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Ukraine crisis: How likely is a war between Russia and Ukraine?



Why is there more talk of a war in Ukraine?

Because, in fact, the threat of war has increased significantly since last week. Indeed, the diplomatic marathon with talks in Geneva (US and Russia), Brussels (NATO and Russia) and Vienna (OSCE) should at least bring something closer together. This did not happen.

The Kremlin realized what it should have known in advance: the West is not under any circumstances ready to comply with Moscow’s demand for „security guarantees”, that is, to stop NATO activities on the alliance’s eastern borders, promises to end NATO – to give expansion and refrain from deploying nuclear weapons in Europe.

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Is Moscow just looking for an excuse to invade with its unfulfilled demand for „security guarantees”? „We are at the end of our patience,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at least over the weekend.

“The drums of war are beating loudly,” said Michael Carpenter, the US ambassador to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). French geopolitical expert Francois Heisbourg of the Foundation for Strategic Research (FRS) also warned that „the risks of war are high”.

What is Moscow doing now to increase pressure on the Americans and NATO?

First, Foreign Minister Lavrov demands that the West respond „quickly” and in writing to Moscow’s demands. Secondly, according to unconfirmed information from the US government, Moscow has planted agents in Ukraine to foment „false flag” unrest in the east of the country. Third: More than 10,000 soldiers have started maneuvers in more than 20 training areas in southern Russia as of Wednesday.

In addition, it seems that Moscow has begun to deploy military helicopters and ground attack aircraft, which should play an important role in the offensive. In total, Russia concentrated about 100,000 soldiers on the Ukrainian border.

Fourth: According to the Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT), Russia moves Iskander missile systems from the east of the country to the west – and from there, the control centers of the Ukrainian army can then be quickly attacked.

Source: Infographic World

What is the strategy followed by the West?

NATO and the Americans continue to focus on dialogue. The West aims for a longer „process” of talks and wants to begin by discussing some contentious issues such as arms control and transparency in military exercises. Apparently, Moscow has not yet wanted to get involved in this matter.

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The conflict between Russia and Ukraine

On the other hand, the West rejects the required „security guarantees”, strongly demands the withdrawal of Russian soldiers from the Ukrainian border and threatens to impose „harsh” economic sanctions in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine.

Will Putin be affected by the threat of sanctions?

Better not. Putin knows that it will be very difficult for the EU to unanimously agree to „hard” sanctions because they can sometimes have serious economic disadvantages for different European countries.

In addition, the exclusion of Russia from the international banking communications network Swift will impede international foreign exchange payments by Russian energy suppliers in the import-export business, but it will also severely harm Western banks.

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In addition, Moscow has massive reserves of gold and dollars, and has built its own payment platform (SPFS) in recent years, although it is not as efficient as Swift.

In addition, Russian President Putin knows he has enough tools to respond to Western sanctions: if Moscow temporarily turns off the gas tap or damages pipes in Ukraine, many German families could face major problems after a week of cold weather. In addition, gas prices will rise in world markets.

And Moscow cannot harass Europe with regard to energy policy. Putin could also escalate the situation in Syria and Libya to the point that Europe is threatened by new flows of refugees in the spring.

How strong is the Ukrainian army?

One thing is clear: No NATO soldier will intervene in the event of a Russian attack on Ukraine because the country is not part of the alliance. Ukraine’s soldiers are now better trained and equipped than they were when Crimea was annexed in 2014. But the air force and navy are shortfalls, and Kiev is clearly inferior to Moscow when it comes to artillery and battle tanks.

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So the Americans supplied radar systems, all-terrain vehicles and hundreds of Javelin anti-tank missiles. It is alleged that Kiev also ordered from Washington Patriot anti-aircraft missiles. It would also be useful to get a few thousand helmets and flak jackets from Germany, but in the end nothing more than a symbolic act of solidarity.

Russian Federations are now on three sides across Ukraine. The NATO military considers a false attack on all three fronts conceivable – in this case, the Ukrainian army will have no chance within a very short time.

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Three days, three countries – why Schulze travels to Africa and not to Kyiv – Politics abroad



The Chancellor actually expects in Ukraine, in Kyiv. But Olaf Schultz (63, SPD) flies to the African continent. Three days, three countries.

On Sunday morning, just after seven in the morning, he took off on the government plane for his first stop in Senegal. From there we continue to Niger, and then South Africa on the third day.

Why Africa instead of Ukraine?

First of all, there is the stubbornness of the adviser. And the more the opposition and the media demanded to finally travel to Kyiv, the more stubbornly he said “no.” Only when there is something concrete to discuss with the Ukrainian government in Kyiv that he cannot compromise with President Volodymyr Zelensky (44) on the phone does he want to drive.

Putin’s war is the theme of Schulze’s trip to Africa

Hence his African tour has a lot to do with Ukraine and Russian dictator Vladimir Putin (69) – the war in Ukraine is the theme of Schulz’s trip to Africa.

︎ Because people in Africa are already feeling the consequences – skyrocketing energy prices and wheat shortages. Senegalese President Macky Sall, 60, has urged a ceasefire in Ukraine so that stocks of grain banned by Russia can be exported. He announced that he will travel to Moscow and Kiev for the African Union in the coming weeks.

Schultz promised when it came to wheat: „We will do everything we can to ensure the continued success of exports from Ukraine.”

︎ The chancellor is also trying to forge a global alliance against the Kremlin dictator. He wants to isolate him to increase pressure on Putin to withdraw his soldiers and tanks from Ukraine.

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Schulz noted with concern those who refused to condemn Putin’s brutal war of aggression at the United Nations General Assembly. There were only 40 countries in number, but they represented billions of people. Because besides dictatorships like China, democracies like India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa didn’t want to oppose Putin.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Senegalese President Macky Sall on Sunday. Germany is counting on Senegal to tackle global challengesPhoto: Michael Cappeler / D

„We are facing great global challenges,” Schultz said on Sunday in Senegal, referring to the three major problems facing Corona, the war in Ukraine and climate change. We must act quickly to ensure that these crises do not ignite new sources of fire.

Every country is important, Germany depends on Senegal. A signal from the democracies should come from the G7 summit in Elmau.

India, Indonesia, Senegal, South Africa and Argentina were invited as guest countries to the G7 summit

Schulz, who is also the president of the Group of Seven this year, that is, he heads the club of economically powerful democracies, started a mission: in addition to India, Indonesia, Senegal and South Africa, he also invited Argentina as guest countries to the G7 summit in June in Schloss. Elmao.

There, against the background of the Bavarian mountains, he wants to connect the four countries with the West and in an anti-Putin alliance. As a sign of respect, he had previously visited Senegal and South Africa.

In Senegal, considered a typical democracy in Africa, Schulz met President Sall and opened a photovoltaic system with him. There are 55,000 solar modules at the 20-hectare site south of the capital, Dakar – Germany is supporting the project with 52 million euros.

When it comes to energy, Senegal and Germany want to work together. Sall announced that his country, which has a huge natural gas field off its coast, could produce 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas and sell it to Europe as of 2023. Schulze emphasized that Germany not only wanted to work with Dakar on solar energy, but also ” Regarding liquefied natural gas.

In South Africa, he will meet President Matamila Cyril Ramaphosa (69) in Pretoria on Tuesday. Schultz later visited the former prison No. 4 in Johannesburg, where Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were also imprisoned.

Between Senegal and South Africa, Schulze stops in impoverished Niger. There is also – at least indirectly – about Putin.

The Chancellor flies to Tilia in the A400M military tanker. There, elite soldiers of the German Army train the 41st Battalion of the Nigerian Special Forces in the „Mission Gazelle”. They control the border with Mali, and the area is the core area of ​​the terrorist „Islamic State” militia.

For Germany, Niger is a security fulcrum in a region where Islamists regularly carry out terrorist attacks and occupy territories. So far, the German army has also trained the armed forces of neighboring Mali to combat terrorism.

The mission in Mali just ends because the military government there got involved with Putin’s mercenaries, the Wagner Forces, after their coup. Putin is trying to gain influence in the region.

In Niger, Schulz will meet soldiers of the German Army on foreign missions for the first time as a chancellor. Visiting troops during the fighting is also a signal: because Schulz has greatly weakened Defense Minister Christine Lambrecht and makes all decisions on the 100 billion package for the Bundeswehr herself.

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Queen Elizabeth II: Trooping the Color – She will miss her military parade – Members of the royal family



In seven decades she hasn’t let that take her away.

It will be a very special event: In just under two weeks, Queen Elizabeth II (96) will celebrate the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. But of all things a traditional main actress Military Color Forces Review Missing!

As The Telegraph reported on Sunday, much of the anniversary celebrations on June 2 in front of Buckingham Palace will likely take place without the Queen of England. As with the last public appearance that was canceled, the Queen must pass.

Preparations for Trooping the Color in London are in full swingPhoto: Alastair Grant / AP

Among other things, the Queen was unable to deliver her speech at the opening of Parliament in London in May due to health reasons.

She is represented by her son and heir to the throne, Prince Charles (73), who will take his mother’s place at the ceremonial military parade and receive the legendary „royal salute”.

Despite the numerous cancellations of public appointments recently, people have been hoping that they will be able to see their queen at least in early June. This will also be Elizabeth’s first encounter with her granddaughter, Lilipet Diana (11 months). Grandma certainly does not want to miss it, but the appearance of weakness in public is out of the question for a strong ruler.

„I know she’s been talked to several times about using a wheelchair,” a palace insider told BILD. “It is out of the question for her. Prince Philip also refused to the end.”

Charles will attend the show with his wife Camilla

Charles will attend the show with his wife CamillaPhoto: Getty Images

This means that for the first time in her very long reign, the Queen will not be able to receive her troops, who will march in her honor. In 1953, Elizabeth witnessed her first military parade marking her coronation. Since then she hasn’t missed a single one.

Queen Elizabeth's balcony premiere on June 2, 1953, and it was also her coronation - alongside her two children Charles and Anne

Queen Elizabeth’s balcony premiere on June 2, 1953, and it was also her coronation – alongside her two children Charles and AnnePhoto: Photo Alliance / Impex

June 2 will also be a turning point when Prince Charles takes his mother’s place for the first time in the „Trooping the Color” scene. An image that Royal fans should get used to. The Prince of Wales will one day wave from the balcony as King.

According to The Telegraph, there is still hope that the Queen will attend at least part of the celebrations marking the 70th jubilee of her throne. An appearance on the balcony of the famous palace can still be imagined.

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War Day Glance: Heavy Fighting Ended in Donbass – Battle of Mariupol



A quick glimpse into War Day
Heavy fighting in Donbass – Mariupol battle is over

The Russian army is apparently trying to launch new offensives to occupy parts of the eastern Luhansk province still under Ukrainian control. On the other hand, the battle is over in Mariupol – according to their own statements, Russia is gaining complete control over the Azov steel plants, which have recently fought disputes. A glimpse of the eighty-seventh day of the war.

Kyiv: Heavy fighting in Donbass

The Ukrainian General Staff recorded a large number of Russian attacks, especially in the east. Ukrainian Governor Serhiy Gaidai stated via Telegram that the Russian army is trying to destroy the city of Sievierodonetsk. Fighting broke out on the outskirts of the city.

According to the Kyiv General Staff, the enemy is still trying to take full control of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in order to secure a land corridor to Crimea on the Black Sea, which Russia annexed in 2014. Parts of Luhansk and Donetsk provinces were already under the control of pro-Russian separatists before the invasion Russia on February 24.

Moscow: Mariupol Steelworks’ last stand is broken

After weeks of heavy fighting, the Russian army said it had taken complete control of the Azovstal steel plants in Mariupol. The Defense Ministry in Moscow said all Ukrainian fighters had surrendered. At first the Ukrainian side did not comment on this.

The sprawling industrial complex on the Sea of ​​Azov was the last resting place in the strategically important port city in southeastern Ukraine that was not yet fully under Russian control. According to information from Moscow, the Russians have captured 2,439 Ukrainian soldiers since May 16. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a TV interview on Saturday that he had done everything to free Mariupol. However, he said Ukraine „broke the backbone” of the Russian army. „You won’t be able to stand on your own two feet again in the next few years.”

New problem with German arms shipments

Regarding the delivery of German weapons, Chancellor Olaf Schultz said that this was the right decision. „Borders in Europe should not be moved by force,” Schultz said. Putin has completely miscalculated. Former NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen criticized Germany for being „too reluctant to supply heavy weapons and impose sanctions”. „We need German leadership,” the Dane told Handelsblatt newspaper.

Meanwhile, there is new confusion over arms shipments from Germany. Bild newspaper published a report on one of them A classified document from the Ministry of Defense contradicts the official version of Minister Christine Lambrecht. According to this, the German army has 62 marts that are no longer in use. According to a report by the newspaper „Spiegel”, the government is joint Warsaw was upset because Germany did not want to replace Polish tanks of Russian design in the near future as promisedalready provided by Poland to Ukraine.

Russia stops gas supplies to Finland

Thus, Russia’s state-owned Gazprom made its announcement the day before to come true on Saturday. Officially, the reason was Finland’s refusal to pay for supplies in Russian rubles. However, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been highly critical of Finland’s official application for NATO membership – along with Sweden – and has threatened consequences. Since Finland is not highly dependent on Russian gas, the supply is not significantly affected. Finland and Sweden want to join NATO because of Russia’s aggressive war on its neighbor Ukraine, which is about to enter its fourth month.

Turkey sets conditions for Sweden’s accession to NATO

According to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey is demanding concrete steps against terrorism from the Scandinavian country in the dispute with Sweden over NATO membership. After a phone call with Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson, the official Anadolu news agency quoted Erdogan that the arms embargo imposed on Turkey after the invasion of Syria in 2019 had also had to be lifted.

Biden puts billions in aid to Ukraine into action

US President Joe Biden has signed a €1 billion aid package for Ukraine into effect. Congress had earlier approved the package, which amounts to about 40 billion dollars (38 billion euros) by a large majority.

Italy draws up a plan for the peace process in the Ukraine war

Italy is working on a plan for a peaceful solution. „We now need a diplomatic counterattack,” Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told La Stampa newspaper. The first goal is a local cessation of hostilities, followed by a ceasefire, neutrality, and eventually a peace agreement.

EU Commissioner for Justice: War crimes will not go unpunished

EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders has pledged to prosecute war crimes in Ukraine. „It will take time, it will be a long process, but the atrocities committed in Ukraine will not go unpunished,” Reynders told Italian newspaper La Stampa.

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