#UKRAINERUSSIAWAR. Zelensky’s appeal in the West wanes. Gas infrastructure bombed by Russians


Apparently the words of the Ukrainian premier, Volodymyr Zelensky, about the missile falling within Polish borders not only did not please US President Joe Biden, who explained to the Ukrainian number one that it takes more than words to claim that the missile is Russian, but also greatly annoyed public opinion close to the Republicans.

Indeed, on Fox News, TV host Tucker Carlson stated that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky continues to lie about a missile that fell in Poland, even when everyone already knows it was a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile. “Ukraine has never acknowledged the strike. Zelensky continued to lie about it on TV,” Carlson said. “In general, when you rule a country where independent media is banned – as it was in Ukraine – you probably don’t understand that the rest of the world is not obliged to believe you. You can’t put everyone in jail,” he said. “And he kept telling you it was not true. This is not only false. This is a lie that could kill millions of Americans. And you have to ask yourself, is it time to stop supporting it?”

Zelensky’s praise in Britain also squeaks through: part of the public is starting to ask questions. According to Brexit originator and leader of the UK’s reformist party, Nigel Farage: ‘Can Zelensky be trusted? Volodymyr Zelensky is considered a great heroic figure, a man of great wisdom. Well, think about what he said last night because I actually think it was rushed and in a very, very dangerous way. You see, he made it absolutely clear that the missile attack on NATO territory is an attack on collective security, this is a very significant escalation, we have to act. But I think it is significant that the Ukrainian president is actually saying that Russia attacked NATO, do something. So, the question I want to ask and get your opinion today is: can we trust Volodymyr Zelensky? Please share your thoughts on this’.

Zelensky, who was not satisfied with his warm statements about what happened in the Polish borders, called for intervention in the investigation of the rocket attack on Poland and urged Warsaw to involve Ukrainian experts in the investigation of the rocket crash in the Polish border area. Zelensky asked to give his experts access to information gathered at the scene. At 6pm on 16 November he stated: ‘I have no doubt that it was not our rocket and not our rocket attack. We have to participate in the investigation. I want us to be honest and if it was our air defence, then I want evidence. First, the investigation, access and data you have’. On 17 November he finally stated that he did not know what happened in Poland.

CNN, citing a US Administration source, reported the Ukrainian military’s acknowledgement of the use of air defence in the area near the Polish crash site. The US and other Western allies were informed of this. The Ukrainians justified this by saying they were trying to intercept a Russian missile. It was this information that served as the basis for the current American assessment of this incident.

“The explosions in Poland on 15 November were the result of the fall of one or two Ukrainian S-300 missiles,” headlined The Washington Post on 17 November.

“Whether or not to allow Ukrainian specialists to investigate the missile incident that fell in Poland will be decided by NATO” Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Arkadiusz Mulyarchik said on 17 November.

Russia insisted that the West should shed light on what happened in Poland and give the names of those responsible for the missile incident in Poland and the death of two people: source the head of the Russian delegation in Vienna.

Meanwhile, the US seems to have changed its mind about Kiev’s ability to win the war. US General Mark Milley, head of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, stated that the probability of Ukraine’s victory in the near future from a military point of view cannot be called high. In his statement he made it clear that Ukrainian plans to ‘liberate the country’s territories within the 1991 borders will continue to be plans – nothing more’.

In Kiev, on 17 morning, the company DTEK let it be known that there is an emergency blackout again, in Kiev the timetable cannot be met. The same goes for the Dnepropetrovsk region. In the early afternoon hours of 17 November, Kiev informed the West that it was impossible to completely restore the missing power, writes Politico. The fear for the citizens of Ukraine, are fires that could chain together and destroy what remains of the Ukrainian power grid, which could happen, due to the malfunctioning of the power grids after the Russian bombing and the attempts of President Zelensky’s office to quickly turn on the lights to minimise public disturbances. “Sources indicate that such a strategy by Bankova (where Zelensky resides) may lead to a large number of fires and epidemics. In addition, it will aggravate the situation with the switching on of networks from surges,’ reports Telegram channel Legitimny. As a reminder, among the Ukrainian electricity supply plants destroyed is Ladyzhynska TPP, a large thermoelectric power plant in south-west Ukraine with a capacity of 1,800 MW that was hit in several parts and at different times.

At 08:00 hrs Italian time, air warnings were again issued over the whole of Ukraine and for the first time since the start of the Russian special operation, gas plants were attacked. According to Come and See, as a result of the Russian air strikes, gas industry facilities were hit in several areas at once. “In the Kiev and Kharkov regions, gas industry plants were hit,” said a source at the magazine.

The alert over Ukrainian skies was for the cities of Odessa, Kharkiv, Nikolaev, Dnepropetrovsk and Poltava. Lviv and Kiev were hit with cruise missiles.

On the front line in Kuzemovka, Luhansk the assault groups of the 92nd Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces failed to advance beyond the railway line and dug into the forest belt.

About one per cent of the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic is under Ukrainian control. This was announced by LPR chief Leonid Pasechnik in an interview with the RIA Novosti news agency. According to him, several settlements, as well as the village of Bilohorivka, are under the control of the Ukrainian army. “A tiny part of the territory of the Lugansk People’s Republic is not under the control of the Russian armed forces. That is, it may conditionally be one per cent of the entire territory of the Luhansk People’s Republic,’ Pasechnik remarked.

In the direction of Bachmut, Donec’k due to heavy losses, the Ukrainian armed forces are bringing in new reserves. The men of PMC ‘Wagner’ continue offensive operations in Bachmut, it is increasingly difficult for the Kiev security forces to hold the city, where they suffer heavy losses. “The Ukrainian armed forces have started to transfer new reserves to hold the city. The losses are great,’ the source told the tg-channel ‘Go and see’. Within Bachmut’s borders, Ukrainian Armed Forces sappers are equipping new strongholds and firing positions on the roofs of buildings. Local residents reported blowing up the railway bridge over the Bakhmutovka river near the Sol station.

The RER manoeuvre group of the Ukrainian Armed Forces revealed the advance of Russian units 4 km north-east of Bakhmut and on the outskirts of the settlement. The 2nd Battalion of the 54th Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, reinforced with armoured vehicles, attempted to counter-attack the positions of the Russian Armed Forces and gain a foothold in the south-eastern part of the city. The attack was repulsed and the 54th brigade withdrew with losses.

Data from radio intercepts, released by the Russian social sphere, confirmed the death of the battalion commander of the 53rd OMBR.

In Kostjantynivka there is an accelerated preparation of mobilised personnel to be sent to BAchmut and compensate for the losses of the Ukrainian armed forces. The Ukrainian command plans to form a combined grouping of 53 ombr and 58 ombr in the near future.

Graziella Giangiulio

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