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Ukraine war: Russia troop deployment to Belarus prompts speculation

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The warning from Ukraine to Belarus is blunt.

“Your leadership is planning to drag the Belarusian people into a dirty war, to stain them with blood and death,” the video released by the Ukrainian military declares.

“If the Belarusian army supports Russian aggression, we will respond… with our entire arsenal of weapons.”

The warning comes as Russia is sending thousands of troops back to Belarus, prompting fears the two countries could be planning a joint incursion across Ukraine’s northern border.

That would be politically risky for Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko – and Russian forces are already struggling to hold their current lines around the southern city of Kherson and in Donbas in the east.

But the prospect alone is a distraction and a concern for Kyiv as Minsk comes under pressure from Moscow to step-up its support.

Wily operator
“I think Putin really wants Belarusians to enter Ukraine so that Lukashenko… is bloodied, too, and will have to go to the end with him,” is how Valery Sakhashchyk, the former commander of an elite paratrooper unit, reads the recent moves.

Now in Warsaw, he is effectively the defence minister in a transitional cabinet of the Belarusian opposition-in-exile.

The fuss was sparked when, after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this month, Alexander Lukashenko claimed that Belarus’s neighbours were planning to attack.

He then announced that Minsk and Moscow were forming a joint “regional group” of forces for protection.

Mr Sakhashchyk puts the risk of the two countries opening a northern front in Ukraine as one in three, currently.

But he describes the long-time leader of Belarus as a “wily” operator.

“Lukashenko will do everything possible not to send his troops to fight, to limit them to a supporting role, but there is certainly a threat.”

Belarus is already heavily involved in the Ukraine war.

In February, Russian tanks crossed its southern border towards Kyiv and Russia regularly launches missiles from Belarusian territory. The EU is currently preparing another punishment package of sanctions in response.

But if President Putin is pushing him for more, Mr Lukashenko has limited room for manoeuvre.

The authoritarian leader has been dependent on Russia since 2020, when support from Moscow helped him survive an unprecedented wave of protests.

Meanwhile, the mass imprisonment and torture of protestors hammered one nail in the coffin of relations with the West. Belarus aiding Russia’s invasion was another.

Mr Lukashenko says up to 9,000 Russian soldiers will come to Belarus for the new group. But sending Belarusians alongside them into Ukraine would be a deeply unpopular move.

Several hundred Belarusians are already fighting in Ukraine – against Russia. Known as the Kalinovsky regiment, they openly say they joined the war to defeat Vladimir Putin so that Belarus, too, can be free.

There is also resistance inside Belarus where partisans sabotaged railway lines at the start of the invasion to hinder the movement of Russian troops. Last week, another of the group was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

“I get lads writing and saying we don’t want to fight [against Ukraine],” Pavel Kukhta, of the Kalinovsky regiment, told me at their recruitment base in Warsaw.

“My sources in the Belarussian army say 90% won’t fight. They say the training’s bad and kit and morale are even worse than the Russian army.”

Just a bluff?
There have been rumours of a secret mobilisation in Belarus, but nothing substantiated.

Meanwhile, Russian forces are already on the move.

Ukrainian intelligence reports that 3,200 Russian soldiers have been sent to Belarus to date. More are expected, but it is a trickle not a rush and so far they are heading for northern and central parts of the country, rather than the Ukraine border.

“They don’t bring any heavy equipment, there was just one train loaded with pontoon bridges but no tanks or personnel carriers,” Belarusian journalist Tadeusz Giczan also points out.

He believes the Russians are actually being sent for training, with their own facilities overstretched since President Putin announced a partial mobilisation.

“They need more capacity. Belarus offered to provide it and perhaps kill two birds with one stone: threaten Ukraine with a potential new offensive from the north. It’s just a bluff.”

The Russian men shown in Belarusian defence ministry videos appear to be “mobiki” – recently mobilised reservists, not regular troops. Some have non-military items of kit or clothing.

Valery Sakhashchyk agrees they could be training.

“They need a lot of instructors and Russia has a problem with that as they’ve lost a lot of men.”

The mobiki could then be deployed to the border, but that would be detected.

For now, a Belarusian monitoring group sees equipment heading out of the country instead.

The Hajun project says more than 90 tanks have been transported to Russia in recent weeks, likely urgently needed replacements for Donbas.

It sees no major new build-up of equipment or missiles at the base used by Russia near the Ukraine border.

What if a joint force went in?
Some argue that committing Belarusian troops to Ukraine would be pointless, militarily.

“They’re not skilled, not equipped and not motivated. They won’t pose a threat,” opposition politician Franak Viacorka has tweeted.

But Valery Sakhashchyk cautions they should not be discounted.

The Ukrainian military suggests a new, joint force could try to cut off its supply routes from the West, giving Russian troops a better chance on the battlefield.

“If they mobilised to military level it would be a serious attack force which would be unpleasant for Ukraine. They would have to move significant forces to the north, they would sustain significant losses,” Mr Sakhashchyk says, though he thinks Belarusian morale would be low.

“They would make things harder, make it slower to reach victory – but Ukraine will win.”

The video produced by Ukraine’s military fast-cuts images of tanks and missiles with Mr Lukashenko and President Putin and calls on Belarusians not to die for the personal ambitions of two dictators.

But Alexander Lukashenko’s desire for power may be just what prevents their deployment.

“It would likely be a big catastrophe for the Belarusian army and for Lukashenko himself. So he’ll be trying to talk his way out of this and his negotiating position is still quite strong,” says journalist Tadeusz Giczan.

“He can still convince Putin that the Belarusian army would not add much capacity… in Ukraine, but [the deployment] could backfire pretty badly and destabilise Russia’s only proper ally.”

In his battle to stop Ukraine escaping Russia’s grasp for good, Vladimir Putin will not want to risk losing Belarus, too.

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Locations To Visit In Curacao This Vacation

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Locations To Visit In Curacao

The sky is blue, the ocean is turquoise, the beaches are white, and there are palm trees. Curacao is a genuine island in the Caribbean! Furthermore, the influence of the Dutch can be observed in numerous sites. If you’re coming from Germany, you can enter the country with just your identity card, and if you’re flying in from the Netherlands, there’s no need to exchange your currency.

The fact that 450-square-kilometer Caribbean island. Located close to the Venezuelan mainland, lies outside of the hurricane zone are the icing on the cake. Due to this, the island, along with its neighboring islands of Aruba and Bonaire, is a year-round destination that is captivating. Isn’t it? Want to experience relaxing getaways or thrilling adventures? Without thinking much, start planning, make jetblue flight bookings in any class and save up to 60% off on every flight till the last minute. To assist you, here are some of Curacao’s most interesting tours, most beautiful sites, and most breathtaking panoramas.

Royal Highness Emma Bridge

Queen Emma Bridge is routinely recognized as one of the most visited and photographed sights on the island of Curacao, alongside the island’s picture-perfect beaches. In the year 1888, architect Leonard Burlington Smith was responsible for its creation. The structure, which is also known as the “Old Lady Float,” is supported by sixteen pontoon boats. Seeing the bridge at dusk is a breathtaking sight!

Capital Willemstad

Willemstadt, the second-largest city in the Netherlands, is sometimes likened to Amsterdam, the country’s capital, on account of its many vividly colored buildings and cobblestone squares. In different sections of the country, the legacy of the country’s former imperial strength is readily apparent. The Otrobanda neighborhood is located to the west of the port city, while Punta is located to the east. Despite being separated physically by St. Anna’s Bay, the two sections of the city are connected by a bridge.

Colonial-era forts

A large number of spots throughout the destination contain remnants of the time when the island was occupied by colonists. The historic forts and a few beautiful mansions are unquestionably the most outstanding characteristics. Built during the 17th century, just eight of these fortifications have survived to the present day. The one that has been preserved the best is Fort Amsterdam, which was built in 1635 in the Punda port district. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Christoffel Park contains unspoiled wilderness

Christoffel National Park is the ideal destination for people who have gotten their fill of walking along the seashore. The 375-meter-tall Christoffelberg can be found in the north-northwest region of the island. Consequently, this terrain is an exceptional place for hiking.

Investigate the Hato Caves.

On the island of Curaçao, a trip to the Hato Caves is not to be missed. Caves formed several million years ago beneath the ocean’s surface encompass an area of around 5,000 square meters. In this region, you will come across gigantic limestone structures, waterfalls, and bats.

Seaquarium Beach Dream Beach

Many people believe Seaquarium Beach to be both the most beautiful and well-known beach on the island of Curaçao. Bathers can unwind and take pleasure in living among the palm trees, which move gently in reaction to the wind. Due to the well-developed infrastructure, Seaquarium Beach is a popular holiday spot for families with children and teenagers. There are numerous water sports accessible, including water skiing, jet skiing, and scuba diving.

Sunset at Playa Forti

Playa Forti has received yet another recommendation of the highest quality. The narrow cove is surrounded on all sides by towering rock walls, offering anyone with the bravery to do so exceptional prospects for scuba diving. A few restaurants offering regional dishes are located on the cliffs’ edge.

Paradisiacally beautiful: Playa Lagun

Despite its small size, Playa Lagun is one of the most popular beaches on the entire island of Curaçao. This beach is the island’s best-kept secret among the other bays. Here, iguanas and chickens have been sighted moving along the coastline. There are numerous species of brilliantly colored fish hidden in the amazingly translucent water.

How do you go to Curacao from here?

By air

You can reach via one of the numerous direct flights to Curacao departing from the United States of America, Europe, and South America.

By train

The Deutsche Bahn-operated ICE train provides a rail link between Düsseldorf and Amsterdam. The train departs at the Düsseldorf Hbf station, 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from the city center, and arrives at the Amsterdam Centraal station (0.6 mi from centre).

By road

FlixBus provides intercity service between Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, departing from the Düsseldorf bus station and arriving at the same site in Amsterdam ( Netherlands).

Conclusion

Despite the fact that they do not belong to the same group as the other two islands, the three islands are usually referred to as the ABC Islands. So, what are you waiting for? Plan your most awaited vacation with AirlinesMap and head to this paradise place!

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All Businesses Can Benefit From Black Friday Lessons

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All Businesses Can Benefit From Black Friday Lessons

Black Friday is still strong. As of today’s writing, millions of shoppers still shop in stores to find great deals. Yesterday night, outlets opened and Kohl opened at 04:45 this morning. Walmart will be open 24 hours a day to help customers who sustained injuries in the stampede last year. Old Navy called the Thanksgiving sale “Gray Thursday”. Black Thursday or Internet Monday are options for retailers who will make it easy for customers to save money.

Black Friday can teach you a lot about being a successful businessman, regardless of what your job title is. This will be covered later.

Although I haven’t been to a Black Friday Event 2022, I have been there. As a specialty retailer for 12 years, I have witnessed customers fighting for their “stuff”. Although most people are generous and kind, there are always some…

It can be difficult to become a reseller. You are the ultimate winner. Wholesalers sell to manufacturers, who then sell them to retailers. Warehouse rents are cheaper than window rents. Additional costs include wages, payroll tax, workers’ compensation insurance, inventory, and workers’ comp insurance. Retail is a business that can make money. There are no net costs. Making a dollar profit takes hard work. You gotta love retail.

They work for a living and go to work. There is very little room for error. Resellers must be consistent. Traffic is what brings people to your door. It is also important to understand how they BlackFriday shopping lists once you have them there (diversion). It is crucial to be familiar with product packaging, layout, inventory management, and other details. Your customer will need the right stock. The right quantity is also important. The best portable induction cooker deals for Black Friday are Very low-profit margins.

It gives me a slight twist of my intuition when I see a sale that exceeds 45 dollars. They are moving inventory to pay the bills. This sale costs them money. They want to sell the product and are willing to spend their cash reserves. They will be responsible for the cost of selling it if it does not sell. Limit the damage.

Retailers typically get net terms for inventory they already have. They buy it in bulk and can then sell it within 30 working days. Sometimes they are able to purchase large quantities of Christmas stock from catalog builders in January and have it delivered in July. Then, they pay the bill until January 1. It is impossible to show it for several months. This is rare. This is because small wholesalers have a 15-day limit to sell the product.

Walmart is one exception. They also own a grocery store. They store the products on shelves, and they send invoices for payment after the product has sold. Walmart does not pay a bill until the product is sold. This is the best business model. They make a crate, then light it up. They then move on to other crates to manage their stock. It eliminated the more risky and expensive aspects of retail. It was a smart decision.

While I like the way Walmart has rediscovered gambling as a retail outlet for its customers, I don’t love Walmart. They didn’t change the industry, they just made it more attractive. They used their wealth to gain an unfair advantage. This was possible because of both the market and the government.

Let’s go back to the dealers. These dealers are taking risks. They want to be fully informed about the product before purchasing it. They need to understand the market.

Even if you aren’t a retailer, there are still many ways to profit from Black Friday. One skilled restaurateur placed a sign outside his shop, announcing a champagne brunch at 6 p.m. in Santa Clarita. This can be helpful in relieving their obsessive frustrations. A sale can be broadcast to mobile users.

Even if you’re not in retail, take a look at what is happening during the holidays. Learn as much as you can about retail if you get the chance. This is a unique and fascinating job. This job is interesting and can teach you a lot.

 

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North Korea tensions: Why is Kim Jong-un upping the pressure?

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Periods of tension with North Korea come and go, but the situation on the Korean peninsula right now is the most volatile it has been in five years and it looks likely to get worse.

Over the past month the North has fired a missile over Japan, forcing residents to seek shelter; a hostile and provocative act. It has launched several other ballistic missiles, flown warplanes close to its border with South Korea and fired hundreds of shells of artillery into the sea, which have landed in a military buffer zone, created by the two Koreas in 2018 to keep peace. The two countries are technically still at war.

On Monday a North Korean merchant ship crossed the countries’ sea border, causing both sides to fire warning shots. South Korea says the incursion was intentional.

So, what is Kim Jong-un up to? There are three reasons North Korea tends to launch missiles – to test and improve its weapons technology, to send a political message to the world (primarily the US), and to impress its people at home and shore up loyalty to the regime.

It can be hard to decipher which of these ends Pyongyang’s actions serve, but this time Mr Kim has been explicit. State media has reported several times that the recent launches and drills are in response to military exercises being run by the US, South Korea and Japan. The North has blamed its enemies for escalating tensions and says its launches are a clear warning they should stop.

Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have been holding large-scale military exercises, separately and together, for the past two months, to show they are ready for a North Korean nuclear attack. There is little doubt these have antagonised Mr Kim, who has always viewed such exercises as his enemies rehearsing for an invasion. The reason North Korea started developing nuclear weapons in the first place was to stop itself from being invaded.

But there is a less explicit reason he could be upping the pressure now. Some believe may be preparing the ground for a more provocative test – the detonation of a nuclear weapon for the first time in five years, or even a small-scale attack on South Korea.

Last year he laid out a five-year plan, detailing all the new weapons he planned to develop. It included smaller battlefield nuclear bombs and the short-range missiles to carry them. The recent tests are evidence Mr Kim is not only working his way through this weapons wish list, but that he is training his troops to use them. He used some of the recent drills, he said, to simulate a nuclear attack on South Korea.

Now Mr Kim needs attention. He needs the world to notice the progress he has made, if he is one day to get harsh international sanctions on his country lifted. Sanctions haven’t stopped North Korea developing weapons, as they were designed to, but they are hurting its economy.

Talks aimed at reducing those sanctions have long stalled and North Korea is slipping down the global agenda. The world is far more concerned with the war in Ukraine, and the rise of an authoritarian China. President Biden’s position is that sanctions on North Korea can only be eased when it agrees to give up all its nuclear weapons.

In the meantime, Washington and Seoul have agreed to strengthen their defence of the Peninsula by holding the military exercises Pyongyang hates so much, and responding to its provocations with force. Following the North’s latest round of missile launches and drills, South Korea sent up warplanes and shot artillery of its own.

If Mr Kim is to get the US to negotiate on terms more favourable to him, he must prove how dangerous his country has become. Last month he declared North Korea to be a nuclear weapons state, a position he said was irreversible.

We should be worried about how assertive it seems to have become, said Kim Jong-dae, a former advisor in South Korea’s Defence Ministry. He pointed out how in the past North Korea has waited until US forces have finished their military exercises before retaliating. This time they fired artillery into the sea while exercises were ongoing.

“We have never seen this audacity and aggression before, it is different. It is the North acting like a nuclear state,” he said.

The US and South Korean governments believe preparations for North Korea’s seventh nuclear weapon test are complete and the North is waiting for the opportune political moment to act. An attractive window is opening, with China’s Communist Party Conference now over and the US midterm elections approaching.

Meanwhile South Korea is in the midst of yet another round of war games, with the US scheduled to join in. These may well provide Kim Jong-un with the pretext he has been waiting for.

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