Zelenskyy on the new sanctions: “This package has a spectacular look. But this is not enough. Still it can hardly be called commensurate with the evil that the world saw in Bucha. With the evil that continues in Mariupol, in the shelling of Kharkiv, in Russia’s attempt to launch a new global bloody offensive in Donbas.”
Day 43. Or should I say about Day 3,000 since no one can remember the invasion happened eight years ago? Anyway, the Pentagon said Russia completed its pullout from Kyiv and Chernihiv.
But more than likely Russia will head back to Donbas to regroup.
NATO Wants Members to Send Heavy Weapons to Ukraine
I’m shocked. NATO wants its members to send light and heavy weapons to Ukraine:
NATO’s leader is urging its member countries Thursday to send “both light weapons but also heavier weapons” to Ukraine as foreign ministers are gathering in Belgium to map out the alliance’s next steps in the fight against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military.
The plea comes as British intelligence suggests Russian forces are targeting infrastructure in a deliberate bid to sabotage the Ukrainian military’s supply lines ahead of what is expected to be a renewed assault in the country’s east, which has now become Moscow’s main territorial objective after failing to capture Kyiv.
“I have urged allies to provide further support of many different types of systems, both light weapons but also heavier weapons,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who is in Brussels Thursday for the meeting, also made his focus clear: “My agenda is very simple… it’s weapons, weapons and weapons.”
He reportedly asked for planes, armored vehicles, land-based missiles and air defense systems.
Russian Brutality Revealed in Hostomel
Hostomel is located northeast of Ukraine and not far from Bucha. It once housed 17,500 residents but after the Russian occupation, it is destroyed and 400 people are missing:
Speaking to Ukraine-based Hromakdse Radio, Taras Dumenko said that after 35 days of Russian occupation in the town of 17,500 residents, their bodies cannot be found and that some people were arrested by Russians and no one has been seen ever since.
The local official said that many of the town’s residents who’ve been identified as missing or killed have yet to be found and that some bodies were found in Bucha, where Russians are suspected of killing of 300 civilians.
About 3.5 kilometers separate the two towns and Hostomel was hotly contested in the first week of Russia’s renewed invasion for having a strategic airfield.
Dumenko said that invading Russian troops had also killed the township head, Yuriy Prylypko as well as local volunteers Ruslan Karpenko and Ivan Zorya, whose bodies were found.
The disclosure of missing residents echoes other atrocities Ukrainian are discovering as they enter liberated settlements in the Kyiv region. Over the weekend, at least 300 civilians were found killed execution style, some of whom children, and many blindfolded with their hands bound behind their backs.
Zelenskyy Describes the Latest Sanctions as Weak
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky knows what all of us realists know: Sanctions won’t work against Putin. He described the latest round as weak:
In President Volodymyr Zelensky’s latest Facebook address, he calls on world governments to increase their sanctions against Russia, warning that a failure to do so would equate to “permission” for it to continue its attacks on Ukraine.
“Today, Western countries announced a new package of sanctions against the Russian Federation,” he said.
“This package has a spectacular look. But this is not enough,” he continued.
“Still it can hardly be called commensurate with the evil that the world saw in Bucha. With the evil that continues in Mariupol, in the shelling of Kharkiv, in Russia’s attempt to launch a new global bloody offensive in Donbas.”
He says that Ukraine continues to insist on a “complete blockade” of Russia’s banking system, and for the democratic world to refuse to buy Russian oil.
He also called out western leaders, who he said had not found the backbone yet to stand up to Russia.
“Some politicians are still unable to decide how to limit the flow of dollars and euros to Russia from the oil trade, so as not to jeopardise their own economies,” he adds.
“The embargo on Russian oil supplies will be applied anyway. The format will be found. The only question is how many more Ukrainian men and women the Russian military will have time to kill, so that you, some politicians – and we know you, can borrow a little determination somewhere.”
…But Fighting Intensifies in the East
Russia goes back to eastern Ukraine, which is where they have been since 2014. The fighting there has intensified as Russia tries to grip harder on Donbas:
Russia’s military offensive in eastern Ukraine is already intensifying. You can see it in the long queues of traffic driving west towards relative safety; you can feel it in the deserted streets as you drive through the towns and cities of the Donbas; and you can hear it with the increasing sound of Russian artillery.
Russia and its proxies now control around 90% of Luhansk and more than half of Donetsk – the old industrial heartlands of Ukraine. There is smoke rising across a landscape already scarred by mining and factories.
Ukrainian forces have been fighting a war here for the past eight years. Their units include some of the country’s most battle hardened troops. Western officials say Ukrainian forces stationed in the Donbas are the best trained and equipped units.
As the Russian offensive pushes from the north, east and south there is a real danger they may soon be encircled and cut off.
Ukraine has already lost ground to Russia. But they are digging in for the fight. As we travelled east towards the frontline we saw new defensive positions and trenches being dug.
The sound of Russian artillery grew louder as we drove to a Ukrainian frontline position in Luhansk. The rumble of shelling interspersed with the occasional burst of small arms fire. We were within 500 metres of the Russian positions.
No More Russia in Kyiv and Chernihiv…
“Russian forces near Kyiv and Chernihiv have completed their withdrawal from the area to re-consolidate and refit in Belarus and Russia,” a Pentagon official told reporters on Wednesday.
“We are not showing Russian forces in or around Kyiv or in or around Chernihiv,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby later added, saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin “has achieved zero of his strategic goals”.
“He’s really only taking control of a small population centers….They haven’t taken Kharkiv.”
It comes days after Russia announced that it would focus its efforts on Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region.
A senior Pentagon official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Russian troops may be heading back to Kyiv in the future, and that it remains unclear if the retreating troops will return.
According to the Institute for the Study of War think-tank, the Russian units retreating from around Kyiv are unlikely to “regain combat effectiveness for some time”.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.