Thursday, December 22, 2022

Putin Describes Situation in Occupied Ukrainian Territories as ‘Extremely Difficult’; Ukrainian Defenders Repulse Russian Attacks Near 15 Settlements in Donbas; Ukraine's Air Force downs 30 drones overnight; Russia has lost 99,230 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: mikhail metzel/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Putin Describes Situation in Occupied Ukrainian Territories as ‘Extremely Difficult’:
Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that there were serious challenges facing Russian forces in Ukraine and ordered domestic security forces to tighten their checks on Russians at home, as the Kremlin appears to gird for what is likely to be a long conflict.
Mr. Putin made a rare admission Tuesday that the war in Ukraine—where Russian forces have suffered a number of stinging setbacks since the summer—is facing obstacles.
Mr. Putin said that there were difficulties in the Ukrainian territories that the Kremlin has illegally claimed as Russian land.
In September, the Kremlin staged referendums in Russian-controlled Luhansk and areas of Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. It then declared that Moscow had annexed those regions, despite Russian forces only controlling some portions of them.
In video comments published Tuesday, marking Security Workers Day—a special holiday for employees in that sector—Mr. Putin described the situation in those territories as “extremely difficult.”
Moscow has previously sought to play down any problems with Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, with the Kremlin’s propaganda machine, casting battlefield retreats as a necessary step to regroup and prevent the unnecessary loss of Russian service personnel.
In September, Mr. Putin ordered what he called a “partial mobilization” of 300,000 draftees, arguing that the move—unpopular among most Russians, polls show—was needed to defend Russia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Kremlin leader acknowledging difficulties in the recently seized territories could be a strategy to prepare the Russian population for a protracted war or laying the groundwork for the call up of additional troops, some analysts who monitor Kremlin policy have said. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo:General Staff
Ukrainian defenders repulse Russian attacks near 15 settlements in Donbas, says General Staff:
Ukrainian forces repulsed enemy attacks near the settlements of Stelmakhivka, Makiyivka, Krasnopopivka, and Bilohorivka in Luhansk Oblast, as well as near the towns of Bakhmut, Krasnohorivka, Maryinka, and eight other settlements in Donetsk Oblast.
Over the past day, the Russian military carried out four missile and seven air strikes using Shahed-136 UAVs, as well as 55 attacks from multiple rocket launchers, with settlements, civilian infrastructure and civilians falling victim.
The situation on the Volyn and Polissia axes remained without significant changes, as no signs of the enemy's forming offensive groups were detected.
  • On the Siverskyi axis, the settlements of Hremyach in Chernihiv Oblast and Bilokopytove in Sumy Oblast came under mortar fire. 
  • On the SlobozhanskyI axis, the Russians shelled 10 settlements in Kharkiv Oblast. 
  • On the Kupyansk axis, the areas of Yahidne, Kyslivka, Kotlyarivka, Krokhmalne, and Berestove in Kharkiv Oblast, as well as Novoselivske and Stelmakhivka in Luhansk Oblast came under fire.
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

+++++Russia-Ukraine News LATEST UPDATES: (REUTERS) (AP) (NY POST) and (WSJ)+++++

+++++Ukraine's Air Force downs 30 drones overnight+++++

+++++General Staff: Russia has lost 99,230 troops in Ukraine since Feb. 24+++++

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