Russian hardliner: “What Putin is doing is nonsense”

Igor Girkin was a military leader of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic”. He commanded the downing of the MH17 passenger plane in 2014. Meanwhile, Girkin is still a Russian hardliner, but also a harsh critic of President Putin. In an interview, Girkin did it again. He said: “What Putin is doing is nonsense.”

Girkin refers to the fact that the Russian government is still not taking responsibility for the mistakes in the Ukraine war. Putin is passing all of this on to the Ministry of Defence. At the same time, the President says that everything is going well. A victory over Ukraine is “impossible”, said Girkin.

He does not want to bring about an overthrow, but: “This government cannot handle this crisis,” said Girkin. What Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov says about the war is “either sabotage or unimaginably stupid – or a combination of both”.

Many of his comrades would still fight and die at the front. And he also knows his fate: “People in Russia have to be prepared for what is to come. […] If we lose the war, I will be sentenced in The Hague. Then they send me to Kyiv and hang me. I have no doubt about that.

Ukraine fears Russian missiles for New Year

The Ukrainian military leadership fears new Russian missile attacks at the turn of the year. As army spokesman Yuri Ignat explained on Sunday, it cannot be ruled out that the enemy will “congratulate” in this way at the end of the year. “They have a clear plan in which they have set priority goals.” The aim is to damage Ukraine as much as possible.

“And depending on where it hurts us the most, that’s where they’ll aim, as mean, as bold and as painful as possible,” Ignat was quoted as saying by the Unian state agency. In addition, the date of the next attacks will be set “to please the dictator (Vladimir Putin)”. But the attacks at the turn of the year were also intended to appeal to the “internal audience”, i.e. the Russian population.

The Russian military has been using a new tactic for several weeks now and is targeting Ukraine’s energy supply network with rockets and cruise missiles. As a result, the supply of electricity, water and district heating repeatedly collapsed in Ukraine. This is primarily intended to put pressure on the civilian population this winter. Most recently, on Friday, Russia launched a major attack with over 70 projectiles, which caused severe damage in Kyiv, among other things.

Kyiv: Russian ammunition dumps and anti-aircraft systems destroyed

According to their own statements, the Ukrainian armed forces destroyed at least two Russian ammunition depots and positions of anti-aircraft systems in fighting in the east of the country. This was announced by the General Staff in Kyiv on Sunday. The Luftwaffe flew several missions. Location information was not given.

Heavy losses were inflicted on Russian troops in bitter fighting for the city of Bakhmut in the Donbass. There, a Russian unit with a strength of 400 to 800 men fell into a carefully prepared ambush and was “put out of action,” said presidential adviser Oleksiy Arestovich in Kyiv. The information could not be independently verified.

During the day, the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk came under artillery fire several times. A hospital was hit, the Russian state agency TASS reported, citing local authorities. A patient was killed. Because of the resulting fire, staff and patients were evacuated.

What will be important on Monday

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet ruler Alexander Lukashenko this Monday during his first visit to Belarus in years. The two long-time heads of state want to talk about the strategic partnership between the two countries that form a union state, as well as regional and international issues. Against the background of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, both ex-Soviet republics have significantly expanded their military cooperation. For example, Belarus makes its military bases available for attacks on Ukraine.

With a view to this meeting, it was said in Kyiv that all possible defense scenarios were being prepared. “No matter what is planned in Minsk, it will not help them any more than any other sick ideas in this war against Ukraine and the Ukrainians,” President Zelenskyy said.

Also Read: The December 18 Ukraine Update