Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The other week there were headlines in Swedish media about a Russian campaign portraying Swedish WWII figures as nazi sympathisers. Mostly accurate and about persons most people today don't care about, but it also included a remark from beloved childrens book author Astrid Lindgren from 1940 about preferring Hitler to Stalin. Painting Astrid Lindgren as a nazi is a sure way to get an emotional response and guarantee headlines.

One article mentioned that the campaign seemed to consist of posters around the Swedish embassy.

So a Russian campaign aimed solely at Swedish media, which could only strenghten the likelihood of Sweden joining Nato. Odd.

Now this:

Now the most popular state-owned television channel, Russia-1, has broadcast mocked-up clips of nuclear weapons destroying Ireland in a report introduced by Dmitry Kiselyov, a close associate of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Twice, and it looks like a pattern.So it would appear that Russia wants EU-states that are not in Nato to join Nato.

But why?

I could see a domestic need to keep the contradictions sharpened, but I don't think it is enough to explain the behaviour. After all Putin seems to have the war-leader approval that is unfortunately so common.

If viewed in a new cold war perspective, getting rid of non-Nato but western states means getting rid of negotiators etc from Europe. Perhaps Russia thinks they will be better of if those kinds of roles opens up to more Russia friendly states.

by fjallstrom on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:17:36 PM EST
I see no evidence to suggest that Russia is thinking strategically.

IMO Russia is the sad old drunk in the pub picking fights with the younger toughs because he used to be a contender and wants to persuade himself he still has it.

It's delusional machismo, not 5D chess.

I don't think many Westerners understand Russia's culture. It's a bizarre combination of corrupt criminality and aggressive imperialism.

The US does corruption covertly by hiding it behind government contracts that channel money to CEOs and shareholders who in turn use some of it to fund politicians, who approve contracts...

Russia's corruption is autocratic, personal, and a model of rigid hierarchical patronage. Which makes it a complete mess, because money is diverted away from useful strategic goals. And individuals who can think collectively and strategically are purged and replaced by grifters and crooks.

So Russia does well at expanding its empire through covert ops, subversions, and financial influencing. Usefully this matches its view of itself as a strong, tough empire that is destined to save Europe from its own inferior and contemptible decadence.

But it's pretty mediocre at straightforward up-front conflict, and its leaders literally can't deal with strong organised opposition as a response to intimidation. Or even just with having their bluff called.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue May 10th, 2022 at 09:01:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Russia is the World's second nuclear power, and fancies itself as a power military player in every sector. So it leverages its military capabilities and oil and gas resources as much as it can. Now its non-nuclear capabilities are being found out.

It's economy has long been hollowed out by the Oligarchs. It's GDP is less than 2% of the World economy, and its no longer in the top 10 nations - behind Italy and Canada, and less than 5 times Ireland's. This war isn't going to help those figures at all and its conventional military prestige is shot. The danger is that it falls back on the one thing it is still a world leader in - nuclear weapons.

The shape of a potential deal with Ukraine has been obvious from day one: Russia gets to (officially) keep Crimea and Ukraine keeps Donbass as an autonomous province but with close links to Russia, doesn't join NATO but can join the EU. It's just a matter of how much time and destruction it takes before military realities force Russia to accept such a "solution".

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 10th, 2022 at 05:58:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That was literally what was completely unacceptable before because Ukraine is a sovereign country and the open door policy of NATO is non-negotiable. It's basically Minsk2. Before the war there was a pretty strong "anti-capitulation" movement that forced Zelensky to abandon his deescalation policy, despite being elected on that platform. And I don't think the war has made the Ukrainian far-right more chill. It's not that long ago that they shot one of their negotiators.
And then there is of course the question of why the US would accept that settlement. As things stand NATO got another shot at life, the Europeans are buying the MIC's (barely) flying golden turkeys like their lives depend on it and will find it nearly impossible to not get sucked into the US-China conflict. Even the fracking mafia is save for now. A negotiated settlement risks that so I really don't see the balance of forces in the US going for that. Can they stop the Ukrainians from accepting a settlement? I'd argue that they can. IMF loans are what's keeping the lights on currently, for as long as there is an active conflict the military support of the US is critical and they have been training the armed forces for years.
Then there is of course the question of whether the Russians would accept such a settlement now and honestly I don't think so. The US is almost certainly overstating Russian losses, but they are still going to be have been substantial so the internal logic is going to be: get something that can be sold as a win or escalate. As far as I can tell Russia is still fighting largely with its peace-time army so there should be quite a lot of room for further escalation if the military results aren't satisfactory, even if it would be politically risky. So a settlement the Russians would accept is probably going to be worse than Minsk2 or very far off.
by generic on Tue May 10th, 2022 at 10:20:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You're saying Ukraine is a sovereign country and then, in the next breath, that any settlement has to be acceptable to the US? Isn't that Russia's problem with Ukraine - it sees the Ukraine as basically a proxy for the USA and Nato on it's doorstep. It seems to me that the war is governed by increasing costs and diminishing returns. Some scorched earth in eastern Donbass isn't worth what it is costing Russia now, even if it takes some time for them to admit it to themselves.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue May 10th, 2022 at 10:37:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the RF planning to exhaust it's entire defense budget on invading Ukraine? idunno. EUCOM sure hopes so! US + EU (- US Lend-Lease LOC) = far deeper burn rate for "scorched earth" missile defense delivered to Poland to resell to Ukraine at a "discount" (UAH:PLN?) until the EU Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund starts reverse disbursements.
TASS | Russia's national defense budget to total $154B through 2022, 1 Oct 2019
"Budgetary provisions for 'National defense' will total 3.1 trillion rubles ($47.7 bln) in 2020, 3.24 trillion rubles ($50 bln) in 2021, and 3.3 trillion rubles ($51.3 bln) in 2022. The share of expenditures on 'National defense' will stand at 2.4% of GDP in 2020, 2.7% of GDP in 2021, and 2.6% of GDP in 2022," the document said.
oil and gas revenue piling up ... MEANWHILE
Seven European nations have increased defense budgets in one month., 22 Mar
to the point that six NATO members have now pledged defense increases of $133 [!] so far; militarily neutral Sweden has also pledged an increase. And more nations seem poised to follow suit in the days and weeks to come.
by Cat on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 12:36:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What I meant was that the suggestion we could offer the Russians "Finlandization" for Ukraine was treated as deeply unserious in the western media and angrily shouted down by politicians. Sovereignty and all that. I am, of course, convinced that the material realities are very different. And yes, the war is certainly costly for Russia, but they also seem to have switched to a more careful, artillery focused approach and the sanctions are unlikely to go away in the short term, no matter what actions they take. The USSR planned for WW3, it's unlikely they are going to run out of artillery shells after a few months. My point isn't that the Russians should continue the offensive, but that they can and it's probably easier to do so than to stop at this point.
Also a big question is still the Ukrainian armed forces. We really have no idea in what state of the regulars fighting in the south and east are. The information is highly controlled. I don't think we'd have a lot of early warning if they started to collapse.
by generic on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 06:49:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with the "Finlandisation" thesis is that the EU (and, arguably, the US) were unable to transgress that frontier : to explicitly bargain with Russia over the heads of the Ukrainian government.

Putin has that singular advantage, that he is not bound by any notions of international legality, and decided to create facts on the ground (he has made appallingly poor use of that advantage)

Currently, the Ukrainian army is pushing the Russians back to the border in the Kharkiv region, but losing ground, with occasional counter-attacks, in the Donbass
A Georgian think-tank updates every few days, using open sources

I've no idea how long they can hold out, or whether better hardware can give them the advantage.
The closest analogy I can think of to the current situation is the Iran-Iraq war, which lasted for eight years.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:14:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course the US can bargain with Russia over the Ukrainians head. Whatever would prevent them? The Europeans probably can't, for the simple reason that they seem unable to keep agreements against US opposition. Just look at the Iran deal, the US blew it up and despite all the grumbling from the EU the sanctions returned.
by generic on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 11:20:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't get too excited about the US. We have a significant crowd that wants to expand the "states' rights" argument into a "federation of independent states" system. The EU might find itself negotiating with Texas or Indiana at some point.
by asdf on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 02:16:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From the Russian viewpoint, what country isn't a proxy for the US? The Baltic states? Australia? Japan? Turkey? Israel?

The US sticks its nose into everybody else's business, that is true. But in most cases there is a degree of provocation that initiates it. The vast majority of Americans couldn't care less about the world outside; even Mexico and Canada and Hawaii are exotic remote foreign places. Puerto Rico might as well be in the Mediterranean.

by asdf on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 04:31:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine's debt to the IMF was about $56Bn at the end of 2020. That's just $3Bn less than the current total (at least what's above-board) of "aid" approved from the US alone. Give it a few more months and I'm sure that these underwriters will happily restructure that debt in the form of a piece of the action in future "aid" packages.

I'm sure that the banksters who pull the levers of the World Bank and IMF have personal portfolios with plenty of 'exposure' to the MIC/arms industry.

https://educationcenter2000.com/Articles_Folder/Who_Owns_and_Controls_Military_Industrial_Complex.ht m

I add: But they can't erase the debt of some of the poorest countries in the world that are/were not at war in the recent past?

by Tom2 on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 08:32:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The shape of a potential deal with Ukraine has been obvious from day one: Russia gets to (officially) keep Crimea and Ukraine keeps Donbass as an autonomous province but with close links to Russia, doesn't join NATO but can join the EU. It's just a matter of how much time and destruction it takes before military realities force Russia to accept such a "solution"

Since Bucha, Ukranians have a very different idea of what constitutes an acceptable deal. Leaving any of their people to be raped and murdered by Russia is no longer acceptable. Instead, the minimum now (according to Zelenskiy this morning) is all their land back.

by IdiotSavant on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 02:40:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
https:/www.theinsightnewsonline.com/the-bucha-provocation?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&ut m_campaign=the-bucha-provocation

And when your basic freedoms as a Western European are taken away and your salary aligned to an Eastern European salary, you will applaud?

by Tom2 on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 07:06:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is for you, Tomtom, because I know you'll enjoy it. Quoting extensively because Mediapart is subscription only.
Jamais au long de sa carrière, la cofondatrice de l'association des femmes avocates d'Ukraine ne pensait être confrontée à « ça », « des viols de masse », « des viols de guerre » : « C'est plus que le viol, c'est la destruction par l'intime d'une nation sur des générations. »

Plus d'une dizaine de dossiers occupent ses journées, ses nuits aussi, « et ce n'est que le début » : Tanya* violée avec sa fille Iliana*, Ludmila* sous les yeux de son fils de 12 ans, Katia* des jours durant, « pour la punir d'enseigner la langue ukrainienne», Olena* extraite de Marioupol « l'appareil génital détruit »...

À l'exception d'un dossier qui met en cause un militaire seul - un officier -, tous documentent des viols en réunion, impliquant plusieurs soldats russes dans des régions occupées désormais libérées au nord de l'Ukraine, ou toujours sous occupation au sud et à l'est. Tous déploient une même mécanique.

« Ils violent en meute, longtemps, sans se cacher, en public, devant des témoins, les proches, les enfants, constate Larysa Denysenko. Ils sont souvent ivres, toujours armés, très cruels, sadiques. Des insultes reviennent, par exemple "pute de nazis", "salope nazie", "on va t'ouvrir le ventre, t'apprendre à ne plus mettre au monde de nazis". »

La semaine dernière, trois nouvelles victimes, des femmes encore, lui ont été envoyées, les premières à vouloir porter plainte, « mais la procédure les a effrayées » : « Je n'arrive plus à les joindre. » On lui a aussi transmis le cas d'un enfant violé. Larysa Denysenko a « craqué », refusé : « Ce qu'il a subi est d'une telle barbarie... Je ne me suis pas sentie capable de le porter. »

Des habitantes attendent une distribution d'aide alimentaire dans un village de la région de Kyiv ravagé par la guerre (Ukraine, mai 2022). © Photo Rachida El Azzouzi /Mediapart
Viols collectifs sur des femmes, des enfants, des hommes, en public ou sous le regard des familles, qui peuvent être suivis d'assassinat, de viols post-mortem, prostitution forcée... : l'Ukraine découvre avec horreur l'étendue des violences sexuelles commises par l'armée russe depuis l'invasion du pays le 24 février, en même temps que les massacres, les tortures, les disparitions forcées, les pillages, les destructions.

Mediapart a sillonné les régions de Kyiv et de Chernihiv au nord du pays, reprises par les forces ukrainiennes, à la rencontre des victimes de viols, cette arme à déflagrations multiples, devenue banale dans les conflits armés. Des rencontres majoritairement indirectes, tant le silence fait déjà son oeuvre, par le biais des proches, des témoins, des avocat·es, des psychologues, des médecins, des élu·es, des ONG en première ligne dans la révélation de ces crimes dont l'ampleur est difficile à évaluer.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 07:18:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Si le 12 avril dernier, le président ukrainien Volodymyr Zelensky a évoqué « des centaines de cas de viol », le parquet ukrainien ne communique qu'un chiffre actualisé au fil des jours : celui des crimes de guerre présumés, tous confondus, exécutions sommaires, torture, viols, etc.
À ce stade, plus de 8 000 ont été identifiés et font l'objet d'enquêtes ouvertes par la procureure générale d'Ukraine et la Cour pénale internationale de la Haye (CPI). Une course contre la montre, pavée d'obstacles, pour collecter, recouper les témoignages, les preuves. Un site gouvernemental a été spécifiquement créé, Warcrimes.gov.ua, où citoyen·nes, victimes, témoins, ONG, journalistes peuvent envoyer tout document attestant de crimes de guerre.

Des renforts sont venus du monde entier, de la CPI : des enquêtrices et enquêteurs, des magistrat·es, des expert·es qui ont parfois ratissé des terrains de guerre où les violences sexuelles les plus extrêmes ont été systématisées, comme en Bosnie (région de l'ex-Yougoslavie), en Sierra Leone ou au Rwanda... Des ONG reconnues, telles Amnesty International ou Human Rights Watch (HRW), qui documentait dès le 3 avril le viol d'une jeune femme dans un village près de Kharkiv à l'est, conduisent leurs propres enquêtes, indépendamment du processus judiciaire.

Un des enjeux sera de déterminer si les viols relèvent d'une stratégie militaire délibérée, planifiée au sommet par la Russie, d'un potentiel génocide qui vise à l'épuration ethnique, comme le dénonce le président ukrainien, ou s'ils sont un des dommages aléatoires de la guerre, perpétré par quelques mercenaires hors de contrôle, sans responsabilité du commandement.

Pour Larysa Denysenko, « c'est un système de terreur organisé au plus haut ». Wlada*, 20 ans, qu'elle accompagne, a été violée à Irpin, près de Kyiv, dans le sous-sol d'un immeuble, au milieu d'autres réfugié·es, par trois hommes de la 64e brigade de fusiliers motorisés. Cette brigade, impliquée dans le massacre de centaines de civils dans la commune voisine de Boutcha, a été décorée à son retour à Moscou par le président russe, le 18 avril dernier, au titre de « l'héroïsme, la ténacité, la détermination et le courage ».

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 07:39:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If Russia had been thinking strategically, it would have contemplated how everything west of the Ural mountains is part of Europe. Smart thing to do would have been to apply to join the EU, dump the military spending, and make NATO obsolete.

Now the Russian economy is going to collapse to a state worse than it has been for many decades, they are going to lose any chance of re-integrating Eastern Europe into a new USSR, and they will probably manage to trigger a nuclear war. Hopefully only a limited tactical one that will confine the mushroom clouds and fallout to the immediate area, but very good chance now of step-by-step escalation to WW3.

Brilliant thinking.

Hopefully the general staff will squelch Putin. Probably not though for the same reasons as always.

by asdf on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 12:32:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 12:56:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
From 1954 through 1998 so little has changed in the dialogue with the former Soviet Union that the present crisis has been simmering for decades. All along the intention by the West was a double-cross and subjugation of the Russian people. The insecurity of the hegemon. The utter failure of the European enterprise ... in our lifetime.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 06:38:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The EU is built, in part, on the notion that the more you can integrate economies, the greater interdependencies you create, and hence war becomes steadily more unthinkable. I think the EU, and specifically Germany, also tried that approach with Russia, increasing business ties and interdependencies in the hope this would improve relations, reduce tensions,and keep everybody happy.

It may even have worked, to a degree, but in economic terms, Russia was always the poor relation and only the Oligarchs got rich. It didn't take much, in terms of internal tensions in Ukraine, for all those economic ties to come tumbling down.

Now Germany is being lambasted, particularly by Brexiteers for having had close economic ties with Russia in the first place. They appear not to have heard of Londongrad. It's a lot easier to embargo an Oligarch's assets than to switch off the heating and cooking systems for millions of pensioners in Germany and beyond.

But I don't buy the assertion that nothing changed in Russia/EU relations since 1954. The cold war gradually defrosted, and economic relations deepened. You can't blame Germany or the EU for the fact that the Oligarchs cleaned up and ordinary Russians got very little. That is down to the political system within Russia. Think of the opprobrium the EU would have gotten if it were to be seen to be interfering in that!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:51:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The council of Europe is not part of the EU

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 04:38:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Council of the European Union
OK, boomer. Save that veto.
by Cat on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 03:17:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Every member state of the EU is o the Council of the European Union. It is synonymous with membership. To my knowledge Russia has never applied to join the EU or even given the matter serious consideration.  For one thing, it would have to accept equal status with Ireland... which was part of the (subconscious) reason for the UK leaving.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 05:01:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Katrin on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:03:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Danke Katrin, sometimes people confuse Boomer slurs with being right.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:47:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not confused. I posted the link which enumerates the powers of the Council of the European Union.
by Cat on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 09:33:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
euronews | "This is one person's war" and "We are not fighting against Russia" says EU's top diplomat Borrell
The EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has insisted the European Union is 'not fighting against Russia' but 'defending Ukraine' during a high-level State of the Union event in the Italian city of Florence.

Speaking exclusively to Euronews, Borrell said: "I don't like at all the story of the West against Russia or the West against the rest...this is an issue about the Charter of the United Nations [!]. It's about the sovereignty of the people of states, the respect for the borders not to use force to override their neighbour.

"We are not fighting against Russia. We are defending Ukraine. And, defending Ukraine means to defend the international order based on rules. Otherwise, it will be the LAW OF THE JUNGLE," he added.

by Cat on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 11:03:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO infested EU foreign policy - one man's fight Josep Borrell.

EU's top diplomat ...

Finding his diplomatic results deplorable, I figured to look at his credentials ...

Borrell's long career of incompetence...

Borrell returns: His vision for Europe

Borrell: from controversy to EU's top diplomat | EU Observer - Sep 23, 2019 |

[Link: https://euobserver.com/eu-political/146106]

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 04:37:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
euronew | What do we know about Macron's idea for a two-tier Europe?
He laid out his vision of a broader community of European democracies that would allow for deeper cooperation between the 27-member bloc and non-EU countries. Within this new political union, nations like Ukraine, and even a post-Brexit Britain, could forge deeper ties without officially joining the EU.
< wipes tears >
"The EU, given the level of its integration and ambition, cannot be in the short-term the only means of structuring the European continent," Macron told MEPs."It's our historic obligation to respond to that today and to create what I would call a 'European political community'. This new European organisation would allow European democratic nations adhering to our core values to find a new space for cooperation on politics, security, energy, transport, infrastructure investments and the movement of people, especially the young."
archived Primacy of EU Law and its implications
by Cat on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 11:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He means to insert Morocco apparently.
Yellow jackets can keep demonstrating, he can cross the sea and find (even) cheaper workers.
https://www.expatcentreleiden.nl/get-advice/blogs/european-commission-announces-new-migration-policy -initiative
This economic war have been going for too long.
by Oosterbeek on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 01:23:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An EU orchestrated Ukrainian brain-drain to help out in this time of crisis ..

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 07:54:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So sorry to have mistakenly attributed confusion to you.

You introduced a link to an article with the heading "Russia's request for membership of the Council of Europe" with the words: "That time Russia Federation applied to join EU". The two obviously are not the same.

I can't think of more than 2 reasons for your misleading us: confusion or intention. You say it isn't confusion. Is it intention or is there another reason which I haven't hit on?

by Katrin on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 10:11:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I responded to this statement.
The council of Europe is not part of the EU

Both "councils" are formed by one set of EU member heads of state. Both councils reserve exclusive political rights to its members to "conclude" EU-member treaties, EU-member policy objectives, and EP uhh endorsement of EC authorities, delegated by these councils to portfolio managers who propose legislative directives ultimately addressed to the several national legislatures to enact, or not, in their legal codes.

I had assumed, having myriad infographics depicting  EU Withdrawal Agreement processing behind us,  correspondents here had formed unequivocal agreement as to authorities vested in this "dual-use" supranational body established by successive TEUs. Of course, I am incorrect. If one council is not part of the EU, neither council is part of the EU.

Besides, corporations are not people.

Everyone the world over can now confidently disregard councils' decision-making mechanisms, publicity stunts, and memos.

Joe knows which way the wind blow.

PRESIDENT BIDEN: ... I joked when the Union was formally formed, saying this is like -- we have a thing called the "Commerce Clause."
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  You go from one state to the other --
PRESIDENT BIDEN:  -- you don't have to go through checkpoints.  (Laughs.)  Well, it's sort of Europe's Commerce Clause.  
by Cat on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 05:03:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
No. The Council of Europe is not formed by "EU member heads of state" and has no direct EU function. You do write a lot of b/s sometimes. Why not just admit you made a small mistake - we all do - and focus on real issues rather than engage in distraction manoeuvres?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 05:11:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Both "councils" are formed by one set of EU member heads of state.

What?! You sound very confused indeed. The Council of Europe has nothing whatsoever to do with the EU, which is the reason why Russia once applied for membership, and successfully at that, and only was kicked out recently, after decades of membership.

If one council is not part of the EU, neither council is part of the EU.

Undoubtedly, one council is not part of the EU, and equally undoubtedly, the other one is.This is school children stuff. People quickly forget that (the disambiguation thing in my link wasn't set up for nothing), but to earnestly and repeatedly claim that the Council of Europe was not independent of the EU is more than astonishing.

Cat, why are you doing this?

by Katrin on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 05:33:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sat May 14th, 2022 at 12:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The memo"? No, I haven't read "the memo". As a rule I don't read stuff that is dumped here without a context. Does your memo fall into that category?

In your last post you quoted some bits of your president's pitiful attempts at small talk as proof for your idea that everything that has the word "council" in it must, without doubt, be some EU decision-making entity.

Before that you posted "the link which enumerates the powers of the Council of the European Union". Is that what you mean by the mysterious "the memo"? Indeed, I didn't read it. I already know the powers of the Council of the European Union (btw. it is usually shortened to "European Council"). So, (if your link really does what you say it does, which we can't be sure of), it is telling us nothing new, nor is it telling us anything about the Council of Europe, because that latter entitiy has nothing to do with the EU, and should not be confused with the Council of the European Union, but then: you say you are not confused.

Oof. I don't know where I took this overdose of patience from. Won't happen again.

by Katrin on Sat May 14th, 2022 at 07:42:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are content with being regarded as the poster who posts false factual claims here without even caring if your stuff is even remotely resembling something credible, then go on like this.
by Katrin on Sat May 14th, 2022 at 08:53:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Russia's request for membership of the Council of Europe - 1996

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided to cease the membership of the Russian Federation in the Council of Europe as from 16 March. The decision was taken based on Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) unanimous opinion, adopted following Russia's grave violations of the Council of Europe Statute in accordance with the due procedures.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri May 13th, 2022 at 09:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I guess if you believed that every Bernie-bro in your Twitter mentions was a Russian bot and every leaked document the result of some GRU plot you'd be surprised that the Russians are actually pretty bad at that whole propaganda business.
by generic on Wed May 11th, 2022 at 06:57:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
On the subject of things the Russians are unexpectedly bad at :

Cyber attacks. Outside of Ukraine itself (where they seem to have had some success) ... nothing happened.

In Europe and the USA, a lot of effort has been put into cyber defense in the past few years, mostly because of Russian private-enterprise ransomeware etc, but also to harden vital systems against state actors.

So, logically enough, in terms of vital infrastructure, it's probably pretty hard to find targets that are both soft and strategic.
Also, state-sponsored attacks would certainly trigger state-sponsored counter-attacks. And I wouldn't be surprised if western actors turned out to be better at it, in which case the Russian economy could take a severe hit.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 08:29:36 AM EST
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I've certainly argued for years that the Russian hacking threat was only marginally more real than Havana syndrome. I still remember the NATO cyber center that got set up in the Baltics after they had suffered a "Russian"cyberattack for which they arrested one student after a few months. And it hasn't gotten all that more plausible since then. You can certainly claim that the Russians have attacked the electoral system and the electrical grid, but apparently you can also claim that the Russians shot you with a gun that causes hangover symptoms on your way back from an all-night bender with Congress nodding sagely and handing you barrels of cash.
Of course western actors are going to be better at this, you could easily drown the whole Russian surface navy in their budgets and I don't think I've seen even the most paranoid claim the Russians ever pulled off anything comparable to that Iranian enrichment plant.
by generic on Thu May 12th, 2022 at 05:59:09 PM EST
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