“ISW”: Putin’s unclear war goals divide his main warmongers
The contradictory statements about Russia’s war goals from those close to Vladimir Putin are confusing the warmongers in the country. The US Institute for the Study of War (ISW) comes to this analysis. On the one hand there are radicals like Duma deputy Andrey Medvedev or the spokesman of the Russian Federation Council Konstantin Kosachev, who continue to call for the total annihilation of Ukraine. On the other hand, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov recently said that the aim of the “military special operation” was not to overthrow the Ukrainian government.
Peskov stated that President Putin had already spoken about this. Indeed, in a speech on October 26, Putin said that Ukraine had “lost its sovereignty” and was “under the full control of NATO.” Nevertheless, Putin continues to demand a change of government in Ukraine, which makes Peskov’s statements all the more strange, according to the “ISW”.
The experts analyze: The Kremlin is playing this game of cat and mouse to cover up its war aims. The goal: The West should be weakened in its support for Ukraine. But the “ISW” researchers are of the opinion that the unclear naming of the target primarily splits Putin’s environment. With his rhetoric, the president is trying to reach the radical hardliners, who accuse him of waging the war too laxly. And at the same time he turns to the more moderate forces with relativizations – and above all to his own people, from whom he now demands a lot for his war.
According to the “ISW”, the confusion among the military bloggers, who are very important to Putin, would become visible. One of them, who is close to the Wagner mercenary group, responds to Peskov’s statement that Russia is waging this war “aimlessly”. And on Russian television, chief propagandist Vladimir Solovyov recently received harsh criticism for his statements that nuclear weapons must be used in the occupied Cherson region (editor’s note: large parts of this are currently being recaptured by Ukraine). This narrative, which has been spread by warmongers in Russia for months and years, has now come under public criticism for the first time.
Ukrainians fight for electricity – Zelenskyj appeals to the UN Security Council
After a massive Russian missile attack, Ukrainian technicians have once again tried to repair their country’s badly damaged energy supply. The President’s Office in Kyiv reported the first successes late on Wednesday evening: In 15 areas there is electricity again, said Vice President Kyrylo Tymoshenko.
“The occupiers are doing everything to make people suffer, so that we don’t even feel or see each other,” said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in his evening video address. He was also connected to a session of the UN Security Council in New York, where he called for Moscow to be condemned. Russia must be clearly designated as a terrorist state.
A dark night in Ukraine – ten people die in rocket attacks
Russia launched about 70 rockets and drones into Ukraine on Wednesday. According to the Air Force, 51 missiles and 5 drones were intercepted. But the remaining missiles killed ten people and again caused severe damage to Ukraine’s power grid. The country’s nuclear power plants shut down, and most thermal and hydroelectric power plants failed, the Energy Ministry said. Large-scale blackouts occurred.
According to Mayor Vitali Klitschko, 80 percent of households in the capital Kyiv, with its three million inhabitants, were without electricity and water. Journalists reported that they had never seen the city so dark. The administration wanted to use hand-operated sirens and loudspeakers to warn of possible further air raids in parts of the city without electricity. “The situation in Kyiv is difficult,” said Zelenskyy. “The work lasts all night.” A result is not expected until Thursday morning.
Russia will continue to decimate Ukraine’s military potential until Kyiv takes a “realistic stance” on negotiations, Moscow ambassador to the UN Vasily Nebensia told the Security Council. The attacks on infrastructure are the answer “to the country being pumped full of Western weapons and the unwise calls for Kyiv to achieve a military victory over Russia”. Ukraine is banking on expelling Russian troops from all occupied territories.
Scholz on Russian attacks: “Ruthless and merciless”
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) sharply condemned the bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. “This terror bombing against the civilian population must stop – immediately,” he said in Berlin. Scholz said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was showing once again how ruthless and merciless he was in this war. “A war he can no longer win on the battlefield, that much seems clear.” He called on Putin to withdraw his troops and agree to peace talks with Ukraine. French President Emmanuel Macron described the attacks on Ukraine’s electricity and water supplies as war crimes that should have consequences. Nevertheless, Macron announced that he would soon be in contact with Putin again. The US also condemned the attacks.
At a defense summit of former Soviet republics, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called for a peace deal in Russia’s war against Ukraine. “As for Ukraine, I think the time has come for a collective search for a peace formula,” Tokayev said at the summit of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
European politicians in solidarity with Kyiv
Minister of State for Europe Anna Lührmann (Greens) and Vice-President of the EU Parliament Nicola Beer (FDP) visited Ukraine with other European politicians on Wednesday. Lührmann announced another 40 million euros in humanitarian aid for the winter. Another five million euros would be spent on Ukrainian schools. Germany will also supply generators.
Poland proposes German anti-aircraft defenses in western Ukraine
On Wednesday, Poland changed its position on the Berlin proposal for a joint defense of the airspace on NATO’s eastern border. Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak wrote on Twitter that German Patriot air defense systems should not be stationed in Poland, as planned, but in western Ukraine. “This would allow Ukraine to be saved from further casualties and power outages and increase security on our eastern border.”
Last week, a rocket hit the village of Przewodow in eastern Poland, on the border with Ukraine, killing two civilians. Currently, the West assumes that it was a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile used to defend against attacks by the Russian military. Germany then offered Poland Patriot batteries and Eurofighters to protect NATO’s eastern border.
That will be important on Thursday
Repair work on the electricity grid of Ukraine will continue on Thursday. Ukraine is also expecting another ship to pick up grain for transport across the Black Sea. According to the UN, three ships carrying grain left Ukrainian ports on Wednesday. The United Nations and Turkey had made Ukrainian exports possible in coordination with Russia.
Also Read: The Ukraine Update of November 23rd
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