Sunday, December 11, 2022

Ukraine Says Western Allies Shouldn’t Fear Russia Falling Apart; Russians March on Foot to Advance Yards in Bloody Eastern Ukraine Battle; Ukraine has Liberated 1,888 Settlements Since Feb. 24; Ukraine Used Home-Modified Soviet Drones to Strike Russian Bases, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

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WSJ: Ukraine Says Western Allies Shouldn’t Fear Russia Falling Apart
Ukrainian foreign minister says Kyiv has the right to strike inside Russia to defend itself, refuses to compromise on territory and sees no prospect for peace talks
Ukraine’s foreign minister called on the country’s allies not to fear a possible breakup of the Russian state as a consequence of the war, while defending Kyiv’s right to strike targets on Russian soil and vowing that Ukraine would never accept a peace settlement that leaves occupied lands, including Crimea, under Moscow’s control.
Though Ukraine’s Western allies are united over the goal of preventing a Ukrainian defeat, not all embrace the objective of a full-blown Ukrainian military victory, with Kyiv regaining not just the lands it lost since the February invasion but also the Crimean Peninsula and the parts of the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions that fell under Russian rule in 2014.
Some of these allies worry that such an outcome could profoundly destabilize the nuclear-armed Russian state, potentially leading to its fragmentation and wide-scale unrest, with unpredictable consequences for the rest of the world. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Monday that Washington’s focus is on supporting Ukraine to take back territory seized by Russia since launching its invasion on Feb. 24.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, who expressed confidence in continuing U.S. backing for Kyiv, said fears about preserving Russia reminded him of the so-called “Chicken Kiev” speech of 1991. Then, President George H.W. Bush in a speech to Ukrainian lawmakers warned against “suicidal nationalism,” urging Ukrainians to preserve the Soviet Union and abandon their quest for independence from Moscow.
“I’m calling on the world not to be afraid of Russia falling apart. If the wheels of history begin to turn, no human will change it,” Mr. Kuleba said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Kyiv. --->READ MORE HERE
Photographs by Serhii Korovayny for The WSJ
WSJ: Russians March on Foot to Advance Yards in Bloody Eastern Ukraine Battle
Moscow’s troops have taken positions at the gates of the crossroads city of Bakhmut, sending in waves of infantry despite growing losses
Ukraine—Oleksander Matviyenko, a junior officer in the Ukrainian army here on one of the most hotly contested front lines of the war, fights off Russian attacks with other defenders nearly every day. But they keep on coming.
“We shoot at them, they send more. It doesn’t end,” said Lt. Matviyenko, 26, a yellow-and-blue Ukrainian flag patched onto his olive-green uniform. “There’s so many of them.”
The battle for Bakhmut has become a bloodbath for both sides as Russia steps up its attempts to take what used to be a quaint, tree-lined city. Ukrainian defense officials said Moscow is losing around 50 soldiers a day to maintain a slow, bruising advance to reach the city’s easternmost gates.
If the Russians break through to take control of Bakhmut, it would open a path to the political and economic centers of Slovyansk and Kramatorsk in the Ukrainian-held portions of the Donbas area, once one of the country’s main industrial regions. Moscow tried to seize the area in a pincer movement in the early days of the war and into the summer. After a lightning offensive, Ukraine regained much of the lost ground. Now, as Russia slowly burns through its artillery stockpiles, defense analysts said, its troops are advancing once again but on tank and foot. This time it is so President Vladimir Putin can tout a rare victory to the Russian people after a succession of withdrawals, most recently in Kherson, giving it outsize importance to the Kremlin, analysts said.
“The costs associated with six months of brutal, grinding, and attrition-based combat around Bakhmut far outweigh any operational advantage that the Russians can obtain from taking Bakhmut,” wrote the Institute for the Study of War, a U.S. defense think tank based in Washington, D.C.
Serhiy Cherevaty, spokesman for the Ukrainian military’s Eastern Group of Forces, said 50-70 Russians were dying a day in the battle. --->READ MORE HERE
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