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Past 24 hours in the war zone
- Ukraine’s Joint Forces Operation Staff reported one attack by Russian-hybrid forces near Prychepylivka
- Between evenings of January 21 and 23, OSCE SMM recorded 132 violations in Donetsk Oblast; 191 violations in Luhansk Oblast
- President Zelensky addressed Ukrainians after the National Security and Defense Council meeting: “Everything is under control; no reason to panic…”
- Russian echelons with military equipment continue redeployment of troops to the territory of Belarus for military drills, Russia’s Ministry of Defense reported. Earlier, the U.S. Department of State stated Russia may attack Ukraine from Belarus under the guise of military exercise.
Russian echelons with military equipment deploy troops in Belarus in possible preparation for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Photo: Russia’s Defence Ministry website
- If there is such a request, the Czech Republic may send a group of soldiers to Ukraine to help resist Russia’s aggression, said Jana Černochová, Czech Defence Minister, to Nezávislý Deník. She said the Czech Republic will send 152-mm artillery shells to Ukraine.
- Artis Pabriks, Defence Minister of Latvia, criticized Germany’s stance with regard to the situation in Ukraine in the interview for Bild. He noted that Berlin’s policy concerning Russia did not comply with the expectations of NATO, EU, and partners and did not fit in with current times. On 21 January, Estonia requested that Germany approve the shipment of Javelins and 122-mm howitzers to Ukraine because those were produced in the German Democratic Republic. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Germany turned down Estonia’s request.
- The President of Croatia Zoran Milanović said in the interview for Dnevnik that Ukraine did not belong to NATO. He also referred to the Euromaidan revolution as “undemocratic movement” and “coup.” In case of Russia’s further escalation, Croatia will withdraw from the region its last soldier, according to Milanović.
- Positive news for Ukraine: today, the third consignment of military aid from the U.S. arrived at Boryspil International Airport in Kyiv within the framework of a package worth a total of $ 200 million, said Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine Hanna Maliar.
US military aid arrived in Kyiv. Photo: Hanna Maliar
Ukrainian ex-intelligence chief was offered a prestige post for silence on Wagnergate
Ukrainian ex-intelligence chief Vasyl Burba was offered a post of Ambassador to Australia in exchange for a statement that there was no operation to detain Russian Wagner mercenaries suspected of crimes in Donbas, he said in the interview for Ukrayinska Pravda.
Earlier, Bellingcat found this operation failed due to President’s Office interference.
The digital sleuths of Bellingcat have released the results of a year-long investigation into an arrest of 33 alleged mercenaries of the Wagner Russian private military company (PMC) in Belarus in July 2020 and the subsequent deportation of Russian nationals among them to Russia.
In 2020, a number of materials were leaked to the Ukrainian press alleging that the detainment of Wagner mercenaries in Belarus was actually a failed sting operation of Ukrainian special services to lure the Russian mercenaries into Ukraine.
Bellingcat confirms that it really was a Ukrainian sting operation and restores the timeline of the developments, concluding that a decision delay the operation coming from the President’s Office led to its failure.
Tweet of the day: Lithuanian MP Matas Maldeikis gives Russia a taste of its own “historical spheres of influence” medicine. His mom supports
Pro-Russian candidate chosen as President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe
Tiny Kox, the Netherlands, was chosen as the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) with 164 votes.
He was the author of reports on the lifting of sanctions from Russia, which allowed it to return to PACE in 2019.
In 2014, PACE deprived Russia of its voting rights after Putin had annexed Crimea and supported militants in Donbas.
In January 2015, as a protest, Russia stopped participating in PACE meetings.
Starting in 2017, Moscow ceased to pay its member contributions to Council of Europe.
In its meeting on the night of June 25, 2019, the Parliamentary Assembly voted in favor of a resolution correcting PACE’s regulations and sanctions procedure. It eliminated the possibility of depriving any delegation of a right to vote, right to address to the Assembly, and right to representation at PACE.
US Department of State issues report on RT and Sputnik, Russian main propaganda channels
The U.S. Department of State’s Global Engagement Center issued a report on RT and Sputnik, Russian state-funded and state-directed media outlets critical to the Kremlin’s disinformation ecosystem.
Key points of the reports are as follows:
- RT and Sputnik are key components for Russia’s disinformation and propaganda;
- They use the guise of conventional international media outlets, comparing themselves to transparent public-funded outlets, such as the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Voice of America (VOA);
- They serve as disinformation support for Moscow’s foreign policy objectives;
- RT and Sputnik interact with other pillars of the ecosystem by amplifying content from Kremlin and Kremlin-aligned proxy sites;
- Russian state officials and the outlets’ management have openly talked about RT and Sputnik’s role as disinformation instruments;
- RT’s content has the capacity to influence its viewers’ opinions. According to a recent study, American viewers exposed to RT content are more likely than those not exposed to prefer that the U.S. give up its global leadership role, even when the viewers know that RT is a Russia-sponsored outlet.
Ukraine energy news: Naftogaz to retrofit its power plants for burning straw, chips, waste instead of fossil fuels
In April 2022, the Ukrainian company Naftogaz Teplo is going to retrofit its thermoelectrical power plants for co-firing straw and other types of biomass instead of fossil fuels only, according to the company’s CEO. Naftogaz Teplo is a subsidiary of Ukraine’s largest national oil and gas company Naftogaz.
Ukraine’s domestic production of natural gas and coal doesn’t cover the entire demand, so that country is in large part dependent on imports of these materials. Meanwhile, straw is mostly considered waste from wheat and barley production in Ukraine. Farmers often just plow the straw and stubble down or burn them in the fields after harvesting.
Now, utilizing biomass as a fuel nationwide may contribute to the energy independence of the country.
The point of the Russian war scare is to sow panic & sway unity. Don’t help the Kremlin, Ukraine’s top brass says
What is the goal of the current Russian war scare? “The Kremlin is trying to destabilize Ukraine with hybrid means, including sowing panic. We must not give it this opportunity,” Ukraine’s Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov wrote. At the same time, his deputy Hanna Maliar stated that “the group of troops concentrated around the border of Ukraine is not yet enough for a full-fledged offensive.
”They also state that the Russian Federation is using the concentration of troops near Ukrainian borders primarily to politically blackmail the West and put pressure on Ukraine. The other goal is to provoke an internal split in Ukrainian society, sow fear and panic, and destabilize the internal situation. That is why “you need to trust the armed forces and take the situation calmly,” the military leadership has told Ukrainians, asking the media not to manipulate the situation by scandalous headings and information from unnamed sources.
Moscow set to claim even more of Arctic on basis of research by Russian Navy
Research by Russian naval vessels will allow Moscow to claim even more of the Arctic Ocean as extending over Russia’s continental shelf, a development of concern because some Moscow officials are arguing that Russia should act unilaterally to defend such claims if the UN Commission the Limits of the Continental Shelf doesn’t go along.
“If ‘never a war again,’ what do you tell the people who are being attacked?” Ukraine parliament appeals to Bundestag
The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine appeals to the German Bundestag, asking parliamentarians to take the lead in adjusting German policy to provide defensive aid to Ukraine in the face of a possible Russian attack.
“You say “Never a war again“ and draw that as a conclusion from your history. What do you tell the people, though, who are being attacked and did not start the fighting?” they ask.
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