Putin visits BelarusPosted by Josh Taylor / December 21, 2022
Putin has visited Belarus for the first time since 2019, stoking fears of a second front from that direction.
The United States is finalizing plans to send the Patriot missile defense system to Ukraine, which has prompted Russia to share a video of nuclear-capable missiles being loaded into a silo. Russia is running out of ammunition and turning to 40-year-old reserves. In occupied territories, Russia is planning to conscript 17-year-olds. This comes as elite Russian troops are suffering casualty rates as high as 40%.
Ukrainian President Zelensky said that the nation is preparing a powerful countermeasure against recent Russian aggression against Ukrainian infrastructure.
Kyiv administration has said that power restoration in the city is in its final stage. Ukraine is gradually restoring heat and electricity afterRussian missile strikes damaged almost every Ukrainian hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plant. Escaped employees of the captured nuclear power plant in Ukraine said that Russian soldiers tortured them.
According to Zelensky, Russia has deported 11,000 Ukrainian children.
Zelensky has said that Ukraine has already uncovered evidence of 400 war crimes in Kherson. Ukraine recently regained the only regional capital taken by Moscow, Kherson. Volodymyr Zelensky will take part in the G20 summit. Zelensky has also been awarded the Liberty Medal by the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
The United States is sending another $400 million to Ukraine. Canada is selling bonds to help fund Ukraine. Many nations are contributing to the war however they can; for example, an Idaho man who volunteered to fight in Ukraine has died. UK intelligence suggests that Russians are getting tired of Putin’s war, with more saying that Putin made mistakes with the war.
A Russian man has shot a draft officer responsible for signing up conscripts for the Ukraine war; in a separate incident, a man set himself on fire in protest. Vladimir Putin is allegedly in hiding as anti-draft protests erupt around Russia. More than 1,300 civilians have been arrested for protesting Putin’s conscription of civilians.
To make up for frontline setbacks, Russia has increased its attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure. Ukrainian president Zelensky has visited reconquered territory, a sign of the country’s strength.
Ukraine regained still more territory from the Russians in the past week. The week before, Ukrainian forces reached the Russian border in the Kharkiv region. Ukraine’s lightning counteroffensive drove Russian soldiers from the Kharkiv region, and now Ukraine has tripled its reconquered territory. Ukraine began its long-awaited offensive in the country’s south last week. President Zelesnsky has also promised to retake Crimea by whatever means necessary.
Western nations are aiding Ukraine’s ambitions. The United States is set to send Ukraine another $3 billion in aid. Turkey has sent 50 mine-resistant vehicles to Ukraine, and it will send more in the future. Ukraine has received more rocket launchers from the United States and Germany. President Zelensky has said that the Ukrainian army is losing around 30 soldiers per day, compared to the 100-200 at the beginning of the war. 3The UK government announced that it will send both artillery and drones to Ukraine. Zelensky’s office has also confirmed that the United States will train F-15 and F-16 pilots.
The Ukrainian defense minister has announced the country hopes to build a “million-strong army” to beat back the Russians.
Two weeks ago, Australia sent ammunition to Ukraine, in response to Zelensky’s pleas. Ukraine was reporting a shortage of ammunition, threatening to halt their defense against Russia. International governments have so far been generous with weapons. Poland has announced that it will sell $650m worth of heavy weapons, including self-propelled Howitzers, to Ukraine.
Sweden and the UK have also joined a growing list of countries sending another round of advanced weapons to Ukraine. Spain is sending state of the art, German-designed tanks to Ukraine to help fight the Russian invaders. Germany has announced that it will send modern anti-aircraft missiles and radar systems to Ukraine. The United States will also be sending Ukraine medium-range rockets, according to President Biden.
The Russians, by contrast, are beginning to struggle in terms of weapons. The Ukrainian military says it has destroyed an ammunition depot as the fighting in Donbas intensifies. Such destruction has led Ukrainian military analysts to conclude that the Russian military has depleted its modern military equipment. Russia has more woes than just equipment. Over a hundred Russian national guard soldiers have been fired for refusing to fight in Ukraine.
Russia’s parliament has eliminated the age limit for military service as they scramble for more soldiers. The Russian military is also offering bonuses four times bigger than a soldier’s monthly salary. British military intelligence has estimated that Russia lost a third of its invasion force.
Alexander Lukashenka, the dictatorial leader of Belarus, has admitted that the Ukraine war is not going according to plan. The German industrial giant Siemens is planning to leave Russia after almost 170 years, as a result of the Ukraine war.
Vladimir Putin’s $989 million megayacht has been seized in Italy. In terms of such seizures, Chuck Schumer said that the United States will sell seized Russian oligarch’s assets to benefit the Ukrainian war effort.