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2022/24 Russian-Ukrainian War

Highly recommend this video:


Something that strikes me is how stingy every power is. Really shows how dependent Western security is on the US. Even we could do a lot more and benefit from ourselves. But we can't bring ourselves to do that. I'd like to see Roshel in Mississauga and General Dynamics in London given generous contracts for armoured trucks and armoured personnel carriers that are longer term (1-2 years of production). It's a few billion. Provides long term confidence and reassurance to Ukraine. And creates and sustain jobs at home. Personally, would like to see Ukraine's entire Territorial Defence Force riding around in Roshel Senator APCs in a few years. It's the perfect vehicle for a light infantry reserve force. We also have nearly 200 old armoured vehicles in the inventory, that would be retired in the next few years. Send them. Costs us more to dispose them than it would to donate them.
 

Thousands of pregnant Russian women fly to Argentina

From link.

More than 5,000 pregnant Russian women have entered Argentina in recent months, including 33 on a single flight on Thursday, officials say.

The latest arrivals were all in the final weeks of pregnancy, according to the national migration agency.

It is believed the women want to make sure their babies are born in Argentina to obtain Argentinian citizenship.

The number of arrivals has increased recently, which local media suggests is a result of the war in Ukraine.

Of the 33 women who arrived in the Argentinian capital on one flight on Thursday, three were detained because of "problems with their documentation", joining three more who arrived the previous day, migration agency head Florencia Carignano told La Nacion.

The Russian women had initially claimed they were visiting Argentina as tourists, she said.

"In these cases it was detected that they did not come here to engage in tourism activities. They acknowledged it themselves."

She said the Russian women wanted their children to have Argentinian citizenship because it gave more freedom than a Russian passport.

"The problem is that they come to Argentina, sign up their children as Argentinean and leave. Our passport is very secure across the world. It allows [passport-holders] to enter 171 countries visa-free," Ms Carignano said.

Having an Argentine child also speeds up the citizenship process for parents. As it stands, Russians can travel visa-free to only 87 countries.

A lawyer for the three women who were detained on Thursday said that they are being "falsely imprisoned", as they are being held on suspicion of being "false tourists". This is a term "which does not exist in our legislation," Christian Rubilar said.

"These women who didn't commit a crime, who didn't break any migratory law, are being illegally deprived of their freedom," he added.

The women have since been released.

La Nacion attributed the dramatic uptick in arrivals of Russian citizens to the war in Ukraine, saying that "besides fleeing war and their country's health service, [Russian women] are attracted by their [right of] visa-free entry to Argentina, as well as by the high-quality medicine and variety of hospitals".

"Birth tourism" by Russian citizens to Argentina appears to be a lucrative and well-established practice.

A Russian-language website seen by the BBC offers various packages for expecting mothers who wish to give birth in Argentina. The website advertises services such as personalised birth plans, airport pick-ups, Spanish lessons and discounts on the cost of stays in "the best hospitals in the Argentinian capital".

The packages range from "economy class", starting at $5,000 (£4,144), to "first class", starting at $15,000 (£12,433).

The website says its founder has been facilitating birth tourism and offering migration support since 2015, and the company says it is "100% Argentinian".
 
The Guardian is now reporting that the Leopard tanks given to Ukraine will fall far short of the hundreds pledged and could only reach as little as a single tank battalion (aka about 30) due to the state of disrepair of many of the tanks in storage.

I must say that is both highly embarrassing and should serve as a wake up call that we are also grossly unprepared to fight a war against relative peers like China for example.
 
The Guardian is now reporting that the Leopard tanks given to Ukraine will fall far short of the hundreds pledged and could only reach as little as a single tank battalion (aka about 30) due to the state of disrepair of many of the tanks in storage.

I must say that is both highly embarrassing and should serve as a wake up call that we are also grossly unprepared to fight a war against relative peers like China for example.
Not only that but there are now reports from Ukraine that Russia is now sending in newly built stripped down versions of their modern tanks to the front line. That combined with China sending military hardware components to Russia via opaque companies despite sanctions imposed according to DW News.

 
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Came across this comment on a reddit forum and wasn't sure if it was true but it looks factual now.
Rheinmetall realized their error to produce ammo and other parts for the German weapons in Switzerland. Germany wasn't able/allowed to deliver systems to Ukraine because of the swiss veto about the parts produced in Switzerland by Rheinmetall. Because of that Rheinmetall decided to built a new factory in Germany and they think they are ready to start production in Germany in June. Because of that they are able to deliver ammo for the Gepard in July. The Gepard uses a cannon build in Switzerland by Oerlikon a subsidiary of Rheinmetall and the swiss vetoed the delivery of ammo for the Gepard to Ukraine. Same problem with some armored vehicles built by Rheinmetall and ammo for the PZH 2000. Honestly I find it idiotic that the Switzerland allows to produce weapons and ammo, but when it's needed veto against delivery. If Rheinmetall has some common sense they will move their swiss branch and subsidiary to Germany as soon as possible.

And after some digging Germany's Karma has been unearthed:

Germany hits out at Swiss over munitions refusal​

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1688065-20230216.htm

German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck on Wednesday criticised Switzerland for refusing to supply munitions for German-made Gepard anti-aircraft guns being used by Ukraine to repel Russia's attack. "Some countries still have munitions but are reluctant to supply them to Ukraine for historical reasons," Habeck said in an interview with Die Zeit newspaper.

"We are in talks with Switzerland, and I have to be clear: I cannot understand why Switzerland does not provide Gepard munitions," he said.

The comments came as Nato allies were meeting in Brussels in a bid to speed up deliveries of munitions and arms to Kyiv. Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg warned on Monday that Kyiv is using ammunition at a faster rate than Nato allies are producing it.

"The war in Ukraine is consuming an enormous amount of munitions, and depleting allied stockpiles," he said.

Berlin has sent German-made Gepard systems and munitions to Ukraine as part of a package of weapons to help the country repel Russia's invasion. But Germany's own production of munitions is limited and it has asked Switzerland for authorisation to send Ukraine Swiss-made ammunition.

Switzerland has declined, reasoning that authorising the deal would compromise its neutrality. German manufacturer Rheinmetall, which makes the Gepard, has said it will open a new domestic facility to make equipment for the anti-aircraft system, with production due to start in June. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Tuesday that Berlin had signed a deal with Rheinmetall to produce munitions for the guns. Rheinmetall confirmed on Wednesday that it has been contracted to supply 300,000 rounds of 35mm ammunition for the Gepard.

The order value is "in the low three-digit million euro range", it said


Re-export ban ‘beginning of end’ for Swiss defence firms​

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/busine...ning-of-end--for-swiss-defence-firms/48294436
Industry association Swissmem assumes that after Germany other NATO states will no longer consider Swiss arms companies.

Swissmem armament expert Matthias Zoller sees the beginning of the end for the Swiss armament industry in the current export legislation. “Either you produce abroad or you’ll go under economically in the medium term,” he told SRF.

The ban on re-exporting war materiel is damaging the Swiss army, the country’s security and Switzerland as a technology location, Zoller said. All the basic knowledge for semiconductor chips, drone and missile technology comes from the defence industry and this would be lost to Switzerland, he explained.

Austria is in the same boat as Switzerland.
 
Came across this comment on a reddit forum and wasn't sure if it was true but it looks factual now.


And after some digging Germany's Karma has been unearthed:

Germany hits out at Swiss over munitions refusal​

https://news.rthk.hk/rthk/en/component/k2/1688065-20230216.htm




Re-export ban ‘beginning of end’ for Swiss defence firms​

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/busine...ning-of-end--for-swiss-defence-firms/48294436


Austria is in the same boat as Switzerland.
What's up with Austria?
 
Austria is quasi-neutral since the Second World War - Vienna is known to be a espionage hothouse as well.

AoD
Indeed... "Post-war Austria often served as a forward post for the Americans and the Soviets when they wanted to prove their readiness to talk to one another. In accordance with the new State Treaty, the Austrian Government had to proclaim the country's military neutrality in exchange for the withdrawal of the occupation forces." That's not to say they cannot manufacture (and export) arms, of course.

See: https://www.theparliamentmagazine.e...irs-instead-it-demands-an-intense-involvement
 
Indeed... "Post-war Austria often served as a forward post for the Americans and the Soviets when they wanted to prove their readiness to talk to one another. In accordance with the new State Treaty, the Austrian Government had to proclaim the country's military neutrality in exchange for the withdrawal of the occupation forces." That's not to say they cannot manufacture (and export) arms, of course.

See: https://www.theparliamentmagazine.e...irs-instead-it-demands-an-intense-involvement
Time for them to grow a spine and dump "neutrality" - that's an easy stance to take when you're surrounded by EU and NATO countries.
 

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