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Ukraine Crisis

UK to send “game changer” anti-ship harpoon missiles to Ukraine. But what are they?

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They are described as the best anti-ship missiles ever, and the UK is about to send its harpoon missiles to Ukraine to help combat Russian warships.

The Harpoon is an all-weather, over-the-horizon, anti-ship missile developed and manufactured by Boeing Defence.

The UK will send the Harpoon missiles in a bid to break the Russian navy’s siege of Black Sea ports.

Fitted with a 500lb high explosive blast warhead, the system is carried by 600 Nato warships and 180 submarines around the world.

The 15ft missiles are accurate to a range of 80 miles.

A harpoon missile launches from the missile deck of the littoral combat ship USS Coronado.

Harpoon missile can be put on trucks alongside a relatively simple command-and-control apparatus.

Because they are easy to move, they make the perfect fit for the Ukrainian military.

While the Harpoon missiles are older technology, they’re not currently in use by the Russian military.

And giving Ukraine access to these missiles means the US and its allies wont have to send more secretive weaponry, with concerns they might fall into the hands of Russia.

Russian warships continue their blockade

Black Sea blockade

Russia has blockaded crucial seaports in Ukraine with warships.

Up to 300 ships have been stopped by Russian forces from departing the Black Sea, leaving one of the key global trade routes for grain virtually blocked.

The fertile region is known as “the world’s breadbasket.”

British newspaper The Guardian reported that several other ships have been struck since the invasion began on February 24, including from Bangladesh and Estonia, which killed one person.

Russia blames the stoppage on the high risk of mines, which it said had been laid by the Ukrainian Navy.

Ahron Young is an award winning journalist who has covered major news events around the world. Ahron is the Managing Editor and Founder of TICKER NEWS.

Ukraine Crisis

NATO ties – Sweden receives full backing from U.S.

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Just days after announcing its intentions to join NATO, Sweden has received full backing from the United States.

U.S. Defence Secretary Llyod Austin welcomed his Swedish counterpart to the Pentagon, in a show of solidarity between the two nations.

Austin says the United States says Sweden’s membership to the alliance will make all member nations safer and more secure.

Both Finland and Sweden formally applied to join the strategic alliance on Wednesday, but still face objections from Turkey.

The whole membership process is expected to take just a few weeks, but ratification by all allied parliaments could take up to a year.

It signifies one of the most significant shake-ups of European security architecture not seen since the Cold War.

The two nations remained neutral throughout this period in history, despite Finland sharing a 1,300 kilometre border with Russia.

Sweden says Russian propaganda can no longer hide the nation’s war crimes… and believes now more than ever, democracies must stand together against Moscow’s increasing aggression.

NATO Secretary-General Jen Stoltenberg says this is an historic moment which must be seized, warmly requesting the requests from both meetings at the alliance headquarters.

Both Sweden and Finland handed over their application letters, each envelope embossed with their national flag.

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Ukraine Crisis

Zelensky extends Ukraine’s martial law by 90 days

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With the war in Ukraine showing little to no signs of slowing down anytime soon, Volodymyr Zelensky has moved to extend his nation’s martial law by 90 days

The required documents have now been sent to the Ukrainian parliament for consideration, requiring approval by at least half of all lawmakers.

The first round of martial law was initiated on February 24, the day Putin declared war over the country.

This marks the beginning of a new stage of the conflict, with Ukraine’s defence minister hoping to arm one million fighters – as the nation prepares for the long haul.

Ukrainian soldiers walk at Kyiv central train station, Ukraine, February 25, 2022. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

So what does a martial law ruling actually mean for Ukrainians?

Well, it gives those in positions of military leadership more power to intervene in the lives of civilians, introducing curfews, conducting searches of private property without notice and even banning travel.

Residents also lose a number of fundamental rights including the right to receive education, the right to work and freedom of movement.

Men aged between 18 and 60 have also been banned from leaving the country.

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Ukraine Crisis

Finland and Sweden submit applications to join NATO

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Finland and Sweden have officially submitted their applications to join NATO

Finland and Sweden have handed in applications to join NATO.

It ends decades of political neutrality for both nations, after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Chief of NATO says the applications are quote an “historic step”.

If their bid is successful, it will bring the alliance’s membership to 32.

While Russia strongly opposes the move, there are also members within NATO’s own ranks voicing their concerns.

Dubbed the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the NATO alliance was founded in 1949

It follows one rule: an attack on one, is an attack on all.

It sought to counter Russian expansion in Europe after World War Two.

But following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, many of its former Eastern European allies joined the alliance, something that has raised concerns in Moscow.

Finland and Sweden need the support of all member states to join. If they’re successful, it will take the alliance to 32 members.

NATO members must spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence. Finland already meets this target and Sweden says it will do so “as soon as possible”.

The two countries will also bring a range of military might.

Finland has over 19-thousand active troops, and Sweden has over 14-and-a-half thousand.

There are 220 tanks, and over 200 combat aircraft.

Russia believes NATO has been verging on its door stop and is warning both nations against joining.

Turkey’s President is also voicing concerns, saying the two Scandinavian nations should not send delegations to convince him of their bids.

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