rick rozoff

Tucker Carlson: We’re moving closer to war with Russia
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Russia sells helicopters to US for Afghan war, US transfers them to Ukraine for war with Russia
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Hamlet had something to say about such self-defeating behavior.

US sending Russian weapons to Ukraine
RT.com, Jan 21 2022

The Biden administration is expediting the transfer of five transport helicopters to Kiev, as Washington insists Moscow is about to “invade” Ukraine any day now. The Mi-17 helicopters were originally purchased from Russia and intended for the US-backed government in Afghanistan, before it surrendered to the Taliban last August. The State Dept said on Thursday this was the “fastest transfer ever” for the US government. The helicopters are already in Ukraine, which was servicing them on behalf of the Pentagon and was supposed to send them to Afghanistan until the Taliban takeover disrupted those plans. Ukraine’s Defense Minister Alexey Reznikov requested them from the Pentagon in late November, along with ammunition also earmarked for the defunct Afghan army, Foreign Policy reported last month. The Mi-17 was designed in the late 1970s as an upgrade to the Mi-8 transport. The Pentagon had spent approximately $648m by mid-2010 to buy 30 of the helicopters for the Afghan National Army, and asked Congress for funding for another 10.

Next Nagorno-Karabakh: Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan laud common lineage, struggle
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Northern Cyprus’ existence vital for Turkey’s security: Tatar
Daily Sabah, Jan 21 2022

The existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is essential for the sovereignty of Turkey, TRNC President Ersin Tatar said on Thursday, once again underlining the need for a two-state solution. Meanwhile, Tatar on Thursday received an Azerbaijani delegation headed by Azerbaijan’s Republican People’s Party leader Badraddin Guliyev. Tatar said he was pleased to receive the delegation in “this meaningful visit,” said a statement by the Presidency of the TRNC. Tatar said the TRNC has always been close to the “motherland” Turkey and that he is glad to see recent rapprochement with Turkic states as well as Azerbaijan’s victory in Karabakh. The TRNC has fought for its own struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean and won its freedom, Tatar said, adding: “We are pleased that our relations with our Azerbaijani brothers and sisters have gone further. We are a nation of the same lineage, states that share the same culture, have a common destiny, and stand by each other in all kinds of struggles. There is a Republic of Turkey, which we all respect. There are various, diverse and strong ties that bind us together. The Azerbaijani people are our brothers. What goes through my heart is the increase in political ties at the highest level in a short time.”

Russian senator awakes from 23-year cryogenic sleep, finds NATO still alive, pounding at his door
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

It’s not clear which Russian figure first suggested the year 1997 as defining NATO’s new borders. But that year is being repeated by Russian officials and scores of Western self-styled commentators and analysts as though it was a historical fact. NATO didn’t admit any new nations between 1982 (Spain) and 1999 (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland). To anticipate inevitable objections: the subject is not when officials first started talking about NATO expansion, it’s when it actually occurred. So that process started twenty-three years ago, as NATO was conducting a 78-day war against a European nation, the first since WW2, though to judge by the following excerpt and a plethora of similar statements by leading Russian officials it only occurred yesterday.

Russia shouldn’t give in to US, needs to secure NATO’s return to within 1997 borders: Federation Council member
Interfax Russia, Jan 21 2022

NATO has closely approached Russia’s borders now, and Moscow should make sure that the alliance returns to within its 1997 borders, Vladimir Dzhabarov, first deputy head of the Federation Council’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Friday.

NATO troops massing on Belarusian border: “They are getting ready for something serious”
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Lukashenko warns West against attempts to invade Belarus-Russia Union State
BelTA, Jan 21 2022

Border protection is an important part of the Union State security, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko told reporters after inspecting military facilities in Luninets District on Jan 21. “Our security relies on our ability to protect our borders and defend ourselves,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that if they start amassing troops against the Union State, imposing various kinds of sanctions to put the Union State on the brink of survival, intimidating and threatening, then Belarus and Russia will take action and their response will be ‘tough enough for the other side to regret it big time.’ “Moreover, Warsaw asked NATO to deploy a multi-tier logistics and engineering support system in the region. We immediately ask the question: What for?” the president said. According to him, there can only be one conclusion. They are getting ready for something serious. Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the situation on the southern border was also alarming. There is an ongoing build-up of the military contingent in Ukraine.

Belarus pledges strong response to any aggressive moves
BelTA, Jan 21 2022

“Our neighbors have been increasing the intensity of combat training. Ukraine has changed the political vector and started issuing accusations and threats against us. The US has military stationed permanently in Ukraine’s Defense Ministry and they do not hide this fact. Their airspace is used by reconnaissance aircraft. Camps have been deployed, housing about 6k different categories of soldiers. This cannot but worry us. The issue of military security is crucial today. We must make decisions regarding the defense of our country,” said Viktor Khrenin.

US confronts Russia in Ukraine to defend “rights, liberty, American way of life”: envoy
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

We are still in the process of discussions with Russia to identify what is really behind Russia’s aggressive actions toward Ukraine: Kelly Degnan
Rustavi2, Jan 20 2022

Ms Degnan, US ambassador to Georgia, declared: “That is our objective: to protect those principles that ensure our way of life, those we all cherish: with an emphasis on freedom, with an emphasis on liberty, with an emphasis on so many of the rights that are guaranteed in Georgia’s constitution, as well as in the US constitution.”

Germany: US-led war games include troops from Kosovo, Moldova
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Allied Spirit 22 kicks off in Hohenfels
DVIDSHub, Jan 21 2022

Exercise Allied Spirit 22 kicked off in earnest Jan 21 as soldiers transitioned into the force-on-force phase at the 7th Army Training Command’s Joint Multinational Readiness Center at Hohenfels, Germany. Approximately 5.2k soldiers from 15 nations including Germany, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Moldova, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are participating in the exercising from Jan 21 to Feb 5. Joint Multinational Readiness Center hosts Allied Spirit, a training exercise designed to enable integration between allies and partners in a competitive combat training environment. Unlike the Saber Junction and Combined Resolve series at JMRC, which feature US brigade combat teams in a lead role augmented by allies and partners, Allied Spirit places an allied unit as the main training audience. Allied Spirit 22 is led by the German Army’s 1st Armoured Division. JMRC is the Army’s only Combat Training Center outside the US, providing a mobile training capability to Europe that trains leaders, staffs and units up to Brigade Combat Teams alongside allies and partners, to dominate in the conduct of Unified Land Operations anywhere in the world. Approximately 1.1k US Soldiers will participate in Allied Spirit 22, including elements from the deployed Operation Atlantic Resolve armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade.

Chief of Serbian general staff: army will react to attacks from Kosovo
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

If they make a move to the north, the Serbian Army will react
B92, Jan 20 2022

The Chief of the General Staff of the Serbian Army, General Milan Mojsilovic, said that he did not rule out new unilateral actions of the Kosovo Security Forces in the north of Kosovo and Metohija. However, as he said, the Armed Forces will react to such actions. “I do not rule out the possibility that the security forces that exist in Kosovo and Metohija are unilaterally and disproportionately engaged in order to reach certain political points on the ground, but our request, insistence, and some other things will be in the function of securing peace and providing such security situation that guarantees that our people in Kosovo and Metohija can live and exercise their rights like all citizens of this country”, said General Mojsilovic on Wednesday after analyzing the situation and capabilities of the Armed Forces last year. He reiterated that according to Resolution 1244 and the Kumanovo Military Technical Agreement, KFOR [NATO Kosovo Force] units are the only legal forces in the province. “We insist that their relationship with other security entities that are not recognized in our documents as holders of any security function, be impartial and in the spirit of signed agreements and apply not only to the Kosovo Police but also to the Kosovo Security Force, with a ban on entering the north of Kosovo without the special consent of the KFOR Commander”, Mojsilovic said. He added that in cases when it happens that the Kosovo forces, with the consent or without the consent of KFOR, move to the north of the southern province of the Armed Forces, assignments will be undertaken accordingly. “You have witnessed the increase of our engagement along administrative lines, especially on the routes leading from the north to the central part of Serbia, and the preventive deployment of forces for quick reaction of the Armed Forces,” said the Chief of the General Staff.

Back from war junket, US senators introduce Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Shaheen & Bipartisan Group Introduce Legislation to Counter Russian Aggression Toward Ukraine
Shaheen.Senate.gov, Jan 20 2022

US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, today introduced the Ukraine Democracy Defense Lend-Lease Act with Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Roger Wicker (R-MS). This legislation would provide the President with the enhanced authority to more swiftly enter into lend-lease agreements directly with Ukraine and expedite the delivery of military equipment. Sen Shaheen said: “On the heels of a bipartisan delegation I helped lead to Ukraine, it’s clear the US must take decisive and urgent action to support our Ukrainian partners. This legislation shows there is bipartisan unity in Congress to provide President Biden with the tools needed to swiftly deliver critical defense capabilities to Ukraine and stand firm against the Kremlin. This bill ensures bureaucratic hurdles won’t hinder the administration from acting quickly to provide Ukraine with the tools needed….The Kremlin will pay a hefty price if they escalate this crisis, and the US will put its money where its mouth is to help Ukraine defend itself.”

This week, Senator Shaheen and Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) led a bipartisan delegation to Ukraine to reaffirm the US’ commitment to Ukraine. Yesterday, Senator Shaheen participated in video call with President Biden to debrief on the delegation and discuss next steps. On Christmas Eve, Senators Shaheen participated in a video conference call with President Zelensky to discuss the security situation in the country. Last week, Shaheen helped introduce the Defending Ukraine Sovereignty Act of 2022, which would impose crippling sanctions on the Russian banking sector and senior military and government officials if President Putin escalates hostile action in or against Ukraine. Through her leadership on the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen and Portman announced that through the FY22 NDAA bill, the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative has been extended through 2022 with funding increased from $250m/yr to $300m/yr, with at least $75m specifically for lethal assistance, as part of the FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Shaheen also authored an op-ed in the WaPo with Senator Portman in December, which can be read here. A member of the Ukraine Caucus, Shaheen previously led a bipartisan delegation to Eastern Europe, which included a stop in Ukraine, in Jun 2021. As part of the Arms Export Control Act authority, the President can currently lend and lease defense articles to US partners and allies when it is in the US’ national security interest. However, bureaucratic barriers and other limitations make these authorities impractical for the current crisis facing Ukraine. This enhanced lend-lease authority would be specific to Ukraine to help remove obstacles to lending arms to Ukraine. It would not create a new program but would streamline the President’s current authority to lend the defense articles….In addition, this legislation would “require the President or his designee to establish expedited delivery procedures for any military equipment loaned or leased to Ukraine to ensure timely delivery to Ukraine; and categorize any cyberattack on major critical infrastructure originating from within Russia against Ukraine to be treated as an armed attack by Russia. It would remain in effect until Russia restores its troops’ presence on the Ukraine border to pre-Mar 2021 levels. [Assume this was meant to be 2014.]

After training over 30k Ukrainian troops, Canada to boost mission, add arms, equipment
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

For the 30k figure (from last September) see: Canadian Foreign Minister Begins Ukraine Visit at Critical Moment.

Canada to continue UNIFIER military training mission in Ukraine: media
UkrInform, Jan 21 2022

The Canadian military training mission UNIFIER, operating in Ukraine, will be extended for another six months. That’s according to the Globe and Mail, citing its own sources in the Canadian government. Besides prolonging the mandate of the military training mission, the government is now considering increasing the number of instructors and sending defense weapons and equipment to Kyiv, the report said. It is noted that this implies a possible delivery of firearms, night vision goggles, helmets, bulletproof vests, and communication devices to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. The possibility of providing intelligence and cybersecurity data is also being explored, the report adds.

Turkey, Ukraine boost strategic partnership ahead of Erdogan-Zelensky High-Level Strategic Council meeting
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Turkish Interior Ministry to transfer material, technical assistance to Ukrainian services of Interior Ministry
Interfax Ukraine, Jan 21 2022

Turkey plans to send logistical assistance to strengthen the capabilities of the services of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said during a telephone conversation with Interior Minister of Ukraine Denys Monastyrsky. “The Turkish counterpart once again assured of the unwavering support of the official Ankara for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, the inviolability of its borders.” In addition, the parties discussed issues within the competence of the departments on the eve of the tenth meeting of the Ukraine-Turkey High-level Strategic Council chaired by Zelensky and Erdogan. The parties also discussed the strengthening of the contractual and legal framework of cooperation through the speedy completion of the procedure for approving and signing a Protocol between the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the Government of the Republic of Turkey on law enforcement cooperation, as well as the dynamics of cooperation between the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine and the Coast Guard of Turkey and strengthening the interaction of the National Guard of Ukraine with the Gendarmerie of the Republic of Turkey. The parties agreed to work on further strengthening the mutually beneficial strategic partnership between Ukraine and the Republic of Turkey.

NATO naval group deployed to Baltic Sea
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

NATO Ships Patrol Baltic Sea
NATO, Jan 21 2022

Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) is currently on a scheduled deployment to the Baltic Sea since Jan 14. SNMG1, consisting of the Netherlands flagship Rotterdam (L800) and the Danish frigate Peter Wilemoes, is operating in the Baltic Sea to enhance maritime situational awareness and to further improve interoperability with allies as part of a planned deployment to the area. Standing NATO Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) began a scheduled visit to Gdynia, Poland, Jan 21. A NATO Ally, Poland, regularly hosts NATO ships for port visits.

Photo from NATO’s Allied Maritime Command

NATO bulwark Poland to back Ukraine “materially” in war with Russia: Warsaw
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

Ukraine can count on Poland’s support in standoff with Russia: official
Polskie Radio, Jan 21 2022

Ukraine can count on Poland’s support amid a standoff with Russia, a senior Polish presidential aide said on Friday after two days of security talks between the leaders of the two countries. Poland’s President Andrzej Duda and his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky met in the southern Polish resort town of Wisła this week. Jakub Kumoch, the Polish president’s foreign policy advisor, told reporters after the talks ended on Friday that “Ukraine can count on Polish support in the face of the threat” posed by Russia. He added: “The Euro-Atlantic community has a duty to counteract any aggression regardless of its size and scale.” The two presidents talked about “the possibilities of supporting Ukraine materially as well, not just politically.”

UK FS: global coalition against Russia, China; “recreating USSR”; Ukraine new Afghanistan, Chechnya
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

One doesn’t get more provocative than this, especially the reference to Chechnya. From only the second female foreign secretary of the UK. (Margaret Beckett, who served barely a year, preceding her in that category.)

UK foreign secretary compares Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine with Afghan war
UkrInform, Jan 21 2022

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has warned Russia that invading Ukraine would lead to a terrible loss of life like the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan. In a speech in Sydney on Friday, Truss accused Russia of wanting to recreate the Soviet Union. Earlier this week, Britain announced it was supplying Ukraine with extra troops for training and weapons. Truss urged Putin to “desist and step back from Ukraine before he makes a massive strategic mistake.” “The Kremlin hasn’t learnt the lessons of history. They dream of recreating the Soviet Union, or a kind of greater Russia, carving up territory based on ethnicity and language. They claim they want stability while they work to threaten and destabilize others,” she said. Truss compared Russia’s possible invasion of Ukraine with the wars in Afghanistan and Chechnya. She also called for the UK to work with countries like Australia, Israel, India, Japan and Indonesia to counter the challenge posed by Russia and China.

Britain sends special operations troops, 2k anti-tank missile launchers to Ukraine
Rick Rozoff, AntiBellum, Jan 21 2022

UK sends troops, anti-tank weapons to Ukraine – Sky News
UkrInform, Jan 21 2022

The UK has sent a group of around 30 elite troops and 2k anti-tank missile launchers to Ukraine amid fears of a new Russian invasion. “The members of the Ranger Regiment, part of the army’s newly-formed Special Operations Brigade, flew out on military planes that also airlifted a total of some 2,000 anti-tank missile launchers to the country during the course of this week,” the media outlet said. According to the report, a group of around 30 elite British troops arrived in Ukraine to help train the Ukrainian armed forces on new anti-tank weapons. According to Sky News, open source flight-tracking software has plotted RAF C-17 transport aircraft flying back and forth between the UK and Ukraine. The UK is understood to have gifted the Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon, (NLAW), which is described by its manufacturers as “the first ever single soldier missile system that rapidly knocks out any Main Battle Tank in just one shot by striking it from above.” UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced to parliament on Monday that Britain would increase its military support to Ukraine, which also included an increase in British military personnel on the ground as trainers.

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