Summary of the daily livestream with Aleksey Arestovych, kindly brought to you by Anastasiya: @Anastasiya1451A
English voice-over video by Privateer Station:
Original video in Russian:
🔥 Battlefield overview
🔥Soledar, Mariinka & Bahmut
Heavy battles continue near Bahmut, involving infantry, tanks, artillery and aviation. Russia is sustaining heavy losses (a military company sent to the area is rendered incapable to continue fighting in 3 days due to losses). Ukrainian troops are also facing a difficult situation in the area.
Near Svatove and Kreminna, in two different locations, the Russian troops were spotted leaving their defences and running to the rear despite the Russian command orders. These might be the first signs of big problems in Russian ranks in this area.
🔥Russian missile attack on Ukraine
Russia used mostly Kalibr missiles to target both Ukrainian critical infrastructure and radio-location and air-defence units. The attack on the Ukrainian air-defence itself failed, but some civilian infrastructure was hit. Out of 72 missiles (40 targeting Kyiv), 60 were intercepted (37 in Kyiv).
Russia also used S-300 missiles to target critical civilian infrastructure and residential areas in Kharkiv and Dnipro cities.
The transfer of Patriot systems to Ukraine can further strengthen Ukrainian air-defence, the degree of the defence reinforcement & intercept rate would depend on the modification and number of Patriot systems supplied.
Ukraine is the biggest country in Europe and with Russia targeting civilian infrastructure and residential areas all over the country, it is difficult to protect every inch. If Ukraine already had middle and long-range missiles (at least around 1500km) Ukraine could prevent the attacks and Russia would fear retaliation on its military bases.
This is exactly what happened when Russian bomber planes carrying missiles were targeted in Engels or when Kalibr carrier ship had a problem (explosion) in Novorossijsk – the Russian attack on Ukraine was weaker (70 missiles instead of 100). Therefore, Ukraine having the capacity to hit Russian military bases to prevent attacks is the most effective strategy to protect Ukrainian civilians.
While Lukashenko is avoiding visiting Russia, since the death of his pro-European foreign minister (Makei) and probably fearing to share the same faith, Putin announced to visit Belarus on the 19th of December.
Putin keeps trying to pressure Belarus into direct participation in the war against Ukraine. Direct military aggression of the Belarusian army against Ukraine is not only a way to find more cannon fodder for Putin but also a way to alienate Lukashenko from the West, which is one of the Kremlin’s fears. Lukashenko and Belarusian will resist as long as possible to prevent participating directly in the war.
Russia could attempt to kill Lukashenko, but it’s not a trivial thing to do as Lukashenko is guarded by loyal Belarusian KGB and his murder may provoke a revolt against Russians in Belarus.
Putin & Lukashenko will probably discuss:
-Relationships between Belarus, Russia and China (China upgraded its diplomatic relationship with Belarus in Samarkand)
-Lukashenko’s Government discussions with the West (Volf talks in Berlin)
-Use of Belarusian training facilities for the preparation of Russian mobilized personnel
-Transfer of Belarusian military equipment to the Russian Army
-Use of Belarusian territory to conduct missile/drone attacks on Ukraine (stopped in the last couple of months)
-Use of Belarusian territory to stage another attack on the North of Ukraine.
🔥Russian mobilization & lack of equipment
Currently, the Russian invasion force is 210k troops in Ukraine, another 150k (mostly mobilized) near Ukrainian borders and 50-70k in preparation in deep Russia. Regardless of the training of the mobilized, there is a huge problem with the military equipment deficit in Russia.
Belarus has already supplied 1/7 of all equipment and ammunition that Russia used against Ukraine. The Belarusian equipment and weapons are essential for the Russian mobilization, as right now there are no weapons or even decent uniforms for the mobilized Russians that are suffering from respiratory illness en masse in the Winter weather.
🔥Western military aid
Biden has stated that the announcement on the transfer of new air-defence systems (Patriot) to Ukraine is imminent. While the Patriot system would be a good reinforcement of Ukrainian air-defence, General Zaluzhny has been clear on what Ukraine needs to accelerate the liberation of Ukrainian territories from the Russian invaders – heavy armoured vehicles, tanks, artillery and longer range striking capabilities.
🔥Western condemnation of Russian invasion
Politico informs that NATO and EU are preparing a document of a formal condemnation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territories.
🔥Unreasonable loser of the year
The West has given several opportunities to Russia for a way to end this invasion and watched if Russia would take a reasonable position (see Kissinger proposal). So far, Russia keeps ignoring these solutions and keeps escalating.
Putin believes 1) that pressuring Ukraine & the West would eventually work out and that 2) all the human sacrifices (100k KIA Russians or the next 200k mobilised that will be used as cannon fodder in Ukraine) & economic losses of Russia will be worth it in the end. Putin’s political survival in Russia depends on it and he will pursue this war regardless of how unreasonable it is and how many losses the Russian populace will sustain.
In response, the West will be increasing 1) military aid to Ukraine to defeat the Russian army and 2) increasing sanctions against Russia, confiscations of Russian assets & capping Russian oil & gas exports. All these will not only protect Ukrainian civilians but also the West.
🔥CAR & Russian embassy
The official [previously identified as a senior operative with the Wagner Group] was wounded at a Russian embassy in the Central African Republic after an explosive package has been sent to the embassy. The Wagner group & Russia has been meddling in CAR for a long time, creating tension with France and the US.
While Ukrainian embassies in the EU were sent explosive packages, wounding at least one person, and packages with animal organs, Ukraine rejects any accusation of retaliation, classifying those methods as uncivilised, ineffective & unreliable.
Arestovych reminds us that Russia & Wagner group are used to send not just explosive & intimidation packages to Ukrainian embassies but also to eliminate its own people (like the previous top collaborators of the so-called “DPR/LPR”). There is a real chance that the explosion in CAR was an internal confrontation in Wagner due to financial issues.
🔥Sanctions & personal sanctions against Russian war criminals
The West will continue to pressure Russia & the Russian regime with economic sanctions and personal sanctions against the Russians that are involved in the illegal invasion of Ukraine and are committing war crimes against Ukraine and Ukrainian civilians.
Next stream is on Saturday, 17th of December.