Ukraine is planning to replace Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff, a close party colleague of President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday. Reznikoff will be replaced by the head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, the head of the parliamentary bloc "Servant of the People" D. Arachmiya.
"The war dictates changes in personnel policy," he said. Arakhchya said Ukraine's "power" agencies - such as the defence ministry - should not be headed by politicians during wartime, but by people with experience in defence or security.
We cannot disagree with this. Although, in wartime, replacing such high-ranking politicians or commanders is usually only done in times of emergency, when there is a realisation that Russia may be preparing for a new wave of attacks, all the homework must be done.
On Sunday, Europe banned imports of Russian diesel and other refined petroleum products. This further reduces energy dependence on Moscow and the Kremlin's income from fossil fuels.
The ban is combined with a price ceiling agreed by the Group of Seven democratic allies. The cap of USD 100 per barrel for Russian diesel is designed to keep it flowing to countries such as China and India, while avoiding sharp price increases. Nobody wants to see consumers all over the world affected by higher diesel prices, but the aim is to reduce the profits that fund Moscow's budget and the war.
Diesel is essential to the economy, powering cars, trucks transporting goods, agricultural equipment and factory machinery. The European Union is looking for new diesel suppliers from the US, the Middle East and India to replace diesel from Russia.
There was a time when Russia supplied 10% of Europe's total diesel demand. The business has closed, and we are still enjoying the satisfaction of less pollution. And anyway, we recommend putting the cars down and walking. It's good for you, good for nature and good for your wallets.
Ukraine's Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff expressed confidence on Sunday that the Western allies will agree to meet the country's latest request for military aircraft. They are needed to repel the onslaught of the Russian hordes that invaded the country almost a year ago.
The defence minister said that Ukraine had already received everything from its "wish letter to Santa Claus" except the planes. But Reznikoff is not despondent. "There will be planes", he predicted. "Consider this mission accomplished".
So far, Ukraine has received support from the Baltic States and Poland in its quest for Western fighter jets. But several Western leaders have expressed concern that the provision of warplanes could provoke the Kremlin and draw their countries further into a conflict that has already claimed tens of thousands of lives and caused huge losses.
Kyiv argues that fourth-generation fighters such as the F-16 or the Eurofighter Typhoon are necessary to turn the tide of the war and stop the Russian offensive, which Reznikoff predicted could begin on the anniversary of the war, 24 February. "Not all Western weapons will have arrived by then, but we have the resources and reserves to stabilise and sustain the offensive," he told reporters.
We have no doubt that we will soon see modern Western fighter jets that will be used to heat the hell out of the hatchet.
Thousands of people gathered in Copenhagen on Sunday to protest against a government bill to abolish the public holiday in order to fund higher defence spending. The demonstration was organised by the country's largest trade unions, which oppose the abolition of the Great Day of Prayer, a Christian holiday celebrated on the fourth Friday after Easter since 1686.
The trade unions that organised the protest estimated that at least 50 000 people took part, making it the biggest demonstration in Denmark for more than a decade. However, the local police seem to think that the number is several times too high.
The good news is that no Koran or Bible was burned. The bad news is that the Danes are living very well, and they think that security is a guarantee of Providence. No, my dears. The Russian horde does not give a damn about any religion, god or providential guarantee. They rape boys and nuns with equal relish.
The Russian Ministry of Terror and War Crimes has announced that Ukraine is preparing to blow up buildings in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk and then accuse Moscow of committing war crimes and targeting civilians. The so-called Ministry of Defence has not provided any evidence.
This report is a clear signal that Russia is preparing to strike Ukraine's civilian infrastructure once again.
Fierce fighting is taking place in Ukraine's eastern Donetsk region as Russia steps up pressure ahead of the first anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Sunday.
"The situation in the Donetsk region is very difficult, with fierce battles taking place," said Mr Zelensky in a night-time video address. "But no matter how difficult it is and no matter how great the pressure, we must endure ... We have no choice but to defend ourselves and win."
To this end, Ukrainian crews will be trained to operate Leopard 2 tanks from today. This is according to the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
Russian Führer Vladimir Putin is not prepared for a protracted war, as he has refrained from taking the relevant decisions. In particular, the Russian government is late in implementing far-reaching military reforms. This is according to analysts at the Institute for Military Studies. They say that the Kremlin is delaying the mobilisation and reorganisation of personnel that it really should have carried out before launching a large-scale invasion. It is also delaying the announcement of a second wave of mobilisation because it fears the public reaction.
Pretty illusions, even if they are not based on reality, give hope and reassure people who are longing for peace. We are pleased that war analysts are bravely taking on the role of war psychologists.
After the fire, which left hundreds of thousands of inhabitants without electricity, repair crews are working around the clock in the port of Odessa to restore the power supply systems.
On Sunday, Italy's National Cyber Security Agency (ACN) reported that thousands of computer servers were affected by a global ransomware attack against VMware's ESXi servers and warned organisations to take steps to protect their systems.
Italian news agency ANSA, citing ACN, reported that servers in other European countries such as France and Finland, as well as in the United States and Canada were affected.
It is highly likely that either Russia or North Korea was behind this attack. Or both. We ask very politely that "Anonymous" retaliate.
Details have emerged about the spying past of Patriarch Kirill, the devilish Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. According to an article in SonntagsZeitung, the period in question is the 1960s. The newspaper quotes declassified archives which show that Kirill was involved in espionage activities in Geneva. He worked secretly for the KGB. The war crimes accomplice reportedly influenced the World Council of Churches in the interests of the USSR.
How could it be otherwise. Everyone in the Kremlin is not only a kagebist, but also a Yiddishist.
The Ukrainian media are delighted that Lithuanians have raised EUR 6 million for Israeli air defence radars for Ukraine. This is already one million euros more than originally planned. Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabriel Landsbergis tweeted that "Only 3 million people live in Lithuania, but this week we raised €6 million to buy air defence systems for Ukraine. There are no signs of fatigue here. We will be with Ukraine until victory".
Russian fascists fired two missiles into the centre of Kharkiv yesterday. A residential building in the city centre was hit. A fire broke out. So far three victims are known: a 54-year-old woman and two men aged 51 and 55.
The Russian occupiers are using a local children's hospital in the village of Vasilyevka, Zaporizhzhya region, as a military hospital for wounded marauders of the Russian Armed Forces. Admission of children to the hospital has been stopped.
The occupiers are concentrating their efforts on offensive operations in the directions of Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Novopavlivka.
The enemy has carried out 4 rocket attacks on civilian infrastructure in Kharkiv and Druzhkivka and 56 attacks with rocket artillery systems, in particular against civilian infrastructure in Kherson. There were casualties and wounded.
The threat of Russian air and missile strikes on the whole territory of Ukraine remains high.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Defence Forces Air Force has struck 9 times at enemy concentrations and hit positions of their anti-aircraft missile systems. Ukrainian Defence Forces rocket and artillery units struck a command post, hit enemy concentration points and an ammunition depot 8 times.
Warm air from the Sahara and the Atlantic Ocean will enter Europe on 8-10 February. A warming is expected.
Photo of a Ukrainian soldier - drone operator. Source: APnews.
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