Kaliningrad: military combat training

Brussels 28.09.2022 Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Wednesday, September 28, that newly mobilised reservists in the Kaliningrad region have started combat training at the base of Russia’s Baltic Fleet.

“All mobilised military personnel comply with the standards for shooting from small arms. In addition, citizens called up from the reserve restore their skills in the operation and maintenance of weapons, military and special equipment,” the ministry said on its Telegram channel.

Courses have been also held to increase firing skills and prepare military personnel for “confident actions on the battlefield”.

President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia’s first military mobilisation since World War Two last week, which could see hundreds of thousands more people sent to fight in Ukraine.

Russia has a significant military presence in Kaliningrad, a Russian Baltic coast enclave located between NATO and European Union members Poland and Lithuania, including nuclear-capable missiles, its Baltic fleet and tens of thousands of soldiers.

Izyum: Russian troops in retreat

Brussels 10.09.2022 The Russian troops stationed at Balakleya and Izyum have been regrouped and redeployed to the Donetsk direction in order to step up efforts there, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov told reporters on Saturday, September 10.

“In order to achieve the declared goals of the special military operation for the liberation of Donbass, it was decided to regroup the Russian forces stationed near Balakleya and Izyum to boost efforts in the Donetsk direction,” Konashenkov said.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry spokesman, for that purpose, an operation of reorganizing and redeploying the Izyum-Balakleya grouping to the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) has been carried out in the past three days. Simultaneously, distractive and demonstration activates indicating troops’ real actions were taken.
“A powerful fire attack, with the air force, missile and artillery troops engaged, was conducted against the enemy to prevent harm to Russian troops,” the general added.

On Friday, September 9, the Russian Defense Ministry released a video showing Russian troops’ redeployment to the Kharkov direction. Footage features a military convoy consisting of BTR-82A armored personnel carriers and D-20 towed gun-howitzers. Besides the Z and V symbols, a new symbol – a circle inscribed in a triangle – painted on military vehicles can be seen in the video.

Anti-Russian sanctions “unnoticed”

Brussels 09.09.2022 Western nations have imposed about 11,000 various restrictions on Russia, which went largely unnoticed by Russian citizens, Russian Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna Mikhail Ulyanov said on Friday, September 9.

“The West introduced record-breaking 11 000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far,” the diplomat wrote on Twitter.

“For the first time in history the Western nations face the consequences of sanctions they introduce against another state,” he added.

The Ambassador tweeted: “The West introduced record-breaking 11,000 sanctions against Russia. The Russian citizens have not noticed that so far.”

In another tweet, Ulyanov underscored that the Western nations for the first time face the “consequences” of sanctions that they imposed against another nation. He further said, “Of course, the sanctions bite. The question is who they bite more. We will see.”

EU nations, US and UK have launched sanctions against Russia to apply pressure to the Kremlin to end the war in Ukraine, and accept the will of the Ukrainian leadership to join NATO. So far, European Union has imposed several packages of sanctions against Russia, including trade restrictions, asset freezes and travel bans. As part of the economic sanctions, the EU has imposed import and export restrictions on Russia which implies that European entities cannot export certain products to Russia and vice versa.

Kissinger: U.S. on brink of war

Brussels 14.08.2022 Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger believes that Washington is currently on the brink of war with Moscow and Beijing, he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.

“We are at the edge of war with Russia and China on issues which we partly created, without any concept of how this is going to end or what it’s supposed to lead to,” he underscored.

“You can’t just now say we’re going to split them off and turn them against each other. All you can do is not to accelerate the tensions and to create options, and for that you have to have some purpose,” Kissinger added.

USA-Russia: prisoners exchange talks

Brussels 06.08.2022 Russia is ready to discuss the exchange of prisoners with the US, but only within the channel, negotiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Joe Biden. If the Americans resort to public diplomacy, its’ “their problem,” Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said to reporters Friday, August 5. (Image above: Viktor Bout)

The top diplomat said that Washington’s logic in the situation around House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan is “strange,” and noted that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken displayed no interest in contacts with his Russian counterpart during the ASEAN events in Phnom Penh.

“If the Americans once again decide to resort to public diplomacy and to make loud announcements that they plan to take some steps, then that is their business, and I would even say, their problem. The Americans often do not comply with agreements on a quiet professional work on this and many other topics.”

Russia-Africa Summit announcement

Brussels 27.07.2022 Russia’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg will host the 2023 Russia-Africa Summit, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson wrote on her Telegram channel on Wednesday, July 27.

“We are leaving the African continent under a heavy rain and this is a good sign,” she stated. “Thank you, friends, and we are waiting for you in Saint Petersburg next year at the Russia-Africa summit.”

The inaugural Russia-Africa summit was hosted by the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi in 2019. The summit was organised between October 22 and 24, 2019 and its slogan read as ‘For Peace, Security and Development.’

Within the framework of the African tour earlier this week, Foreign Minister Lavrov visited Egypt, the Republic of the Congo, Uganda and Ethiopia between July 24 and 27.

The visit to Ethiopia on Wednesday July 27 was be the final stop in Lavrov’s African tour, after which the Russian top diplomat will travel to the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Uzbekistani capital of Tashkent.

The food crisis caused by the Ukraine conflict took the center stage during Lavrov’s previous negotiations and press conferences in African countries.

Putin vows to overcome hardships

Brussels 18.07.2022 Russia is not going to lose heart or have decades of its progress reversed, despite inhospitable forecasts from opponents, President Vladimir Putin told the Council for Strategic Development at a meeting on Monday.

The president said Russia was being completely denied access to foreign hi-tech products.

“We understand that this is a major challenge to our country, however we are not going to lose heart or have decades of our progress reversed, despite predictions from a number of our ill-wishers, the opposite is true,” Putin insisted.

“[We are] aware of the huge amount of obstacles” being put up, so Russia will be “looking for new solutions while making effective use of its own technological capacities available in the country and research by innovative Russian companies,” Putin explained.

“I understand that this is a complicated task. All of us are perfectly aware of that. And it’s also clear that we cannot and will not live in isolation from the rest of the world,” the Russian president pledged.

The head of state stressed that Russia cannot be isolated from the rest of the world, or fenced off from it.

“Obviously, we cannot develop in isolation from the rest of the world. And we won’t. It is impossible in the present-day world to merely issue as decree and erect a huge fence. It is simply impossible,” he said and outlined top priority tasks.

According to the president, one of such tasks is to develop end-to-end technologies, which have major influence on structural changes in the economy.

Russia: Belgorod hit by missile

Brussels 03.07.2022 At least three people were perished and dozens of residential buildings damaged in the Russian city of Belgorod near the Ukraine border, the regional governor said, after reports of several blasts in the city.

At least 11 apartment buildings and 39 private houses were damaged, including five that were destroyed, Governor Vyacheslav Gladkov posted on the Telegram messaging app.

Governor Gladkov said earlier that the “incident” was being investigated, adding: “Presumably, the air defence system worked.”

At least four people were injured and two hospitalised, including a 10-year-old boy, he said.

The news agencies could not independently verify the reports. There was no immediate reaction from the Ukraine relevant authorities.

Belgorod, a city of nearly 400,000 some 40km north of the border with Ukraine, is the administrative centre of the Belgorod region.

Russian Defense Ministry spokesperson Igor Konashenkov confirmed that tonight, from 3:00 to 3:30 Moscow time, the “Kyiv regime” carried out a “deliberate strike with Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster munitions and Tu-143 Reis drones on residential areas of Belgorod and Kursk, where there are no military installations”.

All three Tochka-U ballistic missiles with cluster warheads launched by Ukrainian military at Belgorod were destroyed in the air by Russian air defense systems. As a result of the defeat of Ukrainian missiles, the wreckage of one of them fell on a residential building in the city.

NATO MADRID PIVOTAL SUMMIT

Brussels 25.06.2022 NATO Leaders are meeting in Madrid at a pivotal time for our security. Russia’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe, caused far-reaching energy and food crises, and shaken the rules-based international order. NATO’s response has been swift and united.

How has Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the new security reality in Europe affected NATO’s approach to deterrence and defence?

What is the Alliance doing to address other challenges, like China’s growing influence and assertiveness or the security consequences of climate change?

What will be included in NATO’s next Strategic Concept, the blueprint for the Alliance’s future adaptation to a more competitive world where authoritarian powers try to push back against the rules-based international order?

These are just some of the important questions that NATO Leaders will discuss during the Madrid Summit.

More than ever, NATO is the indispensable platform for transatlantic consultations and cooperation on security and defence. At the Madrid Summit, Allies will continue to adapt, taking decisions to keep NATO strong and ready in a more dangerous world. Heads of State and Government will agree to strengthen deterrence and defence, and support Ukraine for the longer term. They will agree the 2022 Strategic Concept, which will be a roadmap for the Alliance in the years to come. Allies will also boost cooperation with partners, enhance resilience and sharpen NATO’s technological edge – all underpinned by the necessary investments in our collective defence.

NATO Leaders are gathering in Madrid, Spain to discuss important issues facing the Alliance. The Madrid Summit will set NATO’s strategic direction for the next decade and beyond, ensuring that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.

Russia declines to join Nuclear weapons Treaty

Brussels 25.06.2022 Moscow declines to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday, Juin 25.

The diplomat commented in the aftermath of the first conference of states-participants of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The assertive advancement of the process deepens the disunity between states and undermines the regime of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

“In connection with the desire to put on a permanent basis the efforts to universalise the TPNW, as recorded in the final documents of the conference, we emphasise: Russia does not intend to join this agreement and believes that the treaty does not establish any universal standards: neither now nor in the future,” she said.

Moscow continues to firmly adhere to the position that the development of the TPNW was premature, erroneous and, in fact, counterproductive. This agreement does nothing to reduce the growing nuclear risks and does not bring humanity one step closer to the goal stated in it, and the approach laid down in the TPNW only leads to an increase in contradictions between nuclear and non-nuclear states, the spokesperson continued.

“It does not take into account the military-political and military-strategic situation and runs counter to the principle that nuclear disarmament should be carried out in such a way that it would lead to “an increase in the level of security for all.” We do not see realistic ways to implement any – or practical measures to directly reduce nuclear weapons,” the diplomat said.

“Russia, like all other states with military nuclear potential, did not take part in the conference of states-participants of the TPNW and does not intend to do so in the future. We also do not plan to build joint work with auxiliary structures created as part of the interaction of the participants of the TPNW to implement it,” she added.

Assertive advancement of the treaty deepens disunity between states and undermines the regime of Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.