Congress approved $60.8bn for Ukraine; Medvedev wishes for the US “the inglorious collapse of the vile evil empire of the 21st Century”

Ukraine-possible-recruit

Important Takeaways:

  • After half a year of delays and debates, the US Congress has approved a $60.8bn military aid package for Ukraine, lifting the spirits of Kyiv’s forces this week as special operations destroyed Russian air defenses, a long-range bomber, a unique ship, and oil refineries.
  • “It’s a dangerous time. Three of our primary adversaries, Russia and Iran and China are working together … their advance threatens the free world and it demands American leadership,” said US House Speaker Mike Johnson
  • US Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Senator Mark Warner told CBS News that the missiles would be on their way to Ukraine “by the end of the week”
  • Russian reactions ranged from the cynical to the vitriolic: “I can’t help but wish the USA with all sincerity to dive into a new civil war themselves as quickly as possible,” Medvedev wrote. “Which, I hope, will be very different from the war between North and South in the 19th century and will be waged using aircraft, tanks, artillery, MLRS, all types of missiles and other weapons. And which will finally lead to the inglorious collapse of the vile evil empire of the 21st century – the United States of America.”

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Ukraine shot down a Russian strategic bomber 185 miles from its border on Friday

Apartment-hit-by-Russian-Missile

Important Takeaways:

  • Ukraine shot down a Russian strategic bomber 300 km (185 miles) from its border on Friday after the warplane took part in an airstrike that killed at least eight people, including two children, in the central Dnipropetrovsk region, Kyiv said.
  • Missiles rained down on the city of Dnipro and the surrounding region in the early hours, damaging residential buildings, the main train station and wounding at least 28 civilians, regional officials said.
  • In a first for Ukraine during the invasion, Kyiv’s air force commander and military spy agency said they had shot down a Russian Tu-22M3 strategic bomber that had fired missiles at Ukraine during the overnight attack.

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Russia-Ukraine war day 778

Ukrainian-servicemen

Important Takeaways:

  • As the war enters its 778th day, these are the main developments.
    • Russian missiles and drones destroyed a large electricity plant near Kyiv and hit power facilities in several regions of Ukraine.
    • In Ukraine, parliament passed a controversial new law on mobilization as it seeks to replenish the military’s ranks.
    • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi said that drone attacks on the Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine must stop because of the risk of opening “a new and gravely dangerous” stage in the war.
    • Ukraine needs military aid and air defense systems in the face of Russia’s intensifying attacks, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said, as he criticized his country’s allies for engaging in “lengthy discussions” and “turning a blind eye”.
    • The president travelled to Lithuania to participate in a regional security summit, saying that “Russian evil is a threat not only to Ukraine but to every nation bordering Russia and to everyone who values international law”.
    • Ukraine risks collapsing under Russia’s onslaught without US support, a disaster that could embolden China and prompt a new crisis in East Asia, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told US lawmakers during a state visit to Washington, DC, urging them to overcome “self-doubt” about the country’s role on the world stage.
    • Ukraine and Latvia signed a 10-year security agreement envisaging annual Latvian military support for Ukraine at 0.25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), Zelenskyy said. “Latvia also made a 10-year commitment to assist Ukraine with cyber defense, demining, and unmanned technologies, as well as support for Ukraine’s EU and NATO accession,” he wrote on X.

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Russian missile attack destroys Kyiv’s largest power plant

Russia-Attack-on-power-station

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia destroyed the largest power-generating plant in Ukraine’s Kyiv region in a missile attack on Thursday, as President Zelensky accused the West of “turning a blind eye” to his country’s need for more air defenses.
  • Ukraine’s Air Force said it shot down 18 of the incoming missiles and 39 of the drones. Russia fired 82 missiles and drones in total, including six hypersonic Kinzhal missiles – none of which Ukraine’s air defenses were able to down.
  • The Trypilska Thermal Power Plant (TPP), the largest supplier of electricity to Kyiv, Cherkasy and Zhytomyr regions, was completely destroyed, according to the energy company Centrenergo. The company has lost 100% of its power generation across its three plants, which have all been destroyed or occupied by Russia.
  • “A black day in the history of Centrenergo,” it said in a statement. “The scale of the destruction is terrible. Money can’t estimate it. This is the biggest challenge for us in the history of the company.”

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Joe and Hunter Biden are being linked to corruption and terror attacks in Russia

Hunter-Biden

Important Takeaways:

  • Hunter Biden-linked Ukrainian company used for terror attacks in Russia – Moscow
  • Multiple entities, including Burisma Holdings, have been involved in funding terrorism, Russian investigators are claiming
  • So far, investigators have “established that the funds, flowing through commercial organizations, including the oil and gas conglomerate Burisma Holdings, operating in Ukraine, have been used in recent years to carry out terrorist attacks in Russia,” committee spokeswoman Svetlana Petrenko said. Terrorist activities have also reached beyond the country, aimed at the “elimination of prominent political and public figures, as well as causing economic damage,” she added.
  • The committee’s specialists have been working “in cooperation with other intelligence services and financial intelligence,” Petrenko noted. The scrutiny currently revolves around “checking sources of income and further movement of funds in the amount of several million US dollars,” and examining the potential involvement of “specific individuals from among government officials, people with civic and commercial organizations of Western countries,” the spokeswoman stated.
  • Burisma is probably best known internationally for its controversial ties to the current first family in the US. In the spring of 2014, following the US-backed coup in Kiev, the Ukrainian energy firm hired Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer on its board of directors, offering $1 million a year in pay. Biden’s father Joe was President Barack Obama’s vice president at the time, and oversaw Washington’s Ukraine policy. He once famously bragged about getting a corruption prosecutor fired – which just happened to occur after that prosecutor began investigating Burisma.
  • Nikolay Zlochevsky’s company also offered protection payments to the government in Kiev, according to former Ukrainian MP Andrey Derkach. Zlochevsky paid some “800 million hryvnias [over $21 million] for terrorism financing” in “various jurisdictions,” Derkach claimed in January.
  • “The leaders of Ukraine’s security services make no secret of the fact that they carry out terrorist acts and political assassinations for extra-budgetary cash,” he said at the time. “Once again: Biden’s partners in the corruption business in Ukraine finance terrorist acts, thus avoiding responsibility for corruption in Ukraine.”
  • Derkach claimed it was common practice for the owners of large businesses in Ukraine to ‘donate’ to the war effort in exchange for immunity from prosecution. He pointed to a criminal case against Zlochevsky relating to a $6 million cash bribe that ended with the Burisma owner paying a $1,800 fine.

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Drone attack kills 4 in Kharkiv as Russia escalates bombardment of civilian areas

Russia-attack-by-drones

Important Takeaways:

  • A drone attack kills 4 people in Ukraine’s second-largest city as Russia builds its war strength
  • Shahed drones smashed into two apartment buildings in Kharkiv, near the Russian border, which has frequently been targeted during more than two years of war. Other drones targeted the power grid.
  • The Kremlin’s forces in recent months have stepped up their aerial barrages of Ukraine, hitting urban areas.
  • Moscow’s troops have recently been probing for Ukrainian weaknesses on the front line ahead of an expected large-scale Russian offensive in the summer.
  • Ukrainian officials have previously accused Russia of targeting rescue workers by hitting residential buildings with two consecutive missiles — the first one to draw crews to the scene and the second one to wound or kill them.
  • Some 700,000 people in Kharkiv lost power last week after a massive missile attack hit the city’s thermal power plant.

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Russia sends cruise missile over NATO territory triggering major alert

Russian-Cruise-Missile-shot-down

Important Takeaways:

  • A Russian cruise missile flew over NATO territory for 39 seconds overnight triggering a major alert amid fears over an escalation of the war in Ukraine.
  • Allied war planes scrambled to ‘ensure the security’ of Polish airspace after the incursion at 4.23am local time.
  • The Polish armed forces confirmed the incident in a statement on X, saying: ‘There was a violation of Polish airspace by one of the cruise missiles launched overnight by long-range aviation of the Russian Federation.
  • ‘The object entered Polish space near the town of Oserdow (Lublin Voivodeship) and stayed there for 39 seconds. During the entire flight, it was observed by military radar systems.’
  • The military said the missile travelled about 1.2miles into Polish territory and that Polish and allied aircraft had been activated, but that the airspace over Poland was now safe.
  • The potentially dangerous violation by Vladimir Putin’s forces came during a Russian strike on the Lviv region of Ukraine.

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Chuck Schumer is a ‘Disgrace’ and America Supports Israel

Mark-Levin

Important Takeaways:

  • Mark Levin Calls Schumer a ‘Disgrace,’ Says ‘Vast Majority’ of Americans Support Israel
  • Iran has gotten more money directly and indirectly, as a result of this administration’s policies than Ukraine — than Ukraine. We fight over $14 billion or $17 billion of military aid to Israel. He has given over $100 billion in aid to Iran. What have they done with it? They build up their military and their armaments. They have funded Hamas, the Houthis, Hezbollah, the PLO.
  • So Biden is funding terrorism. Biden is funding a regime that’s building nuclear weapons, while he’s putting his foot on the throat of the Israeli people and the Israeli government. I don’t care what he says in public.
  • What’s that all about? That is slime what this country this administration is doing to Israel and the Israeli people. And when Schumer goes to the floor of the Senate, and he’s telling — he is telling the Israeli people I am directing you, as Biden has, as Harris has, as Blinken, as Friedman has, to overthrow your government, to dislodge your commander-in-chief in the middle of a war they’re winning. I am telling you, you do this, I’m telling you, you accept a two-state solution whether you like it or not or we will impose it from afar. We’re going to organize the Arab countries, they are. We are going to organize the European countries, they are — against you, Israel, little tiny Israel, the only force that’s defending the world from Iran and the terrorists.
  • That’s exactly what they’re doing.
  • That’s the history, abandonment of the Jews. Hitler’s American friends right here, “The Third Reich,” “The Ivory Tower,” what’s going on our colleges and universities, “Buried by the Times,” Mr. Friedman, that’s you. “Beyond Belief,” Biden, Schumer and all the rest of you. that’s who you are.
  • Iran is the enemy. Hamas is the enemy. The Houthis, Hezbollah. The terrorists are the enemy. And the Democratic Party is the enemy, too. The enemy within here in the United States. They’re trying to imprison Donald Trump and they’re trying to push a coup in Israel, because the Democratic Party doesn’t believe in honest differences.
  • Chuck Schumer, you are a disgrace as an American, and I want the Israeli people to know and every survey has shown it, the vast majority of the American people support you, not the Democratic Party, not Biden, and not Schumer. They are trying to undermine you as they fund and empower the terrorists. The terrorists and Iran.

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Putin ally Belarus deploys troops, weapons near NATO border

Belarus-military

Important Takeaways:

  • Belarus has reportedly deployed tanks near its border with NATO, while tensions between Russia and the strategic alliance continue to simmer amid the war in Ukraine.
  • The Belarusian military “mobilized reservists and kicked off major military maneuvers,” according to a report published by The Kyiv Post on Thursday. Troops and equipment including tanks from Belarus’ 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade were reportedly deployed near the country’s western border with NATO member country Lithuania.
  • The Community of Railway Workers of Belarus—a group opposed to the policies of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is a close ally to Russian President Vladimir Putin—said that a train loaded with military equipment and personnel arrived on Wednesday night in Oshmyany, an area located less than 15 miles from the border with Lithuania.
  • The group said that the train arriving at Oshmyany station consisted of four passenger cars filled with Belarusian troops and 42 cars loaded with equipment, including nine T-72B tanks. Belarus’ Ministry of Defense later confirmed that the deployment included T-72B tanks and BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicles, according to the Belarusian Hajun news project.

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World on edge of War; Biden cuts defense budget

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia is beating us in Ukraine. China’s Navy outnumbers the US. The Army is collapsing – and the Air Force is falling from the sky. So, as Biden inexplicably CUTS defense budgets, ANDREW NEIL blasts: Does he have a death wish?
  • From the very start of his State of the Union address last week, President Biden positioned himself as a war president.
  • He posed as the champion of freedom and democracy which are threatened across the globe by autocrats on the march
  • All the more remarkable then that, within days, the Biden administration produced plans for defense spending with all the hallmarks of a peace president who no longer thinks the US military need be a priority.
  • The autocrats must be both baffled and amused. The rest of us should be frightened and angry.
  • Biden proposes that defense spending should rise to $895 billion in the next (2025) financial year — an increase of barely 1 percent.
  • It’s not that there’s no extra money around. The Biden budget will add over a trillion to federal spending and take it to a record peacetime, non-pandemic share of GDP (25 percent).
  • Be in no doubt that the autocrats in Moscow, Beijing, Tehran and Pyongyang are taking serious notice.
  • The Chinese Naval fleet is already bigger than America’s and is on target to be over 400-strong before the decade is out — a formidable armada that will undoubtedly be used to intimidate Taiwan.
  • Americans have rightly criticized the Europeans for putting welfare above military needs. But under Biden, America is doing the same — just another example of how he is ‘Europeanizing’ the USA.
  • Yet the Russian economy is now on a total war footing, able to resupply its invaders in Ukraine at a greater scale than we are resupplying Kyiv and, as America struggles to find an extra 1 percent for its military, China has just announced an increase of over 7 percent for its armed forces.

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