Monday, July 31, 2023

Ukrainian Soldiers Say 'The Russians Were Waiting for Us'

Ukrainian soldiers say they have recaptured the Ukrainian village of Staromaiorske, in Donetsk region, Ukraine, in this screen grab from video posted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and released on July 27, 2023.Telegram/V_Zelenskiy_official/via REUTERS  

Reuters: 'The Russians Were Waiting for Us': Ukraine Troops Describe Tougher Fight Than Expected 

SOUTHERN DONETSK PROVINCE, Ukraine (Reuters) - They rode into a kill zone. The timing was off. Many men were lost. In the end, they recaptured the ruined village of Staromaiorske, claiming Ukraine's biggest advance for weeks. 

Troops at the spearhead of Ukraine's counteroffensive say a battle last week along the front in the southeast proved to be tougher and bloodier than expected, with plans going awry and an enemy that was well-prepared. 

"The Russians were waiting for us," said a 29-year-old soldier using the call-sign Bulat, from a unit sent into battle in armoured vehicles during last week's assault. 

"They fired anti-tank weapons and grenade launchers at us. My vehicle drove over an anti-tank mine, but everything was ok, the vehicle took the hit, and everyone was alive. We dismounted and ran towards the cover. Because the most important is to find cover and then move on.”  

Read more .... 

 WNU Editor: There are two different strategies at play in this war. The Ukraine side is focused on fighting a campaign to seize territory. The Russian side is fighting a war of attrition. 

Was it worth throwing away hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers and dozens of armored vehicles to seize a small village? Reading the above accounts from these Ukrainian soldiers it appears that they have some doubts. I know on the Russian side, this is exactly the fight that they want to see happening.

Confidence in U.S. Military Lowest in Over Two Decades

Gallup: Confidence in U.S. Military Lowest in Over Two Decades 

* Public confidence in the U.S. military continues to decline 

* Drops seen across party groups, but Republicans remain most confident 

* Independents least likely to express confidence this year 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans are now less likely to express “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the U.S. military, with a noticeable decline that has persisted for the past five years. 

The latest numbers are from a June 1-22 Gallup poll that also captured record lows in public confidence in several public institutions.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: And the trajectory indicates that confidence is going to go lower.

Niger Suspends Uranium & Gold Exports To France

Zero Hedge: Niger Suspends Uranium & Gold Exports Amid Rumors Of Imminent French Military Intervention 

Last week's coup in Niger is already fast becoming an internationalized conflict situation, as the West African nation's former colonial ruler France has denounced and condemned the junta—while urging that ousted President Mohamed Bazoum be immediately reinstated. Coup supporters are now attacking diplomatic locations and French interests, including the French embassy in the capital of Niamey. 

Currently, there are emerging reports in Mideast-Africa regional sources that Niger (under the junta) has suspended all exports of uranium and gold to France. FT is confirming

 The junta has continued to step up anti-French rhetoric. It announced it was suspending the export of uranium to France with immediate effect. Niger is the world’s seventh-largest producer of Uranium and France, which relies on nuclear energy for 75 per cent of its power, is a significant importer.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The likelihood of France launching a military intervention against the coup leaders in Niger have just substantially increased.

Afghan Taliban's War On Music Intensifying

Hundreds of musicians have fled Afghanistan to escape the Taliban's restrictions on music. Image: Afghanistan's Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice/AFP  

BBC: Afghanistan: Taliban burn ‘immoral’ musical instruments 

The Taliban have burned musical instruments in Afghanistan, claiming music "causes moral corruption". 

Thousands of dollars worth of musical equipment went up in smoke on a bonfire on Saturday in western Herat province. Since taking power in 2021, the Taliban have imposed numerous restrictions, including on playing music in public.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: Afghanistan: Taliban burn musical instruments (DW)  

Update #2: Instruments thrown on fire as Taliban declares music immoral in Afghanistan (SKY News)  

WNU editor: Cannot say that I am surprised.

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 7.31.2023 (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 analysis below. 

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Is France Planning To Launch A Military Intervention Against The Coup Leaders In Niger?


The Guardian: Niger coup leaders accuse France of plotting military intervention  

Junta that seized power claims Paris is aiming to reinstate deposed president as regional tensions grow 

The military junta that seized power in Niger has accused France of plotting military intervention to reinstate the deposed president, Mohamed Bazoum, as tensions in the region continued to grow in the wake of the coup.

The junta said on national TV that France was searching “for ways and means to intervene militarily in Niger” and had held a meeting with the chief of staff of Niger’s national guard “to obtain the necessary political and military authorisation”. 

Read more .... 

 WNU Editor: Niger is a key supplier of uranium for France and the EU. I for one would not be surprised if a military intervention by France and its allies is launched. France is already laying the groundwork that will justify an intervention .... France warns attacks on its interests in Niger will not be tolerated (Euronews).  

Update: France is denying reports that it is planning a military intervention in Niger .... France denies plotting to intervene militarily in Niger (AFP). 

More News On Reports That France Is Planning To Launch A Military Intervention Against The Coup Leaders In Niger  

Niger junta says France planning strikes to free ousted president -- Reuters  

Niger coup leaders accuse France of wanting to 'intervene militarily' -- France 24 

France, Niger on familiar path to breakup in coup-prone Sahel -- AFP

US Secretary of State Blinken Says Nuclear War No Worse Than Climate Change

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. Image: AP  

Republic World: Nuclear War Threat No Worse Than Climate Change: Antony Blinken 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a statement on the existential problem of climate change on July 30, while meeting the Australian PM. 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a statement on the existential problem of climate change on July 30, while meeting the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. 

US Secretary Blinken said, "The potential threat of nuclear war is no more dangerous than the existential problem of climate change and there is no hierarchy in this regard."  

Read more .... 

Update #1: Nuclear war no worse than climate change – Blinken (RT)  

Update #2: Blinken Says Nuclear War Threat No Worse Than Climate Change (Sputnik)  

WNU Editor: Climate change takes time and we (mankind) can adapt. Nuclear war is another story.

Russia Deploys Boom Defenses Around Crimea Bridge To Block Drone Strikes

Damage to the Crimean bridge following a suspected Ukrainian attack on July 17

Newsweek: Russia Deploys Boom Defenses Around Crimea Bridge To Block Drone Strikes 

Moscow has laid out floating, spiked boom defenses in the hope of fending off Ukrainian drone attacks in Crimea, according to Mash, a Russian news outlet known for sharing exclusive content sourced from Moscow security agencies. 

Booms are long barriers deployed on water that aim to stop surface drones getting close to their targets. 

The booms are likely intended to make it more difficult for Ukrainian unmanned surface Surface Vehicles (USVs) to attack critical Russian infrastructure like bridges, according to Marina Miron, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of War Studies at King's College London, U.K.  

Read more .... 

Update: Russians surround Crimean bridge with special floating barriers in attempt to ward off more attacks (The New Voice of Ukraine)  

WNU editor: Another critical bridge in Crimea has been attacked .... Armed Forces of Ukraine confirm successful air attack on bridge near Chonhar (New Voice Of Ukraine).

Ukraine Will Be Receiving U.S. Abrams Tanks By September

The arrival of the tanks in the coming weeks will add a new, lethal dimension to Ukraine’s inventory as its forces struggle to break through entrenched Russian defenses along a front line that stretches for hundreds of miles. | Lance Cpl. Menelik Collins/U.S. Marine Corps  

Politics: U.S. expects to begin delivering Abrams tanks to Ukraine in September  

The news, provided by six people familiar with discussions, marks the most specific information to date on Washington’s plans. 

U.S. Abrams tanks are likely to arrive on the Ukrainian battlefield in September, according to six people familiar with the planning, as Kyiv’s forces push to retake territory in a counteroffensive that is picking up steam. 

The plan is to send a handful of Abrams tanks to Germany in August, where they will undergo final refurbishments. 

Once that process is complete, the first batch of Abrams will be shipped to Ukraine the following month.  

Read more .... 

Ukraine Will Be Receiving U.S. Abrams Tanks By September

U.S. aims to deliver Abrams tanks to Ukraine in September – Politico -- Euromaidan  

First Abrams tanks may arrive in Ukraine in September -- Ukrainska Pravda  

Politico: US expects to start delivering Abrams tanks to Ukraine in September -- Kyiv Independent

How Many Americans have Been Killed In The Russia - Ukraine War?

© Photo : Screenshot / Social Media  

Sputnik: How Many Americans Were Killed in Ukrainian Conflict 

Since the escalation of the Ukrainian conflict in February 2022, the Kiev regime has welcomed several thousand foreign mercenaries to fight alongside Ukrainian troops, with many of these 'hired guns' perishing on the battlefield. 

While the material support the US and its NATO allies provide to Ukraine is openly discussed by Western politicians and media, the foreign militants who contribute to Kiev’s efforts on the battlefield don't seem to be getting as much spotlight, especially when these militants start coming back home in body bags. 

In March 2022, Ukrainian officials boasted that about 20,000 foreign militants signed up to fight for Kiev, with over 3,000 applications allegedly being submitted by US citizens.  

Read more ....  

WNU editor: I suspect the number is greater than the list that Sputnik has provided in the above report.

Former Russian President Medvedev Warns Russia Will Use Nuclear Weapons If Ukraine's Counteroffensive Succeeds

FILE PHOTO: Deputy head of Russia's Security Council Dmitry Medvedev attends a meeting with officials and employees of the military industrial corporation "Scientific and Production Machine Building Association" in the town of Reutov in the Moscow region, Russia, April 25, 2023. Sputnik/Yekaterina Shtukina/Pool via REUTERS /File Photo Nuclear weapons on the table if Ukraine counteroffensive succeeds: Russia’s Medvedev  

There would be ‘no other way out’ if Kyiv takes Russian territory, says the former Russian president and current National Security Council deputy chairman. 

 If Ukraine’s ongoing counteroffensive against Moscow’s invasion captures Russian territory, there would be no alternative to using strategic nuclear weapons, Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev warned on Sunday. 

“There would simply be no other way out” of using nuclear weapons if the Ukrainian offensive succeeded in taking Russian territory, Medvedev, former Russian president and current National Security Council deputy chairman, said in a post on social media. 

“Just imagine that the NATO-supported ukrobanderovtsy’s offensive turned out successful, and they took away a part of our land: Then we would have to, following the president’s degree of 02.06.2020, use the nuclear weapon,” Medvedev wrote, referring to followers of Stepan Bandera, a nationalist leader who waged a violent campaign for Ukrainian independence in the 1930s and 1940s.  

Read more .... 

Former Russian President Medvedev Warns Russia Will Use Nuclear Weapons If Ukraine's Counteroffensive Succeeds  

Russia's Medvedev: We'd have to use a nuclear weapon if Ukrainian offensive was a success -- Reuters  

Medvedev says Russia could use nuclear weapon if Ukraine’s fightback succeeds in latest threat -- CNN  

Former Russian president warns of nuclear response if Ukraine counteroffensive is successful -- The Hill  

‘We'd Have To Use A Nuclear Weapon If Ukrainian Offensive Was A Success’: Russia's Medvedev --  

Medvedev threatens nuclear weapons in case of success of Ukraine's counteroffensive -- Ukrainska Pravda

Chinese President Xi Ousts Top Nuclear And Rocket Generals

Xi Jinping, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC), on Monday presented certificates of order to promote the commander of the Rocket Force Wang Houbin and its political commissar Xu Xisheng to the rank of general. [Photo/Xinhua]  

SCMP: China names General Wang Houbin as new PLA Rocket Force chief after former commanders snared in corruption scandal 

* An unusually sweeping shake-up will see the force responsible for the country's nuclear arsenal get a new commander and political commissar at the same time 

* The force's former head Li Yuchao and other senior commanders have been placed under investigation, according to military sources 

Beijing has appointed a new leadership for the force responsible for its nuclear arsenal after its former commanders were snared in an anti-corruption campaign. 

Wang Houbin, the navy's former deputy commander, will become the new head of the People's Liberation Army Rocket Force, while Xu Xisheng will move from Southern Theatre Command to become its new political commissar, state broadcaster CCTV reported. 

Their appointments were announced as both Wang and Xu were promoted from the rank of lieutenant general to full general at a ceremony on Monday. Neither general has served with the force before.  

Read more .... 

WNU editor: It looks like there is a purge now underway of the leadership responsible for China's nuclear forces. 

 Chinese President Xi Ousts Top Nuclear And Rocket Generals  

Xi appoints new chief of China's nuclear arsenal -- Reuters  

China Replaces Nuclear Arsenal Rocket Force Leadership -- AFP  

China ousts top generals from nuclear Rocket Force -- Financial Times  

China Unveils New Head of Rocket Force Amid Reported Graft Probe -- Bloomberg 

China appoints Wang Houbin as chief to clean up PLA Rocket Forces -- India Narrative

Xi promotes two officers to head Rocket Force -- China Daily

China Imposes Restrictions On Drone Exports Citing Ukraine And Concerns About Military Use

FILE PHOTO: A drone is seen in the sky as Chinese drone maker DJI holds a demonstration to display an app that tracks a drone's registration and owner in Montreal  

Reuters: China curbs exports of drone equipment amid U.S. tech tension 

BEIJING (Reuters) -China on Monday announced export controls on some drones and drone-related equipment, saying it wanted to safeguard "national security and interests" amid escalating tension with the United States over access to technology. 

The restrictions on equipment including some drone engines, lasers, communication equipment and anti-drone systems would take effect on Sept. 1, the commerce ministry said. 

The controls would also affect some consumer drones, and no civilian drones could be exported for military purposes, a ministry spokesperson said in a statement.  

Read more .... 

Update #1: China imposes curbs on drone exports, citing Ukraine and concern about military use -- AP  

Update #2: China imposes drone export curbs amid US tech tensions (Al Jazeera)  

WNU Editor: China is saying these restrictions are temporary .... China to impose temporary export control on some drones (CGTN). 

I know both Russia and Ukraine are extensively using Chinese drones in this war. Any restrictions will impact the war efforts of these countries.

How Long Will The Russia - Urkaine War Last?

Princeton Policy Advisors: How Long Will The War Last 

Many in the media and politics anticipated dramatic and rapid Ukrainian victories during the summer of 2023. Nevertheless, progress on the ground has been slow, raising the prospects of a protracted war. 

This begs the question: Just how much longer could the war last? 

The precedent of prior wars is one way of looking at the issue. On the graph below, we consider the three wars perhaps most similar to the current war, each involving Russia.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: My Russian and Ukrainian contacts believe this war is going to last into 2024. 

As to what is my take. 

I originally thought that the war would end around 2023 - 2024. But with the Kremlin's announcement last week that the conscription age has been raised to 30, I am not sure. There is a very strong possibility that if the West continues to supply Ukraine the weapons and ammo that it needs, this war can easily go into 2025.

Russia - Ukraine War News Morning News Updates -- July 31, 2023 (Videos)


WNU Editor: The Military Summary channel has a lot of updates. Ditto from the Weeb Union.

U.S. Air Force Wants A Fleet Of Electric Vertical Takeoff And Landing Aircraft, Or eVTOLs

Courtesy Archer Aviation  

Businesswire: U.S. Air Force and Archer Enter Into Contracts Worth Up to $142 Million Representing Landmark Investment In eVTOL Technology by U.S. Military 

* Archer has been partnering with the Department of Defense (DoD) since 2021 on a series of projects through the Air Force’s AFWERX program with the goal of helping the AFWERX Agility Prime program assess the transformational potential of the vertical flight market and eVTOL technologies for DoD purposes 

* This new execution phase of the partnership includes the delivery of up to 6 of Archer’s Midnight aircraft, which the Air Force is targeting for use in personnel transport and logistics support, rescue operations and more 

 * This expansion of Archer’s partnership with the DoD represents a significant investment in the future of the country and will help ensure the U.S. maintains its leadership position in aviation 

* The other military branches have the opportunity to leverage these contracts as a platform for additional projects, which could increase the total value of Archer’s DoD partnership 

SANTA CLARA, Calif., July 31, 2023--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR), a leader in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced that it has significantly expanded its partnership with the DoD by signing new contracts with the U.S. Air Force with a total value of up to $142 million. The new contracts signal the U.S. military's recognition of the transformative potential Archer’s innovative eVTOL aircraft brings to our country’s Armed Forces. This new execution phase of the partnership includes the delivery of up to six of Archer’s Midnight aircraft to the Air Force, the sharing of additional flight test data and certification related test reports, pilot training, and the development of maintenance and repair operations. As a result of these contracts, Archer will create and provide innovative capabilities that will strengthen the national defense of the United States of America.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The non-military commercial possibilities for this type of aircraft are impressive .... Flying taxis look even closer to takeoff after a former top FAA official joins a big eVTOL company. Meet Archer's Midnight — which United wants to fly in 2025.(Insider).

Update: I doubt this is going to happen anytime soon .... Archer EVTOL Deal With Air Force Could Ground Choppers (Forbes). 

U.S. Air Force Wants A Fleet Of Electric Vertical Takeoff And Landing Aircraft, Or eVTOLs  

Archer secures $142m contract to deliver up to six 'Midnight' eVTOLs to USAF -- Flight Global 

US Air Force to Buy Up to Six Archer Electric Flying Taxis -- Bloomberg 

USAF invests $142M in Archer eVTOL aircraft -- Aero Time  

U.S. Air Force and Archer enter into contracts worth up to $142 million -- Vertical Magazine  

The U.S. Air Force Just Spent $142 Million on These eVTOLs -- Robb Report

In A War Against China The U.S. Plan Is To Conduct 150 Sorties & 900 Precision Strikes Daily

USS Gerald R. Ford – Wikipedia  

EurAsian Times: With 150 Sorties & 900 Precision Strikes Daily, US Navy’s AirWing Capable Of Deflating China – Top Commander 

China’s expanding military power and a swelling fleet of naval vessels have triggered some anxieties in the West. The PLA Navy has deployed more ships in the region than ever in the last decade. However, the US Pacific fleet Commander is optimistic about the US Navy’s readiness. 

The US Pacific fleet Commander recently admitted that one thing that has changed about the Western Pacific in the last four decades is that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy has gone from building a fleet of about 37 vessels in the early 2000s to over 350 now. 

Previously, with an increase in China’s fleet size, Pentagon officials warned that China is a “pacing threat” to the US military and indicated that the US military could not keep up with China’s rapid naval development. This has been a pressing issue among the highest echelons of the US military.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I have doubts that the US will be able to sustain this level of combat operations. 

For more information on US readiness and planning go here .... The state of the U.S. Navy as China builds up its naval force and threatens Taiwan (CBS 60 Minutes).

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Are Gearing Up For “Large Scale Global Training Exercise"

USS George H.W. Bush returns to Naval Station Norfolk in Norfolk, Virginia, as seen on April 23, 2023. Billy Schuerman/The Virginian-Pilot 

Virginia-Pilot: Navy, Marine Corps to conduct second ‘Large Scale Exercise’ — a warfighting simulation  

The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps are gearing up for the second “Large Scale Exercise,” a global training exercise that uses virtual reality simulations to synchronize naval operations. 

The live, virtual, constructive exercise will use real-world intelligence as part of a simulated scenario, putting 25,000 sailors and marines on a “road to war” in which they interact with each other and adversaries in a cyber battlespace — no different than a multiplayer video game. 

“We want to stress the three- and four-star admirals and their staffs at that operational level with large fleet-centric maneuvers. But we also want to stress all the way down to the individual sailor manning a radar station or marine at a weapons system. This exercise looks to encompass all of that,” said Capt. Chris Narducci of the Fleet Forces Interoperability Division.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This will be a live, virtual exercise that will use real-world intelligence as part of a simulated scenario. The exercise will run from Aug. 9-18. It occurs every two years and spans 50 commands, including six carrier strike groups, three amphibious readiness groups, and 25 submarines and ships.

Ukraine Is Facing A Demographic Collapse


WNU Editor: Ukraine's demographic collapse is going to get worse. I know among the hundreds of Ukrainian refugees that I have helped to settle in Canada in the past year, none of them want to go back to Ukraine when the war is over. What they see is a devastated country that will owe hundreds of billions to their Western backers. Basically .... they have no interest to work for the rest of their lives paying off this debt. 

And this demographic collapse does not stop there. 

I know that once this war is over, and the border opens up that will permit Ukraine's male population to leave, a huge portion of this population will immigrate out of the country to rendezvous with their loved ones who have made a new home in the West. In the end I see Ukraine as a rump state, with a population of about 20 million.

Picture Of The Day

A member of the maintenance battalion stands next to a HMMWV (Humvee) vehicle near a front line in Donetsk region, Ukraine, July 20. REUTERS/Sofiia Gatilova  

WNU Editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Our top photos of the week (Reuters).

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Putin Says Russia 'Ready' For Clash With US Over Syrian Skies And NATO

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a televised meeting with officials to assess the consequences of an attack on the Crimean Bridge, in Moscow, on July 18, 2023. (Photo by Reuters) 

RT: Russia is ready for confrontation with NATO – Putin  

Moscow does not want a conflict with the Western-led bloc but is ready for any outcome, Russian president says  

Russia is “always ready for any scenario,” President Vladimir Putin told journalists on Saturday, commenting on a potential direct confrontation between the Russian and NATO militaries. The president was responding to a question about recent near-collisions involving Russian and American aircraft in Syria. 

No one wants that,” the president added, pointing to the existing conflict-prevention lines that allow Russian and US officers to talk directly about “any crisis situation.” That fact that these lines still work shows that no side is interested in a conflict, he added. “If someone wants it – and that’s not us – then we’re ready,” Putin added.  

Read more .... 

Putin Says Russia 'Ready' For Clash With US Over Syrian Skies And NATO 

Russia is ready for confrontation with NATO – Putin -- RT  

Russia does not want military clash with US, says Putin -- TASS  

Russia 'Ready' For Clash With US Over Syrian Skies, Putin Says -- Zero Hedge 

Putin: Russia 'ready for any scenario' versus US in Syria but not after military confrontation -- Press TV (Iran)  

Putin ups rhetoric regarding potential clashes over Syria - analysis -- Jerusalem Post

US Announces A $345 Million Military Aid Package For Taiwan


ABC News: US announces historic $345 million military aid package for Taiwan 

U.S. will provide weapons to Taiwan from existing military stockpiles. Brisbane, Australia -- The United States has announced a historic $345 million military aid package for Taiwan which for the first time will come from existing U.S. military stockpiles instead of purchases through the foreign military sales program, the White House announced Friday. 

The announcement is a lesson learned from the U.S. military assistance to Ukraine where U.S.-made weapons are quickly getting to the battleground, but it will also likely rile China -- which considers Taiwan to be a breakaway province. 

The Pentagon has signaled for much of the year that it intended to prepare such a passage after Congress authorized $1 billion for military aid to be provided to Taiwan under what is known as a Presidential Drawdown Authority (PDA). 

The $345 million aid package was announced by the White House in a brief statement issued late Friday afternoon.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: What is the big surprise in this announcement is that the US will be providing weapons to Taiwan from existing military stockpiles.  

Update: China has responded .... China says US military aid to Taiwan will not deter its will to unify the island (AP).

 US Announces A $345 Million Military Aid Package For Taiwan  

US announces $345 million military aid package for Taiwan -- AP  

US announces Taiwan weapons package worth up to $345 million -- Reuters  

US announces new Taiwan weapons package -- DW  

US announces $519 million military aid package for Taiwan -- ABC News Australia  

US announces $345m military aid package for Taiwan -- Al Jazeera  

US announces major ‘military aid’ package for Taiwan -- RT

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 7.30.2023 (Video)


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

Poverty Is Widespread In Europe

Zero Hedge: Poverty In Europe 

In 2022, 95.3 million people in the EU (22 percent of the population) were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, i.e. living in households facing at least one of the three risks of poverty and exclusion: income poverty, severe material and social deprivation and/or living in a household with very low work intensity (where adults work at less than 20 percent of their potential over one year). 

As Statista's Anna Fleck reports, according to Eurostat data, this figure has remained relatively stable compared to the previous year (95.4 million in 2021, 22 percent of the population). 

The proportion of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion varies markedly from one EU country to another.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I would not be surprised if poverty in Europe will be greater for 2023.

Germany's Economic Minister Says The Country Is Facing 5 Difficult Years As It Transforms Into A Green Economy

Robert Habeck has been one of the Green Party's two co-leaders since 2018. Image: Michael Kappeler/dpa/picture alliance 

Politico: Germany faces 5 tough years, economy minister warns  

Berlin should borrow money to subsidize energy for companies or risk losing its industry, Robert Habeck cautions. 

Germany faces five difficult years of green industrial transition that "will put a burden" on people, Economy Minister Robert Habeck warned — while urging his government to approve fresh subsidies to safeguard the country's industrial base. 

Reacting to a new report by the International Monetary Fund that projects Germany's economy will shrink 0.3 percentage points this year, Habeck told German public broadcaster ARD on Wednesday evening, "The data certainly isn't good." 

Germany's statistical office had already warned in May that the country entered into a recession. Some of Germany's biggest companies have begun to ditch the fatherland, triggering fears of deindustrialization.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I have a few friends in Germany. They cannot believe what is happening to their country. The German economy is being de-industrialized in front of everyone's eyes. And now this .... Germany expected to be only major economy not to grow this year (Euronews/AP). 

It should be noted that there was a time when Robert Habeck, one of two co-leaders of the Greens, was the most popular politician in Germany (link here). Is he still the most popular politician in Germany? Not if this economic disaster continues.  

Update: The Duran were the first to talk about the de-industrialization of Germany. Their analysis (below) on where this is leading to is a must see. 

What Makes A Whistlebower A Whistleblower?

WNU Editor: This is epic.

America's Legal System. One Law For Thee, One Law For Me

WNU Editor: Why am I not surprised.

Niger's Former Minister Of Finance Told To Explain The Country’s Missing Finances Or Face Execution By Firing Squad

WNU Editor: Now that is what I call a serious audit with consequences. 

Here is an easy prediction. 

The former finance minister will blame the West for stealing all the missing money. In particular France, a country that is already despised in much of the Sahel .... Why France faces so much anger in West Africa (BBC).

Crisis In Niger -- News Updates July 30, 2023


BBC: Niger coup: West African leaders threaten military intervention 

West African leaders have threatened military action against Niger's military junta after it took power in a coup last week 

The leaders gave the junta seven days to reinstate President Mohamed Bazoum, who is being held captive. 

Earlier, the junta warned it would resist any "plan of aggression against Niger" by regional or Western powers. 

Meanwhile hundreds of coup supporters protested outside the French embassy in the capital Niamey. 

Leaders from Ecowas, the bloc of West African nations, held crisis talks in Nigeria on Sunday to discuss the latest coup - which follows army takeovers in neighbouring Mali and Burkina Faso. 

A statement read out after the summit said that Ecowas had "zero tolerance" for coups. The regional bloc would "take all measures necessary to restore constitutional order" if its demands were not met within a week.  

Read more ....

WNU editor: Niger's military leaders have issued a warning against their international opponents .... Niger coup leaders warn against ‘military intervention’ by ECOWAS (Al Jazeera). 

 Crisis In Niger -- News Updates July 30, 2023 

 ECOWAS gives Niger junta one week to cede power, threatens use of force -- France 24  

West African nations demand reinstatement of Niger president after coup -- The Guardian  

The French embassy in Niger is attacked as protesters waving Russian flags march through the capital -- AP  

France condemns Niger violence after thousands of junta supporters gather outside embassy -- France 24  

France cuts off aid to Niger amid growing Western condemnation of coup -- France 24

EU rejects Niger coup authorities, cuts aid -- DW  

Niger coup: West African leaders suspend ties with junta -- DW

EU, African Union escalate pressure on Niger’s coup leaders -- Al Jazeera  

Blinken says ousted Niger president has ‘unflagging’ US support after coup -- France 24

40 People Killed In Blast At Islamist Political Event In Pakistan


BBC: At least 35 killed in Pakistan after explosion at Islamist political rally 

At least 35 people have been killed in an explosion in Pakistan during a rally organised by an Islamist party. 

At least 200 people were also injured in the explosion in north-west Bajaur district, where Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) was holding a meeting. 

Authorities have cordoned off the area and have warned the death toll is likely to rise further. 

A rescue operation to assist the injured is ongoing and police have not yet confirmed the cause of the blast.  

Read more .... 

40 People Killed In Blast At Islamist Political Event In Pakistan  

A bomb at a political rally in northwest Pakistan kills at least 40 people and wounds more than 150 -- AP  

At least 40 people killed in blast at political event in Pakistan – reports -- Reuters  

Bomb at a political rally in northwest Pakistan kills at least 35 people and wounds 100 -- ABC News 

Australia Pakistan: Dozens killed in blast at political rally -- DW  

Deadly bomb blast at political rally in northwest Pakistan -- Al Jazeera

Ukraine Extends Martial Law. No October Parliament Vote

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky addresses the plenary session of the Verkhovna Rada celebrating the 27th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution. Ukraine's parliament has extended for another 90 days the martial law and the mobilization imposed after the start of the full-scale Russian invasion in February 2022. -/Ukrainian Presidency/dpa © DPA 

Reuters: Ukraine Extends Martial Law, Ruling Out October Parliament Vote 

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's parliament voted on Thursday to extend martial law by another 90 days until Nov. 15, ruling out the possibility of parliamentary elections being held in October. 

Ukraine brought in martial law on Feb. 24, 2022, the day Russia launched a full-scale invasion of its neighbour. 

The law, which bars 18- to 60-year-old men from leaving the country, has since been extended several times. Yaroslav Zheleznyak, a member of parliament, said on the Telegram messaging app that an overwhelming majority of lawmakers voted to extend martial law in a session of the Verkhovna Rada parliament.  

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WNU Editor: All of Ukraine's opposition parties are banned. It would be a shammed election anyway. 

Ukraine Extends Martial Law. No October Parliament Vote 

Ukrainian parliament extends martial law until mid-November -- DPA  

Ukraine legislature extends martial law and general mobilization through November -- Jurist

Ukraine’s Parliament Votes to Extend Martial Law, Pushing Back Elections --  

Ukrainian parliament vote scraps planned election -- RT

Did One Russian Tank Destroy An Entire Ukrainian Armored Column?


RT: Single Russian tank destroys Ukrainian armored column (VIDEO)  

The heavy armor has stopped an attack by two tanks and several military vehicles, Russian media has reported .

A single Russian tank supported by artillery has stopped a Ukrainian attack that involved around a dozen armored equipment pieces, Russian media reported on Saturday. A video of the battle first appeared on Telegram channels and was then posted by RIA Novosti. 

The fighting took place in Zaporozhye Region, where the Ukrainian troops sought to assault Russian defensive positions, the news agency reported. Russia’s aerial reconnaissance detected a Ukrainian column moving towards the frontline. “We had an armor piece in this area,” a Russian unit commander told RIA Novosti, adding that the tank’s crew was ordered to intercept the enemy and “engaged in a battle.”  

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WNU Editor: I think what we are seeing here is what happens when everything goes right for one side, and everything goes wrong for the other. 

On the Russian side we see a tank supported by drone observers (two of them), knowing where the mine fields are, followed with artillery and missile support. On the Ukraine side we see no drone observers, restricted in movement because they did not know where the mines are, and no artillery support.

 Luck (and bad luck) also probably played a role. 

Russia - Ukraine War News Morning News Updates -- July 30, 2023 (Videos)


WNU Editor: The Military Summary channel has a lot of updates. Ditto from the Weeb Union and Defense Politics Asia.

Ukraine Launches Massive Drone Attack Against Moscow And Crimea


RT: Ukrainian drones attack Moscow’s financial district – mayor  

UAVs struck office buildings in the Moscow City business hub on Sunday morning, Sergey Sobyanin said  

Ukrainian drones have attacked Moscow City, the Russian capital’s financial and business district, where some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers are located, Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said in the early hours of Sunday.

“The facades of two of [Moscow] City’s office towers sustained minor damage. There are no casualties or injuries,” Sobyanin wrote on his Telegram channel.  

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WNU Editor: Ukraine President Zelensky tells Russia to expect more attacks .... Zelensky Says 'War' Coming To Russia After Moscow Drone Attack (AFP). 

Ukraine Launches Massive Drone Attack Against Moscow And Crimea  

One civilian injured in Moscow City as result of Ukrainian drone attack -- TASS

 Ukraine Terrorist Drone Attack on Moscow Thwarted - Russian Defense Ministry -- Sputnik  

An overnight drone attack on Moscow injures 1 and temporarily closes an airport -- AP 

Moscow buildings damaged in overnight drone attacks that Russia blames on Kyiv -- AFP  

Russia says it brought down three Ukrainian drones attempting to attack Moscow -- Reuters  

Russia says 3 Ukrainian drones attacked Moscow -- DW  

Moscow drone attack briefly shuts Vnukovo airport -- BBC  

Overnight drone attack on Moscow injures one and temporarily closes an airport as Russia suffers 'consequences' -- ABC News Australia  

Moscow targeted again as Kyiv steps up drone attacks inside Russia -- CNN  

Russia-Ukraine war live: Drone attacks on Moscow and Crimea ‘thwarted’ -- Al Jazeera  

Russia Says Thwarted Ukrainian Drone Attacks on Moscow, Crimea -- AFP  

Russian Defense Ministry foils Kiev's attempt to attack Crimean facilities with 25 drones -- TASS 

Ukrainian ‘terrorist attack’ on Crimea foiled – Russia -- RT  

Russian defense ministry says ‘about 25 drones’ attacked Crimea overnight -- New Voice Of Ukraine

Ukraine Is Using Naval Drones And Missiles To Counter Russia's Naval Superiority In The Black Sea

Ukraine has been holding up in the Black Sea with next to nothing compared to Russia's far superior naval force.(Reuters: Ukranian Naval Forces)  

ABC News Australia: Ukraine's navy is no match for Russia, but it has made waves in the Black Sea by using unconventional warfare 

Throughout Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, battles have mainly been fought on land. 

But since this month's attack on the Crimean Bridge, and the grain export agreement going from deal to no deal, all eyes have been on the Black Sea. 

An interesting power dynamic has been playing out in the maritime arena, which is usually dominated by the side with the biggest ships and navy. 

Ukraine went into the conflict casting a "mere shadow" in the water against Russia's Black Sea fleet, said Alexey Muraviev, a leading analyst on the Russian military and associate professor at Curtin University. 

"In terms of conventional naval warfare, the Ukrainian navy was no match for the Russians," he told the ABC.  

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WNU Editor: You go to war with what you have. In Ukraine's case, it is the use of drones and anti-ship missiles.

Ukraine Reveals To CNN The Naval Drones That They Are Using Against Russia In The Black Sea


CNN: Exclusive: Rare access to Ukraine’s sea drones, part of Ukraine’s fightback in the Black Sea  

Ukraine CNN — At a secret makeshift military base a nondescript van and pickup truck tow two gray objects covered by tarpaulin mounted on trailers. 

 In the driving rain, they resemble something more akin to a Boston Whaler, rather than hiding one of Ukraine’s most closely guarded secrets.

Perched on the banks of a secret lake, CNN was given exclusive access to the base where much-vaunted sea – or surface – drones are tested.  

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Update: CNN showcases ‘Ukrainian drones that attacked Crimean Bridge’ (RT) 

WNU Editor: Talk about timing. Only a few days after Seymour Hersh posted a story that the US is behind the two attacks on the Crimea bridge (link here), we now have the Ukraine military giving access to CNN to showcase their naval drones.

Russia Raises The Conscription Age To 30 From 27

FILE PHOTO: Russian conscripts called up for military service depart for garrisons from a recruitment centre in Simferopol, Crimea, April 25, 2023. REUTERS/Alexey Pavlishak/File Photo  

Reuters: Russia Extends Conscription for Compulsory Military Service up to Age 30 

 (Reuters) -Russia's lower house of parliament voted on Tuesday to raise the maximum age at which men can be conscripted to 30 years from 27, increasing the number of young men liable for a year of compulsory military service at any one time. 

Last year, Russia announced a plan to boost its professional and conscripted combat personnel by more than 30% to 1.5 million, an ambitious task made harder by its heavy but undisclosed casualties in Ukraine. 

The new legislation, which comes into effect on Jan. 1, means men will be required to carry out a year of military service, or equivalent training during higher education, between the ages of 18 and 30, rather than 18 and 27 as now.  

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Update #1: Russia raises the maximum age of conscription as it seeks to replenish Ukraine forces (The Guardian)  

Update #2: Russia raises conscription age from 27 to 30 (Le Monde)  

WNU Editor: This tells me that the Kremlin is expecting the Russia - Ukraine war to continue for a long time. I originally thought that the war would end around 2023 - 2024. I am now not too sure about that.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

US President Biden To Host Japan, South Korea Leaders For Aug. 18 Summit At Camp David

U.S. President Joe Biden, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korea’s President Yoon Suk Yeol attend a photo op on the day of trilateral engagement during the G7 Summit at the Grand Prince Hotel in Hiroshima, Japan, May 21, 2023. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo  

Reuters: Biden to Host Japan, South Korea Leaders for Aug. 18 Summit -White House 

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Joe Biden will host Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol for a trilateral summit at Camp David in Maryland on Aug. 18, the White House said on Friday.

"The three leaders will discuss expanding trilateral cooperation across the Indo-Pacific and beyond – including to address the continued threat posed by (North Korea) and to strengthen ties with ASEAN and the Pacific Islands," White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement. 

Washington is keen to encourage closer cooperation with its two main allies in Asia amid shared concerns about China's growing might and North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. 

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WNU Editor: China, the Russia - Ukraine war, Taiwan, national security, and trade will be the topics that will be discussed.

US President Biden To Host Japan, South Korea Leaders For Aug. 18 Summit At Camp David  

President Biden to host the leaders of Japan and South Korea for an August summit at Camp David -- AP  

Biden to meet with leaders of South Korea and Japan at Camp David -- CNN 

Biden seeks to deepen ties with South Korea and Japan with Camp David summit -- The Hill

U.S. announces trilateral summit with Japan and South Korea -- Japan Times