FAKE NEWS: NOT DEAD? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he isn't sure Vladimir Putin is alive and might have died of pancreatic cancer KossyDerrickBlog KossyDerrickEnt

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

FAKE NEWS: NOT DEAD? Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he isn't sure Vladimir Putin is alive and might have died of pancreatic cancer

Information reaching Kossyderrickent has it that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that he isn't sure Vladimir Putin is alive and might have died of pancreatic cancer.

The aid from countries including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Britain and Poland will include tens of Stinger air defense systems, s-60 anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and training, according to a statement.

The UK said it would send 600 Brimstone missiles to Ukraine to help in its fight against invading Russian forces, British Defence Minister Ben Wallace said.

"Today I can say we're also going to send another 600 Brimstone missiles into theatre, which will be incredibly important in helping Ukraine dominate the battlefield," he told reporters at Estonia's Tapa military base.

The UK was also aiming to train 20,000 Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU) personnel.

Poland offered S-60 anti-aircraft guns with 70,000 pieces of ammunition, and has already donated 42 infantry fighting vehicles.

Denmark said it would donate 19 French-made Caesar howitzers to Ukraine, including some still on order, following a slew of pledges of heavy weapons from Kyiv's Western allies.

Earlier, Sweden pledged to send its Archer artillery system, a modern mobile howitzer requested by Kyiv for months, to Ukraine along with armoured vehicles and anti-tank missiles.

Speaking at a press conference, Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said his government had agreed on a three-part military support package for Kyiv, including "the first decision on starting deliveries of the artillery system Archer to Ukraine."

Sweden, which has broken with its doctrine of not delivering weapons to a country at war, will also send 50 CV-90 armoured vehicles and NLAW portable anti-tank missiles, the government said.

"The defeat of a nuclear power in a conventional war may trigger a nuclear war," former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who serves as deputy chairman of Putin's powerful security council, said in a post on Telegram.

"Nuclear powers have never lost major conflicts on which their fate depends," said Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012.

Striking a similar tone at what he described as an anxious time for the country, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church said in a sermon for Epiphany that trying to destroy Russia would mean the end of the world.

Medvedev said NATO and other defence leaders, due to meet at Ramstein Air Base in Germany on Friday to talk about strategy and support for the West's attempt to defeat Russia in Ukraine, should think about the risks of their policy.

The Kremlin chief has sought in recent months to gird Russians for a much tougher battle while promising eventual victory in a war that the leaders of the West say they will never let him win.

The United States has denied Russian claims that it wants to destroy Russia, while President Joe Biden has cautioned that a conflict between Russia and NATO could trigger World War Three.

But top Putin allies say the tens of billions of dollars' worth of U.S. and European military assistance to Ukraine shows that Russia is now in a confrontation with NATO itself - the Cold War nightmare of both Soviet and Western leaders.

Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, said in a sermon: "We pray to the Lord that he bring the madmen to reason and help them understand that any desire to destroy Russia will mean the end of the world."

"Today is an alarming time," state news agency RIA quoted him as saying. "But we believe that the Lord will not leave Russian land."

Putin's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters in Minsk that Russia would do everything to ensure NATO and European Union leaders "sobered up" as soon as possible.

"I hope that the sobering up will come," Lavrov said. "We will do everything so that our colleagues from NATO and the European Union sober up as soon as possible."

Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine has triggered one of the deadliest European conflicts since World War Two and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

The United States and its allies have condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine as an imperial land grab, while Ukraine has vowed to fight until the last Russian soldier is ejected from its territory.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Medvedev has repeatedly raised the threat of a nuclear war, but his admission now of the possibility of Russia's defeat indicates the level of Moscow's concern over increased Western weapons deliveries to Ukraine.

As a signal of strategic intent to measure up to this double obligation, from the past and for the future, the Berlin government should commit at the Ukraine defence contact group meeting in Ramstein, Germany, this Friday not only to allow countries such as Poland and Finland to send German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine but also do so itself, in a coordinated European action. Call it the European Leopard plan.

Germany’s historical responsibility comes in three unequal stages. Eighty years ago, Nazi Germany was itself fighting a war of terror on this very same Ukrainian soil: the same cities, towns and villages were its victims as are now Russia’s, and sometimes even the same people.

The lesson to learn from that history is not that German tanks should never be used against Russia, whatever the Kremlin does, but that they should be used to protect Ukrainians, who were among the greatest victims of both Hitler and Stalin.

The second stage of historical responsibility comes from what the German president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has honestly described as the “bitter failure” of German policy towards Russia after the annexation of Crimea and the start of Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine in 2014. That policy could accurately be characterised as appeasement. (In a recent interview, former chancellor Angela Merkel praised the Netflix drama Munich – The Edge of War for suggesting that Neville Chamberlain might be seen in a more positive light.) Fatefully, far from reducing its energy dependence on Russia, Germany further increased it after 2014, to more than 50% of its total gas imports, as well as building the never-used Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

This historic mistake led to the third and most recent stage. A month after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on 24 February last year, a group of leading German figures formulated an appeal for an immediate boycott of fossil fuels from Russia. “Looking back on its history,” they wrote, “Germany has repeatedly vowed that there must ‘never again’ be wars of conquest and crimes against humanity. Today the hour has come to honour that vow.”

Chancellor Olaf Scholz decided against this radical course, arguing that it would endanger “hundreds of thousands of jobs” and plunge both Germany and Europe into recession. Instead, the country made hugely impressive efforts, led by the Green economy minister Robert Habeck, to wean itself off Russian energy.

While doing so, however, it was paying Russian bills that had soared precisely because of the impact of the war on energy prices. According to a careful analysis by the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, in the first six months of the full-scale war, Germany paid Russia some €19bn for oil, gas and coal. For comparison: Russia’s entire military budget for six months in 2021 was around €30bn. (No reliable figures are available for 2022.) Since a large part of Russia’s budget revenues comes from energy, the unavoidable conclusion is that Germany was contributing to Putin’s military budget, even as he prosecuted a war of terror on the very soil where Nazi Germany had prosecuted a war of terror 80 years before. Yes, other European countries also went on paying Russia for energy, but none had Germany’s unique historical responsibility towards Ukraine.

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