World at War
NATO To Proceed With Planned Nuclear Exercises Next Week
Because of course it’s fantastic timing… NATO plans to go through with scheduled nuclear exercises next week despite the ratcheting nuclear rhetoric surrounding the Russia-Ukraine war, which also only days ago saw President Joe Biden warn of the risk of the world witnessing “Armageddon” in highly controversial remarks.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg confirmed in Tuesday statements that the “Steadfast Noon” exercises, which are held annually and go for about a week, will proceed without delay. “It would send a very wrong signal if we suddenly now cancelled a routine, long-time planned exercise because of the war in Ukraine. That would be absolutely the wrong signal to send,” he told a press briefing on the eve of a meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels.
He stressed that instead of carrying extra risks during this current heightened climate of tensions, it’s best to remain “firm” in conducting predictable behavior. “If we now created the grounds for any misunderstandings, miscalculations in Moscow about our willingness to protect and defend all allies, we would increase the risk of escalation,” Stoltenberg reasoned.
As part of the drills, nuclear warhead-capable aircraft will be deployed in mock raids, however, they won’t be carrying live bombs, Brussels assures. And yet the entirely unpredictable factor is how Russia would react or if its military would possibly decide to ‘mirror’ such drills.
Sweden Refuses to Share Results of Nord Stream Pipeline Explosion Investigation With Russia
“Fourteen of the 30 NATO member countries will be involved in the exercise, which was planned before Russia invaded Ukraine in February,” the Associated Press details of next week’s exercises. “The main part of the maneuvers would be held more than 1,000 kilometers (625 miles) from Russia, a NATO official said.”
Three NATO members maintain their own nuclear arsenals – the US, France, and Britain, while others host these nukes as part of an alliance nuclear-sharing program. Poland has this month controversially offered to Washington that it’s ready and willing to host US nukes in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The US administration has remained cool toward this possibility in the near-term, seeing in it a likely unnecessary escalation with Moscow.
Yet for all the NATO talk of keeping things “predictable” – including these forthcoming nuclear exercises, some senior NATO officials are still issuing stark warnings, per Reuters:
A Russian nuclear strike would change the course of the conflict and almost certainly provoke a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies and potentially from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a senior NATO official said on Wednesday.
The official stressed “unprecedented consequences” would await Russia if Vladimir Putin used nukes in Ukraine and would “almost certainly be drawing a physical response from many allies, and potentially from NATO itself.” The words were issued on the eve of a closed-door NATO “nuclear planning group” meeting.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
World at War
Zelensky Warns Losing Bakhmut May Force Him to ‘Compromise’ With Russia
The battle for Bakhmut appears to be far more significant than the media would have us believe.
From Antiwar, “Zelensky Says if He Loses Bakhmut, He Will Be Pushed to ‘Compromise’ With Russia”:
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told The Associated Press on Wednesday that if the Donbas city of Bakhmut falls to Russia, he would be pressured to “compromise” with Moscow.
“Our society will feel tired” if the Russians win in Bakhmut, Zelensky said. “Our society will push me to have compromise with them.”
God forbid you listen to the will of the Ukrainian people!
He said if Bakhmut falls, Russian President Vladimir Putin could “sell this victory to the West, to his society, to China, to Iran” as leverage to seek a ceasefire deal that would involve Kyiv ceding territory to Moscow. “If he will feel some blood — smell that we are weak — he will push, push, push,” Zelensky said.
Russian forces are close to encircling the city of Bakhmut, but the battle is still raging as Ukraine continues to send soldiers into what has become known as the “meat grinder.” Ukrainians fighting on the front lines have told the media that soldiers are being sent into battle with very little training, support, and ammunition.
[…] Zelensky’s comments about Bakhmut come after he said Kyiv could not launch a counteroffensive unless its Western backers supply even more weapons. He told AP on Wednesday that “the United States really understands that if they stop helping us, we will not win.”
Everything must be done to prevent peace!This post was originally published at Information Liberation
World at War
Seymour Hersh makes new Nord Stream sabotage claim
The Pulitzer Prize winner has alleged the US blew up the pipelines because it was unhappy with a lack of German support for Ukraine
US President Joe Biden ordered the sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines because he was unhappy with the level of support provided by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to Ukraine in its conflict with Russia, veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has claimed.
Hersh first accused Washington of destroying the key European energy route in an article released in February, and made more allegations in an interview with the China Daily newspaper published on Friday.
“The [US] president was afraid of Chancellor Scholz not wanting to put more guns and more arms [forward for Kiev]. That’s all. I don’t know whether that it was anger or punishment, but the net effect is that it cut off a major power source through Western Europe,” Hersh claimed.
Despite attempts by the US to deny its involvement in the Nord Stream attack, “Europe is in crisis now” and Biden will receive “a lot of criticism for what he did” in the coming months, the journalist argued.
The Pulitzer Prize winner alleged that “the people that were initially asked to do the job” of destroying the pipelines were contacted by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan towards the end of 2021.
The initial purpose of mining Nord Stream 1 and 2, built to deliver Russian gas to Europe through Germany, was “to give the [US] president an option to say to [Russian] President Putin, ‘If you go to war [in Ukraine], we’re going to destroy the pipelines,’” Hersh claimed.
Biden himself publicly confirmed that stance but “unfortunately, those people in the Western press seemed to have forgotten,” the journalist stated.
Just under three weeks before the launch of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine, Biden warned during a press conference on February 7 that “if Russia invades… there will no longer be a Nord Stream 2. We will bring an end to it.”
According to Hersh, the US leader decided to order the detonation of mines at the bottom of the Baltic Sea last September because the conflict “wasn’t going great in Ukraine” from a US perspective. There was “at best a stalemate”during that period, in what Hersh described as “the American war that President Biden was so eager to support.”This post was originally published at RT
World at War
Russian Military Warns Uranium Shells Will Cause Irreversible Harm To All Ukrainians
The Russian military has weighed in on the UK’s plans to supply depleted uranium tank rounds to Ukrainian forces, which was announced by UK’s junior Defense Minister Annabel Goldie in a Tuesday parliament briefing.
Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of the radiation, chemical and biological defense troops of the Russian armed forces, told a press briefing Friday that the weaponry will cause irreparable harm to all Ukrainians, whether civilian or military.
“Despite the fact that the use of such ammunition [with depleted uranium] will cause irreparable harm to the health of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the civilian population, NATO countries, in particular the UK, express their readiness to supply this type of weapon to the Kiev regime,” Kirillov said.
“As a result of the impact of a depleted uranium munition, a mobile hot cloud of a finely dispersed aerosol of uranium-238 and its oxides is formed, which, when exposed to the body in the future, can provoke the development of serious diseases,” Kirillov said.
He described that when compounds in the advanced ammunition seeps into the soil or disperses across the environment, it will be “dangerous for people, animals and the environment for a long time.”
On Wednesday, Britain responded to Russian officials saying this constitutes escalation on the nuclear front, given that Kiev will be handed “nuclear components”…
James Cleverly, Britain’s foreign secretary, told reporters on Wednesday that there was “no nuclear escalation,” adding, “The only country in the world that is talking about nuclear issues is Russia.”
Depleted uranium has for decades been used by NATO, and was known for being used against Serbian forces in the late 1990’s, as well as in Iraq. It is two-and-a-half times denser than steel, and thus can penetrate armor, for example it can cut straight through tanks.
China has previously condemned the use of depleted uranium by the Western alliance:
But it not only has radioactivity but is toxic to humans long after being dispersed on the battlefield. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova emphasized this in an initial Kremlin reaction on Tuesday…
“Yugoslav scenario. These shells not only kill, but infect the environment and cause oncology in people living on these lands,” she said, in reference to cancer and other deadly ailments.
“By the way, it is naive to believe that only those against whom all this will be used will become victims. In Yugoslavia, NATO soldiers, in particular the Italians, were the first to suffer. Then they tried for a long time to get compensation from NATO for lost health. But their claims were denied,” she said.This post was originally published at Zero Hedge
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