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Russia Invades Ukraine

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Posted (edited)

The list of NATO countries is now up to 30 (if memory serves). Anyway, can you name them? Can you name half of them? Can you find them on a blank map of the world? Are they paying their bills (Canada isn't by the way)?

And don't even suggest that 2% of GDP is a random number... it's not, it's an agreed upon number, it's the minimum cost of membership.

Now, forget about the questions in the first paragraph, they don't matter to me... I only have one question.

Are you (and I do mean YOU), ready to go full throttle article 5 over countries you can't name or even find on a bloody map of the world? Keep in mind that full throttle can quickly turn to firewall thrust and make that rapid fire  tink, tink, tink, tink sound you've likely only heard in the sim (when you were expecting it anyway).  

There are two considerations here IMO: one is that we are currently being lead by buffoons disguised as politicians, and the second is that the Goddess of unintended consequence is currently on an extended visit with her sister who just happens to be the Goddess of reality... maybe they've been talking about us. Ya think?

Finnish leadership striving for country to join NATO as Russian aggression looms

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War in Ukraine: Latest developments

AFP - 52m ago
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Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Sweden announces NATO bid -

A day after Finland, Sweden announces it too will apply for NATO membership in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The move marks a dramatic break with the two countries' decades-long policy of military non-alignment.

On Monday, the parliaments in Stockholm and Helsinki begin debating their respective NATO bids.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says their decision to seek NATO protection poses "no direct threat" to Russia.

But he warns any move to expand NATO's military infrastructure to the Nordic states will "certainly provoke our response".

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirms Turkey's opposition to NATO membership for Finland and Sweden, again accusing them of failing to take a clear stance against terrorism.

- Injured Mariupol troops to be evacuated -

Russia says it has agreed to allow injured soldiers holed up at the besieged Azovstal steel plant in the port city of Mariupol to be evacuated.

"An agreement was reached with representatives of the Ukrainian military blocked at Azovstal in Mariupol to evacuate the wounded," its defence ministry said, adding it will observe a ceasefire while they are taken to safety.

Ukraine, which has for weeks been trying to negotiate safe passage out of the steel mill for injured troops, had yet to confirm the evacuation plan.

The Azovstal plant has become a symbol of resistance, with hundreds of troops continuing to fight on there even after the rest of the city had fallen to Russian forces.

- McDonald's quits Russia -

Two months after closing its restaurants in Russia over the war in Ukraine, American fast-food giant McDonald's announces it is pulling out of the country altogether.

McDonald's cites the "humanitarian crisis caused by the war" and an "unpredictable operating environment" for its decision and says it is looking to sell its Russian business.

McDonald's closed all its 850 restaurants in Russia in March but said at the time it would keep its 62,000 employees there on its payroll.

Other multinationals to have pulled out of Russia since February include H&M, Starbucks and Ikea.

- Ten killed in eastern city -

At least ten people are killed in the latest shelling in Severodonetsk in the east of Ukraine, as the city is almost surrounded by Russian troops, the Lugansk region governor Sergiy Gaiday says.

Russian troops "are shelling Severodonetsk without stopping", Gaiday says in a statement on Telegram.

- Belarus could 'slow' Ukraine troops - 

Britain's military intelligence warns that gains by Ukrainian forces in the east of the country, where they have driven Russian forces back from the city of Kharkiv, could be slowed by Russia's ally Belarus, which is mobilising special forces along Ukraine's northern border.

"The presence of Belarusian forces near the border will likely fix Ukrainian troops, so they cannot deploy in support of operations in the Donbas," Britain's defence ministry writes in a note.

War in Ukraine: Latest developments (msn.com)


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Canadian-donated howitzers prove deadly to Russian forces in Ukraine

Tristin Hopper - 3h ago
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Canada can claim partial credit for a state-of-the-art weapon that is proving to be extraordinarily effective at destroying Russian formations in eastern Ukraine.

Soldiers from the Royal Canadian Artillery School fire an M777 howitzer during training in 2018. Four Canadian M777s are now on the frontlines in Ukraine.
© Provided by National PostSoldiers from the Royal Canadian Artillery School fire an M777 howitzer during training in 2018. Four Canadian M777s are now on the frontlines in Ukraine.

Last week, Russian forces lost an entire battalion after it attempted to cross Ukraine’s Siverskyi Donets River on a pontoon bridge. More than 100 vehicles and tanks are estimated to have been destroyed and up to 1,000 troops are believed to have been killed or wounded.

Over the weekend, a Russian ammunition depot near the city of Izyum was virtually evaporated , destroying a tank and up to seven armoured personnel carriers.

In both cases, one of the weapons reported to be responsible was an M777 howitzer; a towed artillery piece capable of firing a roughly 100-pound shell. In late April, Canada donated at least four of its M777s to Ukraine in order to answer a call by the country’s armed forces for heavier weapons to help overrun Russian-held positions in the country’s east.

The United States sent 90 of the guns, and even coordinated the air shipment of Canada’s four howitzers. Australia has sent six.

Although the gun looks about the same as towed artillery pieces from the time of the Second World War, the M777 is so new that it only entered U.S. service starting in 2005. Compared to the Russians — who primarily use inaccurate Soviet-era artillery — the M777 is renowned for firing farther and with pinpoint accuracy.

Firing a standard M795 projectile, an M777 can shoot up to 30 kilometres away, farther than most of the Russian artillery stationed in Ukraine’s east.

Canada also reportedly sent Ukraine an undisclosed number of “Excalibur” rounds; computer-controlled artillery shells that can guide themselves to a pre-determined target. After being fired, tiny wings spring out of the Excalibur, which then steer it to its destination using GPS data.

At just 9,500 pounds, the gun is also way lighter than conventional heavy artillery (the Canadian Department of Defence notes that its other howitzer , the M109, weighs 50,000 pounds). If an army needed to, it could technically tow one of them with nothing more than factory spec Ford F-150.

According to reporting by CBC, the four M777s came from the stockpiles of the 1st Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, based in Shilo, Man.

M777s aren’t the only Canadian-donated weapon to have had an immediate impact on the war in Ukraine.

Last week, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence announced that it had destroyed a cutting-edge Russian T-90M tank by using a Carl Gustaf recoilless rifle – a bazooka-like shoulder-mounted grenade launcher.

A shipment of 100 Carl Gustafs (along with 2,000 rounds of grenade ammunition) was among the first planeloads of lethal weaponry that Canada scrambled to Ukraine in the first days after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

Ukrainian forces have largely relied on U.S.-donated portable guided missiles to destroy Russian armour. But since the T-90M comes equipped with systems designed to confuse and divert an incoming missile, Ukrainians relied instead on the Carl Gustaf, a much more “bare bones” system that simply shoots a rocket-assisted grenade in a straight line.

On Sunday, a Ukraine-based correspondent with the Globe and Mail confirmed that it was indeed a Canadian Carl Gustaf – in the hands of Ukrainian reservists – that destroyed the Russian tank.

“Thanks to Canada for its help to Ukraine. I say this from my heart,” Colonel Roman Gryschenko, commander of the 127th Territorial Defence Brigade, told reporter Mark MacKinnon. “We can confirm that we effectively use the equipment that you send. It’s not being wasted.”

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Posted (edited)

It's not as if Trump's a genius or anything, common sense and a bit of respect for the Goddesses of reality and unintended consequence is all that you need to predict the future.

When pineapple can be considered a product of Canada, the rules of absurdity dictate that even a dumb grunt can make predictions. 

Russia more than triples its current account surplus to US$96 billion as EU energy giants pay in rubles 


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The Ukraine grows and exports a large amount of Canola and of course China was / is a customer. (Ukraine and Russian suppliers)

Now in the news:

China has lifted a 3-year ban on Canadian canola, Ottawa says

Restrictions followed arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver, with China alleging detection of pests

The Canadian Press · Posted: May 18, 2022 8:27 PM ET | Last Updated: May 18
A canola crop used for making cooking oil is pictured near Fort Macleod, Alta., in 2011. The federal government says China has reinstated market access for two Canadian grain trading companies that have been prevented from exporting canola seed to China since March 2019. (Todd Korol/Reuters)

A three-year Chinese ban on Canadian canola has come to an end, according to the federal government.

In a joint statement released Wednesday afternoon, Trade Minister Mary Ng and Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau said China has reinstated market access for two Canadian grain trading companies that have been prevented from exporting canola seed to China since March 2019.

"We welcome this decision to remove the restrictions and immediately reinstate the two companies to allow them to export Canadian canola seeds," the statement said.

"Canada will always firmly uphold the international rules-based trade system and related dispute settlement mechanisms, as well as a science-based approach to resolving such issues."

In March 2019, the Chinese government blocked canola shipments from Canadian companies Richardson International Ltd. and Viterra Inc. by suspending their licences, alleging the detection of pests in canola shipments.


The move followed the arrest of Chinese tech giant Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou in Vancouver a few months earlier.

In September of 2019, Canada took the canola dispute to the World Trade Organization. A WTO dispute resolution panel was composed in November 2021.

Costly dispute

Before the trade tensions, the Chinese market made up 40 per cent of Canada's canola exports.

According to the Canola Council of Canada, seed exports to China have fallen from $2.8 billion in 2018 before the restrictions, to $800 million in 2019, $1.4 billion in 2020 and $1.8 billion in 2021.

The industry organization estimates the dispute cost the industry between $1.54 billion and $2.35 billion from lost sales and lower prices between March 2019 and August 2020 alone.

"This is a positive step forward, restoring full trade in canola with China and ensuring that all Canadian exporters are treated equally by the Chinese administration," said Canola Council of Canada President Jim Everson in a news release.

"We will continue efforts to nurture and maintain a predictable, rules-based trade environment."

Canada is the world's largest producer of canola. It is one of the most widely grown crops in Canada, and is currently trading at all-time record highs as the war in Ukraine drives up prices for agricultural commodities.

Canola is primarily used to make cooking oil, but can also be used as livestock feed and to make biodiesel.

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 I expect there will be a very different narrative come the fall when the true value of a 'peace dividend' becomes apparent.

We need a real debate about the Ukraine war


Tue May 24, 2022 - The Washington Post
By Katrina vanden Heuvel


“When all think alike, no one thinks very much.”

It’s time to challenge the orthodox view on the war in Ukraine.

As Russia’s illegal and brutal assault enters its fourth month, the impact on Europe, the Global South and the world is already profound. We are witnessing the emergence of a new political/military world order. Climate action is being sidelined as reliance on fossil fuels increases; food scarcity and other resource demands are pushing prices upward and causing widespread global hunger; and the worldwide refugee crisis — with more international refugees and internally displaced people than at any time since the end of World War II — poses a massive challenge.

Furthermore, the more protracted the war in Ukraine, the greater the risk of a nuclear accident or incident. And with the Biden administration’s strategy to “weaken” Russia with the scale of weapons shipments, including anti-ship missiles, and revelations of U.S. intelligence assistance to Ukraine, it is clear that the United States and NATO are in a proxy war with Russia.

Shouldn’t the ramifications, perils and multifaceted costs of this proxy war be a central topic of media coverage — as well as informed analysis, discussion and debate? Yet what we have in the media and political establishment is, for the most part, a one-sided, even nonexistent, public discussion and debate. It’s as if we live with what journalist Matt Taibbi has dubbed an “intellectual no-fly zone.”

Those who have departed from the orthodox line on Ukraine are regularly excluded from or marginalized — certainly rarely seen — on big corporate media. The result is that alternative and countervailing views and voices seem nonexistent. Wouldn’t it be healthy to have more diversity of views, history and context rather than “confirmation bias”?

Those who speak of history and offer context about the West’s precipitating role in the Ukraine tragedy are not excusing Russia’s criminal attack. It is a measure of such thinking, and the rhetorical or intellectual no-fly zone, that prominent figures such as Noam Chomsky, University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer and former U.S. ambassador Chas Freeman, among others, have been demonized or slurred for raising cogent arguments and providing much-needed context and history to explain the background of this war.

In our fragile democracy, the cost of dissent is comparatively low. Why, then, aren’t more individuals at think tanks or in academia, media or politics challenging the orthodox U.S. political-media narrative? Is it not worth asking whether sending ever-more weapons to the Ukrainians is the wisest course? Is it too much to ask for more questioning and discussion about how best to diminish the danger of nuclear conflict? Why are nonconformists smeared for noting, even bolstered with reputable facts and history, the role of nationalist, far-right and, yes, neo-Nazi forces in Ukraine? Fascist or neo-Nazi revivalism is a toxic factor in many countries today, from European nations to the United States. Why is Ukraine’s history too often ignored, even denied?

Meanwhile, as a former Marine Corps general noted, “War is a racket.” U.S. weapons conglomerates are lining up to feed at the trough. Before the war ends, many Ukrainians and Russians will die while Raytheon, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman make fortunes. At the same time, network and cable news is replete with pundits and “experts” — or more accurately, military officials turned consultants — whose current jobs and clients are not disclosed to viewers.

What is barely reflected on our TVs or Internet screens, or in Congress, are alternate views — voices of restraint, who disagree with the tendency to see compromise in negotiations as appeasement, who seek persistent and tough diplomacy to attain an effective cease-fire and a negotiated resolution, one designed to ensure that Ukraine emerges as a sovereign, independent, reconstructed and prosperous country.

“Tell me how this ends,” Gen. David Petraeus asked Post writer Rick Atkinson a few months into the nearly decade-long Iraq War. Bringing this current war to an end will demand new thinking and challenges to the orthodoxies of this time. As the venerable American journalist Walter Lippmann once observed, “When all think alike, no one thinks very much.”

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2 hours ago, Airband said:

 I expect there will be a very different narrative come the fall when the true value of a 'peace dividend' becomes apparent.

We need a real debate about the Ukraine war

sadly any debate would be full of "sound and fury" but would achieve nothing......  🙃

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Posted (edited)

World leaders blame Russia for global food crisis

It seems to me that there are only two possibilities here: either this is a gross exaggeration, or it stands as vulnerability that should never have been acceptable to any sovereign nation.

Agreements in the form of treaties and trade deals that reduce sovereignty or create sole source supply lines from potentially hostile trading partners fails the vulnerability test at a grade 6 level IMO.

Stop trying to guess the future... it's thirsty work. Identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities though is mostly an exercise in common sense. Then again, voting on policy is too and we've seen how well that's been working out for us. Trump was the only politician in recent memory who even considered such things. 

Russia aside, wouldn't a government that believes it's own rhetoric on global warming seek to limit its exposure to sole source supply lines? Or at least acknowledge that what they deem to be an existential threat qualifies as vulnerability worthy of mitigation?

These people don't believe their own nonsense, and we shouldn't either.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now

Ukraine and Russia: What you need to know right now | Financial Post


Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Donetsk region

Shelling in Kharkiv

Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Sievierodonetsk

A worker from the war crimes prosecutor's office takes in the damage from overnight shelling that landed on a building of Kharkiv's Housing and Communal College as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues in Kharkiv, Ukraine, June 21, 2022. REUTERS/Leah Millis

June 24 (Reuters) - Ukrainian troops were set to withdraw from the eastern city of Sievierodonetsk after weeks of intense bombardments and street fighting, the regional governor said on Friday.

The day marks four months since Russian President Vladimir Putin sent forces across the border into Ukraine, sparking the biggest conflict in Europe since World War Two.


* Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said Ukrainian forces will have to leave Sievierodonetsk. Troops had already received the order to move to new positions, he added.

* Russian forces are seeking to surround eastern Ukraine's embattled Lysychansk, the sister city of Sievierodonetsk, the Ukrainian Defence Ministry said.


* About 10 km (6 miles) south of Lysychansk, Russian troops had entered the town of Hirske and fully occupied the district on Friday, municipal head Oleksiy Babchenko said.


* Moscow said it had encircled about 2,000 Ukrainian troops, including 80 foreign fighters, at Hirske.

* Authorities in the town of Derhachi, to the northwest of Kharkiv, said heavy Russian shelling had knocked out most of the electrical and natural gas supply.

* Reuters was unable to independently verify the situation on the ground.


* The U.N. nuclear watchdog is increasingly concerned about the welfare of Ukrainian staff at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Europe's largest, it said on Friday, adding that it must go there as soon as possible.



* Ukraine said it had received U.S. supplies of powerful HIMARS long-range weapon systems. read more

* The United States will provide an additional $450 million in security assistance to Ukraine, including more long-range rocket systems, U.S. officials said on Thursday. read more


* There is a "real risk" of multiple famines this year, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said. He urged ministers meeting on food security to take practical steps to stabilize food markets and reduce commodity price volatility.

* Russia's war against Ukraine, not Western sanctions, will add another 40 or 50 million more people to the ranks of the hungry, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Berlin.

* Moscow said it couldn't comment on a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel that Germany was looking at expropriating part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

* However, if Germany took concrete steps on expropriation, those would in first instance be a matter for lawyers, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said.

* Germany's Economy Ministry is considering converting parts of Nord Stream 2 into a connection for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Baltic Sea coast, Der Spiegel reported.

* Moscow's foreign ministry blamed the United States for a Lithuanian ban on sanctioned goods crossing from the Russian mainland to the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad

* Turkey said it was investigating claims that Ukrainian grain was stolen by Russia and shipped to countries including Turkey, although no stolen shipments had been found so far. Russia has previously denied theft allegations

* A dozen EU countries have now been affected by cuts to gas supply from Russia, the bloc's climate policy chief said.


* "Russia has stolen our peace," Zelenskiy told the crowds at Glastonbury, the world's largest green field festival.

"Remaining in positions smashed to pieces over many months just for the sake of staying there does not make sense," Luhansk governor Serhiy Gaidai said of the situation in Sievierodonetsk.


* "Ukraine will prevail. Europe will prevail. Today marks the beginning of a long journey that we will walk together," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

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Ukrainian army to leave battered city to avoid encirclement

Ukrainian army to leave battered city to avoid encirclement
© Provided by The Canadian PressUkrainian army to leave battered city to avoid encirclement

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — After weeks of ferocious fighting, Ukrainian forces will retreat from a besieged city in the country's east to avoid encirclement, a regional governor said Friday.

The city of Sievierodonetsk, the administrative center of the Luhansk region, has faced relentless Russian bombardment. Ukrainian troops fought the Russians in house-to-house battles before retreating to the huge Azot chemical factory on the city's edge, where they remain holed up in its sprawling underground structures in which about 500 civilians also found refuge.

In recent days, Russian forces have made gains around Sievierodonetsk and the neighboring city of Lysychansk, on a steep bank across the river, in a bid to encircle Ukrainian forces.

Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk have been the focal point of the Russian offensive aimed at capturing all of the Donbas and destroying the Ukrainian military defending it — the most capable and battle-hardened segment of the country’s armed forces.

The two cities and the surrounding areas are the last major pocket of Ukrainian resistance in the Luhansk region — 95% of which is now under the control of Russian troops and local separatist forces. The Russians and separatists also control about half of the Donetsk region, the second province that is part of the Donbas.

Luhansk Gov. Serhiy Haidai said that the Ukrainian troops have been given the order to leave Sievierodonetsk to prevent bigger losses.

“Regrettably, we will have to pull our troops out of Sievierodonetsk,” Haidai told The Associated Press. “It makes no sense to stay at the destroyed positions, and the number of killed in action has been growing.”

He said that the Ukrainian soldiers have "received the order to retreat from Sievierodonetsk to new positions in fortified areas and continue resistance from there.”

Haidai noted that Ukrainian troops still remain in Sievierodonetsk, facing massive Russian bombardment that has destroyed 80% of buildings.

“As of today, the resistance in Sievierodonetsk is continuing,” Haidai told the AP. “The Russians are relentlessly shelling the Ukrainian positions, burning everything out.”

Haidai said the Russians were also advancing toward Lysychansk from Zolote and Toshkivka, adding that Russian reconnaissance units conducted forays on the city edges but were driven out by its defenders.

The governor added that a bridge on a highway leading to Lysychansk was badly damaged in a Russian airstrike and became unusable for trucks.

The Russian Defense Ministry declared Friday that four Ukrainian battalions and a unit of “foreign mercenaries” totaling about 2,000 soldiers have been “fully blocked” near Hirske and Zolote, south of Lysychansk. The claim couldn’t be independently verified.

Following a botched attempt to capture Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, in the early stage of the invasion that started Feb. 24, Russian forces have shifted focus in the war to the Donbas region, where the Ukrainian forces have fought Moscow-backed separatists since 2014.

After repeated requests to its Western allies for heavier weaponry to counter Russia’s edge in firepower, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said a response had arrived in the form of medium-range American rocket launchers.

A U.S. defense official confirmed Wednesday that all four of the promised High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS, were in the hands of Ukrainian forces but said it wasn't clear if they have been used yet.

The U.S. approved providing the precision-guided systems at the end of May, and once they were in the region, Ukraine’s forces needed about three weeks of training to operate them. The rockets can travel about 45 miles (70 kilometers).

The U.S. will send an addition $450 million in military aid to Ukraine, including four more of the medium-range rocket systems, ammunition and other supplies, U.S. officials announced Thursday.


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged music fans at the Glastonbury Festival to “spread the truth about Russia’s war” on his country.

Speaking to the crowd at the British music extravaganza by video on Friday before a set by The Libertines, Zelenskyy said that “we in Ukraine would also like to live the life as we used to and enjoy freedom and this wonderful summer, but we cannot do that because the most terrible has happened – Russia has stolen our peace.”___

An official with the pro-Moscow administration in the southern city of Kherson that was captured by Russian troops early in the invasion was killed in an explosion Friday.

The pro-Russian regional administration in Kherson said that Dmitry Savlyuchenko died when his vehicle exploded in what it described as a “terror attack.”

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.


Yuras Karmanau reported from Lviv.


Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

David Keyton, John Leicester And Yuras Karmanau, The Associated Pres


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According to Trudeau “we stand with Ukraine” …. We have their backs…. We are sending military hardware…..well…..not really…from a Canadian in the field:


Nothing highlights the paucity of Canada’s contribution to the war in Ukraine more than Challice’s eye-witness account from the front in the Kherson region.

Ottawa is expected to announce that it will send a few dozen of its decommissioned Coyote light armoured vehicles. But critics like former chief of the defence staff, retired Gen. Rick Hillier, have been saying for months that Canada should already have delivered 250 LAVs, 50 Leopard tanks and 18 M777 howitzers. (We have committed just four of the big guns from our stockpile of around 37.)


Challice, who arrived in Ukraine last March to train and fight alongside volunteer territorial defence soldiers, is dismayed by his country’s contribution. “I hate to say it — and don’t get me wrong, I’m a proud Canadian — but a lot of it is just junk. You’re down here helping these people and someone says ‘oh, this is from Canada’. But it’s a training tourniquet you can’t use in the field. The night vision (goggles) they sent down, half of them worked and half of them didn’t,” he said. “I know the equipment is there and I know we can send it. We needed it yesterday. There is going to be a big push down here in the south and if we don’t keep the momentum going, it’s going to stop dead in its tracks.”


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Canada can now seize, sell off Russian assets. What's next?


Selling Russian-owned assets to pay for Ukraine's reconstruction may sound like a logical approach to restitution, but as the Canadian government gains new powers to begin this process, questions remain about how it will work, and whether some issues are headed to court.

C-19, the budget implementation bill, received Royal Assent last Thursday. Among its many measures are new powers to seize and sell off assets owned by individuals and entities on Canada's sanctions list. While the new powers could be used in any international conflict, the Liberal government's current priority is helping victims of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Canada's stepped-up sanctions powers were discussed with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen during her visit to Toronto last week.

"We think it's really important to extend our legal authorities because it's going to be really, really important to find the money to rebuild Ukraine," Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland told Canadian and American reporters. "I can think of no more appropriate source of that funding than confiscated Russian assets."

Although some jurisdictions, notably Switzerland, already confiscate and return certain illicit assets, this move by Canada — and potentially other G7 countries meeting in Germany this week — is unprecedented.

Allies agree on the imperative of cranking up more economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it's still a risky play. Other hostile governments could seize Canadian-owned assets abroad in retaliation. It also may violate customary international law, such as the UN articles on states' responsibility.

The new powers target assets in Canada owned by an individual or entity on the federal government's sanctions list. Previously, authorities could seize the proceeds of crime. With C-19, they can confiscate the assets of sanctioned individuals whether they're acquired legally or illegally.

Is that fair? Sen. Ratna Omidvar, who proposed her own Senate legislation to enable similar asset seizures two years ago, anticipates the new powers being challenged in Canadian court. "I keep thinking we need a couple of test cases," she said.


Canada can now seize, sell off Russian assets. What's next? | CBC News

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Ukraine war: US to ramp up military presence across Europe

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US and Polish troops on exercise togetherIMAGE SOURCE,REUTERS
Image caption,
The US president said this was "exactly" what Russian President Vladimir Putin did not want

The US will increase its military presence across Europe in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, President Joe Biden has announced.

A permanent army headquarters will be created in Poland, while new US warships will go to Spain, fighter jets to the UK and ground troops to Romania.

Mr Biden said the US was "stepping up" and proving that Nato was "needed now more than it has ever been".

The announcement came as alliance leaders met at a summit in Madrid.

Mr Biden told the meeting that Nato would be "strengthened in all directions across every domain - land, air and sea".

The announcement sees the US shore up its presence across the continent but particularly in eastern Europe where the new permanent headquarters for its 5th Army Corps will be based.


Mr Biden repeated the alliance's commitment to "defend every inch" of its territory, saying: "We mean it when we say an attack against one is an attack against all."

The measures include:

  • Boosting the fleet of US naval destroyers in Spain from four to six
  • An additional "rotational brigade in Romania consisting of 3,000 fighters and another 2,000-personnel combat team
  • Two more squadrons of F-35 stealth jets to the UK
  • Additional air defence and other capabilities in Germany and Italy.

At the summit Nato leaders agreed to accept the previously neutral Nordic states Finland and Sweden into the alliance, with their membership needing to be ratified by the governments of all 30 Nato members.

Mr Biden said this was "exactly" what Russian President Vladimir Putin did not want and said his strategy of invading Ukraine had backfired.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Finland and Sweden had been formally invited to join the military alliance, describing it as the "fastest accession process ever", and said he expected the swift progress to continue.

The two applicants must now show that they meet Nato's standards in politics, law, and in their armed forces - something which is expected to be relatively straightforward for the Nordic countries.


Mr Stoltenberg said Ukraine could continue to count on the alliance's assistance in the face of Russian aggression for "as long as it takes", adding that Ukraine was fighting for its independence but also for values shared by Nato.

He said member states had agreed a "comprehensive assistance package" for Ukraine, which included fuel, medical supplies, body armour, anti-drone systems and equipment to counter mines.

2px presentational grey line
Analysis box by Adam Easton, Warsaw correspondent

The US decision to permanently station some of its troops in Poland was greeted with near-universal acclaim.

President Andrzej Duda, in Madrid for the Nato summit, said "this is the decision we've been waiting for".

Poland has been warning the West about President Putin's threatening behaviour for years.

In 2018, Warsaw offered to pay up to $2bn (£1.65bn) to help fund a permanent US base in Poland and even offered to call it "Fort Trump" to appeal to the then-president.


However, President Biden's announcement does not mean that most of the 12,000 US troops currently in Poland - more than half of whom were deployed temporarily following Russia's invasion of Ukraine - will be permanently stationed here.

According to the Pentagon, such status will apply only to the US 5th Corps headquarters command post set up in Poznan in 2020, where around 200 staff conduct planning and oversee US land forces in Europe, as well as a new army garrison headquarters and a field support battalion.

Indeed, President Duda has said that an additional 300 US soldiers will be added to the US 5th Corps command in Poznan - so we're talking about 500 in total permanently stationed in Poland out of the 12,000.

2px presentational grey line

The summit described a new guiding blueprint for the alliance which said that Russia was "the most significant and direct threat to Allies' security and to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area".

It added that "we cannot discount the possibility of an attack against allies' sovereignty and territorial integrity".

Earlier, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov described the expansion of Nato as "destabilising" and said it did not add to the security of members of the alliance, according to the Russian state news agency RIA.

Map of Nato members and when they joined

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The Armed Forces of Ukraine destroyed the ammunition depot of the occupying forces of Russia in Popasnaya.


The General Staff of the Armed Forces announced on Facebook about the destruction of the enemy's military facility , without specifying the location of the event.

A more complete video was published on Twitter , in the post the author noted that the Russian ammunition storage base was destroyed by Ukrainian forces in the area of the temporarily occupied city of Popasna, Luhansk region.

A powerful explosion of ammunition was caught on video of the Ukrainian military.

At first, you can see how the fire continues with the release of a large amount of thick smoke that rises up.

Then, as a result of the simultaneous detonation of ammunition, a powerful explosion occurs, which leads to the destruction of the building of the warehouse of the Russian occupiers.

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the consequences of not addressing vulnerabilities:


Now.... contrast that with this video. Remember when Trump was mocked and vilified for this? He wasn't reading tea leaves, consulting star charts, sifting through chicken entrails or getting advice from clairvoyants.... he was addressing vulnerabilities and the cost of mitigating them. Something liberals seem totally incapable of even considering:


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Posted (edited)

Ukraine expresses ‘deep disappointment’ as Canada sends back six Russian turbines to Germany

The Ukrainian government on Sunday expressed “deep disappointment” at Canada’s decision to send back repaired Russian-owned gas turbines that had been stranded in Montreal because of sanctions against Moscow, warning the move would embolden Russia to keep using energy as a weapon.

Russia last month cited the delayed return of the turbine equipment, which Germany’s Siemens Energy had been servicing in Canada, as the reason behind its flow reduction to 40 per cent of capacity through the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline Russia to Germany

The Canadian government on Saturday announced it would return the turbines – using an exemption to get around Ottawa’s sanctions on Russia – citing requests from Germany and other European countries trying to replenish gas stocks for the winter months ahead.

The grounded turbines will be sent to Germany, whose government will then turn them over to Russia.

Also, as the Globe first reported on Sunday, the number of Nord Stream turbines stuck in Montreal and being sent back, is far larger than originally believed.

A government source said there are in fact six turbines. The Globe is granting the source anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

In a statement posted on Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, Kyiv described Canada’s decision to issue an export permit allowing the return of the repaired turbine equipment as the “adjustment of the sanctions regime to the whims of Russia”

This dangerous precedent violates international solidarity, goes against the principle of the rule of law and will have only one consequence: it will strengthen Moscow’s sense of impunity,” the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy said.

In the statement, Kyiv also disputed Russia’s contention that it required the returned turbine equipment to fulfill its natural gas deliveries to Germany.

The Ukrainian government said Russia’s demand for the return of the turbine equipment in order to resume higher volume of natural gas deliveries to Europe amounted to blackmail and unconventional warfare tactics. Returning the gear “will allow Russia to continue to use energy as a tool of hybrid warfare against Europe,” Kyiv siad.

Canadians of Ukrainian origin protested the decision Sunday on Parliament Hill and outside Montreal’s City Hall. Later on Sunday protesters also gathered outside Siemens Canada offices in the Montreal suburb of Dorval.

Canadian sanctions law contains mechanisms allowing the government to issue export permits even when such an export might be prohibited.

On Saturday, Canada’s Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson announce the repaired turbine equipment would be sent to Germany under a special export permit. The indirect process will allow Canada to say it hasn’t reneged on sanctions it introduced after the invasion of Ukraine. Those restrictions forbid exports of certain goods and technologies to Russia, including the turbine.

“Canada will grant a time-limited and revocable permit for Siemens Canada to allow the return of repaired Nordstream 1 turbines to Germany, supporting Europe’s ability to access reliable and affordable energy as they continue to transition away from Russian oil and gas,” Mr. Wilkinson said in his statement. “Absent a necessary supply of natural gas, the German economy will suffer very significant hardship and Germans themselves will be at risk of being unable to heat their homes as winter approaches.”

German officials have said Moscow is using the sanctioned turbine as an excuse to apply economic pressure to Europe. Returning the turbine would eliminate that excuse, German Vice-Chancellor and Economy Minister Robert Habeck said earlier this week in an appeal to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

In his statement, Mr. Wilkinson explained why Canada is acting to help Germany at the expense of sanctions that were intended to assist Ukraine. “In the lead up to the winter months, the Russian regime and its propaganda arms are seeking to exploit the instability they have created to justify further destabilizing European energy security,” he said. “In doing so, President Putin also hopes to sow division amongst Allies, who have shown unprecedented unity in support of Ukraine. We cannot allow this to happen.”

He added that Canada will continue to impose sanctions on Moscow and is working with European leaders to end dependency on Russian gas imports as quickly as possible, and to stabilize energy markets.

Alexandra Chyczij, national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, issued a strongly worded statement, saying the government had bowed to “Russian blackmail.”

“In acceding to Germany’s request, Canada will not only contravene its policy of isolating Russia, it will set a dangerous precedent that will lead to the weakening of the sanctions regime imposed on Russia,” she said.

She added that the ramifications of “Canada’s capitulation to Russian ultimatums” will be far-reaching.

“A precedent has been set wherein the Russians know that at the first sign of difficulty, our government will submit to Russian blackmail and energy terrorism. Inevitably this will embolden Russia to further aggression – making Ukraine, the European Union, and Canada less secure.”

Ms. Chyczij added that past appeasements of the Kremlin led to the Russian occupation of Crimea and the Donbas in 2014, and to the full-scale attack on Ukraine on Feb. 24 of this year.

“This decision will ensure that the coffers of the Russian state budget will continue to be filled with European money which will be used to finance Russia’s genocide against the Ukrainian people,” she said.

Conservative foreign critic Michael Chong said Sunday that the Liberal government’s decision will “perversely” increase Russian gas exports to Europe, even as Ottawa denies new pipelines and liquefied natural gas terminals that would increase Canadian gas exports.

“Instead of circumventing the global sanctions package meant to punish Putin, the Liberal government should approve new pipelines and liquid natural gas terminals so that Canadian natural gas can displace Russian energy supplies to Europe,” he said in a statement signed by several other Conservative MPs.

The Trudeau government moved quickly on Saturday to blunt criticism by announcing new sanctions on Russia. Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly said in a statement that the restrictions will apply to “pipeline transport and the manufacturing of metals and of transport, computer, electronic and electrical equipment, as well as of machinery.”

Once the measures are in effect, she said, Canadian businesses will have 60 days to conclude contracts with targeted Russian industries and services.

Sabine Sparwasser, Germany’s envoy to Canada, expressed her country’s gratitude to Ottawa for releasing the turbines.

“We know it was not an easy one. But it is crucial to help Canada’s European Allies to steadily build out the independence from Russian Energy and it preserves our unity,” she said in a statement.

Germany remains an ally of Ukraine in the war against Russia through military and financial support, and through its backing of Kyiv’s candidacy for membership in the European Union, she added.

Mr. Trudeau was under intense pressure from German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who raised the turbine issue with him at the G7 summit in late June. Mr. Scholz is planning a trade visit to Canada on Aug. 22 and 23 to push for the construction of liquefied natural gas export facilities on Canada’s East Coast.

Germany is also interested in investing in green hydrogen projects, and in the mining of critical minerals that are essential to the country’s automotive, chemicals and high-tech industries.


Edited by Jaydee
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What continues to surprise me, considering that Russia is attacking and killing civilians, is why the Ukraine does not retaliate in kind.  


5 killed in Russian strike in Ukraine, 20 believed trapped

30m ago

CHASIV YAR, Ukraine (AP) — Dozens of Ukrainian emergency workers labored Sunday to pull people out of the rubble after a Russian rocket attack smashed into apartment buildings in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 15 people. More than 20 people were believed still trapped.



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Russia suspended deliveries of gas to Germany via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline for annual summer maintenance works.

The 10-day maintenance works on Europe's single biggest piece of gas import infrastructure are scheduled to run from Monday through to July 21. It has stoked fears that Russia could leverage the planned maintenance to delay or only partially return gas supplies.

It comes at a time when European governments are scrambling to fill underground storage with gas supplies to provide households with enough fuel to keep the lights on and homes warm during winter.

"We cannot rule out the possibility that gas transport will not be resumed afterwards for political reasons," Klaus Mueller, the head of Germany's energy regulator, told CNBC last week.

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov has previously dismissed claims that Russia was using oil and gas to exert political pressure over Europe, according to Reuters.

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