'Russia has always completely miscalculated the determination of the Ukrainians to remain independent.' Louise Jones, Head of Intelligence at McKenzie Intelligence Services, updates us on the war in Ukraine. 📺 Sky 501, Freeview 233 and YouTube
Vladimir Putin's tactic of hitting critical infrastructure to knock out power in Ukraine during winter is being hampered by a lack of missiles, the MoD says; listen to the Daily podcast while you scroll, with Deborah Haynes describing life in Ukraine with constant blackouts.
Live reporting by Faith Ridler and Emily Mee.By Politics Editor, HuffPost UK.The latest UK intelligence report says new rules will extend the"repressive powers available" to the Kremlin.Vladimir Putin has botched yet another military strategy, this time by making the "mind-boggling" move to feature the Australian SAS on a billboard.
Updates from Deborah Haynes in Ukraine and Diana Magnay in Moscow 15:24:56 Europe's largest security organisation meets without Russia's foreign minister The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) - founded to maintain peace and stability on the continent - has met in Poland.Notably absent from the 57-nation meeting was Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, who is banned from entering the country, which is the current chair of the OSCE.The snub has not gone down well with Mr Lavrov, who said:"I can say responsibly that Poland’s anti-chairmanship of the OSCE will take the most miserable place ever in this organisation’s history...Gagan Dhiman, the US military photographer who snapped the shot of the pilot looking "bad a**" in 2013, said it was "mind-boggling" that his image would be used this way.
"Our Polish neighbours have been digging a grave for the organisation by destroying the last remains of the consensus culture." Before the Russian invasion, the OSCE had acted as a mediator in Ukraine and negotiated peace deals for the east of the country following a war between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists.The OSCE discontinued its special monitoring mission to Ukraine in March.Belarus foreign minister Vladimir Makei was also missing from the meeting after he died suddenly last weekend at the age of 64.No cause of death has been given and he wasn't known to suffer from any chronic illness, prompting speculation about possible foul play.One, it's my intellectual property that is being abused.
A Belarusian representative, Andrei Dapkiunas, delivered remarks that he said had been prepared by Makei before his death.The comments criticised Mr Lavrov's exclusion and accused Western powers of undermining Europe's security structure by isolating Russia and Belarus.14:52:52 Violent videos of Russian mercenaries viewed millions of times on TikTok A new report has found dozens of videos on TikTok that glorify violence by the Wagner Group, an organisation of Russian mercenaries operating within Ukraine.Newsguard, which tracks online misinformation, found 160 videos on the platform that"allude to, show, or glorify acts of violence" by the group.Some of the videos appear to show the execution of former Russian mercenary Yevgeny Nuzhin - one of which racked up at least 900,000 views before it was taken down." It appears that Dhiman's image has been used and stolen by the Wagner group in Russia, a not-so private military organisation that has been linked with the war in Ukraine.
Mr Nuzhin was recruited by the Wagner Group while in prison for murder.He was later captured by Ukraine's military, and told journalists he had switched sides voluntarily.He was then thought to have been part of a prisoner exchange, and days later videos emerged on a Wagner-linked Telegram channel appearing to show his killing.Newsguard said it had found other videos on the platform advocating violence against Ukrainians and claiming they were"Nazis".A TikTok spokesperson said there was"no place for hateful or violent content on our platform" and that many of the videos had been taken down.For the latest breaking news and stories from across the globe from the Daily Star, sign up for our newsletter by clicking here.
"Our Community Guidelines clearly outline that we do not allow people to use our platform to threaten or incite violence, or share attacks or slurs based on people's nationality or other protected characteristics.We will take action on content found to violate these policies," TikTok said.The Wagner Group has been accused of war crimes in Syria and several African countries, and its fighters have also been sent in large numbers to Ukraine.14:30:36 Some Russian troops withdraw from towns around Kherson Moscow has pulled some of its troops from towns across the Dnipro River from Kherson city, according to Ukraine's military.A report into Russia's withdrawal from the area said Moscow's forces have intensified shelling on the city, knocking out power once again.
Russian forces abandoned the city of Kherson last month after months of occupation, taking up positions across the nearby river.It has already told Russian civilians to leave towns within 15km of the river and withdrawn its civilian administration from the city of Nova Kakhovka on the bank of the Dnipro.Now, the Ukrainian military says Russia is pulling out soldiers and equipment from the town of Oleshky."Enemy troops were withdrawn from certain settlements of the Kherson oblast and dispersed in forest strips along the section of the Oleshky-Hola Prystan highway," it said, referring to a 25km (15 mile) stretch of road through riverside towns scattered in woods on the bank opposite Kherson city.It added that most of the Russian troops still in the area were recently mobilised reservists, suggesting Moscow's best-trained soldiers have already left.
13:53:24 Norway, Estonia and the Netherlands to donate field hospital to Ukraine The three countries have agreed on a €7.8m (£6.7m) package to provide a field hospital to the war-torn country.Estonia will provide the facility, while Norway and the Netherlands will contribute funds, the nations said in a joint statement.Container trucks and trailers, medical supplies, and sanitary, storage and accommodation facilities will also be provided.
Ukrainian and Estonian experts, with the support of the Netherlands, will train up Ukraine's medical personnel to use the field hospital.Dutch defence minister Kajsa Ollongren said Ukraine's recent successes on the battlefield shows its strategy is working."Enduring international military support is crucial, especially now winter has arrived and Russia is continuing its attacks on civilian infrastructure," she said."The fighting is far from over, we must stay the course.This is why we are continuing our support to Ukraine.
" 13:30:18 Possible letter bomb threat at US embassy in Madrid The US embassy has received a letter similar to the five letter bombs sent to the Ukrainian embassy in Spain and other targets in the country, according to local media.One worker suffered minor injuries when a letter bomb exploded at the Ukrainian embassy in Madrid yesterday, prompting police to launch an investigation and cordon off the area.Similar postal packages have since been sent to Spain's defence ministry, a satellite centre at an air base and an arms factory that makes grenades sent to Ukraine.A similar explosive device was sent by regular post to Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez on 24 November but was disposed of by bomb squad experts, Spanish authorities said.The Russian embassy in Madrid has condemned the incidents, saying"any threat or terrorist attack, especially those directed at diplomatic missions, are totally condemnable".
Spain's National Court is investigating the incident at the Ukrainian embassy as a terrorist act and extra security has been assigned to the building.The footage below shows police at the scene of the US embassy...13:29:11 Ukraine confirms Russia is firing unarmed missiles The Ukrainian military has confirmed it found fragments of nuclear-capable missiles with dud warheads which had been fired by Russia.
Mykola Danyliuk, a representative of the Ukrainian armed forces' research unit, told a briefing that their apparent purpose was to distract Ukraine's air defences.The missile fragments were found in the western regions of Lviv and Khmel and have been identified as parts of Kh-55 missiles, designed in the 1970s primarily to carry nuclear warheads and be launched from bomber aircraft.A test on the fragments did not find abnormal levels of radioactivity, suggesting there was no contact with nuclear warheads.Mr Danyliuk said they could still cause damage on impact due to their kinetic energy and fuel.His comments confirm military intelligence from the US and UK.
The British Ministry of Defence previously said Russia was"likely" removing nuclear warheads from cruise missiles and firing the unarmed munitions at Ukraine.A senior US military official backed this up, saying it was being done to deplete Ukraine's air defence stocks.12:57:50 Air raid sirens sound across all Ukraine Sirens are sounding in every region of Ukraine at the moment, warning residents that a new wave of Russian bombardment could be on the way."An overall air raid alert is in place in Ukraine.Go to shelters," Ukrainian authorities said in the last half hour.
The country has faced a new campaign of strikes since October, largely focused on critical infrastructure facilities - which has knocked out power for millions.The below details where the alerts are in place at the moment.All the areas in red are under sirens - the darker red depicts longer alerts.12:48:29 Analysis: Russia is trying - and failing - to 'starve out' defenders in the eastern city of Bakhmut Louise Jones, the head of intelligence at McKenzie Intelligence Services, told Sky News that Russia is attempting to"isolate and starve out" Ukrainian defenders in Bakhmut - but it isn't going to plan.She said the war is likely to go on for"many months, if not years.
..so sustainability and resilience of Ukraine will absolutely be key as we go forward." Ms Jones first explained the impact of relentless Russian bombardment on critical infrastructure."These kind of attacks that impact and degrade civilian infrastructure mean that Ukraine's industry will become less resilient, less able to support the war effort," she said.
"The effects on the civilian population will mean that they will cause more pressure on Ukrainian public services.So, for example, people living in unheated homes, malnutrition from not being able to cook properly."All of this will slowly wear down the Ukrainians' resilience - at least that is what the Russians are hoping." However, Ms Jones said, the Russians have repeatedly underestimated the determination of the Ukrainians.She then turned to the situation in the southern city of Kherson, which was recaptured by the Ukrainians in mid-November after months of Russian occupation.
The expert said Russia has put a great deal of effort into defensive works on the east bank of the Dnipro River, which could cause trouble for Ukraine.These include anti-vehicle measures that make the region"impossible" for the Ukrainians to take.She said this leads to a quandary for Ukraine:"Do they try to take on this block by the Russians, or are they going to have to look for other ways to bypass, and perhaps cross the river further north." Meanwhile, in Bakhmut, the Russians are attempting to encircle the city and"isolate the Ukrainian defenders within - and effectively starve them out".Ms Jones added:"The Russians have not been very successful in achieving this, they have made a slight gain to the south of Bakhmut.
..but really they're no closer to finishing this." 12:37:01 Moscow and Washington are 'discussing' prisoner exchanges - Lavrov Sergei Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister, has said Russia and the US are engaging in talks about potential prisoner exchanges - which he hopes will be successful.He added these talks are being conducted by the two countries' intelligence services.
Elizabeth Rood, the US chargée d'affaires in Moscow, told Russia's state-owned RIA news agency that talks were continuing through the"designated channel" about a deal to free Brittney Griner and Paul Whelan.However, she said Moscow had not provided a"serious response" to any of Washington's proposals.Ms Griner was taken to a penal colony in the Russian region of Mordovia in November to serve a nine-year sentence after being arrested in February with vape cartridges containing cannabis oil.The basketball player said at her trial she used them to relieve the pain from sports injuries and had not meant to break the law.Mr Whelan, a former US Marine, is serving 16 years in the same region on charges of espionage, which he denies.
12:20:01 UN makes record £42.4bn aid appeal in wake of Ukraine war The United Nations is asking member states for a record £42.4bn in aid funding for next year, as disasters and the ongoing war in Ukraine drive up humanitarian needs worldwide.The global body's humanitarian office said the funds are needed to help 339 million people in 69 countries, an increase of 65 million people compared with the same time last year.The appeal is a 25% increase on that made for 2022, it said.
"Humanitarian needs are shockingly high, as this year's extreme events are spilling into 2023," said the UN's emergency relief coordinator, Martin Griffiths.He cited droughts in the Horn of Africa, floods in Pakistan and the conflict in Ukraine, which have pushed the number of displaced people worldwide above 100 million."All of this on top of the devastation left by the pandemic among the world's poorest," said Mr Griffiths."For people on the brink, this appeal is a lifeline.For the international community, it is a strategy to make good on the pledge to leave no one behind.
" The UN's annual Global Humanitarian Overview combines funding required by the global body and numerous non-governmental organisations.Due to your consent preferences, you’re not able to view this..
Russia Causing 'Indiscriminate Widespread Humanitarian Suffering' In Ukraine, Claims UKPower shortages across the country are bringing misery to millions of innocent civilians.
Vladimir Putin 'Introducing Fresh Crackdown On Russian Dissent' As Ukraine War Goes OnThe latest UK intelligence report says new rules will extend the 'repressive powers available' to the Kremlin.
'Mind-boggling' Putin move for Russia as military billboard shows Aussie SASVladimir Putin and the paramilitary organisation Wagner group have come under fire from a photographer after they processed and used an image of the Australian SAS dated back to 2013
Russian intelligence shoots and kills alleged 'terrorists' that were probably just S.T.A.L.K.E.R. LARPersThe Moscow Times spoke with friends of the individuals killed, who confirmed that the men were part of a local LARPing community who roleplay Stalkers and played with air guns. maybe dont do that when your country is at open war. This just shows how unintelligent, Russian 'intelligence' actually is. :/ that's actually really sad. poor guys.
NATO Chief Pledges To Back Ukraine 'For As Long As It Takes' | OilPrice.comNATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has pledged the alliance's support for Ukraine 'for as long as it takes' and has reiterated that the door to membership in the world's largest security organization remains open to all, including Kyiv.
Starlink prices in Ukraine nearly double as mobile networks falter\n\t\t\tKeep abreast of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world.\n\t\t\tStay informed and spot emerging risks and opportunities with independent global reporting, expert\n\t\t\tcommentary and analysis you can trust.\n\t\t Ukraine paying for twitter too huh War brings nothing but endless pain and sorrow to mankind, may the world be peaceful ChristopherJM Biden printing 50 billion tonight