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WHY DOES PUTIN NEED TWO NEW MILITARY DISTRICTS AND AN ARMY CORPS? (2023 01 18)

Political strategic level
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address yesterday that Ukraine is guaranteed to receive three Patriot air defence systems. "Today we have received very important news from the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. This news is in fact a follow-up to our recent talks with him. Ukraine will be provided with another Patriot battery", said Mr Zelensky.
He also noted that he had discussed defence cooperation with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. "We are actively preparing for a new meeting in the Ramstein format. We are also preparing important new diplomatic steps, which we also discussed today," the Ukrainian leader added.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian troops have already arrived in the US to train in the use of Patriot missile defence systems. Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff said that the US partners had committed to train them within 10 weeks, not 10 months.
One additional Patriot battery for every one apartment block destroyed by a Russian fascist missile and half a hundred civilian corpses, including children.
The top US military officer, Army General Mark Milley, arrived at the site near the Ukraine-Poland border on Tuesday for the first face-to-face talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, General Valery Zaluzhny. Although several US civilian leaders have travelled to Ukraine, the Biden administration has made it clear that no uniformed military personnel will go to Ukraine, except those associated with the embassy in Kyiv. Mr Milley's spokesman said that only a small group - Mr Milley and six of his senior staff - travelled by car to the meeting.
The meeting between Milley and Zaluzhno marks the start of a series of meetings between senior army and defence leaders this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, Milley and other defence chiefs will meet in Brussels, while on Thursday and Friday the so-called Ukraine Contact Group will meet at Ramstein air base in Germany. This group consists of around 50 top defence officials, including Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, who are working to coordinate military contributions to Ukraine.
These important meetings come amid speculation from Western intelligence that the Kremlin is preparing for a protracted war and that the Russian military leadership is preparing for increased mobilisation.
Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, 99, speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, said Ukraine's membership of NATO would be a "fitting outcome". At the same time, he said that Russia's invasion shows that it no longer makes sense to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO. The old man had previously opposed this objective of Kiyv, repeating over and over again the need for a ceasefire in the Ukrainian war, which would essentially allow Russia to recognise certain military achievements.
"Before this war, I was against Ukraine's NATO membership because I feared that it would lead to exactly the kind of process we are seeing now", said Kissinger. "Now that the process has reached this stage, the idea of a neutral Ukraine no longer makes sense under these conditions", concluded the former political and diplomatic grandee.
Tanks, "patriots" and "khimars" should have been sent to Ukraine after the occupation of Crimea, as well as the granting of NATO candidate status. And isolate Russia. But the minds of all of us, leaders and ploughmen alike, work the same way. We do not take the most rational, logical decisions, but intuitive ones, based on cognitive bias, influenced by previous decisions that have no relevance to the present.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen reiterated on the opening day of the Forum in Davos that Ukraine needs "all the military equipment", including advanced systems, and that the Western allies need to "step up" the level of military support and equipment sent to Ukraine.
The head of the European Commission confirmed that a tenth package of sanctions against Russia is being prepared. She said the tenth package "will focus on closing loopholes, preventing circumvention and bringing serious consequences to those who circumvent EU sanctions".
Closing the gaps. Something like that. Something has to be written, written or said somehow.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, triggered by the diplomatic actions of Poland, Lithuania and the United Kingdom, told Bloomberg that Germany is now discussing with its allies the possible delivery of Leopard heavy tanks to Ukraine. "This issue should be coordinated with the other countries before military aid is announced," the Chancellor said.
"I always think about the situation... We always act together with our allies and friends - we never do anything alone," Scholz stressed. Germany will support Ukraine "as long as necessary and by all means", but one of the main goals now, Scholz said, is to prevent a war between Russia and NATO.
Oh no. No no no no. Russia does not want a war with NATO. Russia is afraid of war with NATO. And that is why the road is being blocked and the red lines are being drawn and redrawn only in our own heads. Russia has nothing to do with this. It is only an aggressor and a terrorist who is killing Ukraine.
That is what the head of diplomacy of the most powerful country in the world is beginning to say. The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, has called Russia's demands on Ukraine for 'new territorial realities' unacceptable. In a joint briefing with British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, Blinken said that these demands were undermining the peace negotiation process.
"Russia's demands for Ukraine to recognise new territorial realities are unacceptable and prevent the negotiation process from starting", Blinken said. The Secretary of State added that the quickest way to achieve a sustainable end to this war, to move towards diplomacy, to start negotiations, is to strengthen Ukraine on the battlefield. "That is what we are doing," he said.
By 2022, Russia has become India's third-largest oil supplier, selling about 15 per cent of total demand. Refineries in India, the world's third-largest oil consumer and importer, buy cheap Russian oil in large volumes, which many Western countries, except Hungary, have abandoned. Last month, India's oil imports from Russia jumped to a record level of 1.25 million barrels a day, about a quarter of its total daily demand of 4.9 million barrels.
India is taking advantage of the fact that the European Union and the G7 countries have capped the price of Russian oil in order to reduce Moscow's oil revenues.
Can we say that India's hands are also stained with Ukrainian blood? No, it is nothing personal, just pure business.
Operational level
No major changes.
Sergei Shoigu, Russia's Minister of War Crimes and Terror, has announced the creation of two new military districts, Moscow and Leningrad. The terrorist Russian Federation is thus reinforcing its western front, not only with the creation of two new military districts but also with plans to form a new army corps in Karelia.
Shoigu also said that Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered an increase in the Russian armed forces to 1.5 million in order to "ensure state security and protect 'new subjects' and key facilities of the Russian Federation".
The creation of the Moscow and Leningrad military districts is another step towards deepening the war, while preparing to prevent any possible revolt by ordinary people in Russia who are unhappy with the war.
The Kinburn Peninsula, which has been mentioned several times in our previous reviews and which is crucial for the planning of the entire liberation of Kherson, is still in the hands of the Russian occupiers.
The de-occupation of the Kynburn Spit will take place in the context of the liberation of the whole Kherson region, Colonel Yevhen Yerin, head of the Joint Press Centre of the Ukrainian Defence Forces, said yesterday. It does not make sense to liberate the Kynburn Spit as a separate territory, Yerin explained. "Why? Because there has to be a land corridor to it. And only in that case will it make sense", he noted.
From this, we conclude that the liberation of Kherson will unfortunately have to wait.
Russia has put ships capable of firing Kalibr cruise missiles on combat alert in the Mediterranean, Black and Azov seas. In the Black Sea, 16 enemy ships, including 6 cruise missile launchers, are on combat readiness, in the Azov Sea 2 ships are on combat readiness, and in the Mediterranean Sea 9 enemy ships are on combat readiness, including 5 cruise missile launchers. Russian terrorists can now launch 72 Kalibr missiles in one salvo.
Tactical level
During the day of 17 January, the enemy launched 6 missile attacks, 3 of which targeted civilian targets in Kupyansk and Kramatorsk, and 14 airstrikes. The occupying forces also carried out 95 attacks with volley fire systems.
The enemy is concentrating its efforts on offensive operations on the Bakhmut axis. The offensive by the occupying forces on the Avdiivka axis has been unsuccessful.
The small number of collaborators forced the occupiers to bring in clerks from the Russian Federation to carry out the administrative functions of the occupying regime in the temporarily occupied territories. There is also a shortage of workers in various fields because the local population is unwilling to cooperate with the occupiers. Therefore, the Russians are trying to bring in workers from Russia and the temporarily occupied Crimea.
During the day of 17 January, the Ukrainian air force struck 12 times at enemy concentrations and 4 times at the positions of its anti-aircraft missile systems. In addition, anti-aircraft fighters destroyed an occupying Su-25 aircraft near Soledar.
Units of the Ukrainian Defence Forces' rocket launchers and artillery hit 2 command posts, as well as 5 occupier concentration points, an ammunition depot, an electronic warfare station and a radar station.
On Tuesday, the Russian and Belarusian flags were banned from the Australian Open outdoor tennis tournament grounds. Flags are normally allowed to be displayed in Melbourne Park during matches. However, Tennis Australia has changed this policy because of the involvement of two countries in the invasion of Ukraine, which began almost a year ago.
A Ukrainian rescue helicopter crashed in Brovary, near Kyiv, presumably due to pilot error. According to Ihor Klymenko, head of the Ukrainian National Police, among the dead was the Minister of the Interior, Denis Monastyrsky, the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to die since the start of the war with Russia nearly 11 months ago. In total, 18 people died, including three children.
Photo: Ukrainian soldiers being trained by their US counterparts. Source: AP.
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