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    By Lorne Cook | Associated Press BRUSSELS — It’s likely to be the quickest NATO enlargement ever and one that would redraw Europe’s security map. Finnish leaders announced Thursday their belief that Finland should join the world’s biggest military organization because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Sweden could soon follow suit. Should they apply for membership, the move would have far-reaching ramifications for Northern Europe and trans-Atlantic security. No doubt, it will also anger their large neighbor Russia, which blames, at least in part, its war in Ukraine on NATO’s continued expansion closer to its borders. It’s unclear how Russian President Vladimir Putin might retaliate. The Kremlin said Thursday that it certainly won’t improve European security. The following is a brief look at what Finland and Sweden’s membership in the 30-country NATO alliance could mean, with the Nordic partners expected to announce their intention to join within days. FINLAND AND SWEDEN Not neutral like Switzerland, Finland and Sweden traditionally think of themselves as militarily “nonaligned.” But Russia’s war in Ukraine and Putin’s apparent desire to establish a Moscow-centered “sphere of...
    BRUSSELS (AP) — It’s likely to be the quickest NATO enlargement ever and one that would redraw Europe’s security map. Finnish leaders announced Thursday their belief that Finland should join the world’s biggest military organization because of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Sweden could soon follow suit. Should they apply for membership, the move would have far-reaching ramifications for Northern Europe and trans-Atlantic security. No doubt, it will also anger their large neighbor Russia, which blames, at least in part, its war in Ukraine on NATO’s continued expansion closer to its borders. It’s unclear how Russian President Vladimir Putin might retaliate. The Kremlin said Thursday that it certainly won’t improve European security. The following is a brief look at what Finland and Sweden’s membership in the 30-country NATO alliance could mean, with the Nordic partners expected to announce their intention to join within days. FINLAND AND SWEDEN Not neutral like Switzerland, Finland and Sweden traditionally think of themselves as militarily “nonaligned.” But Russia’s war in Ukraine and Putin’s apparent desire to establish a Moscow-centered “sphere of influence” has shaken their...
    Volodymyr Zelensky said Russia will have no Victory Days left after it loses the war in Ukraine. In a clip released minutes before Putin's propaganda parade in Red Square this morning, Zelensky stated: 'Very soon there will be TWO Victory Days in Ukraine. 'And someone will have not even one left.' Addressing 'the great people of mighty Ukraine', President Zelensky accused Putin of 'repeating the horrific crimes of Hitler's regime'.  He also said Russia 'treaded on a rake' by invading Ukraine. 'Every occupier who comes to our land treads on it', he said. Zelensky added: 'Our enemy dreamed that we would refuse to celebrate May 9 and the victory over Nazism. [But today], we are fighting for a new victory.' Zelensky said 'madman' Putin is 'doomed'.  'Because he was cursed by millions of ancestors when he began to imitate [Hitler]', he stated. 'And therefore he will lose everything.' Zelensky said 'madman' Putin would have no Victory Days left after his humiliation in Ukraine He closed by referencing Hitler's defeat: 'We won then. We will win now, too! Glory to Ukraine!' Zelensky wore...
    (CBS4) – Frank Webb always wanted to make his mother proud, and that included graduating from college. But that graduation day with all the pomp and circumstance didn’t happen. Frank Webb (credit: CU Boulder) “I know she’d have been happy to see me in my cap and gown,” Webb said. In 1968, Webb missed his commencement ceremony at the University of Colorado Boulder. He would earn his degree, but didn’t see his diploma until 3 years later. “I’d already missed the commencement, but I was in Vietnam when I got the diploma.” After being drafted into the military, Webb got a job as an editor of a military newspaper. “(I wrote) lots of stories about the guys who were doing all the work in the heat and the dust and the danger. It wasn’t so much (danger) for me, but I felt I couldn’t put out a poor quality piece of junk.” After spending a year in service during the Vietnam War, he returned to the United States and finished his service. He wound up marrying his wife Colleen and...
    A prominent Russian state TV host has warned that opponents of Russia's war in Ukraine will face harsh punishments including 'concentration camps and sterilisation'. Karen Shakhnazarov, a pro-Putin filmmaker, said any 'opponents to the letter Z' - the symbol of Russia's invasion - will face 'no mercy'. 'The opponents of the letter Z must understand that if they are counting on mercy, no, there will be no mercy for them,' Shakhnazarov, who leads the state-backed Mosfilm film studio, said on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1.  'It's all become very serious. In this case, it means concentration camps, re-education and sterilisation.' Karen Shakhnazarov, a pro-Putin filmmaker, said any 'opponents to the letter Z' - the symbol of Russia's invasion - will face 'no mercy' 'The opponents of the letter Z must understand that if they are counting on mercy, no, there will be no mercy for them,' Shakhnazarov, who leads the state-backed Mosfilm film studio, said on the state-owned Russian television channel Russia 1 RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next British tourist, 25, 'runs down and...
    Russia will be unable to fight another war for years because of catastrophic kit losses in Ukraine, defence experts said. 'It will take years for Russia to rebuild its inventories', according to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. In fact, Putin will struggle in the Donbas because vital 'inventories are getting low', analyst Mark Cancian told The Times. Wrecked Kremlin equipment now amounts to 939 tanks, 185 planes, 155 helicopters, 421 artillery units and eight ships, the Ukrainian army estimated this morning.  The Ukrainian Army updates its latest - and rising - estimates of Russian losses each morning RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next Putin turns off the taps: Russia cuts off gas to Bulgaria... Go f*** yourself…again! Ukraine destroys Russian command... Share this article Share Kyiv estimates its forces have now killed 22,400 Russian soldiers, up from 22,100 yesterday. Military analyst Henry Boyd from the International Institute for Strategic Studies said Putin could still draw on sizeable, Soviet-era reserve forces stationed across Russia. But most Russian soldiers could be unable...
    Russia has warned Finland it faces serious repercussions if it joins NATO, saying it would make it a valid 'target' and secure the 'destruction of their country'. The Nordic country has been flirting with becoming a member of the transatlantic military alliance, with foreign minister Pekka Haavisto today saying its position will be clarified in the coming weeks. But lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov from Russia's upper house said joining the pact would be 'a terrible tragedy', in a threat of similar aggression seen in Ukraine. He said: 'If the leadership of Finland goes for it, it will be a strategic mistake. 'Finland, which has been successfully developing all these years thanks to close trade and economic ties with Russia, would become a target.  'I think it [would be] a terrible tragedy for the entire Finnish people.' The senator added that it is not likely 'the Finns themselves will sign a card for the destruction of their country'. Vladimir Dzhabarov from Russia's upper house said Finland joining NATO would be asking for 'the destruction of their country'  The threat made it clear Russia...
    Washington (CNN)The congressional naming commission which was set up to remove Confederate names from military bases will review the names of "more than 750 Department of Defense items" that include everything from military bases to streets and bridges, to determine whether their names "commemorate the Confederacy," a release from the Commission announced Wednesday.The Commission, established by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act in the face of fierce opposition from former President Donald Trump in 2020, was originally tasked to rename up to nine military bases and sites associated with the Confederacy. The Commission reports to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees.The list of more than 750 items includes not just the nine military bases but also roads, signs, bridges, and fields on bases and military installations across the US and two items at a US naval base in Japan.The list is as detailed as naming stickers, flyers and posters on certain military installations that need to be reviewed, including "window decals at Ozark and Enterprise gate Welcome Centers" at Fort Rucker in Alabama and "mechanical room signage" at Fort...
    Ukrainians who are in jail and have combat experience will be released to fight on the front lines in the war with Russia, President Volodymyr Zelensky announced today in a speech carried on Telegram. The prisoners will have their sentence commuted for paying a debt to society. "Under martial law, Ukrainians with real combat experience will be released from custody and will be able to compensate for their guilt in the hottest spots of the conflict," Zelensky said. The Ukrainian president, who has been in power since 2019, has been thinking of novel ways to shore up his military force, including initiating a foreign legion for men who want to fight. He issued a statement Sunday urging foreigners to sign up for an “international brigade,” according to news reports. FULL COVERAGE OF THE WAR IN UKRAINE Back home, Zelensky apparently thought hard about whether to let the inmates out of jail, and it was a difficult choice. “We have taken a decision which is not easy from the moral point of view, but which is useful from the point of view...
    There is only really one rule of warfare, and that is to get there first with the most troops. Everything else is detail. And that is exactly what Putin has done in Ukraine. In the wee small hours of this morning the Russian military, aided by the forces of its client state Belarus, started their assault in the Donbas region. In a Russian version of the USA's infamous 'shock and awe' tactics of conflicts past, it began with an attack on Ukrainian air defence and communications systems, designed to incapacitate and disrupt and grant a free hand to the Russian airforce. It's exactly the same way the Gulf War started in 1991. I know, I was there. What are Russian tactics likely to be now that battle has essentially been joined? They have long espoused the doctrine of what they call Deep Battle, which is basically a scaled-up version of the German blitzkrieg. In practice, following on from the establishment of air superiority – or at least air parity – and after crushing artillery bombardment, strong armoured columns crash through...
    THE US stopped using the draft in 1973 and has no current intentions of re-imposing it. It comes as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy ordered reservists and regular citizens to be drafted into the country's military. 1The US has not had the draft since 1973Credit: EPA What is the US military draft? The US military draft is the mandatory enrolment of citizens into the armed forces, according to usa.gov. Though entry into the US military has been voluntary since 1973, Congress could at any time reinstate the draft. This would likely occur in the event of a national emergency. The Selective Service System is the department that is responsible for listing men and running the draft. In the event of a draft, almost all men aged between 18 and 25, who are US citizens or immigrants living in the US will be required to register. Most read in The US Sun'SO CUTE' Tristan Thompson's baby mama reveals their son's face for first timeFOR PETE'S SAKE Pete fans go wild as he posts and deletes Instagram video amid Kanye feudDISTURBING FIND Boy,...
    As the threat of war between Russia and Ukraine loomed Tuesday, President Joe Biden admitted that Ukraine would be on its own if Russia does invade and that American service members would not be sent to fight - but if Americans were ti be targeted, the president warned of a 'bloody, destructive war.' For days, U.S. and European officials have said that a Russian invasion on Ukraine appeared imminent, but Putin's government on Tuesday publicly welcomed further security talks with the West. Biden is now demanding more proof that Putin has pulled back troops after fears that he remarks could be a bluff.    'While I will not send American servicemen to fight in Ukraine, we have supplied the Ukrainian military equipment to help them defend themselves,' Biden said during an address Tuesday.  'We provided training and advice and intelligence for the same purpose.'  Biden also warned that the U.S. is committed to protecting NATO allies amid the rising tensions with Russia. 'Make no mistake, the United States will defend every inch of NATO territory with the full force of American power,'...
    National Security Adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanEU not closing diplomatic missions in Kyiv amid threat of Russian invasion Sunday shows preview: White House says Russia could invade 'any day'; RNC censure resolution receives backlash Biden warns Putin of 'swift and severe costs' if Russia invades Ukraine MORE on Sunday said Russia’s buildup of forces near the Ukraine border “makes it a distinct possibility that there will be major military action very soon," as tensions grow between Moscow and Kyiv amid fears of a potential Russian invasion. "The way they have built up their forces, the way they have maneuvered things in place makes it a distinct possibility that there will be major military action very soon,” Sullivan told co-anchor Jake TapperJacob (Jake) Paul TapperThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Congress nears yet another funding deadline Manchin crosses party lines in officially endorsing Murkowski Manchin: Social spending bill elements must go through committee process MORE on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked about how soon a Russian invasion of Ukraine could occur. Sullivan said “a major military action could begin by Russia and Ukraine...
    Russia would be able to overrun Ukraine in just two days in an invasion that could kill 50,000 civilians, according to US intelligence.  Western intelligence assessments also believe Kyiv's government would fall within that timeframe, and lead to a humanitarian crisis involving around 5million refugees.  The likelihood of a diplomatic resolution of the crisis appears to be increasingly slim, the analysis concluded.  Referring to an earlier build-up last year, one European official - speaking on condition of anonymity - told the Washington Post: 'Our worry would be that you don't park battle groups … on the border of another country twice and do nothing.  'I think that's the real fear that I have. [Putin's] now put them all out there. If he does nothing again … what does that say to the wider international community about the might of Russia?'  It comes as US military and intelligence officials believe Russia is set to run a major nuclear weapons exercise in the coming weeks as a warning to Nato not to intervene in the event of Putin invading Ukraine, the Financial Times reported.  Russia...
    Details of Russia's plan to overthrow the Ukrainian government after a full-scale invasion of the country have been detailed in the German media. The report, originating from a foreign secret service source, outlines President Vladimir Putin's three-step plan to bring Ukraine under a new 'union state' including Russia and Belarus, with Moscow as the centre of control. Perhaps the most concerning detail of the report is the Kremlin's 'Step Three', which according to Bild would see Ukrainian activists rounded up and put into camps once a pro-Russian government had been installed. This would be to quell any resistance following 'Step One' - a full scale invasion - and 'Step Two' - the installation of a new parliament under Moscow's control.  Details of Russia's plan to overthrow the Ukrainian government after a full-scale invasion have been detailed in the German media. An instructor trains Rumia, 59, a member of Ukraine's Territorial Defense Forces, close to Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 5, 2022 The unnamed secret service that leaked the information to the tabloid claimed that 'a full-scale invasion is currently the most likely...
    Latvian Archbishop Zbigniew Stankiewicz warned this weekend if Putin invades Ukraine, there is nothing to stop him from continuing further west into Eastern and Central Europe. “If Vladimir Putin attacks Ukraine, we — the Baltic states — will be next, and then Poland too,” said Stankiewicz, the archbishop of Riga, Latvia’s capital. “If there is no dialogue, it will be very dangerous and could lead to a military situation.” Speaking Saturday in the imperial cathedral of St. Bartholomew in Frankfurt, Germany, the archbishop said that Latvia fears a possible “hybrid war” combining military and non-military measures, such as propaganda and cyberattacks, used to destabilize the country. “Putin can take one step, then another and then another,” Stankiewicz said. A picture taken on January 25, 2022 shows pallets of ammunition, weapons and other equipment while employees unload a plane with a new U.S. security assistance provided to Ukraine at Kyiv’s airport Boryspil. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images) The archbishop shared his reflections during the “Conversation in the Cathedral” as part of the annual celebration of the Charlemagne festival (Karlsamt), for which...
    MUMS and grandads pledged to fight Vladmir Putin’s army to the death today - as they trained for war in Ukraine holding wooden rifles. Volunteers in tracksuits were put through their paces as a key Putin ally boasted the feared invasion will be over "in 48 hours". 9This grandad is one of 600 new recruits in Ukraine's Self Defence Force volunteer armyCredit: AP 9Mums and dads from all walks of life are training with wooden gunsCredit: AP 9Recruits will get real weapons later, ready to bolster defences against a Russian invasionCredit: AP In an inspirational show of grit, hundreds of ordinary folk assembled for military drills in snow-covered abandoned railways sidings outside the capital Kiev. The Self Defence Force recruits cut a touching Dad’s Army dash as their rag-tag ranks lined up in an assortment of winter coats and sportswear. Commanders vowed they would be fully armed within weeks and ready to help face down the Russian troops and heavy armour surrounding their nation. The ranks of the partisan-style force have now swelled to around 600 in Kiev with dozens...
    The United States has traditionally supported Taiwan's right to be free of "force or threat" from the PRC. President Barack Obama's administration sold $1.83 billion worth of arms to the Taiwanese military in 2015, which was opposed by the PRC. As a candidate for president, Joe Biden said that the U.S. has a "commitment" to protect Taiwan in the event of a Chinese attack. But since assuming office and talking with Xi, Biden has backed down and said the future of Taiwan is in the country's own hands. "We are not encouraging independence," Biden said in November. Though Biden has made noncommittal statements about Taiwan, Qin said the region's status remains "the biggest tinderbox" in U.S.-Chinese relations. He denied that China wants to pursue war to take control of Taiwan. "People on both sides of Taiwan Straits are Chinese, so we are compatriots. So the last thing we should do is to fight with compatriots. And we will do our utmost in the greatest sincerity to achieve a peaceful reunification," Qin said. "But ... that Taiwanese authority...
    PRINCE Andrew won’t be shielded by the Royal Family while he fights his sex abuse lawsuit as a “private citizen”. The Duke of York, 61, was today stripped of his royal titles and military honours after a showdown with the Queen. 6Prince Andrew has been stripped of his royal titles with immediate effectCredit: Getty - Contributor 6Andrew has been accused of having sex with Virginia Roberts when she was just 17Credit: Rex Features 6Buckingham Palace made the announcement todayCredit: Buckingham Palace His military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect after he was accused of sexually assaulting Virginia Roberts Giuffre when she was just 17. The Duke will also no longer be able to use 'His Royal Highness' - and will face his US lawsuit as a "private citizen" meaning he can't hide behind royal privileges.  Former assistant US attorney, United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Richard Signorelli told The Sun: “The stripping of his titles is very significant because it indicates he is no longer supported by a very important...
    A full Russian invasion of Ukraine would spread global conflict and could be the trigger for World War Three, a Ukrainian government minister warned today. Yuliia Laputina, the minister for veterans affairs, said that her country was prepared to defend itself should Moscow launch another attack on Ukraine. But she warned that the consequences of an invasion ordered by Russian President Vladimir Putin would be far-reaching, and would not be contained in her country.   'If Russia will invade you know, you should also take care about the Balkans. What Russians are doing now in Serbia - they try to provoke a situation in the Balkans,' she told Sky News in an interview on Thursday. 'But we also take into account [the beginning of] World War Three.' Her comments came as EU leaders were set to warn Russia that hostile action against Ukraine would come at a 'high price' in a message expected to be agreed during a European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.  A full Russian invasion of Ukraine would spread global conflict and could be the spark that causes World...