NEW YORK (RichTVX.com) — Vladimir Putin is preparing for a new offensive against Ukraine and preparing his country for potential conflict with the United States and its allies. The Kremlin is seeking to regain control of the territory it currently occupies and is pressuring Ukraine and its allies to agree to a truce. The Russian army has reportedly suffered significant setbacks, but Putin believes that a larger force and willingness to take losses will enable Russia to prevail. The new offensive could begin as early as February or March, and the economy and society are adjusting to the needs of the war. U.S. and European intelligence agencies are assessing Russia’s capabilities for a major new offensive as Ukraine’s allies prepare to send battle tanks to aid Ukrainian forces. A wealthy Russian businessman, who attempted to act as a mediator in the ongoing conflict between Ukraine and Russia, has failed in his efforts, according to a Wall Street Journal article. The individual, who has close ties to Vladimir Putin, had been seen as a key figure in facilitating talks between the two nations, but with the fighting showing no signs of ending, Ukrainian, US and European officials have given up on the idea that he can play a significant role in the dialogue, the publication reports. Furthermore, the individual is at risk of facing US sanctions, similar to those imposed by the UK, Canada and Europe.
Hungarian dictator Viktor Orban has announced that he would use his veto power to block any potential European Union (EU) sanctions against Russia’s nuclear power industry. Orban stated that Hungary would not allow the inclusion of Russian nuclear companies in the EU sanctions package and that sanctions on nuclear energy “obviously should be vetoed.” Hungary currently operates a Soviet-era Paks nuclear power plant and is planning to expand it in partnership with Russian state nuclear company Rosatom. The EU has not yet imposed sanctions against Rosatom, but discussions about such restrictions were reported to have taken place during the tenth round of EU sanctions against Russia. In an interview with Hungary’s state radio station, Viktor Orban announced that he would veto any potential EU sanctions against Russia’s nuclear power industry. Orban emphasized that Hungary would not allow the inclusion of Russian nuclear companies in the EU sanctions package, stating that sanctions on nuclear energy “obviously should be vetoed.” This statement is in line with Hungary’s previous stance on the matter, as they have a Soviet-era Paks nuclear power plant and plan to expand it with the help of Russian company Rosatom. The EU has not yet imposed sanctions on Rosatom, but negotiations for such measures have been discussed. Hungary has been a vocal critic of EU anti-Russian sanctions, arguing that they have not been effective and risk damaging the European economy.