Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Israel Claims It Has Killed Half Of Hamas's Battalion Commanders

The IDF did not say when or where the picture was taken but said those in it were from the Northern Gaza Brigade, which is the second largest brigade in Hamas  

Daily Mail: Plotting terror in their tunnels… before five of them were killed in an air strike: IDF reveals five Hamas commanders killed since posing for a photo 

* Several top Hamas commanders took a chummy photo, surrounded by food 

* The IDF revealed five of the 11 pictures have been killed in airstrikes 

* The IDF has ravaged the Gaza Strip after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 

Israel has revealed that five Hamas commanders who took a chummy picture together have all died in airstrikes, following Israel's blitzing retaliation against the terror group. 

The IDF released a photo of 11 top-level Hamas commanders sitting and smiling in a long and narrow room, with plates of fruit and drink on the tables in front of them. 

An IDF spokesperson revealed that of the 11 men, five are confirmed to have died in airstrikes launched as part of its ground offensive into Gaza, which has seen massive artillery and aerial bombardment in the enclave in revenge for Hamas' October 7 incursion. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There must be an interesting story on how Israel was able to get the above photo. 

 Israel Claims It Has Killed Half Of Hamas's Battalion Commanders 

 Israel releases image of eliminated Hamas figures enjoying meal, other leaders killed, IDF says -- FOX News  

Israel Claims It Has Killed 5 Hamas Commanders in Rare Photo -- DNYUZ/New York Times 

Israel releases image of killed Hamas militants enjoying meal in Gaza tunnel -- Times of Israel

U.S. Announces $175 Million New Weapons Aid For Ukraine. Blinken Warns It May Be Last Unless Congress Acts

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. © Sputnik / Ramil Sitdikov  

Kyiv Independent: Blinken announces 'one of last' defense aid packages 'unless Congress passes' further funding 

The U.S. announced on Dec. 6 a $175 million defense aid package for Ukraine from previously directed drawdowns, in what Secretary of State Antony Blinken said would be one of the last military aid packages to Ukraine if Congress fails to pass additional funding. 

U.S. President Joe Biden urged Congress to pass a Ukraine aid bill on Dec. 6, saying that failing to support the country would be a "gift" for Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

"Unless Congress acts to pass the president’s national security supplemental funding request, this will be one of the last security assistance packages we can provide to Ukraine," Blinken said in a statement.  

Read more .... 

 U.S. Announces $175 Million New Weapons Aid For Ukraine  

US announces new weapons aid for Ukraine as Congress is stalled on more funding -- AP

US commits $175 million in fresh security assistance for Ukraine -- Euramaidan  

Missiles for HIMARS and more: U.S. announces new military aid package for Ukraine -- RBC Ukraine  

Blinken Unveils $175Mln in Ukraine Military Aid, Warns It May Be Last Unless Congress Acts -- Sputnik

Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- December 6, 2023 (Videos)


WNU Editor: A lot of updates today.

Venezuelan President Maduro Has Ordered The Mobilization Of The Army While Announcing The Annexation Of Two-Thirds Of Guyana


El Pais: Venezuela-Guyana dispute: Maduro mobilizes the army and announces annexation of Essequibo 

Via a law announced Tuesday, Venezuela will create a new province or state in the disputed territory, having already appointed a single provisional authority: Major-General Alexis Rodríguez Cabello 

Two days after the referendum on Essequibo, a territory disputed between Venezuela and Guyana, the government of Nicolás Maduro is moving forward to try to enforce what was approved Sunday in a vote that registered almost no participation in the streets but which Chavismo hailed as a victory with 10.4 million voters, reawakening a crisis of credibility in the country’s electoral authorities. In a television appearance Tuesday, Maduro presented a new official map of Venezuela with Essequibo incorporated, without the disputed delimitation, during a Council of State in which he announced a series of measures and upcoming legislation to cement Caracas’ possession of the territory and its resources. Earlier, Maduro had sent a military contingent to Puerto Barima on the Venezuelan Atlantic border, close to the limits of the area under claim.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In the past such a crisis would always result with the  U.S. President immediately issuing a direct warning to Caracas that a forced takeover/invasion of this region in Guyana will result in a US intervention. 

But no warnings or threats are coming from the White House today. No deployment of U.S. naval and other military resources. No assembling of allies in the Americas to thwart Maduro's annexation of Guyana. Basically .... no leadership from President Biden. 

I cannot say that I am surprised. Washington is in chaos right now trying to handle multiple crisis and conflicts. Venezuelan President Maduro knows this, and he is taking advantage of it.  

Update: The Venezuelan government has issues a new map (see below):

Venezuelan President Maduro Has Ordered The Mobilization Of The Army While Announcing The Annexation Of Two-Thirds Of Guyana  

Essequibo: Venezuela moves to claim Guyana-controlled region -- BBC  

Venezuela’s president orders creation of new state and map including land from Guyana -- CNN  

Venezuela orders oil drilling in Guyana-run territory -- Financial Times  

Guyana appeals to US and UN as Maduro advances annexation of territory -- The Guardian 

Venezuela adds disputed oil-rich region to its map -- RT  

Will Nicolás Maduro Invade Guyana? -- By Daniel Raisbeck, CATO Institute

Russian President Putin Travels To Saudi Arabia And The U.A.E. Putin Makes Rare Trip Abroad With Visit To Saudi Arabia, UAE 

 * In a rare trip abroad as an international arrest warrant hangs over him, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on December 6. 

 * The Kremlin said on December 5 that bilateral relations and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be discussed during the meetings. 

 * Following the one-day trip, Putin will return home and meet Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, the Kremlin said. 

In a rare trip abroad as an international arrest warrant hangs over him, Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on December 6 before heading home for a meeting with Iran's president the next day. 

The Kremlin said on December 5 that bilateral relations and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be discussed during the meetings, while issues concerning the oil market, "are also always on the agenda."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: He must have flown over Iranian airspace to get to the U.A.E.. This flight was also escorted by fighter planes and a tanker or two .... Putin arrives in Middle East flanked by Russian fighter jets (The Hill).  

Update #1: Yup. He flew over Iran .... Putin Skirts Russia's War Zones for Middle East Trip, Flight Path Shows (Newsweek).  

Update #2: Nothing but praise from the leader of the U.A.E. .... UAE leader welcomes ‘dear friend’ Putin (RT).  

Update #3: He is being treated as an honored guest by the Saudi Crown Prince .... Russia's Putin meets Saudi crown prince in whirlwind Gulf visit (Reuters). More here .... Putin arrives in Saudi Arabia (RT).  

Update #4: The two main topics that will be discussed are (1) the Israel - Hamas war. (2) The price of oil and natural gas and the need for production cuts in 2024 to raise the price of energy. (3) Bilateral relations. (4) The rise in global tensions. 

 Russian President Putin Travels To Saudi Arabia And The U.A.E. 

Putin takes lightning tour of U.A.E., Saudi Arabia — 2 countries where he won't be arrested -- CBC/AP  

Putin makes rare trip outside Russia for OPEC talks with Saudi Arabia -- FOX News 

Putin Travels to U.A.E. and Saudi Arabia on Rare Trip to Mideast -- New York Times  

Putin lands in UAE for rare foreign trip -- BBC 

Diplomacy in desert: Putin recognizes UAE's environmental stewardship -- TASS

Who Lost Ukraine?

Gregory J. Wallance, The Hill: Who lost Ukraine? 

Ukraine hasn’t been lost yet. But it will be if Congress fails to pass a Ukraine military aid package this month. Without U.S. weapons and equipment, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky bluntly put it, “we will lose the war.” 

Who will get the blame if U.S. aid ceases and Russian President Vladimir Putin triumphantly enters Kyiv, executes or imprisons tens of thousands of Ukrainians, wipes out the Ukrainian identity, and starts menacing Western Europe with his newly-captured, Western supplied armaments?  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is one of those conflicts that could have been avoided. Minsk 2 was an agreement that all parties had signed onto, and it would have defused tensions and put an end to the ongoing war with Ukraine's Russian majority populations in the east.

Before the war I always felt that the solution to Ukraine's ongoing war and conflict with its Russian minority population would be a federated system like Canada's, where linguistic and cultural rights will be protected and respected. Minsk 2 was a pathway that would have lead to such a system. Why Ukrainian leaders choose to break this agreement and pursue a military option thereby opening the door for Putin to order the invasion of the country is one of those questions that I hope will be answered when the war is finally over. 

As to who lost Ukraine? 

 On top of my list is Ukraine President Zelensky and Ukraine's hard-core nationalist leaders. This is then followed by US President Biden and the leaders of most Western governments. 

They all underestimated Putin, and they also completely underestimated and misread Russian public opinion on Ukraine and the war. They were also clueless on Ukraine itself. Not appreciating the simple fact that a third of the country regard themselves as Ukrainian-Russians with deep linguistic/cultural/and religious ties to the Russian identity, and that they would fight and go to war to protect their rights.

Update: I did not expect this public admission .... US would be responsible for Ukraine’s defeat – Treasury Secretary (RT).

German Media Now Admitting That Ukraine Is On The Brink Of Losing The War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Commander of Ukraine's Ground Forces Col.-Gen. Oleksandr Syrsky, right, and Roman Mashovets, deputy head of the Presidential Office, look at a map during their visit to the frontline city of Kupiansk, Kharkiv region, Ukraine, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)  

REMIX: ‘Has Kyiv already lost?’ – Germany’s Welt newspaper claims Ukraine is ‘crumbling’ and that Orbán was right but ‘nobody dares admit it’ 

In a shocking admission, top German newspaper Welt notes that Hungarian PM Viktor Orbán’s views on the Ukraine conflict were right all along Germany’s Welt newspaper, perhaps the most popular publication in the country, is well known for its pro-Ukraine stance and ran numerous articles in the past about the likely success of Ukraine’s military offensive against Russia. However, in a column published yesterday by the paper’s chief correspondent, Sascha Lehnartz, the assessment of Ukraine’s chances in the war is decidedly bleak. 

Entitled “Has Kyiv already lost?” the article describes Ukraine’s military growing increasingly despondent to the point that the country’s commander-in-chief admits there is a “stalemate” at the front. 

“Winter is just around the corner. The counteroffensive seems to have failed. The allies are weary. And since the beginning of November at the latest, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has a new opponent who was not necessarily to be expected: his own commander-in-chief, Valery Zaluzhny,” writes Die Welt.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The German press is not the only media that is speculating on Ukraine losing. The UK press, known for its strong pro-Ukraine reporting, are now publishing stories that give a detailed look on how bleak the actual current situation is for the Ukraine Army .... Ukraine soldiers in 'hell' as there's not enough men: 'Some soldiers can't even swim' (Express).

Classified U.S. Senate Briefing Devolves Into A Shouting Match Over Border Security And Aid To Ukraine


CNN: Classified briefing devolves into shouting as senators fight over border provisions in Ukraine-Israel aid package 

A classified briefing Tuesday on Ukraine devolved into a shouting match about border security as senators described a tense meeting that did little to break the Senate’s stalemate over whether to include tighter immigration policies in the aid package. 

The meeting came as Republican senators have warned they are prepared to vote against advancing a more than $100 billion supplemental national security package unless it includes major border policy changes, casting doubt on whether the aid will pass this year.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: So much for this being a classified briefing. It looks like some US Senators are now finally seeing the light that the Ukraine war is a lost cause, and they are making their feelings public. And while I personally believe the US Congress will provide some aid to Ukraine, it will be far short of the $61 billion that President Biden has requested. And as for Republican demands to address the broken state of the US border, I predict that this issue will be kicked into next year. 

Classified U.S. Senate Briefing Devolves Into A Shouting Match Over Border Security And Aid To Ukraine 

Senate Republicans to block Ukraine funding after tempers flare at classified briefing -- The Hill  

Republicans storm out of briefing as Congress battles over Israel and Ukraine aid package -- NBC  

US senators clash during Ukraine briefing after Zelensky cancels planned video meeting -- Le Monde  

GOP senators walk out of briefing over lack of border support in Ukraine aid package -- UPI  

Dem anger boils over at linking border with Ukraine -- Politico  

Republican border demands could derail Ukraine aid -- BBC

Senators Are on Collision Course in Ukraine-Aid Vote -- Wall Street Journal  

Clock ticks down on Ukraine aid as Senate border talks falter -- The Hill

Zelensky Cancels US Senate Address On Ukraine Aid Package


BBC: Zelensky abruptly cancels US Senate briefing amid funding row 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has called off a high-profile briefing with US lawmakers amid an impasse over future US funding for the country. 

Virtual appearances in the Senate and House had been scheduled for Tuesday, but were cancelled at the last moment.

It came after a top Ukrainian official warned they are in danger of losing the war against Russia if more US military aid is not approved. 

Senate leader Chuck Schumer did not explain why Mr Zelensky was a no-show. The chamber's top Democrat said the Ukrainian president was occupied with a "last-minute" matter, without providing further detail.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This was a meeting that he had to attend. That is why there is now a lot of speculation on why he cancelled at the last moment (see video below). 

The US media narrative is that he cancelled because the Republicans were not going to bend on giving him tens of billions in aid until their priorities on the US-Mexico border are addressed. My Ukrainian contacts tell me a different story. They tell me that he has been facing a revolt from his top generals and field commanders on the direction of the war, and it has gotten worse in the past few days. He had to focus and spend time on handling that crisis, and not making a pitch to a bunch of US Senators who will help him as much as as they can. This post adds credence to these reports .... Ukraine’s tensions at the top spill into the open ( 

Sighhh ....

I know there is a lot of despair in Ukraine right now. The overwhelming mood right now is of exhaustion and impending defeat. At least that is what I am hearing and sensing when I talk to my Ukrainian contacts, friends, and family members. 

They are also telling me the same thing. If this US aid is not forthcoming, the front-lines in the eastern part of the conflict will be overwhelmed by the Russian military in the coming months. And while the Ukraine army will not collapse, they will have to abandon major territory to the Russians. 

As to what is my take. 

Absent a collapse of the Ukraine Army (which I do not see), a major loss of territory to the Russian military will be a devastating psychological blow to both Ukraine and its allies. In a war of attrition there is always a breaking point. It looks like Ukraine is about to face their "breaking point" sooner rather than later.


Zelensky Cancels US Senate Address On Ukraine Aid Package  

Zelenskiy unable to attend Senate briefing on Ukraine aid; Schumer blames Republicans for impasse – as it happened -- The Guardian

Zelensky cancels Senate address as US lawmakers row over Ukraine funding -- France 24 

Zelensky abruptly cancels US Senate address as aid for Ukraine war hits dead end -- The Independent  

Zelensky cancels Congress briefing as Republicans walk out over Ukraine funding -- The Telegraph 

Zelensky Abruptly Cancels Address To Senators, Lashes Out At Failure To Secure More Taxpayer Funds -- Zero Hedge

Editor's Note

Had to take care of an emergency yesterday (my mother drank something that she should not have .... again). 

It gave me a big scare, but everything is OK now. 

Blogging will be returning within the hour. There is a lot that I need to post and comment on.