Rapid escalation: They convene the Ukraine-NATO Council in order to “break” the Russian naval blockade and send “peacekeeping forces”!
They recall Ukrainian Units from the fronts
Rapid developments are taking place on the Ukrainian front as the Ukraine-NATO Council is convened in 48 hours.
V. Zelensky’s request was accepted and the reasons are the naval blockade imposed by Russia on Ukraine, the barrage of Russian bombardments against weapons and ammunition warehouses as well as against the port infrastructure.
Information indicates that key targets have been hit and Ukrainian losses in war material are very high.
The third and most important reason is the developments on the Polish front and the threats from B. Putin and A. Lukashenko.
According to some sources, NATO has reportedly asked the Ukrainian military command to immediately withdraw its troops from the battle fronts. Probably to send reinforcements to Western Ukraine and Kiev.
The same sources state that “NATO ordered Ukrainian units to leave various fronts of the war”.
Something very serious seems to be going on in the background. Will NATO intervene? Will “peacekeepers” enter Western Ukraine?
Last night, former NATO Supreme Allied Commander and US Admiral James Stavridis said that NATO may be planning to “break” Russia’s naval blockade of Ukraine.
Zelensky called for an emergency convergence of the NATO-Ukraine Council
Yesterday evening, Ukrainian President Zelensky pleaded with the NATO Secretary General to urgently convene the Ukraine-NATO Council in the context of the defeat of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Odessa and the loss of NATO equipment.
Moscow’s refusal to participate in the extension of the grain agreement, the introduction of a de facto naval blockade of Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea and the Russian Defense Ministry’s warning of possible strikes on tankers that try to enter a “military zone” triggered rapid developments.
After that, the President of Ukraine turned to all Western leaders, even the President of Turkey with a desperate request to influence Russia to restore grain transportation.
However, Moscow is adamant on this issue. It demands not only the actual implementation of the agreement by Kiev but the removal of barriers to the export of Russian food and fertilizers and the restoration of ammonia transit through the Togliatti-Odessa pipeline.
In addition, Moscow demands that the frozen assets located in the EU zone and related to the food supply be unfrozen.
Apparently, having exhausted all reserves of “pressure” on Moscow, the president of Ukraine decided to turn to the Secretary General of NATO for help and to unblock grain exports from the Black Sea ports of Ukraine.
T. Stavridis: NATO should break the naval blockade – Attack ships of the Russian fleet!
The US Navy can escort ships to and from Ukrainian ports and, if threatened by Russian Black Sea Fleet ships, open fire on them.
This is what the former commander of the NATO forces in Europe, Admiral e.a., told Foreign Policy. of the US Navy James Stavridis.
As Stavridis noted, US and NATO ships could be involved in escorting grain cargoes. It requests the participation of Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey in this mission.
NATO should warn Russia that ships of the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet will come under fire in the event of aggressive actions against NATO ships sailing to or from Ukrainian ports.
In the late 1980s, the US Navy escorted Kuwaiti oil tankers out of danger in the Persian Gulf during the final stages of the Iran-Iraq war. That period went down in history as the “tanker war” and the operation was called “Serious Will” (1987-1988).
According to retired US Admiral James Stavridis, with the three NATO countries on the Black Sea coast, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization may repeat the operation, similar to Serious Will, escorting merchant ships under the cover of NATO ships.
“NATO and the US could escort grain shipments at sea and have the ability to do so with the three major NATO nations in the Black Sea.
With clearly worded warnings to the Russian Navy’s Black Sea Fleet, NATO must respond with fire if a Russian warship attacks a grain carrier, which is, in fact, a humanitarian vessel operating in international waters,” Stavridis stressed .
What American analysts say – “One mistake and there will be a general war”
At the same time, the White House warned the international community that the Russian Federation had mined the approaches to Ukraine’s ports, “intending to accuse Kiev of a fake operation.”
“This is another turn by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia to expand the conflict to include the sea. It is looking for other ways to intimidate the West,” said Sebastian Bruns, an expert in maritime strategy and security at the Institute for Political Security at the University of Kiel.
An attack by the Russian Armed Forces against a merchant vessel could draw other countries into the conflict. In addition, Russia’s actions test the international community’s ability to protect the law of the sea and freedom of navigation in these waters.
“If anyone attacks these civilian ships, it’s a throwback to World War I and the sinking of the Lusitania. This is a sinking towards a much more serious conflict,” said retired Admiral James Fogo, who served as commander of the US Navy in Europe and Africa, referring to a British passenger ship sunk by a German submarine in 1915.
The publication recalls that recently the United States sent its ships and aircraft to the Middle East in order to ensure freedom of navigation from Iran. But in the Black Sea, where Russia and Western countries have been fighting for influence for centuries, Washington and its NATO allies are constrained by geography, geopolitics and documents (the 1936 Montreux Convention).
“If this was the South China Sea, we would be conducting operations to ensure freedom of navigation. Because of our reluctance to confront Russia, we are backing away from that principle, which we have otherwise adhered to,” said Kurt Volker, who was the US ambassador to NATO under the George W. Bush administration.
“If Russia starts attacking ships carrying Ukrainian grain, this could mean a sharp escalation of the conflict. Under the Naval Warfare Act, Moscow has the right to inspect and search merchant ships, but not to attack them. There are basic humanitarian principles that apply and he cannot violate them,” explained James Kraska, a professor of international maritime law at the US Naval War College.
“The Russian Federation can paralyze commercial shipping in the northwestern part of the Black Sea, moving it to the waters of Bulgaria, Romania and the Danube River.
This increases the cost and risk of shipping goods from Ukraine through Black Sea ports. Obviously, this is Russia’s goal: it is trying to isolate and damage Ukraine, which means it also hurts Ukraine’s trading partners.
It’s just another way to hurt the enemy in a war. The biggest cost of Russia’s actions will fall on the shoulders of Ukraine, its government, farmers and grain traders, because the world has already adjusted to the unpredictability of Black Sea exports,” summarizes Christopher Barrett, an agricultural economist at Cornell University .
Hell in Odessa: Russia “seals” the border with Romania – Relentless bombing at 100 meters from Romanian territory with drones and missiles!
Massive airstrike: Russians attack with five types of missiles and 15 kamikaze drones
For the first time since the beginning of the war, Russia bombed with 15 Geran-2 kamikaze drones targets and ports within 100 meters of the border of Ukraine with Romania, seeking to “seal” the specific supply gate of the Ukrainian forces.
Russia later launched a massive air strike, launching a number of missiles against targets in Odessa.
Romanian citizens watched in shock as explosions took place so close to their homes.
In total, Russia launched 15 Shahed-136 kamikaze drones for these attacks and destroyed three grain storage facilities, an oil depot, a central export terminal along the Danube as well as weapons and ammunition depots.
Heavy shelling on the border with Romania
After the Poles, who have already “felt” the impact of some Russian strikes near their border with Ukraine, it was the turn of the Romanians in the northeast of their country, near Odessa.
The Russian strikes, mostly by drones, occurred along the Danube, right on the Ukraine-Romania border in two different ports.
So there, at the mouth of the Danube and more specifically at the ports of Izmail and Reni, the Russians attacked Ukrainian infrastructure.
And this just a few meters from NATO territory! Countless tons of war material coming from the rest of Europe probably pass through these points.
Ukrainian Media: The Russians attacked Odessa with five types of missiles!
The Russian Armed Forces launched another massive attack on military installations and port infrastructure on the territory of the Odesa region, Ukrainian media reported.
According to Ukrainian media, at night the Russian Armed Forces hit targets in the Odesa region with five types of missiles, Kalibr, Onyx, Kh-22, Iskander-K, Iskander-M.
In more detail, 5 Onyx cruise missiles were launched by the Bastion coastal missile system from the territory of Crimea. In addition, 2 Iskander-M ballistic missiles and 5 Iskander-K cruise missiles were launched from Crimea.
Another 3 cruise missiles were fired towards Odessa by Tu-22 aircraft from the Black Sea. Finally, 4 Kalibr cruise missiles were launched from a submarine, also from the Black Sea.
This is reportedly a video of the #Russia strike on the port in #Reni , #Odesa region, south #Ukraine . Reni is located just across the Danube river from #Romania , a @NATO member state: pic.twitter.com/eYPd999C6S
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) July 24, 2023
Explosions at the Ports of Izmail and Reni, in the region of Odessa
In recent days, after the expiration of the so-called grain agreement, Izmail and Reni became the largest transshipment ports in Ukraine.
Officially, Ukraine stated that grain and other agricultural products are transhipped through them.
The first powerful explosion in Izmail occurred at about half past three in the morning. The end of the air raid alert in the Odessa area took place at about 5:40 am.
According to information published by the Ukrainian media, almost all the strikes were carried out in the coastal part of Odessa, in port infrastructure facilities.
“Odessa’s port infrastructure was used by Kiev not only to export grain, but also to receive military cargo, place weapons and military equipment, including naval drones used in sabotage attacks against the Crimean peninsula,” Russian media point out .
The main targets of the attack were ammunition depots. In addition, the Shkolny airfield was bombed.
According to reports from the field, the explosion of ammunition at the airfield continued almost throughout the night.
-After the arrivals of cruise missiles and drones, a powerful explosion followed. This suggests that the ammunition depots of the Armed Forces of Ukraine were hit.
-Secondly, buildings caught fire at Skolny airport, from where unmanned aerial vehicles are launched, including in the direction of Crimea.
-Thirdly, arrivals were recorded in the port area. Not far from this place are the training center “Chabanka” of the 28th separate mechanized brigade of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the center of electronic warfare and the Office of the Operational Command “South”.
Russian sources draw attention to a noticeable deterioration in the quality of air defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Missiles fall immediately after launch, and this indicates improper storage and heavy wear. Probably the quality of the personnel has also decreased, since the air defense is also suffering losses…
#Reni Commercial Sea Port is a port located on the left bank of the #Danube River.
The Grain Deal is over!👏 #Ukraine #UkraineRussianWar #UkraineWarNews #Odessa #Odesa https://t.co/ymADfYKpAC pic.twitter.com/1uZEDS7bP3
— Bad God (@ocohan) July 24, 2023
On 24 July in #Reni , #Odesa region, south #Ukraine , a Russian combat UAV attack caused damage to the port infrastructure. This is the first time #Russia targeted the Danube Delta ports which are located across the river from #Romania , a NATO member state. https://t.co/GQmrfaFMVp pic.twitter.com/KYNlQZFYkZ
— Alex Kokcharov (@AlexKokcharov) July 24, 2023
Russian expert: The Ukrainians had placed and stored weapons and ammunition in ports
The Russian military has been conducting precision guided weapon strikes against military targets in the Odesa and Mykolaiv regions for several days.
Boris Rozhin, a Russian military expert, spoke about how important the tactics currently used by the Russian Ministry of Defense are.
According to him, “the Armed Forces of Ukraine have long used the ports involved in the “grain deal” to develop and store weapons. Now, after the Ukrainian terrorist attack on the Crimean bridge and the end of the so-called ‘Black Sea Initiative,’ these facilities have become a legitimate target of our military.”
According to the expert, “some warehouses that were hit at night are still burning. The loud explosion may indicate that weapons and ammunition were confiscated in large quantities.”
Finally, the Russian military expert emphasized that the main problem of the Ukrainian army in this case is that the command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will have to rebuild logistics, which will take some time and will definitely affect the combat ability of the Ukrainian army.
In addition, a serious loss that will affect Kiev’s plans is the destruction of the facilities, where unmanned vessels filled with explosives were assembled.
Huge explosion in Zhytomyr: Cluster bomb warehouse hit – Hundreds of German and Polish soldiers dead in Lviv!
Russian Defense Ministry: “We have killed 5,000 mercenaries so far”
With an extraordinary announcement, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced the death of hundreds of soldiers, mercenaries, instructors of the Ukrainian Army from Poland and Germany.
This is an unusual move by the Russian Ministry of Defense as the announcement concerns the “Mega” strike that took place on July 6 at the Academy of Ground Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Lviv.
The delayed announcement, according to Russian sources, is due to the confirmation of the death of several foreign soldiers.
The first information spoke of 800 dead and wounded. Read what WarNews247 had revealed on July 6.
It should be noted that an extremely large explosion occurred after a Russian Geran-2 drone strike in the Zhytomyr region. The beating happened 2 days ago but the video was leaked only today. A warehouse was hit with cluster bombs.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin has said there was “no major damage” following an attempted Ukrainian drone strike at around 4am on Monday morning. The unmanned vehicles crashed into non-residential buildings after the military brought them down using electronic defense systems.
The Russian Defense Ministry said in a brief statement that it had prevented an “attempt by the Kiev regime to carry out a terrorist attack using two unmanned aerial vehicles” on Monday morning.
Several drone fragments were found on Komsomolsky Prospekt in the center of Moscow, not far from the Defense Ministry’s main headquarters, a source in the emergency services told TASS news agency. The department of transportation said that traffic in the area was partially restricted, advising residents to plan detour routes.
While the drone itself hit a non-residential building, several windows in residential buildings in the area were reportedly blown out by the blast wave. There were no reports of casualties or injuries, though emergency services were at the scene, with videos showing multiple police cars and ambulances.
The second drone apparently hit a high-rise building in southern Moscow which hosts the office of French home improvement chain Leroy Merlin. The department of transport confirmed partial road closures and traffic reroutes in the area.
Ukraine has recently attempted to strike targets in Moscow Region and the capital itself. Earlier this month, four incoming UAVs were shot down by air defenses over Novaya Moskva to the south west of the centre, while another crashed after being disabled by electronic warfare.
Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry stated that Kiev had launched an attack on Moscow involving eight drones which were either shot down by air defenses, or suppressed by electronic warfare. The raid damaged several residential buildings, but did not cause any serious injuries.
President Vladimir Putin says there is no longer any use in continuing the Black Sea grain deal, as it failed to serve its original humanitarian purpose, in an article released ahead of the second Russia-Africa Summit and Russia-Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum in St. Petersburg.
Russia initially agreed to the deal only because its purported goal was to ensure global food security and reduce the threat of hunger in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, Putin wrote in the article, which was penned for major African media outlets and shared by the Kremlin early Monday morning.
“This ‘deal,’ however, while it was publicly advertised by the West as a gesture of goodwill that benefited Africa, has in fact been shamelessly used solely for the enrichment of large US and European businesses that exported and resold grain from Ukraine,” the Russian leader wrote.
Putin said the poorest nations, such as Ethiopia, Sudan, and Somalia, as well as Yemen and Afghanistan, received less than 3% of the supplies, while over 70% of Ukrainian grain exports ended up in higher-income countries, including member states of the EU.
Not only were none of the promises to exempt Russian grain exports from sanctions fulfilled, the West even blocked Russia’s attempts to send fertilizers to the poorest countries free of charge. According to Putin, only two shipments were delivered – one of 20,000 tonnes to Malawi and one of 34,000 tonnes to Kenya, while more than 200,000 tonnes are “still unscrupulously held by the Europeans.”
“And this is a purely humanitarian initiative we are talking about, which should be exempt from any sanctions as such,” he added.
Even though Western sanctions “severely hamper” the supply of Russian food products to developing countries, complicating transport logistics, insurance and bank payments, in 2022 alone, Russia exported 11.5 million tonnes of grain to Africa, and almost 10 million tonnes more were delivered in the first half of 2023, according to Putin.
The Russian leader promised that Western pressure won’t stop Moscow from supplying grain, food products, fertilizers, and other goods to Africa.
“I want to give assurances that our country is capable of replacing the Ukrainian grain both on a commercial and free-of-charge basis, especially as we expect another record harvest this year,” Putin wrote.
The Black Sea initiative (under which Russia agreed to allow grain shipments to leave Ukraine for the developing world in exchange for sanctions relief) was signed in July 2022 through mediation by the UN and Türkiye. Moscow refused to renew it last week, complaining that the West had failed to keep its promises on reconnecting its banks to SWIFT, restarting a key ammonia pipeline, permitting imports of agricultural machinery and parts, and unblocking transportation insurance. In addition to the West failing to follow through on its end of the deal, Moscow claimed that Ukraine had used humanitarian corridors to funnel weapons into its Black Sea ports.
With every passing day, the disturbing possibility of a widening of the Ukraine war with the participation of other nations in direct military hostilities is becoming more and more palpable.(Article by Paul Serran republished from TheGatewayPundit.com)
The Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director, Sergei Naryshkin, repeated today his warning that Poland is considering deploying troops on western Ukraine to establish control there.
The SVR head believes that Warsaw is finally coming to realize that the defeat of Ukraine is just a matter of time.
“The Polish leadership is intensifying the mindset to introduce control in the western territories of Ukraine, the western regions by deploying their troops there,” Naryshkin said at a meeting held by President Vladimir Putin with the permanent members of the Security Council.”
President Vladimir Putin instructed Naryshkin to monitor Poland’s plans for Ukraine, and said that Poland plans to form ‘a coalition under the guise of NATO’ to intervene in the conflict in Ukraine.
“As for the Polish leaders, they probably expect to form a coalition within NATO… and directly intervene in the conflict in Ukraine in order to then ‘tear off’ a fatter piece [of land] for themselves, to regain, as they believe, their historical territories – today’s Western Ukraine’, Vladimir Putin said.”
Reports in the media talk about an union between Poland, Lithuania and Ukraine, Putin added.
“There have been media reports about plans to create a certain so-called Polish-Lithuanian-Ukrainian union: that is, we are not talking about some gathering of mercenaries, there are enough of them, and they are being destroyed, namely a regular, assembled, equipped military unit that is planned to be used for actions on the territory of Ukraine, including for allegedly ensuring the security of the current Western Ukraine. And in fact, if you call things by their proper names — for the subsequent occupation of these territories,” Putin said at a meeting with permanent members of the Russian Security Council.
But the Polish territorial ambitions in Ukraine are not just a province of Russian propaganda, as many would have you think. Ex- Ukrainian president Yanukovych has also addressed this topic.
“Former President Viktor Yanukovych also said that Ukraine’s statehood is under threat and it may be forced to merge with Poland.
‘No matter how painful it is for me to write about this today, but the statehood of Ukraine is in extreme danger. It is threatened with complete destruction. At the same time, we are talking not only about the risk of losing vast territories in the south and east of the country’, Yanukovych said in May 2022, adding that Ukraine ‘may be forced’ to de-facto merge with Poland.”
So this is the real background to which to analyze the decision by Poland to move its troops to the Belarusian border.
“Poland’s security committee decided in a meeting on Wednesday to move military units to the country’s east due to the Wagner Group’s presence in Belarus, state-run news agency PAP quoted its secretary as saying on Friday.”
Belarusian defense ministry announced that Wagner mercenaries had started to train Belarusian special forces at a military range located just a few miles from the border with Poland.
“‘Training or joint exercises of the Belarusian army and the Wagner Group is undoubtedly a provocation’, [secretary of the Committee of the Council of Ministers] Zbigniew Hoffmann told [Polish News Agency] PAP.
‘The Committee analyzed possible threats, such as the dislocation of Wagner Group units. Therefore, the Minister of National Defense, chairman of the Committee, Mariusz Blaszczak, decided to move our military formations from the west to the east of Poland’.”
In Moscow, Putin had tough words in response, stating that Poland was also seeking to annex territories in Belarus.
The Guardian reported:
“Vladimir Putin has said Russia will use ‘all means at its disposal’ to defend Belarus after Poland and other EU countries voiced concerns about the deployment of Russian paramilitaries near their borders.
[…] ‘Unleashing aggression against Belarus would mean aggression against the Russian Federation’, Putin said, according to the Kremlin. ‘And we will respond to it using all means at our disposal’.”
Read more at: TheGatewayPundit.com