Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

NATO's Battleground Ukraine v. Russia

by Oui Mon Nov 8th, 2021 at 11:30:19 PM EST

[Long update below the fold … Zelensky and US policy shaped under two presidents]

Conflict zone Eastern Front: expect more war propaganda the coming days, weeks ...

Great achievement by the Trump administration on the Islamic Republic of Iran ... come on EU, what's the beef?

Statement by President von der Leyen on the situation at the border between Poland and Belarus

The Belarusian authorities must understand that pressuring the European Union in this way through a cynical instrumentalisation of migrants will not help them succeed in their purposes.

I have spoken to Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, Lithuanian Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė and Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krišjānis Kariņš to express the EU's solidarity and discuss with them the measures the EU can take to support them in their efforts to deal with this crisis.

I am calling on Member States to finally approve the extended sanctions regime on the Belarusian authorities responsible for this hybrid attack.

Ukraine Zelensky Corruption Groundhog Day

Faltering fightback: Zelensky's piecemeal campaign against Ukraine's oligarchs | ECFR - July 6, 2021 |

On 12 March this year, Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, released a short appeal on YouTube called "Ukraine fights back". He declared that he was preparing to take on those who have been undermining the country - those who have exploited Ukraine's weaknesses in particular, including its frail rule of law. He attacked "the oligarchic class" - and named names: "[Viktor] Medvedchuk, [Ihor] Kolomoisky, [Petro] Poroshenko, [Rinat] Akhmetov, [Viktor] Pinchuk, [Dmitry] Firtash". He proceeded to address the oligarchs directly, asking, "Are you ready to work legally and transparently?" The president went on, "Or do you want to continue to create monopolies, control the media, influence deputies and other civil servants? The first is welcome. The second ends."

Ukrainians have heard this kind of talk before. Zelensky's predecessor, Poroshenko, also made `de-oligarchisation' a policy pledge. So, is this Groundhog Day, with the same empty promises, or is anything different this time? The signs are that some change may now be afoot in Ukraine, although it is proceeding in fits and starts, and with no small number of setbacks. And Ukraine's international situation is having a significant influence over this.

'They Want the West to Be Frightened.' Ukraine's President on Why Russia Sent Troops to the Border | Time - April 12, 2021 |

My diary on Ukraine ...

Ukraine MP election: Removing Oligarchs ... Some | July 21, 2019 |

Historical review ...

Kyiv Post's 3 owners paid a big price for editorial independence | Oct. 16, 2020 |

Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Michel and President Zelensky following the EU-Ukraine Summit

OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM) Daily Report 262/2021 issued on 8 November 2021

[Update-1] zelensky powerbase role oligarchs ukraine relationship u.s. government

Zelenskyy’s Version of Perestroika and the Role of the Oligarchs| Wilson Center - March 19, 2020 |

As a student of the post-Soviet human, I am amazed to see how often political processes in contemporary Ukraine resemble those of its Soviet past. One such resemblance I see is between Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s policies and Mikhail Gorbachev’s perestroika.

Here I use the word “perestroika” (literally “reshaping” or “rebuilding”) as a term for a political action that offers an alternative to the usual choice of revolution or reform, between overthrowing everything and starting anew or molding what one has into a different shape. In this context, then, revolution denotes an event of radical innovation and a new beginning in politics (or some other sphere of human activity). Reform, by contrast, is a change within a given political regime aimed at making it more effective and viable. Perestroika is in between.

Cabinet reshuffle and back on track, at least with IMF? | Stanford - Apr. 3, 2020 |

The newly appointed prime minister spent the month stressing the importance of securing the IMF program.  While he expressed his readiness to travel to Washington to meet the Fund’s leadership, the IMF told Kyiv to first complete two key preconditions.

  One was Rada passage of a banking law that would prevent former owners whose banks had been nationalized from regaining ownership.  This targeted oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky, a former owner of PrivatBank.  After a 2016 audit revealed PrivatBank’s accounts were short $5 billion, the government nationalized it and made good the missing funds. However, Kolomoisky recently suggested legal action to regain ownership or compensation, a deal-breaker for the IMF.

  Kolomoisky has a link to the president, as he owns the television network that broadcast the comedy show in which Zelensky played a common man suddenly thrust into the presidency. How the government handles the ownership of PrivatBank has become a litmus test for Zelensky.

  The second issue was Rada passage of an agricultural reform bill that would lift a moratorium on the sale of agricultural land. Ukraine has 30 percent of the world’s black earth, and the agricultural sector represents a bright spot in the economy. But the prohibition on land sales denied private farmers the ability to use their land as collateral to secure loans to buy better seed, fertilizer and equipment.

Biden’s Ukrainian Oligarchs and Corruption | @BooMan - Aug. 6, 2017 |

Patriarch Joe Biden and the U.S. Power Grab in Ukraine 2014 to present

The Biden Presidency and Ukraine | Brooking Institute - Jan. 28, 2021 |

In a December 2020 New York Times interview, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky welcomed Joe Biden’s election as U.S. president. Zelensky observed [NYT] that Biden “knows Ukraine better than the previous president” and “will really help strengthen relations, help settle the war in Donbas, and end the occupation of our territory.”

While Zelensky’s comments may prove overly optimistic, there is little reason to doubt that the Biden presidency will be good for Ukraine. The incoming president knows the country, and he understands both the value of a stable and successful Ukraine for U.S. interests in Europe and the challenges posed to Ukraine and the West by Russia.

That might—might, not will, but might—help break the logjam on the stalemated Donbas conflict, which Zelensky of course would welcome. Perhaps less welcome to the Ukrainian president may be Biden’s readiness to play hardball to press Kyiv to take needed but politically difficult reform and anti-corruption steps. Ukraine’s success as a liberal democracy depends not just on ending its conflict with Russia but also on combating corruption and advancing still necessary economic reforms.


In one sense, U.S. policy toward Ukraine during the Trump administration had its strengths. It continued political and military support for Kyiv, including the provision of lethal military assistance that the Obama administration had been unwilling to provide. It maintained and strengthened Ukraine-related sanctions on Russia. And it took further steps to bolster the U.S. and NATO military presence in central European states on Ukraine’s western border.

How Zelenskyy can improve the US-Ukraine relationship | Atlantic Council - March 11, 2021 |

Following a sometimes rocky relationship during the four years of the Trump administration, the Ukrainian government is seeking to begin the Biden presidency with US-Ukrainian ties on a more stable footing.

Since President Biden’s inauguration, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has taken a number of steps that appear designed to win favor in Washington DC. He has banned Kremlin-linked Ukrainian TV channels, [read: Russian language media with natural affinity to Russia, risk of ethnic cleansing] sanctioned Putin ally Viktor Medvedchuk, and blocked the planned Chinese purchase of Ukrainian aircraft engine producer Motor Sich. Zelenskyy has also appointed the respected former Ukrainian Finance Minister Oksana Makarova as the country’s new ambassador to the United States. These are all geopolitical gestures that are likely to be welcomed by the Biden administration.

Biden’s affinity for Ukraine is well known and evidenced by his six visits to the country while serving as Vice President in the Obama administration. From a Ukrainian perspective, his arrival in the White House could hardly be better timed. During the Trump presidency, Ukraine found itself caught up in an impeachment trial and at the center of efforts to tie Biden to corruption allegations. This led to uncharacteristic levels of tension in bilateral ties.

Ukraine will halt the takeover of an aircraft engine maker by a Chinese company, responding to U.S. objections over the prospect of important military technology falling into Beijing's hands.

Kyiv plans to return Motor Sich to Ukrainian control, ending efforts by Beijing Skyrizon Aviation to take management of the company, following a yearslong battle over the manufacturer's fate.

"The Motor Sich enterprise will be returned to the Ukrainian people," Oleksiy Danilov, head of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council, said after a March 11 meeting. "It will be returned to the ownership of the Ukrainian state in a legal, constitutional way in the near future."

The decision angered China, which has grown increasingly important economically to Ukraine since Kyiv's relationship with Moscow broke down following Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea. But when tensions between Beijing and Washington forced a choice between the two, Kyiv prioritized its relationship with a crucial security partner.

Ukraine: President bans three television channels | European Federation of Journalists - Feb. 3, 2021 |

Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky has banned three television channels from operating in Ukraine by revoking their broadcast licences and blocking assets after accusing them of being pro-Russian. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) condemned what they called “an extra-judicial and politically motivated ban and a blatant attack on press freedom that must be urgently reversed”.

TV broadcasters ZIK, NewsOne and 112 Ukraine have been forced off the air for a period of five years following a decision by Zelensky that critics said stifles freedom of speech. The three broadcasters employ around 1,500 people, whose jobs are now at serious risk.

There was no official justification for the ban, but Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky said on Twitter that Ukraine supports freedom of speech but not “propaganda financed by the aggressors”.

The measures include the blocking of broadcasters’ assets, the prohibition of using radio frequencies in Ukraine and a ban on finance operations within the country, among others.

The three affected broadcasters were previously blamed by the Ukrainian government for being under “malign Russian influence” and threatening the information security of Ukraine.

In a statement, the National Union Of Journalists Of Ukraine (NUJU) said that “depriving Ukrainian citizens of access to media without a prior trial and banning hundreds of journalists and media outlets of their right to work is an attack on freedom of speech” and remarked that “the political affiliation of Ukrainian media owners registered in Ukraine is not a crime”.

Ukraine’s anti-oligarch law could make President Zelenskyy too powerful | Atlantic Council - Nov. 6, 2021 |

Anyone anticipating that the anti-oligarch bill recently signed into law by President Zelenskyy marks a new beginning for Ukraine will have had their hopes dampened last week when the National Council on Television and Radio Broadcasting announced the awarding of regional television rights.

A total of 130 bidders were competing for 43 frequencies, but more than a third were scooped up by a single company, Avers, owned by Ihor Palytsia, a parliamentarian and close ally of oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. The controversial oligarch has ties to Zelenskyy and was sanctioned by the US earlier this year over allegations of “significant corruption.”

What should have been a step forward for media pluralism in Ukraine thus turned into a tightening of control in the hands of those who already enjoy too much media power. As the owner of 1+1 Media Group, consisting of eight television channels with a combined audience share of around 20%, Kolomoisky wields significant political influence in today’s Ukraine. His media assets were used to promote the 2019 election campaign of President Zelenskyy, whose hit shows previously aired on Kolomoisky’s network.

The tale of a comedian to acting president of a key nation, ending up as media mogul played by the Ukrainian oligarchs.



Lt. Col. Fraser Auld, commander of Canada's Joint Task Force Ukraine, warned that a news article might be soon published and could result in questions being asked inside the Canadian government about why such a meeting took place.

A year before the meeting, Canada's Joint Task Force Ukraine produced a briefing on the Azov Battalion, acknowledging its links to Nazi ideology. "Multiple members of Azov have described themselves as Nazis," the Canadian officers warned in their 2017 briefing.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 9th, 2021 at 02:13:16 PM EST

CIA Is Back: East-West Tensions In Europe

Related reading ...

Azov fighters are Ukraine's greatest weapon and may be its greatest threat | The Guardian - Sept. 10, 2014 |

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 9th, 2021 at 02:14:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Polish PM accuses Putin of masterminding Belarus migrant 'attack'

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of orchestrating an unprecedented wave of migrants trying to illegally enter Poland from Belarus, saying the "attack" threatens to destabilise the European Union.

The accusation came as thousands of desperate migrants were trapped in freezing weather on the Belarus-Poland border, where the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation.

Western critics have for months said Belarus's strongman leader Alexander Lukashenko is luring migrants from the Middle East to his country and then sending them across the border in retaliation for EU sanctions.

"This is part of the inhuman and really gangster-style approach of the Lukashenko regime," a European Commission spokesman, Peter Stano, told journalists today.

Twitter Mateusz Morawiecki

At sunrise, together with @mblaszczak, I visited our soldiers and officers guarding the eastern border of Poland. Soldiers, Policemen, Border Guard and Special Services watch over the safety of Polish women and Poles. Thank you!

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by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 9th, 2021 at 09:49:07 PM EST

Hillary Clinton reacts as she finds out about Gaddafi's death on BlackBerry | Daily Mail - Oct. 21, 2011 |

Now weapons and jihadists can travel into Syria with courtesy of Qatar, UAE and Turkey ... the Benghazi arms pipeline run by the CIA.

Contesting Flexible Solidarity: Poland and the "Migration Crisis"

New forms of solidarity are being shaped as a response to the European "refugee crisis." The states have not been able to implement any viable or sustainable solution to the crisis, but the solidarity movement has been very visible and active in many European countries and rejected in others. This paper focuses on Poland, a country that gave birth to the Solidarność labor movement in 1980, but was recently reprimanded by the European Union for its lack of solidarity with other countries that accepted refugees.

In this paper, we trace the rapture of the Solidarity movement and the emergence of solidarities with migrants and refugees in local Polish communities and abroad. We juxtapose the Polish government's call for "flexible solidarity" mechanisms within the EU, coupled with the emphasis on solidarity in the context of border securitization, with grassroots efforts in several Polish cities to welcome migrants and refugees and facilitate their integration. We also look at the emerging initiatives to raise resources to help refugees lingering in refugee camps and transit countries.

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 03:05:56 PM EST
Hungary and Poland: Rogue states threatening the EU?

Caesar Trump: Building His Enduring Fort In Poland

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 03:09:16 PM EST
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America On Path to Break-up the European Union

Very much the theme of the AngloSaxon conservatives joined by the alt-right across the Western world ... once again warmongering coming out of the Pentagon, White House and the National Security Council under leadership of neocon John Bolton.

Neocon policy succeeded in destruction of Iraq, Libya and Syria ...

A Final Warning: Rise of Fascism

Why must Europeans tolerate one nutcase after another from across the Big Pond?

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 03:12:17 PM EST
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Trump's Revival of anti-EU Sentiment in Warsaw

"Shut up, you stupid man. Hush, hush, hush, I'm done with you. Be silent, because I am a soldier who remembers how blood was shed, how my colleagues died, I am here to call on their behalf."

- said 94-year-old soldier of the Warsaw Uprising Wanda Traczyk-Stawska during the pro-EU demonstration in Warsaw on October 10, 2021 to the drowning speech of the nationalist Robert Bąkiewicz.

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 06:26:16 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 06:27:01 PM EST
Galician Jews Being Terrorized by Fierce Pogroms, Says Report | JTA - 1934 |

The Jewish population of East Galicia in Poland is being terrorized by their Ukrainian neighbors in a manner that is reminiscent of the pogrom period of Bogdan Chmelnitzki, a special correspondent of the London Jewish Chronicle reported. There are 586,000 Jews in East Galicia and 76,000 of them reside in villages. They have been engaged in agriculture since the seventeenth century. Many combine farming and shopkeeping.

These Jewish farmers are now the target of a most violent hatred and outrages, while the Polish authorities do nothing to prevent further attacks, the correspondent stated. Jewish houses are often set on fire while Ukrainian neighbors stand by and jeer at the Jewish efforts to extinguish the blazes. Sometimes Jewish houses are set on fire with the doors bolted from the outside and all those in the houses perish, the Chronicle correspondent reported.

In the districts of Lemberg. Stanislawow and Tarnapol, hardly a Jewish house is left standing where the windows were not broken by bands of organized hooligans, who make this act the first warning for the Jews to leave their farms. When the warning is not heeded, incendiary bullets, which cause fires, are shot into the houses and cause the death of the Jewish families.

Dutch art collector Pieter Menten and the Podhorodse murders in Galicia

My earlier post ...

Nazi Collaboration by Banderists in East Galicia

... and the trial of Pieter Menten

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by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 10th, 2021 at 06:28:37 PM EST
Not Only Blood. The Need to Integrate Psychological Operations in the West's Military Culture | Sept. 2019 |

In this article, war is understood through a Clausewitzian lens, that is to say, `a continuation of political intercourse, with the addition of other means', and `an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will'. Wars `must vary with the nature of their motives and of the situations which gave rise to them: this is warfare. Finally, we use a strategic approach to study the utility of PSYOPS and the implications of a redevelopment of such capacities. Following John Stone, strategy is `the instrumental link between military means and political ends'.

PSYOPS: their use, their strengths and their limits

From psychological warfare (PSYWAR) to PSYOPS, along Military Influence Operations, PSYOPS have been known under different names throughout the years. However, this has rarely impacted what such actions entailed, apart for the French distinction between psychological actions directed at their own troops, populations and allies; and psychological warfare directed at their enemies.

That is the problem, expanded during the Obama years, propaganda and a war footing has become the new normal.

Apple Pie Propaganda? The Smith-Mundt Act Before and After the Repeal of the Domestic Dissemination Ban

In addition ...

With Samantha Power entered Cass Sunstein into the realms of the White House and his behavioral science to "nudge" public opinion and acceptance of government policies.

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by Oui (Oui) on Thu Nov 11th, 2021 at 09:27:03 PM EST

Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam announces candidacy for president of Libya | TOI |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 06:36:35 PM EST
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That Sirte rescue mission, one more time...

Dutch involvement in Operation Unified Protectorwas limited to enforcing the no-fly zone, leaving the serious stuff to others. But last week the most intriguing event in the whole Libyan escapade - the failed Sirte evacuation mission of Sunday 27 February - once more saw the light of day. A short recap. A representative (who we know as `NN') of infrastructure/engineering giant Royal Haskoning needed to be evacuated.

Why Mabel Wisse Smit? A long-time executive in George Soros's Open Society Institute and closely involved in Balkans affairs, she knew prominent son Saif Gaddafi through the World Economic Forum's Global Young Leaders network, and was well-connected with both financial and governmental leaders on both sides. The Gaddafi assets were apparently transferred to Ageas, a successor enterprise to Fortis. Gaddafi's economic interests in the Netherlands went far beyond the $3.5bn of frozen financial assets.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 06:40:32 PM EST
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Use of combat drones by Ukrainian military to whip up tension in Donbass, says Russian MP | Tass |

Fear in Russia that the U.S. is egging the Ukraine into a renewed active conflict in Donbass | MoA |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 13th, 2021 at 12:52:22 PM EST
Ukraine plans to purchase new batch of Bayraktar drones from Turkey - Ministry of Defense | 112 Int'l Ukraine |

The Air and Missile War in Nagorno-Karabakh: Lessons for the Future of Strike and Defense | CSIS - Dec. 2020 |

Drones of Russian, Turkish, Israeli, and indigenous designs performed both reconnaissance missions to support artillery use and strike missions. Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition attacks were able to destroy heavy ground units, including T-72 tanks and advanced S-300 air defenses. The conflict's use of these various weapons provides important information and insights into how modern wars will employ the growing spectrum of missiles, drones, and artillery.

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by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 13th, 2021 at 12:53:18 PM EST
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Carter didn't get his war except Afghanistan, he can be trusted as much as the British spy he quotes 😡.

UK must be ready for war with Russia, says armed forces chief Nick Carter

The former MI6 officer Christopher Steele has said he believes Moscow thinks it is at war with the UK and its allies.

Asked about this view on Sky News's Trevor Phillips on Sunday, Carter said: "Russia probably regards the global strategic context as a continuous struggle in which, I think, they would apply all the instruments of national power to achieve their objectives. But in so doing, [the Russians] don't want to bring on a hot war.

"So, yes, in a way I think he's right. The question, of course, is how you define war and I, as a soldier, would tend to define war as the actual act of combat and fighting, and I don't think they want that.

"I think they want to try and achieve their objective in rather more nuanced ways."

He later told BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show that Russia was in a "hybrid playbook where you link disinformation to destabilisation and the idea of pushing migrants on to the European Union's borders is a classic example of that sort of thing".

He said it was most likely that the Belarus and Ukraine border situations were "classic distraction" by the Russian government of the type that had been going on "for years and years and years".

Asked whether it could turn into a shooting war, Carter said: "I don't know. I think we have to be on our guard and make sure deterrence prevails and critically we have to make sure there is unity in the Nato alliance and we don't allow any gaps to occur in our collective position."

Christopher Steele still believes his dodgy dossier ...

The UK government has been clear that it had no involvement in the production of the Steele dossier

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:39:19 PM EST
Precisely, which parts do you mean. Ukrainians from Lvov, Odessa or Kharkiv. The peninsula of Crimea are by majority Russian speaking and the Tatars have Turkish ancestry, a NATO partner.

Highlanders prepare to fight, with a Ukrainian Cossack Mace | July 15, 2021 |

Over the next few week soldiers from the 4th Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (4 SCOTS), will be in Ukraine taking part in Exercise Cossack Mace, in partnership with soldiers from the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU).

Soldiers from Catterick based 4 SCOTS will take part in a series of testing serials that will focus on their infanteering skills and co-operation with friendly militaries.

Following an initial focus on those low-level infantry skills and trades that form the basis of a professional infanteers job, the exercise will move onto a larger scale to develop higher level co-ordination and allied activity. Both nations will be able to practice their skills in the field and continue to develop their high-quality capabilities.
As well as continuing to practice their military skills both sides will take time out to learn something about each other's cultures and history, an opportunity to find out about each other's difference but also a large amount of shared viewpoints and culture.

With the AFU experiences in Eastern Ukraine and ours in Afghanistan and Iraq there is much experience and knowledge to exchange. The mutual respect built during this exercise will benefit both countries in future collaboration.

Public Support for the Devolution of Power in Ukraine: Regional Patterns - 1995

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:45:21 PM EST
Are they aware that Luhansk, in eastern Ukraine, was founded by Charles Gascoigne, the son of one of the English occupation troops after Culloden?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 06:10:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interesting combination ... Luhansk

Charles Gascoigne (Карл Гаскойн)

In 1784, Knowle's successor, Admiral Samuel Greig, ordered guns for the Russian Navy from the Carron Company. In an effort to improve Catherine the Great's weapons foundry at Petrozavodsk.

Gascoigne stayed twenty years in Russia, became a State Councillor and a Knight of Saint Vladimir, received the Order of St Anne.

The Crimean War 1854-1856

Related ...

War in Donbas

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 07:40:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]

US warns Russia against another 'serious mistake' on Ukraine

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:47:28 PM EST
Is Russia about to make a 'serious mistake' in Ukraine? | The Hill |

Earlier Russian military actions also spurred unease. In September, Russia and Belarus conducted a huge Zapad-21 military exercise, "far more robust" than one four years prior. Last spring in an out-of-cycle move [Moscow Times], Russia shifted substantial forces closer to Ukraine and into Crimea. The U.S. European Command raised its alert level, and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley contacted Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov.

Kremlin rebukes also cause anxiety. On Nov. 1, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned of "attempts to carry out provocations ... and drag Russia into some kind of combat." Some in the West might see this as cover for renewed aggression. On Oct. 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin said a visit by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to Ukraine had "opened doors" for it to join NATO. This is a distant prospect. Putin aide Dmitri Medvedev claims Ukraine's leaders are hostage to "rabid" [Moscow Times] nationalist forces, which is erroneous.

Pentagon Chief: No Country Has 'Veto' on Ukraine's NATO Aspirations | VOA |

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:49:44 PM EST
Polish Tank Crews to be Trained in the US - Abrams Introduction Begins

Procurement of 250 US-made M1A2SEPv3 MBTs was announced by Deputy PM, Jarosław Kaczyński and head of the MoD Mariusz Błaszczak, on 14th July 2021. Aside from the Abrams MBTs, the procurement is also to include a broad support package, specialist vehicles, spares, training, and ammunition. The procurement is to have a total value of PLN 23.3 bn. This is what the declarations made suggest. At the same time, one needs to note that an official Letter of Request has also been submitted.

British troops deployed to Polish border as tensions with Russia rise

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by Oui (Oui) on Sun Nov 14th, 2021 at 05:51:57 PM EST
How to destroy a Tiger Tank: run it 50 kilometers over muddy fields.

How to destroy a Panther Tank: run it 100 kilometers over muddy fields.

How to destroy and Abrams Tank: run it 150 kilometers over muddy fields.

The United States Marine Corps junked their Abrams because the things are bloody damn useless under Real World and real combat conditions.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 at 05:22:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 09:49:17 PM EST
Nato chief warns Russia against `further provocation' amid Ukraine tensions | The Guardian |

Stoltenberg's remarks came at a meeting with the Ukrainian foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, at Nato headquarters in Brussels, where the two discussed "the security situation in and around Ukraine".

"We have to be clear-eyed," Stoltenberg said. "We need to be realistic about the challenges we face. And what we see is a significant, large Russian military buildup."

Satellite imagery and videos uploaded to social media have shown tanks, artillery and short-range ballistic missiles on the move in the border regions of Ukraine and Belarus since late last month.

Geez ... after BIG Afghan failure, second wind for SG Stoltenberg after White House and Pentagon briefing ... wtf

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 09:52:13 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 09:53:20 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 09:54:41 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 09:55:48 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 10:02:47 PM EST
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Putin's warning to the West - stop messing with us, end the long serie of provocations.  Your satellites aren't safe ... a neutron bomb would take out many communications satellites.

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 10:13:34 PM EST

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 10:17:00 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 10:54:17 PM EST
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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 11:05:17 PM EST
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Russia conducts space-based anti-satellite weapons test | US Space Command - July 23, 2020 |

It's much easier to attack and destroy satellites ... what will US Space Invaders hope to gain with an aggressive policy without the intention to reach a treaty and peaceful, defensive use of earth's orbit.

President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act, which establishes the Space Force

It continues the trend of increasing Air Force Space Command budgets, for unclassified programs, of last year and this year: the unclassified programs in the budget includes $8.5 billion for investments in new systems. Over the next five years, the Air Force projects to invest $44.3 billion in those space systems.

Additionally, because of how shrouded in secrecy the Air Force Space Command is, there are classified programs not discussed like those unclassified ones. The industry just says that classified  or "black" spending is increasing. Earlier this year, Undersecretary of Defense for Policy John Rood told Congress that a total of $12.5 billion is in the president's 2019 budget request "to take steps to establish a more resilient, defendable space architecture." A DoD spokesman did not respond to press questions, at the time, on what is included in the $12.5 billion figure.

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 15th, 2021 at 11:58:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Has MI6 failed agent Chris Steele whispered in his ear?

West must choose between Russian gas and supporting Ukraine, PM warns

Boris Johnson has warned that the west must soon choose between reliance on Russian gas and standing up for Ukraine amid continuing tensions on the borders of eastern Europe.

In a message to European countries that are heavily dependent on Russian gas, the prime minister suggested he believes Vladimir Putin could be serious about restricting supplies from pipelines that run through eastern Europe, if the west signals its intention to defend Ukraine.

Is it still about fossil fuels and the Empire GB?

How about throwing out the corrupt, wealthy Russian oligarch from the Yeltsin era Johnson!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 at 12:53:32 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 16th, 2021 at 12:54:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:37:11 AM EST
Deal made to return majority to home nations and the EU to accept 2,000 refugees?

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:37:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"The Russian and Belarusian presidents acknowledged the necessity of establishing friendship between Minsk and the European Alliance for the solution of the problem", - The Kremlin press statement.

Telephone conversation with President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:38:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Hundreds of migrants arrive back in Iraq on flight from Belarus

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:39:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Return as refugee in one's own country.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:39:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Ukraine talks Russia, France and Germany  in "Normandy Format "

Merkel says Ukraine talks more important than leaked letters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a press conference in Berlin on Thursday evening that while it was "not surprising" that the notes were published, and that "no one has anything to hide," she regrets that a new round of negotiations on Ukraine have not been able to move forward.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:43:55 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 11:44:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Polish Deputy FM: Migrants are 'not dying on our land'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 09:02:21 PM EST

Hybrid Warfare and the Turn to Resilience: Back to the Cold War?

The concept of "hybrid warfare" has become increasingly en vogue in international security debates and has also garnered attention from the perspective of international law. It is frequently understood to signify a combination of "traditional" forms of warfare with atypical elements like disinformation campaigns, sowing doubts about attribution and the spreading of "fake news". Yet, doubts remain as to whether it is a coherent concept and whether it can offer new insights into current forms of warfare. This contribution critically analyses the notion of hybrid warfare and the prominent role in policy documents of international organisations like NATO or the EU. The contribution also assesses the possible ramifications of hybrid warfare for the doctrinal operation of international law. Most attempts to deal with this phenomenon so far have ended up either breaking down hybrid warfare into its component parts or making wide-ranging policy suggestions to develop a "robust and resilient international law". This latter call is analysed critically in this contribution, especially in the light of parallel Cold War histories where Western states tried to defend the free flow of information vis-à-vis a Soviet conception of non-intervention.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 09:03:28 PM EST
Samatha Power is back, the advocate of R2P policy under president Barack Obama in Libya and Syria leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths, great destruction, displacement of millions into utter misery. Changed the EU into a division of democracies and autocratic, rightwing states. No end in sight, she is back?

Samantha Power, the Monster, and the Libyan Intervention

Obama's R2P Doctrine: Putin Decides to 'Invade' SE Ukraine - Aug. 28, 2014

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 19th, 2021 at 09:05:44 PM EST
Geez ... Europe is under attack by Belarus motivated by the Soviet Union Russia ..

Poland slams EU 'aggression' as Europe mulls daily fines over justice reforms

Schengen, Solidarity and Four Freedoms ...

The EU has half a billion people, and needs immigrants to sustain its ageing population as birth rates decline.

But the irregular arrivals of 2015-16 stretched social and security systems, fed anti-immigrant sentiment and triggered feuds between member countries on how to provide for them.

Hawks including Poland and Hungary reject Muslim refugees as a threat to their historically Christian culture, and the issue of immigration became highly political.

The Poles are dying to get in

Czech Republic, Lithuania, Poland and Romania complicit for helping CIA in rendition, detention and torture of AQ prisoners

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Nov 22nd, 2021 at 02:01:16 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 23rd, 2021 at 01:23:02 PM EST
Europe a vassal state of America ...

Nord Stream 2: US Republicans Urge Sanctions | DW News - Nov. 9, 2021 |

A group of Republicans in the US Senate has proposed a legislative amendment to implement mandatory sanctions on the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The senators argue that the pipeline, which runs from Russia to Germany, would be harmful for US allies in the region, such as Ukraine.

Hands off the EU - a call for sovereignty and independence. We are though with your wars of aggression.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 23rd, 2021 at 03:13:44 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Nov 23rd, 2021 at 03:14:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Difficult choice for Sweden .. focus media attention on invasion of British fisheries or the Red Army invading Europe.

Stoltenberg is ... clear sighted about the Russian bear!

Nato varnar Ryssland för ny militär rustning vid Ukrainas gränser | SVT Nyheter |

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg once again warns Russia of military build-up on Ukraine's border. In a short time, 100,000 Russian soldiers are said to have been mobilized, while the United States sent 80 tons of ammunition to Ukraine this weekend.

Russian mobilization near Ukraine's borders has created new fears of attacks. Moscow has dismissed all such allegations and denounced the military activity of NATO countries near Russia's borders in the Baltics, the Black Sea and the Balkans.

Democracy on the move ...

Re: Brexit is pretty much gone as a topic on Swedish papers

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 24th, 2021 at 08:34:47 AM EST


Andersson historisk - valdes och avgick samma dag

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Nov 24th, 2021 at 06:12:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine's president claims to have information about preparations for coup | Tass - Nov. 26, 2021 |

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has stated that he has information about preparations for a coup planned for December 1, along with attempts to involve businessman Rinat Akhmetov in the activity.

"I have received information that a state coup will be carried out in our country on December 1," he said at a press conference in Kiev on Friday.

According to Zelensky, he learned of the plans to oust him after listening to the recording of a conversation allegedly between Russian and Ukrainian nationals. Zelensky claims the parties said that "the public is ready" for a coup and "Akhmetov is ready to join efforts to replace the incumbent president."

Zelenskiy Says Coup Plot Uncovered, Ukraine Ready For Any Escalation With Russia | RFERL |

Ukraine's Zelenskiy Says Ready for Russian Escalation | The Moscow Times |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Nov 26th, 2021 at 09:44:05 PM EST

Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Karen Donfried on the Secretary's Upcoming Travel to Latvia and Sweden

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 27th, 2021 at 04:32:55 AM EST

Pre-ministerial press conference by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

This military build-up is unprovoked and unexplained.
It raises tensions. And it risks miscalculations.

Russia must show transparency.
Reduce tensions and de-escalate. 

NATO's approach to Russia remains unchanged.
We keep our defence and deterrence strong, while remaining open for dialogue.

We regret that Russia has cut off diplomatic ties with NATO.
Because in times like this, dialogue is more important than ever.  
We will also discuss the situation in the region with Georgia and Ukraine.
They are close and highly valued partners that aspire for membership. 
And NATO supports them, both politically and practically. 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Nov 27th, 2021 at 04:36:01 AM EST
NATO-OTAN Report: Afghanistan Lessons Learned Process

The Afghanistan lessons learned process, launched in September, included both operational-military and political reviews, each covering the full timeline of NATO's involvement, from the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 and the invocation of Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, to the evacuation from Kabul. As such, it covered the UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) combat mission (2003-2014) and NATO's Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to train, advise, and assist the Afghan security forces (2015-2021).

In addition to the military lessons learned process using established processes for NATO missions, the International Staff led a comprehensive review together with NATO Allies and Resolute Support Mission Operational Partners. This included the participation of 19 experts providing historical, political, operational, and cultural perspectives on NATO's involvement. NATO held seven meetings of the Deputy Permanent Representative Committee, with sessions dedicated to discussions of key events and drivers in NATO's engagement, as well as key takeaways.

After failure, don't give up, but try again! There are so many possibilities ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 1st, 2021 at 05:23:28 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 9th, 2021 at 06:28:13 PM EST

Baerbock, the 40-year-old Green co-leader, has long opposed the near-complete giant pipeline, but the German coalition programme is silent on the issue, due to support for the project from the new German chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats.

Speaking in Paris on Thursday alongside the French foreign minister, Jean Yves Le Drian, Baerbock said: "The territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine are non-negotiable for us. Russia would pay a high political and economic price for renewed violation of Ukrainian statehood."

Scholz has been more evasive on the subject, fully aware of the pipeline's champions within the ranks of the SPD.

The energy link is not only supported by former chancellor Gerhard Schröder, now chair of Nord Stream's board of directors, but also the centre-left party's branch in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, where the local population hopes to draw economic advantages once gas starts running underneath the Baltic Sea.

Scholz indicated that he would not leave it to his Green coalition partners to dictate his government's language around Nord Stream 2. "The whole country is being watched by the world," he said. "That's why we as a government will act in unison - and that starts with the head of government."

Olaf's frozen foreign policy | Politico EU |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Dec 9th, 2021 at 08:32:20 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 12:07:55 AM EST

Primary conclusion: Ukraine should not initiate military assault on the Donbas, but return to political dialogue and the Minsk Agreement. Meet Me In Belarus ... of all places.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 12:15:06 AM EST

Beg to differ ... people of Western Russia has title of belonging to Europe.

Ethnographic Map of Europe - 1900

How the European Map Has Changed Over 2,400 Years

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 10th, 2021 at 06:33:49 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 20th, 2021 at 05:28:41 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 20th, 2021 at 05:33:05 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 20th, 2021 at 05:54:04 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 20th, 2021 at 05:56:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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by Oui (Oui) on Mon Dec 20th, 2021 at 05:56:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Experts warn: Moscow could launch an attack over Christmas | MoA - Dec. 25, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Dec 25th, 2021 at 12:34:39 PM EST
I know it's only a technicality, but according to the Russian constitution article 105 b only State Duma can authorize using Armed Forces of Russian Federation outside of the territory of the federation.

tldr; in Russia the president has to actually go trough the parliament to "strike" somewhere. Unless the president is Yeltsin, in which case he can strike the parliament.

by pelgus on Sat Dec 25th, 2021 at 02:51:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Chancellor Olaf Scholz described the procedure as "completely apolitical" and the pipeline as a "private-sector project". With regard to the approval process, Baerbock sees no difference with Scholz: "The legal review is currently with the Federal Network Agency. Olaf Scholz and I have described this situation in different words." The Foreign Minister also referred to an agreement between the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel and the USA on Nord Stream 2. "The old federal government and the US government made it clear that energy should not be used as a weapon and that this should be significant with consequences. And that also applies."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 28th, 2021 at 08:45:21 PM EST

Escobar: Exit Nord Stream 2, Enter Power Of Siberia 2

Coming straight from President Putin, it did sound like a bolt from the sky:

    "We need long-term legally binding guarantees even if we know they cannot be trusted, as the U.S. frequently withdraws from treaties that become uninteresting to them. But it's something, not just verbal assurances."

And that's how Russia-U.S. relations come to the definitive crunch - after an interminable series of polite red alerts coming from Moscow.

Putin once again had to specify that Russia is looking for "indivisible, equitable security" - a principle established since Helsinki in 1975 - even though he no longer sees the U.S. as a dependable "partner", that diplomatically nicety so debased by the Empire since the end of the USSR.

The "frequently withdrawing from treaties" passage can easily be referred to as Washington in 2002 under Bush Jr. pulling out of the ABM treaty signed between the U.S. and the USSR in 1972. Or it could be referred to as the U.S. under Trump destroying the JCPOA signed with Iran and guaranteed by the UN. Precedents abound.

Putin was once again exercising the Taoist patience so characteristic of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: explaining the obvious not only to a Russian but also a global audience. The Global South may easily understand this reference; "When international law and the UN Charter interfere, they [the U.S.] declare it all obsolete and unnecessary."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Dec 28th, 2021 at 08:46:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]

For the very first time in ages, on Dutch television a report on the importance of operating Nord Stream 2 and its value in process of energy transition to end era of coal to produce electricity. The Dutch have always followed suit to US politics and sanctions on Russia.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Dec 29th, 2021 at 04:53:29 AM EST

Old Pro-War Hawk Bolton Says It's Time For NATO To 'Stand Up To Russia'

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Dec 31st, 2021 at 12:06:58 AM EST

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