Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has throughout much of the six-month long Ukraine war been busy rallying support to his side by addressing dozens of Western countries’ parliaments, for which Ukraine has since been rewarded with billions of dollars in foreign defense and humanitarian aid.
His foremost theme has been a constant refrain of his military urgently needing more, more and more weapons. He’s even requested advanced fighter jets, months ago asking Congress to “close the skies” (or in essence a No Fly Zone).
Now for the first time it seems he’ll go straight to the source, as he’s set to be the keynote speaker, via video link, to a major meeting of American defense contractors later this month. The Hill is confirming that “he headlines the annual Future Force Capabilities Conference and Exhibition hosted by the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA)” in Austin, Texas on September 21.
Ukraine’s defense minister Oleksii Reznikov is also scheduled to address the conference. Naturally, both are expected to emphasize a message that more and heavier arms are needed if Ukrainian forces hope to sustain their eastern and southern counteroffensive, which in the last days has been widely reported as successful – at least so far.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov has on Saturday admitted his army has had to “regroup” troopsfrom Balakliya and Izyum in Kharkiv Oblast. This is being taken as a sign Ukraine’s military is being pushed back from Kharkiv and could be taking heavy losses, with the day prior Zelensky announcing Ukraine has taken back over 30 settlements in the region.
“We are gradually taking control over more settlements, returning the Ukrainian flag and protection for our people.” Zelenskiy said. “Our army, intelligence, the Security Service of Ukraine continue active actions in several operational directions. They continue successfully.”
This is the message he’s expected to stress in addressing the major arms expo in August. In the audience will be representatives from the leading military weapons manufacturers in the US:
News of the Ukrainian president’s speech to the NDIA — whose membership includes defense industry giants like Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics — comes as Kyiv looks to fend off Russia’s invasion as it drags through its sixth month.
Eight defense contractors — including Raytheon, Lockheed and General Dynamics — attended a meeting at the Pentagon in April to discuss how the U.S. could speed up production to help Ukraine fend off Moscow’s war.
The U.S. has committed $15.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of the Biden administration, including $14.5 billion since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.
A number of independent observers are noting just how obviously this brings to the fore one of the key motives of US hawks, especially officials tied closely to the military-industrial complex, who have shown no interest in pushing both warring sides to the negotiating table. In fact, evidence has recently emerged strongly pointing to Washington and London playing the role of behind-the-scenes saboteurs to prior ceasefire talks.
Instead the past months have seen these officials by and large argue for Congress to sign off on essentially a “blank check” bonanza of Ukraine arms procurement. Like other recent conflicts, for example in the Middle East, they see the Russia-Ukraine war as fundamentally an opportunity.
Journalist Max Blumenthal sums up the unspoken reality nicely: “Fresh off his appearance at Wall Street, where he pitched corporations on the plunder of his country’s assets, Zelensky will appear at a conference of arms makers in Texas to present his country’s war as a fantastic business opportunity.”
You will find more infographics at Statista
And Zelensky will without doubt continue to get the red carpet rolled out for him by the world’s wealthiest defense firms, given he singularly remains the arms contractors’ #1 foreign client – and all at the expense of the common US taxpayer to boot.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Sweden Turns To Military For Help Amid Daily Shootings, Bombings In Migrant Gangland Chaos
Last year Sweden witnessed its highest death toll from shootings on record, at more than 60 killed, with this year on track to possibly surpass that as the country’s gang violence continues spiraling out of control.
At a moment scenes of illegal migrants flooding southern Europe from across the Mediterranean continue unabated, even mainstream publications like FT haven’t hesitated to identify what’s fueling the crime and turning Sweden’s streets into war zones: “Police chiefs have said that Sweden is facing its most serious domestic security situation since the second world war as immigrant drug gangs engage in a bloody conflict,” FT writes.
And there’s even “child soldiers” in the heart of Scandinavian Europe: “Police believe the gangs are increasingly using children to commit the crimes, as those under 18 often go unpunished or receive low sentences from the courts.”
Headlines like this one days ago from the Associated Press have tragically become almost commonplace: A 13-year-old boy found shot in the woods was a victim of Sweden’s gang violence. Gangs also regularly commit bombings and arson, sometimes destroying whole city blocks and districts.
Sweden has for much of the last decade been the leading bastion of liberal immigration policies in Europe, having welcomed hundreds of thousands of migrants and asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa. Simultaneously its third-largest city, Malmö, has for years been widely seen as Europe’s gun homicide capital.
And yet, the European Left tends to only emphasize talking points of “failure to integrate” and “racism” and “rightwing extremism” – which has led to “parallel societies”, serving to periodically unleash riots in places with large immigrant concentrations.
Now, after a dozen more lives were lost this month, which has included innocent bystanders and young gang members alike, government leaders are talking about ‘getting tough’ by calling in the military:
Sweden’s prime minister on Thursday said that he’s summoned the head of the military to discuss how the armed forces can help police deal with an unprecedented crime wave that has shocked the country with almost daily shootings and bombings.
Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson is meeting with both the armed forces’ supreme commander and the national police commissioner on Friday to consider “how the armed forces can help police in their work against the criminal gangs.”
“Sweden has never before seen anything like this,” Kristersson said of soaring violent crime during a Thursday televised speech to the nation. “No other country in Europe is seeing anything like this.”
According to more from the AP:
Sweden has grappled with gang violence for years, but the surge in shootings and bombings in September has been exceptional. Three people were killed overnight in separate attacks with suspected links to criminal gangs, which often recruit teenagers in socially disadvantaged immigrant neighborhoods to carry out hits.
One of the victims was a woman in her 20s who died in an explosion in Uppsala, north of Stockholm. Swedish media said she was likely not the intended target of the attack.
Addressing this week’s tragic bombing, Kristersson described that “A 25-year-old woman went to bed last night on a completely ordinary evening but never got to wake up.”
He added: “We will hunt the gangs, we will defeat the gangs.” The aforementioned powerful blast in a residential area had ripped the facades off multiple houses.
Below: Gang-related shootings and killings have been the bulk of overall confirmed homicides in the country…
You will find more infographics at Statista
Kristersson’s center-right government rose power last year largely on a platform of getting tough on crime. Kristersson has done a rare thing for a Swedish politician, placing blame squarely on “irresponsible migration policies and failed integration” under the previous government and years of failed policies.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Russian Mystery Plane That Landed In Pyongyang Making Washington Nervous
A Russian ‘mystery plane’ spotted in North Korea is making Washington nervous, after Kim Jong Un visited Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin this moth. The two leaders, deemed ‘rogue’ actors by the West, are believed to have discussed and possibly inked a weapons deal at a moment Moscow needs more ammunition for military operations in Ukraine.
Citing aviation tracking site FlightRadar24, Bloomberg described it as an an unscheduled Russian military VIP plane that landed in Pyongyang earlier this week.
The aircraft was in the North Korean capital for two days, however, both countries have kept mum as to its purpose. It could have been transporting another high-level Russian defense delegation.
“The tail number on the plane indicates it was the same aircraft Russia sent to North Korea in August, just days after Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu traveled to Pyongyang and was guided by Kim through a collection of his country’s latest weaponry,” Bloomberg noted.
The West fears that that this was part of furthering agreements for technology and weapons transfers between the two countries, which are both heavily sanctioned by the US, also amid efforts to isolate them on the world stage.
Russian planes landing in the broader region might not normally be significant, but is very noticeable in the case of flights to North Korea in particular, given that—
North Korea has had almost no international air traffic since it closed its borders at the start of the pandemic in early 2020. The arrival of two flights in the space of less than two months highlights cooperation between the two countries, which have drawn closer as the US and its partners tried to isolate them with international sanctions.
Kim’s trip in Russia, which wrapped up only very recently, lasted two weeks. It included tours of Russian military technology plants, including an aircraft factory in the Russian city of Komsomolsk-na-Amure.
Washington has over the course of the Ukraine conflict at various points accused North Korea of supplying the Russian military with additional artillery ammo. US intelligence has in the recent past alleged that train shipments between the two countries included covert ammo supplies, but something which has not been proven.
The two countries actually share a small border. More recently, there have been accusations that Wagner Group, which is now on the outs with Moscow in the wake of the mutiny in June and after Yevgeny Prigozhin’s death, purchased large quantities of arms and equipment from the Kim Jong-Un government.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
Canadian Speaker Of The House QUITS Following Nazi Scandal
Anthony Rota falls on his sword as Trudeau refused to take any responsibility
The Canadian Speaker of the House has resigned following the incident where a 98-year-old SS solider was cheered and honoured in Parliament, with Prime Minter Justin Trudeau refusing to take any responsibility, despite meeting with the Ukrainian Nazi beforehand.
As we noted earlier this week, Anthony Rota apologised for the scandal, but it wasn’t enough.
Trudeau through Rota under the bus:
Opposition leader Pierre Poilievre told parliament that “Canadians are sick and tired of a prime minister who never takes responsibility for things that happen under his watch,” adding “he always finds someone else to throw under the bus,” and asking the Speaker of the House “are you that person?”
Turns out he is:
“It’s with a heavy heart that I rise to inform members of my resignation as Speaker for the House of Commons,” Rota stated, adding “I reiterate my profound regret for my error in recognizing an individual in the House during the joint address to Parliament of President Zelensky.”
Rota further stated “that public recognition has caused pain to individuals and communities including the Jewish community in Canada and around the world, in addition to survivors of Nazi atrocities in Poland, among other nations.”
It seemingly didn’t matter that Trudeau personally met with the Nazi before the celebration in Parliament:
Trudeau didn’t show up in Parliament and his underlings attempted, but failed, to get all records of the Nazi scandal erased from history:
Spectator writer Brendan O’Neill notes that “This is the same Trudeau who fantasises that Nazism lurks everywhere. Who gleefully brands his critics as ‘far right’. Who has damned everyone from parents worried about LGBTQ education to truckers concerned about vaccine mandates as footsoldiers of a 1930s-style populism.”
“Welcome to Woke Canada, where moms and pops who would rather their kid wasn’t transitioned behind their backs are far right, while a literal former SS fighter gets a fulsome round of applause,” he adds.
O’Neill continues, “you don’t need a PhD in European history to think that a Ukrainian military man who fought against the Ruskies in the 1940s was probably linked with the Nazis,” adding “The cluelessness is off the scale.”
He concludes that “The Hunka scandal is a perfect snapshot of the liberal elite’s weird and delirious obsession with the far right. They marshall the horrors of the 1940s to condemn their critics in the here and now, as if every trucker protest and parental uprising were a harbinger of a new Fourth Reich. Yet when face to face with someone who was involved in the horrors of the 1940s, they smile and fawn.”
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