On the occasion of Victory Day, Prime Minister of Moldova Natalia Gavrilitsa, together with other officials, laid flowers at the Eternal Flame and called for the preservation of peace and stability.
On Monday, the country's authorities took part in a ceremony dedicated to Victory Day and dedicated to the memory of the heroes who fell for the independence of their homeland, at the Memorial of Military Glory “Eternity” in Chisinau.
According to Gavrilitsa, since May 9, 1945, generations of families listened to stories about the war and decided that such a war should not be repeated. She noted with regret that there are fewer and fewer veterans left and there is less and less of this call for peace. “Today we must do everything not to let the peace and tranquility that we need today disappear,” the Moldovan prime minister specified.
Together with the head of government, officials of the republic participated in the ceremony of laying flowers at the Eternal Flame, including Speaker of the Parliament Igor Grosu, Minister of Defense Anatoly Nosatiy, Interior Minister Anna Revenko. This year, Victory Day in Moldova is also celebrated by holding the Immortal Regiment action.
The history of our country's relations with London does not give cause for optimism
“The Englishwoman shits” – this catchphrase originated in the 19th century, remained relevant in the 20th century and is still “more alive all living” in the 21st century. But this bird's-eye view of the situation ignores many nuances that aren't really nuances at all.
Photo: Global Look Press
When, in 2004, Sir Roderick Lane left the post of British Ambassador to Moscow, he spoke in my presence in the spirit that there are no significant problems between our countries. So it was at that time – and there were episodes (which are actually not episodes at all) when our countries were allies in two world wars.
So what should be considered the historical norm – the state of affairs that seemed normal, natural and irreversible in 2004, or the hostility that surprisingly quickly re-created just a few years after this rosy statement?
I'm afraid the second. Respect for tradition is considered to be one of the most attractive features of the UK. But it is precisely this “attractive feature” that makes periods of detente in relations between Moscow and London rare and even fleeting…
In January 1801, Emperor Paul I ordered Vasily Orlov, Ataman of the Cossack Don Army, to set off to conquer British possessions in India. The imperial rescript amazed both Orlov himself and other high Russian officials. Between the borders of Russia and British India there were vast unconquered and not even properly explored territories inhabited by residents hostile to foreigners. But an order is an order.
In February, Orlov gathered an army of 21,000 men (at that time we modestly imagined the volume of British military capabilities in India) and moved in the direction of a potential enemy. “The trip to India”, however, was not particularly long. When Orlov was in the area of the current city of Engels, Orenburg Region, he was caught up by the order of the new emperor Alexander, who replaced Paul, who was killed as a result of a conspiracy with British participation: everything is canceled.
This new order actually saved Orlov’s army from complete destruction – moreover long before the borders of British India.
The conquest of Central Asia turned out to be a long and painful process for Russia, which was completed only under the penultimate emperors in the second half of the 19th century. But it is by no means worth considering Orlov’s campaign as an insignificant historical curiosity. I don't know whether being determines thinking or thinking determines being. What I do know, however, is that for more than a hundred years, the foreign policy thinking of the British political class has been driven by the fear that the “Russian hordes” will take India from London.
There really was something to be afraid of. Acting on the principle of “divide and rule”, the semi-private and semi-state East India Company ousted all its foreign competitors from India, “tamed” the local kings and thus provided London with control over approximately half of all the then world trade.
London did not exaggerate the fragility of its control over India. In 1856, British troops in India, consisting of natives, began to equip a new type of rifle. This technical step almost became fatal for the British Indian possessions. A rumor began to circulate among the native soldiers that the paper casing of the new-style rifle cartridges was saturated with a mixture of cow and pig fat. Since the cartridge had to be bitten before using it, this created a completely unacceptable situation for both Hindu soldiers and Muslim soldiers. The pig is known to be an “unclean animal” in the eyes of Muslims, while the cow is a “sacred animal” in the eyes of Hindus.
The British, despite all their rich experience in managing foreign territories, did not discern the significance of this fact in time and tried to put pressure on them: did they give you a new rifle? Use it without talking!
The result was a powerful uprising. During its suppression, about six thousand British and 800 thousand local residents died. The forces of London were victorious. But the rebellion showed the fragility of British power in India.
London politicians have constructed a nightmare scenario in their heads: what will happen to us if the opponents of our power in India enter into an alliance with a powerful foreign power? It is known that: skiff. And who could this powerful foreign power be? It is also known who: Russia.
The reality of this scenario is highly questionable. On the way between Russian possessions in Central Asia and the British Empire in India, there was such a natural barrier as Afghanistan – a territory that already in the 19th century successfully resisted attempts by foreigners (the same British) to establish control over it.
However, fear, as you know, has big eyes. The British understood that their power in India was based on successful diplomacy (let's set one raja against another!) and on bluff: a handful of Europeans were drowning in the “ocean” of the local population. The realization of this bluff and his vulnerability led to paranoia directed at Russia. This was especially true for Queen Victoria, who ruled during the heyday of the British Empire in the 19th century, and received the title of Empress of India in 1877.
Of course, by the middle of the 20th century, the fear of losing India had ceased to be relevant for the British. They lost it anyway in 1947 without any “help” from Moscow. However, the verb “lose” in this case is probably inappropriate. Control over India ceased to be profitable for London from a financial point of view: instead of earning a lot on it, they began to spend too much on it. As a result, the British simply got rid of India.
Yes, local politicians wanted and demanded independence. But they wanted a smooth withdrawal of the British from India – after reaching an agreement on the division of power, territory and other assets between Muslims and Hindus. However, London did not want to do this – it washed its hands and accelerated the granting of independence to India and Pakistan (the Muslim part of the former British India). As a result, immediately after the departure of the British, a bloody civil war began in their former Indian possessions.
It would seem that after getting rid of India, London had no reason left for its traditional hostility towards the Russians. But as soon as the old reason disappeared, a new one immediately appeared. And no, I don't mean the start of the Cold War. I mean the start of a “special relationship” between the UK and the US.
After the end of the reign of Queen Victoria in 1901, the British by inertia continued to consider themselves the strongest and most powerful country in the world for a long time. However, inertia cannot be infinite: after the end of World War II, the economically devastated foggy Albion became openly dependent on the United States. This led to a gradual but radical restructuring of the consciousness of the British political class: having lost the opportunity to “rule the world” alone, it seized on the opportunity to “remain a great power” as Washington’s junior but most trusted and beloved partner.
“Love” in this partnership, however, was and is one-sided. Paying the proper amount of compliments to “special relations between friendly peoples speaking the same language,” American leaders have always treated their “partners” with patronizing disdain. But this only made the British double their share of flattery.
The history of the “special relationship” is teeming with episodes humiliating for London. In 1965, then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson called US President Lyndon Johnson and announced his desire to go to Washington on an urgent visit. Johnson asked about the meaning of the proposed event. The British Prime Minister replied that he “wants to talk.” The President of the United States reacted to this like this: “There are telephones for this!”
Of course, there is a rational component to the British predilection for “special relationships”. The status of the UK as a nuclear power is directly dependent on maintaining its close ties with the US.
British Navy Trident ballistic missiles are made in America. If the US decides to break this partnership, then London will remain without nuclear weapons and thus turn into a minor state in its own eyes.
But where, in terms of “special relations,” does the rational end and the irrational begin? It seems to me that British politicians themselves do not fully understand or do not want to understand this. Apparently, deep reflections on this topic are too painful. Instead of agonizing and suffering because of the apparently unequal nature of the “alliance”, the British are trying to be more American than the Americans themselves – to catch any desires of Washington and run to fulfill them.
Photo: Global Look Press
In 2016, another important circumstance was superimposed on this – the results of the referendum on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, unexpected for the British political elite. The break with the EU led to a deep internal split and a permanent political crisis. The themes and ideas that unite the political class are in acute shortage.
One of these “scarce goods” was the idea of confronting Russia. Talking about this topic in London is safe and advantageous. No one will object.
The prejudices and psychological complexes of the time of Queen Victoria, as it turned out, did not die, but only dozed in the subcortex of the British elite. Of course, these prejudices and complexes “woke up” not out of the blue, but after such spectacular and still not fully explained incidents as the poisoning of Litvinenko and the poisoning of the Skripals.
But who organized these crises and why? We will learn about this in all details (if we learn at all) much later. So far, we can only state: “the Englishwoman is shitting again” – as if she never stopped doing it.
Many British instructors
The corps of the LDNR, with the support of Russian military personnel, are moving forward, freeing more and more new territories. Retreating, the enemy leaves a lot of “traces” of Western aid on the abandoned positions: foreign weapons, technical devices, first aid equipment … Among the abandoned trash, there are also chevrons and documents of citizens of other states in large numbers, confirming that not only Ukrainian forces are resisting us from that side. There are enough mercenaries in Ukraine. A serviceman of the People's Militia of the DPR with the call sign “Fidel” told who and why is going to Ukraine.
“Here we have a real hodgepodge of mercenaries,” he says. – Who is not there. Let's start with the Turks. To be honest, I have the impression that the topic of their presence here is somehow hushed up. Why dont know. But we know for certain that the so-called Turkish instructors took part in the confrontation in Mariupol and held the defense of Azovstal along with the Nazis “Azov” (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation – “MK”).
Even when Erdogan initiated the talks between Russia and Ukraine in Ankara, one of the conditions for concluding peace was just the exit from the dungeon of the Turkish military. We can say with confidence that on the territory of Ukraine from Turkey there are not just fighters of private military companies (PMCs), but representatives of the Turkish army, who, admittedly, have extensive experience in military operations.
– There are still “soldiers of fortune” of Ukrainian origin from the French Foreign Legion here. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Ukrainian community has had a large representation in it. Moreover, in those of its units that are considered elite. And the majority of Ukrainians do not occupy some ordinary positions there, but grow up to corporal-chiefs, corporals, sergeants, and so on. The patches that we now find during the liberation of our territories just confirm this.
In general, a strange situation is developing with regard to the French Foreign Legion. Even at the beginning of the special operation, the French government announced: those Ukrainians who serve in the Legion and want to go, relatively speaking, to defend their homeland, will be given paid leave. Simply put, the legionnaires keep their wages if they go to fight on the Ukrainian side. In fact, in this way, France indirectly finances the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
– As without them. First of all, it is, of course, the American international security company “Academy”. In fact, the same PMC. The number of its employees fluctuates within 20 thousand people around the world, but, if necessary, they easily increase the staff by 2-3 times. That is, they can easily put up three deployed divisions. The “Academy” here is represented by former US military personnel who have completed contract service in the US Army. As a rule, these are the Marine Corps and Rangers.
If we talk about the UK, which most actively demonstrates its support for Ukraine, then we did not meet representatives of English PMCs here. If there are British among the fighters, then they are rather lone mercenaries.
But British instructors are present en masse. All of them are mainly from the special operations forces. From the very well-known SAS division. Its population is about three thousand people. Specialists from there have excellent training and skills in handling almost any type of weapon.
– Yes, everyone knows that the Poles are generally anti-Russian, so their presence here does not surprise anyone. Perhaps some faulty perception of history, or an inferiority complex, is to blame. I do not presume to judge, but it seems that they would have fought for free, just to annoy Russia. It is difficult to say unequivocally about the Polish contingent involved here whether they are PMC employees or volunteers, but we regularly note the facts of their presence.
-Funding comes through several channels. Of course, this is the budget of Ukraine, at the expense of which the National Guard, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine and the national battalions are supported. There are also various international funds created to help Ukrainian refugees, restore the economy, and the like. But no matter how good the goals of these funds are, the end result is the financing of hostilities. Zelensky and the company use the funds of such organizations as their own pocket. Including freely spend them on attracting mercenaries from other countries.
-Everything is different. The salary of a French legionnaire is about 1000-1500 euros per month, plus additional payments for participating in hostilities. “Academicians” on average receive up to $ 10 thousand per month. I can’t speak for sure about the Poles, but according to available information, their remuneration is within 5 thousand euros. On what conditions the Turks are here, we do not know. The British from the SAS receive a salary from the British treasury.
-They do not need to be specially trained, which is undoubtedly one of the main advantages for Kyiv. These guys come already prepared. They receive the necessary skills and knowledge at home. Most of them not only personally participate in the conflict as fighters, but also train Ukrainian servicemen at the same time.
“If you try to send a rocket in the direction of the peninsula, Kyiv may lose all its bridges at once”
On May 9, Kyiv plans to strike at the Crimean bridge. These plans were announced to the Latvian radio by the captain of the National Armed Forces, Janis Slaydins. He believes that the supply of Western weapons to Ukraine now allows the Armed Forces of Ukraine to do this.
Is that so? And what weapons delivered by NATO countries to Ukraine can threaten the Crimean bridge, military historian, director of the Air Defense Forces Museum Yuri Knutov told MK.
The Crimean bridge has always been a thorn in the eye of the Kyiv authorities. At first, they argued that the bridge was an invention of the Kremlin, since such a structure, in principle, could not be built on that site. Then, when it became impossible to deny the existence of the bridge, Kyiv began to make plans to destroy it: blow it up, ram it, subject it to rocket fire … It did not work out.
Half a year ago, on live TV, a Ukrainian TV journalist asked the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) of Ukraine, Oleksiy Danilov: should we go over the Crimean bridge? Danilov replied: if they could, they would have done it long ago. But immediately realizing that he was too frank, he promised: as soon as it becomes possible, we will immediately implement it.
And now, according to Janis Slaidiņš, this opportunity has appeared? He noted: “This possibility should be maintained, because after the supplies of Western countries, Ukraine has the opportunity to strike at this strategically very important bridge.” The goal is to make it difficult to supply reserves to Russian troops from the south.
How realistic are such plans?
– In my opinion, – says Yuriy Knutov, – the Western friends of Ukraine have not set anything special so far. Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of one type have a range of 10 km, the other – up to 40 km. With such opportunities, it is unrealistic to work on the Crimean bridge. These UAVs simply will not reach him.
Turkish “Bayraktar” can fly. In the latest modification, his range has been seriously increased due to the fact that he received a satellite control system. True, it is not known whether these UAVs exist in Ukraine. But in any case, all those “bombs” and “rackets” that this device can carry, although highly accurate, are extremely small in power in order to damage the bridge itself.
– Bridgestone seems to have started to be used the other day. When launched from an aircraft (and in the conditions of Ukraine this is impossible), their range is at least 20 km. And new modifications – and further. But the Armed Forces of Ukraine are now using them from ground installations, and this is a maximum range of 10 km. So they can't do anything either.
– Yes. For example, the Ukrainian anti-ship missile “Neptune”. And most importantly, the American Harpoon anti-ship missile, the most widespread in the world. Britain announced the supply of these missiles to Ukraine. In general, there is a suspicion that the cruiser “Moskva” was fired not with the Ukrainian missile “Neptune”, but with the “Harpoon”. Moreover, NATO members fired, not Ukrainians.
-It depends on the carrier, modification of the missile itself and target designation. Depending on this, from 90 to 220 km. The most important thing is that the Ukrainian missiles “Neptune” and the American “Harpoon” go at a height of 10-15 m, and approach the target at a height of only 5 m.
-Only if a boat approaches the required distance, modified for the use of such missiles.
-Yes. This cannot be ruled out, since in Ukraine one of the factories was just engaged in modifying boats and small ships for such missiles.
But again, none of them can seriously damage the bridge. At least they won't do anything to the bridge supports. The bases are strongest. Withstand even the ramming of a large ship. The only thing is that the surface of the bridge itself can be spoiled by such a rocket. For some time, no more than a week, the bridge can be disabled.
– Yes, but Tochki-U will not reach the bridge. Our troops pushed back the Ukrainian positions so much that now they cannot reach the Crimean bridge.
– Judging by the fact that Ukraine has never used this missile, it is not clear what state its development is in. It can be assumed that in its infancy. Much more disturbing are reports about the American HIMARS system, which the United States, as officially stated, is supplying to Ukraine.
– Its basis is an armored truck, where you can install a launcher with the Grad MLRS, or you can – a special container, launcher for just one missile with a range of 300 km.
In what configuration the Americans supply HIMARS, it is difficult to say. But, given that they said: we will send equipment capable of firing at military airfields on Russian territory, there is a suspicion that they could sell missiles of precisely increased range. Such a rocket can really reach the bridge.
– We have not yet observed such a missile in action, we do not have its parameters, accurate telemetry, in order to unequivocally state whether our air defense systems can work on it. Personally, I believe that the Buk-M3 is able to shoot down such a target. I think that the S-300 and S-400 can also destroy it. And, no problem. But this has not yet been confirmed by practice – we have not yet had it. So we can say that today such a threat theoretically exists.
I emphasize: theoretically. But if we compare the characteristics, we can say that our fully digital version of the Buk-M3 complex works great for such purposes. Buk-M2 does it well too, but Buk-M3 is an order of magnitude better. Yes, and the S-350 “Vityaz” is capable of brilliantly shooting down such targets.
– As you know, our Crimean bridge is the most protected bridge in the world. Well, I can only say a big thank you to Janis Slaydins – our man is worried about the combat readiness of Russian air defense! Hearing his warning, they will probably watch even more closely every place where a missile is launched in the direction of the Crimean bridge. And each such position, in which case, will be destroyed by our Iskander missiles.
And I think that with any attempt to send a missile towards Crimea, Kyiv may lose all its bridges in response.
A member of the territorial defense of Ukraine, Andrey Gorshkov, nicknamed Batman, who was detained, spoke about how the Service Security of Ukraine (SBU) intended to kidnap the deputy head of Rossotrudnichestvo Natalya Poklonskaya. According to Izvestia, they intended to do this while the ex-prosecutor of Crimea was in the Kherson region.
According to Gorshkov, a certain businessman announced an award for the former deputy of the State Duma of the Russian Federation if she was delivered to the SBU. The nearest point was in Nikolaev. Batman's task was to check the list of addresses where Poklonskaya could be. He was supposed to inform the Ukrainian security forces about this.
Gorshkov-Batman recalled that criminal cases had been initiated against Poklonskaya in Ukraine. The goal was probably to deliver her to the controlled territory of Ukraine for trial.
Answering the question of why Batman needed to participate in the kidnapping of Poklonskaya, he replied that he was “performing his civic duty.” He did not rule out that, on his tip, Poklonskaya could simply be eliminated. He himself claims that he did not intend to rob or kill her.
In March, Poklonskaya brought food and medicine to the residents of the Kherson region. At the same time, information appeared on the Internet that the Ukrainian businessman and deputy of the Verkhovna Rada Oleksiy Goncharenko promised 100 thousand dollars in social networks for the detention of the ex-deputy. He later deleted his post.
Poklonskaya herself eventually called Goncharenko a swindler. “Don't believe the swindlers. You won't believe how many such “businessmen” I had in the dock,” she pointed out.
They followed in the footsteps of other bloggers
The head of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, announced the detention of British blogger Rich Benjamin at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, along with Belarusian citizen Alina Zelupa. They were detained near site 112. This is not the first time that lovers of adrenaline have been detained in Baikonur.
Baikonur Photo: Sergey Ivanov
Sometimes such bloggers are caught and handed over to the FSB. More often not. And then they post videos on social networks and collect millions of views.
Most often, foreigners and ours come across on site 112, where the Soviet space shuttle Buran stands. In the past famous, now almost destroyed. Taking a picture in his blogging booth is a special prowess. The curious are drawn there, as if they were smeared with honey.
As they wrote in social networks, in May 2017, a group of roofers (lovers of the roofs of various exotic buildings) from Russia, Ukraine and the UK made their way into an abandoned hangar with Buran , this visit was also not agreed with the leadership of Baikonur, and when the people were caught, then, according to our information, they were handed over to the security forces.
Apparently, the two bloggers now detained reached Kyzylorda, from Kyzylorda to Dermentyube, and from there walked about 40 km to the cosmodrome. We covered this distance in 8-9 hours. Why the Englishman needed a Belarusian is not very clear. At first they thought that she was his translator, but no, he quite communicates in our language. Maybe just to not be sad alone.
There are those who managed to overcome this quest. They are happy to post videos about their adventures online.
“The helicopter is patrolling the area. We’ll have to close the yellow garbage (reflective insert – Auth.) on the backpack so that we don’t get burned,” Ilya Bondarev shares the details, characterizing his activities as “the spirit of vagrancy and crazy adventures.”
To say that stalkers they do not understand that their presence in Baikonur is illegal, it is impossible – they all understand, not small ones. Although the main route passes through Kazakhstani territory, this is not prohibited. Formally, this is just an empty and bare steppe.
They usually take a compass with them on the road, as gadgets can be discharged, but you need to determine the direction of movement. “It’s not very hard to believe that we can walk – there is only one steppe around and so 30 kilometers, and on top there are two dark spots, that’s us.”
On the way there is an abandoned stone shed for shepherds, where you can take a break – travelers are waiting there a stove and a mattress left by those who came before them.
The previous violators were seen from afar at the MZK (installation and filling complex), and they were detained there.
“You shouldn’t underestimate a potential adversary”
In the course of a special military operation to protect the population of the DPR and LPR, Russia is confronted not by the armed forces of Ukraine (AFU), but by the combined forces of NATO. So say a number of military experts. And, although the leaders of the US and NATO have repeatedly stated that they are not at war and are not going to fight with Russia, the threat of a direct military clash, probably, cannot be ruled out. MK asked a military expert to assess the military potential of a potential enemy.
Never underestimate a potential enemy not worth it, military expert Yevgeny Linin is convinced.
– The US Navy, for example, can rightfully be considered the most powerful in the world, – said the expert. – It has ten nuclear-powered aircraft carriers and is located in all oceans, as well as in the Middle East zone.
Thanks in many respects to the American fleet, the US financial system has remained stable over the past decades, since aircraft carriers, in a sense, control not only main sea routes, but also the price of oil.
For comparison: in the Russian Navy there is only one aircraft-carrying cruiser “Admiral Kuznetsov”, and even that one is now under repair.
The so-called combat order of the US Navy includes one or more aircraft carriers, as well as escort ships, such , like Ticonderoga-class missile cruisers armed with long-range cruise missiles. The ships are united by the Aegis radar detection and tracking system.
Destroyers of the Arleigh Burke class are perhaps the most advanced warships in terms of their parameters, with the most effective missile weapons on board. They are also part of the global Aegis missile defense system.
Carrier strike groups also include submarines, whose task is to protect aircraft carriers. The United States has strategic submarines that independently patrol the waters of the oceans and carry long-range ballistic missiles such as the Minuteman III.
The US Navy is also the Marine Corps, which is perhaps one of the most effective combat formations capable of operating around the world, and quite quickly.
– US strategic aviation is represented mainly by B-52 aircraft . This is a heavy bomber that has been in service since the 50s and 60s. It is regularly upgraded, can carry both nuclear and conventional bombs, as well as guided missiles for various purposes. They are used mainly for carpet bombing of enemy territory. We have seen the use of the B-52 in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in almost any conflict where the United States is involved.
More modern aircraft made using stealth technology of low radar visibility are B-2 bombers. Planes are very expensive. True, I would question their effectiveness for the time being, especially against such opponents as Russia and China. Because with all the pluses, they do not have complete “invisibility”.
In fighter aviation, of course, the United States is the leader. The US Air Force operates more than 180 fifth-generation F-22 fighters. No other country in the world has such a large number of such aircraft.
F-35s are 5th generation tactical fighters. They ship to different countries. Their total number in NATO countries is about 700.
So far, we have only released a trial batch of our 5th generation aircraft – about ten Su-57s. The rest of the aircraft, although good, belong to the 4++ generation. These are Su-30SM, Su-34, Su-35S.
France is not much behind the United States in terms of aviation technology. According to the “price – quality” criterion, the French Rafal fighters can be noted. They have low radar coverage comparable to the F-35 but are cheaper to manufacture. At the same time, they have very powerful systems for detecting and tracking targets, high-precision long-range missiles and sufficient flight range, though with external tanks.
– If we are talking about attack drones and reconnaissance drones, then again the United States takes the first place. Predator and Raptor long-range reconnaissance and strike vehicles detect targets in different wavelength ranges. Their software uses elements of artificial intelligence. That is, the computer reduces all intelligence information into one recognizable picture, according to which it assesses the situation and makes a decision on destroying the target with one or another weapon. The operator, based on the received data, can only confirm.
What do we have? The Russian army has several thousand small reconnaissance vehicles. We have only a few heavy reconnaissance and strike drones “Orion” weighing one ton. Their mass production is just unfolding in the Moscow region.
The already well-known Turkish “Bayraktars” are already known to everyone. According to the “price-quality” criterion, they have proven their effectiveness. And we see that all the armed conflicts of recent years cannot do without them. The armies of the states of the post-Soviet space are well acquainted with them, since these drones are in service with them. In particular, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine have them.
We cannot boast of such success yet.
– DDOS attacks, hacker attacks, theft and reprogramming of data – all this is actively used. It is clear that the United States, where the world's IT giants are located, has practically inexhaustible opportunities in this area.
This also applies to the media space. The most powerful information resources such as CNN, ABC, Fox News are also located in the United States. The British Broadcasting Corporation BBC is comparable to them in terms of coverage and capabilities. The uniqueness of the BBC is that this channel creates educational and informative content. People who absorb this information do not always understand that part of it is aimed at creating certain associations in them. Information is presented at such an angle that a person perceives it as the only true and correct one.
– Yes, of course. In recent years, Russia has made serious progress in the creation of high-precision weapons. This, for example, “Caliber”. There are undeniable advances in the development of hypersonic weapons. This is Zircon and Dagger.
I'm not talking about our nuclear missile shield, which is able to bring any potential enemy to life and keep it from rash steps.
Russian military potential is now at the highest level. And it is comparable to the advanced countries of NATO, such as the USA, Great Britain and France.
Reports of the Ministry of Defense, international reaction, statements of experts
The Russian Armed Forces continue to conduct a special military operation on the territory of Ukraine. By the morning of May 8, it became known that the senior command staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Ukrainian troops, the brigade commander, Colonel Volodymyr Baranyuk and the chief of staff, Colonel Dmitry Kormyankov, were captured after trying to leave the Azovmash plant.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the Ukrainian side announced the completion of the evacuation of civilians from the territory of the Azovstal plant.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted that there is no unity in the EU regarding sanctions against Russia.
Follow join us for the events of Sunday 8 May. Online of the previous day can be read here.
Photo: Russian Defense Ministry video frame.
09:10 The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported that the Ukrainian Armed Forces struck on Saturday with the Tochka-U tactical missile system. in the city of Golaya Pristan in the Kherson region. According to the Russian military, as a result, one house was destroyed, where a family with a child lived. Ten more buildings were damaged, including the home of a labor veteran. Civilians suffered.
09:08 On May 18, the European Commission will consider a plan in case of a possible abrupt cessation of Russian gas supplies.
What is the difference between American and European migration programs for receiving migrants from Ukraine
Ukrainians continue to leave their homes and rush to the West in search of a better life. They are ready to accept refugees abroad, at least in words. A lot of concrete steps have also been taken, the main Western players already have programs to help internally displaced persons. Only now they often work “with a creak” and, as expected, are most effective where they are least bureaucratized. We looked at how North America and Europe are coping with one of the biggest migration crises of recent years.
How the EU suddenly consolidated
It's no secret that the declared unity of the European Union often remains at the level of high-profile statements, but the EU bureaucratic machine, forced to take into account the opinions of all 27 member countries of the association, takes fundamental decisions with difficulty. But in the case of Ukrainian refugees, the efficiency and coherence of the work of the “common European home” amazed even the skeptics.
On March 3, that is, just a week after the start of the Russian special operation, the European Union adopted the so-called Interim Directive on the protection of residents of Ukraine. EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson called the document “historic” and in the context of the situation, this does not sound like an exaggeration.
The members of the association were not only able to agree in a short time, but also agreed on extremely soft requirements for the settlers. The word “temporary” in the characteristics of the directive should not confuse. It is really designed for one year, however, during this period, Ukrainians and foreigners legally residing in Ukraine will be able to live in the EU, study, work, receive medical care – exactly the same as the local population. The main thing is that either a Ukrainian passport, if any, or evidence of the impossibility of leaving home (in the case of foreign citizens) is enough for this. With regard to the one-year limit, this condition is also flexible: the duration of the directive can be extended by a total of three years if instability persists in Ukraine, that is, conditions are not safe for those wishing to return there.
Among the leaders in the reception of Ukrainian refugees, of which more than 4 million arrived in the EU in general (Brussels in February proceeded from expectations of 7 million people for the whole of 2022), first of all, neighboring countries: Poland, Romania, Hungary, Moldova. Only on Polish territory, the number of Ukrainians who have arrived since the beginning of the Russian special operation is estimated at three million. Romania has accepted a little less than a million refugees, the rest of the countries are significantly behind in these indicators.
However, it must be taken into account: freedom of movement in the EU means that not everyone who fled, for example, to Poland, will remain there. In the conditions of a powerful influx of people from Ukraine, the population of the host EU member states is not always satisfied with the “replenishment”. Stories are heard everywhere about how uncultured some of the refugees behave, believing that “everyone owes everything” to them as victims. A double-edged sword: citizens of the European Union countries sometimes provoke conflicts themselves, attacking the “come in large numbers”. In this sense, the EU directive, of course, still has to play its role, because one of its goals is to evenly distribute migration flows throughout the EU.
Often, migrants not only move further along the continent, but even leave it altogether, especially since they also have asylum programs across the English Channel and across the ocean. But their effectiveness varies greatly.
Sex traffic and work for food
The UK, which left the European Union, did not face the difficulties that its former partners on the continent, solving the problem of refugees. London does not need to negotiate with anyone, which is why the program to help immigrants was adopted quite quickly, back in February.
Michael Gove, the British Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government, then promised “thousands of places” for Ukrainian migrants, which immediately drew criticism – the United Kingdom did not do much in terms of numbers in previous migration crises. It is not clear where the official planned to get the funds that Britain, which had left the EU and weakened by the pandemic, had spent.
The final program, called “Houses for Ukraine”, actually left the fate of the refugees at the mercy of themselves and the so-called sponsors.
According to the scheme, at least one of three criteria must be met in order to receive asylum. Facilitated conditions for entry are received by citizens of Ukraine, but not by third countries (even if they lived legally on Ukrainian territory). In the absence of the required nationality, it is necessary that one of the parents (for those under 18 years of age), or a husband/wife, or a common-law partner with whom the applicant has been in a relationship for at least two years, live on British soil. This person must also be of Ukrainian origin. The third option is the presence of a sponsor, that is, a person or organization ready to take on the maintenance of a refugee.
Since March, more than 200 thousand applications have been received from potential “guardians”, from the side of immigrants – about 40 thousand. Satisfied, however, a little more than three thousand petitions, but the fate of those who are lucky is not known for certain: the presence of a sponsor does not eliminate the need to apply for a visa, which has always been difficult in the UK. Among those who managed to enter the country, alarm is heard. Some refugees were not offered the living conditions that were promised, they tried to force them to work for food. And this cannot be attributed to fastidiousness and deceived high expectations. Human rights activists sent a warning letter to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, stating that potential sponsors may have criminal intentions: to use immigrants for the slave trade, sexual exploitation, etc. The head of government listened, promising to strengthen control over the implementation of the sponsorship scheme.
For more than two months in the UK, less than 50 thousand people received entry visas (some of them due to Ukrainian citizenship and the presence of relatives) and not all of them have refugee status.
The problem is not only the lack of transparency and bureaucracy of the British program, but also the lack of resources. It was not without reason that the idea of a “migrant offshore” was proposed in London, that is, sending asylum seekers to processing centers in Rwanda. After processing the dossier in Africa, in case of a positive verdict, the settlers will be able to enter British territory.
The deal with Rwanda caused even more criticism than the sponsorship scheme, and human rights activists sent a preliminary letter to the Ministry of Internal Affairs addressed to the Minister of Internal Affairs Priti Patel. It states that the “offshore” program raises questions from the point of view of legality. Now Patel, who initiated the deal, may face the need to give explanations already in court.
The Land of the Maple Leaf and the Trident
Canada has long been known for having a large Ukrainian community on its territory. The Maple Leaf Country is, in principle, one of the most popular migration destinations for residents of the post-Soviet space. Bordering on land only with the United States, the state cannot count on a large influx of Americans, who are sometimes condescending towards their neighbors and are trying to embody the “American place” in their homeland. But immigrants from the countries of the former USSR rush to Canada willingly.
In more than three million Canadian Alberta, Ukrainians make up about 10% of the city's population. In the capital of the country, Ottawa, the share is smaller, but significant – almost 3%, that is, about 22 thousand people, and in total there are almost one and a half million Ukrainians in Canada.
It is not surprising that with the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Canadian direction has become highly sought after by refugees who rely on relatively easy entry due to the presence of a large community and immediate relatives.
The calculation turned out to be correct. Without exchanging for specific indicators, the Canadian authorities on March 17 announced their readiness to accept an unlimited number of immigrants. And they eased the conditions for those applying for refugee status.
The Canadian Facilitated Entry Program applies to holders of Ukrainian passports, citizens of third countries legally residing in Ukraine, and those whose close relatives already reside in the North American country. If at least one of these conditions is met, applications from applicants are considered on a priority basis (for example, a maximum of two weeks is allotted for studying an online application), and if successful, an entry document is issued with a validity period of up to 10 years. The only significant limitation is the need to renew the visa every three years. To do this, however, you will only need to confirm your status or inform about its change: a person is registered as having a work permit in Canada, a student or just a guest.
From the beginning of the CUAET (Canada-Ukraine Authorization for Emergency Travel) program on March 17 until the end of April, more than 181 thousand applications were received, about 71 thousand received approval – a serious indicator, given the remoteness of Canada, proving, as in the case of the EU, that clear conditions of entry without excessive red tape is the key to efficiency. But on the Canadian and European Union programs, loyalty to refugees striving for the West ends, giving way to the “red ribbon”.
American approach: belated and inefficient
In the United States, it is customary to call red tape (in English red tape) bureaucratic red tape, the purpose of which is not to solve the problem, but to drag it out as much as possible with any intelligible answer. This is exactly what the American administration did for a long time, despite the fact that back in March, President Joe Biden said: the United States is ready to accept up to one hundred thousand refugees from Ukraine.
The measures that followed immediately affected only those already living in the United States, allowing them to remain in the country even after the expiration of their visa. For asylum seekers, the situation has not fundamentally changed. As a result, thousands of people gathered at the checkpoints on the border with Mexico, waiting for the consideration of visa applications and permission to enter. Quite a few people are “stuck” in continental Europe, waiting for constantly postponed interviews at diplomatic missions. The US Migration Service appealed to existing acts that facilitate migration. For Ukrainians, this is the Lotenberg amendment, which allowed simplified entry for representatives of various minorities. It was through it that many Ukrainian Catholics arrived in the United States.
Human rights activists, however, criticized all aspects of Biden's policy, recalling that the White House is trying to respond to a new challenge with old and therefore far from effective measures, and the president is forced was to give up.
At the end of April, Biden nevertheless announced a holistic program to support Ukrainian refugees. dubbed “Unity for Ukraine”, it is essentially very similar to the British “House for Ukraine” scheme. Both initiatives are based on the principle of sponsorship. mindful of the claims against London, Washington immediately placed emphasis on a thorough check of both asylum seekers and potential sponsors. The host party is not limited in how many “wards” they wish to support, but for this they will have to prove their financial viability. In addition, applicants will be given the opportunity to obtain a work permit. However, even if the asylum seeker guarantees that he can work and provide for himself, he must first secure sponsorship.
All this, again, does not eliminate the need to obtain a visa, but with a sponsorship scheme, applications will be considered faster. Filling in online forms opened on April 25. From the beginning of the program, an attempt by Ukrainians who are at land entry points at the Mexican border without a valid visa or without prior permission will be denied entry – they must apply online, according to representatives of the US Customs and Border Protection.
So far, the US Department has not provided statistics on the number of online questionnaires. But the data from the Mexican border is disappointing – from 50 to 100 people arrive there daily, including people from Ukraine. Despite the warning, they expect to be able to pass “on a first come, first served basis”. Giorgi Mikaberidze, 19, who is in Mexico, told The Guardian that he arrived in the country on April 25 – when online applications began – and found that the border with the United States was closed. According to him, the American authorities have extremely poorly informed the relevant services about the new entry conditions, and now he and others like him are in limbo. “We want to go to America, because we are already here, some don’t even have money to return,” Mikaberidze stressed. Of course, now these people are allowed to apply via the Internet, but during the consideration of applications you will have to find at least a roof over your head.
Like the British program, the American one has already become the subject of criticism from both human rights activists and official law enforcement agencies. thus, their representatives note, the principle of de facto sponsorship can contribute to illegal migration. For example, a low-income Ukrainian family negotiates with wealthier neighbors to sponsor their relative. When a refugee enters American territory, he settles in the house of his relatives, fictitious sponsors receive some kind of one-time “thank you”, and then the migrant gradually changes his status of stay in the country on a related basis. Such schemes and the like have been taken into account by law enforcement officers, but a mechanism to combat them has not yet been developed. How many people entered the United States under the “Together for Ukraine” program has not yet been officially reported, and relatively little time has passed since the beginning of the action.
In total, several thousand Ukrainians arrived on American territory during the Russian special operation, but the overwhelming majority are based on previously received documents. It is significant that less than a thousand Ukrainians have received refugee status in the United States since last fall. In the spring of 2022, there were only a few dozen of them. And this continues to fuel reasonable speculation that Washington is not eager to take in settlers, gently trying to leave them to Europe or Canada.
“Shot for rumors of a German attack”
Law enforcement agencies are inundated with complaints from ordinary Russians about fakes. Hyperactive citizens in the current difficult conditions scribble complaints about neighbors and colleagues. Even security officials are sometimes put into a stupor by these letters: their authors see sedition where there is definitely none.
Photo: Mikhail Kovalev
This whole campaign began after the law on criminal liability for fakes came into force in Russia. A year ago, no one imagined that there could be such fakes for which they would be punished with a real term (up to 15 years in prison).
In a world where information has become a weapon, it seems perfectly logical to fight falsification and fiction. But the main thing in this struggle is not to overdo it.
My material is a warning. It is about fakes of the forties of the last century, which differed in one feature: they massively punished those who were slandered. Only many years later, the court recognized that the cases themselves were fake, and rehabilitated all the accused. Alas, many – posthumously.
Fake, as the dictionaries say, is something “false, inaccurate, falsified, presented as valid, real, reliable in order to mislead”. Most cases of fakes were in the 40s. At that time they were punished under Article 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR “Propaganda or agitation containing a call to overthrow, undermine or weaken Soviet power or to commit certain counter-revolutionary crimes.”
Before me are volumes on the rehabilitation of those who received sentences for such crimes, which turned out to be fictitious. We deliberately did not study stories in which famous names would appear. All these cases are about ordinary Soviet citizens who had no idea that they could fall under the article. We divided their criminal cases into types of “fakes”.
The first story: a peasant-“propagandist”
Investigation file No. 50 of the NKVD of the USSR. A gray-haired, gray-bearded man in a peasant jacket is looking at me from a card. He was arrested in the spring of 1937 – he was 63 years old. Nikolai Kuzmich was charged with spreading false information about the military-political situation.
There is a quote in the materials that allegedly belonged to him: “Japan goes to Mongolia, and then to the USSR. Japan must defeat the Soviet Union from the East, and Germany and other countries from the West. This fake was spread by an illiterate individual peasant in the village of Ust-Turga. As stated in the decision of the “troika”, by doing so he “carried out a defeatist position to the peasants in favor of Japan.” Shot.
Story two: the groom is a “spy”
Extract from their protocol No. 6 of the meeting of the Troika of the UNKVD of the East Siberian Region of September 17, 1937. In the dock is a 37-year-old groom who knows the Tibetan language. Actually, this knowledge, apparently, became the main evidence of his guilt. The Troika considered that he was spreading false information about the Red Army in Tibetan among the clergy, telling them that they needed to flee. The judges also raised the question of his possible espionage activities, but did not bother to collect evidence. Shot.
Story 3: Media workers are “saboteurs”
The next two cases are very similar, their heroes even received the same terms – 10 years in labor camps. In 1937, radio engineer Pyotr Ostanin was accused of using foul language against the Komsomol organization and allegedly jamming radio transmissions during the reports of the leaders of the party and the Soviet government. He was acquitted already in 1955 at the protest of the Prosecutor General of the USSR. It is interesting how they substantiated: “the accusation is based on unclear contradictory testimonies of witnesses (surnames are listed). With regard to Ostanin's main and only statement about one of the enemies of the people, it is impossible to establish in what vein this statement was made by him. From the testimony of Ostanino himself, it is clear that the statement “did not contain anti-Soviet intent.”
It turns out that only after almost twenty years they were able to figure out the meaning of the phrase that the radio operator said, and did not see anything seditious in it.
Printing worker Viktor Kazantsev was accused in 1938 of disseminating oral information that undermines the authority of the Soviet government, as well as disrupting the publication of newspapers and thereby creating “discontent among the population.” And again the protest of the Prosecutor General of the USSR. “Kazantsev's accusation is based on the testimony of witnesses, whose interviews are superficial and compiled with gross violations.” Court verdict: dismiss the criminal case for lack of evidence (“for lack of evidence” written with a ballpoint pen).
Fourth story: “defeatist” fakes
There are three characters in this story at once, and a decision on their guilt was made by special coverage under the NKVD of the USSR on December 16, 1942. So, the spouses Chikina (husband Viktor is Russian, wife Maria is Ukrainian) and the Hungarian Bela Frizl lived in Chita. Chikin and Frizzle worked in one of the statistical offices of the city. However, Frizzle, for example, in this department held the positions of a groom and a blacksmith, so he hardly knew much about numbers.
Chikin did not have a higher education, and his wife was a housewife at all at the time of her arrest. Be that as it may, all three were charged with having been conducting anti-Soviet agitation in their entourage for several years, “discredited the activities of the party and government, expressed defeatist sentiments.” Probably, it was the “proximity” to the statistical office that gave rise to imputing such a serious article to these unfortunate people (58-10 part 1 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR).
Sentence: the men were sentenced to 10 years, Mary – 8. They themselves did not plead guilty (the whole charge was based on the testimony of witnesses) Twenty years later, the Prosecutor General's Office will come to the conclusion that all the testimony is unconvincing and contradictory, read – false. The court fully rehabilitated all three.
Story Five: Drunk Fakes
Just imagine the usual picture for today. Men sit and drink, talk about different things, including politics, the situation in the country. Something like this happened in a small village, where almost all the inhabitants were employees of the Darasunzoloto plant (back in 1861, a vein of gold was found in this place, since then it has been mined there on an industrial scale). And so they sat down on the table, on which there was moonshine and a snack, Leonid Troitsky, Alexander Krymko, Ilya Belomestny. Troitsky proposed a toast to the health of Trotsky and Zinoviev, who at that time were recognized as enemies of the people. They were reported by the spouses who lived in the neighborhood.
And here is the consequence. All three did not deny it – there was a case, they drank, they said a toast. But even then, these actions did not contain elements of a counter-revolutionary crime (the court came to this conclusion 30 years later).
The investigation considered that the three allegedly spread false information about the innocence of Trotsky and Zinoviev while drinking drinks. And there was no direct evidence for this.
The logic of the investigation: since they drank to their health, it means that they did not believe in their terrorist activities and did not consider their punishment fair. Fake in general. On December 9, 1937, the NKVD troika sentenced Troitsky (he was then 26 years old) to death, two others were given 10 years each.
And here is the decision of the Presidium of the Chita Regional Court of 1965: “The materials of the case do not contain facts of a revolutionary crime. The case on the charges of Troitsky, Krymko and Belomestny should be closed for lack of corpus delicti with the return of the confiscated property.
30-year-old Evdokia Sevostyanova, according to investigators, spread fakes while working as a saleswoman at the Tsentrspirt stall. The woman sold alcohol, vodka and beer from morning to evening. As it happens – buyers often asked something, she answered. And then one of them reported: Evdokia tells clients that “everything is bad, people are starving.” And they allegedly then spread this false information further over a glass of vodka. It turned out that the influence of the saleswoman of the stall expanded to entire families and teams of plants and factories. Troika appointed her 10 years…
Story Six: Elections
A native of the Omsk region, Pyotr Kireev worked as a driver on the Baleyzoloto meringue. The surviving documents say that he spread slander against the nominated candidates to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, urged not to vote for them. Taking into account the fact that Peter's social circle was small, and he himself was only 23 years old at that moment, it is difficult to imagine how many people he allegedly could influence. But the special trio of the NKVD decided that he could. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Twenty years later, it turns out that the entire accusation was based on the testimony of a single witness. Moreover, he himself later refused them, but this did not help Kireev. “Condemned wrong. Guilt has not been proven,” wrote a representative of the USSR Prosecutor General’s Office.
Another Soviet citizen, Nikita Pluzhnikov, received 10 years in prison in 1937 “for elections.”
Here is how it was. Drunk, 31-year-old Nikita came to a club in Khapcherang, where a commission was working to check the voter lists. He went to the table, grabbed the voters' statements, crushed and tore them, using foul language. In all this, the “troika” saw a clear anti-Soviet overtones.
The seventh story: “sowers of panic”
The 1940s were probably the most jailed for talking about a possible attack on the USSR by foreign powers and about the fact that there was little food. Here are just a few of those stories.
Prokopy Optov received 8 years in 1940 for spreading rumors about the defeat of the USSR in the war with Germany and Japan. Villager Vasily Zherebtsov was executed for allegedly spreading rumors about the imminent death of Soviet power. Ivan Vyrubaev was shot for predicting that the USSR would soon be attacked, so you need to prepare and arm yourself. Evdokia Khutornaya received 10 years in 1937 for saying that there was no bread on the collective farm. The most terrible thing in all these four stories is that in 1955 the witnesses in their case were re-examined. And they couldn't remember anything. So there was no actual proof. All four cases were dismissed for lack of evidence.
Does this mean that all the accused did not spread “fakes”? Don't know. But this definitely means that the investigation did not bother to investigate, and also that absolutely everything that did not correspond to the accepted policy of the party was considered slander.
Debriefing as a stability factor
Even according to rough estimates, it turns out that there were at least a million cases for the spread of “fake” in the 40s. In the rarest cases, they ended in nothing. Basically, people received from 8 years to execution. Not one of the cases that we studied was without evidence, or, to call a spade a spade, without denunciations.
Let's imagine a situation: a person is afraid for his fate, he wants to believe (and firmly believes) in what the party tells him. Perhaps this is precisely his life support. Knock it down – and that's it, panic, horror, death. So maybe that's why they denounced everyone who expressed the slightest doubts about the political and social situation?
– You noticed everything correctly, – says academician, doctor of psychological sciences Alexander Asmolov. – The basis of this phenomenon is the desire to destroy any diversity of opinions and judgments that threatens the security of a particular individual or society.
For many decades, a unique culture was created in the Soviet Union – the culture of denunciation. She assumed the vigilant observation of each for each. The denunciation was encouraged, because it was a kind of sign of trustworthiness: if you denounce, then you are the bearer of the dominant ideological setting. The denunciation was, if you like, one of the unique passes in a professional, social and personal career.
The old Odessa fairy tale film describes this perfectly. There is a song with these words: “And our king believes in one thing – In denunciation, in denunciation, in denunciation.”
– It is interesting that the culture of denunciation as a tool of social advancement, often coinciding with the mechanism of envy of another, is well described in psychoanalysis, continues Asmolov. – Thanks to denunciation, a person has a chance to overcome his own inferiority, insignificance or even insignificance.
The consequences of this in those years were sad: dominated (occupied key posts and positions) by those who did not have their own gift and talent, but rose only to compensate for their complexes.
These people were prominent representatives of social conformism, living according to the U2 formula: guess and please. In general, denunciation is sanctioned by any totalitarian system that aims to destroy someone else's opinion.
In the 1940s there was a criminal liability for non-information. My relative was sentenced to 9 years in camps in Siberia for not denouncing two girls from Lithuania. They tried to flee abroad, but she did not stop them.
Sinn Féin's secessionist success sparks serious political crisis in Ulster
Left-wing nationalist Sinn Féin's electoral victory in Northern Ireland has ignited debate about the future of the UK. The victorious Nationalist leader Mary Lou MacDonald raises the issue of uniting the Northern Irish counties with an independent Republic of Ireland. Which, in turn, raises the issue of the possible collapse of the UK again.
Northern Ireland plunged into political turmoil after Sinn Féin's victory in the Assembly (the region's unicameral legislature) sparked calls for a referendum on a united Ireland, and the pro-Ulster Democratic Unionist Party vowed to block the formation of a new executive, reports The Guardian.
Cheerful Sinn Féin supporters celebrated across the region on Saturday as the final vote count confirmed a historic victory that turned the former mouthpiece of the Irish Republican Army into the largest party with the right to nominate First Minister.
The nationalist party Sinn Féin won 29% of the first preference vote and will become the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly. The party, once led by prominent Irish sovereignty advocate Gerry Adams, aims to abolish what it sees as an illegitimate entity and eschews the term Northern Ireland, instead using the term “North”, which presents an existential challenge to the UK. MPs from the Sinn Féin party are boycotting work in the British Parliament.
Alluding to the unification of Ireland, Michelle O'Neill, Party Vice-President and First Minister-elect, said: “This is a defining moment for our politics and for our people. Today begins a new era, which I believe provides us all with the opportunity to rethink the relationship in this society on the basis of fairness, equality and social justice, regardless of religious or social background.”
It's time for Northern and Southern Ireland to discuss a new united island, she said: “Let's have a healthy discussion about what our future looks like.”
Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou MacDonald appealed to trade unionists: “Don't be afraid. The future is bright for all of us.” She added that there is a collective responsibility to ensure that the government “gets up and running quickly.” “Now is not the time for theatrics, this is not the time for games, this is the time for adult sensible partnership politics, this is what people want,” she said. “The idea in a cost-of-living crisis that people would stand by and let people fight and fight badly is unthinkable to us, so we call on everyone to take stock.”
Sinn Féin's election victory sent a strong signal to London to the government of Boris Johnson that a referendum on a united Ireland is now on the agenda. The party's skyrocketing popularity in the Republic of Ireland, where it leads the opposition in the Dublin parliament, is adding to the anxiety in Downing Street.
Under the Good Friday Agreement, signed in April 1998 in Belfast, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland must call a referendum if a majority of the people want Ireland to be united. However, while opinion polls show that the majority of the region's population prefers to stay in the UK, Sinn Féin hopes to change the situation within five to ten years.
Sinn Féin's victory sparked a clash with the UK-preserving Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which lost its dominance and dropped to second place with 21.3% of the first preference vote.
Saturday saw how The Scottish National Party has increased its number of Scottish council seats despite having been in power for 15 years, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Sinn Féin's performance in Northern Ireland showed big questions are now being raised about the UK's future as a political units.
“There is no doubt that there are serious fundamental questions facing the UK as a political entity right now,” said Nicola Sturgeon. “They're being asked here in Scotland, they're being asked in Northern Ireland, they're being asked in Wales, and I think we're going to see some fundamental changes in UK governance in the coming years, and I'm sure one of those changes will be Scottish independence.”
Recall that since 1921, the Green Island was divided into independent Ireland (since 1949 – a republic), populated mainly by Catholics, and Northern Ireland, which remained in union with Great Britain, where the majority of the population are Protestants. During the long-term ethno-political conflict in Northern Ireland over the status of the region between the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and right-wing Protestant organizations on both sides, 3524 people died. The formal end of the conflict is considered April 10, 1998 – Good Friday, when the Belfast Agreement was signed, which determined the compromise status of the region.
The renewed battle for Northern Ireland's constitutional place in the union came despite a surge in support for the centrist Alliance, which jumped to 13.5%, placing it in third place and showing the growing influence of a third bloc that eschews nationalist and unionist labels. Alliance deputy leader and MP Stephen Farry said that despite Sinn Féin's success, most voters supported the parties that wanted to reform the protocol or abolish it. He urged the DOJ to work with other parties to resolve the problem, rather than “dragging the UK into a new war with the EU”.
Without a First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the executive branch in Northern Ireland cannot fully function, and ministers are limited continuing, but not developing new policies, approving budgets, or making much-needed health care reforms.
Senior Democratic Unionist sources have said they will seek an urgent Downing Street summit with ministers to get the message across that their boycott could put the Regional Assembly on hold until Christmas. If no executive is formed, new elections must be called in Northern Ireland, which must then be held within 12 weeks, pushing back the chances of a full delegation of government until December.
Photo: Frame from video.
The chief of staff of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, Colonel Kormyankov, who was taken prisoner and testified at one of the points on the territory of the DPR, said that the Ukrainian marines carried large positions, since the Azov volunteer battalion (recognized as extremist in the Russian Federation and banned) surrendered positions.
“They simply left the areas where they performed the task, respectively, we had to occupy these areas so that we would not be bypassed from the flanks,” the captive officer said on the video of the interrogation.
He added that the marines could not make claims against Azov, since it is a different department. They only reported to the leadership about the change in the operational situation. And they were told to first take up defenses from the right flank, and then from the left.
This, the Ukrainian officer added, led to the restriction of the unit's ability to maneuver and the death of a large number of personnel.
Taliban imprison and taser Afghan women just because they get into a taxi without a man or show up on photographs with male classmates. All this is presented as “immoral behavior” by the new owners of Afghanistan.
Afghan Taliban women (“Taliban” – an organization recognized as a terrorist organization in the Russian Federation, its activities are banned) are imprisoned for “immoral behavior”, including for riding in a taxi without a male relative or for appearing in photographs with classmates – men.
According to the Daily Mail, dozens of people have been imprisoned without charge or trial, in a shocking breach of promises made to the outside world by the new Afghan authorities.
The footage, secretly filmed by a film crew in the Herat Central Jail, shows that all the women interviewed were imprisoned for minor violations of strict Islamic laws. Some Afghans have claimed to have been tasered and beaten, while others have described being forced to marry members of the Taliban in exchange for freedom.
In footage filmed by British-Iranian journalist Ramita Navai for an ITV documentary, dozens of women are seen crowding courtyards and over 50 others locked in nearby cells.
This is happening despite promises that the Taliban have changed and, once in power in Afghanistan, will protect the rights of girls and women.
The documentary “Afghanistan: No Country for Women” also talks about how militants The Taliban abducted young girls from the street and forced them into marriage. A Taliban commander reportedly demanded his father's consent to his daughter's marriage by holding a gun to his head.
The film crew found that some women committed suicide to escape domestic violence after the Taliban, who returned to power last September, closed shelters and charities.
“We are entering a world where women disappear, where they are imprisoned without trial, and their fate is unknown; where girls are kidnapped from their homes and forced into marriage; where women hide, are harassed and fear for their lives, and those who speak out face jail time,” Navai said. “This is the Afghanistan that the Taliban don't want the world to see.”
In November, she investigated the fate of Afghan women for the ITV series Exposure. She followed the story of a girl named Maryam who dreamed of becoming a filmmaker but disappeared. Navai discovered that the secret services had imprisoned her in Herat prison. In a letter smuggled out of prison, Maryam said her friends were arrested for taking a taxi without a male relative. When she turned to the police for help, she was arrested. As Maryam said, she was interrogated by three people: “They continued to beat me with a stun gun.” Describing how the Taliban looked through her mobile phone, she says: “He saw pictures of my classmates. He started cursing, saying that I was a whore. Why else would I take pictures with boys? I was beaten with a stun gun two or three times. I was beaten with a gun, then put to my head with the words: “Tell the truth.”
Maryam and her friends were released after family members pulled the strings, writes the Daily Mail. She then fled to safety.
“I'm not sure what my future holds,” she said. – Everything is destroyed. I don't see much hope. If I can't get out of Afghanistan, I'll have to find a corner and stay there and then sort of disappear. If the government remains as it is, there will not be a single ray of light here, only darkness.”
Bilal Karimi, the Taliban's deputy chief spokesman, dismissed all such accusations as “false.”
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail writes, the Taliban have ordered all Afghan women to wear a burqa in public, covering them from head to toe. The move is reminiscent of similar restrictions imposed during the Islamist group's previous heavy-handed rule between 1996 and 2001.
The decree states that if a woman does not cover her face, her father or closest male relative can be visited by officials, imprisoned or fired from public office. The document says that the ideal face covering is a blue cloak, through the mesh of which only the eyes are visible.
Women should also stay at home if there is no important work on the street, he said in the decree. Khalid Hanafi, acting minister of the Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which replaced the previous Ministry of Women's Affairs, said: “We want our sisters to live in dignity and security. Islamic principles and Islamic ideology are more important to us than anything else.”
Ministry spokesman Shir Mohammad added that wearing a burqa from head to toe “is part of our tradition and commands respect”: “Those women who are not too old or young should cover their face, except for their eyes.”
Women's rights in Afghanistan have been increasingly curtailed since the Taliban re-asserted control last August despite initially promising to respect such freedoms. Women are no longer allowed to travel more than 45 miles without a male relative, they are banned from appearing in films and TV shows, they are not allowed to work with men or in the government.
In March, the Taliban also reneged on their promise to reopen schools for girls aged 11 and over.
Many Afghans were also outraged by the decision of some young Taliban to educate their daughters in Pakistan to get around school closures. Experts say the Taliban fear enrolling girls over the age of 11 in schools could alienate their supporters in rural areas.
The Chinese criticized the North Atlantic alliance: “The military bloc is a poison, not an antidote”
China and Serbia marked the anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Remembering the NATO aggression against Yugoslavia, Beijing does not hide its concern about the West's attempts to take advantage of the Ukrainian conflict and transfer the bloc confrontation to East Asia.
Photo: Global Look Press
Diplomats from the Chinese embassy in Serbia and representatives of the Serbian government held a ceremony in Belgrade on Saturday to commemorate the 23rd anniversary of the 1999 NATO bombing of the Chinese diplomatic mission in the former Yugoslavia. .
According to the Chinese edition of Global Times, wreaths were laid by Tian Yishu, Chargé d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Serbia and other Chinese diplomats, Serbian Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin, Minister of Labour, Employment, Veterans Affairs and Social Protection Dariya Kisic Tepavcevic, as well as others Citizens and officials from both sides attended to pay tribute to the three Chinese journalists who died in the bombing.
Global Times recalls that on March 24, 1999, NATO launched a 78-day bombardment of Yugoslavia that killed thousands of people , including three Chinese citizens – Shao Yunhuan, Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying.
During the memorial event, Tian Yishu said that the Chinese people will never forget the barbaric atrocities committed by NATO. They will also not forget that NATO bombarded the Balkan country for 78 consecutive days under the pretext of “protecting human rights.”
Serbian Minister Vulin said that NATO's 1999 invasion of Yugoslavia was a crime against a sovereign state and its people and a serious violation of international law.
Belgrade will never stop demanding NATO to take responsibility for its crimes, and Serbia will always be a reliable friend of China, Vulin said.
NATO is still in a bloody debt to the Chinese people, said at a press conference on 24 February Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying.
Ironically, writes the Global Times, while people in China and Serbia honor the victims of NATO's barbaric atrocities committed by the US 23 years ago, the North Atlantic Alliance is not abandoning its expansionist agenda and moderating its aggression by stoking the flames of the Ukraine crisis and speaks against China with slanderous accusations.
Chinese analysts warn countries, especially in Asia, to be on the lookout when it comes to NATO expansionism and confrontational policies, Global Times notes.
“The Ukrainian crisis and the geopolitical tragedy provoked by it were not enough to quench the thirst of the United States and some Western countries to derive political benefit from the situation,” writes the Chinese edition., Commenting on the agreements reached recently between Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and his British counterpart Boris Johnson on cooperation between the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the British military. The deal is a “landmark defense partnership” and will strengthen the UK's “commitment to the Indo-Pacific”, according to a statement from Johnson's office. Meanwhile, Kishida made a sensational claim that “Ukraine can become tomorrow's East Asia”, saying that now is the time for the leading G7 countries to strengthen their unity.
“In all these ostentatious remarks,” writes the Global Times, “a dangerous trend is revealed: NATO, which has created a division in Europe and unleashed wars around the world, is trying to apply the techniques of “bloc politics” and “opposition camps” to the Asia-Pacific region. For a long time, the UK has repeatedly advocated the “globalization of NATO” and the “need to pre-empt threats in the Indo-Pacific region” and ensure that the island of Taiwan is “capable of defending itself.” In the Asia-Pacific region, Japan has been unusually active in implementing such a scheme. Tokyo seems to want to be a “guide” for NATO expansion in the Asia-Pacific region.”
According to a Chinese editorial, “Japan wants to take advantage of US connivance in order to break the” shackles “of the pacifist constitution and revive its militarism. The crisis in Ukraine is a “good dish” for some politicians who are constantly amplifying their voice and seeking to create regional tensions.”
“History has shown again and again that the security of a country cannot be based on the insecurity of other countries, – notes Global Times. – The division of the countries of the region into those who are members of the alliance and those who are not members of the alliance can only increase uncertainty when countries have plunged into a paradox and a trap of vigilance and hostility towards each other. The NATO military bloc is a poison, not an antidote to security concerns and tensions in the region.”
The evacuation of civilians deprived the Nazis of the chance to escape
The evacuation of civilians from the Azovstal plant in Mariupol has been completed. This was announced on Saturday evening by the Russian Ministry of Defense. Only the Azov militants (recognized as an extremist organization and banned in Russia) who had settled in the catacombs and, probably, foreign military advisers remained on the territory of the plant. The fact of the end of the humanitarian mission to evacuate women, the elderly and children from the territory of the plant was also confirmed by the Ukrainian side. The Russian military expert is sure that the statement of the Ukrainian side is an important signal for the National Battalion. No one will come to their aid.
As the head of the National Center for Defense Control of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Mikhail Mizintsev, announced on the evening of May 7, with the participation of the UN and the Red Cross, “a humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal metallurgical plant has been completed.”
It is noteworthy that that the first news about the completion of the evacuation was issued by the Ukrainian side. Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Irina Vereshchuk said that “the order of the President (Zelensky. –“MK”) is done”. According to her, more than 300 civilians were withdrawn from the territory of the plant.
So, there is no longer a “human shield” for the National Battists who have settled in the catacombs of the plant.
Military expert Vladislav Shurygin believes that official Kyiv, with a report on the completion of the humanitarian mission, actually put an end to the idea of releasing Azovstal. For the militants themselves, a dry statement about the completion of the evacuation of civilians in Mariupol without statements about the further plans of the Ukrainian authorities regarding the military remaining at the plant is a kind of black mark.
– The black mark is a statement by the Ukrainian side, and not by our Ministry of Defense. Kyiv washed his hands. Now the militants remaining on the territory of the plant will have to decide their own fate. Maybe they will surrender. Otherwise, our forces will “trample” them with heavy bombardments. This is a matter of several hours or days, – Vladislav Shurygin told MK.
By the way, yesterday the DPR battalion commander Alexander Khodakovsky reported in his Telegram channel that a group of Ukrainian militants with a white flag allegedly left the territory of Azovstal. However, later this information was denied by a representative of the Southern Military District.
Rumors about high-ranking officers of NATO countries being in the dungeons of the plant can hardly force the Russian military command to abandon the bombing of Azovstal in favor of an assault, Shurygin believes.
– I am critical of these rumors. If there are mercenaries there (at Azovstal – MK), then most likely they are just military advisers. After all, not only the “Veseushniks” (servicemen of the armed forces of Ukraine. – “MK”) and the “Azov” retreated there, but also the general headquarters of Mariupol. It is unlikely that among those who are now at the plant, there are major NATO generals. If we take them alive and interrogate them, it will be a slap in the face for the West. But in military terms, whether we get their corpses or take them alive – this will give us absolutely nothing. The main issue is saving the lives of our guys, – the expert concluded.
Airborne troops are needed for deep raids
The operational report on the course of the special military operation has been full of events in recent days – the evacuation of civilians from Azovstal, the fighting in the area of Snake Island, the liberation of Popasnaya. However, as some experts noted, against the backdrop of recent events, practically nothing is heard about the elite Airborne Forces, which brilliantly carried out the operation to capture the Gostomel airfield at the beginning of the special operation. MK experts told for what purposes trained airborne fighters are kept and how paratroopers are now involved.
Photo: AGN Moscow »
According to the former commander of the Airborne Forces, Colonel-General Georgy Shpak, the paratroopers managed to prove themselves during a special operation in Ukraine – and one of the first operations involving this type of troops will already go down in the annals of military history.
“The capture of the Gostomel airfield” in the first days of hostilities in Ukraine is a unique operation, the general said. – I guarantee you that it will go down in the annals of military history. 200 paratroopers captured a huge object. It's another matter that I had to leave him, but this is the decision of the Supreme Commander.
– Airborne are used as needed. At the same time, they are not designed to break into defense, offensive or other military operations, like, say, motorized rifle or tank units. Airborne troops are still needed to carry out fast-moving, momentary operations, such as the capture of the Gostomel airfield. In addition, paratroopers are used for sabotage, reconnaissance operations.
– Naturally, in exceptional cases they are used for the offensive, but in selected directions or in defensive operations. But this is in exceptional cases.
– Because the Airborne Forces have neither heavy artillery nor tanks. Another thing is that sometimes the Airborne Forces are given both tanks and artillery, and then they act as motorized rifle units, but that's another story. I have been closely monitoring the use of troops over the past two months. I think that we have learned the lessons from the first difficult days. Now everything has settled down there, they have taken appropriate measures, the number of losses has sharply decreased. And the tasks continue to be carried out.
– Capturing objects in the rear, sabotage operations, deep raids – these are all tasks for the Airborne Forces. Of course, if the operation develops further, they will be very widely used. Without any doubt.
Another MK expert, the former head of artillery of the Airborne Forces, Vasily Shnipov, said that the paratroopers were among the first to be involved in the special operation and remain in Ukraine to this day:
– The Airborne Forces were among the first to come there, and, as far as I know, they participate there. I do not have operational data, because this is classified information. But it seems to me that both combined arms units and formations, as well as airborne units, are participating and operating.
For eight years, people are tired of hiding
President Putin congratulated the leaders of the DPR and LPR on the 77th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War. As noted in the congratulation, “today our servicemen, like their ancestors, are fighting shoulder to shoulder for the liberation of their native land from Nazi filth.” However, Donetsk will celebrate May 9 in a paramilitary state.
The Victory Parade, as well as the procession of the Immortal Regiment, will not take place in the DPR. They decided not to risk their lives here. The MK correspondent talked with local residents to find out what the situation is in the people's republics the day before the holiday.
“We will hold a Victory Parade after our complete victory and the DPR’s entry into the constitutional borders,” said the head of the DPR, Denis Pushilin. And it is difficult to argue with this decision, because Donetsk is under shelling, the number of which is not decreasing. According to the Telegram channel “Headquarters of the TerO DPR”, just yesterday, the armed formations of Ukraine fired 60 rockets from the Grads at Gorlovka. The shelling led to power outages, de-energized 44 transformer substations, a hospital, 2 educational institutions and over 3,300 household subscribers, the DPR Ministry of Emergency Situations reported.
The Kuibyshevsky district of Donetsk was also shelled, as a result of which the infrastructure was damaged, a woman was wounded. “It’s very loud here,” says local resident Alexander, “in my apartment, the curtains have already moved. I felt the wave. It's a real horror.”
Nevertheless, Donetsk residents will celebrate Victory Day, albeit sitting at home. Oleg Viktorovich Taran, a native of Gorlovka, a pensioner, told MK how it will go.
– We live like on a powder keg! Constant shelling of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (Armed Forces of Ukraine. – “MK”) from Avdiivka. Arrivals to us in Makiivka are already in the city center, and in areas remote from the center. Yasinovataya (the city next to us) is wiped off the face of the earth! The equipment of the Russian Federation and the DPR is constantly suppressing the return fire of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Avdeevka! The cannonade does not stop day and night.
– For eight years, people are tired of hiding! What's the use, now such weapons that you won't hear when it arrives. We live as we lived. There are products in stores, we do not complain. Prices, however, Moscow, and even higher! There is electricity. There are problems with water, they give it every three days, from 6 pm to 10 pm, but they sell bottled water.
“During the entire period of hostilities in our DPR, bomb shelters, and especially basements, have been completed by people themselves. For example, they agree on the entrance, who brings the boards, who – cardboard boxes for wall insulation. Some warm things are placed in large bags. They close the basement, and the key is, as a rule, in the apartment where pensioners live, one of those that are always at home. As the shelling begins, everyone descends into the basement. It's simple.
– People will celebrate in the family circle. Mass events are dangerous! The Armed Forces of Ukraine are constantly hitting just a large crowd of people. The leadership of the DPR decided to hold a celebration after the victory over the nationalists!
This holiday is Holy for us! The whole city has been walking with St. George's ribbons for a week now!
– Television is working, the Internet is also working, and everyone will watch the parade. They will drink for veterans, for the memory of the dead!
—Yes, there are fears. Everyone is sure that there will be increased shelling! The Armed Forces of Ukraine always bombard us especially on holidays, especially on Christian ones! And on Victory Day they will definitely be. Everyone is ready for this.
“Kyiv's lies and defective Western weapons”
On the eve of May 9, the Russian military department prepared an information bomb for President Zelensky's team. Videotaped testimonies of the captive commander of the 36th Marine Brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (APU), Colonel Volodymyr Baranyuk, have been made public. The very one who was declared dead in Kyiv and even managed to be posthumously awarded the heroic title.
Photo: Frame from video
The captive brigade commander dealt a severe blow to the reputation of Zelensky and his team by his very fact of “resurrection”. But this is not enough. The commander of the brigade, which almost at full strength (more than 1,300 people) surrendered in Mariupol, accuses Kyiv and the military leadership of incompetence, lies and betrayal.
Military expert Mikhail Khodarenok, after analyzing the testimony of the Ukrainian brigade commander, highlighted the main in his testimony. He wrote about this in his Telegram channel.
According to the brigade commander and his chief of staff, the defense of Mariupol was poorly prepared, positions were taken hastily, without equipment. The defense was led by militants of the Azov regiment (banned in the Russian Federation), who are specialists in “tearful videos” and posts on social networks.
Internet. At one of them, for example, a starving militant offered to exchange held civilians for food. Based on approximately 66 kg of rations per person.
During the fighting in Mariupol, according to the Ukrainian brigade commander, the “Azovites” “ran like hell to Azovstal and settled there, leaving their comrades.”
A special topic is the quality of Western weapons that NATO supplies to Kyiv. American Javelin anti-tank systems and Swedish-British NLAWs arrive at the front line in a broken state. They were not allowed to use them by the military of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in battle. There was only the theoretical part of the training, they were also allowed to hold it on a video camera.
The last cartridges were distributed to the marine units on April 7th. That is, at least five days before the breakthrough attempt. And today is May 8 already.
As for the help that the blockaded Ukrainian marines asked the Kyiv leadership for, “Kyiv abandoned its people and lied that there would be help.”
Colonel Baranyuk I tried to break out with my inner circle on my own – it didn’t work out.
“The military in Mariupol obeyed the National Guard and Azov, and under their“ wise leadership ”everything slipped into encirclement and captivity,” Khodarenok notes. “This is all you need to know about the brilliant Ukrainian strategy and the NATO forces that prepared it.”
A small piece of land is of strategic importance
The operation, unique in terms of the number of downed planes and helicopters, carried out on May 7-8 in the area of Zmeiny Island, has already been called an “air boiler” for the armed forces of Ukraine ( APU). The MK expert, honored military pilot Vladimir Popov, believes that Kyiv sent huge forces and means to the special operation to seize the island and, nevertheless, was defeated. According to the expert, about 200 Ukrainian servicemen died in this battle.
Photo: Press Service of the Ministry of Defense
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation reported significant losses of the Armed Forces of Ukraine after the fighting in the area of Snake Island. As a result, three Su-24 bombers, an Mi-24 attack helicopter, a Su-27 fighter, three Mi-8 helicopters with troops on board, three Bayraktar drones, a Stanislav landing assault boat of the Ukrainian Navy and project 1241 missile boat.
According to honored military pilot Vladimir Popov, such significant losses indicate that the Armed Forces of Ukraine have been preparing for a long time and carefully to try to recapture the island, which at the beginning of the special operation in Ukraine fell under the control of the Russian military.
“As far as I know, during the night and morning hours, Zmeiny Island was attacked by landing transport boats and a landing helicopter group in order to recapture the island from the Russian armed forces,” said Vladimir Popov. – Our armed forces successfully repelled the attempts of the Armed Forces of Ukraine to land their troops on the island. By the way, the island is not very large – about 20 hectares of rocky ground. There are, of course, shallows, three or four, as we say, beaches, in order to land troops. An airborne assault group was sent to these places at night. But unsuccessful. The air defense forces and means responded quickly and effectively, and our ships, on duty in the Black Sea, were able to approach in time and counter the air assault group of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, aviation and the remnants of the Ukrainian navy.
– The fight was quite intense. Ukraine has thrown a lot of forces and means for such a small island and the garrison that stands there as a border outpost. Such attempts are made only when everything is well calculated. The timing was really well chosen. The forces were powerful and well prepared. The situation was serious – our servicemen on the island were in serious danger. The ratio of the number of our military to the enemy was one to three. But we must pay tribute, the forces that were nearby on combat duty in the Black Sea basin reacted very quickly and, thanks to coordinated actions, managed to repel the AFU grouping.
– I think that they are big if the landing craft sank (about the missile boat – there is no exact information yet). Taking into account the boat and helicopters that transported the troops, I think that the losses in personnel are about 200-250 people. At the same time, Ukraine has few ships and boats left, which are now in Odessa ports and near Odessa. These are the remains of the Ukrainian Navy.
– In fact, this island is of great importance. Firstly, several offshore oil and gas condensate fields have been discovered and are being exploited in the offshore area. Production is beneficial for Ukraine and neighboring Romania. Secondly, the island is strategically important for our armed forces. Having taken possession of the island, we blockaded the Black Sea coast in the region of Odessa. Even if we do not take Odessa (as the city territory of Odessa is not very important), it is important for us to get as close and as quickly as possible to Pridnestrovie in order to cut off the main part of Ukraine from the Black Sea coast to ensure the security of our southwestern borders in the sea. Although the island is very small, it is very significant.
– You can, for example, install the Bastion system, S-300 launchers. Well, the ships will be on duty. The island is a very convenient position, sometimes you can moor in the bay and hide from the storm. But, the main thing is that we will cover our territories from NATO influence – and Romania is one of the aggressive NATO countries, which puts forward claims not only to us, but also to Ukraine, Moldova.
– A coincidence is possible. It's just that the Armed Forces of Ukraine managed to prepare for this time. If they had the strength and means earlier, they would have done it earlier. But they did not have the strength and means, and in fact it is necessary to prepare both equipment and personnel for such operations.
– I believe that we have ground no more than 35-40% of the aircraft, the aircraft that they had left after the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Armed Forces of Ukraine still have a lot of aviation. According to my calculations, after the collapse of the USSR, more than 2.5 thousand aircraft and helicopters for various purposes remained on the territory of Ukraine. It is clear that not all of them survived to this day. But a few dozen may still remain.
The Unity for Ukraine Project Saves America from Aliens
The American dream is fading before the eyes of Ukrainians who wished to leave their homeland forever and go to the United States for happiness. Hundreds of people who want to go overseas stumble upon bureaucratic traps skillfully set by the team of President Joe Biden. There are many restrictions. For example, in terms of vaccinations, allocation of lifting, logistics. America has defended itself admirably. Oil is added to the fire by the Americans themselves, who do not want to see refugees in the states who have disgustingly proven themselves in Europe. We learned what both immigrants and US citizens think about this.
A month after Biden's statement that America is ready to accept up to 100,000 refugees from Ukraine, the Unity for Ukraine program was born in the United States. It gives Ukrainians the right to enter, provided that they have found an American sponsor – a person or organization willing to provide financial assistance on the spot.
The procedure for obtaining sponsorship is extremely dreary and complicated. The sponsor must complete the declaration, attach a variety of documents, and submit it online. The processing time for these documents is unknown. Applicants must be vaccinated against measles, polio, and COVID-19, and upon arrival in the United States, they must be screened for tuberculosis within two weeks.
The sponsor must be ready to receive a Ukrainian, deliver him to his place of residence, and provide housing and basic necessities, as well as medical care for the entire stay, to assist the Ukrainian in accessing education, learning English, securing employment and enrolling children in school.
How many US citizens are ready to make such sacrifices for refugees?
Those who have been tamed, the Americans want to see away from themselves and actively tell them about it on the social network Facebook, banned in Russia.
For example, Ukrainian pharmacists are strongly advised to choose not the United States, but Europe for their future life. “There is no threat of war in Europe,” he addresses them in the comments. – You will not find a sponsor (in the USA). The sponsor is responsible for you financially. It is better to go here if you have relatives who can sponsor you financially. You are not entitled to anything here, only a residence permit for 18 months and a work permit. You will not work here as doctors or pharmacists: You need to study here and get local licenses for this. A very low-paying job awaits you, and it will be impossible to live on this money. This is your prospect – poverty.”
Ukrainians are advised to leave their dreams of “American happiness”, stop looking for a trustee and choose more mundane options for life: Poland or Kazakhstan.
More experienced Ukrainians bring their naive compatriots to life: “They write to you that it’s bad in the USA,” writes the girl Irina in the Let’s Help America group. – Poorly done program for the sponsor, if you speak English well, read it. Here, the US refugees will not be helped in any way, everything is at their own expense: housing, food, and so on. They won’t give you money just like that, and you can’t work. The church will probably feed for a couple of days. Kindergartens, schools – everything is paid. Consider Canada, there are different conditions for refugees.
The dreamy refugees from Ukraine are also brought back to reality by an American from the state of Colorado: “There are no stupid people who are ready to be sponsors here. You don’t really understand the order of local prices, here the general mass of people is in debt, loans, they hardly cover their expenses. I have two immodest questions for the Ukrainians: how did you leave if men are not allowed out, and where do you get the money for the flight?”
The only hope is the help of compassionate US citizens with Ukrainian roots and sufficient financial stability, but such obviously quite a bit. Some Americans also write that Ukrainian men of draft age will not get a humanitarian password. According to local lawyers, they will need to prove the legality of leaving Ukraine (more than three children, disability…).
The Gates of America are closed even for Ukrainian animals. “They only accept European-style dog vaccination documents,” the refugees complain. – They banned the import of animals from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus due to falsification of vaccinations.
A US-sanctioned former security chief will lead the special region
Former security secretary John Lee has been elected as Hong Kong's new chief of staff in an unopposed election. Lee won with 1,416 support votes from members of the Electoral College. In the West, this event is considered as evidence of the tightening of Beijing's policy regarding Hong Kong liberties, preserved after the transfer of the former British colony to China.
Photo: Global Look Press
Former security chief John Lee, who led the crackdown on the “pro-democracy movement” in Hong Kong, has become the region's new leader, writes The Guardian. Beijing welcomes the result: the only candidate to succeed Carrie Lam as head of the region won 99% of the vote in a secret ballot.
Like his predecessor Carrie Lam, 64-year-old John Lee was one of Hong Kong's first officials (Hong Kong) and mainland China, which are on the US sanctions list for allegedly undermining Hong Kong's once-guaranteed rights and freedoms.
Analysts say John Lee's rise through the ranks indicates that Beijing's tough policy on Hong Kong will continue. It is also the first time that a former security officer has been appointed to a top position in one of Asia's most significant business centers.
Hong Kong attracted global media attention in 2019 with its months-long street protests, the largest since its handover to China from the UK in 1997. The following year, Beijing enacted a controversial national security law in the city that prohibits the region's secession from the PRC and subversion, as well as collusion with foreign forces.
In recent months, the Hong Kong administration's grueling response to the coronavirus pandemic has sparked complaints from residents and foreign companies alike. Several foreign chambers of commerce have warned the Hong Kong authorities of the damage from the “zero spread of COVID” policy.
Lee's new position was approved after he was chosen by an “electoral committee” of 1,461 people, roughly 0.02% of the city's population. Critics say the committee does not represent a wide range of views in Hong Kong and that its members are mostly pro-Beijing.
After a brief secret ballot on Sunday, 99% or 1,416 members voted for Lee, according to officials. and only eight voted against.
Beijing welcomed this near-unanimous result, saying it showed that John Lee “enjoys a high level of recognition and approval in Hong Kong society.” “This is a true demonstration of democratic spirit,” the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said in a statement.
The election was the first for a chief executive since the introduction of the Hong Kong national security law, and electoral reforms have led to the fact that Hong Kong is ruled only by patriots, the Beijing-based Global Times notes.
“Such broad and sincere support for Lee has laid a good foundation for the new government, which will help him form a new leadership team and roll out measures to address issues such as epidemic control, economic recovery and social livelihoods,” said Lau Siu Kai, Vice President of the China Hong Kong and Macau Research Association.
The Western press claims that under Xi Jinping's rule, Beijing is “recasting Hong Kong in its own authoritarian image” after massive and sometimes violent democratic protests three years ago. Dissenting voices have all but disappeared after last year's electoral changes allowed only “patriots” to run in legislative elections. Street protests in Hong Kong have been largely banned by law, and the authorities have used the anti-COVID ban on public gatherings of more than four people, as well as the security law, to do so.
Despite the risks, the League of Social Democrats – one of the few remaining pro-democracy groups – held a three-person protest before the polls opened on Sunday, chanting “Power to the people, universal suffrage now.”
Lee's Challenge in the management of a difficult region is not only political in nature. Hong Kong is also facing economic hardship due to two years of severe pandemic restrictions that have damaged its reputation as a business hub.
Under the slogan “Opening a new chapter for Hong Kong together,” Lee promised to introduce “results-oriented” management, strengthen unity, and reboot the city's economy. According to The Guardian, the 44-page manifesto that John Lee released last week contained general goals and proposed several specific political goals.
According to a poll conducted in March by the Public Opinion Research Institute, about 24% of the population Hong Kong trusts John Lee, compared to the 12% trust level enjoyed by the outgoing head of the region, Carrie Lam. John Lee is expected to usher in a new chapter of development for Hong Kong after the region has been hit hard by social upheaval and the COVID-19 epidemic, according to China's Global Times.
John Lee will take office on July 1, 25- anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong to China from British colonial rule.
At that time, China agreed that Hong Kong could retain certain freedoms and autonomy for 50 years after regaining control of the UK under the formula “one country, two systems. Beijing and John Lee insist that this formula remains unchanged. Critics, including many Western powers, say it has been destroyed.
The first lady of the United States reached Uzhgorod via Slovakia
An unexpected visit to Ukraine was made by the wife of the President of the United States, Jill Biden, who met with the Ukrainian “first lady” Olena Zelenskaya. However, the wife of the head of the White House did not make it to Kyiv, limiting herself to visiting Western Ukraine.
Jill Biden meets with Ukrainian refugees. Photo: press service of the First Lady of the United States.
U.S. First Lady Jill Biden made an unannounced visit to western Ukraine on Sunday, holding a surprise Mother's Day meeting with her Ukrainian “colleague” Olena Zelenskaya, writes The Guardian
U.S. President Joe Biden himself did not visit Ukraine, although he expressed a similar desire when he visited Poland this spring. He hinted that his security advisers kept him from visiting Ukrainian territory.
Jill Biden traveled under a cloak of secrecy, becoming the latest senior American to visit Ukraine during the 10-week conflict with Russia, writes The Guardian. Among those who managed to pay visits to Kyiv are House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. Other Western leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also met with Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv.
“I wanted to come for Mother's Day,” Jill Biden told Olena Zelenskaya on Sunday, adding that “the people of the United States stand with the people of Ukraine.” For her part, Zelenskaya thanked Jill Biden for her “courageous act.”
Jill Biden, who is on a trip to Europe to spend time with Ukrainian refugee families in Romania and Slovakia, traveled about 15 days, according to CNN. miles across western Ukraine from Slovak territory to Uzhgorod.
According to press reports, the American first lady traveled by car to the Transcarpathian city of Uzhgorod, about 10 minutes from a Slovak village bordering Ukraine.
Earlier, in the Slovak border village of Vyshne Nemecke, the US President's wife visited a border processing facility, familiarizing herself with operations organized by the United Nations and other aid organizations to assist Ukrainian asylum seekers. Jill Biden attended a service in a tent converted into a chapel, where the priest proclaimed, “We are praying for the people of Ukraine.”
Before that, in the Slovak city of Kosice, Jill Biden met and offered support to Ukrainian mothers in Slovakia.
Then, already in Transcarpathia, the two first ladies – American and Ukrainian – got together in a small class, sat opposite each other at the table and talked in front of reporters before meeting in private. The school where they met turned into temporary housing for Ukrainian migrants from other parts of the country. According to The Guardian, Olena Zelenskaya and her children were in an undisclosed location for their safety.
According to US officials, the meeting between the two first ladies took place after they exchanged messages in recent weeks. Jill Biden drove around Uzhgorod, and the women's meeting lasted about an hour.
As CNN notes, Jill Biden's visit to Ukraine is the first visit by the first lady of the United States to a “hot spot” since Laura Bush made a secret 10-hour visit to Afghanistan in 2008. Jill Biden herself, as America's “Second Lady” in 2010, accompanied then Vice President Joe Biden on his trip to Baghdad for the Independence Day holiday.
The White House last week announced that the president The US “would like to visit” Ukraine, but currently has no plans to do so. On Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made a surprise visit to Ukraine and was scheduled to meet with Volodymyr Zelensky.
Photo: Social networks
According to Aleksey Arestovich, adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine, there will be no nuclear attack on Kyiv, since she returned to the Ukrainian capital U.S. Charge d'Affaires in Ukraine Christina Quinn, as well as other American diplomats.
“Christina Quinn and other American diplomats returned to the US Embassy in Kyiv today, this indicates the safety of staying in the city. Now the question of a possible nuclear attack on Kyiv is finally closed,” he said in an interview with Feigin Live.
Arestovich believes that Russia will not dare to launch a nuclear strike on the city where American diplomats work.
Photo: The White House
According to US President Joe Biden, he will continue to provide comprehensive support to Ukraine together with Western partners.
“We spoke today with G7 leaders and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Our unity is unshakable. We will continue to strengthen Ukraine and deepen Putin's suffering,” Biden tweeted.
Recall, On May 8, the Ukrainian leader addressed the G7 leaders via video link. Also ahead of the meeting, Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed further steps to help Ukraine. We are talking about military and economic support.
Senator Alexei Pushkov said in his Telegram channel that China is preparing for a “highly conflicted” 21st century.
Senator Alexei Pushkov said in his Telegram channel that China is preparing for a “highly conflicted” 21st century.
Recall that on the eve of the Global Times published an article in which said that the West, after the situation in Ukraine, is planning various crises around the world, because it needs new “enemies”. At the same time, the United States of America and its partners will never be able to accept the existence of something “different from itself.”
According to the senator, the source of conflicts for which the Chinese authorities are preparing is not located in the East. Some Western empires cannot admit that the outside world has become stronger than them.
“Former empires – from the British to the Roman ones – for a long time with great difficulty created the world “for themselves”, but did not notice that the outside the world has become stronger than them,” Pushkov added.
He clarified that examples of such situations are the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, from where the United States and their colleagues “symbolically and shamefully fled”, because they could not break these countries for themselves for 20 years.
The interdepartmental coordination headquarters of the Russian Federation for humanitarian response stated that the evacuation of civilians from the territory of the Azovstal plant » ended. That is, only militants of the extremist organization Azov, banned in the Russian Federation, remained on the territory of the Azov plant. What actions can be expected from neo-Nazis now, “MK” was told by a DPR soldier with the call sign “Sith”.
According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, the humanitarian operation to evacuate civilians from the Azovstal metallurgical plant has been completed. It was held with the participation of the UN and the Red Cross. At the same time, the deputy commander of the Azov regiment, Svyatoslav Palamar, said that there were many wounded among the militants. He asked the international community to ensure their evacuation and said that the militants would hold the line.
– In fact, it is difficult to say what the Azov people are now guided by, – a DPR soldier with the call sign “Sitkh” told MK.
– What could make the neo-Nazis let the civilians go?
-Perhaps international pressure. Several times UN representatives came to Azovstal. This happened after the visit of the UN Secretary General to Moscow and Kyiv. The Russian side and the DPR helped them in their humanitarian mission. According to those who nevertheless managed to evacuate, the National Battalion kept their families there. In general, “Azov” is not just a paramilitary unit, it is rather a way of life. They declare that they are ready to die as “martyrs and heroes.”
– What then prevented them from releasing people earlier and portraying martyrs?
– I think they believed that there would be a deblocking blow and held a “human shield” to cover themselves with it before this blow. Now they realized that nothing like this would happen. Zelensky and Ukraine abandoned them. All that remains for them now is to prepare for death.
– What further actions can be expected from the militants? If there are no more peaceful people at the plant, whom they used as human shields, it turns out that now the “Azov” are defenseless and nothing prevents our troops from moving on to more drastic measures.
– No, they are definitely not defenseless. The militants still remain in fortified positions, and we see that it is not easy to dislodge them from there. Even the work of artillery and assault groups has not yet brought the desired result. The Azovites are not ready to give up. The fact that they have no food or run out of ammunition, we also cannot say. On the eve of the special operation, all the reserves of the enterprise were replenished. In my opinion, there are no prerequisites that now they will begin to surrender en masse.
– Should we expect that the Russian army and the DPR corps will switch to tougher measures to “smoke out” militants from their dungeons?
– The decision on the further fate of Azovstal remains with the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Federation. The DPR does not have such technical means to destroy these catacombs. It makes no sense to storm them and risk people. Everyone has already understood this. In my opinion, further events can have two scenarios: either the national battalions will stay there until they begin to die of hunger, or Russian troops will destroy these fortifications using heavy air bombs.
What is Loitering Ammunition
Ukraine has turned into a testing ground for American weapons. Combat systems supplied to Kyiv from the NATO arsenal are tested there for the greatest effectiveness against Russian weapons. Now, in addition to the samples sent by the Armed Forces of Ukraine directly from the warehouses and parts of the NATO armies, the new package of deliveries to Ukraine also includes the so-called “kamikaze drones”, which, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, have been modified specifically for the requirements of the Ukrainian army.
Photo: Frame from the video
It is strange that after that the United States continues to declare that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine. The facts that the Americans do not even consider it necessary to hide speak for themselves.
What is such loitering ammunition and why is it dangerous for Russian military personnel, together with experts, found out “MK”.
Let me remind you that the last $800 million military aid package announced by the United States to Ukraine was approved on April 21. In addition to 30,000 helmets and bulletproof vests, it includes such heavy weapons as 155-mm howitzers, 200 M113 armored personnel carriers, 11 Russian Mi-17 helicopters (at one time they were very requested from us, and then the Americans bought them to arm the Afghan army with them). army, since our helicopters were familiar to the Afghans and were better suited for operation in high altitude conditions).
This package of American deliveries also includes another 500 units of Javelin anti-tank systems, unmanned coastal defense systems, radars and much more. But most importantly, it has a novelty that most excited military experts. This is more than 120 pieces of Phoenix Ghost loitering ammunition (“Phoenix Ghost”), which is openly mentioned for the first time. It is not even clear yet whether the purchases of the Phoenix Ghost by the US Army are planned, or the Phoenix Ghost was made exclusively for the needs of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).
According to John Kirby, the appearance of the Phoenix Ghost ammunition and its main characteristics are not disclosed for reasons of secrecy. Although experts have no doubt that soon all this secrecy will be revealed, since in the very near future ammunition may appear on the front line. Unless, of course, a fundamental political decision is finally made to destroy the railway junctions and logistics centers used to deliver ammunition from Europe to the territory of Ukraine.
What is loitering ammunition?
According to leading military expert Viktor Murakhovsky, loitering ammunition should be classified as a separate category of weapons. Those who talk about them as drones are wrong in principle. In his Telegram channel, he writes: “They are more like a smart rocket than a plane. Like a rocket, these systems are expendable. Loitering ammunition is a disposable weapon designed to find and hit a target, giving it the nickname “kamikaze”.
By the way, AeroVironment itself, the manufacturer of the Switchblade loitering ammunition (“Folding Knife”), calls them “loitering missiles”. They are a kind of folding structure that is carried by combat crews and can be easily transported by any small transport, and, if necessary, unobtrusively deployed near the battlefield.
The ammunition has an electric motor, optoelectronic means of observation and target search and a warhead equipped with a high-explosive fragmentation or cumulative fragmentation charge. Such ammunition is launched into the air using a compact launcher.
Once in the air, the rocket projectile can loiter for quite a long time, looking for a target – hence its name. The time spent in flight depends on the specific model and may vary. For example, a number of such Israeli ammunition can stay in the air for up to nine hours.
As for the Phoenix Ghost loitering ammunition that the Americans are going to send to Ukraine, experts, based on various indirect data, conclude that that they can only last an hour in flight.
Loitering ammunition is launched in different ways, depending on the model. These may include a ground ejection system, a modified mortar tube, and a multi-rotor vertical lift. The device can also be controlled in the air in different ways. For example, it can “hunt”, looking for a target, with the help of an operator who “leads” the ammunition using a control station. Or, let's say, go on an autonomous flight. Both of these options can be used in combination.
It is still difficult to say how the Phoenix Ghost, which the Americans are going to supply the Armed Forces, is managed, but it is generally believed that in terms of its characteristics and combat capabilities it is close to the ammo of the Switchblade series of the American company AeroVironment.
They exist in two modifications. One is a variant of the Switchblade 300. They were developed in 2010-2011, after which these light loitering ammunition began to be purchased – $ 6,000 per ammunition – by the US Army, Special Operations Forces and the Marine Corps in large numbers.
Switchblade 300 is very compact, weighing 2.2 kg. It only takes a couple of minutes to get it up and running. After takeoff, such ammunition can be in the air for about 15 minutes, during which it can fly about 10 km. True, such a small ammunition is not capable of penetrating the armor of a tank.
There is another, more powerful modification of such ammunition, which has increased flight and combat characteristics – this is the Switchblade 600. It entered service with the US Navy and US special forces last year. The ammunition has a weight of 20 kg, preparation for work – up to 10 minutes, flight range – 40 km, loitering time in the air – about 40 minutes. An essential advantage of the Switchblade 600 is its ability to penetrate tank armor.
Depending on which of these two ammunition options the classified Phoenix Ghost is closer in terms of characteristics – which is not yet clear – the effectiveness of its use in Ukraine will depend.
What information is currently available about Phoenix Ghost?
It is known that it was made and finally tested over the past year by the Californian company AEVEX Aerospace, which had not previously dealt with such products. Her specialization is radio-electronic equipment for aviation. That is, it can be assumed that the electronic filling of the new ammunition is likely to become one of its advantages.
The question remains in what modification – light or heavier – is this ammunition made for Ukraine?
Back in March, the United States discussed the transfer of hundreds of Switchblade 300-type products to Ukraine. However, then Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin clarified that these were additional aid packages providing for the supply of loitering ammunition, including anti-tank ones. That is, one must understand that the Americans nevertheless decided to supply the Armed Forces of Ukraine with a heavier version of the ammunition, which, of course, will complicate the actions of the Russian troops. There is no doubt that the use of Phoenix Ghost can give Ukrainian troops a number of tactical advantages on the battlefield.
According to a number of military analysts, the use of the American Phoenix Ghost in the Armed Forces of Ukraine will give approximately the same effect that Azerbaijan provided itself with the use of similar ammunition and Turkish drones during the war in Karabakh. In fact, they believe, thanks to such weapons, Azerbaijan managed to turn the tide of the military operation in its favor, which, as a result, ensured its victory.
Some experts even argue that the use of loitering ammunition from a military point of view may be as important as the invention of gunpowder or the first use of a machine gun.
Not everyone agrees with this. The same Murakhovsky believes that Phoenix Ghost is too publicized. He recalls that in 2020, Azerbaijan stunned the Armenian military with Israeli-made Harop drones, which posed a constant aerial threat to Armenian troops with their nine-hour loitering and anti-tank capabilities. At the same time, Murakhovsky notes that “none of the models that are likely to be used in Ukraine are comparable to the Harop.”
The expert believes that thanks to the use of the American Phoenix Ghost, Ukrainian troops will undoubtedly be able to achieve tactical success, which will be accompanied by an informational advertising campaign that inflates the role of these weapons on the battlefield. However, Murakhovsky notes, another tactical tool will not be able to “turn the tide” of the war, and analysts should not confuse its influence with Azerbaijan's successful use of loitering ammunition.
Murakhovsky also points out that the Russian military has two systems comparable to anything Ukraine can build or acquire. The first system, the Lancet, was successfully used in Syria in 2021 by Russian special operations forces. The duration of its flight is from 30 to 40 minutes, the range is about 40 kilometers. Our troops can use these systems to support maneuver and siege operations, similar to the use of artillery.
Another type of kamikaze drone is the KUB. It has already been used in Ukraine. The device is used for autonomous positioning and hitting targets in specially designated areas. Russia did not advertise its use, however, the KUB shot down during the special operation did not explode, as a result of which the enemy, unfortunately, got the opportunity to get acquainted with its design.
In principle, there is nothing critical in this, since the design of such ammunition is not top secret.
The American Phoenix Ghost will actually also be tested in Ukraine. According to experts, the stock of loitering ammunition received from the Americans by the Armed Forces of Ukraine can be used up within a few days. But it is not certain that these deliveries will be the last.
According to Viktor Murakhovsky, the nature of the war is changing.
“Loitering ammunition is at the forefront of modern weapons,” he said. -.They are becoming a mandatory system, such as Javelins and man-portable air defense systems.
Alexander Lukashenko. Photo: Website of the President of Belarus.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said at the wreath-laying ceremony at the Victory Monument on May 9 about what issue the Ukrainian authorities should worry about now.
“The West has already divided Ukraine into parts,” the Belarusian leader said.
“Ukraine needs to think about not having to turn to us in order to save the integrity and unity of the Ukrainian state,” Belta quoted Lukashenka as saying.
He added that Belarus does not is an aggressor, but Belarusians have no right not to support Russia, because “we have always been together, we have always been united.”
Lukashenko stressed that the West will not be able to tear Belarus and Russia to pieces and separate.
Elon Musk. Photo: Wikipedia.org.
The American entrepreneur, founder of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, responded to the words of the head of the Roscosmos state corporation Dmitry Rogozin that he would have to “responsible like an adult” for supplying the Ukrainian forces with military communications equipment.
The American billionaire wrote a cryptic phrase on social networks after that: “If I die under mysterious circumstances, it would be nice to know you.”
Recall that earlier Dmitry Rogozin wrote that the Pentagon delivered and handed over to the Armed Forces of Ukraine P.O. boxes -Internet transmissions from Starlink.Thus, the head of Roskosmos noted, Elon Musk is also involved in this, no matter how he “turns on the fool.”
Alexander Zakharchenko. Photo: Frame from video.
The head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced on his Telegram channel that a decision had been made to rename one of the streets of Grozny in honor of the former head of the DPR, Alexander Zakharchenko.
In his statement, Kadyrov called Zakharchenko “an outstanding statesman and military figure DPR” and noted that he devoted his life to “the fight for freedom and justice” and “until his very last breath he remained faithful to his people and the cause he had begun.”
Recall that Alexander Zakharchenko was the head of the DPR since November 2014 of the year to August 2018.
Zakharchenko died on August 31, 2018 as a result of an explosion in the Separ cafe in the center of Donetsk.