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Russia has already been defeated. Reservist mobilization is a sign of desperation, says former Zelensky adviser

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“Russia has already failed to achieve its goals: take away the independence of Ukraine, kill the president, install a puppet regime, take over Kyiv and turn Ukraine into a Russian bay,” secretary Yulia Mendel, 35, told Lusa. Zelensky in the period from 2019 to 2021.

“In one fell swoop, [o Presidente russo, Vladimir] Putin thought that he would take the country, which makes no sense, because Ukraine is the largest territory of freedom in the post-Soviet space, and if someone comes to Kyiv, they will understand that we were never welcome in Russia and we knew that Russia fought in Donbas and annexed Crimea [em 2014] – therefore, it was an enemy – therefore, it would be impossible to obey Russia in any way,” he said.

Mendel, a Kyivian who believes Ukraine will win the war, has just published a book in the US about his experience as part of a team of “comic actor-turned-statesman and statesman-turned-military leader” titled The Fight for Our Lives is Mine. time with Zelensky, Ukraine’s battle for democracy and what it means for the world (“it means for the world”, in free translation), published by One Signal, endorsed by Simon & Schuster, but not yet published. published in Portugal.

“Yes, I believe that we will win this war – I must believe that we will win this war, because I believe in my country and will always believe in my country. We simply have no alternative, this is a battle for our very existence. We must stop him, fight back this brutal invasion. The world cannot be so unfair – justice and freedom must prevail, and we must believe in it, ”he said.

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Regarding the ongoing counter-offensive by Ukrainian forces, which have already reclaimed vast tracts of territory from the Russian army, Zelensky’s former adviser was categorical: “All Ukrainians believe that this counter-offensive can produce results; we have a lot of trust in our army and our volunteers and believe that they can bring peace to Ukraine and start rebuilding our territories and bringing back our people.”

“There are 1.2 million Ukrainians who are still under occupation. [russa], it’s a terrible thing. So, on the one hand, we are celebrating the counteroffensive, and on the other hand, our hearts bleed when we see all these mass graves and when we see signs of torture and corpses that the Russians tortured and killed – killed – children, families … “, – noted

“This is a terrible experience, and it is very scary to realize what we find [nos territórios recuperados]what will happen in the territories that are still under Russian occupation,” he added.

As for Putin’s announcement of a partial deployment of reserve soldiers – about 300,000, according to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu – Yulia Mendel called it a desperate measure.

“Putin’s announcement of partial mobilization is actually a sign of desperation, because he realized that he had achieved everything possible with the number of troops that he had been preparing for about ten months and that this was not enough – and, of course, it is scary that he is going to mobilize people from the occupied territories and send the Ukrainians to fight the Ukrainians. Let’s see how it goes…”, he commented.

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On the other hand, he pointed out, this announcement of the mobilization of reservists provoked in Russia what Zelensky’s former press secretary interpreted as a “positive sign.”

“A positive sign is that we see how part of the Russians are rising up and taking to the streets against the mobilization. Sure, it’s a bit cynical of them to agree to kill Ukrainians rather than go to the front lines and get killed, but at least it’s a sign of hope that the decisions of this 23-year-old dictator are opening cracks in his regime. which gives some hope,” he stressed.

“The bloodier it is, the more people he sends there, the bloodier this war will be,” which will provoke further protests from the Russian population, he added, as they have already set fire to several recruiting stations with Molotov cocktails. after the announcement of the mobilization of reservists, after the Russian security forces had already begun to detain more than a thousand protesters in about 40 cities of the country.

As for Putin’s speech Wednesday, in which he made a veiled threat to use nuclear weapons and said, “That’s not a bluff,” a former Zelenskiy adviser said she didn’t know “what to think about whether Putin is really considering starting a Third World War.” “

“I think the world is trying to do everything not to repeat this kind of past experience (the use of nuclear weapons), but in fact there are already some parallels with the Second World War, such as the practices of genocide and the crisis of artificially created famines… That is why Ukraine is fighting for our lives and asks the world to increase its aid, citing war, sanctions, resources, weapons, training, humanitarian aid and refugee aid.”

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Yulia Mendel ends her book with “special gratitude to all those who understand that Ukraine is not a country of the past.”

“We are the future. We broke the fetters of the post-Soviet space and became a territory of freedom. And now everyone knows,” he wrote.

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World

Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

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At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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