Aspen Security Forum: Top Officials Discuss Ukraine War
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said the country’s counter-offensive to repel occupying Russian forces is set to “accelerate” as Kiev expects more military aid from its allies, including the United States.
Zelensky called on allies to provide fighter jets and more long-range missiles, while Washington plans to announce a new military package for Ukraine soon.
The US national security adviser told the same security forum in Colorado that the results of the counter-offensive would only become apparent when Kiev fully deployed its forces, saying it had not yet happened.
Meanwhile, President Vladimir Putin accused NATO member Poland of having territorial ambitions in the former Soviet Union, and said any act of aggression against Russia’s neighbor and close ally Belarus would be considered an attack on Russia.
Speaking on television, Putin told a Security Council meeting in a televised address that Moscow would respond to any aggression against Belarus “with all the means at our disposal.”
And a South African court has issued an arrest warrant for Mr Putin ahead of next month’s Brics summit in Johannesburg. The Kremlin said Mr Putin would not attend.
The US is about to announce a new military aid package for Ukraine – report
The US is reportedly planning to announce a new military package worth up to $400 million for Ukraine that includes artillery, anti-aircraft missiles and ground vehicles.
The new package will not include the controversial cluster munitions and could be announced as early as Tuesday, Reuters reported, citing officials familiar with the matter.
It is also expected to include armored personnel carriers, mine clearance equipment and anti-tank weapons but this list is subject to change prior to publication.
Once approved, this will be the 43rd military assistance package provided by the US to Ukraine since the country was invaded by Russia in February 2022.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 08:00
Zelensky says counterattack is about to ‘accelerate’
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the country’s counter-offensive to repel Russian forces in occupied Ukraine was “accelerating”.
The much-anticipated effort began later than Kyiv expected due to a lack of sufficient supplies of ammunition from the Allies.
But Mr Zelensky said yesterday that the weeks-long counter-offensive was about to change momentum, with Ukraine preparing to receive more weapons.
He urged his allies to supply the war-torn country with more long-range missiles and advanced fighter jets, as he addressed international leaders at the Aspen Security Forum.
“We are approaching a point where relevant actions can be accelerated because we have already passed several mine sites and we are clearing mines in these areas,” Mr. Zelensky said.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told an audience in Colorado that the results of Ukraine’s military effort would only become apparent once Kiev fully deployed its forces.
“It’s at the very moment they make that commitment that we’ll really see what the outcome of the counter-attack will be,” Mr Sullivan said.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 07:22
UN warns Russia attacking Ukrainian ports will deal another blow to ‘global food security’
United Nations political affairs chief Rosemary DiCarlo said yesterday that Russia’s bombardment of Ukrainian ports along the Black Sea could have further implications for global food security.
Condemning Russian air strikes on Ukrainian ports in Odesa, Chornomorsk and Mykolaiv, Ms. DiCarlo said this new wave of attacks would have “far-reaching effects on global food security, especially in developing countries”.
“Any risk of conflict spreading as a result of a military incident in the Black Sea – whether intentional or accidental – must be avoided at all costs, as this could lead to dire consequences for all of us,” she added.
“We strongly condemn these attacks and call on Russia to stop them immediately.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 07:00
UN warns ending Black Sea grain deal risks ‘hunger and worse’ for millions
The United Nations’ aid chief said yesterday that Russia’s abandonment of a deal that would allow Ukraine’s safe grain exports through the Black Sea “has the potential to threaten hunger and worse for millions of people”.
The landmark deal, brokered a year ago to combat a potential global food crisis, allows Ukraine to export grain through the Black Sea but by pulling out of the deal on Monday, the higher prices will be “profoundly felt by families in developing countries,” Martin Griffiths, head of aid, told the United Nations Security Council.
The United Nations says the deal has benefited poorer countries by helping to lower food prices globally.
However, Russia effectively reneged on the deal on Monday, saying it considers any ships sailing to Ukraine’s Black Sea ports to be capable of carrying military cargo.
“Some will go hungry, some will starve, many people may die because of these decisions,” Griffiths said, according to Reuters.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 06:30
Zelensky says Ukraine ‘will respond’ to recent Russian attacks
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address yesterday that Ukraine would respond to Russia’s recent deadly attacks.
On Friday, Russian shelling killed two children in Donetsk, two women in Chernihiv and rockets also hit Odesa, according to The Kyiv Independent.
The president said more than 20 people, including two children, were injured in attacks on Odesa over the past week.
Reacting to the shelling, Zelensky said Ukraine “will respond” to the attacks, adding that “there will be punishment.”
“In addition, the more the world will be strengthened for defense and joint action, the more energy it will have to win, the more it will crave justice and just punish Russia for all the crimes of this war,” the Ukrainian president said.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 06:00
South Africa agrees to issue arrest warrant for Putin
A high court in South Africa has confirmed that it has finally issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the eve of the African nation hosting a summit of BRICS countries including Russia.
As one of the signatories to the International Criminal Court (ICC) that issued Putin’s warrant for war crimes, South Africa is expected to detain the Russian president as soon as he arrives in the African country.
But officials from both countries had previously stated that Mr Putin would be allowed to attend the summit despite the ICC’s order.
South Africa then said on Wednesday that Mr. Putin would not attend the summit and that Russia would instead be represented by foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.
A high court in Pretoria confirmed on Friday that the department had finally filed an arrest warrant.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 05:30
Zelensky calls for the ‘neutralization’ of the Crimean bridge
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the removal of the Crimean bridge during his speech at the Aspen Security Forum.
He called the bridge a legitimate Ukrainian target that needed to be “neutralized”.
“The Crimean Bridge is not just a logistical road. This is the route used to feed the war with ammunition. And it militarized the Crimean Peninsula. This is an enemy base built outside of international law, so understandably, it is a [military] target,” said Mr. Zelensky.
“And any target of war must be neutralized,” he added.
Vishwam Sankaran22 July 2023 05:00
Russia builds fake trenches to lure Ukrainians into mines – report
Russian forces are said to have built fake trenches to lure Ukrainians into traps filled with mines.
Insider reports that Russia built an extensive network of trenches before Ukraine’s counterattack, including dummy trenches containing mines.
“They built fake trenches. They have mine trenches,” Michael Kofman, a Russia expert at the Center for Naval Analysis, said in a podcast Thursday.
Mr. Kofman, who recently visited Ukraine with other war experts, said Russian forces were trying “to lure Ukrainian forces into mined trenches… and then blow up these mines” by remote control.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 04:30
Video shows Ukraine confirming the use of cluster bombs by the US for the first time
A new video reveals for the first time Kiev using controversial US cluster bombs against Russian forces.
In the video, smaller bombs can be seen being dropped from a cluster bomb container near the city of Krasnohorivka in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.
The United States had announced earlier that it would send cluster bombs to Ukraine as part of a $800 million package.
More than 100 countries have banned the use of these bombs because some small bombs may not explode and instead turn into landmines on the battlefield, remaining a threat for a long time to come.
Vishwam SankaranJuly 22, 2023 03:57
Zelensky condemns Russian artillery attack in Donetsk
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has condemned a Russian artillery attack in Donetsk that he said killed two children.
In a video posted on Twitter, Mr Zelensky said: “Today, Russia killed two more children. Artillery attack on the village of Druzhba, community of Toretsk, Donetsk region. A girl born in 2007 and a boy born in 2013 have died. Chernihiv region, village of Honcharivske – hit by a missile. Two women were killed, demolition work is underway… A cultural center, a school, residential buildings were damaged.”
Holly BancroftJuly 22, 2023 03:48