Russia invades Ukraine - 5 - from 2 October 2023

NATO to overhaul its defense industry after Ukraine war highlights shortcomings

NATO pledged to ramp up its defense industry on Wednesday, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has created a vast demand for more supplies in the war-ravaged country and across the alliance that has outstripped NATO’s ability to produce weapons and ammunition.

“We were not able to produce the kind of capabilities in the kind of volumes that we need either for our own deterrence and defense or to support Ukraine,” one senior NATO official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Defense Industrial Pledge commits NATO members to ensuring that members do not put up trade barriers on the alliance’s defense market, that they purchase weapons jointly whenever possible, and work closer with Ukraine and NATO’s Indo-Pacific partners on defense production.

A key part of the pledge is to standardize weapons across the alliance: The war in Ukraine has shown that even standard 155mm ammunition often has small differences that mean it cannot be used across different countries’ artillery.

“It’s bad for the military commander because it means you have different pots of ammunition, it lengthens your supply lines. It’s just terrible all around,” the official said. Ammunition purchases across the alliance will now be subject to standardized guidelines, the official added.

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The new pledge is an acknowledgement that the West has so far struggled to ramp up its defense industrial base. The EU’s promise to send a million artillery rounds to Ukraine by March will only be met by the end of this year, and European countries have scoured the globe for ammunition shells still for sale even as prices have spiked.

NATO officials are determined to rectify this, and say the alliance is on track to produce roughly 2 million rounds of 155mm artillery ammunition this year, and could hit 3 million rounds in 2025. “It’s not enough, but it’s a big uptick,” the official said. While the goal is not to “strictly outproduce Russia in raw terms, we need to be able to produce what we need for NATO deterrence and defense and to supply Ukraine,” he added.

Members are also motivated by a desire to reduce the Western defense industry’s dependence on Chinese components. An internal NATO agreement agreed upon several weeks ago to reassess NATO’s military supply chains warned about the threat of China potentially throttling the flow of key components. While China is not mentioned explicitly in Wednesday’s pledge, its dominance in key parts of the supply chain informed background discussions, the official said.

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NATO summit: US to deploy long-range weapons in Germany

Published 11 hours agoPublished 11 hours agolast updated 2 hours agolast updated 2 hours ago

As President Joe Biden welcomed NATO leaders, the United States and Germany announced a deployment of long range weapons including M-6, Tomahawk cruise missiles and developmental hypersonic weapons.

NATO pledges further €40 billion in Ukraine military aid

NATO leaders on Wednesday pledged to provide Ukraine with a further €40 billion ($43 billion) in military aid “within the next year” in its fight against invading Russian forces.

“Through proportional contributions, Allies intend to provide a minimum baseline funding of €40 billion within the next year and to provide sustainable levels of security assistance for Ukraine to prevail,” read a summit communique.

The commitment put forth was less, however, than the multi-year plan proposed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

The announcement came as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told Fox News Radio that NATO countries, “take advantage of us [the US] very badly.” There is great concern among NATO partners that the US could refuse to continue its support for Ukraine should Trump win election this November.

At the same time, NATO leaders also called on China to stop providing Russia with military support and political cover in its war of aggression.

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UK give permission to use the Storm Shadow against Russian based targets.

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The Beginning of Russia’s Downfall

Recent developments suggest that Russia’s stability is increasingly under threat. Yesterday, the Russian government announced scheduled power outages in certain regions, following intensified Ukrainian attacks on their electrical infrastructure.

In a related issue, restrictions on fuel purchases were imposed in some areas a few days ago. This action was a direct response to Ukrainian strikes on oil refineries, further complicating the everyday lives of Russian citizens.

These measures bring the war closer to home for Russians. When they cannot turn on their lights, fill up their cars, or drive to work, the war’s impact becomes personal and immediate. This creates a ripple effect: disgruntled citizens, widespread panic, and further economic strain on an already overburdened workforce.

Historically, many Russian civilians have appeared indifferent to the war, unless directly affected by the loss of a family member. They have supported their government, fueled by a deep-seated disdain for the West and Ukraine. However, this support may waver when they can no longer afford basic necessities, commute to work, or access electricity to consume state propaganda. The looming question is whether they will continue to support their leader under such dire circumstances, or if they will start to challenge the regime that once seemed infallible.

Ukraine, with the backing of its allies and some of the world’s most strategic advisors, appears to be executing a meticulous plan aimed at destabilizing Russia’s economy and infrastructure.

Russia is facing the repercussions of its actions. The initial burden will fall on its citizens, eventually reaching its leadership. As president Putin navigates the shark tank he lives in, the question remains: how long before the system begins to fracture from within, driven by the very people it once controlled? When the sharks taste the blood in the water, they will start to rip the limbs off of the system.

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Russian losses per 11/07/24 reported by the Ukrainian general staff.

+1110 men
+2 tanks
+17 APVs
+59 artillery pieces
+4 MLRS
+3 AD systems
+36 UAVs
+3 cruise missiles

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57 in ‘russian village years’

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Alleged drone attack on a target in Chechnya, Don

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Medvedev is on the bottle and shitposting again

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Russia declares Moscow Times ‘undesirable’ for reporting on Ukraine war

Russia declared The Moscow Times an “undesirable organization” for its reporting on President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, deepening the Kremlin crackdown on independent journalism.

The designation exposes journalists and others linked to the publication to the risk of criminal prosecution in Russia and bans access to its reports.

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“Of course, we will continue with our work: independent journalism,” The Moscow Times’ founder Derk Sauer said on X, formerly Twitter, late Wednesday. “That’s a crime in Putin’s Russia.”

Also read: ‘Never wanted Indians to be part of Army’: Russia’s Charge d’Affaires

The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office said “systematic” reporting by the English-language publication “aimed at discrediting the activities of the government authorities of our country in conducting the special military operation,” the Kremlin’s phrase for its February 2022 invasion.

The Moscow Times moved its newsroom out of Russia shortly after the war began when lawmakers made it a criminal offense to “discredit” the military’s operations. Other media organizations including Bloomberg News also left Russia at that time, while continuing to report on the war and its consequences.

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I find Putin quite undesirable too.

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C’mon Man

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ADF member and husband charged attempting to access classified documents for Russia

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw and ASIO Director-General Mike Burgess are hosting a joint press conference about an ongoing investigation.

Commissioner Kershaw says the alleged Russian spying operation “has been disrupted” and no significant compromise has currently been identified.

"Our Five Eyes partners and the Australian government can be confident that the robust partnerships within the counter foreign interference task force mean we will continue to identify and disrupt espionage and foreign interference activity.

“I want to thank the very clever members of the AFP, ASIO and those individuals in the task force for their ingenuity and determination.”

Commissioner Kershaw has detailed the allegations against the couple:

We allege the woman was undertaking non-declared travel to Russia, whilst she was on long-term leave from the Australian Defence Force. We allege that whilst she was in Russia, she instructed her husband, who remained in Australia, on how to log into her official work account from their Brisbane home.

We allege her husband would access requested material and would send it to his wife in Russia. We allege they sought that information with the intention of providing it to Russian authorities.

Whether that information was handed over remains a key focus of our investigation.

AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw says a Brisbane married couple have been arrested for spying offences.

A 40-year-old woman, who was a private in the Australian Army, and her 62-year-old husband were arrested at their home in the Brisbane suburb of Everton Park.

They have been charged with one count each of preparing for an espionage offence.

Commissioner Kershaw says the married couple held Russian passports and had been in Australia for more than 10 years.

The 40-year-old woman obtained Australian citizenship in 2016, and her husband did the same in 2020.

The woman was in the army as an information systems technician for “several years”, and had obtained a security clearance.

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Unfortunate accident about to happen.

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Government press release:

The Albanese Government continues its steadfast support for Ukraine, with the announcement of Australia’s largest single military assistance package, worth nearly $250 million.

At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence, Richard Marles, met with Ukraine’s President Volodomyr Zelenskyy alongside Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) partners, where he reaffirmed Australia’s commitment to standing with Ukraine in its defence against Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion.

As part of this, the latest military assistance package includes:

  • Air defence missiles.
  • Air-to-ground weapons, including guided weapons.
  • Anti-tank weapons.
  • Artillery, mortar, cannon, and small arms ammunition.
  • A shipment of boots, ensuring the men and women of Ukraine’s armed forces are able to continue their vital efforts on the front line.

Today’s announcement by the Albanese Government takes Australia’s military assistance to Ukraine to more than $1.1 billion since the start of Russia’s full‑scale invasion, and overall assistance to more than $1.3 billion.

Building on Australia’s reputation as a highly regarded partner, Australia will also join NATO’s new security and training initiative for Ukraine as an operational partner.

This is in addition to the training of Ukrainian recruits being undertaken by Australian Defence Force personnel in the United Kingdom, as part of Operation KUDU.

During his visit to Washington, the Deputy Prime Minister also joined other partners in signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the Drone Capability Coalition. This follows the Albanese Government’s $30 million commitment to provide drones to Ukraine, as part of this important Coalition.

Quotes attributable to Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Richard Marles MP:

“Australia is proud to stand with its partners at this historic NATO Summit to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the Government of Ukraine.

“I was pleased to join IP4 partners in Washington DC to meet with President Zelensky and announce $250 million in additional military support.

“The delivery of highly capable air defence capabilities and air-to-ground precision munitions represents Australia’s largest single support package for Ukraine, and will make an enormous contribution to its efforts to end the conflict on its terms.

“Russia’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine stands as an affront to international law and the rules-based order.”

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