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THE INVASION OF UKRAINE BY RUSSIA AND BELARUS. SITUATION OVERVIEW 2023 01 04 / 11:00

Political strategic level
Last year's energy crisis was a turning point in relations between the European Union and Russia. "Vladimir Putin apparently thought that the EU's heavy dependence on Russian imports of fossil energy resources, especially gas, would allow him to divide the EU by depriving it of the opportunity to actively support Ukraine", says Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief.
Russia has started blackmailing the EU as early as 2021 by restricting gas supplies under existing long-term contracts, he said. The blackmail intensified after the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February 2022. In August 2022, the price of Russian gas at the Dutch gas hub (TTF) exceeded €300 per megawatt-hour, compared to €20 in 2020. But the EU has not succumbed to blackmail, despite the drastic increase in energy prices for EU citizens and businesses. Gas consumption was cut by 20% in four months.
The European diplomat warns that the energy crisis is not over yet - this year could be a difficult one for Europe's gas supply.
A ship from the US arrived in Germany with 170 000 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas, equivalent to around 97 million cubic metres after degasification. Germany has allowed gas imports from the US in the face of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the sanctions imposed on the aggressor. The German energy group Uniper reports that the American tanker Maria Energy has already arrived at the new LNG terminal in Wilhelmshaven.
The liquefied natural gas terminal in Wilhelmshaven is due to open on 17 December 2022. The floating storage and regasification facility will allow Germany to import around 5 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.
Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany was the only major EU country without a single terminal to receive LNG for regasification. It had access to cheap Russian gas and did not feel the need to invest in expensive LNG infrastructure.
It thought - it did not think, it believed - it did not believe, it will attack - it will not attack. The paradox of 21st century civilisation is that the representatives of the developed countries rely on opinion, on good wishes, rather than on the reality on the ground. Russia's plans to encircle Europe in its energy tentacles have been seen for a long time in the energy battle between Lithuania and Gazprom. Military ambitions have been on the horizon since the 2008 invasion of Sakartveland. Intentions since the 1995 war against Chechnya. Principles - by studying the history of the KGB, the crimes of the FSB, acts of terror, Russian military doctrine etc. But nobody cared, because GDP was growing.
The Russian invasion could have been prepared several years ago. But it did not happen because Western politicians and societies 'thought or did not think', following their gut feelings, hunches and comfortable attitudes. And when the authors of these reviews explained to German journalists in Berlin a few years ago that their country, by buying Russian gas, was financing the bullets and bombs that were killing Ukrainian soldiers and children, we were seen to be stammering. "It's just business, nothing to do with the war", was the official position of German journalists.
The EU and G7 countries have frozen around €300 billion of Russian central bank reserves, the EU has blocked around €19 billion of assets of sanctioned Russian businessmen and Germany is ready to seize Russian assets to help rebuild Ukraine. The government of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz supports Ukraine's demand for war reparations, but has not yet taken an official position on the seizure of Russian state assets, due to disagreements in the ruling coalition.
If Berlin succeeds in resolving its problems, it could give fresh impetus to the debate in the European Union and encourage the US to take over assets, such as central bank reserves, which were frozen in response to the Russian invasion. But German Finance Minister Christian Lindner, who leads the business-oriented Free Democrats, worries that seizing Russian central bank assets could lead European countries and their allies into a legal stalemate. He is worried that the confiscation of Russian assets will require proof of which Russian businessmen are involved in war crimes. Such cases can take years to be heard in the courts, so such an initiative may become merely symbolic.
Oops. Once again, we have a lot of fine speeches, which are so far empty plurals. The PR agencies of German politicians also seem to be scratching their heads as to what the headlines will say, no matter how or whether it is implemented. Buy headlines without content. Unrealisable.
Russia's vladyka Putin has instructed Terror Minister Sergei Shoigu to submit a report on the provision of military personnel involved in a "special military operation", Kremlin agencies report.
The Ministry of Defence must report on the provision of weapons, military and special equipment, materials and resources, including uniforms, equipment, mobile intelligence systems, personal protection and camouflage, and other blah blah blah measures, to the Russian military. The deadline for this report is 1 February this year.
What remains. The offensive is stalled. The Kremlin itself admits to piles of dead bodies and destroyed equipment. Probably Putler was frightened by the sudden move of mass mobilisation, replacing the living flesh with new living corpses. It must be said that the Tsar is concerned about the material-technical provision of the troops at the front.
The Russian side reports that negotiations on a peace treaty with Japan are "impossible because of Japan's anti-Russian course". The two countries have not formally ended hostilities in the Second World War because of disagreements over the islands seized by the Soviet Union at the end of the war off Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost island. These islands are known as the Kuril Islands in Russia and the Northern Territories in Japan.
Japan has imposed wide-ranging sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and has in recent months begun to reduce its dependence on Russian oil and coal exports.
Nicholas II's empire collapsed as a result of warfare on several fronts. Putin's parody of an empire is crumbling as it fights the whole world.
Operational level
The Kremlin has come up with a new, rather silly, explanation for conscripting new "cannon fodder" for the war with Ukraine. A statement by the so-called "soldiers' widows" demanding the resumption of mobilisation has started circulating on the Internet.
"We ask our President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin to authorise the Russian army to carry out a large-scale mobilisation that would correspond to the situation on our border," reads the appeal of the Russian widows, which was written by the FSB's Krylov Fairy Tale Department.
"The "widows" are calling on Putin to take a leaf out of the book of Joseph Stalin, who "did not think about any ratings or the displeasure of the 'dissenters' - he thought about Victory". "We are the ones who cowardly did not hide our husbands under children and skirts. We are the ones who are immensely proud of our fallen husbands", say the authors of the "widows' report".
The Kremlin is reportedly preparing for a new wave of mobilisations that could start as early as tomorrow. The new wave of recruits is expected to be of an even lower level of military training and to inflict even greater losses on Russia on the frontline. The maternity ward of fascist Russia is a war-birthing factory.
Russia is reported to be completing the mobilisation training of those previously conscripted. The new recruits will be thrown into the meat grinder in order to reinforce the defences in the Zaporizhzhya region and in an attempt to take the Donetsk region completely.
The UK Ministry of Defence has stated that it is unlikely that Russian forces will achieve a "significant breakthrough at Bakhmut" in the coming weeks. Russian forces and Wagner mercenaries have reportedly stepped up attacks in recent weeks, but many of these operations have been "poorly supported" and have therefore failed.
Not only did the operation "Bakhmut Meat Grinder" fail, but the Drisks, we are told, are already removing the skids from this front line, and the Russian military leadership is scratching its head as to how to plug the hole in the front line so that it does not fall apart.
The world media are discussing the successful attack by the Ukrainian armed forces on the Russian military base in Makiivka. It is claimed that the Drisky headquarters was hit by HIMARS missiles. The strikes were so accurate that they hit the hamburgers and all military equipment. While the Kremlin claims that 63 Russian soldiers were killed, the Ukrainians report at least 400 casualties. The truth is apparently somewhere in the middle.
The Drisks were killed by their boundless stupidity: our children know that you cannot publicise your location and home environment on social networks, and the occupiers took photographs of themselves dressed up with weapons in the buildings they seized, marking their location. A few minutes later, the Ukrainians brought them gifts. Rockets.
Tactical level
Russian terrorists fired 7 missiles into Ukrainian territory last day, carried out 18 airstrikes and more than 85 rocket attacks, including on the civilian infrastructure of the Donetsk region cities of Kramatorsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson. Civilian casualties.
In the direction of Bakhmut, the horde is conducting a mock offensive and is most likely preparing to withdraw, if not flee.
In Tokmak, Melitopol, Berdiansk, Vasilevka and Zaporizhzhya oblasts, 2 Driski ammunition depots, 10 pieces of military equipment of various types were destroyed, 2 deployment points were destroyed and up to 260 Kobzon admirers were liquidated and wounded.
During the past day, Ukrainian military aviation carried out 12 strikes against the occupiers' concentrations and hit the positions of anti-aircraft missile complexes.
Ukrainian rocket artillery hit 2 checkpoints, 5 concentrations of live forces and military equipment, an ammunition depot and a checkpoint for occupying unmanned aerial vehicles.
Photo: A Ukrainian soldier went to the dentist after the battle and complained that he had a sudden toothache and that ibuprofen did not help to relieve it.
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