As tensions continue to rise between Russia and Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the country’s military forces to move to a special regime of combat duty. This comes after top Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced that “no prospect for peace talks with Ukraine can be seen as long as dialogue with Russia stays banned by Ukrainian law or unless the West allows Kiev to be flexible on the issue.”
In a classified transcript from a meeting at the highest level, Putin reportedly stated in March 2022 that “Western countries aren’t only taking unfriendly economic actions against our country, but leaders of major NATO countries are making aggressive statements about our country.”
The transcript, which was among the few portions permitted to be openly discussed among various Russian ministries, also revealed discussions among Security Council members about the international Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS) alert system. This system would be activated in the event of a nuclear first strike on Russia, grounding all aircraft to prevent collisions with launched intercontinental ballistic missiles.
The transcript also highlighted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the United States informed the Kremlin press service early on that they were working to fully restore the Notice to Air Missions system following an outage. The FAA also ordered airlines to pause all domestic departures until 9 a.m. Eastern Time to allow the agency to validate the integrity of flight and safety information.
Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been escalating in recent months, with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky addressing leftist Hollywood elites attending the Golden Globes award ceremony via video. In the address, Zelensky stated, “it is already clear who will win…There will be no third World War, it is not a trilogy…Ukraine will stop the Russian aggression on our land.” Zelensky also stripped citizenship away from his main political opponent, Viktor Medvedchuk, prior to this address.
The situation further escalated with the Russian military company Wagner Group announcing that its units have taken control of the entire territory of Soledar. This announcement was followed by the release of videos showing Wagner Group forces in control of the city and its salt mines. The Western defense article “Soledar Is Over – Russians Took The City In 6 Days – 400 Ukrainian Soldiers Trapped – 300 Surrendered” also appeared.
In response, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced that “Airborne Force units have blocked Soledar from the town’s northern and southern parts” and that “Assault groups are engaged in a battle in the town.” The ministry also announced that over the past 24 hours, hundreds of Ukrainian soldiers along with numerous American-supplied weapons and Ukrainian aircraft were eliminated. Furthermore, the ministry stated that “in all, the Russian Armed Forces have destroyed 371 Ukrainian warplanes, 200 helicopters, 2,868 unmanned aerial vehicles, 400 surface-to-air missile systems, 7,473 tanks and other armored combat vehicles, 976 multiple rocket launchers, 3,809 field artillery guns and mortars and 8,006 special military motor vehicles since the beginning of the special military operation in Ukraine.”
The escalating tensions and military action have led to the FAA’s decision to ground all domestic flights in America as a precautionary measure. The international community will be closely monitoring the situation and calls for a peaceful resolution have been made.