The Ukraine military continues to say out loud that Russia is preparing for a late winter major offense against the Ukraine…
The warnings have increased aimed at the West….
Zelensky has continued to ask America and NATO for more heavy duty weapons…..
Ukraiune and Western experts do NOT believe that the Russian military is capable do much better than they did almost a year ago going forward….
The rocket attack’s continue against Ukraine cities…..
The statements by senior Ukrainian officials appeared to be part of a coordinated campaign to guard against complacency among Ukraine’s allies as the Russian Army struggles on the battlefield. Since launching its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February, Russia has fallen back in three major retreats — from the territory around Kyiv, in the northeastern Kharkiv region and, last month, in the southern region of Kherson.
The warnings also appear to be an attempt to counter the Kremlin’s efforts to persuade Ukraine’s Western allies to pressure Kyiv into a negotiated settlement.
In parallel with the fighting along the front lines, Russia has bombarded civilian infrastructure targets throughout the country, knocking out heating, water and electricity for millions of Ukrainians. In his nightly address to Ukrainians on Saturday, Mr. Zelensky said that electricity had been restored to six million people who lost power after a salvo of missile strikes on Friday. The mayor of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, said on Sunday that neighborhood heating systems damaged in the strikes had been fully restored.
Military analysts say that this campaign is intended to demoralize Ukrainians and push the Ukrainian government into a cease-fire that might allow Russia time to regroup and rearm for future offensives…
Mr. Podolyak said that the type of mass infantry warfare Moscow seems to be preparing for would not be effective against Ukraine’s increasingly modern arsenal of precision-guided weaponry and surveillance drones. But he said that the Russian military leadership had bent to Kremlin demands for advances on the ground for domestic political reasons.
Russian commanders, he said, “diligently maintain Putin’s illusion of the possibility of ‘victory,’ in order to, firstly, maintain Putin’s personal power, and secondly, to avoid harsh punishment for admitting loss.”….
Zelensky renewed calls during his nightly address Sunday for “modern air defense systems in sufficient numbers” to protect Ukraine’s skies. “This will be one of the most powerful steps that will bring the end of aggression closer,” Zelensky added. “Russia will have to follow the path of cessation of aggression, when it can no longer follow the path of missile strikes.”
Ukrainians in major cities, including the capital, Kyiv, spent the weekend rebuilding after Russia launched more than 60 missiles Friday. Power was restored to 6 million Ukrainians as of Saturday night, and water access had returned to the capital. Russia’s Defense Ministry, which has increasingly targeted infrastructure in central and western Ukraine, said Friday’s missile barrage was meant to prevent the transfer of foreign weaponry and hurt Ukraine’s defense industry….
“Protection of the border with both Russia and Belarus is also a constant priority,” Zelensky said Sunday night. “We are preparing for all possible defense scenarios. Whoever inclines Minsk to whatever, it will not help them.”
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- “War must fail,” Zelensky said in his World Cup peace message, which Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry shared Sunday on Facebook. Ukraine’s presidential office told The Washington Post in a statement that “FIFA refused to show” the video. FIFA did not respond to The Post’s request for comment Sunday morning. CNN reported the news earlier.
- Although power has been restored to millions after Friday’s attacks, there was still a lot of work to do to stabilize the system, Zelensky said Saturday. He described the situation as “most difficult” in the capital, Kyiv, and the surrounding region, as well as in the Vinnytsia and Lviv regions. Heating was restored in Kyiv early Sunday, the city’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, said on Telegram, as temperatures there dipped below 26 degrees Fahrenheit (-3 Celsius). Ukraine’s electricity transmission operator said work is underway to repair distribution networks throughout the country, but that the frost and strong winds are making it more difficult.
- Putin isn’t the only leader meeting with allies this week. Zelensky said his government is preparing several proposals to strengthen “all the countries of Europe,” ahead of a meeting Monday of the leaders of Britain, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden and Norway.
- Russia’s efforts to raise its troops’ morale by assembling groups tasked with entertaining them are “unlikely to substantively alleviate” soldiers’ broader concerns about pay and the direction of the war, Britain’s Defense Ministry said in its daily update. The ministry said the two new “front line creative brigades,” announced by Russia’s Defense Ministry last week and made up of opera singers, actors and circus performers, are tied to a “Soviet-era concept of ideological political education.”
- Putin met with military commanders to determine next steps in the offensive, the Kremlin said Saturday. “We will listen to the commanders in each operational direction, and I would like to hear your proposals on our immediate and medium-term actions,” Putin said as he toured military headquarters Friday alongside Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. Analysts said the Kremlin was probably attempting to depict Putin as a “competent wartime leader” and rehabilitate the battered image of Russia’s Defense Ministry by publicizing the visit.
- Ukrainian officials warned that Russia may be trying to draw troops into a trap on the left bank of the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine. Ukraine’s military said Russian soldiers have been telling residents of the Kakhovka area, in the Kherson region, that they intend to withdraw by the end of the year. A spokeswoman for Ukraine’s Southern Operational Command said this could be a ruse to lure Ukraine to advance — a tactic she said was deployed by Russia during the Ukrainian counteroffensive on the right bank…
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