Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Picture Of The Day

People rest after climbing, as veterans of the U.S. Marines and U.S. Navy, with their family members climb First Sergeant's Hill above the 5th Marines headquarters to mark Memorial Day at Camp Pendleton, California, May 30, 2022. REUTERS/David Swanson  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Memorial Day across America (Reuters).

After Russia's Donbas Offensive What's Next For Ukraine?

The Guardian: What’s next for Ukraine after Russia’s Donbas offensive?  

Analysis: Indiscriminate tactics of Russia’s grinding progress in east could characterise next phase of war 

The recent Russian advances in the Donbas lead to an inevitable question: whether the indiscriminate tactics the Kremlin deployed there will be a template for future offensives. 

With reports of large numbers of troops, artillery and rocket launchers mustering across the border near the Russian city of Kursk – in an area that borders Ukraine’s Sumy province – it is an urgent issue. 

While much has been made of the painfully slow and grinding pace of Russia’s recent offensive in the Donbas, the speed of territorial gains is not the only metric.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Ukraine's options are limited, and the reports that I am hearing from Ukrainians that know on what is happening in this war are distressing. 

So what is next for Ukraine? 

There is going to be no let-up in the war. After Donbas Russian forces will be focused on the city of Zaporizhhia (see the above map), and after that the city of Dnipro. 

This is open country, and ideal terrain for Russian forces to do what they have always been trained to do. Conduct operations that isolate enemy units, and then destroy them with artillery. 

On another sad note. This region and the Donbas has always been the industrial heartland of Ukraine. Its loss will be incalculable for Ukraine, and the Kremlin knows it.

The Ukraine City Of Severodonetsk Is About To Fall To Russian Forces


SKY News: Ukraine war: Russians now control 'around 70%' of key city of Severodonetsk as governor says life is 'hell' for people of Luhansk 

In an interview with Sky News, the regional governor of Luhansk Oblast said the fall of Severodonetsk would be a big morale boost for Russia but played down the military significance. 

Russian forces are now in control of around 70% of Severodonetsk and heavy fighting is ongoing in the eastern Ukrainian city, the regional governor has told Sky News. 

Speaking from a secret location inside the Luhansk Oblast, Serhiy Hayday admitted victory in the city would be a big morale boost for Russia, but he played down the wider military importance.  

Read more ....


The Ukraine City Of Severodonetsk Is About To Fall To Russian Forces 

Most of Sievierodonetsk has fallen to Russia, says governor of Luhansk -- The Guardian  

Sievierodonetsk mayor says Russian forces seize half of city -- AP  

Russian, Ukrainian troops fight block by block in key city -- Politico  

Russia Taking Command of Sievierodonetsk, Ukraine Officials Concede -- VOA  

'I watched from afar Russia’s latest merciless assault on Severodonetsk' -- BBC

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley Reveals Possible Outcomes For Russia-Ukraine War


WNU Editor: General Milley tries to give the impression in this interview that the U.S. is not really involved in the Russia - Ukraine war. That the U.S. is an outside power observing the situation. A neutral party. Even saying that this conflict may end up as a stalemate, and if not, be ready to step up to make sure it does not escalate. 

I am not buying anything that the General is trying to sell. 

General Milley knows exactly what is going on in Ukraine right now. After receiving billions in US arms  the Donbas is turning into a disaster for the Ukraine military, and the only thing that the Pentagon can advise right now is to send even more arms into that conflict, thereby escalating it even further.

Update: A regular clock is right two times a day .... With food crisis looming, Milley says using military to end Russian blockade would be ‘high risk’ (Defense News).

Taiwan President Announces Cooperation Deal With The U.S. National Guard

President Tsai Ing-wen (right) made the comments during a meeting in Taipei with Sen. Tammy Duckworth. Taiwan Presidential Office via AP  

FOX News: Taiwan military announces 'cooperation' deal with US National Guard 

Sen. Tammy Duckworth visited Taiwan Tuesday, when Taiwan's president made the announcement 

The U.S. National Guard is planning a "cooperation" program with the Taiwanese military, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announced Tuesday. 

Tsai has not offered details regarding the upcoming cooperation, but previous reports suggest the Taiwan military may link with the Hawaii National Guard. 

Tsai made the announcement during a meeting in Taipei with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.  

Read more .... 

Update #1: Tsai says U.S. National Guard planning 'cooperation' with Taiwan military (Reuters)  

Update #2: Taiwan hails ‘cooperation’ between US National Guard, country’s military (NYPost)  

WNU Editor: No comment yet from China on this new U.S. - Taiwan military agreement, but Beijing was very critical early today on US Sen. Tammy Duckworth's trip to Taiwan .... US senator’s trip to Taiwan ‘very dangerous’; PLA sent warplanes (Global Times).

Russia Shrugs Off EU’s Partial Oil Embargo. Says It Will Find Other Customers For Its Crude


CNBC: Russia hits back at the EU’s partial oil embargo, says it will find other importers for its crude 

* The European Union on Monday agreed to ban most Russian oil imports by the end of the year as part of new measures designed to punish the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine. 

* Responding to the measures, Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent representative to international organizations in Vienna, said the oil ban reflects negatively on the bloc. 

* “As she rightly said yesterday, #Russia will find other importers,” Ulyanov said via Twitter, referring specifically to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. 

Moscow has pledged to find other importers for its oil shortly after the world’s largest trading bloc agreed to impose a partial embargo on Russian crude. 

The European Union on Monday decided to ban most Russian oil imports by the end of the year as part of new measures designed to punish the Kremlin over its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. 

The move was hailed by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell as a “landmark decision to cripple [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war machine.”  

Read more .... 

Update: Moscow Shrugs Off EU Oil Ban: 'Russia Will Find Other Importers' (Zero Hedge/Epoch Times) 

WNU Editor: Russia will find other customers for its oil. The commodity is vital to the global economy, and there are shortages. 

The problem for Russia is that it will take time to find new customers for its oil, and Russian oil companies will then need to make arrangements with other customers on how to be paid. 

But as difficult as this will be for Russia, the EU will be impacted even more. They will need to find new suppliers, and it will definitely be more costlier because this new oil will need to be delivered by tanker rather than a pipeline. And even that is not a guarantee. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are saying very bluntly that their production capacity is almost at its limit .... Oil Prices Tumble On OPEC-Russia Reports (Zero Hedge).

Editor's Note

Montreal had a planeload of Ukrainian refugees arrive two days ago, and there is a shortage of volunteers to help these families.

Of course I am pitching in. 

Blogging will return later today.

Mapping The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine -- May 31, 2022

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day: Taiwan Flag Confirmed On Maverick's Jacket

Top Gun: Maverick has evaded Chinese censors and restored the Taiwanese flag on the back of Tom Cruise's jacket (pictured)  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from the Daily Mail .... Top Gun fires a warning at China by reinstating Taiwanese flag on Maverick's jacket after its removal for trailer provoked outcry (Daily Mail).

Monday, May 30, 2022

NATO Deputy Secretary General Says Alliance No Longer Bound By Past Treaties On Troop Deployments In Eastern Europe

NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana addresses journalists as he arrives for an informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Berlin. (AFP file photo)  

Newsweek: 'No Restrictions': NATO to Take More Aggressive Stance Against Russia 

NATO has "no restrictions" when it comes to deploying its forces in eastern Europe to respond to Russian aggression, the U.S.-led military alliance's deputy secretary general, Mircea Geoană, said Sunday. 

Geoană, who was also a former president of Romania, made the comments in an interview with the AFP news agency published during a trip where he met with lawmakers from members of the alliance in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Sunday and Monday. 

They were attending the Spring Session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. 

Read more ....  

Update: NATO has right to deploy in eastern Europe: Deputy chief (AFP)  

WNU editor: This is a signal to me that all the treaties that have been signed between the West and Russia are eventually going to be thrown into the garbage can.

EU Leaders Agree To 'Immediate' Ban 'More Than Two-Thirds' Of Russian Oil Imports, 90% By The End Of 2022


Daily Mail: European Union agrees to ban more than TWO THIRDS of Russian oil imports immediately and 'wants to ban 90% by the end of the year' 

* The 27-nation bloc has agreed a ban covering more than two-thirds of Russian oil 

* Leaders also agreed to cut off Russian bank Sberbank from the SWIFT system 

* There are ambitions to ban 90 per cent of Russian oil imports by the end of 2022 

* Three more Russian state-owned broadcasters have also been banned 

The EU council president Charles Michel said that the 27-nation bloc agrees a ban covering more than two-thirds of Russian oil imports. 

'This immediately covers more than two thirds of oil imports from Russia, cutting a huge source of financing for its war machine,' Mr Michel wrote on Twitter. 

The leaders also agreed to cut off the largest Russian bank Sberbank from the SWIFT system and to ban three more Russian state-owned broadcasters, he added.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Here is an easy observation/prediction. The previous five EU sanction packages have resulted in Russian oil revenues soaring by 50%, and sending Russia's current account to all time highs. These new EU sanctions will only continue this trend .... Brent Tops $122 After EU Agrees On "Partial" Ban Of Russian Oil (Zero Hedge). 

And for the EU consumer.  More shortages and even higher energy prices. I can only imagine the chaos that is going to engulf Europe this winter with this crazy policy.

If this is a win in the eyes of the EU. I hate to know what they see is a loss.

EU Leaders Agree To 'Immediate' Ban 'More Than Two-Thirds' Of Russian Oil Imports, 90% By The End Of 2022  

EU leaders agree to ban 90% of Russian oil by year-end -- AP  

EU agrees ban on 'more than two thirds' of Russian oil imports -- France 24  

Russian oil: EU agrees compromise deal on banning imports -- BBC 

EU leaders agree to 'immediate' ban on 'more than two-thirds' of Russian oil imports -- DW 

EU leaders agree to partial embargo of Russian oil imports -- The Guardian

How Russia Is Using Water In Its War Against Ukraine

People line up for water at a pumping station in Shchastia in eastern Ukraine. Some have lost running water and have to carry buckets and bottles home. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times) 

Politico: Russia’s war on water in Ukraine 

Water is becoming increasingly scarce — and an even more powerful weapon in war, scientists warn. 

In Russia's war on Ukraine, water is both a target and a weapon. 

Just three days after the start of the latest invasion, Russian forces destroyed a dam in Ukraine's Kherson region that had blocked water access to Russian-annexed Crimea. 

In Mariupol, a city in southeastern Ukraine, Russian soldiers shut off local water supply as part of a brutal siege on the city, leaving the trapped population without access to safe drinking water or sanitation. The city fell into Russian hands earlier this week.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A week before the mass surrender of Ukrainian forces at Azovstal in Mariupol the Russian military found the water main that was supplying them water, and they cut it off. It was then only a question of time before they surrendered. Water has always been used in war. The Russia - Ukraine war is no exception.

The Taliban Are Giving Al Qaeda A Safe Haven

Business Insider: The Taliban's control of Afghanistan is guaranteeing Al Qaeda's 'continued personal survival', experts say 

* Al Qaeda is "delighted" at the Taliban's control of Afghanistan, an expert has claimed. 

* Professor Michael Semple said the Taliban was guaranteeing Al Qaeda's "continued personal survival". 

* His analysis is supported by a UN report, suggesting the relationship "remains close". 

The Taliban's control of Afghanistan is guaranteeing the "continued personal survival" of Al Qaeda, an expert has claimed, with a United Nations report supporting the claims. 

A report from a UN monitoring team published Thursday says the relationship between the two groups "remains close", with Al Qaeda described as being "pleased with" the Taliban's takeover. 

The UN says Al Qaeda is using the takeover to increase their numbers and funding, as well as to "inspire Al Qaeda affiliates globally."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The UN report estimates approximately "180 to 400 fighters affiliated with Al Qaeda" from "Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan" in Afghanistan .... Relationship between Taliban, Al Qaeda remains close: UNSC report (Business Standard).

EU Fail To Agree To A Plan To Ban Russian Oil

Ukrainians stage a demonstration ahead of EU Leaders' Summit in Brussels, Belgium [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu]  

Reuters: EU fails to agree Russian oil ban despite onslaught on outskirts of Sievierodonetsk 

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukrainian and Russian forces battled on Monday on the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk, the last city still held by Kyiv in Ukraine's Luhansk province and the focus of Moscow's offensive in the country's east. 

But even as the Russian onslaught raged, EU leaders made clear they would fail to agree on a Russian oil import ban at a summit in Brussels, prompting swift criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy who said they were too soft on Moscow. 

Russian shelling has reduced much of Sievierodonetsk to ruins, but the Ukrainian defence has slowed the wider Russian campaign across the Donbas region. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: EU struggles to reach an agreement on Russian oil embargo as Hungary holds firm (CNBC)  

Update #2: EU Leaders Spar Over Russian-Oil Ban (WSJ)  

WNU Editor: Ukraine President Zelensky has responded .... Zelenskiy chides EU for failing to agree on Russian oil import ban (Reuters). 

As to what is my take. 

Russia will have numerous customers for ts oil, especially at these prices .... Brent crude breaks $120 a barrel as gas prices soar (The Hill).  

Update #3: It looks like the Netherlands and Denmark are about to be cut-off from Russian natural gas .... Russia could cut off Denmark and the Netherlands' natural gas (CNN).

Iran's News Agency Posts A Hit List Of 5 Israeli Intel And Tech Experts That Tehran Could Target

Five Israelis that Iran's Fars agency says could be targeted by the regime, May 29, 2022 (Courtesy) 

Times Of Israel: Iranian outlet names five Israeli intel and tech experts as potential targets 

Tehran has vowed revenge for killing of senior Revolutionary Guards officer, prompting Israel to ramp up its air defenses and issue travel warning for Turkey Iran’s semi-official 

Fars news agency issued details on five Israelis it warned could be targeted by Tehran, as the Islamic Republic continued to seethe on Monday over the killing of a top Revolutionary Guards official, which it blames on Israel. 

 Under the headline “Zionists who must live in secret,” Fars claimed that the five, their families and colleagues are “under close surveillance day and night” and that many others were potential targets as well.

Read more .... 

 Iran's News Agency Posts A Hit List Of 5 Israeli Intel And Tech Experts That Tehran Could Target  

Iranian Media Names Five Israelis as Potential Targets Amid Warning of ‘Real Threat’ to Avenge Slain IRGC Officer -- The Algemeiner  

Iranian media threatens 5 Israeli intel and tech experts -- i24 News  

Iranian media threatens Israelis, lists those it claims 'live in hiding' -- Jerusalem Post 

Iranian Website Publishes Profiles Of Israelis As Potential Targets -- Iran International

Iran Threatens More Seizures Of Greek Oil Takers In The Gulf

Zero Hedge: Greece Alerts Its Tankers In Gulf After Iran Threatens More 'Retaliation' Seizures 

The government of Greece has issued an alert warning all Greek ships currently sailing in Persian Gulf waters to adapt and remain aware of heightened threats against them following last week's seizure of two Greek oil tankers by Iran's military. Maritime tanker monitors suggest at least a dozen Greek tankers are currently in waters near Iran. 

The alert told vessels to immediately "adapt to the unacceptable situation and reality created by the Iranian government’s tactic," according government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou at a Monday press briefing in Athens, per Bloomberg reporting. 

 Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Greek shippers are now making a killing transporting Russian oil. They do not need this type of distraction .... Iran Seizes 2 Greek Tankers in Persian Gulf After U.S. Seizes Iranian Oil From A Tanker Off The Coast Of Greece (May 27).

China Fails To Reach A Security Agreement With The Pacific Islands


ABC News Australia:Pacific nations walk away from trade and security deal with China as Australia aims to 'build stronger family' 

Pacific Island countries have agreed not to sign a region-wide trade and security deal with China after a high-level meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his counterparts from 10 Pacific nations in Fiji. 

 China was seeking a wide-ranging deal that covered free trade, police cooperation and disaster resilience. Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said Pacific nations were united in their approach after the decision was announced on Monday afternoon.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is a setback for China. But knowing the Chinese, I am sure they will be back to try again sooner rather than later. 

 China Fails To Reach A Security Agreement With The Pacific Islands 

 China falls short on big Pacific deal but finds smaller wins -- AP  

China, Pacific islands unable to reach consensus on regional pact -- Reuters  

Pacific nations reject China security pact -- AFP China fails to strike security deal with Pacific nations -- DW  

China, Pacific islands unable to agree on security pact -- CNN  

China Suffers Setback as Pacific Nations Spurn Wide-Ranging Deal -- Bloomberg 

China’s foreign minister tells Pacific leaders ‘don’t be too anxious’ after they reject regional security pact -- The Guardian  

China, Pacific islands fail to reach consensus on security pact -- Al Jazeera

US Congressional Delegation Makes A Surprise Visit To Taiwan

United States Senator Tammy Duckworth (center) and her delegation are welcomed by Deputy Foreign Minister Harry Tseng (曾厚仁, third right) and MOFA's head of the Department of North American Affairs Douglas Hsu (徐佑典, third left). Photo courtesy of MOFA 

 CNN: US congressional delegation makes surprise visit to Taiwan 

(CNN)A US delegation led by Sen. Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois Democrat, arrived in Taipei on Monday in a previously unannounced visit, Taiwan's foreign ministry said. 

The delegation will meet with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Tuesday, where they will discuss "regional security, economic and trade cooperation, and all issues related to US-Taiwan bilateral relations," presidential spokesperson Xavier Chang said. 

During their visit, the delegation will also meet Premier Su Tseng-chang and Economic Affairs Minister Wang Mei-hua, before departing on Wednesday.  

Read more ....  

Update: U.S. Senator Duckworth arrives in Taiwan for three-day visit (Focus Taiwan)  

WNU Editor: No reaction yet from China's state media on this US Congressional visit.

30 Chinese Warplanes Buzz Taiwan's Air Defense Zone

Reuters: Taiwan jets scramble as China air force enters air defence zone 

TAIPEI, May 30 (Reuters) - Taiwan on Monday reported the largest incursion since January by China's air force in its air defence zone, with the island's defence ministry saying Taiwanese fighters scrambled to warn away 30 aircraft in the latest uptick in tensions. 

Taiwan, which China claims as its own territory, has complained for the past two years or so of repeated missions by China's air force near the democratically governed island, often in the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone, or ADIZ, close to the Taiwan-controlled Pratas Islands. 

Taiwan calls China's repeated nearby military activities "grey zone" warfare, designed to both wear out Taiwan's forces by making them repeatedly scramble, and also to test Taiwan's responses. 

The latest Chinese mission included 22 fighters, as well as electronic warfare, early warning and antisubmarine aircraft, the Taiwan ministry said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Chinese state media is still fuming over this .... President Biden Says The U.S. Will Use Military Force To Defend Taiwan If China Attacks (May 23, 2022). 

30 Chinese Warplanes Buzz Taiwan's Air Defense Zone  

30 Chinese military aircraft intrude on Taiwan's ADIZ as US Senator arrives -- Taiwan News  

30 Chinese military aircraft enter Taiwan's ADIZ -- Focus Taiwan  

Rare 30-Plane Chinese PLA Force Buzzes Taiwan In Fresh 'Warning' -- Zero Hedge

Is Pakistan On The Brink Of A Civil War?

Imran Khan gestures as he travels on a vehicle to lead a protest march in Islamabad [Akhtar Soomro/Reuters]

Dr. Subhash Kapila, Eurasian Review: Pakistan On Brink Of Civil War As Ousted PM Khan Weaponizes ‘Street Power’ – OpEd 

 Pakistan today in May 2022 tethers on the brink of a Civil War being generated by Constitutionally ousted former PM Iman Khan whose megalomaniacal impulses prompt him to challenge both the Constitution of Pakistan and the Pakistan Army by weaponizing “Street Power” in a bid to return to power in Islamabad – and raising grave implications for Pakistan and South Asia. 

Pakistan today is witnessing a clash of narratives wherein saner voices within Pakistan are voicing alarm on the irreparable damage that can be inflicted by ousted PM Imran Khan with his ‘Disruptive Strategy’ of weaponising ‘street power’ and Pakistan’s politically immature younger generation mesmerised by Imran Khan’s flamboyance providing the huge turnouts at Imran Khan’s ‘Jalsas’ and now the Long March already in Islamabad precincts. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Pakistan is facing an economic crisis .... Saudi Arabia, Dubai ready to give money, but won’t lend without IMF deal, says Pakistan (The Print), and what makes it worse is the growing political crisis .... Pakistan: Khan gives six-day deadline to gov’t to announce polls (Al Jazeera). 

Bottom line. 

Pakistan is still far from being engulfed in a civil war. But the situation is getting worse.

Danish State-Run Gas Corporation Orsted Expects To Be Cut-Off From Russian Natural Gas Due to Its Refusal To Pay In Rubles

OilPrice.com: Denmark Fully Prepared To Be Cut Off From Russian Gas 

Denmark has joined the list of countries refusing to pay for Russian gas using a ruble conversion scheme, prompting the country’s state-run gas company on Monday to warn that Gazprom could cut off gas exports in retaliation. 

Denmark is the latest country to refuse the Kremlin’s demands for opening Western currency accounts alongside a ruble account to allow for payments for gas that are essentially made in rubles. 

Poland and Bulgaria were the first countries to refuse the scheme, resulting in a Gazprom move to cut off supplies, followed by Finland. 

Read more .... 

Danish State-Run Gas Corporation Orsted Expects To Be Cut-Off From Russian Natural Gas  

Denmark's Orsted Warns Russia May Cut Gas Over Ruble Demand -- Bloomberg  

Denmark Refuses To Pay For Russian Gas In Rubles; Orsted Warns Russia May Cut Supply -- Republic World  

Orsted Rejects Gazprom Demands to Pay for Gas in Rubles -- Marketwatch

Ørsted continues to reject demand for payment in roubles – risk of Gazprom Export’s gas supplies to Ørsted being halted -- EQS Group

US President Biden Says The US Will Not Send Ukraine Rocket Systems That Can Reach Russia

Reuters: U.S. will not send Ukraine rocket systems that can reach Russia, says Biden 

WASHINGTON, May 30 (Reuters) - The United States will not send Ukraine rocket systems that can reach into Russia, President Joe Biden said on Monday, as Ukraine pushes for longer-range weapons system to help in its fight.

Ukrainian officials have been asking allies for longer-range systems including the Multiple Launch Rocket System, or MLRS, that can fire a barrage of rockets hundreds of miles away. 

"We're not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia," Biden told reporters after arriving back at the White House after a weekend in Delaware.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Kremlin has reacted .... Russia's Medvedev calls Biden announcement on Ukraine rocket systems 'rational' (Reuters).  

Update: There are limits to what this US rocket system can do for Ukraine .... The Reality Of What HIMARS Rocket Artillery Systems Can And Can’t Do For Ukraine (Warzone/The Drive). 

US President Biden Says The US Will Not Send Ukraine Rocket Systems That Can Reach Russia  

Biden says US won’t send Ukraine rocket systems that can reach Russia -- FOX News  

Biden rejects Ukraine long-range rocket request as Russia advances -- NYPost  

Biden: US will not send Ukraine rockets that can reach Russia -- Al Jazeera

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Denies Rumors That Putin Is Seriously Ill

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. (Reuters / Maxim Zmeyev) 

Politico: As Putin health rumors swirl, Lavrov denies Russian leader is seriously ill  

It’s at least the third time the Kremlin has been forced to deny rumors of the president’s ill health. 

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has denied that Vladimir Putin is seriously ill in the wake of numerous reports suggesting that the Russian leader has cancer. 

“You know, President Putin appears in public every day. You can see him on the screens, read his speeches, listen to his speeches,” Lavrov said, speaking to French media TF1. “I don’t think sane people can discern any sort of symptom of disease in this man.”

Lavrov’s remarks are not the first time the Russian government has been forced to deny reports about Putin’s health.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There are reports that Putin successfully defeated cancer a few years back. But aside from that, for someone who is going to 70 years old this year, from what I have seen so far Putin looks physically OK. 

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Denies Rumors That Putin Is Seriously Ill  

Russia's Lavrov Denies Putin Is Ill -- Moscow Times/AFP  

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov denies Vladimir Putin is ill -- NYPost  

No credible evidence Putin is ill despite appearance, anger in public: experts -- Business Insider

Colombia's Presidential Vote Headed For A Runoff On June 19th


CNN: Colombia's presidential vote headed for a runoff 

Bogota (CNN)Colombia's presidential election appears destined for a runoff, after preliminary results on Sunday showed no candidate had garnered over 50% of the votes. 

With 98% of the votes counted, early results showed left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro with just over 40% of the votes, the populist former mayor of Bucaramanga Rodolfo Hernandez with 28%, and right-wing candidate Federico "Fico" Gutierrez with 23%. 

Petro and Hernandez are now expected to face each other during a second round of voting on June 19th.  

Read more ....  

WNU editor: My friend who follows Colombian politics very closely tells me that the second round of voting is going to be close, but the odds favour left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro to win with about 51% - 52% of the vote. My gut tells me that it is 50 - 50 right now.

Colombia's Presidential Vote Headed For A Runoff On June 19th  

In surprise Colombia election result, leftist and businessman go to second round -- Reuters 

Colombia's presidential race headed to run-off between leftist senator, populist businessman -- CBC/AP  

Leftist and right-wing populist head to Colombia's presidential runoff -- Axios  

Rodolfo Hernández, the populist earthquake shaking up the Colombian election -- El Pais  

Colombian Outsider Makes Runoff With Real Shot at Presidency -- Bloomberg 

Colombia Outsider Candidate Hernandez May Weaken Leftist Petro's Rebel Status -- Reuters

Mapping The Russian Invasion Of Ukraine -- May 30, 2022

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Gloominiess Descends On Ukraine As The Tide Of War Turns

Members of a Ukrainian battalion of young soldiers as they return to their base near Kramatorsk, Ukraine, on May 28. They have spent their days digging defensive trenches in a pocket not far from the front line to provide additional support for soldiers battling the Russians head-on. Photo for The Washington Post by Heidi Levine 

Washington Post: Ukraine suffers on battlefield while pleading for U.S. arms  

Gloominiess descends on Ukraine as war tide turns. “They’re just raining down metal on us,” said a soldier fresh from the front line where Russia is advancing. 

DONETSK OBLAST, Ukraine - The ambulances hurtled into the parking lot one after the other, each carrying wounded troops directly from the nearby front line. One young man stared straight ahead, his face swollen, his neck and back dripping with blood. Others lay silently under foil blankets. 

Some stumbled out the back doors and collapsed into wheelchairs as staff rushed to push them inside. Nearby, bloodied cots sat propped against a tent and other wounded soldiers lingered about, their faces grim, their heads, arms or legs bandaged as the sound of outgoing artillery boomed across the sky. 

About 10 wounded soldiers arrived at this hospital in eastern Ukraine in less than an hour Sunday morning - the latest military casualties as Ukrainian forces, outgunned by Russia in the country’s east, continue to lose territory at a critical moment in the war. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The Washington Post tries to make the case that the US should significantly increase military aid to Ukraine. I am not sure if increased aid would make a difference. 

Everyone that I know who is still in Ukraine paint a very dark picture on what is happening. 

Electricity and the internet are becoming unreliable. There are fuel shortages everywhere. Food is a becoming a problem. Forget about medicines. 

Half of Ukraine's population is now displaced, and it is going to get worse if the war continues to grind on. 

I am still predicting that this is going to be a long war. That the Russian military will continue to use its advantages .... artillery/short supply lines/more fire-power, and they will grind down the Ukraine military at a rate much faster than the rate the Ukraine military is grinding down the Russian military. 

But unless something changes drastically, the Donbas will completely fall to Russian forces in the next month or two, and the war will then shift to Zaporishia, a major industrial city situated on the banks of the Dnieper river, and Mykolaiv, a city that is north of Kherson and 100 kilometers away from Odessa (see map below).