UP TO THREE DOLLARS PER PERSON PER DAY - THIS SHOULD BE RUSSIA'S STATE BUDGET (29/03/2023)
Political strategic level
Following Russia's decision not to share data on its nuclear forces under a landmark nuclear arms control agreement, the US has said it will not share it either.
Moscow unilaterally suspended Russia's participation in the New START treaty, the only bilateral agreement between the world's two largest nuclear powers, which the US strongly condemned. A UN Security Council spokesman called the suspension "legally invalid".
Whatever you call it, no amount of sloganeering will change the situation. It is clear that Russia is entering a phase of a bitter cold war, and of a long-term confrontation with the West. Putin does not know how to lose, so he is preparing for a perpetual war with the West and a long war with Ukraine. It is said that the Russian people are already prepared for this, and that instead of friendly neighbours, they see deadly enemies around them.
"For us, this is not a geopolitical task, but a task of preserving Russian statehood, of creating the conditions for the future development of our country and our children," the Guardian quoted the Russian Führer as saying.
Since Russia does not have the capacity for a major war, it seems that it is stuck in Ukraine for the long term. And that is fine with Moscow. We believe that we need to prepare for a period similar to that of the Cold War, when the Kremlin was involved in a debilitating war in Afghanistan for years, fuelling tensions with the West, intimidating and consolidating a multi-million strong slave army.
This went on for decades until there was nothing left to eat in the Soviet Union. Then came the eye-rolling called 'Perestroika', the feeding of Muscovy with food and financial injections. Food was, by the way, also supplied by Ukraine to a starving Russia in the 1990s. It was only because they were hungry and had rumbling bellies that the Russian people took to the streets to seek change and to support our freedom.
And until total hunger and turmoil come to Russia, until the refrigerators, wallets and stomachs of the Muscovites are empty, we cannot expect any change. No more than three dollars per person per day - that is what the Russian state budget needs to be in order for us to start thinking about uprisings in a society where four-fifths of the population are happy about the genocide in Ukraine and want to see a Lithuania free of the 'Labussians'.
The good news is that this time we are on the Western side of the Iron Curtain.
The European Council has revealed that EU countries may discuss the possibility of opening accession negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova at a summit later this winter. The President of the ECJ, Charles Michel, made the announcement during a visit to Moldova. The EU will also provide around €1 billion in aid to the country. Michel said that the European Commission would soon publish a report on Ukraine and Moldova's progress towards European integration. It will then be clear when accession negotiations with the candidate countries can start.
Without mincing words, here is what we are saying: Ukraine needs to temporarily leave the occupied regions in exchange for EU and NATO membership. A secure and strong Ukraine that has temporarily 'lent' four regions to Maskoli is much more logical than a country that has been at war for years, is bleeding and has no clear borders. Unfortunately, this is now the price of freedom and membership of the world's most economically, militarily and politically powerful formations.
The confrontation between the US and China could lead to a border conflict with India. New Delhi and Washington, together with Japan and Australia, are members of the so-called Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, which is a counterbalance to China's growing activity in the Pacific. As relations between Washington and Beijing deteriorate, tensions on the India-China border could escalate into a wider conflict, an Indian army chief warned. Disputed borders and border violations "remain a potential cause for escalation", said General Manoj Pande.
A brilliant strategic move, showing that it is not only Russia and China that are nuclear powers, and it is not only Ukraine and Taiwan that could cause problems. The escalating conflict with India is the perfect lever for China to show that Beijing could be in very serious trouble if it does not hear what Washington is telling it. India, if not an equal, is still a nuclear power.
President Zelensky of Ukraine has invited Chinese dictator Jinping to visit Ukraine. "I want to talk to him. I talked to him before the full-scale war. But in all these more than a year, I have had no opportunity", Zelensky added.
Press statements are public relations campaigns, not invitations to visit. That is the meaning and value of this statement.
The Olympic leaders recommend that athletes from Russia and Belarus be admitted only as neutral flag holders with no affiliation to any country. IOC President Thomas Bach said the committee had recommended to international federations and competition organisers that "athletes holding a Russian or Belarusian passport should only compete as individual neutral athletes". The committee added that "teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport cannot be considered".
Athletes who "actively support the war" and "athletes who have concluded agreements with the military or national security services of Russia or Belarus" will also be excluded. In addition, "no flags, anthem, colours or any other identifying marks of these countries may be displayed at any sporting event or meeting, including the entire venue" and "no official of the government or state of Russia and Belarus may be invited to, or accredited at, any international sporting event or meeting".
Just like that, and without any speeches. We will be even more radical: we propose a review of the activities of persons residing in Lithuania with political asylum or temporary residence permits during the Chechen wars. If Russian politicians, public figures and oppositionists supported the genocide of the Chechen people, they must go home and lose the possibility of entering the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. Permanently.
Experts at the American Institute for the Study of War, who had previously said that the Russian offensive in Bakhmut was stalled, have suddenly changed their minds and say that the Russians have already occupied 65% of the city (hmmm, maybe they've started to read these reviews?).
Zelensky said that Putin will "sell" the victory over Bakhmut to China and Iran as a great achievement, while the occupiers will feel the "taste of blood" and will attack even harder.
We disagree with Zelensky and his strategists. Clinging to the ruins and fighting for them with hundreds of lives on the line is not sensible warfare, which is little different from Russian-style fighting 'to the last drop of blood' and 'Moscow is behind us'. Such warfare is outdated, inefficient, ineffective and costs countless lives. Dying to become a hero is a Soviet cliché. To save one's life and to continue fighting in order to kill one's enemies - that should be the task of a soldier in a modern army.
The Russian forces are trying to encircle Avdiivka and have advanced at the cost of heavy losses. The Russian 10th Tank Regiment lost a large part of its fighting vehicles while trying to encircle Avdiivka from the south.
According to US experts, Russia does not currently have the capacity for a major offensive. Only 10% of the Russian army is believed to be capable of carrying out an offensive, the rest being made up of conscripts and other losers.
But there is always more meat where Moscow lacks capacity. To improve the situation in the army, the Russian Minister of War and Terror, Sergei Shoigu, has proposed increasing the size of the armed forces from 1.15 million to 1.5 million.
The size of the horde could be increased to 3 million or 10 million. The question is how to train and feed such an army. We believe that for the time being this is a public relations exercise and plans for the future.
Military analysts are busy on their computers calculating how many tanks Ukraine will get. In total, the Allies have promised to deliver hundreds of tanks to the Ukrainian army, both modern, Western tanks and refurbished Soviet tanks. The figures show that in addition to the 254 Western tanks, the donor countries will send 140 Soviet tanks. The King of Morocco has promised to add another 30 T-72s, making a total of 424 tanks.
The Ukrainian armed forces have already received the first Leopard 2A6 and Challenger 2 tanks. Germany has delivered 18 of the promised Leopard 2 A6 tanks, Norway has delivered 8 Leopard 2 A4 tanks, Ukraine has already received 14 Leopard 2 A4 tanks from Poland as well as most of the upgraded Soviet T-72 tanks, France has provided Ukraine with the first batch of the so-called AMX-10 RC light wheeled tanks - 14 out of the promised 40 - and the first batches of the upgraded T-72B tanks have come from the Czech Republic and Morocco.
The total number of tanks already on Ukrainian soil is not reported, but preliminary estimates are probably slightly more than 100. Two tank battalions could be formed.
Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksiy Reznikoff says that the Challenger 2 tanks will soon be deployed on combat missions. The Minister took a ride in a tank and thanked Rishi Sunak, Ben Wallace and the people of Great Britain.
To our knowledge, the Ukrainian soldiers, drenched in mud and blood, are sending their leaders smiling and posing next to the tanks. It is probably for these and other reasons that Mr Zelensky has visited the northern Sumy region to raise the fighting spirit of his troops, continuing his dangerous visit to the settlements on the front line.
"Ukrainians will live here, on their own land, in their own towns and villages, which we must rebuild after the war. And I am convinced that this will definitely happen", said Mr Zelensky.
Over the past day, Russian terrorists have carried out 18 air strikes, 3 missile strikes, and 50 attacks on Ukrainian defence force positions and civilian infrastructure with volley fire systems.
The occupiers continue to advance on the Lyman, Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Maryinka axes. The Ukrainian Defence Forces repelled 57 attacks by the Drisks in the directions indicated last day.
The Russian military continues its combat training in Belarusian training grounds. Russia maintains military potential in the border areas of the Kursk and Belgorod regions of the country.
It is reported that Russian occupiers are increasingly refusing to follow the orders of their commanders. On 23 March, as a result of their refusal to carry out a combat task, some 70 Russian soldiers from the Nevsky and Veterans Volunteer Units were disarmed and taken to Makiivka, Donetsk Region, for "re-education". On 25 March, soldiers of an enemy reconnaissance company operating near Avdiivka also refused to comply with the order.
Over the past day, the Ukrainian Air Force has attacked Russian troop and equipment sites 5 times. Orlan-10 and Zala UAVs were shot down by the defenders.
Ukrainian rocket and artillery forces hit a command post, 6 enemy troop, weapons and military equipment sites, an anti-aircraft missile complex and an ammunition depot.
Yesterday, the Facebook bubble held its breath to see how the informational clash between the Minister of National Defence and the Prime Minister's advisor on the social network would end.
Experts and analysts in opposing camps were locked in a fierce debate over who won the battle of words - the Minister of Military Affairs or the economic and innovation expert.
We, however, sigh more easily under the strain of such battles: thank God, the blanks were shot.
Dear friends, instead of quarrels and conflicts, let us go and celebrate the 19th anniversary of our accession to NATO. Today is the day.
The photo shows the President of Ukraine arriving at the train station in Trostianets, in the Sumy region of Ukraine, on Tuesday 28 March 2023. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)
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