How will US and German tanks help Ukraine? | Russia-Ukraine war

From: Inside Story

Berlin and Washington are sending Leopard II and M1 Abrams fashions to Kyiv to help its battle in opposition to Russia.

Each Germany and america have agreed to ship tanks to Ukraine.

Berlin will provide its Leopard 2 and Washington, the M1 Abrams.

After resisting for weeks, Germany lastly gave in to political strain.

It’s additionally agreed to permit different nations resembling Poland and Finland to ship Leopard 2 tanks from their arsenals.

They’re thought of important for Ukraine, if it’s to take again territory captured by Russia early within the struggle.

However will such new weaponry change the course of the battle?

Presenter: Mohammed Jamjoom


Pavel Felgenhauer, an impartial defence and navy analyst

Theresa Fallon, director on the Centre for Russia Europe Asia Research

Olaf Boehnke, Berlin director of Rasmussen International

Two British volunteers confirmed dead in eastern Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

The lads had been trying a humanitarian evacuation from the city of Soledar once they had been killed, their households say.

Two British volunteers reported lacking in jap Ukraine had been killed as they tried a humanitarian evacuation from Soledar, in line with an announcement from their households.

Andrew Bagshaw, 48, and Christopher Parry, 28, went lacking earlier this month whereas heading in direction of Soledar, the salt mining city the place Russian and Ukrainian forces had been preventing an intense battle for management.

Parry’s household confirmed in an announcement launched by means of the UK’s Overseas Workplace that each males had been killed.

“It’s with nice disappointment we have now to announce that our beloved Chrissy has been killed alongside together with his colleague Andrew Bagshaw while trying a humanitarian evacuation from Soledar, jap Ukraine,” stated the assertion, which was launched on Tuesday.

Ukrainian police stated on January 9 that that they had misplaced contact with Bagshaw and Perry after the 2 males left Kramatorsk for Soledar on January 6.

Sky Information reported Bagshaw’s household as saying the 2 males had been killed whereas attempting to rescue an aged lady.

Christopher Parry in helmet and flak jacket walking outside a bombed out block of flats in Bakhmut. There is a mangled climbing frame behind him and the building is black where a missile hit
British volunteer Christopher Parry pictured in Bakhmut on January 5. The world was the scene of heavy preventing and the goal of relentless Russian bombardment [File: Anna Kudriavtseva/Reuters]

The assertion gave no particulars on the circumstances of the boys’s deaths, including that Parry “discovered himself drawn to Ukraine in March in its darkest hour initially of the Russian invasion and helped these most in want, saving over 400 lives plus many deserted animals”.

Britain’s Overseas Workplace stated it was supporting the households. Bagshaw was additionally a nationwide of New Zealand the place he was dwelling when he travelled to Ukraine.

Belarus summons Ukraine envoy over stray air defence missile | Russia-Ukraine war News

Minsk says it downed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile amid a wave of Russian assaults on cities throughout Ukraine.

Belarus has protested to Ukraine’s ambassador after saying it had downed a Ukrainian S-300 air defence missile in a discipline, throughout one among Russia’s heaviest aerial onslaughts for the reason that begin of the struggle.

The army commissar of Belarus’s southwestern area of Brest, Oleg Konovalov, performed Thursday’s incident down in a video posted on social media by the state-run BelTA information company, saying locals had “completely nothing to fret about”.

“Sadly, these items occur,” he mentioned.

Konovalov in contrast the incident to 1 in November, when an S-300 believed to have strayed after being fired by Ukrainian air defences landed on the territory of NATO-member Poland, triggering fears of an escalation that have been quickly defused.

However, the Ukrainian ambassador was summoned to the international ministry in Minsk to obtain a proper protest.

“The Belarusian facet views this incident as extraordinarily critical,” Anatoly Glaz, a spokesman for the ministry, mentioned.

“We demanded that the Ukrainian facet conduct an intensive investigation … [and] maintain these accountable to account and take complete measures to forestall the recurrence of such incidents sooner or later.”

A Ukrainian army spokesman in impact acknowledged the missile was a Ukrainian stray, saying the incident was “nothing unusual, a results of air defence” and one thing that “has occurred greater than as soon as”.

Soviet-era defence system

The S-300 is a Soviet-era air defence system utilized by each Russia and Ukraine.

Belarus mentioned the missile had come down close to the village of Harbacha within the Brest area, some 15km (9 miles) from the border with Ukraine, at round 10am native time (07:00 GMT).

“Fragments have been present in an agricultural discipline … the wreckage belongs to an S-300 anti-aircraft guided missile fired from the territory of Ukraine,” the nation’s defence ministry mentioned.

The incident occurred as Russia was launching its newest wave of missile assaults on cities throughout Ukraine.

BelTA printed pictures and video of what it mentioned have been components of an S-300 missile mendacity in an empty discipline.

Belarus allowed Moscow to make use of its territory in February as a launchpad for the invasion of Ukraine, and there was a rising flurry of Russian and Belarusian army exercise in Belarus in current months.

Minsk has, nonetheless, insisted that it’s not taking part within the struggle, and won’t take part except its personal safety is threatened by Ukraine or Ukraine’s Western allies.

Whereas Kyiv has used the S-300 system to intercept incoming Russian missiles, Russia has appeared to make use of repurposed S-300 missiles to assault floor targets.

US to send $1.8bn aid to Ukraine, including Patriot system: Media | Russia-Ukraine war News

A United States official has mentioned President Joe Biden’s administration will quickly announce a $1.8bn army help bundle for Kyiv, which can for the primary time embody a Patriot missile battery and precision-guided bombs for Ukrainian fighter jets, amid studies the war-torn nation’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, might go to Washington, DC.

US officers described particulars of the help bundle on situation of anonymity on Tuesday, in accordance with the Related Press.

Media organisations citing unnamed sources additionally reported on Wednesday that Zelenskyy might journey to Washington, DC to satisfy Biden and go to the US Congress. Zelenskyy’s spokesman didn’t reply to a request for touch upon the journey and safety issues might but power the Ukrainian chief to alter his plans, a supply instructed the Reuters information company.

US Home of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi earlier on Tuesday mentioned in a letter that there could be a session of Congress on Wednesday evening, which might have a “very particular give attention to democracy”, additional heightening hypothesis the Ukrainian president would go to the US capital.

The $1.8bn help bundle resulting from be introduced by Biden, in accordance with AP, indicators an growth within the sorts of superior weaponry the US is sending Ukraine to bolster the nation’s air defences in opposition to what has been an growing barrage of Russian missile assaults.

The bundle, which is predicted to be introduced on Wednesday, in accordance with the AP, will embody about $1bn in weapons from Pentagon shares and one other $800m in funding by way of the Ukraine Safety Help Initiative, which funds weapons, ammunition, coaching and different help, officers mentioned.

The Biden administration’s choice to ship the Patriot missile system comes regardless of Russian threats that supply of such a sophisticated surface-to-air missile battery could be thought-about a provocative step and that the system – and any crews accompanying it – could be a respectable goal for Moscow’s army.

When the Patriot would arrive on the entrance strains in Ukraine is unknown and US forces should additionally practice Ukrainians on find out how to use the high-tech system. That coaching might take a number of weeks and is predicted to be undertaken on the Grafenwoehr Coaching Space in Germany.

All US and Western allies’ coaching of Ukraine forces has taken place in European international locations.

The anticipated announcement of the help bundle comes because the US Congress is poised to approve one other $44.9bn in help for Ukraine as a part of a big spending invoice. That may guarantee US help for Kyiv will proceed subsequent 12 months and past, as Republicans take management of the Home of Representatives in January.

Some Republican politicians have expressed wariness concerning the quantity of US help being channelled to Ukraine.

Additionally included within the soon-to-be-announced bundle might be an undisclosed variety of Joint Direct Assault Munitions kits, or JDAMs, officers mentioned.

The kits might be used to switch bombs by including tail fins and precision navigation methods in order that fairly than being merely dropped from a fighter jet onto a goal, they are often guided to the goal on launch.

US fighter and bomber plane use the JDAMs and the Pentagon has been working to switch them to allow them to be utilized by Ukraine’s air power.

Zelenskyy and different Ukrainian officers have pressed Western leaders to offer extra superior weapons, significantly for air defence, and the Patriot could be essentially the most superior surface-to-air missile system the West has given Ukraine to assist repel Russian aerial assaults.

Reluctance to produce hi-tech weaponry

Washington has been reluctant to present Ukraine US fighter jets and Moscow has warned the superior plane would even be thought-about provocative.

As an alternative of offering Ukraine with plane, the Pentagon helps Kyiv discover progressive methods to improve its current fleet with the most recent capabilities accessible on US fighters.

The soon-to-be-announced help bundle can even embody an undisclosed variety of rockets for the Excessive Mobility Artillery Rocket System, 1000’s of artillery and mortar rounds, vehicles and HARM air-to-surface anti-radiation missiles.

In line with officers, Kyiv’s pressing pleas and the devastating destruction of Ukraine’s civilian infrastructure, together with lack of electrical energy and warmth throughout winter, in the end overcame US reservations about supplying the Patriots.

French President Emmanuel Macron additionally mentioned on Tuesday that France had delivered extra air defence missile methods and different weapons to Ukraine and would ship extra early subsequent 12 months.

“In current days, France has despatched Ukraine extra arms, rocket launchers, Crotale (air defence batteries), gear past what we had already performed,” Macron instructed France’s TF1 and LCI tv.

“We’re additionally working with the armed forces minister [Sebastien Lecornu] to have the ability to ship helpful arms and ammunition once more within the first quarter [of 2023] in order that the Ukrainians would be capable of defend themselves in opposition to bombardments,” he mentioned.

Future deliberate shipments embody new Caesar cell artillery models however Macron supplied no exact figures.

The French president mentioned the quantity “will rely” on the result of ongoing discussions with Denmark, which had ordered the Caesar weapons from France and will agree to present at the least a few of them to Kyiv.

Since Russia’s invasion in February, France has despatched Ukraine 18 Caesar models and a 155-mm howitzer mounted on a six-wheeled truck chassis, able to firing shells at ranges of greater than 40 km (25 miles).

Macron mentioned he had two “purple strains” when it got here to arms deliveries: that it didn’t have an effect on France’s capacity to defend itself and didn’t make Paris a co-belligerent within the struggle.

The arms had been to “allow Ukraine to defend itself” within the face of a relentless barrage of Russian missiles and drone assaults, he mentioned.

Paris has additionally already delivered anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles in addition to armoured personnel carriers.

Belarus offers Ukraine grain transit without conditions: UN | Russia-Ukraine war News

Belarus additionally requested to be allowed to export its personal fertiliser merchandise, that are at present topic to Western sanctions.

Belarus informed the United Nations that it might enable, with out circumstances, the transit of grain from Ukraine via its territory, for export from Lithuanian ports, a UN spokesman stated.

Belarusian Deputy Minister of Overseas Affairs Yury Ambrazevich met with UN Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres in New York on Friday to inform him there aren’t any preconditions to the transit of Ukraine grain, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated.

Ambrazevich additionally “reiterated the requests from his authorities to have the ability to export its personal fertiliser merchandise, that are at present topic to sanctions”, Dujarric stated in a press release after the assembly.

Belarus, an enormous international potash producer, has been hit by harsh European Union sanctions since 2020 – which disrupted its exports of the fertiliser by way of the Baltic Sea ports – in response to the violence inflicted by authorities on peaceable protesters following disputed elections. At the moment, Minsk required Russian assist in quashing the wave of pro-democracy protests.

A Russian ally and a part of the staging floor for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, Belarus stated in June that it might let Ukrainian grain shipments to transit to Baltic Sea ports if Belarus was allowed to ship its items from these ports as nicely.

Ukraine didn’t comply with the proposal.

Because the begin of the Russian invasion, Belarus has largely stayed away from direct involvement within the conflict in Ukraine. Nevertheless, President Alexander Lukashenko has prior to now ordered troops to deploy with Russian forces close to the Ukrainian border, citing threats to Belarus from Kyiv and the West.

Kyiv has expressed fears that Belarus may collude with Russia and assault Ukraine from its northern border.

In July, the UN and Turkey brokered a take care of Russia and Ukraine to renew Ukraine’s Black Sea shipments of grain – stalled because the begin of the conflict when Russia imposed a naval blockade of Ukraine’s ports.

The United Nations has stated Russia’s conflict in Ukraine has worsened a worldwide meals disaster, pushing some 47 million folks into “acute starvation”.

Zelenskyy warns of more Russian missile attacks on Ukraine | Russia-Ukraine war News

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has warned of latest Russian missile assaults on his nation, urging defence forces and residents to be ready to face up to a brand new week of pressure on the ability grid.

The warning on Sunday got here as snow fell in Kyiv and temperatures hovered round freezing with fog forecast in a single day.

Metropolis authorities stated staff have been near finishing the restoration of energy, water and warmth, however excessive consumption ranges meant some blackouts had been imposed. Tens of millions in and round Kyiv have been dealing with disruptions brought on by waves of Russian air raids.

“We perceive that the terrorists are planning new strikes. We all know this for a truth,” Zelenskyy stated in his nightly video tackle. “And so long as they’ve missiles, they, sadly, is not going to settle down.”

Zelenskyy stated the approaching week could possibly be as tough because the earlier week, when assaults on electrical energy infrastructure subjected Ukrainians to essentially the most acute energy cuts since Russian troops invaded in February.

“Our defence forces are preparing. The complete nation is preparing,” he stated. “We’ve got labored out all of the situations, together with with our companions.”

There was no quick response from Moscow to Zelenskyy’s claims.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, Moscow has stated it doesn’t goal the civilian inhabitants. The Kremlin stated on Thursday that Kyiv may “finish the struggling” of its inhabitants by assembly Russia’s calls for.

Russia annexed swathes of Ukraine’s east and south in September, and President Vladimir Putin has stated Moscow’s territorial calls for are non-negotiable. After the annexation, Zelenskyy stated he wouldn’t negotiate with Moscow and harassed that Ukraine’s territorial integrity couldn’t be negotiated.

Tense entrance strains

Sunday was comparatively calm with no main assaults on Kyiv or different huge cities. Ukraine’s central military command stated Russian forces launched 4 missile assaults and fired a number of instances on civilian objects within the Dnipropetrovsk area.

The Institute for the Research of Warfare (ISW), a assume tank that has been intently monitoring developments in Ukraine, stated reporting from each side indicated that heavy rain and dirt have had an impact, together with wider freezing anticipated alongside the entrance strains within the coming days.

ISW stated Russian forces have been digging in additional east of town of Kherson, from which Ukrainian forces expelled them greater than two weeks in the past, and continued “routine artillery fireplace” throughout the Dnieper River. The assume tank additionally cited reviews that Russian troops have been shifting a number of launch rocket and ground-to-air missile techniques into positions nearer to town.

Zelenskyy stated the state of affairs remained tense alongside the entrance strains in numerous elements of the nation.

“Probably the most tough is in Donetsk area as has been the case in earlier weeks,” he stated.

The Normal Employees of Ukraine’s Armed Forces stated Russian troops had shelled a dozen villages in Donetsk, together with the principle targets of Bakhmut and Avdiivka.

The damaged Antonivsky Bridge in Kherson, Ukraine.
The Antonivsky Bridge, a key link throughout the Dnieper River, was destroyed as Russian forces retreated from  Kherson [Bernat Armangue/ AP]

Moscow has focused very important infrastructure in current weeks by waves of air raids which have sparked widespread energy outages and killed civilians.

Information assaults final Wednesday brought about the worst injury thus far within the nine-month battle, leaving hundreds of thousands of individuals with no mild, water or warmth, as temperatures fell beneath 0C (32F).

‘Colossal’ injury

Grid operator Ukrenergo, which has described the injury to energy producing services as “colossal”, stated chilly climate is steadily boosting vitality wants as staff race to restore wrecked energy services.

Electrical energy producers nonetheless can’t resume full energy provide after Russia’s missile assaults on Wednesday and should preserve vitality by imposing blackouts, it stated.

“The consumption restriction regime remains to be in place on account of a capability deficit, which at present stands at round 20 %,” Ukrenergo stated on Telegram.

Zelenskyy stated on Sunday utility and emergency groups have been working across the clock to offer energy, with the state of affairs “underneath management” although most areas have been topic to scheduled blackouts to assist restore the grid.

In Kherson, regional governor Yaroslav Yanushevych stated 17 % of shoppers now had energy. Different districts can be linked in coming days.

Amid the ability outages, the Ukrainian authorities, together with volunteers, evacuated some aged folks from the southern metropolis.

“We have to get as many individuals out as doable,” stated Viktor Mironov, a volunteer. “There is no such thing as a electrical energy, water and meals. Assist is required. Hospitals need assistance, they want medication. We have to do as a lot as we will so our folks can have a heat place to remain and be supplied with all of the requirements.”

Zelenskyy has issued fixed warnings to customers to preserve energy, as have utility officers.

Sergey Kovalenko, chief working officer of YASNO, which offers vitality to Kyiv, stated on Saturday night the state of affairs within the metropolis has improved however remained “fairly tough”.

Zelenskyy criticised Kyiv’s Mayor Vitali Klitschko, saying he had not carried out sufficient to assist beleaguered residents. Klitschko, a former skilled boxer, hit again at Zelenskyy, saying the criticism was misplaced amid Russia’s navy marketing campaign.

“That’s mindless,” Klitschko stated.

As Russia’s war in Ukraine drags on, Turkey’s role expands | Russia-Ukraine war News

Istanbul, Turkey – Turkey’s affect within the Ukraine battle is rising once more.

In latest weeks, Ankara helped save the grain export deal after Russia all of the sudden withdrew from the settlement, threatening the world’s meals provide.

After 4 days of phone diplomacy between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, in addition to different officers on each side, Moscow introduced on November 2 that it was rejoining the pact initially brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July.

“He [Putin] doesn’t comply with open this grain hall via others. However with me, after I name … immediately he opened the grain hall,” Erdogan stated in an interview with broadcaster ATV on the day of Russia’s U-turn.

Early within the battle, Ankara hosted negotiations between Ukrainian and Russian officers in Istanbul and Antalya.

And on Monday, the heads of the American and Russian international intelligence providers – the CIA’s Invoice Burns and Sergey Nariskin of the SVR – met in Ankara to debate “threats towards worldwide safety, beginning with using nuclear weapons”, Erdogan’s workplace stated.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan shake hands
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan [File: Sputnik/Alexander Demyanchuk/Pool via Reuters]

Since February 24, Ankara has rigorously balanced relations with each side within the battle.

Turkey has equipped Ukraine with very important weaponry, such because the much-vaunted Bayraktar drones, but in addition tools together with Kirpi armoured troop carriers and physique armour. Final month the primary of 4 Ada-class corvettes constructed for Ukraine was launched at an Istanbul shipyard.

As guardian of the Black Sea entrance, Turkey closed its straits to navy vessels inside days of the battle beginning, stopping Moscow from reinforcing its fleet.

In the meantime, Erdogan has maintained common contact with Putin and, in step with Turkey’s coverage of solely following UN Safety Council-approved sanctions, has stored up financial ties because the West turned its again on Russia.

Commerce between the Black Sea neighbours has blossomed over the past 9 months.

Turkey’s exports to Russia leapt 86 % final month to $1.15bn whereas imports from Russia greater than doubled to $5.03bn, in accordance with official Turkish figures.

Solar-seeking Russians – in addition to yacht-owning oligarchs – have been flocking to Turkey’s seashores this yr, with 3.8 million arriving within the first 9 months, the second-largest nationwide group after Germans.

Valeria Harmash
Valeria Harmash, a Ukrainian dwelling in Istanbul, says it’s painful to see Russians ‘dwelling like they don’t care’ concerning the battle, whereas in Turkey [Andy Wilks/Al Jazeera]

For Ukrainians in Turkey, nonetheless, sharing Istanbul’s retailers and eating places with Russian vacationers and draft dodgers has rubbed salt within the wound.

“It’s very tough as a result of they began the battle after which they run away from Russia and revel in their lives in locations like Turkey,” stated Valeria Harmash, a 28-year-old from Kharkiv, whose brother and uncle are on the entrance line.

“It’s very painful for me – their folks, their president destroyed the lives of my household and buddies, however I see Russians in Zara, Starbucks and Mango dwelling like they don’t care. I can see it of their faces after they see my Ukraine badge that they don’t really feel any sorrow.”


Tourism and different international earnings have proved very important as Erdogan faces Turkey’s worst financial disaster beneath his 20-year rule and tough elections subsequent yr.

Entry to Russian vitality has meant Turkey will not be going through the identical degree of value will increase seen elsewhere in Europe.

Pure gasoline from Russia stuffed 45 % of Turkey’s wants final yr and Ankara has reportedly requested for its funds to be deferred to 2024.

In the meantime, Putin has floated the thought of Turkey changing into a hub for the sale of Russian gasoline to the European market.

Giant sums of largely untraceable international money have additionally flowed into Turkey – $24.9bn between January and September, in accordance with Central Financial institution figures launched on Friday, greater than double the identical interval in 2021 – and have helped prop up its rising present account deficit.

“I believe it’s now past affordable doubt that these … inflows are predominately Russian cash flows, with Putin now firmly pinning his colors to Erdogan’s mast to make sure his re-election,” stated Timothy Ash, an affiliate fellow at Chatham Home’s Russia and Eurasia programme.

The Central Financial institution didn’t reply to Al Jazeera’s request for remark on the time of publishing.

Nevertheless, in a Monetary Occasions interview final month, Finance Minister Nureddin Nebati stated tourism income made up a major chunk of the unaccounted earnings, since Russians use money as a result of sanctions have excluded them from the monetary system. He stated all of the funds have been authentic despite the fact that the origins of such money deposits are not possible to hint.

Mithat Rende, a former Turkish ambassador to Qatar with experience in vitality negotiations, described Putin’s gasoline hub suggestion as an try “to drive a wedge between Turkey and the West and likewise upset the solidarity between European nations”.

Questions have been raised concerning the viability of such a hub, given Europe’s need to wean itself off Russian gasoline and the extra infrastructure wanted.

“If Putin want to make a gesture in direction of Turkey, or in direction of his buddy, the president, it’s not by declaring his willingness to make Turkey an vitality hub. It’s to postpone the [gas] funds,” Rende added.

Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, director of the German Marshall Fund in Ankara, pointed to the arrival of reported Russian capital as a consider Erdogan’s latest rally within the polls.

“In comparison with final June, all main polls recommend Erdogan has consolidated his supporters,” he stated. “I believe that is extra because of capital inflows to Turkey in the course of the summer time. It was an excellent tourism season. Russian cash got here to Turkey and unemployment decreased a bit of and the foreign money kind of stabilised.”

Erdogan’s function within the grain deal – Putin congratulated him as a champion of the world’s poorer nations as he returned to the settlement – has undoubtedly raised the Turkish president’s worldwide standing as he has steadfastly sought mediation between the warring sides.

And Russia, which has deepened its ties with nations reminiscent of China, India and Turkey because it has been frozen out by the West, is more and more reliant on Ankara as a window to the Western world – a place that has raised issues about sanctions-busting in Washington.

Turkey’s positive factors because of the battle can be seen in its relationship with its NATO allies and the West, generally.

Swedish and Finnish efforts to hitch the Atlantic alliance have been blocked by Turkey because it sought concessions from the Nordic states, calling for a crackdown on these it deemed “terrorists” sheltering within the two nations. The brand new Swedish authorities has indicated its shifting place over the Kurdish-Syrian YPG, because of the group’s ties to Kurdish rebels who’ve fought the Turkish state for the final 38 years.

Though Washington has denied a link to the Nordic NATO enlargement, Ankara is transferring nearer to reaching a take care of the US on updating its fleet of F-16 fighter jets.

Erdogan’s balanced method has usually met with public approval in Turkey.

“It’s proper that we don’t get too intently concerned on this battle,” stated Omer Avci, an Istanbul shopkeeper.

“The Russian occupation is horrible however President Erdogan is the one working for peace whereas the West does nothing. We’d like peace within the area for ourselves in addition to the world.”

Russia’s war in Ukraine challenges old comrades in Southeast Asia | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russian President Vladimir Putin has oozed an informal resentment when describing the “irreversible and even tectonic adjustments” that he says have led the West to turn into a spent pressure on the earth.

“Western international locations are striving to keep up a former world order that’s helpful solely to them,” he instructed attendees on the Jap Financial Discussion board within the Russian metropolis of Vladivostok in September.

These days had been numbered, he insisted.

The long run was within the “dynamic, promising international locations and areas of the world, primarily the Asia Pacific area”, he stated. Putin was adopted on the rostrum by Myanmar coup chief Min Aung Hlaing – the symbolism was not misplaced on shut observers of regional politics.

This week Putin was invited to attend the Group of 20 assembly, which opens on Tuesday on the Indonesian island of Bali. It gave the impression to be the proper venue for him to double down on his overtures to the Asia Pacific, significantly in Southeast Asia — one of many world’s most economically dynamic areas.

However it was to not be.

Putin skipped his second within the Balinese solar as a result of undefined “scheduling” causes.

With Putin a no-show, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy might have a captive viewers if he addresses the summit nearly after his invitation to attend by the summit’s host, Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

Putin’s absence from the G20 additionally undercuts “discuss of a Russian pivot to Asia”, wrote Susannah Patton of the Lowy Institute, an Australian suppose tank.

Now with the Russian military retreating in components of Ukraine and worldwide sanctions biting deeply into Russia’s financial system, some previous associates in Southeast Asia seem like avoiding direct eye contact as Putin appears to be like east. Others are actively wanting the opposite means, and Myanmar appears to be Moscow’s final true pal within the area.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Myanmar Senior General Min Aung Hlaing shake hands and pose for a photo during their meeting on the sideline of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Myanmar’s Senior Common Min Aung Hlaing meet on the Jap Financial Discussion board in Vladivostok, Russia, in September 2022 [File: Valery Sharifulin/Sputnik/Kremlin pool via AP]

Outdated comrades, quick recollections

Russia has no main strategic pursuits in Southeast Asia, however Soviet-era relations run deep and Moscow has lengthy political and emotional connections to the previous nations of Indochina: Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

Hanoi, particularly, remembers Russian assist throughout the warfare towards the US-backed regime in South Vietnam within the Nineteen Sixties and Nineteen Seventies — a warfare from which it emerged victorious in 1975.

Vietnam and Laos abstained from UN resolutions condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the annexation of Ukrainian territory, and voted towards suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

In Monday’s vote on a decision requiring Russia to pay reparations for the injury brought about to Ukraine, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia had been among the many 73 members of the meeting that abstained. Amongst international locations within the area, solely Singapore and the Philippines backed the decision.

Vietnamese communist soldiers moving forward under covering fire from a heavy machine gun during the Vietnam War.
Vietnamese communist troopers shifting ahead underneath masking fireplace from a heavy machine gun throughout the Vietnam Battle, circa 1968 [File: Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images]

Vietnam’s resolution to abstain on the UN is completely authorized, argued Huynh Tam Sang, a lecturer at Ho Chi Minh Metropolis College of Social Sciences and Humanities. However it is usually “morally questionable” as Vietnam had did not defend the “ideas of sovereignty and territorial integrity”, he writes. That’s no small oversight for a rustic whose profitable liberation struggles towards international occupiers — China, France, and the USA — is a defining nationwide motif.

“Vietnam’s transfer is geared toward avoiding criticism and potential retaliation from Moscow,” stated Huynh Tam Sang, mentioning the fabric behind the fraternal: commerce links between Hanoi and Moscow amounted to nearly $2.5bn within the first eight months of this 12 months, and Russia is a major investor in Vietnam’s oil and gasoline sectors.

Russia can also be Vietnam’s largest arms provider.

“It isn’t in Vietnam’s pursuits for Russia to be weakened,” Carlyle A Thayer, emeritus professor on the College of New South Wales Canberra, instructed Al Jazeera in a latest interview.

Historic threads

Vietnam’s assist for Russia must be understood when it comes to Hanoi’s historically fraught relationship with neighbouring China. Vietnam fought its personal border warfare with China in 1979 and has typically relied on its relations with Moscow as a counterweight to stress from its historic rival.

Neighbouring Cambodia, nevertheless, with its Putin-esque authoritarian chief Hun Sen who has held energy for 37 years, has proven shocking insubordination to its former Soviet-era help donor and political supporter.

The then Soviet Union was one of many earliest international locations to assist rebuild Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge regime when the federal government in Phnom Penh — put in by Vietnam — confronted near-total Western sanctions. One among Phnom Penh’s hottest markets remains to be often called the “Russian Market” owing to the massive inhabitants of Russian diplomats and technical assistants from Soviet states who frequented its stalls throughout the Nineteen Eighties.

Simply final 12 months, Hun Sen acquired Russia’s Order of Friendship medal.

Russian President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen during their meeting at the ASEAN-Russia summit in Sochi, Russia.
Vladimir Putin shakes palms with Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen throughout their assembly on the ASEAN-Russia summit, within the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, in 2016 [File: Alexander Zemlianichenko, pool/AP Photo]

However that has not prevented the Cambodian chief from taking a “surprisingly hard-line stand” towards Moscow over the warfare in Ukraine, in accordance with Ian Storey, a senior fellow on the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore.

Hun Sen has not simply referred to as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine an “act of aggression”, however he has additionally questioned Russia’s capacity to emerge victorious, and expressed a willingness to absorb Ukrainian refugees, Storey notes.

Hun Sen’s pro-Ukraine stance appeared to immediate the Russian ambassador to remind him in a tweet that it was Moscow who got here to Cambodia’s help “in essentially the most troublesome interval in its historical past” following the Khmer Rouge.

Cambodia was unmoved by the Russian reminder.

Phnom Penh has been a cosponsor of condemnatory UN resolutions on Russia’s invasion — though it has abstained on some Ukraine-related votes — and extra not too long ago, Hun Sen invited Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to deal with by video link final weekend’s summit of the Affiliation of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh. The invitation was apparently torpedoed by the necessity for consensus among the many ASEAN leaders.

Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have been extra cautious of their public pronouncements on the warfare, with G20 host Indonesia cautious to protect its conventional non-aligned stance.

However, Indonesia’s Widodo did go to Kyiv first and Moscow the following day in late June when he went to debate the worldwide meals disaster with Zelenskyy and Putin, and presumably lengthen private invites to the Bali summit.

Russian marketplace for arms

Russia’s arms trade is the “single largest provider of main weaponry to Southeast Asia”, in accordance with the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute (SIPRI).

Russia accounted for greater than 1 / 4 of all main weapons deliveries to the area over the previous 20 years, in accordance with SIPRI, and when Moscow can’t promote its weapons for laborious money, it has been keen to do barter offers or present loans as an alternative.

The Indonesian authorities deliberate to purchase 11 Russian-made Sukhoi Su-35 fighter plane from Russia in a deal that concerned fee of half the associated fee with the equal in agricultural and different produce, in accordance with reviews.

Within the Philippines, Russia stated in 2018 that it was “greater than keen” to supply a gentle mortgage in order that Manila may purchase its first-ever — however Russian-built — submarine, the nation’s Philippine Information Company reported.

As SIPRI factors out, gross sales of Russian weaponry to Southeast Asia are “an essential aspect of Russia’s whole export earnings and important to sustaining the financial viability of the Russian arms trade”.

However with US sanctions imposed on Russia following its annexation of Crimea in 2014 and alleged interference within the 2016 US presidential election, some regional governments have already begun to maneuver away from Russia.

Manila didn’t purchase the Russian submarine, and Jakarta introduced in December that the Sukhoi fighter deal was lifeless.

Now, with a plethora of Ukraine war-related sanctions awaiting these coping with Moscow, Russia’s export arms trade appears to be like set to really feel the collateral injury of Putin’s Ukraine invasion.

Take the Philippines, for instance.

Over fears of sanctions, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr stated final month that his nation would supply navy helicopters from the US after scrapping a $215m deal to purchase 16 heavy-lift helicopters from Russia.

The federal government of Marcos Jr’s predecessor, Rodrigo Duterte, had signed the take care of Russia in November 2021. However even Duterte wished to place distance between himself and Putin, whom he had as soon as described as his idol, after the Ukraine invasion.

“Many say that Putin and I are each killers,” Duterte stated three months into the invasion in Might.

“I’ve lengthy instructed you Filipinos that I actually kill. However I kill criminals, I don’t kill youngsters and the aged,” he stated, evaluating his brutality to that of Putin in Ukraine.

“We’re in two totally different worlds,” he added.

’Twenty first-century imperialism’

The Southeast Asia outlier is military-ruled Myanmar, which has thrown its full assist behind Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Already heat relations between Russia and Myanmar have deepened additional for the reason that invasion of Ukraine and final 12 months’s coup by the navy that toppled the elected authorities of Aung San Suu Kyi.

Because the Worldwide Disaster Group notes, the Myanmar navy has positioned itself as “Russia’s most uncritical post-invasion associate in Asia”, and Russia has backed the navy regime when it comes to offering worldwide diplomatic cowl and superior weaponry.

Ian Storey of the ISEAS sees three elements at work: “Diplomatic validation, arms gross sales and power cooperation.”

Moscow moved shortly to recognise the Myanmar generals once they seized energy, and the generals have reciprocated by endorsing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Army chief Min Aung Hlaing has declared Russia to be Myanmar’s “without end pal”, as compared with China being described merely as a “shut pal”, as Storey notes.

Much like Vietnam, Myanmar’s navy additionally wants Russia as an alternate provider of weapons and a counterweight to China. Myanmar introduced in September it might purchase Russian oil and pay in roubles.

However the Russia-Myanmar relationship is greater than an odious alliance, it is usually a timebomb for ASEAN.

Storey notes that Moscow’s arms shipments are driving the Myanmar regime’s capacity to wage a sustained warfare towards its inhabitants and armed ethnic teams, which undermines the potential for peace talks and a negotiated settlement, which ASEAN needs to see achieved.

Smoke rises from a village in Myanmar's Kayah State after it was bombed by the military.
On this picture taken from drone video supplied by Free Burma Rangers, black smoke rises from burning buildings in Waraisuplia village in Kayah State, Myanmar, in February 2022, the place the navy focused civilians in air and floor assaults [Free Burma Rangers via AP]

Gregory Poling, director of the Southeast Asia Program on the Centre for Strategic and Worldwide Research (CSIS) in Washington, DC, stated Southeast Asia’s relationship with Russia is complicated.

Russia does, historically, maintain attraction for these with anti-Western sentiment within the area, and Putin’s hyper-masculine picture chimes in a area with a historical past of personalist, strongman politics.

Nevertheless, Southeast Asia’s expertise with Western colonialism, and the dedication by nations within the area to the preservation of their sovereignty, permits international locations to recognise neo-imperialism when it seems within the invasion of Ukraine, Poling instructed Al Jazeera.

International locations within the area “look and see a resurgent Russian empire, and that that is imperialism within the Twenty first Century,” Poling stated.

That sentiment was articulated in a speech by Singapore’s international minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, condemning Russia’s invasion and asserting sanctions on Moscow in February, Poling stated.

“Ukraine is far smaller than Russia, however it’s a lot larger than Singapore,” Bakakrishnan stated on the time.

“A world order primarily based on ‘would possibly is true’, or the place ‘the robust do what they will and the weak endure what they have to’, such a world order could be profoundly inimical to the safety and survival of small states,” he stated.

Russia agrees to rejoin Ukraine grain export deal | Food News

Russia’s defence ministry says it obtained ‘enough’ ensures from Kyiv on demilitarising the Black Sea hall.

Russia has stated it should rejoin a UN-backed settlement to permit the export of grain from Ukraine through a protected Black Sea hall, with shipments anticipated to renew on Wednesday.

Russia’s defence ministry confirmed that Moscow would once more take part, saying it had obtained “enough” ensures from Kyiv that it might not use the maritime hall for navy operations in opposition to Russia.

“Russia considers that the obtained ensures are in the intervening time enough and is resuming the implementation of the settlement,” the ministry stated.

Turkish President Reception Tayyip Erdogan stated earlier that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu had advised his Turkish counterpart that the grain deal, brokered by Turkey and the United Nations, would proceed to function as of noon on Wednesday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan advised parliament that “shipments will proceed from 12pm at present (09:00 GMT) as deliberate”.

Al Jazeera’s Resul Serdar, reporting from Istanbul, says Turkey’s function in bringing Russia again to the initiative highlights that Ankara is now the “de facto mediator” between Moscow and Kyiv.

“We all know that Russia over the weekend had withdrawn from the settlement … however after intensive talks between Ankara, Moscow, Kyiv and naturally, the involvement of the United Nations as nicely, evidently the deal is as soon as once more alive and dealing,” Serdar stated.

The deal, overseen by the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul, has allowed greater than 9.7 million metric tonnes of grain and different foodstuffs to go away Ukrainian ports.

This has introduced much-needed aid to a worldwide meals disaster triggered by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a key grain exporter.

Beneath the phrases of the deal, which was agreed on in July, ships transferring to and from Ukraine are inspected by a joint workforce of Russian, Turkish, Ukrainian and UN officers.

Russia on Saturday had stated it was quickly pulling out, accusing Ukraine of misusing the protected transport hall to launch a drone assault on its Black Sea fleet.

Some shipments out and in of Ukraine continued after that however the UN on Tuesday stated there could be no deliveries on Wednesday.

‘Harmful’ with out Russia

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Tuesday had urged “dependable and long-term safety” of the hall whereas Russia’s Vladimir Putin demanded “actual ensures”.

In a name with Zelenskyy on Tuesday, French President Emmanuel Macron denounced Russia’s resolution to exit the deal saying it “once more harms world meals safety”.

Ukraine had dismissed Russia’s accusations as a “false pretext” to withdraw from the deal.

The Kremlin has lengthy criticised the deal, claiming that many of the consignments have been arriving in Europe, not low-income international locations the place grain was wanted most.

Ukrainian officers have denied the declare and information compiled by a monitoring group as a part of the accord doesn’t mirror this assertion.

Cargo loaded with grain stored crusing on Monday and Tuesday, however the UN stated any deliveries after Russia introduced its suspension have been “a short lived and extraordinary measure”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had stated on Monday that it was “harmful” to proceed exports with out Russia’s participation.

The Russian defence ministry on Wednesday stated it obtained written ensures from Kyiv “due to the participation” of the UN and “help” from Turkey.

It stated Kyiv assured “the non-use of the humanitarian hall and Ukrainian ports decided within the pursuits of the export of agricultural merchandise for conducting navy operations in opposition to the Russian Federation.”

Russia, Iran defiant amid UN pressure over Ukraine drones | Russia-Ukraine war News

Russia has warned the United Nations towards investigating its use of drones in Ukraine, amid accusations the weapons got here from Iran and had been utilized in violation of UN arms restrictions on the Center Jap nation.

America, France and the UK referred to as a closed-door Safety Council assembly on the drones after an assault on Kyiv on Monday that killed at the very least 5 folks, and precipitated widespread injury to energy stations and different civilian infrastructure.

Ukraine says its army has shot down greater than 220 Iranian drones, formally often known as uncrewed aerial autos (UAV), in little greater than a month and has invited UN Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres to Ukraine to examine a few of the wreckage it has collected.

Talking after the Safety Council assembly on Wednesday, Russia’s Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy insisted the weapons had been made in Russia and condemned “baseless accusations and conspiracy theories”.

He referred to as on Guterres and his workers to “abstain from participating in any illegitimate investigation. In any other case, we should reassess our collaboration with them, which is hardly in anybody’s pursuits,” he advised reporters.

The US and European Union say they’ve proof that Iran equipped Russia with Shahed-136s, low-cost drones that explode on touchdown. Washington says any arms switch was in contravention of UN Safety Council Decision 2231 which is a part of the 2015 Joint Complete Plan of Motion (JCPOA), a now moribund deal to curb Iran’s nuclear actions and forestall the nation from creating a nuclear weapon.

A close up of wreckage of what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone shot down near Kupiansk, Ukraine.
An in depth-up of wreckage from what Kyiv has described as an Iranian Shahed drone that was introduced down close to Kupiansk, Ukraine [File: Ukrainian military’s Strategic Communications Directorate via AP Photo]

Tehran denies supplying the drones to Russia and earlier this week stated it was prepared for “dialogue and negotiation with Ukraine to clear these allegations” after International Minister Dmytro Kuleba stated Ukraine ought to break diplomatic ties with Tehran.

On Wednesday, Iran’s UN envoy, Amir Saeid Iravani, rejected the “unfounded and unsubstantiated claims” on the drone transfers and stated that Tehran, which has abstained in votes on the warfare, needed a “peaceable decision” of the battle, which started when Russia despatched its troops into Ukraine on February 24.

Iravani stated Ukraine’s invitation “lacks any authorized basis” and referred to as on Guterres “to forestall any misuse” of the decision and UN officers on points associated to the Ukraine warfare.

“Iran is of the agency perception that none of its arms exports, together with UAVs, to any nation” violate decision 2231, he added.

EU prepares sanctions

Beneath the 2015 decision, a traditional arms embargo on Iran was in place till October 2020.

However Ukraine and its Western allies argue that the decision nonetheless contains restrictions on missiles and associated applied sciences till October 2023, and may embody the export and buy of superior army techniques similar to drones.

French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere stated Guterres has a “clear mandate twice a 12 months to report on all this stuff and to make technical assessments, so I feel the UN secretariat should go and can go”.

Guterres reviews twice a 12 months to the Safety Council — historically in June and December — on the implementation of the 2015 decision. Any evaluation of the drones in Ukraine would most likely be included in that report.

“As a matter of coverage, we’re at all times prepared to look at any info and analyse any info delivered to us by Member States,” UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated on Wednesday.

The EU is predicted to approve sanctions over the drones forward of a summit that begins on Thursday in Brussels.

An inventory seen by the AFP information company confirmed the 27-nation grouping would take motion towards three senior army officers, together with Common Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, the chief of workers of Iran’s armed forces, in addition to drone maker Shahed Aviation Industries, an aerospace firm linked to the nation’s Revolutionary Guards.

Nabila Massrali, spokeswoman for EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell, stated the bloc had “gathered our personal proof” and would put together “a transparent, swift and agency EU response”.