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THE INVASION OF UKRAINE BY RUSSIA AND BELARUS. SITUATION OVERVIEW 2023 01 01 / 11:30

Political strategic level
In his New Year's greetings, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, recalling the most dramatic moments and victories of the war, thanked his citizens who had withstood the attacks, the darkness and the cold. "We were told: you have no choice but to surrender. We say: we have no choice but to win", he said, dressed in khaki and standing in the dark with the Ukrainian flag flying behind him.
Meanwhile, the war criminal Putin tried to raise the fighting spirit of his marauders by hurling threats and demands. "The fate of Russia is the most important thing," said the Führer. "The defence of the homeland is our sacred duty to our ancestors and descendants. Moral, historical justice is on our side." Reiterating that the West is supposedly intent on "destroying Russia", the Russian leader promised that he would never allow that to happen. He made it clear once again that the war, however difficult, will continue.
"We have always known, and today we have seen once again, that the sovereign, independent, secure future of Russia depends only on us, on our strength and our will", he said.
What fundamentally contradictory narratives! Zelensky, a true leader, thanked his compatriots, while Putrer, in uniform, threatened his slaves with annihilation if they did not go and die themselves in Ukraine.
Yesterday, former Pope Benedict died at the age of 95. The first pontiff to resign in 600 years, he left behind a Catholic Church torn apart by sexual abuse scandals, divided between hardline conservatives and rebellious modernists. And while Benedict had a good relationship with his successor Pope Francis, his presence in the Vatican after his resignation in 2013 further divided the Catholic hierarchy. Benedict has had to repeat repeatedly in his speeches to worried followers of the old traditions that "there is one Pope, and that is Francis".
Benedict, a piano-playing professor and an impressive theologian, was, by his own admission, a weak leader who struggled to find his footing in the opaque Vatican bureaucracy and stumbled from crisis to crisis during his eight years in office.
Benedict has repeatedly apologised for his failure to root out clerical child sex abuse. He was the first Pope to take serious action against clerical impunity, but his efforts have failed to halt the rapid decline in church attendance in the West, especially in Europe.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year ordered an "exponential" increase in the production of nuclear warheads and the development of a new intercontinental ballistic missile to confront the United States and South Korea. His statement came hours after North Korea fired a short-range ballistic missile off its east coast in a New Year's Eve weapons test.
At a Workers' Party meeting, Kim accused Washington and Seoul of carrying out a "conspiracy to isolate and suppress" North Korea, calling it "unparalleled in the history of mankind". He said the situation requires Pyongyang to "redouble its efforts to enormously strengthen its military power" and "safeguard its sovereignty, security and core national interests to cope with the dangerous military moves by the US and other hostile powers against us". A close friend of Putka also reported that Shakhekor is planning to launch its first military spy satellite in the near future.
For some reason Viktor U. did not attend the Workers' Party congress.
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson made his predictions for 2023: "Here are my New Year predictions! Inflation will continue to fall. China will recover from the omicron. Putin will lose in Ukraine. All in all, 2023 will be much better than 2022. Happy New Year!"
The Kremlin has brought New Year's gifts for its so-called soldiers and civil servants who are being sent to die on Ukrainian soil. Very soon, the corpses will be exempt from income tax. The new tax measure will apply to all Russian citizens who kill civilians in the territories of Ukraine that Moscow has temporarily annexed - Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia.
Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov said that soldiers, policemen, members of the security services and other civil servants serving in the four temporarily occupied regions will no longer have to provide information on "their income, expenses, assets" under the newly signed order. The tax relief will also apply to the partners and children of service personnel and is backdated to 24 February 2022, the date of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
Legalisation of marauders and murderers. This is not a case of thieves "v zakone".
Operational level
Unchanged.
On New Year's Eve, the terrorist state Russia once again carried out massive rocket attacks on several Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv. One of the blasts occurred among residential buildings in the Solomensky district of the capital. In addition, explosions were reported in the Pechersky and Goloseyevsky districts of the capital. A hotel building was damaged, one civilian was killed and several injured.
Seven people were wounded in the attack in Mykolaiv, three of whom were hospitalised. Two residential buildings were completely destroyed and 12 other buildings were damaged by terrorist missiles.
In total, the Ukrainian Defence Forces shot down 12 of the 20 Russian cruise missiles.
In addition, on New Year's Eve, the Ukrainian Air Defence Forces destroyed 45 Iranian-made Shahed-131/136 Kamikaze UAVs. One of the wrecks bore the words "Happy New Year ..." in Russian.
Meanwhile, Ukraine's military intelligence chief Budanov said that Russia had moved its strategic bombers deep into the rear to guard against possible attacks and diversions. In addition, "Russian strategic aviation is experiencing increasing problems due to the deterioration of the bombers, especially their engines, and the production of many parts has long been discontinued", he stressed.
"These are old planes whose service life is constantly being extended <...> In the last two missile attacks, they were launched from airfields close to the airfields, which is why missiles are being reported to have landed in the Russian Federation. This is because they do not go near the usual launch sites to reduce the wear and tear on the aircraft," Budanov said.
As of 24 February. The Ukrainian Armed Forces have liberated 40% of the occupied territories. The retaking of the Kherson area on the right bank has brought the total area of the de-occupied territories to almost 40 000 square kilometres. In the autumn offensive alone, 12,000 square kilometres were liberated in the Kharkiv area and around 500 settlements were taken back, while in the Kherson offensive around 6,000 square kilometres were liberated and over 200 settlements were taken back.
In 2022, Ukraine received weapons, ammunition and materials from international partners that were needed by the defence forces to defend themselves against Russian aggression. Ukraine now needs ammunition that can strike the enemy at long range.
Tactical level
On 31 December an exchange of prisoners of war took place. 140 Ukrainian soldiers, including wounded from Mariupol, Snake Island, Slavutich and Bakhmut districts, were exchanged for an unnamed number of aggressor's marauders. A total of 132 men and 8 women, 22 officers, 118 sergeants and soldiers were returned.
On the last day of the old year, the Ukrainian army liquidated some 760 more Russian occupiers. According to the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, since 24 February, the total number of enemy combat casualties is already around 106 000.
On 31 December 2022, the Drisksyis launched 31 rocket and 12 air strikes, as well as more than 70 attacks from rocket artillery salvos. In addition, 13 Iranian Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles were launched by the enemy. All of them were destroyed by the Ukrainian Defence Forces.
The threat of enemy air and missile strikes remains high throughout Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops repelled 9 attacks by occupying forces
Over the past week, around 350 injured Russian marines have been admitted to the hospital in Bilovodsk city (Luhansk region).
On 30 December 2022, enemy losses amounted to 160 wounded occupiers and 10 pieces of military equipment of various types were destroyed in the Zaporizhzhya region.
The enemy intensified counter-intelligence activities in the Kharkiv area. The attackers are looking for pro-Ukrainian civilians.
The Ukrainian air force struck a meat concentration point, as well as one anti-aircraft position, while rocket and artillery units struck an Ork command post, 4 human concentration points and an occupying UAV control post.
1 January is a special holiday in Ukraine: the birthday of Stepan Bandera is celebrated.
Photo: New Year in Ukraine.
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