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Ukraine: Biden shocked by 'world war’ statement



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From: jonas rab

Did Vladimir Putin launch an invasion of Ukraine? Given the Russian maneuvers on the border, it is becoming increasingly likely. © ITAR-TASS/IMAGO

The Ukrainian crisis is getting worse. US President Biden speaks publicly about the threat of world war. It doesn’t have to go that far, but war is more likely.

Washington/Moscow – The word „W” has fallen out. „It would mean a world war if the Americans and the Russians started shooting at each other,” US President Joe Biden said. The tense situation in Ukraine. Shortly before that, he warned: „US citizens should leave immediately,” and Biden raised a series of international warnings. Germany, Great Britain and many other countries followed his declaration and gave instructions to their citizens To leave Ukraine as soon as possible. According to Ukraine’s absolute insider, there is good reason.

Russia is currently practicing various movements and maneuvers of troops – both in Belarus and in the Black Sea. Of course, this makes the situation even more dangerous, says military expert Alina Frolova Globalism. When such maneuvers occur, Frolova explains, secret services cannot determine if it is just training or in preparation for an attack. Until 2020 she was the Deputy Minister of Defense of Ukraine and is now the deputy head of the Center for Defense Strategies in Kiev.

Ukraine crisis: NATO Secretary General fears 'the worst’

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Thursday 10 February to prepare for „the worst”. Russia would have used such maneuvers in the past as a tactic to cover up military aggression. Frolova explains that such maneuvers will make it impossible to determine the true intention of the other side. She talks about „mixed tactics and deception”. „It would only take hours to change course and actually attack Ukraine.”

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In her words, the former Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister targets Russia’s crumbs in neighboring Belarus. Tens of thousands of soldiers – equipped with operational weapons including air defense systems and combat aircraft – are currently participating in exercises there. So attacking Ukraine from the north will be a matter of a few days for the Kremlin.

Russia continues to arm itself: disturbing maneuvers near the Ukrainian border

Not only in Belarus – Russia is currently conducting maneuvers in southern Ukraine in the Black Sea. Landing ships that were used during the annexation of the peninsula arrived in Crimea this week. The problem: Ukraine is especially prepared to invade the occupied east of the country. With Belarus to the north and the Black Sea to the south, Russian forces already occupy three out of four key points. According to Frolova, Ukraine is currently restructuring its soldiers.

The United States of America also shares this information aggressively. According to US intelligence, it will take only two days for Putin’s soldiers to reach Kiev from Belarus. This was reported by the American television station NBC. According to David Ignatius, a famous columnist Washington Post The TV report was no accident: „The United States shares sensitive intelligence about Russian moves to mobilize allies, and when they discover Russian plots, they make it public.” (indeed)

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Russia has destroyed a lot of power stations in Ukraine, knocking out half of electricity production: the 'Frankenstein units’ are supposed to help in the winter.



Russia has destroyed a lot of power stations in Ukraine, knocking out half of electricity production: the 'Frankenstein units’ are supposed to help in the winter.

Russia has destroyed many power plants in Ukraine, resulting in the loss of half of its electricity production. This is already difficult in the summer – and in the winter it can be disastrous. What is needed is not only repair of damaged power plants, but also more air defense and increased electricity imports from neighboring countries, says Dmytro Sakharuk of Ukrainian energy company DTEK in an interview with

In the medium term, electricity generation in Ukraine requires decentralized energy supply. And more renewable energy sources, because they are more flexible, says Sakharok: „Of course, wind turbines and solar panels can also be attacked, but the Russians will have to spend more resources on them because the systems are spread over a large area. They are certainly easier and faster to use to repair.”

Dmytro Sakharuk is Managing Director of DTEK, Ukraine's largest private energy company.

Dmytro Sakharuk is Managing Director of DTEK, Ukraine’s largest private energy company.

(Photo: Detic) Russian missile and drone attacks destroyed half of Ukraine’s electricity generation capacity, President Zelensky said Tuesday at a reconstruction conference in Berlin. How affected is your company?

Dmytro Sakharok: Before this wave of attacks, that is, before March 22 of this year, we had six thermal power plants.

Coal or gas?

money. It was already attacked in the previous wave between October 2022 and February 2023, but we fixed it. This year, there have been six attacks on our power plants: two in March, two in April, one in May, and one in June. The total available capacity of these six power plants is 5 gigawatts. We currently have 500 megawatts available to produce electricity. We’re basically down 10%, from 5 GW to 500 MW. We are trying to restore at least half of what was damaged or destroyed at the beginning of the heating season.

So until October?

Depending on how you count. Traditionally, the heating season in Ukraine begins on October 15. Last year, due to the unusually warm weather, the authorities decided to postpone the date to November 1. To repair half the damage, we need between $350 and $400 million, mainly to buy transformers, turbines and generators. The problem is that companies don’t have anything like this on their shelves. As a rule, these devices are manufactured for the system in question. Therefore, the lead time is long and of course an advance payment must be made.

Can you repair power plants?

There may be at least a partial short-term solution this year. We may obtain materials from power plants built during the Soviet era in countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece. We are already visiting these facilities in cooperation with the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy and Ukrainian energy companies. Many of them have been closed or are being closed due to environmental regulations. We check what can be used in Ukraine.

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did you find what you were looking for?

We found some things – not everything we need, and of course it is used. But it must be possible to repair, maintain and load materials onto trucks and transport them to Ukraine. This is the quickest way to restore at least some of our ability to generate electricity. Of course, the material does not always fit. Our power plant blocks will be a bit like Frankenstein’s modules.

Do you have enough engineers and workers to repair damaged pipes and equipment?

Yes. We employ 50,000 people in various departments of our company. Miners, for example, who now help repair systems, substations and lines. However, we have a shortage of skilled workers who can adapt materials from old power plants in neighboring countries. The scale of destruction is so great that we do not have enough engineers to deal with it. We also lack the personnel needed to dismantle the devices and transport them to where they are needed. Currently 5,000 of our employees are in the military. 289 killed as soldiers. 875 wounded. 66 missing. We also have twelve employees in captivity. Some of our employees have died on the job. Four were killed and 65 injured. This is the high price we pay for operating power plants. You need staff to supervise the blocks – even if there is an alarm. We then reduced the number of colleagues to a minimum and installed additional protective measures in the control rooms; They also wear protective vests and helmets. But it’s still very dangerous. These people are like soldiers in the trenches.

How much will these Frankenstein blocks help?

It will not cover all needs, perhaps 15 or 20 percent. That’s why we also have to buy new materials, because in some places the old ones can’t be used – in control rooms, for example. So we need money – financial requirements are high and our company’s sales are low. In the previous wave, we repaired ten units and spent $126 million. All 10 units now need repair again. We hope for international support. The Ukrainian government may provide low-cost loans, or international institutions such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the European Investment Bank may also provide loans to purchase equipment and finance the work. The US aid agency, the US Agency for Development Cooperation, has already provided $46 million to purchase equipment, in addition to $26 million from the European Energy Security Support Fund. But the gap is still huge: we need between $350 and $400 million for all repairs. There are only 140 days left until the heating season begins.

Is there a difference between the attacks since March and the first wave of attacks in the winter of 2022/2023?

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During the first wave we had more air defence. This spring, the Russians waited for the moment when Ukraine would run out of anti-aircraft ammunition due to delays on the part of our American and European partners. This is the main factor: our defensive ability.

Right now we try to make it clear in all conversations: even if we had the money, equipment and people to do the job, it doesn’t make sense for the Russians to launch another air strike and again in a month, a week or a day to destroy our powerful plants.

At first glance, it seems illogical for the Russians to wait until March to attack energy infrastructure.

That was very logical. In December, January and February they sent thousands of cheap martyr drones to drain our defences. When they realized our supplies were almost at zero, they knew now was the perfect time to send the missiles. So, it is not enough to restore our ability to generate energy, we must also be able to protect it. But there is a third thing we need.

What is the third thing?

We must increase our energy imports from Europe. Ukraine has been connected to the European electricity grid since March 16, 2022. The connection capacity currently stands at 1.7 GW, which is the combined capacity of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova. In purely technical terms, the capacity is 3.5 gigawatts. The 1.7 GW cap was a decision taken by the European Network of Transmission System Operators, ENTSO. This is the forum where engineers decide how much electricity can be transferred from one country to another within the European grid. They usually take a very conservative approach. This was also the case when our power systems were synchronized: ENTSO engineers said it was impossible, we would have to wait two years. Thanks to political pressure from the European Commission, this happened in March, and is going well. We may not reach 3.5 gigawatts, but 2.2 or 2.5 gigawatts is certainly possible. Technically everything is ready.

How much electricity do you need?

We have an electricity deficit of 2 gigawatts in Ukraine. In winter, this number will rise to 4 gigawatts, as many people use electricity for heating. Increasing power imports by 0.5 or 0.7 GW could replace two or three damaged units. This can significantly reduce power outage times.

How often should the electricity be cut off?

Currently, state transport system operator Ukrenergo has to set limits for regional companies. Regional operators turn off customers according to schedules. In Kiev, for example, DTEK introduced a rolling schedule for each district: people have no electricity for four hours, then electricity for five hours — and so on. If the energy deficit increases in the winter, the periods of power outages will be much longer: seven hours without power, and two hours without power. People will be without power in their homes for up to 20 hours. This is a big problem. 500 or 700 megawatts from our neighboring countries could alleviate our situation significantly. This is the third step: recovering, defending and importing more electricity. The fourth step that is being talked about a lot now is the installation of decentralized energy sources.

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Decentralized energy system?

Yes, with gas turbines and generators. Ukraine must provide everything possible to the country and establish important infrastructure such as water, sewerage and heating systems. None of these systems work without electricity. If there is no electricity, people will not have electricity, but they may also have no heat, no water, and no sanitation. Then the apartments become uninhabitable. As the President said on Tuesday, we have lost 9 gigawatts. The possibility of replacing parts of it without decentralizing our system is limited. Decentralizing our energy system will take two to three years, so we need to start now. It is not just about purchasing gas turbines and generators, but also about integrating them into the grid. This will take time. However, it is the fastest and cheapest solution.

What kind of generator would that be?

The small generators we are considering will be 25 megawatt gas turbines, or diesel or gasoline generators such as a ship engine. They can produce up to 18 megawatts. With enough generators, we can maintain the basic infrastructure we desperately need in the winter so people can stay in their homes.

What role do renewable energy systems play in this concept?

This is the next chapter in the development of the Ukrainian energy system. The share of renewable energy in Ukraine has risen to eleven percent. Before the war, our company built 1.2 gigawatts of solar and wind turbines. Unfortunately, 500 MW of it is in the occupied part of Ukraine, in the south, in the part of the Zaporizhzhya region controlled by the Russians. We still have two large solar systems with a capacity of 200 MW. During the war we built an additional 114 megawatts of wind power. In the south, cities like Odessa and Mykolaiv could be electrified thanks to our wind farms there if substations in the region are destroyed.

It is important to expand into renewable energy because it is more flexible: of course, wind turbines and solar panels can also be attacked, but the Russians will have to spend more resources on this because the systems are spread over a huge area. It is definitely easier and faster to fix.

Hubertus Vollmer and Marina Braček spoke to Dmytro Sakharuk

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Putin’s fear of „overheating” and inflation



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.” 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



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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