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Ukraine counteroffensive a “failure”: Putin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko held talks in St. Petersburg, where they discussed the situation in Ukraine.

Putin stated that Ukraine’s counteroffensive “has failed,” to which Lukashenko responded that there was no counteroffensive at all.

The conflict in Ukraine has been ongoing for nearly 17 months, with Ukraine launching a long-anticipated counter-offensive last month. However, their progress has been slow, facing well-entrenched Russian forces controlling a significant portion of their territory.

Despite differing opinions on the success of Ukraine’s efforts, U.S. General Mark Milley, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, believes the drive is far from a failure but warns that it will be a long, hard, and bloody process.

Poland push

During their meeting, Lukashenko jokingly mentioned that fighters from Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, currently training Belarus’s army, were eager to push into NATO member Poland. However, there is no indication that Lukashenko seriously entertained the idea.

Recently, Belarusian defense ministry announced that Wagner fighters were training Belarusian special forces near the Polish border. In response, Poland is deploying additional troops to its border with Belarus, concerned about the presence of the Wagner forces.

The relationship between Russia and Belarus is referred to as the “union state,” with Russia being the dominant player. Lukashenko has proven useful to Putin since the invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, allowing Russia to use Belarus as a launch pad during the war. He has also allowed Russian forces to train at his military bases and received tactical nuclear weapons from Putin, drawing condemnation from the West.

Despite Lukashenko not committing his small army to join Russia’s war efforts, the risk of a potential attack from Belarusian soil compels Ukraine to protect its northern border. This puts a strain on Ukraine’s forces as they try to intensify their counteroffensive in the eastern and southern regions of the country.

The talks between Putin and Lukashenko aimed to discuss security and other critical issues in detail over the course of two days. Belarus’s role in the ongoing conflict and its collaboration with Russia will continue to have significant implications for the region’s stability and international relations.

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Helicopter carrying Iran’s President Raisi crashes

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A helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his foreign minister crashed on Sunday as it was crossing mountain terrain in heavy fog.

The official said the lives of Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian were “at risk following the helicopter crash”, which happened on the way back from a visit to the border with Azerbaijan in Iran’s northwest.

“We are still hopeful but information coming from the crash site is very concerning,” the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A helicopter carrying President Ebrahim Raisi takes off, May 19, 2024. Ali Hamed Haghdoust/IRNA/WANA via REUTERS

State TV quoted an official as saying at least one passenger and one crew member had been in contact with rescuers. It also said the helicopter had been found, though Iran’s Red Crescent denied this report.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who holds ultimate power with a final say on foreign policy and Iran’s nuclear programme, sought to reassure Iranians, saying there would be no disruption to state affairs. #iran #trending

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Why Australia is becoming the new home of the Hollywood blockbuster

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Australia’s multimillion-dollar campaign to attract Hollywood productions to its shores appears to be paying off.

The allure of Australia lies not only in its picturesque locations but also in its competitive financial incentives.

The government offers generous rebates and tax breaks to international productions, making it an attractive proposition for filmmakers looking to maximise their budgets.

Despite the recent intake of Hollywood productions down under such as ‘The Fall Guy’ and ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’, Aussie independents are still finding the space to carve their own creative path.

Rob Fantozzi joined the program to discuss the latest in Hollywood, and showcased his own upcoming project – ‘Omerta‘. #featured

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Portal between countries shut down after international flashing

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An international video portal has been forced to shut down after an OnlyFans model reportedly flashed passersby from across the globe.

On this episode of Ahron and Mike Live – Which would you prefer; pay rise or work perks, an international portal closes, the military reveal a submarine stingray and are you on a top or bottom burger bun?

Ticker’s Ahron Young & Mike Loder discuss. #featured #trending

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