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  • Writer's pictureAurimas Navys


Political strategic level
Russian Führer Vladimir Putin said that if Russia suspends its participation in the latest arms control agreement with Washington (START-3), it will "take into account" not only the nuclear weapons capabilities of the United States, but also those of other NATO countries, such as France and the United Kingdom. In an interview with Russian television, recorded on Wednesday and broadcast on Sunday, he said he was taking these steps to "preserve the country, ensure security and strategic stability".
V. Putin accused France and Britain, which are not parties to this treaty, of joining the United States in order to direct nuclear weapons against Russia. "How can we ignore their nuclear capabilities? Moreover, they are supplying tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Ukraine," Putin said in his less than coherent speech.
After a year of war, Russia's leader not only looks tired and is under great psychological strain. His speeches are less coherent compared to a year ago and, above all, they suggest that the collective Putin has changed the objective of his war in Ukraine. Until now, the essential task in Ukraine has been said to be to reduce the emerging security threats to Russia by means of a 'special operation'. Recently, in addition to repeating the usual theme of the West's determination to destroy Russia, a clear message has emerged that the year-long struggle in Ukraine is part of a struggle for Russia's own survival.
Putin is putting into practice the idea, long promoted by his ideologues, that Russia can only survive if it stops the penetration of Western culture into this barbaric country. The peaceful 'conquest of Russia by the virus of libertarian thought' can only be stopped by war. That is why Russia is fighting a war of survival against the USA, the UK and France and the rest of the Western world.
This turn of events shows that it is very likely that Russian society is being prepared for "global defence", of course by attack. We have been talking about the only way for Russia to continue the war by declaring general mobilisation and martial law throughout the country for about eight months. Either the Kremlin seems to have come to this conclusion only now, or in the course of action they have been planning for a long time, this path has been dismissed as the last resort that would burn all bridges and close off all roads back.
In our estimation, the bridges have already been burnt and Russia has long since crossed the line beyond which it was still possible to try to return to the company of the civilised countries of the world. Russia has tens, if not hundreds, of years to go before it rebuilds in every sense what it has destroyed in the first weeks of the large-scale invasion.
The root cause of the war, which we identified nine years ago, after the occupation of Crimea, finally seems to have been understood by the CIA. Its director, William Burns, announced yesterday that he believes that the real reason for the invasion is that Putin is losing control of Ukraine and that it is becoming an independent, democratic state, allied with the West. "He saw this as a direct threat to his ambitions, which is at odds with his views as the leader of Russia, and I think that is the backdrop to the terrible aggression that he has launched," he said on CBS's 'Face the Nation'.
In a televised interview, Burns said that the head of Russia's intelligence services (Mr Patrushev) had shown a "sense of hubris and pride" at the November meeting that reflected Mr Putin's own belief "that he can make time work for him, that he believes he can crush the Ukrainians, that he can wear down our European allies, that eventually there will be a sense of political weariness". That conversation, in which the head of the CIA warned of the consequences of Russia deploying nuclear weapons in Ukraine, was 'quite depressing'. Mr Burns said that he believed that Mr Putin was "quite determined" to continue the war despite the casualties, tactical shortcomings and economic and reputational damage to Russia.
Ech, Bili, Bili. Oh, could the CIA's Russian affairs agents read what we write here more often. It would not take years to understand such elementary things.
Alexander Lukashenko, the dictator and Putin's lapdog of Belarus, a country that is independent only on paper, will visit Beijing. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that Lukashenko would visit from Tuesday to Thursday, but gave no details of his agenda.
We believe that during this visit details of the supply of arms and arms components to Russia may be discussed. China, knowing that direct supplies of arms to Russia could have unforeseeable consequences, may try to 'outflank' the West by supplying Belarus rather than Russia. Minsk is an intermediate stop, which is supposedly not directly involved in the war, so the supply of arms and components to Belarus 'to defend itself against Ukrainian and Western aggression' can be used as a card to play against the West, which is plagued by democratic weaknesses.
The UN Human Rights Council opens today in Geneva with more than 100 heads of state and ministers. As the session will also be attended by Sergei Ryabkov, Deputy Foreign Minister of terrorist Russia, who will address the Council on Thursday, the whole circus of a show once again looks pathetic.
We recall that this will be the first time that a Russian official from Moscow will be present in person since the invasion began a year ago. Russia, which denies committing war crimes or targeting civilians in Ukraine, was expelled from the Council in April last year because of the widespread nature of the war, but can still participate as an observer.
The Council will also not discuss the issue of China, since last year, at the initiative of the Western countries, it failed to hold a debate on China's treatment of Muslim minorities. A UN report published last year found that China's detention of Uighurs and other Muslims may constitute a crime against humanity. Beijing denies any abuses.
We do not understand at all why this Council is meeting at all? If people have nothing to do, they could go and collect cigarette butts from roadside ditches.
The European Union has finally agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia. These will apply to officials and organisations accused of supporting the war, spreading propaganda or supplying unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as restricting trade in products that could be used by armed forces. Transactions with some of Russia's largest banks will be banned. The new measures, proposed by the EU executive three weeks ago, were adopted only after lengthy internal disputes over their exact composition and were announced on the day after the first anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine - the planned target date.
This small but symbolically important delay demonstrates once again how difficult it is for the 27-nation bloc to set new targets for restrictive measures that are acceptable to all Member States.
Operational level
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky sacked a high-ranking army commander on Sunday. In a one-line decree, Mr Zelensky announced the dismissal of Major General Eduard Moskaliov from his post as commander of the Ukrainian joint forces involved in the fighting in the Donbas region. Moskaliov had held the post since March 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine.
Although the reasons for this dismissal have not been publicly announced, we can reasonably speculate that the general was dismissed because of the many mistakes that were made in the defence of Soledar and Bakhmut. These mistakes, including in logistics and supply, could have led to heavy losses for the Ukrainian defenders.
China has so far taken no action to provide arms assistance to Russia, while the United States has made clear behind closed doors that such a move would have serious consequences, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday. "It will be up to Beijing to decide how it wants to proceed, whether it wants to provide military assistance, but if it goes down that path, it will be very costly for China," Sullivan said on CNN's State of the Union.
US officials have privately warned their Chinese counterparts of the possible consequences, Sullivan said, but he did not elaborate on these discussions.
French President Emmanuel Macron, who has once again emerged as the saviour of the world, has announced that he will visit China in April to ask for the Chinese government's help in ending Russia's invasion of Ukraine. "It is a good thing that China is making peace efforts", said the French leader, stressing that peace is only possible if "Russian aggression is stopped, the withdrawal of military forces is stopped and the territorial sovereignty of Ukraine and its people is respected".
"China must help us to put pressure on Russia never to use chemical or nuclear weapons... and that it stops its aggression as a precondition for negotiations," he added.
Madam President, if you really want to help, go to China right now. Better still, meet Xi in Ankara. In this case, even a phone call to the impotent Chinese Communist Party would be the right and necessary step for the stability of world security. This time, at least, you can try.
Tactical level
Belarusian guerrillas have claimed responsibility for what they say was an attack on a Russian A-50 surveillance plane at the Machilishki airfield near the Belarusian capital Minsk on Sunday. "It was a drone. The participants in the operation are Belarusians," Aliaksandr Azarov, leader of the Belarusian anti-government organisation BYPOL, told the Poland-based news channel Belsat.
One of the 7 A-50 reconnaissance and communications aircraft in Russia's possession, costing around $300 million, is a Russian A-50. It will not take off again.
Tonight, the Russian occupiers used 14 Shahed unmanned aerial vehicles on Ukrainian territory. 11 of these UAVs were shot down by Ukrainian defenders.
The occupiers concentrated all their efforts on taking over Bakhmut. The offensive on this front has intensified overnight, but the Ukrainian armed forces are holding on. The Ukrainian army has repelled 81 enemy attacks. The enemy is constantly conducting aerial reconnaissance in order to adjust its strikes.
Armed Russian Wallahs in Alyoshki and Skadovsk, Kherson region, are preparing to flee into the territory of temporarily occupied Crimea. According to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, they fear that the Ukrainian Armed Forces will liberate the Kherson region.
Germany announced new military aid to Ukraine. The new package includes six Biber bridge breakers, 20 000 first aid kits, eight Zetra trucks and 10 winter camouflage nets. The German government plans to transfer 300 000 GEPARD cartridges to the Ukrainian army. For security reasons, detailed information on the method and dates of shipment is being withheld.
Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, told Radio Liberty that the government has no desire for Belarusian troops to invade Ukrainian territory and is therefore not breaking diplomatic relations with Belarus. According to Danilov, the authorities are doing everything they can to prevent this. He noted that there are about 10 000 Russian troops in training grounds in Belarus.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated that Russian-occupied Crimea will always be Ukrainian territory. "Canada reaffirms its commitment to the Ukrainian people and to the principles for which they are fighting - democracy, justice and freedom. We will continue to support Ukraine in every way we can, for as long as it takes," said Trudeau.
As much as necessary. As much as. Just enough.
Ukraine has imposed sanctions on 109 individuals and seven legal entities from the Russian Federation, including the Russian Red Cross.
Russia is helping Iran to develop its missile programme in exchange for the supply of unmanned aerial vehicles for its war against Ukraine. According to CIA Director Williams Burns, the Iran-Russia alliance is developing rapidly, which is a rather worrying signal.
Ukrainian intelligence reports mass desertions from enemy forces. The Russian deputy commanders for political affairs are actively trying to deal with this and prevent desertions. The occupiers are reminded that, under Russian law, those who leave a military unit without leave are liable to 4 to 12 years imprisonment.
On 26 February, the Ukrainian Air Force carried out 4 air strikes on the occupiers' personnel and military equipment sites. A Russian SU-25 attack aircraft was destroyed by Ukrainian defenders.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery units destroyed an enemy ammunition depot and a satellite jamming station.
Photo shows the runway of Machilishki where a Russian A-50 was blown up. Source - Planet Labs PBC / AFP.
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