Russia releases US basketball player Brittney Griner. Putin was disappointed by Angela Merkel’s recent comments on Ukraine. All current voices and developments on the Ukraine war here in the ticker.
6:13 a.m .: The former chairman of the German Bundeswehr Association, Ulrich Kirsch, sees the reason for the current war in the West’s inadequate response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea. “If territory is allowed to be simply annexed – as happened in Crimea in 2014 – then a door will be opened that will be difficult to close again,” said the retired colonel of the “Augsburger Allgemeine”.
“One can learn one thing from the admirable resistance that Ukraine is putting up against Russia,” emphasized Kirsch. “If the population is willing to stand up for their own freedom, then it works,” he explained. “But if Russian soldiers are simply sent off without knowing what they should do and what they are fighting for, that is doomed to failure,” added the long-time head of the federal association.
05:23: The US government warns of increasing Iranian support for the Russian military and is therefore announcing new sanctions. “We are imposing costs on the actors involved in the transfer of Iranian drones to Russia for use in Ukraine,” National Security Council communications director John Kirby said on Friday. According to the US government, the sanctions are aimed at the Russian air and space forces, a state center for unmanned aviation and the command of military transport aviation. According to consistent reports, Iran had already sent drones to Russia in August, which can be used, for example, to attack military objects such as radar systems and artillery.
5:20 am: “Russia is now trying to acquire more weapons, including hundreds of ballistic missiles. In return, Russia is offering Iran an unprecedented level of military and technical assistance,” British Ambassador to the UN Barbara Woodward said in New York on Friday. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in London that Iran is now one of Russia’s biggest military supporters. “Through these dirty deals, the Iranian regime sent hundreds of drones to Russia, which were used to attack Ukraine’s critical infrastructure and kill civilians.” Moscow, in turn, is offering military and technical support to the regime in Tehran.
Saturday, December 10, 00:20: According to its President Vladimir Putin, Russia is considering including the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against other countries in its military doctrine. Such an attack could be possible to disarm another state, the Kremlin chief said on Friday in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, apparently with a view to a possible use of nuclear weapons.
Putin said on Wednesday that Russia would only use nuclear weapons in response to an attack. “We consider weapons of mass destruction, nuclear weapons, as a means of defense,” he said. Russia’s strategy is based on a policy of “so-called retaliatory strikes,” Putin assured on Wednesday.
Asked by a journalist for a more detailed explanation of these statements, the Kremlin chief said on Friday at the Eurasian Economic Union summit in Bishkek: “The United States has the concept of a pre-emptive strike.” to guarantee their own security”. At the same time, the Kremlin boss added: “We’re just thinking about it at the moment.”
7:14 p.m .: Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his disappointment at the recent statements by former Chancellor Angela Merkel about Ukraine. Russia interpreted Merkel’s statements in an interview with “Zeit online” in such a way that the Minsk peace plan was only concluded to give Ukraine time to arm itself and prepare for a war with Russia. “To be honest, it was totally unexpected for me. That disappoints. I frankly didn’t expect to hear anything like that from the former Chancellor,” Putin told journalists in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek on Friday.
The Minsk peace plan for eastern Ukraine, which was under Russian influence, after the start of hostilities in 2014 provided for far-reaching obligations for the conflicting parties that were never implemented. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had declared that he would not implement the agreements reached through mediation by Germany and France. As a result, Kremlin chief Putin started the war against Ukraine on February 24.
“I always assumed that the leadership of the FRG would treat us honestly,” said Putin. It was clear that Germany was on the side of Ukraine, supporting her. “But it still seemed to me that the leadership of the FRG was always honestly trying to find a solution based on the principles that we agreed and that were achieved, among other things, within the framework of the Minsk process.”
3:40 p.m .: Russian political scientist Dmitry Oreshkin believes that Vladimir Putin does not fully know what happens in the war. “I’m not sure that Putin will be fully and adequately briefed on the situation on the battlefield,” the Kremlin critic said on the YouTube show Popular Politics. The reason: the Kremlin boss is “only told what he wants to hear. Putin is insulated from bad news,” Oreshkin continued.
Putin is also the one who spreads the good news. “In the TV landscape, Putin is responsible for everything that is good,” explains the Kremlin critic. Bad news, on the other hand, would have to be announced by others, such as Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Oreshkin sees this political structure crumbling. “Now begins a phase of passive disappointment. In a few months, when people will feel the sanctions in their wallets, people will begin to consciously criticize – including Putin personally,” predicts the political scientist.
3:08 p.m .: The Ukrainian consulate in Düsseldorf recently sent letters to German citizens. In it, the Germans were invited to join the Foreign Legion of the Ukrainian Armed Forces. This was established to fight against the Russian invaders in the country and is made up of foreign volunteers. A financial consideration was promised in the letter as an additional incentive.
The letters are obviously forged. This was announced by the spokesman for the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Oleg Nikolenko, according to the Kyiv Independent. Nikolenko called the fake letters “part of the enemy’s disinformation campaign aimed at discrediting Ukrainian diplomacy and undermining support for Ukraine by Germany and its citizens.” The incidents were reported to the German police.
10:21 a.m .: According to a media report, the United States wants to impose further sanctions on Russia and China on Friday. The measures were directed against human rights violations by both countries, Russia’s use of Iranian drones in the war against Ukraine and Beijing’s support for alleged illegal fishing in the Pacific, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing government circles familiar with the matter.
Accordingly, the sanctions are aimed at high-ranking members of the government, military and business, whom the United States accuses of human rights abuses and corruption. As part of the sanctions, assets of the target persons deposited in the US would be frozen and their entry into and business with the US would be banned, the newspaper said. For government employees and business people, these measures could also affect their international travel and financial activities – affected companies would be cut off from access to the world’s largest markets.
A large part of the sanctions should be passed as part of the “Global Magnitsky Act”. The law is named after tax attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after accusing Russian officials of corruption.
Further sanctions were directed against representatives of the Russian arms industry, the report said. The United States accuses them of being involved in providing Iranian military drones for the Russian war in Ukraine. The drones are said to have flown deadly attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, US officials said.
Friday, December 9, 8:39 a.m .: After a break of several weeks, Russia has probably attacked Ukraine again with the help of Iranian drones, according to British information. If reports are verified, it means Russia has received supplies, the UK Defense Ministry said in its daily intelligence report on Friday. It is likely that Russia has previously used up its current stock of hundreds of Shahed-131 and Shahed-136 drones – so-called kamikaze drones.
Official Ukrainian reports were referred to in London. Accordingly, the Ukrainian secret service announced on December 6 that 17 drones had been shot down, including 14 Shahed-136. On December 7, it was said that kamikaze drones had been used in attacks on Zaporizhia and Dnipro Oblasts. A Shahed-136 shot down had previously been reported on November 17. If the new attacks are confirmed, “it is likely that Russia has resumed attacks using newly delivered kamikaze drones,” London said.
The British Ministry of Defense has been publishing 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 disinformation campaign.
10:50 p.m .: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj has complained about the danger posed by Russian mines on Ukrainian territory. “This is the form of Russian terror that we will have to contend with for years to come,” he said in his daily video message on Thursday. He accused Russia of intentionally leaving the mines as a deadly threat to civilians as well. He is therefore certain that mine terrorism is one of the charges against Russia.
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