The fog of war continues to escalate following three decades of NATO encroachment upon Russia’s border, the Maidan Revolution coup that captured Ukraine’s political bureaucracy and military, U.S.A. missile system placements in western Europe, Poland, and Romania, the latest “Axis of Evil” storyline scrolling across Western press tickers, the total collapse of the New START nuclear treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and Zelensky is acknowledging that Ukraine is running out of ammunition while he begs the war dogs for more metal in all its forms. Spying on Russian territory is not working out too well with the takedown of an MQ-9 Reaper drone that was forced into the Black Sea for flying too close to Crimea’s airspace with its transponder turned off. After the first delivery of German and U.K. battle tanks, depleted uranium (DU) ammo, and armored vehicles to Ukraine, Russia confirmed its plans to deploy tactical nuclear weapons that will integrate with its nuclear-capable Iskander ballistic missile arsenal positioned in Belarus.
Hypersonic Missiles in Belarus Aimed at NATO Will Integrate Russian Tactical Nuclear Warheads… “According to Putin the arrangement with Belarus would mirror the controversial nuclear sharing agreements the United States has with several of its NATO allies, which allow them to train for employment of American nuclear weapons on their territory which they would be given access to in the event of war. Thus, nuclear weapons would remain in Russian custody, but Belarusian forces would train to utilize them in the event of war. Belarus remains the only country in the region with which it can pursue a nuclear sharing agreement. Ten Belarusian Air Force aircraft have already been equipped to deliver tactical nuclear weapons, although the Iskander arsenal is expected to be the primary means of delivery.” – Military Watch Magazine, Mar. 26
Belarus Goes Nuclear – Scott Ritter
Russia fumes at West’s decision to send tanks to Ukraine, says red lines have been crossed… “Germany announced that it was ready to send Leopard 2 battle tanks to Ukraine, and to allow other countries to send their own German-made tanks to Kyiv. The U.S. is also expected to announce its own intention to send Abrams tanks to Ukraine imminently… The Russian Embassy in Berlin called the German government’s decision ‘extremely dangerous’ and said it ‘takes the conflict to a new level of confrontation.’ The embassy said the move ‘contradicts the statements of German politicians about the unwillingness of Germany to be drawn into the war. Unfortunately, this happens over and over again.’ The embassy said it was now convinced that Germany and its closest allies were ‘not interested in a diplomatic solution to the Ukrainian crisis’ but were ‘set up for its permanent escalation and unlimited pumping of the Kyiv regime with more and more deadly weapons.’” – CNBC, Jan. 25
Russia Warns Depleted Uranium Will be Considered a Nuclear Weapon… “Konstantin Gavrilov, head of the Russian delegation to the Vienna Negotiations on Military Security and Arms Control, said during a plenary meeting of the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation, ‘We know that Leopard 2 tanks, as well as Bradley and Marder armored fighting vehicles, can use depleted uranium shells, which can contaminate terrain, just like it happened in Yugoslavia and Iraq… If Kiev were to be supplied with such munitions for the use in western heavy military hardware, we would regard it as the use of ‘dirty nuclear bombs’ against Russia, with all the consequences that entails.’” – Global Research, Jan. 27
Berlin enlarged its initial tank contribution from 14 to 18 in order to complete a full Ukrainian battalion, with Portugal contributing 3 tanks and Sweden 10. Poland is providing a battalion of the older Leopard 2 A4 model. The first delivery of Leopard 2s was handed over via an undisclosed route to Ukraine, and they staged the transfer near the border with Poland a few days ago. The clandestine operation also included 40 Marder infantry fighting vehicles and two tank recovery vehicles from Germany. The U.K.’s Challenger 2 tanks were delivered separately with DU ammo and additional armored vehicles. The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense confirmed that Ukrainian tank crews trained in Britain returned home.
Ukrainians ask Zelensky not to use depleted uranium shells… “Russian President Vladimir Putin said that the country would have to respond in kind to the fact that the ‘West is beginning to use weapons with a nuclear component.’ The Russian Embassy in the UK warned London against shipping depleted uranium shells to Kiev. The Embassy underscored that this step may cause an escalation of the conflict.” – TASS, Mar. 28
DU Liquifies Suicide Bombers in Baghdad – American Hero’s Channel
DU to Ukraine, Russia forced to react, Lavrov: will end badly – Alex Christoforou w/The Duran
“RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTRY: RUSSIAN FORCES ATTACKING UKRAINIAN POSITIONS IN 5 DIRECTIONS IN ADDITION TO DONETSK DIRECTION.” – First Squawk, Mar. 27
More and more mercenaries are leaving Ukraine… “The number of foreign mercenaries (International Legion) serving in the Armed Forces of Ukraine has decreased significantly. An insider reported that many are deserting due to high casualties among personnel, supply problems, and corruption… Despite that mercenaries are not the main element in the Armed Forces of Ukraine, their departure may affect the combat capability of Ukrainian troops.” – Avia Pro, Mar. 28
Western economic sanctions imposed upon Russia have backfired with the U.S. and Europe falling deeper into a multi-pronged economic malaise. The World Bank published a report this week noting that the current systemic banking crisis (Twitter thread) and global recession will have lasting effects on growth and development that will obliterate the progress made over nearly three decades and bring with it a “lost decade.” In the meantime, the process of de-dollarization (thread) accelerates while Saudi Arabia strengthens business and economic ties with China and Russia and threatens the petrodollar hegemony as direct investments into Western upstream oil and gas infrastructure projects diminish with encouragement from NGOs using the West’s failed energy policy to exploit net-zero fantasies. Just today, Biden vowed to tank any GOP effort to boost energy production in the U.S. as China and Brazil reached a deal to ditch the dollar for trade and execute transactions in their own currencies.
In Moscow, Xi and Putin bury Pax Americana… “Xi: Now, there are changes that haven’t happened in 100 years. When we are together, we drive these changes. Putin: I agree.” – The Cradle, Mar. 22
Amid all of the above conditions, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has confessed to congress that Ukraine cannot regain all the territory it has lost by military means and suggested diplomacy. What a concept! But more red lines are being crossed as Turkey and Romania move closer to a deal in approving Finland and Sweden for NATO membership, while politicos within Germany are not too keen about trusting the Turks and Romanians. As a workaround to whatever happens with the membership question, Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden just formed a “Mini-NATO” defense pact with a joint force of 250 F-35 and Gripen fighter jets to unite their air forces into a single combat unit. The joint declaration of intent (JDI) was signed at Ramstein Air Base earlier this month but was only made public this week.
“Either Ukraine will defend its independence or we will be forced to enter into this conflict.” – Poland’s Ambassador to France (video clip)
When you thought it couldn’t get worse, Poland and Slovakia are actually delivering fighter jets to Ukraine that are backed by the U.S. and E.U., which was another one of those red lines. Russia is fully prepped to take on the West’s belligerence with its superior hypersonic, anti-ship, and ballistic missiles that are conventional and nuclear weapon capable. Meanwhile, the U.S. continues to experience failures with hypersonic testing projects and may not succeed in time to counter the advanced Russian and Chinese technology.
“The U.S. Air Force’s March 13 test of a hypersonic weapon was “not a success” the service secretary told lawmakers Tuesday. Frank Kendall indicated the Lockheed Martin-made AGM-183A Air-launched Rapid Response Weapon program may be in jeopardy. The service, he said, is ‘more committed to HACM [the Hypersonic Attack Cruise Missile, the service’s other major hypersonic weapon program] at this point in time than we are to ARRW.’”
Lastly, Russia is quite busy conducting drills with its hypersonic, mobile, and Yars intercontinental ballistic missile systems with the latest exercise launched this week in three Siberian regions. You can access the complete “Little Green Men” series at its anthology page and get up to speed if you’ve been lost in Normieland. Let’s close up shop tonight with an excellent serving of brain food about the current state of affairs.
End of Unipolarity with Jeffrey Sachs & Alexander Mercouris – The Duran, Mar. 27
Headline Collage Art by TraderStef