Conflict & Tensions

What to expect at UN

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, along with the challenges of climate change, sustainable development, poverty, the coronavirus pandemic aftermath and even the UN’s fundamental roles are casting a gloomy shadow over New York this week. There is particular focus on a potential September 20 face-off between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. [node:read-more:link]

Friendly fire in Ukraine?

Analysis of imagery and missile fragments from a September 6 missile strike in Ukraine suggests that an errant domestic air defence missile was responsible. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had blamed Russian “terrorists” for the civilian deaths and injuries. [node:read-more:link]

Russia hosts Chinese envoy

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Moscow today for talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, and both were quoted as saying that any move to end the war in Ukraine had to consider Moscow’s interests. Lavrov’s department said “the sides discussed in detail the situation in Ukraine and noted the futility of attempts to settle the crisis without taking account of Russia's interests and, more particularly, its participation.” [node:read-more:link]

No end in sight to Ukraine war

Pointing out that “most wars last longer than expected,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg predicts that “we must prepare ourselves for a long war in Ukraine.” He also said that if Ukraine stops fighting, it would “no longer exist” but if Russia stops, “we will have peace.” [node:read-more:link]

Iran shuts out key UN inspectors

Iran’s decision to ban some UN nuclear inspectors is being denounced by the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, as a “disproportionate and unprecedented unilateral measure.” Iran linked its decision to criticism by U.S., Britain, France and Germany and the maintenance of economic sanctions. [node:read-more:link]

Beijing and Washington talk

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spent 12 hours over two days talking with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Malta. The White House said September 17 that the “candid, substantive and constructive discussions” were designed to “responsibly maintain the relationship” at a time of mutual suspicion. [node:read-more:link]

Canada funds UK training for Ukrainians

Defence Minister Bill Blair announced September 17 during a visit to Britain that Canada has committed $33 million to underwrite Canadian Armed Forces’ training of Ukrainians at a facility in Kent. The funds are from a $500-million assistance package announced by Prime Minister Trudeau in June. [node:read-more:link]

Cracking down on foreign training

Drawing from U.S. law, tighter legal restrictions on former Australian military personnel who want to train foreign forces were announced September 15 by Defence Minister Richard Marles. He had ordered a review after China reportedly approached Australian veterans, a move which concerns its allies. [node:read-more:link]

Concern about Ukrainian security

A recently declassified by the Inspector General in the U.S. Defense Department warns that weapons and ammunition the U.S. moves across Europe to Poland for transfer to Ukraine are at risk being lost or stolen due to inadequate security. [node:read-more:link]

Crimean air defence system hit

Ukraine said today that it used cruise missiles and drones early today to destroy Russian radar stations and S300 and S400 missile launchers near Yevpatoriya in occupied Crimea. Russia, not comment specifically, said it had downed several drones in an attempted attack on a naval patrol ship. [node:read-more:link]

China drills in Western Pacific

China’s lone domestic-built aircraft is among other warships participating in large-scale drills in the Western Pacific around Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines this week in a major response to a series of exercises by the U.S. and its allies, including Canada. Dozens of aircraft also were deployed today near Taiwanese airspace. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine “redefining” warfare

A Ukrainian night-time strike at the Sergo Ordzhonikidze shipyard in Russian-held Sevastapol on the Black Sea is the latest example of Ukraine “redefining” modern conflict, says the Royal Navy’s commander. “They are redefining or demonstrating what can be done,” h Admiral Ben Key, said September 13. “We’ve seen in a number of various areas, some really significant adaptations of tactics, techniques and capabilities in order to try and generate a capability advantage.” [node:read-more:link]

Missile failure saves RAF plane

A British surveillance aircraft was targetted by a Russian fighter over the Black Sea last year, according to western sources. However, it’s reported that the pilot of one of two Sukhoi SU-27s, apparently misunderstanding orders and despite his team-mate’s remonstrations, fired two missiles. The first failed to lock on to the RAF plane and the second evidently fell off its launch rail. [node:read-more:link]

Kim cements ties with Putin

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called his country’s relations with Russia his top priority today, pledging full support to President Vladimir Putin’s “sacred fight” against a “hegemonic” West. Intelligence indicates that Moscow wants more arms in return for propping up Pyongyang’s perpetually fragile economy. [node:read-more:link]


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