Russian President Vladimir Putin is apparently planning a spring mobilization. This is suggested by consistent reports from the Russian-language portals “iStories” and “Meduza”. According to this, Putin wants to have 120,000 new soldiers trained by spring.
“iStories” quotes a source that is said to be close to the Russian secret service FSB. “In general, the plan is something like this: gain time and stabilize the front with the help of the mobilized. And then start all over again in the spring,” it says. Another source with ties to the Russian General Staff confirmed this. “Now it’s a matter of sealing and securing the front line.”
According to the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), the recruits should have completed a six-month training course by spring 2023. Then they are to be used in larger numbers in Ukraine. This would fit with accounts of soldiers in the past suggesting that they were sent to war poorly trained and equipped.
According to the reports from “iStories” and “Meduza”, however, the idea of filling up also plays a role in the Russian plans. Vladimir Putin therefore expects that around 100,000 of the soldiers he has had recruited since September could have died by spring.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) currently considers a Russian victory in Ukraine unlikely. In view of Germany’s support for the attacked Ukraine, it is becoming increasingly clear “that Russia not only must not win this war, but will not win it,” Scholz said on Saturday at the SPD Brandenburg state party conference in Cottbus. The Chancellor renewed his pledge to support Ukraine as long as necessary. “We do that financially, humanitarianly and we all know: also with arms deliveries.”
Scholz again emphasized the importance of his meeting with China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping, at which both had warned against the use of nuclear weapons. The G20 countries also said that nuclear weapons should not be used in this war. At a recent summit in Indonesia, the vast majority of the group of leading industrial and emerging countries, despite major differences of opinion, strongly condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine. Russia’s dissenting stance was also recorded.
Belarusian Foreign Minister Vladimir Makey has died at the age of 64. The state news agency Belta reported a “sudden death” on Saturday, without giving further details. Nothing was known about diseases. Makej had been Foreign Minister of the authoritarian country for ten years and was one of the confidants of long-time ruler Alexander Lukashenko. Before becoming a minister, he was head of the presidential administration. At times, Makej was also traded as a possible successor to Lukashenko.
The first expressions of condolences have come from Russia, the closest ally of Belarus (formerly Belarus). “We are shocked by the reports of the death of the Foreign Minister of Belarus,” said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova. Lukashenko has been in power in the former Soviet republic for more than a quarter of a century.
In all likelihood, Russia is currently using old nuclear cruise missiles on Ukraine that they have removed the nuclear warheads from. This is reported by the British Ministry of Defense and relies on information from the British secret service.
According to the report, the Russian inventory of long-term missiles is so exhausted that the Russians are now “disarming” old nuclear missiles in order to fire the missiles at Ukraine. British intelligence has images of a wreckage showing an AS-15 Kent missile fired at Ukraine. This was designed in the 1980s “exclusively as a nuclear carrier system”.
Because of the difficult situation in Cherson, the Ukrainian government has evacuated the first civilians from the recaptured city. The infrastructure ministry announced on Friday that 100 people had been taken by train to Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine. These included 26 children and 6 sick people. They would be housed in what was considered a safe area and would receive the usual state support for internally displaced persons.
Under pressure from Ukrainian attacks, Russian troops evacuated Cherson in mid-November after eight months of occupation. Ukraine regained control of the southern city. However, the infrastructure is so devastated that the government is advising people, especially mothers with children, to temporarily leave the city.
Ukraine is grappling with the devastating effects of recent Russian attacks. At least 15 civilians were killed in Russian shelling in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Friday, according to the authorities. 35 other people were injured, including a child, a representative of the recently recaptured city said in online networks. Meanwhile, technicians across the country scrambled to restore heat, water and electricity supplies to major Ukrainian cities.
According to the information, several residential buildings and multi-storey buildings were damaged in the shelling in Cherson. The region’s military administration announced on Friday that hospitals would be evacuated because of “continued Russian bombing”. The city council of Kherson said it offered to evacuate civilians to other regions.
In the past few days, the Ukrainian army is said to have successfully repelled attacks by Russian forces in eight different locations. This is reported by the “Kyiv Independent”, citing the Ukrainian general staff. Accordingly, the Ukrainian military repelled the Russian attacks in the vicinity of Yakovlivka, Soledar, Bakhmut, Opytne, Pervomaiske, Krasnogorovka and Nevelske in the Donbass.
NATO is open to Poland’s proposal to deploy Germany’s Patriot anti-aircraft systems in Ukraine. It is a national decision whether such weapons are delivered to Kyiv, said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday. In doing so, he invalidated the arguments of Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD), who had referred to possible reservations by NATO. Poland’s President Andrej Duda stressed that from a military point of view his country would be best protected if the Patriot systems were deployed in western Ukraine. But Germany must make the decision.
Germany had actually offered the systems to Poland to secure Polish airspace. Warsaw then suggested moving directly to Ukraine, which had been invaded by Russia in February.
According to EU Commission Vice-President Dubravka Suica, the refugees from Ukraine scattered across Europe will not return immediately to their homeland even after the end of the war. “Their schools are destroyed, their houses are destroyed, their jobs are lost,” Suica told the editorial network Germany (Saturday). According to their assessment, hosts such as Germany or Poland would have to be prepared for refugees from Ukraine to stay for years after the end of the war. “I think we have to be prepared for that.”
A key problem is that these families think they can go home the day after the war. “But they will not go home then,” said Suica, Vice President of the European Commission for Democracy and Demography. “I have to say it so frankly, I experienced the war in Croatia in former Yugoslavia myself.”
With a swarm of around 70 rockets and cruise missiles, Russia fired at Ukraine’s energy infrastructure on Wednesday, causing serious damage. It was the eighth such wave of attacks since mid-October.
On Wednesday evening after the attack, twelve million points of consumption were without electricity across the country, said Zelenskyj. On Friday evening there were still six million consumption points. The loss of electricity means that many places have no water or heating either. Internet and phone work poorly.
Zelenskyj warned people to be frugal, even when there is light. “If there is electricity, it does not mean that you can switch on several powerful electrical devices at the same time.” The EU wants to supply Ukraine with 40 generators. This was announced by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after a conversation with Selenskyj. The devices could each supply a small to medium-sized hospital with electricity.
According to President Vladimir Putin, the Russian armaments industry should use the experience gained in the Ukraine war in the fight against modern Western weapons. This would improve the quality, reliability and combat capability of Russian weapon systems, Putin said in Moscow on Friday. According to the Tass agency, he attended an event there to mark the 15th anniversary of the state holding Rostec. This brings together around 700 Russian high-tech companies, primarily in the armaments sector. The boss is Sergey Chemesov, a companion of Putin since the KGB times together in Dresden in the 1980s.
Export of Ukrainian grain through three Black Sea ports continues. Two freighters with soybeans left for Spain and Turkey on Friday, according to the control center in Istanbul. According to this information, 28 freighters are waiting in the Turkish straits for controls on their way to or from Ukraine. The United Nations and Turkey made the exports possible in agreements with Kyiv and Moscow.
Also read: The Ukraine update on November 25 – Putin’s “soldier mothers” exposed as pro-government officials
Belarusian ruler Lukashenko has ruled out deploying his army in Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy announces that Russia will not break its people. Meanwhile, Russia fires deadly missiles at the liberated Cherson. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war can be found in the ticker.
Russia continues to attack Ukraine with numerous missiles. In the recently liberated city of Kherson, the first people are being evacuated. According to a new British intelligence report, Russia is firing missiles with detached nuclear warheads.
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