Last week (November 14–20), after the defeat in Kherson, russia repeatedly used terrorist methods of war and shelled Ukrainian infrastructure and residential buildings. This time, the tragedy rolled out as far as Poland, where two people were killed.
Another aggression of the kremlin was condemned, and within Ramstein-7 Ukraine can again count on the support of allies.
Since last Monday, the topic of the negotiation process has also gained momentum: dmitrii peskov, Hungarian officials, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and the official Vatican were implying that “the time has come”. Volodymyr Zelensky, instead, proposed a set of solutions that would truly guarantee peace. Well, if moscow wants negotiations so much, we will wait for them to fulfill the requirements of the Ukrainian formula for ending the war.
But does the kremlin want peace in the first place? The question is certainly rhetorical because the russian occupation troops in Ukraine hastily withdrawn from Kherson, are now being rushed to fight in Donetsk Oblast by the commander sergei surovkin.
In addition, it appears that Iran and russia concluded an agreement on the production of drones on russian territory.
Read more about what challenges Ukraine struggled with last week, and how it coped.
On November, 15, russian occupiers fired ca hundred rockets at Ukraine. Ukrainian ASW shot down more than 70 of missiles but 15 energy infrastructure facilities were damaged.
Emergency power outages have swept across the country and are still going on. There was also a hit on residential buildings — russian terrorists killed Ukrainian people in their own homes.
According to dmitrii peskov, this is how the kremlin tries to persuade the Ukrainian authorities to negotiate: “The reluctance of the Ukrainian side to solve the problem, to enter into negotiations, moreover, the actions of the Ukrainian side to reject the agreed interprettation of the text and so on – these are the consequences.”
This time, however, the war also reached Poland’s territory. On November, 15, we learnt about the explosions in the Polish village of Przewodów in Lublin Voivodeship, near the Ukrainian border. Two Polish citizens were killed in the attack. At the moment, the Polish investigation has not officially established where the rocket was fired from, so we will wait for official conclusions. However, it is already well known that russia is guilty of this tragedy.
Thus, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, Adrien Watson, said: “It is obvious that the guilty party fully responsible for this tragic incident is russia who fired rockets at Ukraine.” This statement was supported by essentially all European leaders.
German Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that “none of this would have happened if it were not for russia’s aggressive war against Ukraine,” and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg emphasized that “russia bears full responsibility as it continues its illegal war against Ukraine.”
Polish President, Andrzej Duda, said that “russia is responsible for this war and russia is responsible for all the misfortunes that result from this war”.
Unfortunately, russian terrorists bring many such misfortunes. One of them is the downing of flight MH17 Boeing 777 near Donetsk, which took place more than 8 years ago, but the first verdicts in the case were published only last week.
The District Court of The Hague, taking into account the gravity of the crime and the need for justice, sentenced in absentia Ihor Hirkin, Serhii Dubinskyi and Leonid Kharchenko to life imprisonment and ordered to ensure their arrest.
Volodymyr Zelensky said that he considered the first verdicts in the case of the MH17 aircraft shooting to be important but he also highlighted the importance of bringing the masterminds to justice. We know them pretty well because the decision of the Hague Court indicates that the so-called “Donetsk People’s Republic” has been controlled by the russian federation at least since May 2014.
We hope that russian high-ranking officials, too, will sooner or later find themselves in the dock for all crimes they committed against Ukraine. The endeavour has already been launched, with a resolution of the UN General Assembly supported by 94 states of the world: “The rf must be held accountable for any violations of international law in Ukraine or against Ukraine, including its aggression against the UN Charter, as well as any violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, and that they must bear the legal consequences of all their internationally wrongful acts, including compensation for damage, in particular any damage caused by such acts.”
On Monday, November 14, Volodymyr Zelensky arrived in Kherson liberated from russian invaders. The President of Ukraine said: “We are going to gradually, step by step, approach all the temporarily occupied territories of our country. Of course, it’s hard, it’s a long and difficult journey. The best heroes of our country are in this war.”
Such an act greatly frustrated the kremlin’s press secretary, dmitrii peskov, who refused to comment on the visit of Volodymyr Zelensky and reminded that Kherson was purportedly the territory of the russian federation. Prior to that, the propagandist already emphasized that “russia did not regret to have accepted Kherson region as their part.”
Instead, the russian edition of Medusa stated that the retreat from Kherson had become a “very painful event” for the elites of the russian Federal Army: “We have come to understand that we have lost a real war. People start thinking about how to live on, what place in the future they would like to take, what the stake shall be, and what to play upon.”
Despite this unpleasant defeat, russia is certainly not yet ready to totally abandon the occupied Ukrainian territories. This is well understood by Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine’s foreign partners. Thus, the representative of the Pentagon emphasized that “the liberation of Kherson was a significant achievement for Ukraine, but the russians do not seem to be leaving the remaining occupied territories, and heavy battles will continue to win them back. However, the liberation of the city of Kherson is a significant achievement and evidence of the stability, determination, and perseverance of Ukrainian people and Ukrainian Armed Forces in their struggle to defend their country. “
According to British intelligence, “the recent retreat of the russian army from the western part of Kherson region was implemented in a fairly orderly manner, compared to the previous large-scale retreats of the russians during the war. The amount of equipment lost during the retreat goes to dozens, not hundreds, and much of what the russian military have left has been damaged, so that the Ukrainian military could not get the machinery. ”
This retreat is also significant as it russia would try to strengthen other front lines they consider “more promising.”
The British believe that “it is likely that the rf will try to relocate part of the forces that have retreated from Kherson to strengthen and expand offensive operations near Bakhmut.”
The same opinion is supported by the American Institute for War Studies who believe that “russian offensive operations in the Donetsk region will intensify in the coming weeks, as additional mobilized servicemen will arrive there, as well as forces withdrawn from the western part of the Kherson region.”
However, according to the researchers, “russians are unlikely to make significant progress operationally, despite their efforts, although over time they may capture Bakhmut at the cost of huge losses.” Therefore, Ukraine is certainly waiting for the next difficult steps to liberate our territory.
This week, the discussion on potential negotiations with russia intensified. Thus, The Wall Street Journal, citing their own sources, published information that the alleged US Presidential National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan “recommended that Volodymyr Zelensky’s team begin to think about realistic requirements for negotiations with the rf. Washington has made it clear to Ukraine that Kyiv should at least present themselves open to a negotiated solution. ”
Instead, Sullivan himself clearly stated: “It is our job to put them (Ukrainians — ed.) in the best position on the battlefield, so that when and if there is an opportunity for diplomacy, they are in a better position at the negotiating table.”
Also, from the sheer volume of US assistance, we can clearly see that the words of a US official are true. In particular, a few days ago, Joe Biden appealed to Congress to allocate $37.7 billion for assistance to Ukraine in connection with the exhaustion of already approved expenditures within the temporary budget. Also, during the press conference in Bali, the President of the United States assured that he “considers the liberation of Kherson a significant victory for Ukraine” and stressed that “the United States will not negotiate with the rf without the participation of Ukraine.”
Former Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, also spoke about the negotiations. He believes that he can “convince his old friend vladimir putin to sit down at the negotiating table and stop the war in Ukraine,” and plans to do this before Christmas.
“Other friends of putin”, this time in Hungary, also promoted the negotiations so much needed for russia. The head of the administration of the Prime Minister of Hungary, Gergei Huijasz, said that the fall of the rocket on the territory of Poland highlights the need to achieve the truce between Ukraine and russia as soon as possible.
The official Vatican did not stay away from this topic, either. Pope Francis said: “As we have confirmed over the months and as Cardinal Secretary of State, Parolin, has repeatedly stated, the Holy See is ready to do its utmost to mediate and end the conflict in Ukraine.”
It is worth noting that Volodymyr Zelensky, who received signals from Western partners about the desire of vladimir putin to negotiate, said: “I said that we would offer a public format, because russia is waging a war against us in public (thank God). It was in the beginning that they said: ‘It’s not us’.Today, they are waging an open war against us. That is why, I don’t want to have a relationship with them behind the scenes. “
Instead, moscow seems to not have understood the proposal. kremlin’s speaker, dmitrii peskov, said again that “it is difficult to imagine public negotiations at all… No such negotiations exist. And, all the more so, public negotiations to such an extent “. Also, the official repeatedly lied that the Ukrainian side allegedly does not want any negotiations at all.
However, Volodymyr Zelensky, in his online address at the G20 summit in Bali, proposed a “Ukrainian peace formula” that involves ten components:
- Radiation and Nuclear Safety
- Food security
- Energy security
- Release of all prisoners and deportees.
- Implementation of the UNCharter and restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the world order.
- Withdrawal of russian troops and cessation of hostilities.
- Return of justice (special tribunal and compensation for damages).
- Counteracting ecocide
- Non-admission of escalation
- Committing to end the war
We are certain that the full-scale kremlin invasion will end with russia’s defeat, and on Ukrainian terms only.
Dictators must be put in their place, because every aggression must be punished. This is well understood by our allies, who keep helping Ukraine, now within the framework of Ramstein-7. They help Ukraine to defeat Russia, who repeatedly violated all global rules and principles.