Why Has The Ukraine Counteroffensive Against Russia Been So Successful?
The element of surprise only plays a small part.The news has turned the war on its head and made headlines around the world, as Russians have been pushed out of cities and villages in the north-east of Ukraine.
© Office of the President of Ukraine Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zelenskyy seen on March 10, 2022. Office of the President of Ukraine
- Russian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is seeking aid from Russian conscripts.
- He's urged them to "sabotage" Russian forces and report intel to Ukrainian forces.
- Zelenskyy also urged Russians to surrender and guaranteed their safety.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is moving to overtake Russia from the inside out.
Russia's seven-month effort to conquer its neighbor, Ukraine, has recently been marked by a partial military mobilization, the country's first since World War II, NBC News reported.
Ukraine Situation Report: Top U.S. Marine Praises Battlefield Lessons Learned
Ukraine's military successes bode well for Commandant David Berger's new vision for the U.S. Marine Corps.Especially in Ukraine's empowerment of small unit leaders and its use of surveillance and countersurveillance to target artillery fires. These are two elements that are a big part of Marine Commandant Gen. David Berger’s Force Design 2030 concept to remake the Corps into a forward-deployed, distributed force under the guns of a peer adversary like China.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's mobilization effort impacts 300,000 reservists — many of whom are going to great lengths to avoid being drafted. Some have even headed to the border, despite facing up to 10 years in prison for desertion.
In a video address late on Friday Ukraine time, Zelenskyy said he seeks to "sabotage" Russia's unprovoked efforts to conquer the country.
"If you get into the Russian army, then sabotage any enemy activity, interfere with any Russian operations, give us all important information about the occupiers: their bases, headquarters, ammunition depots," Zelenskyy said, addressing Russsian conscripts.
Meet the first lady of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska — here's what to know about the country's 6th first lady
- Olena Zelenska became first lady of Ukraine on May 20, 2019.
- Born Olena Kiyashko, she was a writer for a series that starred her husband, Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
- Zelenska received international attention following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Olena Zelenska, 44, is the sixth first lady of Ukraine — an honorary title she assumed May 20, 2019, when her husband, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was inaugurated as president.
Ukraine Situation Report: Biden Warns Putin On Nuke Use
Citing claimed Ukrainian attacks, Putin threatens more severe strikes as Biden warns of U.S. response to nuclear, chemical weapons use.A report from Al Jazeera quoted Putin as he dismissed Ukraine’s Kharkiv counteroffensive and described Russia’s actions as “quite restrained.” Putin claimed recent “sensitive strikes” on Ukraine, possibly alluding to attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure like the recent strike on Kryvyi Rih hydroelectric plant, are a warning of what’s to come.
Known to keep a low profile, Zelenska was further propelled into the international spotlight shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. For the past six months, much of her role has been centered on seeking humanitarian aid for the Ukrainian people and maintaining diplomacy with Western countries.
She was also the subject of a controversial cover photo and profile in the July 2022 issue of Vogue, launching her further into the public eye.
Here's what you need to know about the first lady of Ukraine.
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Olena Zelenska was born Olena Kiyashko on February 6, 1978, in Kryvyi Rih, Ukraine's industrial hub.
Olena Volodymyrivna Zelenska was raised in a Russian-speaking household as an only child.
Her mother was an engineer and manager for a construction company, and her father was a professor at a technical school, according to Vogue.
Retreating Russians could target Ukraine civilians, some fear
Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to increase his war effort following a major counteroffensive mounted by Ukraine.Russian forces attacked hospitals and fired on a humanitarian entourage from the Vatican in Ukraine over the weekend, fueling fears that Moscow will step up assaults on civilian targets as it suffers military defeats.
Her husband, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was born in the same city, Kryvyi Rih.
The two were in junior high school when Ukraine gained its independence in 1991.
"We were teenagers in the last days of the Soviet Union," Zelenska told Vogue. "The world started to open up for us."
Zelenska started dating Volodymyr Zelenskyy while they were college students at Kryvyi Rih National University, but the two knew of each other since high school.
Zelenska and Zelenskyy started dating in 1995, but the two knew of each other since high school, according to The Sunday Times.
The couple attended Kryvyi Rih National University, where Zelenska studied architecture and Zelenskyy studied law. Both also saw some of their earliest forays into writing and producing when they joined an amateur dramatics group.
During college, Zelenskyy found an opportunity to ask for Zelenska's phone number by asking to borrow a Sharon Stone film he had already seen, according to The Independent.
Full transcript of "Face the Nation" on Sept. 18, 2022
On this "Face the Nation" broadcast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and national security adviser Jake Sullivan joined Margaret Brennan.Click here to browse full transcripts of "Face the Nation.
The couple dated for eight years and married in September 2003. They have two children: an 18-year-old daughter, Oleksandra Zelenska, and a 9-year-old son Kyrylo Zelenskyy.
A post shared by Olena Zelenska (@olenazelenska_official)
Zelenska was a writer and editor of a comedy series at Studio Kvartal 95, which Zelenskyy cofounded.
Zelenska left her architecture track and joined Zelenskyy to pursue a living in comedy.
Zelenskyy helped lead a comedy troupe to relative success, winning competitions, according to Vogue. In 2003, the couple, along with some friends, started a production company named after the district in Kryvyi where the couple grew up — Kvartal 95.
Zelenska was an editor and one of the writers for Kvartal 95's popular satirical show, "Evening Kvartal."
"My jokes don't always go over well with her," Zelenskyy said of his wife to Vogue. "She is a very good editor."
Zelenska has increasingly stepped into the role as diplomat since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Though the first lady is more of an honorary title in Ukraine — as opposed to the US, where the president's spouse has a dedicated office — Zelenska led several initiatives for her country before the war, including calling for reformed school nutrition standards and a language program meant to help spread the Ukrainian language around the world.When Russia invaded Ukraine, her role has somewhat shifted into that of a diplomat between her country and global leaders.
In May, Zelenska met with the US first lady, Jill Biden, in Ukraine. She later gave an address to Congress during which she asked American leaders to step up their support in the war and visited the Bidens at the White House in July for a meeting with American officials, according to CNN.
Zelenska had previously posed for Vogue in 2019.
Zelenska has been known to keep a low profile, describing herself as a "non-public person."But the Ukrainian first lady has graced the spotlight a few times, even before her Vogue photo shoot with the legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz that sparked a bit of controversy.Previously, Zelenska was featured in the Ukraine edition of Vogue in November 2019.
Putin calls an additional 120,00 citizens up for military service
The Russian leader said the mass conscription was 'not in any way related to the special operation' in Ukraine.State news agency TASS quoted Russia’s defence ministry as saying the announcement was ‘not in any way related’ to the conflict in Ukraine.
A post shared by Володимир Зеленський (@zelenskiy_official)
"I am a non-public person. But the new realities require their own rules, and I'm trying to comply with them," Zelenska told Ukraine Vogue at the time. "I can't say that publicity or communication with the press is stressful for me. But I prefer staying backstage."
Zelenska was further pushed into the public spotlight after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 22, 2022. Articles in the Daily Mail, The Independent, Town & Country Magazine, and elsewhere would ask who Zelenska was or how she and Zelenskyy met.
Five months later, she reappeared in Vogue for nearly all editions, including in Ukraine, for an article called "Portrait of Bravery," which received backlash. Some interpreted the feature as an attempt to glamorize the war.
A post shared by Annie Leibovitz (@annieleibovitz)
The mobilization effort comes after Ukrainian forces reclaimed much of Kharkiv, pushing Russian troops to hide amongst locals or retreat.
Russian troops are reportedly demoralized as their numbers wane. The Pentagon estimates Russian forces have faced anywhere between 70,000 and 80,000 casualties. Many Russians have grown to condemn the war as protests — and more than 1,000 arrests — ensue across the country.
In a Saturday address, Zelenskyy urged Russian forces to surrender, guaranteeing their safety.
"It is better to surrender to Ukrainian captivity than to be killed by the strikes of our weapons, absolutely fair strikes, as Ukraine defends itself in this war. We defend the brightest — we defend our lives, our children, our freedom," he said, according to his website.
"Russian commanders do not care about the lives of Russians — they just need to replenish the empty spaces left by the dead, wounded, those who fled or the Russian soldiers that were captured," the Ukrainian President added.
British and US officials argue that Putin's latest war efforts — including the mobilization effort and threatening the use of nuclear weapons — could mean his invasion is not going as planned.
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Russia smuggling Ukrainian grain to help pay for Putin's war .
BEIRUT (AP) — When the bulk cargo ship Laodicea docked in Lebanon last summer, Ukrainian diplomats said the vessel was carrying grain stolen by Russia and urged Lebanese officials to impound the ship. Moscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn’t stolen and allowed the ship to unload. But an investigation by TheMoscow called the allegation “false and baseless,” and Lebanon’s prosecutor general sided with the Kremlin and declared that the 10,000 tons of barley and wheat flour wasn’t stolen and allowed the ship to unload.