UKRAINE'S DEFENCE NEEDS ARE WELL KNOWN (21 02 2023)
Political strategic level
Yesterday, US President Joe Biden paid a surprise visit to Kyiv. The world's media were full of pictures of Biden and Zelensky, whose country has been defending itself against Russian aggression for a year. "I thought it was very important that there should be no doubt, no question about US support for Ukraine in this war," said Mr Biden, standing in Kyiv with Ukraine's president, Mr Zelensky, before leaving for Poland. "The people of Ukraine have spoken out in a way that few people have in the past."
But the bright pictures and fiery speeches of support are not optimistic except in the headlines of the popular media. The reality of the situation behind the scenes of the political marketing and war show is not only ominous, but also indicative of Western hypocrisy.
Firstly, although Mr Zelensky and his team have long been asking the US and its European allies to provide fighter jets and long-range missiles, known as ATACMS, there has been no movement on this issue, even after the chummy hugs for photographers. Mr Sullivan, Mr Biden's National Security Adviser, declined to comment on the subject at all.
Secondly, there are increasing reports that China, which has remained on the sidelines of the conflict, is now considering sending lethal aid to Moscow. Secretary of State Blinken has cancelled his visit to Beijing, and there are more than a dozen nicely packaged meaningless speeches to say this.
Thirdly, the promises of a quick end to the war have disappeared from analysts' and 'intelligence' press releases. Michal Baranowski, Executive Director of the German Marshall Fund for Eastern Europe, has finally dared to name what we have been talking about for years. "This is going to be a long war", he said. "If we don't have political leadership and if we don't explain to our societies why this war is so important for their security... then Ukraine will be in trouble."
Fourth - and this is a very clear sign for those who can read them - the US President's visit to Kiev was coordinated with the Kremlin. We can fiddle around and throw glitter all we like on that brown thing, but it is impossible to hide the smell. The US has made it clear that terrorist Russia is a force that must be coordinated with. Führer Putin has undoubtedly taken this as a further expression of Western weakness. Today, in his speech to the "people" Putin will undoubtedly take advantage of this.
All these points we have listed show that the West is willing to support Ukraine as long as Russia realises that further hostilities will lead nowhere and that the Kremlin-appointed terrorists will sit down at the negotiating table to consolidate the fact of Ukraine's annexation of its territory.
As painful and unpleasant as it is to admit, one year after Russia's brutal invasion, we must say that Russia is winning both on the ground and in the diplomatic arena.
It is to be hoped that this is a temporary state of affairs which the war criminals will not be able to exploit to achieve victory. Be that as it may, we in Lithuania need to pull ourselves together and do everything we can to ensure our security and prepare for the worst. We still have time - at Ukraine's expense - and it would be an unforgivable mistake to think that 'if Ukraine gets into trouble', we will not be next in line.
Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced on Monday a new financial aid of 5.5 billion dollars for Ukraine. To mark the first anniversary of the large-scale war, Japan will hold an online Group of Seven summit with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky.
F. Kishida, speaking at a global forum in Tokyo organised by the Japan Think Tank, said that Ukraine is still suffering from the Russian invasion and its people need help to rebuild their daily lives and infrastructure, which have been severely damaged by Russian attacks.
Japan joined the United States and European countries in imposing sanctions on Russia over its invasion and in providing humanitarian and economic assistance to Ukraine. Japan has reacted swiftly because it fears the potential impact of the war in East Asia, where the Chinese military is becoming more aggressive and increasing tensions around self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory.
It is good that funds are being made available to help Ukraine. But before we rebuild anything, it seems to us that we should make sure that there are no more people who destroy rebuilt houses. The more we go on, the more this whole bloody circus looks like an attempt to use scaffolding to prop up collapsing houses in the midst of a non-stop earthquake.
Belarusian anti-President Alexander Lukashenko has ordered the formation of a new voluntary territorial defence force so that everyone knows how to 'handle weapons', is prepared to respond to an act of aggression and to maintain law and order in peacetime.
"The situation is not easy. I have often said: every human being - and not only human beings - must at least know how to handle weapons", the Potato Generalissimo said smugly at the Security Council meeting. Defence Minister Viktor Khrenin confirmed that the Territorial Defence Force will consist of 100-150 thousand volunteers, and more if needed. Ideally, there will be a paramilitary formation in every village and town.
At present, the Belarusian force consists of around 48,000 soldiers and around 12,000 state border guards, and with the "new force" Lukashenko will realise his dream of having an "army" of two hundred thousand.
Funny as it may seem, such intentions are not only a sign of a Belarusian dictator sinking deeper into senile dementia.
The future of a world order based on rules, humanity and predictability "depends on the course of events in Ukraine", said Mr Zelensky in his nightly video address. He said that defence and other needs to end Russian aggression this year are already well known, including by Ukraine's partners.
"All that is needed is determination", he said. "I saw that determination today from President Biden and the United States."
It's all like this. Only, first of all, order has to emerge in the heads of the world's political leaders and decision-makers. Until now, they are in complete chaos. We are seeing it clearly unfolding in the world before all our eyes.
On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that China was 'deeply concerned' that the conflict in Ukraine could spiral out of control and called on certain countries to stop 'fanning the flames', referring to the United States.
Beijing, which last year concluded an "unlimited partnership" agreement with Moscow, is very concerned that "the conflict in Ukraine will escalate further". "Today Ukraine, tomorrow Taiwan. <...> We are firmly opposed to any hegemony, to any foreign interference in China's affairs."
The chauvinist empire of the axis of evil, ruled by a dragon with a communist mindset, is destroying the human world as much as, if not more than, terrorist Russia or Iran under the guise of holy scriptures.
Mr Prigozhin, the owner of the Russian mercenary group Wagner and a recidivist apartment thief, accused unnamed officials of preventing his mercenaries from having enough ammunition, as part of the constant rivalry between him and parts of the Russian elite.
In a seven-minute audio recording on Monday, Führer Putin's "angry and emotional" chef said he was required to "apologise and obey" in order to provide ammunition for his fighters. Speaking in a raised voice and swearing in Russian "mata", he said: "I cannot solve this problem despite all my connections and acquaintances".
Prigozhin said that Russian military production is now sufficient to supply the forces fighting on the front line and that the supply difficulties his fighters face are the result of deliberate decisions. "Those who are preventing us from winning this war are absolutely, directly working for the enemy," he said.
Don't rush to rejoice. This post is intended to explain to the surviving war criminals why hundreds of corpses of Wagner mercenaries are fertilising Ukrainian fields every day.
Russia, in fact, has enough arms and ammunition to afford to sell them and thus secure a cash flow for its budget. On Monday, at the biennial arms fair in the United Arab Emirates, Russia offered to sell weapons to anyone with money, from Kalashnikovs to missile systems, despite the fact that the West is sanctioning it because of the war in Ukraine.
At the arms fair, the Emirates usually host individuals and representatives of states that are considered problematic in the West. Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir visited in 2017 and Putin's sock-puppet Ramzan Kadyrov will attend in 2019 and 2021.
Yesterday, the US President had gifts in his pocket during his visit to Kiev. Mr Biden said that the US would provide Ukraine with an additional $500 million in support, comprising artillery ammunition, anti-tank systems and air surveillance radars. He also promised further sanctions against Russia.
After the visit, a report by analysts at the Institute for the Study of War concluded that the US President's visit to Ukraine on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the invasion shows that the West is continuing to support Ukraine. (Is it?!). The analysts add that Russia does not have large unused combat readiness reserves and therefore believes that Ukraine has the potential to regain the initiative in 2023, if the West supports it in time and sufficiently.
Ukraine invited a delegation from the Georgian Parliament to visit Kyiv, but the Georgian representatives declined. As noted by Irakli Zarkua, a member of the ruling Georgian Dream party, the meeting was to take place on the anniversary of the invasion on 24 February.
"When senior Ukrainian officials call on our country to open a second front, when the prisoner Saakashvili, who is facing a number of serious charges, is called a political prisoner, I think this leaves no room for diplomatic relations," said Mr Zarkua.
It is very sad for us to see the pit that Georgia is falling into. A country that seems to have forgotten that part of its territory is occupied, that a hundred years ago the Communists murdered its enlightened people and intellectuals, and that it has been at war with Russia twice in the last thirty years.
Russia wants to avoid an armed conflict with NATO, but it is prepared to take great risks. This was stated at a press conference by Lena Hallin, head of the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service, Reuters reported. She said that Russia posed a military threat to Sweden, but that its forces were currently active in Ukraine. She believes that Russia will respond to Sweden's and Finland's NATO aspirations by strengthening its military capabilities near Sweden as soon as possible.
Russia is certainly a threat to all its neighbours.
Sergei Cherevaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian army, says that the invaders "still have something to fight with, but the quality of these weapons is different from the ones with which they started the conflict". The number of modern tanks and infantry fighting vehicles has decreased significantly. "We can see that even BMP-1s, which they had taken out of service, have already appeared on the battlefield. T-62 tanks are appearing, which have also been out of service for a long time or in long-term storage bases. Therefore, they are not doing very well with them either," he said.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nausėda called on Western countries to cross "red lines that are in our heads and do not exist in reality" and provide Ukraine with the necessary military assistance. In an interview with CNN, he urged allies not to waste time, to be resolute and united and to decide to help Ukraine as soon as possible.
Mr Nausėda said that during his meeting with the US President in Warsaw, he would discuss Lithuania's security and "especially the security of the eastern flank". He added that Russia and Belarus are the most immediate threats to the Baltic States.
Thank you for your straightforward words, President. Perhaps you, too, sometimes read what we write here?
During the day, the enemy struck the civilian infrastructure of the Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson regions 6 times with missiles and 28 times from the air. The Russian occupiers also carried out 86 attacks with volley fire systems. These attacks caused civilian casualties and damage to civilian residential buildings, schools and shops.
The threat of further Russian air and missile strikes remains high throughout Ukraine.
The enemy's main efforts remain focused on offensive operations on the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk axes.
Russia is continuing its so-called forced passport exchange operation for Ukrainian citizens in the temporarily occupied territories of the Donetsk region. The Russian occupation administration of Horlivka has instructed employees of state organisations to acquire Russian Federation citizenship by personal signature. Employees who do not obtain passports by 1 July 2023 will be dismissed from their posts.
During the day, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 16 air strikes on Russian troop and equipment concentrations and attacked a firing position of an anti-aircraft missile complex.
In addition, Ukrainian forces shot down 3 Lancet UAVs.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces attacked 2 positions of enemy air defence systems and a Russian volley fire battery.
At Bakhmut, the Russians took control of the M-03/T-13-05 intersection and fully occupied the section on both sides of the M-03 road from Minkivka. In tactical terms, this means that things are bad.
Photo. Hugging. Source: Presidency of Ukraine.
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