NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
27 February 2023 (Reuters)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has dismissed Eduard Moskalyov, the joint forces commander who has led the counteroffensive against Russian forces in the Donbas region since last March. No explanation was given but Zelenskyy has described the situation in the region as difficult and painful.
27 February 2023 (Defense News)
Raytheon Pratt & Whitney has received U.S. F-35 Joint Program Office clearance to resume engine deliveries after suspending deliveries due to an accident with a B model in Texas during a Lockheed Martin quality-control test. The JPO attributes the problem to “a rare system phenomenon involving harmonic resistance” in the engines but aircraft deliveries aren’t expected to resume pending more tests.
24 February 2023 (Globe & Mail)
The federal government announced today that it is sending four more Chieftain 2 main battle tanks as well as an armoured recovery vehicle and more than 5,000 rounds of artillery to Ukraine. In the meantime, the four original MBTs are in Poland where a Canadian Armed Forces team is training Ukrainian tank crews.
24 February 2023 (Federal Times)
A Republican proposal to trim U.S. Department of Defense spending by reducing its civilian workforce through attrition is facing pushback from the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 250,000 DoD employees. Its legislative director warns in a letter to Congress that “spending more money on weapon systems or force structure capabilities without the appropriate civilian support for sustainment harms readiness and lethality, increases stress on the force, and incurs additional opportunity costs, detracting from modernization.”
24 February 2023 (Defense News)
Korea Aerospace Industries has secured a US$920-million contract to supply 18 FA-50 trainer/light attack jets to Malaysia as replacements for its BAE Systems Hawks, a mid-1970s design. The only finalist in the competition which originally included Russian and Pakistani candidates, was India’s Hindustan Aeronautics’ Tejas. Indonesia, Iraq, the Philippines and Thailand also fly FA-50 variants and Poland has chosen 48 as part of a larger South Korean military procurement.
24 February 2023 (AP)
Two cosmonauts and a U.S. astronaut aboard the International Space Station are awaiting the arrival February 26 of an uncrewed Russian Soyuz capsule launched today on a rescue mission. Their original ride home was postponed in December due to leaks in two other capsules docked at the ISS.
24 February 2023 (BBC)
Banks and defence suppliers are among more than 100 entities within Russia and abroad targetted in new U.S. sanctions today, the first anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The U.S. also announced $2 billion in new aid for Ukraine as well as $550 million to help Ukraine and neighbouring Moldova to strengthen their energy infrastructure.
24 February 2023 (AP)
China today proposed a 12-point peace plan For Ukraine and Russia built around a cease-fire and an end to western sanctions. While Beijing claims neutrality, it has “no limits” on its relations with Moscow and continues to accuse the West of provoking the year-long conflict. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that as a first step, China’s proposal is “not bad” while the U.S. is reserving judgment.
24 February 2023 (Al Jazeera)
The UN General Assembly approved a resolution February 23 calling on Russia to withdraw its troops as a prelude to a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace” in Ukraine. Canada was among the 141 members which voted in favour of the motion while Russia was joined by Belarus, Eritrea, Mali, Nicaragua, North Korea and Syria in voting against it and China, India, Iran, South Africa and 28 others abstained. A vote last October yielded similar results
24 February 2023 (CTV)
The federal government today confirmed more than $32 million to bolster “security and stabilization” in Ukraine, including some $9.7 million previously announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The total includes $7.5 million for de-mining, $12 million to “counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats” and some $13 million for “accountability efforts” including addressing conflict-related sexual violence.
24 February 2023 (Reuters)
A long-awaited overhaul of U.S. arms export policy with increased emphasis on human rights was unveiled February 23 by President Joe Biden. It ostensibly moves his administration away from his predecessor’s focus on the commercial aspects of overseas sales.
24 February 2023 (BBC)
Three years ago, as he asked Russians to support constitutional change which would extend his time in office, President Vladimir Putin was portrayed on state television as a “sea captain steering the Good Ship Russia through stormy waters of global unrest.” A year into Putin’s “special military operation” in Ukraine, could it be that the “Kremlin captain” now is headed straight toward a metaphorical iceberg?