Global Review – 12th February

Possible Russian attack on Wednesday…

The winds of war are blowing hardest this morning in Eastern Europe due to the Kiev-Moscow tensions over Ukraine. For the CIA, the attack could take place as early as Wednesday. According to the German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’, the American services and the US military have informed the German government and other NATO states of this possibility in the course of Friday. Insiders also believe it possible that the US has released information to undermine Russia’s attack plans. Meanwhile, according to sources quoted by Fox News, the Pentagon will send another 3,000 troops to Poland in the coming days.

… or during the Olympic Games

And the White House warns “a Russian invasion is possible even during the Olympic Games”,underway in Beijing until February 20. More and more states are urging their citizens to leave Ukraine as soon as possible  due to the risk of conflict. After Biden’s appeal for American citizens to get out within the next 24/48 hours, Britain, Japan and South Korea also invited their compatriots to leave the country. Biden warned Americans in Ukraine, “we are dealing with one of the largest armies in the world, and things could go crazy quickly”. Biden ruled out sending US troops to evacuate American citizens.

Russians looking for a pretext to invade Ukraine

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine “could start at any time”, as they continue to see signs of Russian escalation, including the arrival of forces at the border. Sullivan said Russia was looking for a pretext to invade Ukraine, stressing, however, that Biden will speak with Putin once again today to seek a diplomatic solution, thus avoiding a military escalation. Confirmation of a phone call for Saturday also came from Moscow. Putin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said “the request was preceded by a written appeal from the American side”, adding “the Kremlin insists on security guarantees”.

Stoltenberg talks of ‘a risk of coup’

NATO secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg has reiterated that there is a real risk of an armed conflict in Europe given that the number of troops on the borders of Ukraine “increases” and reaction times of a possible attack “go down”. But the head of the alliance also warned that the danger is not confined to a “full military invasion” but to “hybrid actions”, including “cybernetic” ones, or an attempt to “overthrow the Kiev government”. Stoltenberg – in Romania to welcome US troops at the Constanta base – underlined the high number of Russian intelligence agents present in Ukraine. “The Black Sea is of strategic importance to NATO; security in this area involves three member countries and two partner countries, such as Ukraine and Georgia”, he added. “This is why the presence of American troops in Romania is so important: it sends a message of unity to Russia.”

‘Blinken again confirms US support to Ukraine

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had a telephone conversation with the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba. Blinken assured that Ukraine has the “strong support” of the United States in the face of what he called an increasingly “acute” Russian threat.

Canadians defy court order to end US blockade

A large number of people in Ontario have defied a Canadian judge order for the removal of transport blocks on the border between Canada and the United States organised to protest anti-COVID measures. Judge Geoffrey Marawetz had granted the police permission to remove, even by force, the demonstrators who are blocking the trade corridors between the two countries. Shortly before the injunction, the White House reported a telephone conversation between the US President Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in which the two agreed that the protest was having serious consequences on the lives of people in both countries.

3,000 no-vax employees laid off in New York

‘The New York Times’ reports the city of New York is laying off up to 3,000 employees for refusing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. This would be the largest reduction in the municipal workforce in the country for non-compliance with the vaccination obligation.

Orban seeks Trump’s support for re-election

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban hopes Donald Trump will travel to Budapest in the coming weeks to give greater impetus to his re-election campaign. In the vote, scheduled for April 3, Orban Fidesz’s party will have to deal with a compact opposition coalition in what is seen as the biggest challenge to his rule since becoming prime minister 12 years ago. Orban was one of Trump’s earliest supporters, backing him as early as summer 2016, and even publicly supported him in the 2020 vote.

Biden’s mother refused to sleep in the queen’s bed

The mother of US President Joe Biden, who was Irish, hated England so much that she once refused to sleep in a hotel bed in which Queen Elizabeth had slept. This was revealed by British screenwriter Georgia Pritchett in her autobiography ‘My Mess is a Bit of a Life’. The writer recalled in the book that she met Biden at the White House when he was vice president. It was on that occasion that he told her of his mother’s “hatred” of England. He even showed her “hundreds” of poems written by his mother in which she prayed to God that “he would send a shower of blood on the English”. He then told her about that night when she preferred sleeping on the floor rather than the queen’s bed in a hotel in Britain. Biden’s mother, also known as Jean, died in 2010 and since 2002, following the death of her husband, had lived with her son. At her funeral, Biden said that his mother had taught her family to “never be intimidated by a person’s power, wealth or rank”.

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