Former Defense Intelligence Agency Officer Rebekah Koffler discusses why peace talks are unlikely between Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S., on'Varney & Co.' As we have welcome the New Year, many on both sides of the Atlantic are wondering whether the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the biggest war in Europe since World War II, will come to an end this year. The largest country on the continent, Ukraine, is being depopulated, having lost more than 100,000 of its citizens to death or injury. Europe itself is being destabilized by financial woes and influx of refugees from war-torn areas. Contrary to the hopes of many, not only will 2023 not bring peace, it will likely see the most bloodshed yet, as the key warring parties – Moscow, Kyiv, and Washington, D.C. – are all postured for decisive escalation. Here's why we are probably entering the "hottest" phase of this war.
Ukraine's capital has been targeted by a wave of drone attacks by Russia's military that again struck "critical infrastructure". About 20 drones were deployed to Kyiv and the surrounding area early Monday, according to officials, with air defence systems destroying about 15 of the unmanned aerial vehicles. Air raid sirens blasted in the early morning before the sky was declared clear at 5:50am (07:50 GMT). The Kyiv city administration said on its Telegram account that a critical infrastructure point was hit, but did not provide further details. "The enemy is attacking the capital," the administration said.
The Kremlin has said Patriot missile defence systems would be a legitimate target if sent to Ukraine to intercept the barrage of incoming Russian missiles that have crippled the war-torn country's power infrastructure. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday warned NATO against equipping Kyiv with Patriot missile batteries. It is likely the Kremlin will view the move as an escalation. The comments come as Moscow said no "Christmas ceasefire" was on the cards after nearly 10 months of the war in Ukraine, even as the release of dozens more prisoners, including a United States national, showed some contact between the two sides remained. Russia and Ukraine are not currently engaged in talks to end the fighting, which is raging in Ukraine's east and south while Moscow has carried out missile and drone strikes on power and water facilities across the country, including the capital city Kyiv.
Kyiv, Ukraine – A mysterious weapon struck a target deep in Russia's heartland. On Monday morning, a deafening roar that sounded like a landing jet plane woke up a town spreadeagled in the flat steppes of the Volga River region. According to surveillance camera footage, a lightning-like flash followed by a thunderous explosion shook Engels, named after the philosopher and home to more than 300,000 people. It hit one of Russia's largest and most important military airfields that hosts strategic Tupolev Tu-160 and Tu-95 bombers. The planes are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, and Moscow has repeatedly used them to rain non-nuclear missiles on Ukraine.
Ukraine's drone strikes on two air bases deep inside Russia mark a new chapter in this war, but their significance--whether they escalate the conflict or alter the war's course in some other way--is unclear. Much depends on Moscow's reaction, and Kyiv's response to that, in the next several days. For now, it's worth probing some possibilities, though first let's lay out the implications of these strikes, regardless of their consequences. The strikes followed several days of massive Russian air and missile attacks on Ukrainian civilian targets, mainly power plants, shutting off heat and electricity as Ukraine's winter is getting brutal. The Russians launched those attacks from the airfields that the Ukrainians subsequently hit.
Ukrainian officials said on Monday that Russian strikes hit Ukraine's critical infrastructure in Kyiv, Kharkiv and other cities. The strikes appeared to be retaliation for what Moscow alleged was Ukraine's attack over the weekend on Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Loud explosions were heard across the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv early Monday morning. Some residents received text messages from the emergency services about the threat of a missile attack. Air raid sirens were heard for three straight hours.
A little before 7am on Monday, people in Kyiv heard a whining sound overhead before identifying where it was coming from – a group of "kamikaze" drones flying into the city. Drones have been widely used on both sides of the Ukraine conflict, but these were the first Russian attacks that deployed swarms of the aircraft. Videos and images began to circulate on social media of the drones flying directly over urban infrastructure such as power stations, residential buildings and railways as civilians and soldiers tried to shoot them down with guns. About 28 were launched on Monday morning in Kyiv. At least four civilians were killed after one of the aircraft hit a residential building.
Ret. Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg joined'Your World' to discuss NATO holding nuclear exercises and recent Iranian-made'kamikaze' drones striking Kyiv. Russian drone and missile attacks have destroyed nearly a third of Ukraine's power stations, but Ukrainian forces continue to gain ground President Volodymyr Zelenskyy announced Tuesday. Russia has launched barrages of missiles, shells and other ordnance into Ukrainian cities in a campaign that started after the bombing of the Kerch Bridge on October 8. The attacks have targeted population centers, parks and infrastructure as Ukraine's cold winter approaches. "Since Oct 10, 30% of Ukraine's power stations have been destroyed, causing massive blackouts across the country," Zelenskyy announced Tuesday.
Kyiv – Moscow on Monday stepped up attacks across Ukraine, cutting electricity and killing eight people, including in kamikaze drone strikes in the capital, as a Russian warplane crashed near the border. The plane struck a residential area of Yeysk, a town in southwestern Russia, according to Russian authorities. This could be due to a conflict with your ad-blocking or security software. Please add japantimes.co.jp and piano.io to your list of allowed sites. If this does not resolve the issue or you are unable to add the domains to your allowlist, please see this support page.
Russian-launched "kamikaze drones" attacked Kyiv early Monday, the Ukrainian presidency said, describing the strikes as an act of desperation nearly eight months into a war that has claimed thousands of lives. Air raid sirens sounded in Kyiv shortly before the first explosion at around 6:35 am (0335), followed by sirens across most of the country. "The capital was attacked by kamikaze drones," the president's chief of staff Andriy Yermak said on social media. "The Russians think it will help them, but it shows their desperation," he added. "We need more air defence systems and as soon as possible. More weapons to defend the sky and destroy the enemy."