Crime without Borders: Head of Belarus exiles group found dead in Ukraine

The head of a group helping people flee Belarus has been found dead near his home in neighbouring Ukraine. Vitaly Shishov’s body was found hanged in a park in Kyiv, a day after he failed to return from a jog. Police have opened a murder inquiry. Police said they were investigating whether he had been killed and his death made to look like suicide. Mr Shishov led the Belarusian House in Ukraine, helping those who left Belarus after a violent crackdown. Ukraine, Poland and Lithuania in particular have become favoured destinations for those fleeing persecution following a disputed presidential election … Continue reading Crime without Borders: Head of Belarus exiles group found dead in Ukraine

China warns UK as carrier strike group approaches

China has warned the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth not to carry out any “improper acts” as it enters the contested South China Sea. ‘The People’s Liberation Army Navy is at a high state of combat readiness’ says the pro-government Global Times, seen as a mouthpiece for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP). China has been closely monitoring the progress eastward of the Carrier Strike Group, which is currently sailing through the South China Sea en route to Japan, while accusing Britain of “still living in its colonial days”. The Royal Navy has … Continue reading China warns UK as carrier strike group approaches

UK to permanently deploy two warships in Asia Pacific

Britain has announced that it will permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan. Plans for the high-profile visit by the carrier strike group come as the UK deepens security ties with Tokyo, which has expressed growing alarm in recent months over China’s territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan. “Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the United Kingdom will permanently assign two ships in the region from later this year,” … Continue reading UK to permanently deploy two warships in Asia Pacific

China military ‘drove away’ US warship in South China Sea

China’s military said it “drove away” a United States warship that it said illegally entered Chinese waters near the disputed Paracel Islands on Monday, the anniversary of a landmark international court ruling that Beijing has no claim over the South China Sea. The USS Benfold entered the waters of the Paracels without the approval of the Chinese government, seriously violating China’s sovereignty and undermining the stability of the South China Sea, the People’s Liberation Army’s Southern Theater Command said. “We urge the United States to immediately stop such provocative actions,” the Southern Theater Command said in a statement. In a … Continue reading China military ‘drove away’ US warship in South China Sea

US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria target Iran-backed militia

The US has launched air strikes against an Iran-backed militia in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon announced. The strikes hit “operational and weapons storage facilities”, in response to drone attacks by the militia on US forces, a statement said. “President Biden has been clear that he will act to protect US personnel,” the Pentagon said. This is the second round of airstrikes Joe Biden has authorised against Iran-backed militias since taking office. US forces based in Iraq have been hit several times in recent months by drone attacks. Iran has denied any involvement. Around 2,500 US troops are based in … Continue reading US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria target Iran-backed militia

China condemns US as warship transits Taiwan Strait again

China has called the United States the region’s “greatest creator of risks” after a US warship again sailed through the Taiwan Strait, the narrow waterway that separates mainland China from the self-ruled island of Taiwan. The US Navy’s 7th fleet said its Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur on Tuesday conducted a “routine” transit through the Taiwan Strait. In a statement, the 7th fleet said the “ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific”. China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan, said its forces monitored the vessel through the sensitive waterway and … Continue reading China condemns US as warship transits Taiwan Strait again

Beijing tells NATO to stop hyping up China threat

China has accused NATO of slandering its peaceful development after alliance leaders warned about “systemic challenges” coming from Beijing. China’s actions, including expanding its nuclear arsenal, threatened “rules-based international order”, NATO said. It was the first time NATO had placed China at the centre of its agenda. In its response, China said its defence policy was “defensive in nature” and urged NATO to “devote more of its energy to promoting dialogue”. “Our pursuit of defence and military modernisation is justified, reasonable, open and transparent,” China’s mission to the European Union said in a statement. It added that NATO should view … Continue reading Beijing tells NATO to stop hyping up China threat

US Navy aircraft carrier USS Reagan enters South China Sea

A US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan has entered the South China Sea as part of a routine mission, the US Navy said, at a time of rising tensions between Washington and Beijing, which claims most of the disputed waterway. The carrier is being accompanied by the guided-missile cruiser USS Shiloh and the guided-missile destroyer USS Halsey, the US Navy said on Tuesday. China frequently objects to US military missions in the South China Sea, saying they do not help promote peace or stability, and the latest mission comes after China condemned the Group of Seven (G7) … Continue reading US Navy aircraft carrier USS Reagan enters South China Sea

Russia says it expelled British warship from waters near Crimea

A Russian security official has claimed that last October, Moscow used its navy and air force to expel a British warship, HMS Dragon, from what he described as Russian territorial waters near Russian-annexed Crimea. Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, drawing sanctions and condemnation from the West. Kyiv wants the territory back. Vladimir Kulishov, first deputy head of the FSB security service, said on Thursday that Russia had told the vessel not to enter its waters, but that it had crossed what he said was the border on October 13 near southern Crimea. He … Continue reading Russia says it expelled British warship from waters near Crimea

Russian and Japanese vessels collide at sea, three people dead

Three Japanese crew on board a fishing boat have been killed following a collision with a Russian vessel.A general view of the Sea of Okhotsk is shown in this illustrative image. An investigation into the circumstances of Wednesday’s incident in the Sea of Okhotsk, around 14 miles from the port of Monbetsu in Hokkaido, is under way. Russia’s Embassy in Japan said in a statement on Facebook that the Russian fishing trawler Amur collided with the Japanese fishing schooner Hokko-Maru 8 at around 6 a.m. local time. The Japanese side claims that the incident took place in Japanese territorial waters, the statement added. … Continue reading Russian and Japanese vessels collide at sea, three people dead

Biden waives US sanctions on Russian pipeline

The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany. The US also lifted sanctions on the executive – an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin – who leads the firm behind the Nord Stream 2 project. The move came in a report on Russian sanctions delivered to Congress by the Department of State. Critics say the pipeline is a major geopolitical prize for the Kremlin. The project, which would take gas from the Russian Arctic under the Baltic Sea to Germany, is already more than 95% complete. The Department of State report … Continue reading Biden waives US sanctions on Russian pipeline

Russian MiG-31 fighter jet intercepts U.S. aircraft as Moscow eyes NATO drills

Russia scrambled a fighter jet by its far eastern border to escort a US military plane as tensions continue to grow between Washington, DC and Moscow over tit-for-tat aircraft maneuvers. The MiG-31 fighter took off to escort the U.S. Air Force RC-135 strategic reconnaissance aircraft over the Chukchi Sea, which is also known as the Sea of Chukotsk, a body of water between the Arctic Ocean and the Bering Strait that separates Alaska from Russia. Russia’s National Defense Control Center said in a statement that its jet was scrambled from its Pacific Fleet “to identify the air target and prevent violation of … Continue reading Russian MiG-31 fighter jet intercepts U.S. aircraft as Moscow eyes NATO drills