Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kremlin Warns U.S. That Due To Their Efforts To Inflict A 'Strategic Defeat' On Russia In Ukraine, Nuclear Arms Control Will Be Thing Of The Past

Russian ะœะ—ะšะข-79221 ICBM— WikiCC  

Reuters: Russia warns United States: the end of nuclear arms control may be nigh 

LONDON (Reuters) -Russia told the United States on Monday that the last remaining pillar of bilateral nuclear arms control could expire in 2026 without a replacement due to what it said were U.S. efforts to inflict "strategic defeat" on Moscow in Ukraine. 

Both Russia and the United States still have vast arsenals of nuclear weapons which are currently partially limited by the 2011 New START Treaty, which in 2021 was extended until 2026. 

What comes after Feb. 4, 2026, however, is unclear, though Washington has indicated it wants to reach a follow-on agreement with Russia. 

Asked if Moscow could envisage there being no nuclear arms control treaty after 2026, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told the RIA state new agency: "This is quite a possible scenario."  

Read more ....  

Update: The Last Existing U.S.-Russia Nuclear Treaty Could Soon Fail (VICE)  

WNU Editor: The last thing that the world needs right now is another nuclear arms buildup. But if the START Treaty is not renewed and/or updated with a new nuclear arms control agreement, you can take this to the bank, a nuclear arms buildup will be the result. 

Update: The US is accusing Russia of already violating START .... US says Russia is violating key nuclear arms control agreement (CNN). More here .... US accuses Russia of violating nuclear treaty – media (RT).

Ukraine's Allies Are Saying No To Sending Fighter Jets To Ukraine

 

Bloomberg: Ukraine’s Allies Reject Giving Fighter Jets in Blow to Zelenskiy 

(Bloomberg) -- Ukraine’s biggest allies have so far said they won’t send fighter jets to Kyiv, denying a key request from President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ahead of an expected escalation in fighting.

President Joe Biden said Monday that the US wouldn’t send F-16s to Ukraine, joining the UK and Germany, which have also ruled out sending their military fighters. 

Kyiv’s allies have stepped up shipments of military hardware in recent weeks in an effort to bolster Ukraine’s forces ahead of a spring offensive that officials fear Russia may be planning. The US, Germany and the UK made u-turns earlier this month by promising to deliver heavy tanks to Ukraine. 

“A victory of Ukraine without modern air force is scarcely imaginable,” Ukraine’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Andrij Melnyk said on Twitter over the weekend. “That’s why we urgently need Western fighter jets like F-16 & F35 as well as Eurofighter & Tornado. Let’s do it together dear allies in DC & Berlin.”  

Read more ....  

Update: Ukraine war: Western allies send Kyiv mixed messages on war planes (BBC)  

WNU Editor: Not everyone is saying no .... France doesn’t rule out sending warplanes to Ukraine (AP).

Editor's Note

I am in Toronto today. Meeting one of my cousins and her family from Ukraine who are arriving later today. They are on their way to Winnipeg, but are staying in Toronto for a few hours. Blogging will return when I get back later this evening.

Update 23:00 EST: A WNU cruise. LOL. Now that is an idea!!!!

This is why I love reading the comments thread.

I warned my cousin on how cold Winnipeg is. That it is bleak and not what they are going to expect. I even told them they could stay at my place for a few months. Montreal is far preferable than Winnipeg. At least at my place they will not have to worry about rent/food/basic expenses. She could even drive my car (refugees from Ukraine with a valid drivers license are eligible to get a Quebec drivers license without doing the tests). But no .... they are going to Winnipeg because they know someone ?!?!?!?

This is where I sit back. Eat the popcorn. And watch the show.

On a more serious note. I learned that everyone in my family is OK. They are out of the cities, and can make ends meet. 

Unfortunately. This war has deeply divided the family. My relatives in Russia and my relatives in Ukraine are not talking to each other. I am the only one that both sides are talking to, because they know of my background, my past public warnings that this war was going to happen if Ukraine did not become a federated system like Canada's, my frustrations that no one cared about the consequences, and my strong anti-war views. 

I have also deliberately positioned myself to be able to talk to both sides, and everyone knows it. The way I see it. This war will end one day. It will take people like me to step in and be the bridge for both sides to talk to each other and to heal. This will also probably be the last big project in my life. 

One more note. My cousin told me that while civilian casualties have been low, military casualties are astronomical. Everyone knows someone who has been killed or wounded in this war. Everyone also knows that the entire front in eastern Ukraine is a meat-grinder.

US President Biden Says U.S. Will Not Be Providing F-16s To Ukraine

 

Daily Mail: Biden says the U.S. will NOT send F-16 jets to Ukraine after promising to deliver M1 Abrams tanks and still doesn't know if he can get to Kyiv when he visits Europe in the future 

* President Joe Biden told reporters 'no' when asked if he'd send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine 

* The president also said 'I'm not sure' when asked if he would take a trip to Europe next month to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion 

* Biden did say he'd visit Ukraine-adjacent Poland, but he didn't know when 

President Joe Biden answered in the negative Monday when asked if he'd send F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. 'No,' he told reporters on the South Lawn. 

The president also said 'I'm not sure' when asked if he would take a trip to Europe next month to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion on February 24. 

Biden did say he'd visit Ukraine-adjacent Poland, but he didn't know when.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden has reversed himself many times in the past year when it came to shipping certain types of weapons to Ukraine. I for one would not be surprised if he reverses himself on shipping F-16s.

 US President Biden Says U.S. Will Not Be Providing F-16s To Ukraine

Biden seemingly rejects request to send U.S. F-16s to Ukraine -- Politico  

Biden says US won’t provide Ukraine with F-16s -- The Hill  

Biden says U.S. won't be providing F-16s to Ukraine -- CBS  

Ukraine war: Joe Biden rules out sending F-16 fighter jets -- BBC  

Biden rejects F-16s for Ukraine as Russia claims advances -- AFP  

US will not provide F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine, Biden says -- Voice of Ukraine

Monday, January 30, 2023

Ukraine Suggests Poland May Provide F-16 Fighter Jets

Warzone/The Drive: Ukraine Claims Poland In Talks To Transfer Its F-16s  

Poland says it’s backing a collaborative effort to get F-16s into Ukrainian hands, but didn’t specify if it could include its advanced F-16s.  

Ukraine says it has received “positive signals” from Poland that indicate that the NATO country is willing to supply Kyiv with the F-16 fighter jets that it’s long been campaigning to get. 

Meanwhile, Polish officials have confirmed that they could send some of their F-16s to Ukraine, although it would have to be done as part of a coordinated effort with other NATO allies. Moreover, the advanced capabilities of these jets, in particular, and Poland’s own need for them, appear to make such a transfer at least questionable. Andrii Yermak, the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, provided the following statement on Telegram today:  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Some are skeptical that Poland will provide F-16s .... Poland Unlikely To Give Its F-16s to Ukraine Despite Ukrainian Claims (The Aviationist). 

Ukraine Suggests Poland May Provide F-16 Fighter Jets  

Poland could supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters, Kyiv suggests -- The Guardian  

Ukraine says Poland sending ‘positive signals’ about providing F-16 fighter jets -- The Hill  

Poland sets condition for potential F-16 deliveries to Ukraine -- RT  

Polish PM names terms for transferring F-16 fighters to Ukraine -- Voice of Ukraine  

Ukraine President's Office: Poland ready to supply Ukraine with F-16 fighters in coordination with NATO -- Kyiv Independent

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 30.1.2023 (Video)

 

WNU Editor: A lot updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel. Alexander Mercouris gives his update on the war below. 

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Russian Business Offers Cash Bounties To Destroy Western Tanks In Ukraine

Ukrainian servicemen stand n on their tanks near the frontline town of Bakhmut © Thomson Reuters  

Reuters: Russian business offers cash bounties to destroy Western tanks in Ukraine 

A Russian company said it will offer five million roubles ($72,000) in cash to the first soldiers who destroy or capture western-made tanks in Ukraine, after the Kremlin vowed Russian forces would wipe out any Western tanks shipped to Ukraine. 

The United States, Germany and several other European countries are lining up to send Kyiv dozens of advanced combat tanks over the next few months to help boost Ukraine's military capacity as the war approaches the 12-month mark. 

The decision has been criticised by the Kremlin as a dangerous escalation, and spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the tanks would "burn" on the frontlines.  

Read more ....  

Update: Russian Troops Offered Bounties for Destroying Western Tanks in Ukraine (Moscow Times)  

WNU Editor: This $72,000 bounty is directed more at the Ukrainian side to desert.

Would America Be Screwed If China Invades Taiwan?

Sascha Brodsky, Daily Beast: How America Would Be Screwed if China Invades Taiwan 

The vaunted fleet of the U.S. Navy may not be ready for a conflict with China. 

A recent analysis found that the U.S. would likely lose a vast number of ships in a war with China over Taiwan, thanks to a narrowing technological advantage. And experts say the U.S. fleet of over 490 ships is also losing its edge in numbers compared to China’s fleet of 661 vessels.

“We are nowhere near adequately prepared,” said William Toti, who led the Navy’s anti-submarine China strategy before his retirement. “I fear that we've awakened a sleeping giant. They have more ships than we do. They have more industrial capacity than we do.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: When you look at it from both sides. Neither China or the US is really ready for war.

Chinese Analysts Say Taiwan Warnings Show The US Military Is Preparing For War

SCMP: Taiwan warnings show US military is preparing for war, Chinese analysts say 

* Risk of conflict between Chinese, US militaries has increased as both sides boost deterrence capabilities, experts say 

* Top US commanders have predicted military conflict with China may happen in the near future 

A warning by a US air force commander that a military conflict with mainland China could come as early as 2025 implies the American military is gearing up combat readiness over Taiwan, according to analysts, who said the People's Liberation Army (PLA) would also boost its deterrence capabilities. 

The latest warning was from Mike Minihan, the head of the Air Mobility Command, who said war over Taiwan might happen as soon as 2025. 

In an internal memorandum that first emerged on social media on Friday, Minihan, a US four-star general, urged his commanders to push their units to achieve maximum operational battle readiness this year. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This does not help in de-escalating current tensions .... Chinese vessels and aircraft appear in Taiwanese waters and airspace (FOX News).

Senior US General Tells UK Defense Minister That The British Army Is No Longer A Top-Level Fighting Force

 

SKY News: US general warns British Army no longer top-level fighting force, defence sources reveal  

Rishi Sunak risks failing in his role as "wartime prime minister" unless he takes urgent action given the growing security threat posed by Vladimir Putin, it has been warned, with calls for a significant hike in spending. 

A senior US general has privately told Defence Secretary Ben Wallace the British Army is no longer regarded as a top-level fighting force, defence sources have revealed. 

They said this decline in war-fighting capability - following decades of cuts to save money - needed to be reversed faster than planned in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine.  

Read more ....  

Update: US general warns British Army no longer among world’s top tier fighting forces: report (FOX News)  

WNU Editor: I would love to know who that US General is (General Milley?). 

Some UK pundits disagree with this assessment(see video below). 

 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives In Israel For A Two Day Visit

 

Reuters: Blinken reaffirms need for two-state solution as he lands in Israel 

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Israel and Palestinians to calm tensions as he visited on Monday during the worst violence in years, reaffirming a long-stalled peace vision as the "only path" forward. 

While focusing censure on a Palestinian gun spree outside a synagogue that has put Israel on high alert, Blinken also cautioned against any celebration or avenging of such bloodshed. 

Seven people were shot dead in Friday's attack by an East Jerusalem man who was himself killed by police. Lionised by many fellow Palestinians, he had no known links to militant groups. 

A day earlier, Israel carried out an unusually deep raid on Jenin refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, killing 10 residents, most of them gunmen. At least 35 Palestinians, including fighters and civilians, have died in violence surging since Jan. 1, medical officials say.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The US and Israel have just completed the largest joint military exercise ever. The CIA Director was in Israel just a few days ago. And now U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrives for a two day visit. Something is obviously up. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken Arrives In Israel For A Two Day Visit  

WATCH LIVE: Blinken meets with Israeli leader Netanyahu for news briefing after surge in violence -- PBS Blinken urges Israel-Palestinian calm as violence soars -- AP  

Blinken calls for ‘urgent steps to restore calm’ between Israel, Palestinians -- France 24  

Palestinian man killed at West Bank checkpoint as Blinken begins Middle East trip -- The Guardian  

Blinken visit reaches new urgency as Israeli, Palestinian tensions boil -- CNN

Azerbaijan Closes Its Embassy In Iran After Recent Gun Attack

Reuters: Azerbaijan to evacuate embassy in Iran on Sunday after fatal shooting 

BAKU (Reuters) - Azerbaijan will evacuate embassy staff and family members from Iran on Sunday, the foreign ministry said, two days after a gunman shot dead a security guard and wounded two other people in an attack Baku branded an "act of terrorism". 

Police in Tehran have said they had arrested a suspect and Iranian authorities condemned Friday's incident, but said the gunman appeared to have had a personal, not a political, motive. 

The incident came amid increased tensions between the neighbouring countries over Iran's treatment of its large ethnic Azeri minority and over Azerbaijan's decision this month to appoint its first ever ambassador to Israel.  

Read more ....  

Update: Azerbaijan Evacuating Embassy In Iran Following Armed Attack (Iran International)  

WNU Editor: Iran says this attack should not impact Iranian - Azerbaijan relations .... Iran says embassy attack should not affect Azerbaijan relations (Al Jazeera).

Drones Attack Convoy On Syria-Iraq Border. Pro-Iran Factions Targeted

Politico/AP: Drones reportedly attack convoy in east Syria coming from Iraq  

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the convoy in the border region of Boukamal. 

BEIRUT — Drones attacked a convoy of trucks in eastern Syria Sunday night shortly after it crossed into the country from Iraq, Syrian opposition activists and a pro-government radio station said. 

There was no immediate word on casualties. 

The strike comes amid heightening tension between Iran and its rivals in the region. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack on the convoy in the Syrian border region of Boukamal, which is a stronghold of Iran-backed militias. 

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the drones appear to have been from the U.S.-led coalition, adding that they targeted six refrigerated trucks. The group said there were casualties and ambulances rushed to the area.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Drone strikes fuel truck carrying weapons near Iraq-Syria border (YNet News) 

Update #2: Drones attack convoy on Syria-Iraq border – media (RT)  

WNU Editor: More drone strikes are being reported .... Drones attack convoy on Syria-Iraq border – media (VOA).

Officials Say Israel Launched This Saturday's Drone Attack On Iranian Facility

 

Jerusalem Post: Israeli drone attack on Iranian weapons factory was phenomenal success - sources 

The Islamic Republic claimed that the drone attack had failed and only cause minor roof damage. 

Despite Iranian claims, the Israeli drone attack on Iran at Isfahan was a tremendous success, according to a mix of Western intelligence sources and foreign sources, The Jerusalem Post initially reported on Sunday morning. Several hours later, 

The Wall Street Journal came out with a similar report, stating that Israel and the Mossad were behind the attack, citing US officials. 

There were four large explosions at the military industry factory, documented on social media, against a facility developing advanced weapons. The damage goes far beyond the “minor roof damage” that the Islamic Republic claimed earlier Sunday and has falsely claimed in past incidents.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Western sources are saying that this drone attack caused major damage. Iran is saying the damage was minor. Iran is also saying that this recent drone attack will not impact its nuclear program .... Drone attack will not affect Iran’s nuclear program – FM (RT). 

 Officials Say Israel Launched This Saturday's Drone Attack On Iranian Facility  

Israel Launched Drone Attack on Iranian Facility, Officials Say -- New York Times  

Report: Israel carried out drone attack on Iranian defense facility -- Times of Israel  

Israel struck Iran with drones – WSJ -- RT  

Iran claims drones attack was launched by Israel... as EU considers classing Tehran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists -- Daily Mail  

Was Israel behind drone attack on Iran military installation? -- Al Jazeera

Pakistan Taliban Take Credit For Today's Suicide Attack At A Mosque In Peshawar

 

Al Jazeera: Blast at mosque in Pakistan’s Peshawar kills at least 47 people 

Officials say an explosion at a mosque in Peshawar, northwestern Pakistan, has caused multiple casualties. 

More than 40 people have been killed and about 150 others wounded in a suicide bomb attack targeting police at a mosque in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar, according to officials. 

Sarbakaf Mohmand, a commander for the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack on Twitter. The main spokesman for the group was not immediately available for comment. 

Earlier, a Lady Reading Hospital spokesperson in Peshawar, Muhammed Asim, told Al Jazeera at least 32 people were killed and more than 70 injured people were brought in for treatment. A Peshawar police official told Al Jazeera about 150 people were wounded in total.  

Read more .... 

Pakistan Taliban Take Credit For Today's Suicide Attack At A Mosque In Peshawar  

Pakistan mosque blast: Police targeted in attack that kills 47 -- BBC  

Suicide bomber kills 44, wounds over 150 at Pakistan mosque -- AP  

Suicide bomber targets police in Pakistan mosque attack, dozens killed -- France 24 

Suicide bombing at mosque in Pakistan kills 47; police targeted -- Straits Times  

44 killed, 157 injured in blast at Peshawar Police Lines mosque -- DAWN  

Pakistan: Blast near mosque in Peshawar leaves dozens dead -- DW  

Pakistan: dozens killed in mosque blast in Peshawar -- The Guardian  

Suicide bombing at mosque in Pakistan kills dozens -- Axios

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz Warns Against A Race To Arm Ukraine With High-Powered Weapons

Photo Source: Official Twitter page of German chancellor Olaf Scholz  

The Hill: Germany warns against arms race as Ukraine pushes for missiles, jets 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is warning against a race to arm Ukraine with high-powered weapons as Ukraine ramps up its calls for fighter jets and long-range missiles. 

Scholz engineered a breakthrough with President Biden to send modern tanks to Ukraine earlier this month, but has said fighter jets is a non-starter. 

“I can only advise against entering into a constant competition to outbid each other when it comes to weapons systems,” Scholz said in an interview with German news outlet Tagesspiegel. 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky issued pleas over the weekend for long-range missiles and fighter jets as he seeks to strengthen the country’s air defense. But Germany has insisted the country will not be equipping Ukraine with the warplanes.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I understand the German Chancellor's concerns. But what I find so astounding about the recent announcements from the West to ship weapons and ammunition to Ukraine is how small it actually is, and the time to deliver them. 

Case in point. The US will only be able to send Ukraine 31 Abrams tanks later this year?!?!?! You would think that with the defense budget that the US has, sending 31 tanks could be done much faster. 

And then there is artillery. This conflict is primarily a war being conducted by artillery. Making promises to send Ukraine about 90,000 artillery shells is pathetically small. This is what the Russian army uses up in 5 days. 

So are "high-powered" weapons the only option left. F-16s and long-range missiles that can strike deep in Crimea and Russia? It looks like the answer is yes, because there is nothing else left.

President Zelenskiy Says Ukraine Needs More Weapons, Faster

FILE PHOTO: Ukraine's President Zelensky speaks with German Chancellor Scholz via phone line in Kyiv  

Reuters: Zelenskiy: Ukraine needs more weapons, faster 

Ukraine needs new weapons and faster deliveries to confront a "very tough" situation of constant attacks by Russian forces in the eastern Donetsk region, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said on Sunday. 

"The situation is very tough. Bakhmut, Vuhledar and other sectors in Donetsk region -- there are constant Russian attacks. There are constant attempts to break through our defences," Zelenskiy said in his nightly video address. 

"Russia wants the war to drag on and exhaust our forces. So we have to make time our weapon. We have to speed up events, speed up supplies and open up new weapons options for Ukraine." 

The General Staff of Ukraine's armed forces said earlier on Sunday that its forces repelled an attack near Blahodatne in the eastern part of the Donetsk region, while Russia's Wagner private military group said it took control of the village. 

A later military statement made no mention of Blahodatne.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: If what I am reading in Ukraine is true, the Ukraine army is running very short in artillery shells. In the battles currently happening in the eastern part of the country, for every shell Ukraine fires, Russia is firing anywhere from 15 to 20.

Picture Of The Day

Anastasia, 4, stands next to an artwork of the famous street artist Tvboy in the town centre, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Bucha, outside Kyiv, Ukraine. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko  

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Top Photos of the Day (Reuters).

U.S. Secretary Of State Anthony Blinken Arrives In The Middle East For A Three Day Visit In The Region

 

Reuters: Blinken begins Middle East trip amid spate of violence 

CAIRO, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the Middle East on Sunday, beginning a three-day visit as violence flares between Israelis and Palestinians, and with Iran and the war in Ukraine high on the agenda. 

After a stop in Cairo Blinken will head on Monday to Jerusalem, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's new right-wing government has stirred concern at home and abroad over the future of Israel's secular values, frayed ethnic relations and stalled peace talks with the Palestinians. 

There has also been a spate of deadly violence in recent days, heightening fears that already spiralling violence will further escalate.  

Read more .... 

U.S. Secretary Of State Anthony Blinken Arrives In The Middle East For A Three Day Visit In The Region  

Blinken begins Middle East trip with call for calm as Israeli-Palestinian violence flares -- The Guardian  

Blinken heads to Middle East in wake of attacks on synagogue, refugee camp -- The Hill  

Blinken kicks off regional tour in Egypt as Israeli-Palestinian violence soars -- Times of Israel  

Blinken arrives in Egypt as Israeli-Palestinian tensions soar -- Al Jazeera 

Israeli-Palestinian cauldron tests US as Blinken visits -- AP

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Did Alexa Predict The Date When World War III Will Start?

Newsweek: Did Alexa 'Predict' World War III Start Date in Viral Video? 

A viral video purports to show Amazon assistant Alexa giving the exact date for a Russian attack on Germany that it says will mark the beginning of the new World War. 

"World War III starts on November 23, 2023 at 6:05pm, when Russia launches an attack against Germany," the voice-activated gadget appears to say, in response to a question about the start of World War III. 

The video, or versions of it, have been shared on TikTok and on Twitter, with just one post gathering more than 200,000 engagements in just a day. 

"I'll give it to you again "Alexa is World War 3 November 23, 2023 "From 6:05 pm "Answer: Russia will attack Germany," the caption says.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It is a hoax. But what I find fascinating are the hundreds of thousands of views from people who want to know when will World War III start (myself included).

Germany Says Its Defense Budget Insufficient To Overhaul Military

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius (via Twitter) 

EurAsian Times: $108B Not Enough! Germany Says Its Defense Budget Insufficient To Overhaul Military Amid Russia-Ukraine War 

The new German Defense Minister, Boris Pistorius, has made alarming observations about Berlin’s ambitious defense spending just days after taking over the reins after Christine Lambrecht’s resignation. 

Boris Pistorius recently said in an interview that the special defense fund of 100 billion euros ($108.5 billion) would not be sufficient for Germany to modernize its military and pay for equipment maintenance.

“The 100 billion euros will not be enough,” the SPD politician told the Sรผddeutsche Zeitung. “We also have new maintenance costs with every new system. So with every new device, there are new and higher running costs.”  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: German public opinion when it comes to defense and national security issues is changing .... Are Germans really that pacifist anymore? (The Local). 

Bottom line. The German public will support more defense spending.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz On South America Visit To Secure Critical Minerals

Reuters: Scholz Seeks to Secure More Critical Minerals on South America Tour 

SANTIAGO DE CHILE (Reuters) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a new, expanded commodities partnership with Chile on Sunday during a tour of South America that Berlin hopes will help secure more access to critical minerals key to the transition to a green economy. 

Europe's largest economy has fallen behind in the race for critical minerals in part due to a distaste for the dirty business of mining as well as faith in the open market, German government officials say. 

That has led to a reliance on China, which has invested widely in the mining sector in resource-rich South America and in processing commodities.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The German government needs access to secure supplies of lithium if it ever wants to achieve its goal of a "green economy". Hence the German Chancellor's visit to Argentina and Chile (see above graph). 

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz On South America Visit To Secure Critical Minerals 

Germany's Olaf Scholz kicks off South America trip -- DW  

Germany’s Scholz sets off on first South American tour to boost trade, environment ties -- CNBC  

Scholz Visits South America in Race With China for Lithium -- Bloomberg  

Germany falls behind in the global race for lithium -- DW

German Chancellor Scholz Says Germany Won't Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine

 

BBC: German chancellor says he won't send fighter jets to Ukraine 

The German chancellor has ruled out sending fighter jets to Ukraine, just days after committing to supplying tanks. 

In an interview with a German newspaper, Olaf Scholz warned against a bidding war for weapons. 

But Ukraine has asked allied nations to create a "fighter jet coalition" to bolster their capabilities. 

The US said it would discuss the idea of supplying jets "very carefully" with Kyiv on Thursday. 

In an interview with Tagesspiegel, Mr Scholz said his focus was on the delivery of German-made Leopard 2 tanks. 

"The fact we've only just made a decision [on sending tanks] and the next debate is firing up in Germany, that just seems frivolous", he said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: German Chancellor Scholz has said numerous times in the past year that Germany will not send to Ukraine certain weapons, but once put under pressure caved-in and sent it anyway. I predict the same will happen with fighter jets. 

German Chancellor Scholz Says Germany Won't Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine  

Scholz doubles down on refusal of fighter jets for Ukraine -- Politico.eu  

Germany Won't Send Fighter Jets to Ukraine, Says Scholz -- VOA/AFP  

Germany’s Scholz denounces ‘bidding war’ over jets for Ukraine -- Al Jazeera

Senior Republican Says Odds 'Very High' Of U.S. Military Conflict With China

 

Reuters: Odds 'very high' of U.S. military conflict with China, top Republican says 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -A top Republican in the U.S. Congress on Sunday said the odds of conflict with China over Taiwan "are very high," after a U.S. general caused consternation with a memo that warned that the United States would fight China in the next two years. 

In a memo dated Feb. 1 but released on Friday, General Mike Minihan, who heads the Air Mobility Command, wrote to the leadership of its roughly 110,000 members, saying, "My gut tells me we will fight in 2025." 

"I hope he is wrong. ... I think he is right though," Mike McCaul, the new chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, told Fox News Sunday.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: McCaul: Odds of conflict with China and Taiwan ‘very high’ with Biden in White House (The Hill)  

Update #2: ‘Very high’ odds of war with China, US Republican warns (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Texas, is not aone in making this prediction .... U.S. Air Force General Predicts War With China In 2025 (January 28, 2023).

Russian Military Escalates Attacks On The Bakhmut Area

DNYUZ/New York Times: Russia and Ukraine Battle for Control of Villages Near the Key City of Bakhmut 

Russian forces were wrestling for control of villages in eastern Ukraine near the beleaguered city of Bakhmut over the weekend, the latest flash point in a battle that Moscow views as crucial for its push to seize the whole of the eastern region of Donbas. 

Ukraine’s general staff said on Sunday that its soldiers had repelled attacks on the small village of Blahodatne and several other settlements in the area. The statement came a day after Russia’s Wagner group, a private military company that has conducted much of the fighting around Bakhmut on Moscow’s behalf, claimed that its forces had captured Blahodatne. “Blahodatne is under our control,” Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian businessman and the head of the Wagner group, said on Saturday in a statement posted on a website for one of his companies. 

Russia’s defense ministry has not confirmed the report and the claim could not be independently verified. Mr. Prigozhin has sought to cast his mercenaries as the most effective fighting force in the area and previously has claimed credit for battlefield advances ahead of Kremlin confirmation.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: There are numerous reports on social media that Ukraine will be withdrawing their forces from Bakhmut. Apparently Russian forces are on the verge of operationally encircling this major city, an encirclement that US officials say will be a disaster for the Ukraine military if they continue to stay in Bakhmut.

Russian Military Escalates Attacks On The Bakhmut Area  

Ukraine says it repels attack around Blahodatne while Russia’s Wagner claims control -- CNBC/Reuters  

Russia Escalates Attack on Bakhmut Area as Kyiv Warns New Offensive Is Imminent -- WSJ  

Fierce fighting reported in Ukraine's Donetsk region -- RTE 

Russia, Ukraine Make Conflicting Claims on Control of Donetsk Region Village -- VOA 

"Russians Are Approaching": Ukraine Town Evacuates Amid Rising Attacks -- AFP  

At Ukraine front, embattled Bakhmut residents desperate for water -- France 24

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Says Putin Threatened To Kill Him 'With A Missile' Just Before The Invasion

 

The Guardian: Boris Johnson says Putin claimed he could send missile to hit UK ‘in a minute’ 

Former prime minister’s comments about call to Russian president just before invasion come in new BBC documentary Boris Johnson has said that Vladimir Putin claimed he could have sent a missile to hit Britain “within a minute”, in a call just before the invasion of Ukraine. 

The former prime minister’s comments came in a three-part documentary for BBC Two looking at the conflict in Ukraine and the lead up to Russia’s invasion in February last year.

It had been in a conversation about hypothetical support for Nato on Russia’s borders if Putin decided to invade, as Johnson tried to talk Putin down.  

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Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Says Putin Threatened To Kill Him 'With A Missile' Just Before The Invasion  

Ukraine: Boris Johnson says Putin threatened him with missile strike -- BBC 

Boris Johnson claims Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him with missile in call ahead of Russian invasion of Ukraine -- SKY News

Boris Johnson: Putin threatened to lob missile at me -- AFP  

Vladimir Putin's 'threat to kill Boris Johnson' in run-up to Ukraine war -- Daily Mail  

Vladimir Putin threatened he could kill me with a missile attack, reveals Boris Johnson in hard-hitting new BBC series -- The SUN  

Boris Johnson says Vladimir Putin threatened to kill him 'with a missile' -- The Telegraph

NATO Military Chief Says The Alliance Is "Ready" For A Direct Confrontation With Russia

 

Newsweek: NATO Official Says Alliance 'Ready' for Direct Confrontation With Russia 

Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO's Military Committee, recently said that the alliance is "ready" for a direct confrontation with Russia as the country continues to fight in Ukraine. 

Bauer, an admiral in the Royal Netherlands Navy, told a Portuguese television channel, RTP, that NATO is focused on rearmament as Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategic objectives go beyond Ukraine and could possibly expand to neighboring countries. 

The chairman, who is reportedly advocating "peacetime war economy," added that it is important for NATO nations to direct civil industrial production towards military objectives.  

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WNU Editor: NATO's Military chief also believes the alliance should shift to a "war economy" .... NATO allies should shift to “war economy” - military committee chief (Ukrinform).

 NATO Military Chief Says The Alliance Is "Ready" For A Direct Confrontation With Russia  

NATO Military Chair Declares Alliance Is Ready For Direct Confrontation With Russia -- Republic World

Top NATO official says Alliance ready for direct confrontation with Russia -- Ukrayinska Pravda  

NATO ready for clash with Russia – top official -- RT  

NATO ready for direct confrontation with Russia — official -- TASS  

NATO Official Says Alliance Is ‘Ready’ for Direct Confrontation With Russia -- Antiwar.com


Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 29.1.2023 (Video)

 

WNU Editor: A lot updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel. It looks like Ukrainian forces are about to abandon Bakhmut. Alexander Mercouris gives his update on the war below. 

 

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

A Sobering Report On The Sad State Of The German Military (Video)

WNU Editor: The German defense budget is one of the biggest in the world. You have to wonder where is all the money going. Salaries and pensions I guess.

Is The West Prepared To Fight An All-Out War With Russia, Regionally Or Globally?

Ukrainian members of the military fire an anti-aircraft weapon, in the frontline city of Bakhmut, Ukraine, January 10. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne  

Douglas Macgregor, American Conservative: This Time It’s Different 

Neither we nor our allies are prepared to fight all-out war with Russia, regionally or globally. 

Until it decided to confront Moscow with an existential military threat in Ukraine, Washington confined the use of American military power to conflicts that Americans could afford to lose, wars with weak opponents in the developing world from Saigon to Baghdad that did not present an existential threat to U.S. forces or American territory. This time—a proxy war with Russia—is different. 

Contrary to early Beltway hopes and expectations, Russia neither collapsed internally nor capitulated to the collective West’s demands for regime change in Moscow. Washington underestimated Russia’s societal cohesion, its latent military potential, and its relative immunity to Western economic sanctions. 

As a result, Washington’s proxy war against Russia is failing. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was unusually candid about the situation in Ukraine when he told the allies in Germany at Ramstein Air Base on January 20, “We have a window of opportunity here, between now and the spring,” admitting, “That’s not a long time.”  

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WNU Editor: Douglas Macgregor has been accurate in his analysis on the war since the beginning. The above analysis is a blunt one, but he is not alone. Even the RAND Corporation in its latest report on the Russia - Ukraine war is acknowledging that the US better start searching for an off ramp to this conflict, and soon .... New RAND Study Warns Against "Protracted Conflict" In Ukraine (January 28, 2023).

Migrants Now Entering The US From Canada

Migrants are seen wading through deep snow along the U.S.-Canada border in a photo shared by the Border Patrol 

Daily Mail: Now they're coming from CANADA: Northern border sees 743% spike in illegal migrants trying to cross in a year due to 'easier entry than Mexico' - as cops release eerie images of asylum seekers trudging through 12F snow 

* Between October 1 and December 31, the Border Patrol's Swanton Sector - covering Vermont and New Hampshire - saw a surge in migrant encounters 

* Agents reported a 743 percent increase in apprehensions and encounters compared to the same period the year prior 

* Border Patrol officials say they are worried that migrants are unaware of how cold it can get, and say people traffickers are exploiting their desperation 

Border Patrol working in the north of the US have reported a 743 percent rise in migrant encounters compared to the same period a year ago. 

Robert Garcia, the chief patrol agent for the Swanton Sector - which covers Vermont, New York and New Hampshire - said he was troubled by the increasing popularity of the people-smuggling route. 

He warned traffickers are exploiting desperate asylum seekers with potentially lethal consequences, amid freezing temperatures and dangerous passages.  

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WNU Editor: While many of these migrants do travel to cross the border from Canada to the US, many stay in Canada. I live in Canada, and as long time readers of this blog know, I have been warning of Canada's migrant crisis for years. The difference now is that the illegal surge is beyond what it has been in the past, and it is impacting Canadians directly from the lack and/or high cost of of rental housing units, to low wages in the job market. And here is an easy prediction. It is going to get worse. Much worse.

Is Ukraine Forcibly Conscripting Ukrainians Of Hungarian Descent In Transcarpathia?

Global Research: Zelenskyy Regime to Forcibly Conscript Hungarians in Transcarpathia 

Ultranats terrorize Transcarpathians by kidnapping and throwing them into the Russian meat grinder. 

The Zelenskyy regime is desperate. It is reportedly losing more than 300 soldiers a day in eastern Ukraine. The latest effort by the doomed regime to throw men and foreign war materiel at a slow and overpowering Russian advance in Donbas will completely fall apart. 

The regime is now busy abducting potential bullet stoppers in the Zakarpattia Oblast (Ruthenia), situated in the Carpathian Mountains of southwestern Ukraine, between Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. 

“Due to heavy losses, which exceed all previous ones, radical methods are used to replenish the numbers [of troops]. According to local sources, the Ukrainian authorities plan to call up 10,000 people from Transcarpathia by spring,” Hungarian journalists told EuroWeekly. 

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Update: Are Transcarpathian Hungarians taken by force to die against the Russians? (Daily Hungarian)  

WNU Editor: Ukrainian officials and the media are calling these reports a Russian "disinformation campaign" .... Transcarpathian Hungarians respond to Szijjarto's claim about their alleged forced mobilization (Ukrinform). And I understand it from their point of view. If you are in Ukraine and you are a citizen, you will be conscripted. 

And as for reports that Ukrainian "press gangs" are very active in grabbing men off the streets throughout Ukraine. This is sadly very true. Ukraine is running out of soldiers, and they need to replenish what they have lost ASAP.

The British Army Has An Emergency Plan To Prevent Top Secret British Armor On The Challenger 2 Tank From Falling Into Russian Hands

Britain has ordered the upgrade of some of its Challenger 2 tanks to the Challenger 3 standard. (Courtesy of Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land)  

The SUN: SHOCK & ROLL Army hammering out emergency plan to keep Putin’s hands off top secret British armour if tanks are damaged in Ukraine 

THE Army is thrashing out emergency plans to recover British tanks if they are damaged in Ukraine — to stop their top secret armour and technology falling into Russian hands. 

The fearsome Challenger 2s are protected by world-beating Chobham armour made from a secret blend of ceramics, steel and shock-absorbing compounds. Britain led the world by pledging 14 Challenger 2s to Ukraine — but defence sources say it would be a nightmare if one was captured by Vladimir Putin’s invaders. 

His military scientists would then be free to study the armour and how to defeat it. A source explained: “The British armour is the best in the world. 

“In the history of Challenger 2s only one has been destroyed in battle and that was by friendly fire in Iraq. 

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WNU Editor: The British want these tanks delivered by March .... Britain wants Challenger tanks in Ukraine by end of March - minister (Reuters). More here .... UK aims to send Challenger tanks to Ukraine by end of March (France 24). 

The US has a different plan on making sure their armor does not fall into Russian hands. Just do not send tanks with that type of armor .... U.S. to send Ukraine more advanced Abrams tanks — but no secret armor (Politico). More here .... M1 Abrams Tanks In U.S. Inventory Have Armor Too Secret To Send To Ukraine (Warzone/The Drive).