THE WEST IS WAKING UP: MOLDOVA AND THE BALTICS ARE ALSO IN RUSSIA'S CROSSHAIRS (14 02 2023)
Political strategic level
Ukraine needs urgent NATO assistance, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. "Almost a year after the invasion, Putin is not preparing for peace, but launching new offensives," Stoltenberg added, stressing the importance of backing Kyiv with everything it needs on the battlefield.
Speed will save lives. If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will be a signal to the authoritarian states of the world that they can use force to achieve their foreign policy goals, the Secretary General added.
The slogans of support until victory have finally come to an end, and it has become clear that, despite the West's overwhelming support, if it is reduced, defeat is imminent.
NATO chief Stoltenberg clarified that he believes that Russia's renewed offensive in Ukraine "has already begun", as is evident from the number of additional forces Russia has deployed in Eastern Ukraine.
Somehow, there is a lack of clarity about this planned Russian offensive: will it be in March, in May, on 24 February, or as early as 1 April, or has it already begun?
In our view, it has never stopped, it has simply been fought in accordance with existing capabilities and evolving operational objectives. The offensive has not stopped and there will be no new individual mass offensive. The Russians are now simply pushing forward as far as they can, as far as their ammunition and meat quantities allow, with massive missile and drone attacks.
Unfortunately, politicians, journalists and influencers have a different idea of an attack. Some think that an attack is the storming of an area with tanks and infantry, shouting "hurrah" and seizing sub-bombed villages and settlements without people. For us, the far more dangerous offensive is missile strikes on strategic sites, supply chains and logistical nodes. This causes far more damage.
"Ask the Baltic countries what they expect if Putin wins. He will immediately deploy troops in their direction. That is why we need to stand firm and continue to support Ukraine", said Christoph Heusgen, head of the Munich Conference. He argues that military assistance to Kyiv needs to combine several types of capabilities. He rejects the rhetoric of "red lines" on the provision of military aid and did not rule out the possibility of Ukraine receiving F-16 fighter jets.
The diplomat mentioned that Ukraine needs "a combination of several types of weapons": tanks, artillery and fighter jets. The latter are particularly important as they will help protect Ukraine's airspace.
Heusgen also acknowledged that there is some fatigue in the West about military aid to Ukraine. He said that it was necessary to show "leadership" and make it clear that if Vladimir Putin wins this war, other countries will become new targets. In particular, Moldova.
Yesterday, the President of Moldova, Maia Sandu, accused Russia of planning a coup in the country. According to the President, Russia is planning to use saboteurs to overthrow the pro-Western government and prevent Moldova from joining the European Union. According to Sandu, Moscow's alleged plan was to involve 'saboteurs' with a military background, disguised in civilian clothes, who were to carry out violent actions, attacks on state institutions and hostage-taking. Under the guise of "so-called opposition protests", the saboteurs would seek to "replace the legitimate government in Chisinau with an illegitimate one".
Moldova, a country of 2.6 million people bordering Romania and Ukraine, was granted EU candidate status in summer 2022, but has faced a series of anti-government protests over the past year, organised by fugitive oligarch Ilan Shor. Foreign nationals from Russia, Belarus, Serbia and Montenegro were to be used to assist Moscow in the coup, Sandu says.
When we read how the allies inform us that aerial intelligence sees no threat to Moldova's sovereignty, we sigh deeply. The romantic days of spying, recruitment and personal contacts are over. Now, young, costumed agents sit at computers, gouging, scrolling and watching the world from their satellite heights. They think they know everything. But can such intelligence penetrate the mindset of a Russofascist and predict his behaviour?
Ukraine insists on handing over F-16 fighter jets as part of the military aid from partners. Recently, in the light of the visit of the country's leader, Volodymyr Zelensky, to the United Kingdom, talk about this has moved on to more concrete discussions.
We await the first flight of the falcon over the Surovikino nest.
Today, the Ukrainian Defence Contact Group (Ramstein-9) will meet in Brussels. The Pentagon noted that the partners will focus on Ukraine's critical needs.
In particular, the participants will discuss Ukraine's sky protection issues, including aviation, the development of a "tank coalition", the formation of an ammunition reserve, training programmes for Ukrainian troops, and stability support - logistics, maintenance, repair, and the practical implementation of the "military Schengen".
We look forward to action.
The French Foreign Ministry has "strongly" advised French citizens not to travel to Belarus in view of "the new offensive launched by Russia in Ukraine".
Yesterday, the United States ordered its citizens to leave Russia immediately because of the risk of arbitrary arrest and prosecution by Russian law enforcement authorities.
However, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto is not afraid of any prosecution in Belarus. During his trip to Belarus, he will supposedly seek peace in Ukraine. In reality, Moscow's old friends have gone to bring with them new instructions.
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said that all Zelensky has to do to avoid war in Ukraine is to 'stop attacking' territories in the east of Ukraine. Silvio considers the behaviour of the Ukrainian President to be "very, very negative" and said that if he were still in charge of the Italian government, he would not seek to meet with Zelensky.
Berlusconi is certainly a sworn fan and watcher of RT and Sputnik TV, and has a penchant for Bunga Bunga parties with Putka.
The Russian puppet Ramzan Kadyrov has declared that Russia has the forces to take the capital, Kyiv, as well as Ukraine's second city, Kharkiv, and the main port of Odessa. "I believe that by the end of the year we will 100% fulfil the task set for us today", Ramzan don Kadyrov said, watching Tik-tok recordings.
On the Eastern Front, the situation is unsettled.
Both sides seem to be engaged in misdirection, trying to unbalance and intimidate the opponent, as both Kyiv and Moscow are preparing for spring battles. Both Ukraine and the Horde realise that every quieter day is a chance for the enemy to gain ground and build up reserves.
"The current level of ammunition consumption in Ukraine is many times higher than our current production level. For example, the waiting time for large calibre ammunition has increased from 12 to 28 months. Orders placed today will take only two and a half years to be delivered. We need to increase production and production capacity," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels.
The war in Ukraine is depleting allied ammunition stocks and production is not keeping pace with demand.
The Ukrainian army fires more than 5 000 artillery shells a day. This is roughly the annual order of a small European country in peacetime.
The problem of the shortage of ammunition in connection with the war in Ukraine has long been discussed. Last year, Bloomberg reported that NATO countries were urging defence companies to increase production of arms and ammunition to help rebuild stocks. But after decades of limited orders, there is no immediate prospect of that happening.
The Driski offensive at Vuhledar was stifled as the Ukrainian armed forces completely crushed the elite 155th marine brigade from Vladivostok.
"The 155th Brigade has already had to be reinforced three times. The first time after Irpen and Buche, the second time after the defeat at Donetsk. And now almost the entire brigade has been destroyed near Vuhledar", said Tavriya Defence Forces spokesman Oleksiy Dmytraskovsky.
Around 150-300 Russian marines were killed per day in this direction, while around 130 enemy vehicles, including 36 tanks, were destroyed during the week.
However, the Russians are strangling the ring around Bakhmut, albeit with great difficulty. The settlement of Krasna Hora is captured.
Russian forces are reinforcing and expanding their defensive positions in the occupied parts of Zaporizhzhya and Luhansk in the south and east of Ukraine, according to the UK Ministry of Defence.
"Despite the current focus on the central Donbas, Russia remains concerned about the protection of the periphery of its expanded frontline," the ministry said.
Russia's frontline in Ukraine is approximately 1 288 km long.
Over the past day, Russian terrorists have fired 2 missiles, 32 air strikes and 55 attacks with cruise missile systems on Ukrainian territory.
The threat of Russian air and missile strikes remains high throughout Ukraine.
The main efforts of the occupiers remain focused on offensive operations on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka axes. Russian forces are pushing forward despite heavy losses. The Ukrainian Armed Forces are taking additional measures to strengthen their defences.
In order to motivate the Wallachians to take part in offensive operations, propaganda is being circulated that daily allowances will be paid to those who take part in offensive operations. It was also announced that an additional payment would be made per kilometre of Ukrainian land occupied.
In Moscow, agitational work was launched on the mobilisation of scientists. Employees of the Polyus research institute, which is Russia's leading research centre in the field of laser technology, were told about the social guarantees and benefits of mobilisation.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Air Force has carried out 15 air strikes against Russian army concentrations. The Ukrainian defenders shot down 2 Russian Su-24M and one Su-25.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces attacked a Driski headquarters, 7 Russian military concentration points and an invader ammunition depot.
Photo: Ukraine waiting for the "falcons".
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