Ukraine war will escalate if West supplies longer-range missiles, warns Russia

News Network
January 20, 2023

Moscow, Jan 20: Russia has warned that if the West provides Ukraine with longer-range missiles, the war will escalate, almost a year into the Russian military operation in the ex-Soviet republic.

At a press call on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, "Potentially, this is extremely dangerous, it will mean bringing the conflict to a whole new level, which, of course, will not bode well from the point of view of global and pan-European security."

Peskov's warning came on the eve of a donor meeting of Ukraine's allies chaired by the United States at the US airbase in Ramstein, Germany, for a new round of talks on supplying Ukraine with more powerful weapons.

Russia started its "special military operation" in Ukraine with the declared aim of "de-Nazifying" the country on February 24, 2022. Since then, the US and Europe have imposed waves of unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow and have given Ukraine tens of billions of dollars' worth of weaponry, including rocket systems, drones, armored vehicles and communications systems. The Kremlin has time and again warned the sanctions and the Western military assistance will only prolong the war.

On Wednesday, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov said the US is encouraging Ukraine to commit terrorist acts against Russia, as Washington signaled it was okay with Kiev hitting Russian-controlled Crimea with Western weapons. The Russian envoy was reacting to comments by US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who said a few hours earlier that it was up to Kiev to decide whether to use Western weapons against Russian forces in Crimea, which was Ukrainian territory before joining Russia.

"It should become obvious to everyone: no matter what weapons the Americans or NATO supply to the Zelensky regime, we will destroy it," Antonov said at the time, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. "It is simply impossible to defeat Russia," he added.

Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier. Moscow defends Crimea’s reunification with Russia as legitimate, saying more than 90 percent of the people in the Black Sea peninsula voted in favor of rejoining the country in the plebiscite. The West, however, brands the reunification as the annexation of the Ukrainian land by Russia, which strongly rejects the allegation and henceforth considers the peninsula as an inalienable part of the Russian Federation.

In siding with Ukraine, the European Union followed Washington's lead in imposing several rounds of sanctions against Moscow.

In a statement on Thursday, the US Forces Korea (USFK) said the US Department of Defense had asked it to offer some of its equipment to support Ukraine. Two days earlier, the New York Times reported that the US military was tapping into a massive but little-known stockpile of American arms stored in Israel to help Ukraine's army, which desperately needs artillery shells in the current war with Russia.

Ukraine urges allies 

Separately in the day, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and Defense Minister Oleksiy Reznikov jointly called on Western allies to "considerably" boost arms deliveries to Kiev and send modern German-made Leopard tanks. "We appeal to all partner states that have already provided military assistance or are planning to provide it with a call to considerably reinforce their practical contribution to strengthening Ukraine's ability to defend itself," the pair said in a statement.

The Ukrainian ministers said Russia "retains a substantial quantitative advantage in troops, weapons and military equipment" and that the Kremlin is "determined to further escalate hostilities."

According to Kuleba and Reznikov, the supply of modern armored vehicles is "one of the most pressing and urgent needs."

‘Moscow will do all it can to ‘sober up’ EU, NATO’

During a visit to Moscow's close ally Belarus on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would do all it could to "sober up" the European Union and NATO, which he alleged that have determined to weaken and defeat Russia. In his televised comments, Russia's top diplomat said that the Kremlin would set out to disabuse Western politicians of what he called their "presumptuous" and "colonial" attitudes to Russia. "I hope that the sobering up will come. We will do everything so that our colleagues from NATO and the European Union sober up as soon as possible," Lavrov said. 

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News Network
January 27,2023

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As the Adani Group is on the defence after the Hindenburg research accused the business entity of “brazen stock manipulation” and “accounting fraud”, the Congress on Friday issued a statement seeking "serious investigation" by the SEBI into the matter.

"The allegations require serious investigation by those who are responsible for the stability and security of the Indian financial system, viz. the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI)."

Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also questioned the Modi government for turning a blind eye to their "favourite business group".

"For all its posturing about black money, has the Modi government chosen to turn a blind eye towards illicit activities by its favourite business group? Is there a quid pro quo? Will SEBI investigate these allegations to the fullest and not just in name?"

Hinting at the "close relationship" that Adani Group and Modi government share, Ramesh said that as a "responsible" Opposition, Congress urges SEBI and RBI "to play their roles as stewards of the financial system and to investigate these allegations in the wider public interest."

Jairam Ramesh said that though it is not for them to react on research report on an individual company, Adani Group is "no ordinary conglomerate," since it has been a close ally of the PM Modi since the time he was the CM of Gujarat.  

"The Modi Sarkar can try and impose censorship. But in an era of globalisation of Indian businesses and financial markets can Hindenburg-type reports that focus on corporate misgovernance be simply brushed aside and dismissed as being 'malicious'?" the statement said.

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News Network
January 24,2023

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Bengaluru, Jan 24: Former Minister and BJP MLA Ramesh Jarkiholi, who recently had promised Rs 6,000 per vote, has now said that saffron party would form government in Karnataka even if doesn’t get majority. 

“I am sure that the BJP will win majority seats. But even if that does not happen, the party will form the government. We will do whatever it takes to form our own government,” he said. He was speaking at a party rally in said in Gokak. 

A couple of days ago, Jarkiholi had had stirred controversy after announcing Rs 6,000 to everyone who votes for BJP. “I urge you not to vote for our candidate if we don't give you ₹ 6,000,” he announced during a BJP rally in Belagavi. 

Jarkiholi has taken credit for the defection of the 17 Congress and Janata Dal(S) legislators to the BJP that brought down the coalition government led by H.D. Kumaraswamy.

Jarkiholi was forced to resign from his ministerial post in 2021 following his alleged role in a sex scandal.

The Congress demanded that the Election Commission take the former minister's remarks into consideration.

"This goes to show the level of corruption in the BJP. Why isn't the Election Commission or IT or ED not taking note of this?" said Congress MLA Priyank Kharge, who is also the state party's communications in charge.

"Operation Lotus is a fact. He's endorsing it. There are two and a half lakh voters. This isn't a joke. Isn't this malpractice by a BJP leader? Where is BJP getting all this money from?? Why no suo motu (investigation) by Election Commission?" he added.

Elections to the Karnataka Assembly are slated to take place in May.

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News Network
January 21,2023

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New Delhi, Jan 21: Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) Chairperson Swati Maliwal, who on Thursday claimed she was harassed and dragged by a drunk man outside AIIMS after her hand got stuck in his car window as he tried to flee, has hit back at the Bharatiya Janata Party, which alleged that the encounter was staged to show Delhi police in a bad light. Calling the allegations "dirty lies", she posted an impassioned tweet saying the attacks won't deter her.

"Let me tell those who think that they will scare me by telling dirty lies about me. I have done many big things in this short life, with a shroud on my head. I was attacked many times, but did not stop. With every atrocity, the fire inside me grew stronger. No one can suppress my voice. I will keep fighting as long as I am alive!" she said.

The BJP had on Friday raised questions over Ms Maliwal's molestation claims, alleging that the person she accused is an AAP member and her "drama" was part of a conspiracy which has now been "exposed".

Delhi BJP working president Virendra Sachdeva alleged that 47-year-old Harish Chandra Suryavanshi, who was accused of harassing Ms Maliwal, is a prominent AAP activist in South Delhi's Sangam Vihar.

Mr Sachdeva released a photo in which the accused is seen campaigning with AAP MLA Prakash Jarwal. He said with the revelation of the photo and Suryavanshi's background, "it has become clear that the incident was a conspiracy of AAP to defame Delhi internationally by showing the city as an unsafe city for women". 

Several BJP leaders have accused Ms Maliwal, who was appointed by the AAP, of staging the incident to demoralise the Delhi Police and attack the Centre.

AAP chief and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who has been on the offensive against Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena, a Centre appointee, over alleged interference in the state government's functioning, referred to Ms Maliwal's allegations to slam Mr Saxena again, asking him to concentrate on fixing the law and order situation in the city instead of interfering in the functioning of the AAP government.

BJP leader Shazia Ilmi claimed that the DCW chief, a news channel, and the AAP together hatched a conspiracy to defame the Delhi police but were "exposed". 

"@AamAadmiParty and... did a sting to defame Delhi and its police and serious questions arise on its credibility. Is cheap politics legitimate on the serious issue of women safety?" she tweeted.

BJP MP Manoj Tiwari also released a video zooming in on a picture where the accused could be seen posing beside the AAP MLA. Praising the Delhi police for acting swiftly to arrest the accused, he called the incident a 'fake sting'. 

Mr Tiwari said the case should be thoroughly investigated, and the accused's call records should be checked to find out who he was in touch with.

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