhov, a Russian procurement agent who was responsible for procuring US-origin technologies for Russian end-users.

The Justice Department also announced charges against individuals and companies seeking to smuggle high-tech equipment into Russia in violation of sanctions.

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

Yuval Noah Harari, a historian, believes that a victory by Russia will open the door to wars of aggression, something most nations have argued against since the Second World War.

Much of what happens today far from the battlefields still has repercussions there. The US accused the Saudis of helping fund the war by boosting its oil revenues when the oil-production nations decided to cut production last month. The Saudis deny the accusation.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz recently reiterated that “Israel supports and stands with Ukraine, NATO and the West,” but will not move those systems to Ukraine, because, “We have to share our airspace in the North with Russia.”

After the war began, Russia launched an assault onUkrainian ports and patrols of Black Sea, which halted Ukraine’s grain exports. The head of the World Food Program warned of the world’s imminent risk of famine in May.

In fact, the war in Ukraine is already affecting everyone, everywhere. The conflict has also sent fuel prices higher, contributing to a global explosion of inflation.

Families and individual lives are affected by higher prices. When they come with such powerful momentum, they pack a political punch. Inflation, worsened by the war, has put incumbent political leaders on the defensive in countless countries.

The Front of Russia: What Have We Learned to Stop the Warped Soldiers in Kherson? A State of the Art in Ukraine, Revised

And it’s not all on the fringes. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the Republican leader who could become speaker of the House after next week’s US elections, suggested the GOP might choose to reduce aid to Ukraine. The Progressives released and withdrew a letter asking for negotiations. Evelyn Farkas said they are all bringing a big smile to Putin.

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.

Russian forces are staging up to 80 assaults per day, General Zaluzhnyi said in the statement, which described a telephone conversation with an American general, Christopher G. Cavoli, the supreme allied commander in Europe.

“We discussed the situation at the front,” General Zaluzhnyi wrote. Ukrainian forces, he said he had told his U.S. colleague, were beating back the attacks, “thanks to the courage and skills of our warriors.”

A Washington-based analytical group said that the increase in the number of soldiers in the eastern region did not lead to new ground for Russia.

The institute said in a statement that if the Russians had waited until enough personnel had arrived they would have had more success.

The remaining inhabitants of Kherson have begun stocking up on food and fuel in order to survive any battles that may befall the city.

The Russian-Ukraine War on the Nearby Metropolis: The First Missile Arrived in Poland and the First Flight of a Next Generation Jet Fighter

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. The president has insisted that the missile was not Ukrainian.

One thing is clear, no matter the circumstances of the missile. “Russia bears ultimate responsibility, as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Wednesday.

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

The hotline and Telegram channel was started by the Ukrainian military intelligence project, which was meant to assist Russian soldiers who were ready to defect.

While he hoped it was not the case, a leading Russian journalist who fled to Berlin last March told me last week that he would accept the reality of not being able to return to his homeland.

Yet some good has come from this debacle. Europe knows it must get off its dependence on Russian gas immediately, and hydrocarbons in general in the longer term, as economic dependence on the fossil fuels of dictators cannot bring longer-term stability.

The burden that the war has on the Western nations is proving to be unfulfilled, in part, because of Putin’s dream that the conflict would drive wedges into the Western alliance. The long-stalled Joint French- German Project for a Next Generation Jet Fighter at the Heart of the Future Combat Air System began to move forward this week after word spread that it had begun.

Putin does not appear to have learned that revenge is not an appropriate way to act while on the battlefield, and is most likely to cause a collapse of Russia in the final analysis.

The Rise of Russia and the Implications for the Prospects for Ukrainian Security and Security in the Light of Recent Ukraine-Russian War Dec. 12

Ukrainian authorities have been stepping up raids on churches that were accused of links with Moscow, and many are watching to see if the Ukrainian president follows through on his threat of banning the Russian Orthodox Church.

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

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

U.S. basketball star Brittney Griner was freed Dec. 8 after nearly 10 months in Russian detention and following months of negotiations. Her release was made possible by the U.S. handing over a convicted Russian arms dealer. Griner is back in the U.S. and reunited with her wife. Bout is back in Russia and is reported to have joined an ultranationalist party.

New measures targeting Russian oil revenue took effect Dec. 5. They include a price cap and a European Union embargo on most Russian oil imports and a Russian oil price cap.

Source: https://www.npr.org/2022/12/12/1141827823/latest-on-ukraine-a-weekly-recap-and-look-ahead-at-russias-war-dec-12

The Russian invasion of Melitopol and the deployment of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile into a Kaluga Silo Launcher

Ukraine hit targets in the Russian-occupied city of Melitopol, including a church reported to be used as a Russian military base. Ukrainian forces used long-range cannon to reach their targets, according to officials.

Russian forces turned the city of Bakhmut into burned ruins, Zelenskyy said. Russia is attempting to advance in the eastern Donbas region and fighting has been fierce.

President Zelenskyy called the leaders of France and Turkey as well as President Biden during the month of December in a sign of increased diplomacy over the Russian invasion.

It requires a relatively large number of personnel to be trained, according to CNN’s Barbara Starr and Oren Liebermann, who were first to report the US is close to sending the system to Ukraine.

Zakharova said that many experts, including those overseas, questioned the rationality of such a step, which would lead to an escalate of the conflict and increase the risk of directly dragging the US army into combat.

The Patriot system is expensive and complicated and requires intensive training for the multiple people it takes to operate it, but could help the country guard against Russian attacks that have left millions without power.

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

The officials from a country that brutally attacked another in an illegal and unprovoked invasion chose to use words like provocative to describe their defensive systems, which are meant to save lives and protect civilians, according to Ryder.

In what may be a no less subtle message than calling the Patriot deployments provocative, Russia’s defense ministry shared video of the installation of a “Yars” intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo launcher in the Kaluga region for what Alexei Sokolov, commander of the Kozelsky missile formation, called “combat duty as planned.”

Appearing this week on Russian state TV, Commander Alexander Khodakovsky of the Russian militia in the Donetsk region suggested Russia could not defeat the NATO alliance in a conventional war.

On the Future of the Ukraine Nuclear Strategic Arms: An Open-String Sergei Seifert-Strong Action Plan for High-Redshift Systems

The larger batteries need a lot of people to properly operate them. The training for the missiles normally takes many months but with nearly daily aerial attacks from Russia it will be harder than before to train them.

The system is widely considered one of the most capable long-range weapons to defend airspace against incoming ballistic and cruise missiles as well as some aircraft. Because of its long-range and high-altitude capability, it can potentially shoot down Russian missiles and aircraft far from their intended targets inside Ukraine.

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

Valeriy Chaly, Ukraine’s former ambassador to the United States, said the region would be more stable if Ukraine wins the war and joins NATO. This is what Ukraine’s government wants, though joining the alliance is highly unlikely in the near term.

Old ammo. CNN’s Ellie Kaufman and Liebermann reported earlier this week on a US military official who says Russian forces have had to resort to 40-year-old artillery ammunition as their supplies of new ammo are “rapidly dwindling.”

An official spoke to reporters about how he loaded the gun and hoped it would fire or explode.

Will Ripley, the Russian Revolutionary Warmaker, and the War on Crime in the Warsaw region: From a Ukrainian Tank Driver to the Security Forces

In the trenches. There is growing concern about Russia assembling troops again, and CNN’s Will Ripley filed a video report about trenches being built on the border of Ukraine and Belarus. Ripley talks to a sewing machine repairman turned tank driver.

Ukrainians were trying to take advantage of the chaos in Russia after the fall of the Russian monarchy. The Communists defeated the independence of Ukraine and they were successors to the Russian monarchy.

He is in the vicinity of Bucha, which the Russians destroyed in the first days of the war. Viatrovych sent his wife and son to western Ukraine in order to protect them from the Russians.

He drove to Kyiv for an emergency parliament session that declared martial law. He was given a rifle by 2 p.m. that day so he could join the security forces.

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

What has changed since Russian missiles began to fall? The fear felt by Ukrainians has been replaced with anger as they are confronted by rockets and drones.

Rebuilding the house of teachers after a century of conflict: “The Ukraine is ongoing fight to free itself from-russia,” says Oleh, the director of the House of Teachers

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

“There are, of course, parallels to a century ago,” said Steshuk Oleh, the director of the House of Teachers. The building was damaged in the fighting. And now it’s damaged again. Don’t worry. We will rebuild everything.”

“This is the perfect time to fix the wrongs of the last 100 years because the Ukrainians have had a lot of hardship during the 20th century, and they need to be fixed,” he said.

Ukrainians thought this matter was finally resolved in December 1991, when they held a referendum on independence. Only 92 percent of people thought they should go their own way. The soviet Union fell later in the month.

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

He said that if he’s losing a war, he doesn’t survive. “The outcome may signal the end, not just of Putin’s era, but the era of the empire. It’s 21st century. It is time for the empires to go.

When Kasparov entered politics, he was still living in Russia and challenging the power of Putin. When it became clear his safety was at risk, he left Russia, and now lives in New York.

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

Zelensky and Vladimir Putin: “We need ammunition, not a ride” in Ukraine during the 2019 Ukrainian-US-Russia war

Many military analysts warn the war is unlikely to produce a clear resolution on the battlefield. They believe it’s likely to require negotiations and compromises.

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

He said being a buffer zone or gray zone is not good for a geopolitics perspective. “If you are a gray zone between two security blocs, two military blocs, everybody wants to make a step. This has happened with Ukraine.”

I was in Paris at that time and saw how Zelensky pulled up to the lysée Palace in a little car while Putin drove up in a limo. (The host, French President Emmanuel Macron, hugged Putin but chose only to shake hands with Zelensky).

Zelensky said at the time that the prisoner swap with Russia seemed to be a first step towards ending the war in eastern Ukraine which claimed the lives of over 15,000 people.

Standing alongside Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Biden reminisced about a phone call the two had “that dark night” a year ago when the war started. Zelensky could hear explosions in the background. The world was preparing for the fall of Kyiv, Biden recalled, “perhaps even the end of Ukraine.”

“After the full-scale invasion, once he got into a position of being bullied by someone like Vladimir Putin he knew exactly what he needed to do because it was just his gut feeling,” Yevhen Hlibovytsky, former political journalist and founder of the Kyiv-based think tank and consultancy, pro.mova, told me.

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

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

It seems a long, long way since Zelensky celebrated his victory in the campaign at a renovated nightclub with his supporters. He looked in disbelief as he stood on stage among the confetti, looking to have defeated his opponent Petro Poroshenko.

There are signs that the international influence of Zelensky could be waning. For example, last week, in what analysts called a pivotal moment in geopolitics, the G7 imposed a $60 a barrel price cap on Russian crude – despite pleas from Zelensky that it should have been set at $30 in order to inflict more pain on the Kremlin.

Hero Zelensky, a Comforter in Chief, and the Defense of Ukraine, During a Visit to the UN Refugee Assistance Center

His bubble includes many people from his previous professional life as a TV comedian in the theatrical group Kvartal 95. In the month of April, a press conference was held at the platform of a metro station in the city to emphasize a wartime setting.

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

Zelensky’s clothing choices show he is confident and competent in a modern way, to a younger, global audience that recognizes it as such.

She noted that he was likely more comfortable on camera as an actor than as a digital native. Zelensky is doing a better job of balancing authority and accessibility since he wants to come across as a real person.

Journeying to where her husband can’t, Zelenska has shown herself to be an effective communicator in international fora – projecting empathy, style and smarts. She met with King Charles during a visit to a refugee assistance center in London. Time magazine did not have Zelenska on the cover, but they did have a reference to her in the supporting text.

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

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

The second are for Ukrainian jets. Russian and Ukrainians are equipped with dumb weapons that are fired towards a target. More and more Western standard precision weaponry has been given to Ukraine.

During his visit, US President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.8 billion package of assistance for Ukraine that includes a Patriot missile defense system – a longstanding request of Kyiv’s to counter Russian air attacks.

Regardless of the truth of the matter – military aid is secret at the best of times, and Biden wants Putin to hear about billions of dollars in headline figures – he wants Putin to make Ukraine seem like a bottomless pit of money and resources.

The remnants of the Trumpist “America First” elements of that party have echoed doubts about how much aid the US should really be sending to the edges of eastern Europe.

The bill for the slow defeat of Russia in this conflict is relatively light for the US government, given it has a huge defense budget.

After Zelensky’s visit to Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin is not ready for a just-pivotal peace – and neither does the West

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

In his address to Congress, Zelensky briefly discussed a 10-point peace formula and summit that he told Biden about during an earlier meeting at the White House. The Ukrainian leader claimed Biden supported the peace initiatives.

“I think around now, what [Putin] is considering is how to throw more bodies, and that’s what they will be – bodies of Russian conscripts – into the fight in Ukraine,” Clinton said.

“I hope that they will send more than one,” she added. She noted there’s “been some reluctance in the past” by the US and NATO to provide advanced equipment, but added “We’ve seen with our own eyes how effective Ukrainian military is.”

Clinton, who met Putin while he was US Secretary of State, said that the leader is hard to predict because the war is shifting in favor of Ukrainians and his popularity fades at home.

The war between Russia and Kyiv is set for a long confrontation after President Zelensky visited Washington, Moscow said.

Even after the Ukraine war is over, the Biden administration will not tolerate Russia committing crimes against humanity.

Maria Zakharova said that no matter how much military support the West gives, they will not achieve anything.

Russia is preparing for a big increase in military activity. It is gathering everything, doing drills and training. When it comes to an offensive from different directions, as of now, I can say that we are not excluding any scenario in the next two to three weeks.”

Zelensky said that a just peace is not compromises on the sovereignty, freedom, and territorial integrity of our country, the payback for all the damages caused by Russian aggression.

He said there had been no calls for peace or signs of willingness to “listen to Russia’s concerns” during Zelenskyy’s visit, which he said proves that the U.S. is fighting a proxy war with Russia “to the last Ukrainian,” Reuters reports.

When the Ukrainian President returned from Washington, D.C. he had secured billions of dollars in U.S. aid and standing ovations in Congress.

The Kremlin has also been selling that line to the Russian public, who is largely buying it, says Sergey Radchenko, a Russian history professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Zelenskyy and Ukraine are clear that they want a “just peace” and the US has been helping the country defend itself against Russian aggression.

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

“Patriots are a defensive weapons system that will help Ukraine defend itself as Russia sends missile after missile and drone after drone to try and destroy Ukrainian infrastructure and kill Ukrainian civilians,” she said. “If Russia doesn’t want their missiles shot down, Russia should stop sending them into Ukraine.”

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

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

Nikita Yuferev, a municipal lawmaker who fled Russia due to his antiwar stance, said on Thursday that he asked Russian authorities to prosecute Putin for spreading fake information about the army.

There was no decree to end the special military operation according to Yuferev. “Several thousand people have already been condemned for such words about the war.”

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

We never refused, it was the Ukrainian leadership who refused to negotiate, and sooner or later any party involved in the conflict will sit down and negotiate.

Putin’s criticism of Ukraine during the recent war on Ukraine reflects the agenda of the international community, according to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW)

The Kremlin is going to make a big investment in many areas of the military according to Putin and Shoigu. The initiatives include increasing the size of the armed forces, accelerating weapons programs and deploying a new generation of hypersonic missiles to prepare Russia for what Putin called “inevitable clashes” with its adversaries.

“Putin’s discussions of negotiations have focused on putative discussions with the West rather than with Ukraine, and reflect his continual accusations that Ukraine is merely a Western pawn with no real agency,” the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) think tank wrote in its daily assessment of the war on Monday.

As has often been the case throughout the conflict, the vaguely conciliatory tone from Putin was quickly contradicted by a heavy-handed message from one of his key officials.

The foreign minister of Russia said on Monday that Ukraine needs to fulfill Russia’s demands for the ” demilitarization and denazification of Ukrainian-controlled territories”.

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

“The blitzkrieg has gone terribly wrong for them and they know that, so they need more time to regroup and rebuild their troops,” Rodnyansky said, adding that it was also Kremlin’s strategy to dissuade the world from sending more military aid to Ukraine. We must not fall into that trap.

If there is a deal, there could be a reduction in Western military aid to Kyiv. It would have a chance to save Putin’s face if he returned from a costly war with no territorial gains.

Zelensky and his officials have always said that they will keep talking about the possibility of negotiations and not hope for a truce.

Kuleba told the AP that war ends in a diplomatic way. “Every war ends as a result of the actions taken on the battlefield and at the negotiating table.”

The UN would be the most effective broker for those talks, according to the Foreign Minister. He said the United Nations could be the best place for the summit to be held because it was not about making a favor to a certain country. “This is really about bringing everyone on board.”

The steps include a path to nuclear safety, food security, and a final peace treaty with Moscow. He urged G20 leaders to put a price on energy imported from Moscow, as well as make Russia abandon nuclear threats.

The impact of Russian cyber attacks on civilian life in the wake of the Russian cyberattacks on the September 11th birthday of the Republic of Macedonia

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

Zelensky has visited the US in the last ten months, and this time he shows that he wants his allies focused on the conflict.

The director of the Defense Priorities think tank which recently returned from a trip to the Ukrainian capital, says that the central nervous system of the human body is like that. “It’s not only an inconvenience but an enormous economic cost. It is an effort to create pain for the civilian population to show that the government cannot adequately protect them.

Every single one of his comments could be applied to the wave of cyberattacks on the country’s internet five years earlier, when NotPetya was released by the GRU, Menon notes. “They’re different in the technicalities, but the goal is the same,” he says. The demoralizing and punishing of civilians.

Russia hit several regions with an onslaught on Thursday that knocked out power. As the New Year holidays approaches, engineering crews are racing to restore services.

A mother and son were forced to take shelter in the basement of their home after hearing an explosion and air raid sirens. They were surprised, but didn’t let it affect their spirits.

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

Crime and Democracy in Ukraine after the First Day of the Second World War : Military Action, Internet Privacy, and Social Media Shutdowns

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.

At least two people were killed in attacks on Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region. The city was hit by at least four rockets, which were most likely S300s, and the intended target wascritical infrastructure, according to Oleh Synie Hubov, the head of the regional military administration.

Putin claimed that his troops were embarking on a special military operation, and that it would last for a few weeks.

Yet the war has also fundamentally upended Russian life — rupturing a post-Soviet period in which the country pursued, if not always democratic reforms, then at least financial integration and dialogue with the West.

The military or leadership have had harsh laws passed in February. A leading independent monitoring group says that over 20,000 people have been jailed for demonstrating against the war.

High profile opponents of the Russian army have been given long prison sentences for questioning the Russian army’s conduct or strategy.

Even Russia’s most revered human rights group, 2022’s Nobel Prize co-recipient Memorial, was forced to stop its activities over alleged violations of the foreign agents law.

The state has also vastly expanded Russia’s already restrictive anti-LGBT laws, arguing the war in Ukraine reflects a wider attack on “traditional values.”

For now, there are still targets for the repressives. Some of the new laws are not enforced. If the moment arises, few doubt the measures are intended to crush wider dissent.

The new fake news laws forced leading independent media outlets and a few vibrant online investigations to shut down or relocate abroad.

Internet users are subject to restrictions 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. Older Russians like watching angry TV talk shows because of state media propaganda.

Russian Exodus and the Military Campaign: What Have We Learned in the First Half of the Cold Cold War? The Case of Russia, the Prime Minister’s Office, and the Pentagon

Thousands of perceived government opponents, including journalists, left the war because of concerns of persecution.

While Russians remain a sensitive issue in former Soviet republics, several countries that have absorbed the Russian exodus think their economies will grow.

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 among hundreds of corporate brands that stopped or reduced 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, a move likely to make the pain more acute in Europe.

When it comes to Russia’s military campaign, there’s no outward change in the government’s tone. Russia’s Defense Ministry provides daily briefings recounting endless successes on the ground. Putin guarantees that everything is going according to plan.

The length of the war suggests that Russians underestimated the willingness of Ukrainians to resist.

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

“The fear of Russia going into NATO countries and all that, and steamrolling, that has not even come close to happening,” DeSantis said on Fox. “I think they have shown themselves to be a third-rate military power.”

It would have been unimaginable in the past to criticize Russia’s actions out of concern for their own sovereignty. India and China have purchased discounted Russian oil, but have stopped supporting Russia’s military campaign.

The State of the Nation Address in Moscow as Confronted with the War in 2022: How the Western world perceives the Cold War

The state of the nation address was scheduled for April, but was repeatedly delayed and will not happen this year. The annual direct line, in which Putin answers questions from ordinary Russians, was not being held anymore.

The annual December ” big press conference” that gives the Russian leader the ability to handle questions from the pro-Kremlin media was also tabled until 2023.

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

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

Still, as 2022 closes, Europe is left dealing with a set of known unknowns, unimaginable as recently as in January. A year ago, a smaller neighbor excelled in IT and agriculture, but now it is invaded by a military that used to be considered the third most formidable in the world.

Russia has met a West that was willing to let Russia send some of its equipment to the eastern part of the country. Western officials might also be surprised that Russia’s red lines appear to shift constantly, as Moscow realizes how limited its non-nuclear options are. None of this was supposed to happen. Now that Europe has it, what do we do to prepare?

The prospect of a Russian defeat is in the broader picture: that it did not win quickly against an inferior adversary. Mouthpieces on state TV talked about the need to “take the gloves off” after Kharkiv, as if they would not be exposing a fist that had already withered. Revealed almost as a paper-tiger, the Russian military will struggle for decades to regain even a semblance of peer status with NATO. That is perhaps the wider damage for the Kremlin: the years of effort spent rebuilding Moscow’s reputation as a smart, asymmetrical foe with conventional forces to back it up have evaporated in about six months of mismanagement.

And finally, Moscow is left with a question nobody ever wants to learn the answer to: if its supply chains for diesel fuel for tanks 40 miles from its border do not function, then how can they be sure The Button will work, if Putin reaches madly to press it? Nuclear powers can be at greater risk of exposing their missiles and capabilities if they don’t function.

America has done this before. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the most dangerous nuclear confrontation so far, the Soviet Union’s position shifted in a matter of days, ultimately accepting an outcome that favored the West. America might have accepted an inferior compromise if red lines had been in place.

Russian President Vladimir Zelensky asked for a truce to stop the Ukrainian invasion of Ukraine and warned against militarization of the Russian Orthodox Church

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church called for a truce on January 6 and January 7 in order to allow many Orthodox Christians to celebrate Christmas.

Serhiy Haidai, head of the Luhansk regional military administration, told Ukrainian television: “Regarding this truce – they just want to get some kind of a pause for a day or two, to pull even more reserves, bring some more ammo.”

Russian President Putin wants to use Orthodox Christmas as a cover to stop the Ukrainian advance in the eastern Donbas region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Thursday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, a presidential adviser to the Ukrainian government, responded to Putin’s move by saying that Russia should leave the occupied territories in Ukranian before any truce.

US President Joe Biden expressed skepticism on Thursday, telling reporters that he was “reluctant to respond anything Putin says. I found it interesting. He was going to bomb hospitals on the 25th and the New Year.

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

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

Kirill supported Russia’s war in Ukraine and said that military duty wash away all sins in a sermon in September.

The leader of the Russian Orthodox Church has lashed out at Pope Francis for calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine an expansion of Russia.

Orthodox churches inUkraine allowed their churches to celebrate Christmas onDecember 25 instead of the traditional January 7.

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

In the southern part of Kherson, Skotarenko does not expect much to change. People die in Kherson every day. This measure won’t change anything, he said.

A soldier told CNN that the temporary ceasefire announcement from Russia looked like it was meant to clean up their image.

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

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

Halyna Hladka said she believed the temporary ceasefire to be an effort by Russians to win time and that it soured even the most modest celebrations.

Russia has been using faith in a wide range of tricks. She said that Russia has not behaved itself as a country capable of adhering to promises in the course of the war.

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

In an interview with Sky News that aired Tuesday, the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine said that the months would be defining in the war.

“February and March are going to be very active because we are at the edge of a very active phase of hostilities,” Yusov said.

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

U.S. response to the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17: a “no-go” for separatists?

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

Biden’s historic visit came a few days before the one-year anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, providing a symbolic boost to the city.

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

A senior British official told CNN that the odds of Russians being better organized and more successful is not very high.

“They amassed enough manpower to take one or two small cities in Donbas, but that’s it,” a senior Ukrainian diplomat told CNN. It was overwhelming compared to the sense of panic they were trying to build.

The US is not seeing Russia massing its aircraft in order to carry out an attack on Ukraine.

The Problem of Moldova: From Romania’s First Attempt to the Most Enduring Wars in the War for Europe (and to Russia’s Last Standstill in Moldova)

A journalist and analyst focusing on Eastern and Central European affairs has been published by Mr. Gherasim. You can follow him on social media. The views expressed in this commentary are his own. CNN has more opinion.

Moldova is a country at a crossroads between east and west. Its government and most of its citizens want closer ties to the EU, and the country achieved candidacy status last year. But it’s also home to a breakaway faction whose sentiment Moscow has eagerly sought to rile up.

The trips Ana makes from the capital ofRomania to the small country ofMoldova have become more frequent since the power and water went out there.

The President of Moldova said last month that police had found debris from missiles near the village of Larga. It was not the first such incident and it left many wondering what will happen if a stray rocket hits closer to home.

Russia is not very far away in the south ofUkraine, along the Black Sea coast. Importantly, it separates southern Ukraine from NATO and EU-member Romania, to the west.

Seizing Odesa could have allowed Russia’s army to connect with that territory where some 1,500 Russian troops are stationed—turning the tiny sliver of land into a new Donbas, this time much closer to the doorstep of NATO and the EU.

When Moldova became independent the following year, Russia quickly inserted itself as a so-called “peacekeeping force” in Transnistria, sending troops in to back pro-Moscow separatists there.

During his visit to Chisinau, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres mentioned thatMoldova is the country with the most refugees, as a proportion of its own population. He mentioned that the country finds itself on the “front line of preservation, peace and stability in the world.” So what does that mean?

Firstly, Moldova took substantial pressure off Europe’s shoulders in dealing with refugees. The amount of Ukrainian refugees spread out across Europe and beyond is significant for a small country but alleviates some pressure on other countries in the region.

The problems ofMoldova have something to do with internal factors. The country’s corruption and oligarchic system are decades-long issues that the current pro-EU government has struggled to curb. A recent Council of Europe report highlighted the judicial system’s weaknesses, with the system coming under scrutiny following a contest for the top job of chief prosecutor.

Moldova is also losing its people. According to World Bank statistics, Moldova has lost more than 12% of its population since 1991, as it has been hit hard by the demographic decline seen throughout many parts of post-communist Europe.

Gazprom has slashed its gas exports to Moldova and Ukraine has halted energy exports altogether due to Russian missile attacks. Russian attacks onUkraine caused power shortages in half ofMoldova. There is only 10% of electricity produced by itself in Moldova, and this is because of all this.

Sandu, who is plain spoken and charismatic, is leading a charmoffensive, as well as meeting with Western leaders, helping to bring attention to the plight of Moldova. There is nothing worse forMoldova than being ignored and forgotten in the world.

Ukranian troops launched a counterattack on the Belarus-Ukraine border during the February 24 Russian assault on the Minsk dictatorship

“We are peaceful people. We know what war is and we don’t want war,” the authoritarian leader Lukashenko, who has close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, said at a press conference in Minsk on Thursday.

The Ukrainian side of the border is barricaded with barbed wire and earth mounds to prevent anyone from entering, according to CNN.

Belarusian officials told CNN the border crossing from their side in the small town of Dyvin is still functioning but that the Ukrainian side has closed the crossing.

The flag on the Ukrainian side of the border crossing was a red and white one, which was seen by the CNN team.

Russian troops began their attack on February 24 after months of amassing along the Ukrainian border. Russia launched a series of cruise missile attacks on targets within Ukranians in the first days of the assault. More recently, the two nations have engaged in joint military drills near the Belarus-Ukraine crossing.

One Year Putin Russia Wrap Opinions: The Case of Kyiv and Zaporizhzhia in February 2022

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

In the space of a year, the war has claimed tens of thousands of lives and displaced millions more. It has wreaked havoc, decimated cities and caused a food and energy crisis that tested the resolve of western alliances.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/18/opinions/one-year-anniversary-putin-war-ukraine-russia-wrap-opinions-ctpr/index.html

I left Russia to join forces with other Ukrainians, and began to rebuild. After the invasion of Hungary, my husband and two daughters lived in a Ukrainian country

Zaporizhzhia, February 23, 2022. I went to bed thinking that I would celebrate my husband’s birthday the next day. Our life was getting better. My husband was running his own business. Our daughter was a student and made friends at school. We were able to find a special needs nursery for our son because of the support services we had arranged. 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 always be grateful to all the people that helped me and my family in our transition to a foreign land.

My husband had a job thanks to the opportunities for Ukrainians in the Czech Republic. Special needs classes have been found for my son. He now attends an adaptation group for Ukrainian children and has a learning support assistant. My daughter is studying in a Ukrainian school while she goes to a Czech school.

That morning we woke up to learn that the invasion started. 12 Russian writers, directors and cultural figures have signed a letter I wrote condemning the war. Soon it was published, and tens of thousands of Russian citizens added their signatures.

On the third day, our family left Russia. I believed it was a moral obligation. I was no longer allowed to stay in the territory of the state that had become fascist.

We moved to Berlin. Thousands of Ukrainians were arriving every day at the refugee camp, so my husband volunteered to work there. I started writing a new book. It starts like this:

The book is a confession. I am guilty for not reading the signs much earlier. I am responsible for the war between Russia and Ukraine. My peers and our forebears are as well. The Russian culture is to blame for all these horrible things.

This whole year has been full of tears and worries. I read the news about people who were killed by Russians, such as a teammate, the director of a school, or the parents of a friend.

This has been a war of history repeating itself, as was witnessed when the forced removal of upwards of 2.5 million Ukrainians, including 38,000 children, and the theft of Ukrainian grain, all took place within a short period of time.

The eyes of three old men thrust into our van in Posad Pokhrovka, in the early days of the war, desperate to flee shelling that had torn their world apart, still haunt me: Not even the Nazis beat them like that, they said, sobbing. They didn’t think they could live to see worse than the 1940s.

A year into the full-scale invasion, my passport is a novel in stamps. My life is split between London, where I teach Ukrainian literature, and Ukraine, where I get my lessons in courage.

My former classmates from Zaporizhzhia whom, based on our teenage habits, I expected to perish from addictions a long time ago, have volunteered to fight. I expected my hairdresser to be a sweet summer child but she fled on foot through the forest with her mother, grandmother, and five dogs.

The capital of my country has withstood many terrorist attacks over the past year, and is still standing despite predictions that it would fall in three days. These dark winter nights, one sees so many stars over Kyiv which the Russians have only managed to bring closer to eternity.

Andrei Kolesnikov is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is the author of several books on the political and social history of Russia, including “Five Five-Year Liberal Reforms.” Russian Modernization and Egor Gaidar’s Legacy are the beginnings of it.

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

By aborting the past, he canceled the future. It is easier to live this way for those who take for granted everything your superiors tell you and who prefer to support Putin.

The catastrophe that happened to me, and my family, is impossible to adapt to. The authorities labeled me a foreign agent because I was an active commentator on the events, which made them think that I was living in an anti-utopia.

On the night of 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. I loved taking care of it. I was happy with the life I had. The small routines and struggles are all part of it. That night was the last time my life mattered.

On the morning of June 3, I had my phone buzzing with messages and missed calls. The headline on the website was red and read: “PUTIN DECLARES WAR ON UKRAINE.”

The First Battle of the Cold War: How I Met My Father, and How I Went on the Frontline to Save our Flag. How I Made My First Rejoinder

I remember talking to colleagues, trying to assemble and coordinate a small army of volunteers to strengthen the newsroom. And calling my parents to organize buying supplies.

The small things began to fall apart as soon as I knew about them. It made no difference which cup I used to drink, whether or not I took a shower, or how I dressed. Life itself no longer mattered, only the battle did.

Just a few weeks into the full-scale invasion it was already hard to remember the struggles, sorrows and joyful moments of the pre-war era. I would remember being upset about my boyfriend, but I could no longer relate. My life didn’t change on February 24, it was stolen from me on that day.

Life values have changed. Like never before, I enjoy every opportunity to see or talk to relatives and friends. I believe that we will win and that we will return to our beloved country. We need the world to help us.

I was no longer concerned with my personal ambitions. Only the common goal was crucial – to raise our flag and show that we are fighting even under these circumstances.

I couldn’t enjoy my victories on the track. They were only possible because so many defenders had laid down their lives. But I got messages from soldiers on the frontline. It was my main motivation to keep working, because they were so happy to follow our achievements.

The Human Cost of the Cold War: Russia’s Ambiguities, the Ripples Beyond Ukraine’s Borders, and the Military and Diplomatic Strikes to Stop the War

In a special report, NPR’s Leila Fadel explores the human cost of Russia’s ambitions, the ripple effects beyond Ukraine’s borders, and the diplomatic and military efforts to stop the war.

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

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

Taiwan’s foreign minister said his country is keeping a wary eye on China and that he was learning from the war in Ukraine.

“They have expansionist motivation. They would like to expand their sphere of influence. They want to continue to expand their power. And if they are not stopped, then they will continue to march on,” Wu told us.

The Blinken-Vaviev Family Car in the First Days of World War II: Insights from the Secretary of State

“We’ve managed to avoid conflict directly between great powers,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NPR. “This system works for all it’s flaws.” It’s being challenged now.

They tried to flee in the first days of the war, but the family car was shelled, Natalia believes, by Russian forces. Her husband and nephew were killed in the line of duty. Vova was hospitalized for months with multiple bullets in his body and survived the attack.

The audio for this story was produced by Danny Hajek. Additional editing and production help was given by Carol Klinger. Hanna Palamarenko and Tanya Ustova provided reporting and translation help.

Vladimir Putin’s Special Military Operations: What has the Kremlin learned from his visit to Chechnya? When did Putin and Tatarstan go to Ukraine?

I should explain. Chechnya claimed independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Tatarstan was the other one. World leaders were fed up with the fact that all of the union republics that they had for decades viewed simply as administrative parts of Russia were actually real things. Ichkeria, an independent state, didn’t have the best chance of being recognized because of the West’s shock at the new geography.

iden received security guarantees in advance and finally went to Kyiv. There were disagreements about the victory that would come with new weapons and a brave people. And here it is important to note that the West already delivers weapons and money to Kyiv quite regularly. The military-industrial complex of NATO countries could make money and steal weapons to sell to terrorists around the world.

Russian army veteran and former Federal Security Service (FSB) officer Igor Girkin meanwhile suggested that Biden could have visited the frontlines in eastern Ukraine and escaped unharmed.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if the grandfather (he is not good for anything but simple provocations anyway) is brought to Bakhmut as well… AND NOTHING WILL HAPPEN TO HIM,” Girkin said.

Many hardline military experts, most of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers, give analysis of the conflict for large swaths of the Russian population, and they criticize what they call a soft approach on the battlefield by Putin’s generals.

The first anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia is just around the corner, and President Joe Biden visited the capital of the country.

Medvedev, who is the deputy head of Russia’s Security Council, is known to make statements that may be seen as trying to bolster his nationalist credentials.

Participants of what Russia refers to as its “special military operation” will be in attendance but foreign guests or representatives will not be invited, the Kremlin’s spokesperson told reporters Monday.

The risky trip on Monday to an active war zone was not just a powerful symbol of American support, it was a shot in the arm to a population that has endured Russia’s devastating attacks on civilian apartment blocks, hospitals, schools and the power stations that provide heat and electricity.

“It’s just something unbelievable that at a time like this the President of the United States is coming to Kyiv,” Andrei Ketov, a 48-year-old Ukrainian service member, told CNN.

Biden will give a major speech the day after his visit to Ukranianstan in order to rally the world to its side and continue to help it fight against autocracy.

Recall that in the early days of the invasion, Ukraine said it found Russian forces had brought along their dress uniforms apparently expecting a victory parade.

What Biden’s War in Ukraine Means for the United States and the American-Russia Relationships, and Why he’s Going to Ukraine

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

Biden made mincemeat of Putin’s strategy to make it look as if the war was a result of a Ukrainian provocation, revealing the plan before it unfolded. He rallied the NATO alliance that was so badly disliked by former President Donald Trump.

Zelensky said Biden’s visit will have repercussions on the battlefield, adding it will bring us closer to victory.

Of course, some GOP members criticized Biden for going to Ukraine. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene called the trip “incredibly insulting,” a sign of an “America Last” policy. ScottPerry, the congressman at the center of a legal dispute with the Justice Department over his cell phone, described as “breathtaking” that Biden would helpUkraine defend its borders and not do the same for America.

The developments of this week are not likely to mean that the future national security threats from Beijing and Moscow are the same. The war in Ukraine has often exposed Russian weakness while worries about China’s rising power will preoccupy Washington for much of this century. There is no formal alliance between the US foes and they are both trying to harm American interests by working together.

Relations between Beijing and Moscow are reaching new junctures, after Putin welcomed Wang and told him they were doing well.

The two nations are often in a state of chaos, but there are opportunities in crises, Wang told Putin.

The idea of a global contest between democracies and autocracies seemed theoretical and intangible when Biden voiced it while running for president. Now it is all too real.

And this new and complicated foreign policy picture is not just a problem for American diplomats. Rising challenges abroad as well, as the depletion of US and Western weapons stocks as arms are sent to Ukraine, pose questions about military capacity and whether current defense spending is sufficient. Key Republicans meanwhile are accusing Biden of snubbing voters facing economic and other problems, even as he tries to position Democrats as the protectors of working Americans as the 2024 campaign dawns.

And Biden vowed, “President Putin’s craven lust for land and power will fail, and the Ukrainian people’s love for their country will prevail,” he added.

The estrangement between the US and Russia is close to being over, as demonstrated by Biden’s trip.

On Tuesday, Putin announced that Russia would be suspending its participation in the New START treaty. It was not clear what practical impact this would have since Moscow has stopped fully implementing the deal.

Russia lacks resources to launch a new nuclear arms race with the US because it’s struggling and its forces are under intense pressure. But the collapse of one of the last building blocks of a post-Cold War thaw between Russia and the US exemplifies the almost total lack of communication between the rivals.

When the two top nuclear powers aren’t talking it’s dangerous, that’s the reason why the US is willing to talk to Russia no matter what.

Even as it confronts Russia in Ukraine, the US is seeking to dampen its latest crisis with China – over what Washington says was a Chinese spy balloon that wafted over the continental US earlier this month. The US warned China not to supply arms to Russia that it could use in the war in Ukraine, as Wang was about to go to Moscow.

US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield warned on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday that such a step would cross a US red line but did not specify what consequences could result.

War is death in a muddy foxhole: A major disappointment in Europe from the first anniversary of the Staircase bombings of June 11, 2001

The war in Ukraine is seen in China as a way for the US to exert its power in the region and so, it is possible that China will not hurry to end the war.

Newlyweds who separated after saying their vows to make their groomsman return to the front are what I remember most from last year. A tax preparer in Boston decided to quit her job and go back to Ukraine with suitcases full of medical supplies. The wife of a border guard who made the three-hour round trip from Lviv to the Polish border almost daily to drop off fleeing women and children and pick up weapons and supplies.

The sad thing is that people who survived deadly waves of Covid only to get their revenge on 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. Farmers in a breadbasket of the world have gone hungry and are hiding in bomb shelters. It is nonsensical that Putin declared Ukrainians to be part of his people before he sent his army into the country, where they are accused of raping and murdering civilians.

Governments gussy up war. They say victory gives soldiers hope and the will to fight on. But in the end, war is death in a muddy foxhole. It’s an existential fight over a frozen field with no strategic value. There are new generational grudges that are caused by it. It is an $11 billion, approximately 740-mile pipeline that was laid across the Baltic Sea. It is one of the largest steel plants in Europe unable to produce a single metal sheet. It’s a charming seaside city emptied out by bombings and siege.

Europe of a year ago was a significant surprise in where we find ourselves today, as it reminded the West of its values and purpose.

What Is Left Behind in the Ukranian War of 1917? Where did the Russian Dead Came from? How we Lost Mykolaiv

The Russian dead I witnessed, sprawled all over the roadside as Ukraine advanced in Kherson this summer, were scruffy, with a sleeping mat and workout gloves for comfort, and only rusting armor at their backs.

What is most startling is that the choice Moscow has imposed on the West is that it is to seek its strategic defeat in Ukranian rather than its limited appeasement.

Defense budgets were growing in recognition of Russian malice, but the broad hope was that Putin would be a benign, grumpy neighbor arguing over the border fence, rather than a savage marauder bent on restoring an empire so aged in concept not even he was old enough to have seen it in full.

Is it a bad thing? For Ukraine, yes, whose sacrifice should never have had to happen. So much loss remains hidden: I recall being inside and shivering outside the administration building of Mykolaiv at the start of the war. I have no idea how many people were inside when it was destroyed by a missile.

Zelensky said that victory will be inevitable after he answered a question from Christiane Amanpour. I am certain that there will be a victory.

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.”

Ukraine’s first anniversary of the First World War: Zelensky, Poland, and the U.K. The prime minister in Kyiv

Zelensky used the first anniversary of the war to rally troops and renew calls for international assistance for his country. He handed out awards to soldiers and visited wounded service members before holding the rare press conference.

Earlier on Friday morning, the Ukrainian leader addressed members of the military in Kyiv. He told them that they would be the ones to decide the country’s future.

Ukraine’s international allies showed their solidarity on Friday, with landmarks around the world lit up in colors of the Ukrainian flag, and new weapons and funding announcements.

The Secretary of State called on the international community not to let Putin’s crimes become normal at the UN 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 promised to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

And Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he intends to present the idea of imposing new sanctions against Russia during a virtual meeting with G7 leaders and Zelensky.

She went to the monastery to honor two former students from her school who lost their lives fighting in the war.

It was a bitterly cold morning in Kyiv, but Pahitsky said she felt it was her duty as the student president of her school to represent her classmates and pay her respects to the fallen heroes.

“Their photographs are here on the main street. It’s a great honor. They died as liberators. It is very important for us. And it would have been for them,” she said.

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2023/02/24/europe/kyiv-war-anniversary-intl-cmd/index.html

Moldovan President Maia Sandu says it is “sabotaged” to “exploit the information space in the country with democracy and territorial integrity”

Olexander Atamas, who was an IT worker before the war and now serves with the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, said it was hard to describe his feelings on Friday.

He told CNN that he didn’t feel fear but he did feel confidence in his abilities. I was stressed and frightened a year ago. There is no fear at the moment.

Moldova’s President, Maia Sandu, has accused Russia of using “saboteurs” disguised as civilians to stoke unrest amid a period of political instability, echoing similar warnings from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Although there is no sign he has accepted her invite to visit, the White House did say he reaffirmed support for Moldova’s “sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Sandu stated that the government planned a series of attacks on government buildings and hostage-taking by saboteurs who had undergone military training and were pretending to be civilians.

“It was the case before – we have seen constant activities of Russia trying to explore and exploit the information space in Moldova using propaganda,” Groza said.

“I do see lots of fingerprints of Russian forces, Russian services in Moldova,” Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told CBS last Sunday. “This is a very weak country, and we all need to help them.”

War with Moldovan forces ensued, and the conflict ended in deadlock in 1992. Despite not being recognized internationally, Transnistria was still left as a de-facto state by Moldovan forces. Chisinau has no control over the territory as a result of the deadlock, and its estimated 500,000 inhabitants are sitting in limbo.

Previous post Federal teams are giving flyers to East Palestine families and conducting health surveys after a toxic train wreck
Next post The war in Ukraine is being reported live