After their PM halts Ukraine aid, Slovaks dig deep to help​

A crowdfunding campaign in Slovakia to buy artillery shells for Ukraine has exceeded its target of €1m (£850,000), less than 48 hours after it was launched.

The campaign is a response to the Slovak cabinet's refusal to join an initiative by the Czech government to buy up hundreds of thousands of shells for the Ukrainian armed forces.

"We have to drive Putin out of Ukraine. We have to defeat him," said Otto Simko, a Holocaust survivor and veteran of the 1944 Slovak National Uprising against the Nazis. Aged 99, he helped kickstart the campaign to challenge the government's policy.

"I lived through the Second World War. I fought in it. I can tell you there was no point negotiating with Hitler and there is no point negotiating with Putin," Simko told the BBC from Bratislava.

It was a random conversation the Slovak veteran had with a journalist and a philosopher that led to the idea of crowdfunding Slovak help for Kyiv.

In essence it allows Slovaks to bypass the populist-nationalist government of Robert Fico, who came to power in October pledging not to send "one more round of ammunition" to Ukraine.

For months Ukrainian forces have struggled to defend their front lines from the Russian advance because of a shortage of shells, rockets and air defences.

But Mr Fico has flatly refused to join about 20 countries that have signed up to the Czech operation to procure large quantities of artillery ammunition on the global arms market.

The Slovak prime minister says the West's policy of arming Ukraine is only prolonging the conflict, and Kyiv should instead lay down its arms and sue for peace with Moscow.

The crowdfunding campaign has provided an outlet for those Slovaks who do not agree with him. By Friday afternoon, more than 32,000 people had donated more than €2m since it launched on Tuesday afternoon. The money will go directly to the Czech government's initiative.

"We're really pleasantly surprised at the huge force it's awoken," said Zuzana Izsakova from the "Peace to Ukraine" initiative, which is running the effort in conjunction with the Czech-based Endowment Fund for Ukraine.

"It's a sign of the resistance of Slovak society against the government and the foreign policy of Robert Fico," she told the BBC.

The campaign, running under the slogan "If The Government Won't - We Will", would continue even now it had met its target, she said.

So far Mr Fico has not commented publicly on the campaign. However, Defence Minister Robert Kalinak told the Markiza TV station that Slovakia was a democracy and people were free to do what they wanted.

His government was working instead on providing Kyiv with assistance such as demining equipment, he said.

The Czech ammunition initiative sees Prague acting as a middleman, combining extensive defence contacts dating back to the Cold War with money from EU and Nato partners to procure ammunition for Ukraine's shell-starved artillery batteries.

The scheme has been lauded by allies including President Joe Biden, at a time when Ukraine military aid has been mired for months in Congressional bickering and the EU's own ammunition pledges have fallen far short.

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said on a visit to Washington this week his country had so far signed contracts for 180,000 rounds and was securing the purchase of 300,000 more, following substantial pledges of money from Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark and others.

The first shells would arrive in June, said Mr Fiala.

However, the project is shrouded in strategic ambiguity, and other Czech officials have suggested tens of thousands have already arrived on the battlefield.

It is also unclear which countries are providing the shells, with unconfirmed claims that some of them enjoy friendly relations with Moscow.

The Czech government says up to 1.5 million rounds could be available on the global market if the funds can be secured.

Otto Simko said he had not hesitated to dip into his pension to help fund what he said was Ukraine's battle against totalitarianism.

"Remember [Neville] Chamberlain. His idea that offering Hitler the Sudetenland would bring peace - it turned out to be a complete illusion," he told the BBC.

"Our government is doing exactly the same. Give him the Donbas, just as long as there is peace. Give him Crimea, just as long as there is peace. It's a complete illusion," he went on.

"If we don't defeat Putin he will be a threat. Not for the two or three years that I have left on this Earth, but to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, to Slovakia, and the whole world."
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-68843542
 
US House will vote tomorrow on an aid package to Ukraine. $60 billion I think.
 

US House passes $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid package, sends to Senate​

The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to Biden to sign into law. A dozen or so Democratic lawmakers waved small Ukrainian flags as it became clear that element of the package was headed to passage. Johnson told lawmakers that was a "violation of decorum."

Johnson this week chose to ignore ouster threats by hardline members of his fractious 218-213 majority and push forward the measure that includes some $60.84 billion for Ukraine as it struggles to fight off a two-year Russian invasion.


https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us...illion-ukraine-israel-aid-package-2024-04-20/

Happy days ahead internally in the Republican Party, I reckon.

An additional detail of the package, is that TikTok will be rolled back or straight up banned in the US within a year.
 
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US House passes $95 billion Ukraine, Israel aid package, sends to Senate​

The U.S. House of Representatives on Saturday with broad bipartisan support passed a $95 billion legislative package providing security assistance to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, over bitter objections from Republican hardliners.

The Senate is expected to pass the measure next week, sending it to Biden to sign into law. A dozen or so Democratic lawmakers waved small Ukrainian flags as it became clear that element of the package was headed to passage. Johnson told lawmakers that was a "violation of decorum."

Johnson this week chose to ignore ouster threats by hardline members of his fractious 218-213 majority and push forward the measure that includes some $60.84 billion for Ukraine as it struggles to fight off a two-year Russian invasion.


https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us...illion-ukraine-israel-aid-package-2024-04-20/

Happy days ahead internally in the Republican Party, I reckon.

An additional detail of the package, is that TikTok will be rolled back or straight up banned in the US within a year.
Of course one female Trump lapdog isn't happy
 
Don't know what that jerk is on. In Russia she had fallen out of a window or at least sent to a gulag in Siberia long ago for being a foreign agent. Even Trump has softened his tonge lately and said Ukraine is important for USA.

All considered it is still great. But this should be last year bill and they should be voting this year bill now, Trump and his troupe have certainly damaged Ukraine. Still Ukraine has resisted relatively well for almost a year without USA help, only on its own means and the sporadic help of some European countries. Now with USA abundant help, czech ammo initiative, French Caesars, F-16s, etc, it seems the window of opportunity for Russia is closing and they have achieved nothing, only a lot more Russian casualties and countless material loses.

And btw, don't understand how democracy in USA works. A single guy can decide what laws are voted in the congress and when? Wtf? That is totally crazy. In Spain and most democratic countries I think, only a tiny minority of the congress is needed to propose a bill (in Spain it is 15 members of a total of 350), or a small group of members of the Senate (25 senators iirc), or the central government of course, the regional parliaments, or even by popular initiative (500,000 signatures). Once presented, any bill has to be discussed and voted by the congress in a legally established term, not when some guy feels like it.
 
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The US legislative design is that doing nothing is the default. Given a square look at the arsewads we have in Washington DC, can you honestly fault me for being grateful they're hobbled instead of empowered by design? Jesus, the world and that which DC would build.
 
The US legislative design is that doing nothing is the default. Given a square look at the arsewads we have in Washington DC, can you honestly fault me for being grateful they're hobbled instead of empowered by design? Jesus, the world and that which DC would build.
Lawmakers aren't particularly efficient here either, they mostly are a bunch of morons (at best) who pass the whole day insulting each other or worse, approving nonsensical and technically deficient laws. But in the case of the US it is the very system that seems deficient in purpose. How can a guy, elected only by a part of the congress at some point, decide how and when is the congress going to express its will, even going against the will of the congress? That beats the purpose of the whole thing!
 
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They can always vote him out of speakership.

They've chewed through a couple recently. All that took was the cooperation of the worst of the Trumpies and every single democrat.
 
Political divisiveness and no clear majorities in either the House or the Senate make passing legislation difficult. In addition, there are a lot of "rules" that can be used to keep legislation from being voted on. It has been a long time since we have had clear majorities in Congress for any length of time. To this we have Trump who heavily influences members to not vote on items he doesn't want resolved. Ideology reigns over bipartisanship and actually solving problems.
 
Moderator Action: Please stick to war news. There are other threads in which you may discuss US politics.
 
Some news from the WE

Ukraine still targeting refineries



Russia still on the offensive, with slow gains toward Chasiv Yar...



... and heavy equipment losses


One may note that another Ukrainian Mig-29 was destroyed on the ground (as well as 2 other used for parts), confirming that F-16 will require a very good Air Defense for their airfields


One of the oldest military utility ship was targeted in Sevastopol



1713770117146.png



Also an interview of Zelensky by a young French youtube journalist usually targeting younger audience (subtitles in English available)


00:00 Intro
01:30 The impact of the Middle East on Ukraine
06:03 Why the West isn't protecting Ukraine in the air
07:50 Towards a world war?
10:27 Can Ukraine survive without $60 billion from the USA?
12:53 What difficulties on the front line?
15:19 French troops to be sent to Ukraine soon?
18:18 When would France be considered at war with Russia?
20:45 Opposition to French involvement in the war
22:42 Is Putin planning to target other countries?
23:48 A possible truce during the Paris Olympics?
25:59 A peace summit in Switzerland in June 2024
29:18 Pope Francis calls for negotiations with Russia
30:52 Is the Russian nuclear threat serious?
32:17 Military mobilization from age 25
35:17 The democratic deficit in Ukraine
37:59 A word for young people in France?
39:22 How do you work with fear?
41:15 What do you tell your children?
42:36 Has war changed you?
42:55 Are you thinking about life after the war?

.
 
One may note that another Ukrainian Mig-29 was destroyed on the ground (as well as 2 other used for parts), confirming that F-16 will require a very good Air Defense for their airfields
Read somewhere these are mig-29s which are not flyable anymore and haven't moved in years. Confirmed by old satellite photo. At least the last ones.
 
The US aid package is rumored to include long range ATACMS, air defense assets, +1,5M artillery shells and potentially more Patriot components for Ukraine. They are also receiving a Patriot system from Germany, potentially another one via The Netherlands and the first F-16s around July. An unspecified amount of the weapons and ammo is already in Poland and Germany.

Additionally, funds to build additional submarines and purchase anti-air defenses for Taiwan. They build their own new 'Haikun' class of stealth diesel submarines equipped with US made MK-48 heavyweight torpedoes, the same torpode equipped to all US submarines currently in service. The first Haikun class subs are expected to be launched in 2025.
 
Question: why are there rumours about what weapons the aid packages contain? Shouldn't the weapons produced and delivered be kept secret?

No understanding of military matters, just asking.

Or are the rumours a part of informational warfare?
 
Question: why are there rumours about what weapons the aid packages contain? Shouldn't the weapons produced and delivered be kept secret?

No understanding of military matters, just asking.

Or are the rumours a part of informational warfare?

Bolth
 

Rishi Sunak promises UK’s largest ever military support package for Ukraine​

Rishi Sunak has promised the UK’s largest ever military support package for Ukraine as he warned that Vladimir Putin would “not stop at the Polish border” if Russia won the war.
The prime minister will visit Poland on Tuesday to discuss European security and the threat from Russia with the Polish leader, Donald Tusk, and the Nato secretary-general, Jens Stoltenberg, before travelling to Germany to meet the chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

The UK plans to give vital equipment to Kyiv including 400 vehicles, more than 1,600 missiles, 4m rounds of ammunition, 60 boats, as well as an additional £500m in military funding, taking the total to £3bn this financial year.


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2...est-ever-military-support-package-for-ukraine

I wonder what the 'boats' are. Amphibious landing crafts? Also, Ukraine has tripled its military drone production for 2024 compared to 2023 numbers. I hope they will be able to five- or ten-double drone strikes at Russian oil installations and refineries in 2025. Russia seemingly can't protect them, unless they withdraw anti-air assets from Ukraine.

https://www.reuters.com/business/ae...forces-so-far-this-year-commander-2024-04-15/
 

Putin is foaming in is mouth.
Easy question to answer, they threw in a ton of support for Israel as well - settled some of the hardliners.

I wish Ukraine's support didn't come at the expense of advancing imperialistic projects elsewhere, but you can't win them all. The focus here is on Ukraine after all.
 
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