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US Yosemite National Park Urges People To Vacate The Area As Soon As Possible

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Visitors to California’s Yosemite National Park have been told to leave immediately with intense blizzards forecast throughout the area. Releasing a statement on Thursday, February 29, the park announced that it would be closing at midnight and would “remain closed at least through Sunday at noon (possibly later).”

The sudden warning comes with an atmospheric river looming over California, threatening to dump massive amounts of snow on elevated areas. Situated in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Yosemite is right in the firing line and is expected to see massive snowfall throughout the weekend.

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“The National Weather Service is forecasting several feet of snow throughout the park (Badger Pass may receive over seven feet!) with very high winds,” continued the announcement. “Visitors currently in the park should leave as soon as possible, and no later than noon tomorrow, March 1.”

Atmospheric rivers are long streams of moisture in the atmosphere that evaporate from the central Pacific ocean and are carried towards the western US by tropical weather systems. Upon making landfall they tend to unload huge amounts of rain and snow, and are thought to provide roughly half of California’s annual precipitation.

Given the current drought that has been afflicting the Golden State in recent years, atmospheric rivers and the water they bring are largely welcome, although they can occasionally get too big and ruin people’s weekends.


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Lavrov: Russia hopes to receive an answer from Armenia regarding participation in joint structures, including the CSTO

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US Forces Intercept Houthi Missile Aimed At Red Sea – ایران اینترنشنال

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US Forces Intercept Houthi Missile Aimed At Red Sea  ایران اینترنشنال

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Israeli man stabbed, moderately wounded in Palestinian town; motive probed

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57-year-old knifed while visiting doctor in Dahariya; according to unconfirmed reports, assailant attacked after discovering he was Jewish

The post Israeli man stabbed, moderately wounded in Palestinian town; motive probed appeared first on The Times of Israel.

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U.S. military aircraft airdrop thousands of meals into Gaza

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Three planes from Air Forces Central dropped 66 bundles containing about 38,000 meals into Gaza on Saturday.


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The courts were never going to save America from Donald Trump – Vox.com

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  1. The courts were never going to save America from Donald Trump  Vox.com
  2. Supreme Court angers liberal pundits after agreeing to review Trump immunity case: ‘Supreme arrogance’  Fox News
  3. The Supreme Court’s Eagerness to Delay Trump’s Trial  The Atlantic
  4. Opinion: The Supreme Court has a different view of emergencies than we do  CNN

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Ukraine gets defense boost from Israel

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Israel will provide Ukraine with an early warning system against missiles as part of an aid package for Kyiv, as it condemned aggression from Russia

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, told the General Assembly on Monday that his country had provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the start of Vladimir Putin‘s full-scale invasion because it was “the moral thing to do.”

Comparing Russia’s actions in Ukraine to the militant Hamas group’s attacks on Israel on October 7, Erdan said his country knows “exactly how it feels to be aggressively invaded, (and) to have our towns and cities attacked” as he took aim at the “paralyzed” UN for not condemning the massacre that preceded the war in Gaza.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan

Gilad Erdan speaks at a Security Council meeting on January 23, 2024, in New York City. The envoy said Israel would provide Ukraine with defense systems to help it fight Russian aggression.
Gilad Erdan speaks at a Security Council meeting on January 23, 2024, in New York City. The envoy said Israel would provide Ukraine with defense systems to help it fight Russian aggression.
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“Both of our countries—Ukraine and Israel—are fighting a battle for our survival,” Erdan said, as he touted 100 million tons of humanitarian aid Israel provided to Kyiv in the early weeks of the war.

“The state of Israel will always remain committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said, telling the assembly that his country was “working to provide Ukraine with early warning systems to save civilian lives from Russia’s indiscriminate missile and drone attacks.”

He added that Russia would be hosting a Hamas delegation in Moscow, making “it one of the only places outside of the Middle East where Hamas terrorists and Houthi Jihadists are given the red-carpet treatment, even after October 7.”

Social media users noted how Erdan’s comments have signaled a shift in Israel’s position, which at the start of Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion saw it try to hold a neutral stance and maintain ties with both Ukraine and Russia.

Extraordinary!

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, delivered a speech in which he totally torched Russia. He not only announced that Israel is going to provide an early warning systems against missiles for Ukraine but also called Ukraine an “ally”. He also equates Russia… https://t.co/sA3a6DnKrr pic.twitter.com/HbrvawXxr8

— (((Tendar))) (@Tendar) February 27, 2024

“Interesting. Israel has been rather neutral between Russia and Ukraine before, so this is a big positive change. Surprising that it did not occur earlier,” wrote economist and author Anders Aslund on X.

“Extraordinary!” wrote (((Tendar))) a pro-Ukrainian X user who posts about the war, noting that Erdan “totally torched Russia.”.

“You can be sure that this speech comes in coordination with the Israeli Prime Minister. It clearly marks the end of the relationship between Putin and (Benjamin) Netanyahu,” the post added.

The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel is concerned at the growing cooperation between Russia and Iran, which supplies Moscow with drones to target Ukrainian infrastructure.

Tehran-aligned groups in the Middle East, such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen, have also stepped up their attacks on Israel in the wake of the war in Gaza, leading Israel to cool Russian-Israeli ties while strengthening those with Ukraine, the newspaper noted.

Newsweek contacted the Russian foreign ministry for comment.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.


Brendan Cole

Brendan Cole is a Newsweek Senior News Reporter based in London, UK. His focus is Russia and Ukraine, in particular the war started by Moscow. He also covers other areas of geopolitics including China. 

Brendan joined Newsweek in 2018 from the International Business Times and well as English, knows Russian and French.

You can get in touch with Brendan by emailing b.cole@newsweek.com or follow on him on his X account @brendanmarkcole.

Brendan Cole is a Newsweek Senior News Reporter based in London, UK. His focus is Russia and Ukraine, in particular …
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What did Ukraine use to shoot down 13 russian aircraft in two weeks and how many of them did the enemy have left?

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What did Ukraine use to shoot down 13 russian aircraft in two weeks and how many of them did the enemy have left?

The russian army has recently lost a significant number of combat aircraft to the war against Ukraine. Find out by what means it may have been hit

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BUY

In less than two weeks, the Ukrainian Air Force managed to destroy 13 russian warplanes, including a long-range radar detection and control aircraft, fighters and bombers. Here’s how the Ukrainian Armed Forces were able to shoot down the air targets and how many other “birds” the russian army has.

The timeline of aircraft destruction

If we compare January and February, it is obvious that the number of downed russian army aircraft increased rapidly in the last month of winter, although the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ January catch was also good: an A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft and an IL-22 flying command post. In addition, the russian authorities accused Ukraine of shooting down an IL-76 military transport aircraft near Belgorod on 24 January.

Already in February, from 17 to 29 February, Ukrainian forces managed to destroy 13 aircraft:

💥17 February – two Su-34 and one Su-35;

💥18 February – one Su-34;

💥19 February – one Su-34 and one Su-35S;

💥21 February – one Su-34;

💥23 February – one A-50 UAV;

💥27 February – two Su-34;

💥29 February – three Su-34.

Thus, in two weeks, russia’s losses in military aviation totalled 13 aircraft of various types, of which 10 were Su-34 bombers, which are declared to be the 4th generation aircraft. In total, as of 29 February, the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported the loss of 345 military aircraft.

It is the Su-34 aircraft that the occupiers use to launch strikes with aerial bombs on the frontline regions. 

How could Ukraine have shot them down? 

It is worth noting that Ukraine is known to be armed with a number of air defence systems that could, in theory, destroy russian aircraft over the occupied territory of Ukraine. For example, the US Patriot system, according to open data, is capable of destroying fighter jets at a distance of 130 km. The Ukrainian Air Force also has at least one SAMP/T air defence system that can shoot down aircraft at a distance of 100 km.

However, after the A-50 crashed over Krasnodar Krai on 23 February, the media reported, citing the DIU, that the aircraft was hit by a converted Soviet S-200 system.

At the same time, a senior researcher at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence Studies (RUSI) said that the increased number of russian aircraft allegedly shot down recently shows that “Ukraine has become more aggressive, risking Patriot launchers near the front line to damage russian aircraft.

It should be noted that such a risk on the part of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is highly justified, as the large number of destroyed aircraft – Su-34s – constantly give the Ukrainian army nightmares with bombs on the front line, which creates problems for the Ukrainian army.

The Air Force of Ukraine also tried to answer the question of how russian aircraft are shot down. As spokesman Yuriy Ignet told a TV channel, the Ukrainian Armed Forces have acquired tools capable of reaching russian aircraft at long distances. “It is clear which systems can do this,” he added.

Ihnat also said that the massive “aircraft fall” had affected the russians and pushed enemy aircraft away from the front line.

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How many aircraft do the russians have left?

Of course, the exact number of russian combat aircraft is unknown, but analysing open sources and statements by the russians themselves, we can conclude that the occupiers produced a total of 143 Su-34 aircraft by 2016. During the full-scale war, about 40 bombers were destroyed, so there may be 103 in total.

It should also be borne in mind that the occupiers are trying to replenish their losses. For example, the Ukrainian Air Force believes that russia is capable of producing only up to three Su-34s per year, while russia currently has dozens of these aircraft in service.

However, it is worth noting that it is almost impossible to determine the exact number, as this information is classified by the occupiers and can only be accessed by Ukrainian intelligence officers.

In addition, the occupiers continue to produce Su-35 fighters. Since the beginning of the invasion, russia has lost more than 10 of these aircraft, but, according to experts, it has managed to produce about 15 units.

But the number of long-range radar detection and control aircraft in russia can be counted on one hand. According to Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat, the occupiers have less than 8 of them left. At the same time, the Defence Intelligence of Ukraine says that the russians have only six such aircraft.

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Ukraine destroyed 13 Russian military aircraft in 2 weeks. How?

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This audio is created with AI assistance

Ukraine reported the downing of 13 Russian warplanes within the last two weeks, among the highest Russian Air Force losses since the early days of the full-scale invasion.

This list includes 10 Su-34 fighter bombers, two Su-35 fighter jets, and one more rare A-50 military spy plane. Another A-50 aircraft was downed a month prior. The last three Su-34s were reportedly destroyed in a single day on Feb. 29 over eastern Ukraine.

The rapid destruction of aircraft comes amid Russia’s attempts to advance on the battlefield after the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from Avdiivka and three villages in Donetsk Oblast, in addition to Ukraine’s widely mentioned ammunition shortage.

The remains of a downed Russian Sukhoi Su-34 fighter bomber are pictured in Lyman, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine. (Ukrinform/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Russia’s total losses during the all-out war amount to about 670 aircraft units — 345 planes and 325 helicopters, according to Ukraine’s General Staff. Most of the planes were downed in the early days of the all-out war.

Air Force branch commander, Lieutenant General Mykola Oleschuk, said on Feb. 27 that Russia should start thinking about decreasing the number of sorties.

But what led to the sudden February uptick in Ukrainian successful strikes?

In the recent more aggressive attacks against Ukrainian troops in the east, Russian forces have “overcome the fear” of using aircraft directly over the battlefield, Ukraine’s Centre for Defense Strategies wrote in one of its latest summaries.

This helped the Russian troops but resulted in the loss of aviation.

Guided aerial bombs, which Russia regularly drops from Su-34 and Su-35 planes to attack front-line settlements, remain one of its weapons that Ukraine is not yet able to counter.

Yuriy Ihnat, Air Force spokesman, said on national television on Feb. 29 that these days, hundreds of such bombs have been launched at Ukrainian positions in the Avdiivka sector.

“To drop a bomb, Russia needs a distance of under 100 kilometers — this is 30–40 kilometers, sometimes even closer. It all depends on the modification of the bomb, the flight distance, the altitude of the aircraft,” Oleksandr Kovalenko, military analyst and co-founder of the Information Resistance project, told the Kyiv Independent.

Ukraine now has “tools” to destroy planes “at quite long distances,” Ihnat told the Kyiv Independent, explaining the recent uptick.

Sukhoi Su-35S aircrafts perform during the 76th anniversary of Victory Day in the Red Square in Moscow, Russia on May 9, 2021. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

“Ukraine has more means to reach the enemy. And it is very important to provide Ukraine with more systems and ammunition (for those tools) — anti-aircraft-guided missiles. They are produced slowly, and we have a serious expense,” the Air Force spokesman added.

Justin Bronk, a senior research fellow at the U.K.-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told BBC that Russia’s recent losses in aviation may be due to the fact that “Ukraine is being more aggressive with risking Patriot launchers close to the front lines.”

Ukraine’s Air Forces don’t comment on such claims, and it is unknown what kind of weapons the Ukrainian military used for the rapid destruction of Russian aviation.

Ukraine has a layered air defense system: medium-range systems include IRIS-T, NASAMS, and long-range ones — Patriot, SAMP/T, and S-300.

A Patriot anti-aircraft missile system launcher stands at the air base on June 17, 2023, in Bavaria, Germany. (Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Primarily, these systems are used to repel Russia’s regular missile strikes across Ukraine and can be moved closer to the border or the front line after a decision of the military leadership.

In May 2023, the Patriot air defense system destroyed immediately as many as five aircraft units over Bryansk Oblast in Russia — Su-34 and Su-35 planes, two rare Mi-8MTPR-1 helicopters, and one Mi-8 helicopter, Air Forces confirmed, calling it “a brilliant operation.”

New А-50 loss

Ukraine’s most prized hit was the A-50 spy plane that was destroyed on Feb. 23 over Russia’s territory, near the town of Yeysk, about 200 kilometers from the front line.

Ukrainian soldiers could have shot it down using the Soviet S-200 air defense system, Ukrainska Pravda reported on Feb. 23, citing an unnamed source of Ukraine’s military intelligence agency.

Earlier, Russia claimed that Ukraine had allegedly used revived S-200 anti-aircraft systems, which Ukraine withdrew from service in 2013.

The Ukrainian authorities and military have not officially confirmed the possible modernization and use of the S-200.

“Withdrawal (of S-200 from use) does not mean its destruction or disposal, so everything can be possible,” Kovalenko said, commenting on the rumors.

In January, Ukraine reportedly shot down the first A-50 over the Sea of Azov and damaged an Ilyushin Il-22 plane that operates as an airborne command post along with it.

The destruction of two A-50s in 2024 cost Russia about $700 million, while the total number of such aircraft is down to six, according to Ukraine’s Military Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov.

Russian airborne early warning and control aircraft Beriev A-50U on March 10, 2017. (Sergey Lutsenko/Wikimedia Commons)

Experts say it’s too early to link the recent uptick in aircraft losses to the downing of the A-50, which provides several critical functions for Russia’s Air Force, such as detecting air defense systems, guided missiles, and coordinating targets for Russian fighter jets.

“The number of A-50s Russia has left is enough to cover the airspace around the clock and conduct reconnaissance activities,” Kovalenko told the Kyiv Independent.

“The nuance is the distance at which you need to be. Intelligence information depends on this.”

After the destruction of the second A-50, Russia has not used these aircraft for several days. Air Force spokesman Ihnat believes that this could have helped Ukraine shoot down Russian planes at longer range.

'Closed circle'

The destruction of numerous aircraft over the past two weeks has helped push Russian planes away from the front line and decrease the intensity of the use of aerial bombs, Ihnat said.

“Russia realizes that we have something to destroy them with. Therefore, after the destruction of so many aircraft, they will be less aggressive,” he told the Kyiv Independent.

At the same time, he said, Russia still has enough planes in its arsenal for war, and the issue is the number of weapons — bombs and missiles.

A Ukrainian army’s press officer stands next to the debris of Russian air strike aircraft Su-34 at a collection point of destroyed Russian armoured vehicles at an animal feed plant in the recently retaken town of Lyman in Donetsk region, on Oct. 5, 2022, amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP via Getty Images)

Kovalenko calls the Su-34 Russia’s “main working aircraft” for guided bomb attacks on Ukrainian military fortified areas and defense lines.

“They (Russia) understand that every flight of the Su-34 is risky and could end in a shootdown. On the other hand, they can’t do anything if they don’t use them, as they can only attack with them. For Russia, there’s no alternative. Fly and die.”

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