Day 567 of the Invasion of Ukraine: Kim Jong-un offered Full Support to Russia in the "Holy Battle" against Imperialism and the West
Day 567 of the invasion of Ukraine. Summary of key events in the last 24 hours:
- Kim Jong-un offered full support to Russia in the "holy battle" against imperialism and the West
- Russia announced that the shipyard in Crimea is on fire, two ships were damaged in a missile attack from Ukraine - dead and wounded
- Russia will help North Korea to create satellites
- Despite the sanctions: Russia is still full of German goods
Kim Jong-un offered full support to Russia in the "holy battle" against imperialism and the West
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un offered "full and unconditional support" to Russia in the war in Ukraine, which he described as the "holy battle" against imperialism and the West. Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin met at the Vostochny Cosmodrome, talked privately and had a sumptuous official lunch. After the meeting, the Russian president said he sees opportunities for military cooperation with North Korea despite the two countries being subject to the world's toughest sanctions.
Military honors and a warm handshake between Kim Jong-un and Vladimir Putin - two leaders who are in international isolation and their one visit abroad is so rare that it is always watched with special interest. The meeting began with a tour of the Vostochny Cosmodrome, where the North Korean leader asked numerous questions about the construction of the installations for the Angara and Soyuz-2 space rockets. It is no coincidence that the meeting is at the Eastern Cosmodrome - a symbol of Russia's space ambitions and an opportunity for Pyongyang to familiarize itself with technologies that will help it launch its own satellite into orbit after two failed attempts.
The DPRK will always stand with Russia in the fight against imperialism— NEXTA (@nexta_tv) September 13, 2023
Kim Jong-un said this in all seriousness. He also noted that Russia has risen to a sacred struggle to protect its security, and the DPRK supports all Putin’s decisions. pic.twitter.com/JDPlKRClTm
The world heard the voice of the North Korean leader for the first time in the last couple of years - he last spoke at the meeting with former US President Donald Trump. Relations with Russia are a priority in our foreign policy, Kim Jong-un declared, and all of his statements were directed against the United States:
"The Russian army and people will surely reap a great victory in the holy battle to punish the great evil that wants hegemony and feeds expansionist illusions."
Putin and Kim Jong-un addressed each other as comrades during the official lunch, and the Russian president said only succinctly that there were many topics to discuss. The Kremlin announced that they could not reveal the nature of the discussions, as it was classified information. In an interview with Russian state television after the meeting with Kim Jong-un, Putin announced that there was a possibility of military cooperation with Pyongyang:
"There are certain restrictions. Russia complies with all these restrictions, but there are things that of course we can discuss. There are possibilities that we are considering and discussing."
Western intelligence says Russia wants to obtain North Korean weapons and ammunition to use in its military campaign in Ukraine, but both Moscow and Pyongyang deny this. The United States has already warned that this will lead to a strengthening of the sanctions regime.
At the end of the meeting, Vladimir Putin quoted a Korean proverb that good clothes are new, but best friends are old comrades. But the Western media note that the two leaders are allies by necessity - Russia has never been on close terms with Pyongyang, as the Soviet Union was, and the demonstrated warm friendship between the two leaders is dictated by the geopolitical reality of 2023.
Russia announced that the shipyard in Crimea is on fire, two ships were damaged in a missile attack from Ukraine - dead and wounded
A missile attack in the early hours of today caused a fire at the Sevmorzavod shipyard in Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula. In the Ukrainian strike and the fire, at least 26 people were injured and 2 died, the Russian-appointed governor of the occupied city, Mikhail Razvozhayev, announced on Telegram, quoted by Reuters.
In occupied Sevastopol, there were explosions overnight. It is reported that Ukraine attacked a dry dock used for ship repairs in the southern bay and reportedly damaged at least one Project 775 large landing ship. pic.twitter.com/MdMk06DBn0— NOELREPORTS ???????? ???????? (@NOELreports) September 13, 2023
Two ships were damaged after Ukraine fired 10 missiles, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Three boats were also destroyed.
"All emergency services are working on site, there is no danger to civilian objects in the city," said Razvozhayev.
The strategic shipyard on the peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, builds and repairs ships and submarines for the Russian Black Sea Fleet. The Navy has carried out numerous drone and missile attacks against Ukraine.
Russian media report that during the attack on Sevastopol bay, two vessels were damaged: The Rostov-on-Don (B-237) submarine and Ropucha-class landing ship "Minsk".— NOELREPORTS ???????? ???????? (@NOELreports) September 13, 2023
Furthermore two people died and 26 were wounded. pic.twitter.com/1uhcJgreOk
Reuters specifies that it cannot verify the information from an independent source, and there is no comment from Kyiv.
Ukraine almost never takes public responsibility for attacks in Russia or on Russian-controlled territory in Ukraine, but has said in recent months that the destruction of Russian military infrastructure is helping Kyiv's counteroffensive.
Last night, Sevastopol Shipbuilding plant in temporarily occupied Crimea was under attack.— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) September 13, 2023
The videos online show that at least three powerful explosions took place at the plant.
Russian media confirm that two ships undergoing repairs there, were damaged.
Besides, Russian MoD… pic.twitter.com/g9i3NJAkMe
Russia will help North Korea to create satellites
Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that Russia would help North Korea build satellites and, in response to a question about arms supplies, indicated that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would discuss all issues, Reuters reported.
Asked by reporters if Russia would help Kim with satellites, Putin replied: "That's why we came here. The North Korean leader is very interested in missile engineering."
Putin showed Kim the most modern Russian cosmodrome - Vostochny, which is in the forests of Eastern Russia and not far from the border with China.
Kim arrived there by train after crossing into Russia early Tuesday.
The US accuses North Korea of supplying weapons to Russia, but it is not clear whether any such supplies have taken place. Both Moscow and Pyongyang deny these claims, but intend to increase defense cooperation.
Asked whether Kim and Putin would discuss arms supplies, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said:
"As neighbors, our countries implement cooperation in sensitive areas that should not be subject to public disclosure. But this is natural for neighboring countries."
Despite the sanctions: Russia is still full of German goods
In Russia, there is a surprisingly wide variety of German products in the stores of the electrical appliance chains "M-Video" and "Holodilnik", writes the website of the public-law German television ARD, citing an investigation by SWR. Whether it is refrigerators, vacuum cleaners or stoves from the Bosch company, Russian consumers have a very large choice - and at the usual prices, which are sometimes even lower than those in Germany. This is according to the surveys of the German TV station SWR, conducted on the spot by its reporters together with Russian journalists. In supermarkets, specialist shops and car dealerships there are also products made in Germany, they report.
In fact, there is no strict ban on the export of goods to Russia, but many German manufacturers have announced that they are withdrawing from the Russian market and ceasing supplies. The Bosch company responded to an inquiry by German reporters as follows: they no longer export household appliances to Russia, but there were still "sold leftovers from the warehouses".
The picture in Russian supermarkets is similar: the shelves are full of German goods - beer, candies or chocolates. Russian customers, for example, have a very rich choice of products from the Ritter Sport company, it is clear from the SWR survey.
As it found, the Baden-Württemberg chocolate makers openly admitted that they continued to export goods to Russia because they believed "that the cessation of supplies to the Russian population would ultimately not affect those responsible for the war". Revenues from deals with Russia were transferred to aid organizations.
In addition, it was found that in Russia there is also a wide selection of German Stihl chainsaws or Kärcher steam jets. How does this fact correspond with the official perception of the sanctions by the manufacturing companies?
Stihl replied to SWR that from March 2022 they will not deliver appliances to Russia: "The appliances currently available are from deliveries made even before the start of the war. Their sales cannot be affected." And the Kärcher company never answered the questions asked about business with Russia.
The Federal Office for Export and Economic Control explains that, as before, not all supplies to Russia were prohibited: "There is no total embargo against the Russian Federation. This means that supplies of goods that are not expressly prohibited remain permitted." For example, electrical appliances for home use are prohibited only from 750 euros upwards.
After the Russian attack, Porsche boss Oliver Blume declared that no cars would be supplied during the war. But even in this regard - as SWR reporters discovered - there are discrepancies: the large showrooms of Porsche dealers are full of sports cars from Stuttgart. Where did they come from when Porsche no longer delivers?
In addition, passenger cars are meanwhile firmly included in the EU sanctions list, respectively their export to Russia constitutes a violation of the sanctions. The concern claims that "new cars are not exported to Russia". But a check in the Moscow branches of Porsche turns out that a list of new cars can be obtained immediately, which can be bought immediately. Further investigation - by checking the identification number of one of the cars - reveals that it was manufactured in 2023.
However, the concern continues to claim that it adheres to the sanctions. At the same time, it is stated that the cars were apparently brought to Russia against the will of Porsche. The concern had advised its international dealers to avoid detours for deliveries to Russia, and regular checks were carried out on direct deliveries of cars and car parts to neighboring countries.
Eastern Europe expert Klaus Gestwa from the University of Tübingen is very critical of the attitude of German companies towards the sanctions. "German companies, which do nothing to prevent their products from ‘sneaking’ to Russia, contribute to sabotaging the European sanctions policy," the expert told ARD.
Investigations by reporters show that a number of other goods with German brands can be found in Moscow stores. Most car dealerships that sell Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes are operating quite normally. The manufacturers say they adhere to the sanctions and do not supply cars to Russia. But there was a parallel import of German cars to Russia by "unauthorized dealers" who cannot be influenced, BMW and Mercedes Benz explain.
Russian customers have no way of knowing this - the big car dealerships continue to look like official affiliates of German manufacturers. And shoppers can continue to shop undisturbed despite the sanctions while Ukraine is at war.
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