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Putin announces deployment of S-500 air defense systems

Putin announces deployment of S-500 air defense systems

 

Dhaka June 22 2022 :

 

Inside Russia : Outside Russia : News Digest by the Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh  on June 22 2022.

 

INSIDE RUSSIA

Putin announces deployment of S-500 air defense systems

Russia’s most-advanced anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons are already being delivered to the military, the president has said

The Russian military is in the process of deploying the S-500, the most advanced air-defense system in the country, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

The Russian leader made the announcements during an address to the graduates of military colleges in Moscow as he described Russia’s plans for fielding advanced weapon systems, which he said “will determine the combat capabilities of the army and the navy for years and decades to come”.

Putin stated that the S-500 long-range missile system, which is designed to intercept aircraft and missiles and may have some anti-satellite capabilities, had no equal in the world.

The S-500 Prometey was designed by arms manufacturer Almaz-Antey as a continuation of its family of long-range surface-to-air missiles. It is believed to have a range of 600km and is capable of intercepting targets traveling at hypersonic speeds, including warheads of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

The Prometey is said to be closely integrated with other Almaz-Antey systems, such as the S-400 and the S-350, which will allow deployed batteries to have synergy with other elements of Russia’s layered air defense.

Almaz-Antey head Yan Novikov said the company expected the S-500 to become the backbone of Russia’s anti-air capabilities. He confirmed back in April that the system had gone into serial production.

 

Putin: Russian Military to Receive First Sarmat ICBM in Late 2022

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Sarmat, Russia’s newest land-based intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), will be in the military’s service already in late 2022, President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday.

“Successful testing of the Sarmat heavy intercontinental ballistic missile was carried out. It is planned that at the end of the year the first such complex will be on combat duty,” Putin said at a meeting with graduates of higher military educational institutions.

Roscosmos plans to construct a total of 46 Sarmat missiles for the needs of the Russian military. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, Sarmat is capable of striking targets at long ranges using various flight trajectories and is guaranteed to overcome any existing and prospective missile defense systems.

The Russian military conducted the first test launch of a Sarmat missile on April 20. The system is intended to exchange the RS-20 Voevoda missile systems.

 

Peskov: Ukraine Conflict Will Be Long Crisis, Russia Will Not Trust West Anymore

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said in an interview that the Ukraine crisis will be a long conflict and Russia will no longer trust the West.

“Yes, it will be a long-lasting crisis, but we’ll never trust [the] West anymore,” Peskov said in an NBC interview that aired on Monday when asked if the Ukraine conflict would last a long time.

Earlier, the Russian ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said that dialogue between Washington and Moscow had reached an impasse. According to the diplomat, bilateral relations, which had already been in deep crisis over the past few years, have now reached a critical point.

Antonov previously noted that the political dialogue between the two nations has reached an unprecedented low level, and that trust has been undermined. He believes that at the moment, cooperation is being destroyed even on a number of issues that are of obvious mutual interest.

Since February 24, Russia has been conducting a special military operation to denazify and demilitarize Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has stated that the goal of the operation is “the protection of people who have been subjected to abuse and genocide by the Kiev regime for eight years.”

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the military has completed the main tasks of the operation’s first stage, significantly reducing the combat potential of Ukraine. Meanwhile, the main stated objective of the entire military operation is the total liberation of Donbass.

 

Diplomat warns Lithuania repercussions on the horizon over Kaliningrad rail transit ban

MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. Lithuania should have realized that it will face serious consequences for restricting railroad transits of goods to Russia’s exclave region of Kaliningrad, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

“They should be aware of consequences, and the consequences will follow, unfortunately,” Maria Zakharova told the Solovyov Live television channel.

If Russia qualifies other countries’ decisions as “openly hostile,” there won’t be any attempts to find a “formula” to defuse the situation, Zakharova said.

“Such steps are inadmissible, they will bring about an appropriate response,” the diplomat said.

Lithuania informed Kaliningrad that transit of some goods from Russia to the region would be limited from June 18 due to EU sanctions, Kaliningrad Region Governor Antron Alikhanov said on June 17. He said the move was illegitimate as it violated the agreements the country committed to when joining the EU.

Andrey Klishas, who chairs Russia’s Federation Council Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Building, branded Lithuania’s actions as a blockade and noted that this may force Russia to retaliate with very tough and absolutely legitimate measures, while Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Lithuania’s decision required some serious analysis following which Russia would develop retaliatory measures.

Ruble rally continues to defy sanctions

The Russian currency strengthens to a fresh seven-year high against the US dollar and the euro

The Russian ruble continued to strengthen on Tuesday, gaining over 1% against both the US dollar and the euro, trading data on the Moscow Exchange shows.

At the opening of the session, the dollar exchange fell below 55 rubles for the first time since June 30, 2015. The euro was also trading at a seven-year low against the Russian currency, below 58 rubles per euro.

The ruble is gaining strength against both of the globe’s top reserve currencies ahead of large tax payments and high prices on commodity markets. Russian exporters sell foreign currency to pay taxes in rubles at the end of June. The peak is expected on June 27-28, and analysts predict the ruble will rally further in the coming week, strengthening to 50 rubles against the dollar and 55-56 against the euro.

However, other experts suggest that in the longer term the ruble may decline. It will depend on the state of the Russian economy and, most notably, on the activation of imports – once they start rising, demand for foreign currency will surge, weakening the ruble from current levels.

The ruble dropped to record lows in March due to the pressure of Western sanctions, but has since more than doubled in value due to strict capital controls by the Central Bank, rising global energy prices and Moscow’s gas payment demand, requiring ‘unfriendly’ countries to pay for natural gas supplies in rubles.

Last week, however, the head of Russia’s Central Bank called to lift most capital controls in an effort to weaken the national currency, as the government believes that the ruble is too strong at the moment. A strong ruble could be bad for Russia’s budget, which gets substantial revenues from energy taxes denominated in foreign currencies but spends them in rubles.

For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section

 

Russian airlines continuing to accrue lease payments for foreign planes in rubles

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) – Russian airlines are continuing to accumulate lease payments for foreign aircraft in rubles, Russian Transport Minister Vitaly Savelyev said in an interview with Nailya Asker-zade on the Rossiya 24 television channel.

“I want to note that we don’t have anything that we haven’t returned and have taken aircraft [from foreign lessors]. No, we haven’t expropriated anything from anyone. Our airlines are continuing to collect lease payments in rubles in C accounts,” Savelyev said.

“If the owner wants to receive [them], he converts [rubles to foreign currency] and takes. But sanctions don’t allow us to pay in currency, although companies could pay, on the one hand. But on the other hand, they [lessors] aren’t ready to convert the money that we’re placing into C accounts. That’s the story,” he said.

 

State Duma adopts law banning foreign companies from subsoil development in Russia

MOSCOW. June 21 (Interfax) – The State Duma has passed in the third reading a law that introduces a ban on issuing licenses for subsoil development to foreign companies. In order to continue working they will have to set up legal entities in Russia and transfer them the right to use subsoil areas.

According to the current legislation, subsoil users could be companies, foreign citizens and legal entities. At the same time, the users of subsoil areas of federal significance (except for the continental shelf and PSA, for which separate conditions are prescribed) may be companies registered in Russia. The law adopted in the third reading (N33098-8) provides that subsoil users may be legal entities established in accordance with Russian legislation and individual entrepreneurs who are citizens of Russia.

No later than 30 days from the date the law enters into effect, Rosnedra will have to notify foreign legal entities of the need to transfer the right to use a subsoil area to a legal entity created in accordance with Russian law. Within 90 days from the date of notification, a subsoil user who is a foreign legal entity will be obliged to establish a legal entity in accordance with Russian law to continue operations on the subsoil area granted for use.

Furthermore, the adopted law grants Russian Railways the right to use subsurface areas of local significance for the extraction of commonly occurring minerals (sand, pebble stone, crushed stone) without an auction. It is specified that commonly occurring minerals may be used only for construction work on railway transport infrastructure. The users of these subsoil areas without an auction can also be companies with which the monopoly has concluded a contract to carry out the construction of public railway transport infrastructure facilities. The list of such facilities will be approved by the Russian government.

The law will enter into effect from the day of its official publication.

 

Russia condemns ‘arrogant’ note from London

The UK has messaged the Kremlin over two British nationals sentenced to death in Donbass

Russian ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin has condemned a note sent by London to the Kremlin regarding two British nationals recently sentenced to death by a Donetsk People’s Republic court. The “arrogant” message makes the Kremlin’s cooperation unlikely, Kelin added.

Sean Pinner and Aiden Aslin, as well as a Moroccan man, were sentenced to death by authorities in the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) earlier this month. The three had been captured by the DPR while fighting for Ukraine and were convicted of terror offences and of attempting to overthrow the government of the republic.

Both Russia and the DPR insist that the men were fighting as mercenaries and are therefore not lawful combatants. Pinner and Aslin claim they were active members of the Ukrainian military.

Speaking to the Rossiya 24 TV channel on Tuesday, Kelin confirmed that UK officials have been in touch with the Kremlin about the two British combatants.

“They sent a note written in extremely arrogant, instructive terms. It does not make us want to cooperate on these issues,” Kelin stated.

Britain does not recognize the independence of the DPR, hence the note being sent to Moscow. British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has called Pinner and Aslin’s conviction a “sham judgment with absolutely no legitimacy,” and in her official response to the sentence referred to the DPR authorities as “Russian proxies in eastern Ukraine.”

Moscow has previously told London to communicate directly with the DPR, instead of “trying to solve problems with loud statements,” according to Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

Along with the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), the DPR declared independence from Ukraine in 2014. Russia recognized the two republics’ independence in February, days before launching its military operation in Ukraine, which the Kremlin insists was necessary to put an end to Kiev’s eight-year legal, cultural and military persecution of the two breakaway states.

Under DPR law, Aslin and Pinner may appeal their death sentence or plead for clemency. Should they fail in either endeavor, they will be executed by firing squad.

 

Russia tells West to stop mixing politics and health

Moscow fired back after the US and its allies brought up the Ukraine conflict at the G20 health meeting

Russia has asked other members of the G20 to keep politics out of a global meeting on health issues, after envoys from the US and several of its allies brought up the conflict in Ukraine at the session in Indonesia on Monday.

American, British, Australian and Canadian officials had used the meeting of G20 health officials in Yogyakarta to accuse Russia of bombing hospitals in Ukraine.

“Far from promoting global health, Russia has disrupted health services, destroyed health facilities, and continues to strike buildings where innocent civilians including children are sheltering,” claimed Andrea Palm, US deputy secretary of Health and Human Services, accusing Moscow of being “directly at odds with the goals of G20 healthcare and our goal of promoting global health.”

“We are asking our colleagues not to politicize [the] G20 health platform and stay within our mandate and discuss healthcare,” Russian health ministry spokesman Oleg Salagay responded.

Moscow has repeatedly denied Ukrainian and Western accusations that it was targeting hospitals, providing evidence that Kiev’s armed forces were using civilians as human shields and deliberately shelling hospitals and civilian objects in Donbass.

Salagay also criticized the plan to set up a slush fund for pandemic preparedness, saying it amounted to duplicating and weakening the role of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“The creation of the so-called Financial Intermediary Fund carries certain risks,” the official said. “It is important to prevent duplication of existing international institutions and fragmentation of financial resources, as well as the weakening of the coordinating role of the WHO.”

On Tuesday, Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin announced the establishment of the $1.2 billion fund, drawn primarily from the US, EU, Germany, Singapore, Indonesia and private companies. The funds are intended to go to poor countries so they can buy vaccines, tests, medications and other materials necessary to deal with Covid-19 and future pandemics.

The health meeting was held in advance of the G20 summit, scheduled for October 2022. The group is made up of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, the US, as well as the EU.

 

Senior Russian diplomat slams as unacceptable EU arms supplies to Kiev

MOSCOW, June 21. /TASS/. Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko warned European Union Ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer on Tuesday that the bloc’s ongoing arms supplies to Kiev were unacceptable.

“Russia stressed as unacceptable the EU’s ongoing weapons supplies to Ukrainian forces. [Russia] stressed that the weapons are being used for attacks on civilian infrastructure in Donbass localities leaving civilians and children dead,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Moscow also informed the EU envoy of its “opinions on the developments in Ukraine and in the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics amid the special military operation”, the ministry added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Ederer and expressed a resolute protest over the ban on the transit of certain goods to the Kaliningrad Region, Russia’s Baltic Sea exclave.

 

Artek int’l children’s center resumes admission of children from abroad after 2-year break

SIMFEROPOL. June 21 (Interfax) – Children from foreign countries are arriving on vacation to the Artek international children’s center in Crimea for the first time in two years, the center’s press service said on Tuesday.

“For the first time in two years, the Artek holiday session will be international: we are receiving children from Kazakhstan and Armenia. Now more than ever, it is important for children from different countries to communicate, exchange cultures and traditions. We also welcome 170 schoolchildren from the Donetsk People’s Republic,” Artek Director Konstantin Fedorenko was quoted as saying in the statement.

In total, 3,288 children will spend their vacation at the session in Artek. It is focused on creativity and art, and kicks off on June 21-22.

Previously, the admission of foreign children was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Artek international children’s center is the largest children’s camp in the world in terms of the number of children enrolled for studies annually and consists of nine camps. According to the results of Russia’s rating of children’s camps in 2016, Artek was recognized as the best in Russia.

 

OUTSIDE RUSSIA

Another EU state returns to coal

The Netherlands has joined Germany and Austria in reverting to coal power amid the energy crisis

Dutch Climate and Energy Minister Rob Jetten has announced that the Netherlands is lifting all restrictions on coal-fired power stations to reduce natural gas consumption, while making an “urgent appeal” to businesses to save as much energy as possible ahead of the winter season.

The Hague has activated the ‘early warning’ phase of its energy crisis plan, in the face of a potential shortage of natural gas this winter, Jetten said on Monday, adding that the decision had been prepared in coordination “with our European colleagues over the past few days.”

“The cabinet has decided to immediately withdraw the restriction on production for coal-fired power stations,” he said, referring to the rule under which all coal-fired power plants in the Netherlands may only be operated at a maximum of 35% of their installed capacity.

“I want to emphasize that at the moment there’s no acute gas shortage,” Jetten noted, but nonetheless claimed that “more countries are now being squeezed” by Russia.

In a similar move on Sunday, German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that Berlin will have to boost the use of coal for electricity production to make up for the shortage of natural gas from Russia.

Meanwhile, the Austrian government agreed with energy company Verbund to convert a reserve gas-fired power plant in the southern Styria region to produce electricity using coal in case the energy emergency deepens.

These moves follow a decision by Russia’s Gazprom to cut natural gas deliveries to Germany via the Nord Stream pipeline by 60% after German maintenance provider Siemens failed to return pumping units after repairs due to sanctions. European officials claimed this decision was purely political and linked to tensions between Russia and the West over Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine.

 

Protesters chant ‘stop NATO’ at massive rally in heart of EU

Tens of thousands demonstrated against the rising cost of living, with many linking the crisis to the West’s Russia policies

A trade union-organized protest numbering 70,000 to 80,000 demonstrators packed the streets of Brussels on Monday, bringing the city to a standstill. In addition to expressing anger at the rising cost of living in Belgium, many condemned the US-led NATO alliance and its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.

Trade unions said that 80,000 people attended the protest, while police said that the turnout was closer to 70,000, Reuters reported. In addition to packing the streets, the protest led to mass cancellations of flights at Brussels Airport, as unions representing security personnel went on strike. Public transit routes around the city were also operating at drastically reduced capacity.

Inflation hit 9% in Belgium in June, a four-decade high. With spending power declining, protesters demanded salary hikes and tax cuts.

Biden’s sanctions against Russia this time prompted Brussels to take to the streets. The cost of living is so high that people can not afford it pic.twitter.com/RJOreap3zt

— Protest News (@ProtestNews_EN) June 20, 2022

However, many linked their dire economic straits to the EU’s sanctions regime on Russia and with the NATO alliance’s rush to arm Ukraine.

Protesters demanded that their leaders “spend money on salaries, not on weapons,” and chanted “stop NATO.”

While similar protests against rising costs have taken place across Europe as of late – thousands of trade unionists marched in London on Saturday – few have linked the soaring prices with the actions of NATO and its members.

Just three months ago, some protesters in Brussels waved Ukrainian flags and demanded that the EU cut itself off from “Putin’s Oil.” Weeks before that, there was a demonstration outside European Parliament buildings calling for “sanctions for Russia.”

Brussels is home to headquarters of both the EU and NATO. It was also the city from where US President Joe Biden chose to announce a round of sanctions on Moscow in March, before immediately telling a reporter that “sanctions never deter” those targeted by them.

Despite predicting in April that these measures would “wipe out the last 15 years of Russia’s economic gains,” Russia’s energy earnings have hit record levels since February, and the Russian ruble is currently at a seven-year high against the euro.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused European countries of committing economic “suicide” via sanctions, and predicted last week that the EU’s “direct losses” from this sanctions policy “could exceed $400 billion in a year.”

 

US ‘alarmed’ that captured Americans could face death penalty

The White House says it’s still “trying to learn more” about two fighters captured in Donbass

The US is alarmed that two American fighters captured in Ukraine could face the death penalty, a spokesman for the National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday, calling it “appalling” that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov would even suggest such a possibility.

“It’s appalling that a public official in Russia would even suggest the death penalty for two American citizens that were in Ukraine. And we’re going to continue to try and learn what we can about this,” NSC spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the White House.

Alexander John-Robert Drueke and Andy Tai Ngoc Huynh had been fighting for the Kiev government in the area north of Kharkov. They were reported as missing on June 9, the same day a court in Donetsk convicted two Britons and a Moroccan for being mercenaries and sentenced them to death. Last Friday, Drueke and Huynh were shown alive and in a detention facility in Donetsk, prompting fears they might meet the same fate.

Asked about them by NBC News on Monday, Peskov called Drueke and Huynh “soldiers of fortune” who were involved in “illegal activities” and fired on Russian troops, and said their fate would “depend on the investigation” and the subsequent trial.

“Either way, it’s equally alarming, whether they actually mean what they’re saying here and this could be an outcome, that they could levy a death penalty against two Americans in Ukraine,” Kirby said on Tuesday. “Or that they just feel it’s a responsible thing for a major power to do, to talk about doing this as a way of signaling to the president of the United States and the American people.”

The 39-year-old Drueke and the 27-year-old Huynh are both from the state of Alabama. In an interview with RT, they said they had been left behind by Ukrainian soldiers and ended up surrendering to a Russian patrol.

Their families reportedly hope this will be the distinction that will spare them from the same fate as two British nationals and a Moroccan captured by Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) forces near Mariupol in May. Aiden Aslin, Shaun Pinner and Saadun Ibrahim were convicted by a Donetsk court earlier this month and sentenced to die – though the executions have not yet been carried out, pending appeal.

Russia does not have the death penalty, but the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk do. All three agree that foreign volunteers fighting for Ukraine are mercenaries and therefore unlawful combatants who are not protected under the Geneva Conventions.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made that clear in an interview last week, when the BBC asked about the two Britons that “in the eyes of the West” Moscow was responsible for.

“I am not at all interested in the ‘eyes of the West.’ I am only interested in international law, according to which mercenaries are not combatants,” Lavrov replied. “So what’s in your eyes doesn’t matter.”

 

First foreign ship leaves Mariupol port

MARIUPOL, June 21. /TASS/. Turkey’s Azov Concord has become the first foreign ship to leave the port of Mariupol, a TASS correspondent reported, adding that the vessel was headed to Russia’s Novorossiysk.

The ship’s captain Ivan Babenkov said that the Azov Concord was not carrying any cargo.

The Turkish vessel was repaired after suffering damage from the Ukrainian military, and new crew members were hired.

Novorossiysk Naval Base commander Counter Admiral Viktor Kochemazov earlier told TASS that the Azov Concord was scheduled to depart the Mariupol port on June 18. According to him, the vessel needed to get cleared by the customs and border services. A source said later that the departure had been postponed to June 20 because port services payment from the ship’s owner had failed.

Five foreign ships currently remain at the Mariupol port, including Bulgaria’s Tsarevna, the Dominican Republic’s Azburg, Liberia’s Smarta, Panama’s Blue Star and Jamaica’s Lady Augusta. According to Kochemazov, the Tsarevna is about to complete the necessary technical preparations and paperwork before leaving Mariupol.

SPECIAL MILITARY OPERATION IN UKRAINE

LPR ambassador to Russia says about 20 civilians left Azot plant on June 20

LUGANSK, June 21. /TASS/. Rodion Miroshnik, the ambassador of the Lugansk People’s Republic to Russia, on Monday said about 20 civilians left the Azot plant in the LPR on June 20.

“As the allied forces move across the territory of Azot, civilians, who have been staying in the shelters of the plant for the past weeks, begin to leave these shelters,” he said on Telegram. “Today, about two dozen civilians went to the second gate of the plant, which is not controlled by the militants.”

He said they have been taken to safety, while the exit of the rest of the civilians and the laying down of weapons by the Ukrainian military is complicated by the constant shelling of Severodonetsk by Ukrainian artillery.

 

INSIGHTS

Defeat in Ukraine Means the End of NATO, Former UN Weapons Inspector Says

US foreign policy critic Scott Ritter pointed out that far from achieving the Pentagon’s stated aim of ‘weakening’ Russia, Washington’s proxy war in Ukraine was gradually disarming the militaries of NATO member states.

Russian victory over Ukraine will spell the end of the US-led NATO alliance — so says a former UN weapons inspector.

Scott Ritter, a former US Marine Corps intelligence officer who was a leading critic of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, was interviewed for YouTube channel The Left Lens about the Russian special military operation to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” the Ukraine.

He said NATO’s decision to stake its credibility on backing Kiev in a proxy war against Moscow — in the wake of its “humiliation” in Afghanistan — would prove unwise and fateful.

“NATO and the United States are facing the kind of moral and physical defeat at the hands of Russia that will probably mean the end of NATO,” he told presenter Danny Haiphong in the video posted on Monday. “I don’t think NATO survives this.”

“That doesn’t mean that they’re going to dissolve tomorrow,” the commentator clarified.

But Ritter stressed: “I think people have forgotten that just in August of last year, NATO suffered a huge humiliation: the withdrawal from Afghanistan.”

“NATO was struggling after that: ‘who are we? what are we doing?’,” he said. “And now they’ve stood up to Russia, to be brave against her, and they’re going to lose against Russia without even fighting.”

Russia warned in the months before the conflict that it would not tolerate NATO plans to continue its post-Cold War expansion eastward to include Ukraine, which would have allowed the US to station missiles just 300 miles from Moscow. Now Sweden and Finland, which shares a long border with Russia, have also applied for membership — without putting the issue to a public referendum.

Ritter reiterated a point he made earlier in the interview that Russian forces were destroying the arms sent by NATO members to prolong the war in Ukraine — and that Kiev was now asking for more donations of equipment than most western European armies even possess.

“By the time Russia finishes this, Russia will have an army that’s the most seasoned, combat experienced military in the world, facing off against NATO forces who are poorly-trained, poorly-led and, guess what, now poorly-equipped because they gave all their weapons away,” he said.

In recent years Russian forces have gained valuable experience in major conflicts in Georgia and Syria, where their latest weapon systems were proven in combat.

Ironically, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin — a retired general who lobbied for military-industrial complex giant Raytheon before his appointment — revealed in April that Washington’s goal in arming Ukraine was to “see Russia weakened”.

Also on Monday, retired US Army Colonel Douglas MacGregor told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that US President Joe Biden’s administration was sending token numbers of weapons to Ukraine to avoid acknowledging that it had lost its proxy war.

“It’s hard, when you look at something this ridiculous, not to conclude that this is a face-saving measure on the part of the administration that really doesn’t want to admit that this war was lost a long time ago,” MacGregor said.

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