Six months after being invaded by Russia, Ukraine has more than successfully defended itself, destroying thousands of pieces of enemy equipment, killing thousands of Russian soldiers and largely blunting any advance beyond Donbass and south. .
But as the Washington Post report shows – in the first of a series of reports – that it was apparently not easy for the United States to convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and the world that a massive attack by Russia, which occupied parts of Ukraine since 2014, was almost certain to happen.
This is despite the fact that US officials have obtained “extraordinary details” about the Kremlin’s secret plans for an invasion of Ukraine.
“The administration was also very concerned about Ukraine’s young president, a former television comedian who had come to office on a huge wave of popular support and a desire for fundamental change, but had lost his public reputation in part because ‘he had failed to deliver on his promise to make peace with Russia,” the Post wrote. “Zelensky, 44, seemed no match for the ruthless Putin.”
The special report on the events leading up to the current situation also laid out how US officials expected Russia to attack.
“According to intelligence, the Russians are coming from the north, from both sides of Kyiv. One force would move east of the capital through the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, while the other would flank Kyiv to the west, pushing south from Belarus through a natural gap between the “exclusion zone ” of the abandoned Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the surrounding swamps. The attack would take place in winter so that the hard earth made the terrain easily passable for tanks. Forming a pincer around the capital, Russian troops planned to capture Kyiv in three to four days. The Spetsnaz, their special forces, would find and depose President Volodymyr Zelensky, killing him if necessary, and install a pro-Kremlin puppet government.”
The article also recounts how, on January 12, CIA Director William J. Burns met in Kyiv with Zelensky and delivered a candid assessment of how the invasion would begin – the attack on the airport of ‘Hostomel.
“The intelligence picture had only become clearer that Russia intended to strike Kyiv and decapitate the central government. battle: Russia would first try to land its forces at the airport of Hostomel, a suburb of the capital, where the runways could accommodate huge Russian transports carrying troops and weapons. The assault on Kyiv would begin there .
Hostomel was the home of the Antonov An-225, known as the Mriya, the world’s largest cargo plane, which would be destroyed in the attack. We have presented here the plane and its first pilot.
The Job said his work “sheds new light on the surge to restore the credibility of the United States, the attempt to balance secrecy around intelligence with the need to persuade others of its truth, and the challenge of determine how the world’s most powerful military alliance would help a less-than-perfect democracy on the Russian border defy an attack without NATO firing a shot.”
The report also addresses Zelensky’s repeated requests for heavier and more weapons to fight Russia.
“You can say a million times, ‘Listen, there may be an invasion.’ Okay, there may be an invasion – will you give us planes?” Zelenski said. “Do you want to give us air defenses? ‘Well, you’re not a NATO member.’ ok, so what are we talking about?
Before we get to the rest of the latest news from Ukraine, The war zone readers can catch up on our previous continuing coverage of the war here.
For the second time in a week, Russian military installations in Crimea have reportedly been attacked.
You can read our coverage of these attacks here.
With Russia frustrated in its bid to secure a victory over Ukraine, there has been much speculation that a desperate Russian president, Vladimir Putin, might resort to nuclear weapons.
But those fears were, at least temporarily, dismissed by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
“From a military point of view, it is not necessary to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine to achieve the set objectives. The main purpose of Russian nuclear weapons is to deter nuclear attack,” Shoigu said during the meeting. a speech at an international security conference in Moscow.
Little seems to have changed on the battlefield in recent weeks between Ukraine and Russia.
In its latest assessment, the UK Ministry of Defense (MOD) shows little gain on either side and the fighting is still contained.
In the south, fighting is mainly taking place south and east of Mykolaiv and along a narrow strip south of Zaporizhzhya and east in the Donbass region towards Donetsk. Elsewhere in and around Donbass, clashes are unfolding from northwest Sloviansk in the west and across southeast Izyium and northeast Horlivka. Fighting was also reported north of Kharkiv.
In early July, Ukrainian forces withdrew from the eastern town of Lysychansk. But it appears that more than a month later, Russian forces are not beyond reach.
A video emerged on Twitter on Tuesday showing what appears to be the aftermath of a Ukrainian strike on the former headquarters of Ukraine’s Security Service. The building was reportedly used by the Russians as their headquarters.
After members of the Russian Wagner group posted footage on social media, the Ukrainian military was apparently able to geolocate its headquarters in the town of Popasna and managed to eliminate it in a barrage of long-range fire. scope, most likely by a US-supplied High Mobility. Artillery rocket systems (HIMARS).
It emerged at the time that many of its members had been killed, which @officejjsmarta “special envoy” for the Kyiv Postnoted on his Twitter account on Tuesday morning.
“Wagner’s Russian mercenaries, who ran the ‘Grey Zone’ Telegram channel, with 268,000 subscribers, have had no updates since August 13,” he reported. “My friend, Ukrainian journalist Denis Kazansky, reports that his editors were likely wiped out in the HIMARS strike on Popasna.”
Taiwan knows what it’s like to face a bigger adversary, as we highlighted in our coverage of China’s military response to visits by US lawmakers.
Well, it now appears that Taiwanese-made drones with rotating bomb loaders have flown to Ukraine via Poland.
We featured this quadcopter-mounted battery charger in May, which you can read all about here.
At the 2022 Russian Army Weapons Exhibition, there is apparently a display of captured weapons that Ukraine has put to good use against Russia.
One was a captured Ukrainian M777 howitzer, many of which were supplied by the United States and its allies.
Another is a Turkish-made Bayraktar TB2 drone (well, a kind of replica made up of several captured Bayraktar parts put together Frankenstein-style), which Ukraine wielded so effectively, especially at the start of the war and dramatic way to help launch the Russians off Snake Island.
Several reputable Ukrainian war watchers seemed less than impressed with the way the Russians tinkered with the TB2.
But, as was well documented during the war, Ukraine also captured a slew of Russian equipment, including hundreds of tanks and a number of drones.
This list now apparently includes a Russian Eleron T28 ME reconnaissance drone. The Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter account today showed what appears to be the first documented loss of one of these systems in Ukraine. It is a larger variant of the commonly used Eleron-3 system and has a longer range.
Although Ukraine is flooded with anti-tank weapons from everywhere, the UAWeapons Twitter account reported on Tuesday that an unknown number of Bulgarian BULSPIKE-AT anti-tank launchers were delivered from Bulgaria to the Ukrainian army a few months ago. .
According to Vazovski Mashinostroitelni Zavodi (VMZ) ЕAD – Bulgaria’s largest arms producer – the weapon fires the PG-22 anti-tank grenade.
“The BULSPIKE-AT cartridge is intended for the destruction of tanks, self-propelled guns and other motorized and armored vehicles,” the company states on its website, “as well as against enemy manpower located in bunkers , field shelters and urban-type vehicles”. brick fortifications.
Despite, or perhaps because of, all the hardships he had to endure during that war, Ukrainian officials were consistently humorous.
Like this last example, where Zelensky’s adviser Mykhailo Podolyak manages to throw down the gauntlet to the British government after the exit of Boris Johnson:
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