Signals that the Ukraine Spring Counter Offensive is beginning or is actually already running….
The Wagner troops ARE departing Bakhmut to be held in reserve in the Donbas region against expected Ukraine pushes there….
The Ukraine IS reportilky sending drones into Russian teritory…..
The Russian officals are telling officals in Brazil and China that Russia is open to peace talks….This BEFORE the expected Ukraine Offense claws back territory the Russians captured…..
Things are developing to and around the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant….
A plan developing that could put a post conflict Ukraine into the arms of NATO without joining in a Turkey walk around…..
Ukraine’s top military commander signaled on Saturday morning that the nation’s forces were ready to launch their long-anticipated counteroffensive following months of preparations, including recently stepped-up attacks on logistical targets as well as feints and disinformation intended to keep Russian forces on edge.
“It’s time to get back what’s ours,” Ukraine’s supreme military commander, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, wrote in a statement.
The blunt statement, accompanied by a slickly produced video of Ukrainian troops preparing for battle and released on social media, appeared intended to rally a nation weary from 15 months of war and to deepen anxiety within the Russian ranks. But General Zaluzhnyi offered no indication of where and when Ukrainian forces might try to break Russia’s hold on occupied territory.
Other senior Ukrainian officials also suggested that the counteroffensive was imminent.
Oleksiy Danilov, the head of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, told the BBC in an interview released on Saturday that Kyiv’s forces were “ready” and that a large-scale assault could come “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week.”….
In many ways, military analysts have noted, the counteroffensive may already have begun.
For weeks, Ukraine has apparently been seeking to set the stage for the campaign and “shape” the battlefield through a series of coordinated strikes deep behind enemy lines aimed at undermining critical Russian logistical operations, degrading Russia’s combat abilities and compromising Moscow’s capacity to move its forces around the battlefield.
In recent days, the tempo and range of attacks deep inside Russian-held territory have increased. While Ukraine’s military has not explicitly claimed responsibility, local Russian proxy officials in occupied areas have reported strikes….
Russia still controls more than 40,000 square miles of land across southern and eastern Ukraine, which amounts to about 17 percent of the country, and have had months to fortify their defensive positions.
While Kyiv continues to seek more advanced weapons for its forces, senior Ukrainian and Western officials have said in recent days that Ukrainian forces have what they need to launch the counteroffensive…..
Here’s the latest on the war and its effects around the globe.
- Ukraine’s counteroffensive could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week,” another senior Ukrainian security official, Oleksiy Danilov, told the BBC in an interview Saturday, describing it as a “historic opportunity” that “we cannot lose.” An adviser to Zelensky, Mykhailo Podolyak, has cautioned that Ukraine would not necessarily make a formal announcement before an offensive. “This is not a ‘single event’ that will begin at a specific hour of a specific day with a solemn cutting of the red ribbon,” he tweeted.
- Wagner troops are withdrawing from positions around the embattled city of Bakhmut, according to Britain’s defense ministry. The Saturday observation aligns with comments made by the group’s chief Yevgeniy Prigozhinthat his troops are rebasing, to be replaced by regular Russian military forces. Ukrainian officials have also noted withdrawals from the outskirts of Bakhmut, which Russia took control of this month after a months-long battle. “Wagner forces will likely be used for further offensive operations in the Donbas following reconstituting its forces,” the intelligence update from the ministry added.
- A Russian governor said two drones had caused an explosion, damaging the administrative building of an oil pipeline, early Saturday in the region of Pskov in northwestern Russia. Mikhail Vedernikov said on Telegram that the incident occurred near the village of Litvinovo; there were no casualties. The Washington Post could not independently verify his assertions. They follow reported attacks causing damage in Russian territory in recent weeks, for which Ukraine has denied any involvement.
- President Biden criticized Russia’s plans to host tactical nuclear weapons in neighboring Belarus,saying his reaction to that was “extremely negative.” His comments on Friday came a day after Russia’s defense minister was in Minsk to sign the agreement with its ally. The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, also condemned the deal, warning: “This is a step which will lead to further extremely dangerous escalation.”
- Lawyers for U.S. reporter Evan Gershkovich appealed a three-month extension of his pretrial detention in Russia. Gershkovich was detained in March and accused of spying, which he; rights groups; and his employer, the Wall Street Journal, have denied. The United States considers him“wrongfully detained.”
- Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said that if the United States fails to back Ukraine, it would send a signal to China about taking Taiwan. “There can be no backing off of helping Ukraine because if we fail here, there goes Taiwan,” he told reporters after a meeting with Zelensky, Reuters reported. The Republican Party has been divided over support for Ukraine in recent months, though maintaining a tough stance on China remains a priority.
- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Sweden, Norway and Finland to discuss support for Ukraine, among other subjects, from Monday to Friday, the State Department said.
- Iran accused Zelensky of promoting “anti-Iranian propaganda” on Saturday, after the Ukrainian president called for Tehran to stop supplying its Shahed drones to Russia. Iran’s Foreign Ministry said his comments were “in line with the … media war” against Iran and aimed at attracting Western arms and finances.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin told his Brazilian counterpart that Moscow is open to dialogue on Ukraine, according to Reuters. Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva tweeted that during the phone call he reiterated Brazil’s willingness to participate in peace talks. Also on Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told China’s special envoy Li Hui that there were “serious obstacles” to peace talks, according to a statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.
- Russia is expelling German diplomats and staffers, the Associated Press reports. The expulsion appears to be part of the retaliatory move announced in April, after the German government said it was “reducing the Russian intelligence presence” there.
- Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv early Sunday in Ukraine, as air defenses fended off an aerial drone attack, the mayor of the city, Vitali Klitschko, said on Telegram.
- Shelling in Belgorod, Russia, killed one person and injured at least three, according to the region’s governor. In his Telegram announcement, Vyacheslav Gladkov did not attribute blame for the strike in his western region, which was the site of a cross-border incursion from anti-Putin militias this week.
- Two people died and more than 30 were injured in a Russian missile strike on the Ukrainian city of Dniproon Friday, where a hospital was destroyed. Two children, ages 3 and 6, and several health-care workers were among those injured in the attack, which also damaged a veterinary clinic, a sports complex and an educational institution, regional governor Serhiy Lysak wrote on Telegram. In his nightly address, Zelensky called the attack a “pure atrocity.”
- Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov, producer of the AK-47 assault rifle, is ramping up production of kamikaze drones for the war in Ukraine. In a statementreleased Friday, the company’s president said it would be able to increase production “several times” by next year.
- Ukraine’s Defense Ministry alleged that Russia is planning “large-scale provocations” at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant. The ministry’s military intelligence service made the allegations of a possible false-flag operation in a Telegram post Friday, ahead of Tuesday’s planned U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss plans to ensure the safety of the facility. Russia “obviously will blame Ukraine,” it said. In dueling statements, both sides accused the other of disrupting a Friday monitoring mission by International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors…..
The idea that the Ukraine could be built up and armed up to the extent that it become’s a ‘wall’ itself against any addtional Puitn tries to overrun it….
The piece below talks about West Germany…..
The Ukraine has border WITH Russia…..
There have been various proposals for making Ukraine an indigestible hedgehog for Russia, so stuffed with sophisticated Western weaponry that, even if not a member of NATO, it could deter Moscow. That is the core of an idea first proposed by a former NATO secretary-general, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and a top Zelensky aide, Andriy Yermak.
The Rasmussen idea, which many in NATO favor for now, suggests Israel as a model, where Washington’s commitment to its ongoing security is clear even without a specific mutual-defense treaty. But the problems are clear: Israel has nuclear weapons, while Ukraine does not. And even bilateral defense commitments from NATO members for Ukraine could still end up dragging the whole alliance into a future Russia-Ukraine war.
So many officials and analysts believe, as Kaja Kallas, the prime minister of Estonia, said in a recent interview, that the only real security for Ukraine is NATO membership, “when conditions allow.”….