‘Think twice’: Russia threatens Georgian opposition with Ukraine-like fate
Massive protests in Georgia forced the government to drop a bill that critics compared to a Russian repressive law, described on Friday as an “attempted” Western coup by Russia. A representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in Crimea urged Georgians to “think twice”, saying it was modeled after the situation in Ukraine in 2014.
The reports came after the Georgian parliament withdrew the controversial bill after three days of protests that brought together tens of thousands of people. The text provides for official registration as a “foreign agent” of any organization or media with more than 20% financing through capital outside Georgia.
While the defection was celebrated with joy in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, Russia took a very different view of the event. The Russian president initially thought the rejected bill was just a pretext, seeing America’s “hand” in the protest movement in Georgia as trying to stoke “anti-Russian sentiment.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the protests were “planned from abroad,” comparing them to the 2014 revolution in Ukraine, which Moscow considers a conspiracy fueled by the West. The goal is to achieve “regime change by force,” but he promised not to prove his allegations.
A representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry in annexed Crimea offered a similar analysis. The company’s post on Twitter on Friday exaggerated Georgian news and the 2014 uprising in Maidan Square in Kiev, placing photos of the two events opposite each other.
With a bonus caveat. “Protests surrounding the draft law against ‘foreign agents’ erupted in Tbilisi, leading to calls for the resignation of the government. We recommend the Georgian people to remember a similar situation in Ukraine in 2014. Do.”
The February 2014 revolution in Kyiv led to the ouster of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and the country’s rapprochement with Europe. It later divided the two parts of the Donbass, which were protected by Russia. A civil war had been sparked a year earlier by the beginning of the Russian invasion.
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Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin says the Kremlin has cut off contact with him
Relations between the ultranationalist militant Evguéni Prigojine, the head of Wagner’s private militia, and the Russian government were tumultuous. So far, however, the businessman – whose political ambitions have been attributed to him – has limited his criticism to a handful of ministers and military personnel, including those in defence.
But in his Telegram post this Friday, he appeared to be referring to the Kremlin this time, As the British newspaper mentioned The Independent. He assured that the Russian President is now ignoring his repeated requests to re-supply arms and ammunition to the troops stationed in Bagmouth. Refuses to answer his phone calls.
“They cut off all avenues of calling offices, ministries, etc., to stop me asking for ammunition. But the strangest thing is that they also blocked agencies from making decisions (Wagner’s demands, editor’s note)
Evguéni Prigojine’s declaration takes on its full resonance when it not only condemns Vladimir Putin’s approach – admittedly, without naming him – but also comes within a delicate context, particularly at the military level. Therefore, on this same Friday, the Wagner group said that they expected an immediate counterattack by the Ukrainian army in Bagmouth.
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Wagner says the Ukrainian military is preparing for a counterattack on Baghmoud
Citing “Ukrainian sources”, Russian private fighter Wagner said in a telegram that they expected a counterattack from the opposing army on the town of Baghmoud, where the two belligerents are fighting.
“Ukrainian General Staff is planning an attack in several directions, including the most combat-ready units, i.e. up to 55,000 men”, the group notes: “Groups are being formed in Sloviansk, Sasov Yar and other cities located towards Bagmouth. Front”.
If the number of 55,000 players is surprising, The Financial Times – Quoting an independent military consultancy in Poland – Already evaluated on January 10 “More than 30,000” Ukrainian troops in Baghmouth.
For the rest, Wagner assures him that the Russian regular army will lend him a hand in countering the Ukrainian offensive. “Russian Command Redeploys Troops in City to Support Wagner Division”.
Volodymyr Zelensky and Prime Minister of Finland Dimitro “Da Vinci” Kotsubailo pay tribute
Volodymyr Zelenskyi and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin pay tribute to Ukrainian knight Dmytro Kotsupelo, known as “Da Vinci” at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Kyiv.
Hundreds of people came to pay their respects to the fallen soldier by the President of Ukraine.
He has been fighting since the age of 18 after the Russian invasion of Donbass in 2014. In 2021, he was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine.
Satellite images show the Bagmouth area destroyed by shell marks
Satellite images from the Maxar agency show the extent of the fighting in Baghmouth. While pictures from six months ago show no sign of a crater, new pictures show traces of tiles on the floor surface.
In Moldova, the UN is investigating a planned attack by Russian-backed separatists
Officials in Moldova’s pro-Russian separatist region of Transdniestria have called on the UN to investigate a plot to attack several senior officials, saying they had foiled it earlier Thursday and blaming it on Kyiv, which it denies.
“I have already ordered the Foreign Minister to prepare reports for all members of the UN Security Council. (…) We will invite (them) to investigate this situation and ensure our security”, announced in Russian the leader of the separatists, Vadim Krasnochelsky, in a televised speech.
The intervention came hours after separatist authorities in Transdniestria claimed to have thwarted an attack instigated by the Ukrainian security services (SBU).
The SBU immediately denounced the allegations as a “planned provocation by the Kremlin,” while Moscow confirmed that Kiev was already making “preparations” to launch an attack on the pro-Russian border state of Transdniestria from Ukraine in late February. .
Volodymyr Zelensky will not be able to speak at the Oscar ceremony
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has asked to speak via video conference during the 2023 Oscars to mediate the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but has been denied, according to US media. Various This Thursday.
This is not the first time. The newspaper again says that already last year, the head of state made the same request and received a negative response.
The ceremony will be held next Sunday.In Los Angeles, USA.
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White House condemns Russia’s “brutal” and “unjustified” strikes
The White House condemned the massive Russian missile and drone strikes in Ukraine that killed at least nine people as “brutal” and “unnecessary.”
“It is heartbreaking to see these brutal, unjustified attacks on civilian infrastructure across Ukraine,” administration spokeswoman Olivia Dalton told reporters. The attacks left part of the population without electricity and, temporarily, Zaporizhia’s nuclear power plant.
Russia bombed several cities in Ukraine in “retaliation”.
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On Thursday, a series of Russian missile and drone strikes in Ukraine, the largest in weeks, killed at least six people and left part of the population without power, as well as, temporarily, the Zaporizhia nuclear power plant.
Hours after the missile strike, Ukrainian electricity operator Ukrenergo announced it was restoring power to the occupied plant, ruling out the risk of a nuclear accident.
Russia called the strikes, using new hypersonic Kinzel missiles, “retaliation” for the March 2 incursion of Ukrainian “saboteurs” into its territory.
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