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Ukraine’s Top General Doesn’t Rule Out “Limited” Nuclear War

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Ukraine’s top military chief has warned that Russia could unleash nukes if its army is against the ropes in Ukraine. The comments were issued Wednesday amid an ongoing Ukrainian counteroffensive in the south and east which both Kiev and Washington say has so far had “success”.

Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Gen. Valery Zaluzhny stated “There is a direct threat of the use, under certain circumstances, of tactical nuclear weapons by the Russian armed forces.” He wrote this in an op-ed published by state run outlet Ukrinform, with the alarming words being picked up by The Washington Post and others.

“It is also impossible to completely rule out the possibility of the direct involvement of the world’s leading countries in a ‘limited’ nuclear conflict, in which the prospect of World War III is already directly visible,” Zaluzhny added. 

The top commander further issued his first official confirmation that the unprecedented large strikes on Russia’s Crimea bases and an arms depot widely reported in August were Ukrainian operations. The initial early August huge Saki air base explosion had previously only been acknowledged as a Ukrainian strike via anonymous leaks to Western media outlets by senior Kiev officials.

At around the same time as those opening Crimea attacks, which have continued sporadically since then, President Zelensky vowed to “liberate” the Russian-held territory, which the Kremlin gained control of after a 2014 popular referendum, which wasn’t recognized by Europe or the US.

According to Gen. Zaluzhny’s words as featured in The Washington Post

With the fighting all but certain to continue into 2023, Ukraine has to make the war “even sharper and more tangible for the Russians and for other occupied regions, despite the massive distance to the targets,” Zaluzhny wrote.

He called the Crimean strikes a “convincing example” of Kyiv’s calls for allies to send longer-range weapons for its outgunned soldiers. Moscow, he said, can hit 20 times farther.

Moscow for its part has also expressed alarm over the potential for nuclear-armed confrontation with the West over Ukraine, given Washington’s steadily growing involvement – especially the billions of dollars in weapons and military aid being poured into the Ukrainian side. It has also rejected charges that it is prepared to use nukes.

During a speech to the United Nations early last month, Russian diplomat Alexander Trofimov rejected “utterly unfounded, detached from reality and unacceptable speculations that Russia allegedly threatens to use nuclear weapons, particularly in Ukraine.”

Per Reuters, he stressed Russia’s official position, explaining that nuclear arms could only be used in “response to weapons of mass destruction or a conventional weapons attack that threatened the existence of the Russian state.”

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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World at War

Croatian President Calls Germany’s ‘We Are at War With Russia’ Comment “Madness”

Wishes Germany better luck in war against Russia than they had 70 years ago.

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Croatian President Zoran Milanovic responded to the German foreign minister saying “we are fighting a war against Russia” by calling the remark “madness” and wishing Germany better luck than with the last war they had with Russia 70 years ago.

Oof, burn.

Milanovic was responding to the bizarre and inflammatory statement made by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock during the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday.

“Yes, we have to do more also on tanks but the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other,” said Baerbock.

Milanovic ridiculed the comments, saying that such a development was news to him.

“Now the German foreign minister says we must be united, because I quote, we are at war with Russia. I didn’t know that,” Milanovic said. “Maybe Germany is at war with Russia, but then, good luck, maybe this time it turns out better than 70-odd years ago.”

“Do you want us to enter the war?” asked Milanovic during a visit to the port city of Split, adding that Croatia “should in no way help” Ukraine militarily.

The Croatian president expressed his amazement that such aggressive rhetoric was being spouted by a representative of the usually pacifist German Greens.

“If we are at war with Russia, then let’s see what we need to do. But we won’t ask Germany for its opinion,” Milanovic asserted. “Let them figure out who is the actual chancellor over there. I’ve been in politics for a long time, and our country has been through a lot, but I’ve never seen this kind of madness before.”

Milanovic condemned NATO powers for flooding the region with tanks and other weaponry in order to prolong the war.

“Those tanks may burn, or they may reach Crimea, but Croatia will have nothing to do with it,” he insisted.

As we previously highlighted, US weapons sales to other countries rose from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion in 2022, with Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon all making a killing out of the Ukraine conflict.

In a related development, the French Foreign Ministry claimed that the US, Germany and other countries sending battle tanks to Ukraine did not mean that NATO was at war with Russia.

“We are not at war with Russia and none of our partners are,” ministry spokeswoman Anne-Claire Legendre said.

Really? It sure feels that way.

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US Weapons Manufacturers Enjoy Soaring Profits Thanks to War in Ukraine

War is a racket.

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The US military-industrial complex is making massive gains as a result of the war in Ukraine and other global conflicts, with weapons manufacturers enjoying soaring profits.

Data released by the State Department shows that US weapons sales to other countries rose from $103.4 billion in 2021 to $153.7 billion in 2022.

The leap was largely thanks to US support for prolonging the war in Ukraine.

Germany’s order of 35 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter airplanes for $8.4 billion and Poland’s $6 billion spend on 250 M1 Abrams tanks also bumped up the numbers.

$3 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, a country which the Biden administration promised to stop arming due to its war in Yemen, also inflated the figure, as did $2.2 billion to the United Arab Emirates and a $1.1 billion weapons package for Taiwan.

Lockheed Martin, which develops the F-16, F-22, and F-35 fighter jets, saw its profits jump 7.13% to $19 billion in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Northrop Grumman is also expected to report 11.8% revenue growth for fourth quarter earnings, thanks in part to its manufacture and sale of F-35 fighter jets.

Raytheon, the maker of the Patriot Air Defense System which the Biden administration is set to supply Ukraine with, enjoyed a Q4 profit rise of nearly 18% compared to last year.

News of the profits has served as a reminder of a 1935 essay written by United States Marine Corps Major General Smedley D. Butler, who famously said “war is a racket,” pointing out how gunpowder manufacturer the DuPont Company saw their profits increase by more than 950% during The Great War.

Meanwhile, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s comments to Sky News will be music to the ears of the permanent war industry.

In an interview with Kay Burley, Zelenskyy said he was “not interested” in meeting with Putin or anyone else from Russia for peace talks.

Yesterday, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock basically declared war on Russia during a debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

“We are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other,” said Baerbock.

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German Foreign Minister Just Said The Quiet Part Out Loud On Ukraine

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German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock bluntly stated in fresh remarks that Western allies are fighting a war against Russia. The remarks came during a debate at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Tuesday amid discussions over sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine.

While Baerbock’s words were largely ignored in mainstream media, a number of pundits on social media noted with alarm that the German foreign minister just essentially declared war on Russia.

Ironically other German officials have long sought to emphasize their country is not a party to the conflict, fearing uncontrollable escalation.

Ukraine Rocked By Corruption Scandal, Wave Of Top Officials Resign: Sports Cars, Mansions & Luxury Vacations As People Suffered

Contradicting this official stance, Baerbock said the quiet part out loud, and introduced the comments with: “And therefore I’ve said already in the last days – yes, we have to do more to defend Ukraine. Yes, we have to do more also on tanks.”

And that’s when she asserted: “But the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe, because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”

Interestingly, both Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his former defense minister who recently resigned, Christine Lambrecht, have been seen as weak on arming Ukraine – repeatedly declaring an unwillingness to get pulled deeper into the proxy war aspect to the conflict. But now it seems the more hawkish Baerbock is willing to at this point be much more open with the reality of what’s happening.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova seized on the comments, saying this is yet more proof that the Western allies were planning a war on Russia all along…

“If we add this to Merkel’s revelations that they were strengthening Ukraine and did not count on the Minsk agreements, then we are talking about a war against Russia that was planned in advance. Don’t say later that we didn’t warn you,” Zakharova said.

One thing is for sure, things are moving fast…

This post was originally published at Zero Hedge

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