Saturday, December 31, 2022

Ukraine Sets Sights on Retaking Key Eastern City; Year in Review: Vladimir Putin’s Biggest Setbacks in 2022; UKR Armed Forces Closer to Liberation of Kreminna, Gateway to Industrial Centers of Donbas; Resilience and Resistance in Ukraine, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Sameer al-doumy/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
WSJ: Ukraine Sets Sights on Retaking Key Eastern City:
Recapturing Kreminna could mark breakthrough for Ukraine’s efforts to dislodge Russian occupation of its east
Ukrainian authorities said their army was closing in on the Russian-occupied city of Kreminna, control of which could allow Kyiv to significantly expand its efforts to retake Russian-held areas in Ukraine’s east.Kreminna, a city in the eastern Luhansk region with a prewar population of 18,000, is being abandoned by Russia’s military command as Ukrainian troops advance through the mined and heavily fortified area surrounding it, said Serhiy Haidai, the governor of Luhansk.
“When we de-occupy Kreminna, it will be the turn of other Luhansk cities,” Mr. Haidai said in a televised interview Wednesday. His description of the situation around Kreminna couldn’t be independently verified.
Mr. Haidai said Russian military officials had moved from Kreminna to other nearby settlements and that civilians who had arrived from Russian territory to serve as medics and repair workers in the city had fled or returned home.
The U.K.’s Defense Ministry said in its intelligence briefing on Wednesday that Russia was fortifying the area around Kreminna and is likely to give priority to holding the line there.
Ukraine’s eastern military command said capturing Kreminna would likely take time. “When we achieve substantial results there, I will definitely let people know,” military spokesman Serhiy Cherevaty told Ukrainian television. “For now I urge patience.”
The capture of Kreminna would give Ukraine access to major roads leading to the city of Rubizhne and the nearby industrial center of Severodonetsk, both heavily damaged in fighting over the summer, as well as to the town of Starobilsk. --->READ MORE HERE
Year in Review: Vladimir Putin’s biggest setbacks in 2022:
When Russian President Vladimir Putin shocked the world with an all-out invasion of Ukraine in February, he expected a quick victory that would bring military glory to Russia. Instead, 10 months later, Putin’s army is demoralized, with an estimated 100,000 Russian troops dead, injured, or deserted and Russia’s reputation as a military power in tatters. Putin failed to take Kyiv, and a defiant Ukraine projects that victory is on the horizon with the help of world allies.
Here’s a look back at Putin’s biggest setbacks in 2022 in his invasion of Ukraine.
International backlas
Perhaps Putin’s greatest miscalculation of the war was his underestimation of how far the collective West would go to oppose his invasion. Almost instantly, a coalition of Western countries, led by the United States, unleashed a string of sanctions not seen since World War II.
Aiming to cripple Russia’s economy in order to make waging war impossible and to spur civil revolts against the Kremlin, huge swathes of the country's economy were wiped out in weeks. Russia was cut off from SWIFT, the international banking system, a move that destroyed Western investment in the country.
Sanctions have been painful for Russia, but so far, the country has managed to weather the financial restrictions without a full economic collapse.
Military embarrassments
Russia's inability to take Kyiv, as originally expected by Western observers, culminated in its withdrawal from the northern regions of Ukraine in April. This was a major embarrassment for Putin and the first sign that Ukraine had a chance at victory in the conflict after all. However, despite Russian casualties, the Russian army was able to withdraw back across the Belorussian border in good order without being directly defeated.
That all changed in September with a surprise Ukrainian counteroffensive in Kharkiv Oblast. The demoralized Russian troops, primarily consisting of militia soldiers from the pro-Russian areas in the Donbas region, folded in mere days, resulting in a total collapse of the front in the northeast. In just a single week, Ukrainian troops retook hundreds of square miles of territory, culminating in their seizure of the strategically important city of Lyman.... --->LOTS MORE HERE
Follow links below to +++++relevant+++++ and related stories:

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

+++++Armed Forces of Ukraine closer to liberation of Kreminna, gateway to industrial centres of Donbas+++++

+++++Resilience and Resistance in Ukraine+++++

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