After the Christmas break we start again in full force.
This last one was truly the night of drones – and no, I’m not referring to the ones that go berserk 24/7 all over the frontline on both sides.
Let’s go in order. Firstly, a new attack on the Russian air base of Engels with at least one drone which was intercepted and shot down by the base’s flak. This time no damage to the planes but three victims among ground personnel.
Once again it could have been a “preventive” attack, that is aimed at hindering or delaying the activities of the Russian aviation, but obviously it is not known if launches were planned for last night. As I write, there are reports of explosions in Kharkiv, Cherson and in their respective oblasts, but we don’t know if they are missiles or artillery.
Far more interesting (in the sense of the interest that a potential world war always brings with it) is instead what happened on the border between the two Koreas almost in the same hours. Five North Korean drones (presumably reconnaissance and unarmed) entered South Korean airspace from three directions: Gangwha Island, Gimpo, and Paju, and continued on to Seoul which, as is evident, is very close to the border.
At least one of the five has reached the airspace of the city, even if this information tells us little: Seoul has ten million inhabitants, 25 including the port and satellite districts.
After the raid, one of the drones returned to North Korea while the other four disappeared, probably shot down by anti-aircraft or South Korean aviation which immediately took off. A South Korean KA-1 (summarily referred to as a “fighter” by the media, in reality it is a forward air control with limited offensive capabilities) crashed for reasons yet to be ascertained in the Hoengseong region (circled in blue on the map) – except for the crew that parachuted in time.
Flights from Incheon and Gimpo airports have obviously been suspended for a few hours. To this, finding ourselves, we add that yesterday about seventy Chinese aircraft and drones maneuvered in the Taiwan air identification zone, supported by seven Chinese navy ships (part of which, I recall, is still engaged in joint military maneuvers with some military ships in the South China Sea) and we have a pretty promising picture (again if you like World War II).
Finally, the Kosovo issue is becoming more and more complicated. Yesterday evening at around 8 pm shots were heard in Zubin Potok, it is not clear fired by whom and for what purpose.
According to local Serbian sources, they were warning shots, let’s say, fired into the air when the Kosovar police were trying to dismantle one of the barricades that Serbian residents erected three weeks ago; Kosovar sources instead say that it was an attack on the contingent of the NATO KFOR mission, which in that area (I was about to write “of the front”) is entrusted to Lithuania.
However, KFOR has not reported any shots fired at its soldiers, so the matter remains mysterious. Also tonight, the ambassadors of the Western governments most involved in the Kosovo issue (USA, Germany, France, Italy, Germany and Great Britain) told the President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić that the Serbian residents have 24 hours to remove the barricades: passed the term the Kosovar police will be able to eliminate them using force, if necessary.
Goran Rakić, the leader of the Kosovar Serbs, has obviously declared that the barricades will remain, while the Kosovar police units are moving in force towards the Serb gatherings.
Vučić held an emergency meeting with Ana Brnabić, prime minister, while the Serbian army chief of staff went to Raška, a few kilometers from the Kosovar border.
According to what he said, the situation is complex and requires the presence of the Serbian army on the border, an army that has received “clear and precise instructions that it will carry out”. A convoy of self-propelled artillery has just arrived in the area and more troops are being concentrated.
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Russia/Ukraine, Korea and Kosovo. The mosaic of the crisis… – Contropiano