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Bombing Kiev: Moscow wants to weaken Ukraine’s air defenses

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Bombing Kiev: Moscow wants to weaken Ukraine’s air defenses

: Moscow wants to weaken the Ukrainian air defenses

Written by Christian Molling, Andras Racz

05/31/2023 | 9:26 p.m

A new wave of drone attacks. Most of the drones were shot down by anti-aircraft guns, falling debris causing damage.

After a hiatus of nearly three months, Russia has resumed drone and missile attacks on Kiev and several other Ukrainian cities. Over the weekend, Russia launched a total of 59 Iranian-made drones over the Ukrainian capital. According to the Ukrainian government, this was the largest drone attack on Kiev since the beginning of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine. In the latest attack on Tuesday night, Russia shot down about 31 more drones.

Russia wants to increase air defenses

According to Ukrainian information, the anti-aircraft defense works very well against the Shaheed 131 and 136 attack drones used by Russia. And on Tuesday, 29 out of 31 drones were said to have been shot down, on Sunday, according to Cave, 58 out of 59. However, it was not possible to find Ukrainian information on these numbers for verification.

Russia has also become a target of drone attacks.

Russia has been bombing civilian targets in Ukraine for months.

05/30/2023 | 06:30 min


Possible motives for renewed Russian attacks on Kiev are varied. An element is likely to take revenge on Ukraine for the Belgorod raid, proving to the Russian public that an attack on Russian soil does not go unpunished.

Kiev’s air defenses are said to be overburdened

Military reasons are perhaps more important. First, the drone strikes are partly intended to overload Kiev’s air defenses and deplete Ukraine’s anti-aircraft missile stockpile. Russia has recently used cheap Iranian drones, albeit in large numbers.

Second, the drone strikes in the previous attacks were only the first wave of attacks designed to trick Ukrainian air defenses into surrendering their positions and shooting down the drones.

This was followed by a second wave of attacks, carried out with more advanced precision weapons, often targeting either the air defense systems themselves (one of the Ukrainian Patriot batteries was damaged) or targets of high military importance.

Air defenses in forward areas must be weakened

Third, by attacking the capital, Russia will likely attempt to force Ukraine to aim more of its modern anti-aircraft weapons at Kiev, thus weakening air defenses in frontline areas. From this point of view, the drone strikes can also be seen as a Russian precautionary measure before the next Ukrainian counterattack.

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Damage and deaths from wreckage

In this new wave of attacks, debris falling from drones has caused significant damage, particularly to homes and cars parked on the street. One person was killed and two others were wounded in Tuesday’s attack.

… Director of Research at the German Council for Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, where he heads the Security, Defense and Armament Programme. He has been conducting research and publishing on security and defence, armament and technology, stabilization and crisis management topics for more than 20 years. ZDFheute regularly analyzes military developments in the Ukrainian conflict.

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The frequency and severity of the attacks has prompted Kiev residents to take air raid warnings more seriously once again. Whereas in March and April hardly anyone went to shelters when sirens sounded, now many more people do.

The Ukrainian authorities are trying to encourage people to go to shelters, including by announcing the death of the person killed in the attack while watching the attack from their balcony.

Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government maintains a strict information blackout regarding potential damage to military-important targets. These strikes are usually not publicized at all unless their outcome is blatantly obvious like the massive explosion at a Ukrainian armory that struck in Khmelnytskyi on May 14.

You can find the latest news about Russia’s attack on Ukraine at any time in our live blog:

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Putin’s fear of „overheating” and inflation

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Putin’s fear of „overheating” and inflation
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The Russian economy is weak under the current circumstances. Clearly, Putin must think again if he wants to save the economy, because time is running out.

MOSCOW – The West is gradually turning away from Kremlin President Vladimir Putin. Now fears about the negative consequences that the Russian economy may suffer are so present that more and more Russian business representatives are appealing to Putin. The war in Ukraine and sanctions have greatly weakened the Russian economy, and Putin appears to be running out of resources to avoid the worst-case scenario.

The Russian economy is in crisis – high inflation is putting Putin under pressure

Recently, there have been increasing warnings of signs of „overheating” of the Russian economy. Hermann Greif became particularly clear, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sberbank, the largest financial institution in Russia. Gref told the state news agency that the Russian economy is „very overheated.” Tass.ru on June 4, 2024. It is simply “impossible” to exceed this production capacity and produce more.

The Russian economy is increasingly suffering from sanctions and the war in Ukraine. © Yuri Kochetkov/DPA

In December 2023, the head of the Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina, had already expressed concern: “The economy is growing so fast because it is exhausting almost all available resources. Stubbornly high inflation is evidence that the economy has deviated from its potential and lacks the capacity to meet growing demand.” In fact, inflation remains a major problem in the Russian economy.

Inflation remains a major problem for the Russian economy

As the Russian statistics agency Rosstat announced on Friday (June 14, 2024), the inflation rate in May reached 8.3 percent on an annual basis. It is the highest value since February 2023. This was higher than the value of 7.8 percent at the end of April and well above the country’s official inflation target of 4.0 percent. The rapid rise in prices put pressure on the Russian Central Bank to continue raising interest rates to control inflation.

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It also remains to be seen what impact the latest US sanctions will have on Russia’s financial sector. On Wednesday (June 12, 2024), the United States imposed new sanctions on supporters of Russia’s war of aggression, including against Chinese companies. According to the US government, the punitive measures target more than 300 people and institutions that enabled Russia to continue the war – including the stock exchange in Moscow. The Moscow Stock Exchange announced that it would stop trading in dollars and euros in response. This step would push the Russian economy into further isolation.

Sanctions imposed on the Russian economy lead to a slowdown in growth

Penalties and The Ukraine war forced Putin to shift to a war economy, which now retaliates and also slows growth. The domestic economy proved resilient – ​​but according to the World Bank, this was due to the intensification of the war economy, subsidies and private demand, which was stronger than expected. Experts have long warned that the war economy will not be sustainable in the long term.

The World Bank expects economic growth of 2.9 percent for 2024 (January: 1.3 percent), and 1.4 percent (January: 0.9 percent) for next year. Military production continues to have positive effects, but private demand is likely to decline. In April 2024, the International Monetary Fund expected economic growth of 3.2 percent for next year, based on new economic data. The era of the „growth miracle” appears to be coming to an end. (Buhi with materials from the German Press Agency and Agence France-Presse)

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War in the Middle East: “Severe consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation

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War in the Middle East: “Severe consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation
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“Serious consequences for the region” – the Israeli army warns of escalation

Launching 160 missiles – “We know that Hezbollah has 130,000 missiles.”

Hezbollah is said to have fired 160 shells into northern Israel. A Hezbollah commander and a number of its members were said to have been killed in Israeli attacks previously, according to Lebanese security circles. Israeli correspondent Gisela Dachs reports from Tel Aviv.

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Almost daily battles take place between the Israeli army and the Shiite Hezbollah militia in the border area with Lebanon. The Israeli army warned of a major escalation and accused Hezbollah of wanting to turn Lebanon into a protective shield for the Hamas terrorist organization.

IThe Israeli army warns of a dangerous expansion of the conflict with the Shiite Hezbollah militia in the border region with Lebanon. In a video statement issued Sunday evening, army spokesman Daniel Hagari accused the militia of increasing attacks and thus endangering their country’s future. He added, „Hezbollah’s increasing aggression could lead us to the brink of a major escalation that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region.” They expressed their deep concern about the growing tensions.

Since the beginning of the Gaza war more than eight months ago, the situation has become noticeably worse, and almost daily battles are now taking place between the Israeli army and Hezbollah. The militia, backed by Iran, Israel’s arch enemy, is allied with the Islamist Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip, but is considered much stronger. Hezbollah recently intensified its attacks after the Israeli army targeted one of its leaders last week. Lebanese security circles said at the time that the situation in southern Lebanon was “moving towards escalation.”

Hamas’ „protection shield”.

Hajri accused Hezbollah of wanting to turn Lebanon into a protective shield for the Hamas terrorist organization. The spokesman said that Israel will not allow the events of October 7 to be repeated on any of the country’s borders, referring to the devastating terrorist attack launched by Hamas and other groups on southern Israel last year.

The massacre resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people and the holding of 250 others hostage in the Gaza Strip. In the course of the war that broke out, more than 37,000 Palestinians were killed, according to information from Hamas-controlled health authorities that cannot be independently verified. About 80 percent of the population flees within the closed coastal strip.

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Hajri said that Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its citizens “until security is restored along our borders with Lebanon.” According to a report published by the Israeli newspaper Maariv, the armed forces later confirmed that Hagari’s words did not constitute a threat, but rather were intended as a message to the international community.

The head of the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, Aroldo Lazaro, and the country’s special coordinator, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, warned in a joint statement that there is a „very real risk” that a single miscalculation could lead to large-scale conflict. Saturday clarification. He added: „We will continue to communicate with the parties and call on all parties to lay down their arms in order to work to reach a political and diplomatic solution.”

Limited ceasefire in southern Gaza

Hajari’s warning came after the Israeli army announced a limited ceasefire lasting several hours in the southern Gaza Strip. The „tactical break” along an important road is intended to enable more aid to be delivered to the coastal area. The decision was reportedly taken after consultations with the United Nations and international organizations.

The army stressed that the break applies to a road leading from the Kerem Shalom border crossing to the northeast, but it does not apply to the city of Rafah on the Egyptian border, and fighting must continue there. The border crossing there, which was the main entry point for aid delivery until the Israeli military advance on Rafah, remains closed. Due to the large number of deaths and the catastrophic humanitarian situation, Israel’s actions in the Gaza war are causing great controversy at the international level.

The Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip

The Israeli ground operation in the Gaza Strip

Source: OpenStreetMap; The world of infographics

The body responsible for Palestinian affairs in Israel, „Cogat”, said on Sunday that more than a thousand trucks carrying aid were waiting to be transported from the Gaza Strip at the Kerem Shalom border crossing. United Nations relief organizations only picked up 92 vehicles throughout the day.

Due to the ongoing fighting between the Israeli army and Hamas, the World Food Program recently warned of a further deterioration in the supply situation for the population in the southern Gaza Strip. As a result, they may soon suffer from the same catastrophic hunger situation as those in the northern regions.

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One message in three years: Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

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One message in three years: Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

One message in three years
Aung San Suu Kyi’s family complains of annoying radio silence

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After the coup that took place three years ago, the then de facto head of government, Suu Kyi, was imprisoned. Although the sentence is likely to be reduced at a later date, the family describe how they had almost no contact with the 78-year-old woman for years, who is said to have health problems.

The family of Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s ousted government leader in crisis, has had no contact with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate since she was imprisoned nearly three years ago. Her son, Kim Aris, told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “In three and a half years, we have received only one letter from her, last January.” But after that, he and his brother were never heard from again. Not even after Suu Kyi was transferred from prison in April.

After the coup on February 1, 2021, the military ousted and arrested the de facto democratically elected head of government, Suu Kyi. A junta-controlled court later sentenced her to 33 years in prison for several alleged crimes. In 2023, the junta reduced Suu Kyi’s sentence to six years. In April, she was transferred from prison in the capital, Naypyidaw, to another location. According to the son, the family was not informed of her whereabouts.

The 78-year-old Suu Kyi’s two sons heard that their mother is sick and suffering from severe toothache that prevents them from eating. Then they sent her a package of medicine. “In January, incredibly, we received a signed letter from her,” Aris said. In the letter, Suu Kyi thanked her for the medicine, but wrote that she was still ill. However, according to Ari, the sons had no response to another package of medications.

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