Friday February 17, 2023
“It’s hard to know for sure,” says John Kirby of a future Russian offensive. “But we believe that there is a preparation at the moment, an increase in personnel. We have to expect an offensive when the weather improves,” he continues. However, “we don’t yet know when it will happen,” the White House spokesman said. “We must use the time we have to equip the Ukrainians,” he cried.
PLANES TO UKRAINE
“There is no taboo, no problem asking for help,” John Kirby told LCI on Friday of the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. “We understand and respect his requests. I won’t add anything to what the President said, but we will continue to speak to Ukrainians in the future,” the White House spokesman added. “We must continue to deliver the weapons” that Kiev needs, he says angrily.
British Labor Party leader Keir Starmer said he wanted to show unity with the British government on its stance on the delivery of fighter jets to Ukraine. “The government said it has to be part of the conversation, so don’t rule it out. I think they’re right and they have to agree with NATO,” he said, according to the Guardian.
Amidst the turmoil, Auchan “categorically” denies allegations of having contributed to Russia’s war effort, according to an investigation by Le Monde newspaper published this Friday.
According to documents obtained by the French daily, in March 2022 the investigative site The Insider and the NGO Bellingcat, a collection of products destined for Vladimir Putin’s army, were organized within the local subsidiary of Auchan.
The leader of Russia’s paramilitary group Wagner said on Friday his troops had taken the Ukrainian town of Paraskoviïvka, a town bordering Bakhmout to the north and the scene of the longest battle in Donbass for a year. “Despite the ammunition blockade, despite heavy losses and bloody battles, the boys completely took over the village of Paraskoviïvka,” said Yevgeny Prigozhin, quoted by his press service.
South Africa’s military on Friday began preparations off its coast for controversial naval exercises with Russia and China that are causing international “concern” over the war in Ukraine.
“The Russian frigate has arrived in Durban. The Chinese boat will arrive later. We are in the preparatory phase, the main maneuver will take place on February 22,” a military source told AFP.
The operations, involving more than 350 South African soldiers, are scheduled to continue until February 27 off Durban (southeast), the largest port in southern Africa on the Indian Ocean, and Richards Bay, some 180 km further north.
A CONFLICT THAT COULD LAST
During the Munich Security Conference on Friday, Emmanuel Macron once again raised his voice against Russia. French President Says He’s ‘Ready For A Prolonged Conflict’ “The time is not for dialogue” with Moscow, he also said.
Posted today at 4:52pm
The Kremlin is currently negotiating with Russian employers to set up a “single voluntary contribution” from companies to the federal budget in the coming weeks, subject to a sharp increase in spending related to the military intervention in Ukraine.
“We expect (this contribution) to be around 300 billion rubles,” or 3.8 billion euros at the current exchange rate, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said in an interview with Rossiya-24 TV channel on Friday.
Belarus on Friday convened the Polish chargé d’affaires, restricted access to its territory to Polish trucks and announced the expulsion of a liaison officer to protest Warsaw’s decision to close a key border crossing.
Minsk condemned the Polish decision to close the Bobrowniki border crossing, one of the three existing ones, as “unilateral” and “inhumane” to the Polish chargé d’affaires, who was summoned to the foreign ministry.
In response, Polish trucks can only enter and leave Belarus through their common border and no longer through other border crossings. “All responsibility for the deterioration of the conditions of their operations lies with the initiator of the restrictive measures, namely the current Polish government,” the Belarusian Foreign Ministry said.
RE-LIVE EMMANUEL MACRON’S INTERVENTION
Relive the very offensive press conference by Emmanuel Macron from Munich.
Speech by Emmanuel Macron on Ukraine at the security conference in MunichSource: TF1 Info
The head of Ukraine’s diplomacy, Dmytro Kouleba, on Friday accused Auchan of becoming a “full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression” after the release of a journalistic investigation accusing the French grocer of contributing to Moscow war efforts be. “Auchan has become a full-fledged weapon of Russian aggression. I intend to discuss this with my French counterpart,” he said.
According to an investigation published by the French newspaper Le Monde in cooperation with the investigative site The Insider and the NGO Bellingcat, a collection of products for the Russian army worth 2 million rubles (about 25,000 euros) was organized within the local Auchan subsidiary in Russia .
“Let us also intervene in the preparation of peace. We must now prepare the conditions for peace. It is our responsibility,” stresses Emmanuel Macron. “This peace will be all the more possible and credible if we are strong today and know it for the long term,” he adds.
Emmanuel Macron says he wants to organize a “Conference on Air Defense of Europe” in the context of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
CALLING FOR THE FUTURE
“The first call is a call to invest heavily in defense. If we want peace, we must give ourselves the means. I want us to adopt an ambitious European defense program before the summer,” said Emmanuel Macron, arriving from Munich on Friday.
“The second call is to address the nuclear factor in question. Russian aggression was carried out in the shadow of deterrence. This situation is a wake-up call for the role that nuclear weapons must play in Europe and in NATO,” he continues.
“My third call is a call to reconsider our security doctrine to ensure Europe’s place in any future arms control discussions,” the French president added.
“My fourth call is a call to imagine what kind of mechanisms make it possible to avoid in the long term the cycle of aggression that our continent has experienced in recent decades,” he stresses. “We need a framework that restores predictability and transparency to the continent. It must respect simple principles: the sovereignty of states and the inviolability of borders, reaffirm the stabilizing role of deterrence in Europe, restore the balance of power on the continent and create a framework for resolving protracted crises and conflicts on the continent,” he explains.
“We are ready for a longer conflict. I don’t want that, but we have to be credible together in order to persevere in this effort,” demands Emmanuel Macron from Munich. “We must increase our support” for Ukraine, the French President demands, in order to strive for “credible negotiations” with Russia.
Russia has become a global “disorder power,” Emmanuel Macron said on Friday. “Russia cannot and must not win this war. Russian aggression must fail,” stressed the French President on Friday at a press conference on the sidelines of the security conference in Munich. “None of us will change the geography of Russia. It will always be on European soil. But there will be no peace on our continent,” he continues, as long as the conflict lasts. “The time is not for dialogue, because we have a Russia that has decided to intensify the war and is going as far as attacking civilian infrastructure,” added the head of state.
WAR THAT AFFECTS “THE ENTIRE PLANET”.
“One year later, the record of a catastrophic and unjustified conflict is remarkable,” says Emmanuel Macron, assessing the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. “This war does not only affect Europeans, it affects the entire planet,” stressed the French President.
“I call it neocolonial and imperialist. It denies identity to a neighbor, it assumes we can take territory. To accept it is to assume that neocolonialism is legitimate or that it exists in the rest of the world,” the state leader said during a press conference on the sidelines of the security conference in Munich.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Friday urged countries that can supply main battle tanks to Ukraine to “really do it,” while deliveries mentioned by allies are slower than expected.
Military support for Ukraine must continue, and “that implies that anyone who can deliver such battle tanks really does,” Scholz said at the Munich Security Conference.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz assured on Friday that Germany’s financial, humanitarian and military support to Kiev was designed to “last a long time” almost a year after Russia invaded Ukraine and with no solution to the conflict in sight.
“Ukrainians are defending their freedom at great sacrifice and with absolutely impressive determination,” added the head of state in a speech at the Munich Security Conference. Germany and its allies would support them “as long as necessary (…)”, he added.
ZELENSKY IN MUNICH
“When Russia shoots at us, it also shoots at our neighbors,” said Zelenskyy. “Only when Russia is defeated is there a chance for more stability. It’s not just about winning against Putin, but against the Putins.”
ZELENSKY IN MUNICH
The Kremlin can break the peace of everyone gathered here,” Zelenskyy adds, “the dictatorship continues. The longer EU enlargement is discussed, the stronger Putin becomes. The longer the discussions about joining NATO go on, the stronger Russia will become. As condemnations of the annexation of Crimea faded, Russia became more expansionary.”
“Can we liberate our country? Yes, there are 1891 liberated places to prove it.” “There should be no alternative to defeating Russia.”
ZELENSKY IN MUNICH
While we are negotiating fighter jets, the Kremlin has convinced Iran to supply it with deadly drones. The Kremlin is ready to pay the price, and not just in money. This regime will pay with 92% enriched uranium. I’m sure nobody here is willing to take that risk.”
ZELENSKY IN MUNICH
“I am grateful to anyone who supplies the Ukrainian David with a slingshot against the Russian Goliath,” said Volodymyr Zelenskyy at the Munich conference. “Last year we already defeated him, this year it can go on,” the President continued. “I was there last year and told the world that if Russia launched an offensive, Ukraine would fight.”
“Time is running out, we need to speed up supplies so that our rebellion is strong to limit Russia’s potential. There is no alternative to this speed: our reaction depends on it.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday slammed the West’s “direct attempts” which he says are aimed at “hindering the development” of its national energy flagship Gazprom, which has been the target of international sanctions for a year.
“Despite unfair competition — to put it bluntly — and direct outside attempts to hamper and slow down its development, Gazprom is moving forward and launching new projects,” Putin said in a video conference speech marking the gas giant’s 30th anniversary.
“AS LONG AS NECESSARY”
“The task now is to coordinate efforts,” said NATO chief Jens Stotenberg at the Munich conference. “I call on the allies to supply modern weapons. I welcome this decision to supply main battle tanks.”
“My message to the Ukrainians? NATO and its partners will stand by you for as long as you need. We won’t let Russia win, it would be a danger for Ukraine, but also for all of us. We are also pursuing strengthening the bond between them China and Russia training their armies together.”
“If Russia wins in Ukraine, that will have an impact on Beijing’s decisions,” Jens Stoltenberg said.
ZELENSKY SPEAKS IN MUNICH
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will address Friday’s Munich Security Conference to world leaders who are expected to reaffirm their unwavering support for Kiev nearly a year after Russia’s invasion.
“A year ago, Zelenskyi gave an urgent warning speech at this conference,” said his diplomatic chief Dmytro Kouleba.
This year he will speak via video link “and set the tone of the discussions,” he added in a statement.
The Ukrainian President spoke at the opening ceremony of the 73rd Berlinale on Thursday evening. As in Cannes and Venice, he encouraged the film world to oppose the Russian invasion.
culture, media and entertainment
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The British Ministry of Defense asserts in its daily analysis that “up to 60,000 Russian soldiers could have been killed” in Ukraine since the start of the war. “Russian casualties have increased significantly since September 2022, when ‘partial mobilization’ was imposed.”
REPORT OF THE DAY
Find the highlights of the last 24 hours in the conflict in Ukraine.
Posted today at 7:48am
Athletics world boss Sebastian Coe said Friday his panel would first examine the status of the Russians on anti-doping sanctions before looking at those related to the war in Ukraine.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) recently angered Kiev by proposing a roadmap for the return of Russian and Belarusian athletes – who have been banned from most world events for a year – under neutral flags, provided they “did not actively support the war.” “. Ukraine”.
At its next council meeting in March, the International Athletics Federation (World Athletics) will “concretely discuss the reinstatement roadmap in relation to the heinous attacks on the integrity of our sport by doping,” the body chief said on Friday. Sebastian Coe, who is in Australia for the World Cross-Country.
The war in Ukraine almost a year after the Russian invasion and the heightened tensions between Beijing and Washington are the central themes of the Munich Security Conference, which begins on Friday.
More than 150 government representatives meet for this high mass on international security issues, which takes place every year in the Bavarian state capital.
Headliners on Friday include German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron. Also present are the head of Chinese diplomacy, Wang Yi, the American Vice President, Kamala Harris, the head of diplomacy, Antony Blinken, and the head of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, who will resign from his post in the fall. No Russian official was invited that year.
What if, like Korea, Ukraine was “split” in two? Moscow would think about it. Explanations.
“Two Ukrainians”: Moscow thinks about the Korean modelSource: TF1 Info
Wagner’s Russian paramilitary chief ruled that Bakhmout, the epicenter of fighting in eastern Ukraine, would not fall until “March or April” to attack the “military bureaucracy,” which he says is slowing down the offensive.
His comments come at a time when Russia is seeking victory a few days before the first anniversary of the outbreak of the conflict, on February 24, and against the backdrop of an intensification of its attack on the eastern part of Russia in recent weeks on Ukrainian territory . .
“I think it’s March or April. In order to take Bakhmout, you have to cut off all Ukrainian supply routes,” Yevgeny Prigoyine, founder of the Wagner Group, said in a video published on the Internet.
Welcome to this live coverage of events in Ukraine.