Sunday, April 30, 2023

Russian Oil Is Still Finding Its Way To Europe

Bloomberg: Russian Oil Is Still Powering Europe’s Cars With Help of India 

Russian oil is still powering Europe — just with the help of India. Back in December, the European Union barred almost any seaborne crude oil imports from Russia. It extended the prohibition to refined fuels two months later. 

However, the rules didn’t prevent countries like India from snapping up cheap Russian crude, turning it into fuels like diesel, and shipping it back to Europe at a markup. 

The Asian country is on track to become Europe’s largest supplier of refined fuels this month while simultaneously buying record amounts of Russian crude, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from analytics firm Kpler. 

“Russian oil is finding its way back into Europe despite all the sanctioning and India ramping up fuel exports to the west is a good example of it,” said Viktor Katona, lead crude analyst at the firm. “With India taking in so much Russian barrels, it’s inevitable.”  

Read more ....  

Update: Europe Is Buying Record Amounts Of Refined Russian Fuels Through India, And Paying A Huge Markup (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: Why am I not surprised.

Ukraine War Driving Demand For Weapons Makers To Hire Workers


Wall Street Journal: Weapons Makers Can't Hire Enough Workers as Ukraine War Drives Demand 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has turbocharged demand for weapons. Now arms makers face the challenge of hiring thousands of skilled workers to capitalize on an influx of orders. 

Defense companies in the U.S. and Europe are working through record order books after Western governments increased spending in recent years amid rising geopolitical tensions. The war in Ukraine is now further fueling growth, partly as the U.S. and its allies begin to replace weapons they have sent to Kyiv. 

Hiring enough workers to meet the demand will likely be tricky. Defense jobs can require niche skills and security clearances. Some people have qualms about working for weapons makers. And defense companies are all trying to hire at the same time in a field that has long struggled to meet recruitment goals. 

Read more .... 

Update: Weapons Makers Suffering Worker Shortages As Ukraine War Drives Demand (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: Bottom line. It is going to take some time for the US and Europe to meet the weapon production demands and commitments that have been promised.

Ukraine President Zelensky Says The Spring Counteroffensive Is Coming, With Or Without Western Warplanes


Newsweek: Ukraine Won't Delay Counteroffensive Despite Lack of F-16s: Zelensky 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said despite a lack of F-16 fighter jets from the West, his country will still launch its planned counteroffensive in its ongoing war with Russia. 

"There will be a counterattack, and I think it will succeed. I will not give details. Have we had enough armaments for that? I would say that we are on the way to the fact that we are," Zelensky said on Saturday while speaking to Scandinavian media. 

Zelensky has made repeated calls for Western allies to provide fighter jets in order for his military to establish air superiority over the Russian military. Poland was the first nation to offer the Eastern European country jets, with Germany earlier this month approving Poland's request to re-export five German MiG-29s to Ukraine. So far, eight MiG-29s have been provided to the war-torn nation from Poland, The Kyiv Independent reported.  

Read more ....  

Update: Zelenskyy: We will launch counteroffensive before we get F-16 jets, there will be no delay (Ukrayinska Pravda)  

WNU Editor: The Western media narrative is changing. That the longer Kyiv waits, the better its chances seem to get .... Ukraine's counteroffensive: Goals, opportunities, risks (DW).

Only 56 Percent of F-35 Stealth Fighters Are Ready for Battle

FILE PHOTO: A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft is seen at the ILA Air Show in Berlin 

19FortyFive: Problem: Only 56 Percent of F-35 Stealth Fighters Are Ready for Battle 

 If you are an F-35 fan for its all-around, go-anywhere fighting ability, you will be concerned about this.  

F-35 Can't Fight?  

According to a defense official at a joint program office, American F-35s across the service branches are only 56 percent ready for battle. 

The Department of Defense wants to get this number up to at least an average of 64 percent rate of combat readiness within the next year, but that is a glaring shortcoming for the program's future. 

 If there is to be conflict with China in a fight over Taiwan, America needs every F-35 it can muster to dominate the skies. 

 Read more .... 

WNU Editor: The Pentagon is still buying more F-35s .... Pentagon awards $7.8 billion F-35 contract to Lockheed Martin (Reuters).

Fitch Credit Agency Downgrades France To AA-

Fitch agency cuts France’s debt rating to 'AA-', revises up outlook to stable © Miguel Medina, AFP  

France 24: Fitch agency cuts France’s debt rating to 'AA-', revises up outlook to stable 

Fitch on Friday cut France's sovereign credit rating by one notch to 'AA-', citing a potential political deadlock and social movements that are posing risks to President Emmanuel Macron's reform agenda. 

"Social and political pressures illustrated by the protests against the pension reform will complicate fiscal consolidation," the global credit ratings agency said. 

Fitch, which also revised up the country's outlook to stable from negative, said the French economy will expand by 0.8% this year, in line with the euro zone average but below the agency's 1.1% growth forecast in its last review in November. 

The economy trudged up slightly in the first quarter despite a series of strikes against the government's pension reform bill, but inflation remained stubbornly high.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Fitch cuts France's rating to 'AA-', revises up outlook to stable (Reuters)  

Update #2: Fitch Downgrades France To AA-, Cites Civil Unrest As Major Risk (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: The Fitch report is here .... Fitch Downgrades France to 'AA-'; Outlook Stable (Fitch Ratings).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 4.30.2023 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris gives his updates on the war below.


Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Ukraine Ramps Up Attacks On Russian Border Towns

CNN: Ukrainian shelling kills four in Russian village, local governor says  

Ukrainian shelling has killed four civilians in the Russian border region of Bryansk, the local governor says. 

Alexander Bogomaz said the strikes hit residential buildings in the village of Suzemka, in Syzemsky district. 

Unverified video posted on Bogomaz’s Telegram channel shows people emerging from a damaged building at night. 

A person can be heard on the video saying, “They pulled a woman out. They’re still checking for a kid. Not sure. Horrible.” 

The Bryansk region shares a border to its south with Ukraine and to its west with Belarus.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Ukrainian shelling of Russian village kills four, governor says (Al Jazeera)  

Update #2: Death Toll Rises As Ukraine Ramps Up Attacks On Russian Border Towns (Zero Hedge)  

WNU editor: These Ukrainian attacks on Russian civilians is nothing new. What is new is someone in the West (in this case CNN) is finally reporting on it.

U.S. Deploys A-10s With Bunker Busting Bombs To The Middle East In A Message To Iran

An A-10 Thunderbolt II takes off at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on April 19, 2023, to test a software patch that allowing the plane to carry 16 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs. U.S. Air Force / William R. Lewis 

Defense One: A-10s Return to Middle East with a New Mission, and a New Weapon 

Tensions with Iran, Russia have CENTCOM calling upon the venerable Warthog once again. 

A squadron of A-10 Thunderbolt II attack jets, specially modified to nearly triple their bomb loads, has been dispatched to the Middle East to boost U.S. airpower in the region amid increased tensions with Iran-backed forces in Syria. 

The Warthogs will get software updates enabling them to carry up to 16 Small Diameter Bombs within weeks, said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, who leads Air Forces Central Command. 

“They're really here as a message to both assure our partners…but also as…a true capability that can work against some of the threats that we face with respect to Iran,” Grynkewich said in an interview Thursday. 

With each plane carrying four SDB bomb racks, a flight of four A-10s could bomb up to 64 ground targets, a nearly three-fold increase. Each plane can also carry laser-guided rockets along with its famed 30mm tankbusting gun.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I think this is also a message to Russia in Syria, and to the Gulf states who are seeking better ties with Iran AND China. 

U.S. Deploys A-10s With Bunker Busting Bombs To The Middle East In A Message To Iran  

U.S. Arms Warplanes With 'Bunker Busting' Bombs in Message to Iran -- WSJ  

Air Force squadron in Middle East arms up with 'bunker busting' bombs to counter Iran -- FOX News  

A-10 attack plane Air Force wants to retire gets new mission, more bombs -- Business Insider  

US sends warplanes with bunker-busting bombs to Mideast in message to Iran — report -- Times of Israel

Ukraine President Zelensky Says He Carries A Gun

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky takes selfie with servicemen after meeting them in a warehouse and handing out awards, near Bakhmut. (File/AFP)  

NDTV/Reuters: "Being Taken Captive By Russia Would Be A Disgrace": Volodymyr Zelensky 

In the first days after the February24, 2022 invasion, Ukrainian officials said Russian intelligence units tried to break into Kyiv but were defeated. 

Lviv: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky carries a pistol and would have fought to the death with his inner circle had the Russians attacked his Kyiv headquarters at the start of the war, he said in an interview shown on Saturday. 

"I know how to shoot. Could you imagine (a headline like) 'The President of Ukraine is taken captive by Russians?' This is a disgrace. I believe this would be a disgrace," he told the 1 1 television channel. 

In the first days after the February 24, 2022 invasion, Ukrainian officials said Russian intelligence units tried to break into Kyiv but were defeated and failed to reach Bankova Street in the centre, home to the presidential offices. 

Other Russian units launched an attack on the outskirts of Kyiv, but were unable to advance. Officials also reported several unsuccessful sabotage attempts inside the city. 

"I think if they had gone inside, into the administration, we would not be here," Zelensky said. It was not clear which Russian units he was referring to.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Zelensky explains why he carries a gun (RT)  

Update #2: Zelensky says he carries gun on him, practices shooting (TASS)  

WNU Editor: I have seen a lot of pictures and videos of Zelensky in the past year. There is no indication that he carries a gun, but it would not surprise me if he does carry one.

Ukraine's Top General Meets NATO's Top Commander In Europe To Discusses ‘Possible Scenarios’ For The War

The telephone communication took place between General Valerii Zaluzhnyi and General Christopher Cavoli, a translated screenshot/ Source: Telegram channel, @CinCAFU  

Euromaidan Press: General Zaluzhnyi discusses defense matters with NATO Commander Europe 

Today, 29 March, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), spoke with General Christopher Cavoli, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) and Commander of US European Command, as reported from the official Telegram channel of the Commander-in-Chief.  

“We addressed important defense issues. We discussed the supply of weapons, equipment, and ammunition,” stated General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi. 

In addition, General Zaluzhnyi also expressed gratitude to his partners for training the Ukrainian military and providing other crucial assistance.  

“We agreed to continue active cooperation. Ukraine requires a victory,” added General Zaluzhniy.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The West is putting a lot of pressure on Ukraine to launch a counteroffensive as soon as possible. My gut tells me that this meeting was to determine when will be the best time to launch it. 

Ukraine's Top General Meets NATO's Top Commander In Europe To Discusses ‘Possible Scenarios’ For The War  

Zaluzhnyi meets NATO commander in Europe, discusses war's ‘possible scenarios’ -- Kyiv Independent  

Ukraine's top general meets with commander of U.S. forces in Europe -- Ukrinform  

Ukraine's Commander-in-Chief meets NATO's Europe Commander to discuss future scenarios -- Ukrayinska Pravda

Ukraine President Zelenskyy Orders Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi To Send Military Commanders Who Are In The Rear To The Front Lines

Ukraine President Zelensky And Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi  

Ukrainska Pravda: Zelenskyy asks Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhnyi to send military commanders from rear to contact line 

The military commanders from military staffing centres will be sent to the contact line, and they will be replaced by injured soldiers. "The President of Ukraine [Volodymyr Zelenskyy – ed.] gave Valerii Zaluzhnyi [Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine - ed.] a simple but serious recommendation to send the majority of military commanders, who currently have office jobs in staffing centres, to the contact line as soldiers.

They can be replaced with injured soldiers who are also competent in conducting mobilisation activities."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In the past few weeks I have been reading a lot of reports from Ukrainian sources that Ukrainian soldiers are disobeying orders to be deployed to the front lines in the Donbas. That why should they go to the front lines when commanders stay in the rear. The front-lines that many do not want to go to are at Bakhmut, Vuhledar, and Avdivka. 

This Ukrainska Pravda report tells me that there may be some truth to these reports, and to improve morale it looks like some commanders are going to be deployed to the front-lines. 

On a side note. I recall at the beginning of the war many Western military leaders and the media were criticizing Russia's military doctrine of having senior Russian officers near the front lines. That this is not how an army should operate, and that the Western model adopted by the Ukraine military to keep senior military leaders away from the conflict zone is the best way forward. Hmmmm .... it looks like Ukraine President Zelensky is having second thoughts if this is the best way forward.

Speculators Are Now Placing Bets That The US Government Will Default On Its Debts

Bloomberg: Bets Offering 2,400% Payout on US Default Lure Growing Crowd 

In what is a traditionally moribund corner of Wall Street, speculators are piling into a bet that once seemed unthinkable: that the US government will default on its debts. 

With the Treasury Department inching ever closer to running out of cash — most estimates give it another few months — trading in the derivatives, known as credit-default swaps, is growing. The amount of money tied to the contracts, which will reward investors if the US misses any payments, has increased roughly eight-fold since the start of the year. 

This isn’t the first time that a mini-mania around this trade has erupted. There were episodes back in 2011, 2013, and to a lesser extent 2021. But this time, it all feels a bit different. For one, there’s a greater chance of a lapse in payments. The polarization in Washington is now so extreme that there’s no guarantee Republicans and Democrats can broker a deal to lift the debt ceiling in time to avert a crisis. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The US government will not default on its debt obligations. But if current trends continue, I can see a scenario where the US government will make the decision to accelerate inflation thereby lowering the value of its debt, even if it means causing global harm to those countries who are dependent on trade in US dollars, and to Americans who save and/or are vulnerable to inflation shocks.

The US Dollar’s Status As A Global Reserve Currency Is Accelerating

Photo Credit: The Cradle  

The Cradle: De-dollarization kicks into high gear  

The US dollar is essential to US global power projection. But in 2022, the dollar share of reserve currencies slid 10 times faster than the average in the past two decades

It is now established that the US dollar’s status as a global reserve currency is eroding. When corporate western media begins to attack the multipolar world’s de-dollarization narrative in earnest, you know the panic in Washington has fully set in. 

The numbers: the dollar share of global reserves was 73 percent in 2001, 55 percent in 2021, and 47 percent in 2022. The key takeaway is that last year, the dollar share slid 10 times faster than the average in the past two decades. 

Now it is no longer far-fetched to project a global dollar share of only 30 percent by the end of 2024, coinciding with the next US presidential election.

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Before the Russia - Ukraine war I was predicting the demise of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency would only start to happen in two or three decades (or even more). I cannot say that now. The race to abandon the US dollar is accelerating, and I for one would not be surprised if the US dollar as the world's global reserve currency will be replaced by a basket of currencies (predominantly the Yuan and Euro) by the end of this decade. 

The US Dollar’s Status As A Global Reserve Currency Is Accelerating 

 De-dollarization explained by top currency economist Stephen Jen -- Business Insider  

Dominant US dollar faces challenge from emerging currencies -- AFP  

Dollar dominance could give way to 'tripolar' system with yuan and euro -- Markets Insider  

Visualizing The De-dollarization Of The Global Economy --  

In defense of the dollar -- Jay Newman and Meyrick Chapman ( 

Still More Fairy Tales of US Dollar Demise That Didn't Happen -- Mish Talk  

What Could Replace the US Dollar as World Reserve Currency? -- Merlin Rothfeld, Barchart

Russia Vows A Harsh Response After Polish 'Seizure' Of Embassy School In Warsaw


Politico: Russia promises ‘harsh’ response after Poland seizes Warsaw building  

Polish authorities seized the building near Moscow’s embassy in Warsaw Saturday morning. 

Moscow on Saturday said there would be a “harsh” reaction and consequences for Poland’s interests in Russia, after Polish authorities seized a building near Moscow’s embassy in Warsaw — a step Russia labeled “illegal.” 

The building, used as a high school for the children of diplomats, belongs to the Warsaw city hall, Polish foreign ministry spokesman Łukasz Jasina told AFP, adding that authorities had acted on a bailiff’s order. 

But Russia’s foreign ministry slammed the move as a “hostile” act in violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and as an encroachment against Russian diplomatic property in Poland.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russia vows retaliation after Poland seizes embassy school (CNN)  

Update #2: Russia pledges harsh response after Polish 'seizure' of embassy school in Warsaw (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: Major countries, after their embassies and consulates, usually operate other buildings that provide housing, schools, extra office space, etc., to accommodate their staff and families. These other buildings are considered as under "diplomatic" protection. 

In the case of this school and another building in Warsaw, the decision has been made that even though these buildings have been operated by Russia for years, their diplomatic immunity no longer applies. 

Here is an easy prediction. This action by the Polish government is going to open a Pandoras Box on what will now be treated as being under diplomatic protection or not.

US Installs Radiation Detectors Across Ukraine To Detect The Use Of Nuclear Or Dirty Bombs

A geiger counter measures a radiation level at a site of fire burning in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, outside the village of Rahivka, Ukraine April 5, 2020. Picture taken April 5, 2020. (photo credit: YAROSLAV YEMELIANENKO/REUTERS) 

New York Times: U.S. Wires Ukraine With Radiation Sensors to Detect Nuclear Blasts 

The United States is wiring Ukraine with sensors that can detect‌‌ bursts of radiation from a nuclear weapon or a dirty bomb and can confirm the identity of the attacker. 

In part, the goal is to make sure that if Russia detonates a radioactive weapon on Ukrainian soil, its atomic signature and Moscow’s culpability could be verified. 

 Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine 14 months ago, experts have worried about whether President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia would use nuclear arms in combat for the first time since the American bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. The preparations, mentioned last month in a House hearing and detailed Wednesday by the National Nuclear Security Administration, a federal agency that is part of the Energy Department, seem to constitute the hardest evidence to date that Washington is taking concrete steps to prepare for the worst possible outcomes of the invasion of Ukraine, Europe’s second largest nation.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Kremlin is saying that the US is deliberately escalating the crisis .... Russia is moving closer to NUCLEAR conflict with the US due to Washington's support for Ukraine, Moscow warns (Daily Mail). 

US Installs Radiation Detectors Across Ukraine To Detect The Use Of Nuclear Or Dirty Bombs  

US Installing ‘Atomic Sensors’ Across Ukraine To Detect Use Of Nuclear Or Dirty Bombs By Russian Military (EurAsian Times) 

Ukraine armed with radioactive detectors as US fears over Russian nuclear strike soar (Express)  

US supplies Ukraine with radiation sensors in light of nuclear bomb threats - report (Jerusalem Post)  

US gives Ukraine equipment to deal with nuclear attacks, NYT says (Euromaidan Press)

Saturday, April 29, 2023

Ukraine Gears Up For A Spring Offensive


New York Times: Life in Ukraine’s Trenches: Gearing Up for a Spring Offensive 

In a thicket of trees between two vast farm fields, a plywood trapdoor built into the forest floor opened to reveal stairs leading underground. 

Inside was a subterranean bunker, cut into the black earth, where Ukrainian troops from a mortar unit awaited coordinates for their next target. The men squeezed past one another down a shoulder-width dirt corridor lit with LED strips, staring at tablet computers showing a live drone feed of the terrain outside. Blast waves from artillery shells and rockets shook the bunker, and a radio crackled with a warning of incoming Russian helicopters. 

 Read more ....  

Update #1: Ukraine could launch its offensive against Russia any moment. Here's what's waiting (CNN)  

Update #2: Ukraine signals counteroffensive is near: What to know about the coming fight (The Hill)  

WNU Editor: The West is getting impatient. It looks like they are pushing Ukraine to start their counteroffensive sooner rather than later .... Ukraine has received 98% of promised combat vehicles: NATO chief (Al Jazeera).

SEAL Team 6 Operator Rob O'Neill Explains The Full Mission That Led To Osama bin Laden's Death


WNU Editor: Wow!!!!

Iran’s Khamenei Tells Iraq's President That ‘Even One American In Iraq Is Too Many’

Iraq’s President Abdul Latif Rashid met Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wihle in Iran on a state visit [Photo courtesy of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's website]  

Reuters: Even one American in Iraq is too many, Iran leader tells Iraqi president 

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United States is an unreliable friend, and Iraq should not allow any U.S. troops on its territory, Iran's Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Iraqi President Abdul Latif Rashid on Saturday. 

 Iran, which has strong ties with Iraq, opposes the U.S. military presence on its borders in Iraq and the Gulf, saying Western military intervention is the root of insecurity in the region. "Americans are not friends of Iraq. Americans are not friends with anyone and are not even loyal to their European friends," state media quoted Khamenei as saying.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: ‘Even one American in Iraq is too many’, Iran’s Khamenei says (Al Jazeera)  

Update #2: ‘Even one American in Iraq is too much,’ Iran’s leader tells Iraqi president (CNN)  

WNU Editor: I am no friend of Khamanei, but I concede his anti-US message is resonating with many in the Middle East.

US Central Command Says Russian Pilots Tried To ‘Dogfight’ US Jets Over Syria

Air Force Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, 9th Air Force (Air Forces Central) commander, prepares for flight at Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, April 4. During the mission, the general flew over airspace in Syria. (Staff Sgt. Micah Coate/Air Force)  

CNN: Russian pilots tried to ‘dogfight’ US jets over Syria, US Central Command says 

Russian pilots tried to “dogfight” US jets over Syria, according to a spokesman for US Central Command, part of a recent pattern of more aggressive behavior. 

The attempts have happened in several of the most recent instances of aggressive behavior from Russian pilots, Col. Joe Buccino said. 

The Russian pilots do not appear to be trying to shoot down American jets, a US official told CNN, but they may be trying to “provoke” the US and “draw us into an international incident.” 

 In military aviation, dogfighting is engaging in aerial combat, often at relatively close ranges. 

A video released by US Central Command from April 2 shows a Russian SU-35 fighter jet conducting an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a US F-16 fighter jet.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russians seem to be baiting US jets to dogfight in Syria, general says (Air Force Times)  

Update #2: Russian Warplanes Are ‘Trying to Dogfight’ US Jets Over Syria, General Says (Defense One)

WNU Editor: Russia has also been saying the same thing about the US .... Russia protests over ‘provocative actions’ by US forces in Syria (Al Jazeera).

Fighting In Sudan Enters Third Week


France 24: Fighting in Sudan enters third week with air raids, heavy fire despite new truce 

Warplanes on bombing raids drew heavy anti-aircraft fire over Khartoum on Saturday as fierce fighting between Sudan's army and paramilitaries entered a third week, despite a renewed truce. 

Sudan has plunged into chaos and lawlessness since the fighting erupted on April 15 between forces loyal to army chief Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and his number two Mohamed Hamdan Daglo, who commands the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF). 

Burhan and Daglo have agreed to multiple truces since the start of the conflict, but none has effectively taken hold, with each side blaming the other for breaching them.  

Read more .... 

More News On The Sudan Civil War

Sudan updates: War would be 'nightmare' for world — ex-PM -- DW  

Sudan conflict updates: Battles continuing despite ceasefire -- Al Jazeera  

As battle for Sudan rages on, civilian deaths top 500 -- CBS/AP

Sudan fighting: No talks until bombing stops, Hemedti tells BBC -- BBC  

Hundreds evacuated from Sudan as fighting enters third week -- Al Jazeera  

Over 400 civilians dead as rival forces continue to fight over control of Sudan -- France 24 

‘A deadly trip’: Sudanese refugees find little welcome at Egyptian border -- The Guardian  

Sudan former PM warns of civil war that would be ‘nightmare for the world’ -- The Guardian/AFP  

US, partners scurry to contain fighting in Sudan -- The Hill

Ukraine Launches Successful Drone Strikes Against Crimea Oil Depot


Daily Mail: Massive fireball rages in Crimea as 'Ukraine drone strike' hits major fuel depot in the heart of annexed naval port Sevastopol 

* Four oil tanks hit by Ukrainian 'drone strike' at naval port in annexed Crimea 

* Video shows huge fireball raging and Russia says fire will not be out until tonight 

A huge ball of fire is raging in Crimea after a suspected Ukrainian aerial drone strike hit a major fuel depot in the heart of an annexed naval port Sevastopol today. 

Footage showed a fireball with huge flames and a mushroom-like black cloud from a major fire triggered by two explosions in Cossack Bay, in the Crimean Peninsula. 

The blasts came at 4:20am and 4:21am local time (2.20am and 2.21am UK time), and appear to be the latest attempt by Ukraine to strike at Russia's naval firepower base in the annexed peninsula.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Russian authorities say the fire is out, there were no casualties, and it will not hinder supplies. We shall see.

 Ukraine Launches Successful Drone Strikes Against Crimea Oil Depot  

Russian official: Ukrainian drones strike Crimea oil depot -- AP  

Russia blames Ukraine drone attack for major Crimea fuel depot fire -- Reuters 

Ukraine war: Crimea oil tank set ablaze by reported drone -- BBC  

Blaze at Russian fuel depot in Crimea put out after suspected drone strike -- The Guardian  

Crimean oil depot still on fire after it was attacked by two drones -- Euronews  

Massive Crimea oil depot fire caused by drone strike, governor says -- FOX News  

Russia blames drone attack for Crimea fuel depot blaze -- Al Jazeera 

Russia says Ukraine drones spark Crimea fuel depot fire -- AAP  

Crimea blast 'God's punishment,' Ukraine says -- DW

'Four U.S. Embassies' Have Been Evacuated During Biden's Presidency

Newsweek: Joe Biden Slammed for Evacuating 'Four Embassies' During Presidency 

Representative Mary Miller, an Illinois Republican, slammed President Joe Biden on Sunday for evacuating "four embassies" since he took office. 

Miller specifically referred to the U.S. embassy evacuation in Sudan that happened on Saturday when the Biden administration decided to suspend operations at its embassy amid the ongoing fight between rival Sudanese leaders on the ground. 

The ongoing conflict has broken out between two military forces, including one led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the other led by his former deputy, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the leader of a paramilitary group called the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). The dispute centers around a proposed move to a civilian-led government and how the RSF would integrate into the national army. The RSF wants to delay the integration for 10 years, but the army said it should take place in 2 years.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The four US embassies that have been evacuated during President Biden's term are Afghanistan, Belarus, Sudan, and Ukraine (which has re-opened).

Tweets On /The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 4.29.2023 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot .... I repeat .... a lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris gives his updates on the war below. 

U.S. Warns China To Stop Intimidating Philippine Ships In The South China Sea


DW: US demands China stop harassing Philippine vessels  

The United States called on China to stop intimidating Philippine ships in the South China Sea, pledging to stand with its ally. Beijing claims sovereignty over almost the entire South China Sea. 

The United States on Saturday called on China to stop its "provocative and unsafe conduct" in the South China Sea. 

 It followed a tense encounter between a Chinese coast guard ship and a Philippine patrol vessel last weekend. 

In a statement, the State Department criticized China's "harassment and intimidation" of Philippine vessels in the contested waterway. It added any attack on Philippine armed forces would trigger a US response.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It is getting tense between China and the Philippines .... Chinese And Philippine Coast Guards Nearly Collide (Bloomberg).  

Update: Here is Beijing's response .... China expresses strong protest over Philippine vessels’ intrusion, says Chinese coast guard’s response ‘professional’, ‘restrained’ (Global Times) 

U.S. Warns China To Stop Intimidating Philippine Ships In The South China Sea  

US says Chinese Coast Guard is harassing Philippine vessels -- Reuters  

US demands Beijing stop 'provocative and unsafe' acts in South China Sea -- AFP  

US condemns China's 'harassment' of Philippines in South Pacific -- FOX News 

'Dangerous manoeuvres' in China and Philippines' cat-and-mouse sea chase -- BBC

Editor's Note

 A lot of personal chores to do today. Blogging will return this evening.

Friday, April 28, 2023

Three Soldiers Dead After Two Apache helicopters Collide In Alaska

AH-64 Apache helicopters with 1st Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment at Fort Wainwright. (Eve Baker/Army)  

Army Times: Three dead after two Apache helicopters collide in Alaska 

Three soldiers died and another was injured when a pair of AH-64 Apache helicopters based at Fort Wainwright crashed Thursday near Healy, Alaska, according to the 11th Airborne Division. 

The two helicopters from the 1st Attack Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment collided while returning from a training flight. 

Two troops died on scene, a division press release said, and a third died on the way to Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. The injured soldier is being treated there, though their condition is unclear.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is the 2nd such accident in less than a month .... 3 Soldiers Killed in Helicopter Collision, the 2nd Such Accident in Less than a Month ( 

Three Soldiers Dead After Two Apache helicopters Collide In Alaska  

US Army orders aviation safety stand down following deadly helicopter crashes -- CNN  

Army grounds helicopter units amid safety stand-down following deadly collisions -- FOX News  

U.S. Army grounds all non-critical aircraft after latest fatal mid-air collision -- CBS 

US Army grounds its aircraft after recent mid-air collisions -- BBC

US Energy Secretary Doubles Down On Electrifying US Military's Vehicle Fleet By 2030


FOX News: Biden energy secretary doubles down on electrifying US military's vehicle fleet by 2030: 'We can get there'  

Last April, Biden said his administration is working to make 'every vehicle' in the U.S. military 'climate-friendly' 

Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday that she supports efforts from the Biden administration to require the U.S. military to implement an all-electric vehicle fleet by 2030, telling lawmakers that she believes "we can get there." 

Granholm's remarks came during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing following questions from Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, who asked the Biden administration official whether she supports the military's adoption of an "EV fleet by 2030." 

"I do, and I think we can get there, as well," Granholm said. "I do think that reducing our reliance on the volatility of globally traded fossil fuels where we know that global events like the war in Ukraine can jack up prices for people back home… does not contribute to energy security."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Not everyone is onboard .... ‘Can you think of anything more stupid?’ : US to electrify military vehicle fleet by 2030 (SKY News).

Turkish President Erdogan Cancels Third Day Of Election Appearances

Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurates Turkey's first nuclear power plant via a video link, at the Presidential palace in Ankara, on Thursday.Turkish Presidency via AP  

Al Jazeera: Turkey’s leader Erdogan cancels third day of election appearances 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip became ill during a TV interview with what Health Minister Fahrettin Koca later said was a ‘gastrointestinal infection’. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cancelled his election appearances for a third day after falling ill with what officials described as an intestinal infection. 

Erdogan is seeking a third presidential term in Turkey’s May 14 elections. 

He had been due to appear at a bridge opening and a political rally in the southern city of Adana, but his schedule changed on Friday to show he would attend the opening ceremony via video link.  

Read more ....  

Update: Turkey’s Erdogan cancels third day of election appearances after falling ill (AP)  

WNU Editor: He may be ill, but President Erdogan is still making public appearances .... Ailing Erdogan re-emerges by video link with Putin (AFP).

Russia Says It Is Ready To Face Ukraine's Counter-Offensive

Russian servicemen are seen in Mariupol, Donetsk People's Republic, on April 4. Ilya Pitalev / Sputnik  

Moscow Times/AFP: Russia Digs In Awaiting Ukraine's Expected Offensive 

Russia has boosted its defenses in occupied Ukraine ahead of Kyiv's anticipated counterattack, wagering its position on 800 kilometers of triple-fortified lines and a gush of manpower. 

Now that the Ukrainian terrain, muddied by the spring thaw, has begun to dry and Russia's latest wave of attacks has fizzled out, a counterstrike may be weeks or perhaps days away. 

The Russian defensive wall runs from Kherson, in Ukraine's south, to the northeast of the country, spanning more than 500 miles. 

 "These defensive lines consist of layered fortifications and trenches," said Brady Africk at U.S. think-tank American Enterprise Institute. 

They include anti-tank ditches, raised barriers, lines of pre-fabricated defenses known as dragon's teeth, landmines and trenches for personnel, he told AFP.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russia digs in as Ukraine prepares to attack (Reuters)  

Update #2: Moscow readies its weapons for Ukraine's counter-offensive (Euronews)  

WNU Editor: A lot is riding for both sides in this counter-offensive. But Ukraine needs to show to their Western backers that they have the capability to drive the Russian army back.

Ukraine Defense Minister Says It's Wrapping Up Preparations For A Counteroffensive


Reuters: Ukraine says it's wrapping up preparations for counteroffensive 

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine is wrapping up preparations for a counteroffensive against Russian forces and is largely ready for it to go ahead, Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov said on Friday. 

 "As soon as there is God's will, the weather and a decision by commanders, we will do it," he told an online news briefing. 

He gave no date for when the counteroffensive would start but said: "Globally speaking, we are to a high percentage ready." 

Kyiv hopes its planned counteroffensive will change the dynamics of the war that has raged since Russia invaded Ukraine 14 months ago. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor:  My Ukraine sources say the Army is not ready. My Russian sources say the attack will be happening soon. I do not know who is right, but I have a feeling we will know the answer in the coming days/weeks.

 Ukraine Defense Minister Says It's Wrapping Up Preparations For Counteroffensive  

Ukraine Defense Minister Gives Update on Counteroffensive -- Newsweek  

Ukraine Says Ready For Offensive As Preparations Near End -- AFP 

Preparations for counteroffensive are in their final stage – Ukraine's Defence Minister -- Ukrainska Pravda

Ukraine tries to manage 'expectations of success' ahead of counteroffensive -- Washington Examiner

Russia Launches A Wave Of Missile Attacks On Ukraine Cities


BBC: Ukraine war: 25 dead as Russian missiles hit cities 

A wave of Russian air strikes on cities across Ukraine, including Kyiv, has left at least 25 people dead. 23 people - including four children - were killed in an attack that hit a block of flats in the central city of Uman, officials said. 

And a woman and her three-year-old daughter were killed in the city of Dnipro, according to the local mayor. 

The Russian defence ministry said its military had targeted Ukrainian army reserve units with the strikes. State-owned RIA news agency said Russia was aiming for the reserve units and used high-precision weapons on Friday.  

Read more .... 

Russia Launches A Wave Of Missile Attacks On Ukraine Cities  

Russian missile and drone attack in Ukraine kills 23 people -- AP  

Russia kills 25 in biggest Ukraine air strikes for nearly two months -- Reuters  

Russia Strikes Across Ukraine as Kyiv Says New Offensive Nears -- Bloomberg  

Russia launches deadly wave of missile attacks on Ukraine cities -- The Guardian  

Children among at least 22 killed in early-morning Russian strike on Ukrainian apartment block -- CNN  

Ukraine vows 'iron fist' counterattack; Russian strikes kill 25 -- Reuters

US President Biden Forgets That He Visited Ireland Two Weeks Ago

FOX News: Shock as Biden forgets recent trip to Ireland, has to be reminded by a child: 'Cognitively unfit by a mile' 

'He loved Ireland so much, he said he was staying...and he already forgot?' Columnist Paul Bedard asked

 Less than two weeks after returning from Ireland, President Joe Biden appeared to forget it was the last country he visited, until he was reminded by a child on Thursday. 

Biden visited Ireland in mid-April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement of 1998, which formally ended decades of violent conflict between Irish Protestants and Catholics. While Biden spent much of the trip talking about his family and America's connections to the nation across the Atlantic, the visit seemed to temporarily escape his memory soon after 

"What was the last country you traveled to?" one child asked Biden during a Take Your Child to Work Day event at the White House.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: President Biden, who has just announced his campaign to seek a second term as President, visited Ireland between April 11-14. 

I would say that he is now entering stage 4 of dementia (there are seven stages of dementia). I should know. I am taking care of someone who has dementia. The similarities are disturbing. 

US President Biden Forgets That He Visited Ireland Two Weeks Ago  

Biden can’t recall recent Ireland visit, seems to forget Hunter's love child during Q&A with kids -- NYPost 

Biden admits he's 'confused' as he humiliates himself during children's press conference -- Express

China Flies Fighter Jets And A Combat Drone Around Taiwan -- Hindustan Times 

80 y/o Joe Biden struggles to recall 'Ireland visit' along with his 7th grandchild -- Republic World  

WATCH: Biden momentarily forgot about Irish visit at White House event -- Irsih Central  

No wonder they give him cheat sheets! Biden struggles through CHILDREN's press conference -- Daily Mail