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THE INVASION OF UKRAINE BY RUSSIA AND BELARUS. SITUATION OVERVIEW 2022 12 30 / 11:00

Political strategic level
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace says the UK will provide £2.3 billion in aid to Ukraine in 2023, adding that some of this will be non-military and humanitarian support.
Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni says she is confident that Russia will realise the "grave mistake" it made in invading Ukraine and that Rome will help Kyiv fight back. "We will defend Ukraine's international rights, sovereignty and freedom", Meloni told reporters at the prime minister's traditional end-of-year press conference.
Instead of empty talk, Italy would rather train Ukrainians to fly F-35 fighter jets.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine will result in a military defeat because of the West's support for Kyiv, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. "I am in favour of Germany, together with its allies, supporting Ukraine so that it can win this war", Habeck said.
"Support" is a prepositional phrase meaning that the necessary support is not available and will only come under certain conditions. The most likely condition is the arrival of the Abrams across the Atlantic.
In response to the USD 60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil, Putler signed a decree on Tuesday banning the supply of crude oil and petroleum products for five months from 1 February to countries that comply with the price cap.
This means that the revenue that Russia receives from oil will fall even further.
Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Minister for Foreign Terrorism, has stated that Volodymyr Zelensky's proposal to withdraw the Russian army from the Donbas, the Crimea, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson, which are supposedly part of the Russian territory, is unrealistic. The desire for Russia to pay compensation to make it "guilty before international courts" is unrealistic, Lavrov said. "We will not talk to anyone under such conditions", Lavrov said.
Lavrov's nail-biter Zakharova blamed Zelensky's unwillingness to negotiate on the Anglo-Saxons, who "have an interest in the continuation of hostilities". The peace plan proposed by Kyiv is "another PR campaign by Washington". Ms Zakharova also argues that Kyiv's plan to hold a peace summit only if Russia completely capitulates "says that they are beginning to signal that they no longer have the strength".
The Kremlin's position, expressed through the mouths of Lavrov and Zakharova, on Ukraine's call for Russia to be removed from the UN Security Council, is a sensitive area for the regime. Putler's rag to clean his feet, Lavrov, reacting to such proposals, hastened to announce that they have no basis in international law or in reality. He said that such proposals were like a work of fiction, unrelated to diplomacy.
Sergei Lavrov has repeatedly said that it is impossible to deprive Russia of its membership of the UN Security Council. The US has confirmed that Russia cannot be expelled from the UN Security Council. White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre made this public at a press conference on 15 December.
It is doubtful whether US representatives in their time, especially after 11 September 2001, would have agreed to sit at the same table as Osama bin Laden or his right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, in the case of Ukraine, the presence of terrorists and representatives of mass murder, not to mention the terrorist state itself, in an international organisation is not in question.
The division of nations, of states, into first-, second- and third-classes leads us backwards, not forwards. More precisely, to the darkness of the 1930s. Quis costodiet ipsos custodies?
Operational level
Ukraine's production facilities and electricity grids have been damaged following a new Russian air strike. It is said that the aim was to locate Ukrainian air defence systems. "A very powerful mass attack aimed specifically at identifying air defence forces. It is very unfortunate that our citizens can help the enemy in order to get the most important news," said Natalia Humeniuk, Head of the Southern Defence Forces Press Centre. 40% of Kyiv and 90% of Lviv are without electricity.
The missile attack resulted in 85 missiles fired, of which 54 were shot down. The effectiveness of the air defence systems this time ranged from 50% to 80%, compared to a Patriot missile with an effectiveness (probability of hitting the target) of around 70%.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin claims that Russia shot down another drone yesterday near Engels airbase. According to Moscow's estimates, Ukraine has already attempted to attack the base twice this month. We have reasonable doubts about the use of drones from Ukrainian territory, which can reach targets in Russia 600 km away (given that they cannot fly directly due to air defence systems), but it is almost certain that they could be allowed from very suitable locations close to the Engels military base.
The big question is why Russia is putting so much emphasis on these real or perceived drone strikes.
One of the possible versions is to frighten its own public, to arouse the anger of its citizens by diverting them away from the war and the mobilisation, and to justify the mass attacks it is preparing on Ukrainian territory. Another version is that Russia is afraid to admit that subversive groups of Russians, trained by the Ukrainians, are operating inside its borders, far behind. This would mean that guerrilla warfare is taking place on Russian territory and would give hope and motivation to Russian citizens who are not in favour of the war to join the underground.
Putler stated that Russia will build four new ballistic missile submarines that will ensure the country's security for decades. The new submarines and ships will be equipped with high-precision weapons and robotic systems for modern navigation, communication and sonar systems.
Maybe they will. But they won't. Putin certainly will not build anymore.
The Minsk media reported that the Belarusian air defence forces shot down a Ukrainian S-300 missile yesterday over a village near the Belarus-Ukraine border. There is no evidence that it was a Ukrainian missile, but according to Minsk, "the local population has absolutely nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, these things happen".
The tone demonstrates the complete moral unwillingness of the Belarusians to die in a war against Ukraine.
Tactical level
Over the past day, the occupiers have fired 85 rockets, 35 airstrikes and 63 shelling attacks with rocket fire systems into Ukrainian territory.
The risk of air and missile strikes on the country's critical infrastructure remains.
The Russians are repeating Pavlik Morozov's tactics at Bakhmut. The difference is that then the machine guns were plugged with bodies, and now they are trying to repel Ukrainian artillery with bodies. The poorly equipped Drisks cannot engage in close combat, and when they take casualties, they panic and "grease the skis". Both sides claim to be in control of the ruins of the city, but this is not the case. According to sources on the ground, the occupiers' propaganda claim that the city is divided into two halves is utter nonsense. Yes, the tactical situation is changing by the hour, both sides are under orders from the leadership not to retreat, but the occupiers' casualties are mounting. It seems to us that in a few more days if the Russians do not get reinforcements, we will see the chaotic flight of the armed remnants of the vagabonds.
The Ukrainians are continuing their tactic of starving the Russians in the cities and have the advantage of being better prepared tactically, technically and psychologically.
Over the past day, Ukrainian military aviation has carried out 12 strikes on areas of concentration of enemy personnel, weapons, and military equipment and a strike on an enemy anti-aircraft missile complex. Ukrainian missile forces and artillery units hit 5 checkpoints, 5 cannon fodder concentration points and an occupying forces ammunition depot.
We received telephone footage of a Su-27 fighter shot down by the Russian air defence system in the skies over the Saratov region. The information in the public domain about the fact that an anti-aircraft system operator may have supported his own aircraft with a Ukrainian drone raises a smile. However, if the plane was indeed shot down, it raises a lot of questions about the operation of the terrorists' own-enemy system. If a 'virus' has got in there, that would be very good news for the New Year.
Commentary
Moscow's goblins sacralise, revere and fear the US, attributing all the credit for Kyiv to Washington. Unfortunately, this is not the case. The Washington Post has published Joe Biden's 10 worst deeds, including his ambiguous relations with Ukraine. Columnist Marc A. Thiessen thinks that Biden delayed military aid to Ukraine for fear of provoking Vladimir Putin.
After the attack on Moscow on 24 February, he offered to help President Volodymyr Zelensky escape, to which the Ukrainian leader responded loudly: "I don't need taxis, I need ammunition". Biden reportedly prevented Poland from handing over Soviet-built MiG-29 fighter jets to Kyiv, fearing that more US support could trigger "World War III". This prompted Zelensky to ask: "What is NATO's position? Is it controlled by Russia?"
"Mr Biden waited more than nine months to provide Ukraine with just one Patriot air defence system, allowing Putin to destroy schools, homes, hospitals and critical infrastructure." Thiessen believes that Biden's agreement to give Ukraine all the weapons it needs, but the delay in doing so, is prolonging the conflict, resulting in thousands of civilian deaths, and postponing Putin's defeat.
Dear friends, this is just one opinion. It is partly correct because what we see is that the West is actually delaying the conflict in order to weaken both Russia and - we have to tell you this - Ukraine. It is possible to believe that, having achieved nothing, and having won nothing, both sides will be forced to the negotiating table. It makes no difference whether Crimea is liberated or whether it is part of Russia. The West is simply seeking an end to active hostilities and senseless killing without provoking a catastrophe.
And this scenario has a fundamental flaw because it does not contain the key to solving the problem. And no vision of the future. It is a preservation of both Putin and the war for the future. Such a process will surely mean more war in the future and a repetition of the unlearned lessons of the Second World War. We are doing our best to explain this to the West, but our voice - for the time being - is too weak and too inaudible.
Returning to the accusations against Biden, we can add that the US cannot give all the weapons it wants to the Ukrainians, because unfortunately, they are not yet able to wage war with them properly. We are talking about the interaction of different capabilities and their effective use. We must also realise that the US is currently dealing not only with the Russia-Ukraine war but also with the China-Taiwan conflict; also with energy and food crises and other geopolitical problems. We certainly want the US to provide Ukraine with long-range ATACMS missiles for artillery, and for the Ukrainians to use them to break out of Ukraine and attack military bases in Russia. We would be very happy to help with that.
However, the West is not prepared to deal with the Russian problem at this stage, and it will have to be dealt with sooner or later anyway. There is simply no other option. It just takes time and, unfortunately, more blood to come to this realisation. The direct involvement of NATO countries in this war is inevitable.
That is what we said on the morning of 25 February and what we have said many times since. And the West is moving slowly towards a turning point.
Photo: The Biden administration is considering sending Bradley Fighting Vehicles to Ukraine. "The Bradley would further increase Ukraine's ground capabilities.
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