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Dec 2 (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in a phone call on Friday that the German and Western line on Ukraine was "destructive" and urged Berlin to rethink its approach, the Kremlin said. "Attention was drawn to the destructive line of Western states, including Germany, which are pumping the Kyiv regime with weapons and training the Ukrainian military," the Kremlin said. Kyiv says peace talks are possible only if Russia stops attacking Ukrainian territory and withdraws its troops from Ukrainian soil. Putin "called on the German side to reconsider its approaches in the context of the Ukrainian events", the Kremlin added. It said Putin defended Russia's missile strikes on targets in Ukraine as a forced response to Ukrainian attacks on Russian infrastructure, including a key bridge between Russia and Crimea.
WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden has floated a trial balloon to President Vladimir Putin to determine whether Russia, after months of battlefield losses and stalled gains, is ready to end its invasion of Ukraine. "I'm prepared to speak with Mr. Putin if in fact there is an interest in him deciding he's looking for a way to end the war. Where does he find himself in a position he does not, not only lose face but lose significant power in Russia," Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in New York in October. Biden, who talks regularly to Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskiy, has previously been clear he defers to Ukraine's wishes. "There’s no — nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine," Biden said Nov. 14, when asked about possible negotiations.
WASHINGTON, Dec 2 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden floated a trial balloon to President Vladimir Putin intended to determine whether Russia, after months of battlefield losses and stalled gains, is ready to end its invasion of Ukraine. Biden and his national security advisers have wondered for months what it would take to entice Putin into a diplomatic off-ramp. Where does he find himself in a position he does not, not only lose face but lose significant power in Russia," Biden said at a Democratic fundraiser in New York in October. Biden, who talks regularly to Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelenskiy, has previously been clear he defers to Ukraine's wishes. "There’s no — nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine," Biden said Nov. 14, when asked about possible negotiations.
Russian forces have set up defensive lines and positions in territory leading toward Crimea. Close-up view of Russian defensive positions in Novotroitsky, Ukraine, captured on November 15, 2022. Ukraine's tanks and tracked vehicles could cut through fields and bypass them or assault the Russian positions from their more vulnerable flanks. Beyond this, Barros said that in establishing these defensive lines, Russian forces are also limiting themselves in their ability to conduct offensive operations in the area. Since late summer, advancing Ukrainian forces have managed to liberate thousands of square miles of territory from under Russian occupation.
REUTERS/Leah MillisNov 30 (Reuters) - Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24 in what President Vladimir Putin described as a "special military operation". UKRAINEKyiv says peace talks are possible only if Russia stops attacking Ukrainian territory and withdraws its troops from Ukrainian soil. TerritoryKyiv has ruled out conceding any land to Russia in return for peace, and publicly demands Russia relinquish all territory. Ukrainian peace plan:In his speech to the G20, Zelenskiy laid out what he described as a 10-point peace plan. TerritoryPutin denied holding territorial ambitions at the start of the war, saying: "It is not our plan to occupy Ukrainian territory.
BUCHAREST, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Ukraine needs the U.S. made Patriot missile defence systems to protect its civilian infrastructure, under heavy attack by Russia, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday, adding he would try to convince Germany to allow their delivery. Russia has carried out regular missile bombardments on Ukraine's energy infrastructure since early October, with damage accumulating as temperatures drop. Spare parts to repair the energy sector, air defence systems to prevent future attacks and NATO-style tanks were the priority, he said. "If Germany is ready to provide Patriots to Poland and Poland is ready to hand them to Ukraine then I think the solution for the German government is obvious," he said, adding that Kyiv would work with Berlin on the issue. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned NATO on Tuesday against providing Ukraine with Patriot systems.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Elon Musk should visit his country to understand the war. "If you want to understand what Russia has done here, come to Ukraine and you will see this with your own eyes," he said. Speaking on Wednesday, Zelenskyy said he did not know why the billionaire had shifted from steadfast to erratic support for Ukraine. The Ukrainian president added that he would invite Musk and others to see the war firsthand before opining on how to end it. And after that, you will tell us how to end this war, who started it, and when we can end it," Zelenskky said.
MOSCOW—The Kremlin is priming the next generation for what is shaping up to become a longer-term confrontation with the West over Russia’s place in the world. Since the beginning of the school year, a new class, dubbed “Conversations About What Is Important,” has been taught in schools across the country every Monday, touching on topics such as the heroism of Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine and why Crimea—a Ukrainian peninsula annexed in 2014 by Russia—is important to Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) Leaders meeting in Yerevan on November 23, 2022. That, Russian political analysts say, will be catastrophic for Putin and the Kremlin, who have banked Russia's global capital on winning the war against Ukraine. They told CNBC that anxiety was rising in Moscow over how the war was progressing. Needless to say, that latest withdrawal darkened the mood even among the most ardent Putin supporters. Another Russian analyst said Putin is increasingly desperate not to lose the war.
Ukraine killed Iranians who were in Crimea to advise Russians on how to use Iranian-made drones. Ukraine's top security official confirmed previous Israeli reports that Iranians had been killed. Iran initially denied sending the drones to Russia, but later admitted to sending a small number before the war. The White House said in October that Iran had sent advisers to Crimea to provide drone training and maintenance to Russian pilots. Iran initially denied having supplied Russia with drones, which are often called "kamikaze" or "suicide" drones because they detonate on impact.
Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty ImagesProminent supporters of Russian President Vladimir Putin are using increasingly "genocidal rhetoric" when discussing and demonizing Ukrainians, analysts note, with some pro-war commentators cheering the concept of the "liquidation" of the modern state of Ukraine. "To be a 'Ukrainian' one does not even have to speak the Ukrainian language (which is also still being formed). "All this can be stopped only through the liquidation of Ukrainian statehood in its current form," Medvedev said. Another popular motif being used by pro-war, pro-Putin bloggers is characterizing Ukraine and Ukrainians as "evil" or "sadists" or "Satanists." "As ISW has previously reported, Russian President Vladimir Putin has similarly employed such genocidal language in a way that is fundamentally incompatible with calls for negotiations."
They include people like Voskoboinik's son, whose whereabouts are a mystery, and residents who were arrested by Russian forces during the occupation and taken farther away. "There's a really big problem with communication, especially in rural places," said Volodymyr Zhdanov, the regional Kherson administration's point person for missing people. Almost 400 civilians have been killed in unspecified Russian war crimes in the region, she added. Russia's defence ministry did not immediately respond when asked about individual cases and the overall number of missing in Kherson. The dog was shot dead, her son complained and was promptly arrested and taken to a police station, she added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine in February, but the invasion was the culmination of two decades in power that have been enabled by world leaders, billionaire oligarchs, and other powerful figures. Putin, a Soviet KGB officer-turned-politician, has effectively stayed in power for over two decades. He served his first two terms as Russia's president from 2000-2008, and was elected president again in 2012. In his latest term as president, Putin drastically escalated conflict with Ukraine, including with the 2014 annexation of Crimea by force, a move deemed by most of the world to be illegal and illegitimate. Here are some of the key figures who have enabled Putin's power.
POWER SUPPLIES* The head of Ukraine's national power grid operator said the damage dealt to power-generating facilities by Russian missile attacks was "colossal" but he dismissed the need to evacuate civilians. * The Kremlin said no substantive progress had been made towards creating a security zone around Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine. [1/4] Light is seen inside an apartment in a residential building during a power cut amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine November 20, 2022. * Russian shelling hit a humanitarian aid distribution centre in Orihiv, a town in southeastern Ukraine, killing a volunteer and wounding two women, the regional governor said. * Disbursement of $4.5 billion in U.S. economic aid for Ukraine will begin in the coming weeks, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
Local Russian leaders wrote a letter to President Vladimir Putin, urging him to end the mobilization of reservists. Officials have said the draft is "complete," but the letter asks Putin to codify this with a decree. Both are party deputies for the liberal Yabloko political party — which opposes the war in Ukraine — in the northwestern Russian region of Karelia. Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian news wire RIA Novosti on Wednesday that he hasn't seen the deputies' letter. In the meantime, Anton Gerashchenko, an advisor to the Ukrainian Internal Affairs minister, accused Russia of preparing to draft 500,000 to 700,000 new reservists in January.
LONDON, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Russian air defences were activated on Tuesday in the city of Sevastopol in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and two drones were shot down, the regional governor said in a statement, urging people to keep calm. Sevastopol is the headquarters of Russia's Black Sea fleet. "Our air defence forces are working right now," the Russian-installed governor, Mikhail Razvozhaev, said on social media. "There is an attack by drones. According to preliminary information, two UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) have already been shot down.
Ukraine promises shelters for its people as harsh winter looms
  + stars: | 2022-11-22 | by ( )   time to read: +4 min
[1/8] People wait in line to get food, water and aid after Russia's military retreat from Kherson, outside the Church of Christ the Savior in Kherson, Ukraine November 22, 2022. Russian attacks have knocked out power for long periods for up to 10 million consumers at a time. The Donetsk region was the scene of fierce attacks and constant shelling over the last 24 hours, Zelenskiy said on Tuesday. Moscow says it is carrying out a "special military operation" to rid Ukraine of nationalists and protect Russian-speaking communities. Ukraine and the West describe Russia's actions as an unprovoked, imperialist land grab in the neighbouring state it once dominated within the former Soviet Union.
The US Navy identified the drone as a Shahed-136, which Russia has been using to attack Ukrainian cities. The tanker, Pacific Zircon, came under attack in the evening on November 15. The next day, US Navy explosive ordnance technicians boarded the wounded tanker to collect debris and inspect the damage. The one-way UAV attack tore a 30-inch-wide hole in the outer hull on the starboard side of the ship’s stern, just below the main deck. Meanwhile, last week's Shahed-136 attack is the second time this month that US Navy forces have reported Iranian influence in waters near the Middle East.
Russian troops are making new defensive positions miles behind the front lines, the UK said Friday. British intelligence said that these new positions suggest the Russian military is planning for more retreats. Ukrainian troops last week entered the southern city of Kherson after Russian President Vladimir Putin's defense chief ordered a retreat across the Dnipro (also called Dnieper) River. A Ukrainian tank is seen as Ukrainian Armed Forces' military mobility continue toward Kherson front in Ukraine on November 9, 2022. According to a recent assessment by the Washington-based think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, Russian forces have continued to attack Bakhmut, though Ukrainian forces have so far managed to repel the assaults.
How Ukraine Blew Up a Key Russian Bridge
  + stars: | 2022-11-17 | by ( Marco Hernandez | James Glanz | )   time to read: +8 min
Last month, a truck laden with explosives drove across the Kerch bridge, a critical artery connecting Russia with its troops fighting in southern Ukraine. Structural and explosive experts who reviewed the bridge’s design and imagery of the blast offered new details on how the bridge was damaged. There are few direct parallels to such a spectacular act of sabotage on a bridge behind enemy lines in wartime. The blast ignited a train carrying large fuel tanks on an adjacent bridge, creating flames and a plume of smoke. “If it were a suicide truck bomb,” Mr. Nair said, “I would think the guy would have destroyed the main span.”But the trigger for the bomb is still unknown.
[1/4] Hyundai cars are seen at a customs terminal on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg, Russia June 1, 2022. REUTERS/Anton VaganovMOSCOW, Nov 16 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin urged the Russian government on Wednesday to control car prices, as one industry head said Western sanctions could send annual sales crashing to below 1 million for the first time since records began. Manturov also proposed extending preferential car financing to military personnel, adding: "Today we can speak of an emerging trend towards a recovery of the industry." He said the number of cars sold in Russia would this year fall below 1 million, a first in modern history. Reporting by Caleb Davis and Gleb Stolyarov; Editing by Kevin LiffeyOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/3] U.S. Joint Chiefs Chair Army General Mark Milley speaks during a news briefing after participating a virtual Ukraine Defense Contact Group meeting at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., November 16, 2022. REUTERS/Tom BrennerWASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The top U.S. general on Wednesday said Ukraine's chances of any near-term, outright military victory were not high, cautioning that Russia still had significant combat power inside Ukraine despite suffering battlefield setbacks since its invasion in February. Ukraine has vowed to keep the pressure on Russian forces until it reclaims control of all occupied territory. "The probability of a Ukrainian military victory - defined as kicking the Russians out of all of Ukraine to include what they claim as Crimea - the probability of that happening anytime soon is not high, militarily," Milley told a news conference at the Pentagon. Ukraine is not going to back down," Milley said, adding that Ukraine was free, "and they want to remain free."
Nov 16 (Reuters) - Poland has said the missile that hit a grain facility on Tuesday, killing two people near the border with Ukraine, was probably an "old" S-300 rocket, a Soviet-era missile system being used by both Russia and Ukraine. * S-300 missiles are intended to shoot down aircraft, drones and incoming cruise and ballistic missiles. WHO USES THE S-300 MISSILE? * Moscow has previously sold S-300 missiles to Venezuela, China, Iran and Egypt, among other countries. * According to Russian military media outlets, the S-300 missile system was first used in conflict during the 2020 war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh.
It showed 2022-23 Ukraine corn production at 25.8 million tonnes versus USDA’s official estimate of 31.5 million. However, official USDA estimates also use this general “policy in place” framework, so it is a decent bet that the approach was similar. That means its Ukraine estimates still include Crimea and all Russian-occupied areas, and no land area has been added to Russia. CHINA CORNThe market was tipped off in mid-2020 that something may be amiss with Chinese corn stocks as domestic prices began rallying well before U.S. ones. In other words, it appears USDA does not have hard, indisputable evidence of a strong decline in Chinese corn stocks.
Videos appear to show the owner of a Crimea-based zoo taking several animals from a different zoo. The owner of the Crimea zoo claims it was all done as part of a "humanitarian mission." But Ukraine accused him of theft, with the defense minister tweeting, "Steal a raccoon and die." The video also shows the businessman, identified as Oleg Zubkov, grabbing a raccoon by its tail and putting it in a cage. Ukraine's Defense Ministry, however, accused Zubkov of theft.
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