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  • Writer's pictureAurimas Navys


Political strategic level
The US has a proven and credible plan to fund support for Ukraine in 2023.Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser to the US President, pointed out that talk of deep divisions between Democrats and Republicans on this issue is misplaced.
Sullivan recalled that the US Congress passed and US President Joe Biden signed into law the 2023 national budget, which includes almost USD 45 billion in aid to Ukraine. "Last year, in a comprehensive bill, we asked Congress for $37 billion in aid to Ukraine, believing that this amount was necessary for the fiscal year. In fact, Congress increased this amount to USD 45 billion. This is the money that has been allocated. We are starting to allocate it, and I do not see any sign of this money being reduced or taken away. So our ability to provide resources to Ukraine - both the aid it needs and the economic, humanitarian and energy support it needs - is proven and unquestioned until 2023," said Mr Sullivan.
We want more, we want it sooner, we are sometimes sceptical about US statements on aid and its concrete appearance on Ukrainian soil, but the fact is as clear as a pancake on Christmas Eve: the scale of aid from the world's most powerful country far outstrips all others. Without US aid, we would probably not be talking about the battles of Soledar and Bakhmut, but of Kyiv and Odessa. On the other hand, we have said, and we will continue to say, that much more is needed, and it is not directly related to money. We need Western troops on the ground, we need missiles to hit military targets on Russian territory.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that while pressure is mounting on Berlin to send its Leopard 2 tanks to Kiev, he remains convinced that the supply of arms to Ukraine needs to be coordinated with the allies. "Germany will not do it on its own", the Chancellor told a meeting of the Social Democratic Party. "Germany will always remain united with its friends and allies... Anything else would be irresponsible in such a dangerous situation," he said. Scholz, who is concerned "not to escalate the conflict in Ukraine", has previously argued that tank support must be coordinated among themselves.
As we understand it, the Chancellor did not fall for the French "light tanks" hook. What a pity.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that by providing additional military assistance to Ukraine, in particular Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, the US is seeking to change the current dynamics of military action in Ukraine. Referring to the military assistance, the official noted that the Ukrainian army "has systematically demonstrated its resilience." This, he said, is one type of dynamic. Thousands of Russian troops are present on Ukrainian territory, and in this situation Washington wants to help Kyiv "change that dynamic".
Yesterday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Ukrainian troops training in the UK. The NATO head said that the training of Ukrainian troops will help to make a real difference on the Ukrainian battlefield. On the same day, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak assured on Facebook that he would never give up his support for the Ukrainian people in the face of Russian President Vladimir Putin's brutality, and the UK Ministry of Defence issued a statement saying that in 2023, UK military aid to Ukraine could exceed last year. So far, the British have provided Ukraine with more than 200 armoured personnel carriers, including Stormers armed with Starstreak, Husky, Wolfhound missiles and other equipment.
That is all very well, but we would remind you that the machinery, equipment and weapons are being used by soldiers who are living people. Artillery does not fire itself, unmanned aerial vehicles do not program themselves, and bullets do not fire themselves from the barrels of submachine guns in street battles. Even with a 1:3 ratio of defenders to aggressors out of formation, Ukraine will eventually start to run out of a key "resource". Soldiers. This is the basis of all the Kremlin's brutalist logic. Is it not so hard for the West to see that?
The Swedish government says it is taking steps to reintroduce the conscription of civilians into the rescue services, the latest move to strengthen its defence capability after Russia invaded Ukraine. Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said on Monday that the civil service would start preparing for the move this week. "We are returning to a situation where we have a formalised civil obligation," Kristersson said at a press conference together with Defence Minister Pal Jonsson and Civil Defence Minister Carl-Oskar Bohlin.
Bohlin said the scheme would focus on deploying properly trained civilians in municipal rescue services and strengthening their capacity to respond to an emergency or any possible attack. "The Ukrainian experience is clear - when it comes to protecting civilians, the pressure on rescue services is very high," said Bohlin. Up to 3 000 people could be called up in the initial phase of the plan, which has echoes of Sweden's Cold War-era defence plans.
In our country, not Sweden at all, but in a country whose two aggressor neighbours are at war, gentlemen who are giddy with the prospect of a career leap into the Presidency are talking about shortening the length of conscription. The shorter the period of service, the more soldiers we will produce. As Mr Sowell said, 'the fact that so many successful politicians are such blatant liars is not only a reflection on them but on us. When people want impossible things, only liars can satisfy them."
Sweden's ambassadors to the bloc said on Monday that the European Union intends to conclude negotiations on legislation to meet the 2030 climate change target by July, although a contentious overhaul of fossil fuel taxes is likely to take longer.
The 27-nation EU is in the final stages of negotiating around a dozen pieces of legislation to fight global warming and last year agreed on most of them, including a 2035 ban on the sale of new fossil fuel cars and a major overhaul of the carbon market.
We have repeatedly stressed that, while there is a war going on and all our efforts must be directed towards stopping and knocking out the aggressor, we must not forget what is perhaps the most important issue for the survival of humanity as a whole: climate warming. In general, the protection of nature, environmental stewardship, compassion and love for animals, including one's fellow man, are steps that can be taken to reduce the mountain of violence and tears on Earth. Finding a way to preserve a tree, rather than cutting it down and selling it for a quick profit now, changes our consumerist and aggressive attitude towards the world around us and others.
The Dutch media authority has granted a five-year broadcasting licence to the Russian independent TV station TV Dozhd after its licence was revoked in Latvia, according to a statement on the regulator's website. The licence, issued on 22 December, provides for "the provision of a commercial television broadcasting service as a commercial media institution", the regulator said.
The Netherlands is a very free country. Very very. So much so that it can be more dangerous to ride a tram in Rotterdam in the evening than it is for an American in a Taliban village.
Operational level
President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday that the resilience of Ukrainian forces in repelling waves of attacks in the eastern Donbass region had helped the country to win time and gain strength. "Thanks to the resilience of our troops in Solidar, we have won additional time and additional strength for Ukraine," said Mr Zelensky in his nightly video address. The President did not elaborate on what he meant by gaining time and strength, but Ukrainian officials and senior military officers have warned that Russia is planning a new major offensive in the coming months.
"The tens of thousands of active fighters are not Russian military, but mercenaries [mercenaries] of the Wagner group... Many of these fighters are not well-trained infantrymen, but prisoners, in many cases accused and convicted of serious, violent crimes," said US State Department spokesman Price. - They are fighting in Ukraine because they were promised a pardon. That in itself is disgusting. We pointed out that this smacks of desperation. And it will not change the outcome of the war."
What will change the outcome of the war is continued and increasing support for Ukraine.
"L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a Pentagon contract to supply Ukraine with 14 Vampire missile systems to help the Ukrainian army detect and destroy enemy drones. "According to the L3Harris Technologies website, the contract is worth USD 40 million. The contract runs until 2023.
"The Vampire man-portable kit will enable Ukrainian ground forces to shoot down enemy UAVs and defend against enemy ground threats. The systems ordered by the Pentagon are designed to provide critical protection that will help Ukraine defend against attacks on civilian infrastructure," the company said in a statement.
The US is also considering sending Stryker armoured fighting vehicles to Ukraine as part of a future aid package. A Pentagon spokesman said the administration could announce an aid package with or without Stryker late next week. It is noted that a final decision has not yet been taken and the administration may decide to send them in a future package.
Ukraine will also soon receive a new batch of tanks from the Czech Republic. Czech Prime Minister Petro Fiala signed one of the tanks. "On the T-72 tank that will go to Ukraine, I wrote a short message to the brave defenders of Ukraine. I believe that Ukrainians will defeat the Russian aggressor," Fiala wrote.
Tactical level
The situation in Soledar, Donetsk oblast, is currently even more acute than in neighbouring Bakhmut. The Russians have started to attack in small groups. The occupiers have started to use small unit tactics, attacking in small groups, usually up to 8 people, armed with small arms.
Russian fascists shelled Ochakov in the Mykolaiv region yesterday evening. The wounded are still being brought in, some of them transferred to Mykolaiv for treatment. According to initial estimates, 8 people have been injured. The Southern Operational Command told journalists that the enemy had struck the port of Ochakov and the city's infrastructure with several rocket launchers. Several administrative buildings, residential houses and the city hospital were damaged. In total, more than 100 houses were damaged in the city.
Four Special Operations Forces attacked a Russian position near Bakhmut and killed 15 enemy soldiers. During the operation, six Russians surrendered and were lucky to survive, while the rest were destroyed.
Heavy fighting takes place at Pidhorodne, and despite heavy losses, the Crusaders are pushing the ring around Soledar. Ukrainian troops are still in control of the western approaches to the town. The air force deployed to assist the defenders has carried out 17 close air support missions over the past day. Near Bakhmut, the Russians are again storming Opytne and Ivangrad. The Ukrainian defenders have completely lost control of the T13-02 road from Bakhmut to Bilohorivka. This will make the defence of Soledar very difficult.
In the south, the occupiers are attacking settlements in the Zaporizhzhya region, 21 settlements have been hit. In Kherson, there has also been an increase in activity, with the Driskians coming out of their defensive caves and shelling Ukrainian positions along the front line.
The occupiers are continuing their measures to mobilise the local population in the temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories. In Horlivka, Donetsk region, up to 30 people, including 4 disabled people, were mobilised in another raid on 6 January this year. After 2 days of so-called training at the Vostochnyi training ground, they were sent to one of the military units of the Russian occupation forces.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Air Force has struck 18 times at areas where enemy personnel, weapons and military equipment are concentrated, as well as 3 times at the positions of its anti-aircraft missile systems.
Ukrainian forces shot down 2 enemy Orlan reconnaissance UAVs.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces struck a command post, 5 enemy troop and equipment concentration points, as well as 2 positions of Russian anti-aircraft missile systems.
Photo: T-72 tanks being handed over to the Ukrainians (source: Ukrobornprom).
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