Friday, June 30, 2023

U.K. Pushing NATO To Speed Up Ukraine's Membership Process

British Defence Minister Wallace meets with Ukrainian Defence Minister Reznikov in Kyiv  

CTV News/Canadian Press: U.K. wants NATO to speed up Ukraine's membership process as alliance prepares to meet 

Britain's defence secretary said Thursday that he wants NATO leaders to consider fast-tracking Ukraine's membership in the military alliance when they meet next month in Vilnius, Lithuania. 

Ben Wallace met with Canadian Defence Minister Anita Anand as she visited London, where the pair talked about priorities for the upcoming NATO leaders' summit on July 11 and 12. 

Wallace said he believes the 31 member countries should consider allowing Ukraine to skip the membership action plan portion of the accession process. 

Read more ....  

Update #1: Britain says NATO should consider removing MAP hurdle to Ukraine's membership (Reuters)   

Update #2: NATO should consider simplifying procedure for Ukraine's NATO membership - Wallace (Ukrinform)  

WNU Editor: It looks like the U.S. is onboard .... NATO members closer to compromise on Ukraine's membership hopes -US envoy (Reuters).

 I am reading more and more disturbing reports that NATO will be giving Ukraine security guarantees during the NATO Vilnius Summit on July 11 and 12. 

In short. Making Ukraine a de-facto member of NATO without being a member of NATO.

Hungarian PM Says Ukraine Must Explain How €70 Billion Was Spent

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Reuters  

Reuters: Hungary opposes EU plan to grant more money to Ukraine -PM Orban 

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary rejects the European Commission's plans to grant more money to Ukraine and is not willing to contribute additional money to finance the EU's increased debt service costs, Prime Minister Viktor Orban told state radio on Friday. 

Orban, speaking on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels, said it was a "ridiculous" request from the Commission that Hungary should contribute more money, when Budapest - along with Poland - has not received funds from the EU's Recovery Fund amid a rule of law dispute. 

The European Union will provide Ukraine with 50 billion euros ($54.30 billion) in aid for 2024-27, the bloc's president said on June 20. This comes after a review of the EU's 2021-27 shared budget, which has been depleted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine and an energy crisis. High inflation and interest rates have also doubled debt-servicing costs. 

"One thing is clear, we Hungarians ... will not give more money to Ukraine until they say where the previous around 70 billion euros worth of funds had gone," Orban said.  

Read more ....  

Update: Ukraine must explain how €70 billion was spent – EU state (RT)  

WNU Editor: Here is an easy prediction. There is going to be no accounting on how Ukraine is spending Western aid.

Poland Arrests Professional Russian Hockey Player For Spying

File photo: UKS Zaglebie Sosnowiec defender Maksim Sergeyev  

Moscow Times/AFP: Poland Detains Russian Hockey Player Suspected of Spying for Moscow 

Poland said Friday it arrested a Russian ice hockey player on suspicion of having spied for Moscow while playing for a Polish club, prompting Russia to protest and demand an "immediate" explanation. 

Relations between Warsaw and Moscow have been hostile historically but have reached new lows during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with Poland being one of Kyiv's staunchest allies. 

Warsaw said the man was the fourteenth person arrested in what it called a spy ring taking orders from Moscow. 

"All of them were identified as foreigners from beyond the eastern border of the Republic of Poland," Warsaw's ABW secret services said, without clarifying if all of the suspects were Russian citizens. 

 "The entire group was used by the Russians to conduct intelligence activities, including monitoring railway routes, as well as spreading propaganda against NATO, Poland and the policies of the Polish government," it added.  

Read more ....  

Update: Poland charges hockey player in suspected Russian spy ring (UPI)  

WNU Editor: The Kremlin wants answers .... Russia demands answers from Poland on sports star’s arrest (RT). 

On a side note. There has been a push in Canada since the start of the war to ban Russian hockey players .... 'Players are our players, our family': Sutter disagrees that Russian NHL players should be suspended (CTV News). With the Olympic Games only a year away, I expect there will be an intensified push by the West to ban Russian and Belarusian athletes.

Russia's Top General Has Dropped Out Of Sight


RFE: All The Kremlin's Men: Russian Officials Drop Out Of Sight, Suggesting Post-Mutiny Purges    

The guessing game in Moscow these days: Where are they? 

Days after a mutiny by the mercenary warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, who sent thousands of his fighters racing toward the Russian capital, a growing number of prominent commanders and public figures have disappeared from public view. 

Rattled by the biggest challenge he has faced in his 23 years as the country's preeminent political figure, President Vladimir Putin has suggested he would root out those inside and outside the military people who have allied themselves, quietly or overtly, with Prigozhin. 

He may also be seeking to sideline those who let it happen or whose conduct of Russia's war in Ukraine has made them liabilities in his eyes.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: Following a report from the Moscow Times two days ago that Russian General Sergei Surovikin was arrested .... Russian General 'Armageddon' Arrested Following Wagner Mutiny (June 28, 2023), there has been a lot of speculation in the West on what is happening in Russia, including one report that is being pushed by the Ukraine government that there is now an internal war between Russia's intelligence service the FSB and the Russian military .... Putin's FSB and the Russian Army are 'at war' (Daily Mail). 

The truth is that no one outside the Kremlin and the Russian military high command really knows what is happening. 

A prediction. 

People within Russia's military and intelligence services have a lot of questions that need to be answered. Until those questions are answered, these two Generals (and I suspect many other top officials) are not going to be seen in public. 

More News On The Disappearance Of Two Top Russian Generals  

Where are Russian generals Gerasimov and Surovikin after Wagner rebellion? -- Reuters  

'Purge': Top Russian generals Gerasimov and Surovikin are reportedly missing following Wagner mutiny -- FOX News  

Putin cleans house after Wagner revolt with top generals Gerasimov and Surovikin missing -- Daily Express

Editor's Note

Stuck in meetings today. Blogging will return this evening.

Another Night Of Widespread Rioting In France


Daily Mail: Rioting and looting spreads across France and into Belgium after 'execution' killing of teenage driver: Fury at President Macron as he parties with Elton John as his country burns 

* A third night of mayhem saw violent clashes spreading across Europe last night 

* Macron was criticised by an MEP for 'applauding' John while Paris was on fire 

Rioting and looting spread across Europe last night after the 'execution' killing of a teenager in Paris - as pictures emerged of President Emmanuel Macron partying with Elton John while his country burnt, triggering a furious backlash. 

Mr Macron was filmed at Paris's Accor Arena on Wednesday evening, watching the singer on his farewell tour, while rioters caused mayhem in the capital following the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old identified as Nahel on Tuesday. 

The French President was snapped arm in arm with the legendary 76-year-old artist - who he bestowed France's Legion of Honour award - alongside his wife Brigitte.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is what I call an easy prediction .... ‘There’s so much anger’: France braces for more rioting over police shooting (The Guardian). 

Another Night Of Widespread Rioting In France  

Live: Macron denounces ‘exploitation of adolescent’s death’ in violent protests in France -- France 24  

Live: Macron tells parents to keep children out of France riots -- BBC  

Live Updates: France riots: Macron tells parents to keep kids off streets -- DW 

France riots: Marseille bans public demonstrations after protests, violence and looting across country – latest updates -- The Guardian

Updates: France sees third night of violence amid protests over fatal police shooting of teen -- France 24  

French president urges parents to keep teens at home to quell rioting spreading across France -- AP 

Macron calls crisis talks after another night of violence across France, with more than 800 arrested -- Politico  

France hit by third night of riots over police killing teen -- DW 

France riots: "all options" considered after third night of violence since fatal shooting -- Reuters 

More than 400 arrested as third night of violent protest sweeps France after 17-year-old shot dead by police -- CNN

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Journalist Calls President Biden's Secret Global Phone

Zero Hedge: Biden Picks Up After Journalist Calls Secret Burner Phone Revealed In Hunter Scandal 

On Sunday, investigative journalist and Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer revealed that Hunter Biden had been paying for a secret global phone from AT&T to the tune of $300 per month.

"We know from the laptop that Hunter Biden's business paid for a private phone line that Joe Biden used while he was vice president," Schweizer told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo. 

"It was from AT&T, it was $300 a month, it was a global phone where you could access somebody anywhere around the world."  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: It looks like POTUS has access to, and personally answers, an unsecured phone!! Please tell me this is a bad joke!

Putin Receives Rockstar Welcome In Dagestan After Wagner Mutiny


Daily Mail: Putin is given rock star welcome and even poses for kissing selfies with adoring fans in rare interaction with the public - prompting claims it's a body double 

* Russian president lapped up praise from a fervent crowd in Dagestan last night 

* It is the first time since before the pandemic he has attended such an event 

* His uncharacteristic behaviour has fuelled speculation it was a body double 

Vladimir Putin has been consolidating support in Russia following last week's failed Wagner rebellion with a rare meet-and-greet that saw him cheered by a crowd as he posed for selfies with young girls. 

Footage from last night's event - a presidential appearance during a trip to the city of Derbent in the Dagestan region of southern Russia - showed how he dived into a nighttime crowd like a Hollywood actor at a red carpet show. 

Seemingly imbued with fresh energy after averting a small scale civil war last week, the normally stoic and isolated Putin was uncharacteristically personable, shaking hands and planting kisses on the head of a young teenage girl who gushed over him and pleaded with her mother to snap a photo of her with the president.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Like every other politician in the world, these events are 95% staged. 

And as to rumors that this was a body double. IMHO that is Putin in the above video. 

Putin Receives Rockstar Welcome In Dagestan After Wagner Mutiny  

Putin Walks With Adoring Crowd As West Touts Diminishing Popularity After Wagner Revolt I Watch -- Hindustan Times  

Vladimir Putin meet-and-greet sparks speculation Russian president is using body double -- Evening Standard  

Putin receives rockstar welcome in Dagestan after quelled mutiny -- Al Jazeera

While The Cameras Were Still Rolling, US President Biden Walked Off The Set Of S Live MSNBC Interview Thursday Afternoon

Daily Mail: Bizarre moment Biden, 80, walks off at end of live MSNBC interview where he was asked about the Supreme Court, January 6, Trump and John McCain - but wasn't questioned about son Hunter, bribery claims or his health 

* President Joe Biden sat down with MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace Thursday 

* He got up and walked off set while she was still on-air 

* Biden traveled to New York to raise funds for his 2024 bid 

President Joe Biden walked off the set of a live MSNBC interview Thursday afternoon, while the cameras were still rolling. 

The president took a day trip to New York City to raise money for his presidential campaign. 

His first stop, however, was to '30 Rock,' to sit for an interview with Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace, who previously worked for Republicans including President George W. Bush and the late Sen. John McCain.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Some of his answers made no sense of all (see tweets below). The full interview is below.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken Says 'No Nuclear Deal on Table With Iran'


VOA/AFP: Blinken Says No Nuclear Deal on Table With Iran  

New York — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that no new nuclear agreement was on the table with Iran, after quiet new diplomacy between the adversaries. 

"There is no agreement in the offing, even as we continue to be willing to explore diplomatic paths," Blinken said at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"We'll see by their actions," Blinken said of the future relationship, calling on Iran to choose to "not take actions that further escalate the tensions" with the United States and in the Middle East. 

President Joe Biden took office with hopes of returning to a 2015 nuclear accord with Iran that was scrapped by his predecessor, Donald Trump. But EU-mediated talks collapsed and mass protests in Iran made Washington increasingly hesitant to strike a deal with the clerical state.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Blinken denies ‘agreement’ with Iran amid talk of informal deal (Al-Monitor)  

Update #2: Blinken Claims ‘No Agreement in the Offing’ amid Reports of New Iran Deal (National Review)  

WNU Editor: There is no common ground between the U.S. and Iran. And as for the EU maybe stepping in to arrange a deal, it is not going to happen. the EU is totally focused on the Russia - Ukraine war.

New Study Says More Than 238,000 People Died In Global Conflicts Last Year

DW: Global conflicts: Death toll at highest in 21st century  

Conflict deaths are higher than they have ever been this century with over 238,000 people killed in conflicts last year. 

Since the 21st century began, war has never cost humanity so much. The number of conflict deaths almost doubled in 2022 compared to the previous year. And war caused a 13% loss of global GDP, according to the Global Peace Index, released on Wednesday by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP). 

The major new survey by the global think tank said that the average level of "global peacefulness" had sunk for the ninth year in a row, with conflict deaths topping the previous global peak reached in 2014 during the Syrian Civil War. 

The dramatic increase in death rates was mostly driven by the war in Ukraine, where 83,000 people were killed in the past year, though the bloodiest conflict was in Ethiopia, where 100,000 people lost their lives.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Global Peace Index 2023 (Relief Web)   

Update #2: Ukraine and Russia ranked among the ten least peaceful countries in the world (Euronews) 

Update #3: The State Of Global Peace (Zero Hedge)  

WNU Editor: No kidding .... A historic rise in global conflict deaths suggests a violent new era (Washington Post). 

The report is here .... Global Peace Index 2023.

NATO Members Agree To Extend Secretary-General Stoltenberg’s Tenure For Another Year

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg © REUTERS/Yves Herman 

Politico: Stoltenberg to stay on as NATO chief another year 

The move ‘will be formalized next week,’ a European diplomat said, ahead of the NATO summit in Lithuania. 

 Jens Stoltenberg is set to stay on as NATO’s chief for another year, four people familiar with the decision told POLITICO. 

A U.S. official said the secretary general’s leadership extension is “a done deal.” Asked if that was the case, a senior diplomat from Western Europe said “yes,” adding it “will be formalized next week.” A senior diplomat from Eastern Europe and a senior NATO official also confirmed there is consensus within the alliance for an extension.

The officials were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to preview the move before the official announcement. A spokesperson for NATO didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The move to retain Stoltenberg was widely rumored and expected ahead of a major NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania next month, billed as one of the most important alliance gatherings in years amid Russia’s war in Ukraine.  

Read more .... 

NATO Members Agree To Extend Secretary-General Stoltenberg’s Tenure For Another Year  

NATO members have tentative agreement to extend Secretary-General Stoltenberg’s tenure another year -- AP 

NATO Agrees To Extend Stoltenberg Mandate: Diplomats -- AFP

"Captain in the storm": Stoltenberg to remain NATO Secretary General for another year – Euractiv -- Ukrainska Pravda

Pentagon Says Chinese Spy Balloon Did Not Collect Intelligence As It Flew Over The U.S. Early This Year


ABC News: Chinese spy balloon didn’t collect intelligence as it flew over US: Pentagon  

The vessel passed over sensitive military sites before being downed in February. 

The Chinese spy balloon that was shot down over the Atlantic Ocean in early February was built, at least partly, using American off-the-shelf parts, a U.S. official has confirmed to ABC News. 

The official could not say whether any of the American gear was sold illicitly to China but said determining whether any of it came from illegal trade was a topic of serious concern among officials since some items -- like chips -- are forbidden to sell to certain markets.

Later Thursday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said that the balloon not only did not transmit data back to China -- it never collected any.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is embarrassing .... Chinese spy balloon used US tech to spy on Americans, Wall Street Journal reports (Reuters). More here .... US Probe Finds Chinese Balloon Used American Tech, WSJ Says (Bloomberg). 

Pentagon Says Chinese Spy Balloon Did Not Collect Intelligence As It Flew Over The U.S. Early This Year  

Chinese spy balloon did not collect information over US -Pentagon -- Reuters 

US says Chinese spy balloon downed in February did not collect information -- The Guardian/AP  

Chinese spy balloon didn't collect information while flying over U.S., Pentagon says -- CBS News  

Suspected Chinese spy balloon did not collect intelligence over United States, Pentagon says -- ABC News Australia  

Pentagon: Chinese balloon shot down over U.S. did not gather intelligence -- Axios

France Sees Third Night Of Violence Following The Fatal Police Shooting Of A Teenage Boy

CNN: France sees third night of violence after 17-year-old shot dead by police  

Paris CNN — Parisian suburbs imposed curfews on Thursday as France saw a third night of protests across the country following the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy that was captured on video. 

France’s elite police force, the RAID, were deployed to the cities of Bordeaux, Lyon, Roubaix and Lille, to help contain the protests.

 Confrontations flared up between protesters and police in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre – where the 17-year-old named Nahel was killed days before – and in the southern port city of Marseille, CNN affiliate BFMTV reported. 

Amid burning debris, “vengeance pour Nael” appeared to be spray painted on a wall in Nanterre, which translates to “revenge for Nael” in reference to the slain teenager, according to footage from the suburb.  

Read more .... 

 France Sees Third Night Of Violence Following The Fatal Police Shooting Of A Teenage Boy 

Live: French police brace for more violent protests as Paris suburb declares curfew -- France 24 

Live: Police who killed teen apologises as France clashes rage -- BBC 

Live: France: Policeman charged over teen's fatal shooting -- DW  

France mobilizes tens of thousands of police to head off unrest after police fatally shot a teenager -- AP  

France police shooting: violence erupts for a third consecutive night -- The Guardian 

France to deploy 40000 officers amid protests after fatal police shooting of teen driver -- USA Today  

France deploys 40,000 police as Macron seeks to avoid 2005 riots rerun -- Politico 

French police arrest 180 people amid violent unrest over fatal shooting of teenager -- ABC News Australia

‘There’s so much anger’: France braces for more rioting over police shooting -- The Guardian  

France: Shooting of teenager sparks police violence debate -- DW

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 6.29.2023 (Video)


 WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris and the WEEB Union give their updates and analysis on the war below. 

Has U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland Interferred In The Handling Of The Hunter Biden Investigation?

NYT: Competing Accounts of Justice Dept.’s Handling of Hunter Biden Case 

At a Senate hearing in March, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, spent seven minutes grilling Attorney General Merrick B. Garland about the Hunter Biden investigation, reading a series of unusually specific queries from a paper in his hands. 

Did David C. Weiss, the Trump-appointed U.S. attorney in Delaware kept on under Mr. Garland to continue overseeing the inquiry, have full authority to bring charges against President Biden’s son in California and Washington if he wanted to? Had Mr. Weiss ever asked to be made a special counsel? Was the investigation truly insulated from political considerations? 

Read more ....  

Update: NYT quietly confirms the allegation that Merrick Garland lied to Congress about Hunter (  

WNU Editor: The US Attorney General has responded (see video below). As to what is my take. There are two different takes on this case. Are a bunch of whistleblowers lying, or is the US Attorney General lying? Quoting Glenn Reynolds from Instapundit on why this story is important .... 

 .... “But these latest allegations are far more serious: they include perjury on the part of the Attorney General, and lying to Congress on the part of Weiss. If true, both men are theoretically in legal jeopardy, and any fig leaf that the case wasn’t rigged–we all know it was, but couldn’t prove it–flies off into the winds of a hurricane. Well, according to the NYT, they have confirmed at least one of the allegations made by the whistleblower: that Weiss enquired about charging Biden in California on charges related to crimes he committed there (even federal crimes are charged in the jurisdiction in which they took place) and he was denied permission to do so.”  


US President Biden Snaps At Reporter When Asked If He Was Involved In Hunter’s “Chinese Shake-Down Text Message”

Daily Wire: Biden Denies Taking Part In Son’s Alleged Shakedown Of Chinese Businessman 

 President Joe Biden denied taking part in his son’s alleged shakedown of a Chinese businessman recently revealed in a 2017 WhatsApp message. Reporters questioned Biden over the WhatsApp message, revealed last week by IRS whistleblowers who investigated the president’s son’s tax affairs, at the White House on Wednesday. 

The president has so far refused to comment at length about the message that allegedly ties him with his son’s dealings with foreign agents. “How involved were you in your son’s Chinese shake-down text message? Were you sitting there? Were you involved?” a reporter asked the president.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: I want to see the evidence, but my gut is teling me that this is just the "tip of the iceberg" .... Overseas payments to Biden family could exceed $40M, Comer says: ‘This was organized crime’ (NYPost).

US President Biden Tells Reports That Putin Is 'Clearly Losing The War In Iraq'

FOX News: Biden tells reporters Putin is 'clearly losing the war in Iraq' in latest gaffe: 'Totally lost the plot' 

President Biden made a similar comment the night before at a fundraiser President Biden faced criticism on social media Wednesday over an apparent gaffe when he claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin is currently "losing the war in Iraq." 

"It’s hard to tell, but he’s clearly losing the war in Iraq," Biden told a reporter outside the White House on Wednesday when asked "to what extent" Putin has been weakened by recent events in Russia, including a reported attempt at a mercenary coup. 

"He's losing the war at home, and he has become a bit of a pariah around the world," Biden added.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: He just doesn’t look right lately. And now I am reading this .... White House confirms Biden, 80, is now using breathing machine to treat sleep disorder - after thick mask lines on his face sparked more health questions (Daily Mail).

Former President Trump Is Dominating The Republican Primary Race

Twice-indicted Trump dominates GOP race, as support for DeSantis stalls © Cheryl Senter/For The Washington Post  

Washington Post: Twice-indicted Trump dominates GOP race, as support for DeSantis stalls 

CONCORD, N.H. — The primary was effectively over for many voters who came out to hear Donald Trump’s speech at a GOP women’s luncheon this week. “It’s Trump all the way — don’t even ask me about anyone else,” said Suzanne Pesaresi, a 62-year-old office manager. 

Forty miles south, at a town hall with Ron DeSantis, plenty of others were convinced the party should move on from the former president. “I have a non-top choice, and that’s Donald Trump,” declared former Republican state lawmaker Bill Ohm. But like many around him, Ohm wasn’t yet sold on the Florida governor — or anyone else, for that matter. 

“I could vote for DeSantis if nobody else got traction,” said Don Hallenbeck, a business owner who identifies as an independent and plans to vote in the Republican primary. He worries the governor would “have a tough time finding his way back to the middle” in a general election.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Former President Trump is clearly dominating the field .... Trump up 5, DeSantis down 10 in NH after indictment (HotAir), and some Republican leaders are reacting .... Paul Ryan: ‘It Is a Disaster if We Nominate Trump,’ ‘He Could Win’ (Breitbart). 

Sighhh ....  I guess this is why they had to indict him.

Picture Of The Day

Muslim pilgrims walk before casting their stones at a pillar symbolising the stoning of Satan during the annual haj pilgrimage in Mina, Saudi Arabia. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany  

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

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Holding Leaders Accountable For War

WNU Editor: This question will never be asked by a U.S. reporter.

Is Russian President Putin Freezing Out The Hardliners After Wagner Mutiny?

© Sputnik / Alexey Nikolskii  

WNU Editor: An interesting post from the Financial Times .... Putin freezes out hardliners after Wagner mutiny (Financial Times). The problem that Putin has is that the most (if not all) of the people who are around him are "hardliners" when it comes to prosecuting the Ukraine war.

Russian General 'Armageddon' Arrested Following Wagner Mutiny

Mikhail Klimentyev / Russian Presidential Press and Information Office / TASS  

Moscow Times: Russian General Arrested Following Wagner Mutiny – MT Russian 

Russian General Sergei Surovikin has been arrested, The Moscow Times' Russian service reported Wednesday, citing two sources close to the Defense Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity. 

The Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the alleged arrest of Surovikin, who has not been seen in public since Saturday, when Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin launched an armed rebellion against Russia's military leadership.

 "The situation with him was not 'OK.' For the authorities. I can't say anything more," one of the sources said. 

According to the second source, the arrest was carried out "in the context of Prigozhin."  

Read more ....  

Update: Russian general who may have known about Wagner mutiny goes missing (The Guardian) 

WNU Editor: As I had mentioned earlier today (link here). If Russian General Sergei Surovikin knew about Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin's plans to mutiny, and choose to do nothing and/or to support it, he would be demoted/fired on the spot. 

It looks like that is exactly what has happened. 

According to some Russian military bloggers that I follow and trust, he was removed and arrested on Sunday. 

Update #2: I have been preparing a post on failure of the FSB (Russia's internal intelligence services) to detect the Wagner mutiny. But it looks like the FSB did find out about the plot, but were too slow to respond it. 

I do not know if these reports are true, but my gut is telling me that when all has been said and done, this is a major failure of Russian intelligence. 

But the FSB is not alone. This is also a major Russian military and political failure that will damage Russia's war efforts.

What saved the day for Putin was the Russian military rank and file stayed completely loyal to Putin. All of Russia's political/business/religious, and community leaders also rallied around the Kremlin. All of Russia's key international allies also supported Putin, including China.

But there are going to be consequences, starting with a purge of the security services .... Purges Underway In Russian Security Apparatus After Prigozhin’s Mutiny (Warzone/The Drive).

US Sending Another $500 Million In Military Aid To Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Cargo vessel ARC Integrity with Bradley Fighting Vehicles arrive at the harbour in Bremerhaven © Thomson Reuters  

Reuters: US to give Ukraine $500 million in additional military aid -Pentagon 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States will provide Kyiv with a new military package worth up to $500 million, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, in a show of support for Ukraine's fight against Russia as Moscow deals with the aftermath of a mutiny by mercenary fighters. 

The package will include ground vehicles including Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker armored personnel carriers, and munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, according to a statement from the Pentagon. 

The package "includes key capabilities to support Ukraine's counteroffensive operations, strengthen its air defenses ... and other equipment to help Ukraine push back on Russia's war of aggression," the Pentagon said.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: US sending $500 million in weapons, military aid to Ukraine -- AP  

Update #2: After Ukraine Failed To Capitalize On Wagner Turmoil, US Sends $500 Million More In Weapons -- Zero Hedge  

WNU Editor: This is what is being sent .... Biden Administration Announces Additional Security Assistance for Ukraine (US Department of Defense).

Did A Senior Russian General Know About Mercenary Chief’s Rebellion Plans?

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and Gen. Sergei Surovikin in 2017. U.S. officials are trying to determine if the general aided Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plans to rebel against Russia’s military leadership.Credit...Sputnik, via Reuters  

New York Times: Russian General Knew About Mercenary Chief’s Rebellion Plans, U.S. Officials Say 

WASHINGTON — A senior Russian general had advance knowledge of Yevgeny Prigozhin’s plans to rebel against Russia’s military leadership, according to U.S. officials briefed on American intelligence on the matter, which has prompted questions about what support the mercenary leader had inside the top ranks.

The officials said they are trying to learn if Gen. Sergei Surovikin, the former top Russian commander in Ukraine, helped plan Prigozhin’s actions last weekend, which posed the most dramatic threat to President Vladimir Putin in his 23 years in power. 

Surovikin is a respected military leader who helped shore up defenses across the battle lines after Ukraine’s counteroffensive last year, analysts say. He was replaced as the top commander in January but retained influence in running war operations and remains popular among the troops.  

Read more .....  

Update: Senior Russian General Knew About Wagner Leader’s Mutiny Plans – NYT (Moscow Times)  

WNU editor: If Gen. Sergei Surovikin knew about Prigozhin’s plans to launch a mutiny, and did nothing about it, he would not be in the position that he is in today. He would have been fired/demoted on the spot.

Update #2: The Kremlin has just denied this New York Times report.

Belarusian President Lukashenko Says Putin Wanted To 'Wipe Out' Prigozhin During Mutiny Attempt


Washington Post: Lukashenko claims he persuaded Putin not to kill Wagner boss Prigozhin 

RIGA, Latvia — When Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko tried to convince Yevgeniy Prigozhin to call off his rebellion against Moscow, the mercenary boss was “half-crazed,” Lukashenko said, pouring out obscenities for half an hour — and unaware, perhaps, that his life was at risk. 

The swearing in their phone conversation Saturday “was 10 times more than normal,” Lukashenko said in remarkably frank comments during a meeting Tuesday with his generals. 

He claimed to have stopped Russian President Vladimir Putin from making a “harsh decision” — a suggestion that Putin planned to kill the Wagner Group chief. 

Lukashenko’s comments were published by Belarusian state media. Prigozhin said he wanted to speak to Putin, Lukashenko said, and demanded that frequent targets of his ire — Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gen. Valery Gerasimov, the chief of the General Staff — be handed over to him. That wasn’t going to happen, Lukashenko said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I am sure there was a moment when Russian President Putin wanted to wipe out Prigozhin. But his better angels took over to pursue an alternative option. 

Belarusian President Lukashenko Says Putin Wanted To 'Wipe Out' Prigozhin During Mutiny Attempt  

Lukashenko says Putin wanted to 'wipe out' Prigozhin during mutiny attempt -- Reuters 

Lukashenko claims he persuaded Putin not to kill Wagner boss Prigozhin -- Washington Post 

Lukashenko claims he stopped Putin from ‘destroying’ Wagner group -- CNN  

‘They will squash you like a bug’: Lukashenko claims credit for stopping Russian rebels -- NBC

Did US President Biden's Joint Chiefs Chairman Nominee Embraced Race-Based Hiring And Promotions In The Military

President Biden announces the nomination of Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 25, 2023. (Nathan Posner/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) 

FOX News: Biden's Joint Chiefs chairman nominee accused of 'race-based' hiring in military by conservative group  

Air Force Gen Charles Brown Jr has publicly encouraged military to hire, promote diverse candidates 

A conservative watchdog group is accusing Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. of embracing race-based hiring and promotions in the military for the sake of "diversity." 

The American Accountability Foundation (AAF), an opposition research group that has claimed credit for dismantling several Biden nominations, is now targeting Brown, who is the president's nominee to serve as the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. At issue for the group are various public statements Brown has made in which he offered full-throated support for the military's diversity, equity and inclusion, or DEI, programs. 

Brown, the first Black man to lead any branch of the U.S. military, has been outspoken in his belief that the military should be proactive in elevating diverse candidates to key positions. His previous public statements that articulated his views provide ample ammunition for critics like AAF and Republican opponents of DEI policies to attack his nomination.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I expect this will all come out during the confirmation hearings. But for now it does look like Air Force Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. will be the next US Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs. 

One more note. General Brown may be the the first Black man to lead any branch of the U.S. military, but he will not be the first Chairman of the Joints Chiefs. That honor belongs to General Colin Powell.

More Bad Poll Numbers For US Vice President Harris

American Greatness: Kamala Harris Has the Worst Net Negative Rating of Any Vice President in NBC Poll’s History 

While voters continue to have serious concerns about Joe Biden’s mental health, they are even less impressed with his vice president, according to the latest national NBC News poll. 

Kamala Harris has a historically low approval rating of 32 percent in survey, compared with 49 percent who have a negative view of her. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they had a “very negative” view of Harris. Her net negative rating of -17 is reportedly the worst for any vice president in the NBC poll’s history.  

In Oct. 2019, then-Vice President Mike Pence had a 34% positive, 38% negative rating (-4). 

In Dec. 2010, Joe Biden’s rating was 34% positive, 33% negative (+1). 

 In May 2003, Dick Cheney was at 47% positive, 24% negative (+23). And in March of 1995, Al Gore’s rating in the poll was 42% positive, 27% negative (+15).  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: In all fairness to the US Vice President. The White House has not been helpful.

Challenges The Ukraine Counteroffensive Is Facing In The Coming Weeks

Ukraine faces mines and manpower challenges in offensive’s early weeks © Ukrainian Presidential Press Service/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock  

Washington Post: Ukraine faces mines and manpower challenges in offensive’s early weeks 

Ukrainian forces are navigating giant minefields and mounting initial attacks on Russian positions along a sprawling front line, U.S. and Ukrainian officials said, as Kyiv takes the first, halting steps of what is expected to be a prolonged and punishing counteroffensive campaign. 

Ukrainian officials say they have thus far reclaimed at least 130 square kilometers, or about 50 square miles, in the country’s south from Russian forces, which have spent months hardening fortifications and positioning reinforcements in their bid to protect territory seized since President Vladimir Putin’s 2022 invasion. 

President Volodymyr Zelensky last week said that the offensive was moving “slower than desired” since it began this month, but that an operation against an adversary with a deeper arsenal and a far larger force shouldn’t be expected to unfold at an action-movie pace. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Even the Washington Post is admitting that after weeks of heavy fighting and heavy casualties only 130 square kilometers, or about 50 square miles, has been reclaimed. No mention from the Washington Post that the Ukraine army has not even reached the first line of three of fortification lines that the Russian military has set-up. 

My contacts in Ukraine tell me that Ukraine has started a rush mobilization campaign to replace soldiers that have been killed or wounded in this counteroffensive. I shudder to think what the real casualty numbers must be for the Ukraine government to be forced to do this.

Russia - Ukraine War News Morning News Updates -- June 28, 2023


WNU Editor: Updates from the Military Summary Channel, WEEB Union, and Defense Politics Asia.

Picture Of The Day

Ukrainian servicemen of the 47th Magura Separate Mechanised Brigade fire a BM-21 Grad multiple launch rocket system towards Russian troops near a front line in Zaporizhzhia region, Ukraine, June 25, 2023. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty/Serhii Nuzhnenko  

WNU Editor: The above picture came from this photo-gallery .... Along the frontlines of Ukraine's counteroffensive (Reuters).

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Editor's Note

Stuck in meetings all day. Blogging will return this evening.

Russia - Ukraine War News Morning News Updates -- June 27, 2023


WNU Editor: It looks like there is a pause in the fighting, with a few Ukrainian advances in some parts along the front-lines.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Russian President Putin Gives National Address Late Monday Night


RT: Putin seals Wagner’s fate  

Most members of the mutinous private military company are patriots, who were misled, the Russian leader said 

Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered a choice to the soldiers of the Wagner private military company involved in Saturday's failed armed rebellion.They can either sign a contract with Russia’s Defense Ministry Ministry or other security agencies, return home or move to neighboring Belarus, the Russian leader said in a televised addressed. 

 "The overwhelming majority of the fighters and commanders of the Wagner group are also Russian patriots, devoted to their people and country. They proved this with their courage on the battlefield,” Putin said in his address on Monday evening. 

 Read more .... 

Russian President Putin Gives National Address Late Monday Night  

Putin thanks everyone, including heroic pilots, who stood up against mutineers -- TASS  

Putin: Mutiny Organizers Wanted Russian Soldiers to Kill Each Other, Kiev Wanted the Same -- Sputnik  

Live: Putin says Wagner mutineers can join Russian army or 'go to Belarus' -- France 24  

Putin says the aborted rebellion played into the hands of Russia’s enemies -- AP  

Vladimir Putin says Wagner mutiny leaders will be 'brought to justice' -- BBC  

Vladimir Putin: Wagner mutiny in Russia 'doomed to fail' -- DW  

Vladimir Putin condemns Wagner armed mutiny in late night TV address -- The Guardian

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 6.26.2023 (Video)


WNU Editor: A lot of updates on the Russia - Ukraine war from the Military Summary channel (see above). Alexander Mercouris and the WEEB Union give their updates and analysis on the war below. 

Tweets On Russian President Putin's Address To The Russian Nation Monday Night

Tweets On the Russia - Ukraine War