Lavrov: Moscow is the target of a war declared by the West
Moscow has been the target of a “war” declared by the West since 2014, when the Washington-orchestrated “coup in Ukraine” took place. This was stated today by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The US-led West — a nuclear state — “has been at war” with Russia, especially since 2014, when Washington, backed by Europe, maneuvered to oust Viktor Yanukovych from the Ukrainian presidency, he said in an interview quoted by the Russian media. The situation has worsened after the violation of the Minsk agreements, which “no one would have applied”, he added, quoting a recent interview by German Chancellor Angela Merkel with “Die Zeit” in which she spoke of the agreement as a means of giving the Ukraine long enough to strengthen.
Zelensky: Kiev has liberated more than 1,800 towns and villages
Ukraine has managed to liberate more than 1,800 towns and villages from Russian occupiers. This was stated by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in his annual address to the Verkhovna Rada (Parliament). “We have already managed to liberate more than 1,800 Ukrainian towns and villages from the occupier. And I thank all the states that help us overcome Russian tyranny right on the battlefield,” Zelensky said, quoted by Ukrinform. “Ukrainian soldiers drove the invaders out of Kiev, and this was the first turning point in the full-scale war, it showed the strength of our resistance,” the Ukrainian leader said again, recalling that the soldiers liberated the Snake Island and “since then every occupier knows what only response he will hear from the Ukrainians to any of his invasions”
Ukraine: “Moscow declares Lithuanian diplomat persona non grata”
The Russian Foreign Ministry has announced the decision to declare one of the employees of the Lithuanian embassy in Moscow persona non grata, while not providing details on the diplomat affected by the measure. As reported by the Foreign Ministry in a statement, the Lithuanian charge d’affaires in Russia, Jurgita Cibulskiene, was summoned to the ministry’s headquarters to be informed of the decision. The Russian authorities also contested in Cibuslkiene the decision taken by the Lithuanian government in early December to expel, “unjustifiably”, one of the members of the Russian diplomatic staff in Vilnius. Moscow confirmed that the measure announced today is a “response” to Lithuania’s decision and that the expelled employee must leave Russian territory within a maximum of five days.
De Carolis: “Russian ships in the Mediterranean”
«I confirm the presence of Russian ships in the Mediterranean. So we have the task of monitoring the Mediterranean and closely monitor these ships. A strong message from the point of view of the strategic communication that the alliance gives». This was stated by the commander in chief of the Naval Squadron, Admiral Aurelio De Carolis, answering a question from journalists on the sidelines of the rotation ceremony of the Tactical Command of Operation Safe Mediterranean (OMS), which took place today on board the amphibious ship San Giorgio, moored at the Mar Grande naval station in Taranto.
Kiev: “Russian command has left Kreminna in Lugansk”
The Russian command has left the city of Kreminna, Lugansk region, where intense fighting is going on. Russian civilians who were in the city have also fled: the release of Kreminna will open the way for the Ukrainian armed forces in Starobilsk, or in the direction of Rubizhny and Severodonetsk, according to exiled regional governor Sergii Gaidai. According to Gaidai, the military leadership of the occupation army has moved to other occupied settlements and Russian civilians are returning to the territory of the Federation.
War in Ukraine. Ukrainian forces have achieved great success along the Svatove-Kreminna front line, in the Luhansk region: reports the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a US think tank, citing numerous Russian sources and relaunched by the Kiev media.
One of the Russian military bloggers said that Ukrainian troops had captured a Russian stronghold near Chervopopivka, about 5 kilometers northwest of Kreminna. Ukrainian forces have probably been advancing in this area since at least December 23rd. At the same time, the Russians said that Ukrainian forces were reorganizing and transferring reinforcements from the Kharkiv region to resume offensive operations on the Kreminna-Svatove line.
«Ukrainian forces have probably achieved a greater success in northeastern Ukraine than previously estimated by ISW. Kharkiv regional administration head Oleg Synegubov said on December 27 that Russian troops occupy 1.6 percent of the Kharkiv region’s territory,” analysts said. Ukrainian soldiers likely liberated Dvorichna, Novomlynsk and Tavilzhanka in northeastern Kharkiv Oblast and Kolomiychikha in Luhansk Oblast, as both Russian and Ukrainian sources reported Russia shelling of these settlements on 27 December.
War, Russian ships in the Mediterranean. De Carolis: “Maximum surveillance”