French President Macron suggests deploying troops is a possibility to stop Russia. Moscow could view that as a declaration of War

Important Takeaways:

  • ‘Catastrophic scenario’ if NATO troops deploy to Ukraine – top Russian senator
  • The possibility mulled by the French president could be taken as a declaration of war on Moscow, Konstantin Kosachev has said
  • The potential deployment of NATO troops to Ukraine will lead to a “catastrophic scenario,” and could be interpreted as a “declaration of war” on Moscow, top Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev has said.
  • The Vice Speaker of Russia’s upper chamber, the Federation Council, offered his take on remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron on the possibility of sending troops in a Telegram post on Tuesday. The approach exhibited by the French leader carries a risk of the situation devolving into a “catastrophic scenario,” Kosachev warned, stating that the move would not be tolerated by the Kremlin.
  • “This is the line beyond which it’s no longer just NATO’s involvement in the war – this has been happening for a long time, but can be interpreted as the alliance entering direct hostilities, or even as a declaration of war,” Kosachev wrote.

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Moscow threatens to shoot down French military aircraft doing patrols over black sea

E-3F_Sentry_French_Air_Force

Important Takeaways:

  • France Says Russia Threatened to Shoot Down Its Military Aircraft
  • Russian forces threatened to shoot down French flights patrolling last month in international airspace over the Black Sea, signals of increasingly aggressive behavior from Moscow as its invasion of Ukraine struggles to make headway, France’s defense minister said Thursday.
  • French flights include long-range patrols by its AWACS surveillance aircraft. Flying high above the Black Sea coast, they use their powerful radar and other surveillance gear to peer across to the Crimean Peninsula that was seized from Ukraine by Russia and annexed in 2014. The surveillance flights can spot missile launches, airborne bombing runs and other military activity in the Ukraine conflict.
  • Russian pilots have at times made clear that they don´t like being watched.

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Moscow officials say it’s time for BRICS members to drop the US Dollar in favor of local currencies

BRICS_heads_of_state_and_government_hold_hands

Important Takeaways:

  • It is time for all member nations of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, Argentina, Ethiopia, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates) to drop the United States dollar in favor of local currencies for financial relations and settlements, according to Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov this week, at the Russia-China Financial Dialogue forum in Beijing.
  • “We need to further develop financial cooperation within the BRICS countries,” Siluanov added. “Here we see opportunities … to develop a payments system that would be independent of the infrastructure, which does not always fully fulfill the goals of individual countries.”
  • “Therefore, the sustainable development of financial relations and settlements on the BRICS platform is important for us, and we believe that it is necessary to work out such issues, and today we will consider a number of them.”
  • Many BRICS partners are already making trades with local or alternative currencies after sanctions stemming from the war in Ukraine effectively cut Moscow off from the Western financial system.
  • Rather than kowtow to Western demands, Russia and its partners have instead been laying the groundwork for a new world order that will eventually cut off the West from global trade after the U.S. has been unseated as the global economic superpower.
  • Communist China is quickly rising to the top of the trade heap with all of its cheaply made junk, and Russia is helping it and the other BRICS member nations further dethrone the U.S. by encouraging financial transactions in other currencies.

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Japan considers sending Patriot air defense system to Ukraine: Moscow says there would be grave consequences

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova

Important Takeaways:

  • A move by Japan to provide Patriot air defense systems to Ukraine will have “grave consequences” for Russia-Japan ties, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.
  • Relations between Moscow and Tokyo, already difficult, have deteriorated sharply since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022. Japan has joined its Western allies in imposing sweeping economic sanctions on Russia.
  • Last week, Japan said it would prepare to ship Patriot air defense missiles to the United States after revising its arms export guidelines, in Tokyo’s first major overhaul of such export curbs in nine years.
  • Although Japan’s new export controls still prevent it from shipping weapons to countries that are at war, it may indirectly benefit Ukraine in its war with Russia as it gives the United States extra capacity to provide military aid to Kyiv.
  • “The Japanese side loses control over the weapons with which Washington can now do whatever it wants,” Zakharova told a weekly briefing. “It cannot be ruled out that under an already tested scheme Patriot missiles will end up in Ukraine.”
  • Such a scenario would be “interpreted as unambiguously hostile actions against Russia and will lead to grave consequences for Japan in the context of bilateral relations”, she said.
  • Earlier this month, Japan and South Korea both scrambled jets to monitor joint flights by Chinese and Russian bombers and fighters near their territories.

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North Korea strengthens ties with Moscow and pushes military to accelerate war preparations

Kim-Jong-Un

Important Takeaways:

  • North Korea’s Kim orders military to accelerate war preparations – state media
  • Speaking on the policy directions for the new year at a key meeting of the country’s ruling party on Wednesday, Kim also said Pyongyang would expand strategic cooperation with “anti-imperialist independent” countries, news agency KCNA reported.
  • North Korea has been expanding ties with Russia, among others, as Washington accuses Pyongyang of supplying military equipment to Moscow for use in its war with Ukraine, while Russia provides technical support to help the North advance its military capabilities.
  • “He (Kim) set forth the militant tasks for the People’s Army and the munitions industry, nuclear weapons and civil defense sectors to further accelerate the war preparations,” KCNA said.
  • On Thursday, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol visited a frontline military unit in the eastern county of Yeoncheon to inspect its defence posture and called for an immediate retaliation if there was any provocation from North Korea.
  • “I urge you to immediately and firmly crush the enemy’s will for a provocation on the spot,” Yoon told troops

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Moscow issues Travel Ban on people who have access to state secrets

Russian-Passports

Important Takeaways:

  • Russians banned from travel to hand over passports within 5 days–decree
  • According to the Russian law, authorities can impose a travel ban on conscripts, employees of the Federal Security Service (FSB), convicts, or people who have access to state secrets or “information of special importance,” among others.
  • The returned passport will be stored by the authorities that issued it, such as the interior ministry or the foreign ministry authorities. After the travel ban is lifted, the passport could be returned upon completing an application, according to the government decree.
  • Those whose right to travel was temporarily limited on the basis of conscription for military or alternative civilian service will have to additionally provide a military ID with a proof that they completed service, the resolution says.

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Moscow to test SARMAT 2 missile over the South Pole sending deep concerns throughout the West

Satan-2-test-flight

Important takeaways:

  • Putin plans to fly world’s biggest nuclear missile – Satan 2 – over the South Pole in test launch’ says Russian state media – before report is censored
  • The Russian dictator is determined to flex his nuclear muscle to the West and will put his first regiment to be armed with the apocalypse 208-ton intercontinental nuclear weapon – the RS-28 Sarmat, aka ‘Satan 2’ – on ‘combat duty’ next month.
  • This is despite an astonishing admission that the ‘unstoppable’ 15,880mph doomsday missile – as tall as a 14-storey tower block – is not properly tested.
  • Putin’s own state news agency TASS reported that ‘even a truncated LCI [flight development tests], and assuming all launches are successful, would require several more launches, including via the South Pole’.
  • It is likely to trigger deep alarm in the West as Putin prepares to deploy a rocket designed to be his ultimate nuclear strike weapon against NATO countries…
  • TASS reported: ‘The Sarmat flight tests are currently being carried out from the Plesetsk spaceport to the Kura training ground in Kamchatka.’
  • But ultimately, Putin’s subordinates will need to test the nuclear missile by flying it over the South Pole, the story suggested before it was censored.

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Moscow backs out of Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), months after it suspended the ‘New START’ treaty, blames America for deterioration of global security

Important Takeaways:

  • Russia Says Risk of Nuclear, Chemical, Biological War Increasing, Blames America
  • The United States’ foreign policy is wrecking global security, bankrupting Europe, and risks the outbreak of nuclear war, Russia said in a series of finger-pointing statements while failing to address its own role in the same
  • Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said the deterioration of global security is the “natural consequence [of]… irresponsible” U.S. foreign policy. Referring to Israel, the Russian politician accused America of exacerbating conflicts and more broadly accused the United States of “stimulating the growth of common threats and challenges, including terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime”.
  • Patrushev went on to say, per Russia’s state news service that: “The risk of using nuclear, chemical and biological weapons is increasing.” The U.S. bears special culpability in the risk of biological threats, he said, because America has been engaged in “dangerous biological experiments” in Ukraine.
  • Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, who confirmed the rant was an official statement of the Kremlin.
  • Russia’s remarks on Wednesday amount to a degree of saber-rattling and finger pointing, but come just days after Russia withdrew from the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), and months after it suspended the ‘New START’ (reduction of strategic offensive arms) treaty. The United States decried the latest move as an irresponsible “significant step in the wrong direction” which sets back confidence in international arms control.

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BRICS will add six nations to its ranks next year

Putin BRICS Summit

Important Takeaways:

  • The BRICS grouping of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa will add six nations to its ranks next year, as Beijing and Moscow push for the loose collection of emerging economies to evolve into a robust counterweight to Western global dominance.
  • Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will join as members in January
  • For Beijing and Moscow, adding members is part of a long-running — and often frustrated — effort to turn a largely symbolic grouping into a vehicle for remolding international trade and finance structures to protect their interests against future sanctions from the United States and its allies.
  • Sanctions targeting Russia over the war in Ukraine have added urgency to China’s effort to create alternative global financial structures and supply chains resilient to Western disruption.
  • China and Russia have found some developing nations more receptive to their concerns about American dominance, which is part of the motivation for more members
  • The war and China-U.S. trade tensions mean that Washington has shifted its focus to the Group of Seven and is less interested in the Group of 20, creating an opportunity for BRICS to become a better platform for large developing countries to speak up
  • The “China-U.S. contest may still be locked in a stalemate, but the end result is inevitable”

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Drones target Russian financial district as the latest in recent attacks

Moscow Drone Attack

Important Takeaways:

  • Ukraine Drone Blitz Strikes at Financial Heart of Russia
  • Russia has blamed Kyiv for a second drone attack on Moscow within just three days, as further damage was reported in the capital’s financial district on Tuesday.
  • A drone targeting Moscow flew at a tower in the city’s financial district on Sunday, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said in a Telegram post on Tuesday morning. The exterior of the 21st floor of the building was reportedly damaged, with 150 square meters’ worth of glass broken. The high-rise building is home to Russia’s Ministry of Economic Development, its Digital Ministry and the Ministry for Industry and Trade.
  • The drone attacks are the latest in a series of unmanned vehicle strikes hitting Moscow.

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