Conflict & Tensions

Kim in Russia for talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia aboard his armoured train for talks with President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin says the “fully fledged visit” would cover “bilateral relations, the situation in the region and in the global arena” while U.S. officials expect Kim to agree to supply munitions for the war in Ukraine. [node:read-more:link]

Dallaire Institute support “risky”

Global Affairs Canada says that government support for a Dalhousie University-based institute which combats the use of child soldiers in Africa, carries “significant risks.” The main concern evidently a second-hand link, through the Rwandan military, to a Congolese militia which recruits children. [node:read-more:link]

Russia lauds G-20 statement

The G-20 Summit’s avoidance of criticizing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine is welcome news for Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He said September 10 that while he had not expected consensus, the meeting’s final communique, which denounced using force for territorial gain, was “a step in the right direction” in that it did not mention Russia. [node:read-more:link]

Concerns about Ukraine camapaign

U.S. Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said September 10 that Ukraine has little more than 30 days left of fighting before the weather hinders its counter-offensive. In the meantime, he added, the Ukrainians were “progressing at a very steady pace through the Russian front lines.” [node:read-more:link]

Canadian killed in Ukraine

A Canadian is one of two foreign aid volunteers killed by a Russian missile attack in eastern Ukraine September 9. Anthony Ihnat of Toronto died along with the Spanish director of the Road To Relief aid group while on a mission to assess the needs of civilians near the front lines with Russia. [node:read-more:link]

Putin would be safe in Brazil

Even though his country has been a party since 2002 to the UN statute which underpins the International Criminal Court, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said September 9 that Vladimir Putin will not be arrested if he attends the 2024 G-20 Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The ICC issued a warrant for Putin last March over alleged crimes in Crimea but Lula flatly rejected the prospect of an arrest. [node:read-more:link]

G-20 dials back on Russia

In stark contrast to last year’s G-20 Summit in Bali, the multinational group avoided direct criticism of Russia for its invasion of Ukraine at the 2023 summit in New Delhi. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had pressed unsuccessfully for condemnation of Russia but the final communique focused on food and energy. “People like Putin mistake being reasonable for being weak,” Trudeau said September 10. “He is dead wrong and Canada will continue to support Ukraine with whatever it takes, as long as it takes.” [node:read-more:link]

HMCS Ottawa transits Taiwan Strait

The Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ottawa accompanied a U.S. destroyer through the Taiwan Strait September 9 in a “freedom of navigation” exercise. Shadowed by Chinese ships, the transit took place in international waters. [node:read-more:link]

Allies thanked by former minister

Oleksii Reznikov, who was recently replaced as Ukraine’s minister of defence after overseeing his defending forces throughout Russia’s invasion, has thanked his country’s more than 50 international backers and asked them to support his successor. “Rustem Umerov is a competent and professional person capable of continuing the initiatives we have launched,” he writes. “Together, you will accelerate the moment of Ukraine’s victory.” [node:read-more:link]

Spanish firm recruits for Ukraine

G.O.A. Tactical Industries, a Spanish company which has trained police and security forces in several Hispanic countries, is recruiting volunteers to fight for Ukraine. Applicants are paid an initial €700 for a five-day introductory training session and, if they pass muster and are deployed to Ukraine, can be paid up to €3,400 a month. [node:read-more:link]

Cuba arrests mercenary traffickers

Seventeen persons have been charged in Cuba in connection with a human trafficking ring which the authorities say lured young men to fight alongside Russian forces in Ukraine. The prosecutor says they could face up to 30 years in prison or even be executed. [node:read-more:link]

Slimmer Abrams tanks planned

The U.S. Army plans to draw on Ukraine’s use of donated M1 Abrams tanks on the battlefield as it considers a major upgrade of the General Dynamics Land Systems platform. “The Abrams tank can no longer grow its capabilities without adding weight,” says Brigadier-General Geoffrey Norman, head of a next-generation combat vehicle team. “The war in Ukraine has highlighted a critical need for integrated protections for soldiers, built from within.” [node:read-more:link]

Mounting concern about Arctic

The commander of U.S. Fleet Forces, Admiral Daryl Caudle, says Russia’s “militarization” of the Arctic has “heightened awareness” of its strategic importance and unfounded claims to sea lanes and natural resources. “That’s increased our need to actually go pay attention to what they’re doing, to make sure we’re not ceding that territory, to make sure they’re not […] first to market in an area that has normally not been heavily transited.” [node:read-more:link]

Germans face treason charges

A recently-promoted German intelligence officer has been charged with treason for sharing intelligence with Russia about the war in Ukraine and the Wagner Group. In addition, a Russian-born German business is accused of travelling to Moscow to hand over information to Russia’s domestic intelligence agency. [node:read-more:link]

Civilians targetted in Ukraine

Russia continues to deny that its invading forces are targetting civilians in Ukraine but at least 16 people were killed today by a missile attack in the eastern Donetsk region. “Prosecutors are taking all possible and appropriate measures to record war crimes committed by the Russian Federation,” Ukrainian officials said. [node:read-more:link]


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