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January 15, 2023

NYT “Accidentally” Endangers Russian War Critics: Report

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2001: Wikipedia, a free Wiki or content encyclopedia, is launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.

A bombshell investigation from The New York Times last September “accidentally” exposed the phone numbers of Russian soldiers opposed to the war in Ukraine, leaving the information wide open and available for months, according to a report from Vice News.

Some of the soldiers expressed blunt criticisms of their superiors, including Russian President Vladimir Putin. The exposure leaves these individuals, and the family members they were speaking to, vulnerable to potential reprisal from their government or other third parties, Vice reported.

The revelation highlights both the risk that cell phones pose during wartime, and the security hazards posed by journalists handling leaked information, Vice reported.

The metadata of the Times investigation was scrubbed prior to publication, but some identifying information escaped the outlet’s notice, the newspaper said in a statement.

“Before publication, we worked to remove identifying information from the story. We later learned that some buried metadata was live on the site for a few hours, and took prompt steps to remove it,” a Times spokesperson told the outlet.

But Vice found more data — including “multiple” phone numbers, belonging not only to soldiers, but the relatives they were communicating with —embedded in the article’s source code, which remained live until Wednesday afternoon — several months after the investigation’s initial publication. After Vice reached out to the Times again, the code was changed to read “null.”

Earlier this month, the Times published an article about how Ukrainian artillery targets Russian soldiers based on cell phone data. “For Russian troops, cellphone use is a persistent, lethal danger,” the Times wrote.

“The use of personal cellphones has plagued both Ukraine and especially Russia throughout the war, leaving troops vulnerable to a piece of technology that, however mundane and ubiquitous in daily life, can pose an existential threat in modern war.” 


Source: Vice News

November 3, 2022

Report: Biden Shouted at Zelensky During Tense Phone Call

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1970: U.S. President Richard Nixon promises gradual troop withdrawal from Vietnam.

President Joe Biden lost his temper and shouted at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a tense phone call in June, NBC News reported.

The heated exchange reportedly came during a June 15 call, wherein Biden informed Zelensky that he had secured $1 billion in military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. But Zelensky showed an insufficient amount of gratitude, opting to immediately start listing more things Ukraine needed.

At that point, Biden raised his voice, telling Zelensky that American people were already being very generous, according to the report.

White House officials said that the pair’s relationship has improved since the phone call. Not long after the exchange, Zelensky issued a video statement thanking the U.S. for its ample help.

“I had an important conversation with U.S. President Biden today,” Zelensky said in the video. “I am grateful for this support.”

One source familiar with the conversation told the outlet that Biden was direct with the Ukrainian president, but denied that the exchange was hostile or heated.

The report comes as additional funding for Ukraine is shrouded by uncertainty from lawmakers. Congressional Republicans are skeptical about the efficacy of Biden’s “blank check” to Zelensky, especially as Americans continue to face financial uncertainty.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said last month. “They just won’t do it. … It’s not a free blank check.”

McCarthy later clarified that while the Ukraine remains an important issue for him and the U.S., “there should be no blank check on anything. We are $31 trillion in debt.”

Late last month, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) pushed back against rumors that Republicans want to stop sending aid to Ukraine entirely.

“No one in Republican leadership has called for an end to aid for Ukraine,” Turner said. “People on the Republican side are saying, ‘Why do we have to pass a $40 billion package to send $8 billion to Ukraine?’”


Sources: NBC News | Fox News

October 30, 2022

Russia Says US, Allies Could Become Targets

A senior Russian official warned that commercial satellites belonging to the U.S. and its allies could become legitimate targets if they get involved in the war in Ukraine.

Konstantin Vorontsov, deputy director of the Russian foreign ministry’s department for non-proliferation and arms control, told the United Nations on Wednesday that the U.S. and its allies were trying to use space “to ensure their superiority and supremacy.”

Last month, Vorontsov said that Russia is concerned “about the realization of policies aimed at the placement of weapons in outer space and the use of outer space for military purposes by the group of U.N. Member-States in order to ensure their superiority and supremacy.”

Russia launched the first manmade satellite — Sputnik 1 — into space in 1957. It also sent the first man into outer space in 1961. The country’s offensive space capability is robust, on par with the U.S. and China. Last year, Moscow sent an anti-satellite missile to blow up one of its own satellites.

Vorontsov said the “provocative” use of Western satellites to assist Ukraine’s war effort was “an extremely dangerous trend.”

“Quasi-civilian infrastructure may be a legitimate target for a retaliatory strike,” Vorontsov told the U.N. First Committee.

Western commercial satellites have captured Russia’s military developments, including damage to its air bases and mass graves in Russian-occupied areas. SpaceX co-founder Elon Musk has deployed his company’s Starlink satellites above Ukraine since the early days of Russia’s invasion to help provide internet service.

Vorontsov did not mention Musk’s Starlink satellite. The SpaceX CEO said earlier this month that Starlink satellites provide a “major battlefield advantage” to Ukraine.


Source: Reuters

October 17, 2022

Kremlin Issues Grim Warning: “Catastrophic for All Mankind”

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
2017: Islamic State headquarters Raqqa declared under full control of US-led alliance by Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Talal Sello after 4 months of fighting.

A top Russian official issued a blunt warning, saying that any further meddling in Ukraine by Western powers would ignite a third World War — one that “will be catastrophic for all mankind.”

Specifically, the Kremlin official said that if NATO were to approve Ukraine’s request to join, it “would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III.”

“Kyiv is well aware that such a step would mean a guaranteed escalation to a World War III,” said Alexander Venediktov, the deputy secretary of Russia’s Security Council.

Ahead of Venediktov’s grim prediction, a senior NATO official said that if Russia were to use nuclear weapons against Ukraine, it would almost certainly be met with a “physical response” from Ukraine’s allies. Similarly, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin affirmed that the U.S. was “committed to defending every inch of NATO’s territory.”

Venediktov posited that such “dangerous” comments were being made because “in the West, fewer and fewer people remember what war is.”

“For some reason, many believe that a nuclear war can be waged locally,” he said. “We must remember: A nuclear conflict will affect absolutely the whole world — and not only Russia and the collective West, but in general any country on this planet.”

He added the ominous warning: “Its consequences will be catastrophic for all mankind.”


Source: New York Post

October 14, 2022

WATCH: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Confronted By Protestors

Anti-war protestors confronted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), accusing the congresswoman of voting to initiate a “nuclear war.”

A video of the heated exchange, which occurred during the question-and-answer portion of a town hall event hosted by Ocasio-Cortez, made the rounds on social media. One protestor yelled at the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist for “voting to start this war in Ukraine.”

“None of this matters unless there’s a nuclear war, which you voted to send arms and weapons to Ukraine,” the first protester said. “You ran as an outsider, yet you’ve been voting to start this war in Ukraine. You’re voting to start a third nuclear war with Russia and China. Why are you playing with the lives of American citizens?”

Another heckler yelled at Ocasio-Cortez, saying she has “done nothing.”

“Tulsi Gabbard has shown guts where you’ve shown cowardice,” the second protester said. “I believed in you, and you became the very thing you sought to fight against.”

The man was referencing former Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (H.I.), who announced earlier this week that she was leaving the party in a scathing video.

“I can no longer remain in today’s Democratic Party that is now under the complete control of an elitist cabal of warmongers driven by cowardly wokeness, who divide us by racializing every issue and stoke anti-white racism, actively work to undermine our God-given freedoms that are enshrined in our Constitution,” Gabbard said.


Source: Washington Examiner

August 21, 2022

U.S. Worried About Growing Relationship Between China and Russia

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1959: Hawaii becomes the 50th U.S. state.

Chinese troops are heading to Russia for strategic military exercises for the first time since 2018, with representatives from both countries saying it will be “business as usual.”

Reuters reported that the Vostok (East) exercises will commence from August 30 until September 5. Approximately 300,000 Chinese military troops attended drills in the region in 2018.

Military specialist Mathieu Boulegue told the outlet that the event should be “interesting” with the troops and gear “already deployed, rotated, lost and killed in Ukraine since February.”

Officials from the China Defense Ministry released a statement saying that the drills “are in no way related to the current international and regional situation.”

When asked about the event, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said China “absolutely” has the right to participate.

“The broader point is that we have seen a burgeoning relationship, including in the security realm, between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and Russia,” Price said.

“We’ve seen a burgeoning relationship between Russia and Iran, for example, and we have made public elements of that. That is of concern because of the vision that the PRC, countries like the PRC, countries like Russia, have for the international order. It is a vision that is starkly at odds to the liberal vision that we and our allies and partners have for the international system.”


Sources: Newsweek | U.S. Department of State

August 10, 2022

Rock Legend Calls Biden a “War Criminal”

Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters kicked up controversy over comments he made about President Joe Biden.

During his This Is Not a Drill solo concert tour, Waters displays an image of Biden in a montage of “war criminals.”

The 78-year-old legendary rocker defended the move during an interview on CNN’s Smerconish.

Waters told host Michael Smerconish that Biden is “fueling the fire in the Ukraine,” calling it a “huge crime.”

The Pink Floyd co-founder said: “Why won’t the United States of America encourage [Volodymyr] Zelensky, [Ukraine’s] president, to negotiate, obviating the need for this horrific, horrendous war?”

Later in the interview, Waters said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine was the “action and reaction of Nato pushing right up to the Russian border.”

“Try and figure out what the United States would do if the Chinese were putting nuclear-armed missiles into Mexico or Canada,” he added.

Waters’ comments were polarizing, with some voicing support and one critic saying he’s “been living on The Dark Side of the Moon.”


Source: The Hill

June 26, 2022

US Sends Another $450M to Ukraine as Americans Struggle

The Biden administration will send Ukraine another $450 million in military aid as Americans continue to struggle with skyrocketing gas prices and inflation.

The Pentagon announced that the new massive aid package includes four long-range rocket launchers and 36,000 artillery rounds.

The new aid package comes about one week after the Biden administration announced $1 billion in aid to Ukraine.

The latest inventory transfer will include 18 tactical vehicles, 1,200 grenade launchers, 2,000 machine guns, and 18 patrol boats.

According to the Department of Defense, the U.S. has committed $6.1 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion on Feb. 24.

June 20, 2022

3 American Veterans Reported Missing in Ukraine

The State Department has confirmed that a third American veteran that traveled to Ukraine during Russia’s invasion has apparently gone missing.

Last week, the families of U.S. veterans from Alabama, Andy Tai Huynh, 27, and Alexander Drueke, 39, went missing in Ukraine.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said there were “reports of one additional American whose whereabouts are unknown.”

“Unfortunately, we don’t know the full details of that case,” he said.

The wife of U.S. Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi told CNN that her husband is the third missing American.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request from Axios to confirm the missing American’s identity.

March 20, 2022

Dems Worry Zelensky Handed GOP a Major Talking Point

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY…
1900: US Secretary of State John Hay announces that all nations to whom he sent notes calling for an ‘open door’ policy in China have essentially accepted his stand.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke to Congressmembers and highlighted President Joe Biden’s role in helping his country amid the ongoing Russian invasion, making some Democrats worry that he handed the GOP a major talking point.

Zelensky gave a virtual speech to lawmakers last week, switching to English in the final moments of his remarks to directly address Biden.

“You are the leader of the nation, of your great nation. I wish you to be the leader of the world. Being the leader of the world means to be the leader of peace.”

Democrats say that Republicans have called Biden a weak leader for months, and Zelensky’s words could become part of the narrative come midterm elections.

“I think it’s a very real possibility,” an unnamed Democratic strategist said.

“I know we keep saying we’re doing everything we can, but clearly there’s a lot more we could be doing, and I’m not just talking about sending in troops.”

“You could easily see Republicans making hay out of it.”

John Feehery, a Republican strategist, said Zelensky’s comments dovetail with the GOP’s characterization.

“I think there will be a lot of Republicans who ask for the White House to be more forceful based on Zelensky’s comments,” Feehery said.

“The president hasn’t been very forceful and throughout this whole thing he had decent intelligence and they didn’t do anything about it. He said we’re going to do sanctions and they kind of sucked. Everything is underwhelming.” 


Source:

Democrats worry Zelensky offered GOP key talking point

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