Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on NATO: “But war is always a test that takes the masks off.”
Day 91. Ukrainian President Voplodymyr Zelenskyy went off on former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger who told Ukraine to let Russia take some land.
Someone tell Kissinger that Russia took Crimea in 2014.
Fighting in Donbas is escalating. Kyiv is sick of NATO’s hot air.
Yes, the fighting in Donbas can get worse:
Ukraine’s deputy defence minister says the fighting in Donbas has reached maximum intensity, with the Russians storming Ukrainian positions in several areas simultaneously.
“As of today, the aggressor conducts intensified fire along the whole line of contact and the positions of our forces in the Donetsk operational region. The enemy uses tactical rocket systems, aviation and artillery,” Hanna Maliar says.
“The situation is difficult and there are signs of escalation. The enemy has used all resources to capture our territory and surround our forces. The fighting has reached maximum intensity. The enemy attacks our positions at different points simultaneously. We are in for a very difficult and long stage of the struggle.”
Earlier, the authorities in Donbas said the Russians had attacked more than 40 settlements in their drive to take the strategic towns of Severodonetsk and Lysychansk, the AFP news agency reports.
Russia: We’re Not Blocking Grains?
Russia now says it’s not blocking grains. Didn’t they say earlier that if we ease sanctions they would allow food to pass? Weird:
Ukrainian farmers have 20 million tonnes of grain they cannot get to international markets due to the ongoing invasion.
“We categorically do not accept these accusations. On the contrary, we blame Western countries for taking actions that have led to this,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.
Moscow called for the West to remove the sanctions which it says are blocking grain exports from Ukraine.
European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said earlier this week Russia was using “hunger and grain to wield power”, while Ukraine has accused Russia of stealing hundreds of thousands of tonnes of grain in areas their forces have occupied.
Russia Gains in Donbas
Ukraine Foreign Minister is Tired of NATO
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba accused Nato of “doing literally nothing” in the face of Russia’s invasion, while praising the EU for its “revolutionary” decisions to back Kyiv
“Nato as an alliance, as an institution, is completely sidelined and doing literally nothing. I’m sorry to say it,” Mr Kuleba told the World Economic Forum in Davos, while praising Brussels for its “revolutionary, groundbreaking decisions, which even they themselves did not expect to make”.
“At the beginning of the war, there was a public sentiment that Nato was the strong force and the EU was only capable of expressing various different levels of concern.”
“But war is always a test that takes the masks off.”
He did, however, qualify his remarks, saying some “Nato allies are helping us.”
Will the EU Go Through With the Oil Embargo?
It’s at a standstill. Hungary depends on Russian gas and oil. The country would have to spend 700 million euros to fix its infrastructure to receive energy sources from other places:
Hopes that the standoff between Hungary and the other 26 members of the bloc could be overcome at a summit in Brussels on Monday and Tuesday are also fading. Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, seeming to relish his position as the E.U’s spoiler-in-chief, asked earlier this week that the proposed embargo remain off the table because his concerns were not anywhere close to being resolved.
Mr. Orban’s ability to assert himself was emboldened after a recent landslide victory in Hungarian elections. Mr. Orban has come under repeated and stiff criticism in the E.U. for flouting its norms in areas such as media freedom and the rule of law. Concerns that he was abusing his authority were further fanned this week when he invoked a state of emergency that would allow him to bypass parliament.
At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands was skeptical the impasse with Hungary would get resolved next week. Mr. Orban “is not giving a lot of reason to hope that we could get to a deal on Monday, Tuesday,” he said in an interview, adding that he thought the bloc would eventually overcome the standoff.
I wrote about Severodonetsk on Wednesday. Russia is getting closer:
Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday described the fighting outside of the industrial city of Severodonetsk, a key military goal for Russia, as “very difficult,” as Russian troops shelled the city from the outskirts with mortars.
“The coming week will be decisive,” Mr Gaiday said in a video posted on Telegram.
He said he believes Russia’s goal is to “capture the Lugansk region no matter what cost”.
“There is a colossal amount of shelling,” he added.
Russia Outnumbers Ukraine in Donbas
Another broken record moment: Russia has been in eastern Ukraine since 2014. I documented it at Breitbart.
Now they don’t have to hide. Ukrainian officials claim the Russians outnumber their troops seven to one:
Sergii Nykyforov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian president, said that Kyiv’s forces were outnumbered by seven to one in some areas of the Donbas.
Capturing Severodonetsk and the neighbouring city of Lysychansk would hand Moscow control of more than half of the eastern Donbas region, in what would be a major battlefield victory for the Kremlin.
“The Russians are advancing in the Luhansk region in all directions all at once,” Mr Haidai said, adding that Severodonetsk was “under constant enemy fire around-the-clock”.
“The situation is serious. The city is constantly being shelled with every possible weapon in the enemy’s possession,” he said.
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