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Latest Russian Military Drill Could be Pretext for Ukraine Invasion

Is Putin using these drills to put his military assets into position?

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With Russian troops finding themselves ever closer to Ukraine in recent weeks, there are fears that military “drills” being conducted in neighboring Belarus could be cover for the Kremlin’s so-far secret plans.

Well, “secret” is a bit of a misnomer:  It’s fairly obvious that Vladimir Putin wants something out of this confrontation.  What we don’t know is if he’s hoping for a way to invade Ukraine outright, or if he’s just poking and prodding at the west to see what the reaction will be.

Experts now fear, however, that the invasion angle is coming to fruition, and that joint military exercises between Russia and Belarus will provide Putin with a way to get this awful party started.

Russia launched what’s being called its largest military exercise since the Cold War on Thursday, holding joint maneuvers with Belarus. The White House says the operation is yet another escalation of tensions along the Ukraine border.

The large-scale military exercise will last until Feb. 20. Russia’s Defense Ministry said the joint operation in Belarus, which includes warplanes, missile launchers and live-fire exercises, will focus on “suppressing and repelling external aggression during a defensive operation.”

But the moves are much more than simple drills, according to authorities.

An analysis by the Center for Strategic and International Studies last month found that Russia’s military could attempt “to outflank Ukrainian defenses around Kiev by approaching through Belarus.”

Other potential strategies include attacks on central or southern Ukraine, or hybrid warfare that combines ground operations with destabilizing online attacks.

Should the Kremlin go through with an attack on Ukraine, there is no telling just how widespread that conflict could became, as NATO, the G-7, and the US have all vowed to take retaliatory action against any Russian aggression.

Opinion

NEW NATO NARRATIVE: Ukraine Can ‘Win’ War with Russia

Know one would have even considered the possibility 3 months ago.

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Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh?

We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days.

Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically.

Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city.

Then came a surprising suggestion.

NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country.

Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said.

Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.

 

Well that is one heck of a turnaround, eh? We’ve gone from watching Russia amass an enormous fighting force on the borders of Ukraine, (all while telling the world that it was all routine and to butt out), to watching those same tanks and personnel roll into the sovereign neighboring nation, all the while worried that Russia would simply steamroll Kyiv and take the whole country for itself in a matter of days. Nearly three months later, and that story is changing…and dramatically. Ukrainian forces say they have pushed back the Russian military in the region around Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine, and near the border with Russia, continuing a counteroffensive that has prompted Russian troops to withdraw from around Ukraine’s second-largest city. Then came a surprising suggestion. NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Sunday that “Ukraine can win this war” following an informal meeting of the group. His comments came after Finland announced it would apply to join the military alliance in what marks a historic move for the traditionally neutral Nordic country. Joining the military alliance will “maximize” Finland’s security after Russia’s unprecedented invasion of Ukraine in February, President Sauli Niinisto said. Sweden is expected to follow suit with both applications likely to enflame tensions between NATO and Russia further. Moscow warned last week of “retaliatory steps” if Finland joined the alliance. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is drinking the proverbial Kool-Aid as well, having claimed that Eurovision will be able to hold its enormous, annual songwriting competition in Mariupol next year.  

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Opinion

Biden Approval Crashes Again, This Time to Historic Low

This is just sad at this point.

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Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”.

And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages.

Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice.

US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it.

An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving.

This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader.

Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency.

Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue.

Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

Look around your country.  See the struggle in real time.  Watch how hard it is for the rest of this nation to get to where they need to be, every day, and ask yourself “why does it need to be like this?”. And then realize that all of this trouble is coming to America in what was supposed to be the launching months of a new “roaring twenties”; as COVID faded and the economy roared back to life, America was poised to be a global show for the ages. Instead, the last year and a half have been filled to the brim with turmoil and strife and not much nice. US President Joe Biden is taking his lumps on account of it. An NBC News poll released Sunday shows Biden’s job approval rating has plunged to a fresh low, with just 39 percent of Americans approving of the job he’s doing and 56 percent disapproving. This was a new milestone for the reluctant leader. Those numbers represents the lowest mark of his presidency. Inflation, the economy and border security are the three main areas where voters see Biden failing them. The overall cost of living is standing as the public’s top issue. Biden’s approval rating has experienced a few brief reprieves over the course of his presidency, but has continued on a steady decline almost from the start.

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