Blinken and Macron to discuss Ukraine in Paris

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris next week, the State Department’s spokesperson Matthew Miller said, noting that Ukraine will be on the agenda.

“Secretary Blinken will meet with French President Macron to discuss support for Ukraine, efforts to prevent escalation of the conflict in Gaza and a number of other important issues,” he said.

Macron recently said that he doesn’t rule out sending French soldiers to Ukraine, a stance that other NATO allies to worried was off-message.

France has provided approximately 100 SCALP air-launched cruise missiles already, which Ukraine has used to great effect against invading Russian forces. Also, French Defense Minister Sebastian Lecornu said on March 26 that 78 additional Caesar howitzers would be sent to Kyiv, amid Washington’s legislative paralysis to step up assistance.

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Thirty such 155-millimeter howitzers have already been shipped. SCALP missiles have been credited for striking Russia’s Black Sea fleet’s headquarters on March 24, together with the British equivalent Storm Shadow missiles.

That attack led to at least four Russian seacraft being damaged.

Russian war commentator suggests use of cluster munitions to wipe out Ukrainian cities

Ukraine’s two most populous cities of more than 1 million people, Kyiv and Kharkiv, should be decimated “by each district [neighborhood],” Vladislav Shurygyin, a Russian military blogger, told chief Russian TV propagandist Vladimir Solovyov on his evening show in Moscow on March 27.

NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late
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NATO Needs to Get its Act Together Now, Before it’s Too Late

With the US dithering, the implications need to be recognized and decisive action taken to avoid disaster in the shape of a Russian victory in Ukraine.

 

Solovyov replied, “Ukrainians are animals who don’t understand anything human.” He suggested using cluster munitions and wiping out entire towns where Ukrainian soldiers’ wives, children and parents lived.

This week, Kharkiv’s main power station was destroyed by Russian projectiles, leaving most of the city in the dark and reliant on electricity from other regional power grids. The main power station was knocked out on March 22.

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Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin and three other officials are wanted in the International Criminal Court for crimes stemming from the kidnapping of Ukrainian children, rape, and torture as well as other charges. 

Russia’s strategy of targeting Ukraine’s critical infrastructure has been a mainstay vision and civilian targets suffer daily casualties, especially in the regions that border the country.

Nearly 10,000 civilians have been killed since February 2022, according to estimates by the United Nations, while Ukraine’s Helsinki Human Rights Group says the real figure is probably higher.

Zelensky visits military and civilians in Sumy border region

President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the Sumy region on Wednesday, in the northeastern part of the country that borders Russia and has suffered from Russian bombardment continually since the start of the full-scale invasion.

“Ukraine knows how to be strong,” he said in his nightly address to the nation. “First, our military. I visited our guys who are recovering from injuries and honored them with state awards. I am immensely grateful to the doctors, nurses, and everyone who helps them recover from their injuries.”

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Ukrainian border guards also report periodic attempts by Russian sabotage groups of trying to cross the border on subversion missions. As recently as March 7, they “prevented a Russian sabotage and reconnaissance” unit from infiltrating Ukrainian territory in the Sumy region. 

The previous month, on Feb. 4, territorial defense forces in the same region prevented a similar operation, said Serhiy Naiev, then-commander of the Joint Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (AFU) on his Telegram social media Telegram feed.

Domestic arms production ramping up, thanks to private industry

The Associated Press had a feature story Wednesday about the growth of private weapons factories in Ukraine, which the government has been bolstering with its increased budget to develop its arms industry.

This year, about $1.4 billion has been budgeted to procure and develop weapons. In comparison, Russia’s budget allocated $349 billion for total defense funding in 2024, which indicates it is “planning for a long war in Ukraine,” the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said.

According to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., Kyiv’s defense expenditures comprise 22 percent of gross domestic product, or $40 billion for this year.

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By comparison, one-third of this year’s Kremlin budget is allocated to defense spending, Reuter’s news agency said, quoting Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov as saying, “the budget's structure shows that the main emphasis is on ensuring our victory – the army, defense capability, armed forces, fighters - everything needed for the front, everything needed for victory is in the budget,” Siluanov said as cited by Reuter’s.

The Pentagon estimates that Russia has lost up to $211 billion due to military operations and lost close to $10 billion in canceled or suspended arms sales, the Carnegie Endowment wrote in a separate analysis.  

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Comments (2)

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Hope
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Invest in antidote capabilities to protect and cover up ...
Diversify targets and include missile or multiple rocket launchers like s400... Target ammunition deposits and other important targets like Tanks and ilitary airports ( avoid targeting civilian airports)...
May peace be sooner than later...

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Sasha
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Vladislav Shurygyin 🤡💩

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