A Russian strike kills 50 people in the Kharkiv region….
Ukraine President Zelensky says he’s confident US aid will continue and that America will get it’s act together ….
Russian President Putin agree’s….
Zelensky is is in Spain for a European leader’s get together feeling like he belongs…
The Russian Defense Minister give a pep talk…..
Are Ukraine Special Ops doing missions IN the Crimea?
Russia moves its fleet from Crimea base after Ukraine attacks….
Zelensky’s actual term is coming to end soon….
Will the Ukraine have a election?
President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine condemned an attack in the northeastern Kharkiv region, which came as he attended a summit in Spain.
Here’s what we’re covering:
Ukraine says a Russian strike killed dozens of civilians attending a memorial service.
The strike that hit a shop in Kharkiv is among the deadliest of the war.
Putin claims Russia successfully tested a nuclear-powered missile.
Putin suggests a new narrative for Prigozhin’s deadly plane crash: cocaine and grenades.
Zelensky says he’s confident U.S. support for Ukraine’s war effort will continue…..
The Ukraine Presidency…..
It might seem like a huge distraction at the height of a full-scale war, not to mention a logistical nightmare: holding a presidential election as Russian missiles fly into the Ukrainian capital and artillery assaults reduce whole towns to ruins.
But President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine has not ruled it out. His five-year term ends in several months, and if not for the war, he would be preparing to either step down or campaign for a second term.
Analysts consider the possibility of wartime balloting a long shot, and under martial law, elections in Ukraine are suspended. Still, there is talk among Kyiv’s political class that Mr. Zelensky might seek a vote, with far-reaching implications for his government, the war and political opponents, who worry he will lock in a new term in an environment when competitive elections are all but impossible.
The debate over an election comes against the backdrop of mounting pressure on Ukraine to show to Western donors Ukraine’s good governance credentials, which Mr. Zelensky has touted. Opponents say a one-sided wartime election could weaken that effort….
Holding an election before the war ends could lock in seats for parties in Parliament now, including Mr. Zelensky’s, while soldiers are still serving in the military and unable to run for office.
“A scheduled election isn’t necessary for our democracy,” said Olha Aivazovska, the director of OPORA, a Ukrainian civil society group that monitors elections. There is no means now for refugees, frontline soldiers and residents of occupied territory to vote, she said.
An election in “the hot phase of the war” would almost certainly undermine, not reinforce, Mr. Zelensky’s legitimacy, she said.
Even those who favor an election cite concerns about a potential consolidation of power. Oleg Soskin, an economist and adviser to a former Ukrainian president, has called for elections despite the war, warning that Mr. Zelensky could otherwise usurp authority under martial law. But that is an outlying view in Kyiv…..
Here’s the latest on the war and its effects across the globe.
President Biden acknowledged concern that disarray in Congress after the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as House speaker could undermine his commitment to deliver aid to Ukraine. “It does worry me,” he told reporters Wednesday. The United States could “support Ukraine in the next tranche,” Biden said, after a stopgap funding bill signed over the weekend did not include aid for the war effort. Biden said the United States could find funding for Ukraine by “another means” if turmoil in Congress continued, but he declined to elaborate.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived Thursday in Granada, Spain, to attend the European Political Community summitalong with European leaders. A senior Ukrainian official said Spain pledged to give Ukraine “a new package of defense support,” including “additional air defense equipment, artillery and anti-drone systems.”
Zelensky said any pause in U.S. funding would help Russia. “I feel that there is support in the United States,” he told Italy’s Sky TG24on Wednesday. “I know that there is 100 percent support from the White House; there is great support in the Congress.” Biden warned allies in a call that a lapse in U.S. funding for Ukraine “could make all the difference on the battlefield,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.
European leaders said they were “very confident” that the United States would continue financial support for Ukraine, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in Granada. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed that sentiment. Ukraine aid has become an increasingly contested political issue within the Republican Party and could be among the issues dominating the hunt for a new House speaker.
The Granada summit will reinforce European ties with Kyiv, as European leaders from France, Germany, Britain and others attend. Europe will continue to provide “unwavering support to Ukraine,” said Charles Michel, president of the European Council. Zelensky said his focus at the meeting will be on “the Black Sea region as well as our joint efforts to strengthen global food security. … Ukraine’s key priority, particularly as winter approaches, is to strengthen air defense.”
Zelensky said he is confident the United States will weather its ongoing “political storm,” and urged Europe to stand with Washington to protect “our common values and liberty.” Addressing the leaders in Granada, the Ukrainian president said he is “confident in America” and its institutions, and he reiterated the bipartisan support he witnessed during his trip to Washington in September.
Public support for continued U.S. aid to Ukraine has marginally declined over the past year, with a clear partisan split, according to a Chicago Council on Global Affairs survey. It found that 63 percent of adults support providing additional arms and military supplies to Kyiv — 50 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats — compared with 65 percent in November and 72 percent in July 2022. Support for aid among Republican voters has fallen 18 percentage points since July 2022, but only two percentage points among Democrats.
Putin said the delay in U.S. support to Ukraine is “due to budget problems,” but warned that such support will resume as soon as Washington finds the money. “It costs nothing for the U.S. to print money and scatter it around the world,” he said at an address during the Valdai Forum in Sochi.
The still-unexplained crash of the Embraer business jet in Russia’s Tver region north of Moscow on Aug. 23 killed all 10 people on board, including Prigozhin, Wagner battlefield commander Dmitry Utkin and logistics chief Valery Chekalov. The crash came exactly two months after Prigozhin led his fighters in a brief mutiny against Moscow. Little evidence from the crash scene has been shown publicly.
The Investigative Committee of Russia, the country’s main investigative body, found that the wreckage showed no “external impact” on the jet, Putin said Thursday, an allusion to theories that the Kremlin had ordered the rogue mercenary leader shot down. U.S. officials have said Prigozhin’s plane might have been destroyed by an explosion onboard.
Putin appeared to suggest that Prigozhin or someone in his entourage might have blown themselves up accidentally while intoxicated. “Unfortunately, no examination was carried out about the presence of alcohol or drugs in the victims’ blood,” Putin said. “Although we know that after the well-known events, the FSB discovered not only 10 billion rubles in cash, but also 5 kg of cocaine in [Prigozhin’s] St. Petersburg company office.” He said he believed “an examination should have been carried out.”
Britain said it gathered intelligence suggesting Russia may be using sea mines to disrupt civilian shipping in the Black Sea to deter the export of Ukrainian grain. The information was “declassified” by Britain’s Foreign Ministry to deter Moscow from “openly sinking civilian ships” and “falsely laying blame on Ukraine.” Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said it showed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “total disregard for civilian lives.”