Fighting in the Donbas region contiunes…
A Spring Russia offense has the Ukraine waiting….
EU countries are pleding more waepons for the Ukraine….
The guess is that the Russiana will step off around Feb.24….
Here’s what we know:
On his second trip abroad, the Ukrainian president asked the leaders of the European Union to begin talks this year for his country to join. Back home, he faces an intensifying fight on the eastern front.
Fighting increases near Kreminna, a city key to Putin’s objectives in the east.
A grateful Zelensky asks the European Union for more help, fast.
Wagner, the Russian mercenary group, says it has stopped recruiting prisoners.
Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters weighs in on the war in Ukraine, again.
Battlefield Update: Russia tries for ‘maximum escalation’ around Kreminna.
Here’s a look at what Britain has given Ukraine and what it still has in its arsenal……
As Moscow struggles to turn the tide of a war that so far has largely failed, Ukrainians are bracing for a Kremlin do-over. But just where Russia will seek to land its blow remains a mystery, forcing Kyiv to ready its troops along a varied and forbidding front stretching from Belarus to the Black Sea.
From boggy northern wetlands to raging street fighting in the east to the treeless southern steppe, each range of terrain presents its own set of challenges and openings for Russian invaders and the Ukrainians intent on expelling them.
Ukrainian officials warn that Russian could initiate its attack within weeks, even hours, as the calendar ticks toward the first anniversary of the invasion on Feb. 24.
A race now appears to be on between Russian forces aiming to meet President Vladimir Putin’s demand that they regain momentum — and seize more Ukrainian territory — and the arrival of additional Western weapons that could again help the Ukrainians choke off the Russian onslaught…..
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects around the globe.
- The European Parliament’s president urged E.U. nations to provide Ukraine with warplanes and long-range weapons, among other military equipment. “We know the sacrifice your people have endured for Europe, and we must honor it not only with words, but with actions,” Roberta Metsola said to Zelensky. “States must consider quickly steps to providing long-range systems and the jets you need to protect the liberty too many have taken for granted.”
- Zelensky praised the E.U. for taking steps to wean itself off Russian fossil fuels in his European Parliament speech. The E.U. banned imports of Russian seaborne imports of crude oil last year, with an embargo on oil products including diesel kicking in earlier this week. Natural gas deliveries through the main pipeline between Russia and Europe also ended after Moscow stalled supplies and a sabotage attack damaged two pipelines.
- British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said “nothing is off the table” after Zelensky asked for fighter jets in his speech to the British Parliament this week. “I will leave Parliament thanking all of you in advance for powerful English planes,” Zelensky told the lawmakers. No country has sent fighter jets to Ukraine so far; Poland and Slovakia have both offered decades-old MiG fighter jets, but transfers have become entangled in discussions among allies.
- Estonia’s prime minister proposed a program to purchase military equipment for Ukraine. Kaja Kallas cited a system used by the E.U. during the coronavirus pandemic, where countries provided cash but the European Commission negotiated with the pharmaceutical companies to lower the price. “We should send a clear signal to the European industry that they need to produce more,” she said Wednesday.
- Rafael Grossi, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, has arrived in Moscow, where he is set to advise on the implementation of a nuclear safety and security protection zone around Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, said officials at the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Earlier, the Kremlin said that Grossi would meet state officials but not Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit. Russia seized control of the power plant last March, and since then, the IAEA has repeatedly expressed security concerns at the plant.
- Elon Musk’s SpaceX has accused the Ukrainian military of using its satellite internet service, Starlink, to power drones. SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell said that while she was pleased that the service has helped Ukraine, Starlink “was never intended to be weaponized” and “Ukrainians have leveraged it in ways that were not part of any agreement.”
- Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov slammed the possibility of Britain providing jets to Ukraine, saying such steps would “make this conflict more painful and tormenting for Ukraine.” He added that providing jets “will not fundamentally change the outcome of the conflict” or Russia’s goals in the war. On Thursday, a spokesperson for Sunak told the Press Association that the British government is “aware of potential escalatory risks” that sending the jets could entail and is weighing the decision “carefully.”
- Zelensky’s renewed appeal for military aircraft comes amid warnings from Ukrainian officials that Russia is planning an offensive that is likely to include the northeastern region of Kharkiv and the southern Zaporizhzhia region. The Kremlin needs “to have something to show before their people, and have a major desire to do something big, as they see it,” by the Feb. 24 anniversary of the invasion, Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, told Reuters.
- Shelling in the Kharkiv region killed two civilians and injured five, regional governor Oleh Synyehubov said. A 48-year-old man and a 45-year-old woman died of their injuries after residential buildings in the village of Dvorichna were hit, he said. Five people were injured in Kharkiv’s Chuguyiv district, he added….
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