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Joe Biden has signed legislation sending $40 Billion to Ukraine. That is in addition to enormous sums of Taxpayer funds already squandered on the nation, which by some estimates exceeds $68 Billion. Needless to say, we've all read "what could that money have been spent on" articles before. Except most of the time such pieces deal with mere allocation of funds rather than full redirection of them. That is, whether to spend on policing or the post office, etc.? Seldom is there such stark contrast, or amounts spent so rapidly, as in the case of total liquidation of U. S. coffers for a country the vast majority of Americans have no connection and lack any fundamental interest as with Ukraine.
Russia's recent attacks on Ukraine's energy system have caused massive destruction to Ukrainian critical infrastructure. The attacks mark the beginning of a new stage of the conflict. Colossal destruction of critical infrastructure The mayor of Kharkiv called the destruction "colossal". "There is colossal infrastructural destruction, it is primarily the energy system that has been damaged," the mayor said in his Telegram channel.
The Russian forces have destroyed a warehouse with rocket and artillery weapons of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in Kharkiv, an official representative for the Ministry of Defence, Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov told reporters on December 16. In addition, Russian missile troops and artillery attacked the command posts of three territorial defence brigades of the Armed Forces of Ukraine near the town of Beryslav, the Kherson region, and near Huliaipole in the Zaporozhye region. The Russian Armed Forces also hit 64 artillery units and 93 enemy concentration areas. The Russian troops also managed to destroy the radar station of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system in the Donetsk People's Republic, Konashenkov added.
Ukraine started implementing emergency power outages throughout the country following Russia's yet another rocket attack on energy infrastructure, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Zelensky's Office said on Telegram. "Due to the attacks on energy facilities in several regions of Ukraine, emergency power outages are being introduced throughout the country. We ask you to treat power outages and temporary interruptions in water and heating power supplies with understanding," the message says. Earlier, the head of the Kirovograd region of Ukraine, Andriy Raikovich, said that the regional authorities cut off power supplies due to attacks on energy facilities. The region was completely de-energized. The official urged citizens to remain in shelters until air raid sirens stop.
Bulgarian mystic Baba Vanga used to believe in Russia's bright future. In order to achieve it, Russia would have to overcome conflicts and even global disasters, she predicted. Vanga predicted that everyone would turn to Russia, that Russia would be reckoned with. Vanga predicted that the year 2023 would be a conciliatory year for a number of countries:
The US Treasury imposed sanctions on the Nirvana yacht, which, as the department siad, belongs to Vladimir Potanin, a Russian billionaire, the owner of Norilsk Nickel. The United States also blacklisted Potanin himself, as well as: Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Belousov, Belgorod region Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov, Bryansk region Governor Alexander Bogomaz, Kursk region Governor Roman Starovoit. In addition to the owner of Norilsk Nickel himself, the US sanctioned his wife Yekaterina and children Ivan and Anastasia Potanin. The US also imposed restrictions on the Interros Holding, through which the billionaire owns his assets. In addition, the United States imposed sanctions on Rosbank, which Potanin acquired from Societe Generale, a financial conglomerate that left Russia.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey could supply Europe with natural gas from Russia and Turkmenistan. Ankara considers this opportunity a very promising one. "If we talk about whether Turkmenistan has the ability to sell its natural gas directly to Europe or not, then Turkey, of course, is an important hub for the sale of Turkmen gas to Europe. The recent events with the sale of Russian natural gas to Europe through us, and selling Turkmen gas through us will, of course, be an important step," Erdogan told reporters after returning from Turkmenistan. The President of Turkey noted that in order to implement the supplies of Turkmen gas to Europe through Turkey, Turkmenistan needs to resolve the issue with Azerbaijan."
It appears that European leaders are determined in their intent to put Russian President Putin and other top officials of the state on trial. In fact, the West wants to revisit the scenario that they had used in relation to Slobodan Milosevic, 19rusinfo says. The reality of the dreams to capture the President of Russia, the Minister of Defence, the heads of special services, etc can remain on the conscience of their masterminds. The US and the UK have an extensive experience in conducting coups in other states and arranging political assassinations of foreign leaders. According to conspiracy theorists and investigators, individuals related to US intelligence agencies killed four of their presidents, let alone foreign and "hostile" leaders.
The Personnel Center of the Armed Forces of Ukraine announced the number of Ukrainian soldiers who were declared missing in the course of the special operation — 35,382 people. It goes about the military men, whose bodies were not returned to their relatives from the battlefield, Mash Telegram channel says. Russian hackers from the Anarchist Kombatant group hacked into the archive of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Lieutenant General Sergei Shaptal. The hackers accessed the list of Ukraine's losses as of November 30, 2022.
Two days ago, Ruben Vardanyan, who literally only recently has appointed himself "in charge of Karabakh", addressed his "compatriots" and frightened them with a humanitarian catastrophe and an allegedly impending genocide. Two years ago, I already entered into a dispute in absentia with Ruben Vardanyan, who called himself a Russian businessman in those days. Let me remind you that then, in the first days of the 44-day war, he turned to the Russians with an ultimatum demand to unconditionally support the Armenians.
The installation of the Yars intercontinental ballistic missile into a silo launcher in the Kozelsky missile formation (the Kaluga region in western Russia) was a signal that Russia is sending to the West, British publication The Daily Mail wrote. "Division commander Col. Alexei Sokolov made clear the exercise was aimed at sending a message to the West, with both the UK and US within range," the article says. The Yars ICBM was loaded into the silo launcher at the Kozelsky missile formation of the Strategic Missile Forces to "solve the assigned task." It took several hours to conduct the operation.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the Donetsk village of Opytnoe are resisting at a level "that one may not have seen in the history of the last century," Yevgeny Prigozhin, the founder of private military company Wagner said, his press service reports. Journalists asked Prigozhin to comment on reports about the Russian troops taking control of the village of Opytnoe in the Donetsk People's Republic. "I've said before that there are bloody battles going on there. The enemy is putting up resistance at a level that one may not have seen in the history of the last century,” the press service quoted Prigozhin as saying.
The bodies of the pilots of private military company (PMC) Wagner, Alexander Antonov and Vladimir Nikishin, who were killed near Artemovsk (Bakhmut) in the Donetsk People's Republic, were delivered to Russia, RIA FAN reports. According to the publication, the founder of PMC Wagner, entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin, attended the meeting. "Our comrades-in-arms have been brought back home. They have delivered them with dignity and due respect. The whole country respects them, we respect them and so does the enemy. They are with us again now — this is important," Prigozhin said.
America has revised its goals in Ukraine. Washington is now ready to make concessions to the Kremlin. Experts have noticed at least three changes in the rhetoric of the West. Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron pledged after their meeting on December 1 that they would continue to support Ukraine in defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity … for as long as it takes. A week later, first versions about different interpretations of what Joe Biden said, The American Conservative publication said. Following contacts with Moscow, US National Security adviser Jake Sullivan traveled to Kyiv to informally urge Zelensky to negotiate with Russia and disavow his public rejection of peace talks. America is openly calling on Ukraine to negotiate.
The Russian Armed Forces are ready for an offensive in the zone of the special military operation in Ukraine, State Duma deputy Viktor Vodolatsky said in an interview with Radiotochka NSN. "Given the partial mobilisation, we have enough strength. Our military-industrial complex has been gaining momentum in order to create the cumulative effect from heavy artillery and missiles,” the deputy said. According to Vodolatsky, if the West supplies missiles with a range of 500 kilometers to Ukraine, the Russian Armed Forces will push them back to the same distance.
Vladimir Putin is ready to cut the attempts of the White House to test Moscow's nuclear patience. Putin already thinks about switching to the concept of the preventive nuclear strike instead of the retaliatory strike, military expert Yakov Kedmi believes. Putin spoke about the Russian nuclear doctrine at the Eurasian Economic Summit in Kyrgyzstan. He then admitted that that he was thinking about the concept of the preventive nuclear strike that Washington uses in its own doctrine.
Washington will deliver one battery of Patriot anti-aircraft missile systems to Ukraine, The Associated Press reports, citing three senior officials. According to them, the United States is ready to approve the shipment as early as Thursday, December 15. Two officials said that the Patriot systems will arrive from the Pentagon warehouse and will be moved from another country abroad, the AP said. On Tuesday, December 13, CNN also said that the US may soon announce the shipment of the Patriot system to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The Biden administration is currently finalising the plan to send air defense systems to Kyiv, sources said.
Russia has been preparing for the special operation in Ukraine for eight years, including in the international arena. There were two key events along the way. One of them is a tacit mutual assistance pact with China. The second one was made by the West. Russia's key allies — China and Belarus Many probably remember Putin's face as he was watching the opening of the Beijing Olympics on February 4. The West boycotted the Games diplomatically. As soon as the Olympics ended, Russia kicked off the special operation in Ukraine. Beijing immediately distanced itself from the avalanche of sanctions that the West started imposing against Russia. China took a pro-Russian position at the UN Security Council and proceeded to explain the reasons behind the special operation to the countries that depended on China economically and politically.
Retired US Army Colonel Douglas McGregor said on Judging Freedom YouTube channel that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky should not hope to win the conflict with Russia. According to the officer, the Russian troops leave no chance for the Armed Forces of Ukraine that have been suffering losses and experiencing a shortage of fuel and munitions. Soon, Kyiv may find itself in a situation when there is no one to fight, McGregor admitted.
Ramzan Kadyrov, the President of Chechnya, put forward conditions for Ukraine, including the recognition of the DPR, LPR, Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, as well as Crimea and Sevastopol, as part of Russia. In addition, Kadyrov believes that in order to resolve the situation, all "fascist criminals and shaitans responsible for atrocities against the Russian-speaking population" should be either extradited or brought to justice. Kadyrov also said that the conditions of Zelensky's peace formula were ridiculous.
According to Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukraine before the end of this year "is out of the question." Instead, Ukraine will have to accept the reality that has developed over all this time, he added. "These are the realities that have developed because of the line, the policy that has been pursued over the past 15 or even 20 years by the leadership of Ukraine and the current Ukrainian regime, — Interfax quoted Peskov as saying. — These realities indicate that the Russian Federation has new obtained subjects. They have appeared as a result of the referenda that took place in those territories. Without taking these new realities into account, any progress is impossible.” The day before, Ukrainian President Zelensky suggested Russia should withdraw its troops before the New Year holidays.
Russia's Kalibr cruise missiles destroyed a military facility of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) in the port of Ochakov, the Mykolaiv region. The video of the attack appeared on RT Telegram channel. It was said that the Armed Forces of Ukraine supply their troops on Pervomaisky Island from the port of Ochakov.
Russian President Vladimir Putin did not sign any decrees to replace the leadership of the Russian General Staff, Kremlin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, TASS reports. Earlier, a number of Telegram channels reported that the leadership of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation would be allegedly replaced. In particular, it was alleged that the head of the General Staff, Valery Gerasimov, would resign. "We never comment on this gossip about appointments, because the vast majority of such reports is nothing but gossip and nothing else," Peskov told reporters.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic must send an army to Kosovo and Metohija to protect the Serbs. Otherwise, the Albanians will carry out an operation similar to Operation Storm that the Croats had conducted against the Serbian Krajina. Terror against Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija The Albanian majority unleashed terror against the Serbs in the province of Kosovo and Metohija of Serbia. The arrest of Dejan Pantic, a former member of the so-called Kosovo police became one of the last incidents. Pantic, along with his colleagues, stopped going to work on November 5 in protest against the change of licence plates for Serbian vehicles. Two days ago, the Kosovo Special Forces (NJSO) invaded Serbian autonomous municipalities. To prevent Pantic from being transferred to Pristina, the Serbs set up barricades.
Military expert Vladislav Shurygin believes that Russia needs to achieve two goals for its success in Ukraine. First off, the Russian Armed Forces need to raise their accuracy of their actions. This is not a matter of expensive high precision ammo, Shurygin believes, SM-News said. "Experience suggests that the work in cooperation with UAVs and operators creates a command and strike combat circuit. It shows that the effectiveness of attacks increases significantly,” Shurygin explained.
Ukraine has been getting one bad news after another for the past few days, Chinese political experts believe. Throughout the Ukrainian conflict, Western countries have declared their intention to provide as much as support for Kyiv as possible. However, against the backdrop of assurances of unbreakable US-Ukrainian friendship, Volodymyr Zelensky has to deal with incoming bad news as well, Chinese publication Sohu said. According to Sohu experts, Ukraine has received three bad news at a time recently. The news came as a surprise even to Russia. The bad news came for Kyiv from where no one expected it to come — from the United States and the European Union.
The Ukrainian military flee at the sight of Russian tank support combat vehicles BMPT Terminator, RIA Novosti reports with reference to the crew commander of the 3rd Army Corps of the Western Military District. "There was a battle, the enemy's dugout was practically destroyed, and they fled at the sight of the Terminator,” he said. A driver of one of the Terminators said that the Ukrainian military appointed a reward for those who manage to get one of such vehicles as a trophy.
The Ukrainian Railways has almost halved the rail transit of goods across the country as a result of Russia's attacks. The total transit of goods on the railways of Ukraine has declined by 49.8 percent, Ukrainian media say. The situation with the transportation of goods is complicated by the poor state of the railway infrastructure of Ukraine and the missile strikes conducted by the Russian Aerospace Forces. Russia's massive shelling and damage to the energy infrastructure forced the Ukrainian Railways to reduce the volume of traffic by three times after the Russian Aerospace Forces intensified their attacks.
Rebecah Maciorowski, a foreign mercenary from the United States, was killed in the fighting in Ukraine, the Russian Spring publication said on its Telegram channel. According to the publication, the American mercenary was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on January 26, 1994. Maciorowski went to Ukraine in the summer of 2022 to participate in hostilities on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. "No further details have been reported yet. It was only said that US sources verified and confirmed the information," the Russian Spring said.
Russian MP Andrey Gurulev believes that the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) could strike targets on the territory of the Russian Federation again. According to Gurulev, Ukraine may strike the rear — warehouses and locations where the Russian troops are concentrated. "The range of HIMARS shells has been extended from 70 to 145 kilometres. We do not need to get surprised — we need to be prepared for everything. They will supply systems of any range to them sooner or later. We need to be prepared," Gurulev said on Rossiya 1 TV channel.
Fifty percent of Ukraine's infrastructure has been destroyed in Russian missile attacks, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a conversation with US President Joe Biden. A message posted on the website of the Ukrainian president says that Zelensky informed Biden of the consequences of Russian missile strikes, which destroyed about 50 percent of Ukraine's energy infrastructure. Zelensky called on Biden to do everything possible to protect the remaining energy facilities and strengthen the country's air defense.
Czech President Milos Zeman admitted that he was wrong about his opinion of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. "I saw him as a politician who cared about the interests of his country. Aggression was against the interests of the Russian Federation. If he did not realise this, so much the worse for him,” the Czech president said, Czech Radio reports. Zeman also supported European assistance to Ukraine in the current conflict.
The beginning of the special operation in Ukraine prompted many analysts to wonder why Russia did not resort to military methods of pressure in 2014. In 2014 or a bit later, Russia could have taken Kyiv easily. If Russia had acted that way, it would have been possible to save so many lives in Donbass and avoid the situation that Russia and Ukraine are going through today. One political decision could have saved thousands of lives. Putin says that Russia was not ready for powerful sanctions in 2014. If Russia had annexed all of Ukraine, the West would have retaliated, and its actions could have crushed the Russian economy completely. One may assume that Putin's decisions in 2014 were based on economic factors, although Angela Merkel's new revelations give a completely different view of events in 2014.
Russia's deterrent factor is about the ability of the country to protect itself with nuclear weapons, Russian President Vladimir Putin told reporters on December 9, RIA Novosti reports. “I assure you, after the early warning system receives a signal about a missile attack, hundreds of our missiles will be in the air from our side. It is impossible to stop them. But it is still a retaliatory strike,” Putin said. This means that the warheads of enemy missiles will inevitably fall on the territory of Russia. However, the enemy will be wiped off the face of the earth because intercepting a hundred missiles is impossible, Putin stressed.
The remarks that former German Chancellor Angela Merkel made about the 2014 Minsk Agreements being an attempt to give Ukraine time could only confirm that Russia made the right decision to launch the special operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said as a news briefing on December 9, TASS reports. "Apparently, we got our bearings late, to be honest. Maybe we should have started all this earlier," Putin said. According to him, the purpose of the Minsk-2 Treaty was to arm Ukraine and prepare it for hostilities.
Angela Merkel's recent remarks about the 2014 Minsk Agreements being an attempt to give Ukraine time were "petty and disgusting," President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko said on the air of Rossiya 24 TV channel. "I did not expect this. The Russian President said that he did not expect such an attack from Angela Merkel either. She acted in a petty and disgusting way, she wants to be trendy,” Lukashenko said. When concluding the Minsk Agreements, Angela Merkel's and Petro Poroshenko's (then-President of Ukraine — ed.) intentions were serious, Lukashenko added.
Russian entrepreneur Viktor Bout, who was exchanged for US basketball player Brittney Griner, said that he did not encounter Russophobia in his prison in the United States. "I have not come across such Russophobia. Basically, even almost all of my neighbour inmates shared sympathy for Russia. Or if, at least, they did not know anything, they would ask me something about Russia,” Bout said in an interview with RT employee and State Duma deputy Maria Butina. The prison, where Viktor Bout was serving his sentence, was located in USA's Red Belt. "That was one storey tall America, Bout said.
A massive explosion and fire occurred in the suburbs of Moscow in OBI hypermarket of one of the largest shopping malls Mega Khimki. The fire started at around 6 am Moscow time. According to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the fire engulfed an area of 7,000 square meters. A source in emergency services, in turn, told TASS news agency that the fire affected an area of 17,000 square meters. Due to the collapse of the roof and the instantaneous access of oxygen, strong convective currents appeared and caused the fire to spread to a large area very quickly.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was removed from power by parliament voting for trying to fulfill his campaign promise of constitutional reform. The amendments made the country more resistant to political crises, and the United States could not like this. Castillo impeached for 'moral incapacity' Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was arrested on Wednesday after the parliament removed him from office after attempting to dismiss lawmakers for "abuse of authority." On Tuesday, Castillo announced a state of emergency and elections of the constituent assembly to launch a referendum on the new Constitution. Peruvian MPs accused the head of the executive branch of attempted coup and successfully completed the third impeachment attempt against the president in 18 months on claims of his "permanent moral incapacity."
Russia's Belgorod submarine may have deployed Poseidon nuclear vehicles off the American coast, Telegram channel of TV presenter and journalist Ruslan Ostashko said. Analysts who carefully studied the photographs of the submarine taken after the Belgorod returned to the open sea assumed that the submarine may have deployed Poseidon underwater nuclear drones off US coasts. Each Poseidon submersible carries one nuclear warhead with a capacity of two megatons.
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine, a few days before signing the Treaty on the Establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in 1991, adopted a document according to which Kyiv was losing Crimea and western territories. Sergei Shakhrai, who had served as an adviser to Russia's late President Boris Yeltsin, said that he had exposed the document of the Ukrainian Parliament that denounced the Treaty on the Creation of the USSR from December 30, 1922. "Ukraine legally returned itself to 1922 — without Crimea, Lviv and other regions," he said, Ura.ru publication reports.
US basketball player Brittney Griner, who was convicted in Russia of drug smuggling, was exchanged for Russian citizen Viktor Bout. The latter was convicted in the United States for illegal arms trade terror support, CNN reports. According to the network, Griner is currently in the custody of US officials on the way to the US. American national Paul Whelan, who was convicted of espionage in Russia, did not participate in the exchange. Whelan remains in a Russian colony. Griner's and Whelan's families were informed about the exchange, CNN said.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky suggested that the conflict in Ukraine may end in 2023. Zelensky spoke about it in a video address for Politico (the publication recognised Zelensky Europe's most influential person). "I believe that the Ukrainians will also be most influential next year, but already in peacetime," Volodymyr Zelensky said. Journalists of the publication added that the recognition of Zelensky as the most influential person in Europe indicated internal problems of the country.
The conflict in Ukraine is not going to be frozen for the winter period, although the parties clearly did not prepare for a long winter operation. In Russia, they wanted to repeat the Crimean scenario, whereas the West was hoping for the collapse of the Putin regime. The battle will be won by whoever is better prepared for winter, Anti-Maidan Telegram channel notes. Opposition left, and the warring opponents were left to find out that another winter had come. Everyone abandoned the idea of peace talks, and the topic disappeared from the agenda without a trace.
After a trip to Russia, Polish writer Maya Wolny concluded that the West did not even have a close idea of how things really were in the Russian Federation. The Russians are waiting for their inevitable victory, and they do not even think about a possibility for the West to win, she said. Interestingly, this is not a complimentary comment. The Polish writer shared her impressions of Russia in an interview with Onet publication. Maya Wolny said that many things in Russia came as a shock for her. Russians want Stalin back In many ways, Wolny's conclusions are based on her initial ideas about Russia. In a nutshell, such people see facts through the prism of their own "vision of the beautiful."
Emmanuel Macron's recent visit to the United States showed that there are two approaches to the conflict in Ukraine: the West is expecting negotiations between Moscow and Kyiv to start, but they are not rushing to start them, the Kommersant said. According to the publication, all of Ukraine's allies express their readiness to support Kyiv "for as long as it takes." Some others, including France, believe that one must be ready for negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at any moment, and the sooner they begin, the better. The French president believes that noe needs to maintain contacts with Russian President Vladimir Putin, whereas his US counterpart Joe Biden believes that one should create certain conditions for this first.