In a dramatic development the new head of the British Army has asked soldiers to prepare “to fight in Europe once again”, indicating the United Kingdom is going to send troops to Ukraine to join the war against Russia. Meanwhile, Biden administration reportedly also taking preparations for sending troops to Ukraine, once its NATO allies also express readiness in doing so.
General Sir Patrick Sanders, who started in the top position on Monday, addressed troops and civil servants for the first time in an internal message on June 16.
In the rallying cry, published by BBC News, the commander said: “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine underlines our core purpose to protect the UK by being ready to fight and win wars on land. There is now a burning imperative to forge an army capable of fighting alongside our allies and defeating Russia in battle”.
He added, “We are the generation that must prepare the Army to fight in Europe once again”.
Sanders noted in his message that he is the first chief of the general staff since 1941 to “take command of the Army in the shadow of a land war in Europe involving a major continental power”.
He set goals, including mobilizing and modernizing the army in a bid to boost NATO’s defense and to “deny Russia the chance to occupy any more of Europe”.
Sanders is leading the smallest army Britain has had for over 300 years, a period of time that stretches through the Cold War and into its reign as a global colonial power. In March, data from the Ministry of Defense showed that between October 2021 and January 2022, the number of soldiers in the UK Armed Forces dropped by 1,800 — to just over 197,000.
Later that month, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace announced a future vision for the British army, which included £3 billion (about US$3.7B) to be spent on new long-range rocket systems and air defenses, as well as £120 million (about US$147M) for creating new Ranger Regiments.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kiev on June 17 — his second surprise visit since Russia’s special operation began on February 24 this year. “It was incredibly moving to walk the streets of Kiev with you once more, to pay tribute to your fallen soldiers whose sacrifice, unconquerable courage and bravery we will never forget”, Johnson said.
West moving towards war in space
Western astronautics is “heading for war,” Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) Director Dmitry Rogozin said on Saturday, claiming that the alleged collection of data for Ukraine by private Western companies proves this.
In an interview with Russia 24, Rogozin claimed that private American companies such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, SpaceX, and others are now tasked with “one specific goal: To ensure the collection of information in real time, both visual – through infrared radar devices – and through conventional surveillance”. This data is collected for the Ukrainian forces to use “for ballistic missile guidance or multiple launch rocket system operation,” he said.
This also applies to satellite communication companies such as Starlink, the Roscosmos director added.
Asked if Russian satellites are able to monitor Ukrainian territory, Rogozin said, “Of course”.
Earlier this month, he claimed that private American space companies are “at best, trusted contractors of the Pentagon, at worst, agents of the Pentagon or the CIA under the guise of ‘private independent companies.’”
Rogozin’s remarks came soon after the head of US Cyber Command, General Paul Nakasone, admitted for the first time that the US was supporting Ukraine by conducting offensive hacking operations.
“We’ve conducted a series of operations across the full spectrum; offensive, defensive, [and] information operations,” he told Sky News.
Nakasone did not provide any details of these operations, but claimed they are completely lawful.
United States will not be able to deprive Russia
Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with Rossiya 1 TV channel said, by supplying arms to Ukraine, the United states will not be able to deprive Russia of the right to its own voice in international affairs and force it to comply with the rules invented by Washington.
When asked about what the United States is trying to achieve by sending additional shipments of weapons to Ukraine, the minister pointed out that Washington had declared these goals for a long time.
“They are achieving what they announced a long time ago, that Russia must know its place, Russia does not have the right to its own voice in international affairs, Russia must comply with the rules that were invented by the United States. That’s all. I think they understand very well that they won’t succeed”, Lavrov stressed.
Earlier, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said that pumping up the Kiev government with US-made weapons is a road to direct military confrontation between the two biggest nuclear superpowers, fraught with “unpredictable consequences”.
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