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By John Helmer, Moscow

In the war against Russia, Penny Wong (lead image, left) , the Australian Foreign Minister, has done more fighting with her feet than with her mouth.

Last August 5, at a meeting of ASEAN foreign ministers in Cambodia, Wong walked out during a speech by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, declaring through a spokesman:  “Minister Wong could not sit through Lavrov’s attempt to justify the murder of innocent Ukrainians.”   

When Australians fighting on the Ukraine side of the front are killed, Wong chooses to say nothing at all.

At least four Australian soldiers had been reported in the Australian media to have been killed by the end of last December; at least of one of them had been serving in the Australian Army. To evade Australian law prohibiting Australians from combat in  foreign mercenary units, three were classified as medics. In each death Wong’s ministry announced it was providing “consular assistance to the family”.  

By the end of February, the number of Australian KIA (Killed in Action) was still at four.   

Last week, Boris Rozhin’s Telegram site, known as “Colonel Cassad”, announced details of the death of a fifth Australian and the wounding of an American. They were shot while travelling together in a civilian car in an unidentified location.  

When the combat death of the fifth Australian was announced on May 6 by the Russians, Wong was asked to confirm his name and state of origin, and also to provide a count of Australians killed in the war so far. Wong’s spokesman said “we’re looking into your query.” Wong and her aides then went silent, and have refused to answer several follow-up emails.

It’s a silence of lambs trying to dissemble in wolves’ clothing.  

The Russian posting is dated May 5, 23:26. Source: https://t.me/RVvoenkor/44311
The caption says: “Killed an Australian, wounded an American...Incredible adventures of the AFU mercenaries in the combat zone.” The absence of weapons, passports, or other forms of identification suggest the two men may have been wearing civilian clothes.

Last October the Australian Defence Force (ADF) headquarters in Canberra published an item catalogue and dollar valuation of the government’s aid to the Kiev regime. Called OPERATION KUDU,    about 70 Australian troops have been providing infantry training to Ukrainian soldiers, reportedly in the UK and elsewhere. According to the Australian government,  “no ADF personnel will enter Ukraine.”      The operation is oddly named because the kudu, a species of horned antelope, is a native of southern Africa, and has never been known in either Australia or the UK, except in zoo cages.

The ADF catalogue also listed a total of 90 Bushmaster infantry fighting vehicles shipped to the Ukraine. The more advanced Hawkei vehicle,   repeatedly requested by Kiev, has not followed; Australian officials claim this is because its brakes do not work properly.  

Altogether, Australia says it has given the Ukraine a total of $655 million in support, including $475 million in military assistance. The latter includes twenty-eight  M113 armoured personnel carriers,   six M777 howitzers,  and radiation monitoring equipment.   

The radiation measurement systems and protective clothing for troops were shipped from Australia to Kiev in July 2022.   Weeks later in September, they were used in support of Ukrainian artillery and commando attacks on the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant; for more details, read this  and more.   

The most recent addition to Australia’s war against Russia, announced in Canberra in February, has been the Uncrewed Aerial Systems (UAS). Wong’s ministry claims these systems “provide a battlefield intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability for the Ukrainian Armed Forces as they continue to fight.”  Without details or photographs, these “systems” appear to be reconnaissance drones. However, these drones may be intended to be weaponised, as the US UAS systems have already been converted.

Concealed by the Wong press releases, and also by the ADF, is this Australian weapon aimed directly at Russian forces. This is the remote weapons system (RWS) manufactured by Electro Optic Systems (EOS).   The first EOS contract for 100 RMS weapons was announced on April 3; the company reported to the Australian Stock Exchange it was worth $80 million. Three weeks later, the company claimed it had signed another “conditional contract to supply up to fifty EOS RWS units to Ukraine, including ammunition, spares and related services. The contract, valued at up to US$41m (approximately A$61m), envisages supply during 2023 and 2024.”  

The war against Russia is profitable for EOS and its shareholders. “The global market for EOS products continued to develop positively during Q1 2023. This was partly due to the conflict in Ukraine and the impact on customer demand in NATO countries and other markets.”    

Source: https://www.australiandefence.com.au
 The Australian government and EOS are hiding details of the artillery, missile, rocket or gun armament, ammunition, and battlefield range of the “systems”  included in the Ukrainian contract.

The EOS share price has been declining sharply since it peaked in November 2020, when its share price was A$6.68 and its market capitalisation A$1.14 billion. The stock market loss was catastrophic until the special military operation began on February 24, 2022, with share price pickup on March 1, 2022 and again on May 1 of this year. Because the Kiev regime has yet to pay EOS and its weapons shipments remain “conditional”, the stock markets are showing pessimism. If the Ukrainians are defeated on the battlefield in the coming weeks, the Australian weapons won’t be shipped, EOS will not get its money, and its share price will continue to dive. The current share price is just 69 Australian cents; the EOS market cap is A$123.3 million – this is one-tenth of its value three years ago.

Source: https://markets.ft.com/

Foreign Minister Wong has been embarrassed to answer when asked by the press why Australian forces and arms were participating in the war against Russia. In March she told the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC), a state propaganda organ, “we’ll consider any requests from Ukraine. The point about Ukraine, as you know, Michael, is it is a long way away. But the principle is, it matters deeply to Australia and it matters deeply to the region. And that’s the principle that a greater power should not be able to infringe upon another country’s sovereignty and set territorial integrity. And that was the settlement post-World War II – the principle, which countries agreed after that terrible war, which has enabled peace and stability. That’s why we all must stand firm against the illegal invasion by Russia of Ukraine.”  

Wong has been unable to explain why the Bushmaster vehicle had been supplied to Kiev, but the Hawkei refused. “Look, we do what we can in many parts of the world. We’ve obviously provided quite a lot of both humanitarian and military assistance to Ukraine and we will consider this request as we’ve considered all requests and since we’ve come to government, we’ve added to the military assistance that has been provided. I would make the point also, we are obviously providing a lot of support, including security assistance in our near region, as is our responsibility and as you would expect us to do in order to assure Australian and regional stability.”  

Australian police and secret intelligence agents have been working in Kiev since 2014, ostensibly in the investigations which followed the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014. However, the agents have also been using informants working undercover as journalists.  

The new Australian combat death is a mystery because Wong’s ministry refuses to confirm or deny it. On May 6, the day after the death was reported in Russian, Wong was asked for “DFAT’s  [Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade] confirmation of the name and state of origin of  the Australian who was killed in action on the Ukrainian side this past week, as reported and confirmed in the Russian press. Did the individual have a record of Australian military service?  What is DFAT’s count of Australians killed in the Ukraine war to date?  I would appreciate promptness in your response. In the event that you do not respond, you will be reported as refusing.”

Russian press reports claim the video and voice reporting from the battlefield came from the Ukrainian military, not from the Russian side.   It is therefore likely that Kiev has the Australian soldier’s body, and has told Canberra. “Consular assistance” would then follow by the Australians; that means repatriation of the body and a coroner’s inquest on cause of death in the state where the dead man had lived. In practice, the Australian government keeps politically embarrassing deaths of its nationals secret, if necessary by avoiding the coroner’s court and breaking the law.

Wong’s press office acknowledged she had received the press questions. She was then asked:  “Is that all? What are DFAT’s answers to the questions?”

Several deadlines have expired. Wong refuses to say anything about the new Australian casualty at the front.

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