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"Throughly staged": Secret service attests to Putin's shift-on tactics after a photo-rich meeting


"Throughly staged": Secret service attests to Putin's shift-on tactics after a photo-rich meeting Created: 12/22/2022, 5:02 am By: Patrick Mayer, Markus Hofstetter, Sven Hauberg Putin is negotiating with Lukashenko in Belarus. The British secret service sees the Kremlin boss as afraid of conflicts in his own country. News ticker on war diplomacy. Vladimir Putin meets with Alexander Lukashenko

"Throughly staged": Secret service attests to Putin's shift-on tactics after a photo-rich meeting

Created: 12/22/2022, 5:02 am

By: Patrick Mayer, Markus Hofstetter, Sven Hauberg

Putin is negotiating with Lukashenko in Belarus.

The British secret service sees the Kremlin boss as afraid of conflicts in his own country.

News ticker on war diplomacy.

  • Vladimir Putin

    meets with

    Alexander Lukashenko

    : heads of state want to talk about "strategic partnership".

  • Rishi Sunak

    warns against premature

    ceasefire negotiations

    : Great Britain warns about Russia.

  • Russia

    's ex-president

    Dmitry Medvedev

    : Great Britain should cede the Falkland Islands to Argentina.

  • This

    news ticker


    diplomatic developments

    in the Ukraine war has ended.

    All further developments here.

Update from December 20, 5:40 p.m .:

Shortly before Christmas, the CDU made sharp criticism of Angela Merkel’s role in Germany’s Russia policy.

The ex-Chancellor is not doing well.

Most recently, the former head of government had repeatedly emphasized how difficult the negotiations with Vladimir Putin had been at the end of her term.

UK supports Ukrainian army: equipment against 'cold weather'

Update from December 20, 3:58 p.m .:

Great Britain supports the Ukrainian army in the Ukraine war with winter equipment.

"We expect to ship 10,000 more cold weather kits by Christmas," Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said.

This included extremely warm clothing, durable sleeping bags and insulated tents.

Update from December 20, 11:01 am

: Is Putin trying to blame others for his defeats in the Ukraine war?

In its most recent briefing for the public, the British secret service analyzes the Kremlin chief's recent meeting with the military, Chief of Staff Gerasimov and Defense Minister Shoigu, of whom video recordings are also circulating.

For the secret service agents it was pure staging, a "choreography": "Putin was probably trying to demonstrate that the responsibility for his 'military special operation' lies with the community," they write.

In addition, Putin is probably afraid of social media rumors about Gerasimov's dismissal - the pictures should counteract that.

Here is the corresponding tweet from the Ministry of Defense in London:

US on Russia-Belarus military alliance: "Watching events very closely"

December 20 update, 8:13 a.m

.: Washington is “very closely” monitoring the actions of Russian troops in Belarus.

This was announced by White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre, as reported by the

Kyiv Independent

, among others .

In October, Belarus announced the establishment of a joint military alliance as part of its partnership with the Kremlin.

Thousands of Russian soldiers are to be stationed in Belarus for this purpose. 

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Putin after meeting with Lukashenko: "I have no interest" in incorporating Belarus

December 20 update, 6:55 a.m

.: After meeting Lukashenko in Minsk, Putin said Russia had “no interest” in annexing neighboring Belarus.

"Russia has no interest in swallowing anyone, that just wouldn't make sense," the Kremlin chief said at a press conference when asked by a journalist.

Putin pointed to the close relationship between the "allies and strategic partners" who are "united by a common history and spiritual values."

"Together we can withstand the sanctions of enemy states."

Belarus announced in October that it was setting up a joint military alliance with Russia.

However, head of state Lukashenko had repeatedly stated that he was not planning to send soldiers to Ukraine.

Belarus is heavily dependent on Russian oil and cheap credit.

Lavrov on Zelenskyy: "Racist character" of his government

Update from December 19, 8:50 p.m .:

 Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov accused Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of “lack of understanding of the seriousness of the moment and lack of concern for his people”.

"He's just bubbling over with ideas," Lavrov said on Monday in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel in Minsk.

But this fountain reveals this lack of understanding on the part of Zelenskyy for the seriousness of the situation and for his people.

Zelenskyy's ideas, which Lavrov did not specify, in turn revealed the "racist character" of the leadership in Kyiv.

The Ukrainian head of state had recently pushed the idea of ​​an international criminal court before which all responsible politicians and military officers from Moscow should answer for the war in Ukraine and the war crimes committed there.

At the same time, Lavrov launched a sharp verbal attack on the West.

The "hysterical reaction" to the "military special operation," as Moscow officials call the invasion of Ukraine, confirmed Russia's views that the war was "absolutely necessary."

With the action, Moscow destroyed the "geopolitical games of the West," which wanted to turn Ukraine into a permanent threat to Russia, the state agency TASS quoted the Russian foreign minister as saying.

Threat from Vladimir Putin: Russia wants to train Belarusians for possible use of nuclear weapons

Update from December 19, 8:30 p.m.:

Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin has judged his talks with the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko as “very fruitful”.

His host in Minsk, on the other hand, spoke of "constructive and productive" talks, as the Russian state agency TASS reported on Monday after the talks in Minsk concluded.

Among other things, the two heads of state had agreed to continue military cooperation, as well as even closer economic cooperation.

There were price agreements in the energy sector, which Putin did not want to explain in more detail.

Specifically, the two long-term presidents agreed in the military field to stick to joint maneuvers of their armed forces.

In addition, Russia will train Belarusian aircraft crews for possible missions with nuclear weapons, said Putin.

According to Putin, both Moscow and Minsk successfully resisted Western sanctions pressure and attempts to isolate Russia and Belarus.

"We are coordinating our steps to minimize the impact of illegal restrictions on our economy," Putin said.

"And we do that quite convincingly and effectively."

Rumbling in the Ukraine war against the West: Dmitry Medvedev (left), Deputy Head of the Russian Security Council, and Moscow ruler Vladimir Putin.

(Archive photo) © Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP/dpa

Russia's ex-president Dmitry Medvedev: Great Britain should cede the Falkland Islands to Argentina

December 19 update, 6:40 p.m .:

 Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has asked British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to return the Falkland Islands to Argentina.

Medvedev was reacting to statements made by Sunak during his visit to Riga, Latvia.

Sunak had warned against rushing the ceasefire negotiations, as Russia could misuse the time to prepare for new battles.

Before Russia has withdrawn, there cannot and should not be any real negotiations.

"Lies, duplicity, cynicism," Medvedev commented on the British prime minister's statements.

"The British should finally leave the Malvinas and give them back to the Argentines," the deputy head of the Russian Security Council was quoted as saying by the state agency TASS: "The Falklands - are not Great Britain, but Argentina." Medvedev was long considered a moderate politician.

Since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, however, he has taken an extreme line.

The Falkland Islands, off Argentina's southern coast, have been the subject of territorial disputes for centuries.

In 1833 Great Britain established a naval base there and forced the Argentine administration to withdraw.

From April to June 1982, both countries waged war over the small archipelago, killing several hundred soldiers on both sides.

Among other things, after the sinking of the cruiser Graf Belgrano by a British submarine, the conflict ended with a military victory for Great Britain.

The Royal Navy lost, among other things, the HMS Sheffield after a rocket hit.

Slovakia receives first German Leopard tank: Ring exchange with Bratislava picks up speed

Update from December 19, 4:49 p.m .:

 Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht handed Slovakia the first of 15 promised Leopard tanks.

The symbolic handover took place in a ceremony with her Slovakian counterpart Jaroslav Nad on Monday (November 19) in Bratislava.

The minister arrived in Slovakia for a two-day visit.

German patriots are also stationed in the NATO country, which borders directly on Ukraine, as part of the Air Missile Defense Task Force, as are German troops as part of a multinational battle group.

Prior to that, Slovakia had handed over 30 Soviet BMP1 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, which was attacked by Russia, in November as part of an exchange of rings agreed with Germany.

The ring exchange was agreed in the summer. 

Ukraine News: Lukashenko welcomes Putin on the red carpet

Update from December 19, 3:15 p.m .:

The Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko received Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin at the airport in Minsk on a red carpet with bread and salt.

This is shown by images from the pro-government Belarusian Telegram channel Pool Pervogo on Monday.

The two former Soviet republics are close allies, with Lukashenko's government totally dependent on Moscow politically, economically and militarily after sanctions imposed by the West.

While the two leaders' contacts are regular and frequent, it is Putin's first visit to Belarus in three years.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov countered speculation that Russia would urge its western neighbors to enter the war against Ukraine.

Alexander Lukashenko receives Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in Minsk.

© IMAGO/Sergei Karpukhin

Meanwhile, Kremlin spokeswoman Zakharova claims the West is like George Orwell's 1984 dystopia.

Ukraine-News: Die Linke publishes “peace plan” for Ukraine

Update from December 19, 2:20 p.m.:

The left has presented a “peace plan” for Ukraine and calls for immediate talks on a ceasefire.

These should now be taken up by the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj and the Russian head of state Vladimir Putin, said party leader Martin Schirdewan on Monday in Berlin.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron should mediate and involve China and India.

The second point of the plan is for Russia to retreat to positions prior to the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

Provided that Putin lives up to this, all sanctions imposed on Russia after the start of the war should be lifted, said Shirdevan.

The third point of the left plan is an increase in humanitarian aid for Ukraine and a haircut to enable reconstruction.

Left 'peace plan': Eastern Ukraine would remain under Russian dominance

The plan would mean that the Crimean peninsula, which Russia had already annexed in 2014, and separatist areas in eastern Ukraine would remain under Russian dominance – which Ukraine strictly rejects.

Russia also has little interest in peace talks at the moment.

Both sides hope to gain military ground.

Therefore, the proposals should have little chance of being implemented.

Schirdewan also called for Germany to abandon the import ban on Russian oil from the Druzhba pipeline.

He considers the federal government's unilateral waiver to be a "fatal mistake," he said.

That would have negative consequences for the East German economy.

The Druzhba oil must continue to flow.

Ukraine-News: Rishi Sunak warns against premature ceasefire negotiations

Update from December 19, 1:51 p.m .:

Great Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has warned against negotiating a ceasefire in Russia’s war against Ukraine too quickly.

“We must be clear that any unilateral call for a ceasefire by Russia is completely meaningless in the current context.

I think it would be a false call, it would be used by Russia to regroup to reinforce its troops," Sunak said Monday at a meeting with Joint Expeditionary Force (JEF) leaders in Riga .

Before Russia has withdrawn, there cannot and should not be any real negotiations.

At the summit of defense cooperation between Baltic and northern European states, Sunak called for more arms deliveries to Kyiv.

Ukraine needs air defense systems, artillery and armored vehicles, the British prime minister said.

The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyj also campaigned for this, who addressed the participants via video and addressed each of them individually with concrete demands. 

Ukraine News: Putin meeting in Minsk could usher in a new phase of the war

Update from December 19, 2022, 12:24 p.m .:

Vladimir Putin’s visit to Alexander Lukashenko could usher in a new phase of the Ukraine war.

This is what the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) suspects in its current situation report from Sunday (December 18).

Accordingly, the Russian President wants to discuss a broader participation of Belarusian armed forces in the fighting at the meeting - which, by the way, is also the fear of the Ukrainian government.

According to ISW, further signs of renewed offensive operations against Ukraine in the coming months are Putin's previous meeting with the military command and the visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the Ukrainian southern front.

But the ISW sees neither the Russian nor the Belarusian armed forces in a position to carry out large-scale attacks.

Russia's reservists are not yet sufficiently trained and there is a lack of equipment.

Nor does the think tank expect Lukashenko to allow his poorly equipped soldiers to invade Ukraine.

Parallel to the Minsk visit, Russian troops are holding maneuvers in Belarus.

This was announced by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow, as reported by the Interfax agency.

Practiced at battalion level.

The Russian units are therefore part of the new joint combat force with Belarus.

Putin (left) with Shoigu © Press Service of the Russian President/dpa

Ukraine War: Russia, China hold common naval exercise

Update from December 19, 2022, 11:58 a.m .:

Russia wants to hold a naval exercise together with China this week.

The maneuvers are scheduled to take place from Dec. 21 to 27 in the East China Sea, the Defense Ministry said in Moscow on Monday: "The main purpose of the exercises is to strengthen maritime cooperation between Russia and China and maintain peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region Region.” Four Russian and six Chinese ships are involved, as well as several airplanes and helicopters.

The Russian-Chinese naval exercises have been held annually since 2012, but are likely to be under particular international scrutiny this time because of the Ukraine war.

Because although China is pushing for a negotiated solution in Ukraine, the country continues to maintain its "rock-solid" friendship with the Kremlin.

The Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said recently that China's head of state and party leader Xi Jinping and Russia's President Vladimir Putin want to meet again for talks before the end of this year - whether in person or via video is not yet known.

A Chinese course correction is not to be expected.

China and Russia last held a major joint military exercise in September: Around 50,000 soldiers from both countries as well as from India, Belarus, Tajikistan and Mongolia rehearsed military emergencies during the “Vostok 2022” maneuver in eastern Siberia and in the Sea of ​​Japan.

Putin visits Lukashenko: alarm mood in Ukraine – and also in Minsk?

First report from December 19, 2022:

Moscow/Minsk – Alexander Lukashenko is heavily dependent on Russia, not only since 2020 – but at that time the protests against the controversial re-election of the Belarusian ruler were suppressed with Moscow’s approval.

Most recently, both countries concluded new agreements on economic and military cooperation.

Russia and Belarus have even been officially joined in one union state since 2021, with the smaller partner largely dependent on Moscow.

However, Lukashenko rules out joining Russia.

And even before a meeting with Vladimir Putin, the Belarusian president is trying to take the wind out of critics' sails.

Vladimir Putin meets Alexander Lukashenko: "Strategic partnership" topic

Against the background of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the two ex-Soviet republics have significantly expanded their military cooperation.

For example, Belarus makes its military bases available for attacks on Ukraine.

However, the Belarusian armed forces have not yet intervened in the fighting.

Lukashenko has also repeatedly stated that he does not intend to send soldiers to Ukraine.

Russian President Putin traveled to Belarus in June 2019 to meet with Alexander Lukashenko.

(Archive photo) © Sergey Bobylev/dpa/picture alliance

Now Vladimir Putin will travel to the western neighboring country for the first time in years.

This Monday he will meet Lukashenko in Minsk.

The two long-term heads of state want to talk about their countries' "strategic partnership" at the working meeting, the Kremlin and the press service of the Belarusian president said.

Other topics include regional and international issues.

Lukashenko spoke before the appointment.

And indicated a tightrope act: "Yes, we stand by Russia.

We remain a sovereign and independent state,” he said on Friday (December 16), according to a report by the state agency Belta.

"Nobody governs Belarus but us," Lukashenko emphasized - after the talks, "everyone will say that there is no longer any power in Belarus and that the Russians rule the country here."

The situation is being "artificially fueled," he claimed.

Putin travels to Minsk: Ukraine concerned about joint exercise by Russian and Belarusian troops

Parallel to Putin's visit to Minsk, Russian troops are holding maneuvers in Belarus.

This was announced by the Ministry of Defense in Moscow on Monday night, as reported by the Interfax agency.

Practiced at battalion level.

After the end of the exercises, "the combat capability and combat readiness of the units" should be finally evaluated.

When and where exactly the exercises should be held was not announced.

The Ukraine War in Pictures - Destruction, Resistance and Hope

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The Russian units are therefore part of a joint combat force with Belarus, which is being reorganized.

According to earlier information from the Belarusian side, up to 9,000 Russian soldiers should belong to it.

The meeting and joint exercise alarmed Ukraine.

From Kyiv it is said that all possible defense scenarios are being prepared.

"No matter what is planned in Minsk, it will not help them any more than any other sick ideas in this war against Ukraine and the Ukrainians," said President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2022-12-22

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