Leaders from across Europe expressed support for Ukraine and concern about the direction of the United States

European-Political-Community-AP-photo-Kin-Cheung-Pool

Important Takeaways:

  • Leaders from across Europe expressed support for Ukraine and concern about the direction of the United States on Thursday at a security-focused summit clouded by worries about whether the U.S. will remain a reliable ally if Donald Trump wins a second presidency
  • Newly elected U.K. Prime Minister Keir Starmer welcomed around 45 heads of government to a grandiose English country mansion to discuss migration, energy security and the threat from Russia as he seeks to restore relations between the U.K. and its European Union neighbors four years after their acrimonious divorce.
  • Starmer said that the U.K. plans to take a more active role on the world stage, especially when it comes to Ukraine’s fight against Russia’s invasion and to people-smuggling gangs organizing irregular migration.
  • Trump’s skepticism about NATO has long worried U.S. allies. Trump’s choice of Sen. JD Vance, an opponent of U.S. military aid to Ukraine, as vice presidential running mate has heightened concerns.
  • Hungary’s pro-Russia Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said a Trump victory would be “the best news for everybody, because he’s a man of the people.”

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China, Russia start joint naval drills after NATO allies called Beijing a “decisive enabler” of the war in Ukraine

Important Takeaways:

  • The Chinese defense ministry said in a statement that forces from both sides recently patrolled the western and northern Pacific Ocean and that the operation had nothing to do with international and regional situations and didn’t target any third party.
  • The exercise aimed to demonstrate the capabilities of the navies in addressing security threats and preserving peace and stability globally and regionally
  • NATO’s European and North American members and their partners in the Indo-Pacific increasingly see shared security concerns coming from Russia and its Asian supporters, especially China.
  • In response, China accused NATO of seeking security at the expense of others and told the alliance not to bring the same “chaos” to Asia. Its foreign ministry maintained that China has a fair and objective stance on the war in Ukraine.

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Ukraine gets new $225 million US military aid

Biden-Zelenskiy-shake-hands

Important Takeaways:

  • The United States on Thursday announced a new security package for Ukraine worth $225 million, which includes a Patriot missile battery, additional ammunition for high-mobility artillery rocket systems and missiles, among other items.
  • Washington, Ukraine’s biggest supporter, has provided more than $50 billion in military aid since 2022 when the Russian invasion began.
  • U.S. legislation was approved in April that provided $61 billion in funding to Ukraine.
  • “We will stay with you, period,” U.S. President Joe Biden told Zelenskiy ahead of a bilateral meeting at the NATO summit in Washington.
  • Ukraine has repeatedly called on partners to provide more help with air defense as it faces attacks from Russia on cities and energy infrastructure.
  • Zelenskiy said last week he wanted to double Ukraine’s air defense capacity over the summer.

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Poland openly says it needs to prepare for full-scale war

General-Wieslaw-Kukula-Polish-Armed-Forces

Important Takeaways:

  • Poland needs to prepare its soldiers for all-out conflict, its armed forces chief of staff said on Wednesday, as the country boosts the number of troops on its border with Russia and Belarus.
  • Poland’s relations with Russia and its ally Belarus have deteriorated sharply since Moscow sent tens of thousands of troops into neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, starting a war that is still being fought.
  • “Today, we need to prepare our forces for full-scale conflict, not an asymmetric-type conflict,” army chief of staff General Wieslaw Kukula told a press conference.
  • “This forces us to find a good balance between the border mission and maintaining the intensity of training in the army,” he said.
  • Speaking at the same event, deputy defense minister Pawel Bejda said that as of August, the number of troops guarding Poland’s eastern border would be increased to 8,000 from the current 6,000, with an additional rearguard of 9,000 able to step up within 48 hours notice.
  • The size of the armed forces stood at about 190,000 personnel at the end of last year, including ground, air, naval, special forces and territorial defense forces. Poland plans to increase this to 300,000 troops within a few years.

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F-16s heading to Ukraine according to the Secretary of State

F-16-Jet

Important Takeaways:

  • U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets are on their way to Ukraine and could aid in Kyiv’s defense against Russia as soon as this summer, the White House said Wednesday.
  • Why it matters: The jets will bolster Ukraine’s air defense capabilities, allowing its air force to thwart Russian air attacks, as well as seek and destroy drones and missiles targeting Ukrainian cities.
  • The jets may also allow Ukraine’s air force to establish localized air superiority to support its ground forces during offensive operations, the Center for Strategic and International Studies notes.
  • The big picture: The long-sought transfers come over a year after Ukraine asked it allies for advanced fighter jets, particularly F-16s.
  • A coalition of governments led by the Netherlands and Denmark began training Ukrainian pilots, technicians and support personnel on F-16s in late 2023.
  • The first group of Ukrainian pilots completed training at a military base in Arizona in May 2024.

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Russia sends a new peace plan to Washington over Ukraine War

Putin-ready-to-share-Crimea

Important Takeaways:

  • Putin ‘is prepared to SHARE Crimea with Ukraine according to new peace plan that has been presented by Russia to the US’
  • It would see the Kremlin dictator gain spoils from going to war.
  • ‘The main purpose of his [Kolokoltsev’s] arrival was to hand over Russia’s peace plan to the US authorities,’ said Gordon, who said it was a Putin plan ‘to end the war’.
  • The demands were that Ukraine must completely withdraw from Donetsk and Luhansk regions, both of which are now partially annexed by Russia.
  • But Russia would hand over Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station and the nearby town of Enerhodar to Ukraine.
  • And he would discuss the possible transfer of Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions to the control of Ukraine.
  • Crimea would become a ‘specially demilitarized administrative territory with dual subordination to Ukraine and the Russian Federation’.
  • Ukraine must take on itself legally binding international guarantees, not to block the supply of water to Crimea,’ said Gordon, reading from a document.
  • Putin seized the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in 2014 and vowed he would never return it to Ukraine.
  • Ukraine would also control a 62-mile ‘demilitarized zone’ along the Dnipro River.
  • The Ukrainian army would have a legal maximum size, and the country would be barred from joining NATO, a key Zelinsky goal.
  • But Putin would not seek to block Ukraine joining the EU.
  • The West would drop sanctions on Russian oil and gas, as well as banking.
  • Gordon gave the army size as 350,000, but the Gosdumskaya Telegram channel said 150,000.
  • The UN meeting that the Russian minister attended was a ‘diversionary maneuver’, said Gordon.
  • The Donetsk and Luhansk regions cannot be transferred under the control of Ukraine, because this will cause, they say, the imminent genocide of the population of the territory, a third of which took part in hostilities against Ukraine,’ said Gordon.
  • There has been no official comment from the US, Russia or Ukraine over the alleged back channel contacts concerning Kolokoltsev’s visit.
  • Intriguingly, Kolokoltsev’s plane was seen alongside former US president Donald Trump’s aircraft as it arrived in Washington.
  • Trump has vowed that he could rapidly halt the debilitating war if re-elected and hinted that this would involve Ukraine ceding territory in exchange for security assurances short of being a NATO member

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Russia’s most dangerous jets are parked a hundred miles from Ukraine but the Biden administration hasn’t yet given Ukraine permission to strike them

Voronezh-Malshevo-air-base

Important Takeaways:

  • Voronezh Malshevo air base, in southern Russia 100 miles from the border with Ukraine, might be the most important—and most vulnerable—target in Russia.
  • But it’s seemingly off of Ukraine’s list of targets for now.
  • From the base, Sukhoi Su-34 fighter-bombers belonging to the Russian air force’s 47th Guards Bomber Aviation Regiment fly daily sorties lobbing powerful glide bombs at Ukrainian troops and civilians from 25 miles away or farther.
  • “The large number of jets stationed at the airfield enables the simultaneous deployment of bombs, allowing multiple targets in Ukrainian territory to be engaged at once.”
  • They’re within range of Ukraine’s best deep strike weapon—its American-made Army Tactical Missile System rockets. “Ukraine could potentially incapacitate the entire operational fleet stationed there if permitted to conduct such a strike”
  • The main problem is Russia’s ground-based air defenses, which make it extremely dangerous for Ukrainian warplanes to fly at high altitude practically anywhere in Ukraine—but especially within a hundred miles or so of the front line, well within reach of Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile batteries.
  • So the Ukrainians wait for permission they hope is coming soon. “It is painful to watch those missiles flying over our heads toward Kharkiv and thinking if your home would be destroyed this time”

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Ukraine has foiled an alleged plot to overthrow the government

Ukraine's-parliament

Important Takeaways:

  • Ukraine has foiled an alleged plot to overthrow the government that “would have played into Russia’s hands,” security officials in the war-torn country said Monday.
  • In a Telegram post, the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) claimed the plot organizers planned to trigger a riot in Kyiv on June 30 as a distraction to seize control of the Ukrainian parliament and remove the military and political leadership from power.
  • It is unclear how viable the planned plot was, or if those accused have any connection with Russia
  • Four suspects have been identified, with two held in custody, the SBU said. They face up to 10 years in prison if found guilty
  • The suspect rented a hall with a capacity of 2,000 people and was looking to recruit military personnel and armed guards from private companies to “carry out the seizure” of parliament, the prosecutor’s office said.

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Life Site News conducted short interview with Colonel Macgregor in which he sounds the alarm on impending Israeli attack on Hezbollah

Retired US Colonel Douglas Macgregor

Important Takeaways:

  • In a short interview with LifeSiteNews, Colonel Douglas Macgregor sounded the alarm about an Israeli attack on Hezbollah that could well widen the war, as well as the escalation of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia.
  • We thank Colonel Macgregor for this interview, whose answers he wrote in the middle of last night.
  • In recent weeks, you have sounded the alarm on the situation in Israel with regard to Hezbollah. What do you see happening very soon and when do you think it will happen?
    • [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu must escalate or admit defeat. Attacking Hezbollah presents him with the opportunity to entangle American military power in his war for Jewish supremacy in the Near East. The prospect of employing U.S. military power (air and naval forces) against Israel’s enemies is probably appealing to Israelis.
  • What will be the effects on the region in the Middle East and in the world should such an attack by Israel on Hezbollah take place within the next couple days?
    • I expect the assault on Hezbollah to begin any time after June 24. The effects will be profound. More Muslims will flee to Europe. The economic life of the region will be destroyed, and Russia + China and Iran will likely directly engage Israeli and U.S. forces involved in the war.
  • Do you expect Israel to use nuclear weapons?
    • The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] can employ tactical nuclear weapons. Given the density of Hezbollah defenses and the numbers of rockets and missiles Hezbollah can launch against targets in Israel, a tactical nuclear weapon is the most appealing option. Heavy casualties in Gaza have reduced IDF fighting power. Israel cannot afford the heavy losses that systematic IDF conventional attacks on Southern Lebanon would produce. However, the use of these weapons would likely precipitate massive Iranian missile attacks against Israel in retaliation. From there the war will spread and other nation states will turn out to have nuclear weapons. Instead of abruptly ending the war as the Israelis hope, it will widen and lengthen the war with ominous implications for Israel’s very existence.
  • What would you tell the leaders of our country in light of the escalation in both conflict regions, Israel/Palestine and Ukraine/Russia?
    • Washington is taking unacceptable risks in its relations with Moscow. It would be wise as well as humane to end the suffering in Ukraine. It is time for the [U.S. government] to admit defeat and reach an accommodation with Moscow that ends the war in Ukraine.
    • Meanwhile, Israel is overreaching. It runs the risk of war with Iran and the whole region if it acts in Southern Lebanon as anticipated above. Washington has no strategic interest that justifies a regional war with Islam in the Near East. If Washington persists, it will discover that Russia will not abandon Iran and that many other countries, including China, will line up in support of Iran and Russia against Washington.

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North Korean troops being sent to Ukraine shortly after Putin met with Kim Jong Un

North-Korea-Troops

Important Takeaways:

  • World on the brink as North Korea sends ‘cannon fodder’ troops to Ukraine
  • The North Korean unit is expected to arrive in Ukraine as soon as next month, raising fears that Pyongyang is becoming an active combatant in the war.
  • Last week, Putin made an official state visit to North Korea, the first time in 24 years that he had travelled to the country.
  • The Russian leader and his host Kim Jong Un signed a defense pact on June 19 in Pyongyang, promising military assistance to one another.
  • Within days of signing the agreement, North Korea has announced it will be sending a unit of military engineers to join Russia’s army on the ground in the Donetsk region.
  • The country is already supplying Russia with ammunition and missiles and is reported to have shipped as many as 1.6 million artillery shells to Putin’s army.
  • A spokesman for the Pentagon said North Korean troops would be sent to their slaughter and questioned the wisdom of the deployment.
  • The military alliance between Putin and Kim states: “In case any one of the two sides is put in a state of war by an armed invasion from an individual state or several states, the other side shall provide military and other assistance with all means in its possession without delay.”

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