Saturday, December 31, 2022

Kyiv Mayor Says 3.6 Million People, Including 300,000 Refugees, Are Now Living In The City

Bild:, CC BY 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons (Bildgröße verändert) © Provided by Z-LIVE NEWS Int.  

Kyiv Independent: Klitschko: Kyiv's population returns to pre-war level 

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko told German magazine Spiegel on Dec. 30 that around 3.6 million people currently live in the Ukrainian capital, as many as before Russia's invasion in February. Among them are 300,000 refugees who fled to Kyiv from other regions of the country. 

“The city is full,” Klitschko said. The population estimate was made primarily using data on active mobile phone users in the capital. 

In March, less than one million people remained in Kyiv, according to Klitschko. By July, three months after the liberation of occupied Kyiv Oblast, including the suburbs of Irpin and Bucha near the capital, this figure had reached 2.5 million. At the same time a year ago, Klitschko had stated that up to 4.6 million people lived in Kyiv.  

Read more ....  

Update: Kiev 'packed' with 3.6 mln people, including 300,000 refugees, says mayor (TASS) 

WNU Editor: Kyiv's mayor is not happy .... Vitali Klitschko angry: The West has underestimated Putin (Z-News). More here .... Kiev mayor criticizes Ukrainian authorities (RT).

Goodbye 2022!!! Hello 2023!!!! Happy New Year!!!!!

WNU Editor: What a year .... Time zone by time zone, another new year sweeps into view (AP).

Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Says Russian Armed Forces' Victory Inevitable In New Year Message


Spuntik: Russian Armed Forces' Victory Inevitable, Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Says 

In his New Year message to Russian servicemen on Saturday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, in particular, signaled Moscow's readiness to fight for the right to speak Russian. 

In his New Year message to the Russian servicemen, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu thanked them for their courage and heroism in the performance of military duty during Russia's special military operation in Ukraine, and wished them clear skies. 

Shoigu also pointed to "serious trials that have changed the usual course of time" in 2022.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Nothing is inevitable in this war. 

 Russian Defense Minister Shoigu Says Russian Armed Forces' Victory Inevitable In New Year Message  

Russia Defense Minister Shoigu Says Victory 'Inevitable' in New Year Message -- TASS  

Russia Defense Minister Shoigu Says Victory 'Inevitable' in New Year Message -- Moscow Times/AFP  

Russia’s defense minister says victory ‘inevitable’ in New Year message -- Reuters  

Russian Military Says Victory "Inevitable" In New Year Message -- Zero Hedge

Kim Jong Un Orders An 'Exponential' Expansion Of North Korea's Nuclear Arsenal

This photo fromThursday shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (second from right) presenting ways to enhance suborganizations of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea during the third-day session of the party's plenary meeting. (KCNA)  

Reuters: North Korea's Kim orders new ICBM, bigger nuclear arsenal amid tension 

SEOUL (Reuters) -North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for developing new intercontinental ballistic missiles and a larger nuclear arsenal to counter U.S.-led threats, state media said on Sunday, amid flaring tension between the rival Koreas. 

At a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party, Kim highlighted the need to secure "overwhelming military power" to defend its sovereignty and security. 

The meeting came amid cross-border tensions over last week's intrusion by North Korean drones into the South, and the North's series of missile launches, including intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs). 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It looks like like there is going to be a North Korean nuclear test in 2023.

 Kim Jong Un Orders An 'Exponential' Expansion Of North Korea's Nuclear Arsenal  

NKorea's Kim orders 'exponential' expansion of nuke arsenal -- AP 

Kim calls for 'exponential increase' of N. Korea's nuclear arsenal -- AFP  

Kim Jong Un Pledges Nuclear Buildup to Take On US, South Korea -- Bloomberg  

Kim seeks "exponential increase" of North Korea's nuclear arsenal -- Kyodo News

Ukraine Defense Chief Claims Russia Will Be Announcing A New Mobilization

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov during a session of the Ukrainian parliament on December 28.  

RFE: Ukrainian Defense Minister Claims Russia Is Planning A New Mobilization, Urges Russians To Avoid It  

Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov has claimed Russia, bogged down in Ukraine after invading its neighbor more than 10 months ago, will soon announce a further mobilization, and urged Russians to avoid it. 

"Avoid mobilization in any way. When the bunker leaders are unable to send new recruits, they will be forced to admit defeat. And the war will end. 

It will still happen and the question is in the price. And will this price be paid with your blood," Reznikov said in a video message issued late on December 30. 

According to Reznikov, Russia was preparing to close it borders to men of conscription age.  

Read more .... 

 Ukraine Defense Chief Claims Russia Will Be Announcing A New Mobilization 

Ukraine defense chief warns of new Russian mobilization -- 

‘What Exactly Will You Fight For?’ Ukraine's Defense Minister Urges Russians to Resist Mobilization -- Story.ful  

Russia to announce new wave of mobilization on Jan. 5 – Budanov -- New Voice Of Ukraine  

"You only have one week left": Reznikov warns Russians about Putin's plans -- Ukrayinska Pravda

Are Western Political And Media Analysists And Pundits Wrong With Regards To The Russia - Ukraine War?

Moon Of Alabama: Lack Of Good Analyses Contributes To The Decline Of The 'West' 

What really hit me last year was the dearth of correct analyses in main stream media and in politics with regards to the war in Ukraine. 

Little if anything is based on facts. More than 90% of the published output is propaganda. 

The 'western' plan was to draw Russia into Ukraine to then 'kill' it by economic sanctions. As Biden said when he announced those:  

We have purposefully designed these sanctions to maximize the long-term impact on Russia and to minimize the impact on the United States and our Allies.  

And I want to be clear: The United States is not doing this alone. For months, we’ve been building a coalition of partners representing well more than half of the global economy.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is my must read article for today.

CENTCOM Say US Forces Killed Nearly 700 ISIS Operatives In Syria And Iraq In 2022

US forces in Syria. AFP  

The Hill: Officials say US forces killed almost 700 suspected ISIS members in 2022 

U.S. forces killed almost 700 suspected Islamic State operatives in 2022, including the leader of the group, dozens of regional leaders and hundreds of fighters.  

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a release on Thursday that it conducted 313 operations against ISIS over the past year, killing 466 operatives in Syria and at least 220 operatives in Iraq. Officials also detained 215 operatives in Syria and 159 operatives in Iraq.  

The release states that no U.S. forces were injured or killed in the operations, a majority of which were conducted with the United States’s allies in the two countries.   

Read more ....  

Update: U.S. says nearly 700 ISIS operatives killed in Syria and Iraq in 2022 (Axios)  

WNU Editor: Not surprising. After this CENTCOM announcement there was blow-back .... US base in Syria struck by missile barrage in largest attack ‘of its kind’ (The Cradle).

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

These Are The Signs That A Nuclear War Is About To Start (Video)


WNU Editor: The above video summarizes a declassified Soviet KGB document from the 1980s on what the Soviets focused on when it came to an impending nuclear attack.

On a side note. I would look at how the stock market is performing. For example. Three days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine the Russian stock market started to tank (link here). It was as if people with inside information were told to bail out of the markets because war was around the corner.

What Every World Leader With A Nuclear Arsenal Should Experience

WNU Editor: That must have been one incredible exercise and briefing.

Russia Beefs Up Air Defenses Over Moscow For New Year Celebrations

People walk along the Red Square in front of the St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow on December 31, 2022. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP) 

FOX News: Russia readies air defenses over Moscow, gives shelter maps to border city ahead of New Year   

Russia prepares for possible strikes ahead of New Years celebrations 

Russia on Saturday stationed air defenses over Moscow and handed out shelter directions to citizens in Belgorod near the Ukrainian border in preparation for New Years festivities.  

Some 2,000 servicemen will oversee Moscow’s air defenses while "on duty at combat posts on New Year's Eve," Russia’s defense ministry said according to state owned media outlet, TASS. 

"In total for the period of the New Year holidays and weekends, about 20 thousand military personnel of the air defense-missile defense formation of the Aerospace Forces will be on combat duty for air defense," the outlet said on Telegram.   

Read more ....  

Update: Russia Beefs Up Air Defenses Over Moscow For New Year Celebrations (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: Not surprised .... Entrance to Red Square restricted on New Year's Eve ( 

Moscow is not the only city that is beefing up its defenses .... Cities strengthen security ahead of return of crowded New Year’s Eve celebrations (CNN).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 31.12.2022 (Video)


WNU Editor: Large scale Russian attacks are being reported throughout Ukraine.

Russian President Putin Gives New Year Address From A Military HQ


RT: Putin gives unusual New Year address 

Russia’s president has broken years-long tradition, addressing the nation from a military HQ 

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his traditional New Year's Eve address on Saturday, speaking to the nation about the challenges the country has faced over the past year and the achievements it has made. 

The address venue differed drastically from the traditional Kremlin courtyard stand-up shots of the president, with Putin this year recording the annual message at the Southern Military District HQ. During his visit, he also met with top military brass and gave state awards to distinguished soldiers.  

Read more .... 

Russian President Putin Gives New Year Address From A Military HQ  

Putin’s New Year address: Year of major steps and fight for Russia’s future -- TASS  

Putin uses New Year address for wartime rallying cry to Russians -- Reuters  

Putin: Russia Won't Give Up Under Pressure, Must Fight -- Sputnik  

Putin Visits Russian Troops, Claims 'Moral Rightness' in New Year Address -- Moscow Times  

Putin blames West for Ukraine war in New Year's address to nation -- UPI 

Putin rages against the West in New Year message to his people: Fatigued dictator appears on state TV to accuse Western powers of using Ukraine as a tool to destroy Russia and says he launched invasion to protect its 'motherland' -- Daily Mail  

Putin Declares Ukraine War a 'Sacred Duty' for Russians in NYE Address -- Newsweek

Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- December 31, 2022


 The Hill: Zelensky addresses Russians after New Year’s strikes: ‘No one will ever forgive you’ 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told Russia that “no one will ever forgive you” for spreading terror following a series of missile attacks on the day of New Year’s Eve.  

Zelensky said in an address on Saturday that the missile attacks will not mark the end of the year but the outcome of Russia’s fate in that it will not be forgiven. 

He mentioned that Russia launched missile attacks during the war at other holidays like Easter and Christmas.  

“They call themselves Christians, they are very proud of their Orthodoxy. But they are following the devil. They support him and are together with him,” he said. 

Read more .... 

 Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- Live Updates

Live: At least one dead after multiple strikes in Kyiv, mayor says -- France 24  

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

Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy thanks Germany for support -- DW  

Russia-Ukraine war live: Ukraine claims Putin considering closing Russian border; Kyiv hit by missile strikes -- The Guardian  

Russia-Ukraine live: Kyiv hit by Russian missile attacks -- Al Jazeera 

Russia - Ukraine War News Updates -- December 31, 2022  

Russian strikes intensify as Ukrainians return for holiday -- AP 

Missile strikes on Ukraine kill one, Zelenskiy says Russians in league with the devil -- Reuters 

Russia strikes Ukraine hours before the New Year -- France 24  

Ukraine war: Deadly explosions hit Kyiv on New Year's Eve -- BBC  

Russia fires 20 cruise missiles at Ukraine on New Year's Eve, at least 1 dead, dozens injured -- FOX News   

Russia attacks Ukraine along frontline from north to south -- Reuters

Russian missiles rock Ukraine on New Year's Eve, at least one person dead in Kyiv -- ABC News Australia  

Deadly Russian missile attacks hit Ukrainian capital -- Al Jazeera  

Zelensky says Russia waging war so Putin can stay in power ‘until the end of his life’ -- CNN  

Ukraine war: Zelensky tells Russians - Putin is destroying you -- BBC 

Russia grants tax amnesty to encourage troops fighting in Ukraine -- Al Jazeera

Protests In Bolivia After Arrest Of Governor


Reuters: Bolivia protesters burn cars, clash with police after governor arrested 

SANTA CRUZ/LA PAZ (Reuters) - Protesters in Bolivia's Santa Cruz, a relatively wealthy farming region, attacked buildings, burned cars and blocked highways as part of a 24-hour strike on Friday following the arrest of the regional governor, a right-wing opposition leader. 

As night fell, protesters in parts of the provincial capital torched cars and tires and hurled fireworks toward police, who used tear gas to try to disperse the crowds. 

Pedro Vaca, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), said in a post on Twitter he was receiving reports of "severe attacks" on the media, attributed to police deployments. 

Read more .... 

Protests In Bolivia After Arrest Of Governor 

Bolivia: Police and protesters clash over jailed politician -- DW  

Bolivian protesters burn cars, clash with police after governor arrested -- ABC News Australia  

Bolivia protests: Opposition governor's arrest stirs anger -- BBC  

‘People were enraged’: civil strike called in Bolivia after arrest of opposition leader -- The Guardian  

Clashes in Bolivia after judge orders opposition leader detained -- Al Jazeera

Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Makes Tearful Final Broadcast And Leaves The Country To Travel To The U.S.


VOA/Reuters: Brazil's Bolsonaro Lands in Florida, Avoiding Lula Handover 

BRASiLIA, BRAZIL — Outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro landed in Florida on Friday after delivering a teary message to his supporters less than two days before his fierce leftist rival Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is set to take office. 

An official Brazilian plane landed in Orlando, Florida, late Friday, flight-tracking website FlightAware showed. Although Bolsonaro's destination has not been officially confirmed, his security staff were already in place in Florida. 

Bolsonaro's exit from Brazil came after he repeatedly said he would not hand over the presidential sash to Lula at Sunday's inauguration, breaking with Brazil's democratic tradition. He may also face legal risks from remaining in Brazil as his presidential immunity expires when Lula takes office.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Bolsonaro lands in Florida, set to skip Lula inauguration (DW)  

Update #2: Outgoing far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrives in Florida (ABC News Australia)  

WNU Editor: Progressives in Brazil are celebrating .... ‘It’s going to be wild’: Brazil braced for ‘Lulapalooza’ as new leader kicks off reign with huge party (The Guardian).

North Korea Ends The Year By Firing Three Ballistic Missiles After Unprecedented Year Of Tests


ABC News Australia: North Korea fires three ballistic missiles from North Hwanghae Province 

North Korea has fired three ballistic missiles toward the sea east of the Korean Peninsula, the South Korean military says. 

The launches are the latest in an unprecedented number of missile tests conducted by North Korea this year, as Pyongyang presses on with weapons development amid speculation it could test a nuclear weapon for a seventh time. 

The three short-range ballistic missiles were fired from about 8am local time from North Hwanghae Province, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said.  

Read more .... 

North Korea Ends The Year By Firing Three Ballistic Missiles After Unprecedented Year Of Tests 

North Korea fires three ballistic missiles after unprecedented year of tests -- Reuters  

North Korea fires three ballistic missiles at close of record year of tests -- France 24  

North Korea fires three short-range ballistic missiles -- DW  

North Korea ends year with ballistic missiles launch -- BBC  

North Korea fires 3 more short-range ballistic missiles into sea -- UPI  

North Korea Fires Missile, Adding to Weekend of Provocations -- Bloomberg  

North Korea fires 3 ballistic missiles towards Sea of Japan -- Al Jazeera

Commentaries And Analysis On The Death Of Former Pope Benedict XVI


BBC: Pope Benedict XVI: What the death of a former pope means for the Vatican 

The Catholic Church has strict protocols in place following the death of its leader, but with the death of former Pope Benedict, it is unclear whether those same protocols will apply to a retired pope. 

When Benedict XVI resigned in 2013 citing old age, he became the first Pope in 600 years to step down from the role. 

Born Joseph Ratzinger, the German cardinal was elected in April 2005 and chose to go by the name of Benedict.  

Read more .... 

Commentaries And Analysis On The Death Of Former Pope Benedict XVI  

Benedict: The Pope who resigned from the papacy -- BBC  

Benedict’s resignation sparked calls for retirement protocol -- AP 

Benedict XVI shocked the Catholic Church -- Christoph Strack, DW 

'God's Rottweiler': Benedict shaped Catholic doctrine but faced criticism for handling of sexual abuse crisis -- CNN  

Death of former pope Benedict eases way for retirement of Francis -- Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian  

Benedict’s lasting mark on papacy will be his resignation -- AP  

Former Pope Benedict XVI leaves a mixed legacy -- DW  

Highlights from the life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI -- AP

Factbox: Former Pope Benedict, his papacy and resignation -- Reuters  

Photos: The life of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI -- Al Jazeera

Vatican Announces The Death At 95 Of Former Pope Benedict XVI


Daily Mail: World leaders pay tribute to 'God's Rottweiler' Pope Benedict XVI after his death aged 95: Ex-pontiff who became first to resign in 600 years is hailed 'one of the greatest theologians of our time' and a 'formative figure' of the Catholic Church 

* Former Pope Benedict has died aged 95 following prayers for his failing health 

* World leaders have paid tribute to the ex-pontiff as a 'great theologian' 

* He died at 9:34 on Saturday in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican 

* He was first pontiff to resign as head of Catholic Church since the Middle Ages 

World leaders have paid tribute to 'God's Rottweiler' Pope Benedict XVI after his death aged 95, hailing him as 'one of the greatest theologians of our time' and a 'formative figure' of the Catholic Church. 

The ex-pontiff who became first to resign in 600 years when he stood down nine years ago passed away on Saturday in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican, a spokesman for the Holy See said. 

'With sorrow I inform you that the Pope Emeritus, Benedict XVI, passed away today at 9:34 in the Mater Ecclesiae Monastery in the Vatican. Further information will be provided as soon as possible,' spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a written statement.   

Read more .... 

Vatican Announces The Death At 95 Of Former Pope Benedict XVI  

Live Updates: Reactions to Pope Benedict XVI’s death -- AP 

Live: Ex-Pope Benedict dies nine years after resignation -- BBC 

Pope Benedict XVI Will Be Buried at St. Peter's Basilica: Latest News Updates -- New York Times  

Benedict XVI, first pope to resign in 600 years, dies at 95 -- AP  

Former pope Benedict XVI dies at 95 -- France 24  

Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95 -- BBC  

Former Pope Benedict, hero to Catholic conservatives, dies, article with video -- Reuters

Former pope Benedict XVI dies aged 95 -- The Guardian 

Former Pope Benedict XVI dies at 95 -- DW  

Former Pope Benedict XVI, conservative pontiff who was first in 600 years to resign, dies -- LA Times  

‘Giant of faith and reason’: world leaders pay tribute to Benedict XVI -- The Guardian  

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI dies at age 95 -- Al Jazeera  

Former pope Benedict XVI dies aged 95 as Vatican announces his body to lie in state at St Peter's Basilica -- ABC News Australia  

Pope Francis to lead funeral for Benedict XVI, a first in modern history -- France 24

Former French President Hollande Confirms Merkel’s Remarks That The Minsk Agreements Were just An Excuse To Let Kyiv Build Up Its Military

François Hollande talks with a Kyiv Independent contributor in Paris, France, on Dec. 16, 2022. (Théo Prouvost)

TASS: Hollande confirms Merkel’s remark Minsk agreements let Kiev build up military muscle 

While commenting on the prospects for negotiations in the current conflict, France’s former president said that "for a dialogue to be fruitful, it must be based on a balance of power" 

PARIS, December 30. /TASS/. France’s former president, Francois Hollande, who participated in attempts to settle the conflict in Donbass and in shaping the Minsk agreements in 2015 has confirmed the then German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement to the effect the agreements were needed for the sole purpose of letting Kiev gain time and build up military muscle for another conflict. 

"Yes, Angela Merkel is right on this point," he told the Kiev Independent media outlet, while commenting on Merkel’s remark that the Minsk agreements allowed Kiev to gain time, but by no means prevented further hostilities in the Donbass. 

"Since 2014, Ukraine has strengthened its military posture. Indeed, the Ukrainian army was completely different from that of 2014. It was better trained and equipped. It is the merit of the Minsk agreements to have given the Ukrainian army this opportunity."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Here is the interview with the Kyiv Independent where former French President Hollande admits that the Minsk agreement gave time for Ukraine to build-up its military forces .... Hollande: ‘There will only be a way out of the conflict when Russia fails on the ground’ (Kyiv Independent). 

Wow! Was I ever fooled. 

I believed that the Minsk agreements were a genuine and sincere effort from the West to find a resolution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, and I gave it my full support in this blog and with all of my friends and contacts in Russia, Ukraine, and elsewhere. 

I was wrong. 

With former German Chancellor Merkel, former Ukraine President Poroshenko, and now former French President Hollande all admitting that the Minsk agreements were just an excuse to buy time to build-up Ukraine's military forces to continue the war and pursue a military defeat of the separatist forces in eastern Ukraine .... sighhhh .... this all but destroys any chance that Moscow will agree to any proposal from the West to end the war in Ukraine. 

What can I now say. This war and the incredible destruction and death it is causing could have all been avoided if these "leaders" were sincere in following up on implementing the agreements that they made in Minsk.  

Update: Could not have said it any better .... Confessions by Hollande and Merkel are ‘formalization of betrayal’ – top Russian senator (RT).

Global Stocks Lost $18 Trillion In 2022

Bloomberg: After $18 Trillion Rout, Global Stocks Face More Hurdles in 2023 

(Bloomberg) -- More tech tantrums. China’s Covid surge. And above all, no central banks riding to the rescue if things go wrong. Reeling from a record $18 trillion wipeout, global stocks must surmount all these hurdles and more if they are to escape a second straight year in the red. 

With a drop of more than 20% in 2022, the MSCI All-Country World Index is on track for its worst performance since the 2008 crisis, as jumbo interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve more than doubled 10-year Treasury yields — the rate underpinning global capital costs. 

Bulls looking ahead at 2023 might take solace in the fact that two consecutive down years are rare for major equity markets — the S&P 500 index has fallen for two straight years on just four occasions since 1928. The scary thing though, is that when they do occur, drops in the second year tend to be deeper than in the first.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Stocks fall to end Wall Street’s worst year since 2008, S&P 500 finishes 2022 down nearly 20% (CNBC)  

Update #2: U.S. stocks fall on last trading day of 2022, booking monthly losses and worst year since 2008 (Market Insider)  

Update #3: Stocks losing year (FOX News)  

WNU Editor: The mainstream business news media are ignoring this story, but if you add in the collapse of bond prices this year, this is the worst market since the 1800s .... BIDEN ECONOMY: The DOW Incurs Worst Year Since 2008, NASDAQ Incurs Worst Year Ever – If You Add in Bonds, It’s the Worst Year Since 1871! (The Gateway Pundit).

A Look At Every Country’s Share Of The World’s $101.6 Trillion Economy

Click on Image to Enlarge  

Visual Capitalist: Top Heavy: Countries by Share of the Global Economy  

Countries by Share of the Global Economy 

As 2022 comes to a close we can recap many historic milestones of the year, like the Earth’s population hitting 8 billion and the global economy surpassing $100 trillion. 

 In this chart, we visualize the world’s GDP using data from the IMF, showcasing the biggest economies and the share of global economic activity that they make up.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I was surprised by the numbers from China. Even experiencing massive lock-downs for the past two years, it is an economy that is still growing.

World’s 1st Space Drone?

The new S-70B with the flat exhaust nozzle  

EurAsian Times: World’s 1st Space Drone? Russian Historian Says S-70 ‘Hunter’ Can Reach Outer Space; US Experts Skeptical 

Russia’s S-70 Okhotnik Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), which can also operate as a ‘wingman’ to the Su-57 fighter, is Artificial Intelligence (AI) enabled and can reach outer space when fitted with suitable engines. 

The United States tried to develop UCAV with similar performance characteristics but gave up the project after its engineers could not overcome the technical obstacles. 

This was according to military historian and director of the Museum of Air Defense Forces Yuri Knutov, Izvestia reported. The S-70 Okhotnik is powered by an AL-31 turbojet engine and is expected to fly at 1,000 kilometers an hour and a range of 6,000 kilometers.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: A space drone is just another sign that the research and development of weapons for space will continue.

Picture Of The Day

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu adjusts his jacket as Israel's new right-wing government is sworn in at the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem December 29. REUTERS/Amir Cohen/Pool  

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Top Photos Of The Week (Reuters).

Friday, December 30, 2022

Turkey Threatens War Against Greece Again

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu speaks at a press briefing in the capital Ankara, Türkiye, Dec. 29, 2022 (AA Photo)  

Politico: Turkey renews threat of war over Greek territorial sea dispute  

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu warned Greece not to proceed with any expansion of its territorial waters in the Aegean. 

ATHENS — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Thursday threatened Greece with retaliation if Athens proceeded with any expansion of its territorial waters in the Aegean, saying that it would still be seen as a casus belli justifying military action.

“Our position is clear, no 12 miles, we will not allow for territorial waters to be expanded by even a mile in the Aegean,” Çavuşoğlu said during an end-of-year press briefing in Ankara, commenting on reports that Athens plans to extend territorial waters around the island of Crete.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Türkiye: 'We will not allow' expansion of Greek territorial waters (TRT World)  

Update #2: Türkiye draws line targeting any Greek increase of regional waters in Aegean (MENAFN)  

WNU Editor: This is why Turkey is threatening war .... Greece to extend territorial waters to 12 nautical miles south, west of Crete, reports local media (Middle East monitor).

New Omicron Variant Sweeping The U.S.


CNBC: Highly immune evasive omicron XBB.1.5 variant is quickly becoming dominant in U.S. as it doubles weekly 

* The Covid omicron XBB.1.5 variant has nearly doubled in prevalence over the past week and now represents about 41% of new cases in the U.S., according to CDC data. 

* XBB.1.5 is highly immune evasive and appears to bind better to cells than other members of the XBB omicron subvariant family. 

* Scientists at Columbia University have warned that the rise of subvariants such as the XBB family could “result in a surge of breakthrough infections as well as re-infections.” 

The Covid omicron XBB.1.5 variant is rapidly becoming dominant in the U.S. because it is highly immune evasive and appears more effective at binding to cells than related subvariants, scientists say. 

XBB.1.5 now represents about 41% of new cases nationwide in the U.S., nearly doubling in prevalence over the past week, according to the data published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The subvariant more than doubled as a share of cases every week through Dec. 24. In the past week, it nearly doubled from 21.7% prevalence.  

Read more .... 

New Omicron Variant Sweeping The U.S.  

Over 40% of U.S. COVID cases caused by Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 - CDC -- Reuters  

COVID variant XBB.1.5 now accounts for 40 percent of cases in the US: CDC -- The Hill  

COVID-19 hospitalizations rise as new variant emerges -- UPI  

COVID-19 XBB variant: What to know -- FOX News

Russia To Provide Iran With Dozens Of Advanced Sukhoi Su-35 Fighter Jets ‘In The Near Future’

Tehran Times: Russia set to supply Iran with Su-35 fighter jets ‘in near future’ 

According to media sources quoting military specialists, Iran will soon get 24 of the fourth-generation twin-engine, super-maneuverable fighter jets that are mostly used for air dominance missions. 

Some of the combat aircraft are anticipated to be housed at TAB 8 of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF), which is located in the Iranian city of Isfahan in the country's center.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russia to provide Iran with dozens of Sukhoi Su-35 fighter jets ‘in near future’ (Press TV)  

Update #2: Russia To Supply Iran With 24 Advanced Sukhoi Fighter Jets (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: The pilots have already received their training .... Russian Su-35s Could Soon Be Delivered To Iran, Pilots Trained Last Spring (Warzone/The Drive)

Should The Incoming GOP House Majority Demand That Democrats Who Voted To Reveal Trump’s Taxes Also Reveal Theirs?


Washington Examiner: Voters seek revenge on Democrats who released Trump taxes 

Voters are not in a very Christmas-y mood when it comes to Washington’s punishment politics. In fact, they’d like to see some payback. 

While a majority of voters are OK with House Ways and Means Committee Democrats releasing former President Donald Trump’s federal income taxes, they also feel that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: What is "good for the goose is also good for the gander". But it is not going to happen. The Republican leadership is incredibly weak, and I doubt they have the courage to push such a demand.

Has The War Changed Russia?


WNU Editor: I know the war has changed me. Stress. Worry. Trouble sleeping. But it pales to what my family and friends are experiencing in Ukraine. 

As for my friends and relatives in Russia. Life still goes on, and sometimes I get the impression that they are not impacted. There are of course daily reminders on mass media, and hundreds of thousands of reservists have been called up. But the economy is still functioning. Everyone is working, and even inflation has come down. 

BBC's Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg is correct in the above video that Russia is on a war footing, and society has become militarized. Uncertainty is in the back of everyone's minds, but for the old timers like myself we have seen this before. 

All wars do come to an end. And the Ukraine war will eventually end. 

And as for Russia. It will survive. It always has.

SpaceX Launches Israeli Spy Satellite EROS C-3

A Falcon 9 lifts off Dec. 30 from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California carrying the EROS C3 imaging satellite on SpaceX's 61st and final launch of 2022. Credit: SpaceX webcast SpaceX launches Israeli reconnaissance satellite, lands rocket in final flight of 2022  

The launch and landing marked SpaceX's 61st flight in 2022. 

SpaceX rang out 2022 a few days early with a brilliant nighttime launch from California to haul an Israeli reconnaissance satellite into orbit.  

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the Israeli Earth-imaging satellite EROS C-3 into orbit from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California late Thursday night (Dec. 29), releasing the payload into orbit about 15 minutes after leaving Earth. 

Liftoff occurred at 11:38 p.m. PST at the launch site (2:38 a.m. EST/0738 GMT), with the Falcon 9's first stage returning to land at a nearby SpaceX pad about 8 minutes into the flight.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Last SpaceX launch of 2022 carries Israeli reconnoissance satellite into orbit (UPI)  

Update #2: SpaceX Launches Israeli Earth-Imaging Satellite EROS C-3 Into Orbit (Algemeiner)  

WNU Editor: It has been a good year for SpaceX .... SpaceX completes record year with Israeli imaging satellite launch (Space News).

Growing Unrest In Jordan

Jordanian security forces deploy armoured vehicles in the southern city of Maan on 16 December 2022, hours after a senior police officer was shot dead in riots during a strike against rising fuel prices (AFP)  

Middle East Eye: Jordan's protests could be the second wave of an 'Arab Spring  

Recent protests sweeping the country amid record fuel prices and national debt could signal another revolution, as much of the Middle East faces an unprecedented economic crisis 

Jordan is witnessing escalating popular protests whose violent turn has ushered in an important, sensitive, and dangerous period in the country's history. 

But what is happening in Jordan cannot be isolated from current conditions and growing tensions in the entire region, signalling what may be a prelude to a second wave of the Arab Spring. 

The latest wave of demonstrations in Jordan began with the announcement of truck drivers on strike, in which other public transport workers soon participated, to protest against the rise of fuel prices.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: What is happening in Jordan is also happening in a number of other developing nations. High energy and food prices resulting in growing unrest and political instability.

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 30.12.2022 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot of interesting updates today.

Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper Says Taiwan Is “Not Prepared Enough” For A Potential Chinese Invasion

President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文, right) meets with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper at the Presidential Office on Tuesday. CNA photo July 19, 2022 

The Hill: Esper: Taiwan ‘not prepared enough’ for conflict with China  

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Taiwan is “not prepared enough” for a potential Chinese invasion, though he is optimistic the island will get to that point. 

Esper, who traveled to Taiwan in July, said this week he met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and “outlined a number of things that I thought they needed to do,” including dramatically increasing the island’s defense budget, increasing the length of conscription for at least a year and stockpiling food and weapons.  

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WNU Editor: Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper made these remarks on Bloomberg's 'Balance of Power' podcast. The link to this podcast is here .... Balance of Power: China Holds Military Drill Near Taiwan (Radio) (Bloomberg).

Russia’s Putin Welcomes Netanyahu Back To Power In Israel


Al Jazeera: Russia’s Putin welcomes Netanyahu back to power in Israel 

Putin calls for ‘strengthening Russian-Israeli cooperation in all areas’ in message to Netanyahu as new Israeli PM. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has welcomed the return of Benjamin Netanyahu as head of the most far-right Israeli government the country has known and signalled an intention to strengthen cooperation, the Kremlin said. 

“I hope that the new government under your leadership will continue the line of strengthening Russian-Israeli cooperation in all areas for the benefit of our peoples, in the interest of ensuring peace and security in the Middle East,” Putin said in a message to Netanyahu, quoted in a statement on Thursday.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The mood in Washington DC is different .... Biden Awkwardly Congratulates Most Extreme Right Government In Israel's History (Zero Hedge).

Turkey's Foreign Minister Says Erdogan, Putin, And Assad Will Meet After January 2023

A meeting between the Turkish, Syrian, and Russian leaders has been scheduled, but not for January, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.  

Sputnik: Turkish Foreign Minister Says Erdogan, Putin, Assad to Meet After January 2023 

ISTANBUL (Sputnik) - A meeting between the Turkish, Syrian and Russian leaders has been scheduled, but not for January, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday. 

On December 15, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he had offered to Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold a meeting between the leaders of Turkey, Russia and Syria, which will be preceded by a meeting of the heads of the intelligence services, defense and foreign ministries. 

On December 28, the Russian Defense Ministry said that the defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Turkey held trilateral talks in Moscow to discuss ways to resolve the Syrian crisis.  

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Update: Erdogan, Putin, Assad to meet after January 2023 (MEHR News Agency)  

WNU Editor: No official word yet from Moscow or Damascus.

China Appoints Its Ambassador To The U.S. Qin Gang As Its New Foreign Minister

File photo of Qin Gang, October 12, 2021. /CFP 

Global Times: China appoints Qin Gang as new foreign minister 

Qin Gang, incumbent Chinese Ambassador to the US, was appointed as the new Chinese foreign minister, according to a decision made by the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on Friday. 

Wang Yi, who is a Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and State Councilor, no longer serves as the Chinese foreign minister, China's Central Television reported on Friday.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Qin Gang is viewed as one of China's "wolf-warrior' diplomats. His appointment tells me that China is expecting a number of international confrontations in the future, and they have appointed a hardcore and blunt diplomat to present their case to an international audience.

 China Appoints Its Ambassador To The U.S. Qin Gang As Its New Foreign Minister 

China's ambassador to the U.S. Qin Gang appointed as new foreign minister -- CGTN  

China promotes its U.S. envoy Qin Gang to foreign minister -- Reuters 

China Appoints Ambassador to US Qin Gang as New Foreign Minister -- Bloomberg  

China appoints ambassador to US, Qin Gang, as new foreign minister -- The Hill  

China names its envoy to US Qin Gang as new foreign minister -- Al Jazeera 

China names U.S. envoy Qin Gang as foreign minister -- Axios