Ukraine: On 25 November, the Ukrainian government accused Russia of sending more military support to pro-Russian separatists in the east. A foreign ministry spokesman told the press that on 24 November Ukraine detected 85 vehicles in five columns enter eastern Ukraine via the Izvaryne/Izvarino crossing.
Comment: The Russians appear to be reinforcing their proxies in the east, most likely in anticipation of Ukrainian government preparations to begin offensive operations. On 17 November Ukrainian President Poroshenko said Ukraine was prepared for total war over the east. He said he was not afraid of war with Russian troops.
Special comment: The map below is a copy of that posted to the web by the Ukrainian government. The tan area with faint lines represents the area under control of the separatists as of 20 November. It shows that the eastern Ukrainians hold only parts of Luhansk and Donetsk Oblasts, but they form a buffer for Russia.
Readers are advoised tha tthe map is the Kyiv government's representation. It is provided for orientation.
Lithuania-Ukraine: On 24 November, Lithuania announced its decision to provide limited military aid to Ukraine after a meeting in Kyiv between Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.
"We have agreed on the supply of armaments for the Ukrainian armed forces," Poroshenko said, He described he aid as real help Grybauskaite said that Lithuania would increase the number of Ukrainians training at the military academy and would increase joint exercises with the goal of completing the formation of the Lithuanian-Polish-Ukrainian Brigade..
Comment: Lithuania's relations with Russia are always frosty, but they have worsened since President Grybauskaite called Russia a terrorist country. The Russians responded with personal attacks against her.
The Lithuanians know the Russians well and see their security interests best served by serving as a tripwire for NATO by identifying as early as possible the indicators of aggressive Russian behavior. They deliberately provoke the Russians both to test them and to test NATO.
Libya: The internationally recognized Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said on Tuesday his government's air force was responsible for attacks on the last functioning commercial airport servicing Tripoli. The airport and the capital remain under the control of a rival claimant to the government.
"The air strikes on Mitiga airport were conducted by the national air force to target the group Libya Dawn," al-Thinni's government website reported. Mitiga airport has been hit at least twice this week.
Prime Minister Omar al-Hassi, the leader of the regime in Tripoli, said, "We were open for dialogue, but are forced into a confrontation and war and we will be victorious…Now, we face an enemy that has plenty of weapons and support from abroad, and we are facing more than one country supplying it with arms," he said.
Comment: The air strikes signify another surge in the continuing civil war between rival factions. Neither side appears to have the ability to defeat the other, but the air advantage goes to al-Thinni's side and could prove decisive, over time.
Libya has had two governments since August when Libya Dawn, which is primarily Islamist, seized Tripoli and forced the elected anti-Islamist administration of al-Thinni to relocate to Tobruk.
After its eviction from Tripoli, al Thinni's government joined ranks with retired major general Hifter's secular military movement, based in eastern Libya, which fights to rid Libya of terrorists and the Islamists who harbor them. The air and air defense forces and the special forces sided with Hifter, who also appears to have support from the Egyptian armed forces.
France-Russia: French President Hollande believes the current situation in Ukraine does not allow Paris to hand over the first Mistral helicopter carrier to Russia, the French government said in a statement on Tuesday.
"The president of the Republic believes that the current situation in eastern Ukraine still does not allow the transfer of the first Mistral helicopter carrier. Therefore, he has recommended postponing the issue of studying the request for the needed permission for the export of the first helicopter carrier ship of the Russian Federation until new orders are given," according to the statement.
Comment: The first of two Mistral assault ships was to have been delivered to Russia on 14 November. Today's statement announces a continuation of the current suspension ondeliveries.
The Russians said they will take France to court for breach of contract and seek punitive damages. French workers might well wonder that they are being victimized by their own government to support the Ukrainians.
End of NightWatch
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