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      Drone strikes on rare Swedish-donated Ukrainian tank shown via POV camera / RTDailyNews · 08:06 · 1 minute

    Kiev has reportedly lost one-fifth of the ten Stridsvagn 122s it had received from the Nordic nation

    A point-of-view online video purportedly shows Russian drone strikes on a Swedish variant of the German Leopard 2A5 main battle tank, the Stridsvagn 122. Ukraine was given ten of them and has reportedly lost at least two.

    The footage shows two separate attacks on a stranded tank in the same location, both using a quadcopter kamikaze drone called the VT-40. The video was published on Thursday by a Telegram channel promoting the UAV.

    Swedish media reported last week that its government had delivered ten Stridsvagn 122 tanks to the Ukrainian military, delivering on a commitment announced in February. The batch accounts for roughly 10% of the country’s tank fleet.

    The “best tank in the world, according to Discovery Channel,” as Swedes like to point out, has heavier armor than the original German model, along with other features. Ukrainian crews were trained to operate them.

    Two other videos that emerged online last Friday indicated that Ukrainian troops had abandoned at least two of the Swedish armored vehicles, exposing them to Russian drone attacks.

    One of the short clips depicted the same location as the video circulating online now. The poster misidentified the tanks as Leopard 2s and reported they were hit by Lancet kamikaze drones somewhere near Svatovo, a frontline city in the Lugansk People’s Republic that has seen heavy fighting during Kiev’s summer counteroffensive.

    Neither video showed troops near the Swedish tanks nor offered any clue as to how they were disabled. In both cases, the tanks’ reinforced hatches can be seen open, implying that the crew had evacuated.

    The US and its allies provided hundreds of heavy weapons to Ukraine to bolster its push against Russia, but Kiev has largely failed to seize territory in the past four months.

    Moscow has accused the West of waging a proxy war against Russia and using Ukrainians as “cannon fodder.” Kiev has lost an estimated 2,700 pieces of heavy weaponry and over 17,000 troops this month alone, the Russian Defense Ministry reported earlier this week.

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      EU state sets condition for further Ukrainian aid from Brussels / RTDailyNews · 07:55 · 1 minute

    Kiev should account for the funds it has already received from Brussels, Hungarian authorities say

    Budapest will block further EU aid to Ukraine if Kiev doesn’t account for the money it has already received from Brussels since the start of the conflict with Russia, a senior Hungarian government official has said.

    “There are many technical ways to finance Ukraine and also help in the humanitarian field,” said Gergely Gulyas, the head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office. He told a briefing on Thursday that Hungary had no objections to individual EU countries providing assistance to Kiev.

    He said unanimity would be required regarding any changes to the EU budget, however, which is currently “on the table for amendment.”

    Budapest will make sure that Ukraine “will not receive a single penny of new aid” if it can’t account for the funds it has already been given by the EU, Gulyas insisted.

    In June, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen requested an increase of €66 billion ($69.9 billion) for the EU’s long-term budget, which includes €17 billion (around $18 billion) for providing grants for Ukraine.

    Read more FILE PHOTO: Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary. EU member threatens to veto Russia sanctions

    According to EU data, the bloc and its individual members have supplied Kiev with more than $88 billion in financial, military, humanitarian, and refugee assistance since February 2022.

    It’s “absurd and embarrassing” that Brussels keeps withholding EU funds from Hungary while looking for ways to find more money for Ukraine, Gulyas said.

    “Let’s hope it’s not because the money was spent on something else, God forbid it was given to a country outside the EU,” he added.

    The bloc suspended around €7.5 billion ($7.9 billion) of funds allocated to Hungary in 2022 over what it called rule-of-law concerns.

    Hungarian authorities have taken a balanced approach to the conflict between Moscow and Kiev. While supplying humanitarian aid, Budapest has refused to send arms to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government. Hungary has also consistently called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and criticized sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow, arguing that they were hurting the EU more than Russia.

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      US raised Canada’s murder allegation with India – Reuters / RTDailyNews · 07:09 · 2 minutes

    Washington has urged New Delhi to cooperate with Ottawa’s probe into the killing of a Sikh separatist

    The United States has encouraged India to cooperate with Canada's investigation into the murder of a Sikh separatist leader, amid growing tensions between New Delhi and Ottawa, Reuters has reported , citing an unnamed US official.

    Neither side publicly mentioned that the issue was discussed at a meeting between the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Washington on Thursday.

    Earlier this month, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau alleged the “possible” involvement of the Indian government in the killing of Hardeep Singh Nijjar – without providing evidence.

    While India has dismissed the claim, Canada’s partners in the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence-sharing alliance, which also includes US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, have voiced their “concerns,” and the US has stated its support for Canada.

    "Reports that Canada asked the US to publicly condemn the murder and that we refused are false and we would strongly push back on the rumors that we were reluctant to speak publicly about this," a senior US administration official told CBC News last week.

    The Indian foreign minister said earlier this week that New Delhi was open to looking into any "specific" information that Canada provides, while insisting that it has not been done yet.

    "One, we told the Canadians that this [extrajudicial killings] is not the government of India's policy," Jaishankar said at an event in New York ahead of his address to the UN General Assembly. "Two, we told the Canadians that look, if you have something specific, if you have something relevant, let us know – we are open to looking at it”.

    Read more A man stands on a burning cutout of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi during a Sikh rally outside the Indian consulate in Toronto to raise awareness for the Indian government's alleged involvement in the killing of Sikh separatist Hardeep Singh Nijjar in British Columbia on September 25, 2023. Protesters target Indian missions in Canada

    Hardeep Singh Nijjar was shot dead outside a temple in British Columbia in June. He had been designated a terrorist by India in 2020.

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking on Thursday,  said he was certain that Blinken would raise the issue with Jaishankar.

    “The Americans have been with us in speaking to the Indian government about how important it is that they be involved in following up on the credible allegations that agents of the Indian government killed a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil,” Trudeau said at a press conference in Quebec. US officials have previously publicly encouraged the Indian government to cooperate with the Canadian investigation.

    Indian media on Friday quoted Jaishankar as saying he had “exchanged notes on global developments” with Blinken, pointing out that both sides “kept mum” about the Canada row.

    READ MORE: Canada spied on Indian diplomats – reports

    The State Department’s readout said the two ministers had discussed “a full range of issues,” including a new potential trade route – the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) – announced during the G20 Summit in New Delhi this month, along with cooperation in defense, space and clean energy.

    Jaishankar and Blinken also discussed cooperation ahead of the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue, which New Delhi is set to host in the first half of November.  Blinken and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are expected to be at the 2+2 gathering, with Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh representing India.

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      Pentagon discloses military deal with Elon Musk / RTDailyNews · 05:35 · 2 minutes

    The billionaire entrepreneur continues to insist that the Starlink network should not be a “participant to combat”

    SpaceX has signed its first contract with the Pentagon to provide satellite services as part of its new ‘Starshield’ program. CEO Elon Musk described the effort as a military alternative to the “civilian” Starlink system, although it will apparently rely on the existing constellation of satellites.

    In a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, Musk weighed in on reports that SpaceX had reached a deal with the US Space Force, confirming that the Starshield project would be “owned by the US government and controlled by [the Department of Defense].”

    “Starlink needs to be a civilian network, not a participant to combat,” he said, referring to the use of the satellites in Ukraine throughout the conflict with Russia, adding “This is the right order of things.”

    However, despite Musk’s stated reluctance to be involved in the fighting, the new Space Force contract will see SpaceX effectively lease out part of its Starlink network to the Pentagon, providing service over the same satellites, according to Bloomberg .

    Read more RT Musk gave control of Starlink to Pentagon – biographer

    With a $70 million price ceiling, the deal “provides for Starshield end-to-end service via the Starlink constellation, user terminals, ancillary equipment, network management and other related services,” Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told Bloomberg News.

    The outlet noted that Musk’s aerospace firm is now competing for nearly $1 billion in Pentagon contracts extending into 2028, as the Space Force seeks to repurpose existing communications satellites for military use as part of its “Proliferated Low Earth Orbit” program.

    Musk has come under fire from US officials for SpaceX’s decisions in Ukraine, after allegedly refusing Kiev’s demands to use the Starlink network to aid strikes on Russia’s Black Sea fleet last year. The billionaire’s biographer, Walter Isaacson, revealed earlier this month that Musk had developed a “military version of the Starlink” as a way to wash his hands of the project.

    “I've talked to him during this whole thing, and late one night, he said, ‘Why am I in this war?’ He said, ‘I, you know, created Starlink so people could chill and watch Netflix movies and play video games. I did not mean to create something that might cause a nuclear war,’” the author recalled in comments to the Washington Post.

    Read more Elon Musk Musk agrees that Ukraine’s counteroffensive has failed

    Isaacson went on to say that Musk “decided to sell and give total control over a certain amount of Starlink equipment… to the US military so that he no longer controls the geofencing,” referring to geographic limitations that can be imposed on the satellite network.

    Musk previously claimed that American sanctions on Russia had prevented SpaceX from extending Starlink coverage into Crimea, insisting the company is “not actually allowed to turn on connectivity to… the country without explicit [US] government approval.” However, he has also said that he did not wish to be “complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation,” suggesting the decision was not solely due to US restrictions.

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      Share of dollar in global payments rising – SWIFT / RTDailyNews · 05:33 · 1 minute

    The US currency was used in nearly half of cross-border transactions last month, data shows

    The share of the US dollar in international payments via the SWIFT financial messaging system reached 48% in August, the highest level since such data began being collected, RIA Novosti has reported after analyzing SWIFT data.

    The greenback’s share in global transactions rose by 1.57% compared to July, strengthening the position of the American currency in international settlements, the outlet reported on Thursday.

    Meanwhile, the share of the euro slumped to an historic low of 23.2% last month, down from 36.44% in August 2022, data showed. Experts attributed the euro’s slide to its declining popularity beyond the bloc of 20 countries that use the currency.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese yuan showed record gains last month, as its share in international payments rose to 3.47%, up from 3.06% in July.

    READ MORE: Russia sanctions threaten US dollar – EBRD

    The growing share of the yuan in cross-border transactions reflects China’s trend of shifting away from the dollar, as well as Beijing’s efforts to promote the use of its national currency, the outlet reports.

    However, earlier this month, former International Monetary Fund and Morgan Stanley economist Stephen Jen said the dollar’s share in foreign reserves has actually lost about 11% since 2016. The economist argues that most analysts evaluate the nominal value of central banks’ dollar holdings on the basis of data released by the IMF and don’t take into account the currency’s depreciation.

    For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

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      Taiwan unveils ‘magical weapon’ against Beijing / RTDailyNews · 03:45 · 2 minutes

    Taipei says its new submarine is meant to ward off a potential attack by Chinese forces

    Taiwan has revealed its first-ever domestically produced submarine, with leader Tsai Ing-wen hoping the move would make the island more “self-reliant.” The developer of the $1.5-billion sub previously dubbed it a “magical weapon in asymmetric warfare” with Beijing

    Tsai oversaw the launch ceremony on Thursday, showing off the first of eight new submarines set to enter service by 2025. They will join just two other subs in Taipei’s arsenal, both obtained from the Netherlands some four decades ago.

    “In the past, a domestically developed submarine was considered an impossible task. But, today, a submarine designed and manufactured by our country's people sits before our eyes,” she said, adding that “Taiwan must take this step and allow the self-reliant national defense policy to grow and flourish on our land.”

    The announcement comes amid repeated warnings from Taiwanese officials about Chinese military activity in the airspace and waters around the island, with Defense Minister Chiu Kuo-cheng recently pointing to a string of “land, sea, air and amphibious” drills by the People’s Republic.

    The submarine project was launched in 2016 and has cost Taipei over $1.5 billion, with the first prototype named “Hai Kun” – or “mythical sea creature” in Chinese. Keeping with its moniker, the developer of the sub, CSBC Corp, has described the vessel as a “magical weapon in asymmetric warfare,” a claim echoed by Taiwan’s leader on Thursday.

    Read more FILE PHOTO: Chinese military helicopters fly during a ceremony to mark the 100th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, in Beijing, China, July 1, 2021. Taiwan warns about ‘abnormal’ military activity by Beijing

    A representative for China’s Defense Ministry responded to the news during a daily press briefing later on Thursday. Asked about the new hardware and whether it could “prevent the People's Liberation Army from entering the Pacific” in the event of a conflict, spokesman Wu Qian dismissed the idea as “nonsense.”

    “It is just a mantis trying to use its arms to stop a chariot, and it will eventually lead to its own destruction,” Wu said, referring to Taiwan’s military modernization efforts. The official added: “No matter how many weapons the [Taiwanese] authorities build or purchase, they cannot stop the general trend of the reunification of the motherland.”

    Read more FILE PHOTO. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping Putin to visit China next month – Moscow

    Beijing views Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory, claiming the right to reunify with the island by force should it ever declare independence. Though few nations recognize Taipei as a sovereign state, the US and several allies maintain informal but strategic relations with the self-governing territory, frequently drawing the ire of China.

    The Chinese military has launched major wargames following high-level meetings between US and Taiwanese officials over the last year, including a massive simulated blockade after then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the island in 2022. A similar demonstration was held last April following a sit-down between Pelosi’s successor, Representative Kevin McCarthy, and Tsai.

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      Ukrainian drone strike causes blackout in Russia – governor / RTDailyNews · 02:28 · 1 minute

    Five settlements and a local hospital were left without power, according to Kursk region’s authorities

    Russian air defense systems engaged several hostile targets over the Kursk region on Monday morning, but one of the incoming drones managed to hit an electrical substation causing a blackout, according to governor Roman Starovoyt.

    “A Ukrainian drone dropped two explosive devices on a substation,” Starovoyt wrote on Telegram at 5:00am local time, shortly after warning about “air defense systems activity in the Kursk region.”

    One of the transformers caught fire as a result of the attack, causing a blackout that affected five settlements and a hospital, according to the official. There were no reports of any injuries.

    Read more FILE PHOTO: A Ukrainian drone downed above Russia’s Kursk Region. Ukrainian drone targets Russian ‘atomic city’ – governor

    The governor asked residents to “remain calm,” adding that firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze and that power supply will be restored “as soon as it becomes safe.”

    The Russian border regions of Kursk, Bryansk, and Belgorod, as well as Crimea and Moscow, have been frequently targeted by drones since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. Russian officials have also accused Kiev of plotting acts of sabotage targeting the country’s major infrastructure sites, including nuclear power plants.

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      Canadian university ‘regrets’ fund named after Ukrainian Nazi / RTDailyNews · 00:37 · 3 minutes

    The University of Alberta has closed an endowment amid controversy over a Waffen SS fighter who was honored in Ottawa’s parliament

    Fallout over the Canadian parliament’s veneration of a Ukrainian veteran of the Waffen SS has spread to the University of Alberta, which apologized and shut down an endowment fund named after the Nazi collaborator just hours after Russian diplomats exposed his connection to the school.

    The university admitted on Wednesday night that it had an endowment named after Yaroslav Hunka, the 98-year-old Ukraine native who was given standing ovations by Canadian lawmakers during Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s visit to parliament on Friday. The incident became an international embarrassment for Ottawa, leading to the resignation of House Speaker Anthony Rota, after it was revealed that Hunka fought on the side of the Nazis during World War II.

    Hunka’s family donated $30,000 in 2019 to establish an endowment, named after him and his wife, at the University of Alberta’s Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies. Russia’s ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, told RIA Novosti that the embassy discovered Hunka’s link to the university and publicized the odious connection on social media. A few hours later, the school announced the cancellation.

    “After careful consideration of the complexities, experiences, and circumstances of those impacted by the situation, we have made the decision to close the endowment and return the funds to the donor,” university provost Verna Yiu said in a statement. “The university recognizes and regrets the unintended harm caused.”

    Read more Yaroslav Hunka (R) waits for the arrival of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky in the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada, September 22, 2023 Canada must face up to Nazi legacy – minister

    The school is now in the process of revising its general naming policies and procedures, including those for endowments, “to ensure alignment with our values,” Yiu added.

    The Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center (FSWC) welcomed the announcement that the Hunka endowment was being shut down. “Unfortunately, this is only one example of endowments at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies named after members of the Waffen SS,” FSWC official Dan Panneton said.

    Hunka was a volunteer in the 14th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS, a Ukrainian unit that committed atrocities against Jews and Poles on the Eastern Front. Russia may request extradition of Hunka, based on an investigation of his potential involvement in war crimes, Stepanov said on Wednesday. Thousands of Ukrainian Nazi fighters were allowed to emigrate to the UK and Canada after World War II, despite their possible participation in atrocities.

    However, the Hunka fund was only the “tip of the iceberg” in terms of the University of Alberta’s Nazi connections, Panneton told Canada’s CTV News on Thursday.

    Read more Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau honor Waffen-SS veteran Yaroslav Hunka, September 22, 2023 German ambassador applauded Ukrainian Waffen SS Nazi – Berlin

    Panneton claimed that even a former chancellor of the university, Peter Savaryn , was a member of the notorious Ukrainian Nazi unit. “We’d like to see them acknowledge that this history is real, that they had people tied to the Waffen SS unit involved with their university for many, many years,” he said.

    A monument at an Edmonton, Alberta, cemetery honors the Waffen SS. Also in Edmonton, a bust of Roman Shukhevich, a Ukrainian nationalist whose Nazi unit massacred Jews during World War II, is displayed at the Ukrainian Youth Unity Complex.

    The FSWC, which has long lobbied for the Edmonton monuments to be removed, renewed those calls after last week’s Hunka debacle. “We believe that both monuments in question are monuments to people who are complicit in the genocide of six million Jews and millions of other victims of the Nazi regime and their collaborators,” Panneton told Canada’s Global News.

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      Ukraine F-16 training jeopardized by US government shutdown / RTDailyNews · Yesterday - 22:59 · 2 minutes

    The Pentagon has warned that an impasse in Congress could hinder efforts to teach Kiev’s pilots how to fly US fighter jets

    A looming US government shutdown amid partisan bickering in Congress threatens to slow the training of Ukrainian pilots as they prepare to fly American-made F-16 fighter jets against Russian forces, the Pentagon has warned.

    “Absolutely, there could be impacts to training,” Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said on Thursday in a press briefing. She added that with civilian trainers likely furloughed during a shutdown, their uniformed colleagues would be hard-pressed to make up for the personnel losses as they continued to work during such a disruption.

    Singh gave the example of an active-duty trainer potentially having to do the jobs of several other people if civilian employees are sent home during a shutdown. “So, it’s definitely going to have an impact to training,” she said.

    With US government funding set to run out as of 12:01am on Sunday, lawmakers have less than three days to reach a compromise that would avert a shutdown of non-essential services. Some House Republicans have vowed that without getting deep spending cuts, they’ll refuse to back a short-term resolution that would temporarily keep the government paychecks flowing and give Congress more time to negotiate a budget deal.

    Read more FILE PHOTO: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley (R) attend as President Joe Biden signs a Ukraine aid document Pentagon opposing US State Dept on weapons for Ukraine – Politico

    “A shutdown is literally the worst-case scenario for this department,” Singh said. “We really don’t want to have to go through making painful decisions like this.” She previously warned that over 1 million military service members, as well as furloughed civilian staffers, would go without pay during a shutdown.

    Ukrainian pilots and ground crews are currently taking language classes at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, to learn the specialized English skills needed to operate and maintain F-16s. Flight and maintenance training is scheduled to begin next month at Morris Air National Guard Base in Tucson, Arizona.

    The Netherlands and Denmark agreed last month to provide dozens of F-16s to Ukraine, a decision that had to be cleared by US President Joe Biden’s administration. Also in August, Denmark began training eight Ukrainian pilots.

    Read more President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and U.S. President Joe Biden walk to the Oval Office of the White House. Ukraine to get first US tank deliveries next week – Biden

    Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has hailed the F-16 deal as a “breakthrough agreement” in Kiev’s effort to defeat Russian forces, but US officials have downplayed the fighter jet’s potential impact on the conflict. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall warned earlier this year that the F-16 won’t be a “game changer” in Ukraine.

    The Pentagon has said that the duration of training for Ukrainian pilots will depend on their proficiency. It typically takes about eight months to train a relatively inexperienced US pilot how to fly the F-16, while more advanced pilots can be brought up to speed in about five months.

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