Day 369 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Saboteurs Damaged a Russian Plane at an Airport in Belarus
Day 369 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- The Russian Ministry of Defense: "Wagner" is to blame for the failure of the offensive
- Gleb Pavlovsky, the gray cardinal who created Putin, has died
- US: No evidence China sent military aid to Russia
- CIA chief insists on open communication channels with Russia
- Zelensky dismissed the commander of the operation in Donbas
- Saudi Arabia confirms its support for Ukraine
- Saboteurs damaged a Russian reconnaissance Beriev A-50 at an airport near Minsk
- Dendias: The war in Ukraine must stop immediately
The Russian Ministry of Defense: "Wagner" is to blame for the failure of the offensive
"Wagner" is to blame for the failure of the offensive.
This is the de facto claim of the Russian Ministry of Defense in "leaked" documents distributed by the ВЧК-ОГПУ Telegram channel. They only state that Prigozhin's private military company received shells.
Last week, the businessman accused Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the commander of the Russian army in Ukraine, Valery Gerasimov, of deliberately not providing the "musicians" with the ammunition they need. This is how they failed the offensive near Bakhmut and bear the blame for the death of thousands of mercenaries, claims "Putin's chef".
As a bonus to the documents, the ВЧК-ОГПУ conveys the words of an unnamed, but familiar source, who claims that in February "the General Staff came to the conclusion that Prigozhin not only collected the entire mobilization resource, including from the prisoners, but has provoked 'shell hunger' in units of the Armed Forces".
"It is obvious that the projectiles are definitely not enough for both the PMC and the Ministry of Defense. The 'war' for them continues," the media reasoned below.
The source added that the 155th Marine Brigade of the Pacific Fleet, which participated in the offensive near Vuhledar, has a catastrophic shortage of ammunition.
"In the absence of adequate support, the marines perform tasks unusual for their purpose in the Vuhledar direction at the cost of significant losses of personnel."
This sentence is significant not only because Russia rarely admits heavy losses at the front. Vuhledar was one of the important front lines on which Moscow relied to break through and seize vast territories from Donetsk. Instead, it failed miserably.
So the Ministry of War washes its hands of the failure with the "musicians" and their greed for shells.
"Obviously, soon the command of the brigade, like Prigozhin, will be forced to write an appeal to the public to demand that everyone together give shells to the marines," warns the ВЧК-ОГПУ.
1/ Leaked documents have shed new light on the relationship between the Russian Ministry of Defence and the Wagner Group. The MOD is reportedly blaming Wagner for a shortage of shells that may have contributed to Russia's recent disaster at Vuhledar. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/pmBdj4PnSb— ChrisO_wiki (@ChrisO_wiki) February 27, 2023
Gleb Pavlovsky, the gray cardinal who created Putin, has died
Russian political scientist Gleb Pavlovsky has died at the age of 72 in Russia. He is the man who modeled Putin's image as the strong, victorious president and implemented the Kremlin's ideology in Ukraine. Pavlovsky worked on the presidential campaigns of Vladimir Putin and former pro-Russian president of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.
The death of Putin's gray cardinal was reported by several Russian media, including "Vedomosti", "Nastojashe Vremya", "Meduza" and "Vazhni Histori".
Gleb Pavlovsky was one of the Kremlin's key political technologists and the founder of the Foundation for Effective Politics. It was he who developed Putin's first election campaign. Until 2011, Pavlovsky worked with the presidential administration, and then switched to political opposition to the Kremlin.
Pavlovsky worked on the campaign of fugitive Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in the 2004 presidential election. According to Ukrainska Pravda, a group of Russian political technologists, led by Pavlovsky, and possibly together with State Security officials, arrived in Kyiv. During their stay in Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, Yanukovych's main rival, may have taken a large dose of dioxin during dinner. Despite the poisoning, Yushchenko won the election, and mass protests thwarted attempts to falsify the results.
In 2005, a television channel announced that the General Prosecutor's Office of Ukraine had obtained recordings of a telephone conversation in which alleged members of the Russian secret services said that Pavlovsky suggested that Yushchenko be poisoned. He denied the allegations and described them as "a pretty petty lie".
Pavlovsky's foundation works with pro-Russian Ukrainian politician Viktor Medvedchuk, known as Putin's Godfather.
Some time ago, in an interview with "Panorama", when asked whether he was proud of or regretted Putin's image of the strong victorious president, he answered:
"Neither. I'm a historian, I see it as a fact. I don't blame myself, I don't blame Putin either. After all, he's just a weak man."
US: No evidence China sent military aid to Russia
Representatives of the administration of US President Joe Biden stressed that there is no evidence that China has sent military aid to Russia. One of the US officials also said that China was surprised by the strong support for Ukraine and the poor performance of the Russian military on the battlefield in the past year.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN that Washington will continue to send clear signals to Beijing that military aid to Moscow would be a mistake, adding that there is currently no evidence of China doing so.
Separately, CIA Director William Burns told CBS that intelligence suggests China is "considering" giving military equipment to Russia, but added that Washington has so far seen no evidence that such equipment has been sent. Burns added that the Chinese president was surprised by the poor performance of the Russian military in Ukraine, as well as strong Western support for Kyiv. And on the subject of negotiations with Russia, the head of the CIA believes that Russia has no serious intentions in this direction.
On another political Sunday show in America - This Week on ABC - the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Republican Michael McCaul, said that intelligence indicated China was considering sending 100 drones to Russia.
Beijing denies the allegations.
Last week, the US took the initiative to publicly warn China of consequences should it take steps to send combat equipment, something that would affect the dynamics of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
It was unclear what specific steps would be taken, but on Friday President Joe Biden said in an interview with ABC that he informed his Chinese counterpart last summer that Beijing's arming of Russia could have serious economic consequences.
China is one of the largest trading partners of the United States.
CIA chief insists on open communication channels with Russia
Relations between the US and Russia are currently deeply hostile, but they also need open channels of communication between the countries, believes CIA Director William Burns. "Even in the most deeply hostile relationship, such as our current relationship with Russia, open channels are necessary," he said in an interview with CBS.
Earlier, the Pentagon said that the US is not closing communication channels with Russia, welcomes their presence and continues to maintain existing lines of communication.
Zelensky dismissed the commander of the operation in Donbas
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired the commander of the operation in Donbas. From Kyiv, they repeated the requests to the allies for the delivery of combat aircraft.
Former Russian head of state Dmitry Medvedev said arms supplies to Ukraine pose a threat of a global nuclear catastrophe.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has released Eduard Moskalyov, the commander of the united Ukrainian forces fighting in Donbas. The dismissal was announced by a short decree, without stating the reasons for the decision. Moskalev had been in office since March last year. Previously, this position was held by Oleksandr Pavlyuk, who was appointed head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration.
Ukraine reported a drone attack and explosions in Khmelnytskyi. An air alert has been declared in several regions, among them Chernihiv, Kyiv, Poltava, partially - in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kirovograd, Zhytomyr.
To launch a large-scale counteroffensive, the Ukrainian army needs not only tanks, but also modern fighter jets, said Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov. According to Reznikov, the issue of control over the sky is key to the future actions of the Ukrainian army.
Russia said its forces were fighting in the center of Bakhmut (Artyomovsk).
Ukraine reported one dead and wounded in Khmelnytskyi region in a Russian drone attack.
Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's former head of state, has said that continued arms supplies to Ukraine pose the risk of a global nuclear catastrophe.
"Of course, the arms embargo could continue and prevent any possibility of resuming negotiations," Medvedev told the “Izvestia” daily.
Yesterday, President Vladimir Putin accused the West of trying to break Russia into pieces and conquer it.
Commenting on Moscow's decision to suspend its participation in the Russian-American Strategic Offensive Weapons Treaty, Putin said that in the current situation of hostility, the nuclear arsenals of the other two NATO countries - France and Britain - should also be taken into account.
According to the head of the CIA, William Burns, Putin sees the difficulties of his army and knows that he cannot win the war for now. But he also cannot afford to lose and is confident in his ability to wear down Ukraine, said Burns, who is a former US ambassador to Moscow.
Saudi Arabia confirms its support for Ukraine
Saudi Arabia confirms its support for Ukraine. This became clear during a visit to Kyiv by the Foreign Minister of Riyadh.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. In October, Saudi Arabia pledged 0 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The kingdom is also trying to act as a mediator to de-escalate the conflict.
Saboteurs damaged a Russian reconnaissance Beriev A-50 at an airport near Minsk
Two explosions were carried out at the military airport near Minsk in Machulishchy, where Russian military aircraft are also stationed, reported the Belarusian Gayun (Hajun) monitoring group on Sunday. In the attack, one of the total of 6 radio-electronic reconnaissance aircraft of the AWACS type that Russia has at its disposal – the Beriev A-50 - was damaged. The explosions took place on Sunday morning. A group calling itself "Победа" (Victory) claimed responsibility for the attack.
Now this is big. Belarusian Partisans reportedly blew up a Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft at Machulishchy airfield near Minsk. According to the BYPOL initiative, the front and central parts of the plane, avionics and radar antenna were damaged. pic.twitter.com/IGFAx00973— Tadeusz Giczan (@TadeuszGiczan) February 26, 2023
The official authorities in Minsk have not commented on the incident, but Russian sources have commented that Belarus will hold the Ukrainians responsible for these explosions, and Russia will help them in this.
Readers who personally heard the explosions gave witness accounts to the "Зеркало" portal. According to them, units of the airborne troops and the militia, as well as other security forces, appeared in the area of the airport during the day.
As the monitoring group notes, Belarusian security forces have found a bag containing drone control panels used to attack the Russian A-50. According to the leader of the BYPOL opposition movement, Alexander Azarov, the organizers of the sabotage managed to escape and are now safe abroad.
The A-50 aircraft is extremely important to the Russians, because with its help they coordinated in real time all their attacks in recent weeks against targets in Ukraine. The damaged machine is the one with the registration number RF-50608 and the red military number plate and the tail 43, and according to the opposition sources in Minsk, its damage is serious - the front and center of the aircraft, the avionics and the radar antenna.
This very machine, with the number RF-50608, arrived in Belarus on January 3, 2023 and has since made 12 flights. For the first time A-50 arrived in Belarus on February 24, 2022 - the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Russia has a total of 9 such machines, but only 6 of them have been upgraded with the U modification, such as this RF-50608.
The price of a modernized A-50 exceeds 330-350 million dollars, for its service 19 crew members are needed (5 pilots, 11 radio and 3 engineering and technical personnel).
Machulishchy is a small village in the Minsk region of Belarus, where there is an air base and a military airport actively operated by the Russian occupiers. The Russians keep their MiG-31k fighter jets (carrier of hypersonic "Kinzhal" missiles) here, every take-off of which is accompanied by the declaration of an air alert throughout Ukraine. The MiGs often take to the skies alongside the Russian A-50U long-range radar detection aircraft.
Dendias: The war in Ukraine must stop immediately
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece, Nikos Dendias, called for an immediate, complete and unconditional end to the war in Ukraine, addressing the participants in the teleconference of the OSCE Extended Permanent Council on the occasion of the anniversary of the beginning of the Russian attack on Ukraine, AMNA agency reported.
"What we want is for the war to stop immediately, completely and without any conditions, because this is the only way to start a real dialogue. A dialogue based on the basic principles of the UN Charter and the Helsinki Final Act," Dendias explained and specified, that international law is "the cornerstone of the international order and before any provocation, its observance and application is the only way".
Regarding Greece's position, Dendias emphasized that Greece condemned the war in Ukraine from the first moment, and specified that "the Greeks do not have hostile feelings towards the Russian people. What we oppose is revisionism and the created tragedy. Greece and its Allies will continue to support Ukraine as long as this irrational war lasts."
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