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Ukraine war: Kyiv and the „Grozny scenario”

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Status: 03/03/2022 2:52 PM

Is the Russian army doing a similar action in the battle of Kyiv as in the Chechen wars and bombing the city heavily? Many residents fear this, and a military expert sees the Russian Army in a tactical dilemma.

By Eckart Aritz, tagesschau.de

The Russian president made it clear what was self-evident and there was no reason to contradict it. Vladimir Putin said in 2004 after a flight over the Chechen capital that Grozny looked „simply appalling”. Russia has declared the end of the second war against separatists in the Caucasus, and Putin has surveyed a city that has become a modern symbol of the Russian war. What the residents of Grozny suffered can now threaten also the residents of Kyiv and Kharkiv, and this is not only feared in Ukraine.

Eckhart Aretz
tagesschau.de

After two wars, Grozny was largely destroyed. During the first Chechen war in 1994/1995 the Russian army besieged the city for weeks and bombarded it with artillery for days. Russian forces also attacked the city from the air. It is estimated that 25,000 people died.

In the second shortest Chechen war since mid-1999, the city was again attacked from the air and artillery and captured by Russian forces in the early 2000s. In 2002, the United Nations ranked Grozny as the worst-hit city in the world.

Uwe Halbach, an expert on Caucasus affairs, says the consequences for the civilian population were „devastating during the massive stages of the war”. Take the two wars together, the death toll is estimated to be between 100,000 and close to 200,000 people. Thus, according to Halbach, „the Chechen wars constituted the worst violent event in the post-Soviet region.”

’brutal approach’

Will the people of Kyiv now have to adapt to this scenario? „The Russian armed forces are primarily an artillery army,” says Vienna military analyst Franz-Stephan Gade. The Russian military relies on „firepower” which – along with air strikes and large-scale bombing – aims to intimidate the population and clear the way for its forces. Gadi fears that this „frontal and brutal approach” will appear in Kyiv.

The Russian army is primarily interested in avoiding a long battle in the city, he analyzes – here memories of the Chechen wars, as well as the Georgian war in 2008, also play a role on the part of the attackers.

helpless as in Afghanistan

In Chechnya, the Russian army showed itself to be very vulnerable to the guerrilla tactics of Chechen fighters in the first war. „As in Afghanistan, the Russian army was hardly able to fight between the partisans,” recalls Uwe Halbach. In the second Chechen war, from 2001 on, they increasingly handed over the fight against separatists to the local armed forces led by the Kadyrov clan.

Gadi says that in 2008 he showed a serious inability to manage battles, security of communications, and communication between individual units – at times the smaller Georgian army was superior to the Russian armed forces. In the end, they „overpowered the bulk of the Russian armed forces.”

Problems still exist

Military observers are aware of some of these problems—to their surprise—so far in the Ukraine war. Ex-NATO General Hans Lothar Domrose Difficult but fair About the fact that at the beginning of the war not all branches of the armed forces were widely coordinated and deployed.

Military analyst Gadi is also surprised that the army has shown itself to be „relatively weak” in the „combined arms battle” and appears to have „learned no more lessons” from past wars. There are indications that the military has no experience in „urban” combat as one might expect.

Siege and shoot

From this point of view, Gadi concludes that the Russian armed forces will also choose the brutal approach in Kyiv and develops this scenario: a siege ring could be formed around the city in order to subsequently intimidate the population with targeted bombing and artillery fire. And then it will have the opportunity to leave the city through humanitarian corridors „so as not to completely destroy Russia’s international reputation” – but also to facilitate urban combat.

Western military experts agree that the leadership of the Russian army could not be interested in a long battle inside the city. All the time, the great motivation of the Ukrainians, the shortcomings of the Russian army and the strategic advantage that even inexperienced fighters in a defensive position had, were noted.

Experience has shown that the attacking arm needs up to five fighters for a cannon, in a city like Kyiv, this ratio can rise to ten to one. Jade notes that „Russia simply does not have that many fighters.”

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This in turn increases the dilemma of the attacker. Because the Russian army had to rely on increased artillery fire. Destroyed buildings are „complete defenses”. And the will to fight on the Ukrainian side is very high – perhaps because they don’t even know what urban combat really means, which Gadi says is „the most brutal kind of war”.

Chechnya as a deterrent?

Perhaps for this reason, even in the first days of the war, rumors were circulating that the Russian army also wanted to use Chechen units in the fight against the Ukrainians. They have been considered particularly unscrupulous since the two wars.

The French expert on Russia and the Caucasus Jean-Francois Ratel sees no signs of this – he considers such rumors to be part of psychological warfare. The goal is „to make the Ukrainians believe that what happened in Chechnya will also happen in Ukraine: that they will flee in the city, that there will be looting, rape and murder,” the magazine Foreign Policy quotes the French people.

So far, cities have already been bombed, sometimes with cluster munitions. Attempts to capture major cities such as Kharkiv could initially be repelled. But the attacks are growing in intensity, increasingly injuring civilians, while Russia continues to increase its forces.

Thus the Grozny scenario is also one of the many uncertainties and remains part of the guesswork about Russian plans in this war.

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More and more countries are reporting cases of monkeypox – Health

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A case of monkeypox was also confirmed in Germany for the first time. On Friday, the Bavarian Ministry of Health announced the infection of a 26-year-old young man from Brazil who had traveled from Portugal to Munich via Spain. He has been in the Bavarian capital for about a week, having previously visited Dusseldorf and Frankfurt am Main. It is the first ever case of monkeypox in Germany; According to the Robert Koch Institute, the virus has not been detected in this country before.

The patient has only minor symptoms with slight difficulties in swallowing and a high temperature and does not yet need any special medication. He will stay in the hospital where he is expected to be contagious for three to four weeks.

According to health authorities, the virus usually causes only mild symptoms, but it can also have severe courses. In individual cases, fatal diseases are possible. The virus is primarily transmitted by direct contact or contact with contaminated materials, and it can also be transmitted via droplets in the air over shorter distances – which is likely rare.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach was not surprised by this first discovery: „It was only a matter of time before monkeypox was discovered in Germany.” Doctors and patients in Germany are sensitized by reports from other countries. He said he does not assume that there are a large number of unreported cases in Germany at the moment. „Based on the information available so far, we assume that the virus is not easily transmitted and that this outbreak can be contained,” Lauterbach explained. There are two different types of pathogens – at the moment it can be assumed that the West African variant, which causes less severe cycles, is currently circulating, and not the Congo variant. The virus will be analyzed in more detail for clarity.

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Charity infection scientist Leif Sander sees more than 100 cases worldwide suspected or already confirmed, and it’s an extraordinarily dynamic case. „With the long incubation period, I expect another significant increase in cases,” he wrote on Twitter. It should be noted that monkeypox is not so contagious that it can be expected to spread over a wide area like Corona. „It’s very dangerous, but we are ready.”

said Fabian Linderts, founding director of the Helmholtz Institute for One Health (HIOH) in Greifswald and head of the project group, Highly Pathogenic Epidemiology at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Cases can be well narrowed down by contact tracing and there are effective drugs and vaccines that can be used. According to Leendertz, more data is urgently needed in order to be able to understand whether the recorded cases are related or not. It is also important to decode the genome of virus material from samples of infected people in order to check whether the pathogen has changed – eg in the direction of better transmissibility.

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Viruses have also been detected in France, Canada, Australia and the USA

Monkeypox infection is now being detected in more and more countries. France also reported its first case on Friday, and the virus has also been detected in the United States, Canada, Australia and thus other regions of the world. The extent to which the pathogen, which originated in Africa, has actually spread internationally is unclear. With so many cases, it is assumed that the virus has been spreading unnoticed for a while, said Dr. Norbert Brückmeer, president of the German Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases. STI stands for sexually transmitted disease.

According to a media report, 30 cases have now been confirmed in Spain. The newspaper reported that there are also 23 suspected cases La Vanguardia On Friday, citing the Ministry of Health. In Portugal, according to the newspaper the public 23 cases have been confirmed. The person infected in Australia had previously returned from the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, the number of cases registered there rose from 9 to 20, British Health Minister Sajid Javid announced on Friday. The state bought the smallpox vaccine – at first it was not clear how much and who should be vaccinated with it.

The World Health Organization called for strict follow-up of all contacts of those affected. Clinics and residents should be made aware of the symptoms. Most or even all cases to date involve men, and in many cases they are reported to have had sexual contact with men. According to Brockmeyer, people who have sex with many different people are most likely to develop infections. The German newspaper „Eidshelf” warned of false conclusions and stigmatization in light of the issues faced by gay men. „Of course there is a superficial similarity between monkeypox and HIV at the time – another disease from Africa that affects gay men. But the comparison doesn’t fit in many other ways,” said AIDS spokesman Holger Wiech.

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Unlike HIV, the virus that causes monkeypox has been known for much longer in the 1980s, and has also cured the disease on its own. „It is very important for us that panic fears and unreasonable fears do not arise here.” There are still uncertainties when assessing disease severity – for example about how well immune compromised – this could include, for example, people with HIV who have not been treated for many years – coping with the disease. The disease was named monkeypox after the pathogen was first discovered in monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. Experts believe that the virus actually spreads in squirrels and rodents, while monkeys and humans are considered bogus hosts.

The first monkeypox patient was described in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To this day, the disease is observed primarily in remote villages in the tropical rainforests of West and Central Africa. Congo was the worst affected, with more than 1,000 patients registered annually. Outside of Africa, monkeypox has only been described in a few countries; These were always imported cases.

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Anti-ship missile for Ukraine?: „Harpoon” missile could solve the port blockade

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Anti-ship missiles to Ukraine?
„Harpoon” missile can solve the blockade of the port

The naval blockade in the Black Sea significantly slows down Ukrainian trade. American experts are sure that the Russian fleet can be defeated with special anti-ship missiles. So far, however, there are logistical obstacles.

According to informed sources, the United States wants to send modern anti-ship missiles to Ukraine so that it can break the Russian blockade of its ports on the Black Sea. Two types of missiles are currently being discussed, as Reuters has learned from three US government officials and two congressional employees who did not wish to be identified. These are Boeing’s „Harpoon” with a range of up to 300 km and the Naval Strike Missile (NSM) missiles from Kongsberg and Raytheon Technologies with a length of 250 km.

According to the naval expert at the Hudson Institute, Brian Clark, 12 to 24 such missiles would be enough to threaten Russian warships and persuade the government in Moscow to end the blockade. This affects, for example, Ukrainian grain shipments to the world market. According to the British Ministry of Defense, Russia has about 20 warships – including submarines – deployed in the battle zone.

The Russian Navy has already suffered great losses in the Ukraine war, in particular, the sinking of the cruiser „Moskva”, the flagship of the Black Sea Fleet. According to Clark, larger Russian ships could be in danger if Ukraine acquired advanced weapons. Yet President Vladimir Putin has stuck to the blockade: „They have nowhere to hide in the Black Sea.”

The German armed forces also have „Warriors”

In March, during the NATO summit in Brussels, it became known from American circles that the delivery of anti-ship missiles to Ukraine was being discussed. It was said at the time that they „started working on it”. In April, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked NATO member Portugal to extradite Harbin. The German army also owns the weapon system.

According to informed sources, now there are a number of countries that would be ready in principle to send such missiles to Ukraine. However, no one wants to be the first to do so for fear of Russian reaction if a warship is sunk by a missile owned by that country. One government official told Reuters there was now a „well-resourced” country that might be ready to deliver first. Then other countries can follow suit.

According to previous information from the United States, there are many obstacles and fears regarding the transfer of stronger and longer-range weapons to Ukraine. These include long training times, difficulties in maintaining systems and concern that the Russian armed forces might control them. It also fears an escalation of the conflict. There are also technical difficulties, because „Harpoon” is not intended for launch from the ground.

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Bundestag statement: Schulz shuts down Lambrecht-Mers calls for impeachment

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It is interesting who Olaf Schulz did not mention in the German Bundestag that day. He thanks Robert Habeck for trying to stay away from Russian oil and gas, as he wants to rapidly expand wind power on land and at sea. He even thanks Friedrich Merz for his constructive work to jointly anchor the 100 billion special funds of the Bundeswehr in the Basic Law.

[Alle aktuellen Nachrichten zum russischen Angriff auf die Ukraine bekommen Sie mit der Tagesspiegel-App live auf ihr Handy. Hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen.]

In his previous speeches, he also thanked his Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) for her commitment to passing private funds and arms deliveries to Ukraine. Now Scholz doesn’t say a word to her. No thanks nothing. Are these withdrawal movements?

Lambrecht reads the files on the government bench, but this day is presented after the statement of the chancellor’s government, which he made because of the EU special summit on 30/31. May, more unpleasant news for you. Especially with the advent of Frederick Mers: There is now „a minister here who has more to do with self-defense than defense for weeks”, says the leader of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group.

Embarrassing details of an uninformed and uninterested minister have been leaked to the media from the German army. He asks the chancellor to give up on Lambrecht. The counselor is going to have to do that anyway, so it’s best if he does it now.

Does Lambrecht still have power?

He said that in three years she would be said to have done a good job. Scholz is known for his loyalty, she was his pick. But can things go well? Does she still have the power in the band to carry out his political turning point? The advisor is – still – undeterred. It is preferable to draw large lines.

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„Our cooperation with the economically powerful democracies, the G7, has rarely been as effective and extensive as it has been during the past few days and weeks under our presidency,” he stressed. US President Joe Biden has played a major role in this – especially with regard to NATO, but in the fall, Democrats are threatened with defeat in congressional elections, and Donald Trump is working on his return.

Frederic Merz calls for her dismissal: Christine Lambrecht, Minister of Defense, leaves the public hall at …Photo: Michael Cappeler / d

A CDU politician tempts the Freedom and Democracy Party and the Green Party with Jamaica

Therefore, Western unity is not safe, just like the one in the Schulze alliance in Berlin. When he looks into the eyes of his fellow FDP, „I see a deep yearning for Jamaica. And I can understand it,” CDU Representative Christophe de Vries tweeted during the debate.

After the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Federation is in the lead and constantly asserts that there is also the sporting possibility of an alliance in the Bundestag. It is notable that the applause of Schulz’s speech by the Greens and the FDP appears almost docile.

Schulz makes stern statements to Putin

Schulz sets his course stoically, but he also has some news in his bags. He talks about many messages and discussions with concerned citizens. But he also wanted to make one thing clear: “Helping a country that has been brutally attacked to defend itself is not an escalation. It is a contribution to repelling the attack – and thus ending the violence as quickly as possible.”

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Vladimir Putin still thinks he can bomb a foregone conclusion. But he is wrong, just as he was wrong about the determination of the Ukrainians and the unity of our alliances. There will be no peace for granted. Because the Ukrainians do not accept it, and neither do we.”

Only when Putin realizes he cannot break Ukraine’s defenses will he be willing to seriously negotiate peace. That is why we are strengthening Ukraine’s back, militarily as well. He is not talking about a face-saving solution, he wants the Russians to withdraw all forces to the borders before February 24. There are no differences in the union at all.

the ultimate goal; No peace imposed, NATO will not become a party to the war

The guiding principle is: considered, controlled and internationally coordinated. This does not mean that the Germans act alone, „everything we do should harm Russia more than us and our partners.” What makes NATO a party to the war, such as the imposition of a no-fly zone, is not done. We will secure and strengthen our defensive ability.”

More on Ukraine war on Tagesspiegel Plus:

You need special funds for that. After it was not possible to agree with the union (which is necessary to amend the Basic Law by a two-thirds majority) on the expenditure details, a vote is now taken in the budget week at the beginning of June. “We are having good conversations about this, as well as with your party, dear Mr. Merz. I am grateful for that,” said Schulze, looking at his opponent.

Merz’s facial expressions say a lot

Merz’s facial expressions and body language illustrate his opinion of this advisor. He now has a strong relationship on the part of the SPD, at least with the leader of the parliamentary group Rolf Mutzenich, who is always looking for contact in order to reach an agreement.

Scholz’s welcome received the greatest applause of the Finns and Sweden for their desire to join NATO. The slogan “one for all, all for one” is what makes the transatlantic alliance so attractive. “Dear friends in Sweden and Finland, you are welcome. With you on our side, NATO and Europe will be stronger and safer.”

Tough times: Chancellor Olaf Schulz (Social Democratic Party) moved to the government seat in the Bundestag after his government’s statement.Photo: Kay Nitfield/D

Solidarity Fund Yes, Ukraine’s rapid accession to the European Union No

Announced the EU Solidarity Fund for Ukraine. „Reconstruction (…) will cost billions.” Meanwhile, making it clear that there can be no quick accession to the European Union, Macron initially has something like a privileged partnership.

Schultz stresses that „the fact that there are no shortcuts on the way to the European Union is also a demand for justice towards the six countries of the Western Balkans.” And almost accidentally, he said something that Chancellor Angela Merkel hadn’t dared do lately: change the EU’s treaties — to herald a turning point for Europe, too.

„Citizens want, for example, more consistency in climate protection, progress in European defense, and a more equitable and inclusive Europe with more social cooperation.” The principle of consensus is also a thorn in his side, so Hungary has blocked the oil embargo until now.

[Der Nachrichtenüberblick aus der Hauptstadt: Schon rund 57.000 Leserinnen und Leser informieren sich zweimal täglich mit unseren kompakten überregionalen Newslettern. Melden Sie sich jetzt kostenlos hier an.]

Schulz also wants a new era in the EU – by changing contracts?

If required, we can talk about changing treaties, including agreement. This is not a taboo.” Since this was the most important topic in the state elections in North Rhine-Westphalia, he emphasized that the fight against inflation is also a top priority; that the abolition of the EEG surcharge, and the fixed energy price of 300 euros (which does not Pensioners get it, the union complains), and tax deductions on packing, social benefits and a 9-euro ticket in local transport also shouldn’t be the last word.

The chancellery is looking forward to autumn when the bills for the extra costs arrive. And the traffic light, especially the FJP, but it wants to go back to the debt brake for the 2023 budget.

Frederick Merz accuses the chancellor of playing a double game in handing over guns.Photo: IMAGO / Political Moments

Merz dissected by Scholz

Friedrich Merz remains true to himself, as last time, he begins his speech with a quote from Scholz. „I’m not going to join a group of people doing something for a while with a photoshoot,” the RTL consultant said on the topic of the long-term visit to Kyiv. Who does that mean? European heads of government, his foreign minister or the head of the Bundestag?

This leads to harassment of the parliamentary group of the Social Democratic Party. Replica Merz: „Your nerves are really on edge after the last election on Sunday.” Sauerland again explains Schulze, above all, on the subject of arms delivery, but he was not always up to date himself.

Chancellery: Merz is not in the movie

„The truth is that almost nothing has been delivered from Germany in the past few weeks.” There is no ammunition for the Gepard anti-aircraft tank, nothing happens with the exchange of rings. “What double game is really being played in the federal government?” says Merz.

In Chancellery, they say both are wrong, and Merz must have made old rhetorical notes.

It is said in Schultz’s environment that the Gibbard tanks will be delivered after the training of Ukrainian soldiers in Germany – with sufficient ammunition. But the question of where the ammunition suddenly came from – so far it has been forbidden to transport from the country of production Switzerland – remains unanswered. Training on a complex system can also take a long time.

However, the truth is the circular exchange is expanding, so there’s a lot going on here. Merz may have missed it, but the day before, Lambrecht was able to announce that Germany would give the Czech Republic 15 Leopard tanks so that the Czech Republic, in turn, could deliver heavy equipment the Ukrainians already knew about to the war zone. The Ukrainian government also now clearly commends Germany’s contributions.

But the question these days remains as to how long Lambrecht can still announce such news about this ring exchange – and that depends above all on how long Scholz holds his hand.

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