The debt ceiling agreement reached between the White House and House Republicans places no constraints on spending on the war in Ukraine, a White House official told Bloomberg.
The $113 billion that has been authorized to spend on the war in Ukraine so far was passed as supplemental emergency funds, which is exempt from the spending caps that are part of the debt ceiling deal.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, funding “designated as an emergency requirement or for overseas contingency operations would not be constrained, and certain other funding would not be subject to the caps.” The deal suspends the nation’s debt limit through January 1, 2025.
Hawks in Congress are looking to use emergency spending to increase the $886 billion military budget that was agreed to as part of the deal. The emergency funds could go beyond Ukraine and might be used to send weapons to Taiwan or for other spending that hawks favor as part of their strategy against China.
Several members of the Democrat Party in Congress are urging the White House to provide Kiev with significantly more military support. One representative wants the Joe Biden administration to place “non-combatant observers” on the ground in Ukraine.
Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO) called for long-term investment in modernizing Ukraine’s military. He believes the upgraded weapons will turn the country into a “porcupine that can’t be swallowed.”
One suggestion Crow made was sending non-combatant observers to the battlefield to learn “through direct observation and communication with Ukrainian forces.” Crow did not specify if the personnel would come from the CIA, Pentagon or another agency. However, deploying any Americans on the battlefield risks them being killed by Russian soldiers.
Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, along with Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CN), are backing a plan that would send ATACM missiles to Ukraine. The rockets have a range of nearly 200 miles.
The White House has rejected several requests from Kiev to send long-range munitions to Ukraine. The Department of Defense went as far as modifying the HIMAR launchers it donated to Kiev to prevent the system from being able to fire the ATACM missiles. Recently, the Biden administration suggested it may be budging on the issue as Washington backed London sending long-range air-launched missiles to Kiev.
Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA), ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, called for the White House to authorize sending cluster bombs to Ukraine. Groups of Republican Representatives have sent letters to Biden demanding he fulfills Kiev’s request to send the controversial weapons.
Both Russia and Ukraine are reported to have used cluster bombs in Ukraine. Typically intended for use against personnel and light vehicles, cluster bombs carry smaller explosive submunitions which are released in flight and scattered across a target area. However, the bomblets often fail to detonate and remain on the ground as ‘duds,’ causing countless civilian deaths in former warzones, sometimes even decades into the future.
As Ukraine edges closer to the bizarrely promised and promoted “Spring Offensive“, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko has issued a terrifying proposition to any nation that joins Russia and Belarus. Like an Oprah Christmas Special: Nukes for everyone.
According to NBC News, Lukashenko told Russian state TV:
“It’s very simple. You have to join the union between Belarus and Russia, and that’s it: There will be nuclear weapons for everyone.”
“I think it’s possible,” Lukashenko added, saying that he was expressing his own view. “We need to strategically understand that we have a unique chance to unite.”
Lukashenko, who is one of Putin’s staunchest supporters, made the comment in response to earlier remarks by Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the president of Kazakhstan, during a summit in Moscow on Wednesday.
In late March, Lukashenko addressed Belarusian lawmakers and government officials that Russian nukes deployed to Belarus would protect them from the West, who he claimed are “preparing to invade Belarus, to destroy our country.”
American YouTuber and columnist Gonzalo Lira was arrested in Ukraine at the start of May because he “publicly justified” the Russian invasion, according to a press release by the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU). The statement says that Lira “has the citizenship of one of the countries of Latin America” but omits that he is also California-born U.S. citizen.
Lira is a resident of Kharkiv, Ukraine and was an outspoken critic of the nation’s President Volodymyr Zelensky. Lira has written financial columns, published in Business Insider and even here at ZeroHedge. His Twitter account is still up, and a brief look reveals that — whether you agree with him or not on all stances — his opinions are largely in line with much of the American right. The SBU claimed to have confiscated “mobile phones and a computer with evidence of illegal activity” from Lira’s apartment but no such evidence was made public.
Lira has been charged under sections 2 and 3 of Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s criminal code, which was augmented at the start of the invasion to criminalize the “distribution of materials” that justify Russia’s actions in Ukraine going back to 2014. The law specifically outlaws portraying any military dispute “financed by [the] Russian Federation” in Ukraine as an “internal civil conflict,” a law The New York Times and Wired Magazine are in violation of.
The Ukrainian government has frequently claimed that the violent conflicts in the Donbas region — which killed over 10,000 people between 2014 and 2020 — were financed and armed by the Russians. However, a former NATO official in charge of investigating arms shipments into the Donbas from 2014 to 2018 found that “there were no deliveries of weapons and military equipment from Russia” and instead that most arms were smuggled by defecting Ukrainian soldiers. This official could have been imprisoned under Article 436-2 as well.
Lira faces up to 13 years in prison if he is convicted of both charges.
Of course, American journalists are not as indignant over Lira’s arrest as they are over that of Evan Gershkovich, the WSJ reporter being detained in Russia. Federal Reserve minion Nick Timairos did not change his Twitter profile to signal “solidarity” with Lira.
It wasn’t that long ago that Mitt Romney was threatening former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard for suggesting the US was funding biolabs in Ukraine.
Back in March 2022, RINO Senator Mitt Romney accused former Democrat Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of spreading ‘treasonous lies’ for simply talking about the US-funded biolabs in Ukraine.
“There are 25+ US-funded biolabs in Ukraine which if breached would release and spread deadly pathogens to US/world.” Gabbard said at the time.
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“We must take action now to prevent disaster. US/Russia/Ukraine/NATO/UN/EU must implement a ceasefire now around these labs until they’re secured and pathogens destroyed,” she added.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham’s recent comments during his Friday meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in the war-torn country caused outrage and fury in Moscow, with the head of RT Margarita Simonyan calling for his assassination.
In a video clip of the meeting, Graham’s comments were spliced in a way that made it seem that the Senator stated that the fact that Russians “are dying” in the invasion is “the best money we’ve ever spent.” In fact, Graham said that the U.S. aid to Ukraine—and not specifically the deaths of the Russians—was a valuable investment in global security for the United States.
“Senator [Lindsey] Graham has something to compare with. One of their [US] investments led to World War II and the Holocaust,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova claimed in a statement on Telegram. State TV host Vladimir Solovyov followed Zakharova’s lead on his program, Sunday Evening With Vladimir Solovyov, as he angrily exclaimed: “Your dirty American money also fully supported the Nazi regime in Germany! You are a Nazi beast and you’re following in the footsteps of your predecessors. I’ll repeat it once again: you will croak, but the Russian people will live forever!”
The Ukrainian intelligence service is making multiple attempts to kill Russian President Vladimir Putin. A high-ranking official admitted to actively plotting the Russian leader’s assassination after a recent drone attack on the Kremlin.
“Putin is noticing that we are getting closer and closer to him,” Vadym Skibitsky, the deputy head of Ukraine’s Main Intelligence Directorate, told Welt in an interview. He added, Putin is number one on the kill list “because he coordinates and decides what happens.”
The Ukrainian intelligence official claimed his agency had failed to kill Putin because he “stays holed up.” Skibitsky suggested another attempt could be made soon as the Russian leader “is now beginning to stick his head out.”
Ukrainian officials have admitted to previously attempting to kill Putin. Last year, Kyrylo Budanov, the Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda claimed, “There was an attempt to assassinate Putin…[It was an] Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… It was about [March 2022].”
Three weeks ago, two unmanned aerial vehicles were downed over the Kremlin, where Putin keeps an office. Although, the Russian leader was not present at the complex when the attack occurred. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow considered the drones to be an assassination attempt against Putin.
Kiev has denied any involvement in the attack. However, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that American officials say the attack was orchestrated by the Ukrainian government.
George Orwell wrote in 1984 that “Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” Governments work relentlessly to distort public perceptions of the past. Regarding the Ukraine War, the Biden administration has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the Ukraine War started with an unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In fact, the war was provoked by the U.S. in ways that leading U.S. diplomats anticipated for decades in the lead-up to the war, meaning that the war could have been avoided and should now be stopped through negotiations.
Recognizing that the war was provoked helps us to understand how to stop it. It doesn’t justify Russia’s invasion. A far better approach for Russia might have been to step up diplomacy with Europe and with the non-Western world to explain and oppose U.S. militarism and unilateralism. In fact, the relentless U.S. push to expand NATO is widely opposed throughout the world, so Russian diplomacy rather than war would likely have been effective.
The Biden team uses the word “unprovoked” incessantly, most recently in Biden’s major speech on the first-year anniversary of the war, in a recent NATO statement, and in the most recent G7 statement. Mainstream media friendly to Biden simply parrot the White House. The New York Times is the lead culprit, describing the invasion as “unprovoked” no fewer than 26 times, in five editorials, 14 opinion columns by NYT writers, and seven guest op-eds!
There were in fact two main U.S. provocations. The first was the U.S. intention to expand NATO to Ukraine and Georgia in order to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO countries (Ukraine, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and Georgia, in counterclockwise order). The second was the U.S. role in installing a Russophobic regime in Ukraine by the violent overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February 2014. The shooting war in Ukraine began with Yanukovych’s overthrow nine years ago, not in February 2022 as the U.S. government, NATO, and the G7 leaders would have us believe.
The Biden administration has signed off on both F-16s for Ukraine and attacks on Crimea using US-made weapons. Both of these moves have drawn dire warnings from nuclear-armed Russia, and both would have been unthinkable a year ago.
In a Sunday interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper from the G7 summit in Hiroshima, Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan made it clear that Washington would approve of US weapons being used in an offensive to recapture Crimea, a horrifying prospect that many experts have agreed is the most likely scenario to lead to nuclear warfare in this conflict. Sullivan told Tapper that while the US has forbidden the use of American weapons to attack Russia, the US considers Crimea to be part of Ukraine, not Russia.
Here’s CNN’s transcript of the exchange:
TAPPER: In February on this show, you would not say whether the U.S. would support Ukrainian efforts to recapture Crimea. That’s one of the concerns that has been expressed about whether or not the Ukrainians are given the ability to hit Russian targets in Crimea. Do you think that Crimea is part of Ukraine?
SULLIVAN: Of course.
TAPPER: So, what would be the objection of giving…
SULLIVAN: Crimea is Ukraine.
SULLIVAN: I mean, that’s a very straightforward thing.
TAPPER: Well, yes you answered it directly. I mean, Russia doesn’t think so, obviously. But do you think that Ukraine should have weapons that can reach Russian targets in Crimea?
SULLIVAN: Yes. We have not placed limitations on Ukraine being able to strike on its territory within its internationally recognized borders. What we have said is that we will not enable Ukraine with U.S. systems, Western systems, to attack Russia. And we believe Crimea is Ukraine.
Seven months after explosions severed three of Russia’s four Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea, German investigators are now pursuing leads that point to Ukraine as the responsible country. At the same time, a multinational consortium of European investigative journalists has also found leads pointing to Kiev.
A long-running Western propaganda campaign — abetted by media that’s credulous at best and complicit at worst — would have us believe Russia blew up pipelines that took the country 15 years of construction — and painstaking diplomacy to overcome U.S. interference — to bring to reality.
According to The Times of London, Germany’s Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) has investigated Russian naval movements that have been declared “suspicious,” but found nothing that suggests Moscow is responsible for the attack.
Rather, BKA investigators are now focusing on a yacht that sailed from the German port of Rostock weeks before the explosions. That 15-meter yacht — the Andromeda — was hired from a Polish company, and docked at a tiny Danish island near the blast site. Most strikingly, investigators found traces of “military-grade and underwater-deployable” explosives on the vessel.
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