Saturday, June 18, 2022

Who’s Really Sending Aid to Ukraine?; Ukraine Uses Western Harpoon Missile System which have been sent by the U.K. and Denmark to Sink RU Tugboat; European leaders promise UKR weapons, EU path; Decorated ex-Marine Capt. Grady Kurpasi named as 3rd US vet missing in Ukraine war, LIVE UPDATES and MORE

Photo: ludovic marin/Press Pool
Who’s Really Sending Aid to Ukraine?
The U.S. and frontline states are doing their part against Russian aggression. France? Non.
On Thursday four European leaders visited Kyiv, met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and hit the right notes in public remarks. Feel-good moments won’t reverse Russia’s recent battlefield gains, however, and Europe has fallen down on military assistance for Ukraine.
No one expected much to come from the visit, but at least it didn’t appear to be harmful, as some in Kyiv had feared. The leaders of Germany, Romania, France and Italy announced that they support granting Ukraine European Union candidate status. French President Emmanuel Macron also said Paris will send six more Caesar self-propelled howitzers to add to the 12 already in Ukraine. That’s welcome news but still an underwhelming contribution from the EU’s leading military power.
Mr. Macron said Thursday that he wants Ukraine to win the war, and that’s an improvement over ruminating about the need to not humiliate Russia. But he also wants to take the lead in negotiating an end to the fighting. He’d have more credibility if Paris, along with other major European nations, contributed their fair share to Ukraine’s defense.
A new working report from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute, sheds light on the issue. It’s clear that many countries are significantly helping Ukraine while others are mostly talking since the war began.
“In total, we trace €85 billion in government-to-government commitments from January 24, 2022, until June 7,” the paper reports. The totals are a combination of financial, humanitarian and military assistance. --->READ MORE HERE
Photo: Efrem Lukatsky/Associated Press
Ukraine Uses Western Harpoon Missile System to Sink Russian Tugboat:
Strike marks first time Ukraine has acknowledged deploying the weapon, saying Russian vessel was shipping ammunition
The Ukrainian navy struck a Russian tugboat in the Black Sea with a Harpoon antiship missile system provided by the West, as Russian invasion forces intensified airstrikes and shelling in the eastern Ukrainian city of Severodonetsk, Ukrainian officials said.
The strike on the Vasiliy Bekh tugboat is the first time Ukrainian officials have acknowledged deploying the Harpoon systems, which have been sent by the U.K. and Denmark. The U.S. said this week it would donate two additional American-made Harpoon systems to Ukraine as part of a fresh $1 billion military-assistance package.
The Ukrainian navy said the boat was transporting ammunition, weapons and personnel from the Black Sea Fleet to Snake Island off the Ukrainian coast. Russia seized the island on the first day of its invasion, but Ukraine recently has pummeled Russian forces there after sinking the Russian cruiser Moskva, which had provided air defense. Russian officials didn’t comment.
In Ukraine’s east, Ukrainian troops are nearly cut off in Severodonetsk, one of the last major cities not under Russian control in the Luhansk region, but Russian forces are struggling to drive them out of a chemicals factory there.
Russia is stepping up its bombing campaigns against the facility and the city of Lysychansk, controlled by Ukraine and overlooking Severodonetsk from across the strategic Siverskyi Donets River, Luhansk regional governor Serhiy Haidai said Friday. Three civilians were killed and seven injured when a missile hit a cultural center in Lysychansk where they were sheltering, Mr. Haidai said. Another civilian died from shelling on the streets, while a mother and son were killed in Severodonetsk, he said. --->READ MORE HERE
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