The leaders of the Russia and the Ukraine visit the battlefields….
Ukraine grain exports on slippery ground from the Russians and East Europen countries….
The Wagner Group gets some support from the Russian military?
Bakhmut is STILL the main battle field for the conflict right now…..
But Russia has turned to mostly shelling as it’s drone and rocket supplies run low….
Kherson went to the Russiana and back to the Ukraine….The Russian’s are trying to raze the place with shelling….
Here’s the latest on the war and its ripple effects across the globe.
- A Moscow court rejected U.S. journalist Evan Gershkovich’s appeal of spying charges on Tuesday.The Wall Street Journal reporter, 31, stood inside a glass-enclosed defendant’s dock as he appealed the charges, which could bring up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted. “We’re deeply concerned by the news that Russia will continue to wrongfully detain Evan following a sham judicial proceeding today,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to the news. Russia’s Federal Security Service accused Gershkovich in last March of trying to obtain classified information — a claim that the reporter, the Wall Street Journal and the U.S. government have denied.
- “The Biden-Harris administration is engaging with Russia through every available channel to bring Evan and fellow American Paul Whelan home, who is also a priority for us,” Jean-Pierre said in a White House briefing Tuesday. “As we have said before, the charges against Evan are baseless, and we call on Russia … to immediately release him. We also call for the immediate release of Paul, who has been wrongfully detained on sham espionage charges for more than four years. We remain in touch with their families and admire their courage in the face of these unimaginable circumstances.”
- Putin visited Kherson and Luhansk to inspect the progress of Russia’s so-called “special military operation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. He said Putin visited the two regions, which Russia last year illegally claimed to annex, on Monday.
- Western officials called for the immediate release of Vladimir Kara-Murza, a top Kremlin critic and opposition lawmaker. He was convicted of treason and sentenced by a Russian court to 25 years in prison, the harshest penalty handed down yet to an opponent of the invasion of Ukraine. Kara-Murza, a dual national of Britain and Russia and a Washington Post Opinions contributor, described the closed trial as “politically motivated.”
- The Russian Foreign Ministry summoned U.S. ambassador Lynne M. Tracy in protest of U.S. comments about Kara-Muza’s case. The ministry accused Washington of “blatant interference in Russia’s internal affairs, which is hypocritical and absurd.”
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is traveling to Sweden and Germany this week to meet his counterparts and for a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group at Ramstein Air Base. In his nightly address Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky expressed hope that the Ramstein gathering will help Kyiv achieve its “ambitious” battleground goals ahead of a long-planned spring offensive.
- Russia’s Wagner mercenary group appears to be back in favor with the Kremlin, according to analysts at the Institute for the Study of War. Wagner troops were being expended in the bloody front-line battle for Bakhmut. Now they appear to be “receiving reinforcements, ammunition, and political recognition,” the U.S. think tank said. People affiliated with Wagner claim to be training up to three motorized rifle brigades to reinforce their ranks in Bakhmut. The Washington Post could not independently verify those claims.
- Top diplomats of the Group of Seven major industrialized nations said Tuesday that Russia’s threat to put nuclear weapons in Belarus was “unacceptable.” The group vowed to impose “severe costs” on countries helping Russia in its war effort.
- Ukrainian officials accused Russia of sabotaging a deal allowing Ukrainian grain to be exported — which was intended to help ease a global food crisis — by stopping the registration of vessels for required inspections. According to the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, some 50 ships are awaiting approval to enter Ukrainian ports and load grain.
- Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva met with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, on Monday as the White House issued a stern rebuke of his weekend accusations that the United States was “encouraging” the war. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby accused the Brazilian leader — who visited Beijing last week — of “parroting Russian and Chinese propaganda without looking at the facts.”…
Battle field Updates…..
Russia seized Kherson City, the regional capital, in March last year, when its troops advanced north from Crimea and crossed over the Dnipro with almost no opposition. It was the only time since Moscow’s full-scale invasion that it had seized a regional capital.
That success lasted but a few months.
Last summer, the Ukrainian government selected the Kherson region for its first major counteroffensive. Armed with military aid from the United States and other allies, it targeted Russian forces and military infrastructure in the province with rockets and fought intense battles across the province on both sides of the river.
Moscow had stationed tens of thousands of troops in Kherson City, but with key bridges destroyed or impassable, they became exposed. Before a full-scale battle for the city began, Russian commanders ordered a withdrawal to the east river bank in November. Ukrainian forces then entered the city of Kherson and retook much of the Kharkiv region in September.
Having retreated, Russian forces are still pounding Kherson City and surrounding areas held by Ukraine with a daily barrage of rocket fire, killing civilians, damaging towns and villages and making the resumption of normal life virtually impossible.
Ukrainian officials and military experts say Russia has been building up its forces in the Kherson area, laying mines, increasing troop numbers and constructing defensive barriers in anticipation of Ukrainian attacks.
Kyiv has kept the location and timing of any counteroffensive under wraps, but a campaign to retake land in the south could, if successful, mean that Crimea, which Moscow illegally annexed from Ukraine in 2014, becomes divided from the territory that Russia holds in eastern Ukraine.
Ukrainian troops have also been squeezed into defending a section of the western part of Bakhmut as Russian forces have made steady advances on the city in months of bloody fighting….
Britain’s defense secretary, Ben Wallace, on Tuesday expressed confidence in Ukraine’s planned counteroffensive, but signaled that the war would most likely continue into next year.
“I’m optimistic that between this year and next year, I think Ukraine will continue to have the momentum with it and a position of strength,” Mr. Wallace told reporters in Washington. “I also think we should be realistic: There is not going to be a single magic-wand moment when Russia collapses.”…
If I may say just one thing because this has apparently been going on for 424.
The name of the sovereign country is Ukraine.
Not “The Ukraine” but Ukraine. That is what they want to be called and I think that should be respected. The American government calls them “Ukraine.”
Russia wants them called “The Ukraine” which is their way of inferring they are still part of Russia. They have malicious intent in calling them “The Ukraine.”
I fully understand that in America, the term “The Ukraine” used to be used and thus some people may not be aware of this change, but now I hope the brave nation of Ukraine can at least be called by its rightful name. Thank you.
Good to hear from ya CG……
Hope ALL is well…..
Looks like Putin ain’t getting it back and IS hurting for his efforts…..
Gonna be interesting on the Crimea in the final outcome……
Feel free to drop in anytime….