News Roundup 2/16/2023

by | Feb 16, 2023

News Roundup 2/16/2023

by | Feb 16, 2023

Russia

  • The Washington Post reported on Monday that Biden administration officials say they want to help Ukraine retake as much territory as it can from Russia over the next few months before they sit down at the negotiation table with Russian President Vladimir Putin. AWC
  • While the US has been steadily escalating its military support for Ukraine, the Biden administration has held off sending the Army Tactical Missile Systems (ATACMs), munitions that have a range of up to 190 miles and can be fired from the HIMARS rocket systems. AWC
  • Bankers from JP Morgan Chase visited Ukraine last week and signed a memorandum of understanding with President Volodymyr Zelensky and plan to help raise private capital for a new fund for Ukraine’s reconstruction. AWC
  • Sweden’s prime minister on Tuesday said the European Union is creating a group to look into using frozen Russian funds to pay for Ukraine’s reconstruction, a potential move with no precedent. AWC
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg hinted on Tuesday that Sweden and Finland could join the alliance separately even though the Nordic countries have said they would only become members together. AWC
  • Russia has requested a UN Security Council meeting to be held following the report from investigative journalist Seymour Hersh that alleged the Nord Stream natural gas pipelines were bombed at the order of President Biden. AWC
  • Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov said Wednesday that President Volodymyr Zelensky asked him to stay in his post after rumors that he was going to be removed. AWC
  • The US is trying to train Ukrainians to change the way they fight so they use fewer artillery munitions as NATO says its stockpiles are dwindling. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin detailed the efforts after a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact group in Brussels on Tuesday. AWC
  • German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said Wednesday that Ukraine will not be receiving as many German-made Leopard 2 tanks as promised, at least in the near term. AWC

China

  • The Chinese balloon that wound up over the continental United States likely ended up there by accident due to unexpected weather, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday. AWC
  • After days of hype, the White House acknowledged on Tuesday that the three unidentified objects shot down by the US military could have been “totally benign” balloons. AWC
  • The Philippines announced Wednesday that it will be holding its largest joint military exercises with the US since 2015 amid heightened tensions in the region with China. AWC
  • China said Wednesday that the US reaction to a Chinese balloon accidentally drifting into US airspace has set back diplomatic progress that was made since President Biden met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali, Indonesia, back in November. AWC

Iran

  • The State Department said Monday that the US has not engaged in any discussions on reviving the Iran nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, in the latest sign that the crippling economic sanctions on Iran aren’t going anywhere. AWC

Syria

  • US Central Command has said that US forces shot down a drone on Tuesday that was flying near a US base in northeast Syria. AWC

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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