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Russia still advancing as Ukraine readies counter-attack



Russian forces are still edging forward in the bombed-out eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut

Video released on Tuesday purports to show British Challenger 2 main battle tanks on the ground in Ukraine for the first time.

This footage from Ukrainian Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov shared on social media includes the cabinet official thanking the United Kingdom.

But these tanks will have to do more than trend on Twitter. Ukraine has begged and pleaded for months for advanced weaponry ahead of what is an expected counter-offensive against invading Russian forces occupying swaths of territory in the country’s east.

The U.S. and Nato have promised tanks and artillery in hopes that Ukraine can repeat some of the successes it saw last year in repelling Russian attacks and retaking Russian-held-regions, but that offensive has yet to take shape.

Kyiv and Moscow have spent months locked in bitter combat over the now-shattered eastern city of Bakhmut, a battle both sides have described as a meat grinder, where the front line has barely moved.

A Moscow-installed leader in eastern Ukraine on Tuesday said Russian forces were making gains in Bakhmut.

But in a video released on Telegram, Ukrainian commander Oleksandr Syrskyi said his forces were inflicting heavy losses on Russian attackers in an effort to exhaust the invaders.

Heavy fighting has also moved to town of Avdiivka, a bit to the south, where British intelligence said a Russian tank division had suffered heavy losses.

Video released by Ukrainian police purported to show officers working to evacuate civilians as the front line inched closer.

But residents in nearby Semenivka told Reuters they had no plans to leave. Fifty-six-year-old Elena, who did not give a surname, said “there’s no place to leave for. Where should we go, and how can I leave behind my home? That’s why we’re staying here.”

This seventy-one-year-old said, “Our army is holding up, and so are we. We have hope. We hope and hope that the situation will calm down.”

Both sides are signalling their readiness for even more brutal combat ahead. Moscow on Tuesday released footage of Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu inspecting arms factories, showing munitions being readied for the front.

Russia and Ukraine are both reportedly expending artillery shells at a rate not seen since the Second World War. France’s Defence Minister on Tuesday said it would double its supply of 155 mm shells to Ukraine, to about 2,000 per month.

As expectations of a new offensive build, these Ukrainian recruits this week practiced firing rifles and rocket-propelled grenades under the eye of a Swedish instructor, Magnus Ek.

“Many-many hundreds so far and well, I build from the basics. It’s like you have to sense where the soldiers are because I train both new soldiers that are mobilised, that just got uniform and a gun, we start from day one and also experienced units. It can be mission-related training for some fighters that are pulled out, they need to train on something and they go back to the front line and do that.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday used the one-year anniversary of what he called the “decisive battles” to recapture territory here in the Sumy Region from Russian forces to rally his countrymen for the expected springtime counter-attack.

He noted the Russian border sat quite close, a border he said “no tyrant will ever manage to erase.”

Ukrainian fighters here pushed back Russian attackers a year ago in an early victory for Kyiv following Moscow’s invasion.

It remains to be seen whether an influx of western tanks, shells, and training will mean Ukraine’s armed forces can do that, again.

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Is President Biden securing a ‘made in America’ supply chain for critical minerals?



Rare earths elements are responsible for some of the most important materials involved in electric vehicle production, battery making, renewable energy systems and technology manufacturing.

Last year, President Joe Biden said he wanted to make rare earths an important domestic policy initiative and he signed an executive order to review gaps in the domestic supply chains for rare earths, medical devices, chips, and other key resources.

The Department of Energy announced a $30 million initiative to tap into researching and securing the U.S. domestic supply chain for rare earths and other important minerals in battery-making production.

But at the same time, President Biden also blocked the mining of rare earth minerals on more than 225,000 acres of federal land for more than 20 years.

Is it possible for the U.S. to change course and again have a seat at the table in producing rare earths elements?

To discuss further, Luisa Moreno the President of the Defense Metals Corp. joined us.
#rareearthelements #rareminerals #China #UnitedStates #Veronicadudo #luisamoreno

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Is the West too reliant on Chinese rare earth exports?



Rare earths elements are needed to make iPhones, advanced batteries, military night-vision goggles and MRI machines. According to the U.S. Genealogical Survey, China was responsible for 80% of rare earths imports in 2019.

Critical earth minerals are a necessity for humans around the world.

They are essential to our modern-day lifestyles and critical in the creation of things such as iPhones, electric vehicles, and advanced precision weapons.

While the United States is dependent on other countries for many minerals, there is no country that America is more dependent on than China. And all these minerals come at a price.

Rare earths elements are needed to make everything from the technology we use every day like smart refrigerators and advanced batteries to night-vision goggles used by the military to MRI machines which are crucial to the medical field.

Many in the government, business, and science sectors have long raised concerns about how to ensure the West’s continued supply of these critical earth minerals.

The United States was once a dominant player in the rare earths supply chain, but for decades, that global market has been dominated by China.

According to the U.S. Genealogical Survey, China was responsible for 80% of rare earths imports in 2019.

Last year, the Biden administration even touted a new plan for the United States to rival China and end their decades-long dominance of rare earth metals market.

So, how reliant is the West on Chinese rare earth exports?

Luisa Moreno the President of the Defense Metals Corp joined us to discuss. #rareearthelements #china #unitedstates #greenagenda #veronicadudo #luisamoreno #trade

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Moscow says sending F-16 jets to Ukraine is a “colossal risk”



As Ukraine braces a summer of violence, Kyiv is pleading for more air support from NATO

U.S. President Joe Biden recently granted his backing for Kyiv’s pilots to be trained on F-16 fighter jets.

These jets can be used in a variety of combat scenarios, including air-to-air or gound-attacks.

In fact, the U.S. Air Force has described these jets as a “relatively low-cost, high-performance weapon system.

Thousands of F-16s have been sent around the world. However, Kyiv has been requesting for this support for months.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky believes there is “substantial progress” in convincing western allies to equip Kyiv with fighter jets.

Zelensky said the jets are a “key component” of gaining an advantage over Russian forces.

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