Russian’s send missliesw into the Ukraine President’s home town….
The Ukrainan President visits retaken territory….
Russian has spent hundreds or millions around the world against governments politically…
Russian President Putin rejected a peace deal proposal from the Ukraine as the conflict began …
The US will annouce evene more aid to the Unkraine which is becoming a weekly occurrence….
Ukraine troops are receiving training in the UK by several Westerm countries military …Other’s have been receiving training by the US….
The Pentagon has acknowledged that the current counter offense was gamed out with US military assistance, with US Intel help….(Will we find out later that US Spec Ops advisors have been in-country )
President Volodymyr Zelensky made a dramatic visit to newly reclaimed Izium on Wednesday, raising the Ukrainian flag over the strategic city in a show of bravado that highlighted the failure of Russia’s campaign in the northeast.
Mr. Zelensky, standing in a cold drizzle amid wreckage left by the fleeing Russian Army, told soldiers assembled before him in front of the bombed-out municipal building: “Our blue and yellow flag is already flying in de-occupied Izium. And it will be so in every Ukrainian city and village.”
Mr. Zelensky’s visit to the city, just nine miles from the new front line in the east, came as Ukrainian forces continued to sweep down from the Kharkiv region with the aim of retaking more Russian-held ground. On Wednesday, Ukrainian officials said that a battle was ongoing outside Lyman, a city at the doorstep of the Luhansk region, which Russia captured over the summer in a monthslong campaign that razed cities and left thousands of soldiers on both sides dead.
With Ukraine having captured the momentum on the battlefield in the nearly seven-month-old war, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is confronting more vocal criticism over his faltering invasion. At a meeting of Russia’s Parliament on Tuesday, the leader of the Communist Party, Gennady Zyuganov, joined those calling for Moscow to announce a full military mobilization, which Mr. Putin has declined to do in order to preserve the sense at home that his “special military operation” is limited and proceeding according to plan.
“A special operation is something you announce — and something you can choose to put an end to,” Mr. Zyuganov said, according to Meduza, an independent Russian news site. “A war is something you can’t stop even if you want to. You have to fight to the end.”
Here are other developments:
After Ukrainian troops reclaimed hundreds of square miles in the northeast, civilians who had been living under Russian occupation for months are experiencing a jarring shift from survival to re-establishing normal life.
The president of the European Union’s executive arm, Ursula von der Leyen, used her annual “State of the Union” message to emphasize Europe’s support for Ukraine, saying that sanctions against Russia “are here to stay.”
Russia has covertly given at least $300 million to political parties, officials and politicians in more than two dozen countries since 2014, and plans to transfer hundreds of millions more, with the goal of exerting political influence and swaying elections, according to a State Department summary of a recent U.S. intelligence review.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- The European Union will push ahead with emergency measures to tackle the energy crisis,European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the annual State of the European Union address Wednesday — where Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska was a guest of honor. Von der Leyen said she plans to visit Kyiv next week. She accused Russia of “actively manipulating” the bloc’s energy market but vowed that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will fail, and Europe will prevail.” The proposed measures include a windfall tax on some energy companies and binding targets to reduce consumption.
- Zelensky visited the recently liberated city of Izyum. He participated in a flag-raising ceremony there to mark the nation’s most important military victory since Russian invaders were repelled from the Kyiv suburbs in late March. “The heroes are here,” Zelensky said, speaking of the significance of Ukraine’s blue-and-yellow banner. “It means that the enemy is gone, ran away.”
- Around 8,000 square kilometers (over 3,000 square miles) of land has been “liberated” in northeastern Ukraine, Zelensky said in his nightly address on Tuesday — an area nearly the size of Puerto Rico. He added that “collaborators” are being detained and security restored in the areas. Moscow’s rapid loss of ground could indicate that the Russian military may be spent as an offensive force, military analysts said, limiting Putin to defending the Ukrainian territory he already holds.
- Russia has secretly funneled at least $300 millionto foreign political parties and candidates globally since 2014 in an attempt to shape political events, according to a U.S. intelligence review.
- A new U.S. military aid package for Ukraine could be announced in the “coming days,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.
- Videos and photos posted on social media have provided a glimpse into what Russian troops left behindduring their hasty retreat from the Kharkiv region.
- Ukraine claimed to have shot down an Iranian-made attack drone Russia had deployed in the Kharkiv region Tuesday. In its daily update on Ukraine on Wednesday, U.K. defense intelligence said Russia had “highly likely deployed Iranian uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) in Ukraine for the first time,” citing reports from Ukraine’s defense ministry that its forces had eliminated a Shahed-136, an Iranian-made kamikaze drone with a claimed range of some 1,500 miles. Photosshared by the Defence Ministry of the remnants of the weapon, which bore Russian markings, appear to match published images of wingtips from intact Shahed-136 drones, said Mark Cancian, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ International Security Program. U.S. officials said Russian cargo planes began picking up shipments of Iranian-made combat drones for use in Ukraine last month, The Washington Post previously reported.
- Following its success in the northeast, the Ukrainian military’s focus will probably shift to Kherson, the occupied city in Ukraine’s south, where Russian forces are defending a vulnerable swath of land on the eastern side of the Dnieper River, analysts said.
- The Pentagon declined to say whether the United States helped Ukraine plan the Kharkiv counteroffensive, although press secretary Patrick Ryder emphasized ongoing military cooperation between Washington and Kyiv. “We do engage with the Ukrainians at a variety of levels on the military side,” he said at a briefing Tuesday. “We do provide time-sensitive information to enable them to conduct their operations and defend their homeland.”
- Some 5,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been trained in the United Kingdom as part of a program initiated by the U.K. government called Operation Interflex, Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday. Instructors for the program hail from Canada, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Ukraine and Britain….
Vladimir Putin’s chief envoy on Ukraine told the Russian leader as the war began that he had struck a provisional deal with Kyiv that would satisfy Russia’s demand that Ukraine stay out of NATO, but Putin rejected it and pressed ahead with his military campaign, according to three people close to the Russian leadership.
The Ukrainian-born envoy, Dmitry Kozak, told Putin that he believed the deal he had hammered out removed the need for Russia to pursue a large-scale occupation of Ukraine, according to these sources. Kozak’s recommendation to Putin to adopt the deal is being reported by Reuters for the first time….
image…Credit…Nicole Tung for The New York Times