Friday, August 5, 2022

Editor's Note

Taking some time off. Blogging will be light for the next two weeks. It will return to normal on August 15.

Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- August 5, 2022

 

Reuters: Ukraine under pressure in east as NATO chief says Russia must not win 

 KYIV (Reuters) -Ukraine said on Thursday it had been forced to cede some territory in the east of the country in the face of a Russian offensive, and the head of the NATO military alliance said Moscow must not be allowed to win the war. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy this week described the pressure his armed forces were under in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine as "hell". 

He spoke of fierce fighting around the town of Avdiivka and the fortified village of Pisky, where Kyiv has acknowledged its Russian foe's "partial success" in recent days.  

Read more .... 

Live Updates  

Russia says it’s ready to discuss prisoner swap; three ships carrying grain leave Ukrainian ports -- 

CNBC Live Updates: Russia's war in Ukraine -- CNN 

Russia-Ukraine war: Kyiv calls Amnesty report that says Ukrainian forces are putting civilians at risk a ‘perversion’ – as it happened -- The Guardian  

Russia-Ukraine updates: Heavy fighting reported on the outskirts of Donetsk -- DW  

Russia-Ukraine war: what we know on day 163 of the invasion -- The Guardian  

Russia-Ukraine war: List of key events, day 163 -- Al Jazeera 

Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- August 5, 2022  

Russia Steps Up Attacks on Ukrainian Fortifications in the East -- New York Times 

 Russia maintains eastern Ukrainian attacks, new raids from Belarus -- UPI  

‘It’s just hell’: Ukraine says Russia has the upper hand in Donbas; U.S. approves Sweden and Finland to NATO -- CNBC 

Ukrainian Strike Likely Severs Rail Link Between Crimea And Kherson As Fighting In Donbas 'Just Hell' -- RFE  

Report: Ukrainian bases in communities endangering civilians -- AP  

Ukraine ‘endangers civilians’ with army bases in residential areas, says Amnesty -- The Guardian  

Ukrainian forces ‘put civilians at risk’ – Amnesty -- RT  

Zelensky accuses Amnesty International of supporting terrorism -- RT  

Ukraine Cleared To Move Javelin Missiles To Front Lines To Blow Up Russian Tanks “Defensively” -- Warzone/The Drive  

US-led effort to isolate Russia failed – Bloomberg -- RT  

Ukraine's Economy Will Crumble Without More Aid -- Foreign Policy

 3 more ships loaded with grain depart Ukrainian ports -- CBS  

NATO reveals its goal in Ukraine conflict -- RT  

US says Russia aims to fabricate evidence in prison deaths -- AP  

Zelensky angered by lack of help from EU -- RT Relatives of POWs call on Red Cross to help find loved ones -- AP  

Months into war, Ukraine refugees slow to join EU workforce -- AP

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Pentagon Orders The Aircraft Carrier USS Ronald Reagan To Remain In The Area Near Taiwan

Politico: U.S. orders aircraft carrier to remain in the region amid China-Taiwan tensions  

The U.S. is also postponing a planned intercontinental ballistic missile test. 

The Pentagon has directed the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan to remain in the area near Taiwan “to monitor the situation” as China launches missiles in the region, the White House announced on Thursday. 

In addition, the U.S. has delayed a planned test of a Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile to avoid increasing tensions, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters. 

“As China engages in destabilizing military exercises around Taiwan, the United States is demonstrating instead the behavior of a responsible nuclear power, by reducing the risks of miscalculation and misperception,” Kirby said of the decision. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: US announces military activity near Taiwan (RT)  

Update #2: How does the US support Taiwan militarily? (DW)  

WNU Editor: This will be viewed by China as weakness, not as a move to lower tensions .... US Postpones Missile Tests to Lower Tensions with China on Taiwan (VOA).

U.S. House Speaker Pelosi Visits South Korea

 

Daily Mail: Pelosi stares down North Korea with visit to the DMZ - as China continues to fire missiles into Japan's exclusion zone: White House is 'FUMING' with Nancy over Taiwan trip and fact she IGNORED advice not to go 

* Pelosi visited the heavily-fortified DMZ during her trip to South Korea 

* She was the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the area since President Donald Trump met North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un there in 2019 

* The 155-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide zone separates North and South Korea 

* South Korean president Yoon Suk-yeol told Pelosi her trip to the DMZ was 'a sign of strong deterrence between South Korea and the US against North Korea' 

* Pelosi now in Japan - her last stop on her South Asia tour 

* Tokyo said five Chinese missiles landed within its exclusive economic zone 

* It was part of military exercises launched by Beijing in response to Pelosi's Taiwan visit, which China is still angry about 

 * White House officials said to be fuming over Pelosi's Taiwan trip 

Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the heavily-fortified DMZ during her trip to South Korea on Thursday, another controversial stop after her touchdown in Taiwan. 

Her visit to the 155-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide zone separating North and South Korea made her the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit the area since President Donald Trump met North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un there in 2019.  

Read more ....  

Update: South Korea does not want to upset China over Pelosi .... South Korean president accused of avoiding Nancy Pelosi in bid to placate China (The Guardian). More here .... South Korean president skips in-person meeting with Pelosi, causing controversy (FOX News) 

 U.S. House Speaker Pelosi Visits South Korea  

In S. Korea, Pelosi avoids public comments on Taiwan, China -- AP  

Nancy Pelosi travels to South Korea; Seoul calls visit 'show of deterrence' against North Korea -- UPI  

Pelosi visited Korean Demilitarized Zone with congressional delegation -- CNN  

Pelosi meets leaders in South Korea, visits DMZ after contentious Taiwan trip -- DW 

Pelosi visits DMZ during South Korea trip in latest show of defiance -- NYPost  

Japan PM meets Pelosi, calls China drills ‘grave problem’ -- AP

China Launches Massive Military Exercises Around Taiwan Effectively Blockading The Island

 

Daily Mail: China unleashes its power: Worldwide outrage as ballistic missiles fly over Taiwan prompting Japan to demand 'immediate' halt to military drills or risk destroying peace in the region 

* Five high-powered missiles fired from the mainland flew over Taiwan yesterday 

* The test-firing by Beijing has triggered widespread international condemnation 

* It raised fears that a further miscalculation by China could spark war China ratcheted up its military intimidation of Taiwan yesterday by firing ballistic missiles which flew over the island and landed in Japanese waters. 

As promised by the ruling Communist Party, four days of war games encircling Taiwan began just before 2pm (local time) with wave after wave of rocket launches, while Chinese jets took to the skies and ten warships patrolled the sea. 

Five high-powered missiles fired from the mainland flew over Taiwan, Japanese officials said, and plunged into the sea south of Hateruma Island, part of Okinawa. 

The series of islands are part of Japan’s ‘exclusive economic zone’, which extends 200 nautical miles from its coast.  

Read more ...

.  

WNU editor: China has now effectively blockaded Taiwan, and they are making it very clear that this is a dress rehearsal for future blockades of Taiwan.

I also see two outcomes from US House speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. 

(1) Beijing is now resolute in solving the Taiwan issue once and for all. 

And (2), China now realizes the deep hostility that is directed towards them from the U.S. and the Western powers, and how determined they are to prevent and/or slow down China's rise. This is going to result in China forming alliances, and I predict the first country that they are going to establish such a formal political/economic/military alliance with will be Russia.  

Update: Chinese media is extensively covering these military drills (see below)  

PLA launches long-range rocket artillery, conventional missiles in drills around Taiwan -- Global Times  

PLA Eastern Theater Command launches unprecedented live-fire joint exercises around Taiwan Island -- Xinhaunet PLA conducts live-fire exercises around Taiwan -- China Daily  

PLA aircraft carrier group with nuclear-powered submarine joins drills around Taiwan: expert -- Global Times  

PLA's 'Taiwan lockdown' drills stun secessionists, external forces as precision strike, area denial capabilities proved -- Global Times  

PLA military drills around Taiwan to send strong signal: expert -- CGTN 

PLA drills a deterrent to collusion between United States and China's Taiwan: spokesperson -- Xinhuanet 

 

China Launches Massive Military Exercises Around Taiwan Effectively Blockading The Island  

China to begin second day of military drills around Taiwan as US warns mistakes could lead to conflict - live -- The Guardian

 China launches ballistic missiles during Taiwan drills -- BBC  

China conducts ‘precision missile strikes’ in Taiwan Strait -- AP  

Furious China fires missiles near Taiwan in drills after Pelosi visit -- Reuters  

China conducts precision missile strikes near Taiwan after Pelosi visit -- France 24  

China begins live-fire drills around Taiwan -- DW  

China fires missiles over Taiwan for first time as Beijing retaliates against Pelosi visit -- CNN  

China fires ballistic missiles near Taiwan after Nancy Pelosi's visit -- UPI  

11 Chinese Ballistic Missiles Fired Near Taiwan, U.S. Embarks USS America From Japan -- USNI News  

Chinese ballistic missiles land inside Japan's exclusive economic zone for first time -- FOX News  

Wave of nationalistic fervour washes over China amid Pelosi visit to Taiwan -- The Guardian  

‘Taiwan will not back down,’ president vows as China readies military drills over Pelosi visit -- France 24

Taiwan crisis: US condemns China missile launches as second day of exercises due to begin -- The Guardian  

G7, ASEAN condemn 'irresponsible' Chinese military drills near Taiwan as airlines cancel, reroute flights -- ABC News Australia  

Japan's prime minister calls for 'immediate cancellation' of Chinese military drills -- France 24

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

China Deploys Military Forces To Surround Taiwan

 

Daily Mail: Chinese TANKS flood beaches opposite Taiwan as Pelosi lands in Taipei: Beijing warns America will 'pay price for undermining China's sovereign security interests' - as four US warships lie off island's east coast 

* US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi arrived in Taipei on Tuesday evening amid fury from China 

* China warned the US will 'pay the price for undermining China's sovereign security interests' with visit 

* Chilling footage appears to show Chinese amphibious tanks on the coast of Fujian along the Taiwan Strait 

* Beijing's warplanes have been flying very close to the Taiwan Strait on Tuesday in a 'provocative' move 

* Four US warships, including the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, are positioned in waters east of Taiwan 

A furious Beijing today warned US politicians they will 'come to no good end' if they 'play with fire' over Taiwan as video emerged purportedly showing tanks lined up on beaches opposite the island. 

Chilling footage shared on Chinese social network Weibo appears to show amphibious tanks on the coast of Fujian along the Taiwan Strait. Further footage shows military equipment on the move in the city of Xiamen. 

The unverified videos emerged amid soaring tensions between China and US with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi touching down in Taipei today. Pelosi is the highest-ranking U.S. elected official to visit Taiwan since 1997.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: And so it begins. 

China Deploys Military Forces To Surround Taiwan 

PLA drills involving missiles, J-20 stealth fighters surround Taiwan as Pelosi lands on island -- Global Times  

China to launch 'targeted military operations' due to Pelosi visit -- Reuters  

21 Chinese warplanes, including more than a dozen fighter aircraft, flew through Taiwan's air defense zone on the day of Pelosi's visit -- Business Insider  

China to hold live ammunition military drills around Taiwan as Pelosi visits -- CNN 

China sends warships to surround Taiwan amid Pelosi visit -- Politico  

China begins military drills near Taiwan – reports -- RT

China threatens 'targeted military operations' as Pelosi arrives in Taiwan -- France 24  

China vows 'targeted military actions' in response to Pelosi's Taiwan visit -- Channel News Asia 

China ratchets up military and economic pressure on Taiwan as Pelosi begins her visit -- CNBC

U.S. - China Relations Near Collapse With U.S. House Speaker Pelosi's Visit To Taiwan

 

Daily Mail: Nancy Pelosi taunts China: Speaker tells Taiwanese legislature US wants to increase inter-parliamentary dialogue and mentions Tiananmen Square massacre in speech promoting 'security, economy and governance' for island nation 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi taunted China during her visit to Taiwan's Parliament in a speech promoting 'security, economy and governance' for island nation. 

Pelosi, who met with vice president of Taiwan’s parliament Tsai Chi-Chang, Wednesday morning said the US had 'come in peace for this region' and issued 'very strong, bipartisan way, in support of Taiwan.' 

While at the legislature, Pelosi emphasized bipartisan support for Taiwan despite China's threats of 'consequences' and demonstrations of military force over her visit.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: China is expecting the U.S. to recognize Taiwan independence in the near future. This has always been China's red-line for war, and China is now preparing for the worse. 

Why the U.S. has made the decision to purposefully pursue such an open policy of confrontation that will only lead to conflict and war is completely beyond me. 

U.S. - China Relations Near Collapse With U.S. House Speaker Pelosi's Visit To Taiwan  

Live: Pelosi at Taiwan parliament as China summons US ambassador -- BBC  

Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan: US house speaker tells parliament ‘we come in friendship’ – live updates -- The Guardian  

US House Speaker Pelosi arrives in Taiwan, defying Beijing -- AP  

Taiwan: Nancy Pelosi kicks off talks in controversial visit -- DW  

‘We come in friendship,’ Pelosi tells Taiwan’s parliament -- France 24  

Nancy Pelosi arrives in Taiwan as China puts military on high alert -- The Guardian  

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, drawing angry response from China -- ABC News Australia  

China Summons US Ambassador Overnight, Says Washington "Must Pay The Price" -- Zero Hedge

Editor's Note

Blogging will be light for the next two weeks. It will be back to normal on August 15. I have family coming to visit, and I will be traveling later next week (Updated July 30, 2022).

Update 10:00 EST August 2, 2022: There is a lot of news that needs to be commented on. I will be doing a number of posts later this evening.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Set To Arrive At Taipei Airport (Live)

 

WNU Editor: I sent a message yesterday to all of my close friends and contacts in China on what did they think of the US House Speaker visiting Taiwan. The responses I got back were all universally the same. 

Bottom line. 

If House Speaker Pelosi lands in Taiwan, U.S. - China relations under the current White House administration are now in a "Cold War' phase.

Update: The U.S. is answering back on Beijing's threats .... White House warns China against escalation over Pelosi’s potential Taiwan visit (France 24).

Who Will Now Lead Al Qaeda After Ayman al-Zawahiri Was Killed In Afghanistan?

Pictured in just one of three published photos, al-Adel is the likely successor to the al-Qaeda throne. He is credited with masterminding the bombings of three US embassies in 1998 as well as playing a key role in the notorious 'Black Hawk Down' plot  

Daily Mail: Is this Al-Qaeda's next terror chief? Secretive heir apparent who 'oversaw Black Hawk Down operation' and helped carry out 9/11 attacks is poised to take over after Ayman al-Zawahiri was killed in Afghanistan 

* Terror leader who named himself 'Sword of Justice' now thought al-Qaeda chief 

* Relatively young Islamist security leader known for shrewdness and poker face 

* He oversaw notorious 1993 'Black Hawk Down' operation which killed US troops 

* Al-Adel is a mainstay of the FBI Most Wanted list, with a $10million info reward 

The heir apparent to the al-Qaeda throne after tonight's confirmed death of Ayman al-Zawahiri is a canny, military-trained operative with experience killing British and American soldiers. 

Egyptian ex-army officer Saif al-Adel was a founding member of al-Qaeda, having joined pre-cursor terrorist group Maktab al-Khidamat in the late-1980s. 

 There he met future allies Osama bin Laden and al-Zawahiri, whose separate group Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) he would soon join.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I concur with the above analysis. Saif al-Adel will be (if not already) Al Qaeda's next leader.