Political strategic level
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg calls on NATO members to provide more arms to Ukraine. "I urge allies to do more. It is in all our security interests to ensure that Ukraine prevails and that Putin does not prevail," Stoltenberg said. "We know that most wars end at the negotiating table - and probably this one too - but we know that what Ukraine can achieve in these talks is inextricably linked to the military situation," he said.
The only way to bring security for Europe to the peace table is for Russia to accept all the conditions without reservations that Ukraine will offer.
Moscow's UN Ambassador to the UN, Vasily Nebenzya, said that civilians were not being tortured and killed in the Kyiv suburb of Buche, despite clear evidence of atrocities. "No local residents have suffered any violent acts," said Nebenzya, calling the photos and videos of bodies in the streets "a crude forgery" staged by the Ukrainians.
The bloodthirsty bloodsucker mocks the disabled UN and democracy around the world, spitting on the principles and order of Western civilisation, and the West condones it. Western impotence is a diagnosis, and Russia, unfortunately, is not involved. Russia is just taking advantage of it, like a telephone scammer taking advantage of a senile demented old lady who has given him all her life savings.
Bulgaria's only nuclear power plant has signed a nuclear fuel supply contract with a French company to replace the nuclear fuel supplied by Russia. The state-owned Kozloduy power plant on the Danube river currently uses Russian fuel for its two Soviet-built 1000 MWe reactors. Under a 10-year agreement, Framatome, a subsidiary of French energy giant EDF, will supply nuclear fuel to Kozloduy's Unit 5 reactor from the beginning of 2025.
Bulgaria has "fully diversified the supply of nuclear fuel" for its only nuclear power plant, the country's interim energy minister Rossen Hristov said. "The aim is the security of supply and safe operation".
The realisation that cheap is far from safe has finally come. At the end of the year, it is very much worth calculating how much 'cheap' Russian gas and 'cheap' oil and other cheap resources of a cheap commodity country, bought from the hands of criminals, have cost us all. How many billions are we, the West, currently paying to Ukraine, how many billions are being lost as a result of the energy, food and price crisis, how many billions more will be needed for new military resources and for the reconstruction of Ukraine?
Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has confirmed that the sanctions against Russia and Belarus are still in place. "These sanctions against the states and governments of Russia and Belarus must and will be firmly enforced", he said. "We stand in solidarity with Ukrainian athletes and members of the Olympic community everywhere. Also in the new year, Ukrainian athletes can count on the full commitment of the IOC and the entire Olympic Movement to this solidarity. We want to see a strong Ukrainian team at the 2024 Paris Olympics and the 2026 Milan Cortina Winter Olympics," Bach added.
An important endorsement and a blow to the Kremlin, which is at war on all fronts, including sport.
From the bunker, Führer Putin "sincerely" congratulated Turkish ruler Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the coming New Year, stressing that "mutually beneficial Russian-Turkish relations are developing in a very dynamic way despite the difficult international situation".
Putler also sent holiday greetings to the leaders of the occupied Abkhazia region, Azerbaijan, Armenia, annexed Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, occupied South Ossetia, Bolivia, Brazil, Hungary, Venezuela, Vietnam, India, China, Cuba, Nicaragua, Serbia and Syria. The Kremlin has said that Putin will not wish a happy New Year to Mr Biden, Mr Scholz, Mr Macron or other "leaders of unfriendly countries".
What a "loss" to be ignored by the world's scum! And, mhm, somehow we find it strange that Macron's phone calls did not help him to receive a New Year's card from a terrorist and a war criminal after all. Hungary, on the other hand, has much to be proud of.
Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister, declared that all that was left in the West was the sect of 'saving Russia's face'. It is a marginal sect, but it still exists, he explained.
"For me, the most important thing now is not so much to overcome this sect, but to reinforce the understanding of our partners that whatever the Russian government is, Russia will not change fundamentally. This should stop a much wider circle of people who believe that it is possible to make Russia a liberal, democratic country. And it is certainly much more important to overcome this narrative. It is much more important to accept the thesis that Russia is what it is, and that our task is not to turn an orc into an elf, but to quell this aggression. And to create the conditions that will make Russian expansion impossible. This means that it should go from being an aggressive authoritarian country to simply being an authoritarian, conservative country. They should be pushed into their borders and shut down. Let them live in their own autonomy, under their own king, but let them not attack anyone," Kuleba added.
We subscribe to the message that a liberal Russia is not possible today because there can be no liberal empire. No Kremlin opposition force has so far put forward any clear plan for liberalising Russia. But...
We cannot accept that it is possible to turn Russia into a closed and conservative authoritarian state. The Russian Empire - without Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, the Baltic States and Berlin - is not an empire. Therefore, the march will continue until the imperial project is liquidated, both physically and in the mind of the collective Putin. And it will not be possible to cut Russia off with barbed wire, because the missiles are still breaking through the physical barriers today.
Yesterday, Putin said in a virtual meeting with his Chinese friend Xi Jinping that their partnership is more important than ever because Moscow's invasion of Ukraine is increasingly isolating it on the world stage.
The Russian leader described relations between the two nations as "the best in history", saying they can "withstand all challenges" and invited Xi to visit Moscow in spring 2023. Xi echoed Putin's message of unity, saying the two countries should "strengthen strategic coordination" and "bring more stability to the world", Chinese state media reported.
Let us not imagine that this friendship between Beijing and Moscow is sincere. Beijing has been waiting for a long time for the fat and decrepit Russian bear to crawl bare-bottomed and with all its resources into the jaws of the Chinese dragon. However, the protracted war and the economic crisis are also taking a heavy toll on the Chinese economy, at the same time as the country has been battling for a long time with the biggest outbreak of the kovid virus in its history. Beijing wants stability and peace as it deals with its huge internal and external economic problems.
28 years ago, on 31 December 1994, the 'New Year's storming of Grozny' began. "On the orders of the 'democrat' Boris Yeltsin, Generals Pavel Grachev and Anatoly Kvashin, a surprise attack was launched. The city was attacked by 15 000 troops, 200 tanks, 500 armoured vehicles, supported by 200 artillery pieces. The Russians suffered an ignominious and crushing defeat. They also lost the first Chechen war. However, in 1999, already under Putin's rule, during the Second Chechen War, the city of Grozny was razed to the ground.
Both Russia and the West did not learn from their mistakes and they are on the same rake. Yeltsin's war crimes and the mass killings of Chechen civilians were looked down upon at the time. The war criminal Yeltsin is still referred to as a democrat by some of our political leaders with the serf syndrome. If we had stopped Russia then, there would be no Ukrainian war today, no geopolitical conundrum to solve and no security for our children to worry about.
Russia has started to use fewer missiles in mass strikes, said Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence's Main Intelligence Directorate. He noted that on 29 December. Russia used "everything it can" against Ukraine on 29 December, launching "Shaheds" and striking with S-300 surface-to-air missile systems. According to Yusov, Russia can no longer sustain such a high intensity of missile attacks.
Yesterday, Russia's Minister of War and Terror Sergei Shoigu announced the end of mobilisation. However, according to Ukrainian intelligence, the Russian Federation is planning a new wave of conscription starting in the first half of January. Kyrylo Budanov, Head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, says that "the occupiers are short of manpower when forming new units. On this basis, they are now considering and have already decided to launch another wave of mobilisation on 5 January".
The Russians are reportedly facing problems in manning existing units. Units are suffering heavy losses in combat, but the Russians have no reserves. This threatens to leave large holes in the defence.
The Bakhmut offensive, which killed thousands of Russians, may soon turn into a shameful running back. It is precisely because of the lack of manpower and technical resources that the Russians are no longer able to carry out military operations and the Ukrainian forces lack the resources to advance.
The West must have its say. However, the West is watching with interest the 'spectacle' of the battlefield, hoping that the war-weary sides will come to the negotiating table.
We must disappoint. A country with 140 million live-meat resources is determined to conquer half the world and fight for as many years as necessary. It will not stop under any circumstances until it strikes back. Heavy weapons, including tanks and fighter jets, will have to be delivered to Kyiv at an accelerated pace. Better to do it now.
Over the past day, the Russian occupiers have fired 5 missiles and 29 air strikes into Ukrainian territory. 26 strikes targeted civilian infrastructure. The attackers used 10 Shahed-136s in the attacks, but all of them were shot down. Russian terrorists carried out 80 shelling attacks with rocket fire systems.
The threat of air and missile strikes remains throughout Ukraine.
Military commissariats in the occupied territory of Crimea are reportedly compiling lists of those who will be called up for military service in January 2023.
In the Fedorivka area of the Kherson region, the Ukrainians have liquidated about 200 drisks.
In the Zaporizhzhya region, 115 so-called soldiers were wounded, 5 pieces of various types of military equipment, an anti-aircraft missile complex and an ammunition depot were destroyed.
Ukrainian military aviation carried out 10 strikes against the concentration points of the occupying forces and military equipment, including 3 anti-aircraft missile complexes.
An Orlan-10 enemy reconnaissance UAV was shot down.
Ukrainian artillery units struck a command post, 7 enemy personnel and military equipment centres, 5 ammunition depots and 2 invader radio stations.
Ukraine Today looks at how Western support has changed since the start of the war.
Admittedly, although today Kyiv and we are chastised for our slow pace, support for Ukraine has changed radically.
In the early days of the war, the Ukrainians held back Mordor with light weapons from the West - the NLAW, the Javelin and the Stinger. Only a few countries actively supported it. The US, the UK, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia were the most important contributors to Ukraine in the early days of the war, and are therefore considered by the Ukrainians as the most reliable partners. The Czech Republic and Slovakia joined later.
Some European countries have decided to follow a policy of convenience: Austria, Hungary and Italy refused to support sanctions against Russia. Germany, Hungary, Italy and Cyprus opposed Russia's disconnection from SWIFT. Putin's number one friend in Europe has so far remained Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that France denied the threat of a Russian invasion until the last moment, while Germany hoped for a quick collapse of Kyiv. According to Serhiy Melnyk, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, some politicians even publicly predicted Ukraine's defeat. The German Finance Minister reportedly told a Ukrainian diplomat that the Ukrainian capital would collapse "within 2-3 hours". Therefore, according to them, the supply of arms to Kyiv is "meaningless".
The rhetoric of European politicians changed only after the Ukrainian people withstood the Russian assault. In the first days of the war, numerous rallies against Russian aggression were held in Rome, Milan, Cologne, Bucharest and even Tel Aviv. Politicians were asked why they were trading with Putin.
The biggest change in attitude towards Ukraine was in Germany, which refused to provide any aid at all before the invasion began, and a little later Berlin agreed to hand over to Kyiv only five thousand helmets and supplies for a military hospital. Later, however, the Ukrainian army received German Iris-T and Cheetah air defence systems, howitzers, armoured personnel carriers, portable anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, as well as ammunition and other support. The German leaders' position is said to have been influenced by popular pressure and sentiment in the country. Politicians have started to try to boost their declining ratings in order to get re-elected.
Italy has also changed its behaviour and has already handed over five military aid packages to Ukraine. These include self-propelled artillery and rocket launchers, and air defence systems are also planned.
"Yulia Osmolovska, Director of the Kyiv office of the Globsek think-tank, recalls that the provision of aid to Ukraine in 2022 had several turning points. The first was the success of the Ukrainian army on the battlefield and the second was the atrocities committed by Russian so-called soldiers in Buche and Irpen.
Zelensky's visit to the White House was also a very important signal to the West. When one country starts supplying certain weapons, a chain reaction takes place.
When Slovakia and the Czech Republic delivered their first T-72 tanks, other countries started looking for similar combat vehicles. After the US promised to provide Patriot, other allies also intend to provide more systems of a similar level.
We believe that the trend of increasing military aid to Ukraine will continue in 2023, including the necessary production lines for the military industry. We expect to see F-16s in the skies of Ukraine, and roaring Abrams and other thrashers on the ground. However, for this to happen in reality, we citizens must keep our eyes on the events in Ukraine, and we must keep treading on the toes of our own politicians and those in the West, especially those in the far south-west, who, unfortunately, do not want to think beyond their personal and their party's ratings, their incomes and the view of the sea through the window of the villa.
Photo: a Czech civic initiative has achieved its funding goal of purchasing and donating 15 domestically produced Viktor air defence systems to Ukraine. "Viktor is an upgraded ZPU-2 anti-aircraft gun mounted on a Toyota Land Cruiser 79.
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