In planning a new offensive, the Russian military leadership is repeating an old mistake. Zelenskyy sanctions 185 companies and individuals supporting Russia’s war of aggression. Scholz wants to continue talking to Putin on the phone. What happened at night in the war against Ukraine.
All reports on the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
With a new offensive, Russia repeats an old mistake
According to an analysis by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the Russian military leadership is repeating an old mistake when planning the new offensive in the spring. According to experts, the leadership of General Gerasimov again overestimated the capabilities of the Russian army. If the planned offensive starts as expected in the spring, the Russian soldiers could probably conquer some areas – but they would offer Ukraine a huge opportunity.
According to the ISW experts, such an offensive would be over by April at the latest – when the rainy season sets in in Ukraine and makes it difficult or even impossible for heavy military equipment to advance. The ISW analyzes that a Russian offensive before April would not be operationally successful. Instead, it would give Ukraine a golden opportunity to counter-attack on its own once the rainy season is over.
The Russian military leadership had already overestimated its own army during the offensives on Kyiv, Kharkiv and Cherson – with devastating consequences.
Zelenskyi punishes Russia’s wartime accomplices
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has imposed sanctions on 185 companies and individuals supporting Russia’s war of aggression. Accordingly, companies and entrepreneurs who transport personnel and military technology by train on behalf of the “aggressor state” will be punished, said Selenskyj in his video message published every evening on Saturday. The confiscated disposable assets will benefit national defense, he said.
Belarusian companies that support Russia with the transports are also on the list published in the evening with 182 companies and 3 people. Ukraine is working to ensure that other states also block company assets. At the same time, Zelenskyy thanked “everyone who is helping to strengthen sanctions against Russia” and those investigators who uncovered and prosecuted Russia’s evasion of sanctions.
The President once again emphatically demanded that Russia not be admitted to the Olympic Games in Paris next year. As Zelenskyj announced, he wrote to the presidents of the leading international sports associations that they should commit themselves with regard to plans by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reintegrate Russian athletes into world sports.
Ukraine is threatening to boycott the Paris Games if athletes from Russia or Belarus are admitted there. From Ukraine’s point of view, Belarus is also a war party. Zelenskyj had previously stressed that the Olympic principles were incompatible with war.
Nobody can ignore the fact that Russia is continuing its terror every day, said Selenskyj. In the city of Kostyantynivka in the Donetsk region, 3 people were killed and 14 others injured in Russian rocket attacks against residential buildings on Saturday. With regard to the prospect of military aid from the West, the President emphasized that Ukraine urgently needs longer-range missiles to repel such attacks.
Russia accuses Ukraine of shelling hospital
The Russian Defense Ministry has accused the Ukrainian armed forces of targeting a hospital in the Luhansk region. The ministry in Moscow announced on Saturday evening that the hospital in Novoaidar had been fired upon by a US-type Himar multiple rocket launcher. 14 people were killed and 24 patients and clinic staff were injured. The Luhansk region is largely occupied by Russia. The information could not be independently verified. The ministry initially published neither videos nor photos of the impact, which is said to have happened in the morning.
The ministry accused the Ukrainian armed forces of a “deliberate missile strike” against the civilian hospital, which was a “serious war crime by the Kiev regime”. The authorities did not initially publish any evidence. Those responsible would be found and held accountable.
Chancellor Scholz wants to continue talking to Putin on the phone
Chancellor Olaf Scholz wants to continue trying to work towards an end to the war against Ukraine in direct talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “I will also be on the phone with Putin again – because it is necessary to talk to each other,” the SPD politician told the “Tagesspiegel” (Sunday). As long as Russia continues the war with undiminished aggression, the current situation will not change, said Scholz. “But it’s important to me that the talks keep coming back to the actual topic: How will the world get out of this terrible situation? The prerequisite for this is clear: the withdrawal of Russian troops.”
With a view to new demands for the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine, Scholz warned of a “constant overbidding competition” for weapon systems. The question of combat aircraft does not even arise. “If, as soon as a decision has been made, the next debate starts in Germany, it doesn’t seem serious and shakes the confidence of the citizens in state decisions,” emphasized Scholz, referring to the recent decision to deliver battle tanks to Kyiv. He reiterated: “A German chancellor who takes his oath of office seriously must do everything to ensure that Russia’s war against Ukraine does not turn into a war between Russia and NATO.” He would “not allow such an escalation”.
During his visit to Latin America, Scholz again emphasized that it was a war between Russia and Ukraine. “That doesn’t change if we provide Ukraine with financial, humanitarian aid or arms,” said the Chancellor on Saturday evening (local time) at a press conference in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
Argentina does not plan to supply arms to Ukraine
During Scholz’s visit to South America, Argentine President Alberto Fernández rejected a possible arms delivery from Argentina to Ukraine. “I cannot judge decisions made by other countries,” said Fernández in a joint press conference with Scholz. “Argentina and Latin America are not thinking of sending arms to Ukraine or any other country in a conflict.” But he could assure that the Chancellor and he wanted most of all that peace would be restored as soon as possible.
Scholz, who is on a four-day visit to Argentina, Chile and Brazil, had told the media association Grupo de Diarios América that the Ukraine war was “not a purely European matter”.
What will be important on Sunday
Russian troops and the private army of Putin confidante Yevgeny Prigozhin are continuing their attacks in the Donbass. You recently spoke of progress and combat successes that cannot be independently verified and that Western experts believe Moscow may have exaggerated. Ukraine stresses that it will withstand the attacks.