NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg's statement that "in view of the ongoing fighting in Bakhmut, there is a possibility that it will fall in the coming days" has swept the world media. The Alliance leader also reiterated that Russia "cannot be underestimated" and that, therefore, support for Ukraine must continue.
The fighting in eastern Ukraine is also the subject of an address by Putin's cook, thief and murderer Prigozhin, in which he stands in front of a tank monument in eastern Bakhmut and threatens the world with reprisals: "The Russian Defence Minister told you that the capture of Bakhmut would open up operational space. And the world has not yet been confronted with a Russian army that is well prepared, with units that have not yet entered battle, with all the modern weapons possible, with intelligence that is ideally prepared'.
That Putin's chef is cooking up delusions is nothing new. However, when the head of the world's most powerful military bloc speaks as if he is frightened by Prigozhin's threats, it seems very strange. Why the NATO leader predicts the fall of Bakhmut and warns of Russian threats - not for the first time, by the way - is completely incomprehensible to us. Maybe the man is really afraid of Russia, maybe he wants to show that he knows a lot, maybe he has inadvertently spilled the beans, maybe he likes to be on the front pages of the media, like most politicians, or maybe he is just working for a team of cheesecakes.
NATO and Western leaders now have to come up with a plan for taming Russia, not press releases, with their heads full of grown-ups. And to act, quickly, not with words but with deeds on the ground. So far, instead of concrete moves, we are seeing word mills churning out meaningless splashes and causing confusion.
The scandal over the alleged leaked information about 'Ukrainian footprints' in the Nord Stream explosions continues to swirl. This unexpected news is being scalped with great relish by the Kremlin's stooges, and Putin's puppet, Zakharova, has already established that the explosion was carried out by a private Ukrainian shipping company registered in Poland.
Ane? Oh, how unexpected! The Poles and the Ukrainians plotted a terrorist attack on the territory of their partners and allies, and a private (!) company carried out a sophisticated operation to undermine Russia.
We see this whole mind-baiting campaign as an operation by the Kremlin to discredit Ukraine and its loyal partner, Poland, by exposing these countries as masterminds of terrorist acts and as countries where subversive groups capable of carrying out major terrorist acts are based. In this way, the Kremlin is seeking to undermine Ukraine's credibility as a state, to reduce support for it and to arouse suspicions about Poland's credibility. It also seeks to upset relations between Germany and Ukraine and between Ukraine and the EU by negotiating heavy weapons support. That is why this information about the organisers and the 'sponsor' of the bombing has been 'leaked' now.
Neither Poland nor Ukraine has any intention of blowing up a pipe that is leaking gas, knowing full well that the pipeline can be repaired. Terrorist acts in foreign countries are a deep and long tradition of the KGB, GRU, FSB and SVR. This is not the first time that 'information' has been channelled through agencies working abroad. Even before the invasion, several US congressmen addressed President D. Trump to stop America from funding the Ukrainian army because Kyiv is allegedly patronising the Azov battalion, which is training terrorists and terrorist attacks all over the world, including the US and Australia. All this information was, of course, fictitious, a lie that had its origins in the FSB's fairy-tale-making department in Lubyanka in Moscow. However, the Azov Battalion has been undermined, suspended from social networks and presented as fascist and terrorist.
It is also important for Russia to stop its support for Ukraine because the EU decision on the supply of 155 mm calibre ammunition to Ukraine is due to be approved on 20 March. Josep Borrell announced this decision, stating that 'time is of the essence here'. He proposed that ministers consider a package of €1 billion from the European Peace Facility.
Borrell also mentioned increasing the production capacity of the European defence industry in order to "meet the huge demand not only from Ukraine but also from our armies". "To sum up: three points - two billion euros to help Ukraine get more ammunition more quickly, to support its army and to resist the Russian invasion", Borrell stated.
The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry expressed its solidarity with the people of Sakartvelo in the face of the protests. It noted that the draft law on "foreign agents", which sparked mass protests, is contrary to European values and standards.
Putler is orchestrating events in Sakartveli at the hands of former Prime Minister and billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, who founded the ruling Georgian Dream party. Aware of the pro-European sentiments of the majority of the Kartvelians, Putin has been cozying up to the situation in Sakartveli gradually. Initially, large protests against the LGBT movement were triggered, followed by the emergence of pro-Russian parties which gained representation in parliament, ostensibly breaking away from the majority. However, all the parties and movements were people controlled by Ivanishvili, or rather by Moscow. It was these people who submitted to Parliament a law on foreigners almost identical to the one already adopted in Russia.
The problem in Sakartvelo is that many people look slavishly at their leader, the rich man Ivanishvili (remember him?). There is therefore no doubt that Putin's vassal in Tbilisi has been given the task of destroying Sakartveland for good. This does not mean a military invasion, as in Ukraine. It is enough for Moscow to block the country's prospects of joining the European Union. That is the main objective of the actions of the pro-Russian political forces, because, unlike Ukraine and Moldova, Sakartvel has not yet obtained EU candidate status.
The Kadyrovian option for Sakartvel is perfectly acceptable to Putin at the moment.
China will continue to cooperate with Russia despite "global opposition", according to an inter-agency report to the Senate Intelligence Committee's annual hearing on global threats to US security.
"Despite the global backlash over Russia's invasion of Ukraine, China will continue to pursue diplomatic, defence, economic and technological cooperation with Russia to continue to try to challenge the United States, even while limiting public support," the report said. Russia is unlikely to seek conflict with the US and NATO, but the war in Ukraine poses a "high risk" of that happening and there is a "real possibility" that Russian military failures in Ukraine will undermine Putin's position domestically, raising the prospect of escalation.
We cannot say that this is the case, but the logical conclusion is that the US security services are concerned about the security of Putin's position in Russia. Putin is shooting another bottle of champagne.
The most important task is to enslave people's minds. Whoever does that will rule the world.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and UN chief Antonio Guterres are calling for an extension of the Black Sea Grain Agreement. Turkey is also said to be pushing hard for this. The Black Sea Grains Initiative, brokered by the UN and Turkey, allowed grain exports from three Ukrainian ports last July. The agreement will expire on 18 March unless another extension is agreed. This is a crucial moment in stopping world hunger and controlling migration. If the West continues to worry about Putin's stability, it may soon have to worry about millions of angry and hungry immigrants from Asia and Africa, forgetting what Putin is doing there in the east.
Hunger, emigration - two very dangerous weapons for the Kremlin.
The time of the clang of weapons.
Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff has called on EU colleagues to support a plan to buy one million artillery shells to help Kyiv fight the Russian invasion and replenish stocks. Reznikoff supports Estonia's proposal for EU countries to jointly buy one million 155 mm shells for Ukraine this year at a cost of four billion euros.
Andriy Yermak, Head of the Ukrainian President's Office, meets with US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to discuss the situation in Kiev and defence assistance to Ukraine. Sullivan was briefed on the decisions taken by the Ukrainian military leadership on the progress of the defence operation in the Bakhmut sector. The decisions were not reported.
Ukraine is firing up to 5 000 artillery shells per day, but this is still not enough to gain an advantage over the enemy on the battlefield. The US can currently produce 14 000 howitzer shells per month, but Ukraine fires that many shells in just over two days. Negotiations have therefore begun on the continuous production of ammunition. The United States has concluded a contract for the production of USD 522 million worth of ammunition for Ukraine.
This is yet another answer to those of us who ask why Ukraine is not attacking.
New echelons of Russian military equipment and a contingent are reportedly arriving in Belarus. Two military trains have arrived in the country from Moscow railway stations. One train has arrived at the Osipovichi-I station. The second military column of 49 wagons arrived at Polonka station. There were 4 wagons with people (200 people per wagon), 5 covered wagons with military equipment and 40 flat wagons with underwater wheeled and tracked military equipment.
More than 20 Leopard 2 tanks are due to arrive in Ukraine at the end of March. Three Portuguese and 18 German tanks are expected to arrive, German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius told an informal meeting of EU defence ministers in Stockholm. The tanks will arrive in Ukraine with a trained crew and the Leopard 2 can be sent to the front line as soon as it arrives, the minister said.
That is not enough tanks to form a brigade and launch an offensive in any direction.
Overnight, Russian terrorists staged another massive missile and drone attack on Ukrainian cities.
One missile hit a residential building in the Lviv area. Two men and two women were killed. More people may be under the rubble.
The occupiers struck a missile strike in the Odessa area, hitting energy infrastructure and damaging residential buildings. Odessa is currently subject to electricity restrictions.
Ukrainian air defence units shot down several anti-aircraft missiles.
Terrorists struck Kyiv overnight with all available weapons, from "shahids" to cruise missiles. The air raid lasted almost 7 hours.
Ukrainian air defences reportedly shot down all drones and cruise missiles. However, according to preliminary data, one Kijal missile hit the infrastructure of the capital.
During the night, the occupiers struck about 15 strikes in and around Kharkiv. The occupiers targeted critical infrastructure. Preliminary data indicate that a private residential building was hit. Information on casualties and the extent of destruction is being revised.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have repelled more than 110 drone attacks.
The Russian occupiers continue to violate the norms and principles of international law by targeting civilian objects, residential areas and critical infrastructure throughout Ukraine.
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces informs that "according to preliminary data, the armed forces of the Russian Federation have almost exhausted all stocks of artillery ammunition stored in warehouses in central Russia. The movement of ammunition from depots in other Russian regions to the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine is currently being monitored.
The condition and quality of new batches of ammunition is also observed to be poor due to improper storage and violations of service rules and regulations. Almost 50% of them show visible signs of rust damage. In the context of intensive warfare and the current unsatisfactory condition of the ammunition, shortages in the artillery units of the Russian Armed Forces should be expected in the next 2-3 months.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Air Force has launched 11 air strikes on military concentrations of drills and their rusty shells, and has hit an anti-aircraft missile complex.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces attacked 2 concentration points of armed Valkats and hit the headquarters of a Russian military formation.
Photo shows Ukrainian defenders in Chasiv Yar. Source:apnews.com
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