Russian defence chief admits we werent ready and exposes own troops

KEY EVENTS

  • UK condemns North Korea for sending weapons to Russian mercenary group in Ukraine 18:16
  • G7 pledges £26 billion to Ukraine for 2023 18:05
  • Putin’s forces spotted moving through Belarus sparking fears of fresh strike on Ukraine

    Battle tanks, including the T-90M Proryv and T-72B3, have been spotted on the move in Belarus.

    Vladimir Putin’s forces are on the move in Belarus sparking fears the Russian tyrant is preparing for a new strike on Ukraine.

    Advanced military vehicles and battle tanks, including the T-90M Proryv and T-72B3, have been spotted on the move in Belarus, which borders Ukraine.

    Footage shows tanks and military vehicles moving through the east European country by train and ending close to a Russian deployment centre.

    More than 30 of Putin’s tanks have been seen moving by train from the Vitebsk region in northeastern Belarus to the Brest region which borders western Ukraine.

    The Belarusian Hajun Telegram channel said 31 T-72B3 and T-80 tanks were moving to the border. It has not been possible to independently verify the claim.

    Besides weaponry, at least 100 troops accompanied the military hardware which was unloaded from its train in Polonka.

    Bizarre Russian propaganda video shows creepy ‘Santa Putin’ entering liberal Western home

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has been depicted as Santa in an anti-Western propaganda video.

    The clip, which was produced by the production company Signal, showed ‘Santa Putin’ swapping an image of a child’s same-sex parents for one which showed a heterosexual couple.

    He also gifted the child, who appears to be a boy being raised as a girl, a football, toy cars and a drum kit.

    The short film seems to be based on pro-Kremlin propagandists who are looking to frame Putin’s invasion of Ukraine as a clash between Russia and the West.

    The clip also features Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’ from the Nutcracker ballet.

    After ‘Santa Putin’ makes the changes the child appeared to request in a letter dropped into his stocking, the Russian President peers back into the window from outside.

    He then lowers his beard and smirks as the child can be seen beaming with delight behind him.

    The clip concludes with a caption which reads: “Dear Santa, thank you and merry Christmas!

    “From all children of the world.”

    Putin tells youth conference he believes in Santa like ‘all normal, decent people’

    Vladimir Putin was asked by a teenager whether he believed in Father Frost, the Russian equivalent of Father Christmas.

    Vladimir Putin reportedly told a teenager that he believes in Father Christmas as “all normal, decent people” do.

    A news report by The Telegraph showed a video in which the Russian leader visited a youth conference.

    Standing next to a Christmas tree, he said: “Of course I do. All normal, decent people believe in Father Frost.”

    The event in Moscow was for a children’s charity.

    It comes as Putin’s war in Ukraine is said to have killed at least 450 children.

    Iran warns Zelensky against testing their ‘patience’ as row erupts over suicide drones

    Iran has issued a warning to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that its “patience” over accusations of supplying Russia with deadly kamikaze drones is not “endless”.

    Describing the claims made by Ukraine, as well as numerous western Governments, that Iran is offering weapons to Russia as “baseless” and “rude”, the nation’s foreign ministry focused on Mr Zelenskys’ latest speech at the US Congress on Wednesday, when he described the regime as “terrorists”. 

    During his address before a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, President Zelensky spoke about Russia’s alleged use of Iranian kamikaze drones to strike energy infrastructure and civilian cities in Ukraine. 

    He said that Iran had become an ally to Vladimir Putin’s “genocidal policy”. 

    He said: “Iranian deadly drones sent to Russia in hundreds—in hundreds became a threat to our critical infrastructure. That is how one terrorist has found the other.”

    Second Putin puppet assassinated in December after car blown up in huge explosion

    Footage posted on social media showed the vehicle of Russian-backed Andrey Shtepa engulfed in flames in the Kherson region in southern Ukraine.

    The Russian-installed head of a Ukrainian village in occupied territory has been assassinated after hidden explosives blew up his car while he was sitting in it.

    Andrey Shtepa’s car was filmed engulfed in flames several metres high, with black smoke pouring from the exploded vehicle, as Russian media outlets reported the chief had been killed.

    Another person in his car, believed to be either his driver or a security guard, was also killed in the explosion.

    It is the second Russian-appointed chief to be killed in December after the deputy head of Berdyansk Oleg Boyko and his wife Lyudmila were both killed on Friday, September 16 in Zaporizhia Oblast in southeastern Ukraine. 

    Pelosi lauds Zelensky as she compares him to Churchill for ‘stopping tyranny in Europe’

    Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi applauded Volodymyr Zelensky for his defence of democracy and Europe against the “tyranny” of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, comparing the Ukrainian President to Winston Churchill.

    In a rousing address to Congress, Ukraine’s President channelled the words of the wartime Prime Minister, saying his country “will never surrender” against Russia.

    The two statesmen went to the US Congress during wartime, requesting military and logistical aid to face off enemies of democracy and freedom.

    After the speech at a joint session in Congress, Nancy Pelosi compared the two war-time leaders, saying: “That was one of the finest speeches I’ve ever heard in the Congress.

    “It was historic in that he and Churchill are the only two war-time presidents who have come here to talk, asking our help and thanking us for our anticipated help to stop the tyranny in Europe.

    “This is pretty exciting.”

    UK condemns North Korea for sending weapons to Russian mercenary group in Ukraine

    UK foreign minister James Cleverly has warned North Korea will pay a “high price” for their support for Russian forces in Ukraine after reports emerged that the mercenary Wagner Group were receiving arms shipments from the authoritarian regime. 

    In a statement, Britain’s foreign secretary James Cleverly said: “The fact that President Putin is turning to North Korea for help is a sign of Russia’s desperation and isolation. 

    “We will work with our partners to ensure that North Korea pays a high price for supporting Russia’s illegal war in Ukraine.”

    The White House said on Thursday that the Wagner Group, a vicious Russian outfit fighting in Ukraine and known to recruit from Russian prisons,  has taken delivery of an arms shipment from North Korea to help bolster its forces. 

    White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said US intelligence officials determined that North Korea completed an initial arms shipment that included rockets and missiles last month.

    “We assess that the amount of material delivered to Wagner will not change battlefield dynamics in Ukraine,” Mr Kirby said. “But we’re certainly concerned that North Korea is planning to deliver more military equipment.”

    The White House has expressed alarm about Wagner’s growing involvement in the war as it has been particularly active in the eastern Donbas region. 

    FULL STORY HERE 

    G7 pledges £26 billion to Ukraine for 2023

    The Group of Seven (G7) has pledged to mobilise up to £26 billion ($32 billion) for helping Ukraine in 2023, a statement issued by the group’s finance ministers on Thursday has revealed.

    The statement, published by the German government, described the funding as a “moral imperative” and added that the G7 were prepared to “do more as needed on budget and economic support for Ukraine”. 

    This year, the G7 provided Ukraine with £27.2 billion ($32.7 billion) in budget support, with £15 billion ($18 billion) coming from the European Union.

    The G7 agreed in mid-December to create a joint platform to coordinate long and short term support to Ukraine during the Russian invasion. 

    Air defence systems, including US-supplied Patriot missiles, were also promised amid Russia’s ongoing strikes on energy infrastructures and civilian areas. 

    Germany’s foreign minister Annalena Baerbock added: “Every rocket that Ukraine takes out of the sky means a bit less suffering for the people in Ukraine.”

    Zelensky meets Polish President Duda on return from US

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has met with his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda after flying back from a whistle stop tour of Washington D.C on Wednesday. 

    Mr Zelensky posted a photo of the meeting on his Telegram, writing that the pair had discussed “strategic plans for the future”. 

    The pair met in Rzeszow, Poland, 56 miles from the Ukrainian border, and is where Mr Zelensky had flown from on his journey to the US the previous day. 

    He said the pair “summed up the year, which brought historic challenges due to a full-scale war”.

    He added: “Also we discussed strategic plans for the future, bilateral relations and interactions at the international level in 2023.”

    West warned against

    A Tory MP has warned that the West must not take a “softly, softly” approach to the war in Ukraine.

    It comes after Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky’s surprise visit to Washington to meet Joe Biden.

    He used the meeting to warn that a “just peace” for Ukraine means no compromises, as he said that the war would end once Ukraine’s sovereignty, freedom and territorial integrity were restored, as well as the “payback for all the damages inflicted by Russian aggression”.

    It came amid concerns in some quarters about any fracturing of Nato or EU unity as the war drags on.

    Bob Seely told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme that it was delusional to believe that a softer approach would lead to a “positive” outcome in the Ukrainian efforts against the Russian invasion.

    The Isle of Wight MP said: “I think we’re deluding ourselves if we think playing softly, softly is going to have a positive outcome. It is not.

    “If Putin thinks that he has strategic patience and the West doesn’t, if he thinks that the West will not increase supply further, Putin then knows that what he has to do in order to seize large parts of Ukraine is simply to increase mass and increase the dominance of the Russian artillery and firepower systems.”

    Putin’s only aircraft carrier on fire as Soviet-era warship bursts into flames

    A fire broke out onboard Russia’s sole aircraft carrier on Thursday, Russian state media reported.

    The Admiral Kuznetsov, a flagship of the Russian Navy, suffered a “minor” fire while undergoing repair work at a shipyard in the Arctic port of Murmansk, according to reports by the Russian state Tass and RIA Novosti news agencies.

    Both cited Aleksey Rakhmanov, head of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC) which is overseeing a major refit of the carrier, as saying that the blaze was quickly extinguished and caused no casualties.

    Delays and accidents have marred the Admiral Kuznetsov’s ongoing overhaul, which began in 2017 and was initially set to conclude last year. At least one person was killed and 12 others were injured after a fire broke out in December 2019.

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Nuclear safety chief meets with Russian officials

    The head of the UN nuclear watchdog met with officials from Russia’s military and state atomic energy company in Moscow on Thursday as he pursues a long-running drive to set up a protection zone around a Russian-occupied nuclear power plant in Ukraine.

    Russian company Rosatom described the talks on measures needed to safeguard Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant and the surrounding region as “substantive, useful and frank.”

    International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Rafael Grossi indicated that more negotiations were needed after “another round of necessary discussions.”

    He tweeted: “It’s key that the zone focuses solely on preventing a nuclear accident. I am continuing my efforts towards this goal with a sense of utmost urgency.”

    ‘We weren’t ready,’ admits Shoigu

    Sergei Shoigu has lifted the lid on the chaos at the heart of the Russian war machine by admitting it was unprepared for war when Vladimir Putin ordered his invasion of Ukraine in February.

    Speaking in Moscow, the defence minister said: “With the beginning of partial mobilisation, the Russian Defense Ministry encountered certain difficulties.

    “The mobilsation training system itself was not fully adapted to the new economic relations.

    “Therefore, with the beginning of partial mobilisation, we encountered difficulties in alerting and calling up citizens who were in reserve.

    “All the shortcomings had to be corrected on the go.”

    Former Roscosmos boss wounded in Ukraine as shrapnel passes a ‘centimetre’ from spine

    The former head of the Russian space corporation Roscosmos has been injured in the city of Donetsk an area that has been under Russian control since 2014, reports suggest.

    According to the largest Eastern European media NEXTA, Dmitry Rogozin was wounded during the shelling of a hotel in the city.

    Mr Rogozin was reportedly celebrating his birthday in a restaurant when the attack happened.

    Russian media has reported that Mr Rogozin received a shrapnel wound to the soft tissues of the head.

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Kremlin warns US over supplying arms to Ukraine

    The Kremlin warned Wednesday that increasing the supply of US arms to Ukraine would aggravate the devastating 10-month war ignited by Russia’s invasion, and Russia’s defense minister called for expanding Moscow’s military by at least 500,000 troops.

    Speaking during a meeting with his top military brass, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would use lessons learned in the conflict to “develop our armed forces and strengthen the capability of our troops.” He said special emphasis would go to developing nuclear forces, which he described as “the main guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty.”

    Putin also said the Russian military’s new Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile would enter service shortly. The Sarmat is intended to replace aging Soviet-built ballistic missiles and form the core of Russia’s nuclear forces. Putin has hailed its capacity to dodge missile defenses.

    The bullish rhetoric from Moscow came as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with President Joe Biden in Washington.

    Russia hits grim milestone as 100,000 troops killed since start of brutal war with Ukraine

    Russian casualties in Ukraine have passed the 100,000 mark, less than ten months after Vladimir Putin ordered his invasion, the country’s defence ministry has claimed.

    And with Christmas imminent, the Defense of Ukraine’s Twitter account cited family favourite Home Alone in order to taunt Russia about its losses.

    The ministry, which provides regular updates about the war, keeps a running total of Russian losses, in terms of troops and military equipment.

    As of today, the total number of “eliminated personnel” stands at 100,400, an increase of 640 compared with yesterday, the unverified figures suggest.

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Inside the top secret dawn mission to sneak Zelensky out of Ukraine and into Washington

    Volodymyr Zelensky’s momentous trip to meet Joe Biden saw the Ukrainian President brought to the United States by a phalanx of NATO spy planes and US fighter jets in a meticulously planned, maximum security operation.

    The Ukrainian president crossed into Poland early yesterday, according to Poland broadcasters TVN24, arriving at a train station in Przemysl, a border town and the arrival point for many refugees fleeing the war.

    Earlier, a US Boeing Awacs (Airborne warning and control) surveillance plane was dispatched from its base in Geilenkirchen, Germany, for a scouting mission over the North Sea, which is patrolled by Russian submarines.

    Accompanied by the US ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, Mr Zelensky was then transported in a US Embassy vehicle to an airport in Rzeszow, where he boarded a nonstop flight on a Boeing C-40 military transport.

    When the aircraft flew over the UK, it was escorted by a US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet dispatched from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk.

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Zelensky says Ukraine is ‘alive and kicking’ and ‘will never surrender’ in Congress speech

    President Volodymyr Zelensky addressed the US Congress in Washington DC with a rousing speech declaring Ukraine is “alive and kicking” and “will never surrender”.

    In his “speech to Americans” the leader of Ukraine was greeted with a standing ovation as he entered the chamber and stood side by side with President Biden.

    The US has provided the country with a great deal of military support and aid in the fight against Russia.

    President Zelensky said: “Against all doom and gloom scenarios, Ukraine did not fall. Ukraine is alive and kicking. We defeated Russia in the battle for the minds of the world.”

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Biden assures Ukraine that US will ‘stand up to bullies’ in face of Russian attacks

    President Biden has given his assurance to President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine that the US will “stand up to bullies” and “stand up for freedom…for as long as it takes”.

    At a joint news conference the two world leaders stood side by side while the POTUS offered further military support and paid tribute to Ukrainians for their “steel backbone, love of country and unbreakable determination to choose their own path”.

    The US has provided a large amount of aid and military equipment to Ukraine, notably the Patriot surface-to-air missile defence system.

    President Biden told the assembled reporters: “American people are prepared to have us stand up to bullies, stand up for freedom. That’s who we are.”

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Putin declares ‘no restrictions on military funding’ amid renewed offensive on Ukraine

    In a televised meeting with top Kremlin aides including defence ministers, the Russian President announced a list of new military strategies.

    The address comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky arrived at the White House in his first international visit since the war began in February.

    In a press conference, President Biden announced further aid for Ukraine as Putin declared that there are “no restrictions on funding” for his military.

    The Russian president declared a renewed push on Ukraine by vowing that he would give the military “everything it needs” in order to win in Ukraine.

    CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY

    Putin exits plane after arriving in Belarus

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    Zelensky likens Putin to Hitler as he shares Churchill moment with Biden

    Volodymyr Zelensky compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler during a rousing speech to the US Congress which prompted comparisons with Winston Churchill.

    The Ukrainian President used his surprise trip to the United States to meet President Joe Biden – and make the case for more military aid almost exactly ten months after Putin’s invasion on February 24.

    And he did not hold back as he spoked to US politicians at the Capitol, saying: “Just like the brave American soldiers, which gave their lives and fought back Hitler’s forces during the Christmas of 1944, brave Ukrainian soldiers are doing the same this Christmas.

    “Your money is not charity, it’s an investment in the global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way.

    Volodymyr Zelensky greeted by Joe Biden at The White House

    Sergei Shoigu has lifted the lid on the chaos at the heart of the Russian war machine by admitting it was unprepared for war when Vladimir Putin ordered his invasion of Ukraine in February. Speaking in Moscow, the defence minister admitted: “With the beginning of partial mobilisation, the Russian Defence Ministry encountered certain difficulties.

    “The mobilsation training system itself was not fully adapted to the new economic relations.”

    He continued: “Therefore, with the beginning of partial mobilisation, we encountered difficulties in alerting and calling up citizens who were in reserve.

    “All the shortcomings had to be corrected on the go.”

    Mr Shoigu was speaking on the day Ukraine’s defence ministry claimed 100,000 Russian personnel have been “eliminated” since the start of the war.

    Volodymyr Zelensky yesterday compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler during a rousing speech to the US Congress which prompted comparisons with Winston Churchill.

    The Ukrainian President used his surprise trip to the United States to meet President Joe Biden – and make the case for more military aid almost exactly ten months after Putin’s invasion on February 24.

    Just before Mr Zelensky’s arrival, Mr Biden announced a $1.85 billion military aid package for Ukraine, including Patriot surface-to-air missiles.

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