RUSSIA ADOPTS NEW TACTICS ON THE GROUND (28/02/2023)
Political strategic level
On Monday, the head of the United Nations said that the Russian invasion "has caused mass death, destruction and displacement". Antonio Guterres also said that Russia had committed "the most massive human rights violations" in the world in Ukraine. The war is now in its second year and tens of thousands of people have died in the horrific meat grinder of aggression.
In his long speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Mr Guterres looked tired and sad. "The attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure have caused many casualties and terrible suffering," he lamented, stressing that there is no end in sight to the war waged by Russia.
A. Mr Guterres' speech came as the Ukrainian army reported that Russia had carried out drone attacks in several regions of the country between late Sunday and Monday morning, killing two people.
There was not much interest in the Secretary-General's speech among the large audience. Many of them sat with visibly bored faces, presumably thinking about what they had eaten for breakfast and how they would have 'taken off' from their well-paid jobs earlier in the day, perhaps in the afternoon, to get their eyebrows and fingernails done.
Meanwhile, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in the Ukrainian capital, as air raid sirens echoed, that her first visit to Ukraine underlined Washington's commitment to continuing economic support for the country.
After talks with Ukrainian Prime Minister Shymkhal, Yellen said the US had already provided nearly $50 billion in security, economic and humanitarian assistance and announced another multi-billion dollar package to boost the country's economy.
Mr Shmyhal thanked the US for its support and mentioned that Ukraine's budget deficit currently stands at USD 38 billion and that he expects to receive a further USD 10 billion in support from the US before September.
Yellen reiterated the same Western slogan that Washington will support Ukraine as long as necessary, stressed the importance of the fight against corruption and praised Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for having adopted measures to ensure transparency in the use of aid.
"Maintaining an effective government is essential for Ukraine to be able to respond to Russian attacks and other emergencies," Yellen said. "Our economic support helps maintain essential public services. These services support economic and social stability in Ukraine."
It is all reminiscent of a surreal Bunuel film, where pirates are constantly firing at a ship in motion with weapons of various calibers, sweeping the deck, punching through the sides, and instead of a nearby aircraft carrier armed to the teeth to deal with the pirates firing at the ship, they are trying to pump the sinking ship out of the water, which is pouring in through all the holes. The logic here is that the captain of the aircraft carrier thinks it is better to provide more and more powerful pumps to remove the water from the ship faster than it enters it.
War is war, but the spring of visits is coming. Pope Francis will visit Hungary at the end of April, the Vatican said. His trip is expected to focus on migration to Europe and Russia's war in Ukraine. The 28-30 April trip to Budapest will be a genuine state visit after Francis stopped briefly for a few hours in 2021 to conclude a church conference.
Since then, Hungary has welcomed hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion. Francis, who has repeatedly expressed solidarity with Ukraine, met Orban at the Vatican last April and thanked him for welcoming them. However, Orban, a friend of the Russian führer, firmly rejects any immigration and is keen to prevent Hungary from becoming "mixed". Although Hungary has accepted Ukrainian refugees, it has refused to provide Kyiv with weapons or to allow them to pass through Hungarian territory. Orban has spoken out against the European Union's sanctions against Moscow and has withheld some financial aid packages for Ukraine.
We do not want to be too quick to judge this papal visit, let alone in a critical way. The Pontiff often does the opposite of what is perhaps appropriate according to the logic of a layman. Perhaps the most important thing that the head of the Catholic Church could do is to remind everyone, wherever they live and whatever they do, to be guided by the Ten Commandments.
Well, okay, man is weak, so at least two of those ten - the fourth and the fifth: honour thy father and mother and thou shalt not murder.
French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to reduce French troop numbers in Africa under a "new security partnership" with the countries concerned and to pursue a more ambitious economic policy to strengthen France's waning influence on the continent.
In a speech at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, ahead of a trip to Gabon, Angola and the Republic of Congo, Mr Macron called for a "new era". He said France must renounce its interference in parts of Africa that it once ruled as a colonial power and said the continent was no longer its "backwater".
E. Macron said that French military bases would not be closed, but would be redesigned according to the needs expressed by African partners. "Our model must not be more military bases like the ones we have now", he said. "Tomorrow, our (military) presence will be through bases, schools, academies, jointly run" by French and African personnel. And I say this very clearly: it is not France's role to solve all Africa's problems," he added.
When Africa's problems are left to it, the virus of China and Russia immediately sets in.
Today, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Kazakhstan, where he will meet with Kazakh Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi and later with Kazakh President Kassim-Yomart Tokayev. This will be followed by a meeting of the so-called C5+1 group, which consists of the US and the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Mr Blinken's visit to Astana, and later this week to the Uzbek capital Tashkent, marks his first trip to Central Asia as Secretary of State. None of the five former Soviet Central Asian republics, traditionally considered part of the Kremlin's sphere of influence, publicly supports Russia's war in Ukraine.
Blinken will apparently try to convince the Central Asian states that they are threatened by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Peskov, who is a mouthpiece for Putin, has once again resorted to blackmail, which is typical of terrorists. "Unless Washington listens to Moscow's position, Russia will not resume its participation in the START nuclear arms reduction treaty with the United States," the talking head fumed. "The security of one country cannot be ensured at the expense of the security of another," Peskov said, forgetting to look in the mirror. He also said that NATO, by arming Ukraine, "acts as a bloc no longer as our relative adversaries, but as enemies".
On the Chinese peace plan for Ukraine, the Kremlin spokesman said that "any attempts to formulate theses on how to achieve a peaceful solution to the problem are welcome, but of course the nuances are important".
And the nuances are that Moscow is awaiting the first batch of arms or parts of arms from its 'unlimited ally' China. What is more, Russia is clearly preparing for the next step, which will escalate the war. This is evidenced by the announcement by the Russian Ministry of War Crimes and Aggression that the United States is planning a provocation in Ukraine using poisonous chemical agents.
Igor Kirillov, Commander of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defence Forces of the Russian Armed Forces, said that Russia "will identify and punish the real culprits".
Yeah, what? Identify what? The perpetrators of an event that has not yet happened and is only in the Kremlin's plans?
The dictator of Belarus, Mr Lukashenko, has flown to China. It is a pity he did not go to the moon. Lukashenko and Jinping are planning to hold talks in a narrow and extended format, after which a large package of documents will be signed on the development of relations in key areas. Lukashenko's visit to China will end on 2 March.
Let us add another two or three weeks. At the end of March or the beginning of April, we should probably see the results of that meeting on Belarusian soil in the form of weapons. We hope that this does not happen.
Latvian President Egils Levits has stated that Ukraine should become a member of the North Atlantic Alliance. As he said in an interview with Radio Free Europe, this would be an added plus for NATO. In response to a question from a journalist who drew attention to the strength of the Ukrainian army, Mr Levits said that he definitely sees Ukraine as a NATO member and that Ukraine "will have one of the best armies in the world".
The Ukrainian army is already one of the best armies in the world, Mr President.
The head of Ukrainian intelligence, K. Budanov, says that in order to make some kind of a breakthrough on the war front, 'an intensification of the supply of weapons is needed. This is an intensification. Because the arming is going on, but the pace and volume are not enough to make a breakthrough. From now on. Hence, more is needed", he said.
In his view, Ukraine needs attack aircraft, A10s, Thunderbolt IIs, attack helicopters such as the AN64 and so on. Earlier, Budanov said that by the end of the summer of 2023, the Ukrainian armed forces will reach the 1991 borders and that Ukraine now has all the means to end the war with victory. He also ruled out the possibility that Russia might decide to use nuclear weapons if Ukraine tried to liberate Crimea. Budanov said that at present he saw no indication that China would agree to transfer weapons to Russia.
Russian forces are trying to reorganise their forces into smaller and more manoeuvrable formations. The new organisation and tactics of the 'assault unit' are based on the operation of a battalion minus size, consisting of six T-72 tanks, 12 BMP armoured personnel carriers, a set of man-portable thermobaric missile launchers, anti-tank guided missile systems, towed artillery and self-propelled mortars. The main manoeuvre elements of the formation are assault squads, or rather divisions, of 12 to 15 men, divided into tactical groups of three.
Such an organisation would partly allow the "safe" use of tanks for infantry support, and would reduce the loss of both armoured vehicles and live flesh during an attack.
But since the Driski's hands grow out of their asses, no new tactic to save tanks will help them. Since the beginning of the invasion, the Russians have lost about 4,000 tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.
The commander of the Ukrainian ground forces said that the situation in Bakhmut is "very tense" as the Russian forces that besieged it have intensified their offensive to completely encircle it. Russia is trying to cut the supply lines of the Ukrainian defenders to the town, which is the scene of some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and to force them to surrender or retreat. This would give Russia its first major breakthrough in more than half a year and pave the way for the capture of the last remaining urban centres in the Donetsk region.
The Moldovan intelligence agency reported yesterday that two foreign nationals posing as tourists were caught in the course of "subversive activities" aimed at destabilising Moldova. The two were expelled from the country and banned from entering the country for 10 years.
Meanwhile, Wizz Air has announced that it will suspend flights to the Moldovan capital Chisinau from 14 March due to concerns about the security of its airspace. The Moldovan civil aviation authority called the decision sudden and regrettable. It is a signal to heed, but not to panic. Business is always the first to smell smoke, which can soon turn into open flames.
The Russian Führer Putin awarded Hollywood actor Steven Seagal for his 'international humanitarian and cultural work'. He was awarded the Russian Order of Friendship. In another decree, Seagal will be mobilised to the front and will fight alone against thousands of "neo-Nazi Banderovtsy" legions.
The Russian Federation continues its offensive on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk axes. Last day, the Ukrainians repelled more than 60 enemy attacks in these axes.
The Drisksis launched 8 missile and 32 air strikes. 85 attacks were launched by salvo fire systems.
The threat of further missile strikes is high throughout the territory of Ukraine.
The enemy is restricting the movement of civilians in the temporarily occupied territory of Kherson region.
Over the past day, 11 Iranian Shaheed-136 and 1 Zala unmanned aerial vehicles have been destroyed by units of the Defence Forces.
Ukrainian aviation struck 4 times in areas where the occupiers were concentrated. Missile and artillery units hit one checkpoint, two enemy concentration areas and two air defence positions.
At the time of writing, we have received unconfirmed information from other sources that Wagner is already in the centre of Bakhmut.
The photo shows Ukrainian troops on exercise near Kharkiv preparing for an attack. Source: apnews.com
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