RUSSIA HAS SWITCHED BACK TO NUCLEAR BLACKMAIL (03 03 2023)
Political strategic level
The G-20 foreign ministers' meeting in India ended without any substantive common agreements. Most of the meeting was devoted to discussions on the Russian-led war in Ukraine and China's growing influence in the world. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, head of Indian diplomacy, who chaired the meeting, said there were "differences" on the war in Ukraine "which we could not reconcile because different countries had different views".
China and Russia objected to two points taken from an earlier G-20 declaration adopted in Bali last year. These stated that the war in Ukraine is causing immense human suffering while increasing the vulnerability of the world economy, that international law must be respected and that "the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is unacceptable".
We consider this to be a major step backwards. And although the G20 statements and joint communiqués are nothing more than empty air, not unlike the sound of artillery shells, the inability to agree on what has already been said once means that the positions of Russia and the G20 members who tacitly support it are growing stronger.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to foreign ministers, lamented that the two main objectives of the post-World War II international order - to prevent conflicts and to foster cooperation - are not being achieved. "The experience of the last two years - the financial crisis, pandemics, terrorism and wars - clearly shows that global governance has failed to deliver on both its mandates," he said.
Despite the fine speeches by Indian officials, it was not only China or South Africa, but also India itself that abstained from voting on the joint communiqué.
Classic hypocrisy, anchored by bubbling Russian oil.
Today, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting the White House for a private meeting with US President Joe Biden. Scholz may have suddenly realised the threat that China is beginning to pose by wanting to move off the sidelines and supply arms to Russia. Such a move could radically change the course of the war, as Moscow would replenish its depleted stockpiles and the "marriage of convenience" would irreversibly alter the balance of global security.
The Chancellor's epiphany was demonstrated by his speech in the German Parliament yesterday before the trip, where Scholz called on China to "use its influence in Moscow to pressure for the withdrawal of Russian troops and not to supply arms to the aggressor Russia".
We do not know what happened to the Chancellor this time, perhaps his previous speechwriter was replaced by agents of one of the Baltic States or the Polish secret services, but the hardening tone gives us optimism.
Addressing those who are demanding that Ukraine enter into ceasefire talks with Russia to end the war, he said that 'love of peace does not mean obedience to a bigger neighbour. If Ukraine were to stop defending itself, it would not be peace, but the end of Ukraine".
"There can be no negotiation when you have a gun in your temple unless you surrender yourself", he said.
Meanwhile, the media latched on behind the scenes of the G-20 meeting in India between US chief diplomat Blinken and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. It is stressed that no progress has been made to ease the high tensions between the two countries.
However, the fact is that the so-called meeting lasted no more than ten minutes, during which the representative of war-criminal Russia was told through an interpreter that the US would continue to support Ukraine to the extent that was necessary and would seek an end to the war on diplomatic terms that Kyiv would accept.
It is not known what the Russian Führer's envoy replied to this.
In return, another terrorist spokesman who was (regrettably) allowed into the United Nations disarmament conference, Sergei Ryabkov, the Russian Deputy Minister for Foreign Terrorism, condemned the US and its allies for openly declaring their aim to defeat Russia in a 'hybrid' war. He said that this violates their obligations under international agreements and risks the war in Ukraine spiralling out of control.
The lowly UN representatives listened to Ryabkov's warnings that "the US and NATO policy of fuelling the conflict in Ukraine" and their "increasing involvement in military confrontation is fraught with the potential for a direct military confrontation of nuclear powers with catastrophic consequences".
Russia has once again turned to nuclear blackmail, and the bluster and blackmail of its representatives in international institutions is gaining momentum.
As terrorists hurl threats at the world from the rostrum, Hungary has once again postponed the vote on the ratification of the Swedish and Finnish applications to join NATO. The vote is postponed for two weeks and postponed to the parliamentary session starting on 20 March. Hungary remains the only NATO member country, apart from Turkey, which has not yet approved the two Nordic countries' applications to join the Western military alliance.
Hungarian Prime Minister and Putin's friend Viktor Orban has said he personally supports both countries joining NATO, but says the governments in Stockholm and Helsinki have "spread blatant lies" about Hungary, which has raised questions among his party's lawmakers about whether to support the proposals.
One thing we are still amazed about is Moscow's blindness to the Orban measures. If the Kremlin's troglodytes had been any smarter about the blackening of the fingernail, the corruption money, with such an effort, would have bought a few mouths to form a Russia-loving group within a year. Imagine 5 or 7 orbans in the EU, and there is no need for us to write any further comments on this issue.
Yesterday the Kremlin accused Ukrainian saboteurs of crossing into western Russia and shelling villagers. Ukraine denied this and warned that Moscow could use these accusations to justify stepping up its attacks in an ongoing war. The exact circumstances of the attack in the Bryansk region are unclear. The regional governor said that two civilians were killed.
Führer Putin blamed the invasion on Ukrainian "terrorists", saying that they had deliberately targeted civilians, including children, in "yet another terrorist attack, yet another crime".
The nuclear threats, the massing of equipment and meat near the Ukrainian borders and now this provocation show that Russia is preparing and preparing its public for an important statement. What will be announced? A state of war? A general mobilisation? Or perhaps the replacement of the junta's leader by another 'Putin'? We shall see, and very soon, when Moscow's lapdog Lukashenko returns from China.
In Wiesbaden, at the US military simulation centre, a few days of exercises for Ukrainian officers have ended. US officials refused to talk about the possible battlefield scenarios that the Ukrainian army personnel had studied during the exercise. However, US Commander Milley, who visited the centre yesterday, said that "nobody is sitting here telling the Ukrainians to go left or right, do this or that. This is not the job of the international community".
Milley expressed optimism about the Ukrainian army, although he acknowledged that there is a tough fight ahead. "I have enormous confidence in Ukraine's will to resist. And I believe that in the end the result will be a free, independent, sovereign Ukraine", he said.
However, General Viktor Nazarov, adviser to Ukrainian army chief Valery Zaluzhnyy, was more restrained. He said the war with Russia could last another year, but must end with a Ukrainian victory on the battlefield. In his view, the sheer size of Russia's territory and the fact that the enemy has nuclear weapons are reasons why Russia will not suffer a total defeat through unconditional surrender. However, a Russian withdrawal from Ukrainian territory is possible.
Referring to yesterday's shelling of an apartment block in Zaporizhzhya by Russian terrorists, Mr Zelensky assured that Ukraine would give the aggressor both a military and a legal response. "We will respond to today's brutal Russian missile attack in Zaporizhzhya with a military and legal response. The occupier will inevitably feel our strength. The power of justice in every sense", the Ukrainian Head of State said in a video address yesterday.
Meanwhile, the fighting at Bakhmut is slowly becoming a centre of gravity for both sides. "The fighting in Bakhmut is going on around the clock... The situation is critical," Volodymyr Nazarenka, deputy commander of the Ukrainian National Guard, reported. "They are not taking into account their losses incurred in the attempt to take the town by storm. The task of our forces in Bakhmut is to inflict as many losses on the enemy as possible. Every metre of Ukrainian land costs the enemy hundreds of lives".
War is always 50 per cent art and 50 per cent mathematics. Mathematics behind which lie the personal tragedies of each soldier. Mathematics that tells us when it is still worth gritting our teeth on the high ground, sacrificing our best soldiers, and when it is time to retreat. Artists who are carried in the arms of the crowd are often trampled on by the same crowd and thrown into the dustbin of history.
The tactical level
On Thursday, war crimes investigators said on the basis of new evidence that a network of at least 20 torture chambers operated in the recently liberated southern Ukrainian region of Kherson, "planned and directly funded by the Russian state".
The bodies of two others were recovered from under the ruins of a house in Zaporizhzhya. It is noted that more than 102 tonnes of construction debris were removed by the municipal services, and psychologists from the Ukrainian State Emergency Service provided assistance to 76 residents of the house and relatives of the victims in the city.
Ukraine will undoubtedly receive modern fighter jets from Western partners. There will be several types of fighter jets, one of which will be the main one for the Armed Forces, said O. Reznikoff, the Ukrainian Minister of Defence.
In the Kupyansk, Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Shakhtarsk directions, Ukrainian defenders repelled 85 enemy attacks.
The enemy continues to violate international humanitarian law. The occupiers have carried out 31 air and 3 missile strikes, mainly on civilian infrastructure in Donetsk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson. Civilians have been injured and multi-storey residential buildings and private houses damaged. 88 shelling incidents were recorded from volley rocket fire systems.
The threat of enemy missile strikes is high throughout the territory of Ukraine.
The Russian occupiers continue to loot in the temporarily occupied territory of Zaporizhzhya region. Since the beginning of February 2023, Russian mercenaries have been particularly active in stealing cars from residents who have not obtained Russian passports. The so-called occupation authorities are exerting pressure on the local population in order to seize land plots. Most of the inhabitants of the settlement of Boyova in Kherson region refused to hand over their private plots to the local occupation administration. Since 1 March this year, around 200 inhabitants of this settlement have been taken in an unknown direction for so-called filtration measures and Russian mercenaries have been accommodated in their houses.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Air Force has carried out 13 air strikes on the concentration areas of the occupying forces' personnel and military equipment. The defenders shot down an enemy Su-25 aircraft, a Mi-24 helicopter and 7 UAVs (1 Supercam, 2 Orlan and 4 Lancet).
More positive news from the Kreminos area. In the last two days, armed Wallahs have gotten so fed up that they have retreated from Dibrova and highway 66 towards their anchorages. Successful actions by Special Operations Forces troops and artillery units destroyed key strongholds and supply chains. The occupier has closed in on Kremin and is regrouping, but is clearly running low on ammunition and especially on live meat.
France is reportedly considering quietly handing over some of its conserved "mirages" (fighter jets) to Ukraine.
Photo shows Ukrainian troops about 15 km from Bakhmut. Source: REUTERS/Olexandr Ratushniak.
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