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  1. #1776
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    Liz Truss vows billions to support Ukraine military through 2023

    Prime Minister Liz Truss will vow to match the UK's spending on military support to Ukraine next year, at a speech to the UN.

    Ms Truss pledged that her government will match or exceed the Ł2.3bn support given to Ukraine's "inspirational" troops since February.

    World leaders are meeting in New York for the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

    "The UK will continue to be right behind [Ukraine] every step of the way," Ms Truss said.

    Since Russian President Vladimir Putin's forces invaded the Ukraine on 24 February only to the United States has sent more military aid to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-62959374

  2. #1777
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    "The UK will continue to be right behind [Ukraine] every step of the way," Ms Truss said.
    Good to know. So a smooth transition then from Boris regarding Ukraine.

  3. #1778
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    I don't think there was ever a doubt. Aside from giving Ukraine some certainty i does also put pressure on others who've not already done so to make longer term commitments.

  4. #1779
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    Aside from giving Ukraine some certainty i does also put pressure on others who've not already done so to make longer term commitments.
    I will assume you are talking about Germany, and make no doubt they are under tremendous pressure due to the waffling coming out of Berlin. Lots of pressure from the US and other EU states at the moment to supply LEOPARD tanks since the logistics trail is the shortest to Germany for maintenance reasons.

    You should watch the DW video I posted in the other Ukraine thread. They have General Ben Hodges (ret) former commanding General of US Army Europe.

  5. #1780
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    ^ no, i am talking about cross NATO support. If longer term commitments are signalled it sends a message to Putin and potentially those who question his leadership that Russia is facing a determined front not just in the short term.

  6. #1781
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    Quote Originally Posted by malmomike77 View Post
    If longer term commitments are signalled it sends a message to Putin and potentially those who question his leadership that Russia is facing a determined front not just in the short term.
    The US support is bipartisan and will be unwavering. That in and of itself will assure that the other NATO members will fall in line. Just four days ago, the US announced another $600 million aid package.

  7. #1782
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    ^ in know

  8. #1783
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The US support is bipartisan and will be unwavering. That in and of itself will assure that the other NATO members will fall in line. Just four days ago, the US announced another $600 million aid package.
    LONDON, Sept 20 (Reuters) - British Prime Minister Liz Truss will pledge at a UN summit to meet or exceed the 2.3 billion pounds ($2.6 billion) of military aid spent on Ukraine in 2022 in the next year, doubling down on her support for Kyiv after Russia's invasion.

    On first international trip, Britain'''s Truss pledges Ukraine support | Reuters
    Warning: Be cautious if you are a fragile pink

  9. #1784
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    The US support is bipartisan and will be unwavering. That in and of itself will assure that the other NATO members will fall in line. Just four days ago, the US announced another $600 million aid package.

    The huge lend-lease package is on top of everything done yet. It has not even started yet, will in October.

  10. #1785
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Munitions Fall From the Sky in Thermite Attack on Ukraine Village—Video

    In a video shared by Ukrainian member of Parliament Roman Hryshchuk on Twitter, Ukraine's village of Ozerne, in the Donetsk region, appears to be hit by numerous incendiary weapons falling from the sky.


    The spectacle resembles fireworks falling down in slow motion on the village's homes.


    "Ozerne village, Donetsk region. Ukraine. This is horrible," wrote Hryshchuk in the post accompanying the clip, which has now been watched by over 225,000 people.

    The Ukrainian MP did not confirm the date of the attack, but the location of the video has been confirmed to be Ozerne, thanks to comparison with images of the village offered by Google Maps.


    Newsweek could not verify who shot the video or when, but has contacted Ukraine's Ministry of Defense for comment.

    VIDEO Munitions Fall From the Sky in Thermite Attack on Ukraine Village—Video

  11. #1786
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    More Putin war crimes.

  12. #1787
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    Europe needs to put their hand in their pocket.
    USA 45 billion
    UK 6.5 Billion
    canada 3.1 billion
    germany 3.1 billion
    Poland 2.9 billion
    Norway 1,28 billion
    France 1.15 billion
    Japan 0.6 billion
    Once again the USA is shouldering the bulk of the financial contributions followed by the UK and then Canada. About time the european countries stood up to the plate when they are the closest to the threat and contributing the least. Poland has spent nearly as much as Germany when their is a chasm between the two countries GDPs.
    The yanks must think an alliance with the europeans is like having a retarded relative they have to look after.

  13. #1788
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    About time the european countries stood up to the plate when they are the closest to the threat and contributing the least.
    Agree with this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Poland has spent nearly as much as Germany when their is a chasm between the two countries GDPs.
    See this in context. Poland had a huge stockpile of, partially modernized, russian armor, which they were planning to replace with NATO weapons anyway. Now they donated much of this to Ukraine, expecting Germany and USA to backfill them with modern weapons. Germany has almost none of this. We gave, what little we had. We gave some very advanced NATO weapons. We gave a lot of cash.

    I wish we would send a lot of advanced battle tanks, but not a single NATO country has sent any of those yet.
    "don't attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by incompetence"

  14. #1789
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    American Tanks For Ukraine Are ‘Absolutely On The Table’

    A senior U.S. defense official said today that there is a definite possibility that the U.S. government could transfer unspecified tanks to the Ukrainian armed forces in the future. The remarks from the senior U.S. defense official about tanks for Ukraine were included in a routine Pentagon press briefing about the state of Russia's war on that country earlier today. Ukrainian forces continue to push ahead with a major counter-offensive that began some four weeks ago and has already led to the liberation of a substantial amount of previously occupied territory. Foreign military aid packages full of weapons, ammunition, and other materiel – especially U.S.-supplied High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) firing 227mm Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMRLS) rockets and air-launched AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM) – have been key to these successes, and continued deliveries are likely to be essential for keeping up the momentum.

    "Tanks are absolutely on the table," the senior U.S. defense official said, according to VOA's Carla Babb. The senior U.S. defense official did say that Ukrainian forces would need to demonstrate their ability to maintain more modern Western tanks before American authorities would agree to provide them, according to Foreign Policy's Jack Detsch.

    The requirement that Ukrainian forces first prove themselves capable of keeping a fleet of Western tanks going seems unlikely to be a major dealbreaker. U.S officials said similar things in the past ahead of the initial deliveries of HIMARS. Ukraine's military has shown itself very capable of getting contingents rapidly trained to maintain and employ HIMARS and other more complex Western weapon systems, such as the aforementioned AGM-88s and ground-launched Harpoon anti-ship missiles.

    Regardless, it's unclear what tanks the U.S. government might be prepared to transfer. The senior defense official's comments have already prompted speculation about the potential of U.S.-made M1 Abrams tanks hitting the battlefield in Ukraine.

    There are certainly a number of M1 configurations that are readily exportable, but that would still provide Ukrainian forces with newer and significantly more capable tanks than most, if not all of the Soviet-era designs and derivatives that they currently operate. It is possible that older Abrams in U.S. military inventory could be sufficiently downgraded, with any sensitive fire control, communications, and other systems removed, to allow them to be 'drawdown' and more quickly sent to Ukraine.

    A 'drawdown' in this case refers to an authority that the President of the United States has, if certain stipulations are met, to transfer various kinds of materiel straight out of American stocks to allies and partners, something you can read more about here. The U.S. government has already sent billions in military assistance to the Ukrainian armed forces through the drawdown process, as well as other aid purchased directly on its behalf.

    In terms of available tanks, the U.S. Marine Corps notably decided a few years ago to divest its entire fleet of M1s, as well as M88 armored recovery vehicles and M60 tank-based Armored Vehicle Launched Bridges (AVLB). The process has seen these vehicles transferred to the Army, though what that service's exact plans might be for them has been unclear. The Army already has thousands of older M1s in storage, too.

    At the same time, M1s could present unique maintenance and logistical challenges for the Ukrainian armed forces, in no small part because of their fuel-hungry and complex gas turbine engine powerplants. The vast majority of Western, as well as Soviet-era tanks, use more conventional diesel engines. The Soviet T-64 and T-80 series, which were produced in Ukraine, were also gas turbine powered. However, later variants and derivatives of the T-80, including Ukraine's modernized T-84 Oplot, nixed the turbines in favor of simpler and cheaper to maintain diesel engines.

    Transferring wheeled 8x8 M1128 Stryker Mobile Gun System (MGS), which are armed with 105mm guns, but are not tanks, could be another potential option for the U.S. military to help bolster Ukraine's armored vehicle fleets. The U.S. Army announced its plans to divest all of its M1128s last year, meaning that they'd be readily available to send to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

    These vehicles could be particularly well suited for Ukraine under the circumstances, being simpler and cheaper to operate and maintain than an Abrams, if also less capable. In addition, with the Army's retirement of the M1128s, there are no other 105mm gun-armed vehicles currently in U.S. military service, making it just that much less of an issue to transfer relevant ammunition. It is, of course, worth noting that the Army's future Mobile Protected Firepower (MPF) light tanks will be armed with 105mm main guns.

    Sending the M1128s to Ukraine could be made part of a larger push by the U.S. government to facilitate or otherwise promote the transfer of older tanks with NATO-standard 105mm guns to Ukraine. For instance, there may still be some number of U.S.-made M60A3 Patton tanks, which either are or can be significantly upgraded with modern sensors and other capabilities, in storage in a number of NATO countries that American authorities could seek to help deliver to the Ukrainian military.

    The possibility of Germany sending older Leopard 1 tanks to Ukraine, or approving the delivery of Leopard 1s from third parties, has been a topic of discussion for months now, as well. For now, however, German authorities continue to block any transfers of Leopard 1s, among other German-made armored vehicles, to Ukraine.

    At the press briefing earlier today, the senior U.S. defense official did specifically highlight how American authorities have already "spent a good deal of effort in encouraging countries largely in Europe who have some of these formerly Russian-made tanks to provide them to Ukraine to supplement Ukraine's existing tank inventory."

    With all this in mind, it is very interesting to note that Slovenia, which is a NATO member, announced today that it plans to transfer 28 M-55S tanks to Ukraine as part of a three-way deal that will see it receive 40 unspecified vehicles from Germany in exchange. The M-55Ss, also sometimes referred to as M-55S1s, are highly modified versions of the Soviet T-55 that received an upgrade package developed by Slovenian firm STO RAVNE in partnership with Israeli defense contractor Elbit in the 1990s. The M-55s are armed with NATO-standard 105mm guns in place of the original 100mm D-10Ts, and have modernized fire control systems and optics, among other improvements, as well as the ability to be equipped with ERA. If this deal goes ahead, Ukraine will have to start receiving NATO-standard 105mm tank ammunition, as well.

    No matter what, heavy armor, in general, continues to be very actively employed on both sides of the current conflict in Ukraine, despite equally active discussions about whether the fighting has proven that tanks are increasingly unsuited to modern battlefields. Even older armored vehicles have proven useful in a conflict where the opposing side has also been making use of dated types, at least in part due to attrition.

    As such, it's hardly surprising that tanks and other armored vehicles continue have been and continue to be high on the Ukrainian government's military aid wishlists. Replenishing armored vehicles lost in the fighting so far, and potentially upgrading Ukraine's ground combat capabilities in the process, is perhaps even more important now in light of the ongoing counter-offensive.

    All told, it still very much remains to be seen when any American tanks might actually make their way to Ukraine, and what types might be transferred. At the same time, even older Western tanks could still be a major boon to the Ukrainian military's ongoing fight to push back the Russian invaders.

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zon...y-on-the-table

  15. #1790
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Several Hundred Detained as Russians Protest Mobilization

    Several hundred people have been detained across Russia on Wednesday as rallies against a military mobilization declared by President Vladimir Putin for the war in Ukraine took place in areas from the Far East to the capital Moscow.


    According to the independent OVD-Info police monitor, at least 1,386 protesters have been detained nationwide so far with at least half of the count recorded in the capital Moscow.


    It added that a majority of those detained were women.


    Police in Moscow reportedly handed some detainees summons to the military enlistment office regardless of their experience.


    The Vesna opposition movement as well as supporters of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny called on Russians nationwide to take to the streets on Wednesday evening to oppose the Kremlin’s decision to bolster its forces in Ukraine with a “partial” mobilization.


    The first protests took place across cities in Siberia and the Far East, where dozens were arrested, often just minutes after the rallies began, according to local reports.


    Small groups of protesters gathered in Ulan-Ude, the capital of the republic of Buryatia; Yakutsk, the capital of the republic of Sakha; and the Far East cities of Khabarovsk and Irkutsk.


    Protesters in Ulan-Ude were seen carrying handwritten signs reading “No war! No mobilization!” and “Our husbands, fathers and brothers don’t want to kill other husbands and fathers.”

    In the Siberian city of Tomsk, a female protester carrying a sign reading “Hug me if you are also scared” was among the 15 people detained shortly after the start of the protest, according to local Telegram news channel Ulitsa Barkhatnaya.


    In Novosibirsk, Russia’s third-largest city, video published to social media showed a protester shouting “I don’t want to die for Putin or for you!”


    Protests then took place across the cities in Russia’s Volga-Ural region. At least 45 people were detained in the region’s largest city Yekaterinburg, while dozens others were arrested in Perm, Chelyabinsk and Ufa, the capital of the republic of Bashkortostan, according to OVD-Info.


    In the capital Moscow, several hundred people gathered on the central Stary Arbat street amid heavy police presence. Protesters could be seen chanting “No war!” “Send Putin to the trenches!” and “Let our children live!” in videos published to social media.

    In St. Petersburg, protesters who gathered near the central St. Isaac's Square were quickly encircled by police, according to videos from the scene. But others continued to march through the city center.

    Rallies also took place in the city of Arkhangelsk in the Far North, the southern city of Krasnodar, the Baltic exclave Kaliningrad and others.


    In Kazan, the capital of the republic of Tatarstan, a small group of female protesters marched through central streets chanting “Peace to the world. No to mobilization!” after the initial rally was dispersed.

    A total of 300,000 Russian reservists are expected to be called up for military service during the campaign, according to Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.


    But the mobilization efforts could be more far-reaching given the vague wording of the mobilization decree, according to human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov, who has been helping Russian soldiers opposed to the war.

    ‘I Don’t Want to Be Cannon Fodder’: Panic and Fear as Russia Begins Mobilization - The Moscow Times

  16. #1791
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    I think it's worth posting because it shows how sick Putler really is.


    President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Friends,The subject of this address is the situation in Donbass and the course of the special military operation to liberate it from the neo-Nazi regime, which seized power in Ukraine in 2014 as the result of an armed state coup.

    Today I am addressing you – all citizens of our country, people of different generations, ages and ethnicities, the people of our great Motherland, all who are united by the great historical Russia, soldiers, officers and volunteers who are fighting on the frontline and doing their combat duty, our brothers and sisters in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics, Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and other areas that have been liberated from the neo-Nazi regime.

    The issue concerns the necessary, imperative measures to protect the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia and support the desire and will of our compatriots to choose their future independently, and the aggressive policy of some Western elites, who are doing their utmost to preserve their domination and with this aim in view are trying to block and suppress any sovereign and independent development centres in order to continue to aggressively force their will and pseudo-values on other countries and nations.

    The goal of that part of the West is to weaken, divide and ultimately destroy our country. They are saying openly now that in 1991 they managed to split up the Soviet Union and now is the time to do the same to Russia, which must be divided into numerous regions that would be at deadly feud with each other.
    They devised these plans long ago. They encouraged groups of international terrorists in the Caucasus and moved NATO’s offensive infrastructure close to our borders. They used indiscriminate Russophobia as a weapon, including by nurturing the hatred of Russia for decades, primarily in Ukraine, which was designed to become an anti-Russia bridgehead. They turned the Ukrainian people into cannon fodder and pushed them into a war with Russia, which they unleashed back in 2014. They used the army against civilians and organised a genocide, blockade and terror against those who refused to recognise the government that was created in Ukraine as the result of a state coup.
    After the Kiev regime publicly refused to settle the issue of Donbass peacefully and went as far as to announce its ambition to possess nuclear weapons, it became clear that a new offensive in Donbass – there were two of them before – was inevitable, and that it would be inevitably followed by an attack on Russia’s Crimea, that is, on Russia.
    In this connection, the decision to start a pre-emptive military operation was necessary and the only option. The main goal of this operation, which is to liberate the whole of Donbass, remains unaltered.
    The Lugansk People’s Republic has been liberated from the neo-Nazis almost completely. Fighting in the Donetsk People’s Republic continues. Over the previous eight years, the Kiev occupation regime created a deeply echeloned line of permanent defences. A head-on attack against them would have led to heavy losses, which is why our units, as well as the forces of the Donbass republics, are acting competently and systematically, using military equipment and saving lives, moving step by step to liberate Donbass, purge cities and towns of the neo-Nazis, and help the people whom the Kiev regime turned into hostages and human shields.

    As you know, professional military personnel serving under contract are taking part in the special military operation. Fighting side by side with them are volunteer units – people of different ethnicities, professions and ages who are real patriots. They answered the call of their hearts to rise up in defence of Russia and Donbass.
    In this connection, I have already issued instructions for the Government and the Defence Ministry to determine the legal status of volunteers and personnel of the military units of the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. It must be the same as the status of military professionals of the Russian army, including material, medical and social benefits. Special attention must be given to organising the supply of military and other equipment for volunteer units and Donbass people’s militia.
    While acting to attain the main goals of defending Donbass in accordance with the plans and decisions of the Defence Ministry and the General Staff, our troops have liberated considerable areas in the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions and a number of other areas. This has created a protracted line of contact that is over 1,000 kilometres long.
    This is what I would like to make public for the first time today. After the start of the special military operation, in particular after the Istanbul talks, Kiev representatives voiced quite a positive response to our proposals. These proposals concerned above all ensuring Russia’s security and interests. But a peaceful settlement obviously did not suit the West, which is why, after certain compromises were coordinated, Kiev was actually ordered to wreck all these agreements.
    More weapons were pumped into Ukraine. The Kiev regime brought into play new groups of foreign mercenaries and nationalists, military units trained according to NATO standards and receiving orders from Western advisers.
    At the same time, the regime of reprisals throughout Ukraine against their own citizens, established immediately after the armed coup in 2014, was harshly intensified. The policy of intimidation, terror and violence is taking on increasingly mass-scale, horrific and barbaric forms.
    I want to stress the following. We know that the majority of people living in the territories liberated from the neo-Nazis, and these are primarily the historical lands of Novorossiya, do not want to live under the yoke of the neo-Nazi regime. People in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions, in Lugansk and Donetsk saw and are seeing now the atrocities perpetrated by the neo-Nazis in the [Ukrainian-] occupied areas of the Kharkov region. The descendants of Banderites and members of Nazi punitive expeditions are killing, torturing and imprisoning people; they are settling scores, beating up, and committing outrages on peaceful civilians.

    There were over 7.5 million people living in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and in the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions before the outbreak of hostilities. Many of them were forced to become refugees and leave their homes. Those who have stayed – they number about five million – are now exposed to artillery and missile attacks launched by the neo-Nazi militants, who fire at hospitals and schools and stage terrorist attacks against peaceful civilians.
    We cannot, we have no moral right to let our kin and kith be torn to pieces by butchers; we cannot but respond to their sincere striving to decide their destiny on their own.
    The parliaments of the Donbass people’s republics and the military-civilian administrations of the Kherson and Zaporozhye regions have adopted decisions to hold referendums on the future of their territories and have appealed to Russia to support this.
    I would like to emphasise that we will do everything necessary to create safe conditions for these referendums so that people can express their will. And we will support the choice of future made by the majority of people in the Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics and the Zaporozhye and Kherson regions.
    Friends,
    Today our armed forces, as I have mentioned, are fighting on the line of contact that is over 1,000 kilometres long, fighting not only against neo-Nazi units but actually the entire military machine of the collective West.

    In this situation, I consider it necessary to take the following decision, which is fully adequate to the threats we are facing. More precisely, I find it necessary to support the proposal of the Defence Ministry and the General Staff on partial mobilisation in the Russian Federation to defend our Motherland and its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to ensure the safety of our people and people in the liberated territories.
    As I have said, we are talking about partial mobilisation. In other words, only military reservists, primarily those who served in the armed forces and have specific military occupational specialties and corresponding experience, will be called up.
    Before being sent to their units, those called up for active duty will undergo mandatory additional military training based on the experience of the special military operation.

    I have already signed Executive Order on partial mobilisation.
    In accordance with legislation, the houses of the Federal Assembly – the Federation Council and the State Duma – will be officially notified about this in writing today.
    The mobilisation will begin today, September 21. I am instructing the heads of the regions to provide the necessary assistance to the work of military recruitment offices.
    I would like to point out that the citizens of Russia called up in accordance with the mobilisation order will have the status, payments and all social benefits of military personnel serving under contract.
    Additionally, the Executive Order on partial mobilisation also stipulates additional measures for the fulfilment of the state defence order. The heads of defence industry enterprises will be directly responsible for attaining the goals of increasing the production of weapons and military equipment and using additional production facilities for this purpose. At the same time, the Government must address without any delay all aspects of material, resource and financial support for our defence enterprises.
    Friends,
    The West has gone too far in its aggressive anti-Russia policy, making endless threats to our country and people. Some irresponsible Western politicians are doing more than just speak about their plans to organise the delivery of long-range offensive weapons to Ukraine, which could be used to deliver strikes at Crimea and other Russian regions.
    Such terrorist attacks, including with the use of Western weapons, are being delivered at border areas in the Belgorod and Kursk regions. NATO is conducting reconnaissance through Russia’s southern regions in real time and with the use of modern systems, aircraft, vessels, satellites and strategic drones.
    Washington, London and Brussels are openly encouraging Kiev to move the hostilities to our territory. They openly say that Russia must be defeated on the battlefield by any means, and subsequently deprived of political, economic, cultural and any other sovereignty and ransacked.
    They have even resorted to the nuclear blackmail. I am referring not only to the Western-encouraged shelling of the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which poses a threat of a nuclear disaster, but also to the statements made by some high-ranking representatives of the leading NATO countries on the possibility and admissibility of using weapons of mass destruction – nuclear weapons – against Russia.
    I would like to remind those who make such statements regarding Russia that our country has different types of weapons as well, and some of them are more modern than the weapons NATO countries have. In the event of a threat to the territorial integrity of our country and to defend Russia and our people, we will certainly make use of all weapon systems available to us. This is not a bluff.
    The citizens of Russia can rest assured that the territorial integrity of our Motherland, our independence and freedom will be defended – I repeat – by all the systems available to us. Those who are using nuclear blackmail against us should know that the wind rose can turn around.
    It is our historical tradition and the destiny of our nation to stop those who are keen on global domination and threaten to split up and enslave our Motherland. Rest assured that we will do it this time as well.
    I believe in your support.

    Address by the President of the Russian Federation • President of Russia


    How any times has he used the word nazi?
    Somebody should teach him how to write a speech. I guess it proves that he wrote and is responsible for all this himself.

  17. #1792
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    Ukrainian Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk exchanged for 200 Azov battalion fighters, Zelenskiy says




    Prime minister says 215 soldiers imprisoned by Russia, including fighters who led the defence of Mariupol's Azovstal steelworks, have been released


    Ukraine has announced that 215 Ukrainian and foreign citizens have been released by Russia in a prisoner exchange, including fighters who led the defence of Mariupol’s Azovstal steelworks that became an icon of Ukrainian resistance.

    Russia received 55 prisoners including Viktor Medvedchuk, a former Ukrainian lawmaker and ally of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin accused of high treason, the Ukrainian leader, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said in his daily address.

    Medvedchuk was arrested in April, after escaping house arrest on treason charges days after the Russian invasion. At the time, Zelenskiy suggested exchanging him for Ukrainian prisoners of war held by Russia but the Kremlin rejected the offer.

    In May, Azov fighters surrendered after a long siege of the steelworks and were transferred to Russian-held territory.

    The swap is the biggest exchange between the warring sides since the start of Russia’s invasion in February.

    “We have managed to liberate 215 people,” the Ukrainian presidency’s chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, announced on television.

    Zelenskiy said five military commanders including leaders of the defence of Azovstal were taken to Turkey as part of an operation agreed with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

    The released prisoners would remain in Turkey “in total security and in comfortable conditions” until the end of the war, he added. There was no comment from Moscow.

    Ten prisoners of war including five Britons and two Americans, who were transferred from Russia to Saudi Arabia earlier on Wednesday, were part of the swap deal, Zelenskiy said.

    On Tuesday, Erdogan told US television that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to swap 200 prisoners in one of the largest exchanges of the seven-month-old war.

    Mariupol, a port city on the Sea of Azov in south-eastern Ukraine, withstood weeks of relentless Russian bombardment, with resistance concentrated in a dense network of underground tunnels at its Azovstal steel plant.

    Ukrainian forces’ longstanding refusal to surrender despite shortages of ammunition and supplies earned them praise across the country for their heroism in defying overwhelming odds against Russia’s superior numbers and firepower.
    With Agence France-Presse

    Ukrainian Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk exchanged for 200 Azov battalion fighters, Zelenskiy says | Ukraine | The Guardian

  18. #1793
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    Once again the USA is shouldering the bulk of the financial contributions
    Even more than Belgium or Luxembourg???? Oddly enough the US is also the leader in military spending overall by a very large margin at close to USD$1 trillion annually.
    One wonders why you keep raising this issue about the US as though it is a surprise. Also: 350 million people . . . Largest economy in the world . . . GDP at 21 trillion


    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    The yanks must think an alliance with the europeans is like having a retarded relative they have to look after.
    I'm sure they are also realistic enough and understand the military industrial complex and economics and excuse Portugal for not contributing 44 billion.

    Can Europe do more? Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeovers View Post
    See this in context.
    Good idea.

  19. #1794
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    'How to Break Arm' Becomes Top Google Trend as Russians Face Conscription

    Google searches for "how to break an arm at home" surged in Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced a partial mobilization of the population to fight in Ukraine.


    The Russian president said conscription would only be applied to reservists, with the decree taking effect on Wednesday.


    Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, who spoke after Putin's address to the nation, said 300,000 men with "previous military experience" would now be called up.

    Shortly after Google searches for "как сломать руку в домашних условиях," or "how to break an arm at home," exploded across Russia, sparking speculation some Russians could take extreme measures to avoid fighting in Ukraine.

    Google Trends ranks search terms from zero to 100 over a period of time, with zero representing the point of least interest and 100 the most.

    According to Trends data for the past seven days there were zero recorded searches for "how to break an arm at home" at 2 a.m. ET, when Putin's began his address. This doesn't literally mean there were no searches for the words, just that the amount was so low the data couldn't be quantified.

    However, by 4 a.m. ET this had surged to 38 out of a possible 100, showing a dramatic increase in searches for the phrase.


    During his address Putin said a partial mobilization would be "fully adequate to the threats we face, namely to protect our homeland, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, to ensure the security of our people and people in the liberated territories."


    He warned NATO countries that Russia has "various means of destruction" available to it, in a possible allusion to nuclear weapons.


    Putin added Russia would "use all the means at our disposal" if "the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people."


    On Tuesday, authorities in four partially Russian-controlled areas of Ukraine said they would hold referendums on formally joining the Russian Federation.

    Polling is due to start on Friday in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, though Western powers have rejected its legitimacy.

    Speaking at the White House, Jake Sullivan, Biden's national security adviser, condemned what he called "sham referenda" which "will be manipulated."

    He added: "Let me be clear, if this does transpire ... the United States will never recognize Russia's claims to any purportedly annexed parts of Ukraine. We will never recognize this territory as anything other than a part of Ukraine."


    If Russia formally annexes parts of occupied Ukraine it would allow Putin to present the war to the Russian public as a defense of sovereign Russian territory, rather than external aggression.


    Protests against the partial mobilization have been planned for Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. local time, in cities across Russia. Previous demonstrations against Putin's invasion of Ukraine have been brutally suppressed.

    'How to Break Arm' Becomes Top Google Trend as Russians Face Conscription

  20. #1795
    Days Work Done! Norton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Shortly after Google searches for "как сломать руку в домашних условиях," or "how to break an arm at home," exploded across Russia, sparking speculation some Russians could take extreme measures to avoid fighting in Ukraine.
    Pretty drastic to avoid conscription. Suggest finding a friendly doc to help.

    In the fall of 1968, Donald J. Trump received a timely diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels that led to his medical exemption from the military during Vietnam.

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    Voting has begun in Moscow-held regions in Ukraine in a referendum to join Russia — a move widely considered to be a precursor to illegal annexation.

    Key points:
    • Russian-installed leaders announced on Tuesday a referendum would be held
    • Residents in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia will be asked if they want to become part of Russia
    • The result is expected to be in Moscow's favour


    On Tuesday, Russian-backed leaders announced plans for ballots in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia, which together make up about 15 per cent of Ukrainian territory.

    The next day, Russian President Vladimir announced a military draft expected to deliver 300,000 troops, after losing ground to Ukranian forces.
    The ballot will run until Tuesday, and the result is expected to win Moscow's favour.

    That would give the Kremlin pretext to claim Ukraine's attempts to recapture occupied territories are an attack on Russia.

    "Encroachment onto Russian territory is a crime which allows you to use all the forces of self–defence," Dmitry Medvedev, who was Russia's president from 2008 to 2012, said in a post on Telegram.

    Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Gaidai told Ukrainian TV that declaring the regions Russian territories would allow Moscow to fight "without any reservations".

    Officials will bring ballots to people's houses for the first four days, with regular polls only opening for Tuesday.
    Polls have also opened in Russia for refugees from the area to vote.

    Denis Pushilin, a separatist leader of Moscow-backed authorities in the Donetsk region, called the referendum on Friday "a historical milestone."
    NATO has said the "sham referenda" are "illegal and illegitimate".

    The OSCE, which monitors elections, said the outcomes would have no legal force because they do not conform with Ukraine law or international standards.

    AP/Reuters
    Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago ...


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    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    A Decision Tree for Biden If Putin Goes Nuclear

    One question is how to retaliate against a Russian nuclear strike. Another is whether to announce it clearly or vaguely, publicly or privately.



    Don’t. Or else. Photographer: Drew Angerer/Getty Images
    By Andreas Kluth (Bloomberg Editorial)

    September 21, 2022 at 6:25 PM GMT+7


    Andreas Kluth is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering European politics. A former editor in chief of Handelsblatt Global and a writer for the Economist, he is author of “Hannibal and Me.” @andreaskluth

    Russian President Vladimir Putin doesn’t want to use nuclear weapons, just as he doesn’t want to still fight his “special military operation” against Ukraine. But he is still fighting — because he’s unable to win. That also means he might yet drop a nuke, as he once again threatened this week. The US and its allies — and Putin’s putative friends in China and elsewhere — need to decide now how they’d react.

    For Putin, nuclear escalation wouldn’t be a way of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, but of snatching survival — political or even physical — from the maw of oblivion. Unlike democratic leaders, he has no way to retire gracefully after all the damage he’s done. As a quack historian of the Tsars, he knows that his end could be messy.

    This is why he might dust off a Russian doctrine that Western analysts call “escalate to de-escalate.” It means going nuclear to avoid losing a conventional (non-nuclear) war. Putin would detonate one or more “tactical” (as opposed to “strategic”) nukes. These are low-yielding blasts large enough to eliminate a Ukrainian army position or logistics hub — but too “small” to erase an entire city.

    By dropping such a bomb, Putin would be signaling his willingness to use more. His motivation would be to force Ukraine to surrender and the West to get out of the conflict — but without inviting automatic retaliation by the US. Putin wants his enemies to stand down, so he can declare victory and stay in power.

    Such an act of desperation, it goes without saying, would mark the darkest turn in human history since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It would not only kill, maim and traumatize huge numbers of innocent people — Putin is already doing that — but also cause lasting terror throughout the entire world.

    Putin’s escalation would burst the Cold-War-era taboo against using nukes for anything other than deterrence. If he’s seen to get away with that, other nuclear rogue states would take their cues. This in turn would force countries that have forsaken nuclear weapons in the name of non-proliferation or disarmament — as Ukraine did in the 1990s — to build their own arsenals. Arms control would be dead. Nuclear warfare, by design or accident, would become more likely in more places, from West to South and East Asia.

    What, then, should US President Joe Biden do? He must deter Putin, obviously, while simultaneously preparing a response if Putin does escalate. But these are two aspects of the same decision: The implied response also does the deterring.

    Matthew Kroenig at the Atlantic Council, a think tank, has summarized some of the options. One answer to a limited Russian nuclear strike is to double, triple or quadruple all the measures the West has already taken against Putin’s regime, completely cutting off Russia from the Western world. Instead of caving, the West would also send more weapons to Ukraine, and more forces, including nuclear arms, to NATO’s eastern front.

    Such a deliberately limited response would aim to stop an escalation spiral before it starts. The problem is that Putin may not find this response frightening enough to be deterred. He’s already a pariah, and Russians are already aching under sanctions. If he’s dreading the end of his own reign or life — and that, remember, is the scenario we’re contemplating — he’d still go all in.

    Another problem is that a restrained response would look woefully inadequate to the Ukrainians and the rest of the world. Kyiv’s friends would lose heart. Dictators such as North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un would conclude that you can go ballistic and survive.

    So Biden’s response must be more muscular. He has two military options. One is to respond in kind, by also deploying a low-yield tactical nuke for show — in the Arctic Ocean, say, or remote Siberia. Its mushroom cloud would be meant as a Stop sign for Putin. It would also reassure Ukrainians and the world that the US will answer escalation tit for tat — that it’ll enforce the nuclear taboo.

    The problem is that this would turn the confrontation into an apocalyptic staredown, possibly leading to a series of tactical detonations. And Russia, which is roughly even with the US in strategic nukes, has about 10 times as many tactical warheads to play with. The scenarios become impossible to calculate, especially when factoring in human error. There would be a risk of Armageddon.

    The better military option is therefore a conventional US strike on Russian forces. The target could be the exact base that launched the nuclear strike. Or it could be Russian troops in Ukraine.

    This would signal to Ukraine and the world that any breach of the nuclear taboo will be punished. And the message to Putin would be that he can’t escalate to de-escalate, because the West will step in to defeat him.

    The drawback, obviously, is that this amounts to a direct clash between Russia and NATO, and therefore incurs the risk of World War III, with Armageddon still one scenario at the end. Putin might conclude that the US isn’t prepared to retaliate with nukes, and launch even more nuclear strikes.

    This raises another question Biden must answer: Once he’s decided how he’d respond to various levels of nuclear escalation, how should he communicate that — to Putin, allies, enemies, and the public?

    If he wants to maximize the deterrent value of his communication, he’ll be clear, specific and public — If Putin does X, we’ll do Y. The problem there is that Biden would forfeit all flexibility when Putin does something slightly different from X.

    The better option — which Biden appears to have chosen — is to be deliberately vague in public. The disadvantage is that this keeps even the Ukrainians guessing. The advantage is that Putin must assume the worst.

    There is another possibility. Return to our premise: Putin doesn’t want to go nuclear, but will if he fears that his own survival is threatened. The US could make plans for regime change — that is, for taking Putin and his inner circle out — in the event of nuclear escalation. In this case, it would be best to communicate that not vaguely but specifically, and not publicly but privately — to Putin.

    If there is any glimmer of hope in this dark time, it glinted in Uzbekistan last week, when Putin met the leaders of India and China, Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping. Both countries are nuclear powers. India is non-aligned, China is nominally behind Putin. But both expressed to Putin their “concern” over his war.

    No matter the enmity between Beijing and Washington, no matter the other conflicts going on, the specter of nuclear war must and can unite the world against the threat. Discreetly, Biden, Xi and all other world leaders could put aside their differences and send Putin this message: You go nuclear, and we’ll make sure you’re out.


    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  23. #1798
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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  24. #1799
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Putin added Russia would "use all the means at our disposal" if "the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people."
    So, the cretin thinks Ukraine is going to invade Russia . . . he's even more delusional than one could have imagined

  25. #1800
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    No, he doesn’t think Ukraine will invade Russia. The way I gather what Putin wants to do is illegally annex the parts of Ukraine he wants to take, including the ones Ukraine has troops in now, THEN say Ukraine has invaded Russia.

    Desperation.

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