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Moscow State Duma decided to change the address of the US embassy to the square of the Defenders of Donbass

Deputies of the Moscow Duma proposed to name the place near the American Embassy in Moscow as the Defenders of Donbass Square and change the address of the US diplomatic mission

Deputies of the Moscow City Duma from “United Russia”, “Fair Russia”, the Communist Party of the Russian Federation and the deputy association “My Moscow” proposed to name the area near the US Embassy in the capital “the square of the Defenders of Donbass”. We are talking about an unnamed place at the intersection of Bolshoi Devyatinsky Lane and Konyushkovskaya Street.

According to the head of the faction of the party “United Russia” in the Moscow City Duma, Stepan Orlov, chairman of the Moscow State Duma commission on urban economy and housing policy, the parliamentarians also propose changing the address of the US diplomatic mission from 8, Bolshoy Devyatinsky Lane, to the Defenders of Donbass Square. According to the authors of the initiative, if the proposal is approved, “American diplomats will receive a much more easily remembered topographic landmark.”

According to Orlov, residents of Moscow and city public associations “repeatedly turned to the deputies of the Moscow City Duma with requests to perpetuate on the map of the capital in memory of the heroism and military prowess of the defenders of Donbass».

The head of the Communist Party faction in the Moscow City Duma, Nikolai Zubrilin, said that the authors of the initiative “went on a constructive path”: they proposed not to change the Soviet names, but “to give the new square a worthy name.”

The proposal was handed over to the Moscow mayor's office.

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The issues of naming and renaming the territorial units of Moscow are handled by the City Interdepartmental Commission for the naming of territorial units, streets, metro stations, organizations and other objects; its activities are coordinated by the capital's department of cultural heritage.

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In February 2018, a section of Wisconsin Avenue in front of the Russian Embassy in Washington was named after Boris Nemtsov. The politician was killed in 2015 in the center of Moscow with four shots in the back. In 2020, on the fifth anniversary of the assassination, the name of Boris Nemtsov was given to the square Pod Chestnuts, where the Russian embassy is located in Prague.

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CNN learned about the development of US and EU routes for the export of Ukrainian grain

According to the TV channel, Western countries are considering the possibility of exporting wheat and corn from Ukraine by rail and aircraft

The US authorities, together with European partners, are working on ways to export wheat and corn from Ukraine in order to further deliveries to global markets, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the channel, the administration of US President Joe Biden began to work on this issue with European allies after the blockade of the Ukrainian port by the Russian Navy. The interlocutors of CNN specified that the States are considering, among other things, the possibility of exporting grain by rail and by plane.

At the same time, according to sources, the development of scenarios will not include Russia's position on this issue. “There is still a long way to go before any deal is reached. There are many factors, many things that can influence the course of these discussions, — one source said.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, and Ukraine ranks fifth. Together they provide 19% of the world's supply of barley, 14%— wheat and 4%— corn.

After the start of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, wheat prices jumped to record levels. Bloomberg attributed the jump in prices to fears that military operations in Ukraine would lead to a shortage of this cereal on the market. The fighting has cut off more than a quarter of global wheat exports, according to the agency.

In April, the Russian Ministry of Defense suspended the passage of foreign warships and other government vessels in three areas of the Black Sea for six months, from April 24 to October 31. We are talking about an elongated section of the water area along the coast of Crimea (approximately from Sevastopol to Gurzuf), a rectangular area off the coast of the Kerch Peninsula (abeam of the Opuk Nature Reserve), as well as a small area of ​​the sea near the western tip of Crimea.

On Against this background, Biden announced the search for an opportunity to export 20 million tons of grain from Ukraine. The US president explained the need to export grain with record food prices in the world. According to him, the return of Ukrainian grain to the world market should help reduce prices

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The Wall Street Journal, citing informed diplomatic sources, previously wrote that UN Secretary General António Guterres proposed easing restrictions on export of Russian and Belarusian potash fertilizers in exchange for the passage of ships with grain from Ukrainian ports. According to the sources of the newspaper, the UN Secretary General is negotiating with Russia, Turkey and other countries, and Ankara has already agreed to participate in the clearance of the Black Sea.

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Venezuela confirms the lifting of US sanctions on the work of oil workers in the country

The US oil embargo on Venezuela has been in place since 2019. Negotiations to lift part of the restrictions have been ongoing since March. According to Vice President Delcy Rodriguez, this step was the beginning of the complete abolition of “illegal sanctions”

The United States abandoned restrictive measures that prevented the work of American and European oil companies in Venezuela. This was announced on Twitter by the vice-president of the Latin American country, Delcy Rodriguez.

“The Venezuelan government has verified and can confirm that the US has allowed its and European companies to negotiate and resume operations in Venezuela,” she wrote.

Rodriguez also noted that “Venezuela hopes that after this decision, the United States will start moving towards the complete removal of illegal sanctions.”

Earlier in the day, the US Treasury, in consultation with the State Department, issued a narrow license allowing US oil and gas company Chevron to negotiate a possible resumption of production in Venezuela that was halted by US sanctions.

United The states severed diplomatic relations with Caracas, imposed sanctions, and closed their embassy in 2019, accusing President Nicolás Maduro of electoral fraud. Negotiations between the United States and Venezuela on lifting the oil embargo resumed after Russia launched a special operation in Ukraine and imposed oil supply sanctions against Moscow.

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In early March, Reuters, citing sources, reported that US officials could not agree with the leadership of Venezuela on the easing of sanctions on oil exports. Proposals to ease sanctions included allowing Caracas to sell oil through Western companies. Venezuela demanded, among other things, the return of control over the state oil company PDVSA.

A few days later, US President Joe Biden announced the release of two Americans who were in custody in Venezuela. This happened after the visit of an American government delegation to Caracas.

Against the backdrop of the military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing anti-Russian sanctions, gasoline prices in the United States reached record levels. Biden has repeatedly accused Russia and President Vladimir Putin personally of rising prices and inflation, which also began to rise since the beginning of the conflict.

The Russian Embassy in the United States has previously stated that Washington is trying to earn political points through Russophobia to justify its own failures in solving domestic problems. The real cause of the fuel crisis, according to the embassy, ​​is record inflation for the United States— “unsecured trillion-dollar financial investments in the economy, as well as sanctions wars against objectionable states.”

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Biden decided to send US troops to Somalia

The White House is at risk of stepping on the rake of “Black Hawk Down”

US President Joe Biden is taking steps to bring US troops into Somalia. Troops will be deployed from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to local forces in their fight against Islamist militants.

Photo: Global Look Press

Joe Biden signed an order on Monday to redeploy hundreds of US troops to Somalia to counter the Islamist extremist group Al-Shabaab. (recognized as terrorist and banned in several countries).

US troops will be brought in from other parts of Africa to train and provide other support to Somali forces in their fight against what is considered the largest and richest affiliate of the al-Qaeda extremist network. (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation). As POLITICO notes, this serves as a reminder that the United States continues to wage a long struggle against Islamic extremists around the world, even as these efforts are overshadowed by the conflict in Ukraine and other events.

The decision to re-deploy US forces to Somalia is intended to “maximize the safety and effectiveness of our forces and enable them to provide more effective support to our partners,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in announcing the redeployment.

According to a senior Biden administration official, US forces in Somalia will number “less than 500” and are not sent for direct participation in hostilities. Instead, US military personnel will work with Somali forces and ensure the safety of State Department and US Agency for International Development personnel in the African country.

At the end of his presidential term in January 2021, Donald Trump abruptly ordered the withdrawal of about 700 US military personnel from Somalia, which was an extension of his broader policy of pulling the US out of what the 45th President called “endless wars” around the world.

Meanwhile, the head of the US Africa Command, General Stephen Townsend, told Congress in March that the rotations, which he called “traveling to work,” are inefficient and ineffective and put US troops at greater risk.

The Biden administration believes that Al-Shabaab remains a “conspicuous priority given the threat it poses” and that “permanent” the presence of the United States in Somalia will be necessary to counter the extremist group.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin has requested a deployment “to re-establish a permanent US military presence in Somalia to better deal with the al-Shabab group, which has grown in numbers and poses a heightened threat,” — said an administration official.

Biden's decision to sign the order was first reported by The New York Times, which also reported that the president had approved a Pentagon request for permanent authority to prosecute about a dozen suspected al-Shabaab leaders. The group is accused of killing more than a dozen Americans in East Africa, including three in a January 2020 attack on a base used by US counterterrorism forces in Kenya. Later that year, the US accused a Kenyan who took flying lessons in the Philippines of planning a 9/11-style hijacking on behalf of the Al-Shabaab group.

In recent months, the group has made territorial gains against the federal government of Somalia, wiping out the gains of the African Union peacekeepers who once pushed the militants into the country's remote areas.

The news of the decision to deploy the US military came after how on Sunday Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Somalia's president from 2012 to 2017, was declared the winner of the presidential election.

Decades of military-political turbulence in Somalia began to fall apart in 1991, when the field the commanders overthrew the dictator Siad Barre, and then fought against each other. American soldiers were sent there in 1992 as part of a peacekeeping mission that continued until their withdrawal in 1994 — about five months after the humiliating fiasco known as Black Hawk Down in late 1993, when Somali militants shot down two American helicopters. As a result of the crash of aircraft and the subsequent rescue operation, 18 military personnel were killed.

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US ‘walks fine line’ at Southeast Asia summit to strengthen ties

“MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>US 'walks fine line' at Southeast Asia summit to strengthen ties

US President Joseph Biden pointed to a host of global challenges that make the ASEAN-US partnership “critical" at this time. But some experts who focus on Southeast Asia say the administration came up short at the summit. 

The WorldMay 16, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

President Joe Biden participates in the US-ASEAN Special Summit to commemorate 45 years of US-ASEAN relations at the State Department in Washington, Friday, May 13, 2022.

Susan Walsh/AP

Last week, the Biden administration turned its attention to Southeast Asia with a historic convening in Washington. 

For the first time, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) representing a 10-country regional bloc were summoned to the White House to launch a “new era in relations,” President Joe Biden said.

Biden pointed to a host of global challenges that make the ASEAN-US partnership “critical” at this time, alluding to Russian aggression in Ukraine, among other issues. But some experts who focus on Southeast Asia say the administration came up short at the summit. 

Related: Amid war in Ukraine, India maintains 'strategic partnership' with Russia

Derek Grossman, a senior defense analyst at RAND Corporation, said as far as he can tell, “there were no specific deliverables.” Even the headlining commitment of $150 million for the region’s pandemic preparedness, infrastructure, security and other efforts is laughable, he said.

“I think it’s pretty insulting, to be honest,” Grossman told The World. 

“I think it’s pretty insulting … To pledge such a paltry amount to a region that Biden himself, at the White House, during the summit, that ASEAN centrality is at the heart of his administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy.”

Derek Grossman, senior defense analyst, RAND corporation

“To pledge such a paltry amount to a region that Biden himself at the White House, during the summit, you know, he said that ASEAN centrality is at the heart of his administration’s Indo-Pacific strategy.”

Many aspects of this strategy are clearly aimed at countering Beijing’s economic power in the region, but they are not explicitly anti-China, Grossman noted. And not releasing more details about the Indo-Pacific Strategy’s economic framework during the summit was a missed opportunity, he said. 

Those plans are slated to be released later this month. 

“I mean, when you look at what China’s doing on the other side of the ledger here, I mean, they’re literally investing billions — with a B — dollars through their Belt and Road initiative throughout Southeast Asia,” he said. 

Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative is a program worth trillions of dollars that looks to establish a vast network of investment and infrastructure spanning Asia, Europe and Africa. 

Exact numbers are hard to come by, but in 2019, China invested an estimated $166 billion into Southeast Asia and its emerging markets, according to the nonpartisan, Philadelphia-based Foreign Policy Research Institution

Today, the total would be billions more.

With a total population of over 600 million, ASEAN has a gross domestic product of some $2.55 trillion. If it were its own country, the bloc would be the 5th largest economy in the world. 

China’s trade with Southeast Asia totaled $685 billion in 2020. That’s nearly twice the $362 billion the region traded with the US in the same year. 

Related: Southeast Asia allies express concern over US commitment amid Afghanistan crisis

Still, Marc Mealy, senior vice president for policy at the DC-based US-ASEAN Business Council, points out that six of the United States’ top 30 trade partners in the world are in ASEAN, with Vietnam leading the pack. This indicates the importance of the relationship between the two countries, he said. 

The $150 million investment may not be a stand-out commitment in light of Congress’ allocation of $40 billion in aid to Ukraine, but other notable commitments were made at the summit, Mealy said. 

Yohannas Abraham, who currently serves on President Biden’s White House National Security Council, was announced as the nominee for US Ambassador to ASEAN. The post has been vacant since the Trump administration. 

Mealy also noted that other initiatives were announced, including the revamping of a training initiative for young Southeast Asian leaders, as well as a bilateral agreement between Malaysia and the US on semiconductor supply chains

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with billionaire businessman Elon Musk on the sidelines and Mealy’s group hosted an event that brought together ASEAN leaders with US chief executive officers and cabinet secretaries.

“I think there’s lots of other initiatives that, at the end of the day, really do offer some tangible benefits in terms of strengthening the US-ASEAN economic relations."

Marc Mealy, senior vice president for policy, US-ASEAN Business Council, Washington, DC

“I think there’s lots of other initiatives that, at the end of the day, really do offer some tangible benefits in terms of strengthening the US-ASEAN economic relations,” Mealy said. 

Related: Opening the door to Chinese investment comes with risks for Southeast Asian nations

Still, for a region that feels perpetually ignored by the US, it’s unclear whether the summit ultimately sent the intended message. 

Reactions from some Southeast Asian figures, such as leaders of Singapore and Vietnam, appear positive, according to Hunter Marston, a doctoral researcher at Australian National University in Canberra, and a contributor for 9DashLine, a platform that focuses on Asian and Indo-Pacific relations. 

“I think the Biden administration walked a fine line and not pushing ASEAN states too hard to either break ties with Russia entirely, which it understands is unrealistic given Russia's strategic importance to many Southeast Asian countries, and also not to sort of choose sides in this competition with China."

Hunter Marston, doctoral researcher, National University, Canberra, Australia

“I think the Biden administration walked a fine line and not pushing ASEAN states too hard to either break ties with Russia entirely, which it understands is unrealistic given Russia's strategic importance to many Southeast Asian countries, and also not to sort of choose sides in this competition with China,” he said.

Southeast Asian leaders still crave more specifics, Marston said, particularly on how the US can help them economically.

“So hopefully, we'll see the Indo-Pacific economic framework announced soon with further detail,” he said. “And if that contains a little more meat on the bones, it'll only add to the appeal that Washington strategy has for regional partners.”

In Chechnya, they announced the death of seven US citizens in a special operation in Ukraine

Seven Americans who fought on the side of Ukraine as part of the special forces were killed in the Donbass, the Chechen authorities said. The State Department previously said that one of them is alive and safe

Rubezhnoye

Seven American citizens who fought on the side of the Armed Forces of Ukraine as part of special forces were killed in the Ukrainian city of Rubezhnoye, RIA Novosti said. assistant to the head of Chechnya on the security bloc Apta Alaudinov.

He clarified that US citizens died as a result of the battle at the Dye Plant, one of them was named Joseph Ward Clark. “They were fixed by us, and they all departed to another world, leaving behind Javelins, documents and their weapons,” — Alaudinov reported.

A month earlier, on April 14, Clark's documents were published by the Minister of Information and Press of Chechnya, Akhmed Dudayev. He posted on VKontakte video showing the passport of a US citizen named Joseph Ward Clark.

Dudayev claimed that the passport belonged to one of the “representatives” of the US intelligence agencies that “work on the territory of Donbass and are engaged in the destruction of the civilian population.” “They all find shelter here in the Ukrainian land, the so-called,” added the Chechen minister.

On the same day, the State Department called reports of Clark's death or capture untrue. “I'm limited in what I can say due to privacy concerns, but I have reason to believe this person is safe,” — said department spokesman Ned Price.

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The US administration then recommended that US citizens refrain from traveling to Ukraine and not participate in hostilities. “We know that people want to help, but we urge Americans to find other ways to do it, — urged the representative of the White House Jen Psaki.

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Antonov announced US plans to limit the use of Sarmat missiles

According to the Russian ambassador to the United States, Washington “really dislikes” Russia's Sarmat intercontinental missiles and Poseidon unmanned underwater vehicles, so they insist on limiting their use

Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov

Washington “doesn't like” Russia's strategic weapons, including the intercontinental ballistic missile “Sarmat” and the carrier of unmanned underwater vehicles “Poseidon”, they insist on the restriction or complete ban on their use. About this on the air «Soloviev Live» said Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov.

«Poseidon» they really don't like, they really don't like Sarmat, and in all the meetings that we have with academia, we are told all the time that in a future arms control agreement, these Poseidons should be banned, of course, it is necessary to limit the use of “Sarmatians” and so on»,— said the diplomat.

«Sarmat»— complex with a heavy intercontinental missile, its weight exceeds 200 tons. Firing range— 18 thousand km. The missile has a short active flight segment, which complicates the process of intercepting it by means of air defense.

According to the director general and designer of the State Missile Center. Makeev (the developer of Sarmat) Vladimir Degtyar, the rocket is capable of providing a flight path around the entire globe.

On April 20, the Ministry of Defense announced the first successful launch of the Sarmat. The launch was carried out from the Plesetsk cosmodrome, the warheads of the rocket reached the test site in Kamchatka, and the design characteristics of the rocket were confirmed at all stages of the flight, the ministry said. Head of Roskosmos Dmitry Rogozin then stated that the first Sarmat missiles will be put into service in the Krasnoyarsk Territory no later than the autumn of 2022.

On the development of the missile “Sarmat” first told by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2018. He called the rocket “unique” a weapon that can ensure the security of Russia from external threats, and also stated that there are no analogues “in the world and will not be for a long time to come.” He repeated these words, congratulating the military on the launch in April this year.

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Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion

According to the President of the United States, reducing the budget deficit is one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressures .jpg” alt=”Biden announced his intention to cut the US budget deficit by $1.5 trillion” />

The US authorities intend to cut the US budget deficit by a record $1.5 trillion this year. This was stated on his Twitter by American President Joe Biden.

“Under my predecessor, the deficit increased every year. This year we [the administration] are on track to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion— biggest one-year cut in history,— he wrote.

Biden stressed that deficit reduction— one of the main ways to ease inflationary pressure.

By the end of 2020, the US budget deficit increased by $3.12 trillion, and by the end of 2021— for $2.77 trillion. In early February 2022, the total US national debt for the first time exceeded $30 trillion, the amount became equal to $30.012 trillion.

Last December, Biden signed into law an increase in the national debt limit by $2.5 trillion to $31.4 trillion. If not for this measure, the funds in the federal budget could run out by December 15, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned.

On May 4, the US Federal Reserve System (FRS) announced the largest interest rate hike since 2000— immediately by 0.5 percentage points, up to a range of 0.75 & ndash; 1% per annum. At the same time, the American regulator pointed to the appropriateness of further tightening of its policy. Thus, in March, the growth rate of prices in the US broke a 40-year record, rising to 8.5%. Nevertheless, inflation slowed down in April and, according to the US Department of Labor, amounted to 8.3%. For 2022, the Fed predicts inflation of 4.3% with US GDP growth of 2.8%.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on May 10 that the US labor market may be experiencing the biggest supply-demand imbalance since World War II. Unemployment in the US rose to 6.1% in April from 6% in March, according to the country's Department of Labor. At the same time, in the first quarter of 2022, the US economy shrank by 1.4% year-on-year, according to preliminary data from the US Department of Commerce.

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The Pentagon announced the rotation of US troops in Europe

10.5 thousand troops will return to the United States, while the other 10.5 thousand will go to bases in Europe. The Pentagon spokesman stressed that American soldiers are not sent there to participate in hostilities in Ukraine

The United States plans to rotate the military contingent in Europe in the near future, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at a briefing. Washington continues its course to strengthen the defensive capabilities on the eastern flank of NATO against the backdrop of events in Ukraine, he explained.

“For this reason, Secretary [of Defense Lloyd] Austin has ordered the dispatch of approximately 10,500 troops in the coming months to replace the previously sent army units that serve in the European zone, — told Kirby.— This is a one-on-one replacement of military units. Thus, the total number of American soldiers stationed in Europe will remain the same— about 100,000. Replacements will be carried out gradually over the summer.

Kirby stressed that the newly arrived military “won't fight in Ukraine” and the deployment of troops is not permanent.

In April, US Charge d'Affaires in Estonia Brian Roraff said that Washington allows the deployment of troops in Europe not only on a rotational basis, but also on a permanent basis.

Army Chief of Staff James McConville said at the end of March that the United States would not increase its military presence in Europe to the level of the Cold War (350 thousand).

The American authorities emphasize that US troops are in the region to protect allies for NATO, and not for the war with Russia and participation in hostilities in Ukraine.

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WP learns about US development of guidance on intelligence sharing with Ukraine

WP: The US has banned the transfer of data on Russian military leadership and targets outside Ukraine to Kiev Washington will not be able to transfer information to Kyiv about Russian targets outside Ukraine and the top leadership of the Russian Armed Forces, for example, about Shoigu or Gerasimov. The ban does not apply to data on Russian officers on the territory of Ukraine

The administration of US President Joe Biden has developed guidelines for intelligence sharing with Ukraine in order to avoid escalating tensions between Washington and Moscow, The Washington Post reports, citing sources.

The document, according to the newspaper, prohibits the United States from transmitting Ukraine information that “helped to take life” high-ranking Russian officers. This also applies to Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

At the same time, the newspaper writes, the ban does not apply to data on Russian officers, including generals, who are on the territory of Ukraine. However, a senior Pentagon official told WP that Washington has tacitly decided not to give Kyiv information about the whereabouts of the Russian generals.

The second category of information that Washington will not be able to share with Kyiv,— this is any data that would help the Ukrainian side to attack Russian targets outside of Ukraine, the newspaper writes. According to WP sources, the ban is in part to prevent “the United States from becoming a participant in attacks that Ukraine could carry out on Russian territory.”

The United States regularly exchanges intelligence with Ukraine about Russian ships in the Black Sea, which could be used to support offensives against cities like Odessa, according to an unnamed Pentagon official. He stressed that it— “not specific information,” the purpose of the data transfer is not for Ukraine to strike at them, but for Kyiv to be able to prepare for defense. For example, the authorities may take measures to strengthen the defense of the city or evacuate civilians, the source said.

According to US and Ukrainian officials, in addition, the United States transmits real-time information to Ukraine about the location and movement of Russian troops on territory of the country. This includes satellite imagery and intelligence.

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The New York Times also reported that the United States gave Ukraine intelligence data that the Ukrainian military used to strike Russian positions, stating, that they do not include information about the advances of high-ranking officials of the Russian military leadership. The Pentagon indicated that Kyiv is provided with the information “which they can use for self-defense.”

On May 6, CNN, citing sources, reported that the United States had provided intelligence to Ukraine about the location of the Moskva cruiser. in the Black Sea shortly before the fire started on the ship. According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, on April 14, due to a fire on board, ammunition detonated, the cruiser sank. As a result, the ministry said one person was killed, 27 were missing and 396 more were evacuated. The Pentagon denied passing this information to Kyiv.

NBC reported May 7 that Biden, in a meeting with CIA Director William Burns and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, demanded an end to leaks of information about the exchange of data between US and Ukrainian intelligence, as it “distracts from our common goal».

According to the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, the transfer of intelligence by the West to Ukraine will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the military operation.

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Bulgaria agrees to buy LNG from the US at prices lower than those of Gazprom

The Bulgarian government has not specified how the cost of gas will be calculated when buying from the United States and how much it will be. At the end of April, Gazprom stopped deliveries to Bulgaria due to non-payment in rubles .jpg” alt=”Bulgaria agreed to buy LNG from the US at prices lower than from Gazprom” />

Bulgaria will buy LNG from the US at prices lower than those of Gazprom, the Bulgarian government said in a statement. Deliveries will begin in June.

The corresponding agreement was reached during a meeting between Bulgarian Prime Minister Kirill Petkov and US Vice President Kamala Harris.

“The Bulgarian Prime Minister pointed out that what is happening in Europe is a clear sign of the need for accelerated and real measures in the energy sector. Vice President Kamala Harris congratulated Bulgaria on taking decisive action to defend its energy sovereignty,— said in a government release.

The Bulgarian government has not indicated how the price of gas supplied from the United States will be calculated, and how much it will be.

Until March 2020, the cost of Russian gas for Bulgaria was determined by a contract with a link to the price of oil. However, from the beginning of 2020, Sofia began to seek a discount, as prices on the spot European gas markets turned out to be lower and countries whose contracts were not linked to the price of oil found themselves in more favorable conditions.

In March 2020, ” ;Gazprom» reduced the price of gas for Bulgaria by 40%.

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At the end of April of this year, Bulgaria reported that Gazprom Export notified its Bulgarian partner, the Bulgargaz company, of the suspension of gas supplies. The Russian company later confirmed the message, specifying that such a decision was made due to non-payment in rubles.

Bulgarian Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov later explained that the procedure for paying for gas in rubles, on which Russia insists “involves significant risks.” “In practice, we will lose control of our money after paying in US dollars, as we agreed. There will be a risk of breach of obligations— non-fulfilment [of conditions] by a Russian bank, which will be responsible for converting the corresponding amount into rubles, — he clarified.

Bulgaria warned the Russian side about the refusal to pay for Russian gas in rubles even earlier.

French Minister of Environmental Transformations Barbara Pompili called the cessation of gas supplies to Bulgaria a violation of contracts.

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Источник rbc.ru

Medvedev warned about “hunters to share” $ 40 billion in US aid to Ukraine

The allocation of this amount to help Ukraine was approved by the House of Representatives of Congress. Medvedev said that the purpose of providing Kyiv with such “huge” funds is to continue the proxy war against Russia in order to limit its development

Dmitry Medvedev

Money, the allocation of which to Kyiv was approved by the US House of Representatives, — huge, and “there will be a lot of hunters to divide them in the American military-industrial complex,” Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council, is sure.

“It is clear that ‘help’ on such an unprecedented scale is not at all due to love for Ukraine and not even support for its own economy. Her goal— the continuation of the proxy war against Russia, the desire to inflict a heavy defeat on our country, limit its economic development and political influence in the world,— Medvedev wrote in his Telegram. In his opinion, Washington will not be able to carry out its plan: “their printing press will break faster”, due to which the US national debt is constantly increasing, and the goals of the Russian military operation in Ukraine will be achieved.

The politician noted that the Americans can thank “their Russophobic authorities” for rising prices for gasoline and groceries.

Earlier, the House of Representatives passed a bill on additional assistance to Ukraine for $40 billion. The aid package includes the supply of weapons and humanitarian aid to Kyiv. Now the initiative must be approved by the upper house of the US Congress— Senate.

President Joe Biden asked for $33 billion in bailouts, but congressmen, as Medvedev put it, “donated a couple more billion out of generosity.”

Since the beginning of the Russian military operation in Ukraine, Washington has transferred more than $3.5 billion worth of weapons (howitzers, Stinger anti-aircraft systems, Javelin anti-tank missiles, Ghost drones) to Kyiv. The government’s funding package for the current fiscal year, adopted by the Senate, includes humanitarian, military and economic assistance Ukraine in the amount of about $13.6 billion.

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On May 9, Biden signed a law on lend-lease for Ukraine (under a similar program, the United States during the Second World War leased or transferred military equipment and equipment to its allies on a long-term loan).

The Russian side has warned Western countries more than once that convoys with foreign weapons on the territory of Ukraine will become legitimate military targets. At the same time, the authorities emphasize that the supply of weapons to Kyiv will not prevent Moscow from conducting a special military operation.

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US will give Ukraine a second batch of Mi-17 helicopters

Photo: ruwikipedia

According to CNN, on May 10, the US authorities began deliveries to Ukraine of another batch of Mi-17 helicopters. In total, 11 such aircraft will be sent.

The Pentagon clarified that the Ukrainian military had already received a batch of Mi-17 helicopters from the United States earlier.

The plans to deliver these helicopters to Kyiv were announced in January by an official representative White House Jen Psaki. It was then about helicopters in the Pentagon's stocks.

Источник www.mk.ru

The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction in Ukraine of US equipment and the reserve of the Armed Forces of Ukraine

According to Moscow, the weapons were delivered by rail to Sol station. It was destroyed by high-precision air-launched missiles near the city of Soledar *

Russian military personnel destroyed weapons and military equipment from the United States and Western countries and personnel of the reserve units of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

The strikes were carried out by high-precision air-launched missiles in the area of ​​​​the settlement of Soledar. Equipment and weapons were brought by rail to the Sol station.

Six command posts, 28 Ukrainian artillery units in firing positions, 179 areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, as well as two ammunition depots were hit by artillery.

In total, since the beginning of the special operation, the Russian military has destroyed 157 aircraft, 116 helicopters, 768 drones, 298 air defense systems, 2,933 tanks and other armored vehicles, 336 multiple rocket launchers, 1,411 field artillery pieces and mortars, and 2,758 units of special military vehicles.

After the start of the special operation, Ukraine declared martial law and mobilization, and also severed diplomatic relations with Russia.

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Washington Post learned about US purchases of new types of weapons for Ukraine

The United States plans to purchase laser-guided missiles, Puma handheld drones, and additional Switchblade kamikaze drones for Ukraine, writes The Washington Post

“Switchblade” drone;

The Pentagon decided to expand the supply of weapons and military equipment to Ukraine through purchases from US enterprises worth $136 million, The Washington Post reported. We are talking about laser-guided missiles, drones, binoculars and other military assistance.

According to the publication, the United States has not previously sent weapons and equipment that are planned to be purchased from American manufacturers to Ukraine. Previous shipments have been made from existing Pentagon stocks, the newspaper writes.

As for the purchase of weapons for Ukraine by Washington, it includes high-precision helicopter-launched 70mm missiles for a total of $22.6 million, as well as Puma handheld drones for $19.7 million. called in the Pentagon, “kamikaze drones” Switchblade for $17.8M

Deputy head of the Pentagon Bill LaPlante told reporters that the department has at its disposal funding approved by the US Congress in the amount of $300 million, which can be spent on the purchase of weapons for Ukraine. He also added that the US Department of Defense is negotiating with contractors to replace missiles for the Stinger and Javelin systems, which were previously transferred to Kyiv from the Pentagon's stocks.

“We are in contact with manufacturers every day as our requests grow. , and [the administration of US President Joe Biden] will continue to use all available tools to support the armed forces of Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, — cites the edition of LaPlante's word.

On May 6, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby announced another round of military assistance to Kyiv in the face of the “offensive of Russian troops” in the east of Ukraine. The supply of weapons and equipment from the US Department of Defense stockpiles totaling $150 million includes 25,000 155mm artillery shells, 3 AN/TPQ-36 anti-artillery radars, electronic jamming systems, as well as field equipment and spare parts.

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Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the start of a special operation in Ukraine on February 24. He called its goal “demilitarization” and “denazification” neighboring country, as well as protecting the population of Donbass. Kyiv in response to this declared martial law and general mobilization. At the end of March, the Ministry of Defense announced the regrouping of troops in connection with the implementation of the main tasks in the Kiev and Chernigov directions. The ministry also called the “complete liberation of Donbass” the main goal of the operation.

After the start of the special operation, Western countries, led by the United States, increased their military assistance to Ukraine. This has repeatedly provoked criticism from Moscow. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that by supplying weapons to Kyiv, NATO was actually entering into a “proxy war”; with Russia. He also said that any cargo in Ukraine that Moscow considers foreign weapons will become targets for Russian troops.

The Ministry of Defense has repeatedly reported the destruction of warehouses with foreign weapons in Ukraine, including near Lvov, near Kharkov and in Zaporozhye.

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The Ministry of Defense announced the destruction of weapons from the US and Europe near Kharkov

The Russian military also intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U ballistic missiles and nine Smerch multiple rocket launchers in the Kharkiv region, Konashenkov said

View of the building of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation

Russian aviation struck at a railway station in the Kharkiv region of Ukraine and destroyed a large batch of weapons from the United States and Europe, said Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov.

“As a result of the strikes, up to 280 nationalists were killed, 48 pieces of weapons and military equipment were disabled.” ,— he claims.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

Video

According to him, Russian air defense systems intercepted three Ukrainian Tochka-U missiles overnight. and nine rockets of the Smerch multiple launch rocket system over the city of Izyum in the Kharkiv region. The military also shot down nine Ukrainian drones over the Kharkiv and Kherson regions, as well as over the territory of the Donetsk People's Republic.

In addition, the Russian Aerospace Forces hit five areas of concentration of manpower and military equipment, as well as an ammunition depot in the DPR.

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The United States, the EU and other countries began to supply weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. The Russian side stated that it could consider shipments of foreign weapons on the territory of the country as its legitimate military goals, and called on the United States and NATO to stop deliveries to Kyiv.

Press Secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov, for his part, noted that the Western weapons cannot “stop the advance” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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US to supply 25,000 artillery shells and radars to Ukraine

US to supply Ukraine with 25,000 artillery shells and $150 million worth of radars The cost of this military assistance package will be up to $150 million. will supply Ukraine with 25,000 artillery shells and radars” />

The new military aid package for Ukraine will include 25,000 155mm artillery shells, AN/TPQ-36 anti-artillery radars and jamming equipment, total the package will cost up to $150 million, according to the Pentagon.

The United States will also supply field equipment and spare parts.

“The capabilities of this package are tailored to meet Ukraine's critical needs in today's struggle as Russian forces continue their offensive in eastern Ukraine,” the message says.

The agency notes that this is the ninth delivery of military aid to Ukraine since August 2021. During the time that President Joe Biden has been in charge of the United States, Washington has allocated about $4.5 billion to Kyiv in security assistance, with $3.8 of them— since the beginning of the Russian military operation on February 24. Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $6.5 billion in aid to Ukraine, the Pentagon said.

The military department added that the United States continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide Ukraine with additional capabilities for self-defense.

New deliveries of military aid to Ukraine were previously announced by Biden. At the same time, he said that the presidential administration, after this announcement, had practically exhausted the funds that could be used to send military assistance to Ukraine without the approval of Congress. Biden called on lawmakers to quickly approve the additional funding needed.

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Prior to this, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced the president's intention on May 9 to sign a law on the lend-lease program for Ukraine (a program under which the United States leased or transferred military equipment to allies on a long-term loan during World War II).

At the end of April, Biden urged Congress to increase aid to Ukraine by more than 10 times — from $3 billion to $33 billion. Of this amount, $20 billion should go to armaments, military equipment and equipment for soldiers, $8.5 billion — for direct economic support, $3 billion — for humanitarian aid and food security. On April 29, Psaki said that the authorities had $250 million left to provide military assistance to Kyiv.

The United States, the European Union and some other countries began to supply Ukraine with weapons even before the start of the Russian military operation and increased their support after the outbreak of hostilities. On April 21, the Pentagon promised to transfer to Ukraine 72 howitzers and 144 thousand artillery shells for them, 72 towing vehicles and 121 Phoenix Ghost tactical drones. On the same day, Biden announced his intention to provide Kyiv with $800 million in security assistance and $500 million in direct economic support. On April 30, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called on the United States and NATO to stop supplying Ukraine with weapons and ammunition and accused the alliance of trying to prevent the completion of the military operation by reaching political agreements between Moscow and Kyiv.

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CNN learned about the transfer of US data to Kyiv on the location of the cruiser Moskva

According to CNN sources, Washington, at the request of Kyiv, provided data on the location of the cruiser shortly before the fire started on the ship. At the same time, the United States did not know exactly how Ukraine would use the intelligence data alt=”CNN learned about the transfer of US data to Kyiv on the location of the cruiser “Moskva”” />

Guards missile cruiser “Moskva”

The United States provided Ukraine with intelligence on the location of the Moskva cruiser. shortly before the fire started on the ship, CNN reports, citing sources.

According to the TV channel, the Ukrainian military, having noticed a warship in the Black Sea, checked with their American colleagues, who confirmed the target and provided accurate cruiser position data. Some time later, on the “Moscow” a fire started and the ship sank, clarifies CNN.

At the same time, the channel's sources emphasize that the United States did not know exactly how Kyiv would use the intelligence.

On the night of April 14, the Ministry of Defense reported a fire on the Moskva cruiser. Due to the fire on board, the ammunition detonated, later the fire was localized, and the explosions stopped, the ministry said. They also stated that the cruiser was seriously damaged, and the crew of the “Moskva” was evacuated.

Late in the evening of the same day, the ministry reported that the cruiser, as a result of the damage to the hull and in the “conditions of stormy seas” sank during towing.

At the request of Roskomnadzor, RBC provides data on the details of the military operation in Ukraine based on information from Russian official sources.

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On April 22, the Ministry of Defense reported one dead and 27 missing as a result of an incident on the cruiser Moskva. “In the course of the struggle for the ship's damage, one serviceman was killed, another 27 crew members were missing. The remaining 396 crew members were evacuated from the cruiser to the ships of the Black Sea Fleet in the area and taken to Sevastopol, — indicated by the department. The deceased turned out to be midshipman Ivan Vakhrushev, they have already said goodbye to him in Sevastopol, said the governor of the city, Mikhail Razvozhaev.

The flagship cruiser of the Black Sea Fleet was laid down on the slipway of the Nikolaev Shipbuilding Plant in 1976 with the original name “Slava”. In 1979 he was launched. In 1999, “Moscow” relocated to Sevastopol. In 2008, the cruiser participated in the Russian operation in South Ossetia, aimed at “forcing the Georgian authorities to peace”, and from September 2015 to January 2016, she provided cover from the sea direction of the air base of the Russian Aerospace Forces Khmeimim in Syria.

Experts interviewed by RBC said that the failure of the cruiser is unlikely to have an impact on the course of the special operation in Ukraine. During the operation “Moscow” mainly provided information obtained from the cruiser's radar system, said Navy specialist Ilya Kramnik. Vasily Kashin, an expert of the Russian International Affairs Council, specified that the cruiser was outdated long ago and shortly before the start of the special operation, the issue of decommissioning it was decided.

Источник rbc.ru

US congressman who visited Kyiv spoke about Zelensky’s request

Congressman Crowe: Kyiv asked the US to give missiles against ships to release ports Kyiv asked Washington to transfer more powerful drones and multiple launch rocket systems, as well as missiles against ships to release ports. Now there are 12 million tons of food in the ports of the country, stressed in the United States alt=”US congressman who visited Kyiv spoke about Zelensky's request” />

Volodymyr Zelensky

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked US President Joe Biden to provide Kyiv with anti-ship missiles to ensure the security of Ukrainian ports in order to export food. Zelensky conveyed this request through members of the US House of Representatives who visited Kyiv, Jason Crowe, a member of the delegation, told NBC.

The Ukrainian authorities also would like to receive reusable drones with precision-guided munitions. In addition, they are asking to transfer multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS), Crowe recounted the content of Zelensky's request.

According to him, Kyiv is interested in American Harpoon anti-ship missiles or similar armed, with its help, the Ukrainian authorities intend to ensure the use of the port in Odessa and other cities of the country. Crowe pointed out that one of the biggest problems for Ukraine was the inability to continue exporting food.

“They have 12 million tons of food products, wheat grain, sunflower oil, and these supplies are needed both by the Ukrainian economy and in order to prevent famine in Africa and the Middle East, in particular,” — Crowe said.

Zelensky warned at the end of March about the risk of food shortages in different countries. According to him, deliveries of corn, vegetable oil and other goods are disrupted.

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Then a possible food crisis was announced in Paris and Washington. French President Emmanuel Macron pointed out that a number of states that depend on grain exports from Russia and Ukraine have already faced problems, citing Egypt as an example. In his opinion, the situation risks worsening in 12-18 months. US President Joe Biden agreed with him, he said that “food shortages will be real.”

In early May, the UN stated that about 4.5 million tons of grain had accumulated in Ukrainian ports, which could not be exported.

The French president raised the issue of food supplies from Ukraine on May 3 in a conversation with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. He indicated that Paris was ready to cooperate in lifting the “Russian blockade of Ukrainian food exports through the Black Sea”, noting that it risks leading to consequences for global food security.

Russia and Ukraine are among the world's largest grain suppliers, according to a report by the US Department of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service. According to the latest data from the agency, Russia accounted for 16% of world wheat exports, Ukraine — ten%. At the same time, Ukrainian suppliers — one of the main world exporters of corn, they account for 14%, Russian — 2%.

Russian authorities warn against Western countries supplying weapons to Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned that Moscow considers any NATO transport with weapons that arrive in Ukraine as a legitimate target. According to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, NATO countries, by supplying weapons to Kyiv, are actually entering into a state of “proxy war”; with Russia. If this happens, the minister concluded, “then in war as in war.”

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Источник rbc.ru

Russian embassy urges US to redirect ‘irrepressible energy’

The American authorities recognize the connection between the rise in fuel prices in the United States and the sanctions imposed against Russian energy carriers, the Russian embassy said. The diplomatic mission urged the United States to redirect forces to solve their own problems The Russian Embassy called on the United States to redirect “irrepressible energy” />

International sanctions against Russia are counterproductive, with US officials acknowledging that restrictive energy measures will lead to instability in the energy market and higher fuel prices, the Russian embassy said.

“We recommend that America's ruling circles send their irrepressible energy to solve their own problems in the United States, — said in the message.

Sanctions will be ineffective, they are confident in the diplomatic mission, they said that the strengthening of the Russian currency speaks of the stability of the economy and the financial sector of the country. “This is recognized by the experts themselves from Western countries,” — say the embassy.

The ruble began to strengthen against the dollar and the euro in mid-March against the backdrop of statements by the Russian leadership about Russia's intentions to continue delivering oil and gas abroad in the national currency. After President Vladimir Putin signed the corresponding decree at the end of March, the dollar exchange rate reached 83 rubles, the euro— RUB 87.7

Then the Russian currency continued to strengthen: at the end of April, the dollar exchange rate for the first time since November last year fell below 71 rubles, and on May 4, for the first time since March 2020, it fell to 66.6 rubles. The euro exchange rate during the auction fell below 70 rubles— up to 69.8 rubles— for the first time since February 2020.

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At the White House, during a briefing in early April, the strengthening of the ruble was explained by “artificial pumping”; The Central Bank and the government of Russia, expressing confidence that the exchange rate of the Russian currency cannot be considered a real indicator of the state of affairs in the economy. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield then expressed confidence that the sanctions against Russia are working.

The Kremlin did not agree with this assessment at the time. “You can focus [on the ruble exchange rate],” — said Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for the Russian president.

In early March, the United States imposed a ban on oil and gas supplies from Russia, President Joe Biden announced this. He pointed out that this decision was supported by representatives of both parties of the Congress— Republican and Democratic. Then the cost of Brent oil exceeded $130, and the price of gasoline in the United States broke a historical record, the cost of a gallon (3.785 liters) reached $4.17. The last record was set in July 2008, when the price per gallon of gasoline was $4.11. At the end of March, the American president called the increase in gasoline prices “Putin's rise in price”.

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US allowed deals with Gazprom Germania until the end of September

All transactions involving Gazprom Germania or any legal entity in which the company owns a stake of 50% or more can be carried out until September 30, follows from the license of the Ministry of Finance. Previously, Gazprom ceased participation in the German subsidiary

The US Department of the Treasury has allowed transactions involving Gazprom Germania GmbH until September 30, 2022, according to the general license published on the agency's website.

The same applies to any legal entities in which Gazprom Germania owns a 50% or more share.

«All transactions related to Gazprom Germania GmbH or any legal entity in which Gazprom Germania GmbH owns directly or indirectly 50% or more <…> are permitted until 00:01 ET time September 30, 2022»,— it says.

On February 24, the day the Russian military operation in Ukraine began, the United States imposed sectoral sanctions that included Gazprom. Restrictions apply to the acquisition of debt and raising capital.

In early April, Gazprom terminated its participation in Gazprom Germania and withdrew its representatives from the governing bodies. The company also demanded from the former “daughter” abandon Gazprom's trademarks, including in names and symbols, “to avoid further identification of their activities with a Russian company.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that

Gazprom Germania will come under the control of the Federal Network Agency by 30 September. Earlier Bloomberg reported that Berlin is looking for a buyer for the former “daughter” “Gazprom”. At the same time, the authorities do not exclude the nationalization of Gazprom Germania, but this will be extreme measures, Bloomberg reported.

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Gazprom Germania unites a number of companies operating in Europe, including Gazprom Marketing & Trading Ltd, Wingas, Gascade Gastransport, Astora, Gazprom NGV Europe (operator of gas filling stations in Germany and the Czech Republic) and others.

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Congress submitted a resolution on the involvement of the US military in Ukraine

The author of the resolution proposed to allow the use of US military forces in Ukraine if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. Earlier, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said that the risks of nuclear war are very significant alt=”Resolution submitted to Congress to bring US military to Ukraine” />

US Congressman Adam Kinzinger

US Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-Illinois) introduced a draft resolution that allows the use of American Armed Forces in Ukraine, if Russia uses chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, follows from the statement on the congressman's website.

“I am introducing this AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force) as a clear red line so that the administration [of US President Joe Biden] can take appropriate action if Russia uses a chemical. biological and/or nuclear weapons,— Kinzinger said.

He clarified that this resolution authorizes US President Joe Biden to use “forces to respond to a scenario” in which Russia uses any of these weapons.

“Having spoken to Secretary of State [Anthony] Blinken and listened to his serious concerns about [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's use of chemical weapons, I am confident that the United States will demonstrate to the world community that we will not tolerate senseless violence,”— added by Kinzinger.

Three days after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered that the strategic deterrence forces (SSS) be placed on a special alert regime. These forces are designed to deter aggression against Russia and its allies in order to defeat the aggressor, including— in a nuclear war.

In March, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he did not believe in a possible nuclear war. “I draw your attention to the fact that in the context of the events that have unfolded in Ukraine in recent years and have escalated literally in recent months and weeks, the nuclear topic has been thrown into this discourse exclusively by Western representatives, primarily NATO members,” — he said.

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At the same time, in March, he announced the dispatch of the US military to Europe. “Our troops are heading to Europe not to fight in Ukraine, but to protect our NATO allies in case Putin decides to continue moving west,” the president explained. According to him, the hostilities in Ukraine, which is not part of NATO, do not require the direct participation of the United States.

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FT reports talks between the US and Britain on the “Chinese threat” to Taiwan

Washington and London held high-level talks in March on closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of a war with China over Taiwan. During the meeting, the parties studied emergency action plans for the first time “FT Reports US-UK Talks on 'China Threat' to Taiwan” />

The US and UK held high-level talks in early March to discuss options for closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of war with China from -for Taiwan, according to the Financial Times, citing people familiar with the matter.

White House Coordinator for the Indo-Pacific Region Kurt Campbell and senior National Security Council spokesperson for China Laura Rosenberger held a meeting in Taiwan with British representatives. During the talks, the parties studied contingency plans for the first time, the publication writes.

Taiwan— an island in the South China Sea, about 150 km off the coast of China. In 1949, during the revolution, the territory declared secession from China, but Beijing considers it one of the Chinese provinces.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but at the same time sells weapons to it. Officially, the United States, like Russia, supports the One China principle.

The situation in the South China Sea escalated last March. China has repeatedly accused the United States of having its warships enter waters that China considers its own. The Taiwan Ministry of Defense, in turn, has repeatedly reported violations of the island's airspace by Chinese aircraft. Beijing claimed that the planes were taking part in the exercise.

In October 2021, US President Joe Biden said that Washington would side with Taiwan in case of a potential attack on it by the PRC. According to him, the United States has assumed the corresponding obligations. Taiwanese President Zai Ing-wen has said that the US military is on the island to train the local army, but she said there are “not as many US soldiers in Taiwan as people think.”

In mid-April, Beijing decided to conduct exercises off the island of Taiwan. The Chinese Defense Ministry said they were provoked by “serious misinformation” that the United States is sending to “Taiwanese separatists.” Prior to this, a delegation of six US congressmen arrived on the island to meet with Tsai Ing-wen, Reuters wrote. During the talks, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez said that Taiwan— “country of global importance” and its safety matters “for the whole world.”

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On April 26, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington intends to provide Taiwan with everything necessary to protect against any potential aggression, including from China. In response, Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington, urged the US to avoid “wrong signals to separatist forces supporting 'Taiwan independence' so as not to cause serious damage to Sino-US relations, as well as 'peace and stability on both sides of the Taiwan Strait'.” ;.

On April 28, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that NATO must solve global problems, including protecting the Pacific region, so that democracies like Taiwan “have the opportunity to defend themselves.”

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FT learned about the discussion in China of protecting foreign assets from US sanctions

The FT's interlocutors reported that China is concerned about the freezing of foreign assets of the Bank of Russia and fears the introduction of such measures against Beijing “in the event of a regional military conflict or other crisis”

Chinese regulators held an emergency meeting with local and international banks, where they discussed ways to protect China's overseas assets from possible US sanctions similar to those imposed on Russia, according to the Financial Times, citing sources familiar with the discussion.

According to the interlocutors of the publication, representatives of the central bank and the Ministry of Finance of China, as well as heads of local and international banks, took part in the discussion on April 22. The publication noted that the meeting began with the words of a senior official of the Chinese Ministry of Finance that Beijing was alarmed by the ability of the United States and its allies to freeze the dollar assets of the Bank of Russia.

According to the Financial Times, Chinese officials are wary of imposing such measures against Beijing “in the event of a regional military conflict or other crisis,” while the meeting did not mention specific scenarios in which China could face sanctions.

One of the sources told the publication that in the event of a Chinese attack on Taiwan, “the separation of the Chinese and Western economies will be much more serious” than with Russia, since Beijing's economic influence affects the whole world. Another source of the newspaper noted that the Chinese banking system is not ready to freeze its foreign exchange assets or disconnect from the SWIFT system. at a high level, which discussed options for closer cooperation to reduce the likelihood of a war with China over Taiwan.

Taiwan — an island in the South China Sea, about 150 km from the coast of China. In 1949, during the revolution, the territory declared secession from China, but Beijing considers it one of the Chinese provinces.

The United States does not have official diplomatic relations with Taiwan, but at the same time sells weapons to it. Officially, the United States, like Russia, supports the One China principle.

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In mid-April, Beijing decided to conduct exercises near Taiwan, saying that it was provoked by the “serious misinformation” that the US is sending to the “Taiwanese separatists.” Before that, a delegation of six US congressmen arrived on the island to meet with the President of Taiwan, Reuters wrote.

On April 26, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that Washington intends to provide Taiwan with everything necessary to protect Taiwan from any potential aggression, including including from China.

In response, Beijing urged the United States to avoid “wrong signals to separatist forces supporting 'Taiwan independence' so as not to cause serious damage to Sino-US relations, as well as 'peace and stability on both sides'. Taiwan Strait».

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Georgia urges US to increase its political support

Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili called on Western partners, including the United States, to “remember” Georgia and Moldova and demonstrate political support for these countries, which will be an “important signal” to Moscow

Georgia now needs the political support of Western partners, including the United States , as an “important signal” for Moscow, President Salome Zurabishvili said in an interview with The Hill.

She said she hoped to see Georgia among the talking points released by the Biden administration, saying it would send “an important message” for Moscow. Zurabishvili stressed that this is not about increasing military assistance, but about demonstrating political support for Georgia, as well as Moldova.

According to her, despite the fact that Moscow cannot now deploy troops to start a new operation, Russia “can still play on nerves,

and this is what it is doing in Transnistria, trying to sow fears, destabilize the population”

“In this way, Russia shows that even if it is focused on Ukraine, it does not forget Moldova and [Georgia]. So, again, our Western partners should, for their part, not forget Georgia, — she said.

Zurabishvili also indicated that Georgia does not intend to back down from its NATO aspirations, as it seeks security guarantees.

In early April, after announcing the resignation of Georgian Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani and his appointment as the country's ambassador to the United States, Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili called Washington the most important strategic partner of Georgia. According to him, the task of Tbilisi — bring relations between the two countries to a new, higher level. “I believe David can do it,” — he said.

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In mid-February, Reuters reported that Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze, while on a visit to Brussels, said that the country's accession to NATO is the only way to preserve the country's territorial integrity. In early March, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the issue of membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO is not currently on the agenda. Presidents of the United States and France Joe Biden and Emmanuel Macron and Secretary General of the alliance Jens Stoltenberg also spoke about this.

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Lavrov called on the US and NATO to stop the supply of weapons to Ukraine

NATO publicly expresses support for Kyiv, but in fact it does everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said

The US and NATO should change their minds and stop supplying weapons to Ukraine and ammunition if they are interested in resolving the crisis. This was stated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in an interview with Xinhua.

According to Lavrov, the world is now witnessing the “hypocrisy of the Western establishment.” Thus, NATO, publicly expressing support for Ukraine, is doing everything to prevent the completion of the operation by reaching political agreements between Moscow and Kyiv.

“Various weapons are coming to Ukraine through Poland and other NATO countries in an endless stream. All this is done under the pretext of “fighting the invasion”, but, in fact, the United States and the European Union intend to fight Russia “to the last Ukrainian”, and they are absolutely indifferent to the fate of Ukraine as an independent subject of international relations, & mdash; he stressed.

The Russian Foreign Minister added that the Ukrainian people now need a solution to humanitarian issues, and not Stingers; and Javelins.

Earlier, Sergei Koshelev, Deputy Director of the North America Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that the Russian military may consider shipments of US and NATO weapons on the territory of Ukraine as their legitimate military targets.

“We warned about what consequences the thoughtless transfer to Ukraine of such types of weapons as man-portable anti-aircraft missile systems, anti-tank missile systems can have, — said Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

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In response, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan indicated that Washington, despite the “Russian threats”, will continue to provide military assistance to Ukraine, as it is necessary for defense.

The United States, the EU and other countries began supplying weapons to Ukraine even before the start of the Russian military operation. On April 21, Washington promised a new military aid package to Kyiv that would include 72 howitzers and 72 towing vehicles, 144,000 artillery shells, and 121 tactical drones. Prior to that, US President Joe Biden announced that Ukraine would receive $800 million in security assistance.

Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Western weapons cannot “stop the offensive.” and will not prevent Russia from achieving the goals of the special operation.

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Psaki announced the remaining US $ 250 million for military assistance to Ukraine

The United States may send $250 million worth of weapons to Ukraine, which remained from the allocated $3.5 billion, a White House spokeswoman said. The day before, Biden asked Congress for $33 billion

The State Department confirmed the return of US diplomats to Lviv

There is no talk of resuming the permanent work of American diplomats in Ukraine yet. This time they arrived in Lviv for a while to meet with representatives of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry

US State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed that some American diplomats have temporarily returned to Lviv in Ukraine, there is no talk of permanent work of diplomats yet, reports CNN.

According to Price, the deputy head of mission and embassy staff arrived in Lviv on April 26 and met with representatives of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

“This trip was the first step before more regular visits soon. We are accelerating preparations for the resumption of the work of the embassy in Kyiv,— he said

Price stressed that the US State Department is constantly assessing the security situation in order to reopen the US embassy as soon as possible in order to “facilitate support for the government and people of Ukraine.”

The day before, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that American diplomats would gradually return to Ukraine from next week. Moreover, Washington will consider opening an embassy in Kyiv. According to Blinken, this could happen “within a couple of weeks.”

The United States decided to temporarily move the embassy in Ukraine from Kyiv to Lvov even before the start of the Russian special operation. Subsequently, the authorities ordered the staff to move to Poland for security reasons.

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Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky on April 8 invited foreign diplomats to return to the Ukrainian capital, noting that a signal that Kyiv— not a “provincial Russian city”.

Prior to this, the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced that it had returned the staff of the embassy in Ukraine to Kyiv. On April 7, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgar Rinkevich announced that the country's embassy would also resume work in Kyiv.

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Biden nominated ambassador to Slovakia to head US diplomatic mission in Ukraine

US President Biden sent to the Senate the candidacy of a new ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, who now heads the diplomatic mission in Slovakia. The post of US Ambassador to Kyiv has been vacant since May 2019

US President Joe Biden has nominated Bridget Brink for the post of US ambassador to Ukraine for consideration by the Senate of Congress. This was reported on the White House website.

«Senate nominee: Bridget Brink <…> [nominated] for the post of US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Ukraine”, — the message says.

On the eve of Biden announced that Brink, who now holds the post of ambassador to Slovakia, will become the new American ambassador to Ukraine. The fact that the US president has chosen a candidate for this post was reported by CNN, citing sources in Washington and Kyiv, on February 1.

The post of US ambassador to Ukraine has remained vacant since May 2019 of the year. The previous head of the diplomatic mission, Marie Yovanovitch, was recalled to Washington. At that time, Donald Trump was the President of the United States.

The Wall Street Journal wrote that, according to Trump's lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, she prevented him from “persuading” Kyiv authorities to launch an investigation against the company Burisma, in which the son of Joe Biden Hunter worked. After that, Chargé d'Affaires Christina Quinn represented the United States in Ukraine.

Bridget Brink has been a diplomat for 25 years and holds an MA in International Relations and Political Theory from the London School of Economics. She knows Russian, studied Slovak, Serbian, Georgian and French.

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US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on April 25 that US diplomats would gradually return to Ukraine from next week. In addition, Washington will consider opening an embassy in Kyiv. According to Blinken, this could happen “within a couple of weeks.”

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What kind of multi-purpose UAV MQ-9 Reaper is the US going to put in Ukraine?

Feature Russian special operation in Donbass and Ukraine

Ukrainian representatives met in Washington last week with General Atomics, a Californian manufacturer of military drones. He makes the MQ-9 Reaper, the US Air Force's primary reconnaissance and strike UAV. These are heavy attack drones, so it makes sense to learn more about them. 

Why the MQ-9 Reaper

Actually, General Atomics did not mention specific models that it could sell . However, the most likely candidate is the Reaper, which has been the lead vehicle in U.S. military drone operations for over 20 years. 

MQ-9 Reaper. Photo: www.globallookpress.com/Andrea Ronchini

Specs

This is a really powerful drone. MQ-9 has a wingspan of about 20 meters, weighs about 5 tons, fully loaded with fuel and weapons. The Reaper flies at over 480 km/h. 

It has a range of almost 2,000 km for the base version and 2,500 km for the extended range version. The maximum flight altitude is up to 15400 m. The maximum flight duration — 27 hours.

Armament

Here the military has a choice, which depends on the specific task. Let's start with the AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. These are air-to-ground guided missiles designed to destroy armored, lightly armored and other targets that require precise strikes.

They are not inferior in power to the GBU-12 Paveway II, there are high-precision bombs based on classic bombs Mk 82, weighing 227 kg and equipped with a laser guidance system.

The GBU-38 Joint Direct Attack Munitions can also be used on the MQ-9 Reaper. The operator also has the GBU-49 Enhanced Paveway II, which can be controlled by laser and GPS/INS.

Finally, GBU-54 laser ammunition systems can also be used, combining the accuracy of JDAM with laser pointers. These bombs can also attack moving targets. 

The drone has six external hardpoints with a payload capacity of up to 1361 kg. It can carry up to 4 air-to-ground missiles, or 8 in the MQ-9a modification. Another option — 4 Hellfire missiles and two laser-guided Mark 82 bombs.

Features

The entire system consists of an unmanned aircraft equipped with sensors and weapons, a ground control station, a Predator Primary Satellite Link and support systems. Pretty complicated technique, right? Obviously, it will require very competent handling. 

The main crew consists of an operator, who is the commander of the apparatus, and his assistant, responsible for working with sensors and pointing weapons.

One of the “chips” drone — an on-board computer with artificial intelligence that promises to autonomously find, track and suggest targets to operators. Targets are identified from data collected by the MQ-9 airborne electro-optical sensor radar and synthetic aperture radar.

Disadvantages

Of course, this drone also has disadvantages. For example, the price. The MQ-9 is valued at $32 million apiece. Let's say the 2020 sale of four MQ-9Bs to Taiwan (plus ground stations, spare parts and training) was valued at $600 million.

Another tricky moment — training and familiarization. The Ukrainian military is accustomed to operating Russian (actually Soviet) equipment, rather than Western ones, and the US Air Force requires a year of training for UAV pilots. However, a company representative said that military pilots already familiar with UAVs can be trained to quickly fly the MQ-9 Reapers.

Conclusions

UAVs are actually quite effective  means of air defense. Although in the end they will adapt to them and learn to shoot them down.

Until now, the MQ-9 was used in those areas — Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria — where the enemy lacked serious air defense systems. 

Source:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelpeck/2022/04/13/ukraine-may-get-us-mq-9-reaper-strike-drones/?sh=2fc61e605b3b

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