Ukraine warDespite the constant Russian bombardment around the cities of Kyiv, Mykolaiv and Mariupol, the movements of Russian forces continue in northern Ukraine. About a fifth of Russian troops will be transferred to Kyiv.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow reported that troops are regrouping around the Ukrainian capital. Other units are already digging, according to Western satellite images. According to Ukrainian military sources, the regrouping was planned in advance and had nothing to do with a possible Russian “goodwill gesture” that surrounded peace talks in Turkey earlier this week.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said some Russian tanks were moving toward northern Ukraine and Belarus. But according to the US Department of Defense, these Russian soldiers will not return home. Later they will be deployed to other places in Ukraine, in particular to the east of the Dnieper River and in the Donbass region. Moscow confirmed that these forces will focus next April on “liberating” the separatist regions in the east of the country. New troops, including mercenaries from the Wagner Group, are mobilized for this.
For this morning, the Russians once again offered a temporary ceasefire in the already besieged and heavily bombed port city of Mariupol, according to several Russian news agencies. The Kremlin is said to have plans to declare another “independent people’s republic” after Luhansk and Donetsk, this time in the southern city of Kherson, the only major city occupied by the Russians. Ukrainian sources reported that the Russians want to organize an “administrative control” of the city through a quick referendum. Messages about this cannot be verified.
They fight for every meter
Ukrainian President Zelensky also spoke about Russian maneuvers near Kyiv in his nighttime video. According to him, the Russian strategy has changed mainly due to the stiff resistance of the Ukrainian army. “Freedom can be no worse armed than tyranny,” the president said in a fresh appeal to the West for more and better weapons.
Zelensky said the war had reached a turning point. He said his words on the street, next to a government building with an armed bodyguard in the background. ,, We have no confidence in fancy verbal constructs (from Russian negotiators). There is a real battlefield that is most important to us. “We will not give up anything and fight for every meter of our country,” said the president, who spoke of an “emotional” day in which he held long talks with US President Joe Biden. The latter had pledged an additional $500 million in additional aid.
Zelensky also responded to people who apparently criticized Ukrainian defense strategy† The president, who said earlier today that he presented 122 high military awards to Ukrainian soldiers, 23 of them posthumously, said: “You can show yourself at the front how things can be improved.”
According to Western intelligence sources, things are not going well between President Putin and the leadership of his Defense Ministry. Putin will be misled about the real situation on the battlefield and especially about the numerous logistical problems of the Russian armed forces. Previously, there were reports that a number of senior Russian officials were placed under house arrest or arrested, allegedly for defects in the Russian war machine.
According to the head of British intelligence, Jeremy Fleming, morale among the Russian forces was weak. Recruits sometimes even refuse to follow orders or disable their vehicles to avoid going to the front. Amid mostly poor communications, Russian air defenses were said to have shot down their plane, Fleming learned.
According to the New York Times, his statements are in line with information previously revealed by US intelligence services. Fleming did not go into details. For example, it remained unclear where the Russian forces were going to shoot down their planes. The claim by US intelligence agencies that Russian President Vladimir Putin is being misled is correct, according to Fleming: “His advisers are afraid to tell him the truth.” The head of British intelligence announced the launch of new Russian hacker attacks against countries that support Ukraine.
Ukrainian negotiator David Arashamia said that negotiations between Ukraine and Russia will continue digitally tomorrow. According to Arashameh, Ukraine would have liked to meet physically again, but Russia refused.
Meanwhile, the ruble has reasonably recovered, despite Western sanctions on Russian exports. That will be because Russia will raise interest rates. Moreover, Moscow only wants to be paid in rubles for its oil and gas. This would also boost the value of the Russian currency, which has fallen sharply.
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