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WHY DID THE RUSSIANS CHANGE THE COMMANDER IN CHIEF AGAIN? (12/01/2023 / 11:00)

Political strategic level
Yesterday, during a meeting of the three presidents in Lviv, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced the transfer of Leopard tanks to Ukraine. "First of all, we would like this to be an international coalition, and we have submitted a proposal for its consideration to provide the first package of Leopard tanks, which I hope will be sent to Ukraine together with other batches of Leopard tanks in other countries," the Polish leader added.
Lithuania said it had prepared another package of military aid for Ukraine. "We are handing over air defence systems and anti-aircraft equipment that should help you in your fight," President Gitanas Nausėda said. "We stay together! Lithuania and Poland will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine", the President said.
With Berlin loudly announcing that it would not touch the Leoprads and would not "go it alone", Vilnius and Warsaw went without Berlin. This is a very nice gesture from Ukraine's brave allies, Lithuania and Poland, which is at the same time a big and open signal of shame to the West's biggest and most powerful partners. While the major Western countries are debating, it is Lithuania and Poland that are taking the lead, in a much more risky area.
We believe that this step will break the ice and that Ukraine will not have to beg for a few more months to hand over Leopard tanks to Ukrainian troops. It pains us to repeat every time that every day of delay costs tens and sometimes hundreds of Ukrainian lives. We would also like to stress that this is about splitting NATO and the EU and moving the heavy lifting forward.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the transfer of Challenger 2 heavy tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces is being actively discussed. Western partners have stepped up their support to protect Ukraine's skies from Russian missiles and Germany has promised another battery of Patriot anti-missile systems. Recently, it has been reported that Canada is purchasing additional NASAMS systems for Ukraine. Upgraded Soviet T-72 tanks are being prepared for shipment to Ukraine.
The next Ramstein defence meeting will take place on 20 January to discuss the supply of heavy weapons to Ukraine.
Although the "experts" trumpet that the "Bradleys" are already in Ukraine, the armoured vehicles will be in Ukraine in a few weeks at best. According to the US Department of Defense, the Pentagon will now provide military assistance to Ukraine not only for defence but also for the liberation of its territory.
Other Western countries are also talking about plans to supply heavy weapons, but against the backdrop of the deaths of the Ukrainians, this is tantamount to meaningless airwaves. Let us allow ourselves to be cynical. It is good that we are supporting the Ukrainians in every way we can and setting an example for the whole of Europe. No sacrifice can compare to that of soldiers soaking in a mess of blood, mud, winter slush, severed limbs, screams and suffering. We do not know in what way, but the West needs to be convinced that, without direct intervention, Ukraine will have enormous difficulties. The war could drag on for several years and cost six-figure death tolls. Russia is entering a phase of total war. This means that the main resource that Moscow has more of than tanks, missiles, gas and oil will be thrown to the front - living flesh. All this meat grinder will bring countless deaths, maimed lives, severed limbs, deprived eyesight and destroyed homes. Ukraine does not have the human resources for a long-term war on this scale.
The US is actually reinforcing the eastern flank of NATO by deploying hundreds of heavy military vehicles and equipment on the territory of Lithuania and Poland. The military equipment is already on Dutch territory, with crews in the local port city of Flisingen. According to Dutch media, the US army brigade consists of 1,275 vehicles: M1 Abrams and other tanks, Bradley infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy military equipment. The US intends to keep the brigade in Poland and Lithuania for six months.
This is a very important real allied support for Lithuania and Poland at this difficult time. It is also a very clear message to Russia. The unmistakable metallic language of the declaration is not just about defence. The Kremlin cannot have even the slightest illusions about us.
The Ukrainian migrants represent the largest influx of refugees since the Second World War, according to the German Ministry of the Interior. It says that 1 045 185 people, most of them women and children, have been registered as having fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion of Germany. In addition to Ukrainian refugees, more than 244,000 people applied for asylum last year, an increase of 27.9% compared to the previous year.
According to the Kremlin, the EU is becoming a vassal of NATO on the basis of a joint declaration in which the two organisations pledged to deepen their cooperation in response to Russia's war in Ukraine. Putin's nemesis Maria Zakharova said the move "confirms the European Union's full subordination to the tasks of the North Atlantic bloc, which is a tool for securing US interests by force".
She added that the Europeans face "the unenviable fate of an American vassal, losing their position in world politics and the economy, becoming more dependent on Washington with every step".
Right. And what? What alternative does the FSB major's cleaning lady offer? Mariupol? Bakhmut? Yes, the EU will continue to rely more and more on those who are capable of destroying the hydra from the east.
In response to last year's attack on the Nord Stream pipeline, NATO and the EU will set up a working group to strengthen the protection of critical infrastructure. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the sabotage of gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea last September shows the need to "tackle this new type of threat".
"This is a working group where our experts from NATO and the European Union will work hand in hand to identify the main threats to our critical infrastructure, to look at the strategic vulnerabilities that we have," she said in Brussels, speaking alongside NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
EU countries have so far reported freezing around €20.3 billion of sanctioned Russian assets. Almost every EU Member State has reported freezing millions of euros, but Greece has reported freezing only €212,000 worth of assets and Malta €147,000.
This came as a bit of a surprise to European partners, as the EU has blacklisted around 1,300 individuals and 120 entities as part of its sanctions against Russia. It has also imposed economic sanctions on Russian trade and on the country's transport, energy, banking, media and defence sectors.
Operational level
Heavy fighting over Soledar continues. The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence reports an increase in the number of Wagner Marauders on this front. While Wagner declares the town occupied and the Russian Defence Staff claims that fighting is taking place in the town, the Ukrainian side reports that the Ukrainians are so far successfully defending themselves and are getting hit by the rags.
According to Anna Malyar, Deputy Minister of Defence, the enemy, having suffered losses, has again changed its units... is trying to break through the defences of our troops and take the city completely, but he is not succeeding". The approaches to the Ukrainian positions are said to be strewn with the bodies of liquidated Russian soldiers.
We would like to point out that the information porridge being cooked up about Bakhmut and Soledar contains a great deal of disinformation coming from Russia via the Western media. We recommend filtering the information, checking it against other sources and relying on the reports of the Ukrainian Defence Staff and those responsible. And, of course, us. We also recommend rejecting the disinformation spread by Moscow about the competition between the Russian army and the Wagner military group. All these units and their commanders are sipping from the same pool and sitting at the same table. The competition can at best be simulated in order to encourage some units to become more active. The main puppeteers remain unchanged.
Sources say that the Russian forces attempting to take Bakhmut are severely depleted. The Russian occupation troops have reportedly achieved only limited tactical success in the direction of Bakhmut. It is believed that this may be another tactical mistake by the Kremlin's boulders in climbing the Severodonetsk rake. With the Russian army depleted, the Ukrainians may be able to launch an offensive.
Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov has reportedly been appointed commander of the Russian Joint Task Force in Ukraine. Surovikin has been appointed his deputy. Gerasimov is one of the strategists of the so-called hybrid warfare, who developed the "Gerasimov Doctrine" - a combination of military, technological, informational, diplomatic, economic, cultural and other tactics to achieve strategic military objectives.
Once again, comments have been made about how the Russian regime is looking for a way out, that it is supposedly at an impasse, that it does not know what to do, and that it keeps changing its leaders. Dear friends, this is all a smoke screen. The fact that Moscow announces that it is changing military commanders means absolutely nothing, because we do not know whether they are actually being changed and who is really in charge. The Kremlin's aim in these moves is to mislead, to disinform, and as we can see, they are succeeding very well. Respectable analysts and experts seem to have forgotten that a few months ago, Gerasimov was supposedly 'put down', 'resigned', 'angry' and even 'put away' by Putin.
We know one thing for sure and clearly: both Gerasimov and Surovikin, whatever their bloody snouts, are, unfortunately, tough and skilful war ogres, whose decisions and proposed strategies are increasingly relied upon by the lower-ranking commanders on the ground, and, of course, by the political leadership of the regime. We are particularly worried about the new tactics of the occupying forces in battles with the defenders - from ura! offensive to the tactics of small units. This means that the Russians have started to save their professional, better-trained driski.
This means that the war will be very long. And it means that Ukraine has less and less time because its main "resource" is running out. That is why it desperately needs all the heavy military equipment that the West can provide.
And they are starting to do so, as we can see. This time, it seems that their intelligence agencies are not wrong, not the ones that write press releases - you can see what the purpose of the information disseminated by such "intelligence agencies" is. Intelligence analysts have finally come to the same conclusion as we have: although Ukraine seems to be winning the war, unfortunately the facts show otherwise. Just look at the map.
And turn to a history book.
Tactical Level
The Russian invaders struck Zaporizhzhya at night. The city's infrastructure was damaged. According to initial data, there are no casualties.
Over the past day, Russian terrorists fired 4 missiles at Ukrainian civilian objects and carried out 23 air strikes. 69 sites were shelled with rocket fire systems.
Ukrainian Defence Forces units repelled attacks by the invaders in all areas.
Near the settlement of Kherson oblast, Radensky's Draysians dug trenches and tore up a network of blind barriers using sea containers previously used for a field hospital.
In occupied Crimea, recruitment of mercenaries for the newly established private military companies "Shield" and "Rusich" was announced. They are recruiting ex-military and other law enforcement personnel, with priority given to officers. The mercenaries are offered substantial financial support.
Last day, Ukrainian military aviation carried out twenty strikes against enemy targets and three strikes against anti-aircraft missile complexes. Ukrainian troops shot down a Ka-52 helicopter and two Orlan-10 reconnaissance aircraft.
Rocket and artillery units struck an enemy command post, seven live fire positions and three Russian ammunition depots.
Photo: Three Presidents (source: Presidency of the Republic of Lithuania).
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