Wednesday, May 31, 2023

President Xi Tells China’s National Security Chiefs To Prepare For ‘Worst Case’ Scenarios

A large image of Xi is seen on a screen at the opening of China's National People's Congress in Beijing on March 5, 2023 (Reuters). 

CNN: Xi Jinping tells China’s national security chiefs to prepare for ‘worst case’ scenarios

Hong Kong CNN — Chinese leader Xi Jinping has called on his top national security officials to think about “worst case” scenarios and prepare for “stormy seas,” as the ruling Communist Party hardens efforts to counter any perceived internal and external threats. 

“The complexity and difficulty of the national security issues we now face have increased significantly,” Xi said Tuesday at a meeting of the party’s National Security Commission, state news agency Xinhua reported. 

“We must adhere to bottom-line thinking and worst-case-scenario thinking, and get ready to undergo the major tests of high winds and rough waves, and even perilous, stormy seas,” he added.  

Read more .... 

President Xi Tells China’s National Security Chiefs To Prepare For ‘Worst Case’ Scenarios  

Xi Jinping tells national security team to prepare for 'worst-case scenario' -- The Week 

Xi Warns Military ‘be Ready for Worst-Case Scenarios’ – Xinhua -- Asia Financial  

Xi tells China’s security chiefs to prepare for ‘dangerous storms’ -- RT  

China facing ‘more complex’ security challenges, President Xi Jinping says, warns of ‘worst-case’ situation -- SCMP

White House Announces A New $300 Million US Military Aid Package For Ukraine

VOA: US Providing $300 Million in More Aid for Ukraine  

Pentagon — The United States will provide another $300 million in new military aid for Ukraine in a package that is expected to include munitions for Ukraine’s Patriot missile defense system, defense officials tell VOA. 

The officials, who spoke to VOA on condition of anonymity ahead of the package’s expected release Wednesday, said the latest aid also includes rockets for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) and more tank ammunition and anti-armor capabilities ahead of an expected Ukrainian offensive.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Biden approves a new $300M military aid package for Ukraine (AP) 

Update #2: White House Announces New Military Aid Package for Ukraine (Reuters)  

WNU Editor: These new military aid packages are now coming in every few days.

Inspector General Says US Equipment For Ukraine Wasn’t Combat-Ready

Mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles are staged at an Army pre-positioned stocks site in 2018, at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait. (Courtesy of the U.S. Army)  

Defense One: Misfiring Cannons, Rotted Tires Among US Army Gear Pulled for Ukraine, Watchdog Finds 

It’s not the first time the unit and its contractor have been faulted for poorly maintained equipment by the service's inspector general. When technicians got a look at one U.S. Army howitzer set to ship to Ukraine, it wasn’t pretty. 

The M777 cannon, which an Army contractor was presenting for inspection, “would have killed somebody” if it were fired, the technicians said, according to a recent report by the Defense Department’s inspector general. 

The investigation details numerous failures by an Army unit and a contractor that could have endangered the lives of Ukrainian or U.S. troops if the faulty equipment had been fielded. The report also exposes problems with a program designed to help soldiers deploy quickly across the world.  

Read more ....  

Update: Equipment for Ukraine drawn from Kuwait wasn’t combat-ready, IG says (Defense News)  

WNU Editor: For the past few months I have been reading reports from Ukraine that there are problems with US military equipment. My gut tells me that the above inspector general report is just the tip of the iceberg.

Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer Bombers Conduct Low Flyover Over Bosnia And Herzegovina

Zero Hedge: US Flexes With Low B-1 Bomber Flyover As Balkan Tensions Boil 

At a moment tensions are on edge in the Balkans over a fresh crisis between the Serbian minority of northern Kosovo and ethnic Albanians, which over the weekend saw dozens of NATO peacekeeping forces injured while trying to quell fierce protests, the United States decided it was time for some muscle-flexing. 

Two US Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber aircraft conducted a low flyover of Sarajevo and other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) on Tuesday. It had been pre-announced at the start of this week and described as "a sign of the strong partnership between the United States and the Armed Forces of BiH, according to a statement in the English language news portal Sarajevo Times. 

 Read more ....  

Update: US bombers fly over Bosnia in sign of support (AP) WNU Editor: All that I can say is better a low flyover of Sarajevo and other cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina and not conducting a high 'flyover' over Sarajevo and other cities in Serbia.

Qatari PM Hold Talks With The Leader Of The Taliban In Afghanistan

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada [File: Reuters]  

Reuters: Qatar prime minister, Taliban chief hold secret Afghan talks -source 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The Qatari prime minister held secret talks with the supreme leader of the Taliban this month on resolving tension with the international community, a source briefed on the meeting said, signaling a new willingness by Afghanistan's rulers to discuss ways to end their isolation. 

The May 12 meeting in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar between Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani and Haibatullah Akhunzada is the first the reclusive Taliban chief is known to have held with a foreign leader. 

U.S. President Joe Biden's administration was briefed on the talks and is "coordinating on all issues discussed" by the pair, including furthering dialogue with the Taliban, said the source. 

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said other issues Sheikh Mohammed raised with Haibatullah included the need to end a Taliban bans on girls' education and women's employment.  

Read more .... 

Qatari PM Hold Talks With The Leader Of The Taliban In Afghanistan  

Reuters Exclusive: Qatar PM Meets Islamic Emirate Chief for Secret Talks -- TOLO News  

Taliban supreme leader, Qatari PM hold talks in Afghanistan -- Al Jazeera  

Al Jazeera Says Qatar's Prime Minister Met With Taliban's Supreme Leader in Afghanistan -- AP  

Qatar Prime Minister, Taliban chief hold secret Afghan talks - source -- Middle East Monitor  

Qatari PM holds secret talks with 'reclusive' Taliban chief: Report -- The Cradle

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 5.31.2023 (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

Turkish President Erdoğan Pulls Out Of European Summit Of EU Leaders On The Ukraine War

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters following his victory in the second round of the presidential election at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey May 29, 2023. (Reuters)  

Politico: Erdoğan pulls out of European summit  

The Turkish leader, who won reelection Sunday, was expected to attend the meeting, which is meant as a show of solidarity against Russia. 

CHISINAU — A massive gathering of European leaders on Thursday has suffered its first high-profile casualty, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pulling out at the last minute. 

The Turkish leader, who won five more years at the helm of his country in second-round elections on Sunday, will not travel to Moldova for the one-day summit, according to three officials involved in the preparations. 

The so-called European Political Community (EPC) — a new collective launched in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine — is meant to draw together European leaders beyond the EU. More than 40 European leaders will be present Thursday, including those from all 27 EU countries plus non-EU countries like Britain and Turkey, as well as the Western Balkan nations. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Even though he won another 5 year term as President this weekend, the pressure is on Erdogan to change his policies .... Biden links Turkey's F-16 sale with Sweden's NATO bid in call to Erdogan (Al-Monitor). More here .... US ratchets up pressure on newly re-elected Erdogan ‘to change course’ (Arab Weekly). 

My guess is that he does not want to be pushed around at a conference where many of these EU leaders are not friendly with him in the first place.

EU's Top Diplomat Says Russia Won’t Enter Negotiations While Trying To Win The War

File photo. EU's chief diplomat Josep Borrell in Brussels, Belgium, 4 April 2023. [EPA-EFE/OLIVIER MATTHYS]  

EurActiv/Reuters: Borrell: Russia won’t enter negotiations while trying to win war 

The European Union’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell, on Monday (29 May) said he believed Russia will not be willing to negotiate while it is still trying to win the war in Ukraine, adding that he was “not optimistic” about what could happen in the conflict this summer. 

 “I see a concentration of troops on both sides, the clear will of Russia to try to win the war,” Borrell told an event in Barcelona. “(Russia) will not go to a negotiation until it has tried to win the war.” 

He added that Russia has repeatedly signaled it would not cease the campaign until its military goals have been achieved. 

Borrell’s comments came the same day Russia said its military had hit Ukrainian air bases and Ukrainian forces shelled industrial facilities inside Russia as both sides sought the upper hand ahead of what Kyiv hopes will be a decisive counter-offensive.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russia will not negotiate until it wins in Ukraine conflict, says EU top diplomat Borrell (TASS)  

Update #2: Borrell: Russia won’t negotiate without first trying to win war against Ukraine (Kyiv Independent)  

WNU Editor: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell is right that Russia is not interested in negotiations right now. Josep Borrell was also right when he said this 3 weeks ago .... 'If we don't support Ukraine, Ukraine will fall in a matter of days,' says Josep Borrell (Euronews).

NATO Rushes An Extra 700 Troops To Kosovo Amid Rising Tensions With Ethnic Serbs


Daily Mail: NATO will send 700 more troops to Kosovo after 30 international soldiers were wounded amid violent protests 

* The violence has stirred fear of a renewal of the brutal conflict in the late 1990s 

* More than 10,000 people lost their lives and more than 1 million were displaced NATO will send 700 more troops to northern Kosovo to help quell violent protests after clashes with ethnic Serbs there left 30 international soldiers wounded, the alliance announced Tuesday. 

The latest violence in the region has stirred fear of a renewal of the 1998-99 conflict in Kosovo that claimed more than 10,000 lives, left more than 1 million people homeless and resulted in a NATO peacekeeping mission that has lasted nearly a quarter of a century. 

The clashes grew out of a confrontation that unfolded last week after ethnic Albanian officials elected in votes overwhelmingly boycotted by Serbs entered municipal buildings to take office. When Serbs tried to block them, Kosovo police fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Kosovo's PM is signaling a very hard-line position .... Kosovo prime minister says he will not surrender country to Serbian ‘fascist militia’ after clashes in north (CNN). 

NATO Rushes An Extra 700 Troops To Kosovo Amid Rising Tensions With Ethnic Serbs  

Nato to send 700 more troops to Kosovo after clashes -- BBC  

NATO to Deploy 700 More Troops After Violent Clashes in Kosovo -- Bloomberg  

NATO to send an extra 700 troops to Kosovo amid rising tensions with ethnic Serbs -- ABC News Australia  

NATO sends 700 more troops to Kosovo to help quell violent protests -- Euronews  

Kosovo: NATO to send in 700 more KFOR troops after clashes -- DW

South Africa Grants Putin Diplomatic Immunity To Attend The BRICS Summit In August


The Guardian: South Africa grants Putin and Brics leaders diplomatic immunity for summit 

ICC warrant for Russian president’s arrest issued in March over alleged war crimes in Ukraine 

South Africa has issued blanket diplomatic immunity to all leaders attending an August summit, meaning Vladimir Putin might be able to travel to Johannesburg and not fear the country acting on an international criminal court warrant for his arrest. 

South African officials insisted the broad offer of immunity, issued in a government gazette, may not trump the ICC arrest warrant. As an ICC member, South Africa would be under pressure, and possibly under a legal requirement, to arrest Putin. The court issued a warrant for his arrest in March over the alleged forcible deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I expected this legal move by South Africa. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa wants Putin to attend this summit. And to no one's surprise, there is some South African opposition to it .... Arrest Putin, South Africa’s opposition urges government ( 

South Africa Grants Putin Diplomatic Immunity To Attend The BRICS Summit In August

South Africa moves to let Putin attend BRICS summit despite ICC arrest warrant over Ukraine war -- CBS News  

South Africa grants Putin immunity despite international arrest warrant -- Euronews  

South Africa plans law change over Putin ICC arrest warrant -- BBC 

South Africa paves way for Vladimir Putin to attend summit -- UPI  

South Africa looks to grant Putin diplomatic immunity for BRICS summit despite outstanding ICC arrest warrant -- FOX News 

South Africa guarantees immunity for participants in June meeting, August BRICS summit -- TASS

Russia Claims It Has Destroyed Ukraine's 'Last Warship'

The Ship Yury Olefirenko © Konstantin Sazonchik/TASS  

Moscow Times: Russia Says Destroyed Ukraine’s ‘Last Warship’ 

Russia’s Defense Ministry said Wednesday it had “destroyed” what it claimed was Ukraine’s last warship. 

The landing ship Yuri Olefirenko was struck by “high-precision” Russian Aerospace Forces weaponry in the Black Sea port of Odesa on Monday, the Defense Ministry said in a daily briefing. 

It was not immediately possible to verify Moscow’s assertion and Kyiv has not yet commented on the claim. 

Ukrainian naval forces spokesman Oleh Chalyk declined to comment on the claim specifically, but said he "did not recommend paying attention" to Russian sources. 

The Yuri Olefirenko is a medium-sized landing ship for troops and vehicles.  

Read more .... 

 Russia Claims It Has Destroyed Ukraine's 'Last Warship'  

Russian forces wipe out last Ukrainian combat ship in Odessa — top brass -- TASS

Russia sinks Ukraine’s ‘last warship’ – MOD -- RT 

Russian Forces Destroy Last Ukrainian Warship -- Sputnik  

Russia says it destroys Ukraine's 'last warship' -- Reuters  

Ukraine's "Last Warship" Destroyed, Claims Russia -- AFP

Former Russian President Medvedev Says U.K. Is ‘De Facto Leading An Undeclared War Against Russia’ Top Russian official says British politicians now a legitimate military target  

Dmitry Medvedev argues U.K. is ‘de facto leading an undeclared war against Russia.’ 

LONDON — British politicians are now a legitimate military target for Moscow, a senior Russian official said, after the U.K.’s Foreign Secretary James Cleverly argued Ukraine has the right to use force within Russian borders. 

Speaking in Estonia Tuesday, Cleverly said Ukraine “has a right” to project force “beyond its own borders” as part of its self-defense, following a series of drone strikes that hit Moscow’s wealthiest neighborhoods. 

The U.K. minister argued that Kyiv striking inside Russia would “undermine” the Kremlin’s ability to continue its war in Ukraine, which has officially denied responsibility for the attack. 

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Many Western governments, the UK included, are assuming that Russia will not escalate the war beyond the current theater of operations. And they are right. 

But former Russian President Medvedev is saying what many (if not most) Russians now believe, and that is certain Western countries are now in a de facto undeclared war against Russia.

Former Russian President Medvedev Says U.K. Is ‘De Facto Leading An Undeclared War Against Russia’  

Britain ‘de facto’ at war with Russia – Medvedev -- RT  

Medvedev Bashes 'Goofy' UK Officials for 'Leading De Facto Undeclared War' on Russia -- Sputnik 

Russia’s Medvedev says UK officials are ‘legitimate military targets’ -- PA Media  

Russia's former president says UK officials are 'legitimate military targets'-- The Independent  

British Officials 'Legitimate' Russia Targets After Storm Shadow Strikes -- Newsweek  

Dmitry Medvedev: UK officials 'legitimate targets' in war on Ukraine -- The National

North Korea Says First Spy Satellite Launch Ends In Failure. Triggers Emergency Alerts In Japan And South Korea


Reuters: N Korea’s first spy satellite launch ends in failure 

North Korea’s first spy satellite launch ended in failure on Wednesday, after the space rocket crashed into the sea. 

The newly developed Chollima-1 rocket was supposed to put in orbit the North’s first spy satellite... to keep watch on U.S. military activities.

In an unusually candid admission of a technical failure by the North, state media KCNA on Wednesday reported the rocket plunged into the sea because of instability in the engine and fuel system. 

 Neighboring South Korea said it had recovered what is believed to be parts of the space launch vehicle, including this large cylindrical object attached to a buoy.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This launch caused panic in South Korea .... Evacuation alerts cause panic in Seoul after North Korea's failed satellite launch (France 24). See video below. 


Update: North Korea is going to try again .... North Korea says satellite launch fails, plans to try again (CNN). 

North Korea Says First Spy Satellite Launch Ends In Failure. Triggers Emergency Alerts In Japan And South Korea  

North Korea says attempt to launch first spy satellite ends in failure -- AP  

North Korea’s first spy satellite launch ends in failure and promise to send up another -- The Guardian  

North Korea Says Rocket Launch Failed After It Triggers Alerts in South Korea -- New York Times  

North Korea satellite launch fails, with another promised as 'soon as possible' -- ABC News  

North Korea’s unsuccessful rocket launch prompts evacuations in South Korea, Japan -- Daily News  

North Korea Says Spy Satellite Launch Failed, Rocket Plunges Into Sea -- Zero Hedge

U.S. Says Chinese Jet Fighter Buzzed U.S. Reconnaissance Plane Over The South China Sea

Politico: Video: Chinese fighter jet buzzes U.S. Air Force plane in ‘unnecessarily aggressive’ maneuver  

The incident took place over the South China Sea on Friday. 

A Chinese fighter jet conducted “an unnecessarily aggressive maneuver” by darting in front of an American surveillance plane over the South China Sea on Friday, according to the U.S. military. 

The incident, which was captured on video and released by the U.S on Monday, came as the U.S. Air Force RC-135 surveillance plane was flying in international airspace. 

The maneuver by the Chinese J-16 forced the U.S. plane to fly through the jet’s turbulence.  

Read more .... 

U.S. Says Chinese Jet Fighter Buzzed U.S. Reconnaissance Plane Over The South China Sea  

US military complains of unsafe, aggressive move by Chinese fighter jet -- AP  

U.S. Says Chinese Jet Fighter Buzzed U.S. Reconnaissance Plane -- Wall Street Journal  

Chinese fighter jet harassed U.S. Air Force spy plane over South China Sea -- CBS  

Chinese fighter jet cut so close to US spy plane it caused turbulence -- CNN  

US says Chinese jet conducted ‘unnecessarily aggressive maneuver’ intercepting US spy plane over South China Sea -- CNN  

US says Chinese fighter jet performed ‘aggressive’ manoeuvre over South China Sea -- Evening Standard  

Watch: Chinese Fighter In 'Aggressive' Intercept Of US Spy Plane Over South China Sea -- Zero Hedge  

U.S. Accuses China Of Aggressively Intercepting Spy Plane -- Time

Top Ukrainian Presidential Aide Proposes Post-War Demilitarised Zone Of 100-120 Km In Russia

FILE PHOTO: Mykhailo Podolyak, political advisor to Ukrainian President, speaks during an interview in Kyiv  

Reuters: Ukraine aide proposes post-war demilitarised zone in Russia 

KYIV (Reuters) - A Ukrainian presidential aide said on Monday a demilitarised zone of 100-120 km (62-75 miles) should be established inside Russia along the border with Ukraine as part of a post-war settlement. 

The zone would be necessary to protect Ukrainian regions from Russian attacks, presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak wrote on Twitter. 

"The key theme of the post-war settlement should be the establishment of safeguards to avoid the recurrence of aggression in the future," he wrote. 

He made his remarks after the governor of Russia's Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, called in televised comments for the annexation of Ukraine's Kharkiv region to stop Ukrainian cross-border shelling.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Ukraine needs 120 km demilitarization zone on Russian territory - Podolyak (Ukrinform)  

Update #2: Ukraine-Russia border ‘demilitarised zone’ floated for peace deal (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: Mykhailo Podolyak controls the entire information policy of the Office of the President and advises Zelensky directly. I remembered before the war he was pushing for Ukraine to launch an offensive to take back the Donbas, and when the Ukraine offensive started two weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine he was assuring everyone that Russia was not going to intervene. He completely misread Russia then and he is completely misreading them now.

Ukraine Is Bleeding Out

© AP Photo / Ukrainian Presidential Press Office  

Naked Capitalism: Ukraine: Bleeding Out 

Even for well-reported 20th century wars, decades later, historians are still seeking to improve our understanding of them. With the Ukraine conflict, we’re in the midst of the unprecedented experience of being able to discern a remarkably high proportion of what is afoot, albeit with a great deal of noise in the signal between aggressive propagandizing and issues of sourcing with various purported close-to-the-action accounts. 

But the war has gone at a seemingly slow pace, due to Russia shifting strategy to attrition (rather than trying to force negotiations), the time required to break extremely well-fortified lines (without incurring huge and unnecessary human costs), and Russia choosing to grind down other elements of Ukraine’s military, notably its air defenses. That’s lead commentators to focus on battles and even hot spots on the line of contact, in part because that’s where the action has been, in part because close observers hope they’ll be able to find clues of when and where the fighting might shift into bigger, more decisive-looking campaigns.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am not a fan of the previous Ukrainian government (pre-2014 revolution), but former Ukrainian prime minister Nikolai Azarov observation is becoming more and more accurate with each passing day .... Zelensky Has Turned Ukraine Into 'New Afghanistan' - Former PM (Sputnik).

Picture Of The Day

A woman with a dog looks at her apartment building heavily damaged during a massive Russian drone strike, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in Kyiv, Ukraine May 30. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... In pictures: Ukraine war comes to Moscow as drones strike both capitals (Reuters).

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Editor's Note

Have a number of personal things that need my attention today. Blogging will return late this evening.

U.S. President Biden Considering Sending Long Range ATACMS Missiles To Ukraine

Newsweek: Biden Leaves Door Open for Ukraine to Receive U.S. ATACM Missile Systems 

President Joe Biden has suggested that the U.S. could eventually supply Ukraine with a long-range missile system that Kyiv has been calling for to fight Russia's invasion. 

The president made the remarks outside the White House on Monday when he was asked for his response to Russia stepping up its air attacks on Ukraine. 

Biden said that the move by Russia was "not unexpected," adding, "that's why we got to continue to give Ukraine all that it needs." 

He was then asked if he expected any movement on Sweden joining NATO, responding that it would be discussed "next week." 

The exchange with reporters then touched on the possibility of Washington agreeing to give Ukraine the U.S.-made surface-to-surface Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMS).  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: My gut tells me that the decision to send these long range missiles was made weeks ago.

U.S. President Biden Considering Sending Long Range ATACMS Missiles To Ukraine  

Provision of ATACMS to Ukraine is still under consideration – Biden -- Ukrainska Pravda  

Issue of providing Ukraine with ATACMS missiles ‘still in play,’ says Biden -- The New Voice of Ukraine 

Ukraine could still get ATACMS – Biden -- RT  

US Still Considering Supplying Ukraine With ATACMS Missile Systems -- Sputnik  

Biden Says Long-Range Missiles For Ukraine Are ‘Still In Play’ -- Daily Caller

Wave Of Kamikaze Drones Strike Moscow


The Guardian: Large-scale drone attack hits Moscow for first time in Ukraine war 

Rare strike on Russian capital unnerves Muscovites who had been told conflict would not threaten them 

Moscow has been targeted with a large-scale drone attack for the first time in its 15-month-old war in Ukraine, marking a new inflection point in a conflict that the Kremlin said would never threaten the lives of ordinary Russians. 

Russia continues to pummel Ukraine with deadly missile and drone strikes on a near-daily basis. Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, faced its third air raid in 24 hours on Tuesday morning.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Russian President Putin says today's attack on Moscow was a 'response' to a strike on Ukrainian army intelligence HQ. More here .... Kremlin explains why Ukraine launched attack on Moscow (RT). 

The last time Moscow Was attacked like this was during the Second World War. And here is an easy prediction. Expect more drone and probable missile attacks in the future. 

One more note. It looks like these drones were targeting a specific residential district, a district where Putin's official residence is located, as well as other top Russian leaders. 

Wave Of Kamikaze Drones Strike Moscow  

Live: Moscow drone attacks targeted civilians - Putin -- BBC  

Russia-Ukraine war live: Putin accuses Kyiv of trying to intimidate civilians with Moscow drone attack -- The Guardian  

Live: Ukraine denies accusations of involvement in Moscow drone attacks -- France 24  

Ukraine war comes to Moscow as drones strike both capitals -- Reuters  

IN BRIEF: Kiev tries to scare Russians, trigger response — Putin about UAV attack -- TASS  

Moscow drone attack: Putin says Ukraine trying to frighten Russians -- BBC  

Russia says drones lightly damage Moscow buildings before dawn, while Ukraine’s capital bombarded -- AP 

Moscow attacked by drones – mayor -- RT 

Russian officials say Moscow hit with drone strikes -- DW  

Kiev's strikes on Russian residential buildings are sign of terrorist activity — Putin -- TASS  

Drone attacks hit Moscow, sparking fury at the Kremlin -- Al Jazeera

 ‘One of the blasts shook our house’: Russians wake up to war at home -- The Guardian  

As drone war comes to Russia, Muscovites shrug their shoulders and carry on -- Reuters  

After drone attack, fears, anger and a sense of calm in Moscow -- Al Jazeera  

What is known about drone attack on Moscow, Moscow Region -- TASS  

Moscow drone attack: What we know about the strikes -- BBC  

Factbox: Moscow drone attacks: what do we know so far? -- Reuters 

Analysis: Drone strikes in capital bring Ukraine war to Russia -- CNN

Russia Launches Missile And Drone Attacks On Kyiv For The Third Day In A Row


BBC: Ukraine war: Russian air strikes target Kyiv for third night running 

Blasts were heard in Kyiv and several buildings were set ablaze after Russia targeted Ukraine's capital for the third night running. 

 Officials say falling debris caused the blazes, as Ukraine's air defences intercepted more than 20 drones. At least one person is reported killed. 

In Moscow, a drone attack later caused minor damage to several buildings, the mayor of the Russian capital said. 

Sergei Sobyanin said "all the city's emergency services" were at the scene. 

He added that "so far, no-one has been seriously injured". 

The attacks on Moscow came after another night of drone strikes on the Ukrainian capital. 

Citing preliminary information, Kyiv's military administration said more than 20 kamikaze drones had been destroyed in the latest attack. 

 Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It looks like this was the primary target .... Putin confirms strike on Ukrainian military intelligence HQ (RT). More here .... Putin Confirms Russian Strike on Ukrainian Military Intel HQ in Kiev (Sputnik). 

 Russia Launches Missile And Drone Attacks On Kyiv For The Third Day In A Row

Ukraine updates: Evacuations in Kyiv after new drone assault -- DW  

Russia fires missiles on Kyiv in rare daytime attack as residents run for shelter -- ABC News Australia  

Russia Launches New Deadly Air Strikes On Kyiv; Drones Hit Moscow Buildings -- RFE  

Ukrainians can’t sleep as Russia hits Kyiv, but morale stays high -- Al Jazeera  

Ukraine war: Gen Kyrylo Budanov promises revenge after latest Kyiv attack -- BBC  

Photos: Russia launches air raid on Kyiv -- Al Jazeera

Sudan's Army Withdraws From Cease-Fire Talks


Reuters: Sudanese army suspends ceasefire talk 

JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Sudan's army suspended talks with a rival paramilitary force on Wednesday over a ceasefire and aid access, raising fears the six-week-old conflict will push Africa's third largest nation deeper into a humanitarian crisis. 

The general command of the armed forces said in a statement it suspended talks in the Saudi city of Jeddah, accusing the other side of a lack of commitment in implementing any terms of the agreement and a continuous violation of the ceasefire. 

The negotiations with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), which began in early May, had produced a declaration of commitments to protect civilians and two short-term ceasefire deals, although those deals were repeatedly violated. 

 Read more ....  

WNU Editor: So much for this truce extension .... Sudan truce extended as gunfire continues to hinder aid (France 24) More here ... Heavy clashes erupt in Sudan's capital Khartoum as factions agree to extend ceasefire -- ABC News Australia 

Sudan's Army Withdraws From Cease-Fire Talks  

Sudan's military says it has suspended its participation in talks with paramilitary rival -- AP

Sudan's Army Withdraws From Cease-Fire Talks -- New York Times  

Sudan's army suspends talks with paramilitary RSF -- DW  

Sudan army suspends truce talks with paramilitary rivals, says official -- France 24  

Sudan army suspends participation in Jeddah ceasefire talks -- Al Jazeera

Qatar And Saudi Arabia Say 'Worst Yet To Come' For Europe Energy Shortages

After Russia's invasion of Ukraine sparked an energy supply crisis, Europe dodged serious problems this past winter largely because of milder-than-expected temperatures but major supplier Qatar warns the same is unlikely to happen again © Ina FASSBENDER / AFP  

France 24: 'Worst yet to come' for Europe energy shortages: Qatar minister 

Qatar's energy minister warned on Tuesday the "worst is yet to come" for Europe's oil and gas shortages, saying a warm winter had prevented greater difficulties in recent months. 

Saad al-Kaabi and his Saudi counterpart Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said a lack of investment in oil and gas, as the world tries to transition to cleaner fuels to prevent global warming, risked causing an energy crunch. 

"The only thing that saved humanity and Europe this year was a warm winter, and the slowdown in the economy," Qatari Energy Minister Saad Al-Kaabi told the Qatar Economic Forum. 

"If the economy starts churning back up in (2024) and you have just a regular winter, I think the worst is yet to come."  

Read more ....  

Update: Qatar Energy Minister says 'only a warm winter can save Europe this year' (Middle East Monitor)  

WNU Editor: I am sure that if it is a very cold winter the EU will find a way to buy energy on the open markets. But it is going to be astronomically expensive.

Russian Foreign Ministry Pondering Cutting Diplomatic Ties With The UK

Russian Embassy in London/Shutterstock  

RT: Russia could cut diplomatic ties with UK – Foreign Ministry to RT  

British involvement in Ukrainian terrorist attacks inside Russia can’t be ruled out in overall relations  

The severing of diplomatic ties with the UK would be an “extreme measure,” but Moscow could end up taking the step considering London’s significant involvement in the Ukraine conflict, the Russian Foreign Ministry has warned.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Russia Could Sever Diplomatic Ties With United Kingdom: Kremlin (Zero Hedge)  

Update #2: Russian Foreign Ministry Warns of Diplomatic Ties Severance with UK over Ukraine Involvement (MENAFN)  

WNU Editor: I do not see Russia cutting diplomatic ties with the U.K. at this moment in time. The Russian expat community is huge in the U.K., and for that reason alone is why Russia will keep its embassy open. But if the war continues to escalate, and the UK decides to escalate their involvement in the war even more, then all bets are off.

China Rejects Pentagon Request For Defense Chiefs To Meet

China rejects U.S. request for defense chiefs to meet © Provided by NBC News  

NBC: China rejects U.S. request for defense chiefs to meet 

HONG KONG — China has declined a request from the United States for a meeting between the countries’ defense chiefs, the Pentagon said Monday, as the world’s two largest economies struggle to mend ties. 

The Pentagon had suggested a meeting between Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual security forum being held in Singapore from June 2 to 4. 

Washington has been seeking to restore high-level communications with Beijing as both sides signal a willingness to ease tensions stoked by clashes over Taiwan, a Chinese spy balloon and Russia’s war in Ukraine. But China has outlined limits to that conciliation over its issues with U.S. sanctions and what it sees as a broader effort to contain its rise. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: China declines meeting between defence chiefs with US (Al Jazeera)  

Update #2: China rejects Pentagon meeting request (RT)  

WNU Editor: Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu has been under US sanctions since 2018 over the purchase of Russian fighter jets. What does the Pentagon expect?

Picture Of The Day

Eugene and Linda Lamie hold hands while they visit the grave site of their son, Gene Lamie, in Section 60 at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day in Washington, May 29. REUTERS/Jon Cherry  

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

Monday, May 29, 2023

Ukraine Purposely Sent Poor, Untrained Men Into Bakhmut Meat Grinder

Hundreds of Ukrainian military personnel from the northeastern city of Kharkiv have been buried at a cemetery on its edge since Russia’s full-scale invasion last year. Joseph Sywenkyj for The Wall Street Journal  

Wall Street Journal: 36 Hours in Bakhmut: One Unit’s Desperate Battle to Hold Back the Russians 

A group of 16 draftees lost 11 who were killed or captured. Whether it was worth the cost depends on a widely anticipated offensive. 

KOSTYANTYNIVKA, Ukraine—Pvt. Oleksiy Malkovskiy, an unemployed father of three, fired a rocket-propelled grenade for the first time in his life on the front lines of the battle for Bakhmut in February. 

Russian troops were assaulting one of the apartment blocks that his group of 16 draftees, many of whom had been enlisted days earlier and given no training, had been assigned to defend. 

Malkovskiy missed. The Russians fired their own RPG and hit the wall beside him, leaving him concussed. He ran from the building and hid in a vegetable patch, his ears buzzing. When he returned after sundown, the bodies of two of his comrades lay in the room. 

Over the 36 hours he spent in brutal house-to-house combat in the eastern Ukrainian city, 11 of the 16 men from Malkovskiy’s group of draftees were either killed or captured, according to surviving soldiers and relatives of the missing.  

Read more ....  

Update: Ukraine Sent Poor, Untrained Men Into Bakhmut Meat Grinder to Save Better Forces for Counteroffensive (  

WNU Editor: It was not only poor and untrained men who were sent into the Bakhmut meat grinder. A lot of professional and trained men were also sent in. A family friend was killed in Bakhmut. He has been involved in the war since the beginning, and he had a lot of training and combat experience. But in the end it did not help him at all.  

Update #2: Col. Douglas Macgregor has a must read post on where this war is heading .... After Bakhmut: Russia turned Bakhmut into the graveyard of Ukrainian military power. What comes next? (American Conservative).

EU Threatens To Ban Twitter

Politico: Blocked! French minister threatens to ban Twitter if it doesn’t follow EU rules  

“Twitter, if it repeatedly doesn’t follow our rules, will be banned from the EU,” said France’s digital minister, Jean-Noël Barrot. 

France's Digital Minister Jean-Noël Barrot waded into a growing tussle between the European Union and Elon Musk's Twitter on Monday, as he threatened the social media platform's access to the bloc. 

In comments made on radio network France Info, the minister said that the U.S. company would be banned from the EU if it refused to follow the incoming European Digital Services Act, which goes into effect throughout the EU at the end of August. 

"Disinformation is one of the gravest threats weighing on our democracies," said Barrot. "Twitter, if it repeatedly doesn't follow our rules, will be banned from the EU," the French minister added. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: France’s Digital Minister Threatens to Ban Twitter in Europe After Site Ditches Disinformation Rules (The Wrap)  

Update #2: EU threatens to ban Twitter (RT)  

WNU Editor: The platform has until August 25 to comply with the bloc’s new disinformation law. 

To put it all into perspective. Check out the tweet below on how many people were arrested in Russia last year for their social media posts, and how many people were arrested in the UK for their social media posts. The numbers will surprise you.

Poland To Close Its Border For Russian, Belarusian Trucks

Poland suspended traffic registered in Belarus and Russia on the border with Belarus. Photo byPolska Agencja Prasowa  

Reuters: Poland Says It Will Close Border to Freight Vehicles From Belarus and Russia 

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will close its eastern border to freight vehicles registered in Belarus and Russia until further notice, according to a draft regulation published on Friday by the interior ministry. 

The move comes as a Belarusian court upheld an earlier decision to sentence a journalist of Polish origin to eight years in prison, stoking tensions between the two countries that have been running high in part due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

According to the justification of the regulation, the decision was necessary to "ensure public safety".  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Poland to close border for Russian, Belarusian trucks (Kyiv Independent)  

Update #2: Poland set to close border to freight vehicles registered in Belarus and Russia (Meduza)  

Update #3: Poland suspends freight traffic registered in Belarus and Russia (Euromaidan Press)  

WNU Editor: The border is slated to be closed on June 1.

US Senator Lindsay Graham Denies Calling Russian Deaths ‘A Good Investment’


Reuters: Dismissing Russian Criticism, U.S. Senator Graham Praises Ukrainian Resistance 

(Reuters) -U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham disputed Russian criticism of his support for Ukraine on Sunday, saying he had simply praised the spirit of Ukrainians in resisting a Russian invasion with assistance provided by Washington.

Graham, shown in a video clip of his meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv on Friday, acknowledged his host's praise for military assistance valued at $38 billion since the outset of the conflict in February 2022. 

He described the help as "the best money we've ever spent". Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denounced Graham, suggesting his comment on U.S. financial assistance was linked to a later remark that Russians "are dying" in the conflict.  

Read more ....  

Update: US senator denies calling Russian deaths ‘a good investment’ (RT)  

WNU Editor: It is telling that the above Reuters post just cannot come out and say that Ukraine altered US Senator Lindsay Graham's comments to make it look like he is saying that killing Russians is "the best money we've ever spent".  

Update #2: Here is an easy prediction. The US Senator is not going to do this .... Russia says U.S. Senator should say if Ukraine took his words out of context (Reuters).

Taiwan's Foreign Minister Says It’s In Talks On Being Brought Under The US Nuclear Umbrella

Taiwan Foreign minister Joseph Wu. CNA 

 First Post: Taiwan wants US 'nuclear umbrella’ similar to Japan, South Korea to deter Chinese invasion  

The desire for such a ‘nuclear umbrella’ against a potential invasion by China – which is already provided to Japan and South Korea by the United States (US) – has reportedly received support from defence experts in Taiwan  

There seems to be a growing demand for a US ‘nuclear umbrella’ in Taiwan amid increasing belligerence by China in the Asia Pacific region. 

The desire for such a ‘nuclear umbrella’ against a potential invasion by China – which is already provided to Japan and South Korea by the United States (US) – has reportedly received support from defence experts in Taiwan. 

The US ‘nuclear umbrella’ will not see the deployment of atomic weapons in Taiwan, but will see the world’s ‘sole superpower’ respond in kind to a nuclear attack by China during an invasion of the island nation.  

Read more ....  #2

Update: Taiwan Says It’s in Talks on Being Brought Under US Nuclear Umbrella (  

WNU Editor: There is a lot of speculation on the US extending its "nuclear umbrella" around Taiwan .... US nuclear umbrella for Taiwan: solid cross-strait shield or wishful thinking? (SCMP). More here .... Xi Jinping 'Unlikely' To Go Nuclear On Taiwan Amid Taipei's Bid For US Umbrella: Defense Experts (Benzinga), and here .... Taiwan Eyes US ‘Nuclear Umbrella’ To Deter Chinese Invasion; Will Washington Help Taipei Like Japan & South Korea? (EurAsian Times). 

As to what is my take. 

If you want to ruin U.S. - China relations, what better way to do it than by implementing such a policy.

Update  Hmmmm .... it looks like someone got to the Taiwan Foreign Ministry to change their story .... Foreign ministry dispels reports of Taiwan joining US nuclear umbrella (Taiwan News).

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 5.28.2023 (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