NATO HEAVY MILITARY EQUIPMENT READY FOR OFFENSIVE (28 04 2023)
NATO allies and partner countries have delivered more than 98% of the combat vehicles promised to Ukraine. "This will put Ukraine in a strong position to continue to regain occupied territory," Alliance head Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.
Along with more than 1 550 armoured vehicles, 230 tanks and other equipment, Ukraine's allies have sent "huge amounts of ammunition", as well as training and equipping more than nine new Ukrainian brigades of more than 30 000 troops. Some NATO partner countries, such as Sweden and Australia, have also provided armoured vehicles.
Stoltenberg said that the 31 NATO allies are committed to reinforcing Ukraine's army, adding that the return of lands occupied by Kremlin forces would give Kyiv a stronger bargaining position in the event of peace talks.
Meanwhile, Xi is sending a special envoy to Ukraine to monitor the growing military technical power of Western countries in Ukraine. When optimists talk of Beijing taking advantage of its warm relations with Russia's Vladimir Putin to finally make peace, we remain sceptical. The Chinese Communists have always been concerned only with their own interests, and long-term peace does not yet, unfortunately, seem to be a priority in Chinese foreign policy.
Of course, China has good reasons for wanting a ceasefire. Russia's aggression has shaken the Chinese economy by pushing up the prices of oil, wheat and other raw materials. Beijing is also aware of the increased risk of nuclear war, and if we are talking about some kind of red line, it is the use of nuclear weapons that is the line that China would not allow Russia to cross.
Moreover, the armistice is tempting in its future prospects. Millions of Chinese workers in the construction and engineering sectors are already looking to Ukraine to plan reconstruction work. The world's cheapest factory is determined to win every possible Western-funded contract to get Ukraine back on its feet.
But on the other hand, Xi does not want Russia to be crushed at all, because then the geopolitical power pole would clearly shift towards the West. He wants the West to continue to bleed and Russia to barely scrape by, barely able to keep its nose above the slurry.
This position of the Chinese Dragon is deepening the ocean of suffering, death and pain, and it does not look like it will start to follow any time soon.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denis Shymkhal said he had asked Pope Francis in a private audience at the Vatican on Thursday to help with the return of Ukrainian children forcibly removed to Russia and invited the pontiff to visit Ukraine.
"I have asked His Holiness to help us return home the Ukrainians, the Ukrainian children who are detained, arrested and criminally taken to Russia," said Mr Shmyhal.
The Vatican's brief statement on the audience did not discuss specific talking points. It noted that after his meeting with Francis, Mr Shmyhal met with the Holy See's Secretary of State and Foreign Minister.
During "cordial discussions held at the Secretariat of State, a wide range of issues related to the war in Ukraine were discussed, with particular emphasis on humanitarian aspects and efforts to restore peace", the Vatican said.
In response, in the early hours of Friday morning, terrorist Russia fired more than ten cruise missiles at Kyiv and other parts of Ukraine, killing at least two people and hitting a residential building in central Ukraine, officials said. According to the Kyiv city administration, the Ukrainian air force intercepted 11 cruise missiles and two unmanned aerial vehicles during the attack on the city.
There were no direct reports of successful strikes in Kyiv, but fragments of intercepted missiles or UAVs damaged power lines and a road in one neighbourhood. No casualties were reported. However, another attack in the eastern city of Dnipro killed a young woman and her 3-year-old child.
Two cruise missiles also hit a residential house and warehouses in Uman, about 215 km south of Kyiv, said Ihor Taburets, Governor of the Cherkasy region, where the city is located. He later added that four people were killed and seventeen injured in Umane, all of them hospitalised.
As a result of Russia's war crimes and the killing of Ukrainian civilians with missiles, the Ministry of Defence of Taiwan reported that the Chinese army had scrambled 38 fighter jets and other warplanes close to Taiwan. Six Chinese naval vessels were also spotted in the area between 6 a.m. on Thursday and 6 a.m. on Friday.
Nineteen aircraft flew over the median line of the Taiwan Strait, which separates the island from the mainland, the ministry said. It said they included five SU-30s and two J-16s. One drone, TB-001, circled the island, most likely on a reconnaissance mission.
This is the biggest show of force in a month. China is sending a very clear message, and that message does not bode well.
Taking advantage of the turmoil in the world and the Western focus on Taiwan and the massacre in Ukraine caused by Russia, the Iranian navy seized a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker bound for the US in the Gulf of Oman.
The US 5th Fleet Middle East identified the vessel as the Advantage Sweet. Satellite tracking data provided by MarineTraffic.com shows that the vessel was in the Gulf of Oman, north of the Omani capital Muscat, on Thursday afternoon. It had just arrived from Kuwait and its destination was listed as Houston.
"Iran's actions are contrary to international law and undermine regional security and stability. Iran should release the tanker immediately," the 5th Fleet said in a statement.
On 28 April, at around 4 a.m., Russian invaders attacked Ukraine from Tu-95 strategic aircraft from the Caspian Sea area. The Ukrainian defenders destroyed 21 of 23 X-101/X-555 cruise missiles, as well as two unmanned aerial vehicles.
The Ukrainian Centre of National Resistance reports that the occupiers are setting up "cinemas" in eastern and southern Ukraine to spread their Russophasist ideology and to impose the Kremlin's view of the war against Ukraine on the local population. "The Russians are forcibly transporting employees of utility companies and other seized enterprises there to watch Russian propaganda films," the report reads.
At the ruins of Bakhmut, Ukrainian defenders are holding the line of defence at Nova Pochta No.1 - the Peremoha cinema - the Radioelectronics University. The Drisks want to take Ivanivske and thus cut the defenders off from the support of Chasiv Yar. However, as long as the Ukrainians protect their flanks, it seems to us that the Driskis' wish will not be fulfilled, even if hundreds of the occupiers' corpses litter the approaches to the settlement.
Citizens are outraged that the new model Lithuanian passports still bear Soviet balvons on page 29.
As the Ministry of the Interior explains that a mistake has been made, we smile grimly - for the agents of influence and subversive collaborators who do their judo work in various positions of civil service and political trust, the mistake happened in the 1990s.
The Kremlin's desire to consolidate its power through symbols was visible to the naked eye both three decades ago and now. Our mouths are dry to explain and point fingers about it.
When citizens resent the boulders in their passports, but fail to see the memory of the nation's rapists in the street names and museums named after collaborators, the problem is not to be found outside, but inside.
When the President of the Czech Republic takes public transport to work - a bus - and our citizens want to take their Dandalites to Gediminas Castle, merely pointing fingers at the fifth column and Latvia Street is naive and a slap in the face of the Kremlin.
Because the biggest problem is not the surviving boulders on page 29, but in the heads of many of our citizens.
In this photo, a Ukrainian soldier holds his helmet while riding in an armoured vehicle in Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, April 26, 2023 (AP/Libkos).
Special thanks to our sponsors DT Artelė, UAB and the Lithuanian Brewers Guild. The support of all of you is crucial for the continuation of our work. We offer active training: https://tinyurl.com/f352n3uw
Public Information Security Agency, Account No LT447300010172065624