NEWS BRIEFS: INTERNATIONAL
20 February 2023 (CNN)
In a high-profile affirmation of his administration’s continued support for Ukraine as it continues to push back against Russia’s year-long invasion, President Joe Biden spent some eight hours in Kyiv today. Having arrived from Poland by train via Poland 40 hours after leaving Washington, he announced $500 million in new assistance, including weapons and ammunition, as air raid sirens could be heard around the capital.
20 February 2023 (Reuters)
Slow German export approvals are holding up Airbus Defence & Space defence exports worth several billions of Euros, CEO Michael Schoellhorn said on the weekend. “Several countries are interested in the A400M,” he said. “Unfortunately, we are having difficulties to get the German export licences on time,” a situation he said “puts us in a very unsatisfactory situation.”
20 February 2023 (Al Jazeera/Fars)
A report that it has intentionally enriched uranium to a purity of 84 per cent is being denied by Iran amidst ongoing issues with the International Atomic Energy Agency. It was reported that IAEA inspectors had discovered the enrichment to just below the 90 per cent required for weapons production. An official with the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran said February 19 that particles with above 60 per cent purity had been found, as they had in the past, but that “does not mean that there has been enrichment over 60 percent.”
20 February 2023 (Al Jazeera)
Russia’s defence ministry says Ukraine is plotting domestic “false flag” nuclear incidents but has offered no evidence to support the allegation. Claiming that radioactive material has been shipped from a third country, the ministry says “the aim of the provocation is to accuse Russia’s army of allegedly carrying out indiscriminate strikes on hazardous radioactive facilities in Ukraine, leading to the leakage of radioactive substances and contamination of the area.”
19 February 2023
All future activities in the Northwest Passage should be assessed through an Environmental, Social, and Governance lens, advise Hunerfauth and Landry as they provide an overview of key considerations.
17 February 2023
It is estimated that Ukraine is firing as many as 5,000 artillery rounds and missiles a day in its counteroffensive against Russian invaders, as much as some of its European allies manufacture in a year. That pales against more than three times as many Russian "fires" on any given day, but as Ukraine needs to ramp up its own stockpiles in preparation for a spring escalation of the conflict, Canada and other allies are having to deal with their ability to meet that need.
17 February 2023 (Breaking Defense)
Leading up to the invasion of Ukraine a year ago, Russian hackers began laying the foundation for an unprecedented cyber onslaught not just against Kyiv but also its NATO allies. That digital campaign went into overdrive alongside the kinetic attack but the Google-owned Mandiant cybersecurity firm reported February 16 that Moscow seems unable to keep up the pace for now.
17 February 2023 (National Post)
Public Services and Procurement Deputy minister Paul Thompson has confirmed that the Boeing P-8 Poseidon, is “an active option under consideration” to replace the RCAF’s fleet of Lockheed Martin CP-150 Aurora patrol and surveillance aircraft. Industry suggestions that Defence Minister Anita Anand favours spending upwards of $9 billion to procure at least 14 of the aircraft developed from Boeing’s 737-800 commercial platform is prompting pushback from Bombardier.
16 February 2023 (DND News)
In response to Haiti’s request for assistance, Canada is deploying two Kingston-class ships to Haiti as violence continues to escalate and hamper any progress in the country.
16 February 2023 (BBC)
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko, a firm supporter of Russia’s year-long “special military operation” in Ukraine, said today that he is ready to have his country used as a staging ground for Russian forces to invade Ukraine from the north. “But only,” he said, “if someone, even a single soldier, enters our territory from there with weapons.” He also continued to blame the West for starting and fuelling the Ukraine conflict and broached the potential for nuclear war.
16 February 2023 (CP)
As Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discusses the crisis in Haiti with Caribbean leaders this week, he evidently remained resistant to suggestions, including from the U.S., about military intervention. During a multilateral meeting today, he told Haiti’s unelected leader, Ariel Henry, who has UN support for external security forces to combat endemic gang violence, only that Canada has “much to do” to offer support and stability.
16 February 2023 (AP)
South Korea’s description of its northern neighbour as “our enemy” in today’s latest biennial defence review resurrects a label unused for years. It’s a sign of the rising tension between the two countries, characterized by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent description of the South as “our undoubted enemy.” Seoul used to call Pyongyang the “main” or “present” enemy or simply the “enemy” but had shelved that language as relations improved.