A major Ukrainian counteroffensive will happen but the disinformation seems to have leveled out as the Russians have left Snake Island.
A new Reuters investigation has found that at least 14 Russian weapons companies have not faced any Western sanctions.
Nearly three dozen leaders of Russian weapons firms and at least 14 defense companies have not been sanctioned by the United States, the European Union or the United Kingdom,” the Reuters report said.
One of the weapons moguls who has not been sanctioned is Alan Lushnikov, the largest shareholder of Kalashnikov Concern JSC, the original manufacturer of the famous AK-47 assault rifle.
According to records reviewed by Reuters, Lushnikov owns a 75% stake in the firm.
The company, which was sanctioned by the US in 2014 - the year that Russia invaded and annexed Crimea, accounts for 95% of Russia’s production of machine guns, sniper rifles, pistols and other handheld firearms.
The US announced on Friday that it will provide Ukraine with an additional $820 million in military aid.
The new aid package will include new surface-to-air missile systems and counter-artillery radars to respond to Russia’s long-range strikes in its war against Ukraine.
The Pentagon also announced that it will provide up to 150,000 rounds of millimeter artillery ammunition to Ukrainians.
Friday’s announcement marks the 14th military package sent from the Defense Department’s stocks to Ukraine since August 2021. In total, the US has provided over $8.8 billion in weapons and military training to Ukraine.
As part of the new package, the U.S. will purchase two systems known as NASAMS, a Norwegian-developed anti-aircraft system that is also used to protect the airspace around the White House and Capitol in Washington.
The Pentagon will also provide additional ammunition for medium-range rocket systems it provided Ukraine in June, known as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, or HIMARS.
Andriy Melnyk is easily the best known ambassador in Berlin, known for robust social media exchanges in which he condemned as appeasers politicians and intellectuals who opposed arming Ukraine for its fight against Russian invaders.
But an interview with journalist blogger Tilo Jung published on Thursday in which he said Bandera was not a “mass murderer of Poles and Jews” caused uproar and drew condemnation from both the Polish government and the Israeli embassy.
“The statement made by the Ukrainian ambassador is a distortion of the historical facts, belittles the Holocaust and is an insult to those who are murdered by Bandera and his people,” the embassy wrote on Twitter.
Though he spent much of World War Two in a Nazi prison, Bandera headed the radical wing of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists which killed tens of thousands of Polish civilians during the war.
Living in Munich in exile after the war, he was a figurehead of Ukraine’s anti-Soviet insurgency which fought Moscow in partisan actions into the 1950s. He was assassinated by the Soviet KGB in 1959.
Even Ukraine’s foreign ministry distanced itself from Melnyk’s remarks, saying they did not reflect its views. Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau thanked his Ukrainian counterpart for his intervention over the “false statements.”
Melnyk, 46, has become a central figure in debates over Germany’s obligations to Ukraine, credited with using his pulpit as envoy of a nation fighting foreign invasion to keep up the pressure on Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who despite initial reluctance has kept boosting arms deliveries to Ukraine.
At least 21 people, including two children, have been killed after Russian missile strikes in Odesa in southern Ukraine, Odesa’s military spokesperson, Sergei Bratchuk, said. A 12-year-old boy was among the dead, he added. A further 38 people, including six children and a pregnant woman, were hospitalised with injuries after two Russian missiles struck a multistorey block of flats and a recreation centre. The Kremlin has denied responsibility for the strike.
Eight people have been confirmed dead after a Russian missile strike on a residential building in Ukraine’s southern city of Mykolaiv on Wednesday, according to local officials. Mayor Oleksandr Senkevych had previously said eight missiles had hit the city, adding that the residential building appeared to have been hit by a Russian X-55 cruise missile.