Russia plans a larger military expansion up to 1.5 million people

Russian Battle Tanks

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia to Boost Troops in West, Expanding Army to 1.5 Million People
  • Russia will create new commands near Europe as it expands its military to 1.5 million people amid deepening tensions with the US and its allies over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the military expansion came in response to the “proxy war” he claimed the US and its allies are waging against Russia in Ukraine, Interfax reported. Kyiv and its allies are fighting to fend off Russia’s invasion of its neighbor.
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin last month approved Shoigu’s plan to boost the size of his military from the current target level of 1.15 million but the Kremlin hasn’t said how fast that will take place

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Moscow sets goals for bolstering military, top brass announces for 2023

Revelations 6:3-4 “when he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.

Important Takeaways:

  • 4 Submarines, 12 Warships, Hypersonic Missiles & Nuke Bombers: Russian Military Set For Massive Boost In 2023
  • As more military assistance is pledged to Ukraine by its allies in the West, the Russian military’s top brass has announced plans to significantly bolster its military in 2023 by inducting top-of-the-line military hardware.
  • Putin made a high-voltage pitch to his country’s defense industry on his visit to Tula, a center for arms manufacturing.
    • He said, “The most important task of our military-industrial complex is to provide our units and frontline forces with everything they need: weapons, equipment, ammunition, and gear in the necessary quantities and of the right quality in the shortest possible timeframes.”
  • In late December, the Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolay Yevmenov laid down the plans and announced: “In 2023, the Navy will face large-scale and important tasks that include the priority goals of accepting the strategic cruiser Emperor Alexander III with ballistic missiles, four submarines, and twelve surface ships and support vessels into the Navy.”
  • The Defense Ministry announced that the Russian army would receive about 22 launchers containing Yars, Avangard, and Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missiles, three Tu-160 strategic missile carriers, and Emperor Alexander III nuclear submarine of the Borei-A project in 2023.

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Defense Secretary memo nixing vaccination for all troops

Pentagon

Luke 21:11 “There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”

Important Takeaways:

  • COVID Vax Mandate Finally Nixed for All Troops, Including National Guard, Reservists
  • As CBN News reported on Dec. 30, the Department of Defense was forced to rescind the COVID-19 shot mandate for all military service members after Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The legislation gave Austin 30 days to rescind the mandate.
  • Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin signed a memo Tuesday rescinding his August 2021 mandate requiring all members of the U.S. military to be vaccinated. The memo also canceled his November 2021 mandate requiring the same vaccinations for members of the National Guard and for reservists. But it also gives commanders some discretion in how or whether to deploy troops who are not vaccinated.
  • In his memo dated Jan. 10, Austin made it clear his department will continue to advocate for all service members to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Austin also noted that those who sought an accommodation after refusing to get the shot would not be punished.

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Military COVID mandate “Intentional Purge” Religious Service Members say

  • Biden’s Military Is “Using the COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate to “Intentionally Purge” Religious Service Members”
  • Air Force Capt. Jordan Karr, Army Maj. Samuel Sigoloff and Air Force Master Sgt. Nickolas Krupper made their cases from a variety of angles ― including religious freedom, controversy over the emergency authorization vs. Food and Drug Administration-approved version of the Pfizer vaccine and “natural immunity” to the novel coronavirus. But all agreed that the involuntary separation policy for vaccine refusal is part of a concerted effort to remove certain members of the military.
  • All three service members are party to one of several lawsuits troops have filed against the Defense Department and the services, alleging mostly that the religious exemption process is unconstitutional.
  • “It’s a purposeful purge,” Sigoloff added. “Anyone who would disobey an unlawful order is being purged out of the military, and there is a shadow policy in place that that is protecting all of these people enforcing this shadow policy.”

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Big Win for Religious Freedom as Judge Calls Out DOD for Not Following the Law Concerning Military Members and Covid Shot

Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Important Takeaways:

  • Judge Rebukes Military as Service Members Score Huge Victory for Religious Freedom
  • Judge Steven Merryday issued a powerful order protecting the first two of our clients, Lt. Col. Mary* and Commander Charles,* both of whom were about to be disciplined by their respective military branches after their religious accommodation requests were denied.
  • We previously won a temporary injunction protecting these two distinguished service members. On Friday, Merryday extended the injunction for the duration of the case. He will soon rule on our remaining 29 plaintiffs and the entire class of service members.
  • The judge shredded Biden’s mandate, first by ruling “the defendants fail to articulate why Navy commander’s and lieutenant colonel 2’s sincerely held religious practice must yield to the requirement to accept COVID-19 vaccination.”
  • The religious accommodation request denial letters submitted by members of the various branches in our case showed that the military has been violating RFRA by issuing blanket “rubber-stamp” denials using “magic words.”
  • He added that using these blanket denials “illustrates that the military fails to afford an applicant an actual ‘case-by-case assessment’ as required by RFRA.”
  • “Requiring a service member either to follow a direct order contrary to a sincerely held religious belief or to face immediate processing for separation or other punishment undoubtedly causes irreparable harm,” wrote the court.
  • Since the Marines and the Navy failed to present evidence “to the individualized person” of Lt. Col. Mary and Commander Charles, they may: 1) continue to serve without the shots; and 2) the military may not take adverse or retaliatory action against them for refusing the COVID shots, filing their appeals or participating in this litigation.
  • This is a huge victory for military members and religious freedom!

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NATO refused to bow to Putin’s demands, M. P. says there’s only one option left

Ezekiel 38 : 1-5 “Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, set your face against Gog, of the land of Magog, [a]the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I am against you, O Gog, the prince of Rosh, Meshach, and Tubal. 4 I will turn you around, put hooks into your jaws, and lead you out, with all your army, horses, and horsemen, all splendidly clothed, a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords. 5 Persia, [b]Ethiopia, and [c]Libya are with them, all of them with shield and helmet;

Important Takeaways:

  • US boosts military aid to Ukraine as Russia tensions soar
  • As U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visits Ukraine, the Biden administration said Wednesday it’s providing an additional $200 million in defensive military aid to the country amid soaring fears of a Russian invasion.
  • Blinken’s meetings follow inconclusive diplomatic talks between Moscow and the West in Europe last week that failed to resolve stark disagreements over Ukraine and other security matters
  • Instead, those meetings appear to have increased fears of a Russian invasion, and the Biden administration has accused Russia of preparing a “false flag operation” to use as a pretext for intervention. Russia has angrily denied the charge.
  • The State Department said Blinken “stressed the importance of continuing a diplomatic path to de-escalate tensions” surrounding the Russia-Ukraine situation and “reiterated the unshakable U.S. commitment” to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • Putin has warned that Moscow will take unspecified “military-technical measures” if the West stonewalls its demands.

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Possible Russian military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela warns Russia its up to U.S.

Mark 13:8 Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia won’t rule out military deployment to Cuba, Venezuela
  • Russia on Thursday sharply raised the stakes in its dispute with the West over Ukraine, with a top diplomat refusing to rule out a Russian military deployment to Cuba and Venezuela if tensions with the United States mount.
  • NATO-Russia meeting in Vienna failed to narrow the gap on Moscow’s security demands amid a buildup of Russian troops near Ukraine.
  • While voicing concern that NATO could potentially use Ukrainian territory for the deployment of missiles capable of reaching Moscow in just five minutes, Putin noted that Russian warships armed with the latest Zircon hypersonic cruise missile would give Russia a similar capability if deployed in neutral waters.

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Sudan’s Burhan says army ousted government to avoid civil war

By Khalid Abdelaziz

KHARTOUM (Reuters) – Sudan’s armed forces chief defended the military’s seizure of power, saying he had ousted the government to avoid civil war, while protesters returned to the streets on Tuesday to demonstrate against the takeover after a day of deadly clashes.

The military takeover on Monday brought a halt to Sudan’s transition to democracy, two years after a popular uprising toppled long-ruling Islamist autocrat Omar al-Bashir.

Speaking at his first news conference since he announced the takeover, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan said the army had no choice but to sideline politicians who were inciting against the armed forces.

“The dangers we witnessed last week could have led the country into civil war,” he said, an apparent reference to demonstrations against the prospect of a coup.

Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, who was arrested on Monday along with other members of his cabinet, had not been harmed and had been brought to Burhan’s own home, the general said. “The prime minister was in his house. However, we were afraid that he’d be in danger so he has been placed with me in my home.”

Burhan had appeared on TV on Monday to announce the dissolution of the Sovereign Council, a body set up after Bashir’s overthrow to share power between the military and civilians and lead Sudan to free elections.

The Facebook page for the office of the prime minister, apparently still under the control of Hamdok loyalists, called for his release and that of the other civilian leaders.

Hamdok remains “the executive authority recognized by the Sudanese people and the world,” the post said. It added that there was no alternative other than protests, strikes and civil disobedience.

Sudanese ambassadors to 12 countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, China, and France, have rejected the military takeover, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday.

Ambassadors to Belgium and the European Union, Geneva and U.N. agencies, China, South Africa, Qatar, Kuwait, Turkey, Sweden and Canada also signed on to the statement, which said the envoys backed popular resistance to the coup.

Western countries have denounced the coup, called for the detained cabinet ministers to be freed and said they will cut off aid if the military does not restore power-sharing with civilians.

SHOPS SHUT, PROTESTS FLARE IN CAPITAL

Khartoum and its twin city Omdurman across the Nile river were partly locked down on Tuesday with shops shut and plumes of smoke rising from where protesters were burning tires. Calls for a general strike were played over mosque loudspeakers. Streets and bridges were blocked by soldiers or protester barricades.

Downtown and commercial areas of Khartoum were empty with shops, markets and offices all shut in the city center.

The only people in the streets apart from protesters were security forces heavily deployed around the presidential palace and ministry of defense.

Some roads were still blocked by barricades erected by protesters made from stones, tree branches and burning tires. There were small groups of protesters but no leadership to coordinate them. Phone networks were patchy.

A group of neighborhood resistance committees in Khartoum issued a statement later on Tuesday announcing a schedule of further barricades and escalating protests leading to what it said would be a “march of millions” on Saturday.

Images on social media showed renewed street protests on Tuesday in the cities of Atbara, Dongola, Elobeid and Port Sudan. People chanted: “Don’t give your back to the army, the army won’t protect you.”

The military appeared to have underestimated civilian opposition on the street, according to Jonas Horner of the International Crisis Group.

“They haven’t learned their lesson,” he said. “As we saw post the revolution and post-Bashir, the streets were determined and civilians were willing to die for this.”

A health ministry official said seven people had been killed in clashes between protesters and the security forces on Monday.

Burhan said the military’s action did not amount to a coup, as it had been trying to rectify the path of the political transition.

“We only wanted to correct the course to a transition. We had promised the people of Sudan and the entire world. We will protect this transition,” said Burhan. He said a new government would be formed that would not contain any typical politicians.

Sudan, for decades a pariah under Bashir, has depended on Western aid to pull through an economic crisis in the two years since he was overthrown.

Banks and cash machines were closed on Tuesday, and mobile phone apps widely used for money transfers could not be accessed.

“We are paying the price for this crisis,” said a man in his 50s looking for medicine at one of the pharmacies where stocks have been running low said angrily. “We can’t work, we can’t find bread, there are no services, no money.”

In the western city of El Geneina, resident Adam Haroun said there was complete civil disobedience, with schools, stores and gas stations shut.

(Reporting by Nadine Awadalla, Nafisa Eltahir and Nayera Abdallah; Writing by Michael Georgy; Editing by Peter Graff and Mark Heinrich)

Trump backs challenger to third House Republican who voted to impeach

By Jason Lange

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed Michigan state lawmaker Steve Carra’s bid to unseat U.S. Representative Fred Upton, his third endorsement of a challenger to a Republican who voted to impeach him on a charge of sparking the Capitol riot.

It was his second such endorsement in a week after throwing his weight behind a challenger to Republican U.S. Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington state, as he mixes his efforts to help Republicans win control of Congress in the November 2022 elections with a campaign to replace his Republican critics in Congress.

Upton was among 10 Republican lawmakers who joined House of Representatives Democrats in a January vote to impeach Trump on a charge of inciting insurrection in a fiery speech ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol by his supporters.

Upton was an early critic of Trump’s false claims that he lost the November presidential election due to widespread fraud.

Upton’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But he said in January he was supporting impeachment to “send a clear message” that the country will not tolerate a president impeding the peaceful transfer of power.

In February, Trump endorsed a former aide who is challenging Republican Representative Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio, who also voted to impeach. Last week, he backed Army veteran Joe Kent against Herrera Beutler.

The former president has also backed a Republican challenging Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who was among the seven Republicans in that chamber who voted with Democrats in a failed attempt to convict Trump.

Trump said in a statement that Upton’s impeachment vote was “on rigged up charges” and that Carra “is strong on Crime, Borders, and loves our Military.”

Upton has represented Michigan in Congress since 1987 and won re-election in 2020 with 56% of the vote. He has easily led the Republican field at campaign fundraising, ending June with over $600,000 in the bank.

Carra, whose campaign website describes him as “pro-Trump” and touts his opposition to COVID-19 business shutdowns, had just over $80,000, second to Upton among Republican candidates.

(Reporting by Jason Lange; Editing by Scott Malone and Peter Cooney)

Taliban are rounding up Afghans on blacklist – private intel report

OSLO (Reuters) – The Taliban have begun rounding up Afghans on a blacklist of people they believe have worked in key roles with the previous Afghan administration or with U.S.-led forces that supported it, according to a report by a Norwegian intelligence group.

The report, compiled by the RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses and seen by Reuters, said the Taliban were hunting individuals linked to the previous administration, which fell on Sunday when the Islamist militant movement took Kabul.

“Taliban are intensifying the hunt-down of all individuals and collaborators with the former regime, and if unsuccessful, target and arrest the families and punish them according to their own interpretation of Sharia law,” said the report, dated Wednesday.

“Particularly at risk are individuals in central positions in military, police and investigative units.”

The non-profit RHIPTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which makes independent intelligence assessments, said the Afghanistan report was shared with agencies and individuals working within the United Nations.

“This is not a report produced by the United Nations, but rather by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses,” said a U.N. official, when asked for comment.

A Taliban spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. Since seizing Kabul, the Taliban have sought to present a more moderate face to the world, saying they wanted peace and would not take revenge against old enemies.

The four-page report reproduced a letter it said had been written to one alleged collaborator who was taken from his Kabul apartment this week and detained for questioning over his role as a counter-terrorism official in the previous government.

Reuters could not independently verify its authenticity.

The letter, dated Monday, from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s Military Commission, noted that the detainee had travelled to the UK as part of his role “which indicates you have had excellent relations with the American and British”.

“If you do not report to the commission, your family members will be arrested instead, and you are responsible for this. You and your family members will be treated based on Sharia law,” the letter said, according to a translation given in the report.

The detainee’s name was redacted.

Separately, a senior member of the security forces of the ousted administration sent a message to journalists saying that the Taliban had obtained secret national security documents and Taliban were arresting former intelligence and security staff.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols and Charlotte Greenfield; Writing by Mark Bendeich; Editing by Mike Collett-White)