F-16 COMBAT FLIGHTS IN UKRAINE - JUST A MATTER OF TIME? (2023 03 21)
Political strategic level
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, meeting Putin, expressed his satisfaction that he always feels the support of a terrorist country ruled by a criminal.
"The Chinese side pays great attention to the development of Sino-Russian relations because it has its own historical logic, because you and I are the biggest neighbouring countries, you and I are partners in comprehensive strategic cooperation, and it is precisely this status that determines that there should be a close relationship between our two countries," Xi lied without blinking.
His memory certainly goes back to 1969, when an armed conflict broke out on the border between the Soviet Union and China. The border disagreement turned into a military confrontation when Chinese troops occupied Damansk Island and the Soviets counter-attacked. When the conflict broke out, the Russians brought 658,000 and the Chinese 814,000 troops into the region. 150 Soviet soldiers and 600 Chinese died in the clashes. When Moscow ordered the bombing of Chinese troops in Manchuria, the conflict could have escalated into a nuclear war had it not been for the intervention of the USA.
So this 'historical love' between Beijing and Moscow is unnecessary.
For his part, Führer Putin has stated that Russia is open to a 'negotiating process on the conflict in Ukraine'. "You also know that we are always open to a negotiation process", Putin lied right back to Jinping's face.
Delighted by Putin's unbridled affection, the Chinese Communist Party's behemoth called on the Russian people to support Putin's candidacy for the presidency next year, because it was only thanks to him that "Russia has made great progress in recent years in the country's quest for national prosperity".
Whatever, the Bolshevik splinters of both countries have mastered the art of beautification and lying.
The G7 will postpone the lowering of the ceiling on the price of Russian oil. Russian oil is currently selling well below USD 60 per barrel, and the EU is seeking to keep the ceiling 5% below average market prices. However, Poland and the Baltic countries are very rationally pushing for the cap to be lowered to at least USD 49 per barrel to put additional pressure on Russian finances.
As a result of the sanctions, Russia has started to build up a "shadow" fleet of oil tankers. Companies have emerged in India and the UAE which own a fleet of tankers worth USD 2 billion. In less than a year, they have built up a fleet that now carries millions of barrels of Russian oil around the world.
Every country has its own crime syndicate to a greater or lesser extent, but in Russia, the crime syndicate has its own state.
Hungary is refusing to buy one million rounds of ammunition for Ukraine with EU partners, so one per cent of Hungary's contribution - about EUR 10 million - will be used for other purposes. Hungary has also not signed the joint statement by EU Member States in support of the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague against Putin.
If the Budapest clown show is to end once and for all, tough measures need to be imposed on EU countries and on individuals who are in favour of the Kremlin regime. The Hungarian rulers still have very friendly relations with Moscow, the Russian-owned International Investment Bank still operates in Budapest and the Hungarian Government believes that Russia will win the war against Ukraine. The gas stink is the main link between the Hungarian rulers and the Kremlin, as the country is 90% dependent on Russian gas, for which it signed a long-term contract of 10+5 years with Gazprom shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and is unwilling to break it.
The Hungarian rulers, crushed by the tanks, have forgotten the price of their country's freedom and are slaving away to Moscow, while the Germans are showing an increasingly hard backbone. As Volkswagen retreats from Russia, a Russian court has frozen its assets.
Putin has declared that Russia will supply African countries with grain free of charge if the Black Sea grain export agreement is not extended in May. However, Moscow will only do this if sanctions preventing Russian banks from using the international financial messaging system SWIFT and other restrictions are lifted.
That's "free" for you. It is a series of deceptions and manipulations. The Kremlin is already doing its utmost to move the rivers of migrants out of Africa. Grain, hunger, mass migration - a weapon against Western sanctions. And how do we deal now with the threat of a wave of migration that Moscow may again trigger? The West is unlikely to react in any way, and measures will be taken after a time when millions of migrants are pouring into Europe and thousands of corpses are floating in the Mediterranean Sea.
The head of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, said that Putin invaded Ukraine in order to have less NATO in Europe, but the result was the exact opposite. With Sweden and Finland joining NATO, "the NATO-Russia border will be 1,300 kilometres longer", the NATO chief stressed.
Putin will undoubtedly go down in history as the most prominent driver of NATO's expansion and strengthening, while at the same time destroying the Russian Empire.
Russia sends its Su-35 fighter aircraft to intercept two US B-52H bombers flying over the Baltic Sea and approaching the Russian border. The fighter returned to base as the US planes moved away from Russian territory.
A show of force on the eastern flank of NATO - that is, on our border - and a fear-mongering to the Russians is exactly the language to use with the Kremlin.
The US has announced a new $350 million military aid package for Ukraine. It will include HIMARS munitions, HARM missiles, anti-tank weapons and combat boats. The United States is actively preparing Ukraine for a counter-attack. The US is supplying Ukraine with armoured personnel carriers and is reportedly analysing the possibility of upgrading Ukrainian MiGs with Western air-to-air missile launchers.
Estonian Defence Minister Hanno Pevkur said that the allies have agreed to supply Ukraine with one million rounds of 155 calibre artillery ammunition over the next year. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said the decision would "strengthen Ukraine's capabilities".
German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius announced that 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) are already on their way to Ukraine. The Bundeswehr has around 370 Marders of which 60 will be transferred to Ukraine. The Marder is a PKM that can theoretically withstand fire from all Russian heavy machine guns mounted on armoured vehicles and some tanks.
Armoured vehicles are of course very good, but they are very few. We are really very surprised by the unbridled euphoria of 'future victory' and the questioning of why Ukraine does not 'want' to launch an offensive now and win the war before Easter. We can answer the question with a counter-question - launch an offensive and win the war where and with what? This is not the chess game of the great combinator Bender, 'move one, move two, move four, God willing'.
Ukraine and its Western partners are discussing options on how best to equip the country with F-16 fighter jets. One of the possible ways, which we have been talking about for a long time, is to involve foreign pilots. However, this requires a complete modernisation of the air force, said Ukraine's retired Colonel Svitan. It will take two to three years to train airfields and maintenance units, engineering staff, repair and maintenance factories for 200 aircraft, he said. Therefore, an American option is being considered, whereby F-16 combat missions would be carried out from airfields in Ukraine and maintenance would be performed in other countries.
Last day, Russian terrorists launched 21 air strikes and 9 missile strikes on Ukrainian territory. One strike hit the city of Slovyansk and another missile hit the civilian infrastructure of Kramatorsk. 7 multi-storey buildings and 3 private cars were damaged. Fortunately, there were no civilian casualties. The occupier fired 57 rounds of rocket-assisted volley fire.
The raids continue in the directions of Bakhmut, Lyman, Kupyansk, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk. The Ukrainian defenders have repelled more than 120 attacks on this front.
Ukrainian military aviation struck 12 concentrations of occupying personnel and equipment per day, while rocket forces and artillery units hit 3 centres of the enemy's live fire.
Explosions were reported in occupied Crimea. An explosion took place in the town of Dzhankoy in the north of temporarily occupied Crimea, targeting Kalibr-KN missiles that were being transported to submarines of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Recall that in July 2022, a submarine-launched Kalibr cruise missile killed 23 civilians, including three children, in the central Ukrainian town of Vinnitsa.
Reports from the Ukrainian army do not specify that Ukraine was responsible for the explosion or how exactly the shipment of powerful missiles was destroyed. The Russian side claims that Dzhankoy was attacked by unmanned aerial vehicles and that the attack damaged electricity grids and buildings in the city.
It is difficult to say at this stage who the author of this attack is, as the Kremlin's messages and their objectives will make everything clear. We cannot rule out the possibility that this is the brainchild of Putler, the organiser of the explosions in Russian towns and cities, in order to justify another revenge action and to encourage the not-so-smooth secret mobilisation in Russia.
But we much prefer to think that it is the work of the Ukrainian army. In that case, the life of Führer Putin, who was freeing himself from the occupied Crimea at the weekend, hung in the balance.
The Ukrainian defenders are experiencing serious difficulties in Avdiivka. Russian forces are "advancing despite heavy casualties" and are pushing into the town from both the north and the south. The occupiers are using a variety of tactics, including night infantry attacks, armoured groups backed by tanks or aviation, and missile strikes. The city is essentially surrounded.
The situation is no better in Bachmut. The occupiers managed to attack from the south, regain control of Koršunskis Avenue and further tighten the ring. After the last disgraceful Russian defection at Ivanivske, a little to the south-west of Bakhmut, a new force of Russian paratroopers stormed the settlement during the night and, according to unconfirmed reports, gained a foothold there. This means that Chasiv Yar is again open to a strike and, if successful, the ruins of Bakhmut will be completely surrounded.
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A photo from 2018 shows the Bolsheviks' innate taste for vodka, caviar and balalaika. TASS Host Photo Agency/Pool via REUTERS
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