Saturday, February 24

Russia

Russians Unleash Thermite Rain on Mining Town Voehledar
News, Russia, Ukraine

Russians Unleash Thermite Rain on Mining Town Voehledar

In the battle for Voehledar, a mining town in southeastern Ukraine, the Russians have deployed "thermite bombs", according to images circulating online. These are bombs that do not explode but burn. "This is one of the most brutal weapons of the Russians," said Human Rights Watch (HRW). Russian troops have been trying to take Voehledar since late January, but like so many other places in Ukraine, progress is slow, and casualties are heavy. For example, the 155th naval infantry, about 5,000 strong, was almost eliminated in mid-February. The Russian troops on the ground already complained about a lack of ammunition and grenades, so they tried another way. The images above show how a "thermite rain" descends on the mining town. Although it is unknown when the images would date p...
Vladimir Putin: Russia’s Economy Likely to Shrink 2.5 Percent
Business, News, Russia

Vladimir Putin: Russia’s Economy Likely to Shrink 2.5 Percent

Russia's economy is likely to shrink by 2.5 percent in 2022. So said Russian President Vladimir Putin. But, according to the president, the economy did better than most experts had expected. Russia's economy has been hit by Western sanctions against the country, including on fossil fuel exports. As a result, many Western companies have also left Russia. Putin had an economic meeting with several top officials, including the finance minister and the head of the central bank. “The current dynamics turned out better than many experts had expected. Some experts in our country, not to mention foreign ones, had predicted a decline of 10 to 15 or even 20 percent," Putin said. Moscow has acknowledged that there are economic difficulties but also states that the economy is resilient. ...
NATO Boss Stoltenberg Warns of Difficult Months: Russians have Shown Extreme Brutality
News, Russia, Ukraine, US

NATO Boss Stoltenberg Warns of Difficult Months: Russians have Shown Extreme Brutality

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warns that the coming months will be difficult for Ukraine. "Putin's goal is to keep Ukraine cold and dark this winter," he said during a press conference in The Hague on Monday after speaking with the Dutch government. The NATO chief described Russia's withdrawal from Kherson as a testament to "the incredible bravery of the Ukrainian armed forces". "But it also demonstrations the importance of our continued provision for Ukraine," Stoltenberg said. He warned me not to underestimate Russia. "The Russian armed forces still have great capabilities and many troops. And Russia has shown its willingness to bear great losses. But, unfortunately, they have also shown extreme brutality." Kherson was the first major city and the only regional ca...
Russian Soyuz Launcher With Secret Satellite Launched
News, Russia

Russian Soyuz Launcher With Secret Satellite Launched

A Russian Soyuz 2.1b launch vehicle carrying a military satellite was launched from the Plesetsk base in northern Russia on Wednesday, the Russian Defense Ministry said. The Soyuz, supplemented with a Fregat-type track injector, departed at 07:48 Belgian time. According to the ministry, the satellite has reached its intended orbit and is functioning properly. The exact nature of the payload is unclear. According to the well-informed russianspaceweb.com, the satellite would be the sixth Kupol satellite in the EKS constellation to quickly detect missile launches anywhere in the world.
Kremlin: Charges Russian sabotage Nord Stream stupid
News, Russia

Kremlin: Charges Russian sabotage Nord Stream stupid

Allegations that Russia is behind the alleged sabotage of the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines are "stupid and absurd". Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said. The pipelines run from Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea and currently leak large amounts of gas. Denmark, Sweden and Poland, among others, have already said that Nord Stream 1 and 2 have been sabotaged, as has NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg. The European Commission is also considering the design and wants to monitor its own energy infrastructure more closely. Ukraine even spoke of a terrorist act by Russia in connection with the spills. Peskov said it is predictable that allegations will be made against Russia. But, according to him, the leaks need further investigation, and it is still unclear how long repairs to the pip...
Kremlin: Sharing Ukraine’s Annexation can be Done Very Soon After Referendum
News, Russia, Ukraine

Kremlin: Sharing Ukraine’s Annexation can be Done Very Soon After Referendum

According to the Kremlin, a positive referendum result in the occupied parts of Ukraine could quickly lead to annexing those areas. Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov said on Friday that the procedures could proceed quickly. Attacks on those parts of Ukraine would then become attacks on the Russian Federation. In southern and eastern Ukraine, residents of provinces that have come under partial Russian control can vote in referendums until Tuesday whether or not they want to join the Russian Federation. The Russian government claims that this is based on "the right of self-determination of the peoples" and counts on a 'yes' from the voters that are reached. However, western observers speak of sham referendums, the outcome of which has already been determined. The battle for the s...
Finnish Prime Minister Calls for Tougher Approach to Blackmailer Russia
Europe, Finland, News, Russia

Finnish Prime Minister Calls for Tougher Approach to Blackmailer Russia

Finland's prime minister has called in the European Parliament for more tough sanctions against Russia, which is "extorting the EU with energy supplies". According to Sanna Marin, ordinary Russian citizens should also feel the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in their daily lives and not just circle around President Vladimir Putin. She also called for unity within the EU, where high energy prices have led to differences of opinion on how to approach this. "The EU must stand on its own two feet as soon as possible when it comes to its energy supply," Marin said. "Extortion of our society through energy is a way for Russia to crumble our support for Ukraine and destroy our unity." "The winter will be tough, and inflation will be a test for society. But our suppor...
Minister: Russian Oil Flows to Slovakia will be Resumed
Business, News, Russia, Slovakia

Minister: Russian Oil Flows to Slovakia will be Resumed

Russia's oil supply via the Druzhba oil pipeline to Slovakia will resume on Wednesday. Slovak Economy Minister Richard Sulik said this during a press conference. Last week, the Ukrainian oil transport company Ukrtransnafta decided to stop the supply through the Druzhba oil pipeline. This pipeline runs from Russia via Ukraine to Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. According to the minister, the interruption was caused by a Western bank refusing to process a transit fee paid by Russia to Ukraine because of sanctions against Russia. The Russian operator of the Transneft pipeline is said to have paid Ukrtransnafta but was refunded a week later. According to Transneft, national governments had to approve cross-border payments from Russia. The contract between Transneft and ...
Dead and Injured in the Bombing of Kharkiv
News, Russia, Ukraine

Dead and Injured in the Bombing of Kharkiv

A Russian shelling on Thursday at Kharkiv, which has been under artillery fire for weeks, killed three people and injured 23 others.   The governor of the northeastern region of Ukraine reports that four injured are in serious condition. Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, is about 40 kilometres from the Russian border and has been under frequent fire since the invasion began nearly five months ago. At least three people were killed on Wednesday, according to local authorities. Among the victims was a 13-year-old boy whose body was seen near a bus stop by journalists from the French news agency AFP.