Exceptional Powers – Anglo U.S NATO Elite Tyranny II

June 10th 2023

Ukraine’s counter-offensive against Russia under way

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  • 17 hours ago

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Ukrainian tanks outside Bakhmut
Image caption, Ukraine has been planning its counter-offensive for months – and it now may finally be under way

By Paul Adams

BBC News, Kyiv

Was this the week that Ukraine’s long-anticipated counter-offensive finally got under way?

Russian President Vladimir Putin seems to think so. “We can definitely state that this Ukrainian offensive has begun,” he said in a video interview published on Telegram on Friday.

In some ways, it’s already been under way for weeks, with Ukraine conducting what’s known in military jargon as “shaping operations”: long range artillery and missile attacks on key Russian logistical targets far behind the front lines.

Monday seemed to herald a change, with small detachments of lightly armoured Ukrainian units moving forward across the open fields towards Russian fortifications in southern Ukraine, south-east of Zaporizhzhia.

“Now the so-called ‘fighting reconnaissance stage’ is taking place along the entire length of the front,” Serhii Kuzan, co-founder and chairman of the Ukrainian Security and Cooperation Centre, told the BBC.

“That means there’s a probing of Russian defences.”

Some videos and accounts suggested that they quickly ran into trouble.

“Somewhere this happens more successfully with small losses,” Mr Kuzan said. “And somewhere less successfully, where the Russians fight back.”

Mr Kuzan declined to name specific towns, saying only that they were all in the area south of Zaporizhzhia.

Map showing Zaporizhzhia

By Tuesday, the world’s attention was captured by the destruction of the dam at Nova Kakhovka and the subsequent flooding that soon covered around 230 square miles (596 sq km) either side of the Dnipro River.

For all the Kremlin’s denials, it didn’t look like a coincidence. The dam, and the road across it, offered a possible line of attack for Ukrainian forces looking for ways to keep Russian forces off-balance.

It seems highly likely that Russian forces, which controlled the dam, decided to blow it up, taking one of Kyiv’s military operations off the table.

Kyiv had already signalled its interest in this stretch of the front line more than once.

In late April, Ukrainian soldiers crossed the river and briefly established a bridgehead at Oleshky. Ukraine also took control of several small islands in the Dnipro delta, close to Kherson.

The extent of Kyiv’s military plans for this area is not known, and is now academic. The catastrophic flooding will have made river crossings impossible for the time being.

“But the fact that such a direction was an option was seen by the Russians,” Mr Kuzan said.

Authorities evacuate residents after flooding in Kherson
Image caption, The burst dam has caused catastrophic flooding across southern Ukriane

While the authorities in Kyiv suddenly grappled with the flooding, the fighting continued – and seemed to escalate – further east.

By early Thursday morning, the UK’s Ministry of Defence tweeted that “heavy fighting continues along multiple sectors of the front,” adding that in most areas “Ukraine holds the initiative.”

In a video the same day, Russia’s defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said that Russian forces had repelled an overnight Ukrainian attack in the area south of Zaporizhzhia, involving 150 armoured vehicles and 1,500 troops.

According to the Russian Defence Ministry, Ukraine’s 47th Mechanised Brigade “made an attempt to break through Russian lines.”

A video circulated on the internet, purporting to show something new: a western-supplied Leopard tank being destroyed. The BBC has not yet verified the video.

Ukrainian officials, characteristically tight lipped about current operations, offered tantalising glimpses into what was going on.

Hanna Malyar, the Deputy Defence Minister, coyly said that Russian troops were “actively on the defensive” in the area around the town of Orikhiv, around 65km south-east of Zaporizhzhia.

In a statement on Telegram, she also confirmed that battles were continuing around Velyka Novosilka, further east.

The two towns likely form the western and eastern edges of a heavily fortified stretch of the front line where many analysts believe Ukraine will eventually try and punch through Russian lines.

“It’s not a secret that one of our main goals is to cut the land corridor that feeds the whole southern grouping of enemy forces,” Mr Kuzan said.

Ukrainian tanks outside Bakhmut
Image caption, Ukrainian forces want to cut the Russian-held land corridor to Crimea

Pro-Russian Telegram channels in the Donbas were full of excited chatter about Ukraine’s latest moves, much of it laced with scorn.

“They are going where the Russians are waiting for them,” one member posted in the I Love Kramatorsk group. “What stupidity!”

Others acknowledged that Ukrainian forces had moved forward, but questioned the price in lost men and armour.

“I really question the price of this success,” another member of the same group commented.

“Do they have enough forces to reach Tokmak [44km south of Orikhiv], let alone Berdyansk and Melitopol?”

But it’s not the only area where fighting is raging.

Footage from north and south of the city of Bakhmut, scene of one of the longest and bloodiest battles of the war, appeared to show Ukrainian forces moving forward.

Ms Malyar said they had advanced “from 200 to 1,100 metres in various sections,” in what may eventually be an effort to encircle the city and trap its Russian occupiers.

It is, as the UK’s Ministry of Defence noted, “a highly complex operational picture”.

But does it mean that Ukraine’s counter-offensive is already entering a dramatic new phase?

On Wednesday, Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, scoffed at the idea.

“All of this is not true,” he told Reuters.

“When we start the counter-offensive, everyone will know about it. They will see it.”

Ukrainian soldier holds a drone
Image caption, The air war – including the use of drones – will be vital for Ukraine’s counteroffensive

But something has definitely changed.

“The point is that the front is finally moving,” Serhii Kuzan said, adding that several options were still open to Ukrainian commanders.

But Ukraine is also operating under a number of significant restraints, the main one being the lack of fighter jets capable of providing support from the air.

“That’s why we move slowly,” Mr Kuzan said, “and then move air defence [systems] closer.”

Another factor is time. This offensive will probably last no more than five months, after which autumn rain will once again render open ground impassable for heavy armoured vehicles.

What will success look like?

If Ukrainian forces can punch through Russian lines, all the way to the Sea of Azov, then any Russian troops west of that breach will suddenly be much more vulnerable, dependent entirely on supply lines through the Crimean Peninsula.

All that would then remain, Mr Kuzan says, would be to destroy the Kerch Bridge linking Russia with Crimea (briefly disabled by a huge truck bomb last October) and attack ships and planes being used to ferry supplies to the peninsula.

“That would be the end,” he says. “But don’t expect this to happen soon. It’ll take months.”

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Get Killed Or Maimed Fighting For Elite Freedom & Democracy (sic ) by R J Cook

Comment Russian leaders and military strategists need to accept the reality of war with NATO or give up. NATO lied to Russia with the MINSK agreement. As asset stripping oligarch Poroshenko admits, they were pkanning to be part of a NATO Anglo U.S E.U containment exercise against Russia and ultimate regime change. Donbas Russians have good reason to fear Ukraine and NATO.

Western culture is defined by the fact that 3% of the westerrn world’s population control 62 % of global wealth. The rest is so fragmented that ultimately 10 % control the rest and they want to control they all want to control Russia before surrounding China. The elite will be protected while the masses fight , die or get maimed fighting for an illusion of freedom amounting to debt, consumer garbage with higher prices to pay for the war and mass immigration – as western exploitation pushes the Third World deeper into the dirt, religious bigotry, tribalism, irrevocable environmental degradation and ever more migration.

Russia has the choice of fighting a probably hopeless war against the western elite, their slavish deluded masses and sophisticated planet eating weapons or to give NATO and Ukriane hell on earth. The war has already crossed into Russia proper and is threatening their legitimate Crimean territory. The smug British with Captain ‘Mainwaring’ Wallace in charge of Britain’s not so secret war effort, want an open war and Russia may soon have to give it to them. Ukraine’s pathetic false fag operation blowing up the Crimean dam was a big effort to bring NATO into the open. At this rate, if the MI6 & CIA operations destabilising Russia don’t bring a quick end, Russian missiles will hit Poland, Germany and beyond.

R J Cook

June 9th 2023

Ukraine war latest: RAF fighter jets scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft – as state of emergency called over ‘attack’ on city deep into Russia

Amid reports of heavy fighting in Donetsk and Zaporizhzhia, the Kremlin hits out at Kyiv over a purported drone strike on a Russian city – and it is claimed Vladimir Putin has delayed an annual news conference.

Key points

RAF scrambled to intercept Russian aircraft

RAF Typhoons have been scrambled to intercept Russia aircraft flying close to NATO airspace twice in 24 hours, the Ministry of Defence has said.

This morning, Typhoons flew to intercept an aircraft flying toward the Gulf of Finland and the Baltic Sea.

Last night, RAF planes based in Estonia were joined by the Swedish airforce to intercept an aircraft close to NATO and Swedish airspace.

Russia ‘rigs chemical plant with explosives’

Russia has rigged an industrial chemical plant with explosives which would release “thousands of tonnes” of toxic substances if destroyed, according to two Ukrainian officials.

Former colonel of the Ukrainian armed forces Roman Svitan told Apostrof TV that Russian army engineers have prepped the Crimean Titan plant, near Armiansk in northern Crimea, for demolition should the Ukrainian army approach the peninsula.

“The plant is already completely mined, including containers with acid, chlorine and reagents. They recently began to rig explosives there, because they saw the armed forces of Ukraine could cross the Dnipro [river] and attack Armiansk,” he was quoted by the Kyiv Post as saying.

His warning echoed comments made by Oleksandr Prokudin, governor of the Kherson region bordering Crimea, who last Friday said Russian occupiers had taken explosives to the plant.

“A possible explosion will cause the release of thousands of tonnes of toxic substances into the atmosphere and lead to a deadly danger to people and the environment,” he said.

Russia boasts victory over powerful tank – turns out to be ‘tractor’

Russian officials boasted on Monday they had “annihilated” eight German-made Leopard 2 tanks, accompanied by a grainy footage of the purported success.

Video analysis by the Associated Press shows Russia did achieve a victory – over two combine harvesters and a tractor.

The vehicle struck by the Russian missile has four large wheels and sits high off the ground, while Leopard 2 tanks are low slung and have treads like a bulldozer.

The silhouette of the vehicle destroyed closely matches a specialised tractor called a self-propelled sprayer, and the video, taken using thermal imaging systems, shows no heat source – which would be present in operating tanks.

But this didn’t stop the Russian defence ministry, its embassy in Washington, and Russian state-controlled broadcasters and news sites showing the video extensively, claiming to have destroyed the powerful tank.

Two experts who watched the video said the vehicle struck by the helicopter’s missile was not a Leopard tank nor any other type of armoured vehicle.

“The silhouette of that particular vehicle or object did not look commensurate with what I’d be expecting for a Leopard tank,” said George Barros, of the Institute for the Study of War.

“I agree… that it was probably a piece of heavy farm equipment.”

United West, divided from the rest: Global public opinion one year into Russia’s war on Ukraine

Timothy Garton Ash

Ivan Krastev

Mark Leonard

From left, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, center, and European Council President Charles Michel join hands after addressing a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. European Union leaders are meeting for an EU summit to discuss Ukraine and migration. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys)
How Romantic


  • A new poll suggests that Russia’s war on Ukraine has consolidated ‘the West;’ European and American citizens hold many views in common about major global questions.
  • Europeans and Americans agree they should help Ukraine to win, that Russia is their avowed adversary, and that the coming global order will most likely be defined by two blocs led respectively by the US and China.
  • In contrast, citizens in China, India, and Turkiye prefer a quick end to the war even if Ukraine has to concede territory.
  • People in these non-Western countries, and in Russia, also consider the emergence of a multipolar world order to be more probable than a bipolar arrangement.
  • Western decision-makers should take into account that the consolidation of the West is taking place in an increasingly divided post-Western world; and that emerging powers such as India and Turkiye will act on their own terms and resist being caught in a battle between America and China.


A year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there is little doubt the war is a turning point in world history. The conflict has challenged Europeans’ most basic assumptions about their security, brought the spectre of nuclear confrontation back to their continent, and disrupted the global economy, leaving energy and food crises in its wake.

Yet while Russia’s aggression is an event of global significance, people in different parts of the world have experienced and interpreted it in diverse ways. According to a former national security adviser to the prime minister of India, “for many parts of the globe, a year of war in Ukraine has done less to redefine the world order than to set it further adrift, raising new questions about how urgent transnational challenges can be met.” In contrast to opinion in the West, people in many non-Western countries appear to believe that the post-cold war era is finished. They do not expect the next international order to be characterised by polarisation between two blocs led by the United States and China; instead, they see as more likely a fragmentation into a multipolar world.

The key findings of a new multi-country global poll indicate that, a year since Russia’s war on Ukraine began, the US and its European allies have regained their unity and sense of purpose. But the study also reveals a wide gap between the West and the ‘rest’ when it comes to their desired outcomes for the war and differing understandings of why the US and Europe support Ukraine. The poll took place in December 2022 and January 2023 in nine EU countries and Great Britain, and in China, India, Turkiye, Russia, and the US (the CITRUS countries, to use the shorthand of the University of Oxford’s Europe in a Changing World project). Its results suggest that Russia’s aggression in Ukraine marks both the consolidation of the West and the emergence of the long-heralded post-Western international order.

Stop the war v win the war

The new consensus among European governments is that only a Ukrainian victory will stop Putin’s war. Although significant numbers of European citizens still wish the war to cease as soon as possible, the poll appears to show a clear trend over the last year towards preferring Ukraine to win even if the conflict endures some time longer. Americans similarly believe that Ukraine must regain its territory if lasting peace is to be secured.

In contrast, people in non-Western countries possess a clear preference for the war to end now – even if it means Ukraine having to give up territory. In China, a plurality of those asked (42 per cent) agree that the conflict between Russia and Ukraine needs to stop as soon as possible, even if it means Ukraine giving control of areas of its territory to Russia. This desire to end the war soon is even stronger in Turkiye (48 per cent) and India (54 per cent). It is worth noting, however, that almost a third of people in both these countries would prefer Ukraine to regain all of its territory, even if it means a longer war or more Ukrainians being killed and displaced.

June 6th 2023

The Rest Of The West by R J Cook.

Britain’s mainstream media are having a field day condemning Russia for blowing up the

Nova Kakhovka dam, which holds water equal to that in the Great Salt Lake in the U.S. state of Utah, and supplies water to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula

Britain’s elite had a vested interest in stoking up conditions to undermine the relatively infant Germany. Their kings may have been first cousins but fear and jealousy ruled the waves and Britain’s new found ally, France, wanted revenge for the final war for unification in 1870. There was no idealism or love of democracy, when hundreds of thousands of young men were fed into the mincing machine of the rich man’s war in 1914. Afterwards ,Churchill wanted to bomb communist Russia afterwards and couldn’t wait to take control of World War Two when Germany had been set up for the second time. Now Britain takes a leading role in setting Germany and the rest of Europe up again.

Most British who have heard anything about World War Two, believe it was all about saving the Jews – the last thing Britain’s ruling elite cared about. The same is true of Britain’s elite involvement in World War Three. They had no interest in Zelensky and predecessor Poroshenko’s genocide of ethnic Russians in the Don-bas or violation of the Minsk Agreement. As in 1914 and 1939, the Anglo U.S attitude to Russia is no better than Hitler’s Nazis when they went east. It is about living space, resources ,wealth and power at Russia’s existential expense.

This creeping attack on Russia has been extant since Putin broke away from Yeltsin’s so called reforms. These reforms created the asset stripping oligarchs so welcome in the west, buying up London property,football clubs and newspapers. They even donated to the Tory Party. Russia’s struggle to produce enough non nuclear weaponry testifies to the debilitating long term effects of Mikhail Gorbachev’s Glasnost. Exactly why Putin decided to call time on Russia’s decline is unclear. Unfortunately many younger people had been seduced by apparent western freedom and glamour. Some might say they were turned soft under alcoholic. Meanwhile MI6 and CIA expanded their subversive covert operations to drive further decline into decadence.

Over the years, an Anglo British elite paranoia regarding Russia’s communist past, was putting serious money into the process of buying traitors. Once such person was Sergei Skripal who mysteriously survived a dose of Novichok in a Salisbury restaurant, was saved and disappeared along with is also poisoned daughter, without a trace. We are supposed to believe that the FSB did the job rather than another false flag operation like Douma. The two FSB agents videoed in Salisbury could have been Skripal’s handlers because he was a double agent and MI6 then probably killed him. Reasonable explanations don’t usually apply to the world of espionage.

So with that in mind , speculating about who blew the Crimean dam cannot lead to certain conclusions. We recently heard Zelensky’s demand for an open NATO war on Russia – a situation where his forces are already attacking Russia. Those of us who believe that Crimea is legitimate historic Russian territory – which the British and then the United States have wanted to control for many years – do not believe Russia stupid enough to score such a damning home goal. Zelensky tried a similar trick when Ukraine fired a missile into Poland, claiming it was Russia so as to trigger a full scale NATO war. Fortunately the United States is a little more cautious than war mongering Britain – where the masses are so stupid that they believe the ‘cost of war crisis’ is a ‘cost of living crisis ‘ and blame Brexit.

This attack on the vital damn, on Russian territory, was most likely a Ukrainian false flag operation pathetically pinned on Russia. Ukraine , like the rest of the west. The moralising western elites and their heaving masses, cannot conceive that their leaders are corrupt liars. They turn a blind eye to their own forces’ war crimes but are always on the lookout for Russian atrocities. This dam breach was a precision operation with all the hallmarks of Britain’s Special Air Services ( SAS ) known to be operating in Ukraine. No nation’s political elite , as made clear by the defence ( sic ) minister, wants an open war more than Britain. Blowing such a big hole in the dam could be a game changer.

R J Cook

Ukraine dam supplying water to Crimea, nuclear plant is breached, unleashing floods

ReutersJune 6, 20238:20 AM GMT

  • Widespread flooding reported after dam breached in Kherson
  • Russia says Ukrainian attacks beaten back
  • New Russian air raids on Kyiv
  • Ukraine makes no mention of counteroffensive starting

KYIV, June 6 (Reuters) – Millions of litres of water burst through a gaping hole in a Russian-controlled dam on Tuesday, flooding a swathe of the war zone in southern Ukraine, threatening scores of villages and cutting off water supplies.

Ukrainian and Russian forces blamed each other for the breach.

The Nova Kakhovka dam, which holds water equal to that in the Great Salt Lake in the U.S. state of Utah, supplies water to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, also under Russian control.

KYIV, June 6 (Reuters) – Millions of litres of water burst through a gaping hole in a Russian-controlled dam on Tuesday, flooding a swathe of the war zone in southern Ukraine, threatening scores of villages and cutting off water supplies.

Ukrainian and Russian forces blamed each other for the breach.

The Nova Kakhovka dam, which holds water equal to that in the Great Salt Lake in the U.S. state of Utah, supplies water to Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula, annexed by Russia in 2014, and to the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, also under Russian control.

The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, said on Twitter it was closely monitoring the situation but that there was “no immediate nuclear safety risk at (the) plant” which is also in southern Ukraine.

However, Ukraine’s state atomic power agency Energoatom said the water level of the Kakhovka Reservoir was rapidly lowering, posing an “additional threat” to the facility, Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.

Some 22,000 people living across 14 settlements in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region are at risk of flooding, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted the Moscow-installed head of the region as saying. Kherson is one of five regions, including Crimea, that Moscow claims to have annexed.

Unverified videos on social media showed water surging through the remains of the dam with bystanders expressing their shock. Water levels raced up by metres in a matter of hours.

A Russian-installed official in the town of Nova Kakhovka said on Tuesday residents of around 300 houses had been evacuated, state-owned news agency TASS reported. He said it would likely be impossible to repair the dam.


The dam breach came as Ukraine prepares to launch its long-awaited counter-offensive to drive Russian forces from territory they have seized during more than 15 months of fighting.

Russia said it had thwarted another Ukrainian offensive in eastern Donetsk and inflicted heavy losses. It also launched a fresh wave of overnight air strikes on Kyiv. Ukraine said its air defence systems had downed more than 20 cruise missiles on their approach to the capital.

Reuters could not independently verify the reports and it was unclear whether any of the latest fighting marked the beginning of Ukraine’s long-anticipated counter-offensive.

The Southern Command of Ukraine’s military accused Russian forces of blowing up the Nova Kakhovka dam, which is 30 metres (yards) tall and 3.2 km (2 miles) long. It was built in 1956 on the Dnipro river.

“The scale of the destruction, the speed and volumes of water, and the likely areas of inundation are being clarified,” the Ukrainian military said on Facebook.

Ukraine’s military intelligence agency later said on Telegram that Russian forces had blown up the dam “in a panic”, in what it said was “an obvious act of terrorism and a war crime, which will be evidence in an international tribunal”.

[1/2] A satellite image shows Nova Kakhovka Dam in Kherson region, Ukraine June 5, 2023. Maxar Technologies/Handout via REUTERS

Russian news agencies said the dam had been destroyed in shelling while the mayor of Russia-controlled Nova Kahhovka city was quoted as blaming an act of terrorism – Russian shorthand for an attack by Ukraine.

The Russian installed head of the Kherson region said evacuation near the dam had begun and that water would reach critical levels within five hours.

The Kakhovka Hydroelectric Power Plant has been “totally destroyed” and cannot be restored after a detonation inside the engine room, Ukraine’s state hydroelectric company said.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will hold an emergency meeting over the dam blast, Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defence Council, said on Twitter on Tuesday.


Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24 last year in what the Kremlin expected to be a swift operation, but its forces suffered a series of defeats and regrouped in the country’s east.

Tens of thousands of Russian troops dug in over the winter, besieging Bakhmut for months and bracing for an expected Ukrainian counter-attack to try to cut Russia’s so-called land bridge to the Crimean Peninsula.

Ukrainian officials have made no mention of any broad, significant new campaign, although in his nightly address on Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy was enigmatic, hailing “the news we have been waiting for” and forward moves in Bakhmut in Donetsk.

Russia says it thwarted a major Ukrainian attack in the Donetsk region over the weekend and on Tuesday the defence ministry said a fresh Ukrainian assault had also been repelled.

Russian forces inflicted huge personnel losses on attacking Ukrainian forces and destroyed 28 tanks, including eight Leopard main battle tanks and 109 armoured vehicles, it said. Total Ukrainian losses amounted to 1,500 troops.

There was no immediate comment from Kyiv about Russia’s assertions. Russia and Ukraine have often made claims of inflicting heavy human losses on each other which could not be verified.

Writing on Telegram, Russia’s Wagner militia leader Yevgeny Prigozhin said Moscow’s claims of huge Ukrainian losses were “simply wild and absurd science fiction.”

The Washington Post reported that some U.S. officials thought Ukraine’s counter-offensive was underway, but White House national security spokesperson John Kirby declined to comment on whether this was the case.

“I’m not going to be talking for the Ukrainian military,” he told a briefing, adding that the United States had done “everything we could … to make sure that they had all the equipment, the training, the capabilities to be successful.”

The success or failure of a counter-offensive, expected to be waged with billions of dollars worth of advanced Western weaponry, is likely to influence the shape of future Western diplomatic and military support for Ukraine.

In its evening report on Monday, Ukraine’s General Staff made no mention of any large-scale offensive, nor did it suggest any deviation from the usual tempo or scope of fighting along front lines that have not changed significantly for months.

Reporting by Reuters bureaux, Lidia Kelly and Ron Popeski; Writing by Stephen Coates and Gareth Jones; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Michael Perry

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

June 4th 2023

Ukraine war: Anti-Kremlin fighters say Russian soldiers ‘captured’

Screengrab of a video by Belgorod regional chief Vyacheslav Gladkov
Image caption, Belgorod regional chief Vyacheslav Gladkov posted a video saying he had agreed to an offer to meet the fighters

By James FitzGerald

BBC News

Fighters opposed to the government in Moscow say they have captured some Russian soldiers in Belgorod, near the border with Ukraine.

Belgorod’s top official replied to say he had agreed to meet the men’s captors if the soldiers were still alive.

But later, the fighters said that the governor “had not found the courage” to meet them and they would hand over their captives to Ukraine.

Russia has blamed Ukraine for recent attacks in its border territories.

Kyiv denies being directly involved.

The Russian army said on Sunday its artillery had hit a “terrorist” group near the village of Novaya Tavolzhanka, adding that “the enemy scattered and retreated”.

Earlier, a group of paramilitaries issued a message on the Telegram app, saying they had captured two men but would hand them over if Belgorod governor Vyacheslav Gladkov agreed to talks.

The video purported to show both captives, although the BBC has been unable to independently verify their identities.

The message was posted by the Liberty of Russia Legion (FRL) and described as a joint statement with the Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK).

Mr Gladkov responded with his own Telegram video, saying he had agreed to the talks if the soldiers were shown to be still alive – adding that he thought they had probably been killed.

Later, the RDK posted a further video – this time appearing to show even more captives, in which they said that Mr Gladkov had failed to turn up for the meeting.

“Neither the military nor the civilian leadership is interested” in the fate of the captured men, the RDK said.

Meanwhile, the FRL described the Russian authorities as “rotten and cowardly”. They said they would now hand over the captives to Ukraine – to be subject to an exchange with Ukrainian prisoners of war.

Both groups want to topple President Vladimir Putin, and also oppose the full-scale invasion of Ukraine that he launched in February last year.

Ukrainian officials say the two paramilitary organisations consist of Russian citizens who want to create a “security zone” for Ukrainians.

The RDK came to prominence in March for a cross-border raid in Russia’s Bryansk region. Its leader is a Russian nationalist with alleged links to neo-Nazis.

The FRL is considered a different sort of organisation that fights alongside Ukrainian troops against Russian forces.

Members of Russian Volunteer Corps pose for a picture atop an armoured vehicle at Graivoron border crossing in Kozinka, Belgorod region, Russia, in this handout picture released on May 23, 2023
Image caption, The Russian Volunteer Corps (RDK) came to prominence in the Bryansk region in March

In his video, Mr Gladkov labelled the fighters in question “scoundrels, murderers, fascists”, but promised to “guarantee safety” if the talks took place.

And though they asked him to go to Novaya Tavolzhanka to meet them, he said this was too dangerous and that he would expect them at a checkpoint in the town of Shebekino.

Mr Gladkov has not commented on the events since the video, but posted pictures of a meeting with regional and federal officials.

There has been a spate of attacks in Belgorod recently – notably including a major cross-border incursion late last month which Moscow said ended in the deaths of 70 insurgents.

Kyiv has denied having any direct involvement in such attacks.

But it has painted the growing violence in Russian territory as being the inevitable consequence of Russia’s invasion last year.

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More on this story

Anglo -U.S Strategy to Dismember Russian Federation

Anglo – U.S intelligence services have been plotting to discredit , undermine and break up Russia ever since the death of U.S stooge and alcoholic Yeltsin. Here we see secret filming of a Russian traitor and a British M16 agent talkimg about dirty money for their cause. That is why they provoked Russia into the current war. British people are so stupid that a recent survey found 60% of the populstion blamed Brexit for the so called ‘cost of living crisis.’

Russia’s political elite has been stung by a recently declassified CIA report that suggests the world’s largest country could fall apart at the seams in a decade and split into as many as eight different states.

The report, Global Trends 2015, has sparked a lively debate in Russia about the country’s territorial integrity and triggered passionate denunciations from some of Russia’s leading politicians. Its unflinchingly bleak assessment of Russia’s prospects has angered many at a time when the Russian government is doing its best to talk up the economy.

The fact that the gloomy prognosis comes from its old Cold War enemy makes it all the harder for Russia to swallow. But many ordinary Russians seem to share the CIA’s pessimism.

An opinion poll conducted by radio station Ekho Moskvy earlier this week revealed that 71 per cent of those surveyed (3,380 people) thought that the disintegration of the motherland was a “real threat”.

Yesterday’s Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper printed a map for its readers showing how Russia might look by 2015 if the CIA is right. It showed Siberia broken up into four different countries, with western Russia similarly partitioned.

It is not for nothing that president Vladimir Putin’s party is called United Russia. According to the CIA, some of Russia’s eastern regions are so rich in natural resources such as oil and gas that they will opt to break away from Moscow, which they have long accused of poor governance.

Komsomolskaya Pravda was dismissive of the report. “Either the CIA has super perspicacious analysts who can see what mortal Russians, including politicians and political scientists, cannot, or someone has got it wrong,” it said.

Boris Gryzlov, the speaker of the Russian parliament, said: “I completely reject the possibility of Russia breaking up.

“Over the past four years, a lot has been done to strengthen vertical power and legislation in the constituent parts of the Russian Federation was brought into line with the constitution a long time ago.”

According to the CIA report, a falling birth rate meant that the country’s population was likely to decline to 130 million by 2015 from 146 million today. It also painted a picture of Russia as a terminally ill patient.

“The Soviet economic inheritance will continue to plague Russia,” the report said. “Besides a crumbling physical infrastructure, years of environmental neglect are taking a toll on the population, a toll made worse by such societal costs of transition as alcoholism, cardiac diseases, drugs and a worsening health delivery system. Russia’s population is not only getting smaller, but it is becoming less and less healthy and less able to serve as an engine of economic recover.”

Dmitry Orlov, the director of Russia’s political and economic communications agency, claimed the CIA had an ulterior motive. “The conservative wing of the American Republican party is interested in the maximum weakening of Russia’s position and maybe even in its fragmentation,” Mr Orlov told the Izvestia newspaper.

June 3rd 2023

Kyiv missile strikes: Tracking the rise of Russian attacks

Damage to a block of flats in Kyiv following a Russian drone strike on 29 May
Image caption, A block of flats in Kyiv following a Russian attack in late May

By Adam Robinson and Kayleen Devlin

BBC Monitoring and BBC Verify

The Ukrainian capital Kyiv has been repeatedly hit by missiles and drones over the past few weeks. Most of the attacks come at night.

In central Kyiv, Nataliya Lyashchenko has lost count of the number of times where the sound of air sirens, drones and missiles have stopped her sleeping. During one night-time raid, she said the bright lights in the dark sky were “like Star Wars”.

Strikes like these are becoming more frequent. Experts believe Russia is changing its tactics in an attempt to sap Ukraine’s air defences – but also suspect that, to some degree, it is lashing out at Ukraine’s civilian population in response to setbacks in the war.

BBC Verify has analysed local media reports, eyewitness accounts, and statements from local officials and the Ukrainian military to build a picture of the rise in these aerial attacks both on Kyiv and across the country since the start of this year.

A column chart showing the number of days in which Russian missile and drone attacks on Ukraine have been reported in the Ukrainian media. The data shows a gradual increase from a low of three separate attacks in January to eight total attacks in Mach and April, before a sharp rise to 21 attacks in May

In January, there were just three days when Russia launched aerial attacks on targets in Ukraine.

In May, that figure increased to 21 days. There also were attacks on the first two days of June.

In addition to intensifying the attacks, Russia appears to have changed its main objectives.

Dara Massicot, senior policy researcher at the Rand Corporation, says that the aim of the attacks is to wear down Ukrainian air defences.

“Right now we’re seeing more strikes against large population centres, which puts Ukraine in a position where they’re forced to expend interceptors to defend their cities,” she says.

Interceptors are surface-to-air missiles used to shoot down attacking drones or missiles.

Russian missile or drone being shot down over Kyiv's zoo
Image caption, One drone or missile was shot down over Kyiv’s zoo

But there might also be another reason for the increased attack frequency, says Ms Massicot.

During this war, Russia has used missiles to show its population it is doing something – and Massicot says the recent strikes are likely a reaction to attacks inside Russia that Moscow has blamed on Ukraine.

“I think we’re seeing a combination of both things: realising they need to wear down Ukrainian air defences, and lashing out over some of their setbacks,” she says.

Kyiv hit hardest

Russia has increasingly focused its strikes on the capital Kyiv.

Kyiv has been targeted in 17 out of 21 reported Russian attacks on Ukraine in May, compared with twice out of seven attacks in April.

Two maps of Ukraine showing the number of days in which there have been reports of Russian missile and drone attacks on key Ukrainian cities over the course of April and May. Red circles of varying sizes are used in the city locations to represent the number of attacks. The maps show that attacks on Kyiv have increased sharply from a total of two in April to 17 in May. Dnipro and Odesa have seen smaller increases from three to four and two to five attacks respectively.

It has taken a psychological toll on the city’s residents. Polina Karabach lives in the suburbs, approximately five or six kilometres outside of central Kyiv.

On 28 April, she woke up at 04:00 hearing loud noises outside.

“I was feeling very anxious as the news channel I usually tune into wasn’t operating so I wasn’t able to get many details,” she told the BBC.

What she didn’t know at the time was that Russian cruise missiles were soaring through the sky, eventually destroyed by Ukrainian air defences.

Local officials say all the missiles or drones targeting Kyiv have been shot down, with any damage coming from falling debris.

This has not been independently verified.

Greg Bagwell, president of the UK Air and Space Power Association, and a former RAF commander, told the BBC that Kyiv appears to be more of a “strategic” rather than “military” target.

“Kyiv is the centre of government,” he says. “It plays more to the idea that Russia is really trying to create a totemic sense of victory. It’s more about symbolism than actual military effect.”

Whatever the motivation, there are very few corners of Kyiv that have not felt the impact of the drone and missile strikes.

People take shelter in a Kyiv metro station during an air raid alert on 5 May 2023
Image caption, People use Kyiv’s metro stations as shelter during air raid alerts

Nataliya Lyashchenko told the BBC about her experience during one such raid, on 4 May.

“It started with air sirens in the night and then almost 15-20 minutes later the battle started,” she says.

She took shelter in a metro station a short distance from her house, taking only her passport and cat with her.

“It’s not a game. It’s a war,” she says .”We’ve lost our jobs, our houses, our health. We have big challenges ahead.

“After our victory it will take 10 or 20 – maybe even more – years to recover mentally. But I believe we will survive, because Ukrainians have shown good resolve to survive.”

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June 1st 2023

Moscow drone attack: Putin says Ukraine trying to frighten Russians

By Nadeem Shad & Robert Greenall

BBC News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded to Tuesday’s drone attacks on the capital Moscow, accusing Ukraine of trying to frighten Russians.

He said civilians were targeted, but air defences dealt satisfactorily with the threat.

The defence ministry said at least eight drones caused minor damage, but Kyiv has denied responsibility.

This is the first time the city has been targeted by multiple drones since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said no-one was seriously injured. Several drones fell on an exclusive western suburb where senior officials live.

Speaking on Russian TV, Mr Putin said the attack had been a response to what he described as a Russian attack on Ukraine’s military intelligence HQ in recent days. The BBC is unable to independently verify whether any such attack took place.

“In response to this, the Kyiv regime chose a different path – the path of attempts to intimidate Russia, to intimidate Russia’s citizens, and of air strikes against residential buildings,” he said.

“This is obviously a sign of terrorist activity.”

“They are provoking us into responding in kind,” he added.

Russia’s foreign ministry said Western support for Kyiv was “pushing the Ukrainian leadership towards ever more reckless criminal deeds including acts of terrorism”.

But the US state department repeated Washington’s position that it did not support attacks inside Russia, adding that it was still gathering information on the drone strikes.

The strikes on Moscow followed an overnight drone attack on the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv in which at least one person was reported killed.

Ukrainian officials said falling debris set buildings on fire as Ukraine’s air defences intercepted more than 20 drones.

Meanwhile, Russia’s defence ministry said all eight drones targeting Moscow had been intercepted.

“Three of them were suppressed by electronic warfare, lost control and deviated from their intended targets. Another five drones were shot down by the Pantsir-S surface-to-air missile system in the Moscow region,” the ministry said.

The aerial assaults struck some of Moscow’s most prominent neighbourhoods. Areas hit include Leninsky Prospekt, a grand boulevard created under Josef Stalin.

A suburb of western Moscow where Mr Putin has a residence, along with other members of the Russian elite, was also hit.

Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podolyak said that Kyiv was not directly involved, but that Ukraine had enjoyed watching events unfold and predicted an increase in such incidents.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.49.3/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Watch: BBC Russia editor describes the moment the drone attack happened

Mr Putin said that while Moscow’s air defences had responded successfully they still needed “bit of work” and had to be made “more dense”.

One former military officer said the attacks came as a complete surprise to Muscovites.

There were no warning signals alerting that an aerial attack would happen, said Viktor Sobolev, talking to Federal Press.

Russia’s radar was unable to detect the drones and trigger the air raid alarm because they were flying very low, he explained. He added that Russia should create systems that can see drones at very low altitudes.

An elite community in the forest

Three of the drones shot down were taken out over Moscow’s exclusive Rublyovka suburb, according to a member of Russia’s parliament.

A patchwork of exclusive gated communities situated in the forests west of the capital, the area is home to many of Russia’s business, political and cultural luminaries.

One zone is a 10-minute drive from Novo-Ogaryovo, the suburban residence of the Russian president and thought to be Mr Putin’s main abode.

Other purported residents include former president Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

Wagner Group head Yevgeny Prigozhin has frequently lambasted inhabitants of the neighbourhood as an out-of-touch elite lacking commitment to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine.

The mercenary chief blamed Tuesday’s drone attacks on military officials living in the suburb.

In an expletive-laden post on the messaging app Telegram, he asked why Russia was allowing drones to fly to Moscow.

“Let your houses burn,” he concluded defiantly.

Map showing locations of verified drone attacks in Moscow

Dr Jack Watling, an expert on land warfare from the Royal United Services Institute, told the BBC that Ukraine had struck airfields in Russia before, but not the capital.

An alleged drone attack on the Kremlin took place in early May.

At the time, unverified footage circulated online showing smoke rising above the the complex, while a second video showed a small explosion above the Senate Palace, used as offices for the presidential administration.

Russian authorities claimed it was an attack ordered by Kyiv, while Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky denied his country was involved in the incident.

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May 28th 2023

Ukraine war: Kyiv hit by new massive Russian drone attack – mayor

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Rescuers inspect a building damaged during a Russian drone attack in Kyiv, Ukraine. Photo: 28 May 2023
Image caption, Several buildings were hit by falling drone fragments, Kyiv officials say

By Jaroslav Lukiv

BBC News

Russia has carried out a new massive overnight drone attack on Ukraine’s capital Kyiv, killing at least one person, local officials have said.

Kyiv’s mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said a man died when drone wreckage fell near a petrol station. A woman was injured.

Overall, Russia launched a record 54 so-called kamikaze drones on Ukrainian targets, 52 of which were shot down, Ukraine’s Air Force reported.

In Kyiv alone, more than 40 drones were downed, officials said.

This information has not been independently verified.

Russia – which launched its full-scale invasion in February 2022 – has in recent weeks stepped up its attacks on Kyiv, seeking to overwhelm the capital’s defences.

Earlier on Sunday, air raid alerts were activated in 12 regions of Ukraine, from Volyn in the north-west to Dnipropetrovsk in the south-east.

In a post on social media, Mr Klitschko urged Kyiv residents to “stay in shelters”, warning of waves of drone attacks and a “difficult” night ahead.

He said at least two high-rising buildings in different districts of the capital were on fire after being hit by falling drone fragments.

Kyiv officials also reported that warehouses in the southern Holosiyivsky district were ablaze.

Some officials accused Russia of targeting Kyiv deliberately as residents prepared to celebrate Kyiv Day – the anniversary of the city’s foundation 1500 years ago and a popular holiday before the war.

There were also reports of explosions in the city of Zhytomyr, west of Kyiv.

The air alert was later lifted in the capital and across the country.

In its recent attacks, Russia has been using so-called kamikaze drones as well as a range of cruise and ballistic missiles.

The attacks come ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.

On Saturday, one of Ukraine’s most senior security officials told the BBC the country was ready to launch such an operation.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the powerful National Security and Defence Council of Ukraine, said an assault to retake territory from President Vladimir Putin’s occupying forces could begin “tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in a week”.

Ukraine has been planning a counter-offensive for months. But it has wanted as much time as possible to train troops and to receive military equipment from Western allies.

In the meantime, Russian forces have been preparing their defences in the seized regions of south-eastern Ukraine.

Speaking to the BBC, Andrei Kelin, Russia’s ambassador to the UK, said his country had “enormous resources” and it was yet to “act very seriously”.

Warning that supplies of weapons to Ukraine risk escalating the war to levels not seen so far, he added: “Sooner or later, of course, this escalation may get a new dimension which we do not need and we do not want.”

May 21st 2023

Belgorod raid: Insurgents defeated after rare cross-border incursion – Russia

By James Gregory & Frank Gardner

BBC News

Armed insurgents who crossed the border from Ukraine to launch attacks in Russia’s Belgorod region have been defeated, Moscow claims.

Villages near the border were evacuated after coming under shellfire in one of the most significant cross-border raids since the start of Russia’s invasion.

Russia says 70 attackers were killed and insists the fighters are Ukrainian.

But Kyiv has denied involvement and two Russian paramilitary groups have said they were behind the incursion.

Monday’s raid led Moscow to declare a counter-terrorism operation, giving the authorities special powers to clamp down on communications and people’s movements.

The measures were only lifted on Tuesday afternoon, and even then, one of the paramilitary groups was claiming it still controlled a “small, but our own piece of the Motherland”.

The claims by the warring sides have not been independently verified, but any assaults on Russian soil make Nato leaders nervous, and the development could prove a mixed blessing for Kyiv.

‘These are Russian patriots’

Russia’s defence ministry said a “unit of the Ukrainian nationalist formation” invaded its territory and was responsible for heavy shelling on the Kozinka checkpoint and other parts of the nearby area.

As well as killing dozens of what it described as “Ukrainian terrorists” in artillery and air strikes, the ministry claimed to have driven the rest of the fighters back to the Ukrainian border.

But Ukrainian officials said the attackers were Russians, from groups known as the Liberty of Russia Legion and the Russian Volunteer Corps (RVC).

“These are Russian patriots who want to change the political regime in the country,” Ukrainian Deputy Defence Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian TV.

The Liberty of Russia Legion said on Twitter on Monday it had “completely liberated” the border town of Kozinka and that its units had reached as far as the town of Grayvoron, further east.

The group said it was continuing to free the Belgorod region and Russian armed forces could not oppose it.

Separately, on Tuesday afternoon the RVC posted a video of its fighters moving towards what looked like a border check-point, saying it still controlled a “small… piece of the homeland”.

Both of the paramilitary groups also told Ukraine’s public broadcaster Suspilne that they were creating “a demilitarised zone on the border with the Russian Federation from which they will not be able to shell Ukraine”.

‘Raid plays to Russian narrative’

The cross-border incursion may be embarrassing for Moscow, and go some way to offset the bad optics for Ukraine of reportedly losing control of Bakhmut after months of intense and bloody fighting.

It is also likely to be part of Ukraine’s shaping operations ahead of its coming counter-offensive, aiming to draw Russian troops away from the south where Kyiv is expected to attack.

But it is not a development that is likely to welcomed by the West.

The long-range weapons they have provided to Kyiv, although not used in this attack, still come with the proviso they are not to be used to hit targets inside Russia.

Despite official denials from Kyiv, it is hard to believe this raid was launched without assistance from Ukrainian military intelligence.

It plays into the Kremlin narrative that Russia’s own sovereign security is under attack from malign forces backed by the West.

It is a narrative likely to be fuelled by reports that some of those who took part are linked to far right extremism, reinforcing Moscow’s claim that its trying to rid Ukraine of Neo-Nazis.

Thousands displaced

Belgorod’s governor Vyacheslav Gladkov said several people had been injured in the fighting, including two civilians who were being evacuated from their homes.

Mr Gladkov said that people in several villages had been evacuated and warned those who had fled their homes not to return yet, as Russian forces carried out what he described as a “mopping-up” operation.

He added that air defences had shot down drones overnight, damaging buildings.

Temporary shelters have been set up in the Grayvoronsky district for some 9,300 people who have been displaced, according to local authorities.

The BBC has verified that a building used by Russia’s main security agency, the FSB, was among those hit. It is not clear what caused the damage.


Zelensky dominates summit as G7 leaders call out China

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky

By Tessa Wong

BBC News, Hiroshima

Volodymyr Zelensky made a scene-stealing arrival at the G7 summit in Japan on Saturday, as world leaders issued a veiled warning to China.

The Ukrainian president arrived in Hiroshima on a French government plane, after a stopover in Saudi Arabia.

His hastily-organised visit prompted G7 leaders to issue a statement early, in which they condemned Russia.

They also warned against “economic coercion”, which Beijing is accused of using against several countries.

This year’s gathering of the world’s richest democracies saw them extending invitations to several emerging economies in the so-called Global South, as well as India and Australia.

Top of the agenda is the Ukraine war, and Mr Zelensky’s last-minute appearance has added heft and urgency to discussions – as well as star power.

He arrived hours after Washington said it would train Ukrainian pilots on American-made F-16 fighter jets and allow allies to provide the advanced warplanes to Kyiv – a move condemned by Russia but hailed by Mr Zelensky as “historic”.

For the previous 24 hours, a “will he or won’t he” drama over Mr Zelensky’s trip to Japan dominated the news cycle. News of his possible visit broke on Friday and stole the limelight, just as leaders visited a peace memorial park in Hiroshima.

But even as news outlets scrambled to confirm it, there were confusing signals from Ukrainian officials on whether the Ukrainian leader was coming. It was a sign that, while his visit was reportedly mooted weeks ago in chats between Mr Zelensky and Japanese PM Fumio Kishida, the final decision was made abruptly.

Even his exact arrival time was shrouded in secrecy, until Japanese TV stations suddenly flashed live footage of him arriving at Hiroshima airport on a plane loaned to him by his close ally French President Emmanuel Macron.

Mr Zelensky was brisk upon touchdown, running down the stairs into a waiting car and diving straight into one-on-one meetings with various world leaders, including British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who greeted him with a friendly “You made it!”.

Now that he is here, Mr Zelensky’s presence not only adds a zing to the placid diplomatic proceedings, it overshadows them.

But it is unlikely the G7 leaders will mind. Their sanctions so far have failed to stop Russia’s invasion, and Friday’s pledge to “starve” Russia of resources for its “war machine” remains vague.

But with world leaders literally standing shoulder to shoulder with Mr Zelensky, the optics send a firm message to Moscow that they mean business.

The leaders also sought to deliver a message to Moscow’s ally, China.

Besides addressing key topics such as nuclear non-proliferation and climate change, their joint final statement talked about their commitment to the Indo-Pacific region, which they tried to demonstrate by inviting countries such as Indonesia, India and the Cook Islands.

They stressed their support of South East Asian and Pacific countries, which have been heavily wooed by Beijing, and called for a “free and open Indo-Pacific” – rhetoric used in the past in response to China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea.

More importantly, the leaders took a strong stance against what they called “economic coercion” – using trade to bully other countries – and called for China to “play by international rules”.

Stressing their commitment to “economic resilience”, they vowed to take steps to “reduce excessive dependences in our critical supply chains” – a reference to how the G7 countries are still inextricably linked to China in trade.

But they also said they wanted “constructive and stable relations” with China and added that their polices were “not designed to harm China nor do we seek to thwart China’s economic progress and development”.

China on Saturday expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the G7’s joint statement, and complained to the summit organiser Japan, Beijing’s foreign ministry said.

“The G7 insisted on manipulating China-related issues, smearing and attacking China,” a spokesman for the foreign ministry said.

The summit will close on Sunday with Mr Zelensky, US President Joe Biden and Mr Kishida expected to speak.

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May 20th 2023

Russia warns of ‘colossal risk’ over jets as Zelensky attends G7

With reporting in Hiroshima from Tessa Wong, Laura Bicker, Shaimaa Khalil and Chris Mason


  1. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky has arrived in Japan for the G7 summit where he’s meeting world leaders
  2. He was greeted with an embrace by UK PM Rishi Sunak, who welcomed him to Hiroshima saying: “You made it”
  3. Shortly after his plane landed, Zelensky tweeted that “peace will be closer” as a result of meetings at the summit of rich allied nations
  4. It comes after the US announced it would allow allies to give fighter jets to Ukraine, including F-16s, in a major boost Kyiv
  5. In response, Russia warned that Western countries would be running “colossal risks” if they supplied Ukraine with F-16 jets
  6. G7 leaders have released the summit’s final communique, which touches on how the group wants to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion
  7. The G7 comprises the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – but eight other nations have been invited this year

China lodges complaint with Japan over G7 joint statement

China has said it firmly opposes the joint statement made by G7 countries in Hiroshima, and has complained to Japan as the summit organiser.

Its foreign ministry said that the G7, disregarding China’s concerns, had attacked it and interfered in its internal affairs, including Taiwan, Reuters reports.

Beijing has “expressed its strong dissatisfaction and has lodged stern representation”, the statement added.

As we explained here, G7 leaders earlier outlined a shared approach towards China, looking to “de-risk, not decouple” economic engagement with the country.

Russia’s Wagner group claims full control of Bakhmut

On the ground in Ukraine, the head of the Russia’s Wagner group has claimed its forces have taken full control of Bakhmut in the east.

Yevgeny Prigozhin said earlier the city had been completely taken “from house to house”.

But a spokesperson for Ukraine’s East Command says that fighting is continuing in the city.

We’ll bring you more information as we get it.

Zelensky presence at G7 ‘can be a game changer’ – Macron

Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to Japan for the G7 summit has been deemed a “game changer” by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Zelensky has been busy meeting world leaders in Hiroshima today ahead of his expected participation in meetings with the G7 tomorrow.

“I think this is a unique opportunity to (have) exchanges with a lot of countries from the south and express your situation, express a message and share a view. I do believe it can be a game changer,” Macron said after the pair met earlier.

He added that France would be with Ukraine “to the very end”.

May 19th 2023

We Won We Won – A Comment By R J Cook

The whole world is in crisis , but who needs a planet ? What kind of fool really believes that the NATO Proxy War On Russia is about defending institutionally corrupt Ukraine’s imaginary democracy ? It is a country owned by oligarchs and fronted by a third rate comedian who is far from funny. The hopes of 1991 Glasnost were torn apart by Yeltsin’s coup. Putin fights back to avoid Russia being subverted into the self seeking greed and hypocrisy that brought Britain the spectacle of elderly King Charles III and Queen Camilla’s dreadfully expensive ritualistic coronation.

Britain is a dangerous influence on the western world with posturing leaders who may not officially own India, Africa, the Middle and Far East anymore, but their cancerous tentacles are out there – ensuring a free flow of cheap labour and resources westward and stifling the sort of self sustaining development Russia favours.

Sunak and Biden have much to talk about at exclusive rich man’s G7 Club, in furthering sanctions. Sunak’s slippery style will also have persuaded vote hungry Biden to make the lunatic decision to suppy jet fighters.

No one should listen to Britain on the subject of war. Their Imperialistic mentality has not passed. As we saw with the Queens’s funeral and Charlie’s coronation , the same old militarism is rampant. The delusion is rampant.

Back in the 1970s, I used to enjoy the Irish comedian Dave Allen’s sketch show. One sketch stuck in my mind. Dave Allen ,scruffy, dirty and well bearded was featured listening to a crackling radio in a dimly lit underground bunker. All around him were stacks of food supplies and rubbish. Suddenly he hears a voice declaring that the war is over.

Allen hurries up a ladder, lifts a hatch then enters daylight. All around him is a blackened stark and ruined landscape. Allen, wearing a long dirty overcoat, leaps up into the air then starts dancing laughing then shouting “We Won, We Won”.

R J Cook

Ukraine war: US to support providing F1-6 fighter jets to Ukraine

Portuguese F16

The US says it will support providing advanced fighter jets including US-made F-16s to Ukraine and also back training Ukrainian pilots to fly them.

A senior White House official said President Biden had told G7 leaders in Japan of the decision.

President Volodomyr Zelensky, who has requested fighter jets for months, said the decision would “greatly enhance our army in the sky”.

US approval for the scheme will allow other nations to export their F-16s.

This is because the US legally has to approve the re-export of equipment purchased by allies.

The US would “support a joint effort with our allies and partners to train Ukrainian pilots on fourth-generation fighter aircraft, including F-16s, to further strengthen and improve the capabilities of the Ukrainian Air Force”, the official said.

“As the training takes place over the coming months, our coalition of countries participating in this effort will decide when to actually provide jets, how many we will provide, and who will provide them.”

The announcement by the US will be viewed as a major breakthrough for the air capabilities of Ukraine, which has repeatedly lobbied its Western allies to provide jets to help in its fight against Russia.

Mr Zelensky welcomed what he described as a “historic decision”, adding that he looked forward to “discussing the practical implementation” of the plan at the G7 summit in Hiroshima.

The announcement of US support for a programme to supply Ukraine with advanced fighters comes as the Ukrainian leader is due to travel to Japan to meet G7 leaders to secure further military support for its planned counter-offensive.

On Friday his office said he was due to meet Mr Biden in Japan in the coming days.

The UK, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark also welcomed the move.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted: “The UK will work together with the USA and the Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark to get Ukraine the combat air capability it needs.”

Denmark has announced it too will now be able to support the training of pilots, but did not confirm whether it would send any jets to Ukraine. Denmark’s air force has 40 F-16s, around 30 of which are operational.

Earlier this week, Mr Sunak and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said they would build an “international coalition” to provide fighter jet support for Ukraine.

Mr Sunak said the UK would set up a flight school to train Ukrainian pilots. French leader Emmanuel Macron said his country was willing to do the same but would not provide jets.

The US had previously rebuffed Ukraine’s pleas for the jets, instead focusing on providing military support in other areas.

Opposition to the delivery of F-16s to Ukraine had centred around long training times and maintenance issues – former Nato official Dr Jamie Shea has said they require extensive maintenance after almost every fight.

Some Nato member countries have also expressed their worries that handing jets to Ukraine would be viewed as escalating the war, risking a direct confrontation with Russia.

At the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion, Ukraine was believed to have around 120 combat capable aircraft – mainly consisting of aging Soviet-era MiG-29s and Su-27s.

But officials say they need up to 200 jets to match Moscow’s air-power – which is thought to be five or six times greater than Kyiv’s.

Mr Zelensky has primarily been asking its allies for F-16s. First built in the 1970s, the jet can travel at twice the speed of sound and can engage targets in the air or on the ground.

While now eclipsed by the more modern F-35, it remains widely in use. Experts say modern fighters like the F-16 would help Ukraine strike behind Russian lines.

Related Topics

‘No news in the truth, no truth in the news.’ By R J Cook

May 18th 2023

While chatting with a male friend from Bedford, he told me of a conversation with his landlord. He noted that this man, in his 80s, will not leave home without his Covid mask. On the subject of NATO using Ukraine’s vain leaders for their proxy war on Russia, this man said : “The Russians would never dare attack us.”

Britain and its people have never gotten over the illusion that they won two World Wars on their own. Years of national and international decline have gone unnoticed. On the one hand Britain has left the EU, on the other its elite are the greatest war mongering greedy participants goading others along,with Major Ben Wallace in charge of U.K proceedings and calling for more.

Repeatedly we are reminded that Britain is a democracy while all bar three almost identical parties are the only voting choice. We have the new King imposed on us at the opening expense of a £100 million plus coronation. The Metropolitan Police were out in force to ban anti monarchists from protesting, arresting them on the grounds that they might be going to commit crimes – under special new laws that will be used to ban any protests that are not peaceful ( silent and unnoticed ).

So with Britain obviously at war with Russia, the Labour opposition party leader in the U.K wants peoples votes while giving a warning to expect higher prices and taxes. This is to cover costs of ongoing sanctions against Russia , climate consequences of that polluting war, mass immigration to keep wages low and pay for the likes of £2.2 million per long range cruise missiles. On the home front,working class parents can’t even afford baby milk because of rising prices that protect big business wealthy share holders across the board.

Years ago there were two Russian newspapers, Pravda and Izvestia, Truth and News. Many Russians joked, ‘There’s no news in the truth and no truth in the news.’ The U.K and U.S could teach the old Soviets a few things on how to do that propaganda so much more insidiously and effectively. So it is anyone’s guess as to whether Russia’s hypersonic missiles disabled the Patriot Missile warning system or not. Same goes for the six Russian cruise missiles shot down today. Given how the British and European masses are being robbed and deceived to justify this vile lying elite resource grabbing war, an intelligent person would know that mainstream news is propaganda while sites like mine come with an official google security warning. The following information tells more of the NATO and Oligarch Poroshenko’s wind up which caused this appalling carnage and destruction. It is a rich greedy man’s war fought by minions in the absurd names of freedom and democracy. Russia will either have to quit or move the killing up to a much more dangerous level.

R J Cook

Russia uses Kinzhal hypersonic missile to destroy US-made …

Plane Stupid

 18 May 2023View in Browser
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Good morning from Berlin, Germany will not participate in an international coalition to provide Ukraine with fighter jets and will instead focus on continuing to deliver tanks, ammunition, and repairing equipment, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, there is still uncertainty regarding the UK’s announcement about such a coalition. Read more.
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A Very Corrupt Ukraine & Perfect Fit For Anglo-U.S Elite Run Europe

Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko (Ukrainian: Петро́ Олексі́йович Пороше́нко, pronounced [peˈtrɔ olekˈs⁽ʲ⁾ijowɪtʃ poroˈʃɛnko]; born 26 September 1965) is a Ukrainian businessman and politician who served as the fifth president of Ukraine from 2014 to 2019. Poroshenko served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2010, and as the Minister of Trade and Economic Development in 2012. From 2007 until 2012, he headed the Council of Ukraine’s National Bank. He was elected president on 25 May 2014, receiving 54.7% of the votes cast in the first round, thus winning outright and avoiding a run-off. During his presidency, Poroshenko led the country through the first phase of the war in Donbas, pushing the Russian separatist forces into the Donbas Region. He began the process of integration with the European Union by signing the European Union–Ukraine Association Agreement.

Poroshenko’s domestic policy promoted the Ukrainian language, nationalism, inclusive capitalism, decommunization, and administrative decentralization. In 2018, Poroshenko helped create the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, separating Ukrainian churches from the Moscow Patriarchate. His presidency was distilled into a three-word slogan, employed by both supporters and opponents: armiia, mova, vira (English: military, language, faith).[8]

As a candidate for a second term in 2019, Poroshenko obtained 24.5% in the second round, and was defeated by Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Poroshenko is a people’s deputy of the Verkhovna Rada and leader of the European Solidarity party. Outside government, Poroshenko has been a prominent Ukrainian oligarch with a lucrative career in acquiring and building assets. His most recognized brands are Roshen, a large-scale confectionery company which has earned him the nickname of “Chocolate King”, and his TV news channel 5 kanal, which he was forced to sell to comply with anti-oligarch legislation in November 2021.[9] He is considered an oligarch due to the scale of his business holdings in manufacturing, agriculture and finance, his political influence from several stints in government prior to his presidency, and his ownership of an influential mass-media outlet.[10]

Early life and education

Poroshenko’s father, Oleksiy Poroshenko [de; uk; ru] (1936–2020),[11] was an engineer and later government official who managed multiple factories in the Ukrainian SSR. Little is known about his mother, Yevhenia Serhiyivna Hryhorchuk (1937–2004), but a Ukrainian newspaper said she was an accountant, who taught at a vocational and technical school of accounting.[12] He also spent his childhood and youth in Tighina (Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, now known as Bender and under de facto control of the unrecognized breakaway state Transnistria),[13][14] where his father Oleksii was heading a machine building plant[13] and where he learned Romanian.[15]

In his youth, Poroshenko practiced judo and sambo, and was a Candidate for Master of Sport of the USSR.[16] Despite good grades, he was not awarded the normal gold medal at graduation, and on his report card he was given a “C” for his behavior.[17] After getting into a fight with four Soviet Army cadets at the military commissariat, he was sent to army service[when?] in the distant Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic.[17]

In 1989, Poroshenko graduated, having begun studying in 1982, with a degree in economics from the international relations and law department (subsequently the Institute of International Relations) at the Kyiv University.[18] At this university he was friends with Mikheil Saakashvili who he would appoint as Governor of the Odesa Oblast (region) in May 2015 and who is a former President of Georgia.[19]

In 1984, Poroshenko married a medical student, Maryna Perevedentseva (born 1962).[16] Their first son, Oleksiy, was born in 1985 (his three other children were born in 2000 and 2001).[16]

From 1989 to 1992, Poroshenko was an assistant at the university’s international economic relations department.[16] While still a student, he founded a legal advisory firm mediating the negotiation of contracts in foreign trade, and then he undertook the negotiations himself, starting to supply cocoa beans to the Soviet chocolate industry in 1991.[16] At the same time, he was deputy director of the ‘Republic’ Union of Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs, and the CEO “Exchange House Ukraine”.[16]

Poroshenko’s brother, Mykhailo, older by eight years, died in a 1997 car accident under mysterious circumstances.[20]

Business career

In 1993, Poroshenko, together with his father Oleksii and colleagues from the Road Traffic Institute in Kyiv, created the UkrPromInvest Ukrainian Industry and Investment Company, which specialized in the confectionery and automotive industries (as well as in other agricultural processing later on.)[16] Poroshenko was director-general of the company from its founding until 1998, when in connection with his entry into parliament he handed the title over to his father, while retaining the title of honorary president.[16]

Between 1996 and 1998, UkrPromInvest acquired control over several state-owned confectionery enterprises which were combined into the Roshen group in 1996, creating the largest confectionery manufacturing operation in Ukraine.[16] His business success in this industry earned him the nickname “Chocolate King”.[21] Poroshenko’s business empire also includes several car and bus factories, Kuznia na Rybalskomu shipyard, the 5 Kanal television channel,[22] as well as other businesses in Ukraine.

Although not the most prominent in the list of his business holdings, the assets that drew much recent media attention, and often controversy, are the confectionery factory in Lipetsk, Russia, that became controversial due to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine (2014–present), the Sevastopol Marine Plant (Sevmorzavod) that has been confiscated after the 2014 Russian forcible annexation of Crimea and the media outlet 5 kanal, particularly because of Poroshenko’s repeated refusal to sell an influential media asset following his accession to presidency.

According to Poroshenko (and Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust) since becoming President of Ukraine he has relinquished the management of his businesses, ultimately (in January 2016) to a blind trust.[13][23]

Billionaires lists rankings

In March 2012, Forbes placed him on the Forbes list of billionaires at 1,153rd place, with US$1 billion.[24] As of May 2015, Poroshenko’s net worth was about US$720 million (Bloomberg estimate), losing 25 percent of his wealth because of Russia’s ban of Roshen products and the state of the Ukrainian economy.[25]

According to the annual ranking of the richest people in Ukraine,[26] published in October 2015 by the Ukrainian journal Novoye Vremya and conducted jointly with Dragon Capital, a leading investment company in Ukraine, president Poroshenko was found to be the only one from the top ten list whose asset value grew since the previous year’s ranking. The estimate of his assets was set at US$979 million, a 20% growth, and his ranking increased from 9th to 6th wealthiest person in Ukraine. The article observed that Poroshenko remained one of the only two European leaders who owned a business empire of such scale, with Silvio Berlusconi of Italy being the other.

A total of €450 million is kept in an Amsterdam-based company registered in Cyprus, as a result of which his effective tax rate is 5% rather than the statutory tax rate of 18% in Ukraine. The company is likely to be worth much more, as the annual accounts published by the Dutch Chamber of Commerce only contain the book value of the shares, which is very likely to be lower than the market value.[27] After his election, Poroshenko lost the billionaire status as his net worth dropped by 40% to reach $705 million.[28]

Associated businesses

A number of businesses were once part of the Ukrprominvest [uk] which Poroshenko headed in 1993–1998. The investment group was dissolved in April 2012.[29] Poroshenko has stated that upon beginning his political activity he passed on his holdings to a trust fund.[16]

Early political career

Poroshenko first won a seat in the Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian Parliament) in 1998 for the 12th single-mandate constituency. He was initially a member of the United Social Democratic Party of Ukraine (SDPU), the party led by Viktor Medvedchuk and loyal to president Leonid Kuchma at the time.[16] Poroshenko left SDPU(o) in 2000 to create an independent left-of-center faction and then a party, naming it Party of Ukraine’s Solidarity (PSU).[16][32] In 2001 Poroshenko was instrumental in creating the Party of Regions, also loyal to Kuchma; the Party of Ukraine’s Solidarity having merged into the Party of Regions, Poroshenko launched a new party with a similar name, the party “Solidarity.[33]

Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council

Poroshenko and Viktor Yushchenko during the meeting before Mukacheve mayoral election on 16 April 2004.

In December 2001, Poroshenko broke ranks with Kuchma supporters to become campaign chief of Viktor Yushchenko‘s Our Ukraine Bloc opposition faction. After parliamentary elections in March 2002 in which Our Ukraine won the biggest share of the popular vote and Poroshenko won a seat in parliament,[16][34] Poroshenko served as head of the parliamentary budget committee, where he was accused of “misplacing ₴47 million” (US$8.9 million).[35] As a consequence of Poroshenko’s Our Ukraine Bloc membership tax inspectors launched an attack on his business.[16] Despite great difficulties, UkrPromInvest managed to survive until Yushchenko became President of Ukraine in 2005.[16]

Poroshenko was considered a close confidant of Yushchenko, who is the godfather of Poroshenko’s daughters.[36] Poroshenko was likely the wealthiest oligarch among Yushchenko supporters, and was often named as one of the main financial backers of Our Ukraine and the Orange Revolution.[37] After Yushchenko won the presidential elections in 2004, Poroshenko was appointed Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council.[16][18]

Poroshenko attending a U.S. Independence Day celebration at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, 6 July 2005.

In September 2005, highly publicized mutual allegations of corruption erupted between Poroshenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko involving the privatizations of state-owned firms.[38] Poroshenko, for example, was accused of defending the interests of Viktor Pinchuk, who had acquired state firm Nikopol Ferroalloy for $80 million, independently valued at $1 billion.[39]

In response to the allegations, Yushchenko dismissed his entire cabinet of ministers, including Poroshenko and Tymoshenko.[40] State prosecutors dismissed an abuse of power investigation against Poroshenko the following month,[41] immediately after Yushchenko dismissed Sviatoslav Piskun, General Prosecutor of Ukraine. Piskun claimed that he was sacked because he refused to institute criminal proceedings against Tymoshenko and refused to drop proceedings against Poroshenko.[42]

In the March 2006 parliamentary election, Poroshenko was re-elected to the Ukrainian parliament with the support of Our Ukraine electoral bloc.[16] He chaired the parliamentary Committee on Finance and Banking. Allegedly, since Poroshenko claimed the post of Chairman of the Ukrainian Parliament for himself, the Socialist Party of Ukraine chose to be part of the Alliance of National Unity because it was promised that their party leader, Oleksandr Moroz, would be elected chairman if the coalition were formed.[40] This left Poroshenko’s Our Ukraine and their ally Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc out of the Government.

Poroshenko did not run in the September 2007 parliamentary election.[16] Poroshenko started heading the Council of Ukraine’s National Bank in February 2007.[40][43] Between 1999 and 2012 he was a board member of the National Bank of Ukraine.[16]

Foreign Minister and Minister of Trade

Poroshenko at the Russian-Ukrainian international commission meeting in 2009.

Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko in the Polish Senate with former Greek prime minister George Papandreou, December 2009

Ukrainian President Yushchenko nominated Poroshenko for Foreign Minister on 7 October 2009.[43][44] Poroshenko was appointed by the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) on 9 October 2009.[45][46] On 12 October 2009, President Yushchenko re-appointed Poroshenko to the National Security and Defense Council.[47]

Poroshenko supported Ukrainian NATO-membership, and said NATO membership should not be a goal in itself.[48] Although Poroshenko was dismissed as foreign minister on 11 March 2010, President Viktor Yanukovych expressed hope for further cooperation with him.[22]

In late February 2012, Poroshenko was named as the new Minister of Trade and Economic Development in the Azarov Government;[49][50][51] on 9 March 2012, President Yanukovych stated he wanted Poroshenko to work in the government in the post of economic development and trade minister.[52] On 23 March 2012, Poroshenko was appointed economic development and trade minister of Ukraine by Yanukovych.[53] The same month he stepped down as head of the Council of Ukraine’s National Bank.[54]

Poroshenko claims that he became Minister of Trade and Economic Development to help bring Ukraine closer to the EU and get Yulia Tymoshenko released from prison.[17] After he took the post, tax inspectors launched an attack on his business.[17]

Return to parliament

Poroshenko returned to the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) after the 2012 Ukrainian parliamentary election after winning (with more than 70%) as an independent candidate in single-member district number 12 (first-past-the-post wins a parliamentary seat) located in Vinnytsia Oblast.[55][56][57] He did not enter any faction in parliament[58] and became member of the committee on European Integration.[17] Poroshenko’s father Oleksii did intend to take part in the elections too in single-member district number 16 (also located in Vinnytsia Oblast), but withdrew his candidacy for health reasons.[59][60] In mid-February 2013, Poroshenko hinted he would run for Mayor of Kyiv in the 2013 Kyiv mayoral election.[61]

In 2013, the registration certificate of Solidarity was cancelled because it had not participated in any election for more than 10 years.[33] Poroshenko then launched and became leader of the National Alliance of freedom and Ukrainian patriotism “OFFENSIVE” (NASTUP), which was renamed “All-Ukrainian Union Solidarity” (BOS).[33]

2014 Ukrainian revolution

Ukrainian opposition leaders Vitali Klitschko, Poroshenko (second left) and Arsenii Yatseniuk (right) with United States Secretary of StateJohn Kerry (second right) at the Munich Security Conference, 2014.

Main article: 2014 Ukrainian revolution

Poroshenko actively and financially supported the Euromaidan protests between November 2013 and February 2014,[16] leading to an upsurge in his popularity, although[16] he did not participate in negotiations between then President Yanukovych and the Euromaidan parliamentary opposition parties Batkivshchyna, Svoboda and UDAR.[16]

In an interview with Lally Weymouth, Poroshenko said: “From the beginning, I was one of the organizers of the Maidan. My television channel — Channel 5 — played a tremendously important role. … At that time, Channel 5 started to broadcast, there were just 2,000 people on the Maidan. But during the night, people went by foot — seven, eight, nine, 10 kilometers — understanding this is a fight for Ukrainian freedom and democracy. In four hours, almost 30,000 people were there.”[62] The BBC reported, “Mr Poroshenko owns 5 Kanal TV, the most popular news channel in Ukraine, which showed clear pro-opposition sympathies during the months of political crisis in Kiev.”[36]

Poroshenko refused to join the Yatseniuk Government (although he introduced his colleague Volodymyr Groysman, the mayor of Vinnytsia, into it), nor did he join any of the two newly created parliamentary factions Economic Development and Sovereign European Ukraine.[16]

On 24 April 2014, Poroshenko visited Luhansk, at the time not controlled by Ukrainian authorities.[13] Just like previously in Crimea he was met by a blockade of hundreds of pro-Russian locals at Luhansk Airport.[13] Poroshenko later claimed: “When I traveled to Luhansk Oblast, my car was fired at and there was an attempt to take our entire group hostage.”[13]

2014 presidential campaign

2014 presidential election percentage of vote for Poroshenko.

Main article: 2014 Ukrainian presidential election

Following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution and the resulting removal of Viktor Yanukovych from the office of President of Ukraine, new presidential elections were scheduled to take place on 25 May 2014.[63] In pre-election polls from March 2014, Poroshenko garnered the most support of all the prospective candidates, with one poll conducted by SOCIS giving him a rating of over 40%.[64] On 29 March he stated that he would run for president; at the same time Vitali Klitschko left the presidential contest, choosing to support Poroshenko’s bid.[65][66][67][68]

On 2 April, Poroshenko stated, “If I am elected, I will be honest and sell the Roshen Concern.”[69] He also said in early April that the level of popular support for the idea of Ukraine’s joining NATO was too small to put on the agenda “so as not to ruin the country.”[70] He also vowed not to sell his 5 Kanal television channel.[71] On 14 April, Poroshenko publicly endorsed the campaign of Jarosław Gowin‘s party Poland Together of neighboring Poland in that year’s elections to the European Parliament, thanking Gowin’s party colleague Paweł Kowal for supporting Ukraine.[72]

Poroshenko’s election slogan was: “Live in a new way – Poroshenko!”.[17]

On 29 May, the Central Election Commission of Ukraine announced that Poroshenko had won 25 May presidential election, with 54.7% of the votes.[73][74][75][76][77][78]

During his visit in Berlin, Poroshenko stated that Russian separatists in the Donbas “don’t represent anybody. We have to restore law and order and sweep the terrorists off the street.”[79] He described as “fake” the planned 11 May Donbas status referendums.[79]


When it became clear he had won the election on election day evening (on 25 May 2014) Poroshenko announced his “first presidential trip will be to Donbas“, where armed pro-Russian rebels had declared the separatist republics Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic and control part of the region.[71][80] Poroshenko also vowed to continue the military operations by the Ukrainian government forces to end the armed insurgency claiming: “The anti-terrorist operation cannot and should not last two or three months. It should and will last hours.”[81]

He compared the armed pro-Russian rebels to Somali pirates.[81] Poroshenko also called for negotiations with Russia in the presence of international intermediaries.[81] Russia responded by saying it did not need an intermediary in its bilateral relations with Ukraine.[81] As president-elect, Poroshenko promised to return Crimea,[81] which was annexed by Russia in March 2014.[80][82][a] He also vowed to hold new parliamentary elections in 2014.[84]


Poroshenko was inaugurated in the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on 7 June 2014.[85] In his inaugural address he stressed that Ukraine would not give up Crimea and stressed the unity of Ukraine.[86] He promised an amnesty “for those who do not have blood on their hands” to the separatist and pro-Russia insurgents of the 2014 pro-Russian conflict in Ukraine and to the Ukrainian nationalist groups that oppose them, but added: “Talking to gangsters and killers is not our path”.[86] He also called for early regional elections in Eastern Ukraine.[86]

Poroshenko stated that he would sign the economic part of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement and that this was the first step towards full Ukrainian EU Membership.[86] During the speech, he stated he saw “Ukrainian as the only state language” but also spoke of the “guarantees [of] the unhindered development of Russian and all the other languages“.[86] Part of the speech was in Russian.[86]

Poroshenko delivers a speech to the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly in Strasbourg, 26 June 2014.

The inauguration was attended by about 50 foreign delegations, including US Vice President Joe Biden, President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, President of Switzerland and the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Didier Burkhalter, President of Germany Joachim Gauck, President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili, Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán, President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, the OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feldman, China’s Minister of Culture Cai Wu and Ambassador of Russia to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov[87][88] Former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko was also present.[86][87] After the inauguration ceremony Tymoshenko said about Poroshenko “I think Ukraine has found a very powerful additional factor of stability”.[89]

Domestic policy

Peace plan for Eastern Ukraine

See also: 2014 pro-Russian unrest in Ukraine and Minsk agreements

At the time of his inauguration, armed pro-Russian rebels, after disputed referendums, had declared the independence of the separatist Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic and controlled a large part of Donbas, but were largely considered to be illegitimate by the international community.[71][80] After the inauguration, Poroshenko launched a “peace” plan envisioned to garner the recognition of the presidential elections in Ukraine by Russia, consisting of a cease-fire with the separatists (named “terrorists” by Poroshenko himself) and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for civilians (“who are not involved in the conflict”).[90] Poroshenko warned that he had a “Plan B” if the initial peace plan was rejected.[91]

Decentralization of power

Poroshenko in Melitopol (2014)

In mid-June Poroshenko started the process of amending Ukraine’s constitution to achieve Ukraine’s administrative decentralization.[92] According to Poroshenko (on 16 June 2014) this was “a key element of the peace plan“.[92] In his draft constitutional amendments of June 2014 proposed changing the administrative divisions of Ukraine, which should include regions (replacing the current oblasts), districts and “hromadas” (united territorial communities).[93]

In these amendments he proposed that “Village, city, district and regional administrations will be able to determine the status of the Russian language and other national minority languages of Ukraine in accordance with the procedure established by the law and within the borders of their administrative and territorial units”.[94] He proposed that Ukrainian remained the only state language of Ukraine.[94]

Poroshenko proposed to create the post of presidential representatives who would supervise the enforcement of the Ukrainian constitution and laws and the observation of human rights and freedoms in oblasts and raions/raions of cities.[95] In case of an “emergency situation or martial law regime” they will “guide and organize” in the territories they are stationed in.[95] Batkivshchyna, a key coalition partner in the Yatseniuk Government, came out against the plan.[96][why?]

He repeatedly spoke out against federalization.[97][98] and did not seek to increase his presidential powers.[99]

Poroshenko, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, October 2014

1 July 2015 decentralization draft law gave local authorities the right to oversee how their tax revenues are spent.[100] The draft law did not give an autonomous status to Donbas, as demanded by the pro-Russian rebels there, but gave the region partial self-rule for three years.[100]

Dissolution of Parliament

Main article: 2014 Ukrainian parliamentary election

On 25 August 2014, Poroshenko called a snap election to the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament), to be held 26 October 2014.[101][102] According to him this was necessary “to purify the Rada of the mainstay of [former president] Viktor Yanukovych“. These deputies, Poroshenko said, “clearly do not represent the people who elected them”.[103] Poroshenko said that these Rada deputies were responsible for “the [January 2014] Dictatorship laws that took the lives of the Heavenly hundred“.[103] Poroshenko stated that many of the (then) current MPs were “direct sponsors and accomplices or at least sympathizers of militant-separatists”.[103]

Poroshenko had pressed for the elections since his victory in the May 2014 presidential election.[104][105][106]

On 27 August 2014, the party congress of All-Ukrainian Party of Peace and Unity adopted a new name: “Petro Poroshenko Bloc” (BPP).[107][33][108] In 2015, the Petro Poroshenko Bloc was renamed in “Petro Poroshenko Bloc “Solidarity”“.[109]

Nuclear weapons

On 13 December 2014, Poroshenko stated that he did not want Ukraine to become a nuclear power again.[110]

Decommunization and deoligarchization

Poroshenko in Poltava (May 2016)

On 15 May 2015, Poroshenko signed a bill into law that started a six months period for the removal of communist monuments and the mandatory renaming of streets and other public places and settlements with a name related to Communism.[111] According to Poroshenko “I did what I had to”; adding “Ukraine as a state has done its job, then historians should work, while the government should take care of the future”.[111]

Poroshenko believes that the communist repression and Holodomor of the Soviet Union are on par with the Nazi crimes of the 1940s.[112] The legislation (Poroshenko signed on 15 May 2015) also provides “public recognition to anyone who fought for Ukrainian independence in the 20th century”,[113] including the controversial Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) combatants led by Roman Shukhevych and Stepan Bandera.[111]

Poroshenko said in an interview with Germany’s Bild newspaper that “If I am elected, I’ll wipe the slate clean and will sell the Roshen concern. As president of Ukraine, I will and want to only focus on the well-being of the nation.”[114]

On 23 March 2015, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko accepted the resignation of billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky as governor of Dnipro region over the control of oil companies.[115] “There will be no more oligarchs in Ukraine,” Poroshenko said adding that “oligarchs must pay more [taxes] than the middle class and more than small business.” The president underscored that “the program of de-oligarchization will be put into life”. Poroshenko promised that he will fight against the Ukrainian oligarchs.[116]

In December 2018, President Poroshenko confirmed the status of veterans and combatants for independence of Ukraine for the armed units of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA).[117]


See also: Language policy in Ukraine

In 2016, a new rule came into force requiring Ukraine’s radio stations to play a quota of Ukrainian-language songs each day. The law also requires TV and radio broadcasters to ensure 60% of programs such as news and analysis are in Ukrainian.[118]

On 25 September 2017, a new law on education was signed by President Poroshenko (draft approved by Rada on 5 September 2017) which says that the Ukrainian language is the language of education at all levels except for one or more subjects that are allowed to be taught in two or more languages, namely English or one of the other official languages of the European Union. The law stipulates a 3-year transitional period to come in full effect.[119][120] In February 2018, this period was extended until 2023.[121]

The law was condemned by PACE that called it “a major impediment to the teaching of national minorities”.[122] The law also faced criticism from officials in Hungary, Romania and Russia.[123] (Hungarian and Romanian are official languages of the European Union, Russian is not).[124][125] Ukrainian officials stressed that the new law complies fully with European norms on minority rights.[126]

Poroshenko and Andrii Parubii signing the law “On provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State language”.

The law does state that “Persons belonging to indigenous peoples of Ukraine are guaranteed the right to study in public facilities of preschool and primary education in the language of instruction of the respective indigenous people, along with the state language of instruction” in separate classes or groups.[120] PACE describes this as a significant curtailing of the rights of indigenous peoples carried out without consultations with their representatives.[122] On 27 June 2018, Ukrainian foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin stated that following the recommendation of the Venice Commission the language provision of the (September 2017) law on education will not apply to private schools and that every public school for national minorities “will have broad powers to independently determine which classes will be taught in Ukrainian or their native language.”[127][128]

On 15 May 2019, Poroshenko signed the law “On provision of the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State language”[129][130][b]


Inside the Saint Sophia Cathedral during the unification council. In order from left to right: Poroshenko, Epiphany, Metropolitan Emmanuel of France [fr], Filaret (Filaret is wearing a skufia), 15 December 2018.

See also: Unification council of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine and Orthodox Church of Ukraine

See also: Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism

Under Poroshenko the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine was created by the merging of the UOC-KP and the UAOC, and two members of the UOC-MP in a unification council which also elected Epiphanius I as its first primate. The 11 October 2018 announcement by Ecumenical Patriarchate that it would – among other things – grant autocephaly to a Ukrainian church is one of the reasons which created the Moscow–Constantinople schism when the Moscow Patriarchate severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 15 October 2018.


Corruption in Ukraine is a widespread problem; although there are signs that during Poroshenko presidency it decreased (thanks to the Prozorro digital system).[132] Poroshenko signed a decree to create the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine to comply with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund. Since 2015, the Bureau has sent 189 cases to court, but no one significant was convicted. The head of the Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office reportedly coached suspects on how to avoid corruption charges.[133]

A November 2018 EU Commission report praised some of Ukraine’s reforms during Poroshenko’s presidency, such as in healthcare, pensions and public administration.[134] But judicial reforms were too slow, the report said, and “there have been only few convictions in high-level corruption cases so far”.[134] It also stated that too often attacks on civil society activists went unpunished.[134]

During Poroshenko’s 2019 campaign for reelection, a major scandal arose in which business partners of Poroshenko (but not Poroshenko himself) were accused of smuggling Russian components to Ukrainian defense factories at wildly inflated prices.[135][134]

Critics of Poroshenko stated he removed the jurisdiction of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine over records about off-the books payments to Paul J. Manafort, who lobbied on behalf of former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych, and served as campaign manager for Donald Trump during his first presidential campaign.[136] Moreover, Poroshenko stripped of Ukrainian citizenship Mikheil Saakashvili who criticized him for not fighting Ukrainian corruption.[137]

On 11 April 2019, the High Anti-Corruption Court of Ukraine was established and Poroshenko signed the decree appointing the judges during an official ceremony.[138]

Foreign policy

See also: List of international presidential trips made by Petro Poroshenko

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Poroshenko, 5 June 2014.

United States

On 7 December 2015, Poroshenko met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in Kyiv to discuss Ukrainian-American cooperation.[139] He met U.S. President Donald Trump in June 2017; BBC News falsely accused him of paying Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen between 400,000 and 600,000 dollars to organize this meeting.[140][141] The BBC ended up having to state the allegation was untrue, apologizing to Poroshenko, deleting the article from its website, paying legal costs, and paying damages to Poroshenko.[142][143]


In June 2014, Poroshenko forbade any cooperation with Russia in the military sphere.[144]

At the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 26 June 2014 Poroshenko stated that bilateral relations with Russia cannot be normalized unless Russia undoes its unilateral annexation of Crimea and returns its control of Crimea to Ukraine.[145]

On Poroshenko’s June 2014 Peace plan for Eastern Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov commented “it looks like an ultimatum“.[91]

On 26 August 2014, Poroshenko met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Minsk where Putin called on Ukraine not to escalate its offensive. Poroshenko responded by demanding Russia halt its supplying of arms to separatist fighters. He said his country wanted a political compromise and promised the interests of Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine would be considered.[146]

With the president of SloveniaBorut Pahor in Ljubljana, 8 November 2016

European Union

Poroshenko with Angela Merkel and Joe Biden, 7 February 2015.

The European Union (EU) and Ukraine signed the economic part of the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement on 27 June 2014.[147] Poroshenko stated that the day was “Ukraine’s most historic day since independence in 1991“, describing it as a “symbol of faith and unbreakable will”.[147] He saw the signing as the start of preparations for Ukrainian EU Membership.[147]


Poroshenko with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv, 10 July 2017

At his speech at the opening session of the new parliament on 27 November 2014, Poroshenko stated “we’ve decided to return to the course of NATO integration” because “the nonalignment status of Ukraine proclaimed in 2010 couldn’t guarantee our security and territorial integrity”.[148] The Ukrainian parliament on 23 December 2014 voted 303 to 8 to repeal a 2010 bill that had made Ukraine a non-aligned state in a bill submitted by Poroshenko.[149]

On 29 December 2014, Poroshenko vowed to hold a referendum on joining NATO.[150] On 22 September 2015, Poroshenko claimed that “Russia’s aggressive actions” proved need for the enlargement of NATO and that the Ukrainian referendum on joining NATO would be held after “every condition for the Ukrainian compliance with NATO membership criteria” was met by “reforming our country”.[151]

On 2 February 2017, in an interview with Funke Mediengruppe, Poroshenko announced he was planning a referendum on whether Ukraine should join NATO.[152]


Poroshenko was criticized by Committee to Protect Journalists for signing a decree which banned 41 international journalists and bloggers from entering Ukraine for one year, being labeled as threats to national security.[153] The list includes three journalists from the BBC, and two Spanish journalists currently missing in Syria, all of whom previously covered the Ukraine crisis.[154]

In October 2015, Poroshenko visited the Kazakh capital of Astana, during which he told President Nursultan Nazarbayev that his country was Ukraine’s “window to Asia” and vice versa.[155] During a visit to Gomel, Belarus in October 2018, he spoke to the Ukrainian community on the situation in Ukraine, saying that he does “not want Russia to use Belarus to get to our flank”.[156]

2019 election

In the 2019 Ukrainian presidential election, Poroshenko received 24.5% of the second round votes, and was defeated by Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

There was no consensus in the expert community on a singular reason for why Poroshenko lost, though various reasons cited include:

  • a rapid decline in the overall quality of life,
  • failure to successfully end the war,
  • failure to stem corruption,
  • several corruption scandals in which Poroshenko or people closely associated with him were involved (that included an investigation publicized during the election campaign, according to which Poroshenko’s people created a money laundering scheme in Ukroboronprom),
  • a conflict with Ihor Kolomoyskyi which resulted in an anti-Poroshenko campaign by 1+1 Media Group (one of the largest media conglomerates in Ukraine),
  • an information campaign supported by Russia against him,
  • an overall fatigue from Ukrainian political elites,
  • a presidential campaign that was focused almost exclusively on the right-wing and nationalistic population and exploited the patriotism topic at the expense of debates about social and economic situation,
  • and lack of understanding and communication with Ukrainian people.[157][158][159][160][161][162][163]


In the 2019 Ukrainian parliamentary election, Poroshenko was first on the party list of European Solidarity.[164]

Police raid at Poroshenko’s headquarters and gym

On 20 December 2019, Ukrainian law enforcement raided both Poroshenko’s party headquarters and gym on the orders of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Hidden cameras and recording devices were found inside the gym’s smoke detectors and security alarms. According to the State Investigation Bureau, those were allegedly secretly recording and filming Poroshenko’s gym clients, some of which are politicians and businessmen. Poroshenko and Ihor Kononenko, deputy head of Poroshenko’s party, are both owners of said gym and could not be reached for comments. The raid was part of two ongoing criminal investigations which are focused on two concerns. First, the alleged theft of servers with classified information. Second, the alleged tax evasion and money laundering.[165]

Derkach fragments

In May 2020, Andrii Derkach, a Ukrainian lawmaker who is aligned with a pro-Russian faction and has links to Russian intelligence, released edited fragments of private phone calls from several years between then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (the then-presumptive Democratic nominee for U.S. president, elected president in 2020) and then-President Poroshenko. Derkach used the clips to make a series of accusations not supported by the tapes.[166] The taped conversations were consistent with official U.S. and European policy at the time and with public statements by Biden and Poroshenko.[166] Derkach had met with Rudolph W. Giuliani in December 2019.[166]

Derkach’s maneuver raised questions about foreign interference in the 2020 U.S. elections, and echoed Russian government’s interference into the 2016 election.[166] Biden’s campaign and Poroshenko’s political party European Solidarity described Derkach’s act (which was publicized by the Russian state-controlled network RT) as a Russian attempt to harm Biden and disparage Ukraine.[166] In September 2020, the US Treasury Department sanctioned Derkach “for attempting to influence the U.S. electoral process,” alleging he “has been an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian Intelligence Services.”[167][168]

Anti-oligarch law

Two days after the passing of the anti-oligarch law, which seeks to curb the influence of Ukraine’s wealthiest individuals, Poroshenko sold the TV channels Priamyi and 5 Kanal.[169]

Criminal case

On 20 December 2021, Poroshenko was accused of state treason, aiding terrorist organizations and financing terrorism due to allegedly organizing the purchase of coal from separatist-controlled areas of Ukraine together with pro-Russian politician Viktor Medvedchuk.[170] If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.[171] Poroshenko denied the allegations, calling them “fabricated, politically motivated, and black PR directed against [Zelenskyy’s] political opponents”.[170] On 6 January 2022, a Ukrainian court seized Poroshenko’s property.[172] On 15 January 2022, Poroshenko announced via a video message on Facebook: “I am returning to Ukraine on a flight from Warsaw at 09:10 a.m. on January 17… to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression“, despite the case against him.[173][174]

Following his return to Ukraine, the prosecutor’s office asked a court to either remand Poroshenko in pre-trial detention for two months, or oblige him to pay bail of ₴1 billion (US$37 million), wear an electronic bracelet, remain in Kyiv, and hand over his passport.[171][175][176] The court chose a third option (‘personal commitment’), which is less strict than house arrest and doesn’t involve paying bail.[177][178] According to this commitment, Poroshenko has to submit his passport to the authorities, not leave Kyiv or the Kyiv Oblast without first receiving permission from the court or the prosecutors office, and inform the authorities if his place of employment or residence change.[179]

2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

On 25 February 2022, amid the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, Poroshenko appeared on TV with a Kalashnikov rifle together with the civil defense forces on the streets of Kyiv. He also stated that he believed that “Putin will never conquer Ukraine, no matter how many soldiers he has, how many missiles he has, how many nuclear weapons he has… We Ukrainians are a free people, with a great European future. This is definitely so.”[180][181]

On 12 March 2022, on the 17th day of the Russian invasion, Poroshenko personally handed over two civilian pickup trucks labeled “Bandera-Mobiles”, in honor of controversial WWII Ukrainian Stepan Bandera, over to members of the 206th Territorial Defense Battalion of Kyiv. Both trucks were retrofitted with Soviet PKM machine guns, 450 bulletproof vests and decals of Bandera’s face on the hood of both vehicles.[182]

At the end of May 2022, Poroshenko said he was not allowed to leave the country to visit Lithuania. Despite an official travel permit, he was refused entry to the border. Poroshenko wanted to attend the spring session of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Vilnius as a member of the Ukrainian delegation.[183] However, he was later allowed to leave Ukraine at the Polish border to attend a political meeting about the war.[184]

Panama and Paradise Papers

Main articles: Panama Papers and List of people named in the Panama Papers

Poroshenko was named in the Paradise Papers.[185] He set up an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands during the peak of the war in Donbas.[186] Leaked documents from the Panama Papers show he registered the company, Prime Asset Partners Ltd, on 21 August 2014. Records in Cyprus show him as the firm’s only shareholder.[187] He said that he had done nothing wrong, and the legal firm, Avellum, overseeing the sale of Roshen, his confectionery company, said that “any allegations of tax evasion (were) groundless”. The anti-corruption group Transparency International believes that the “creation of businesses while serving as president is a direct violation of the constitution”. A similar explanation was given by current President Zelenskyy when he was named in the Pandora Papers.[188][189]

Personal life

Maryna Poroshenko (in blue) with some of the couple’s children on Ukraine’s 27th Independence day, 24 August 2018

Poroshenko has been married to Maryna since 1984.[16] The couple have four children: Oleksii (born 1985), the twins Yevheniia and Oleksandra (born 2000) and Mykhailo (born 2001).[16] Oleksii was a representative in the regional parliament of Vinnytsia Oblast.[17] In November 2014, he became a People’s Deputy of Ukraine with 64.04% of votes in constituency No.12.[190]

Maryna Poroshenko is a cardiologist who does not take part in public life, apart from her participation in the activities of the Petro Poroshenko Charity Foundation.[16] Poroshenko became a grandfather on the day of his presidential inauguration, 7 June 2014.[191]

Poroshenko, Metropolitan Epiphanius and Andrii Parubii after the unification council of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on 15 December 2018

Poroshenko is a member of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.[38][17] Poroshenko has financed the restoration of its buildings and monasteries.[38] In high-level meetings he is often seen with a crucifix.[38]

Poroshenko speaks fluent Ukrainian, Russian, English, and Romanian.[192]

Poroshenko is diabetic.[193]

Cultural and political image

Poroshenko on stage speaking to Euromaidan protesters on 8 December 2013.

Poroshenko has been nicknamed “Chocolate King” because of his ownership of Roshen, a large confectionery business.[36] Poroshenko has objected to being called an oligarch, saying: “Oligarchs are people who seek power in order to further enrich themselves. But I have long fought against bandits who are robbing our country and have destroyed free enterprise”.[17]

After promising in his election campaign to sell his business assets when elected as the president of Ukraine, according to Poroshenko and Rothschild Wealth Management & Trust, since becoming President of Ukraine, he has relinquished the management of his businesses, ultimately (in January 2016) to a blind trust.[13][23]

Potential implementation of martial law

During his speeches Poroshenko on numerous occasions called the war in East Ukraine a “Patriotic War”,[194][195][196] yet did not initiate implementation of martial law, for which he was criticized on numerous occasions by politicians and the general public.[197][198] Poroshenko said it was necessary to realize the consequences of martial law for the country:

  • It would restrict the supply of weaponry and items of dual assignment;
  • The IMF does not provide funds to countries that are at war.[199]

A month later, the second statement was refuted by a head of the IMF’s Ukrainian branch, Jerome Vacher, “As for the possible introduction of martial law, the IMF has no formal legal restrictions that impede continuation of mutual cooperation under such conditions. We have already worked with a number of countries where war conflicts of various intensity unfolded”.[200]

On 5 February 2015, in his interview with the Spanish El Pais newspaper, Poroshenko stated that he would introduce martial law in the event of an escalation of the situation in Donbas, but that such a decision would limit democracy and civil liberties, as well as threaten the development of the economy.[201][202]

Martial law in Ukraine was introduced for 30 days in late November 2018, after the Kerch Strait incident.[203]

Connections with Dmytro Firtash

In April 2015, Ukrainian oligarch Dmytro Firtash at a court session about his extradition to the United States stated that at the Ukrainian presidential election he financially supported Poroshenko,[204] and Vitali Klitchko in the Kyiv city mayoral election.[204]

Mikheil Saakashvili

Main article: Mikheil Saakashvili § Stripping of Ukrainian citizenship

Mikheil Saakashvili-led protesters demand Poroshenko’s impeachment, Kyiv, 3 December 2017

On 29 May 2015, Poroshenko invited former President of Georgia and his friend Mikheil Saakashvili to help with conducting reforms in Ukraine and granted him Ukrainian citizenship.[205] The very next day after he became a citizen, on 30 May 2015, Saakashvili was appointed by the president as head (governor) of the Odesa Regional State Administration (see Governor of Odesa Oblast).[206]

On 26 July 2017 Poroshenko issued a decree[c] stripping Saakashvili of his Ukrainian citizenship, without providing any reason. According to The Economist, most observers saw Poroshenko’s stripping Saakashvili of his citizenship “simply as the sidelining of a political rival” (Saakashvili started a political party Movement of New Forces to participate in upcoming elections).[208][137]

New year vacationing in 2018

In January 2018, journalists from Radio Free Europe reported that for Poroshenko’s New Year’s vacation starting 1 January 2018 in the Maldives, ten people who spent $500,000 to rent separate islands and the most expensive hotel in the country.[209][210] On 30 March 2018, Poroshenko submitted his income declaration. Poroshenko declared that he spent between 1.3 and 1.4 million UAH on this vacation – half what journalists had reported (some details about the president’s vacation were classified).[211][210]



The status of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol is currently under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider the Crimea to be an autonomous republic of Ukraine and Sevastopol to be one of Ukraine’s cities with special status, while Russia, on the other hand, considers the Crimea to be a federal subject of Russia and Sevastopol to be one of Russia’s three federal cities.[80][83] Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said the law was “unacceptable” and part of an “anti-Hungarian policy” of Poroshenko.[131]

  1. The decree was not made publicly available “in accordance with the legislation on personal data protection”.[207]


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  1. Філарет вручив Порошенку орден Андрія Первозванного. www.ukrinform.ua (in Ukrainian). 10 January 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2019.

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Government offices
Preceded byVolodymyr RadchenkoSecretary of the National Security and Defense Council
Succeeded byAnatoliy Kinakh
Political offices
Preceded byVolodymyr KhandohiyMinister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded byKostyantyn Gryshchenko
Preceded byAndriy KlyuyevMinister of Trade and Economic Development
Succeeded byIhor Prasolov
Preceded byViktor YanukovychPresident of Ukraine
Succeeded byVolodymyr Zelenskyy
vtePetro Poroshenko
vtePresident of Ukraine
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Petro Poroshenko at Wikipedia’s sister projects:


Patriot missile system in Ukraine damaged but operational …

Ukraine’s ex-president Petro Poroshenko: ‘The army is like my child’

Oligarch has risen above rivalry with Zelenskiy to present united front during war

Petro Poroshenko visiting an artillery unit in the Kyiv region during his presidency of Ukraine. Photograph: Sergii Kharchenko/NurPhoto via Getty Images

John Reed

Sun May 22 2022 – 18:20

I have not even sat down to my lunch with Petro Poroshenko and already I’m feeling outmanoeuvred.

We are walking through the grounds of his European Solidarity party headquarters, opposite Kyiv’s gold-domed Pecherska Lavra monastery. Like everything else in Ukraine, it has shifted to a wartime footing, and is now a volunteer hub. It has a concrete block-and-sandbag checkpoint outside, and the unofficial wartime slogan, “Russian warship, go f*** yourself!”, a reference to the Russian cruiser that Ukrainian forces sank last month – a boost to public morale in this brutal war.

Ukrainians had warned me that their opposition leader and Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s predecessor would try to charm me, take me by the arm (perhaps literally) and steamroller me with talking points. And indeed, before I can ask a question, he is leading me on a tour of the site, which shares space with a volunteer military battalion for which he is the main sponsor and whose volunteer kitchen will serve us lunch.

Poroshenko, founder of Ukraine’s popular Roshen chocolate brand and one of its richest men, was elected in May 2014 as president a few months after the Maidan pro-European revolution. Vladimir Putin had responded to the uprising by annexing Crimea and fomenting separatist revolt in the Donbas region – what Ukrainians see as the beginning of a long war that culminated in this year’s full-blown invasion.


Five years later he was humiliated by disillusioned voters in a landslide defeat at the hands of Zelenskiy, then little known outside Ukraine except as a comedian in a television show. But today, many do credit Poroshenko with having built up their military, which has proved its worth by forcing the Russians into a tactical retreat from northern Ukraine – and, as of this week, the second city of Kharkiv too.

Relations between the two politicians are clearly testy. As recently as December, my lunch guest accused his successor of doing too little to prepare for war. “Frankly speaking, they were not prepared for an attack from the Belarusian side, and that was a very bad surprise,” he says, as we walk through a warehouse filled with donations, from bulletproof vests and night-vision devices to sacks of sugar and flour.


Does he think Zelenskiy did too little to ready Ukraine for invasion? He sidesteps the question, saying he won’t comment on Zelenskiy’s actions during the war “because I think the unity of the country is a key asset we have, and this is how we surprise Putin”.

“The world before the 24th of February and the world after the 24th of February, this is completely different,” he says. “We united not around Zelenskiy or around Poroshenko. We united around Ukraine.”

Prominent tycoon

Prior to entering politics, Poroshenko was one of Ukraine’s most prominent tycoons, with interests ranging from confectionery to media, agriculture and finance – an embodiment of the fortunes to be built by quick movers in the post-Soviet years. As chief executive of Ukrprominvest in the early 1990s, he began trading cocoa beans, then buying up state chocolate companies to form Roshen, prompting Forbes to dub him “the Willy Wonka of Ukraine” in a piece on the eve of the 2014 election.

The battle to contain the overweening power of the oligarchs has been a defining issue in Ukraine in the three decades since it pulled away from Russia. One of the questions often posed here is whether Poroshenko did enough in his time in office to rein in his fellow oligarch caste – although this has been pushed to the margins by the more pressing problems of the war.

According to the Ukrainian edition of Forbes, Poroshenko and his companies have contributed about $10 million to the war; Poroshenko tells me that he matches every hryvnia the public donate to the “Brothers in Arms” battalion he sponsors. Among other things, he is rumoured to have put some of his own money into bolstering Kyiv’s air defences – a crucial factor in protecting the capital’s government buildings and military assets – even before the invasion. He and his company have invested “a lot” in setting up an air defence system, he confirms, but will not give details.

By the time of Poroshenko’s election, Putin had already annexed Crimea and the war in the Donbas was under way. In 2014 and 2015 Poroshenko signed German- and French-brokered agreements with Putin in Minsk that froze the conflict, though they did not stop the fighting. I ask whether it was a mistake to have negotiated with a man he now describes as a fascist.


“I think that what has happened was a very dangerous transformation of Putin over the last years,” he says, noting that he first met the Russian president in 2004.

‘Transformation’ in Putin

In 2005, soon after the Orange Revolution, he spent “maybe five or six hours” in Putin’s office in an effort to mend Russian-Ukrainian relations. “I saw that the Orange Revolution was [a] very big and negative surprise [for Putin], and he didn’t know what to do and how to act after [it].” But, he says, he observed a “transformation” in Putin after that, as was clear first at the Munich Security Conference in 2007 and then at the Bucharest Nato summit in 2008, which Poroshenko says was a “missed chance of the free world” to keep peace. “All the leaders of the western world favoured Putin, and all the leaders of the western world trusted Putin. They thought if they could reach agreement with Putin, that could save the world.”

“Don’t trust Putin, he never keeps his word, never,” he says, by way of recommendations on how to deal with him. “He’s a pathological liar.” The Russian leader promised to implement a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy armour and weapons from the Donbas, but this never happened, Poroshenko adds.

His second piece of advice: “Don’t be afraid of Putin.” If Nato had only delivered a membership action plan for Ukraine (and Georgia and Moldova too) in 2008, he says, by 2013 it would have had full membership. “I am confident that Crimea until now would be Ukrainian, we would not have war and the world would be significantly more stable.”

The idea of Nato was “not very popular in Ukraine” to start, Poroshenko says, with just 16 per cent of Ukrainians supporting integration to Nato in 2013 right before he was elected president – but by the time he finished his term, 61 per cent did.

“And do you know who helped us to achieve this result? Putin . . . I think the reason was the crazy mentality of Putin.”


The Minsk agreements bought Ukraine time, including to build its army, by freezing the conflict with Russia. But the accords were never properly implemented, and in the hindsight brought by this year’s invasion are seen by Ukrainians to have been at best a stop-gap that failed to address its root causes or contain further Russian aggression. Does he, I ask, now regret signing them?

No, he says, paraphrasing the Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu: “The main achievement is to avoid war, not to win war.” And since Putin launched the invasion, “you don’t see any critics” of Minsk, he adds.

“I think this was a great diplomatic achievement. Having the Minsk agreement, we kept Russia away from our borders – not from our borders, but away from a full-sized war.”

I have asked Poroshenko to reflect on the legacy of his presidency – successes and failures. “Just to remind you that when I was elected as president, Crimea was already occupied in full, and Donbas was [partially] occupied,” he says. “And Ukraine as a country and me as a president didn’t have an armed forces at all.”

In 2014 Russia poured irregular troops and beamed propaganda into the Donbas, exposing what critics described then as a failing Ukrainian state, beset by corruption and weak institutions.


During the first 10 days of his presidency, Poroshenko points out, Ukraine managed to seize back some key towns. “Everything that we have now was created in the five years during my presidency, and I am very proud of it,” he says. He lists his achievements: the first was building up Ukraine’s armed forces – though in many Ukrainians’ telling, the push was in large part a bottom-up initiative, starting with volunteer fighters at the Maidan, then in the Donbas.


With co-operation from Nato countries – which has intensified since the invasion – Ukraine has indeed developed a military that has so far proved more flexible in its structure and effective on the battlefield than Putin’s Soviet-issue top-down army.

“It is like my child, and I am very proud,” he says. “Now the whole world can see, and the Ukrainian armed forces surprised the world.”

Second, Poroshenko says, his presidency “institutionalised the Ukrainian state” and promoted the Ukrainian language (not without controversy), switching off the Russian TV signal that was “poisoning Ukrainian society”. Third, he says, his presidency saw the creation of an independent autocephalous Ukrainian church; fourth, “significant progress” on European integration; and fifth, co-operation with Nato.

I try to ask a question, but Poroshenko is not done with his list.

“Number six is decentralisation,” he says. This seems a fair point: when reporting in the Donbas in 2014, I met many neglected residents who despised their government in faraway Kyiv and joined the separatists. This year, Ukrainians – including in the Russian-speaking east and south – have shown themselves more united behind their state than at any time since independence.

Now I get to ask my question: what do you regret? Poroshenko’s reply: “I could have done more.”


Ukrainians were disenchanted by the slow pace of reforms, the continued power of the oligarchs (including Poroshenko himself) and the deeply entrenched corruption that persisted in politics and business during his term. Although he handed over his business interests to a blind trust after becoming president, the 2016 Panama Papers disclosed that he had set up an offshore company to move his confectionery company to the British Virgin Islands in 2014. He denied any wrongdoing at the time and highlights the creation of an anti-corruption court – although it had a faltering progress in his time in office.

In 2019 he ran a nationalist re-election campaign under the slogan “Army! Language! Faith!” that flopped. Zelenskiy trounced Poroshenko, campaigning on a ticket of unity and throwing out the old order, and taking 73 per cent of the vote compared with 24 per cent for Poroshenko. I ask him why he thinks he lost.

“After five years of war, people wanted to have somebody who promised peace within two weeks, promised that we had ended the time of poor people, and that now it would be the time for rich people,” Poroshenko says. “They really liked to believe in tales.”

During Zelenskiy’s presidency, Poroshenko was charged with treason and financing terrorism for allegedly having been involved in the sale of coal to state companies by separatists in the Donbas – the very men his administration was fighting. A Kyiv court deemed the charges serious enough to freeze his assets in January as part of the investigation.

The case alarmed Ukraine’s western allies, who saw it as a sign of dangerous political division in Ukraine when it was becoming clearer that Putin was poised to invade. (Poroshenko has rejected the charges as unfounded, and the case as “politically motivated”.)

“I hate this idea! To attack Zelenskiy now,” Poroshenko says, when I ask about the two men’s differences. However, he adds: “Immediately when we finish the war, I am absolutely open to this.”

I point out that he can speak about Zelenskiy’s pre-invasion record without undermining the war effort. “Okay,” he says, and invites his aides to sit at our table, where two soldiers eating alongside us have finished and stood up.

“This is not a political fight,” Poroshenko goes on. “I really did my best to help the nation, to make the government more efficient. And I was not a politician, I was president of Ukraine, a state figure.”

Corruption allegations

I ask him about the corruption allegations that dogged his term in office. “I don’t know,” he says. “I am not interested in that.” By his own count, he has faced 130 criminal cases in matters ranging from the creation of the autocephalous church to the signing of the Minsk agreements. He says that no one found “any tiny evidence of wrongdoing”.

“I did my best to – sorry for the pathos – to make Ukraine stronger,” he says, “more comfortable, more democratic, more free.”

The day of the invasion, Poroshenko says, he met Zelenskiy in the president’s office and the two agreed to put their differences behind them. Poroshenko says he also proposed to the president that weapons stores be opened in Kyiv to the public – a scheme that was implemented in the capital and led to some 36,000 guns being distributed in the first days after the invasion. “We Ukrainians surprised the world,” he says. “Some Nato generals gave us 72 hours.”

While Ukraine has soldiers and volunteers, it doesn’t have enough weapons – though it has begun to produce its own cruise missiles and anti-ship Neptunes, Poroshenko says, which he notes proudly “did the miracle on the Russian cruiser Moskva”.

While remaining in Ukraine, Poroshenko has spoken to foreign leaders, including Boris Johnson (whom he describes as “a very good friend of mine”), lending his voice to calls for more weaponry and ammunition for troops, whose biggest risk is being outgunned in places such as the Donbas.

“Can you imagine that the future of the world now depends on 300 to 400 tanks, on 1,000 armoured personnel carriers, on 500 howitzer cannons and on 100 jet fighters? Or maybe 300 additional anti-aircraft missiles? That’s it.”

It’s hard to avoid the underlying theme of our conversation – forbidden topics or not – that surely Poroshenko aspires to run for higher office again? “Okay, I trust you and count on you,” he says. “I have a dream to be elected, this is true..” He pauses for dramatic effect “ . . . as a member of the European Parliament.”

Poroshenko’s handlers had warned me that he must leave punctually at 1.20pm, but before that he has a few messages he wants to deliver. The first is directed at Germany: “Stop your programme of closing nuclear power stations,” he says, referring to a key factor underlying Germany’s dependence on Russian gas. “Suspend it for 10 years.”

He also calls for sanctions against Russia’s oil tanker fleet and its clergy, including its leader Patriarch Kirill, who have supported the war: “We should introduce sanctions against the Russian Orthodox Church as a terrorist organisation.”

May 17th 2023

G7 leaders meet to pressure Russia, find China unity

The G7 groups Japan, Britain, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the European Union.

May 15th 2023

Russia is moving closer to NUCLEAR conflict with the US due to Washington’s support for Ukraine, Moscow warns

  • Russian official Vladimir Yermakov claimed US is risking direct armed conflict
  • His threat is the latest from the Kremlin since Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine 

Russia is moving closer to a nuclear conflict with the United States due to Washington’s support for Ukraine, Moscow has warned.

Vladimir Yermakov, the foreign ministry’s head of nuclear non-proliferation, told TASS news agency that Washington is escalating the risks through its conduct with the Kremlin – the latest in a series of threats from top Russian officials.

He said risks of a direct military confrontation between the two nuclear powers is steadily growing, as he suggested to the Russian state news agency that Russia may withdraw from an intermediate and shorter-range nuclear missiles treaty.

Since the start of Vladimir Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine 14 months ago, Moscow has issued regular charges against the US and what it calls ‘the collective West’ for raising the risks of a nuclear war, rhetoric intended to deter Kyiv‘s allies.

‘If the United States continues to follow its current course of confrontation with Russia, with the stakes constantly escalating on the verge of sliding into direct armed conflict, then the fate of START (nuclear arms treaty) may be a foregone conclusion,’ Yermakov said.

Russia is moving closer to a nuclear conflict with the United States due to Washington's support for Ukraine, Moscow has warned. Pictured: A Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is seen being test-launched last year, in a photo released by Russia

Russia is moving closer to a nuclear conflict with the United States due to Washington’s support for Ukraine, Moscow has warned. Pictured: A Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile is seen being test-launched last year, in a photo released by Russia

Since the start of Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine 14 months ago, Moscow has issued regular charges against the US and what it calls 'the collective West' for raising the risks of a nuclear war, rhetoric intended to deter Kyiv's allies. Pictured: Putin is seen on Monday

Since the start of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine 14 months ago, Moscow has issued regular charges against the US and what it calls ‘the collective West’ for raising the risks of a nuclear war, rhetoric intended to deter Kyiv’s allies. Pictured: Putin is seen on Monday


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The US told Russia in March that it will cease exchanging some data on its nuclear forces following Moscow’s refusal to do so, calling it a response to Russia’s suspending participation in the New START treaty.

READ MORE: The world has reached a ‘more dangerous situation than even during the Cold War,’ says Russia’s foreign minister 

The treaty obligated both Russia and the US to commit to regular communications on the status of their nuclear arsenals, allow regular on-site inspections and abide by caps on the number of deployed and non-deployed warheads each would maintain. 

With a reported 5,977 warheads, Russia has the world’s biggest nuclear arsenal – inherited from the Soviet Union – and up until the COVID pandemic was subjected to constant inspections and control from the U.S., which comes in a close second. 

Suspension of the treaty has led to fears of a nuclear arms race between the world’s nuclear-armed superpowers. 

Yermakov did not provide details of the alleged US confrontational approach in the excerpts from the TASS interview published so far.

‘The most acute threat today is associated … with the danger of nuclear escalation as a result of a direct military confrontation between nuclear powers,’ Yermakov said.

‘And these risks, to the deepest regret, are steadily growing.’

Moscow and Beijing will assess the West’s potential involvement in the global expansion of the US anti-missile system, which ‘clearly undermines strategic stability,’ he added.

He said Moscow will evaluate the range of American-made missiles that, he said, are capable of reaching the Asian-Pacific region. 

‘But even now we can say with confidence that the destabilising US military programs and their allies make our moratorium more and more fragile – both in the Asia-Pacific region and in Europe,’ Yermakov said. 

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine plunged Moscow’s relationship with the US and other NATO nations to its lowest level since the Cold War, and has raised fears of a direct conflict between Russia and NATO that could spill over Ukraine’s borders.

The United States has been Ukraine biggest backer, committing more than $70billion to Kyiv’s aid – $43billion of which has gone towards its military.

A BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher fires towards Russian positions on the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on April 23

A BM-21 Grad multiple rocket launcher fires towards Russian positions on the frontline near Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on April 23

A Ukrainian soldier rides in a BMP infantry fighting vehicle near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on April 22

A Ukrainian soldier rides in a BMP infantry fighting vehicle near the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, on April 22

Vladimir Yermakov (pictured), the foreign ministry's head of nuclear non-proliferation, told TASS news agency that Washington is escalating the risks through its conduct with the Kremlin - the latest in a series of threats from top Russian officials

Vladimir Yermakov (pictured), the foreign ministry’s head of nuclear non-proliferation, told TASS news agency that Washington is escalating the risks through its conduct with the Kremlin – the latest in a series of threats from top Russian officials

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Its military aid has include the provision of HIMARS rocket launchers which were credited with dramatically changing the trajectory of the war – with Ukraine’s forces utilising them in their lightning counteroffensives last summer.

READ MORE: Wagner mercenary chief orders his men to stop taking prisoners and ‘kill everyone’ after video emerges claiming to show Ukrainians shooting a POW 

Several HIMARS launches have struck deep behind enemy lines, with one attack on what was believed to be a military barracks killing dozens of Russian soldiers on New Year’s Eve. Ukraine claimed it had killed around 400 Russian troops in the strike.

The US has also pledged to deliver its state-of-the-art M1 Abrams tanks to Ukraine, and said on Friday it would soon start training Kyiv’s forces to use them in battle.

American-made Patriot missiles also arrived in Ukraine last week and military spokesman Yuriy Ihnat said Sunday on Ukrainian television that some have already gone into service. 

Russia has accused the US of fighting a proxy war in Ukraine, while Washington has said it is supporting a sovereign nation in its fight against an aggressor.

On Monday,  Russian-appointed authorities in Crimea said the military fended off a Ukrainian strike on a main naval base, while an exploding drone was also reportedly found in a forest near Moscow.

The attacks came as Ukraine is believed to be preparing for a major counter offensive.

The attack was the latest in a series of attempted strikes on Sevastopol, the main naval base in Crimea that Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

Comment Western arrogance and the manspreading anchor men with posh Dolly bird style of fake U.K independent news, is intensely irritating. Smug, overpaid self righteous, conceited people like those on Sky News, present a terrible reality as a morality play. This style plays well with the masses who have no idea where crass leaders like Sunak, war monger Wallace and megolomaniac Zelensky are leading us. Surely the latter is due for a medal from the equally posturing U.K King Charles Spaniel

R J Cook.

May 14th 2023

Ukraine war: Kyiv not attacking Russian territory – Zelensky

Ukrainian President (left) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin. Photo: 14 May 2023
Image caption, Chancellor Scholz (right) pledged to support President Zelensky (left) and Ukraine “for as long as it is necessary”

By Laura Gozzi & Jaroslav Lukiv

BBC News

Ukraine has no plans to hit targets in Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky has said in Germany, where Kyiv secured a big new defence aid package.

“We are not attacking Russian territory,” he said after talks in Berlin with Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

“We are preparing a counterattack to de-occupy the illegitimately conquered territories,” Mr Zelensky added.

Mr Scholz vowed to back Ukraine “for as long as it is necessary”, promising €2.7bn (£2.4bn) worth of weapons.

This includes advanced German Leopard tanks and more anti-aircraft systems to defend Ukraine from almost daily deadly Russian missile and drone attacks.

President Zelensky described the new tranche as “the largest since the beginning of the full-scale aggression” by Russia in February 2022.

The war has transformed Germany’s attitude towards Ukraine, moving from being a reluctant supplier of military hardware to virtually doubling its contribution overnight, the BBC’s Jenny Hill in Berlin says.

Russia accuses Ukraine of repeatedly hitting targets inside Russia, including a reported drone attack on Moscow’s Kremlin earlier this month.

Ukraine denies the accusations, while also stressing that it has a legitimate right to use force and other means to fully de-occupy its territories currently under Russian control. These include four regions in the south and east, as well as the Crimea peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.

Later on Sunday, President Zelensky will travel to the western city of Aachen to be bestowed with the prestigious Charlemagne Prize – an honour given for efforts to foster European unity.

Previous winners include Winston Churchill, Pope Francis and Bill Clinton.

In other developments on Sunday:

  • Ukraine’s air force says it destroyed 25 drones and three cruise missiles launched by Russia in yet another massive overnight attack
  • Six people were killed and another 16 injured in the past 24 hours in Russian shelling of Ukraine-held areas in the eastern Donetsk region, local officials said
  • One person was killed in Sunday’s Russian artillery attack on the southern Kherson region
  • Mobile internet is temporarily suspended in the Russian-seized areas of the eastern Luhansk region because of increased shelling by Ukrainian troops, Moscow-installed officials said

President Zelensky flew to Germany from Italy overnight, his plane escorted by two German Air Force fighter jets.

In Rome, the Ukrainian leader met Italian President Sergio President Mattarella and Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. He also had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

The Argentine pontiff said he was constantly praying for peace in Ukraine.

The Pope also stressed the urgent need to help “the most fragile people, innocent victims” of the Russian invasion.

Meanwhile, Ms Meloni assured Mr Zelensky of Rome’s support for united Ukraine.

Related Topics

Comment Britain has long led the charge to deny Crimea as a Russian territory. This region is predominantly Russian but the Anglo – U.S – pseudo liberal elite decide whether elections are fair, simply by whether elected parties favour their sui generis western ‘democratic values.’ Taking Crimea has always been a prime objective of this Anglo-U.S proxy war on Russia. If and when they go for this, the war will probably go nuclear.

Whatever , Russia knows this is different to 1939. Russia is at war with the western elite capitalist run world. In that region you have the likes of U.K’s King Charles III , Joe Biden , Boris Johnson and Ben Wallace. All their masses need is more bread and circuses like yesterday’s Eurovision Song Contest.

R J Cook

Ukraine war: Russians in Germany split over Putin’s invasion

A woman holds a picture of Soviet Red Army veteran during Victory Day commemorations in Berlin, Germany, 9 May 2023
Image caption, Victory Day commemorations in Berlin saw many turn out in the German capital with differing views

By Vitaly Shevchenko

BBC Monitoring, Berlin

Russian communities across Europe have been polarised by the Ukraine war – and that threatened to spill over in Berlin this month when they marked the defeat of Nazi Germany.

Given how much Vladimir Putin uses the Soviet victory over fascism in 1945 to justify Russia’s ongoing full-scale invasion of Ukraine, there was no avoiding the war here in the German capital.

Many German-based Russians clearly believe the president’s reasons for the war, with some views in Berlin virtually indistinguishable from the narratives promoted by Russian state TV – but others are just as vocal in opposing it.

The commemorations in Berlin started on 8 May, as Germany marked the 78th anniversary of its liberation from fascism, and groups of Russians visited the Soviet war memorial in Treptower Park.

One, Alexander, who is originally from Russia but has lived in Germany for more than 20 years, said he believed Russian forces were “defending Donbas, Crimea, Kherson, and Odesa against fascists” – listing places in south-eastern Ukraine.

Alexander shows a cigarette holder and a tobacco box he has decorated with portraits of Vladimir Putin
Image caption, Alexander shows personal items decorated with portraits of Putin, he says he believes Russia is fighting fascism in Ukraine

“They belong to Russia! Russia is taking back what belongs to it,” added Anna, another Russian living in Germany.

Alexander then showed me a cigarette holder and a tobacco box he had decorated by taping portraits of President Putin to them.

But the events that matter most to Russian speakers were held the following day, 9 May – marked in Russia as Victory Day.

They kicked off with the Russian ambassador laying flowers to the imposing statue of a Soviet soldier in Treptower Park. Again, the event mostly attracted supporters of the Kremlin’s policies and rhetoric.

One of them, a young Russian called Yevgenia, told me that “the collective West, particularly America” were fanning the flames of neo-Nazism in Ukraine.

Yevgenia was sporting the St George’s Ribbon – a Kremlin-backed symbol often used by Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. Like many at the rally, she and her friend held aloft a Soviet flag, as Russian flags were banned.

Two women in Germany hold a Russian flag in support of the Kremlin’s policies and rhetoric
Image caption, Yevgenia (right) wears a St George’s Ribbon – a Kremlin-backed symbol used by Russian troops in the Ukraine war

But not everyone supported such views.

The monument to the grieving mother at the other end of Treptower Park was the meeting point for those who wanted to honour the victims of fascism without supporting Mr Putin’s claims that he is fighting “fascists” in Ukraine.

And many of the people who gathered there were Russians. One of them, Kirill, told me he fled Russia last October to avoid being drafted into the army and being sent to fight in Ukraine.

“I do not want to become a murderer for Putin. I do not believe the lies I’m told by TV,” he said.

“I was very afraid, but I attended anti-war rallies. I did all I could do,” Kirill told me, standing alongside a poster about political prisoners in Russia.

Kirill, a young man who fled Russia after attending anti-war rallies in St Petersburg
Image caption, Kirill, with a poster of political prisoners in Russia, says he left the country to avoid being drafted into the Russian army

Kirill fled Russia after being arrested, fined and beaten for attending anti-war rallies in St Petersburg.

Another young Russian in this corner of Treptower Park, an activist called Alexandra, thought President Putin had turned Victory Day into a propaganda tool. “It is an absolute sacrilege for us,” she told me.

Her friend Ekaterina chimed in: “It is important for me to show that not everyone from Russia supports what is happening in Ukraine or what this day has turned into.

“The way it is marked now is a one big reason why this war started on 24 February last year.”

At another important event held by Russians in Berlin on Victory Day, dozens gathered at the Brandenburg Gate for what is known as the march of the Immortal Regiment.

Even though such marches are encouraged by the Kremlin, the one held in Berlin seemed less overly political than the events in Treptower Park, with dozens of Russians solemnly carrying photographs of their ancestors who fought in World War Two.

A group of anti-war Russians demonstrated against Victory Day being turned into a propaganda tool – but their event was outnumbered by the rally sporting Kremlin-encouraged symbols such as St George’s ribbons or Soviet flags.

Kristina at a demonstration against weapons deliveries to Ukraine
Image caption, Kristina attends a demonstration with a sign criticising the West’s supply of weapons to Ukraine

But what do Germans think of all this?

I was able to find the whole spectrum of opinions among them. Many came to Treptower Park on 8-9 May to offer thanks for the Soviet army liberating Germany from fascism, and were less concerned with the present.

“What Putin is doing in Ukraine now doesn’t change the fact that [Russia did liberate Germany],” one of them, Wolfgang, told me.

Another German demonstrator, Kristina, was against weapons deliveries to what she described as the “fascist regime” in Ukraine.

But a young man, Janek, said it was “shameful” that President Putin was using the defeat of Nazism as a foreign policy tool.

“They say they want to free Ukrainians from the Nazis there – but it’s just not true, it’s propaganda,” he said.

May 13th 2023

Sabotage probe after cables cut on Royal Navy warship HMS Glasgow

HMS Glasgow
Image caption, HMS Glasgow was floated on the Clyde for the first time in December

An inquiry has been launched into “intentional damage” of a Royal Navy warship at a Scottish shipyard.

Defence contractor BAE Systems said repairs were being assessed after about 60 cables were cut on HMS Glasgow.

The Type 26 frigate is currently being fitted out at BAE’s yard at Scotstoun on the River Clyde in Glasgow.

It is the first of eight Type 26 vessels being built. A BAE spokesperson said work had been temporarily paused for an investigation.

The military news website UK Defence Journal, which reported the incident, suggested that it may have been sabotage by a contractor in a payment dispute.

But BAE Systems did not confirm any motive for the damage.

A spokesperson said: “We uncovered a limited number of cables on HMS Glasgow earlier in the week, which appear to have been damaged intentionally.

“We immediately launched an internal investigation, alongside our suppliers, and temporarily paused work on the ship to inspect every area of the vessel and ensure our high standards and quality controls are met.”

The firm said work had now resumed and an assessment was in progress “to scope the repairs needed”.

BAE Systems
Image caption, A total of eight Type 26 frigates are to be built in Glasgow by BAE Systems

It is understood that about 23,000 cables will be installed on the frigate – including data cables for communication and electrical cables to power the ship’s systems.

The incident comes after HMS Glasgow made its first trip in December.

The frigate was moved down the River Clyde on a specialist barge and lowered into Loch Long.

It was then towed back to the yard at Scotstoun for fitting out.

The next two Type 26 ships, HMS Cardiff and the HMS Belfast, are already under construction by BAE Systems on the Clyde.

In November, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced BAE Systems has been awarded a £4.2bn contract to build five more Type 26 frigates, on top of the three already under construction.

In total, Scottish shipyards have orders to build 13 Royal Navy frigates.

Eight Type 26s are being constructed by BAE Systems on the Clyde, while five Type 31 vessels are being built by Babcock at Rosyth in Fife.

Comment Espionage is an inevitable consequence of Britain being at war with Russia after violating a joint agreement to guarantee Ukraine’s neutrality as a buffer zone between its borders and the west. Elite greed and anti Russian propaganda obscures this essential truth. Here in the U.K the Eurovison is being used for more anti Russian hate and just loving Ukraine. The song entries are atrocious. The west hopes to reduce Russia to the same level of idiocy just as soon they have the regime change. Long live western style democracy !!!!!!!!

R J Cook

May 11th 2023

Confound Europe– a comment on the following BBC Report Britain’s stoking up World War III – By R J Cook.

Britain’s political and related economic elites have chosen to supply Ukraine with long-range missiles Ukraine requested for its fight against invading Russian forces. The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a range of over 250km (155 miles), according to the manufacturer. The Storm Shadow cruise missiles cost about £2.2 million each and are fired from a fighter jet, as opposed to the U.S supplied Himars ground launchers. The missiles carry a specialist penetrating 450kg warhead designed to destroy hardened and buried targets from long range. NATO’S proxy knows where they are thanks to U.S satellites and drones.

Vladimir Putin Makes his May Day Speech 2023.

Britain is a militaristic opportunist country ruled and led by people who have no respect for their masses importing ever more from the Third World chaos , corruption, western sustained religious bigotry and idiocy which they, the U.S and some European countries are still draining for resources. They fear the Russians and Chinese will get in their with less ruinous and serious development plans. The same mentality applies to Latin America – and best of all Ukraine. That is what this war is about. It has got nothing to do with freedom or anyone’s rights outside of the Anglo U.S and European elite. This goes a long way in explaining the convenient sex assault slur on Trump. There would have been no war in Ukraine with Trump in power. Now Democrats have the sex assault slur, with more claimants waiting in the wings, to dwarf the charges of fraud. All will be eyeing up their chance of a $5 million pay off. Someone should remind Trump that Carroll was a paid magazine diarist at the time of the alleged assault that she should have reported 28 years ago when there might have been evidence if it was true, yet she can’t recall the date. We writers are meticulous about diaries ,details and dates, as police refuse to believe in my case – but that’s another story in fake democracy Britain. So Carroll and her Democrat supporter hope every poverty stricken white woman will rally to the bourgeoise feminist cause.

Russian Veterans remembering better days before the west provoked this horrible war by not honouring Minsk and pulling corruptly led Ukraine into equally corrupt Europe – especially welcomed by corrupt Britain running Europe from the outside now.

Meanwhile, the flag waving idiots drooling over their ancient new billionaire monarchy, are oblivious of how this war mongering jingoism,which apart from being a red rag to the Russian Bear assuming it is wide awake, could so easily provoke a proportionate response from Russia. U.K media were sneering at the small amount of hardware displayed at the May Day Parade. Why would there be with World War III entering a new and more dangerous phase ? Russia may have decisivley defeated Nazi Germany and its East European satellites, but Vladimir Putin knows that this time he is fighting the whole west.

Ukraine is not an innocent in this NATO proxy war on Russia. NATO provoked the conflict , but mainstream media doesn’t want us to see that or publish alternative opinions. This site carries a google warning because the internet is heavily policed and I am a problem for the authorities. Closer to U.K home, this spending and sending weapons to Ukraine, along with consequences of sanctions, has been and still is the driving force of the cost of living crisis. Mortgage payments are failing and basics are now luxuries. The elite and bourgeoise feminists are well off and we are expected to offer our allegiance to the crown. Anti monarchy protestors were arrested by Metropolitan Police before they did anything at the Coronation Parade. Police Chief Sir Mark Rowley declared that his officers were well trained, doing a good job in difficult circumstances so that good people could enjoy the display. Police declare allegiance to Crown. We never cease to be reminded that we have a western style democracy. Here Julian Assange is still in jail without charge, for exposing Anglo American war crimes. Meanwhile, the authorities keep reminding us how tyrannical Russia is and that people are denied the right to protest.

Russia’s modern army were sneered at and scorned by the Sky news patronising bourgeoise Russia correspondent Remember Sky calls itself ‘the home of Independent news.’

These missiles will intensify the air battle. If Russia thinks it is losing,then the nuclear option becomes highly likely. If you recall the fallout from the 1986 Chernobyl explosion, you will realise how much worse and long term a nuclear explosion will be. World War Two reached a significant decisive nuclear finale. The boffins and their war technology might be mind blowing but the ones at the controls had their minds blown back at Uni. That is why they can’t say the long word university, too long for twitter. Nor can they see a long term without their vile profit power grabbing New World Order planet eaters. The young are being corrupted accordingly by a dumbed down education system where the ongoing aim is teaching less and less about less and less.

Diversity in U.K is about elite & liberal chatterboxes virtue signalling by stirring up racism and the LGBTQI con trick. The only diversity that matters in the U.K is between the ruling class headed by the banana Monarchy and the dumbed down easily manipulated internecine masses.The New World ordering started by devastating the Middle East and Libya where wars rage and from where the migrants come to confound Europe.

An MI6 agent is secretly filmed discussing with a traitor, how much it would take to cause social disruption and topple Vladimir Putin’s regime in 2018.

R J Cook

UK confirms supply of Storm Shadow long-range missiles in Ukraine

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Storm Shadow missile (file pic)

By James Gregory

BBC News

The UK has confirmed it is supplying Ukraine with long-range missiles it requested for its fight against invading Russian forces.

The Storm Shadow cruise missile has a range of over 250km (155 miles), according to the manufacturer.

By contrast, the US-supplied Himars missiles used by Ukraine only have a range of around 80 km (50 miles).

The weapons will give Ukraine the “best chance” of defending itself, UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said.

They are fired from aircraft, so the longer range means Ukrainian pilots will be able to stay further from the frontlines.

Once launched, the Storm Shadow drops to low altitude to avoid detection by enemy radar, before latching onto its target with an infra-red seeker.

The announcement was made in the House of Commons by Mr Wallace. The decision follows repeated pleas from Ukraine for more weapons from the West.

Mr Wallace said the missiles would “allow Ukraine to push back Russian forces based on Ukrainian sovereign territory”.

He said the UK took the decision after Russia “continued down a dark path” of targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

Mr Wallace wrote to his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu in December, he said, to warn that further attacks could result in the UK donating more capable weapons.

He said the missiles were “going into” or already in Ukrainian hands, and described the move as “calibrated and proportionate to Russia’s escalations”.

“None of this would have been necessary had Russia not invaded,” he said.

He said the missiles would be compatible with Ukraine’s existing, Soviet-era planes and praised the technicians and scientists who made that possible.

But he warned the range of the British-supplied Storm Shadows was “not in the same league” as Russia’s own missile systems – with some of Moscow’s weapons being able to travel far further.

Earlier this year, Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov insisted longer-range missiles would not be used to attack targets within Russia itself.

“If we could strike at a distance of up to 300 kilometres, the Russian army wouldn’t be able to provide defence and will have to lose,” he told an EU meeting.

“Ukraine is ready to provide any guarantees that your weapons will not be involved in attacks on the Russian territory.”

A Ministry of Defence image of an RAF Tornado jet armed with Storm Shadow missiles
Image caption, The UK’s Royal Air Force armed its now-retired Tornadoes with Storm Shadow missiles, seen here on the aircraft’s belly mounts

In February, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he was prepared to send long-range missiles to Ukraine, and the British government opened a bidding process for their procurement.

“Together we must help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones,” Mr Sunak said then. “That’s why the United Kingdom will be the first country to give Ukraine longer-range weapons.”

On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow would take an “appropriate” military response to any British-supplied Storm Shadow weapons used by Ukrainian forces.

The Storm Shadow missile has been operated by both British and French air forces and has been used previously in the Gulf, Iraq and Libya.

The British-supplied missiles can only be fired by aircraft, but French missiles can be fired from ships and submarines.


May 8th 2023

Ukraine war: Russia launches ‘biggest’ kamikaze drone attack

  • 3 hours ago

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Air raid sirens have sounded across Ukraine after Russia launched a fresh wave of drone and missile strikes.

Explosions were heard overnight in the capital, Kyiv, where the mayor said five people had been injured in the “biggest” kamikaze drone attack so far.

One person was killed in the attack on the southern Odesa region. Ukraine’s Red Cross says its warehouse was hit.

It marks the fourth attack in eight days on Kyiv and comes just 24 hours before Russia celebrates Victory Day.

The annual holiday commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two, a conflict the Kremlin has baselessly tried to draw parallels with since launching its invasion of Ukraine last year.

After a lull in Russian attacks on civilian targets in recent months, which saw Kyiv go days without an attack, Moscow has intensified its air raids over the past week ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The Ukrainian military said the latest Russian raids – which lasted for more than four hours and were launched shortly after midnight – saw Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones swarm across the country.

Kyiv’s Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said nearly 60 drones had been launched by Russia, describing it as the “biggest” such attack so far.

He added that all 36 drones had been destroyed over Kyiv, but five people had been injured by falling debris from downed drones.

The BBC has not been able to verify these numbers.

Emergency services responded after drone wreckage fell on a runway at Zhuliany international airport – one of the city’s two commercial airports – Kyiv’s military administration said.

And civilians were injured after drone debris hit a residential building in the central Shevchenkivskyi district, the administration added.

Elsewhere, in the Black Sea port city of Odesa, a warehouse was set ablaze after eight missiles were fired at targets by Russian bombers, Ukrainian officials said.

In a statement, Ukraine’s Red Cross said its warehouse with humanitarian aid was destroyed and all aid deliveries had to be suspended.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Command, later said a body of a man – a security guard – was pulled from the wreckage.

In a daily update, the Ukrainian military’s command said there had also been a wave of missile strikes on the Kherson, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions.

At least eight people – including a child – were injured in two villages in the southern Kherson region, local officials said.

In Zaporizhzhia, the head of the Russian installed administration, Vladimir Rogov, said Russian forces hit a warehouse and a Ukrainian troop position in the small city of Orikhiv.

On the eastern front, the Ukrainian commander of forces in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut said Russian troops had stepped up shelling, in a bid to take the city by Tuesday’s celebrations.

Russian troops and fighters from the Wagner Group, a private military company, have been trying to capture Bakhmut for months – despite its questionable strategic value.

Over the weekend, Wagner’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to U-turn on a threat to withdraw from the city after he was promised fresh ammunition supplies by the defence ministry in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 9 May would from now be celebrated as Europe Day, in line with the European Union. The move – which needs parliamentary approval – is seen as a pointed rebuke to Russia.

Mr Zelensky said he had signed a decree that the day would commemorate European unity and the defeat of “Ruscism” – a term that is shorthand for “Russian fascism”.

He also said that 8 May would now officially be a Day of Remembrance and Victory, as marked in many countries around the world.

A BBC map showing control of Ukraine

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More on this story

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.49.2/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

WATCH: Fire engulfs Odesa warehouse used by Red Cross

By Matt Murphy

BBC News

Air raid sirens have sounded across Ukraine after Russia launched a fresh wave of drone and missile strikes.

Explosions were heard overnight in the capital, Kyiv, where the mayor said five people had been injured in the “biggest” kamikaze drone attack so far.

One person was killed in the attack on the southern Odesa region. Ukraine’s Red Cross says its warehouse was hit.

It marks the fourth attack in eight days on Kyiv and comes just 24 hours before Russia celebrates Victory Day.

The annual holiday commemorates the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany during World War Two, a conflict the Kremlin has baselessly tried to draw parallels with since launching its invasion of Ukraine last year.

After a lull in Russian attacks on civilian targets in recent months, which saw Kyiv go days without an attack, Moscow has intensified its air raids over the past week ahead of a widely expected Ukrainian counter-offensive.

The Ukrainian military said the latest Russian raids – which lasted for more than four hours and were launched shortly after midnight – saw Iranian-made Shahed kamikaze drones swarm across the country.

Kyiv’s Mayor Vitaliy Klitschko said nearly 60 drones had been launched by Russia, describing it as the “biggest” such attack so far.

He added that all 36 drones had been destroyed over Kyiv, but five people had been injured by falling debris from downed drones.

The BBC has not been able to verify these numbers.

Emergency services responded after drone wreckage fell on a runway at Zhuliany international airport – one of the city’s two commercial airports – Kyiv’s military administration said.

And civilians were injured after drone debris hit a residential building in the central Shevchenkivskyi district, the administration added.

Elsewhere, in the Black Sea port city of Odesa, a warehouse was set ablaze after eight missiles were fired at targets by Russian bombers, Ukrainian officials said.

In a statement, Ukraine’s Red Cross said its warehouse with humanitarian aid was destroyed and all aid deliveries had to be suspended.

Natalia Humeniuk, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s Southern Command, later said a body of a man – a security guard – was pulled from the wreckage.

In a daily update, the Ukrainian military’s command said there had also been a wave of missile strikes on the Kherson, Kharkiv and Mykolaiv regions.

At least eight people – including a child – were injured in two villages in the southern Kherson region, local officials said.

In Zaporizhzhia, the head of the Russian installed administration, Vladimir Rogov, said Russian forces hit a warehouse and a Ukrainian troop position in the small city of Orikhiv.

On the eastern front, the Ukrainian commander of forces in the besieged eastern city of Bakhmut said Russian troops had stepped up shelling, in a bid to take the city by Tuesday’s celebrations.

Russian troops and fighters from the Wagner Group, a private military company, have been trying to capture Bakhmut for months – despite its questionable strategic value.

Over the weekend, Wagner’s founder Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared to U-turn on a threat to withdraw from the city after he was promised fresh ammunition supplies by the defence ministry in Moscow.

Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that 9 May would from now be celebrated as Europe Day, in line with the European Union. The move – which needs parliamentary approval – is seen as a pointed rebuke to Russia.

Mr Zelensky said he had signed a decree that the day would commemorate European unity and the defeat of “Ruscism” – a term that is shorthand for “Russian fascism”.

He also said that 8 May would now officially be a Day of Remembrance and Victory, as marked in many countries around the world.

A BBC map showing control of Ukraine

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More on this story

May 4th 2023

Russian Fighter Pilots Are Trying to Draw American Jets Into Dogfights Over Syria

Russia, frustrated by American support for Ukraine, is taking a more belligerent tone. But it could stumble into a major crisis.Headshot of Kyle MizokamiBy Kyle MizokamiPublished: May 4, 2023

red square military parade rehearsals

Getty Images

  • Russian forces flying in the skies over Syria have reportedly tried to draw their American counterparts into dogfights.
  • So far, the incidents have not involved actual air-to-air combat.
  • It appears the Russian pilots are trying to provoke international incidents, likely in retaliation for U.S. military aid to Ukraine.

Russian pilots have engaged in increasingly dangerous and provocative behavior over Syria. That’s the charge from U.S. Central Command, which states that Russian fighter jets have tried to gall their American counterparts into an international incident. The activity is particularly dangerous as bumbling Russian pilots have nearly triggered such incidents in the past through their own mistakes.

“Unsafe and Unprofessional”

two us air force f 16 fighting falcon aircraft fly over the us air force central command area of responsibility during a mission supporting combined joint task force operation inherent resolve, march 30, 2021 the f 16 fighting falcon aircraft is a compact, multirole fighter aircraft that delivers airpower to the us central command area of responsibility cjtf oir enables its partners to ensure the enduring defeat of isis in designated areas of iraq and syria and sets conditions for follow on operations to increase regional stability us air force photo by staff sgt trevor t mcbride

Two U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft fly over the U.S. Air Force Central Command area of responsibility during a mission supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, March 30, 2021.U.S. Air Force

According to Task & Purpose, Russian forces have “violated deconfliction protocols with Coalition forces almost 100 times in two months.” Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, head of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, stated that Russian aircrews have conducted “armed overflights of ground forces in Syria 26 times, flying within 500 feet of U.S. aircraft, and in the last week, jamming U.S. aircraft electromagnetic systems.”

These incidents included an April 2 encounter in which a Russian Su-35 “Flanker-E” multi-role fighter conducted an “unsafe and unprofessional” intercept of a U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter, and an April 18 encounter when a Russian fighter “violated coalition airspace and came within 2,000 feet of a U.S. aircraft, a distance a fighter jet can cover in a matter of seconds.”

U.S. forces deployed to Syria in the late 2010s to lead a coalition that opposed the Islamic State. This put them in proximity to Russian forces propping up Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. While both countries are theoretically on the same side, the Coalition of Western countries is not friendly to the al-Assad regime, and Russian forces consider the Coalition presence an intrusion into Moscow’s sphere of influence. In 2018, a battle between U.S. forces, the Russian mercenary group Wagner, and Russian-backed Syrian forces killed up to 300 Syrians and mercenaries compared to zero U.S. losses.

Anger Over U.S. Support for Ukraine

ukraine and russia trade fire in donetsk region

A Ukrainian soldier shoulders a U.S.-supplied Stinger surface-to-air missile launcher, Donetsk, December 2022. Missiles like the Stinger keep Russian fighter jets from operating at low altitudes and supporting troop movements on the ground, leading to greater casualties.

Another factor in the uptick of Russian aggression is U.S. support for Ukraine. Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February 2022, expecting a quick victory. Instead, Ukrainian tenacity, and a large injection of U.S. and other Western arms and ammunition, has stalled and in some cases reversed the Russian advance. Russia has lost at least 72 aircraft over the course of the war, many to U.S.-supplied weapons, including at least one Su-35 fighter, the most modern jet currently in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces.

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Russia’s frustration is that it knows exactly where and how U.S. and NATO military aid for Ukraine enters the country, but is unable to do anything about it. It could strike Rzeszów-Jasionka Airport in Poland—where aid from the continental United States is flown before being trucked over land into Ukraine—but directly engaging NATO forces is asking for a war. Russia has enough problems beating one country, and an attack on any one of the 31 member states of NATO is considered an attack on all.

Aerial Incompetence

new images of downed us drone shared by us department of defense

This image, taken by an MQ-9 Reaper of its propeller assembly, shows a bent propeller after a Russian jet flew too close to it. The Reaper was later intentionally flown into the Black Sea. Ineptitude like this could lead to loss of life in the future.

The recent Russian activity is all the more dangerous because Moscow’s air forces have repeatedly demonstrated not only provocative but also incompetent behavior. On September 29, 2022, a Su-27 Flanker fighter nearly shot down a Royal Air Force RC-135 Rivet Joint intelligence-gathering aircraft. The pilot, already locked onto the jet in violation of norms, attempted to launch a missile after he misheard his own ground controllers, thinking they had cleared him to open fire. The missile failed to fire, preventing a major intentional incident.

Russian anger at NATO support for Ukraine manifests itself as aerial bullying, but it’s a tool Moscow frequently reaches for, and it’s becoming hard to tell when Russia really feels threatened. Russia is buzzing U.S. forces with jet fighters, but it’s been doing that for nearly a decade, buzzing the guided-missile destroyer USS Donald Cook in 2014. Russian forces have also demonstrated considerable unprofessionalism and ineptitude, and at this point if one of its fighter jets does attack U.S. forces, it might not be immediately apparent whether or not it was accidental or on purpose.

The Takeaway

It’s hard to know what to make of the dramatic increase in the number of close incidents with Russian forces. On one hand, Russian forces won’t deliberately engage NATO forces, which are more professional, better trained, and more technologically advanced. On the other hand, Russian forces have nearly done so by accident, and Moscow is not letting up despite the dangers involved. U.S. forces have kept a cool head and not taken the bait—but that may not be enough.

Before You Go …

Russian Fighter Pilots Engage In ‘Terrifying Maneuvers’ With US Military Aircraft; Experts Warn Of “Escalation”


Russian SU77 a force to be reckoned with and several steps closer to Armageddon

BySakshi Tiwari

April 27, 2023

There has been an uptick in the ‘aerial encounters’ between Russian and Western fighter jets not just over the Black Sea near Ukraine but also over Syria, where both US and Russia have been trying to assert dominance.

In an alarming development, US officials have claimed Russian jets and drones are increasingly harassing the US troops deployed in Syria, raising the possibility of a fatal miscalculation or “escalation” between the two military superpowers.

US officials stated on April 24 that armed Russian jets have regularly broken long-standing agreements with the United States over the past two months by flying dangerously close to American jet fighters over Syria and over US personnel operating there, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The head of the US Air Forces Central Command, Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, who is responsible for directing American military activities over Syria and 20 other countries in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, said, “It’s a ripe situation for us to see some sort of miscalculation. It signals a breakdown in professionalism that I have never seen out of the Russian Air Force.”

The assertion made by the US officials comes days after the US Central Command (CENTCOM) published videos of two different interactions between American aircraft and fully-armed Russian Su-35 Flanker-E fighter jets over Syria, as previously reported by EurAsian Times.

In one video, which was reportedly shot on April 18, a Russian Su-35 aircraft came within 2,000 meters of an unknown US aircraft while carrying out an interception mission. The other video, shot by an F-16 Viper fighter jet in early April, shows a Russian Su-35 conducting an unsafe and unprofessional intercept while operating in airspace that US-Russian protocols recognize as Coalition-controlled airspace over Syria.


According to Gen. Grynkewich, Russian forces have broken the agreement more than 60 times since March 1. He highlighted that the Russian aircraft, which are supposed to fly at least three nautical miles away from American aircraft, has flown within 500 feet of American pilots on at least two occasions in recent weeks.

The fact that armed Russian aircraft have flown over American forces in southern Syria more than twenty times since early March, according to Gen. Grynkewich, is particularly alarming. He claimed that Russian drones, bombers, and jet fighters have also flown over the Al Tanf facility this week.

Russia has also, on its part, accused the United States military of provocations in the northeastern part of Syria. However, the aggressive maneuvers undertaken by Russian pilots in recent times, be it Syria or near Ukraine, have given more leverage to the accusations made by the US CENTCOM.

su-35 russia

When Russian Fighter Pilots Almost Triggered ‘Escalation’

Besides the dangerous interception carried out by the Russian Su-35 fighters of US jets over Syria, there is another incident that merits a mention while highlighting the aggression recently shown by Russian fighter pilots.

In March this year, a Su-27 reportedly sprayed jet fuel over the US MQ-9 Reaper drone, crossed it multiple times, and ultimately forced it to crash into the Black Sea.

At the time, the US European Command stated that a Russian Su-27 aircraft allegedly struck the drone’s propeller during an “unsafe and unprofessional intercept” over the Black Sea, leading to a complete loss of the drone and its descent into the Black Sea.

Before the collision, two Russian jets made 19 close passes over the drone in no less than 30 minutes, spraying some of their jet fuel on it during the last three or four of those flights. The downing of the Reaper drone triggered concerns of military escalation between Washington and Moscow.

However, in the aftermath of the incident, media reports indicated that Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu had nominated pilots of the Su-27 fighters for state awards who “prevented” a border violation by a US MQ-9 Reaper drone.

In a similar incident that became known much later, it was revealed that a Su-27 aircraft also allegedly tried to shoot down a Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone over the Black Sea. The Su-27 reportedly used jet wash on the Turkish drone to disrupt the thrust of the drone; however, the TB2 drone survived.

While these incidents have been restricted to drones, the recent Pentagon leaks have disclosed an incident in which a Russian fighter jet almost shot down a British aircraft.

According to information provided by Pentagon’s leaked documents, a Su-27 of the Russian Aerospace Forces almost shot down a British RC-135W aircraft flying a surveillance sortie last year.

The Russian radar controller on the ground and the pilot of one of the Russian Su-27s sent to intercept the spy plane, which was in international airspace off the coast of Russian-occupied Crimea, were having conversations that were being overheard by the British RC-135 at the time of the incident.

Despite having beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (AAMs), the Su-27s were out of the RC-135’s line of sight. However, a command from a radar operator on the ground was misunderstood by one of the Su-27 pilots, who then believed he had the authority to fire on the RC-135 aircraft. The Russian pilot locked onto the British aircraft with a missile and fired an AAM.

However, the missile malfunctioned, and the British aircraft escaped unscathed. Military experts have since warned that if the missile had not malfunctioned, there could have been gross escalation between the two sides.

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Mayor of Odesa detained over corruption allegations

Some more news coming out of Ukraine this afternoon. Prosecutors say the mayor of Odesa has been detained in connection with an investigation into suspected corruption.

Hennadii Trukhanov was elected in 2014 and has been under investigation since 2017 over embezzlement allegations which he has denied.

Writing on Telegram, prosecutors said Trukhanov has been detained for 60 days for failing to pay just under 30 million hryvnias (£645,987) in bail.

Trukhanov faces charges of embezzling 92 million hryvnias (£1.9m).

Ukraine has struggled to rid itself of corruption, with authorities for years vowing to stamp it out in efforts to join the EU.

Zelensky launched an anti-corruption drive at the start of this year – with 11 officials either resigning or being sacked.

Ukraine’s first lady arrives at Downing Street

While her husband has paid The Hague a visit today, Ukraine’s first lady has just arrived at No 10 Downing Street.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, greeted Olena Zelenska at the door, shaking her hand before the pair entered No 10.

Later on today, the pair will visit a library in central London.

Zelenska is among the foreign dignitaries who have been invited by the government to celebrate King Charles III’s Coronation this weekend.

WATCH: Russian media’s response to Kremlin explosion

Video content

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.49.2/iframe.htmlVideo caption: How Russian media is covering the Kremlin explosionHow Russian media is covering the Kremlin explosion

So, how has Russian media reported claims that Ukraine orchestrated a drone attack targeting the Kremlin?

While one newspaper claims Kyiv has “crossed a red line” and “a final frontier” – echoing the Kremlin’s view that Ukraine was responsible for the drones – others have taken a more muted approach, steering clear of printing any pictures of the alleged explosion at all.

Watch this video from BBC Russia Editor Steve Rosenberg on how Russia’s media has reacted.

Do not use Kremlin attack as excuse for escalation – Borrell

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has warned Moscow against using claims of an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin to escalate its war in Ukraine.

He said the EU is worried that the attack “can be used to justify more conscription of people, more soldiers, more attacks on Ukraine”, speaking ahead of a meeting with EU ministers in Brussels.

He also acknowledged that Zelensky has denied that Ukraine is behind the attack.

Earlier, the Kremlin said the US, without giving evidence, was responsible for the attack and alleged Ukraine had carried out the attack under US instruction – which both parties have denied.

We are facing a wave of unprecedented sabotage – Russia

More reaction to the alleged attack on the Kremlin now. Russia’s foreign ministry has accused Ukraine of committing “terrorist and sabotage activities” with “unprecedented momentum”.

In a statement, the ministry said Russia’s investigative committee had opened a criminal case into the alleged attack, saying that “crimes like this cannot go unanswered”.

“These actions are designed to intimidate and terrorise people, inflict damage and kill people as a means of influencing the decision-making process by government agencies.

“We are certain that those who bear the blame for these acts will be identified. They will face imminent and inevitable punishment.”

It added that Russia “reserves the right to take counter measures in response to these outrageous acts of terrorism”.

Ukraine has denied that it is responsible for the attack.

Zelensky arrives at palace to meet Dutch king

Aside from reaction to the alleged Kremlin attack, we’ve also been tracking Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s moves today.

Next on the agenda for him is an audience with Dutch King Willem-Alexander at Huis ten Bosch Palace in The Hague.

Questions remain about suspected drone attack

The suspected drone attack on the Kremlin – which Russia claims targeted President Vladimir Putin and which Ukraine denies involvement in – raises a number of questions.

Was there any damage?

Russia says two drones crashed in the Kremlin grounds, scattering fragments “without causing any damage” but daylight shots appear to show scorch marks on the roof of the Kremlin Palace.

And a related question – why hasn’t Russia produced fragments of the drones to back up its claim that Ukraine was behind the strike?

How did the drones get through?

Russia says they were “disabled” but at least one appears to have crashed into – or very near to – the palace. The Institute for the Study of War think tank says: “It is… extremely unlikely that two drones could have penetrated multiple layers of air defence and detonated or been shot down just over the heart of the Kremlin.”

Where were the drones launched?

This is the big, unanswered question. One video shows an object flying in from the east, before exploding. If the drones had been launched in Ukraine, you would expect it to have come from the west.

A spokesman for the Kremlin has claimed the US was behind the purported attack, saying “Kyiv only does what it is told to do”, but gave no evidence for the claim. The US has denied any involvement, as has Ukraine.

US had ‘no role whatsoever’ in drone attacks – Kirby

The White House has doubled down on rebuffing Russian claims that the US masterminded an alleged drone attack on the Kremlin yesterday.

Earlier today, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov claimed, without any evidence, that the US was responsible for the incident, alleging that Ukraine carried out the attack under instruction from Washington.

Just a little earlier the White House’s national security spokesperson, John Kirby, told broadcaster MSNBC the claims were false, and that the US does not encourage Ukraine to strike outside of its borders.

In a separate interview, he has now reiterated that the US had “no role whatsoever” in the incident.

He told CNN: “I would just tell you Mr. (Dmitry) Peskov’s lying. I mean, it’s obviously a ludicrous claim. The United States had nothing to do with this. We don’t even know what happened here.

“But I can assure you the United States had no role in it whatsoever.”

Read more about these links.

Posted at 14:2814:28

  • Russia has accused the US of masterminding what it says was a drone attack on the Kremlin yesterday which it alleged was carried out by Ukraine – something Kyiv denies
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “decisions on such attacks are not made in Kyiv, but in Washington”, but gave no evidence for the claim
  • The White House has responded by stating the allegations are false
  • Speaking in The Hague this morning, President Volodymyr Zelensky called for a war tribunal to hold Russia’s “crimes of aggression” to account, accusing it of 6,000 war crimes in April alone
  • In a separate press conference alongside Dutch and Belgian prime ministers, Zelensky asked for more military aid and particularly reiterated the need for modern aircraft to fend off Russian forces from Ukraine
  • In Ukraine, there have been further drone and missile attacks on cities including Kyiv, Odesa and Zaporizhzhia

Kyiv involvement in alleged Kremlin drone attack would be astonishing – think tank

Following on from the White House’s denial of involvement in the alleged attack on the Kremlin, Prof Michael Clarke from the London-based Royal United Services Institute (Rusi) has been discussing the likelihood of Ukrainian involvement.

“I would be truly astonished if yesterday’s drone attack on the Kremlin was down to Kyiv,” he tells BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme.

“It would be a monumentally stupid thing for them to do and the quickest way for them to lose the war,” he says.

“If Ukraine is seen to conduct a strategically significant attack inside Russia, then it will lose Western support. And if it loses Western support, it loses the war.”

He says it is possible it is a false flag attack, saying this is an area Russia “has form” in. But Clarke says he believes it is more likely to have been carried out by a separate “freelance” operative.

A false flag is a political or military action carried out with the intention of blaming an opponent for it.

A closer look at Moscow’s claims against US

Let’s take a closer look at Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s remarks regarding yesterday’s alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, which the White House has just responded to.

This morning Peskov claimed, without any evidence, the US was behind the purported drone attack. The claim suggests that the Ukrainian government is implementing decisions made in Washington.

Peskov said: “Attempts to disown this, both in Kyiv and in Washington, are, of course, absolutely ridiculous.

“We know very well that decisions about such actions, about such terrorist attacks, are made not in Kyiv but in Washington.”

Ukraine has vehemently denied responsibility for the alleged incident on Wednesday, as a series of extraordinary allegations from Moscow inflamed tensions between the two sides even further.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said the claims made by Russia are false.

Recap: Zelensky reiterates need for modern fighter jets

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.49.2/iframe.htmlVideo caption: Zelensky says he wants to send a “clear message” that Ukraine will join after the war.Zelensky says he wants to send a “clear message” that Ukraine will join after the war.

We’ve just had another press conference with President Zelensky alongside his Dutch and Belgian counterparts.

Let’s recap some of the key takeaways from what was said:

  • Zelensky said he had realistic aims about being part of Nato after the war and not during the war
  • He urged stronger sanctions against Russia and for assets to be confiscated
  • Belgian leader de Croo vowed to send a second military aid package to Ukraine
  • The Ukrainian president said his reason for visiting The Hague is to restore peace and justice
  • With Dutch PM Mark Rutte and Belgian PM Alexander de Croo to his left, Zelensky again called for more military support to help fend off Russia
  • A large part of his call centred around reiterating Ukraine’s need for modern aircraft
  • He called for Ukraine’s membership of Nato to be on the agenda at the Vilnius summit in July

Zelensky wants to use seized Russian money to rebuild Ukraine

Zelensky is fielding more questions from reporters.

Asked about a Ukrainian spring offensive, and if failure to launch one would result in Zelensky being forced to negotiate, he says Ukraine is preparing a counter-offensive and the army is “strengthening each day”.

Zelensky says he wants to use all the Russian money seized in Belgium to “renovate our country” and rebuild destroyed schools, churches, museums and the country’s energy network.

The presser then comes to an end.

Read more about these links.

We will be in Nato after the war – Zelensky

Zelensky is asked about the potential of Nato membership for Ukraine.

“We’re realistic – we know we won’t be in Nato during the war [but] we have a very clear message that we will be in Nato after the war”, Zelensky says.

On potential EU membership, Rutte says he is “impressed” by Zelensky who is “fighting a war” and also “clearing the way for EU accession”.

Russia’s claims that US is behind drone attack are false – White House

Stepping away from the press conference briefly, we’ve just heard from the US in response to claims by Russia that Washington was behind the alleged drone attacks on the Kremlin.

White House national security spokesman Admiral John Kirby has told broadcaster MSNBC that the claims by Russia are false.

He said the US does not encourage or enable Ukraine to strike outside its borders.

Russia originally accused Kyiv of orchestrating the alleged drone strike on the Kremlin, describing it as an attempted assassination attempt on President Putin.

President Zelensky strongly denied that his country carried out the attack, saying it is the pretext for escalation between the two nations.

Moscow shifted its blame to the US earlier today.

US doesn’t have information to assess Kremlin attack, says official

The head of US intelligence, Avril Haines, said the US doesn’t have the information to provide an independent assessment on the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin.

Haines said: “You’ve seen the Ukrainian government deny their having engaged in this.

“And, at this stage we don’t have information that would allow us to provide an independent assessment on this.”

She told the Senate Armed Services Committee it was unlikely Russia would be able to mount a “significant offensive operation this year” due to munition and manpower shortages.

However, she said restraint by Moscow is expected even as it takes heavy casualties in the war in Ukraine.

She added it’s “very unlikely” that Russia will use its nuclear weapons.

Mayor of Odesa detained over corruption allegations

Some more news coming out of Ukraine this afternoon. Prosecutors say the mayor of Odesa has been detained in connection with an investigation into suspected corruption.

Hennadii Trukhanov was elected in 2014 and has been under investigation since 2017 over embezzlement allegations which he has denied.

Writing on Telegram, prosecutors said Trukhanov has been detained for 60 days for failing to pay just under 30 million hryvnias (£645,987) in bail.

Trukhanov faces charges of embezzling 92 million hryvnias (£1.9m).

Ukraine has struggled to rid itself of corruption, with authorities for years vowing to stamp it out in efforts to join the EU.

Zelensky launched an anti-corruption drive at the start of this year – with 11 officials either resigning or being sacked.

May 3rd 2023

Nord Stream: Report puts Russian navy ships near pipeline blast site

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Two Russian ships were seen in this satellite photo at the blast site three months three months before the explosions
Image caption, Two Russian ships were seen in this satellite photo at the blast site three months before the explosions

By Gordon Corera

Security correspondent, BBC News

Russian ships able to perform underwater operations were present near to where explosions later took place on the Nord Stream pipelines, according to an investigative documentary.

The vessels were reportedly located using intercepted Russian navy communications.

Underwater explosions last September knocked the two Nord Stream pipelines – built to carry gas from Russia to Europe – out of action.

The cause of the blasts is unclear.

Formal investigations are still taking place in countries close to the blast site. So far, they have said only that they believe the explosions were the result of sabotage rather than any kind of accident.

But one possible lead pointing towards Russian involvement has emerged from details of suspicious Russian ship movements in the run-up to the Nord Stream blasts, reported by four Nordic public broadcasters and an accompanying English-language podcast Cold Front.

And Denmark’s Defence Command has confirmed a separate report that a Danish patrol boat called Nymfen took 26 photos of a Russian submarine-rescue ship in the area days before the explosions. The Information website said the SS-750 had sailed from Kaliningrad and was close to Bornholm island on 22 September 2022.

The investigation by Denmark’s DR, Norway’s NRK, Sweden’s SVT, and Finland’s Yle focuses on the movements and actions of ships between June and September last year which they describe as highly unusual.

The ships are believed to include the Russian naval research vessel Sibiryakov, the tugboat SB-123, and a third ship from the Russian naval fleet that the media outlets have not been able to identify by name.

These were so-called “ghost-ships”, which had their transmitters turned off. The broadcasters, however, say they were able to track their movements, using intercepted radio communications the vessels sent to Russian naval bases.

Russian ship SB-123
Image caption, Just five days before the blasts, Russian tug SB-123 reportedly arrived at the site and stayed for an entire evening and night

The first vessel departed from a Russian naval base in Kaliningrad before arriving near the pipeline on 7 June.

One radio message places it directly above Nord Stream 2 before moving further north, close to the Nord Stream 1 pipelines, spending hours in the area where the pipeline runs about 80m (260ft) below the surface and where some of the leaks would later occur.

The Sibiryakov arrived on 14 June and went to the same position as the first vessel, close to Nord Stream, and remained there until the next day.

The movements were tracked by a former British naval intelligence officer, who worked on interception of the Russian Baltic Fleet until he retired in 2018. The anonymous officer says he used open-source information and radio communications to carry out his research.

He says the pattern of radio communications in June indicated they were in an “operational phase” at some points.

The tugboat, the SB-123, sailed out to the area on the evening of 21 September. The broadcasters say they intercepted communications that suggest it was operating close to the pipelines and the areas of the explosion from late that evening until around 14:00 on 22 September.

The tugboat is also mentioned in the Information story about the SS-750 submarine-rescue ship, which followed up a German report in March of suspected Russian involvement in the area.

https://emp.bbc.co.uk/emp/SMPj/2.49.2/iframe.htmlMedia caption,

Underwater drone footage of the damage to the Nord Stream pipeline

Satellite imagery examined by the broadcasters is said to support the claims about the unusual routes, and other reports in Germany had claimed it was in the area on 21-22 September.

The Sibiryakov is believed to be capable of underwater surveillance and mapping as well as launching a small underwater vehicle. It can be used to support and rescue submarines and has the ability to carry out operations on the seabed, according to experts interviewed by the broadcasters.

The Nordic broadcasters do not say there is conclusive proof of what the vessels were up to or that Russia was behind the blast. But the documentary raises questions about the unusual nature of the activity.

Last month the series revealed that Russian vessels appeared to be mapping out wind farms in the North Sea, including off the UK coast.

Russia has consistently denied any involvement in the blasts.

In the immediate aftermath, some in the West pointed the finger at Russia, while Moscow blamed Western countries, including the UK.

More recently, there were reports that intelligence pointed towards pro-Ukrainian operatives, although not the Ukrainian government itself.

Nord Stream map

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April 30th 2023

The Mild West By R J Cook

Here in the ‘Mild West’ it should be laughable that the masses fall for all the drivel about liberalism and democracy. In Britain we also have the mesmerising glamour and militarism of the monarchy. All those unformed upper class toffs with attached weaponry ranging from ceremonial swords to nuclear submarines seem so benign when dressed up figureheads and bloated Generals are in charge. For years in the U.K it was all bedecked by the expensive satin skirts and petticoats of a well made up and perfectly coiffured innocent looking Queen Elizabeth II – a woman dating back to beyond World War II, apparently working as an army truck driver and mechanic working for good against evil.

Side of the Angels. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley speaks at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

PBS America reprised two interesting old documentaries last night. One was about dealing with death during the internecine U.S Civil War. There was the same old homage to sanctified President Abraham Lincoln as saviour of the slaves. On that subject there is never mention of how the slaves got there on ships crewed by press ganged cruelly treated sailors and captured by other blacks for sale to the white man. Nor is there ever mention that the main reason Lincoln et al wanted black slaves liberated was to drive them north to take over from the Irish as cheap labour for the industrialising north. Without slaves, the great cotton picking estates went bust. Britain turned to India for more cheap cotton picked by lower caste virtual slaves. So blacks faced the hardships and ill treatment in am even worse life in cities like New York.

Another Dead Confederate Soldier

You fought all the way Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

[Verse 1]
I saw you a-marchin’ with Robert E. Lee
You held your head a-high tryin’ to win the victory
You fought for your folks, but you didn’t die in vain
Even though you lost they speak highly of your name

‘Cause you fought all the way Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

[Verse 2]
I heard your teeth chatter from the cold outside
Saw the bullets open up the wounds in your side
I saw the young boys as they began to fall
You had tears in your eyes ’cause you couldn’t help at all

But you fought all the way Johnny Reb, Johnny Reb
You fought all the way, Johnny Reb

[Verse 3]
I saw Gen’ral Lee raise a sabre in his hand
Heard the cannons roar as you made your last stand
You marched in the battle of the Grey and the Red
When the cannon smoke cleared, took days to count the dead

Incredibly more blacks did not follow world champion heavy weight boxer Cassius Clay in refusing to fight in the grotesque colonial Vietnam War, where 38,000 U.S servicemen lost their lives and many more were crippled. The U.S led the western war on communism which came naturally to the poverty stricken North Vietnamese who had been exploited and oppressed by the French Empire. The atrocious Vietnam war crimes, including using the British invention of deforesting agent napalm ( jellied petrol which clung to the victims burning disfiguring and killing ) are not talked about in the liberal west.

The other documentary concerned the Russian Revolutions of 1917, Kerensky’s and Lenin’s. The latter triumphed because Kerensky’s initial revolution was denigrated as bourgeois. Russia’s Tsar Nicholas, first cousin to the British and German monarchs, was an in bred incompetent idiot with a pleasure bent wife enjoying the company of sex mad monk Rasputin. Led by raging bullying British aristocrat Winston Churchill of Gallipoli infamy, Britain supplied 80 tanks 6000 troops to fight on the Royalists White Russian side against Lenin’s revolutionary government. Britain’s MI6 were involved in the plot to shoot Lenin. He survived two bullets which were left lodged in his body. His death in 1924 was attributed to hardening of his cerebral arteries. An autopsy found blood vessels in his brain were extremely hardened, results that have been difficult to understand, said Dr. Philip Mackowiak.

Communist idealist Vladimor Ulyanov – Lenin His ideals and vision were destroyed when after being shot twice and probably poisoned, his plea, in writing, to block Stalin’s rise was ignored,much to the delight of the British elite whose MI6 agent Liddell Hart was implicated in the plot.

“Number one, he’s so young and number two, he has none of the important risk factors,” Mackowiak said.

Lenin didn’t smoke and he never let smokers near him. He also didn’t have diabetes, wasn’t overweight and the autopsy didn’t find any evidence of high blood pressure, Mackowiak said.

Lenin left strict instructions not to let Stalin take over , but it suited Britain, to discredit communism, that he did. Trotsky fled to Argentina was murdered in exile. Stalin’s acolytes rewrote the history, with photographs doctored and celebratory paintings produced to put Stalin at the centre of the revolution. Britain’s elite couldn’t wait to see Russian Communism fail.

This painting celebrating the Soviet Union founder Lenin was painted after his death,doctored to make as if Stalin was there and right behind him. The same mentality is rife in the U.K with sensitivity readers rewriting great literature so as not to offend blacks and to put them and women in the limelight as forgotten leaders and universal victims of wrking class white men. That is MILD WEST liberalism, liberal with the black and rainbow wash.

It is against the brutal background of Stalinism that the west’s so called liberals wish Putin’s Russia to be judged to promote their selfish lying greedy regimes as being the lesser of two evils. The western elite refused to let Germany rise so went to war in 1918. The 1920 Wall Street crash and Great Depression saw the rise of Nazism. This was encouraged by Britain’s elite to contain communism which threatened revolution because of the starving masses. World War Two suited their purpose but Hitler ran out of control because he was psychotic. He was a shell shocked product of World War One , bitterly resentful of Britain backing France’s desperation for revenge following the Prussian upstart humiliating war victory against France. That war unified Germany – when they occupied Paris in 1870.

My purpose in offering these facts of history are to mock the following article with its pious pathetic ridicule of Putin and Lavrov in Latin America, using an unbelievably self righteous reference to the ‘illiberal confluence.’

As I write, the TV is playing the old Henry Fonda version of Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wraith.’ The common U.S soldier swung the balance in World War One, enriching the undertakers, armaments ,ordnance ship building and aircraft industries. Big business was entrenched by the 1930s. Afterwards, the capitalist system had no time for generosity but still talked up how liberal it was and still does.

The then plain Winston Churchill, though actually from the vaunted Marlborough family of land grabbing aristocrats. His World One incompetence led to the Anzacs being massacred. He had previously ordered troops to fire on striking miners in 1911. He knew how to manipulate the common people but showed no signs of liking them. The 1920s frightened the western rich and their monarch. They had no intention of helping their poor but something had to be done to contain Russian communism.

Last night’s Russia documentary noted that Vladimir Putin embraces Russian Tsarist history, distancing his regime from communism,even praising the Tsar. That should also please Britain’s Royalists and Americans with delusions about the mother country.. Apparently and so unlike the Anglo Americans (sic ) Putin’s rule is all about the empire. The war in Ukraine has nothing to do with NATO lies and provocation. It is the beginning of him taking over Europe ( sic ). British morons comment to that effect on the BBC every day. No good offering an alternative view in Britain, the home of strong independent media ( sic ). This site comes with an ‘insecure site’ warning in the U.K and other western style liberal democracy thanks to Britain’s police state warning Google. Very liberal here in the U.K (sic)

An apparently grief stricken NATO boss, Jens Stoletenberg, bows his head at a Kiev wall covered in pictures of Ukrainian war dead.

Mainstream film documentaries employ career journalists ,researchers and script writers steeped in the culture which they expect will advance their names, status and material rewards. They employ appropriate political theory. I have read and taught much political theory. This way of thinking and presenting ‘facts’ is allegedly science. In my view, the key difference between actual or natural science and political science is that theories for the former are designed to be tested to destruction. With the latter, they are portrayed and employed as proven truth- effectively ideology. Good (sic) people in the west have no problem with denouncing Marxism as ideology and a dirty word, but not their own western ruling capitalist theories.

These theories gave us colonialism, the Third World, the wonders of rampant injustice, a police state, organised religion, mass unemployment with related starvation and rolling wars to benefit the rich who control mass media, namely books, films, radio,TV and all other print. Books now have to be passed by additional publishing gatekeepers, namely sensitivity readers who are editing past great writers and children’s books.

We have ‘freedoms’ not freedom. As we saw with lockdown and the ‘cost of war crisis, the elite will take those and any other ‘freedom’ away whenever it suits. Kris Kristofferson got it right when he wrote ‘freedom’s just another name for nothing left to lose and nothing don’t mean nothing when its free.’

Many years ago thanks to a military contact, I got a job as an engineering equipment buyer for the Anglo British Nitrate Corporation of Chile. I bought and exported some interesting equipment. Additionally, Latin America was my special area of study in Advanced level geography. I have learned much more about that subcontinent over the years. An old schoolfriend was killed, aged 24 in Thatcher’s war on Argentina, where Britain and France had previously sold billions worth of arms to this so called enemy and waited for their Falklands invasion before responding. Thatcher got re elected on the strength of this jingoism..

Faces of fear epitomised by the great Henry Fonda in the film version of Steinbeck’sbrilliant ‘The Grapes of Wraith’ based on the 1930s dustbowl tragedy when tenant farmers were kicked off their land because banks and landowners needed to mechanise. This was mild western liberalism when over the Atlantic Britain, also treating the poormasses like scum, backed Hitler to contain Stalin’s Russia.
After travelling 3000 miles through hell ,Steinbeck’s fact based characters take first sight of California’s promised land only to find it is owned by rich men and protected by State Police. They will be lucky to scrape a subsistence living.

U.S interests and dirty war in Latin America are too many to account for here. They funded regime change in Ecuador so as to get their hands on Julian Assange. Poverty is rife under ruling elites. Communism is an abiding fear of those hoarding and controlling world wealth. Latinos, like all Third World people, are encouraged to seek God’s succour where there is material shortage because the rich want it all if they can get it. That is why the following rancorous report denigrates Russia’s interest in Latin America.

Why would Latin countries, Africa or the Indian sub continent want Russia in their countries when the Anglo Americans and Europeans have been so good for them, stealing their natural resources, stoking up distracting wars, maintaining ill health, poverty and high mortality rates ? They need western style democracy and liberalism.

R J Cook

April 29th 2023

Russia in Latin America: the illiberal confluence

Since the beginning of the 21st century, Russia began to recover and expand its presence in Latin America. But the region is heterogeneous, and Russia has not been related or allied in the same way with all countries. Still, it is important to determine how likely they are capable of consolidating illiberal alliances in the continent, Armando Chaguaceda (El Colegio de Veracruz) and Adriana Boersner Herrera (University of South Carolina Aiken) argue.

This is a shorter version of the article published in Spanish by Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica.

Lee este artículo en español

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has produced significant geostrategic changes worldwide. One of these changes has been the alliances of some countries with Russia and their dependence on Moscow. Although Latin America is a region made up of countries with varied historical, political, economic, and social trajectories, it has gained geostrategic relevance in the objectives pursued by Russian foreign policy since the beginning of the 21st century. The region’s diversity has marked how each country has reacted to the invasion of Ukraine, depending on the relations it has had with Russia over the last 22 years and on the government’s liberal and illiberal features.

Autocratic cooperation, illiberal confluence 

The world of 2022 shows an increase in cooperation between autocratic states, a phenomenon analysed by experts such as Kurt WeylandThomas Ambrosio, and Rachel Vanderhill, with the common goal of rolling back the political model in competition: democracy. Some analysts think this autocratic cooperation is a process focused on maximising the objectives of the elites than promoting specific ideological or axiological components. However, it seems possible to detect there is more than mere economic calculation or geopolitical interest in this autocratic cooperation. There are immediate or long-term goals, ideological or pragmatic factors, and tactical or strategic objectives.

Global consolidation of capitalism and questioning of liberal hegemony is taking place in this decade. The world returned to being as at the beginning of the 20th century, a place with more or less expansive markets, with variably strong and sovereign States, but in which —unlike what was believed in 1989— the freedoms to vote, protest and monitor power were not part of the life of all the people.

Cooperation between countries with dictatorial regimes has been understood from two points of view. First, it is understood that two or more authoritarian regimes cooperate because they want to impose an autocratic normative vision. The second is pragmatic, and it is considered that no ideas or values ​​support cooperation between authoritarian regimes, which cooperate to maximise benefits. The two visions are not mutually exclusive but complementary if we analyse the presence of Russia in Latin America since the beginning of the 2000s.

Read More https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2022/07/28/russia-in-latin-america-the-illiberal-confluence/

Ukraine war: Crimea oil tank set ablaze by reported drone

Fire at oil depot in Sevastopol, 29 April
Image caption, Dramatic footage of the fire was posted on social platforms

A drone strike has caused a massive fire at an oil depot in Russian-controlled Crimea, local officials say.

Social-media footage showed flames billowing from the site in Sevastopol, Crimea’s main city, early on Saturday.

The fire was later put out and no-one was hurt, the Moscow-appointed regional governor said.

On Friday Russia launched a wave of air strikes in cities across Ukraine, killing at least 25 people. It was the first such attack in months.

The Crimean peninsula, which was annexed by Russia in 2014, is home to the main naval base for Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet.

“According to preliminary information, [the fire] was caused by a drone strike,” Governor Mikhail Razvozhayev said on the messaging app Telegram.

It comes five days after Russian officials said they had fended off a drone attack by the Ukrainian military in the same area. Crimea has come under repeated attacks since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Friday’s Russian barrage included a strike on a block of flats that killed 23 people – including four children – in the central Ukrainian city of Uman.

And a woman and her three-year-old daughter were killed in the city of Dnipro.

Rescuers work to clear rubble from a collapsed building
Image caption, Rescuers in Uman pulled casualties from the rubble

Kyiv was also targeted for the first time in 51 days. There were no reports of casualties in the capital.

Twenty-one out of 23 missiles and two drones were shot down by Ukraine’s air defence system, officials said.

The Russian defence ministry said its military had targeted Ukrainian army reserve units. Moscow has previously said it does not deliberately target civilians, but thousands have been injured and killed across Ukraine since Russia’s invasion.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said the attacks showed further international action needed to be taken against Russia.

“Evil can be stopped by weapons… And it can be stopped by sanctions – global sanctions must be enhanced,” he said in a tweet on Friday.

The attacks come as Ukrainian forces say they are ready to launch a military offensive with new equipment supplied by Western allies.

Russia has struggled to make headway in a winter offensive, including a 10-month battle for control of the strategically important city of Bakhmut.

A flag that shows regions where Russian strikes took place in Ukraine

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April 28th 2023

Russia Not Meant To Fight Back Against Self Righteous West.

Russia is not supposed to fight back. NATO powers slaughter in the Middle East has to be covered up. Hence the fate of Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange.
The AP Morning WireAdvancing the Power of Facts
Russian missile and drone attack in Ukraine kills 12 people Russia fired more than 20 cruise missiles and two drones at Ukraine early Friday, killing at least 12 people, officials said. The attacks included the first one against Kyiv in nearly two months. Read More.

April 27th 2023

Washington And The World

Why Russia No Longer Fears the West


The Friday Cover

The Friday Cover for Jan. 10, 2020

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Ben Judah is author of Fragile Empire: How Russia Fell In And Out Of Love With Vladimir Putin.

The West is blinking in disbelief – Vladimir Putin just invaded Ukraine. German diplomats, French Eurocrats and American pundits are all stunned. Why has Russia chosen to gamble its trillion-dollar ties with the West?

Western leaders are stunned because they haven’t realized Russia’s owners no longer respect Europeans the way they once did after the Cold War. Russia thinks the West is no longer a crusading alliance. Russia thinks the West is now all about the money.

Putin’s henchmen know this personally. Russia’s rulers have been buying up Europe for years. They have mansions and luxury flats from London’s West End to France’s Cote d’Azure. Their children are safe at British boarding and Swiss finishing schools. And their money is squirrelled away in Austrian banks and British tax havens.

Putin’s inner circle no longer fear the European establishment. They once imagined them all in MI6. Now they know better. They have seen firsthand how obsequious Western aristocrats and corporate tycoons suddenly turn when their billions come into play. They now view them as hypocrites—the same European elites who help them hide their fortunes.

Once Russia’s powerful listened when European embassies issued statements denouncing the baroque corruption of Russian state companies. But no more. Because they know full well it is European bankers, businessmen and lawyers who do the dirty work for them placing the proceeds of corruption in hideouts from the Dutch Antilles to the British Virgin Islands.

We are not talking big money. But very big money. None other than Putin’s Central Bank has estimated that two thirds of the $56 billion exiting Russia in 2012 might be traceable to illegal activities. Crimes like kickbacks, drug money or tax fraud. This is the money that posh English bankers are rolling out the red carpet for in London.

Behind European corruption, Russia sees American weakness. The Kremlin does not believe European countries – with the exception of Germany – are truly independent of the United States. They see them as client states that Washington could force now, as it once did in the Cold War, not to do such business with the Kremlin.

When Russia sees Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal outbidding each other to be Russia’s best business partner inside the EU (in return for no mention of human rights), they see America’s control over Europe slowly dissolving.

OPTICS: Snapshots from Moscow and Washington’s 60-year, on-again-off-again, long-distance relationship.

Back in Moscow, Russia hears American weakness out of Embassy Moscow. Once upon a time the Kremlin feared a foreign adventure might trigger Cold War economic sanctions where it hurts: export bans on key parts for its oil industry, even being cut out of its access to the Western banking sector. No more.


Russia sees an America distracted: Putin’s Ukrainian gambit was a shock to the U.S. foreign policy establishment. They prefer talking about China, or participating in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Russia sees an America vulnerable: in Afghanistan, in Syria and on Iran—a United States that desperately needs Russian support to continue shipping its supplies, host any peace conference or enforce its sanctions.

Moscow is not nervous. Russia’s elites have exposed themselves in a gigantic manner – everything they hold dear is now locked up in European properties and bank accounts. Theoretically, this makes them vulnerable. The EU could, with a sudden rush of money-laundering investigations and visa bans, cut them off from their wealth. But, time and time again, they have watched European governments balk at passing anything remotely similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars a handful of criminal-officials from entering the United States.

All this has made Putin confident, very confident – confident that European elites are more concerned about making money than standing up to him. The evidence is there. After Russia’s strike force reached the outskirts of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, in 2008, there were statements and bluster, but not a squeak about Russia’s billions. After Russia’s opposition were thrown into show trials, there were concerned letters from the European Union, but again silence about Russia’s billions.

The Kremlin thinks it knows Europe’s dirty secret now. The Kremlin thinks it has the European establishment down to a tee. The grim men who run Putin’s Russia see them like latter-day Soviet politicians. Back in the 1980s, the USSR talked about international Marxism but no longer believed it. Brussels today, Russia believes, talks about human rights but no longer believes in it. Europe is really run by an elite with the morality of the hedge fund: Make money at all costs and move it offshore.

The Kremlin sees its evidence in the former leaders of Britain, France and Germany. Tony Blair now advises the dictatorship in Kazakhstan on how to improve its image in the West. Nicholas Sarkozy was contemplating setting up a hedge fund with money from absolutist Qatar. And Gerhard Schroder is the chairman of the Nord Stream consortium – a majority Gazprom-owned pipeline that connects Russia directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea.

Russia is confident there will be no Western economic counterattack. They believe the Europeans will not sanction the Russian oligarch money. They believe Americans will not punish the Russian oligarchs by blocking their access to banks. Russia is certain a military counterattack is out of the question. They expect America to only posture. Cancel the G-8? Who cares?

Because Putin has no fear of the West, he can concentrate on what matters back in Russia: holding onto power. When Putin announced he would return to the presidency in late 2011, the main growling question was: why?

The regime had no story to sell. What did Putin want to achieve by never stepping down? Enriching himself? The puppet president he shunted aside, Dmitry Medvedev, had at least sold a story of modernization. What, other than hunger for power, had made Putin return to the presidency? The Kremlin spin-doctors had nothing to spin.

Moscow was rocked by mass protests in December 2011. More than 100,000 gathered within sight of the Kremlin demanding Russia be ruled in a different way. The protesters were scared off the streets, but the problem the regime had in justifying itself remained. Putin had sold himself to the Russian people as the man who would stabilize the state and deliver rising incomes after the chaos of the 1990s. But with Russians no longer fearing chaos, but rather stagnation as the economy slowed – it was unclear what this “stability” was for.

This is where the grand propaganda campaign called the Eurasian Union has come into its own. This is the name of the vague new entity that Putin wants to create out of former Soviet states — the first steps toward which Putin has taken by building a Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, and he had hoped with a Ukraine run by Viktor Yanuvokych. This is not just about empire; it is about using empire to cover up the grotesque scale of Russian corruption and justify the regime.

Russia would rather have swallowed Ukraine whole, but the show must go on. Russian TV needs glories for Putin every night on the evening news. Russian politics is about spin, not substance. The real substance of Russian politics is the extraction of billions of dollars from the nation and shuttling them into tropical Western tax havens, which is why Russian politics needs perpetual PR and perpetual Putinist drama to keep all this hidden from the Russian people. Outraged Putin has built up a Kremlin fleet of luxury aircraft worth $1 billion? Angry that a third of the $51 billion budget of the Sochi games vanished into kickbacks? Forget about it. Russia is on the march again.

This is why Crimea is perfect Putin. Crimea is no South Ossetia. This is not some remote, mountainous Georgian village inhabited by some dubious ethnicity that Russians have never heard of. Crimea is the heart of Russian romanticism. The peninsula is the only part of the classical world that Russia ever conquered. And this is why the Tsarist aristocracy fell in love with it. Crimea symbolized Russia’s 18th and 19th-century fantasy to conquer Constantinople and liberate Greek Orthodox Christians from Muslim rule. Crimea became the imperial playground: In poetry and palaces, it was extolled as the jewel in the Russian crown.

Crimea is the only lost land that Russians really mourn. The reason is tourism. The Soviet Union built on the Tsarist myth and turned the peninsula into a giant holiday camp full of workers sanitariums and pioneer camps. Unlike the Russian cities of say northern Kazakhstan, Crimea is a place Russians have actually been. Even today over one million Russians holiday in Crimea every year. It is not just a peninsula; this is Russia’s Club Med and imperial romanticism rolled into one.

Vladimir Putin knows this. He knows that millions of Russians will cheer him as a hero if he returns them Crimea. He knows that European bureaucrats will issue shrill statements and then get back to business helping Russian elites buy London town houses and French chateaux. He knows full well that the United States can no longer force Europe to trade in a different way. He knows full well that the United States can do nothing beyond theatrical military maneuvers at most.

This is why Vladimir Putin just invaded Crimea.

He thinks he has nothing to lose.

Ukraine war: Bakhmut defenders worry about losing support

Grad in the field
Image caption, The call from Ukraine for more weapons and ammunition to bolster its defences has grown louder as the war has gone on

By Jonathan Beale

BBC Defence correspondent, Bakhmut

A year ago Volodymyr and his men were firing all 40 barrels of their BM-21 Grad rocket launcher in one go. Now they can only afford to fire a few at a time at Russian targets.

“We haven’t got enough ammunition for our weapon,” he explains.

His unit, the 17th Tank Battalion, is still being called on to provide fire support to Ukrainian forces desperately clinging on to the edges of Bakhmut, the eastern Ukrainian city which Russia has spent months trying to capture.

Russian forces are getting ever closer to their goal of taking the city, but at enormous cost.

While we’re waiting in a line of trees, hidden from view, Volodymyr receives a call to fire his rocket launcher at a Russian mortar position about 15 kilometres away.

Grad missile launcher hidden in trees
Image caption, Some of the Ukrainian Grad missile supplies are coming from the Czech Republic, Romania and Pakistan

His men remove the branches camouflaging their vehicle. They drive towards an empty field about a kilometre away and quickly work out the range.

They elevate the rocket barrels towards the target while, out of sight, a Ukrainian drone hovering above assesses their accuracy.

They’re told their first rocket misses by about 50 metres, so they adjust the elevation and fire another two and quickly return to the trees for cover. This time they’re told they’ve hit the target.

Volodymyr however, is frustrated they can’t do more. “We could have provided more support to our guys who are dying there.”

He says Ukraine has already burned through its own stocks of Grad ammunition, so is relying on rockets sourced from other countries. Volodymyr says supplies are coming from the Czech Republic, Romania and Pakistan. He complains the rockets originating from Pakistan are “not of a good quality”.

Grad soldier with sight
Image caption, Grad soldier with sight

Ukraine’s call for more weapons and ammunition has only become louder the longer the war has gone on. The focus now is preparing for a major offensive. But at the same time Ukraine is still having to expend huge resources on just maintaining its position.

Despite the recent arrival of modern weapons – like tanks and armoured vehicles – Ukraine remains heavily reliant on its older, Soviet-era arsenal.

The Russian-made Buk air defence system, which can target aircraft, drones and missiles, is still one of its prized possessions. We get rare access to see one further along the front line – also hidden in a wooded area.

This sophisticated weaponry has helped prevent Russia gaining control of the skies.

Read More https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-65347835

About the Author

Robert Cook
facebook https://www.facebook.com/rj.cook.9081 I went to school in Buckinghamshire, where my interests were music ( I was a violinist ), art ( winning county art competitions ) athletics and cross country ( I was a county team athlete ). My father died as a result of an accident- he was an ex soldier and truck driver- when I was 11. It could be said that I grew up in poverty, but I did not see it like that. As a schoolboy, I had my interests, hobbies and bicycle, worked on a farm, delivered news papers, did a lot of training for my sport, painting, and music. I also made model aeroplanes and was in the Air Training Corps, where we had the opportunity to fly an aeroplane. I had wanted to be a pilot, but university made me anti war. At the University of East Anglia-which I also represented in cross country and athletics- I studied economics, economic history, philosophy and sociology. Over the years, I have worked in a variety of manual, office and driving jobs. My first job after univerity was with the Inland Revenue in Havant, near Portsmouth. I left Hampshire to work for the Nitrate Corporation of Chile, then lecturing, teaching and journalism - then back to driving. I play and teach various styles of guitar and used to be a regular folk club performer. I quit that after being violently assaulted in Milton Keynes pub, after singing a song I wrote about how cop got away with killing Ian Tomlinson at G7, in broad daylight and caught on camera. The police took no action, saying taht my assailant had a good job. The pub in question was, and probably still is, popular with off duty police officers.

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