Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy relies on the strength of the Ukrainians in the defense against Russian invaders. With perseverance slogans he wants to encourage his fellow citizens in the fight against Russia. Meanwhile, Moscow faces a serious confrontation with the United States.

Zelenskyj: Ukrainians become warriors

“The strength of Ukrainians and the state as a whole lies in Ukrainians becoming warriors at a crucial time,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly video address yesterday. Since Russia occupied Crimea and since the war began on February 24 last year, hundreds of thousands of citizens have become Ukrainian volunteers and “defend Ukraine against Russian aggression”.

“And helping millions of people,” Zelenskyy continued. “They search for everything we need for defence, treat and rehabilitate wounded, rescue people after Russian attacks and work for Ukraine and Ukrainians,” he said. “The strength of our defense and security forces lies in the strength of our people.” Once again Selenskyj was confident. “We will win this war,” he said.

Military incident over Black Sea

A military incident over the Black Sea creates new tensions between the US and Russia. An unmanned US military drone collided with a Russian fighter jet in international airspace yesterday, the US military said. US forces should have crashed the drone after the collision. The Americans blamed Russia and lamented the “unsafe and unprofessional” actions of the Russian side.

The Russian Defense Ministry has denied any responsibility for the crash. The drone was neither shot at nor attacked in any other way, according to a statement distributed by the state agency TASS. Russian Air Force jets rose to identify an unknown intruder over the Black Sea who was flying into Russian airspace. During a sharp evasive maneuver, the drone rapidly lost altitude and fell into the sea, according to the Russian military.

Kyiv sees a new threat on the Black Sea

According to Ukrainian reconnaissance reports, the Russian Navy positioned several ships on the Black Sea, from which cruise missiles are usually launched. The Ukrainian military leadership spoke of a “cat-and-mouse game” because Ukraine always raises its alertness for possible new rocket attacks when these ships leave the port.

Bachmut continues to be defended

The Ukrainian military leadership decided yesterday to continue defending the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. All members of the military leadership unanimously agreed to continue defending Bakhmut, Zelenskyy’s presidential office said. “The defensive operation in this area is of the highest strategic importance in order to repel the enemy,” army chief Valeriy Zalushnyy wrote on Facebook. The defense of Bachmut is the key to protecting the entire front.

Bachmut has been the focal point on the country’s eastern front for weeks. There, Russian units, led by the notorious mercenary group Wagner, try to conquer the place by any means necessary. So far, the Russian attackers have managed to harass the city from three sides. Bachmut is now considered largely destroyed. Both sides are said to have suffered heavy casualties in the fighting.

Putin: Ukrainian involvement in Nord Stream blast nonsense

Russian President Vladimir Putin has dismissed reports that Ukrainian activists were involved in the explosions at the Nord Stream natural gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea as “total nonsense”. “Only specialists” could carry out such an action on this scale and on this scale, Putin said yesterday in a television interview. “This also includes the support of a state that has the appropriate technology.”

Specifically, Putin did not want to comment on the authorship of the explosions. But you always have to question who might have an interest in it. “And who is interested? The USA could theoretically have an interest in preventing Russian energy sources from entering the European market,” said the Kremlin chief.

In September, there were explosions on three of four strands of the two Nord Stream natural gas pipelines lying on the bottom of the Baltic Sea. Most recently, the media in Germany, among others, speculated about the involvement of a pro-Ukrainian group.

What is important today

According to Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov, a new meeting in the so-called Ramstein format on arms supplies to his country is scheduled for today. The talks are expected to be conducted virtually. Earlier, at the Ramstein meeting, western states in a so-called “tank coalition” promised Ukraine the supply of main battle tanks.