UKRAINE CAN ISOLATE CRIMEA FROM RUSSIA NOW (17 04 2023)
Political strategic level
The chief diplomats of the Group of Seven rich democracies, meeting in Japan, vow to take a tough stance on China's escalating threats against Taiwan and on Shakorei's uncontrolled long-range missile tests, and look for ways to increase support for Ukraine and punish Russia for its invasion.
Russia's war in Ukraine will be high on the agenda today. The American delegation considers that this meeting comes at a crucial moment, as the world reacts to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and tries to deal with China, two issues that the G7 ministers have identified as strong challenges to the rules-based international order that has emerged since the Second World War.
The Biden administration's objective in these talks is to step up its support for Ukraine, including a major initiative on Ukraine's energy infrastructure launched at last year's G-7 meeting in Germany, and to ensure that military aid to Kyiv continues. A priority will also be to toughen punishments against Russia for starting the war, notably through economic and financial sanctions, which the G-7 first threatened in December 2021, before the invasion, said an unnamed US official.
The G-7 and other countries supporting Ukraine see strengthening Kyiv's position in negotiations that could end the conflict on Ukraine's terms later this year as a key challenge in delivering military and other support to the country defending itself against terrorist Russia. The issue of 'victory', discussed behind closed doors, seems painful to many, especially Ukrainians.
But negotiations on both sides are a reality. When, east of Warsaw, everyone is repeating the mantra of victory, saying that negotiations are only possible after the liberation of all the occupied territories of Ukraine, our cold minds are asking: liberated by how and by what? Even if we assume that there are only 140 000 Drisks defending the front line, it would take almost half a million Ukrainian troops to drive them out, according to the classical calculation. But the Ukrainians are not going to demolish their own towns, they are not going to sweep away monuments and protected cultural sites with artillery. Thus, the shouting of those who live under the NATO umbrella about smashing Russia at the weekend barbecue is cheerful, but demonstrates a childish understanding of the real state of war on the front line.
While the representatives of the democracies were discussing how to contain Moscow and Beijing, Russian Führer Putin met with Chinese Defence Minister General Li Shangfu. Putin was accompanied by another war criminal, the Russian Minister of Terror, Mr Shoigu.
Although officially China remains neutral in the Russia-Ukraine war, the visit of the Chinese war minister shows that China is becoming the Kremlin's political and military backstop. While Putin showered praise and champagne on the victory of the joint military-industrial-technological alliance, General Li noted in a low-key tone that the relationship between the two countries "surpasses the military-political alliances of the Cold War. They are based on the principles of non-attachment and are very stable".
China's support for Russia, as expressed in this visit, is, of course, more of a strategic communication tool than a real action on the ground. However, the likelihood of the latter is growing and we shall soon see how this visit will affect the course of the war.
At the same time, we will also see the fireworks later this month when the terrorist Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov chairs the most important event of the presidency of the UN Security Council, the Council's open meeting on the defence of the UN Charter principles. Moscow will continue to openly humiliate and ridicule the world when it advocates full support for the Charter, having itself trampled on it and thrown it in the dustbin.
In response to the actions of Shakorea and the possible increase in military cooperation between Russia and China, the United States, South Korea and Japan will today hold a joint missile defence exercise in the waters off the Korean Peninsula. The military drills are being expanded to counter the growing threat from Pyongyang's nuclear missiles.
Some experts fear that these exercises could provoke a belligerent response from the dictator, who condemns the United States' military exercises with its Asian allies as rehearsals for invasion. Shakorei uses any exercises by its neighbours as a pretext to step up its armaments, creating a cycle of 'tit-for-tat' that has been exacerbating tensions in recent months.
Kurt Volker, former US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine, said that Crimea is crucial for Ukraine's future security, as it would be very difficult to ensure maritime security without control of the peninsula.
K. Volker added that there is no need to seize Crimea by military force now. "What is needed now is to isolate Crimea from Russia", he stressed. In particular, he said, this could be done by striking the Crimean bridge again. "Perhaps by destroying the military base in Sevastopol. These steps would make it very difficult to use Crimea as a military facility and isolate it from Russian support. I think this can be achieved. Ukraine can do it now. And the job of full control of Crimea can be done after some time", he believes.
The largest military exercise in 25 years, Aurora 23, starts today in Sweden. According to the Swedish military, Ukraine, the US, the UK, Finland, Poland, Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark, Austria, Germany and France will take part. In total, about 26,000 troops from 14 countries are involved.
"The training is a good way to reinforce, signal and test our military capabilities. Thus, conducting large-scale and longer-term exercises is very important for strengthening our defence," the Swedish Armed Forces said.
The participation of Ukrainian troops in these exercises is a small step towards the country's integration into NATO in the near future.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff described the most difficult decision he had to make in the whole war. The most difficult for the Minister was to accept to be part of the Ukrainian delegation that went to Belarus in the first days of the war.
"The aim was to create humanitarian corridors to save civilian lives. It was really hard to say yes to the President when he asked me, because I felt a deep hatred. And as a negotiator, I know that is a useless emotion. It was scary to shake hands with the enemy," Reznikov said.
The tactical level
The US-based Institute for the Study of War believes that the return to the front of the Russian airborne forces of Mikhail Teplinsky is an indication that "the Russian military leadership has become more closely involved with the Wagner Group". The aim is to accelerate the seizure of Bakhmut, the report said.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian defenders have repelled 60 enemy attacks in the directions of Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka. Hellfire is raging at Bakhmut and Maryinka.
Russian terrorists struck 25 S-300 missile strikes on the peaceful towns of Zaporizhzhya, Kamyshevacha in the Zaporizhzhya region and Snihyrevka in the Mykolaiv region. In addition, 42 air strikes have been carried out over the past day.
In addition, the enemy fired 46 rounds of salvo fire on Ukrainian positions and infrastructure in populated areas. This resulted in civilian casualties and injuries, destruction and damage to multi-storey and private dwellings, civilian educational institutions, hospitals, churches and other buildings.
More than 100 Ukrainian prisoners of war were released in a large Easter exchange with Russia.
Ukrainian Prime Minister D. Shmyhal announced that Canada will hand over to Ukraine an An-124 aircraft seized from its Russian owners.
An unmanned drone strikes a thermal power plant in Belgorod, Russia. The plant is reportedly on fire. The power supply has been partially disrupted.
Pope Francis called on Ukrainians and Russians to reconcile. "May God be with them and help them to reconcile!" - The Vatican website quotes the words of the Roman Pontiff.
The internet is abuzz with talk and gossip. Here, a group of flat-earthers are drawing up plans and detailed diagrams of how Poland will invade and "take back" western Ukraine.
Shhhh. We will tell you as a secret - it is a misleading manoeuvre.
Western Ukraine will be invaded and "recaptured" by Samogitia!
A warm week to you, dear friends, and vigilance in separating nonsense and delusions on socnets from real facts.
The photo shows the consequences of the Russian invaders hitting the suburb of Zaporizhzhya.
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