Strategy & Tactics

Russia confirms nukes for Belarus

Deployment of Russian tactical nuclear weapons to neighbouring Belarus, a close ally in the war against Ukraine, has been formalized in a May 25 agreement. Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the arrangement is justified by “an extremely sharp escalation of threats on the western borders of Russia and Belarus.” [node:read-more:link]

No German jets for Ukraine

As Russia continued its missile barrage on Kyiv today, German Defence Minister German Boris Pistorius said his country will not provide Ukraine with the F-16 fighters it sees as critical to its defence. There are concerns that it could escalate the conflict. [node:read-more:link]

Japan-China hotline inaugurated

The Japanese and Chinese defense ministers inaugurated a long-awaited hotline May 16 at a time when Japan and other neighbouring states worry about Beijing’s increasingly assertive military presence in the region. [node:read-more:link]

Russian air attack blunted

Ukrainian air defences downed 18 Russian missiles aimed at Kyiv early May 16, including six air-launched Kinzhal hypersonics, touted by Vladimir Putin as a key strategic advantage. Three residents of the capital were reported to have been wounded. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine wants annexed regions

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said May 14 that he has no plans to attack Russia in a widely-anticipated counteroffensive but made it clear he wants to “de-occupy the illegitimately conquered territories.” Those would include four regions seized by Russia in its current invasion as well as Crimea it annexed nine years ago. [node:read-more:link]

Zelenskyy pauses counteroffensive plan

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s military is “ready” to mount an anticipated counteroffensive against Russian forces, but it’s still awaiting more promised armoured vehicles and other materiel before pulling the trigger. “We can go forward and, I think, be successful […] but we’d lose a lot of lot of people,” he said May 11. “That's unacceptable, so we need to wait.” [node:read-more:link]

Russia’s future “rests” in Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country’s future “rests on” the outcome of its invasion of Ukraine. “There is nothing more important now than your combat effort,” he said in addressing a May 8 parade in Moscow to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany. He also accused “western global elites” of provoking conflict and said civilization is “at a dedisive turning point.” [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine downplays counteroffensive

After exceeding many expectations throughout its 15-month resistance to Russia’s invasion and now setting up for a counteroffensive, Ukraine seems to be lowering its hopes. “The expectation from our counteroffensive campaign is overestimated,” says Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov. “Most people are […] waiting for something huge” which he fears may lead to “emotional disappointment.” [node:read-more:link]

“Willy Peter” alleged in Ukraine

Ukraine is accusing Russia of using white phosphorus munitions in its siege of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. Nicknamed “Willy Peter” by U.S. forces during the Vietnam War, they are not technically prohibited in warfare but their use against civilians is considered a war crime. [node:read-more:link]

Wagner getting more munitions?

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the Russian oligarch and owner of the Wagner Group, said May 7 that his mercenary force has been “promised” more weapons and ammunition to continue their siege of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut. He had threatened withdrawal two days earlier as his forces continued to encounter strong resistance. [node:read-more:link]

Wagner boss unhappy with Kremlin

The leader of Wagner Group suffering massive casualties in a battle for the eastern Ukrainian city of Bahkmut said today that they will be withdrawn next week because of a lack of support from Moscow. “They’re doomed to perish sensibly,” said Yevgeny Prigozhin. [node:read-more:link]

Ukraine fit for counter-offensive

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says most arms promise to Ukraine have been delivered in time for an expected counter-offensive against Russia. “That means over 1,550 armored vehicles, 230 tanks, and other equipment, including vast amounts of ammunition,” he said. Coupled with 30,000 NATO-trained Ukrainian troops, it would put the country “in a strong position to continue to retake occupied territory.” [node:read-more:link]

Putin assassination attempt claimed

Russian President Vladimir’s office said today that Ukraine tried to kill him with an overnight drone attack on his Kremlin residence. The office said the drones were intercepted and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denied his country’s involvement. [node:read-more:link]

Russians behind pipeline sabotage?

It’s reported that three Russian naval vessels capable of underwater operations were present near the site of explosions which shut down the Nord Stream gas pipelines to European markets last September. Investigations to date indicate that the explosions were sabotage rather than accidental. [node:read-more:link]

Wagner boss threatens withdrawals

Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner mercenary group, has threatened to withdraw his forces from Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine as casualty rates mount and Russian ammunition supplies dwindle. Meanwhile, Ukrainian military authorities say Russian forces have failed to cut Ukrainian supply routes to the embattled city. [node:read-more:link]


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