The Russian military leadership apparently wants to shift the blame for the deadly camp attack onto Donetsk officials. According to Ukrainian reports, 25 torture chambers were discovered in liberated Kharkiv. The head of the regional police described the detention conditions of civilians as “inhuman”. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.

8:46 a.m .: According to official information, the Russian air defense repelled a drone attack on the Crimean Peninsula, which has been annexed by Moscow since 2014. “Air defense systems shot down two unmanned aerial vehicles over the sea near Belbek in the morning,” Sevastopol Governor Mikhail Rasvozhayev said on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. Belbek is a Russian military airfield that was repeatedly attacked by the Ukrainian army after the start of the war.

According to Razvozhayev, all systems are working normally. There is no official information about damage, deaths or injuries. The media and residents had previously reported explosion noises from the direction of Belbek Airport on social networks.

Russia supplies its occupying forces in southern Ukraine primarily via Crimea, which has been occupied since 2014. Ukraine is therefore repeatedly targeting logistical and military targets on the peninsula. The recovery of Crimea is also one of Kiev’s declared goals after the Russian war of aggression has increasingly stalled in recent months. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that this could be done through diplomatic or military channels.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 12:04 a.m.: After the Ukrainian attacks on a Russian military accommodation in Makiivka in the Donetsk region, the Ministry of Defense in Moscow has corrected the number of its own soldiers killed by more than 20 to 89. The men and the deputy commander were found after the rocket attack on New Year’s Eve in the rubble of the collapsed reinforced concrete building, said Lieutenant General Sergey Sevryukov in Moscow on Wednesday night. Previously there had been talk of 63 deaths. Ukraine had fired at the shelter with the US’s Himar multiple rocket launcher.

Sevryukov also acknowledged mistakes for the first time, thereby confirming media reports. According to them, the main reason for the “tragedy” was that the soldiers used their mobile phones en masse on New Year’s Eve, despite a ban, thereby alerting the Ukrainian side to their location. Accordingly, the Ukrainian armed forces shot down six rockets, four of which hit and two were intercepted, it said. Ukraine had spoken of 400 dead and 300 injured in Makiivka (Russian: Makejewka).

The investigations are still ongoing, but so much about the background is already clear, said Sevryukov. “This factor enabled the enemy to determine the direction and locate the coordinates of the position of the soldiers in order to carry out the missile strike.” At present, care is being taken to ensure that this does not happen again. In addition, the guilty officials would be held accountable.

According to the ministry representative in Moscow, the Himars system from which the shots had been fired was located and destroyed. In addition, in return fire, Russian troops in the Donetsk region destroyed four Himars launch pads, four combat vehicles, more than 800 projectiles and killed more than 200 nationalists and foreign legionnaires. This information could not be verified independently.

In the past, too, there were repeated reports of serious mistakes made by Russian commanders in this war. The Ukrainian leadership has repeatedly stressed that the “enemy’s stupidity” makes it easy for the military to achieve success. Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has already suffered numerous defeats in the invasion of Ukraine that he began on February 24.

11:35 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on the international community to strengthen his country’s defense capabilities after new Russian missile strikes. Ukraine is preparing for a new wave of mobilization by the “terror state” Russia and must therefore be prepared, said Zelenskyj in his video message distributed in Kyiv on Tuesday evening. After telephone calls with the heads of government of the Netherlands, Great Britain, Norway and Canada, he called for everything to be done to ensure Russia’s defeat in the war.

Russia will leave no stone unturned to turn the war around and avoid defeat. “We have to destroy this scenario of the Russians,” Zelenskyj said. “The terrorists have to lose.” Russia will mobilize new reservists who will be sent to their deaths, he said. Ukraine, in turn, must mobilize the civilized world.

In his speech, the 44-year-old also condemned the Russian rocket attack on the “Altair” ice rink in Druzhkivka in the Donetsk region, where children also trained. People have long experienced the stadium as a place of joy. The destruction is new evidence that Russia is a terrorist state.

In his speech, Zelenskyy especially thanked Norway, which plays a “historical role” in the defense of Europe because it implements all the agreements. The country is also helping to provide Ukraine with the necessary quantities of gas for the winter. Zelenskyi also informed that at a meeting with the Ukrainian military leadership he spoke about the needs of the country in the field of defense and energy supply. He did not give details.

11:26 a.m .: According to British military experts, a major breakthrough by the Russian military near the contested Ukrainian city of Bakhmut is unlikely in the coming weeks. This emerged from the daily intelligence update from the Ministry of Defense in London on Tuesday. The Ukrainian troops have strengthened their positions. The Russian attacks have decreased recently – after they had reached a temporary peak in mid-December. “Both sides have suffered heavy casualties,” the statement said.

The British Ministry of Defense has published daily information on the course of the war since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine at the end of February, citing intelligence information. In doing so, the British government wants to both counter the Russian portrayal and keep allies in line. Moscow accuses London of a targeted disinformation campaign.

9:31 a.m .: In the Cherson region in southern Ukraine, the Ukrainian military says it has inflicted heavy losses on the Russian armed forces with an artillery attack. The Ukrainians scored a hit against enemy troops and military technology near the village of Chulakivka, the Ukrainian General Staff said in its situation report on Tuesday. “The enemy’s losses amount to 500 dead and injured,” it said. The attack had already taken place on New Year’s Eve. The information provided by the military could not be independently verified. Both warring parties often speak of high losses on the opposing side.

According to the Ukrainian General Staff, Russian units in Fedorivka were also hit a day later. The number of victims there is still being checked. Fedorivka and Chulakivka are both located on the south-eastern side of the Dnipro River in the Russian-occupied part of the Kherson region.

It was only announced on Monday that accommodation for Russian soldiers in the town of Makiivka in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donetsk was destroyed in an attack on New Year’s Eve. The Russian Defense Ministry officially admitted the deaths of 63 recruits. Kyiv put enemy losses at 400 dead and 300 wounded. Russian military bloggers also spoke of several hundred victims.

6:45 a.m.: The French vegetable canner Bonduelle has denied reports that it supplies the Russian army. Photos on the Russian online network VKontakte showing soldiers with Bonduelle canned food and a greeting card with New Year’s wishes for a “rapid victory” in Ukraine are fake, the company told the AFP news agency on Monday. “We don’t distribute packages to soldiers.”

The group, on the other hand, confirmed its participation in the “Baskets of Goodwill” campaign. The campaign, organized by the Russian food bank, aims to collect products for those in need and “is not affiliated with the army,” stressed a spokeswoman for Bonduelle.

After the photos that Bonduelle claims were fake appeared on the internet, there were a wave of calls for a boycott of the French company. A post by the city of Jarzewo on VKontakte, which has since been deleted, said that Bonduelle had sent 10,000 packages to Russian soldiers.

Bonduelle is one of the few French companies that continued to do business in Russia after the start of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. “The Bonduelle Group continues its activities in Russia with the sole purpose of ensuring access to food for the population of Russia and neighboring countries,” the company stressed.

6:38 a.m .: After the Ukrainian attack on a Russian military accommodation in Makiivka, criticism of the Russian military leadership is great, which in turn is trying to shift the blame. This is what analysts at the Institute for the Study of War describe. According to its armed forces, Ukraine killed 400 soldiers and wounded 300 soldiers in the attack. The Russian Defense Ministry confirmed the Himar strike and claimed that four of the six missiles killed 63 Russian soldiers. According to Russian sources, Russian President Putin has ordered the military and investigative committee to investigate the incident by January 6.

DNR law enforcement officials told Russian authorities that Russian soldiers used personal cell phones, which gave Ukrainian forces the opportunity to conduct a precision attack on the base. Kremlin-affiliated media and some military bloggers echoed the claim, urging the Kremlin to introduce stricter guidelines on cell phone use. A former Russian officer claimed Russian forces stored ammunition in the school’s basement, which made the devastating attack possible.

The Russian Defense Ministry is now trying to pin the blame on Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) officials, ISW said. Deputy Interior Minister of the Luhansk People’s Republic Vitaly Kiselyov reinforced military blogger reports that military commanders are calling for the resignation of DNR chief Denis Pushilin. Some DNR officials also called for punishment of the official who decided to use the school. “The Russian Ministry of Defense may have intentionally relied on DNR officials to blame the mobilized soldiers for the attack in order to portray the DNR as the responsible party,” the ISW said.

Russian bloggers took the latest attack as an opportunity to further criticize the Russian leadership. The Russian military leadership made it easy for the Ukrainian armed forces, according to some bloggers belonging to the Wagner mercenary group. Wagner chief and ardent critic of the Russian military leadership itself, Yevgeny Prigozhin, said only that he could not say publicly how Wagner prevented similar operational security problems.

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