Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun News and Update | Page 2 | World Defense

Russian invasion of Ukraine has begun News and Update

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Ukraine - Security Council, 8974th meeting | United Nations | UNTV Live (23 Feb 2022) - Official​


 

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BREAKING: A Su-27 air superiority fighter jet of Ukraine Air Force which had left Odessa airport in order to protect the city from danger of invading Russian aircraft had to do emergency landing in Romania as its base is now under attack in Odessa.
 

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Secretary of state says Vladimir Putin’s military intentions still unclear ahead of talks in Geneva
Antony Blinken gives a press conference following his meeting with the Ukrainian foreign minister in Kyiv

Antony Blinken gives a press conference following his meeting with the Ukrainian foreign minister in Kyiv. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AFP/Getty Images

Luke Harding in Kyiv and Andrew Roth in Moscow
Wed 19 Jan 2022 16.44 GMT

The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has said Russia could take “further aggressive action” against Ukraine “at any moment”, adding that Vladimir Putin’s military intentions were still unclear as he prepared for talks with his Russian counterpart at the end of the week.

Speaking after meeting Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in Kyiv, Blinken said Russia had amassed “very significant forces” on Ukraine’s borders, including in Belarus where major exercises are due to begin next month. It could double them in “relatively short order”, he said.

Before talks on Friday in Geneva with Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, Blinken said he was relentlessly pursuing a peaceful solution to the crisis. But there seem few signs that Moscow and Washington can reach diplomatic agreement in Switzerland.

The Kremlin wants Nato forces to withdraw from eastern Europe and to return to 1997 levels of deployment. Russia’s deputy foreign minister, Sergei Rybakov, said on Wednesday that Moscow would be satisfied with a unilateral US commitment to vote against Nato membership for Ukraine.

Blinken said he did not have a “piece of paper” by way of answer to Russia’s latest security demands, but he appeared to rule out a veto promise over Ukraine’s future, saying closing Nato’s doors to new members was an “absolute non-starter”.

US officials have described the Kremlin military buildup as extremely dangerous, with the White House spokesperson Jen Psaki saying an onslaught could happen at any time. Asked what Russia might do next, Blinken said: “I can’t read Vladimir Putin’s mind.”

But he pointed out that Russia’s president had a long history of aggressive behaviour. This included attacking Georgia in 2008 and annexing Crimea in 2014, and “training, arming and leading” a separatist rebellion in eastern Ukraine. Blinken added: “We have to base our actions on the facts.”

After Kyiv, Blinken is due to travel to Berlin for talks with German and European allies. Ukraine’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, said relations with the US were advancing at “Formula One speed”. He acknowledged Russia was refusing to negotiate with his government directly, saying: “Mr Lavrov is avoiding me.”

Russia has brushed off calls to withdraw its troops from the Ukrainian border by saying it has a right to deploy its forces wherever it likes on its own territory. It also has rejected US allegations that it is preparing a pretext to invade Ukraine. Lavrov dismissed the US claim of a Russian “false-flag operation” as “total disinformation”.
Speaking at a meeting of the Valdai discussion club, Ryabkov repeated Moscow’s denials it had plans to attack Ukraine.

“I am confident that there is no risk of a large-scale war that could break out in Europe or somewhere else. We do not intend to take any aggressive steps,” he said. “We have no intention of attacking, staging an offensive on or invading Ukraine.”

Ryabkov said Moscow would not consider an informal moratorium on Ukraine’s entrance into Nato sufficient. “If the US assumes a unilateral legally binding commitment that it will never vote in favour of admitting Ukraine and other countries to Nato, we will be ready to consider this option. It would be an easier path for the US,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russia continued its deployment of military assets from its far east to the borders of Ukraine. Open source researchers said on Wednesday they had identified elements of a BM-27 Uragan rocket artillery launcher in Belarus about 200km (125 miles) from Kyiv.

The deployment of heavy rocket artillery so close to the Ukrainian capital could further increase fears that the plans for joint exercises could provide cover for a Russian-led advance that could quickly engulf Kyiv and its government.

On Wednesday Russia’s defence ministry released fresh details of the joint exercises, which are set to begin next month and continue until 20 February. Russia was planning to deploy 12 Sukhoi Su-35 air defence fighters to Belarus for the exercises, along with S-400 and Pantsir anti-air defence systems, the ministry said in a statement.

The Biden administration has promised to boost military assistance to Ukraine in the event of a Russian operation, but has ruled out sending troops. On Wednesday Blinken said military support was continuing, with deliveries last year at their highest level since 2014.

The US has also been supplying Ukraine with classified intelligence. The CIA director, William Burns, visited Kyiv last week and shared its risk assessment with Zelenskiy’s cabinet, a US official said.

Zelenskiy said he was counting on enhanced US cooperation. “Grateful for US’s political & security support. Count on enhancing economic & financial cooperation. I’m sure there will be no decision about Ukraine without Ukraine,” he wrote in a tweet.

The US has promised massive financial and economic consequences in the event of invasion. Officials say Washington remains committed to seeking a “diplomatic off-ramp” and add that the Geneva talks suggest diplomacy is “perhaps not dead”.

Give up your nukes, WE will protect you, they said. Oh well!
 

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AN-225: World's largest plane destroyed in Ukraine

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(CNN) — The world's largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, according to Ukrainian officials, generating alarm and sadness among the aviation world in which it occupies almost cult status.

The enormous aircraft, named "Mriya," or "dream" in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by "Russian occupants," Ukrainian authorities said, adding that they would rebuild the plane.

"Russia may have destroyed our 'Mriya'. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!" wrote Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Twitter.

There has been no independent confirmation of the aircraft's destruction. A tweet from the Antonov Company said it could not verify the "technical condition" of the aircraft until it had been inspected by experts.

Ukrainian state defense company Ukroboronprom, which manages Antonov, on Sunday issued a statement saying the aircraft had been destroyed but would be rebuilt at Russia's expense -- a cost it put at $3 billion.

"The restoration is estimated to take over 3 billion USD and over five years," the statement said. "Our task is to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which has caused intentional damage to Ukraine's aviation and the air cargo sector.

In a later statement, the company said the airplane had been in on the ground near Kyiv on February 24 undergoing maintenance.
"According to the director of Antonov Airlines, one of the engines was dismantled for repairs and the plane wasn't able to take off that day, although the appropriate commands were given," it said.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies show significant damage to part of the hangar at the Hostomel Air Base where the AN-225 is stored.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies show significant damage to part of the hangar at the Hostomel Air Base where the AN-225 is stored.
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies


Russian forces claimed to have captured Hostomel airfield, where the AN-225 was located, on Friday. A CNN team on the ground witnessed Russian airborne troops taking up positions.

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies show significant damage to part of the hangar in which the AN-225 is stored.

Meanwhile, NASA's Fire Information for Resource Management System detected multiple fires at the airport, including at the hangar where the plane is kept. The fire at the hangar was detected at 11:13 a.m. on Sunday, according to the NASA data, which is obtained from a number of NOAA and NASA satellites.

If confirmed, the attack would mark a shocking end to an aircraft that has seen more than 30 years of service dating back to the days of the Soviet Union.

The AN-225 was sometimes drafted in to help airlift aid during crises in other countries. In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake it delivered relief supplies to the neighboring Dominican Republic. During the early days of the Covid pandemic it was used to transport medical supplies to affected areas.

Its popularity in the aviation world meant it often drew large crowds wherever it went, particularly when it made star appearances at air shows.
Some of its fans took to social media on Sunday to express their dismay at claims of the aircraft's destruction. "Mriya - You will always be remembered!" wrote aviation blogger Sam Chui on Twitter.

To this day, Mriya remains the heaviest aircraft ever built. Powered by six turbofan engines, she has a maximum payload weight of 250 tonnes, which can be carried inside or on its back. It boasts the largest wingspan of any airplane in operational service.

Only one An-225 was ever built by the Kiev-based Antonov company, which came up with the design. It first took flight in 1988 and has been in service ever since.

It is not clear if these fires at the airport are the result of actual fires or explosions from military strikes.

Construction was begun on a second plane, but it was never finished.

The story of the An-225 begins back in the 1960 and '70s when the Soviet Union was locked in a race into space with the United States.
By the end of the 1970s, the need arose for transporting large and heavy loads from their places of assembly to the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the sprawling spaceport in the deserts of Kazakhstan that was the launchpad for Yuri Gagarin's pioneering space voyage of 1961.

The cargo in question was the Buran spacecraft, the Soviet Union's answer to NASA's Space Shuttle. Since there were at the time no airplanes capable of carrying it, the Antonov company was ordered to develop one.


 

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After SWIFT and other sanctions, Russian economy is proper screwed. I don't see them recovering from this for a long time to come.

Now, US and EU will start seizing assets of Russian oligarchs. Only a matter of time the oligarchs decide Putin needs to go.

The only wildcard is if Putin, backed into a dark corner, decides to hit the red button.
 
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In my opinion the hawks will push the envelope and will take high risk chances, does not look like anybody will act wisely because of loosing face and ego.
 
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