Members of the US armed forces will be vaccinated against coronavirus without fail. This is stated in a statement by the US Department of Defense, published on the official website of the Pentagon.
The order on mandatory vaccination of US army personnel was given by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. The statement signed by the minister says about the immediate start of vaccination of all military personnel with vaccines approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Currently, only one vaccine has been approved by this agency in the United States – a drug produced by the American company Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech. Now the United States ranks first in the number of cases of coronavirus infection and in the death rate from COVID-19.
Four Russian military aircraft took citizens of Russia, the CSTO countries (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Belarus), Uzbekistan and Ukraine from Afghanistan, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
The planes are already flying back to Russia.
“They took off from the Kabul airfield of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and are currently flying to the Russian Federation,” the ministry said.
Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry sent planes to Afghanistan to evacuate 500 people. It was reported that on each plane there are nursing teams of military doctors with the necessary medical equipment and medicines, a supply of drinking water, blankets and food is organized.
Vladimir Putin supported the initiative of the representative of Artek, who proposed to introduce a ceremony of raising the state flag in Russian schools. He noted that in many countries of the world there is such a tradition: the country’s flag is raised daily on the flagpole. “This is a good tradition. But there should be a single all-Russian standard, ” Putin said.
He added that since “this is a national issue”, and the money for its implementation will be small, it “should be financed from the federal budget”.
Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova said that the issue has already been considered in the government.
According to her, a single standard for such a ceremony, since we are talking about state symbols, should be developed jointly with the Presidential Administration.
” The legislation on education does not prevent, on the contrary, encourages such initiatives,” Golikova said.
The amount of funding, she said, will be determined depending on the content of the standard of the flag-raising ceremony in schools.
As a result, the citizens of Nezalezhnaya were abandoned to the mercy of fate in Afghanistan
The story of the Ukrainian plane, which was supposed to evacuate the citizens of Nezalezhnaya from Afghanistan, but was “captured” and flew to Iran, has acquired a new turn — as the Ukrainian media wrote, no one hijacked it, rich Afghans chartered it. The expert suggested who could have been evacuated by the Ukrainian board, why the details of the incident were hidden in Kiev and why it was necessary to invent a detective story.
Dozens of planes land at the Kabul airport every day, which take out personnel of diplomatic missions, foreign contractors and business representatives, American allies among Afghans from the captured Taliban (the Taliban is recognized as a terrorist group and is banned in the Russian Federation). According to media reports, the Taliban will not occupy the airport until August 31, but not all countries meet this deadline.
According to a number of foreign publications, a group of Ukrainians, presumably mercenaries from private military companies, remained in Afghanistan. They were forced to turn to the Russian consulate for help in negotiations with the Taliban, because the Ukrainian authorities left them to their fate. On Tuesday, the details of the evacuation of Ukrainians from Afghanistan were revealed in Kiev.
According to the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Yevgeny Enin, last week unknown armed men seized a plane sent for evacuation at the Kabul airport. The invaders demanded to take them to the territory of Iran. The politician did not name the alleged perpetrators of the incident, which gave rise to a lot of speculation in social networks.
Later, the Ukrainian press reported that the plane was not hijacked at all, but only chartered by rich Afghans intending to leave the country — they took all the seats. The Hazaras, who have long opposed the Taliban, paid for the flight with precious stones, gold and currency. However, it is still not clear why Kiev hid the real state of things and reported about the” hijacking of the plane ” by terrorists, when the truth was revealed so quickly.
In an interview with MK, military expert Alexander Mikhailovsky noted that, most likely, Ukrainian pilots and politicians decided to earn extra money and not share it with American partners. According to his version, there were Iranians on board.
– The cunning of Ukrainians has long been proverbial. Judge for yourself, there are a lot of people who want to leave there. Every board counts. Why not earn a little extra money? And then pretend that we were captured, threatened, we don’t know anything and our hut is on the edge. At least it seems to me much more realistic than numerous conspiracy theories.
— It was not by chance that they said that the plane was “hijacked” to Iran. I will assume that this was the case. There are a lot of Iranian military, intelligence officers, consultants, and decent business representatives in Kabul and in Afghanistan in general. After all, Iran is the only one who has invested money in Afghanistan over the past years. They need to take out their own. But the airport is tight under the Americans. You can’t land your own plane there. Conclusion? We need to look for a”ride”. And then to get out of itbefore the Americans, in Kiev, they disperse stories from militants about hijacking planes and so on. There are too many inconsistencies in this story. By the way, it is possible that one of the heads of local Shiite Muslims, Ismail Khan, flew out of this plane. He was captured by the Taliban, and then suddenly found himself in Mashhad, Iran.
— It’s not just Americans there. There are Turks, even Azerbaijanis. I think that we agreed on a corridor, we slipped through. You can see for yourself what is happening there.
A material appeared on the Turkish portal Türkiye, which assesses Turkey’s attitude to the issue of recognizing Crimea as Russian. The author refers to the dissident Mustafa Dzhemilev, who believes that about 30 thousand Crimean Tatars left the Crimea in 7 years, and from 600 to 1.5 million people were brought to the peninsula from Russia.
In addition, an accusatory tone is heard in the attitude of the EU countries, which are allegedly guilty of not doing enough to rid the Tatars of “Russian aggression”: “Posing as three monkeys, these countries have in fact done nothing concrete, except for not recognizing the annexation of Crimea by Russia!”.
At the same time, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu took part in the Crimean Platform forum, where he stated that Crimea is Ukrainian, and recalled that “millions of Tatars” live in Turkey. The participants of the event condemned Russia, but it “does not care”, the author adds.
Europe and the United States are content with “grumbling”, and Russia, using diplomatic opportunities, continues to do its job. “In a word, we say: ” Crimea belongs to the Tatars-Turks”, and we condemn Russia, the occupier! ” the article says.
A military expert assessed the situation in the gorge, where the Afghan opposition to the radical regime gathered ”
The detachments under the command of Ahmad Masud, the son of the legendary field commander Ahmad Shah Masud, gave battle to the Taliban. The area of the Panjshir Gorge has become a stronghold of the last resistance forces, who continue to fight the terrorists in almost complete solitude. According to rumors, they are receiving support from Tajikistan, while the radicals are besieging Panjshir, threatening to kill all its defenders. The expert estimated the chances of the “Masudists” to resist the offensive of the “Taliban”.
Almost all the resistance units and units of the former Afghan government army laid down their weapons and surrendered. Many soldiers not only handed over weapons and military equipment to the Taliban (recognized as a terrorist movement and banned in the Russian Federation), but also joined the ranks of the group themselves.
The Panjshir Gorge region remains the only hotbed of resistance to the radical regime. Ethnic Tajiks living in this area have formed militia units that are trying to revive the “Northern Alliance” – an alliance of anti-Taliban forces formed in the late 1990s. The defense of Panjshir is commanded by the son of the famous field commander Ahmad Shah Masud-Ahmad Masud. In addition to the local militia, some parts of the Afghan army were under the command of Masud, who retreated into the gorge. The combined resistance forces were able not only to repel the attacks of the Taliban, but also to dislodge them from a number of settlements.
According to some reports, Massoud’s forces receive military support from Tajikistan (the local authorities deny this). However, in Afghanistan itself, the resistance forces have almost no allies left. As the official representative of the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, said on Monday, the group’s forces have taken the Panjshir region under siege. On the eve of the Network, videos appeared on which local residents captured military equipment moving towards the last stronghold of the resistance forces.
A number of media outlets assess the state of the forces of the “Masudists” as critical. Without external support, the new “Northern Alliance” may not last even a few weeks. However, as military expert Alexey Valyuzhenich noted in an interview with MK, it is too early to give up on the resistance forces.
– I have the impression that the Taliban does not fully control the situation even in the occupied territories. Nevertheless, the group does not have enough forces to stand on the borders and in large cities and in areas where an uprising may break out. As an example, there are numerous anti-Taliban rallies throughout Afghanistan. Of course, they are being dispersed, but it is clear that the new authorities are not so strong and they are not afraid of them enough. Plus, they are afraid of the reaction of the”world community”. Therefore, the appearance of resistance units is not surprising. Especially in Panjshir.
– Why do these forces continue to resist, while all the others have surrendered?
– Well, even in the early noughties, the Masudists remained the only distinct force capable of resisting the Taliban. Dostum fled, the Shiites also went underground and only sluggishly fought back. And it was Masud’s people who fought with the Taliban. We can say that the people there are very freedom-loving. They didn’t like the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan – they fought, they didn’t like the Taliban then -they were fighting again. And now they are fighting again. I think that Panjshir is a clear demonstration of the fact that if the Taliban offer minimal resistance, their onslaught immediately weakens. If the Afghan military had not fled, the Taliban would have achieved nothing by military means. There are simply too few of them.
– How do you assess Masud’s chances of creating a new “Northern Alliance”?
– In general, to put it bluntly, they have a chance to really bring down the Taliban while they are still weak. I will explain my idea. Yes, they now hold the whole country in their hands, they have weapons and an entire army. But the situation is shaky. Do you think local Uzbeks, Turkmens, Hazaras, representatives of Pashtun tribes – they will sit and watch? Only the new government will show weakness – it will start having problems. So if the Masudists have enough strength to fight back, then help may come soon. To stand for a day, but to hold out for a night.
– And what are the chances that in the event of a successful Taliban offensive, Masood will escape from the country in a CIA helicopter?
– In general, this whole story with Panjshir is strange. This comrade was able to safely fly away from Kabul, taking with him a solid part of the military equipment. Someone let them do it. Judging by the footage from the Network, they got those few Mi-8 helicopters of the former Afghan Air Force, which were repaired in Ukraine just two or three months ago. It’s just that the Americans had difficulties with repairing this equipment in Russia, and Ukraine was able to repair only part of it. And it was this part that ended up in the hands of Masud. So he definitely gets help from the outside. And apparently from different sides.
Will he escape? I wouldn’t be surprised. Although his father was killed by a Taliban suicide bomber, he did not give up. So it is quite possible to resist until the very end. Yes, and he may simply not be allowed to leave. As far as I understand, they have a blood feud with the Taliban, so the option of surrender is not provided here. So my opinion is that they will fight, in extreme cases, they will go to Tajikistan by mountain trails.
German readers of Die Zeit commented on the statement of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, which he made within the framework of the Crimean Platform forum. Recall that Zelensky announced a “countdown” on the” return ” of the Crimea to Ukraine. The Russian side criticized this forum – for example, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called it a “sabbath”.
The heads of 15 countries took part in the” Crimean Platform”. These are the leaders of the Baltic states, Poland, Slovakia and other Eastern European countries.
German readers expressed skepticism about the possibility of Ukraine regaining the peninsula, and advised to accept the loss of the Crimea as a given, and take a closer look at new opportunities. “East Prussia will also never return to Germany – no matter how long the “forever yesterday” continue to dream of its return, ” one of the users drew an analogy.
Many noted that Russia did the right thing by fulfilling the will of the people and annexing Crimea. “With all the desire, how should this happen? Will Russia return Crimea? Just like that? Apparently, the actor and comedian has started talking again in the Ukrainian president, ” the Germans write.
Readers also criticized the statement of Zelensky, who said at the forum that Russia had turned Crimea from a resort into a military base. They stressed that the military base in Crimea has existed for 250 years, and at that time Ukrainians did not even think of themselves as something separate from the Russians.
The press service of the Russian Defense Ministry reported that on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the department will organize the evacuation of more than 500 citizens of the Russian Federation, the CSTO countries and Ukraine from Afghanistan by four military transport planes.
“Today, on behalf of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Russian Defense Minister General of the Army Sergei Shoigu organized the evacuation of more than 500 citizens of the Russian Federation, the CSTO member states (Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Belarus) and Ukraine from the territory of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan,” the ministry added.
It is specified that four military transport aircraft will be used for the evacuation. The aircraft are already concentrated at the airport in Ulyanovsk. Among other things, each aircraft will have nursing teams of military doctors with the necessary medical equipment and medicines. A supply of drinking water, blankets and individual food rations will be organized on board.
New Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett plans to promote a new strategy on Iran during his first visit to the White House. He says he will urge US President Joe Biden not to renew the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.
Biden’s aides hope that the talks will set a positive tone for his relationship with Bennett, a far-right politician and a millionaire who made a fortune in technology. In June, he put an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s record-breaking 12-year career as prime minister. His tenure was marked by years of tension between the conservative Netanyahu, who was close to Donald Trump, and the last Democratic administration led by Barack Obama with Biden as his vice president.
The leaders ‘ meeting gives the US administration an opportunity to demonstrate the usual conduct of business with its closest ally in the Middle East while it is struggling with the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden’s biggest foreign policy crisis since he came to power.
The negotiations will be relatively restrained, writes Arab News. The two leaders are expected to briefly address a small group of reporters during talks in the Oval Office, but will not hold a joint press conference.
Bennett is as adamant as Netanyahu, promising not to allow Iran, which Israel sees as an existential threat, to develop nuclear weapons. “Iran is making rapid progress in uranium enrichment and has already significantly reduced the time required to accumulate the material needed for a single nuclear bomb,” the Israeli leader said.
Bennett revealed that he would tell Biden: “It’s time to stop the Iranians, and not give them a lifeline in the form of re-entering the expired nuclear deal.” The US official said that Bennett’s expected pleas to the Biden administration to stop efforts to renew the agreement are unlikely to bear fruit.
In 2018, Trump withdrew the United States from the deal between six world powers and Iran. He considered it too profitable for Tehran and re-imposed US sanctions. In a report published last week by Reuters, the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Iran has accelerated uranium enrichment to near weapons-grade levels.
Iran has consistently denied trying to build a bomb, but the country’s enrichment has increased tensions with the West, as both sides seek to resume negotiations on renewing their deal to limit Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of sanctions.
Bennett told the government that he would present Biden with “an orderly plan that we have formulated over the past two months to curb the Iranians both in the nuclear sphere and in relation to regional aggression.” He did not give any details.
The official representative of the US State Department, Ned Price, indicated: “I leave it to the Israeli Prime Minister to present to the American president any thoughts that the Israeli government may have when it comes to Iran. ”
Bennett, 49, is the son of American immigrants in Israel. A former head of the Israeli West Bank Settler Council, he heads a coalition of left, right, centrist and Arab parties. The Biden administration has already made it clear that it opposes further expansion of Jewish settlements Until now, Bennett, who advocated expansion in the West Bank, is cautious about the settlement issue.