U.S. RESPONSE TO THE KREMLIN: ANOTHER DRONE OVER THE BLACK SEA (18 03 2023)
Political strategic level
The International Court in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as for Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for the Rights of the Child in the Russian Presidency. The court found "reasonable grounds" to believe that Putin is personally responsible for the deportation of Ukrainian children. According to various estimates, the number of children "stolen" by Russia could reach tens of thousands.
According to the warrant, Putin must be arrested by each of the 123 member states of the Rome Statute. The Rome Statute countries include Russia's friends Tajikistan, Venezuela, Serbia, South Africa and Hungary. It will be quite a puzzle for the leaders of these countries who want to see the No 1 terrorist.
On 1 April this year, the world will be in for a real circus: the United Nations Security Council will be chaired by a country whose President Putin is a wanted international criminal.
The Slovak Cabinet of Ministers has approved the transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. The announcement was made on Twitter by the head of the Slovak Government, Eduard Geger. "The transfer of 13 MiG-29 fighters to Ukraine has just been approved! Promises must be kept, when Zelensky asked for more weapons, especially fighter jets, I said we will do our best".
The first Polish fighter jets are reportedly on their way to Ukraine. Although the MiG-29s are Soviet-built, they have been adapted to NATO standards. They are equipped with an improved positioning system, an on-board computer and a modern multi-function display in the cockpit. Between 2011 and 2014, 15 MiG-29s were modernised at the Polish Military Aviation Plant. Warsaw was assisted by Israel. Currently, 4 fighter jets are being handed over to Kyiv and 10 more will be delivered later.
So where is this nuclear world? A year ago we were warmongers and 'criminals', and this year it is a concerted NATO move. And what about the Kremlin? And nothing. It sighs, hunched over, realising that this is just the beginning of a war in the air. It threatens that all fighter jets supplied to Ukraine will be destroyed. And Führer Putin has fingered several NATO Member States for 'increasing their direct involvement in the "conflict"'.
Yes, indeed. The fighters will undoubtedly destroy the piles of Drisks, their acorns, and make it much more difficult for Russian pilots to wreak havoc in the air.
The Kremlin opposition claims that Putin has lost the confidence of Russian businessmen. The disintegration of the country's "elite" has already begun in Russia and will only accelerate in the future. Ilya Ponomariov, a Russian opposition figure and former Duma deputy (who was the only one to vote against the annexation of Crimea), is convinced of this. Commenting on the Kremlin dictator's last failed meeting with big business, to which some businessmen did not turn up, he said: "This meeting was fundamentally new. For the first time, there was a mass withdrawal of businessmen from the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs. Fifteen people left the organisation just to avoid meeting Putin. This is a unique situation. In the past, people paid extra money to meet him, but now they are thinking of running away."
Similarly, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of the National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, predicts that a split in the Kremlin elite will soon begin. He believes that the process of Russia's disintegration will begin in the Caucasus.
We are so far very sceptical about all the predictions and scenarios of Putin's fall and the Kremlin's disintegration. Until the FSB, GRU and SVR strategists, the creators of the global famine, war and migration scenarios, who are currently creating the narrative of a 'coup in the Kremlin' and a 'good Putin', have been arrested and convicted, all such visions and the like are just soap bubbles.
Xi Jinping is reportedly due to visit Russia next Wednesday to hold talks with Putin on the war in Ukraine. The West will be watching this meeting through a magnifying glass. The US is particularly worried that a protracted war could benefit China, because while US resources and attention are focused on Ukraine, Beijing's military influence in Asia is growing. China is clearly intent on weakening both Russia and the West.
However, the Chinese Communists will be calculating whether a protracted war will bring damage and economic decline or whether it will finally marginalise Russia, which can be put under the Chinese dragon's claw and suck up resources in unlimited quantities. The paradox is that this situation is forcing Western leaders to think about how to save Putin's Russia from Chinese ambitions. By becoming the master of Siberian resources, China would effectively become the world's No 1 power.
If Putin had any brains and knowledge in his noggin - and not just the knowledge he acquired in the old KGB 'part-school' days - the Kremlin could play a very different game today. But Moscow is controlled by general balvons with a single kink in their heads, stamped with a soldier's cap.
Ukraine's NSGT Secretary O. Danilov warns that the war launched by Russia is setting the stage for global famine for several years and that it is therefore crucial to stop the aggressor regime as soon as possible. After two or three years of famine, migrants "have to show up somewhere", the politician said.
Usually they turn up in Europe, on the borders of Lithuania and Poland. Between 2040 and 2050, the world will have a population of around 10 billion and will need 265 million tonnes of extra protein. We do not tire of repeating that hunger and millions of migrants are a huge danger, threatening chaos for the whole of Europe. Unfortunately, since this has not yet happened, few people are thinking about how to deal with this looming catastrophe. Politicians, especially at election time, cannot see beyond their noses and the end of the widening/narrowing street.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, has said that Putin has not succeeded in 'bringing Europe to its knees' and reducing energy supplies. "Putin has clearly lost the energy battle he started and his blackmail has failed," she said during a visit to the Troll A gas platform off the west coast of Norway. Europe has invested heavily in renewable energy and cut energy consumption by 20%, she said.
It would be great if the EC leader and her colleagues could reflect on what Europe will be looking forward to in the distant year 2025.
Hungary is reportedly expected to agree on the ratification of Finland's and Sweden's membership of NATO. The eternal President Erdogan has said that Turkey will ratify Finland's application for NATO membership.
Everything is happening as it should be. Ankara and Budapest have stopped kicking the bucket and taken a rational decision.
The German car manufacturer Volkswagen is selling its plant in Kaluga, Russia. The company has been carrying out joint production with the car manufacturer Gaz, whose co-owner, Oleg Deripaska, is on the sanctions lists.
For how come. And yet some Lithuanian citizens are unable to get a business that has grown close to an international criminal out of a terrorist state. Why should they not move themselves to Mother Russia?
The United States has sent an RQ-4 Global Hawk reconnaissance drone to the Black Sea. It has been in Romanian airspace for some time and is now flying over the Black Sea. This is the US response to the "accidental" shooting down of an MQ-9 Reaper. By the way, the RQ-4 already has about 15 000 followers on the flight tracking page .
Germany plans to increase its munitions production capacity. This will ensure that its defence industry has sufficient capacity after a year of military support to Ukraine, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said. "This will remain an ongoing task because we have said that we will support Ukraine as long as necessary," Scholz said.
Poland is forming new units to replace those disbanded in 2015. Units of the 16th mechanised division in Olsztyn, near the Karelia region, were equipped with new Korean K2 tanks and K9 self-propelled howitzers. The division will also soon receive new HIMARS rocket artillery systems.
Warsaw plans to reinforce its army in such a way that neither Putin nor anyone else will dare to attack Poland, the country's defence minister, Miriuszo Blaszczak, said. "We Poles know how dangerous the evil empire that is the Russian empire is - how much pain, how many crimes the Russians committed when they occupied Polish territory. Therefore, our task is to build a Polish army so strong that those who today are trying to recreate the evil empire will not dare to attack our homeland," said Blaszczak.
It would not be a bad idea to build at least one highway - a motorway - linking Lithuania and Poland, not just to widen/narrow the streets of our countryside.
The Russian invaders launched 34 air strikes. Shahed-136 unmanned aerial vehicles were used for 11 of them. Two enemy UAVs hit an infrastructure facility in Novomoskovsk (Dnipropetrovsk region), causing "significant damage". No casualties. The enemy launched 1 rocket attack and 5 salvo fire attacks. The settlement of Veletensky (Kherson region) was hit, damaging 7 private houses and a local kindergarten.
The likelihood of missile strikes across Ukraine remains high.
The aim of the Drisks remains unchanged - to rake up to the administrative borders of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts. To this end, the occupiers are conducting offensive operations on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka, Maryinka and Shakhtarsk axes. The Ukrainian defenders have repelled more than 100 enemy attacks in the above-mentioned areas, once again disproving the fantasies of foreign and local military experts about a Russian offensive that has run its course.
The Russians are defending themselves in Zaporizhzhya and Kherson.
The local authorities of the occupied Luhansk region have announced large-scale military exercises aimed at new mobilisation.
The occupiers are exploiting the Crimean population as slaves, forcing them to take part in the construction of defensive fortifications for free.
Last day, the Ukrainian Air Force launched 6 air strikes on the occupiers' concentrations, 2 missile and artillery strikes, and the destruction of a Russian air defence system deployment.
An explosion occurred at a military base in the Crimean village of Perevalne.
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Pictured here is one of the Slovak MiG-29s that may be about to be handed over to Ukraine. Source - Jozef Durník/TASR via AP
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