Tin quốc tế 11/2 | Nga tập kích lớn chưa từng thấy, EU gia tăng sức ép lên Nga | FBNC
As the prospect of Russia's spring offensive increasingly looms, Western countries rush to help Ukraine France is vague about sending fighter jets to Ukraine, saying Kiev needs more firepower According to Ukraine, Russia launched an unprecedented attack on the southern city of Zaporizhzhia Newsweek reported that the Russian helicopter was blown up by Ukrainian artillery and burned like a fireball Is Ukraine planning to use British long-range missiles to attack Crimea if it gets aid? Military expert outlines how Nato copes with Russia's 'hybrid war' Finland discusses ratification of Nato accession without waiting for Sweden According to Flightradar24 data: American reconnaissance aircraft tracked the aftermath of the Nord Stream pipeline explosion How does the US react to the accusation of sabotaging the Nord Stream pipeline? US admiral sees threat as Russia, China expand infrastructure in the Arctic The US defense official explained the reason for delaying the firing of the Chinese airship According to the US Deputy Secretary of State: China has shown signs of wanting to reshape the world order Korea lifts visa restrictions for visitors from China New Zealanders deal with Hurricane Gabrielle, just two weeks after historic rain French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday he did not rule out sending fighter jets to Ukraine at some point, but that Kyiv was in need of more immediate military firepower, as Ukrainian officials said a fresh Russian offensive was under way. Such a move would be one of the biggest shifts yet in Western support and Moscow has warned it would escalate and prolong the conflict. "I exclude absolutely nothing," Macron said when asked about the possibility of sending jets at the end of a summit of EU leaders.
But Macron said the current priority was to help Ukraine in the weeks and months ahead, and fighter jets could not be delivered in that timeframe and it would take time to train Ukrainian pilots to fly them. Macron said the priority should be on items such as artillery, which had proven to be effective and on which Ukrainian forces were already trained. He said it might be necessary to intensify delivery of such items and Ukraine’s allies would examine this possibility in coming days.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has long urged Ukraine's allies to send jet fighters and on Thursday said that several European leaders were ready to supply aircraft. "Europe will be with us until our victory. I've heard it from a number of European leaders … about the readiness to give us the necessary weapons and support, including the aircraft," Zelenskyy told a news conference in Brussels, where he attended a European Union summit. As the anniversary of Russia's invasion approaches on Feb. 24, Kyiv has predicted an aggressive onslaught from Moscow aimed at notching territorial gains it can trumpet at the one-year mark, after months of little movement. Asked on Ukrainian television if he agreed that the Russian offensive had already begun, Pavlo Krylenko, governor of the eastern Donetsk region, said on Thursday: "Yes, definitely."
Around eastern towns like Bakhmut, Avdiivka and Vuhledar that have witnessed some of the bloodiest battles of the war, "the enemy's forces and means are escalating there with daily intensity, he said. According to Oleg Zhdanov, a Ukrainian military analyst, defenders in Bakhmut were still being supplied from the west, but were under pressure from three sides, with Russian forces entering two northern districts of the city two days ago. "In the Avdiivka sector, Russian troops are trying to bring in reserves in order to take control of the center of the contested town of Marinka," Zhdanov said in his regular roundup of developments in conflict delivered on YouTube. He said Ukrainian forces still controlled the center of Marinka, contrary to Russian media reports that mopping up operations were under way. At least 17 Russian missiles hit the south-eastern Ukrainian city of Zaporizhzhia in an hour on Friday morning, its acting mayor, Anatolii Kurtiev, said.
The attacks reportedly targeted energy infrastructure as authorities assess any damage and possible casualties. Kurtiev provided an update on the Telegram messaging app about 6am local time, writing: In an hour, 17 enemy landings were recorded in the city – this is the largest number since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. The monsters insidiously attacked the objects of the energy infrastructure.” The information comes in the context that Russia is said to be conducting part of an all-out offensive, with increasing attacks on eastern Ukraine. According to the head of the Luhansk regional military government, Serkiy Hayday, the escalation of the conflict has begun, but so far Moscow has not had "much success" when facing resistance from Kiev. Russia is preparing to launch a powerful new offensive in 10 days’ time involving up to 500,000 conscripts and thousands of pieces of military equipment with the aim of capturing the entire Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, according to Kyiv’s military officials.
Ukrainian officials and foreign analysts have been predicting for weeks that the Kremlin was gearing up for a decisive push to seize the battlefield initiative from Kyiv’s forces in the hope of scoring a major victory in time for the Feb. 24 first anniversary of the war. Although the new recruits are believed to be poorly trained and equipped, they have a significant superiority in numbers on their side — a crude tactic that has succeeded in stalling Ukraine’s counteroffensive, albeit at a colossal cost in lives. A Ukrainian military official speaking to Foreign Policy magazine on condition of anonymity said, “We expect in the next 10 days a new, huge invasion.” According to the official, Russia has already amassed an estimated 1,800 tanks, 3,950 armored vehicles, 2,700 artillery systems, 810 Soviet-era multiple rocket launch systems, 400 fighter jets and 300 helicopters. Experts are predicting that the spring onslaught will focus on the contested Donetsk and Luhansk regions in the east, which have seen some of the fiercest fighting of the war.
Video released from the Ukrainian front shows a local artillery corps purportedly blowing a Russian helicopter out of the sky, adding to the growing list of aircraft lost by Russian forces since the war began in February 2022. The shaky, low-quality video, posted on Facebook by a group calling itself the 14th separate mechanized brigade named after Prince Roman the Great, appears to show the "Princely Warriors" destroying an MI-24 helicopter over the snow-covered landscape, crashing to the ground in a ball of fire. It is unclear where the strike took place. According to the post, the helicopter likely contained military leadership, noting that lower-ranking soldiers tend not to fly around the battlefield.
"This will be the case with every occupier on our Ukrainian land!" they wrote. Newsweek has contacted the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment. According to estimates shared by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine on Thursday, the helicopter strike likely represents Russia's 285th downed chopper since the war began, bringing the total number of aircraft lost by Russian troops to well over 2,000, including drones and warplanes. It's a loss Russia can ill afford. Its air industry already in shambles amid the war and a tanking reputation abroad,
Russia still has 3,829 aircraft in its active inventory, according to estimates by the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, of which approximately 1,364 are helicopters. However, it's the ones it has lost that matter most. The MI-24—the Russian military's second-best copter— has been downed nine times since the war's start, according to news reports, while the Ka-52, reportedly Russia's best, has been taking the most losses of Russia's helicopters, largely due to a sufficient lack of air support. As of October, the British Defense Ministry said that at least 23 Ka-52s had been shot down since February 2022, representing roughly one-quarter of the country's inventory. Meanwhile, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has begun ramping up pressure on Ukraine's Western allies for NATO-standard fighter jets like the F-16 and the Swedish Grypen to overpower Russia's air force amid longstanding concerns of a jets shortage.
The Ukrainian military is prepared to use the United Kingdom's long-range missiles to hit Crimea if these are provided in military aid, a British newspaper reported, citing Ukrainian defense sources. On Wednesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, during a speech in UK Parliament, asked the country to supply fighter jets to Kiev. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak also said he had spoken with Zelensky on Wednesday, among other things, about providing Ukraine with longer-range weapons than Kiev currently had. Ukrainian defense source confirmed to the newspaper that Kiev would use missiles to strike Crimea following a warning from Zelensky that longer-range weapons from western allies would strike "deep in the occupied territories." According to the report, discussions are taking place on whether London's further military aid to Kiev should include Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Storm Shadow surface-to-air missiles. Harpoon missiles have a range of up to 150 miles, and Storm Shadow missiles can strike targets at a distance of up to 350 miles.
Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, in response to calls by the Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics for protection from Ukrainian troops. The Russian Defense Ministry said the operation, which targets Ukrainian military infrastructure, aims to "demilitarize and denazify" Ukraine and to completely liberate Donbass. Western nations have imposed numerous sanctions on Russia and have been supplying weapons to Ukraine. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said any cargo that contains weaponry for Ukraine will become a legitimate target for Russia. Experts argue that the United States isn't doing enough to support Ukrainethroughout Russia's war against the country.
One military analyst broadened that criticism to include all member countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Russia launched a "special military operation" against Ukraine in February 2022, and despite plans to gain quick control over Ukraine, the war is now nearing its one-year anniversary. Throughout the last year, NATO and EU countries have aided Ukraine by supplying the nation with tools it needs for the war. Such tools include various missile systems and tanks. NATO's support allowed Ukraine
to launch a strong counteroffensive attack in the fall, but fighting success stalled on both sides during the winter months. In an opinion article written in the Kyiv Post, military analyst Hans Petter Midttun argues that Western nations aren't doing enough to support Ukraine in a way that will lead to victory. He said NATO's support, including from the U.S., is reactive. Midttun said Ukraine's success in the war has emboldened NATO countries that were previously wary of Russia's retribution. "This professionalism has helped Ukraine receive more sophisticated new weapons as well as test Russian resolve," Midttun wrote.
However, Midttun stressed that the West needs a new strategy to help Ukraine end the war on its terms. "The U.S., EU and NATO need a strategy that is proactive and ensures that the West and Ukraine gain the initiative," Midttun wrote. "It is time to acknowledge that Russia is waging a hybrid war against both NATO and EU members and act accordingly." Midttun argued that Ukraine will be better suited to win the war if it has adequate equipment to fight a long-range war, such as modern combat aircraft like F-16 fighter jets. However, President Joe Biden has refused to supply the jets.
Midttun said the jets and long-range fire weapons are "crucial" for Ukraine to gain the upper hand in the war, as they would allow Ukraine to attack Russian territory and destroy Russian equipment such as aircraft, missile systems and artillery before the equipment is used against Ukraine. However, Center for Strategic and International Studies senior adviser Mark Cancian told Newsweek that even the delivery of more weapons can't secure a victory for Ukraine. Instead, the victory will come from various avenues—such as weapons, soldier training and resilience. Cancian told Newsweek that continuing the military support is a vital action needed to help Ukraine win the war.
Despite that, he argued that F-16s may not be the best form of support as they are very expensive, difficult to maintain and vulnerable to attacks when not in the sky. Other nations have strongly advised NATO against further support of Ukraine, citing a heightened risk of another World War. Heads of European Union states and governments will seek to step up their sanctions pressure on Russia in an attempt to force it to end the special military operation in Ukraine as soon as possible, the leaders said in a joint document.
According to conclusions adopted by the European Council and published on Friday, "the European Union will maintain and seek to further increase, in consultation with international partners, collective pressure on Russia." "The European Union stands ready to continue to reinforce its restrictive measures in close coordination and cooperation with global partners. Anti-circumvention measures will be reinforced," the document says. The European Union leaders said they "will stand by Ukraine with steadfast support for as long as it takes" and reaffirmed their commitment to expand military and financial aid to the Kiev government. Overall EU assistance to Ukraine currently amounts to at least 67 billion euro, including arms supplies worth 12 billion euro, the document says. Finnish parliamentary groups are expected to discuss on Friday when to ratify NATO's founding treaties, in a move that could lead the country to proceed with membership ahead of neighbouring Sweden, amid growing support among the Finnish public to go it alone. The two Nordic countries sought NATO membership shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year, and while most member-states have ratified the applications, Turkey has yet to give its approval.
"Our position on Finland is positive, but it is not positive on Sweden," President Tayyip Erdogan said last week. Turkey's differing view on Finnish and Swedish memberships is putting pressure on Finnish leaders to push ahead. A 53% majority of Finns polled on Feb. 2 for daily Ilta-Sanomat said they did not want Finland to wait for Sweden. Some 28% said it should. On Friday, parliamentary groups in Finland will decide whether parliament should ratify NATO's founding treaties before it goes into recess on March 3, before a parliamentary election on April 2.
If parliament on a later date votes in favour of approving the treaties, as it is widely expected to do, the president must proceed with the application within three months and as soon as all existing NATO members have also ratified Finland's bid, which could effectively lead to proceeding with NATO membership without Sweden. For that to happen, Turkey and Hungary need to ratify the Finnish membership first and NATO to officially invite Finland as a member. Finland's Chancellor of Justice Tuomas Poysti told Ilta-Sanomat the process would leave Finland some room to wait for Sweden if need be, but not endlessly. Officially, Finland has reaffirmed time and time again that it wants to join NATO with Sweden. Sweden is Finland's closest defence ally. In case of a conflict with Russia, with which Finland shares a 1,300-km (800-mile) border, NATO would need Swedish territory to help Finland defend itself, for instance in terms of logistics.
Ankara wants Helsinki and Stockholm in particular to take a tougher line against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is considered a terror group by Turkey and the European Union, and another group it blames for a 2016 coup attempt. A US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft monitored the aftermath of the explosion at the Nord Stream pipelines in the Baltic Sea in the early hours of September 26, according to Flightradar24. According to the resource, a US P-8A Poseidon reconnaissance aircraft arrived in the area of the incident exactly one hour after the explosion.
According to the source, the US plane flew from the Atlantic to Bornholm Island after passing over Denmark. Then, the aircraft refueled over Poland from the KS-135R refueling plane. After the refueling, the US aircraft returned to Bornholm and, at about 04:45 Summer European Time (02:45 GMT), made a full circle exactly over the explosion area and started to descend.
Turning to the right and moving away from the scene, the plane gradually descended from an altitude of 7,300 meters to 2,200 meters and then disappeared from the radar after switching off the transponder. Igor Korotchenko, the head of the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade, has told Sputnik that the flight path of the aircraft on Flightradar24 supports the investigation of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh on the blowing up of the Nord Stream pipelines. In a report on February 8, Hersh, who received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his investigative series on the American Holocaust, wrote that US Navy divers with the help of Na Uy placed explosives on Nord Stream pipelines under the Baltic Sea to detonate last summer. "Taking into account that the route of American P-8A Poseidon was calculated with refueling over Poland and it was necessary to synchronize all these moments, we can say that its arrival at the given time — immediately after the attack — indicates the scheduled flight and, therefore, is another confirmation of the version put forward by American journalist Hersh of the reasons and circumstances of the attack," Korotchenko said.
"This once again proves the involvement of official US government agencies in this sabotage." The United States is denying any involvement in the blasts that damaged Russia’s Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price said. Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson called journalist Seymour Hersh's report "totally fictional". A spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) echoed the White House's denial, calling Hersh's report "completely untrue." Answering to a question on whether the US Department of State contacted with ambassadors from Germany, Norway and other allies and partners after the article was published, he said: "It would not be typical for us to engage allies and partners on something that is utter and complete nonsense and that should be rejected out of hand by anyone who is looking at it through an objective lens."
After the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline carrying gas from Russia to Germany in September, the West blamed Russia for the incident. So far, however, investigations by the Swedish, Danish and German authorities have not identified any country or entity. Russia and China’s development of their infrastructure in the Arctic region may create a potential threat for North America, US Navy Admiral Daryl Caudle said. The admiral said during a conference at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center that Russia had seriously boosted its defense capabilities in the Arctic in the past decade, while China is trying to increase its influence in the region, including with the help of the Polar Silk Road initiative to connect China and Europe via the Arctic. "They're expanding and developing the region's infrastructure and increasing ability to place North America at risk," Caudle said.
He also claimed that Russia and China were "trying to militarize the Arctic" and "intend to infringe upon the freedom of navigation in the Northern Sea Route." In this regard, the United States and its allies increased the number of military exercises in Northern Atlantic and intensified their work to defend North America. Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said earlier Washington and its allies have been intensifying confrontation with Russia in the Arctic. They question Moscow's rights to the Northern Sea Route, which is "one of the main challenges to security in the region.". China's Defence Ministry says it refused a call from US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin following the shooting down of an alleged Chinese spy balloon because the US had “not created the proper atmosphere" for dialogue and exchange.
The US action had “seriously violated international norms and set a pernicious precedent," ministry spokesperson Tan Kefei was quoted as saying in a statement issued late Thursday. “Given that this irresponsible and seriously wrong approach by the U.S. did not create the proper atmosphere for dialogue and exchanges between the two militaries, China did not accept the US proposal for a phone call between the two defense ministers," Tan said. China, Tan added, “reserves the right to use necessary means to deal with similar situations."
China insists the object was a civilian weather balloon that had been blown off course, but has not said who it belonged to or offered other details. After initially expressing “regret" over the incident, China's rhetoric has hardened in recent days as the FBI gathers debris from the site of the downing in U.S. territorial waters off the coast of South Carolina and sends it to the FBI's lab in Quantico, Virginia for investigation. Beijing said the US “overreacted” by shooting it down. The Foreign Ministry has labeled the action “irresponsible” and calls US claims that it was spying “part of the U.S. side's information warfare against China.”
Austin had sought on Saturday to discuss the balloon issue with his Chinese counterpart, Wei Fenghe, but was refused, the Pentagon said. In the wake of the incident, Secretary of State Antony Blinken cancelled a planned trip to Beijing this week that some had hoped would help stabilize bilateral relations, which have fallen to their lowest level in decades. The US has flatly contradicted China's version of events, saying that imagery of the balloon collected by American U-2 spy planes as it crossed the country showed that it was “capable of conducting signals intelligence collection” with multiple antennas and other equipment designed to upload sensitive information and solar panels to power them.
The US says the balloon was part of a huge, military-linked aerial surveillance program that targeted more than 40 countries under the direction of the People's Liberation Army. Similar balloons have sailed over five continents, according to the administration. A U.S. Senate committee grilled defense and military officials on Thursday (February 09) about the decision to delay shooting down a suspected Chinese espionage satellite until a week after it initially entered U.S. airspace over Alaska.
“This administration owes Americans answers not only on what happened this past week, but on what steps they're going to take to ensure that this never happens again,” said Democratic Senator Jon Tester of Montana. The balloon was spotted over Montana, which is home to important military installations, during its sojourn across the United States. “It defies belief that there was not a single opportunity to safely shoot down this spy balloon prior to the coast of South Carolina,” said Republican Susan Collins of Maine.
Defense and military officials explained that the balloon initially posed no military threat and that, because its location was known, its intelligence gathering capability was extremely limited. The assessment changed as the balloon made its way south, they said. “As the balloon crossed through Canada and approached the United States border, the assessment for potential intel risk to sensitive, critical U.S. sites in the upper Midwest increased, and the president asked for kinetic courses of action,” said Lt.Gen. Douglas A Sims II, The Director for Operations of the Joint Staff. Another key factor in not shooting the balloon down over Alaska was a fear of civilian casualties, Sims said. “Although Alaska is in places not as inhabited as other places, it is inhabited, and, at that time, we didn't understand through the modeling, if we shot that what it would do on the ground,” he said.
The officials said a key objective in choosing when to shoot the balloon down was making sure its remains could be recovered. Melissa Dalton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, explained that it would have been much riskier to try and recover the balloon's remains off of the coast of Alaska than where it was ultimately downed, off of the coast of South Carolina. “The water depths offshore, the Aleutians at six plus nautical miles, go very quickly from about 150 feet to over 18,000 feet near the Bering Sea,” she explained. “The winter water temperatures in the Bering Sea hover consistently in the low thirties, which would make recovery and salvage operations very dangerous.” The FBI has only recovered very limited physical evidence from the balloon down, and it has not yet been able to get enough information to assess its capabilities, senior bureau officials familiar with the operation said on Thursday. U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman on Thursday (February 9) highlighted the flight of a Chinese spy balloon
over the United States as another sign of Beijing's efforts to reshape the international order. Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, Sherman also said the United States would continue to prevent China’s exploitation of U.S. technology to enable its own military modernization. "The PRC is the only competitor with the intent and means to reshape the international order," Sherman told the hearing, referring to the People's Republic of China. "Last week the American people saw the latest example of that reality, after the U.S. government detected, closely tracked, and shot down the PRC's high altitude surveillance balloon
that had entered our territorial airspace in clear violation of our sovereignty and international law." The appearance of the Chinese balloon over the United States last week caused political outrage in Washington and prompted U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel a trip to Beijing that both countries had hoped would patch their frayed relations. Blinken would have arrived in Beijing on Sunday.
The South Korean government has decided to lift its restrictions on issuing short-term visas for travelers from China from Saturday. The anti-coronavirus measure was scheduled to be in place until the end of this month. The government says the coronavirus infection ratio among arrivals from China, which once hit around 30 percent, has recently dropped below 2 percent.
It adds that no virus mutations have been identified among the infected arrivals. Travelers from China will still need to take PCR tests before and after entry. South Korea tightened border controls for arrivals from China early last month, ahead of the Lunar New Year holidays. China countered the move by suspending the issuance of short-term visas to South Korean nationals along with other measures. Attention is now focused on how China will react to the latest South Korean decision. Residents in New Zealand on Friday (February 10) prepared for Cyclone Gabrielle, two weeks after the country’s largest city was hammered by historic levels of rain.
Many communities in Auckland are still recovering from the widespread flooding that killed four people, and authorities fear the cyclone will hamper recovery. “The addition of strong winds and storm surges will mean there are additional risks and the impacts will compound . those that are still being felt from last month’s event,” Auckland Emergency Management Deputy Controller, Rachel Kelleher told media Authorities urged residents to prepare bags with essential supplies, food and water to last three days and warned power cuts could affect automated cash machines. Gabrielle is likely to impact New Zealand's North Island from Sunday (February 12) through to Tuesday (February 14). The Australian government on Thursday said it had acknowledged the decision by international prosecutors to suspend their investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 (MH17) over Ukraine in 2014.
"Russia's illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine and its lack of cooperation with the investigation have rendered ongoing investigative efforts and the collection of evidence impossible at this time," Foreign Minister Penny Wong said in a statement. "Today's announcement will be distressing for many," Wong said, adding Australia remained committed to pursue its ongoing case with the Netherlands in the International Civil Aviation Organization. MH17 was shot down by a Russian BUK missile system as it flew over eastern Ukraine from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17, 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew, including 196 Dutch citizens and 38 Australian citizens or residents. Australia and the Netherlands have said they hold Russia responsible for MH17's downing. International prosecutors on Wednesday said they had found "strong indications" Russian President Vladimir Putin approved the use in Ukraine of a Russian missile system which shot down MH17.
However, evidence of Putin's and other Russian officials' involvement was not conclusive enough to lead to a criminal conviction, they said, ending their probe for now. In November, a Dutch court convicted two former Russian intelligence agents and a Ukrainian separatist leader in absentia of murder for their role in the shooting down of MH17, and handed them life sentences. France and Germany's economy ministers found a willingness in Washington to engage with Europe's concerns over subsidies for green technologies under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, but emerged with few specifics from meetings with top officials there.
European capitals worry that the act, designed to shelter U.S. companies from the impact of price rises as well as subsidize investments in new green technologies, will undermine their firms' competitiveness in the giant North American market. German Economy Minister Robert Habeck and his French counterpart, Bruno Le Maire, said after a meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that they agreed there had to be transparency on the specific subsidies so that the European Union could match them if necessary. "It's a process, and in a process you go step by step," Le Maire told reporters. Earlier, Habeck said there was no rush to reach a solution on the question of access to key raw materials.
The symbolic trip by the duo in charge of Europe's two largest economies was designed to highlight the matter's importance, Habeck added.