The Russia-Ukraine War has begun

GoblinCampFollower

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Clearly there's considerable bi-partisan support for Ukraine, despite Trump and MAGA's support for Putin. What wider implications, if any, does these Republican legislators' belated willingness to defy Trump and his acolytes have?
I think there is a huge gap between what many politicians know and what they can say publicly. Johnson and many other republicans had to make nice with Trump when he got popular, but many of them spoke out against him early on and some of them at least definitely still hate him. They just fear they don't have the political capital to oppose him openly.

I know a lot of republicans are especially befuddled by Trump's praise of Putin. I know several republicans well and they've all voiced support of Ukraine over Putin.
 

Cindy Claveau

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Isabeau

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Greene's "MUGA" moment seemingly inspired the liberal anti-Trump group MeidasTouch. The group began selling $45 limited-edition replicas of the hats the very next day, with all proceeds going to benefit pro-Ukraine charities United Help Ukraine and World Central Kitchen.
Youcan buy it here.
 

Cindy Claveau

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Ukraine arrests two officials over alleged Russian plot to kill Zelensky

Two colonels in Ukraine’s government protection unit were accused of carrying out “subversive activities against Ukraine in exchange for financial compensation,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office said Tuesday.
Both colonels were charged with treason; one was also charged with preparing a terrorist act.

The prosecutor’s office said one of the suspects received two drones and ammunition from Russia’s state security service (FSB), which they intended to transfer to another accomplice to carry out an explosion.
The SBU said it had “foiled” the “actively developing plans” to assassinate Zelensky and other senior Ukrainian officials, including the head of the SBU, Vasyl Maliuk, and the head of the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine, Kyrylo Budanov.
“One of the tasks of the FSB’s agent network was to find perpetrators among the military close to the President’s security who could take the Head of State hostage and then kill him,” the SBU said.
Zelensky has reportedly faced several attempts on his life since Russia began its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Cindy Claveau

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Estonia 'seriously' discussing sending troops to Ukraine

The Estonian government is seriously considering sending troops to western Ukraine to take on support roles, like medical services or logistics, so that Ukrainian forces can focus on frontline combat.

The national security advisor to the president, Madis Roll, told to Breaking Defence that Estonia prefers doing this as part of a full NATO mission but is also open to smaller coalitions. Discussions are ongoing, and Roll noted that NATO nations might change their stance over time. “We should be looking at all the possibilities. We shouldn’t have our minds restricted as to what we can do.”
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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Reuters is reporting what was to be expected: Putin is willing to agree to a ceasefire, if Ukraine recognises the current battlefield lines.

Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin's entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's decision to rule out talks.

"Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war," said another of the four, a senior Russian source who has worked with Putin and has knowledge of top level conversations in the Kremlin.
He, like the others cited in this story, spoke on condition of anonymity given the matter's sensitivity.

 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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The USA have provided 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Now these tanks are performing only little better than the old Soviet era tanks Ukraine had due to lack of support units.

Tank crews do complain about the lack of protection, especially against drones. The tanks were delivered with the standard armor, not uranium armor which the UK and US internally uses. They also do suffer of engine problems and electrical malfunctions caused by internal condensation.

The main reason though is that Ukraine has no air superiority. The tanks are meant to be used together with well equiped air force and artillery, which Ukrains lacks. Well like all tanks in modern warfare.

 
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Chin Rey

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The USA have provided 31 Abrams tanks to Ukraine. Now these tanks are performing only little better than the old Soviet era tanks Ukraine had due to lack of support units.
The tank that seems to perform the best in the Ukraine war on either side is the Leopard 1A5. Ukarine received more of them than all the three modern western tanks combined yet so far there is only one reported as damaged and none as destroyed. Accounts and reports from Ukrainian tank crews and official sources also speak very highly about it.

This is interesting because the Leopard 1 is based on a different concept than the others. To put it simple, the Russian/Soviet tank doctrine is to have huge numbers of fairly cheap tanks and accept heavy losses while the modern western doctrine is to have a few brhrmothd that can shake off anything you throw at it.

The idea behind the Leopard 1 is to not get hit at all so it's highly maneuverable to get out of tricky situations and has a long range precision gun that can take out the enemy at a safe distance. This concept was generally regarded as outdated but the reults from the Ukraine war seem to tell a different story.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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Yeah, I know - the Leopard 1 was the first tank developed in Germany after WWII. It was build with the lessons learned on mind engaging Soviet tank groups.

The revolutionary idea for its time was to prioritise speed over plating combined with high chance of powerful first strike hits. This means though in order to be effective Leopard tanks needs their supports.

The Russian doctrine is still the same as the old Soviet one: let's build stuff which performs well enough, but is less expensive, so you can build more for the money. And both the crew and tanks are throwaways. While this is desastrous on your own troops, its what largely ended WWII.

Anyway, in my opinion the Abrams M1 is not to blame much because it is used without the proper support troops it needs, and the US Army would never use it without. So this was doomed to happen.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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The EU presidency rotates every 6 months. A few days ago Hungary came into power, so Viktor Orban.

And he wasted no time to travel to Moscow and meet Putin with no official mandate.


High ranking EU officials emphasize that Orban has indeed no mandate, and this travel does not involve the EU but only him being the prime minister of Hungary.
 
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Bartholomew Gallacher

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While Hungary just assumed the EU's rotating presidency this month, Orban has already met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv and been received by the Kremlin, a trip that drew a strong rebuke from his allies.
"Peace Mission 3.0.," Orban, a critic of Western military aid to Ukraine and the EU leader with the warmest relations with Xi and Putin, said on his official X account as he touched down in Beijing.

China, which has close ties to Russia, has been promoting a six-point peace plan it issued with Brazil in May, proposing an international peace conference "at a proper time" and calling for equal participation by both Ukraine and Russia.
Ukraine is hoping to win broad global backing for its proposals on how to end the war with Russia before beginning discussions with Putin, holding a huge international summit last month in Switzerland to which Moscow was not invited.

But Kyiv's aim of ostracising Russia is meeting resistance. China sat out the Swiss meeting and has won backing from Moscow for its own peace plan. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to visit Russia later this week, with Ukraine likely to be on the agenda.
"The international community should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiations between the two sides and provide assistance," Xi told Orban, according to Chinese state media.

"It is in the interests of all parties to seek a political solution through an early ceasefire," he added.
Orban said China was "a key power in creating the conditions for peace in the Russia-Ukraine war", giving that as the reason for his meeting with Xi just two months after the Chinese leader visited Budapest.
Orban's trip to China comes days ahead of a NATO summit in Washington D.C. that will address providing further support to Ukraine and which he is due to attend.

While some EU leaders have been quick to say Hungary's EU presidency does not mean Orban represents the 27-strong bloc, Xi told Orban that China hoped Hungary would "play an active role in promoting the healthy and stable development of China-EU relations".
In Germany, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said on Monday Orban does not speak for Europe and that Hungary's politics often do not represent the core of EU thinking.

 
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