Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Picture Of The Day

Canadian troops of NATO enhanced Forward Presence battlegroup run during Namejs 2022 military exercise near Strenci, Latvia, May 22. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins 

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... NATO military exercises in Europe take on new urgency (Reuters).

Monday, May 23, 2022

China Says The US Has Shipped $70 bln Worth Of Weapons To Taiwan

Global Times: US should remember its commitment to one-China principle: Chinese FM 

Claiming its one-China principle is different from China's, the US is only retreating from its own promises and the common ground it reached with China, with the intention of obstructing China's peaceful reunification and attempting to build Taiwan into an "unsinkable aircraft carrier," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday at a press briefing in response to remarks from US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price on the one-China principle. 

Price said on Twitter on May 21 that China "continues to publicly misrepresent US policy. The US does not subscribe to the PRC's 'one-China principle' - we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one-China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiqu├ęs, and Six Assurances."  

Read more ....  

Update: China says US shipped $70 bln worth of weapons to Taiwan (TASS)  

WNU Editor: The key paragraph from the above Global Times article is the following .... .... What's more, the military ties between the two sides are becoming more frequent and open, and the scale of US arms sales to Taiwan is increasing, totaling more than $70 billion, which is in violation of the US commitment to gradually reduce arms sales to the island. The US side has also hyped the expansion of Taiwan's so-called "international space," trampling on its promises that the US has no intention of implementing "two Chinas" or a "one China, one Taiwan" policy. 

Here is the list of US Arms sales to Taiwan .... List of US arms sales to Taiwan (Wikipedia).

Chinese Invasion Plan For Taiwan Leaked

The audio and meeting photo were provided by Lude Media  

Times of India: Explosive audio leak details China's plan to invade Taiwan 

NEW DELHI: An unprecedented and explosive audio leak of a top-secret meeting of the Peoples Liberation Army has reveal China's detailed plan to attack Taiwan. 

Experts say that the audio clip posted on the YouTube channel of Lude media appears authentic. This will be the first time since the formation of the People's Republic of China in 1949 that a recording of a top-secret meeting of a military command has been leaked. 

Apparently, "allies" within the Communist Party of China (CPC), especially the military (codename "Thunder") carried out the recording of the meeting that took place on May 14. No wonder the knives are out to nail the source of the leak. The Lude media recording was also posted on the twitter account of Jennifer Zeng @jenniferatntd.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The leaked audio (in Chinese) can be heard here (link here). 

I do not know if this leak is real, or it is part of a disinformation campaign. But if it is true to say that it is disturbing is an understatement. 

Chinese Invasion Plan For Taiwan Leaked  

Watch: Leaked video shows Chinese commanders discussing Taiwan invasion plan -- WION  

WW III Fears: China State Media Leaks Taiwan Invasion Plan -- Wall Street Rebel  

Audio Leaked of Chinese Military Meeting Discussing the Invasion of Taiwan and Defeat of Regional US Forces -- Restoring Liberty

US Defense Secretary Says Twenty Nations Have Agreed To Send More Weapons to Ukraine

 

Washington Post: International military aid for Ukraine accelerates, Pentagon says 

The Pentagon announced Monday that about 20 countries have pledged new security assistance packages for Ukraine, including new anti-ship missiles, additional attack helicopters and tanks. 

Forty-seven nations now have joined the Ukraine Defense Contact Group, which was organized by the Pentagon to help address Kyiv’s immediate and long-term needs as it seeks to beat back the Russian military’s protracted invasion. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Monday singled out Denmark for providing Ukraine with a Harpoon launcher and missiles to help defend its coast, and the Czech Republican for agreeing to send helicopters, tanks and rocket systems. 

Other participating nations, he said, have donated artillery rounds and armored vehicles, or agreed to provide the Ukrainians with training and assistance to maintain its military systems. 

The group is scheduled to meet again June 15, on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers.  

Read more .... 

US Defense Secretary Says Twenty Nations Have Agreed To Send More Weapons to Ukraine  

U.S. Defense Leaders Pleased by Progress of Ukraine Contact Group -- US Department of Defense  

Pentagon says more high-tech weapons going to Ukraine -- AP  

Ukraine-Russia War: Some 20 countries commit to new security aid for Ukraine -- Reuters  

Missiles, helicopters: 20 countries offer new arms for Ukraine -- AFP  

Pentagon: 20 countries agree to new security aid for Ukraine -- The Hill  

Pentagon Chief: 20 Countries Sending New Security Aid to Ukraine -- VOA 

US, Allies 'Intensifying' Effort to Arm Ukraine with New Types of Weapons, Austin Says -- Military.com

Pentagon Says Russia's Invasion Of Ukraine Has Been 'Slow And Unsuccessful'

 

Yahoo: Russia's invasion of Ukraine has been 'slow and unsuccessful,' Pentagon says 

WASHINGTON — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to be hampered by consistent military assistance to Ukraine from allies in Europe and elsewhere, U.S. military leaders said on Monday after a meeting with allies who made new pledges of weaponry as the war in Eastern Europe is on the cusp of entering its fourth month. 

“We remain committed, resolved and united in our assistance to Ukraine,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley said at a Pentagon briefing after a second meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group, a consortium that now includes nearly 50 nations, most of them in Europe, committed to defending Ukraine against the invasion that the Kremlin launched in late February.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I understand the Pentagon needs to paint an optimistic picture on the war in order to maintain public support, but in the month of May I have been seeing consistent and critical Russian military successes on the battlefield. 

It was only last week that thousands of Ukraine's best fighters surrendered en-masse at the Azovstal plant in Mariupol, and there are now reports that thousands of Ukrainian fighters are about to be surrounded (if not already) at a key city in the Donbas .... Here’s how Russia is zeroing in on key Ukrainian stronghold Severodonetsk (The Print). And then there is this sobering on the ground report from Euronews on how dire the situation is becoming in eastern Ukraine (see video below). 

If this is slow and unsuccessful, then why the rush to send tens of billions in arms? Why escalate a greater involvement in this conflict? 

My gut tells me that the Pentagon leadership are very worried on the military situation that is unfolding right now, and are trying their best to assist the Ukrainians as best as they could to contain the Russian military and their offensive in the Donbas. But will it be enough? I have my doubts.

Is Russia Running Out Of Soldiers In Ukraine?

Mobile enlistment offices. Russia's Defense Ministry  

Moscow Times: Russia Scrambles for Soldiers Amid Ukraine War Manpower Shortage 

Several mobile military enlistment offices could be seen Saturday on the sidelines of an annual half-marathon race in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk. 

“Mobile selection point for contract service,” read the blue lettering on the side of one of the large trucks, which was suspended over an image of an aircraft carrier and a fighter jet. Another photograph from the event showed recruitment officers mingling with runners. 

Such recruitment points appear to be an increasingly common sight in Russian cities as the Kremlin struggles to redress the army’s manpower shortage in Ukraine without formally declaring war and announcing a full, or partial, mobilization.  

Read more ....  

Update: Struggling in Ukraine, Russia paves way to sign up over-40s for army (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: At the moment I do not see the Kremlin redressing the army’s manpower shortage in Ukraine by formally declaring war and announcing a full, or partial, mobilization. As long as the Russian military continues to advance in eastern Ukraine, albeit slowly, and recruitment drives continue to fill manpower gaps, there will be no change in policy.

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Unveils The Kremlin's Geopolitical Strategy

File photo: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, May 20, 2022 © Sputnik/Ilya Pitalev  

RT: Lavrov unveils Russia’s geopolitical strategy 

Foreign minister tells students of Moscow’s economic and political plans and future of relations with the West Moscow expects increased economic cooperation with China as the West becomes more dictatorial, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday. Russia intends to build relations with independent countries and will decide how to deal with the West if and when it comes to its senses, he added. 

Now that the West is taking the position of a dictator, our economic ties with China will grow even faster,” Lavrov told students at the Primakov School, an elite Moscow high school named after one of his predecessors.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Moscow Not Sure It Needs Resumed Ties With West, Will Work on Ties With China -Lavrov (Reuters) 

Update #2: Russian FM Says Moscow's Special Operation Confirmed 'fears' About West's Plans In Ukraine (Republic World)  

WNU Editor: I see this focus on China/India/and other Asian/African/Middle Eastern countries will be the driving force for Russian foreign policy in the foreseeable future. The leadership in Russia have clearly given up on Europe, and I certainly do not see any rapprochement happening between the two sides even if the Ukraine war should end tomorrow.

Former Russian President Medvedev Says Sanctions Against Russia May Last For Decades

TASS: Sanctions against Russia may last for decades — Medvedev  

For this reason, Russia should rely entirely on its own resources, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council underscored 

MOSCOW, May 20. /TASS/. The sanctions imposed on Russia will apparently stay in effect for a very long time, possibly, decades, and the special military operation in Ukraine is not the reason, the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, Dmitry Medvedev, said at a meeting of the inter-departmental commission for creating a national system of protection from new infections in Moscow on Friday. 

"We are well aware that the introduced sanctions will apparently stay in effect for a very long time. And this is not connected with Russia’s special operation in Ukraine. Obviously, these sanctions will last long, the way it was in the past, including the Soviet era. In other words, for decades," he stated. Read more ....  

Update #1: Medvedev urged to prepare for decades of sanctions – Hindustan News/The Moscow Times  

Update #2: Russian Security Council V.C. Medvedev names the duration of anti-Russian sanctions - Pravda  

WNU Editor: Iran has been experiencing sanctions for decades, and they have adjusted. In the case of Russia the population will adjust also. 

As for when sanctions will be removed? 

It will not happen with Putin in power. It will also not happen if one of the Western demands is Russia gives-up Crimea. This is non-negotiable not only to the Kremlin, but also to almost every Russian citizen.

Is Putin Responsible For The World's Economic Problems?

 

Reuters: Russia's Putin jokes about being blamed for all the world's woes 

 LONDON (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin quipped on Monday that he would have a serious talk to the West about its assertions that he was to blame for all the economic chaos sown by the conflict in Ukraine and the West's crippling sanctions. 

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has killed thousands and displaced 14 million people, while the West's attempt to isolate Russia as punishment and Moscow's blockade of grain shipments from Ukraine's Black Sea ports, have sent the price of oil, natural gas, grains, cooking oil and fertilisers soaring. 

At a televised meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Putin told Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko that Russia's economy was doing well, despite the Western sanctions.  

Read more ....  

Update: Putin vows "to have a word" with his "alter ego" over Western economies’ problems (TASS) 

WNU Editor: For a country that has been accused for years of having a GDP that is smaller than Italy's, it is amazing that a such a small economy could impact the global economy to such a significant degree. Or is it because the leaders of these other countries are to blame for their country's problems, and are looking for a scapegoat.

Turkish President Erdogan Has Ordered Turkey's Military To Prepare To Launch Operations On Its Southern Borders

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a ceremony at the Golcuk Naval Shipyard in Izmit, Turkey May 23, 2022. Presidential Press Office/Handout via REUTERS  

Reuters: Erdogan Says Turkey to Launch Military Operations on Its Southern Borders 

ANKARA (Reuters) -Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday Ankara would soon launch new military operations along its southern borders to create 30-km deep safe zones to combat terrorist threats from these regions. 

"The main target of these operations will be areas which are centers of attacks to our country and safe zones," Erdogan said, without elaborating. 

Erdogan said the operations would be launched as soon as military, intelligence and security forces have completed their preparations.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: According to Russian news media the goal of this military operation will be to create a 30-km buffer zone .... Turkey plans to create 30-km deep security area near southern border - Erdogan (TASS). 

Turkish President Erdogan Has Ordered Turkey's Military To Prepare To Launch Operations On Its Southern Borders  

Turkey's Erdogan threatens new incursion into Syria -- ABC News/AP 

Erdogan Says Turkey to Launch Military Operations on its Southern Borders -- Asharq Al-Awsat  

Erdogan says Turkey to launch new military operation in N. Syria -- Xinhua