Home » Day 365 Of The Invasion Of Ukraine: After A Year Of War, 95% Of Ukrainians Believe In Victory

Day 365 Of The Invasion Of Ukraine: After A Year Of War, 95% Of Ukrainians Believe In Victory

Here are the highlights of events related to the war in Ukraine over the past 24 hours:

“Russia is developing the nuclear triad”: Putin intimidates with the first SARMAT launchers with a new heavy missile, promised three new submarines

“Russia will continue to develop its nuclear triad. This year, the first launchers of the Sarmat missile complex, called in the West ‘Satan II’, will be on combat duty with a new heavy missile. We will continue serial production of the Kinzhal air-based hypersonic complexes and begin mass deliveries of the Zircon sea-based hypersonic missiles.”

This was announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin in his address to military veterans on the occasion of today’s Defender of the Fatherland Day, Reuters reported.

The Russian President stated that with the adoption of the “Emperor Alexander III” nuclear submarine from the Borei-A project into the fleet, the share of modern weapons and equipment in the naval strategic nuclear forces will reach 100%. Putin also promised that three more submarines under the same project will be produced in the coming years.

He addressed the participants in the so-called “special military operation”, once again repeating his thesis that the annexed Ukrainian territories historically belong to Russia.

“Now our fighters are heroically fighting the neo-Nazism that has taken root in Ukraine. They are protecting our people on our historic territories,” said Vladimir Putin.

Russia has accused Ukraine of planning an armed provocation in Transnistria

The Russian Ministry of Defense accused Ukraine of “preparing an armed provocation” against the separatist region of Transnistria in Moldova “in the near future”, TASS reported.

No evidence or further details were offered to support the ministry’s claim.

“According to the current information, the regime in Kyiv is preparing an armed provocation against the Transnistrian Republic of Moldova in the near future, which will be carried out by units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including with the participation of the nationalist formation Azov”, the ministry announced.

The ministry claimed that “the pretext for the invasion” would be “staging an alleged attack by Russian troops from the territory of Transnistria”.

“To this end, the Ukrainian saboteurs participating in the staged invasion will be disguised in the uniforms of the troops of the Russian Federation,” the announcement said.

In mid-February, Moldovan President Maia Sandu warned that Moscow was planning a coup in Moldova. At the Munich Security Conference earlier this month, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was “deeply concerned” about Moscow’s efforts to destabilize Chisinau.

Transnistria is a strip of land bordered by the Dniester River to the west and Ukraine to the east, which declared itself a Soviet republic in 1990, resisting any attempt by Moldova at the time to become an independent state or merge with Romania.

Concerns about Russia’s long-term plans for Transnistria have only intensified since Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last February.

The independence of Transnistria is recognized only by South Ossetia, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and Abkhazia.

Kyiv promises not to use Western fighter jets to strike targets in Russia

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview with Sky News that Kyiv will not use the West’s fighter jets to strike targets in Russia.

Dmytro Kuleba, who is in New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly, told the media that Ukraine needs the fighter jets to end the war and push Russia beyond its eastern borders. “We use the weapons we receive from our partners to fire at Russian forces in the occupied Ukrainian territories,” Kuleba pointed out.

Asked whether he could guarantee that Ukraine would not use Western fighter jets and other long-range weapons to shell Russian territory, the Ukrainian foreign minister replied that he could guarantee that he would use these weapons to liberate Ukrainian territories.

Western allies remain hesitant to send modern fighter jets to Ukraine, despite the advantages they would give the Ukrainian military, because they fear it could lead to the expansion of the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders, Sky News noted.

At the same time, in an interview with London’s LBC radio, British Defense Minister Ben Wallace said that the war in Ukraine could continue for another year, as Russia shows complete disregard not only for the lives of Ukrainians, but also for its own soldiers.

Medvedev: If Russia loses the war in Ukraine, it will fall apart

“If Russia loses the war in Ukraine, it will fall apart. It will collapse.” This is how the former Prime Minister of Russia and one of Vladimir Putin’s direct associates, Dmitry Medvedev, commented for TASS on the visit of American President Joe Biden to Kyiv and Warsaw.

Medvedev often appears with extreme rhetoric against the West, reflecting the mood in Moscow. With his above statement, the former Prime Minister of Russia is basically saying that dominance in Ukraine is the only way for Putin and Russia, because according to him, “otherwise there will be a complete collapse and disintegration of this great power.”

“If the US stops supplying Kyiv with weapons, the war in Ukraine will end”

The Russian politician reiterated threats to use nuclear weapons, recalling the relevant article of the Russian constitution, according to which Moscow can even use nuclear weapons if it considers its territorial integrity threatened.

“If the US stops supplying Kyiv with weapons, the war in Ukraine will end,” Medvedev added, stressing that Putin had announced his decision to suspend Russia’s participation in the New START nuclear arms reduction treaty, “something that should have be done long ago.”

Medvedev, a former president and prime minister, said that “Russia’s withdrawal from New START will have a huge impact on the whole world in general and on the US in particular.”

Why did Russia stop participating in the treaty?

According to the Russian official, the US has so far supplied Ukraine with “gigantic amounts of weapons” with the aim of “defeating, containing and destroying Russia”, while at the same time leaving the security strategy as a separate issue that “does not affect” relations between the two countries.

“This conclusion (that security stability is separated from the conflict in Ukraine) is worse than a crime – it is a gross mistake of the Americans. A mistake born of their ‘mania for grandiosity’. Their sense of superiority and impunity. Ultimately, it is obvious to all reasonable forces that if the United States wants to defeat Russia, then we are on the verge of a global conflict. If the United States wants to defeat Russia, then we have the right to defend ourselves with any weapons, including nuclear ones,” Medvedev threatened. He added that Russia had suspended its participation in the treaty to prevent the West from defeating it on the battlefield, and called on the American elite to “think about what they have done”.

Biden’s speech in Warsaw is a sermon

“We will also monitor the reaction of the other nuclear powers participating in NATO: France and Great Britain. Their strategic nuclear forces were not usually included in the nuclear warhead balance when preparing the agreements between the US and the USSR (which signed the New START treaty in 1991 d.), and it’s time for them to do it,” he noted.

Medvedev called Biden’s speech in Warsaw “a sermon in the traditional American messianic style, adapted to senile dementia.” “It seemed unfair and ridiculous. Who is this strange old man speaking with a confused look from Poland? Why is he addressing the people of another country at a time when it has many internal problems? What is the reason for us to listen to a politician from a hostile country who radiates hatred towards our country? Why should Russian citizens believe the leader of the USA, which has started the most wars in the 20th and 21st centuries, and accuses us of aggression?” asked Medvedev.

He said the US was at the forefront of an international effort coming together to “strategically defeat Russia” and called Biden’s claims that the war would end if Russian troops were withdrawn from Ukraine “out-of-the-box lies”.

After a year of war, 95% of Ukrainians believe in victory

A year after the start of Russia’s war against Ukraine, 95% of Ukrainians believe in the victory of their country. This is according to a study conducted at the beginning of February by the Ukrainian institute “Rating Group”, quoted by AFP.

97% of Ukrainians surveyed say they trust their military (up from 65% in 2019) and 90% in their President Volodymyr Zelensky (36% in January 2022), according to this survey.

While 17% of the population said they had lost a loved one killed in the war, more than half (58%) thought it was “impossible” to restore friendly relations with neighbors Russia and Belarus. For 22% such recovery is possible “after 20 to 30 years” and for 11% “after 10 to 15 years”.

The poll shows that two-thirds of Ukrainians expect their economic situation to worsen, and 36% say they have lost their jobs. The share of Ukrainians living apart from their relatives because of the war, on the other hand, fell from 41% in March 2022 to 21% a year later.

The survey was conducted in February among a “representative sample” of more than 1,600 Ukrainians living in various regions of the country, excluding the Russian-occupied territories of Crimea and eastern and southern Ukraine.

According to the poll, Ukrainians are pro-Western, with 87% of them wanting to join the EU and 86% to NATO, with support for membership in both alliances steadily increasing since the start of the war, writes AFP.

In February 2022, on the eve of the war, 62% of Ukrainians saw their country as part of NATO, and 30% were against it. In March 2014, when Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, sparking a crisis between the two countries, a majority of Ukrainians opposed NATO integration (43% to 34%), according to the polling agency.

The war is supported by over 2/3 of Russians

Support for the war remains strong in Russia, Belgian public broadcaster RTBF reports, citing a survey by the Leveda Institute, the country’s only independent sociological center. Nearly 75% of Russians support Vladimir Putin’s policies and the conflict, despite economic hardship, environmental destruction and casualties.

“Support for Putin’s policies is stronger among the older segments of the population. The poor, uneducated, state-dependent people are the general TV audience,” says the director of the Levada analytical center, Lev Gudkov.

He adds that “censorship is total” and that 270 popular media outlets are blocked, and “the great mass of people” do not want alternative sources of information because it keeps them “in a comfortable psychological state”.

The Czech Republic has sent Ukraine 89 tanks, 226 armored vehicles, 6 air defense systems, 4 helicopters and ammunition for 1.8 billion dollars

“The Czech Republic has delivered hundreds of pieces of heavy military equipment to Ukraine over the past year, including 89 tanks, and will continue to support efforts to help Kyiv”, said Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala, Reuters reported.

The Czech prime minister spoke after a meeting in Warsaw of NATO’s eastern flank with US President Joe Biden, who pledged to “protect every inch of NATO” to reassure allies almost a year after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Czech Republic was one of the first and strongest supporters of Kyiv, Reuters emphasizes.

Fiala said his country had sent 226 combat and armored infantry vehicles, 38 howitzers, 33 missile launchers, six air defense systems and four helicopters.

“Thanks to the efforts of the Czech Republic, hundreds of heavy military vehicles and more than a million rockets, anti-tank grenades, large-caliber ammunition have been delivered to Ukraine so far, with a total value of about 1.8 billion dollars,” said Fiala.

The Czech Prime Minister specified that 1/4 of the aid came directly from the state and army stores, while the other aid resulted from licenses issued to producers.

The Spanish Prime Minister is visiting Kyiv

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez arrived in Ukraine to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky on the eve of the anniversary of the Russian invasion, Reuters reported, citing a statement from Sanchez’s office.

Upon his arrival in Kyiv, the Spanish Prime Minister was received by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Ambassador to Madrid and the Spanish Ambassador to Ukraine.

Sanchez’s visit comes after US President Joe Biden pledged $500 million in new military aid to Ukraine during a surprise visit to Kyiv on Monday. On Tuesday, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also visited the Ukrainian capital for talks with Zelensky, pledging to continue supporting him in his resistance to Russian attacks, but ruled out offering fighter jets.

On Wednesday, Spain’s Defense Minister Margarita Robles told lawmakers in the lower house that Madrid would deliver six German-made 2A4 Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine after they undergo repairs. Delivery is expected in late March or early April.

“Wagner” to the Russians: put pressure on the army to give us shells

The head of the Russian private military company “Wagner” today invited the residents of Russia to put pressure on the army to supply his people with ammunition, AFP reported.

The agency describes this as an unprecedented appeal that gives an idea of how high the tension is between Wagner and the Russian General Staff.

“If every Russian resident at his level – not to invite anyone to demonstrate – would simply say: ‘Give Wagner shells!’ (…), it would already be useful”, states businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin on an audio recording distributed by his press office.

Similar calls have not been made so far in Russia, where criticism against the Kremlin or the army is suppressed with brutal repression, according to AFP.

For several days now, Prigozhin has accused the Russian high command of not supplying ammunition to his fighters, who are on the front line in the battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut.

“If the driver says to his boss: give Wagner shells; if the stewardess says when boarding the plane to give Wagner shells; if the speaker says on the air to give Wagner shells, we will break them and make them stop their nonsense,” Prigozhin said, speaking of senior military officials.

“We will make them give us shells,” he assured. “There are shells. However, various politicians, scumbags, this trash need to put their signatures” in order for them to be provided, added the head of “Wagner”.

His remarks marked a new escalation in tensions between the private military company and the Russian military, who are competing on the battlefield in Ukraine. Both sides, for example, claim to have made progress in the fighting for Bakhmut, and their reports sometimes contradict each other, AFP said.

B-9 with the signature of Bulgaria’s President: We will support Ukraine as long as necessary

The presidents of the so-called Bucharest Nine (B-9) categorically condemned in a joint statement Russia’s war of aggression and promised to seek accountability from those responsible for atrocities and war crimes in Ukraine.

“We will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts for as long as necessary,” says the declaration, signed by Bulgarian President Rumen Radev.

Radev’s signature under such a categorical text puts him in a dual situation – with one rhetoric when it comes to an internal audience, to which the “good” and “bad” should be indicated, and with Euro-Atlantic solidarity and obedience to foreign partners. Yesterday, before leaving for Poland, the head of state again attacked the political forces in Bulgaria, which are in favor of Bulgarian military support for Ukraine.

Government and state leaders of Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania participated in the B-9 meeting in Warsaw, and they were joined by US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The office of Polish President Andrzej Duda released the full text of the declaration adopted in Warsaw:

February 22, 2023

Joint Declaration of the leaders of the Bucharest Nine

“We, the heads of state and government of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, met today, one year after Russia launched its unprovoked and brutal aggression against Ukraine. We welcome the President of the United States and the Secretary General of NATO, whose presence at our meeting is a testament to the strength of our transatlantic ties and underscores NATO’s unwavering commitment to defend every inch of Alliance territory.

A year ago, Russia destroyed peace and security in Europe by trying to subjugate Ukraine by force. The Kremlin’s actions have led to a drastic deterioration of the security environment in the Euro-Atlantic area, seriously worsening the security of our partners.

Russia is the most serious and direct threat to the security of the Allies. In response to Russia’s bloody war of aggression, the Allies reacted decisively, unitedly and responsibly. To protect their own citizens and territory, Allies are committed to implementing NATO’s new deterrence framework and defense posture and to strengthening Allied military presence in our countries.

NATO is a defensive alliance. In Madrid, we agreed that we would implement an outsourced defense with solid forces localized and ready to fight in multiple operational areas simultaneously, so that we remain credible and able to deprive any potential adversary of any possible opportunity for aggression. Ahead of the Vilnius summit, we will continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense along the entire eastern flank, from the Baltic to the Black Sea. NATO and its Article 5 mutual defense commitment remain a pillar of Euro-Atlantic security.

Reaffirming our commitment to an open door policy, we invited Finland and Sweden to join the Madrid Alliance. We look forward to welcoming them soon to NATO as our allies.

We most categorically condemn Russia’s war of aggression. The number of civilian casualties in Ukraine is increasing due to Russia’s indiscriminate missile attacks and targeted attacks on critical infrastructure, including using the Black Sea region as a staging ground for these attacks. The perpetrators of atrocities and war crimes will be brought to justice. We are determined to continue international pressure on Russia. We also condemn all, including Belarus, who actively support Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.

In accordance with the UN Charter and international law, Ukraine is exercising its right to defend itself against Russian aggression to regain full control over its territory and has the right to liberate the occupied territories within internationally recognized borders. To that end, we will continue to support Ukraine’s efforts for as long as necessary. We honor the heroism of the Ukrainian people and the bravery of their army. We pay tribute to the Ukrainian soldiers who defend their freedom and our common values.

The future of Ukraine is in Europe. We strongly support Ukraine’s Euro-Atlantic aspirations.

We are ready to cooperate closely and support our partners: the Republic of Moldova, Georgia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are most exposed to the destabilizing and harmful influence of the Kremlin, to the east and south of the Alliance.

Russia made a serious mistake by invading Ukraine and undermining the rules-based international order. We are stronger and more united than ever, reaffirming the enduring transatlantic ties between our nations. We will continue our efforts for peace, security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic region.

We look forward to our next meeting in Bratislava in June on our way to the NATO Summit in Vilnius.”

The IEA has warned that Europe’s energy war with Russia is not over

International Energy Agency (IEA) Executive Director Fatih Birol has warned that the energy war between Europe and Russia is far from over despite a big drop in gas prices, urging governments to remain focused on maintaining and increasing supplies.

Fatih Birol told the Financial Times that while the EU has largely avoided a full-scale energy crisis following Russia’s use of gas supplies as a weapon, next winter could prove more challenging if there is colder weather on the old continent.

“Russia played the energy card and did not win, but it would be too strong to say that Europe has already won the energy battle,” Birol told the financial publication.

“The European economy is still on its feet, it hasn’t experienced a major economic recession, even if it definitely took a big hit. I think Europe has done a good job with its strategy being a big success. But overconfidence about next winter is risky and it’s time to let’s continue and increase the efforts for 2023”, noted the head of the IEA.

Natural gas prices in Europe have fallen by as much as 85% since hitting a record high of €340 per megawatt hour at the end of August last year as efforts to secure alternative sources, maintaining existing supplies and warmer weather left plenty of gas in storage as the end of winter approaches.

That has prompted some industry figures to say Moscow has already lost the energy war it unleashed to try to weaken Western support for Ukraine as the first anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of its neighbor approaches on February 24.

Birol noted that while Europe has “moved mountains” to ensure it can replace Russian energy and cut Moscow’s revenues with retaliatory oil sanctions, it cannot afford to lose focus on protecting or developing renewable energy sources.

“Some of the progress on clean energy and reducing Russia’s revenue is good, but it’s not a permanent solution. We’ve had the help of mild weather. We’ve gained some time, which is vital, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Birol warned that Russia could cut the remaining 20% of its pre-war gas supplies, which it still sends to Europe via pipelines through Ukraine and Turkey, while competition for seaborne LNG supplies is likely to increase as China’s economy continues to reopen after strict Covid restrictions are lifted.

That would make refilling Europe’s gas storage in the summer months more challenging and test the continent’s ability to avoid shortages of the blue fuel if next winter turns out to be particularly cold.

Although some European countries are increasing their use of highly polluting coal for power generation — to save gas for heating and industry — EU emissions are set to fall by 2.5% in 2022 due to lower gas consumption and a warm start to winter, noted the head of the MAE.

Birol is pushing for a longer-term transformation that not only adds renewables but also ensures that more wind turbines or batteries are made in Europe. He met twice last week with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, insisting the EU must ensure it never again becomes too dependent on any one country for its energy or supply chains.

“We are entering a new industrial era of producing clean energy technologies. The two leading powers in clean energy production are China and the US — relying on a single country is always a bad idea. So if we want to diversify, Europe is a good candidate”, he pointed out.

The IEA chief also noted that despite the sharp decline, European gas prices are still two to three times higher than before Russian supply cuts, leaving European industry at a disadvantage. “The European economy is still on its feet – it hasn’t seen a major economic recession, although it’s definitely taken a big hit,” Birol said.

“But gas prices in Europe are still seven times higher than in the US, while electricity prices are three times higher than in China. The lasting solution to energy security must be based on clean energy,” added Birol.

Guterres: The anniversary of the war in Ukraine is a dark stage for the international community

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine when the General Assembly met in a special session two days before the anniversary of the attack on Moscow, AFP reported.

“This invasion is an insult to our collective conscience,” Guterres said, calling the anniversary “a dark stage for the people of Ukraine and for the international community.”

As fighting raged in Ukraine, the General Assembly began debating a resolution backed by Kyiv and its allies calling for a “just and lasting peace.”

Although the measure is not as strict as Ukraine would like, it hopes that a large majority of UN countries will support the non-binding resolution to show that Kyiv has the support of the world community.

Dozens of countries have supported the resolution, which emphasizes “the need to achieve as soon as possible a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

It reaffirms “the UN’s commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Ukraine” and calls for an immediate end to hostilities.

It also demands that Russia “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all its military forces from the territory of Ukraine.”

“Dark” prospects

In his opening remarks, Guterres highlighted the impact on the world of Russia’s invasion of the neighboring country on February 24, 2022.

He noted that it has spawned eight million refugees and damaged global food and energy supplies in countries far from the war zone.

“As I have said from day one, Russia’s attack on Ukraine calls into question the founding principles and values of our multinational system,” he said.

“While the outlook may look bleak today, we know that real, lasting peace must be based on the UN Charter and international law. The longer the fighting continues, the more difficult this work will be,” he said.

With the new resolution, Kyiv hopes to gain the support of at least as many countries as in October, when 143 countries voted to condemn Russia’s announced annexation of several Ukrainian territories.

China, India and more than 30 other countries abstained during previous UN votes in support of Ukraine.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba told delegates they were facing a “decisive moment”.

“Never in recent history has the line between good and evil been so clear. One side just wants to live. The other wants to kill and destroy,” he said.

Calls for an international tribunal

Before the start of the session of the General Assembly, the first lady of Ukraine told a meeting of top world diplomats that in order for real justice to be served, an international tribunal must be convened to try Russia.

“I think you will agree… regardless of our country or nationality, we have the right not to be killed in our own homes,” Olena Zelenska said via video link.

“Nevertheless, Ukrainians have been killed in front of the eyes of the whole world for a whole year in their own cities, villages, apartments, hospitals, theaters.”

“That is why we call on the UN to establish a special tribunal for the crimes of Russian aggression,” she said.

source: novinite