More about a possible February UN backed Ukraine/Russia peace Summit….
Fighting continues thru the Ukraine cold winter….
The Ukraine IS striking military targets INSIDE Russia, asomething US President Biden has been afarid of….
The Ukraine is busy restoring power to its people after Russian rocket attacks against their cities…
US Special Forces gets more countries joining its efforts to help the Ukraine military operations….
Here’s what we know:
Kyiv’s campaign to take back Kreminna began in the autumn. Russia controls most of the Luhansk region, one of four it illegally annexed in October.
Ukrainian forces edge closer to a heavily guarded city in the east.
Ukraine’s difficulties on the bond markets leave it more reliant on foreign aid.
Lukashenko and Putin affirm their close ties but say nothing publicly about Ukraine.
Navalny accuses the prison authorities of using his health as a tool to put pressure on him.
A Russian military unit killed dozens in Bucha, a Times investigation shows.
Attacks inside Russia potentially complicate Moscow’s campaign of striking Ukraine’s energy grid.
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- Ukraine’s desire for peace talks: Kuleba told the Associated Press that U.N. Secretary General António Guterres should be the mediator but insisted that Kyiv would not directly engage with Moscow until Russia faces a war crimes tribunal. A U.N. spokesperson said Guterres could “only mediate if all parties want him to mediate.”
- Russian President Vladimir Putin once again said he was willing to have talks to end the war, though the West and Ukraine do not view his statement as a serious effort to engage. The Kremlin has repeatedly said that Ukraine must face new “realities” — recognizing Russian territorial gains and control of Crimea, which was illegally annexed in 2014 — before a peace plan can be enacted.
- More from Russia: Lavrov demanded Ukraine end its “senseless resistance” and accused Kyiv’s Western backers of protracting the conflict. “It is no secret that the strategic goal of the U.S. and its NATO allies is to win a victory over Russia on the battlefield as a mechanism of weakening or even destroying our country,” Lavrov told the state-owned Tass news agency.
- The Ukrainian drone was shot down near the Engels airfield in Russia, more than 370 miles east of the border with Ukraine, killing three Russian servicemen, according to Moscow. Several weeks ago, strikes attributed to Ukraine hit the Engels and Dyagilevo airfields, suggesting gaps in the Kremlin’s air defenses and Kyiv’s increased confidence in extending the scope of the battlefield deeper within Russia.
- About 9 million Ukrainians were without power across the country as of Monday evening, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his nightly address. He thanked repair crews who helped get more energy to people over Christmas and noted that the “number and duration of outages is still gradually decreasing.”
- The situation in eastern Ukraine is “difficult” and “acute,” Zelensky said of areas such as Bakhmut, Kreminna and parts of the Donbas region, as he called for “maximum strength and concentration.” The president visited the front lines in Bakhmut last week.
- Russia has continued to launch small-scale attacks around Bakhmut in Donetsk and Svatove in Luhansk, but it has not made significant territorial gains, the British Ministry of Defense reported.
- More than 60 percent of infrastructure in Bakhmut has been destroyed, regional governor Pavlo Kyrylenko saidon Ukrainian television Monday. Zelensky previously called Bakhmut the “hottest spot on the entire front line,” with active fighting across nearly 1,000 miles.
- A Russian attack on the city of Kherson on Christmas Eve left at least 11 dead and 64 injured, according to the region’s governor. Zelensky tweeted images of the violence over the weekend, showing bodies lying in the streets and cars on fire, and called it “not sensitive content — it’s the real life” of Ukraine….
Three more countries have joined a coordination effort set up by U.S. Army special forces to help Ukraine, the Army secretary said Tuesday.
“When Russia went into Ukraine in late February, we sent the 10th Special Forces Group to develop a coalition planning cell that enabled us to bring together 20 different nations to coordinate information with international [special operations forces] partners and allies,” Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said during a virtual event with the Atlantic Council. “And that has again, I think, contributed significantly with the effectiveness and the speed of the assistance and training that we’ve been able to provide.”
The planning cell had 17 members in April, when Lt. Gen. Jonathan Braga, the commander of U.S. Army Special Operations Command, testified to senators.
Wormuth said the cell has helped coordinate the shipment of weapons and equipment within Ukraine.
“As the Ukrainians try to move that around and evade the Russians potentially trying to target convoys, you know, we are trying to be able to help coordinate moving all of those different sort of shipments,” she said.
“Another thing I think we can help with,” Wormuth said, “is intelligence about where the threats to those convoys may be.”….