Entire unit of Putin’s Wagner thugs obliterated in single ambush attac

Ukrainian military ambush Putin’s private army

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Russian mercenary soldiers have been blitzed by Ukrainian forces in the battle for Soledar, footage has shown, as both sides continue their bloody battle over the Donetsk region in the east. Dozens of Russian Wagner Group soldiers, many of whom are on six-month releases from prison to fight in Ukraine, can be seen frantically hiding for cover in a rail yard as machine gun fire from nearby local forces rips through their defences. The Ukrainian outfit, likely to be the 24th Mechanised Brigade, which is holding out in Soledar, used a drone to scout the Russian positions and “wipe out” the small outfit.



  • Putin’s war general reshuffle due to ‘systemic challenges’ in Ukraine, says US 22:44
  • Belarus forces carrying out ‘excessive engagements’ with Russian Army 22:13
  • German minister calls for Berlin ‘not to stand in the way’ of Polish tank deliveries 20:12
  • Russian army morale collapses as troops fume at Putin’s ‘blackmail’ from -20C ice trench

    Russian moral in Ukraine appears at rock bottom as a video emerges of angry conscripts in a frozen trench appears online.

    Russian soldiers have recorded a message slamming Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian military high command for leaving them high and dry in a frozen trench with supplies or medical care.

    Recording the scene in Ukraine’s Luhansk province, the Russian soldier hits out at commanders for forcing his unit into the ice-filled trench with “blackmail.”

    10 Putin allies came to UK on ‘Golden Visas’ damning Home Office review reveals

    Suella Braverman has vowed not to repeat the mistakes of the past as a scathing review found 10 sanctioned allies of Vladimir Putin came to the UK on Golden Visas.

    A Home Office review of Tier 1 visas found a “small” number of foreign investors were “potentially at high risk” of having links to corruption or organised crime.

    Critics warned the rules around the visa were far too lax and open to abuse from criminals and oligarchs.

    Mrs Braverman also revealed banks with fewer checks were sought out and “exploited”.

    A damning section of the report revealed 10 Russians sanctioned after Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine had Tier 1 visas.

    The route “attracted a disproportionate number of applicants” from high risk countries, the Home Office found.

    In total, the UK has sanctioned over 1,200 people in connection with Moscow’s bloody invasion of Ukraine.

    Who is General Gerasimov, Putin’s new top commander in Ukraine?

    General Valery Gerasimov has been handed the “most poisoned of chalices” in leading Russian forces in wartorn Ukraine, analysts say.

    Sergei Surovikin has been replaced as Russia’s top commander in Ukraine just three months after taking on the role.

    His substitution is Russia’s Chief of Staff of the past decade, General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

    Gen Surovikin, known as “General Armageddon” for his brutal destruction of Aleppo, Syria, has now been demoted and made Gen Gerasimov’s deputy in what is one of the most dramatic changes in senior roles since the war began on February 24 of last year.

    But who exactly is Russia’s new war commander?

    Gen Gerasimov is now the equivalent to the chief of the defence staff in UK terms, former intelligence officer Philip Ingram told Sky News.

    “He’s a big Putin ally, he’s been in a planning role – a major role since the planning of the Chechen Wars of 1999 and again instrumental in the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and this ‘special military operation’,” he said.

    In 2012, Gen Gerasimov was made chief of staff of the armed forces and first deputy defence minister.

    Described by Minister of Defence Sergei Shoigu as “a military man from head to toe”, the 67-year-old has been a commander since the second Chechen war.

    Born in the populous city of Kazan, Gen Gerasimov’s military career began in 1977 when he joined the Northern Group of Forces and served in the Far Eastern and Baltic Military Districts, according to the BBC.

    Russian officials slam the West but their children take lavish holidays in NATO countries

    Children of top-ranking Kremlin officials, including Putin’s right-hand man defence minister Sergei Shoigu, have been posing for pictures on their Instagram accounts in the US, Italy and Greece.

    While Russian politicians and Kremlin officials blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine, supporting the mass killings of thousands of innocent civilians across the border and accusing the West of spiralling towards “liberal-Nazi dictatorships”, their children have been travelling to countries in the West for lavish holidays.

    A report by an independent Russian news outlet, The Insider, scoured dozens of Instagram accounts belonging to the wealthy children of Russian officials.

    It found that many have been touring NATO and Western countries, revelling in their riches in the West, despite being directly related to top-ranking Kremlin officials.

    Russian generals forced to back Wagner Group over ‘internal power play’ for Bakhmut

    Wagner Group mercenary fighters have stubbornly fought to capture Soledar and Bakhmut for months with little success, refusing to move troops despite the two cities being of little “strategic value” to the Kremlin.

    Russia’s costly and counterproductive attempts to capture the small eastern cities of Soledar and Bakhmut are based not on strategic gain but a symbolic “internal power play” between Russian commanders vying for Vladimir Putin’s attention, a military analyst has claimed.

    Professor Michael Clarke, a prominent commentator on the developing situation in Ukraine, told Express.co.uk the mercenary outfit of Russian fighters known as the Wagner Group are “running across the strategy” of the Russian Armed Forces by focussing so stubbornly on the cities in Donetsk, forcing the top war generals to divert artillery to this “strategic blind alley” at the expense of soldiers elsewhere on the front line.

    Russia’s Wagner Group says it found body of one of missing Britons in Ukraine

    Russian mercenaries claim they have found the dead body of one of two British aid workers missing in eastern Ukraine.

    Volunteers Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, were helping with civilian evacuation and humanitarian efforts when they vanished near Soledar.

    Downing Street said the claims from the Wagner Group that one of them had been found dead were “deeply concerning” but urged people to wait for official confirmation.

    The private military company, which did not confirm which man’s body had been found, posted pictures of both their passports on their social media channels on Wednesday night.

    The post said: “Today the body of one of them was found, documents on both Britons were found with him.”

    Putin’s war general reshuffle due to ‘systemic challenges’ in Ukraine, says US

    Russia is battling a “large failure to obtain the strategic objectives” they set for themselves in Ukraine and Vladimir Putin is resorting to reshuffling his war cabinet to remedy the problem, the US has said.

    On Wednesday, the Russian defence ministry announced it would be replacing General Sergey Surovikin with Chief of the General Staff Valeriy Gerasimov as the commander of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

    Surovikin, who was demoted to a deputy role beneath Gerasimov, held the commanding position for just over three months.

    He was appointed two days after an explosion destroyed a section of the Kerch Strait bridge into Crimea on October 8.

    During his tenure, Russia suffered significant frontline losses, including having to frantically retreat from the city of Kherson in the south, just 150 miles north of Crimea.

    The southern port city was of immense strategic importance to the Russian Armed Forces, acting as a key supply point between Crimea and the frontline, and was the only provincial capital captured by the invading forces.

    Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said, during a briefing on January 12, their analysis suggested the demotion of Surovikin was a direct result of the “systemic challenges” facing the Russian Armed Forces.

    He said: “We’ve talked about some of those things in terms of its logistics problems, command and control problems, sustainment problems, morale, and the large failure to obtain the strategic objectives that they’ve set for themselves.

    “I think that the world would rather see Russia focus on withdrawing from Ukraine and saving innocent lives versus spending time on numerous management reshuffles, and Russian soldiers and their families would probably like to see that too.”

    Earlier in the day, the British defence ministry shared a similar statement, saying that such personnel shift is a sign the Kremlin is aware it is failing to meet its goals in Ukraine.

    “This is a significant development in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s approach to managing the war,” their statement said on Twitter.

    Belarus forces carrying out ‘excessive engagements’ with Russian Army

    Belarus is carrying out “excessive engagements” with the Russian Army to the north of Ukraine, the US has claimed.

    Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said they are “closely monitoring” the build-up of forces in Belarus after at least 12 Mi-8 support helicopters and Mi-24 and Ka-52 attack helicopters landed at Machulishchy airbase near Minsk earlier this week.

    The possibility of Russia using Belarus, possibly with the help of its Armed Forces, to open up a second front to the north of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv has forced soldiers to remain on call away from the current areas of conflict.

    Ukrainian brigades are currently stationed near the Belarussian border preparing for a potential attack.

    Last week, Belarus’ defence ministry announced a joint Russian-Belarussian tactical flight exercise from January 16 to February 1.

    But the US added that it does not see any signs of an imminent threat and that an offensive against Ukraine from Belarus is unlikely.

    Mr Ryder said: “We continue to closely monitor what we know to be excessive engagements with Belarusian forces by Russian forces, but there are currently no signs of any type of offensive action that appears imminent.”

    The British defence ministry also said the new deployment of Russian aircraft to Belarus is likely a genuine exercise rather than preparation for any additional offensive operations against Ukraine.

    German minister calls for Berlin ‘not to stand in the way’ of Polish tank deliveries

    After Poland pledged a company of German-made Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine on Wednesday, Germany’s vice-Chancellor has called on his Government not to “stand in the way” of the deal, since it requires approval from Berlin.

    Poland has 249 Leopard 2 tanks, acquired during the 2000s, but because the licence to the combat vehicles belongs to Germany, they cannot be sent to another country without explicit permission from Berlin.

    Poland and France have both put pressure this week on Germany to allow for the Leopard 2 tanks to be released, but a German government spokesman said on January 9 the country had no plans to supply Ukraine with the offensive vehicles.

    German vice-Chancellor and economy minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday, however, that Berlin “should not stand in the way” of Poland’s decision to supply the Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

    “There is a difference between making a decision for yourself and preventing others from making a decision,” Mr Habeck said, as quoted by German newspaper Die Welt.

    “Accordingly, Germany should not stand in the way when other countries make decisions to support Ukraine, regardless of what decision Germany makes.”

    The lack of broader coordination among European partners has been consistently presented by Germany as the reason for not taking the lead with delivering Leopards, as opposed to any form of hesitancy.

    Ukraine has repeatedly requested to be provided with Leopard 2 tanks operated by several European countries, including Germany, Poland, Finland, the Netherlands, and Spain.

    They could prove vital to battlefield advances in Ukraine after a Western official said earlier this week that both Armed Forces in the conflict zones are currently too “finely balanced” to make any significant gains.

    The NATO main battle tanks are vastly superior to Russia’s T-72 and T-90 tanks, with longer gun ranges and superior defences, but both Germany and the USA, with regard to their similarly-formidable Abrams M1 tanks, have been hesitant to send them to Ukraine over fears Russian forces could capture one of their vehicles and harvest the armour for state secrets.

    If Russia was able to decipher how the unique armour on these tanks is made, they could subsequently engineer their own versions, which would likely be available for combat use in 2024.

    Ukraine strikes 3 Russian control centres

    Ukrainian forces have struck three Russian control centres in the last few days of fighting, according to the General Staff of the Armed Forces latest update on Thursday.

    They reported that Ukraine’s rocket and artillery forces hit three Russian control centres, three temporary bases, an S-300 missile system, and three ammunition depots.

    In their update, spokesperson Alexander Stupun said: “The aviation of the Defense Forces of Ukraine struck 15 strikes on the enemy’s focus areas, as well as 5 strikes on the positions of its anti-aircraft missile complexes.

    “In addition, our soldiers shot down an enemy SU-25 aircraft and an Eagle-10 unmanned aircraft.

    “Ukrainian artillery and rocket launchers struck 3 control points, 3 areas of the enemy’s manpower and military equipment, an enemy air-aircraft missile complex C-300 and 3 ammunition warehouses.”

    They added that Russia had fired 5 missiles into “peaceful” cities including Kramatorsk, just north of Bakhmut, which has been at the epicentre of fighting on the frontline.

    Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians trapped in Soledar, Ukraine says

    Hundreds of Ukrainian civilians are currently trapped in the small eastern city of Soledar as Russian soldiers attempt to capture the area, the local governor has said, and they cannot be evacuated.

    Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk, told Ukrainian state TV that 559 civilians remained in Soledar, including 15 children, beyond the reach of the defending Armed Forces.

    The city is currently being slowly surrounded by Russia’s mercenary outfit of Wagner Group forces.

    “Fighting is fierce in the Soledar direction. [The Russians] are moving over their own corpses,” Ukraine’s deputy defence minister, Hanna Maliar, said.

    She added: “Russia is driving its own people to the slaughter by the thousands, but we are holding on.”

    Russia strikes destroy maternity ward in southern Ukraine and kill two

    Russian forces have “attacked” a village near Kherson, killing a 27-year-old and injuring a woman, the local governor has said, drawing an end to a brutal 24 hours in the southern region during which 90 missiles struck the area.

    Kherson Oblast Governor Yaroslav Yanushevych said: “A few hours ago, Russian invaders attacked the village of Yantarne, near Kherson. An enemy shell hit a residential building.

    “A 27-year-old man died of his injuries on the spot. A 47-year-old woman was also injured, she was taken to the hospital with a shrapnel wound, where doctors are providing her with the necessary assistance.”

    On Wednesday, Mr Yanushevych reported that “Russian occupiers shelled the territory of Kherson Oblast 90 times”.

    One of the targets destroyed by the artillery strikes was a maternity ward in Kherson city.

    One person was killed and another five were injured.

    Ukraine kills more than 100 Russian soldiers in single deadly missile strike in Donetsk

    The Ukrainian army has claimed a combined attack using rocket launchers and special forces has managed to take out a large group of Russian forces during the battle for Soledar. It is reported that Ukrainian artillery used a soviet-era missile to target a group of Russian soldiers who had gathered near the town. The Kremlin has claimed to have captured the town, famous for its massive salt mines, earlier this week.

    Wallace urged to ‘upgrade’ or ‘not give away’ Britain’s Challenger 2 tank supply

    The UK Government is agonizing over whether to give the green light for the British Army to send Challenger-2s to Ukraine. The move follows months of lobbying from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for Western countries to supply his soldiers with heavy tanks. While welcoming moves to aid the UK’s allies, defense expert Nicholas Drummond is concerned that the war in Ukraine proves that Britain needs to maintain a battle-capable fleet of tanks of its own. The former British Army officer pointed out that the UK already plans to reduce Challenger numbers from 227 to 148. He added that this could potentially allow the UK to give 79 to Ukraine.READ MORE

    Putin braced for Kremlin mutiny

    Vladimir Putin could be on the brink of a palace coup as “ultranationalists” grow increasingly hostile to the Kremlin’s policies in Ukraine. Britain’s former defence chief has suggested that Russia’s Vladimir Putin could be toppled in a Kremlin coup led by disaffected hardliners. Kay Burley asked Lord Dannatt on Thursday: “How secure is Putin? Do you think in his position?” The retired senior British Army officer told the Sky News host: I think he’s increasingly insecure. I think he’s insecure from a variety of threats. “One is the ultra-nationalists and ultra-hardliners in the Kremlin who don’t disagree with the war but disagree with the way that he’s been running it.READ MORE

    Good Morning

    Good morning from London. I’m Tim McNulty, I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

    Email: [email protected]

    Twitter: @mcn_ulty

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