French President Macron suggests deploying troops is a possibility to stop Russia. Moscow could view that as a declaration of War

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘Catastrophic scenario’ if NATO troops deploy to Ukraine – top Russian senator
  • The possibility mulled by the French president could be taken as a declaration of war on Moscow, Konstantin Kosachev has said
  • The potential deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine will lead to a “catastrophic scenario,” and could be interpreted as a “declaration of war” on Moscow, top Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev has said.
  • The Vice Speaker of Russia’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, offered his take on remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on the possibility of sending troops in a Telegram post on Tuesday. The approach exhibited by the French leader carries a risk of the situation devolving into a “catastrophic scenario,” Kosachev warned, stating that the move would not be tolerated by the Kremlin.
  • “This is the line beyond which it’s no longer just NATO’s involvement in the war – this has been happening for a long time, but can be interpreted as the alliance entering direct hostilities, or even as a declaration of war,” Kosachev wrote.

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In speech to the Nation, Putin accuses NATO and the US of preparing to strike Russia

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Important Takeaways:

  • Putin makes direct threat to NUKE the West as he accuses NATO and the US of ‘preparing to strike’ Russia in his annual address to the nation – and warns of ‘the destruction of civilization’
  • The Russian president, 71, said: ‘They, NATO and America, are active in other parts of the world, of course, and they continue to lie there, to deceive.
  • ‘They are preparing to strike our territory and, using the best possible forces, the most effective forces to do so.
  • Putin repeatedly lauded Russia’s vastly modernized nuclear arsenal in his speech and added as a warning to the West: ‘They have to understand that we also have weapons, weapons that can defeat them on their own territory.
  • ‘Of course all this is very dangerous, because it could actually trigger the use of nuclear weapons. Do they not understand that?’
  • The Russian despot also chillingly assured that ‘strategic nuclear forces are in a state of full readiness for guaranteed use’, but warned the use of nuclear weapons would equal the ‘destruction of civilization’.

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According to leaked files Russia’s nuclear strike criteria is much lower than expected

Important Takeaways:

  • Leaked military documents outline Russia’s doctrine for tactical nuclear weapons use, including the minimum criteria for using tactical nuclear weapons, the Financial Times (FT) reported on Feb. 28.
  • Russia’s tactical nuclear weapons are designed for use on the battlefield in Europe and Asia, and have a more limited range compared to strategic nuclear weapons, which could reach the U.S.
  • The 29 Russian military files, which date from between 2008 and 2014, indicate a threshold “lower than Russia has ever publicly admitted, according to experts who reviewed and verified the documents,”
  • The criteria range “from an enemy incursion on Russian territory to more specific triggers, such as the destruction of 20% of Russia’s strategic ballistic missile submarines,” the FT said.
  • The destruction of three or more large surface warships, three airfields, 30% of its nuclear-powered attack submarines, or a “simultaneous hit on main and reserve coastal command centers” are also listed as potential conditions for a nuclear strike.
  • The documents also indicate a distrust of China, despite growing ties between Moscow and Beijing. Training materials indicate that Russia’s eastern military district conducted exercises that envisaged a hypothetical attack by China.

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Russia tests S500 missile defense system demonstrating ability to knock out western hypersonics

Russian-S-500-system

Important Takeaways:

  • The Russian military conducted tests of the S-500 Prometheus air defense system, which they claim is capable of shooting down hypersonic targets, reports Defense Express.
  • Supposedly, during these tests, the S-500 system demonstrated the ability to shoot down hypersonic aerial targets. As an example, they cite prospective Western hypersonic missiles, combat units of intercontinental ballistic missiles, or guided warheads, as well as short-range ballistic missiles.
  • Russia claims that such capabilities of the S-500 were supposedly confirmed during the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile from the Tula nuclear-powered submarine of the Russian Northern Fleet, which was launched in the Laptev Sea.
  • Russian authorities attribute the successful destruction of targets to powerful radars, electronic computing systems, and “highly maneuverable anti-aircraft missiles.”

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North Korea trades with Russia ‘Food for Weapons’

Russia-North-Korea-Flags

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea has sent 6,700 containers of munitions to Russia, South Korea says
  • North Korea has shipped about 6,700 containers carrying millions of munitions to Russia since July to support its war against Ukraine, in a sign of ongoing arms transfers, South Korean media reported on Tuesday, citing the defense minister.
  • At a briefing on Monday for local media, Minister Shin Won-sik said the containers might carry more than 3 million 152 mm artillery shells, or 500,000 122 mm rounds.
  • “It could possibly be a mix of the two, and you can say that at least several million shells have been sent,” Shin said, according to the Yonhap news agency.
  • Hundreds of North Korean munitions factories are running at around 30% of their capacity due to a lack of raw materials and electricity, but those producing artillery shells for Russia were operating “at full swing,” he added, without elaborating on the source of the information.
  • The U.S. State Department, in a fact sheet, opens new tab released on Friday, said that North Korea has delivered more than 10,000 containers of munitions or related materials to Russia since September.
  • In exchange, North Korea has received some 9,000 containers mostly containing food supplies, which Shin said has helped stabilize prices there.

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Biden unveils 500 new sanctions against Russia; Revenge for Navalny’s death

Biden-Sanctions-Russia

Important Takeaways:

  • Biden announces 500 sanctions against Russia as payback for war, Navalny
  • Biden said the sanctions are payback for Mr. Navalny’s death in an Arctic prison and designed to coincide with the second anniversary of Mr. Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
  • “These sanctions will target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment as well as Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents,” Mr. Biden said. “They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”
  • Biden also said he is imposing 100 export restrictions on entities that are providing “backdoor” support for Russia’s war effort.
  • The U.S. and Western nations have imposed crippling sanctions on Russia over its war on Ukraine, only to see Moscow find end-runs around the restrictions or new global partners to keep its economy afloat.
  • The president scolded the Republican-led House for failing to take up a Senate-passed supplemental bill that includes $60 billion in aid for Ukraine.
  • The U.S. has provided more than $75 billion already. Some lawmakers say there is no clear plan for a Ukrainian victory so it doesn’t make sense to throw more American treasure at the effort or to help more Ukrainian soldiers to die in what is a never-ending stalemate.

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Latvia PM says even if Russia loses there should be concern of a resurgent military threat

Ukrainian-anti-aircraft-gunners

Important Takeaways:

  • NATO Must ‘Wake Up’ to Putin’s Trap, Russia’s Neighbor Warns
  • Gathered at the Munich Security Conference in southern Germany this weekend, the mood among Western leaders was notably subdued. The elation of Ukraine’s survival and subsequent battlefield victories of 2022 are now distant in the rearview mirror. Ahead lies an open-ended bloody conflict, in which a Ukrainian victory—as set out by Kyiv—appears increasingly ambitious.
  • Lativa, like its fellow Baltic neighbors, has been in the vanguard of pushing for greater aid for Ukraine and harsher measures on Russia. Latvia has donated more than 1 percent of its GDP to assist Ukraine’s defense, and Riga is also among the top NATO military spending in GDP terms.
  • Latvia’s Prime Minister Evika Silina said “Such a regime as Putin’s regime, he is using our own values against us, our own tools against us, our own international treaties against us,” she said. “They know it’s our weakness.”
  • “We have to remember that we are policy makers, we can change our rules, but still remain true to the same values. It is very important to remember that.”
  • “We are the front runners, we are at the front line,” Silina said. Other NATO allies are warning that the alliance faces a resurgent Russian military threat within less than a decade, despite Moscow’s mauling in Ukraine.
  • “I cannot say there is a three- or five-year timeline for the threat, but we understand,” Silina said to those warnings. “We see Ukraine winning. But yes, after this, Russia will again gain capabilities to attack someone else. And it could be five years, it could be three years, it depends which tools they will decide to use.”

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Moscow’s clanging gong Medvedev’s remarks on nuclear war are only his latest wild threats against Western cities

Nuclear-Bomb-GettyImages-470309868-640x480

Important Takeaways:

  • Nuclear Threat: Russia Will Drop ‘Entire Arsenal’ on London, Washington if it Doesn’t Win Ukraine War
  • Deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, who was also formerly the Prime Minister and President of Russia in service to Vladimir Putin, has threatened Western capitals with the “entire strategic arsenal” of Russian nuclear weapons. Medvedev, for whom absolutely no slight is too small to necessitate a nuclear response, was speaking of Ukraine’s hope to retake its U.N.-recognized national territory which in some cases have been occupied by Russia for very close to ten years.
  • Russia has amended its constitution and now considers those areas — Crimea, Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhia — to be full parts of the Russian Republic. Attempting to push the borders back to where they were before will invite a massive retaliation, Medvedev said in his latest threat on Sunday, making clear he sees the Western states aiding Ukraine with arms as legitimate targets.
  • He said: “Attempts to return Russia to the borders of 1991 will lead to only one thing. To a global war with Western countries using the entire strategic arsenal of our state. In Kiev, Berlin, London, Washington.”

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Michael Snyder discusses Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin: It’s become clear Western Leaders don’t want peace and anyone who asks questions is the enemy

Tucker Putin Interview

Important Takeaways:

  • Have You Seen Tucker’s Interview With Vladimir Putin? The Reason Why The Elite Are Freaking Out Is Because They Don’t Want Peace
  • This week, the biggest news story in the entire world is Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin. Honestly, it was kind of a bizarre interview, and you can watch it for yourself below.  But I give Tucker Carlson a ton of credit for going to Russia and sitting down with Putin.  I think that the real reason he did this is because he wanted to see for himself if there is any hope of avoiding a cataclysmic conflict between our two nations.  Every day we get even closer to the unthinkable, and so it would make sense for both sides to pursue a peaceful way out of this mess.  But at this point the western elite are not interested in peace, and they don’t want any talk of peace in the media.  So they are going to great lengths to discredit Tucker Carlson’s interview with Putin, because they don’t want their carefully crafted narratives to be disrupted.
  • Prior to the invasion, the Russians were primarily concerned about three main things. They didn’t want Ukraine to join NATO, they didn’t want western missiles in Ukraine, and they didn’t want Ukraine to invade the Donetsk People’s Republic and the Luhansk People’s Republic.  At the time of the Russian invasion, the Ukrainians had massed 70,000 troops on the borders of the DPR and the LPR, and they were shelling the living daylights out of the major population centers.  So the Russians sent troops into the DPR and the LPR, but the Ukrainians continued to shell the major population centers.  Shortly thereafter, the invasion of Ukraine began.
  • But even after the invasion happened, there was still a chance for peace
  • Tucker: So I just want to make sure I’m not misunderstanding what you’re saying. I don’t think that I am. I think you’re saying you want a negotiated settlement to what’s happening in Ukraine.
  • Vladimir Putin: Right. And we made it. We prepared the huge document in Istanbul that was initialed by the head of the Ukrainian delegation. He had fixed his signature to some of the provisions, not to all of it. He put his signature and then he himself said, we were ready to sign it, and the war would have been over long ago. 18 months ago. However, Prime Minister Johnson came, talk to us out of it and we missed that chance. Well, you missed it. You made a mistake. Let them get back to that. That is all. Why do we have to bother ourselves and correct somebody else’s mistakes? I know one can say it is our mistake. It was us who intensified the situation and decided to put an end to the war that started in 2014, in Donbas. As I have already said by means of weapons. Let me get back to furthering history. I already told you this. We were just discussing it. Let us go back to 1991, when we were promised that NATO would not expand to 2008, when the doors to NATO opened to the Declaration of State Sovereignty of Ukraine, declaring Ukraine a neutral state. Let us go back to the fact that NATO and U.S. military bases started to appear on the territory, Ukraine creating threats to us. Let us go back to coup d’etat in Ukraine in 2014. It is pointless, though, isn’t it? We may go back and forth endlessly, but they stopped negotiations. Is it a mistake? Yes. Correct it. We are ready. What else is needed?
  • [Michael Snyder] Let’s find a way out before we reach a point of no return.
    • Because if we ultimately get to a point where one side decides to start using nuclear weapons, billions of people could die.
    • This is why Tucker Carlson’s interview with Vladimir Putin is so incredibly important.
    • Unfortunately, the elite in the western world are completely uninterested in using this moment as an opportunity to begin peace talks.
    • For example, even before the interview aired Hillary Clinton was referring to Tucker as a “useful idiot”…
      • Hillary Clinton, speaking on MSNBC Wednesday, joked that she ‘would not be surprised if he emerges with a contract with a Russian outlet, because he is a useful idiot’ in response to the news.
    • And just before the interview was released, John Kirby was telling everyone not to believe “anything” that they heard…
      • Today, before the interview dropped, White House Communications Coordinator John Kirby told Americans not to believe ‘anything’ in the interview.
      • ‘Anybody that watches that interview you need to make sure to remember that you are listening to Vladimir Putin,’ he said.
      • ‘You shouldn’t take at face value anything he has to say.’
    • On the other side of the Atlantic, some politicians actually want to punish Tucker Carlson.
    • In fact, one lawmaker actually wants to impose a travel ban on him…
      • Carlson’s work in Russia could see the former Fox News host in hot water with the EU, Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament, told Newsweek.
      • The lawmaker—who has called for the EU to explore imposing a “travel ban” on Carlson—described Carlson as “a mouthpiece” of former President Donald Trump and Putin, adding: “As Putin is a war criminal and the EU sanctions all who assist him in that effort, it seems logical that the External Action Service examine his case as well.”
    • They want this war in Ukraine, and so for now there will be no peace talks.

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Members push for EU travel ban, sanctions on Tucker Carlson for interviewing Putin; Hungary steps in to block the movement

Tucker-Carlson-in-Russia-640x480

Important Takeaways:

  • Hungary Vows to Block EU Sanctions Against Tucker Carlson over Putin Interview
  • …former Belgian prime minister and current member of the European Parliament, Guy Verhofstadt called for an EU travel ban to be imposed on the American journalist and for the bloc to begin the process to levy sanctions…
  • However, the body does not have unilateral authority to sanction individuals but rather can merely present evidence to the European Council…
  • Therefore, socially conservative Hungary has the ability to block the EU from sanctioning Carlson and on Tuesday confirmed that it would do so if the measure was put before the Council.
  • The instant shutdown from Budapest will likely further rile Verhofstadt, who has been at the forefront of calling for the elimination of veto power for EU member states over Hungary’s opposition to funding for the war in Ukraine.
  • The principle of unanimity and the enforcement mechanism of national veto powers, in a similar fashion to the allocation of senators or electoral college votes in the United States, was an essential component of the formation of the European Union as it guaranteed that smaller member states could not be entirely overpowered by larger nations such as France or Germany.
  • Verhofstadt is not alone in favoring the abolition of national veto power, with the bloc’s top diplomat, Foreign Affairs chief Josep Borrell, arguing in December that in light of the threat Russia poses to European democracy, it may be necessary to end unanimity for foreign policy decisions

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