The Armed Forces of Ukraine are pushing Russian occupiers to “gestures of goodwill”, but Russia is a missile terrorist country; the collective West has finally confirmed long-term systematic support for Ukraine.
The situation at the front
The most important military events continue to take place in the east, in the triangle of Lysychansk, Slovyansk and Bakhmut. The enemy is trying to surround and invade Lysychansk by attacking it from the south and cutting off the road from Bakhmut, but the Ukrainian defenders are steadfastly defending their positions.
The Russian aggressor tried to attack Slovyansk from the Izyum front, but was repulsed by the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Kharkiv is under constant fire from front-line artillery and anti-aircraft guns.
The “creeping” counter-attacks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine on Kherson continues, where step by step the Ukrainian Armed Forces are recapturing the cities and towns, gradually advancing towards the occupied regional center.
With massive deliveries of Western weapons, Ukrainian artillery has begun to conduct counter-battery attacks more effectively and inflict fire damage on the enemy.
Over the past week, at least seven ammunition depots, two command posts and several dozen top Russian officers have been “demilitarized”.
The occupying garrison made a “gesture of goodwill” and fled from Zmiyny [Snake] Island as a result of constant shelling of its territory by Ukrainian missiles, artillery and aircraft.
For the first time during the war, a large-scale exchange of prisoners took place: 144 servicemen returned to Ukraine, 95 of them are defenders of Azovstal in Ukraine, which is of great importance to us.
According to our predictions, the second phase of the full-scale Russian-Ukrainian war is coming to an end. The enemy needs rest and replenishment of its reserves. The forthcoming operational pause will be a step to prepare for new operations and strategic initiative.
Massive missile terror
Last week, the focus of attention of Ukrainians and our partners shifted from the East, where fierce battles are raging, to the seemingly peaceful cities of Ukraine, which are located hundreds of kilometers from areas where active hostilities are taking place – Kyiv, Kremenchuk, Dnipro, the resort of Serhiyivka in Odesa Region, and on the frontline cities of Mykolaiv and Kharkiv.
What is the reason for such attention?
Russia has resorted to the use of massive missile terror tactics against peaceful Ukrainians. As a result of rocket attacks, a shopping center in Kremenchuk was destroyed, where at least 20 people died and dozens of people were injured. In Mykolaiv, a multi-storey residential building was destroyed, where eight people died. In Serhiyivka 21 people, including one child, were killed as a result of Russian cruise missiles hitting a high-rise building and a recreation center.
Analysis of the location of peaceful objects enables us to draw an unequivocal conclusion: Putin (and according to insider information, he personally made the decision about shelling) deliberately gave the order for targeted strikes on civilians.
The goal of the Kremlin is to move to a war of attrition, to psychologically “break” Ukrainians with the help of missile terror – so that they start putting pressure on the authorities to start peace negotiations with Russia.
I am convinced that this goal will not be achieved. In 1940, Great Britain won the “Battle of Britain”, during which, and not only, it suffered massive long-term bombing.
The British did not give up and did not “break”.
Ukrainians will not give up and will not “break”.
New quality of international support for Ukraine
In the same week, two important events took place: the summits of the “Big Seven” and NATO member countries.
The main result of these two meetings is that the global geopolitical and security landscape has fundamentally changed, and Ukraine has received a new quality of international support across the entire spectrum – economic, financial, military and political assistance.
And now everything is fine.
The “Big Seven” unanimously declared that they would support us as long as it takes. The thesis “launched” by Russian propagandists about alleged “fatigue with Ukraine” does not work, on the contrary, it is fatigue with Russia, with its inhumane and barbaric actions.
The leaders of the “Big Seven” countries have finally made it clear to the whole world that after Bucha, Kremenchuk and Mariupol, Russia has turned from a partner into an enemy, with whom, now using the hands of Ukrainians, they will fight seriously “as adults”.
The financial sphere also saw movement: the “Big Seven” decided to “freeze” approximately $100 billion worth of Russian gold reserves from its international reserves. The summit also imposed an embargo on the purchase of Russian gold, which, moreover, will lead to annual losses of $19 billion for the occupiers.
Furthermore, for the first time in the last two years, the real wages of Russians have decreased, and for the first time since 1918, Russia has managed to “achieve” default, which means it is technically unable to make payments on its obligations. This is proof to all naysayers against sanctions that they do work.
The leaders of the world’s largest economies confirmed they will be providing grants in the future to ensure the macro-financial stability of Ukraine, because its budget due to the war has a monthly deficit of $5 billion.
The NATO summit considered more military and political issues.
The alliance has completed its essential transformation, it has once again become, first of all, a military bloc that is preparing for war with Russia. The new Strategic Concept defines Russia as the most serious and immediate threat to the security of allies. Previously, in 2010, NATO had defined the Russian Federation as a strategic partner (!). This is a geopolitical volte-face explicitly caused by Putin’s actions.
Putin’s policy of war on Ukraine has achieved the opposite to what he intended: the strengthening of NATO through the inclusion of Sweden, and Finland, and thereby, via Finland, the addition of 1,300 km to Russia’s borders with the Alliance.
A decision was made to strengthen the military units on the eastern flank of the Alliance to the level of a brigade, and increase the number of high readiness forces to more than 300,000 servicemen.
It would seem that NATO is preparing to go to war with Russia.
Russian politicians recently announced the need to “break through” the Suvalkų corridor from Belarus to Kaliningrad through the territory of Lithuania, as it does not allow sanctioned goods into Kaliningrad. The answer was clear.
In this case, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty will be applied. That is, all the countries of the Alliance will come to Lithuania’s defence.
Furthermore, a fake news item was disseminated recently that Kaliningrad (originally Königsberg) was leased to the USSR for a period of 49 years. But the truth is actually worse: according to the decision of the Potsdam Conference, Königsberg was handed over to the Soviet Union forever, as a part of its territory, and so is now part of the Russian Federation, as is all of East Prussia.
With regard to Ukraine, a decision was made to create a platform to transform the Armed Forces, their rearmament with modern Western weapons and integration into the Alliance’s security system.
The summit ended with a special “gem” for Ukraine: President Biden announced an increase in military-technical assistance. We will be supplied modern air defence systems, tanks, artillery, anti-tank systems, and HIMARS systems.
Ukraine has received strong and unambiguous signals – no-one is going to “drain” it. International aid will be provided as long as the war lasts. The support will be multifaceted and touch all aspects of its daily life activities – military, financial, and political.
Ihor Zhdanov, Information Defenсe Project, The Open Policy Foundation
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and not necessarily those of the Kyiv Post.
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