The Crimea Bridge Blast: Russia’s Special Services Applied to a Russian Nationalist and a Daughter of a Prominent Soldier
WASHINGTON — United States intelligence agencies believe parts of the Ukrainian government authorized the car bomb attack near Moscow in August that killed Daria Dugina, the daughter of a prominent Russian nationalist, an element of a covert campaign that U.S. officials fear could widen the conflict.
The US did not take part in the attack because of intelligence or assistance, according to officials. The Americans would have objected to the killing if they’d been aware of it. Afterward, American officials admonished Ukrainian officials over the assassination, they said.
Putin blames Ukraine for attack on Crimean bridge: Ukraine has not claimed responsibility for the Crimea bridge blast, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused Ukrainian “special services” of the attack. The strikes were in response to the attack but Ukrainian intelligence said the strikes had been planned before the attack.
The strikes on Monday come on the heels of other attacks across the country. Last week, Russian forces intensified missile attacks on residential buildings in Zaporizhzhia over the past week, with at least 43 civilians dead in the past week, including 14 on Saturday alone, according to Zelensky. Then the huge explosion occurred early Saturday severely damaging the only bridge connecting annexed Crimea to the Russian mainland, causing parts of the structure to collapse. At least three people were were killed, according to Russian officials. Putin said the blasts were the work of a group of Ukrainian special services.
Ukraine’s rebuke to Russia: “The Russian attack on Crimea is coming to a close look,” said President Zelensky
He said the route of the truck was already established, and it had taken it to Russia, as well as to Georgia, North Ossetia, and Bulgaria.
There were conflicting reports on the scale of the attacks. An adviser to President Volodymyr Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, said in an earlier post that Russia had launched more than 120 missiles. He said the goal of the attack was to destroy critical infrastructure and kill people.
Ukraine struck two military bases inside Russia. According to The New York Times, there was a demonstration of Ukraine’s willingness to take the battle deep into Russia and capable of attacking at a distance.
The huge Russian response seemed to be intended to calm Putin’s allies who have grown increasingly critical of his military strategy as Russian forces have repeatedly ceded territory to an ongoing Ukrainian advance. Many had been openly lobbying President Putin to strike Ukraine harder.
The main hot spots in Donbas areneighboring towns. Soledar and Bakhmut, where extremely heavy fighting continues,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in a video address Sunday.
The attack and response of Putin to angry war hawks after the Kiev-Kuznetskaya-Muzdov bridge
The residents watched as emergency crews tried to reach the upper floors of a building that took a direct hit. A chasm at least 30 feet in diameter smoldered where apartments once stood. The missile barrage blew windows and doors out of their frames in an apartment building next to it. Twenty private homes and 50 apartment buildings were damaged, according to the city council Secretary.
“There was one explosion, then another one,” 76-year-old Mucola Markovich said. The fourth-floor apartment he shared with his wife disappeared in a flash.
About 3 kilometers (2 miles) away in another neighborhood ravaged by a missile, three volunteers dug a shallow grave for a German shepherd killed in the strike, the dog’s leg blown away by the blast.
Abbas Gallyamov, a political analyst and a former speech writer for Putin, said that the Russian president had not responded sufficiently to angry war hawks after the bridge explosion. The attack and response, he said, has “inspired the opposition, while the loyalists are demoralized.”
They see when the authorities say everything is going according to plan that they’re lying, and that demoralizes them.
The bridge was opened by Putin in May of last year, as a way of protesting Moscow’s claim to the peninsula. The bridge, the longest in Europe, is vital to sustaining Russia’s military operations in southern Ukraine.
A lot of Russians like to travel to the vacation resort of Crimea. On Sunday people trying to get to the bridge and Russian mainland were stuck in traffic.
Lyman, Ukraine: Ground-based infrastructure is under attack in the last few days after a Russian bombardment of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv
— In the devastated Ukrainian city of Lyman, which was recently recaptured after a months-long Russian occupation, Ukrainian national police said authorities have exhumed the first 20 bodies from a mass burial site. Initial indications are that around 200 civilians are buried in one location, and that another grave contains the bodies of fallen Ukrainian soldiers. The civilians, including children, were buried in single graves and the military were buried in a 40-meter trench, according to police.
According to the General Staff, air strikes were held on the front lines in and around the city of DONETSK. In the last few weeks Russian forces have attempted to break down Ukrainian defenses with the aid of tanks and artillery.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, meanwhile, said that the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant had been reconnected to the grid after losing its last external power source.
Russia attacked the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv with drones on Sunday, causing at least two people to be hurt and causing damage to key infrastructure.
At one point in October, the Ukrenergo state power generator said that some 40% of the electrical supply was offline because of the Russian bombardments. In December, the CEO of power supplier YASNO told CNN that Ukrainians will probably have to endure some power cuts for at least the end of March.
The situation in Ukraine will be de-escalated soon, according to China. India has said it is “deeply concerned” by the escalation of the conflict and said that “escalation of hostilities is in no one’s interest,” urging an “immediate cessation of hostilities” and return to the “path of dialogue. Other European leaders also condemned the attack.
The Ukrainian military claimed around 400 Russian soldiers were killed and 300 others were wounded, without acknowledging a role. CNN can’t verify the numbers or weapons used in the strike. The number of dead and wounded is estimated by some pro-Russian military bloggers to be hundreds.
There’s no doubt this week’s missile attacks, beyond causing dozens of casualties, have inflicted significant damage. About 30% of the energy infrastructure in the country has been hit by Russian missiles since Monday, according to the Energy Minister.
“It’s a tough morning when you’re dealing with terrorists,” said Zelenskyy in the video, which recalled the selfie he took the night Russia invaded in February. “They’re choosing targets to harm as many people as possible.”
The explosion of a concert hall in Kyiv’s capital, Riga, killed in a rush hour train blast, the head of transport for Dnipro’s city council
The National Philharmonic concert hall and at least two museums were damaged in the city of Kyiv. The main passenger terminal in the country was damaged by a nearby strike, which caused trains to be delayed.
Ihor Makovtsev, head of the department of transport for Dnipro’s city council, said that it happened at rush hour as lots of public transport was operating. The bus driver and four of his passengers were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.
“It’s difficult for me to find any logic to their so-called artillery work because all our transportation is only for civilian purposes,” Makovtsev said.
The windows of the first floor balcony had been torn down and replaced by another building next to the bus stop. There was shattered glass on the ground. He said he had been watering the plants on his balcony just minutes before the blast, but went to his kitchen to make breakfast.
He said that the explosion blew open his cabinets and nearly knocked him to the ground. “Only five minutes before, and I would have been on the balcony, full of glass.”
Russian Forces in Ukraine after the November 11 Attack: Air Raiders, Shocks, and the Future of the War on the Invasion
Ukraine’s allies understand this need. General Mark Milley, chairman of the US Joint Chefs of Staff, said that after Russia attacked the Ukrainian civilian population, they will be looking for air defense options that will help the Ukrainians.
“We warned Zelenskyy that Russia hadn’t really started yet,” wrote Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, a loyalist to Putin who repeatedly has attacked Russia’s Defense Ministry for incompetence in carrying out the military campaign.
Russian missile strikes hit several regions in Ukraine over the weekend, causing air raid sirens to sound. The attacks killed at least six people in the Donetsk, Kharkiv and Chernihiv regions, while a man was injured early Monday.
More than 30 fires broke out across 12 regions and the capital, and the emergency services said the blazes have been put out.
As Ukraine races to shore up its missile defenses in the wake of the assault, the math for Moscow is simple: A percentage of projectiles are bound to get through.
The great unknown is just how far such a blitz is depleting Russian inventories – and whether increasingly they will resort to stocks of older, less accurate but equally powerful missiles.
As of November, Iran was preparing to send about 1,000 more weapons, including surface-to-surface short-range ballistic missiles and more attack drones, to Russia to use in its war against Ukraine, officials from a western country that closely monitors Iran’s weapons program told CNN at the time.
“Russia has Kinzhal-type missiles that strike at ballistic trajectory,” Ihnat said on Monday. They have Kh-22 missiles and S-300 and S-400 rockets that hit at a certain trajectory in the sky. We’re facing challenges and threats at the moment.
He told Richard that it was the first time since the start of the war that Russia had targeted energy infrastructure.
A senior Defense Department official added that work was continuing on improving Ukrainian air defenses, including “finding Soviet-era capabilities to make sure that countries were ready (and) could donate them and help move those capabilities.”
Ukrainian air defense battalions have become innovative: One video from Monday, referenced by Zelensky, showed a soldier using a shoulder-held missile to bring down a Russian projectile, purportedly a cruise missile.
Estimating the proportion of Iranian-made Shahed drones being eliminated is more difficult, because so many are being used. Zelensky said that he received a message about the Iranian Shaheds every 10 minutes. But he also said the bulk of them were being shot down.
Ukraine has repeatedly asked its allies to supply it with more air defense systems and ammunition after Russia stepped up its use of “kamikaze drones” in its brutal assault against the country.
He said that the system would not “control all the airspace over Ukraine, but they are designed to control priority targets that Ukraine needs to protect.” They are short-range low-altitude systems, medium-range medium altitude and then long-range and high altitude systems, and that is what you are looking at.
The systems from the west are starting to trickle in. Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Tuesday that a “new era of air defense has begun” with the arrival of the first IRIS-T from Germany, and two units of the US National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAM) expected soon.
“This is only the beginning. And we need more,” Reznikov said Wednesday before tweeting as he met with Ukraine’s donors at the Brussels meeting:” Item #1 on today’s agenda is strengthening (Ukraine’s) air defense. It feels like I am feeling optimistic.
These are items that you would find in a store. The IRIS-T had to be manufactured for Ukraine. Western governments have limited inventories of such systems. Ukraine is being attacked with missiles from three directions.
On the attack on the Oct. 8 Ukrainian bridge: Podolyak, Barr, Waters and other experts disagree with the evidence for an air defence truck
Ukraine’s senior military commander, General Valerii Zaluzhnyi, tweeted Tuesday his thanks to Poland as “brothers in arms” for training an air defense battalion that had destroyed nine of 11 Shaheeds.
He said “Ukrainian sky defenders” had shot down 10 of the 15 drones, but the damage was still “critical” and he suggested it will take a few days to restore electricity supply in the region.
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said that Russian drone strikes on the southern port city of Odesa left more than 1.5 million people in that region without power Saturday night, the latest attacks in an ongoing series of assaults on Ukrainian energy infrastructure by the Kremlin.
But Mykhailo Podolyak, a top adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, says Ukrainian intelligence believes that Russian forces planned the attack as a pretense to escalate the war in Ukraine.
Podolyak told Ukraine’s national broadcaster that the bridge incident gave the Russian military a convenient alibi for its losses in southern Ukraine.
There are lots of theories surrounding the Oct. 8 attack in Ukraine and how they did it. Andrew Barr, who does impact dynamics research at the University of Edinburgh, says it’s difficult to be certain about this despite all of the publicly available photos and videos.
The new photos show bent support beams on the Russia-bound lanes. The side of the bridge that was hit by the blast is now open to traffic.
Nick Waters, an analyst with the digital forensics firm Bellingcat, points out that the bridge’s underside shows barely any blast damage, dismissing a popular Ukrainian theory that a special naval operation destroyed the bridge from below.
Many in the country celebrated a Ukrainian victory because of the bridge’s symbolic value to Russia when it was destroyed, but Ukraine has not taken credit.
A video of an “examining of the truck” and its “X-ray” was published by the Russian Federal Security Service. Where on the “x-ray” another axle with wheels and a frame disappeared, the FSB does not specify ???? pic.twitter.com/onKbOndxVO
After Russian state media posted the government’s evidence for a truck bomb — the alleged truck involved and a X-ray scan of its cargo — Ukrainian journalists pointed out that the two images showed different trucks.
He says that the bridge is meant to have a single section of road floating above several piers and separate from other sections. One span falling into the water pulls other spans with it.
Based on the ways the flames repeatedly shot out from the blast site, Barr also suggests that the truck was loaded with specialized compounds that burned hot enough to ignite a passing fuel train traveling on a parallel rail bridge, severely weakening it.
Mika Tyry told YLE that the sparks and flames were consistent with a thermite bomb. Russia’s military has been known to use thermite, though Ukraine could have recovered the substance from unexploded Russian munitions.
“It’s a successful attack on a guarded structure, with advanced explosives, and timed with the train,” Barr says. “That’s highly suggestive of a carefully planned military operation rather than a lone actor or other group.”
Ukraine’s Nuclear Power Plant in Zaporizhzhia: “Massive, Forced Deportations of Ukrainians” and “Chiral Children”
Kamikaze drones, or suicide drones, are small, portable aerial weapon systems that are hard to detect and can be fired at a distance. They can be easily launched and are designed to hit behind enemy lines and be destroyed in the attack.
Meanwhile, Russia opened an investigation into a shooting in that region Saturday in which two men from a former Soviet republic who were training at a military firing range killed 11 and wounded 15 during target practice, before being slain themselves. The Russian Defense Ministry called it an act of terrorism.
Russia is accused of including convicts with long sentences for serious crimes in return for pay and amnesty by Western intelligence officials.
Video reportedly from the scene of the attack is circulating widely on Telegram, including on an official Ukrainian military channel. Almost no part of the building can be seen in the pile of smoking rubble.
“This is the third quiet night in 5.5 months since the Russians started shelling” the areas around the city of Nikopol, Reznichenko wrote. The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, located near the Dnieper River, is under the control of the Russian forces.
The Region of Zaporizhzhia was annexed by Russia last month despite the fact that some 20% of it is under Ukrainian military control.
France is promising air-defense missiles and stepped up military training to Ukraine in an attempt to puncture its perception of lagging in supporting it. Sébastien Lecornu, France’s defense minister, said in an interview published in Le Parisien that up to 2,000 Ukrainian soldiers would be embedded with military units in France for several weeks of combat training and specialized training.
— The Institute for the Study of War, a think tank in Washington, accused Moscow late Saturday of conducting “massive, forced deportations of Ukrainians,” which it said likely amount to ethnic cleansing.
It referenced statements made this week by Russian authorities that claimed that “several thousand” children from a southern region occupied by Moscow had been placed in rest homes and children’s camps amid the Ukrainian counteroffensive. The original remarks by Marat were reported on Friday by RIA Novosti.
Russian authorities have previously admitted to placing children from Russian-held areas of Ukraine, who they said were orphans, for adoption with Russian families, in a potential breach of an international treaty on genocide prevention.
Serhiy Hrabskiy, a retired colonel and commentator on the war for Ukrainian news media, said that Ukraine’s military has not hesitated to hit airfields, fuel tanks and ammunition depots that are legitimate military targets. As the war moved closer to Russia, targeting sites in the occupied peninsula have become routine.
Girkin has long decried Russian generals whom he claims direct the war effort far from the frontline. A Dutch court found him guilty of mass murderer for his part in the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, and he was sentenced to death.
There is an international wanted list over his involvement in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight. He remains the most high-profile suspect in a related murder trial in a Dutch court, with a verdict expected Nov. 17.
Recently, Girkin’s social media posts have lashed out at Moscow’s battlefield failures. Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency said Sunday it would offer a $100,000 reward to anyone who captures him.
There were attacks on infrastructure near the main rail station in the city, but lines were working as usual on Monday.
“”The enemy can attack our cities, but it won’t be able to break us. The occupiers will get only fair punishment and condemnation of future generations, and we will get victory,” wrote Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
The chief-of-staff at Zelenskyy called on the west to give Ukraine more air defense systems. He said that they don’t have time for slow actions.
The photo of the bomb labeled “Geran-2” was removed from the post after commenters criticized him for his confirmation of a Russian strike.
State of Ukraine: News from Brussels, Brussels, Luxembourg and the epoch of cooperation in the U.S., Russia, and the Middle East
European Union foreign ministers are expected to meet in Luxembourg. Before the meeting, Josep Borrell, the EU’s top diplomat, told reporters that the bloc would look into “concrete evidence” of Iran’s involvement in Ukraine.
The last shipment of weapons from Iran to Russia included about 450 drones, officials said, which the Russians have already used to deadly effect in Ukraine. Ukrainian officials said last week that they have shot down hundreds of Iranian drones.
The Iran expert at the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that the partnership of convenience was between the two dictatorships.
Both countries are experiencing crisis and struggling to move forward. Iran is trying to calm street protests that pose the most significant challenge to the government in years, and Russia is trying to keep its people happy over the war effort.
Nuclear deterrence exercises will start on Monday. 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 are suspected of having carried out a big explosion on a bridge to the peninsula.
The United Nations General Assembly roundly condemned Russia’s move to illegally annex four regions of Ukraine. Four countries voted with Russia, but not all of them voted in favor of Ukrainian’s resolution.
Russian troops began arriving in Belarus Oct. 15, which Minsk said were the first convoys of almost 9,000 service members expected as part of a “regional grouping” of forces allegedly to protect Belarus from threats at the border from Ukraine and the West.
You can read past recaps here. More in-depth coverage of NPR’s coverage can be found here. Listen and subscribe to the State ofUkrainePodcast for the day’s updates.
Iran is sending advanced precision guided missiles to Ukraine, and the U.S. is anticipating a Russian kamikaze drone strike
The Shahed drones are slower than the other ones, according to a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Cancian said that the problem with them is that they’re slow. “They’re propeller-driven and you know, like all propeller-driven drones, they’re just not very fast so they’re susceptible to being shot down by either missiles or by aircraft guns.”
The shipment is being closely monitored because it would be the first instance of Iran sending advanced precision guided missiles to Russia, which could give the Kremlin a substantial boost on the battlefield.
“Iran has time and again declared that it is siding with no side in the Russia-Ukraine war. Iran has not given arms to either warring side,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter.
The Russian decision to target cities was compared to the German bombing of London in World War II by both Nadimi and Cancian.
By focusing on the cities, Cancian added, Ukraine’s military would likely have more time to recover on the front lines, similar to Britain’s recovery in WWII.
The U.S. is speeding up its delivery of the same ground-based air defense systems that protect the White House in Washington, D.C. and are expected to be there in just a few weeks.
A pregnant woman and her husband killed in Kyiv by what Ukrainian officials said was a Russian “kamikaze” drone strike were inseparable, like “yin and yang,” their close friend has told CNN.
The four-year-old family of Ukrainianraine were attacked by a Russian-made drone, according to the death of Victoria Zamchenko
The people had lots of plans, including a home, children, and travel. They had big plans for this life, according to Petrukova.
Ukrainian officials said that a family of four died at home on Monday, after being attacked by Russian-made drones.
Petrukova, who was in phone contact with Victoria Zamchenko just minutes before her death, said the first drone strikes Monday had trapped the couple in their apartment.
There was a hit at the thermal power plant and they had to stay in the house. They were sitting in the corridor.
“The last message from her was at 8:18 a.m. [when] she heard two more incoming hits. There was a fifth one after that. And the connection with her was lost.”
When she and I met Kyiv, an old friend of her mother, I would have been devastated to know how she ended up in Ukraine
She came home to Kyiv from her hometown of Rinve in westernUkraine in August. She missed her job at the wine shop.
She was the kind of person that you would say was cheerful, intelligent and funny. We always had a topic to talk about, and a topic to be silent about.
“It is impossible to imagine them separately. They hugged and held hands. There was a lot of warmth between them. It was always a pleasure to be around them. They were fun to be around.
Draganfly: a U.S. Airborne Drone Company for Non-Combat Operations in the Ukrainian War Zone and a Ukrainian Pilot Who Lost His Mig
Non-combat operations on the Ukrainian side are being performed by drones. The Canadian company, Draganfly has been making drones for civilian use since the 1990s. CEO Cameron Chell says it never did business in a war zone until last year.
The Pentagon announced in March that it would send 100 drones called Switchblades. The next month, the administration said it would provide another 300. A week later, the Defense Department said it would send 120 drones to Ukraine. The United States provided funds for the purchase of more of them.
In August, the Pentagon said it would send Puma drones — small aircraft that soldiers toss into the air to launch and then control by remote control from up to nine miles away. Pumas can stay at altitudes of about 500 feet.
A Ukrainian pilot who shot down five Iranian Shahed-136 drones over a central Ukrainian city was awarded folk hero status by the government, but was forced to abandon his plane after crashing into the debris. The pilot, Karaya — who identified himself by only his nickname, according to military policy — told the local news media afterward, “Within a short period of time, we are adapting to this kind of weapon and are starting to destroy it successfully.”
After colliding with the airborne debris, he said, Karaya steered his MiG away from Vinnytsia and ejected. There were no injuries on the ground after the jet crashed into houses. Karaya later visited the site to apologize.
The Iranian Loitering Munition: A Case Study of a Russian Intervention in the War on Crimes against the State of the State
“I visited the scene, said I was sorry for the discomfort I caused the residents and thanked them for their steel nerves,” he wrote on Instagram, saying he showed up in his tattered uniform, missing epaulets. He said that it was a violation of military protocol. While leaving the office, he lost them.
This new shipment would be a sign of an increase in Iranian support for Russia. The precise date of when the weapons will be delivered in Russia isn’t known, but officials think they’ll be there by the end of the year.
The Iranian drones are known as a “loitering munition” because they are capable of circling for some time in an area identified as a potential target and only striking once an enemy asset is identified.
Secretary of State Tony Blinken said last week that the US is looking at more than just sanctions in order to disrupt the Iranian weaponry going to Russia. The US is trying to break up the networks, he said.
Earlier this month John Kirby, the communications coordinator at the National Security Council, said the presence of Iranian personnel was evidence of Tehran’s direct engagement in the conflict.
The drones have been used to target people. Iran is lying and denying that it is happening in the face of all the evidence.
On Monday a senior US defense official said they didn’t have any information to provide on the suggestion Iran is preparing to send missiles to Russia for use in Ukraine.
The US blacklisted an air transportation provider last month for being involved in the shipment of Iranian drones to Russia. The US is also ready to “target producers and procurers” contributing to the UAV program, the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence said.
Shelling of Ukrainian Cities, and Russia’s Promise to Support Security and Security in the U.N. — The Case of Crime in Ukraine
Kherson region: There was shelling of towns in the South of Kherson, according to the Ukrainian military. It listed 10 areas that had been shelled, including the city of Kherson.
Ukraine will be watching America’s elections this week, especially after some Republicans warned that they could try to limit funding for Ukraine if they win control of the House of Representatives.
Turkish president will host prime minister of Sweden. Erdogan insists Sweden must meet certain conditions before it can join NATO.
The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss a report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is expected to include a discussion of Ukraine.
Many people are without heat as a result of Russia’s aerial bombardments, and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accuses Russia of energy terrorism. Ukrainian officials say Moscow is “weaponizing winter” in its effort to demoralize the Ukrainian resistance.
Russia rejoined a U.N.-brokered deal to safely export grain and other agricultural goods from Ukraine, on Nov. 2. Russia suspended its part in the deal a few weeks later when it was said that Ukraine had launched a drone attack on its ships.
More than $1 billion was pledged on Tuesday to help repair Ukraine’s infrastructure. Last week, the Pentagon announced that an additional $275 million in security assistance for Ukraine had been approved, including weapons, artillery rounds and equipment to help Ukraine boost its air defense. In November, the US announced a $53 million package to support repairs to the power system in Ukraine.
The Crimes of Lviv: The War against Ukraine Awakened by the First Launch of a Missile and an Unusual Counterattack
Editor’s Note: David A. Andelman, a contributor to CNN, twice winner of the Deadline Club Award, is a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, author of “A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Might Still Happen” and blogs at Andelman Unleashed. He was a correspondent for CBS News in Europe and Asia. His own views are expressed in this commentary. View more opinion at CNN.
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.
The first missile to have landed in Poland – a NATO member – on Tuesday may well have been a Ukrainian anti-aircraft rocket intercepting an incoming Russian missile a short distance from one of Ukraine’s largest cities, Lviv, as suspected by Polish and NATO leaders. (President Volodymyr Zelensky, meanwhile, has insisted the missile was not Ukrainian)
Whatever the exact circumstances of the missile, one thing is clear. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia bears ultimate responsibility for its illegal war against Ukraine.
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.
He has planted mines in large swaths of Kherson which he has recently withdrawn, like the Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia in the 1970s. Cambodian de-mining experts have been called in to assist with the daunting task facing Ukrainians in the years to come. At the same time, Russian armies have also left behind evidence of unspeakable atrocities and torture, also reminiscent of the Khmer Rouge.
That said, a growing number of Russian soldiers have rebelled at what they have been asked to do and refused to fight. The Defense Ministry of the UK believes that Russian troops may be planning to shoot retreating or deserting soldiers.
Indeed a hotline and Telegram channel, launched as a Ukrainian military intelligence project called “I want to live,” designed to assist Russian soldiers eager to defect, has taken off, reportedly booking some 3,500 calls in its first two months of activity.
Diplomatically, Putin finds himself increasingly isolated on the world stage. 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. The Russian ban on Canadians, including Jim Carrey, made comparisons with North Korea even more striking.
The best and brightest in every field have moved away from Russia. Some of the most creative technologists, scientists and engineers are also included.
One leading Russian journalist, Mikhail Zygar, who has settled in Berlin after fleeing in March, told me last week that while he hoped this is not the case, he is prepared to accept the reality – like many of his countrymen, he may never be able to return to his homeland, to which he remains deeply attached.
The crisis in the West: the case of the French-German FACS jet fighter in the European Air System and the nuclear power sector in Mykolaiv
The West is trying to separate itself from Russian oil and natural gas, in order to prevent the country from being able to pursue this war. “We have understood and learnt our lesson that it was an unhealthy and unsustainable dependency, and we want reliable and forward-looking connections,” Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission told the G20 on Tuesday.
This conflict, along with the huge burden it has caused on Western countries, is proving not to be a good idea for the Western alliance. On Monday, word began circulating in aerospace circles that the long-stalled joint French-German project for a next-generation jet fighter at the heart of the Future Combat Air System – Europe’s largest weapons program – was beginning to move forward.
He believes that attempts made by certain countries to remake world history are becoming increasingly aggressive, and that they’re trying to divide our society, take away our guiding lines and weaken Russia.
Ukrainian energy operator Ukrenergo reported on Friday that more than 50% of the country’s energy capacity was lost due to Russian strikes on thermal and hydroelectric power plants and substations, activating “emergency mode.”
After a brief emergency shutdown, the nuclear reactors have been turned back on, but were still not reconnected to the national grid, the company added.
In the southern region of Mykolaiv, the military administrator, Vitaliy Kim, also said the nuclear plant in his area has been cut from the grid, leading to a risky shutdown of the reactors there.
Ukrainian officials stress that the power cuts have the cascading effect of turning off the heat and water in many cases. The water in the pipes could get cold and cause further problems.
President Maia Sandu wrote a post on Facebook about Russia, stating that she can’t trust them because they leave us in the dark and cold.
The US and Ukraine have not responded to the “points of invincibility”: the “naked-eye” requests for cluster munitions
Ukraine is scrambling to prepare for the winter. If power cuts last longer, President Zelenskyy said there will be 4,000 centers for civilians to go to.
He called them “points of invincibility,” saying they will provide heat, water, phone charging and internet access. Many will be in schools and government buildings.
The Ukrainian request for the cluster munitions, which was described to CNN by multiple US and Ukrainian officials, is one of the most controversial requests the Ukrainians have made to the US since the war began in February.
Senior Biden administration officials have been fielding this request for months and have not rejected it outright, CNN has learned, a detail that has not been previously reported.
While cluster munitions are designed to explode quickly, they can scatter bomblets in large areas, which could pose a long-term risk to people who come in contact with them. Mark Hiznay, a weapons expert who is an arms director for Human Rights Watch, previously told CNN that they create nasty, bloody fragmenting to anyone hit by them, because of the many submunitions that explode at once across a large area.
If the stockpiles begin to run low, the Biden administration has not stopped considering the option, but only as a last resort. But sources say the proposal has not yet received significant consideration in large part due to the statutory restrictions that Congress has put on the US’ ability to transfer cluster munitions.
The fact that they apply to munitions with a one percent unexploded rate raises the possibility that they will pose a risk to civilians. The Ukrainians have been told that it is not likely that President Biden will be able to overrule that restriction.
The United States and Ukraine have agreed that Kyiv will not strike targets in Russia with American-provided weaponry. The Biden administration has vowed to avoid American involvement that could escalate to direct confrontation with Russia. But American officials clarified they will not object to Ukraine striking back with its own weaponry.
The Defense Ministry told CNN it does not comment on reports regarding requests for particular weapons systems or ammunition, choosing to wait until any agreement with a supplier is reached before many any public announcement.
“They [DPICMs] are more effective when you have a concentration of Russian forces,” the Ukrainian official told CNN, noting that Ukraine has been asking for the weapons “for many months.”
The Crimean bridge, the nuclear power plant explosions and Ukraine’s drone war (Russian-UKraine-war-news-12-08-22)
He addressed a group of soldiers who were receiving the awards, holding a glass of champagne.
He listed a series of events he blames on the Ukrainians: “Who hit the Crimean bridge? The power lines from the nuclear power plant were blown up.
The reference to Kursk appears to reference Russia’s announcement that an airfield in the Kursk region, which neighbors Ukraine, was targeted in a drone attack. The Ukrainian defense ministry has not commented on the recent explosions in Russia. Officially, the targets are well beyond the reach of the country’s declared drones.
Silence in Crimea: Air defense system, water, emergency power, air ambulances and civilians in the Odesa region of Ukraine
He claimed that there was no mention of the water situation. “No one has said a word about it anywhere. At all! Complete silence. ,” he said.
Russian shelling appears to be increasing in parts of Kharkiv region recaptured by Ukrainian forces last September, as well as in other areas of northern Ukraine.
The mayor of Melitopol, Ivan Fedorov, said that the church which the occupiers took several months ago was now turned into their hideout after a number of explosions.
“The Russian military is settling in local houses they seized, schools and kindergartens. Military equipment is stationed in residential areas,” Federov said in November.
On Sunday around 5:54 a.m. the head of the Russian backed city administration said that 20 Grad missiles were fired in the direction of the Kalininsky districts.
The unofficial Crimean media portal “Krymskyi veter” said an explosion at a Russian military barracks in Sovietske had set the barracks on fire and there were dead and wounded.
Sergey Aksenov, the Russian-appointed head of Crimea, said on Telegram: “The air defense system worked over Simferopol. All services are working as usual.
The news comes amid reports that 1.5 million people in the Odesa region of Ukraine have been left without power following strikes by Iranian-made drones.
Zelensky said that both emergency and stabilization power outages are still going on. The power system is very far away from normal, which is what I mean.
Attitude of Russia towards Odesa towards the residents: Drone strikes and energy failures in Ukraine – a warning from the world leaders
Zelensky said that this was the true attitude of Russia towards Odesa, towards the residents.
Ukraine on Saturday received “a new support package from Norway in the amount of $100 million” that will be used “precisely for the restoration of our energy system after these Russian strikes,” Zelensky added.
In his Saturday nightly address, Mr. Zelensky said that 10 of the drones had been shot down by the Ukrainians. It was no easy task to verify his tally.
The repeated assaults on the plants and equipment that Ukrainians rely on for heat and light have drawn condemnation from world leaders, and thrust Ukraine into a grim cycle in which crews hurry to restore power only to have it knocked out again.
The power grid is in a crisis and he asked people to reduce their power use to make the grid more stable.
“It must be understood: Even if there are no heavy missile strikes, this does not mean that there are no problems,” he continued. There are almost every day missile attacks and drone attacks in different regions. Energy facilities are hit almost every day.”
Zelenskyy’s threats against Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church of Ukraine: a french press conference report on Dec. 5
Many are watching to see if Zelenskyy follows through on his threat to ban the Russian Orthodox church in Ukraine, as Ukrainian authorities have stepped up raids on churches accused of links with Moscow.
The President of France will host the leaders of the European Commission and the Norwegian Prime Minister at a dinner in Paris.
A video address by the Ukrainian President is planned to be delivered at the conference in France, which is expected to take place on Tuesday.
Following Brittney Griner’s release from Russian prison, fans, friends and family are celebrating the basketball player’s return to the U.S. Republican politicians have been complaining about the prisoner swaps and other held U.S. citizens.
The new measures targeting Russian oil revenue took effect on December 5. They include a price cap and a European Union embargo on most Russian oil imports and a Russian oil price cap.
On Dec. 11, President Zelenskyy had a phone call with President Biden as well as the leaders of France and Turkey, in what is thought to be an increase of diplomacy over the 9 1/2-month-long Russian invasion.
“They have set a goal to leave Ukrainians without light, water and heat,” Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal told a government meeting, adding that 60 of the 76 missiles fired at Ukraine were intercepted by its air defense forces.
“Russian terrorists have been saving one of the most massive missile attacks since the beginning of the full-scale invasion for the last days of the year,” Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said in a statement on Twitter Thursday. “They dream that Ukrainians will celebrate the New Year in darkness and cold. They cannot defeat the people in their own country.
As the sirens wailed, residents bundled in winter coats, hats and scarves gathered in the underground stations. Huddled on escalators, their faces were lit by their phones as they scrolled through updates.
At least 10 missiles were fired at targets in the north of the Kharkiv region, hitting energy facilities and a hospital, said Oleh Syniehubov, head of the regional military administration. Power was beginning to be restored in Kharkiv city after being knocked out for much of the day. “There is a colossal infrastructural damage,” Kharkiv’s mayor, Ihor Terekhov, said, instructing residents to use so-called “invincibility points” – makeshift centers offering relief from power outages – to collect food and hot drinks, and recharge cellphones.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said the incident took place in the early hours of Monday, and three servicemen were killed by debris at the Engels airbase that houses the Tu-95 and Tu-160 nuclear-capable strategic bombers that have been involved in launching strikes on Ukraine.
During the air attacks on Friday in Ukraine, a supersonic aircraft capable of carrying a Kinzal hypersonic missile was spotted in the sky over Belarusian territory. There was no certainty as to whether a Kinzal was used in the attacks.
“We know that their defense industrial base is being taxed,” Kirby said of Russia. They have trouble keeping up with that pace. We know that Putin is having trouble with the replenishment of precision guided munitions.
The Biden administration is finalizing plans to send the Patriot, the US’ most advanced ground-based air defense system, to Ukraine, according to two US officials and a senior administration official. Ukraine’s government has long requested the system to help it defend against repeated Russian missile and drone attacks. It would be the most effective long-range defensive weapons system sent to the country and officials say it will help secure airspace for members of the North Atlantic Treaty and America (NATO) in eastern Europe.
He declined to announce any details on the next security assistance package for Ukraine, but said that there “will be another one” and that additional air defense capabilities should be expected.
The Kyiv Artificial Christmas Tree and the Air Force Drones as a Demonstration of the Crime against Russia in the Run-Up to Christmas
The Air Force said the Shahed-135 and Shahed-131 drones were launched from the eastern coast of the Sea of Azov.
Zelensky said he appreciated everyone who carried out the repairs in any weather and around the clock. “It is not easy, it is difficult, but I am sure: we will pull through together, and Russia’s aggression will fail.”
The Ukrainian people are far from the east and the south’s frontlines and want some semblance of normal in the run-up to Christmas.
An artificial Christmas tree in the center of Kyiv was installed and decorated over the weekend, set to be illuminated with “energy-saving garlands” that will be powered by a generator at specific times, the city’s mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram.
Roughly 1,000 blue and yellow balls and white doves will decorate the tree in Sophia Square, with a trident placed at the tree’s summit. There are flags of countries that are supporting the Ukrainian people.
He said that the Ukrainian children in their letters to St. Nicholas wanted air defense, for weapons, for victory, and for all Ukrainians.
Three Russian servicemen were killed Monday after a Ukrainian drone was shot down by air defenses as it approached a military airfield in Saratov Oblast, deep inside Russian territory, according to Russian state news agencies, citing the defense ministry.
The incident in Kiev, Ukraine, lasted one day after the last shelling event in June 2005 and the Russian presence in the region of Zagorodnyuk
Roman Busargin said on Monday that law enforcement agencies were looking into the incident. The comments came after reports of an explosion in the city.
He said there were no emergencies in the residential areas and that no infrastructure had been damaged. The government would help the families of the servicemen, he said.
On Monday, a spokesman for the Security and Defense Forces of South of Ukraine warned of a possible Russian strike, referencing a similar incident this month in the region.
There appeared to be an explosion in the sky. Gov. Busargin reassured residents that there were no civilian infrastructure damage and that information about incidents at military facilities was being checked by law enforcement agencies.
In Ukraine, the night from Sunday into Monday appeared unusually quiet. The Russian forces did not shell the region, which is partially occupied by Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, for the first time in weeks.
Over the course of a single day, the Kherson region has been shelling Ukrainian-controlled areas 33 times. There were no casualties.
If the Russian airfields where the missiles are launched from are hit, they could potentially be destroyed before they can be deployed.
Mr. Zagorodnyuk, clarifying that he did not speak for the government and could not confirm the strikes, added: “You cannot consider, this person will attack you because you are fighting back. There is absolutely no strategic reason not to try to do this.”
“Russia is open to diplomatic solutions,” Russian President Vladimir Putin told a press conference at the Petrovnik air base in Tsitsev
The Kinzhal, Russia’s most sophisticated missile, is in shorter supply than it was a few years ago.
The Russians were mistaken if they thought no one at home would be affected by the war. He said that some of the Russian aircraft had to be moved due to the explosions at the Russian airfields, but no one is saying that the strikes have hampered the Russian bombardment.
The U.S. reaction to the Dec. 5 assaults was muted. Defense Secretary Lloyd J.Austin III said they were not trying to prevent Ukraine from developing their own capability. Ned Price stated that the United States was not aiding or abetting attacks on Russia.
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. The claim that Putin is open to negotiations was dismissed by the West as a ruse.
How Russian Cyberattacks Have Destroyed Ukraine: A Response to Ukraine’s President and Defense Minister, Vitaliy Budanov,
The director of the Defense Priorities think tank spoke about Russia being out of whack and said it was like the central nervous system of the human body. “It is an economic cost and it is not an easy thing to do.” The government can’t protect civilians enough so it’s trying to create pain for them.
Menon notes, however, that every one of his comments could just as easily apply to Russia’s earlier waves of cyberattacks on the country’s internet—such as the NotPetya malware released by Russia’s GRU hackers, which five years earlier destroyed the digital networks of hundreds of government agencies, banks, airports, hospitals, and even its radioactivity monitoring facility in Chernobyl. He says they are different but the goal is the same. Calculating and demoralizing civilians.
According to the lead for disaster response in the Ukrainian presidential office, several buildings in the capital have been destroyed.
An explosion near a playground rattled the windows of nearby homes. Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko urged residents to charge their electronic devices and fill water containers in case of shortages.
The majority of cruise missiles that were fired at Ukraine were shot down by Ukrainian defense forces, according to preliminary data. Klitschko said 16 missiles were destroyed by Ukraine’s air defenses over Kyiv.
Strikes of the scale like the one launched Thursday’s have become less frequent since they began Oct. 10. Earlier this week Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, said that’s because Russia is running low on its stock of cruise missiles.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told Russian media that they would continue to pursue their objectives in Ukraine.
Russia was threatening to plunge the country into darkness if it launched an all-out assault on the power grid, as Ukrainians tried to ring in the New Year and celebrate the Christmas holidays on January 7.
U.S. Defense Minister said she is “nursing the illusor” about the attack on Ukrainian cities and towns on Thursday, prompting the Kremators to leave
Hryn explained that after the all clear, life went back to normal and he met his neighbors with their child who were in a hurry to go see the new movie. Parents took their children to school and people went to work, while others continued with holiday plans in defiance.
Elsewhere in the capital, Halyna Hladka stocked up on water as soon as the sirens sounded and quickly made breakfast for her family so they would have something to eat. After two hours, they heard the sounds of bombs. She said that it seemed like they were close to her area, but that they were in fact air defense. “Not a single attack will cancel the fact that we will celebrate the new year with the family.”
Lavrov told Russian state-run news agency RIA Novosti that Zelensky was “nursing the illustion” that, with the aid of Western nations, he could force the withdrawal of Russia from Crimea, the Black Sea peninsula that it annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and occupied areas of Ukraine’s Donbas, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions, as well as bring Russia in front of international courts and pay reparations. He said that they won’t talk to anyone under those conditions.
A 14-year-old was injured, and two other people were pulled from a damaged home on Thursday, according to boxer Wladimir Klitschko. The military administrations in the capital have reported that homes, industrial facility and a playground were damaged in attacks on Kyiv.
It is a senseless barbarism. The Foreign Minister of the United States said there could be no neutrality in the face of Russia’s attack on Ukrainian cities.
Russia’s Defense Ministry claims that a wave of missile attacks on Ukraine on Thursday, one of the biggest barrages yet in the war, neutralized all their assigned targets.
The ministry didn’t claim any gains against the Ukrainian forces despite Russia’s claims of victory, adding credence to reports that the two sides are in a stalemate.
Earlier, Russia claimed that more than 600 Ukrainian soldiers were killed in a Russian strike in Kramatorsk carried out in “retaliation” over the Ukrainian attack on Russian-occupied Makiivka last week, according to a statement from the Russian Defense Ministry.
Both Ukrainian and pro-Russian accounts agree that the strike took place just after midnight, on New Year’s Day, against a school housing Russian conscripts.
It was one of the worst episodes in the war for Moscow’s forces, as the defense ministry claimed on Monday that 63 Russian servicemen died in the attack.
Russian senator Grigory Karasin said that those responsible for the killing of Russian servicemen in Makiivka must be found, Russian state news agency TASS reported Monday.
“Greetings and congratulations” to the separatists and conscripts who “were brought to the occupied Makiivka and crammed into the building of vocational school,” the Strategic Communications Directorate of the Chief Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine said on Telegram. The corpses of Russian soldiers were packed in bags by Santa.
The high command is still unaware of the capabilities of this weapon, according to a former official in the Russia-backed DONETSK administration.
“I hope that those responsible for the decision to use this facility will be reprimanded,” Bezsonov said. There are several abandoned facilities in the area that can be quartered.
A Russian propagandist who blogs about the war effort on Telegram, Igor Girkin, claimed that the building was almost completely destroyed by the secondary detonation of ammunition stores.
“Nearly all the military equipment, which stood close to the building without the slightest sign of camouflage, was also destroyed,” Girkin said. “There are still no final figures on the number of casualties, as many people are still missing.”
Boris Rozhin, who also blogs about the war effort under the nickname Colonelcassad, said that “incompetence and an inability to grasp the experience of war continue to be a serious problem.”
“As you can see, despite several months of war, some conclusions are not made, hence the unnecessary losses, which, if the elementary precautions relating to the dispersal and concealment of personnel were taken, might have not happened.”
The Russian Defense Mission in Bakhmut, the Epicenter of Moscow’s February 24 Invasion, and an Attack on the Donetsk Region
The general staff of the Russian military said Sunday that they lost 760 people in a single day, and that they continued to attempt offensive actions on Bakhmut.
The strike used a U.S.-supplied precision weapon that has proven to be critical in enabling Ukrainian forces to hit key targets, delivered a new blow to Russia which has recently been reeling from a Ukrainian counteroffensive.
Moscow’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24 has gone awry, putting pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin as his ground forces struggle to hold ground and advance. He said in his New Year’s address to the nation that 2022 was “a year of difficult, necessary decisions.”
Five people were wounded in the Monday morning shelling of a Ukraine-controlled area of the southern Kherson region, its Ukrainian Gov. Yaroslav Yanushevich said on Telegram.
The Russian forces attacked the city of Beryslav, the official said, firing at a local market, likely from a tank. Three of the wounded are in serious condition and being evacuated to Kherson.
At least four people were killed and dozens were wounded when a huge assault took place on New Year’s Eve. The fourth victim, a 46-year-old resident of Kyiv, died in a hospital on Monday morning, Klitschko said.
In Russia, a Ukrainian drone hit an energy facility in the Bryansk region that borders with Ukraine, Bryansk regional governor Alexander Bogomaz reported on Monday morning. The village had no power, he said.
After Moscow blamed its soldiers for using cell phones, the Russian government and some pro-Kremlin leaders began a blame game.
But that account was angrily dismissed by an influential military blogger and implicitly contradicted by the leader of the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) in eastern Ukraine, pointing to discord in the Russian command over Moscow’s response to the attack.
Semyon Pegov, who was just awarded the Order of Courage by President Putin, attacked the Ministry of Defense for its statement that was not convincing.
He questioned how the Ministry of Defense could be “so sure” that the location of soldiers lodging in a school building could not have been determined using drone surveillance or a local informant.
And he again raised suspicions about the official death toll, which was revised upward by Moscow to 89 from 63, writing that “their number will still be growing.”
In another post on Wednesday, Pegov warned that apathy on the battlefield will lead to more “tragedies.” Referring to the conflict both by its Kremlin euphemism – “special military operation” – and also by the word “war,” he said: “If you ask me personally what is the most dangerous thing in war, I will answer unequivocally: not to bother.”
Pegov was joined in his sentiments by Denis Pushilin, the pro-Russian DPR leader, who pointedly praised the “heroism” of the soldiers killed in the strike shortly after the government pinned the blame on them.
“We know, and we know firsthand, what it is to suffer losses,” Pushilin said on Telegram Wednesday. “Based on the information I have, I can say with certainty that there were many displays of courage and real heroism by the guys in this regiment.”
The Defense Ministry’s tweet condemns Ukraine’s “military strike” and the use of phones with location: the Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman argued
Russia’s defense ministry statement also drew mockery from Ukraine’s military. Using phones with location is a mistake. The spokesman for the Eastern Group of the Ukrainian armed forces, Serhii Cherevatye, said it was obvious that the version looked a bit ridiculous.
“Of course, this is a mistake I think the Russians are starting to look at who is to blame. They are blaming each other.
The main reason was not the use of phones. They were not able to covertly deploy these personnel. We were able to take advantage of that and destroy the target.
The military strike on Moscow on Sunday got a lot of backlash from pro-Russian websites who accused the troops of not being adequately protected and being next to a large cache of weapons.
The editor in-chief of the state-run networkRT wrote on Telegram that she hoped that the officials who were responsible for the strike would be held accountable.
“This is the first time, it seems, that this has been done publicly during the entire special military operation. I hope the names of these persons and the extent of punishment will also be announced,” she said.
RIA Novosti: Russia’s southwestern region has been hit by a “99% lie” by Mironov and Kremlin
RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency, says that the governor of Russia’s southwestern region held talks with the defense ministry in Moscow on Tuesday.
The explanation of cell phone use was called a “99% lie” by Grey Zone. He said it was more likely to be an intelligence failure.
Mironov’s comments touched a nerve. Hardliners like him think Putin’s September “partial mobilization” of reservists, calling up 300,000 men, failed to go far enough. They want a full mobilization that would put the entire country on a war footing. They want revenge against Ukranian people.
A public memorial service was held for some of the soldiers who perished at Makiivka, and many of them lived in the city of Samara, which is on the Volga River in southwestern Russia.
But the finger of blame, so far, is pointed only at military leaders, no higher. President Putin has made no public comment about the Makiivka attack, a strong indication that he intends to remain as far away as possible from an obvious debacle.
Even in this open discussion, there are people that believe that Informants may have tipped off the enemy. Then there is the usual complaint after almost any tragedy in Russia, blaming it on “khalatnost:” negligence.
A CNN team on the ground has not seen a lot of casualties in the area. There is no unusual activity in and around Kramatorsk, including in the vicinity of the city morgue, the team reported.
A Reuters reporter in Kramtorsk also reported no signs of a significant Russian strike on two college dormitories that Russia claimed had been housing hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers.
The Ukrainian Air Force has warned that it does not have the resources to defend against missiles if they are used in the war with Russia.
The Battle of Russia and the United States: The Daily Battle in the Sky So Where Are The Pilots? An Analysis of a Washington Think Tank
This battle is distinct from other air wars of the past century because pilots are rare. This is contrary to the traditional perception of air combat.
“Top Gun: Maverick is Oscar-nominated this year for Best Picture. And here we are, watching an air war happening. Kelly Grieco is a senior analyst with the Stimson Center, a Washington think tank.
There are aircraft that are still flying, at times. The number of sorties compared to previous wars is a small part of the air war.
He knows what the tenets are. Gersten flew combat missions as an F-16 pilot early in his career, and later commanded U.S. drone operations in the Middle East. He saw drones assume a prominent role in the U.S. air campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. But piloted U.S. war planes played a significant role in those conflicts as well, and the U.S. alone dominated the skies.
Gersten says it’s still not entirely clear why the Russian air force has fared so poorly. But he stresses that Russia still has well over 1,000 advanced fighter jets, with well-trained pilots, that are not being sent into the skies over Ukraine. “Russian pilots are some of the best pilots in the world,” said Gersten. “And they’re also some of the most disciplined pilots in the world.” At least for now, Russia has chosen to keep these pilots and their planes on the sidelines. Russia is relying on missiles and drones, which are much cheaper and easier to replace.
The Russian President’s decision to grant access to the self-proclaimed DPR rests with the President of Russia, not with the Kremlin
An aid group in the US contacted us to ask if their drones could be used to get their ambulances into besieged cities.
“When I ask about F-16, I never heard about a problem with the spare parts or the supply chain. It’s a very long period of training courses for your pilots, that’s what the answer was. But President Biden has made it absolutely clear that’s what he meant. Fighter jets are not being sent to protect the U.S. due to the fact that they would put more vulnerable pilots in the sky.
According to the Joint Investigation Team, there was strong evidence that the president of Russia made the decision to grant access to the self-proclaimed DPR.
Investigators nonetheless said that “the high bar of full and conclusive evidence is not met,” and that regardless, as a head of state, Putin has immunity from prosecution. The Joint Investigation Team said that it had shared its findings with the families of the 298 victims.
CNN reached out to the Kremlin. Moscow has repeatedly denied any responsibility for the attack, and Russian officials and state media have put out a range of often contradictory explanations for the tragedy.
Dutch investigators found that a Russian missile that downed the Malaysian Airlines flight was from Russia’s 53rd anti-aircraft missile brigade. The Russian and Ukrainians were found guilty of mass murder by a Dutch court in November for their role in the downing of the Malaysian Airlines plane.
According to investigators, DPR leaders appeared to be in contact with the Russian intelligence service and Kremlin advisers.
“There is concrete information that the request from the separatists is presented to the president, and that a positive decision is taken. It’s not clear whether the request explicitly mentions a Buk system. A short time later, heavy air-defense systems were delivered, including the Buk that later shot down MH17.”
The Joint Investigation Team said Russian government officials said the decision about military support rests with the president. “The decision is even delayed a week ‘because there is only one who makes a decision […] the person who is at a summit in France.’ President Putin at that time, on 5 and 6 June 2014, was at the D Day commemoration in France.
“Because at this moment it cannot be determined who the operators of the Buk-TELAR were, and other concrete information about this is lacking, it cannot be determined why they fired a Buk rocket at MH17, what their mission was, and what information they had at the moment of firing.”
Operational Command North and Conflict Armament Research in the Odesa Region: The Case of Kharkiv, Sumy and Luhansk
Kharkiv, Sumy and Luhansk regions: Oleh Syniehubov, head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, said two civilians were killed in Dvorichna, a village east of the city of Kharkiv. Russian forces are on the east bank of the river.
More than a dozen settlements in the regions of Kharkiv and Sumy came under fire with some of the shelling coming from Russian territory, according to the Ukrainian military.
According to Operational Command North, the area of Seredyna-Buda was attacked with mortars 12 times on Wednesday evening, which is near the Russian border. No casualties were reported.
There is an unofficial Telegram account of troops in the 46th brigade that says the Russians have reached a highway northwest of the city and that fighting is continuing there.
The Ukrainian military and the UK-based investigative organization Conflict Armament Research worked together to examine the warhead from the Iranian Shahed-131 drone found in the Southern Ukrainian region of Odesa. CAR provided its findings first to CNN.
Those elements are used to maximize the warhead’s ability to shred targets such as power stations and distribution grids. They also make repair efforts substantially harder.
There are many chaotic scenes, which include Russian tanks driving wildly, men running in every direction, some of them on fire, and the bodies of soldiers caught in tank tracks.
“Ukrainian artillery not only caused heavy losses to the advancing units but hit their rear too – cutting off both their supply links and their possible withdrawal routes.”
There is a video showing Ukrainian units under fire in the area. There is no clear picture of whether the Russian forces have been able to advance.
At least two dozen Russian tanks and infantry vehicles have been disabled or destroyed in a matter of days, according to the videos, which were released by the Ukrainian military and analyzed by CNN and military experts. Satellite images show a pattern of impacts on tree lines where Russian tanks tried to advance.
The Russian Defense Ministry has insisted the assault on Vuhledar, where the 155th Marine Brigade is prominently involved, is going according to plan. Putin said in his remarks that the marine infantry is working as it should. It’s right now. Fighting heroically.”
But the leader of the self-declared, Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), Denis Pushilin, acknowledged Friday that the area was “hot” and said “the enemy continues to transfer reserves in large quantities, and this slowed down the liberation of this settlement.”
Russia’s military high command: the blame for the offensive, or how to coordinate actions in the presence of communication and situational awareness if not present?
Cooper says the Russians built a force around 20,000 troops and 90 MBTs. [main battle tanks], perhaps two times as many IFVs [infantry fighting vehicles], and about 100 artillery pieces.”
The town has become a lynchpin in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russian forces have been trying to take it for three months. It would be hard for the Ukrainians to shut down the nearby train because a victory for Moscow would allow them to begin their spring offensive.
Critics of Russia’s military high command say the handling of the latest offensive is worse still, with one military blogger describing it as a “shameful debacle.”
Strelkov, also known as Igor Girkin, added on Telegram that “a lot of good T-72B3/T-80BVM tanks and the best paratroopers and marines were liquidated.”
In another post on Telegram, Strelkov wrote: “Only morons attack head-on in the same place, heavily fortified and extremely inconvenient for the attackers for many months in a row.”
Russia has tens and sometimes hundreds of thousands of Telegram subscribers. They have been highly critical of previous episodes in the campaign.
Moscow calling claimed that older T 72 tanks have no improvements that would improve the driver’s vision. That may help explain several instances in which Russian tanks seemed to get entangled or reverse blindly.
“How are blind, deaf tanks, armored personnel carriers, with equally blind, deaf infantry supposed to fight without columns? How to coordinate any actions if communication and situational awareness are not present? He wrote a letter.
The 155th Ukrainian Naval Infantry Regime: Air defence against enemy air targets in the Kyiv city and its airspace closed and reopened
Some Russian commentators have called for the dismissal of Lieutenant General Rustam Muradov, commander of the Eastern Grouping of forces. In November, the 155th protested that the tactics of the leader had been a factor in their losses.
One Russian website with more than half a million followers referred to the team as a bunch of killers. [in November] and did not bear any responsibility. After which, with the same mediocrity, they began to storm Ugledar [Vuhledar]. Impunity breeds permissiveness.
The Institute for the Study of War says poor leadership is only one part of the problem, and that the 155th Naval Infantry brigade is probably comprised of poorly trained mobilized personnel.
There is a mix of Russian forces, including military units, the militia of the DPR and a private company in the Vuhledar area which is close to the Russian defense ministry.
The commander of the Ukrainian forces said on Saturday that effective fire damage is a key for success on the battlefield.
Russian forces are in charge of a lot of weaponry. They fired thermobaric missiles at Vuhledar, reminding everyone that they are capable of causing destruction and not taking territory.
“There were six enemy air targets detected in the Kyiv city airspace. Those were balloons that are moving with the wind,” the Kyiv city military administration said on Telegram, adding that the balloons could have been carrying reconnaissance devices.
They use balloons as false targets and want air defense against them. In a televised interview, the Air Force spokesman said that they need to deplete our air defense because of the need to distract us.
The air defense was taking down all air targets. Most of the explorers were intercepted,” the Kyiv city military administration said. “The goal of the balloon launch was to detect and exhaust our air defenses.”
On Tuesday, CNN reported that airspace was temporarily closed and then reopened. The country’s civil aviation authority said that the airspace had shut “in order to ensure the safety and security of civil aviation” but has since reopened.
That March was a nightmarishly violent month for Kyiv’s outskirts, including Irpin, where Sotnychenko lives, but there were moments when he allowed himself to feel comforted by the drones flying above. He imagined the Ukrainian army watching his small acts of resistance. “I felt reassured because I felt that I wanted to show them that we are holding out,” he says, speaking through a translator provided by the Museum of Civilian Voices, a project documenting ordinary people’s experience of the conflict in Ukraine.
A prominent Russian military blogger, who goes by the name WarGonzo, said that fighters of the Wagner private military company had “attacked in several directions at once,” around Bakhmut. He said that the east of the city had been taken by a slight advance and that there was now a village north of Bakhmut.
The Mariinka area has been almost wiped out by the fighting, according to Russian military websites, which have reported offensive actions.
In the south, according to the General Staff, at least 34 places in Kherson region came under artillery attack from Russian positions on the east bank of the Dnipro. It also claimed that “The russian invaders are searching houses and seizing boats and other watercraft.”
The ministry said Russian forces had carried out artillery and thermobaric attacks on Ukrainian positions in areas west of the city of Kreminna in Luhansk, and it claimed to have inflicted heavy losses on the Ukrainians in that area.
Russia’s airspace closed after Ukrainian drone attacks alleged to be attacking intlHnk (Ukraboron-prom)
The UJ-22 can fly through bad weather and is able to travel up to 800 kilometers. The location of the photo of the crashed plane is not known.
State media reported that a drone was shot down near the border with Belarus and that two other strikes were averted by the use of drones in the Krasnodar and Adygea regions.
The defense ministry said that both drones deviated from their flight path. One of the UAS fell in a field and the other did not harm a civilian infrastructure facility.
An oil depot at Tuapse, on Krasnodar’s Black Sea coast, caught fire and was captured on camera by a CNN crew who was in the area.
The airspace of Russia’s second-ranked city of St. Petersburg was temporarily closed on Tuesday due to the allegations, according to state media.
Russian President Vladimir Putin had been briefed about the closures – but Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov had declined to discuss whether it was related to the “incidents in St. Petersburg and Tuapse,” state media reported.
Ukraine’s state-Owned weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom stated that it is nearing the finish line of a new long-range drone though there was no proof that such a device was ready for deployment or was involved in blasts inside Russia.
A presidential adviser sent a cryptic message suggesting that Kyiv may have been behind the December attacks.
Galalog’en Galileo: Astronomy in the Kremlin of the Early Universe, 1913-1810
Galileo discovered the Earth is round. Astronomy was not studied in Kremlin, giving preference to court astrologers. If it was, they would know: If something is launched into other countries’ airspace, sooner or later unknown flying objects will return to departure point,” he said at the time.