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Ukraine War Updates: As Winter Sets In Russia Hits Ukrainian Power Grid, Steps Up Ground Offensive in East

Ukraine War Updates: As Winter Sets In Russia Hits Ukrainian Power Grid, Steps Up Ground Offensive in East

Reuters: Strike on power grid forces “Kyiv to introduce emergency blackouts across the country as winter bites.”

As cold winter sets in, Russia is stepping up missiles strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.

The Russian barrage fired ahead of the weekend was reportedly the “biggest attack” of its kind since the invasion began nearly 10 months ago. “Friday’s onslaught, which pummeled many parts of central, eastern and southern Ukraine, constituted one of the biggest assaults on the capital, Kyiv, since Russia began the war by attacking Ukraine on Feb. 24,” the Associated Press noted.

The latest strike on Ukraine’s power grid forced “Kyiv to introduce emergency blackouts across the country as winter bites,” the Reuters news agency reported Saturday.

The missiles strikes on civilian infrastructure are aimed at lowering Ukrainian morale, as large parts of the country go without heating, running water, or electricity as temperatures hit below zero. “The attacks have targeted civilian infrastructure, as temperatures drop below zero in many regions,” the BBC reported. “Kyiv has accused Moscow of using winter as a weapon by targeting essential facilities as temperatures drop,” the broadcaster added.

Some of the critical services have since been restored. “Ukraine has managed to restore power to almost 6 million people in the last 24 hours after massive Russian strikes against the electricity generating system, President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Saturday,” the TV channel France24 reported Sunday.

Russia Renews Ground Offensive in Eastern Ukraine

The Russian air and missiles strikes were followed by a large ground offensive in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region, media reports on Sunday say. “Ukraine claims to have repelled Russian strikes near a number of eastern settlements in the last day, as bombardment continues in the Donbas,” Sky News (UK) reported early morning Sunday.

“Kyiv says Moscow attempted to launch attacks on Stelmakhivka and Serebrianske in the Luhansk region, as well as Verkhniokamianske, Vyimka, Vesele, Bakhmut, Klishchiivka, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Nevelske, and Krasnohorivka in Donetsk region,” the broadcaster added.

Kyiv Asks West for Advanced Air Defense Systems

Amid devastating Russian missile, air and drone strikes, the Ukrainian government is urging the U.S. and Western allies to bolster country’s air defenses.

Since the invasion began in early spring, Russia has maintained air superiority against Ukraine. The invading Russian forces have been able to hit Ukrainian targets right up to its western border with NATO-member Poland. Moscow appears to have a large missile stockpile, and has also supplemented it with hundreds of Iranian-made suicide drones.

The U.S. and European NATO allies are scrambling to supply Ukraine with better air defense capabilities. Last month , Ukraine received NASAMS, an air defense system jointly developed by the U.S. and Norway, and the Italian-made Aspide anti-aircraft missile system.

The German state-run DW TV reported President Zelenskyy’s request for more air defense systems:

Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reiterated his demand for the delivery of air defense systems in the wake of Friday’s missile bombardment by Russia on Kyiv and 14 other regions.

In a video message on Saturday evening, Zelenskky urged the West to “increase the pressure” on Russia, adding that Kyiv urgently needs anti-aircraft missiles.

According to media reports, the US now wants to send one Patriot missile system to Ukraine but there has been no formal confirmation.

Ukraine might also get Patriot missile defense system from the U.S., media speculations suggest. “Rumours have been swirling these past few weeks that Ukraine will get advanced US-built Patriot defence missile systems to try to counter Russian missile and drone attacks,” the BBC reported Friday.

Ukrainian Military Expects a Major Russian Offensive This Winter

The Ukrainian military planners are gearing up for a large-scale Russian offensive in coming months. “Ukraine is preparing for Russia to try again to invade from the north – maybe around the anniversary of its first, failed attempt to seize Kyiv last February,”  Sky News reported Sunday, citing a senior Ukrainian military official.

Russia could throw millions of troops into action, focusing this time on the northern part of Ukraine, Ukrainian defense sources claim. “Putin could even ultimately order millions of soldiers into the war as Russia’s offensive falters in the face of fierce and enduring Ukrainian resistance, Major General Andrii Kovalchuk, one of Ukraine’s most senior military officers, said in an interview,” the British broadcaster added.

The Ukrainian military assessment comes almost three months after President Putin announced a “partial mobilization” of the Russian population, drafting close to 300,000 reservists to fight in the military campaign in Ukraine.


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Free State Paul | December 18, 2022 at 2:12 pm

Knocking out the Ukraine’s electric grid has military benefits: Ukrainian rail uses mainly electric locomotives. Knocking out the power hinders the transport of troops, vehicles and supplies to the front.

    jrcowboy49 in reply to Free State Paul. | December 18, 2022 at 2:32 pm

    But taking out the power for civilians to survive the winter and also prevent attacks on nuclear facilities should not be in the battle plan.

      alaskabob in reply to jrcowboy49. | December 18, 2022 at 2:49 pm

      It’s called “war” and as Sherman said… “it’s hell”. The Russians will not dare damage any nuclear facility with loss of containment…. that would be an NBC variant as radiation would cross international boundaries into NATO. The idea of a sanitary war is long gone in this conflict on both sides. Ukraine had devolved into a shadow of its enemy…. banning oppostion parties, arresting political opponents, banning the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

      chrisboltssr in reply to jrcowboy49. | December 18, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      In war there is no such thing as a civilian.

      CommoChief in reply to jrcowboy49. | December 18, 2022 at 6:48 pm

      Ok. Can you please explain Hiroshima within the context of your argument that civilians shouldn’t pay any price in time of war? How about Dresden?

      If you don’t want civilians impacted by a war then don’t get into a war. Build out a a separate electrical grid for the military if that’s a point of contention.

    It has worked against Russia also. With the fall of the Soviet Union and loss of the Warsaw Pact, Russia had to switch to a defensive posture on land and air. Their principle transport is the railroads and a defense in depth… both seriously weak when trying to invade … especially into a large country like Ukraine. Their initial attack plan included the same as in 1968 in Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan…. quick military strike to gain airport control and fly in enough forces to hold until ground forces come in… oops…. not this time. The Russian and Ukrainian railroads are different gauges.

      There certainly was not a switch to a defense posture.

      Invasion of Moldova and the carve-out of a puppet state we in the west call Transnistria.

      The Russians then invaded Georgia and the carve-out of South Ossetia. Because “fascists” were menacing Russian expatriates.

      The Russians then Invaded Ukraine and the carve-out of Crimea and the annexation of the Donbas river basin where they set up a puppet regime and populated it with violent militia fascists imported from Chechnya.

      And now the Russians invade Ukraine and want to annex everything east of the Dneiper. Again doing so to save Russian pensioners from Fascism!

      Russia sent troops to Syria to rescue Assad and end up with a fifty year lease on a syrian port facility. So now they have a warm water port on the Med.

      Russia then engaged in a series of war game exercises off of Kaliningrad and into the Baltic Sea – there harrassing Swedish-Lithuanian contractors laying energy cable across the seabed.

      Poland reacted by building a series of watchtowers along the border with Kaliningrad.

      Do you note a pattern here?

        alaskabob in reply to Tiki. | December 19, 2022 at 11:16 pm

        Bush pushes NATO membership for Georgia…. Russia takes South Ossetia. Maybe no NATO expansion would have meant to invasion. Bush rattled sabers when there was no hope to militarily support Georgia. Talk big with cheap talk…

        Just how does Russia invade Moldova on the far side of Ukraine? They have supported the Transnistria region…. a break away area of Moldova. Did Russia make a military landing of its troops there before the war?

        As for Kaliningrad actions… this is a response to NATO expansion…which was at one time promised to not expand. It is their only option to maintain a security presence in very tight quarters.

        Time was on the side of the West with Russia. No need to push NATO… something long past its need. Russia is one of the nations have a huge population decline. Leaving a Findlandized Ukraine as a buffer would be a long term strategy for eventual threshold decline of Russia. There was no immediate need to orchestrate the Color Revolution except because the 0bama admin could. Yes, plenty of reasons to get back at Russia by Ukrainian supporters (Nuland) while getting into the largess…. plenty of corrupt ways to make money off of Ukraine…by many politicians. Money laundering with FTX,

        As for Syria… a warm water port no where near their land mass is nice but it has to be equiped… how? By sea sounds great but to get there requires passing through Turkish controlled Strait or through the Baltic… hence Kaliningrad.

        The US is pushing hard to cause regime change in Russia… as directed by the US. The Russians remember how Clinton rubbed their noses in the collapse of the USSR, We are playing a version of after WWI with Germany. There’s that “keep your enemies closer” which would have been a better move… but we will never know. When you strip a nation of its pride… watch out.

It’s one thing for Russia to have ‘millions’ of soldiers. It’s another thing to train and equip them to survive on the modern battlefront. Russian soldiers, as the Germans in both world wars learned, can handle immense suffering and terrible conditions. But they’re as subject to the meat-grinder as anyone. This time around, Russia doesn’t have immense reserves of manpower (as they also learned in mid-1944), and so they need to take the time to train and equip their men properly. Otherwise it’s a killing field in the Donbas, or the north, or wherever Russia tries to attack.

    The_Mew_Cat in reply to stevewhitemd. | December 19, 2022 at 9:59 am

    If Russia can muster a large army, it would make the most sense to go for Lviv. That way they can cut off access to Western supplies. They should have done this a year ago instead of going for Kiev.

Does anybody here truly expect the Russians to act civilized?

    CommoChief in reply to DSHornet. | December 18, 2022 at 6:57 pm

    They will be and have been acting in a civilized manner……by Eurasian standards. That’s a different kettle of fish than western standards. It’s not Russia’s fault that many people in the west don’t understand that difference. Ukraine knows it very well and they exploit it for propaganda despite them doing similar unsavoury things in the Donbas before the Feb invasion.

    There are no white hats in this fight and it’s past time for everyone to understand and admit that truth.

      TallDave in reply to CommoChief. | December 19, 2022 at 10:38 am

      not really surprising when you consider the media made Abu Ghraib under the US sound worse than Saddam’s mass torture factories

      narrative narrative narrative

The Ukrainian power grid is a legitimate target and points to Russian involvement in the nordstream pipeline sabotage; proxy war on Europe writ large.

The US, Britain and Soviet Russians banned many domestic things during WWII. So when the Ukrainians ban and censor and intern people and activities they can point to well established “Great Powers” precedent. Or we can change the rules of the game when it suits us and our self-serving domestic-political interests.

The International Red Cross should be allowed access to all PoW camps.

Enough with this foolhardy brinkmanship. As Kissinger wrote in the Spectator, a negotiated settlement ceding Russia some territory must be effectuated soon. I don’t want to be incinerated taking sides in this conflict between two corrupt and related foreign states.

50 shades of America’s war on Serbians. Round and around with precedent.

    CommoChief in reply to n.n. | December 18, 2022 at 7:04 pm

    In the former Yugoslavia the Serbs were a constant pain in the ass for KFOR. These Jack legs wanted us to stand aside and let them continue their attempt to finish off the Muslim population. In fairness the Muslims wanted the same opportunity to finish of the Serbs but Serbs were better organized and more vocal.

    The only halfway honest brokers I found in the whole place was the mafia. Those guys kept their bargains and did a decent job keeping a lid on violence and imposed penalties when areas under their control got over enthusiastic.

“Kissinger wrote in the Spectator, a negotiated settlement ceding Russia some territory must be effectuated soon. ”

Kissenger sure is generous with other peoples lives and country. Maybe he can hand half of Israel to the Arabs. Fair is fair!

While we’re giving away peoples and nations (our generosity knows no bounds), why not cede Finland to the Russians? The Finns were never a “real” country or a “real” people; Grand Duchy of Sweden and later Grand Duchy of Russia. The Finns defeated the Bolsheviks in March 1918. The Soviets defeated the Finns in the Winter War and after the retreat of the German Army. Who decides? Maybe King Kissenger?

King Charles the XI was defeated at Poltava and Ukraine was ceded to the Russian Empire.

Who decides? Certainly not the “corrupt” Ukrainians – wether by force of arms or not – they’ve no right.

    alaskabob in reply to Tiki. | December 18, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    In the last 100 years, Ukraine endured two famines, two Bolshevik onslaughts , the Nazi German invasion and the willful murder of millions during the Holodomor. That’s a lot of pent up nationalism, Russian hatred and internal division in a country with both regional European and Russian leanings. Add the Obama administration (as in Nuland) seeing a chance at a color revolution against “a regional power” (Russia) and numerous US politicians “banking” on Ukraine and things really ratcheted up. Stir this mess in a caldron of entrenched corruption. Russia was also seeing its military capability waning to nearly ineffectual and this was their last rodeo to regain a buffer state being lost to the US, EU and NATO expansion, Considering all of this…. was Finlandization of Ukraine really that bad an option? Who really unlocked Pandora’s box? The US under 0bama. Who are suffering… the everyday people of Ukraine….not the politicians or oligarchs.

      I do not rule out Ukraine leading to some financial Black Swan event for financial markets – which could affect everyday people everywhere and even some politicians or oligarchs. It may come down to which comes first, that or Putin dying.

        The_Mew_Cat in reply to jb4. | December 19, 2022 at 9:57 am

        The sharp rise in interest rates alone could cause a financial accident.

        And if Putin dies, who takes his place? Kadryov?

      TallDave in reply to alaskabob. | December 19, 2022 at 10:32 am

      people really underestimate the extent to which many of the Ukrainians suffering in this war are actually ethnic Russians who never wanted a war but got caught between two groups of rabid ethno-nationalists

      short of ethnic cleansing, eventually the West will have to either let the Donbas vote or let them go, which amounts to the same thing in the end

      You list all the reasons why Ukrainians should fight to the bitter end and then blithely ask why getting submerged back into the Russian Empire isn’t such a bad deal after all.

      The 100 years of murder, rape, expropriation and whole villages deported to barren railway halts in Siberia and Kazakhstan. And then comes the smear – denouncing their bitter resentment as “Nationalism.” Shorthand for being Nazi’s. Threadbare Marxist smears made new. And out of the mouth of a right winger no less! It’s very antifa.

      Not such a bad deal after all?

      International scamsters move into Ukraine, hire Ukrainian cutouts, and then turn the country into a huge money laundering scheme. And who exactly should pay the piper for it? Ordinary Ukrainians should. It’s vile. Like denouncing rape victims for wearing provocative clothing.

      Not such a bad deal after all?

      How do we rectify the bad deeds? By feeding ordinary Ukrainians to Putin-Moloch.

        CommoChief in reply to Tiki. | December 19, 2022 at 3:47 pm

        The eastern areas of Ukraine are different culturally from the remainder of Ukraine to the west of the Dnieper. These folks, largely speaking, would rather be independent of Ukraine and allied to Russia or even a part of Russia.

        The client govt of Ukraine is preventing that at the behest of US and UK interests. Since at least 2014 and really before that the govt of Ukraine has been harassing these folks and seeking to provoke Russia into action. They achieved the goal and the ordinary Ukrainians are paying the price. It always seems to be ‘a rich man’s war and a poor man’s fight’ and this is no different.

    Free State Paul in reply to Tiki. | December 19, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    Luhansk and Donets provinces broke away from the Ukraine after the Maidan coup. Crimea voted to rejoin Russia in 2015. Kherson and Zapa(?) provinces voted to rejoin Russia in 2022.

    Russia is not conquering these territories. It is liberating them.

should have taken Putin’s March offer to leave Ukraine if the Donbas was allowed to vote

Appears to me t the Russians are about to close dow, among other things the organized crime families favorite money laundering operation. Too bad so many good people on both sides are suckered into dying for these vermin.