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Russia to Invoke UN's R2P Principle

by Oui Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 03:13:49 PM EST

The Duma will recognize the independence of Luhansk and Donetsk regions. The NSC  will approve military action as last resort to protect the Russian citizens.

Stop the ethnic cleansing of Russian speaking Ukrainians.

Live! Putin convenes meeting of Russia's National Security Council

US is leading, the White House is the decision maker on bi-lateral relations. The economic sanctions are unjust and there is no light on the horizon. Blinken comes to another meeting with empty hands.

The proposed summit with President Biden is a last opportunity. We look warily at the result, a Nyet will confirm we have done all for a peaceful resolution of the crisis with Ukraine.

A mirror image of the war hawks gathered at the Munich Security Conference.


I took a few notes as I listened and watched the meeting … Putin stressed a few times the session was not rehearsed. There were a few misgivings and a single or perhaps two members of the NSC who hesitated. In a calm tone Putin asked for clarity, whether he meant a yes or no to support the call for independence.

In the end both the Minister of Defense Shoigu and Foreign Minister Lavrov were given a final word. With pain in the heart Lavrov had to admit he had been disappointed by his colleagues from the West. He expected Antony Blinken to come empty handed.

A lot of bitterness and often pointing to the hypocrisy of the Western allies …

  • Russian people have been humiliated and not allowed to speak, write, follow news in their mother tongue
  • Russians are discriminated by the neo-Nazis in Kyiv
  • Kyiv refuses to keep the ceasefire agreement in the Minks Accords
  • Kosovo was severed from Serbia by military means and no referendum was held
  • The start of the Iraq War passed the revue and the lies in the UNSC presentation by Colin Powell
  • The use of Georgian military against South Ossetia in August 2008 killing hundreds of innocents
  • The use of proxies in Libya and Syria, the foreign fighters or jihadists
  • In recent weeks and months supplying Ukraine with modern weapons from NATO countries
  • These are not defensive weapons but can be used in cross border attacks on Russian soil
  • The number of Javelin missiles outnumber the quantity of most NATO countries
  • Zelensky appealed on the US and NATO for more support and referenced nuclear arms
President Vladimir Putin will make a decision within a few hours. There were no dissenting voices.

Obviously Russia will not “invade” the regions but will recognize their independence very much like Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Crimea. Except Russia will use the UN R2P policy to protect its citizens from further siege and death form the Ukrainian Army. militants and irregular armed groups.


Failure to meet Minsk criteria to cease hostilities.

Just to be prepared for any and all events ...

Zelensky expands war cabinet of National Defense Council | July 14, 2021 |

Seven more people entered the war cabinet of the National Security and Defense Council

A new minister of defense was installed early November ... the talks were underway between Ukraine and Gazprom for an extended long-term contract ... nothing came of it. Why? Blaming Russia ...

Angry U.S.-Russia Exchange at U.N. Punctuates Deepening Ukraine Rift | NY Times |

With vitriolic accusations that echoed the Cold War era, the United States and Russia sparred in a bitter debate over the Ukraine crisis in a Security Council meeting watched by the world.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 08:14:52 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 09:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) (Pop. 2.3 million -- Area 3,437 sq.mi.)

Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) (Pop. 1.46 million -- Area 3,234 sq.mi.)

Crimea Occupied Territory (Pop. 2.4 million -- Area 10,000 sq.mi.)

Merge and Rule: What's In Store for the Donetsk and Luhansk Republics | Carnegie - March 2021 |

Moscow-approved leaders--Denis Pushilin in the DNR and Leonid Pasechnik in the LNR--won virtually uncontested elections in 2018, while only ruling and spoiler parties were allowed to participate in local legislative elections.

Party lists were comprised of members of local elites with prewar Ukrainian political experience: former Party of Regions youth activist Denis Miroshnichenko became the head of the LNR People's Council, while the former Communist Party parliamentary deputy Vladimir Bidyovka was chosen to lead the DNR legislature. Meanwhile, locally registered Communist parties weren't allowed to take part in the elections.

The only real opposition to the republics' current leadership comes from influential separatist veterans, but the authorities thwart their political aspirations: the Donbas Republican Party created by one of the DNR's founding fathers and former head of legislature, Andrei Purgin, was denied registration.

Profiling IDP situation in Luhansk region, Ukraine | Norwegian Refugee Council - 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 08:16:06 PM EST
From my diary in 2014 ...

Before Russia's Putin call to enforce R2P policy in Crimea: Ukraine Tensions Flare as Pro-Russians, Crimea Tatars Clash.

Crimean Tatars' wellbeing rests upon neighborly relations with Russians, Ukrainians | Kyiv Post - Feb. 27, 2014 |

The congress urged all peoples of Ukraine to be wise and put an end to the disturbances.

"We are confident that the wellbeing of Crimean Tatars rests upon mutual understanding and neighborly relations with Russians and Ukrainians. We see the Crimean future in the constitution and laws of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, with due account of the interests of its multinational people. In our view, this is the only way to preserve peace and concord on the Crimean territory," the statement concluded.

Over 11 million Tatars live worldwide, including 5.5 million in Russia - 2 million of them in Tatarstan.

Erdogan's visit ushers in 'golden era' of Ukraine-Turkey relationship - Sept. 2012

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 08:17:10 PM EST
A bit of chest beating ... no debate to understand the Russian viewpoint. Heard the name-calling Putin is a mad-man.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 08:37:23 PM EST

This morning a British military expert drawing three circles on Ukraine explaining where Russian military will invade ... from the north, Belarus to lay siege to Kyiv, the logical East-Ukrainian region and from the sea the southern border to include Mariupol and enclose the Sea of Azov. Just full of it ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 08:46:11 PM EST
What about Hungary and Saxony? Doesn't Mr Poroshenko care about them?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:05:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
VOldaMORe Bulletin: "Orban Lashes Back at Zelensky Over Criticism for Not Backing Anti-Russia Sanctions", 26 Mar
"Answering the question 'which side is Hungary on?' we say this: 'Hungary is on the side of Hungary'. We help those who are in trouble, but we must stand up for our own national interests", Orban said in an interview with the local TV channel M1.
The prime minister added that both covert and overt discussions are constantly taking place on the matter of the EU and NATO's involvement in the conflict in Ukraine. He noted that Budapest is consistently being forced to defend its own interests and stressed the importance of a government that can do so, instead of simply obeying the will of other countries.
archived Hungary Is Happy With New 15 Yr Gas Deal in Energy Policy No Green Party BS, "unacceptable but understandable", EU27 minimum wage", Allies Visegrad Group and Russia's Putin, where the Visegrád consensus ends
by Cat on Sat Mar 26th, 2022 at 09:32:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 09:29:08 PM EST

Oops ... that declaration was already made in 2004 ... reprieve.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 09:31:08 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 09:52:31 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:01:57 PM EST
Just watched a frontline report by Al Jazeera (Charles Stratford)  .. no big surprise here who these guys were ☠️

Death Above -- MisAnthropic Division

Use as a hate symbol

Modern neo-Nazis use the Death's Head to symbolize the continuation of SS glory. It is widely used by the far-right in various countries to indicate Nazi and neo-Nazi views.

In Ukraine, it is commonly used by people to demonstrate their Nazi views. It is used on the emblems and flags of Misanthropic Division, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi group.
It is extremely rare for the Death's Head to be used mistakenly.

However, due to the prevalence of the skull and crossbones as a symbol, it is important to consider the context of its use, including to check for the presence of other hate symbols or inscriptions, and to check that it clearly corresponds to the image above.

The Misantropie Division

Motto: Killing for Wotan, is a right-wing extremist organization that emerged in Ukraine . She fights for the independence of Ukraine - both from Russia and from the European Union - with the aim of establishing a National Socialist state.

It serves as a combat unit in the Azov Regiment in eastern Ukraine against the pro-Russian separatists. Its members are considered to be racist and violent. They glorify National Socialism and the Waffen SS , among others. Amnesty International accuses them of serious human rights violations.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:45:00 PM EST
U.S. votes against anti-Nazi resolution at U.N. | CBS News - Nov. 17, 2015 |

The United States says it was one of three countries to vote against a U.N. resolution condemning the glorification of Nazism over freedom of speech issues and concerns that Russia was using it to carry out political attacks against its neighbors.

The resolution entitled "Combating glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance," was approved by the U.N.'s human rights committee with 131 in favor, 3 against with 48 abstentions.

Ukraine and Palau were the other no votes.

Year 2020

UNGA 2005: Texts Recommended to General Assembly Concern
Neo-Nazism, African Refugees, UN Refugee Office, Human Rights Covenants

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 06:23:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In 2021 it was 2 against. Israel voted for it, despite all the money the US gives them...
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 08:22:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:52:46 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:58:40 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 10:59:51 PM EST

A fig leaf for the "diplomatic" effort after all ... elections the soonest.

Biden agrees 'in principle' to Macron-brokered Ukraine summit with Putin | France24 |

There remained a lot of ifs and buts about the meeting ... Putin warned for months talks should be substantial ... the effort fell on deaf ears and all avenues were shut down.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 11:12:57 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 11:13:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 21st, 2022 at 11:59:37 PM EST
Given the radical nature of Putin's demands about European security, and his insistence on negotiating with Biden and nobody else, about things that are not within Biden's purview, and the fact that he has refused to accept anything less than acceptance of all his demands... i.e. he was never interested in negotiation at all...

it was always about the end-game. What does he want?
I guessed he might settle for the annexation of the Ukranian territories he already controls. But the answer was staring us in the face all the time.

The Donetsk and Luhanks oblasts.

So go ahead, apologists for Russian expansionism. Did you see it coming? Is it "just war"?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:44:54 AM EST
Obviously Russia will not "invade" the regions

Want to bet? We'll see if they stop at the ceasefire line.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:46:10 AM EST
From Putin's one-man show of last night :
"With the appearance of weapons of mass destruction in Ukraine, the situation in the world, in Europe, especially for us, for Russia, will change in the most radical way," he said.

That's the key : he's doing a GWB tribute act.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:55:58 AM EST

How are the negotiations with Saudi terror state advancing to contract delivery LNG the coming decades?  

Power play: Europe's climate diplomacy in the Gulf | ECFR - Oct. 26, 2021 |

When the European Union first presented the European Green Deal in 2019, the monarchies of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) reacted with confusion, scepticism, and a degree of resistance. It was immediately clear to them that the key objective of the deal - to ensure that the EU became climate-neutral by 2050 - would entail an attack on the petrochemical industry and fossil fuels as primary energy sources. But they were not afraid of losing the European market: the EU receives less than 4 per cent of GCC oil and gas exports (while Asia receives, on average, 30 per cent). Instead, they were concerned that the EU's normative push for renewable energy would accelerate the global shift away from fossil fuels ...

Ahh EU Commission, That's All Folks!

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:12:47 AM EST
I agree that Saudi Arabia is an aggressor state with respect to Yemen, and that the EU has been too weak in this respect.

However, as far as I know, Saudi Arabia has never attempted to annex Yemen (though they could probably make a historical case for it...) so in terms of international law, I don't really see the comparison with Ukraine.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:51:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Didn't they annex Tiran and Sanafir?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:38:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
While blogging I do a lot of research, have done so since I started blogging here @ET and @BooMan in 2004/2005. I kept abreast with the news across a broad spectrum of sources.

Iran is bad, however the Gulf Arab states match them if not worse. Saudi Arabia has always been a close ally to the United States, especially since Aramco was originally an US Corporation. In the late 1960s and early 1970 I had close contact with people at Aramco HQ engineering in The Hague. Has always had my attention through the ups and downs.

A corrupt state with a poor track record on Human Rights till this day. Just recently a spy ring busted in Denmark and The Netherlands. Saudi Arabia funds terror networks since its founding until today. A client state of the US and UK.

Prince Bandar bin Sultan Al Saud a walking war criminal. KSA supported jihadist terror in Afghanistan, Balochistan, Ahwaz province, Yemen, Chechnya, Russia, Lebanon, Libya, Syria ... often in alliance with western powers. Prince Bander a close personal friend to George W. Bush and PM Tony Blair -  Al-Yamamah arms deal, bribes, threats and a white wash

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:24:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not ignorant of all this, and I entirely agree that it sucks.
I just can't see the connection you obviously see with Ukraine.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:32:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes - bizarre arguments that just because the US bloc is terrible (true...) that somehow justifies mass murder in Ukraine.

Absolutely bonkers nonsense.

Much more realistic to consider that this is just another action by the Global Fascist Alliance, which includes most of the Anglosphere, Russian, and Chinese establishments, with backup from the cynical religio-fascists in Saudi and Israel.

All are regressive militaristic macho states, most are also petrostates (clue!), and all are run by psychopaths.

The EU, for all of its flaws, does at least have elements which haven't been completely colonised by these violent narcissistic nutjobs.

No one is innocent or justified here, just as no one was innocent or justified in recent previous shows with the same script.

Flags aside, it's always the same people.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 07:31:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"All are regressive militaristic macho states, most are also petrostates (clue!), and all are run by psychopaths."
But Ukraine is not?
Where do you see mass casualties in Ukraine? Haven't the people working for its military (i.e. the small pawns of the oligarchs doing business with all parties) had enough time to emigrate elsewhere since 2014?
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:29:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
TOP SECRET -- National Security Archives

From Cold War to "Cold Peace" --
Clinton's Two Tracks Collide - NATO Enlargement and Russia Engagement

Washington, D.C., November 24, 2021 - The biggest train wreck on the track to NATO expansion in the 1990s - Boris Yeltsin's "cold peace" blow up at Bill Clinton in Budapest in December 1994 - was the result of "combustible" domestic politics in both the U.S. and Russia, and contradictions in the Clinton attempt to have his cake both ways, expanding NATO and partnering with Russia at the same time, according to newly declassified U.S. documents published today by the National Security Archive.

The Yeltsin eruption on December 5, 1994, made the top of the front page of The New York Times the next day, with the Russian president's accusation (in front of Clinton and other heads of state gathered for a summit of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, CSCE) that the "domineering" U.S. was "trying to split [the] continent again" through NATO expansion. The angry tone of Yeltsin's speech echoed years later in his successor Vladimir Putin's famous 2007 speech at the Munich security conference, though by then the list of Russian grievances went well beyond NATO expansion to such unilateral U.S. actions as withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the invasion of Iraq.

The new documents, the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the National Security Archive, include a series of revelatory "Bill-Boris" letters in the summer and fall of 1994, and the previously secret memcon of the presidents' one-on-one at the Washington summit in September 1994. Clinton kept assuring Yeltsin any NATO enlargement would be slow, with no surprises, building a Europe that was inclusive not exclusive, and in "partnership" with Russia. In a phone call on July 5, 1994, Clinton told Yeltsin "I would like us to focus on the Partnership for Peace program" not NATO. At the same time, however, "policy entrepreneurs" in Washington were revving up the bureaucratic process for more rapid NATO enlargement than expected either by Moscow or the Pentagon,[1] which was committed to the Partnership for Peace as the main venue for security integration of Europe, not least because it could include Russia and Ukraine.[2]

Reconsidering NATO expansion: a counterfactual analysis of Russia and the West in the 1990s | EJIS Cambridge Press - Nov. 1, 2017 |

Betrayal Of Gorbachev Regarding NATO Explained In Detail

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:22:19 AM EST

Funny how easily Zelensky scared the Kremlin ☹

Zelensky asks Foreign Ministry to convene Budapest Memorandum summit | TASS |

In his address to the Munich Security Conference on February 19, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky raised the issue of the 1994 Budapest Memorandum "on security guarantees in the framework of Ukraine's accession to the Treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons".

"Since 2014"said Zelensky, "Ukraine has made three attempts to convene consultations with the Guarantor States of the Budapest Memorandum. Three attempts failed. Today, Ukraine will make the fourth attempt. And I'll make my first attempt as president."

"I initiate consultations within the framework of the Budapest Memorandum. The Minister for Foreign Affairs was instructed to summon them. If they do not happen again or if they do not lead to concrete decisions to ensure the security of our state, Ukraine will have every right to believe that the Budapest Memorandum does not work and that all decisions of the 1994 package have been called into question."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:47:51 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:48:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:48:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:49:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Too bad for Ze, no one believes the memorandum is binding

Actually it is all about the US invading Poland.

by Tom2 on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 12:03:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Until the violent overthrow of a democratically elected government in February 2014, there was a balance between two evils. Nuland, Pyatt, McCain, Yatsenyuk and VP Biden ... the revolution with dignity. What's In A Name?

Why care about Ukraine and the Budapest Memorandum | Brookings - Dec. 5, 2019 |

Eliminating the strategic nuclear warheads, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and strategic bombers in Ukraine was a big deal for Washington. The ICBMs and bombers carried warheads of monstrous size -- all designed, built, and deployed to attack America. The warheads atop the SS-19 and SS-24 ICBMs in Ukraine had explosive yields of 400-550 kilotons each -- that is, 27 to 37 times the size of the atomic bomb that devastated Hiroshima. The 1,900 strategic nuclear warheads -- more than six times the number of nuclear warheads that China currently possesses -- could have destroyed every U.S. city with a population of more than 50,000 three times over, with warheads left to spare.
Assurances for Ukraine

Before agreeing to give up this nuclear arsenal, Kyiv sought three assurances. First, it wanted compensation for the value of the highly-enriched uranium in the nuclear warheads, which could be blended down for use as fuel for nuclear reactors. Russia agreed to provide that.

Second, eliminating ICBMs, ICBM silos, and bombers did not come cheaply. With its economy rapidly contracting, the Ukrainian government could not afford the costs. The United States agreed to cover those costs with Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction assistance.

Third, Ukraine wanted guarantees or assurances of its security once it got rid of the nuclear arms. The Budapest Memorandum provided security assurances.

Unfortunately, Russia has broken virtually all the commitments it undertook in that document. It used military force to seize, and then illegally annex, Ukraine's Crimean peninsula in early 2014. Russian and Russian proxy forces have waged war for more than five years in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbas, claiming more than 13,000 lives and driving some two million people from their homes.

Some have argued that, since the United States did not invade Ukraine, it abided by its Budapest Memorandum commitments. True, in a narrow sense. However, when negotiating the security assurances, U.S. officials told their Ukrainian counterparts that, were Russia to violate them, the United States would take a strong interest and respond.

Washington did not promise unlimited support. The Budapest Memorandum contains security "assurances," not "guarantees." Guarantees would have implied a commitment of American military force, which NATO members have. U.S. officials made clear that was not on offer. Hence, assurances.

Letting neo-Nazi battalions roam the countryside never leaves a good impression. Threatening to start an nuclear program after all the support from NATO allies too doesn't leave a good impression. Bad faith actor. Zelensky never enforced the Minsk Agreements, was never interested. The president was under (physical) threat from far-right elements of Ukraine, concentrated in Lvov region.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:50:48 AM EST
So you're seriously saying that both you and Vladimir Putin believe that Ukraine is on track to build and posess its own nuclear arsenal?

With the aid of which current nuclear power? (booting up an autonomous nuclear program turns out to be seriously hard, ask the Iranians)

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:13:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rogue states always manage to build a nuclear weapon, especially when not under an embargo. In the past Israel with support from France and Mossad spies in the United States, India and as a result Pakistan with Khan and stolen blueprints Urenco, blessing from the CIA. Khan delivered technical know-how to North Korea and Libya.

Ukraine has a history of weapons proliferation. After 9/11 the US clamped down on rogue elements selling radioactive material for a terror bomb.

Modern states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia could develop a bomb within a decade. So could the Ukraine.

Ukraine's envoy on Russia's build-up: Either joining NATO or restoring nuclear status | Unian - Apr. 15, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:48:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 06:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Reversing coup d'etat of 2014 ...

Neo-nazi Junta Calls Opposition 'Subhuman' ¶ Google & NSA Censors | Posted by Oui - Oct 13, 2014 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:47:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
US 'Diplomacy' Dead-Ended In UN Security Council | Posted by Oui - Mar 20, 2014 |

Ambassador Susan Rice had been unbelievably blunt in expressing US views and insulting other nations in the UNSC meetings. The new ambassador Samantha Power managed to anger Vitaly Churkin, the Russian ambassador and insulted the Russian Federation by calling them "thieves."

In response, ambassador Churkin threatened to withhold Russian cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis and the Iranian nuclear negotiations. Both sides now in a mode of scorched earth policy on a geopolitical hot issue of the Ukraine: the faultline between NATO states and the Russian Federation.

I have lost confidence in foreign policy management by the Obama administration, and time is running out. I consider a number of issues from US policy decisions, leaving a trainwreck of victims, no hope for peace and contrary to campaign promises, no success in one-on-one meetings with adversaries. I still believe the White House is divided on foreign policy and the buck stops with President Obama.

The Issue of Foreign Intervention - US Calls on Assad to "Step Down Now". Robert Ford, making a difference | Prof. Landis - Syria Comment |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:50:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
France is the proxy tool of Africom. But the bear and its new allies can kick back.
https://www.rfi.fr/fr/afrique/20220222-retrait-fran%C3%A7ais-le-tchad-va-renforcer-son-contingent-da ns-la-minusma-au-mali
by Tom2 on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:09:04 AM EST
France is the proxy tool of Africom

That's absurd, and demonstrates complete ignorance of African affairs over the last century or so.

France is in the process of losing its grip on the last vestiges of its colonial empire, and justly so. However, those governments who employ Wagner will bitterly regret doing so. Or rather, their populations will.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:20:18 AM EST
[ Parent ]
you must have missed Libya and the Ivory Coast.

seeing the success of non-aligned Benin and Rwanda, other countries are boarding the Fuck the EU ship

by Tom2 on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 12:02:01 PM EST
In Libya, France bears a heavier responsibility than you appear to recognise, and certainly didn't do the bidding of the USA.

With respect to Ivory Coast, I've no idea what you are referring to.

In Rwanda, France obviously has an overwhelming responsibility in the horrible events of the 90s, which they enabled by being obsessed with their rivalry with the Anglosphere in Africa.

Shorter version : Bullshit.

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 01:20:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 12:10:08 PM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 12:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
French MSM: German decision to stop NS2 won't impact the energy bills (they just forget to mention it is not in function); but it does plea for EU energy independency (i.e. switch gas for "green" nuclear). This is a deal struck between Rutte and Macron long ago imo.
by Tom2 on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 12:20:38 PM EST
A very broken system to prevent hostilities as the UNSC represents the global order of 1945 and does not represent the people and nations today. Powers of the past cling to their seat at the table and block progress.

Where was the United Nations during all genocides after World War II?

Borders and sovereignty Serbia and Kosovo - #Iraq - #Libya - #Syria - #Yemen - #Israel - #Palestine - #Armenia. In Asia this list could be extended. Harsh economic sanctions on a sovereign nation is an inhumane act of brutality. US and diplomacy Washington style is a dead ended street.

US Congress and elections are void of democratic principles.

People too have a right to choose for independence ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 01:16:20 PM EST
You are right : if the Clintons had not forced the recognition of the unilateral secession of Kosovo from Serbia, Putin would not have what he considers to be a cast-iron alibi for biting chunks off neighbouring countries.

But that doesn't make it right.

Any border changes in consideration of ethnic conflict or oppression should be subject to an international conference, referendums etc. And in no case, should be settled by war.

Do you disagree?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 01:28:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Any border changes in consideration of ethnic conflict or oppression should be subject to an international conference,

What does this mean in reality? The US decides? Or how does it work?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:41:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems to have worked out OK for Trieste, for example.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:52:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For some definition of "works". A few years ago, in Brussels:
Me (to a Slovenian) I've never been to Slovenia. The closest I've been is Trieste.

Slovenian: Then you've been to Slovenia.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 04:01:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can relate to that. Ljubljana is cute, but Trieste...

Will you accept "works" as in less than a thousand dead?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 04:34:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Did you make it to the War Musuem? - the story of how it was founded is fascinating. I hope to go there this year for Bloomsday.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 08:57:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Åland Islands a rare success of the League of Naitons. Culturally Swedish, in Finland, lots of devolved power in particular over language and culture issues, and demilitarised since the Crimean war.
by fjallstrom on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:17:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
demilitarised since the Crimean war

Ah, you've cleverly stayed on topic. Did Åland send a contingent to Crimea?

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:29:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
They didn't have to, The Brittish and French sailed up to Åland to destroy the Russian fortress there (as Finland was a Russian Grand Duchy since 1809), harry the Finnish shores and possibly pave the way to go straight at St Petersburg.

In an annex to the Treaty of Paris, Åland islands were demilitarised, until world war I. The end of the war featured a series of invasions, where among other things this happened:

As the situation in Åland had now escalated to open violence, the Swedes intervened in the situation with a counterfeit order by the White Army commander C. G. E. Mannerheim calling the Whites to retreat from Åland. In reality, general Mannerheim wanted the Whites to take control of all the islands and then launch an offensive against Turku, the Red capital of Southwest Finland. As the Whites did not know Mannerheim's real intentions, they followed the false order and left Åland on 20 February.

De-militarisation was renewed when the League of nations settled the Åland island dispute. Åland is still demilitarised, still swedish speaking, still a part of Finland, and has managed to use its home rule to carve out exceptions which are still in place. Notable exceptions are the land rules, where you to buy land need to be a Ålander, either born or naturalised. Finnish citizens can become naturalised Ålanders after five years of living there. Also Ålanders are excempt from conscription as they live in a de-militarised zone, and perhaps most important Åland has an excemption from the common tax rules in EU, which means boats between Stockholm and Mariehamn and Mariehamn and the Finnish mainland can sell duty free alcohol, improving Ålands communications with the rest of the world.

Of course, the Åland war didn't spark memorable lines like "Ours are not to question why", though the lines
"Että ampua murskaks se fästinki
Ja ottaa sen sotaväki vangiksi
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurraa, hurraa, hurraa"
Has a very special blend of "everything crashing down" + "lets celebrate". But in Finnish of course.

I guess you have to hear it to really appreciate the clash of subject matter and tone. Here is one rendition.

A translation of the lyrics which with my limited finnish looks fair enough:

And the Åland War was dreadful
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah,
When with three hundred ships
Sailed the Englishman on our Finland's shores
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

When with three hundred ships
Sailed the Englishman on our Finland's shores
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

And it was so beautiful to watch
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah,
As the Englishmen sailed on the bay
Right at Åland's fortress
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

As the Englishmen sailed on the bay
Right at Åland's fortress
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

And it was the enemy's intention
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah
To shoot the fortress into pieces
And take its forces prisoner
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

To shoot the fortress into pieces
And take its forces prisoner
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

But Finland's sons, they shot
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah
So that the fortress' walls echoed
And Åland's shores resounded
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

So that the fortress' walls echoed
And Åland's shores resounded
Sunfa-raa, sunfa-raa, sunfa-ralla-lalla-laa
Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah

Most likely author is one or many finnish prisoner of war, kept in Lewes in Sussex.

by fjallstrom on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 09:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oolanin sota [Finnish Crimean war song]

The Finnish Prisoner

The Åland War was a gentlemanly military campaign of the British and French navies on the Baltic Sea during the Crimean War. The former enemies of the Napoleonic Wars joined forces to continue the proud Anglo-Norman tradition of piracy on the coasts of Finland

Related reading ...

Scandinavianism, Fennomania, and the Crimean War

Sweden's loss of Finland to Russia in 1808-09 was bitterly resented in Sweden but accepted by Finland's elite, who realized that Sweden could ultimately not defend their land.

By the 1830s Russophobia was again on the rise where the Scandinavianists believed the Finns longed for re-unification  with Sweden.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
United Nations: Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

A critique of the theory and practice of R2P

Conflating the concept of R2P with the idea of `new humanitarianism', the architects radicalised the doctrine within a discursive framework of emancipatory potential--capable of generating an effective, consensual response to extreme, conscience-shocking cases of violent atrocity (Evans, 2008: 56). This radical veneer has allowed the R2P doctrine to suffuse the parlance and institutions of international politics and resulted in the concept being affirmed by all UN member states at the 2005 World Summit. Seemingly, R2P has become an established principle of international politics (Cuncliffe, 2011: 1) and appears increasingly to be the hegemonic framework through which the role of the `international community' is understood in relation to crisis, conflict and humanitarian emergencies.

Although there are differences between the ICISS and World Summit versions of R2P, there is consensus between states in terms of protecting `populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity'. Constructing R2P as a defining characteristic of statehood, the UN suggests that the task of emancipating humans from political violence encompasses the state, but also goes beyond it--notably when human suffering is the product of state neglect or predation (Cuncliffe, 2011: 1).

Humanitarian Intervention: From Le Droit d'Ingérence to the Responsibility to Protect

Samantha Power - Susan Rice - Hillary Clinton - R2P principle conflated with regime change ... a generation of foreign policy elites who used the failures of the 1990s as a set of `formative experiences' that provided shortcut comparisons to springboard the Libya intervention in 2011.

Norms of Intervention, R2P and Libya

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 01:44:30 PM EST
If you're considering Libya as a precedent for "humanitarian" intervention, and intending this to offer a justification for Russia intervening in Ukraine... I really don't think that's a good idea.

  1. at least for Libya there was a UN resolution,
  2. none of the intervening countries had pure humanitarian motives,
  3. results were sub-optimal.

In fact the only actor who might feel satisfaction at the result is Nicolas Sarkozy, who clearly wanted Ghaddafi dead, and got his wish (which is why he isn't in prison yet).

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:06:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You were probably too young in 2011.

Learn and listen,
https://www.rfi.fr/fr/podcasts/invit%C3%A9-afrique/20220222-choguel-ma%C3%AFga-premier-ministre-du-m ali-la-d%C3%A9mocratie-ne-se-ram%C3%A8ne-pas-aux-%C3%A9lections

by Tom2 on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:39:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A success story, the Ivory Coast, when Sarkozy started to obey his US masters and dropped a long French ally for a US puppet. How is the Ivory Coast 10 years later?

https:/www.rfi.fr/fr/podcasts/grand-reportage/20220217-p%C3%A9nurie-de-sang-en-c%C3%B4te-d-ivoire-s ympt%C3%B4me-d-un-syst%C3%A8me-de-sant%C3%A9-malade

They have even a university named after their (still in office) president. A good sign of democracy.

by Tom2 on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:43:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
well, I was 61 in September. How old are you, Tomtom?

As for Mali and Ivory Coast, I consider myself reasonably well-informed, I've been following developments for the past thirty years or so.

I have made no claim that the French government or military have played a competent or useful role in West Africa over that period. You made a specific claim that France is the proxy tool of Africom, so I was expecting you to post something to support that claim in your subsequent posts.

Unless I missed something, there is nothing concerning the USA in the interview with the military regime's puppet in Mali.

With respect to your post below concerning the Ivory Coast, sorry, you still don't have a clue. Ouattara won the election. He is not a US puppet, nor is Gbagbo a French puppet. Sometimes things are complicated, Tomtom.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:47:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]

😂 🇺🇦

Countries and corruption barometer by perception ...

Majority do not meet the standards, the better countries in ranking from the best on down ...

Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Estonia, Belgium, Austria ...

Exactly one country from the New Europe states meets criteria  ... unacceptable.


Ranks between Swaziland and Zambia at 33 points. Lost a point, behind El Salvador and Vietnam. Waste of effort and should clean-up domestic mess first.

East-West Schism: Destruction Process Inside Europe

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 02:36:20 PM EST
Oil Prices Will Hit $100 And Stay There

Middle Eastern Oil Nations Hike Prices As Production Falters

    Fast-forward to today and the world is facing a completely different picture - inventories are the tightest in almost a decade, with the pace of stock depletion unparalleled in recent decades. The same key Middle Eastern powerhouses have played a part in this, underperforming their production quotas - in fact, the divergence between self-reported figures and third-party assessments keeps on increasing, potentially insinuating that the likes of Saudi Arabia stalled the monthly additions knowingly.

The EU-27 economic engine grinds to a halt -- Brexit and Global #1 triumphs.

Soaring Energy Prices Pose An Existential Threat To German Businesses

5 Commodities That Could Explode As The Ukraine Crisis Escalates

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:02:07 PM EST
Yahoo!Finance | Middle Eastern Oil Nations Hike Prices As Production Falters
When OPEC+ agreed
Russia has been OPEC's "swing producer" for as long as Daniel Yergin has held the the title of expert market analyst--even posthumously-- in the field of price makers and depleted "petrodollar" price takers, ie. 1973 OPEC embargo. Nothing has changed in that relationship--not westworld reluctance to admit the "competitive" and technical incompetence attending exclusion from that ahh comparatively warm geopolitical relationship, not elasticity of "wildcat" (so-called independent) producers' marginal IRR, dependent on OPEC forward price-setting conferences in Vienna, Geneva, or wtf.

Frustration with "emerging market" allegiance to  Allied member-states' insecurities is commonplace. Here it erupts as incoherent "scholarship"

As the second-largest producer and exporter of petroleum in the world, Russia has considerable weight in exercising its control over the international oil market. However, it remains a nonmember of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which is the dominant player in the global market. Although it frequently attends OPEC meetings and has made many pledges to cooperate with OPEC production cuts, Russia has a history of reneging [!] on its promises to the cartel and has repeatedly acted to undermine the authority [!] of OPEC in determining prices on the world market.
and here, a solipsistic rendering of normative obligation borne by fuel producers time and again to satisfy neediness of "developed" nations' wars at home and abroad; an ultimatum to sacrifice their own "security" at any price.  
Russia has fulfilled long-term contracts but failed [!] to sell additional gas on the spot market, while pushing for German approval of its contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a way to solve Europe's gas squeeze.
While Putin relishes his role as the "gas godfather" and has exploited the shortage to press for approval of Nord Stream 2, "the more mundane reality is ... there simply has been no spare Russian gas to export until Russia finishes filling its own domestic storage for winter," wrote [Hertie School energy and geopolitical analyst Thomas] O'Donnell, who blogs at globalbarrel.com.
"OPEC+" is a euphemism for the youngest generation of westworld consumers,  introduced by net importers' corporate agents ("The Oil Majors") to gloss--as is convenient--sources of their fuel distribution permits. In the USD/bbl run-up to the last "price shock" demonstration (2014-2015, not 2017) of OPEC+ market share, pricing power, and supply chain discipline, orchestrated by the KSA controlling interest in known reserves.

"Tight" KSA supply primarily benefited state-owned producers' treasuries--inc RUSSIA; ex Texass WTI and Brent indexed pricing--on the way up; KSA's supply "glut" punished all OPEC aligned marginal producers' profits (the OPEC "+" price takers) on the sway down. Trade press confusion in that boom-bust cycle was insane--beggaring belief in despicable "cartel" cooperation to support NEW! entrants, pleading for OPEC futures price floor alla way down to foreclosures on over-leveraged shale oil and gas wellheads: the glut of their own creation.

on its 400,000 b/d monthly increases back in August 2021, the overwhelming expectation for the first months of 2022 was a gradual return to normality [sic], with ["]key Middle Eastern["] crude producers ramping up production to almost pre-pandemic levels.  Fast-forward to today and the world is facing a completely different picture - inventories are the tightest in almost a decade [FALSE]
Its lightest grades saw the smallest month-on-month increase, with Arab Super Light[!] and Extra Light[!] ramped up by 30 and 40 cents per barrel, respectively. On the other hand, Arab Heavy and Arab Medium - both grades being long-time favorites with Chinese refiners - were hiked by 70 cents per barrel. Considering that flows of Arab Heavy[!] have dropped significantly starting from January, down some 300,000 b/d from average levels in Q4 to just a little above 900,000 b/d, as well as Dubai backwardation steepening again, the OSP for April 2022 might bring another all-time high differential for the heaviest of Saudi grades.
by Cat on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 06:21:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:10:10 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:14:58 PM EST

Can leave NS2 be as it would hurt NATO allies more than Russia. Keep the annoyance on your own soil ... you are not fighting to protect Europe ... Machiavellian Syndrome

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:27:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:28:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not particularly a fan of Navalny (though I have issues with his being jailed for being a politician) and I don't know who runs his Twitter, but this thread is pretty pithy :

Navalny's rant

 1/16 Yesterday I watched the "session of the Security Council", this gathering of dotards and thieves (it seems to me that our Anti-Corruption Foundation has done investigations into the corruption of every single one of them).
2/16 And I thought about the same gathering of nomenklatura dotards from the Politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU, who, quite similarly, on their own whim , imagining themselves as geopoliticians at the "grand chessboard", decided to send Soviet troops into Afghanistan.
3/16 The result was hundreds of thousands of victims, injuries to entire nations, the consequences of which both we and Afghanistan still cannot overcome, and the emergence of one of the key reasons for the collapse of the USSR.
4/16 Those morons from the Politburo covered themselves with a two-faced ideology. These Putin's dotards do not even have an ideology - only constant and undisguised lies. They don't even bother to give their casus belli the slightest credibility.
5/16 Both of them need one thing: to divert the attention of the people of Russia from real problems - the development of the economy, rising prices, reigning lawlessness - and switching it to the format of "imperial hysteria."
6/16 How long has it been since you last watched the news on federal channels? It's the only thing I watch now, and I can assure you, there is NO news about Russia there AT ALL. Literally. From the first to the last piece, it's Ukraine - USA - Europe.
7/16 Bare propaganda is no longer enough for the senile thieves. They want blood. They want to move around tank figurines on a map of hostilities.
8/16 And so, the head of the 21st century Politburo makes a truly insane speech. Twitter gave the most accurate metaphor for it: "It's just like my grandfather getting drunk at a family celebration and annoying everyone with his stories about how world politics actually works."
9/16 It would be funny if the drunk grandfather was not a man of 69 who holds power in a country with nuclear weapons.
10/16 Replace "Ukraine" in his speech with "Kazakhstan", "Belarus", "Baltic countries", "Azerbaijan", "Uzbekistan" and so on, even including "Finland". And think about where the train of geopolitical thought of this senile grandfather may take him next.
11/16 All this ended very badly for everyone in 1979. And it will end just as badly now. Afghanistan was destroyed, but the USSR also received a mortal wound.
12/16 Thanks to Putin, hundreds of Ukrainians and Russian citizens may die now, and in the future, this number may reach tens of thousands. Yes, he will not allow Ukraine to develop, he will drag it into the swamp, but Russia will pay the same price.
13/16 We have everything for powerful development in the 21st century, from oil to educated citizens, but we will lose money again and squander the historical chance for a normal rich life for the sake of war, dirt, lies and the palace with golden eagles in Gelendzhik.
14/16 Putin and his senile thieves from the Security Council and United Russia are the enemies of Russia and its main threat, not Ukraine and not the West. Putin kills and wants to kill more.
15/16 The Kremlin is making you poorer, not Washington. It is not in London that economic policy is being conducted in such a way that a pensioner's "borscht set" has doubled in price, but in Moscow.
16/16 To fight for Russia, to save it, means to fight for the removal of Putin and his kleptocrats from power. But now it also means the banal "to fight for peace".

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:37:14 PM EST
I'm sure Mark has first hand knowledge of 8 years under siege for families in the Donbas. The men protecting their homestead in the trenches with risk of getting killed
by sniper fire --- the Dutch delivered 100 modern sniper rifles and 20,000 rounds of ammunition to a corrupt and fascist regime in Kyiv.

Mark was in a talk show and left in a hurry when he got an alert message Putin was sending a peace mission into the Donbas. Absolutely dumbfounded and flabbergasted. 🔥 🆘. #UnfitToServe

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:48:33 PM EST
It is about switching from Russian gas, as Rutte's employees have been explaining plainly to the people who still have cooking gas and not electricity. They even had wijk meetings about it and letters in the mail boxes for the last... 3 years.
To please his buddy Macron and buy more "green and sustainable" French nuclear energy.
by Tom2 on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:38:47 AM EST
[ Parent ]
HRW on Russia in Syria
Human Rights Watch has highlighted Russia's track record for bombing civilian infrastructure in Syria's conflict and voiced fear "war crimes strategy" could be repeated in Ukraine if the conflict escalates further, AFP reports.

HRW chief Kenneth Roth warned the region could "be on the verge of a significant armed conflict" and that given Russia's recent behaviour during Syria's civil war, that was a deeply worrying prospect.

Speaking to reporters during a video briefing, Roth said the Syrian government and its Russian ally "showed callous disregard" for civilian life in late 2020 as they strived to retake the Idlib province and surrounding areas in northwest Syria.

The nearly year-long Idlib bombing campaign "gives us a sense of the way the Russian military has been fighting recently," Roth said, adding that Russian bombers were "deliberately attacking civilian institutions to try to make life unlivable and make it easier for the Syrian military to roll in".

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 03:55:22 PM EST
Coming soon to a European country near you.
by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 06:40:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
y'all too fat and lazy.
by Cat on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:36:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine is a European country.
by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:07:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]

HRW: Timeline deaths in Syrian conflict 2011-2021

Number of deaths in Syria when US-Turkey-NATO-GCC states took part in Civil War against Bashar al-Assad ...

Pro-government 74% of total.
Anti-Assad fighters 68% of total
Civilians 60% of total
Overall deaths were equally divided 1/3-1/3-1/3

The Russian intervention reduced the number of deaths. Terrorist groups joined the more extreme and better equipped units. The Iraq invasion brought about ISIL and later the Islamic State where youth from all parts of the world became radicalized an traveled through Turkey into Northern Syria. Many are to blame for the slaughter.

Syria Drama In the Making - the Bush and Obama Years 2005-2013

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 06:56:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nice ... Syrian quagmire linked to Tony Blair - of course - and his expectations of European and Russian relations dateline 1999.

Blair On Downfall Saddam, Iraq Compared Favorable to Quagmire In Libya and Syria | @BooMan - Oct. 25, 2015 |


I very much hope that Russia and the IMF can reach an early agreement on a new programme to provide macro-economic stability, avoid hyper-inflation and encourage Russian companies and savers to keep their own money in the country. This however will only be a first step. I want to see a wider dialogue between Russia and the G7 focussing on all of the structural and legal reforms that are needed to improve the economic prospects for ordinary Russians.

Russia is a unique economy with its own special problems and its own unique potential. We all need to build on the lessons of the last few years and develop a long term strategy for reform that respects Russia's history, her culture and her aspirations. If Russia is prepared, with our understanding and co-operation, to take the difficult economic action it needs to reform its economy - to build a sound and well-regulated financial system, to restructure and close down bankrupt enterprises to develop and enforce a clear and fair legal system and to reduce the damage caused by nuclear waste - the G7 must be prepared to think imaginatively about how it can best support these efforts.

We will be putting forward concrete ideas on how to do this at the Cologne Summit - by opening up our markets to Russian products. by providing technical advice and sharing our expertise with the Russians, by providing support both bilaterally and through the IMF. the World Bank and the other lEls and the Paris Club for the Russian reform efforts.

[Source cached article: Doctrine of the International Community - Number 10 - April 24, 1999 |]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 06:58:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 12:31:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Kimani praised for Kenya's commanding UNSC presence on Ukraine - Africa Times

"Kenya and almost every African country was birthed by the ending of empire. Our borders were not of our own drawing," Kimani said. Rather, those decisions were made in London, Paris and Lisbon during the colonial era.

"Today across the border of every single African country live our countrymen with whom we share deep bonds," Kimani continued. His tone and eloquence conveyed a deep understanding of the border conflict between Ukraine and Russia, but he went on to explain why Kenya insists on diplomacy as a better path toward the future than Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory.

"We believe that all states formed from empires that have collapsed or retreated have many peoples in them yearning for integration with peoples in neighboring states," he said. "This is normal and understandable. After all, who does not want to be joined to their brethren and to make common purpose with them?

"However, Kenya rejects such a yearning from being pursued by force. We must complete our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression."

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 06:55:40 PM EST
The territories currently held by the separatists from Donetsk and Lugansk self-proclaimed republics represent about 40% of the whole Donbas region, the rest still being under Ukraine administration. Putin has apparently authorized the Russian forces to move into Ukrainian controlled territory ("invade" in simple English).

by Bernard (bernard) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:31:30 PM EST

Putin's Speech Prior to Recognizing Donbass Republics  h/t Karlof1 @MofA

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 07:51:36 PM EST
Cleared by a very reliable source ...

Why Azov should not be designated a foreign terrorist organization | Atlantic Council - Feb. 24, 2020 |

From the same reliable source ...

Guerrilla tactics offer Ukraine's best deterrent against Putin's invasion force | Atlantic Council - Dec. 6, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:51:00 PM EST
The Armies of the Right -- Inside Ukraine's extremist militias | Harpers Weekly - Dec. 2020 |

Outside the city-council offices in Kyiv's Obolon district, Andriy Biletsky was about to give a speech. It was a spring day in 2019, and volunteers from Biletsky's far-right group, the Azov movement, were idling in the sunshine next to the gloomy Soviet-era building, while others milled about in the shade of the birch and linden trees of a nearby park, almost outnumbering the audience members. The volunteers wore tight-fitting T-shirts and heavy military boots, and were ready to record the proceedings with cell phones and camcorders. The spectators, mostly pensioners, clutched plastic shopping bags and gossiped among themselves.

Azov was established in 2014 as a volunteer militia, and was lauded for its heroic intervention in Ukraine's grueling campaign against Russian-backed separatists in the east. Since those early victories, however, Azov has expanded its scope, managing to integrate itself into the military, the police, and other structures of the Ukrainian state. It established its own political party, the National Corps. Biletsky, who commanded Azov's military forces against Russia, is the party's leader.

One respectably dressed middle-aged man carrying groceries asked Biletsky why he hadn't deployed his regiment to deal with the crooks in parliament. Biletsky sidestepped the question, reminding the crowd instead of the importance of voting.

Ukraine is among the poorest countries in Europe and the closest thing the continent has to a failing state. It is mired in a smoldering conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its eastern provinces, and its state institutions have been almost entirely captured by competing oligarchs. Corruption pervades almost every level of government. Outside Kyiv's metro stations, elderly women in head scarves and bedraggled war veterans beg for change, while nearby the streets are lined with luxury shops and petty gangsters run red lights in black SUVs without fear of rebuke. Millions have emigrated to Poland or Russia for work. The capital has the uncanny feel, at times, of a postmodern Weimar, where Instagram influencers brunch in cafés tricked out in the international hipster style opposite billboards adorned with the faces of Ukraine's martyrs in the war against Russia.

The Al Jazeera news report from the trenches were hard-core neo-Nazis in the trenches on the front fighting Russian separatists.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:52:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Examining the Threat of the Azov Movement in Ukraine | Geohistory |

The Azov movement has gained in reputation and power, not only in their home country of Ukraine, but across the world. The group, which began as a volunteer paramilitary organization, has evolved and expanded since its conception. Now an integrated part of Ukraine's formal military forces, its leaders are currently active in local and national politics. Although they have been only marginally successful at the polls, they have been very visible in the national discussion of how to form a new, post-Maidan Ukrainian identity through physical protests, online discussion, and active recruiting to their nationalist organizations. Comparing facets of Azov to 20th-century fascism reveals concerning similarities that should not be overlooked, as modern-day fascism and its violence could pose a threat to the current Ukrainian government's efforts to establish itself as a democratic, European state.

The Azov Battalion began after the separatist conflict broke out in eastern Ukraine in 2014 (OpenDemocracy, 2016). The group was created by members of two closely related ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi organizations: the Social-National Assembly and the Patriot of Ukraine (Miller, 2018), and it quickly gained a reputation for helping the underequipped Ukrainian military forces. Azov eventually became an official regiment in Ukraine's National Guard.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:53:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Far-Right ideology has cemented itself in Ukraine under Zelensky

However, as recently as August 5, the Ukrainian president demonstrated that he has not deviated from the reactionary and extremist ideology of his predecessor. Zelensky said on the Dom TV channel that "for the sake of your children and grandchildren," those who identify as Russian in Donbass should "go find a place for yourself in the Russian Federation." Effectively, he called for the ethnic cleansing of Russians in Donbass, irrespective of the fact that Donbass has been an integral part of the Russian homeland since the 1600's. It cannot be overlooked that Zelensky's call for Russians to be ethnically cleansed from Donbass is in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He received no condemnation from the EU or the UN.

Source for verification ...

Зеленський порадив виїжджати в Росію українцям із Донбасу, які вважають себе росіянами | Radio Svoboda - Aug. 5, 2021 |

Headline: Zelensky advised Ukrainians from Donbass who consider themselves Russians to leave for Russia.

Additional reading ...

Strategy and tactics of deoccupation: how can Ukraine regain its territories? | Radio Svoboda - March 2, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 09:55:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is intended to illustrate that there is ethnic cleansing going on in the Ukraine... then that'll be a FAIL.

Google translate from the Radio Free Europe site in Ukranian :

"Those people who now live in the occupied territories of Donbass and Crimea need to understand that this is not about someone being evicted. I just want to be understood. Once again: is it the Motherland or are you a guest? I believe that if you live in the territory of Donbass today, temporarily occupied, and you believe that this is the right thing for us in Russia, that we are Russians, it is a big mistake to stay and live in Donbass. It will never be Russian territory. It's just never, "Zelensky said.

I think that it's optimistic on his part, but not unreasonable, otherwise.

I believe that I can make a formal claim of voluntary disinformation for your above post. Or did you just believe the crappy analysis from the BRICs site without checking yourself?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 10:18:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oui, please, can you respond to my above post? I have noticed that when you engage with other participants, your responses are clear, cogent, well-reasoned. In other words, of much better quality than your high-volume, hit-and-run posting style. I wish you would exercise better quality control.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 07:14:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Christchurch despairs over white supremacist attacks | WikiPedia - Fri Mar 15, 2019 |

Testament to Murder: The Violent Far-Right's Increasing Use of Terrorist Manifestos | ICCT - Mar 2020 |

Related my diaries @ET on White Supremacists

Ukraine military: Ultra-right Infiltrating Military Leadership Jobs | Dec. 24, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 01:09:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oui, you're going over the same ground here.
Perhaps now that the Russians have control of a significant part of Ukrainian territory, they have found proof of ethnic cleansing? Genocide, as Putin said? I don't know, mass graves or something?

It's not that I don't take extreme right violence seriously. I do. But some sort of tangible evidence is required, because these are heavy accusations, considering that they are being used as an excuse to invade a sovereign country. That would require a certain number of verifiable deaths to justify the thousands of deaths resulting from the invasion, do you disagree?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 01:21:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Historical Unity of Russians and Ukrainians

Russia is open to dialogue with Ukraine and ready to discuss the most complex issues. But it is important for us to understand that our partner is defending its national interests but not serving someone else's, and is not a tool in someone else's hands to fight against us.

We respect the Ukrainian language and traditions. We respect Ukrainians' desire to see their country free, safe and prosperous.

I am confident that true sovereignty of Ukraine is possible only in partnership with Russia. Our spiritual, human and civilizational ties formed for centuries and have their origins in the same sources, they have been hardened by common trials, achievements and victories. Our kinship has been transmitted from generation to generation. It is in the hearts and the memory of people living in modern Russia and Ukraine, in the blood ties that unite millions of our families. Together we have always been and will be many times stronger and more successful. For we are one people.

Today, these words may be perceived by some people with hostility. They can be interpreted in many possible ways. Yet, many people will hear me. And I will say one thing - Russia has never been and will never be "anti-Ukraine". And what Ukraine will be - it is up to its citizens to decide.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Feb 22nd, 2022 at 11:42:15 PM EST
How quickly a thread can age.

I think the citizens of Ukraine have decided. What do you think?

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

by eurogreen on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 01:34:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Civic Space and Fundamental Freedoms In Ukraine

  1. During the reporting period, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) monitored political and legislative developments in Government- controlled territory that resulted in restrictions on civic space. For example, freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association as well as the right to participate were negatively affected before and after the 2020 local elections due to an increase in attacks against opposition political parties, their members and staff. Similarly, amendments to the State language legislation led to threats, intimidation, property damage, and in one case, physical violence against those who expressed critical opinions on its implementation. More generally, attacks against journalists and media professionals during the reporting period often targeted those working on politically sensitive topics.

  2. The ongoing armed conflict and different views regarding the origins and causes of the conflict have also created an environment that has negatively affected the exercise of the rights to freedoms of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly and association, and the right to participate. Sanctions introduced by the Government led to the closure of several major media outlets and some smaller online ones. The decisions introducing these sanctions failed to demonstrate compliance with international standards on permissible restrictions on freedom of expression, as they were not taken by an impartial authority and did not demonstrate necessity and proportionality. Finally, human rights defenders working on issues such as prevention of corruption, protection of the environment, and promotion of gender equality and rights of minorities (including LGBTI) continued to be targeted by attacks, threats, acts of intimidation and hate speech. In most cases, the perpetrators remain unidentified, contributing to a sense of impunity and fuelling further attacks. Women human rights defenders5 faced additional gendered risks due to their professional activities.

  3. Throughout the reporting period, OHCHR documented 29 incidents targeting journalists, media professionals, bloggers, and individuals expressing opinions critical of the authorities, Government policies or the mainstream political agenda. In 22 of these cases, perpetrators resorted to violence, while other cases involved threats (including online), incitement to violence, online smear campaigns and intentional damage to property. The majority of the 15 attacks OHCHR recorded in 2020 targeted investigative journalists and media workers covering political topics such as corruption allegations and implementation of COVID-19 restrictions. In 2021, 7 out of 14 documented attacks targeted individuals expressing opinions on political matters or criticizing mainstream narratives.

  4. The failure of authorities to ensure physical security of journalists, media workers, bloggers, opinion leaders and individuals who express opinions on sensitive topics remained a key area of concern. This included failure of authorities on site to immediately stop violent actions and ineffective investigations of threats and attacks. In one case in 2021, in the presence of law enforcement officers, affiliates of groups that promote violence verbally threatened a photographer of a popular media outlet who was taking pictures of a rally they organized. Despite clear indications that the situation was escalating into a physical attack, the police officers present for securing the assembly did not intervene to stop the attackers or protect the victim. In another case, law enforcement agencies failed to appropriately investigate an attack on the editor of a internet outlet in Poltava region which criticized local political leaders of alleged corruption. This led to a second attack on the editor, just eight days later, involving some of the same perpetrators.10 The failure to appropriately address such violence, during or immediately after attacks, creates an environment of impunity in which further attacks against journalists and media professionals can occur, increasing the risks for those reporting on sensitive topics

  5. Since 16 January 2021, OHCHR has received information about a wave of threats and expressions of hatred towards individuals who publicly criticised the law "On supporting the functioning of the Ukrainian language as the State language", or expressed any positive views or favouring the use of the Russian language. Notably, these threats and expressions often contain sexist language when targeting females. On 25 January 2021, three days after a veterinarian from Mariupol published a post on Facebook, where she offered a 50% discount if a customer requested to be served in Russian, the office of the clinic was vandalized. She also received several phone calls threatening arson and physical violence. A female volunteer at the clinic also started receiving threats on social media and through the telephone after expressing support to the veterinarian. In one case, in March 2021 threats against a street musician who performed in Russian in Lviv were followed by physical violence, allegedly committed by members of a group that promotes violence. Cases of attacks and threats against individuals who express opinions on sensitive topics, especially when left unaddressed by law enforcement.

In the three separated regions the human rights weren't any better. The mission was impeded to enter the war zones. See report.

Voting rights of IDPs at local level in Ukraine | Council of Europe Office in Ukraine |

Lacking diplomacy and people in power play a waiting game until the issue explodes in your face. SHAME

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 12:33:12 AM EST
Oui, I want your considered, honest, personal opinion on this subject, on which you are very well-informed : do you think that the situation concerning civic space and fundamental rights is better in Russia than in Ukraine?

I couldn't find an equivalent UNHRC document concerning Russia, so I can't do a direct comparison myself. But the report you linked considers the whole territory of Ukraine, including Crimea and the Donbass people's republics.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 07:12:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... on which you are very well-informed...

I'm struggling like most people, sometimes a topic grabs me and I try to do due diligence.

My biggest asset is from my parents to look at politics with a critical view, don't get sucked into a position of power. Our family as the country were devastated by the German invasion and occupation 1940-45. Although I still carry the images of ruins of parts in The Hague and Rotterdam, I have no hate for the Germans or the nation, on the contrary. I do my best to stay principled to upbringing, great education and life's experience. At age seven my parents emigrated to the States ... high expectations of the land of opportunity. After graduating from college in the sciences, the world opened up. Great start in aerospace and defense industry in St. Louis as a junior engineer ... and saw the other side of poverty, violence, broken homes, fear and discrimination. No social network to benefit the impoverished, the fall is deep and permanent. Healthcare is a human right.

The troops surge in Vietnam in 1965 and jungle warfare filled the newspapers and TV news channels. General Westmoreland and Rand Corp alumnus Robert McNamara gave their weekly briefings and prognosis. Quite early I knew they were bullshitting and hiding the true cost in lives and lack of progress. Winning the hearts and minds of the rural Vietnamese.

As Europe was slowly coming out of the war crisis and with the rebuilding effort of homes, employment and industrial activity, I made a choice for Europe. No regrets, especially with the presidential election of 2000 and the intervention of the SC to make GWB president. America and its democracy is sliding backwards ever since.

Of course in the "West" the civic space and press freedom is multiple factors better than any totalitarian state run by a dictator. My sadness is that the expansion of the EU was managed with the expansion of NATO. Many states of "New Europe" were not ready to be a reliable partner inside the EU. Policy in the EU-27 is now set by the Military Industrial Complex with NATO HQ and military command in the lead.

Yes, the European Union should expand based on its founding principles of Four Freedoms. Nationalism and fascism has no place inside the EU. The fool's exploitation of war in the Middle East and North Africa caused chaos and the flight of refugees to Europe. This gave populists a boost in elections and is changing the face of Europe. Looking at the Netherlands, all parties have moved to the right. On policy, the Dutch are now a right-wing state caring less for human rights and stopped funding Palestinian Human Rights NGOs. Gap between very wealthy and the poor has increased. Employees and retirees will not be compensated for inflation. The minimum wage will be raised ... in the coming five years €0.20 each year. ☹

The US has never given Russia a real chance to be part of NATO or improve economic ties to Europe. This would make Europe a true competitor to the position of the US as leading economic power.

In the first Cold War period, the West tried to improve ties with the Soviet Union through cultural exchange and sports. There was a frigid relationship, but nations were talking and meeting one another. Nowadays Russia is treated as a pariah state just like DPKR. This will only lead to economic chaos, and hopefully not to a full-fledged war.

Ties of the Netherlands to Russia run deep to the period of Peter the Great. The former Soviet bloc nations are living in pre-WWII mindset. NATO is exploiting division, so does members US Congress meddling in European affairs and placing sanctions in an early stage of Nord Stream II. WTF ... indeed US National Security.

In the states my dad worked with two Polish workers, they barely spoke English, so they conversed in German. One Pole was greatly affected by Soviet atrocities during the war ... his oldest son had no choice but to enlist in the US Army and do his duty to his fatherland to kill as many Commies as possible. War is a state of mind, and through media and government propaganda we have been corrupted. IMHO

How you treat others, so you will be treated.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 09:58:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is all very interesting, and we seem to have very similar values. But you have refrained from answering any of the questions I have asked in this thread.

In calling this thread "Russia to Invoke UN's R2P Principle", and then posting a claim that Zelensky is intending ethnic cleansing against Russians, based on a blatantly manipulated quote... and spending the whole day yesterday regurgitating talking points from Putin's Monday speech as if they were acknowledged facts...

... I get the feeling that either your sense of irony is too deep for me, or else you have shared your Eurotrib login with a paid Putin propagandist.

I find it problematic that two thirds of the posts on this site are coming from someone who rarely bothers to engage with people who respond. Again, I wish you would publish less "raw information" and engage in more reasoned discussion.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:33:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the three separated regions the human rights weren't any better.

That is misleading. Apart from the specific and severe repression of Crimean Tatars,

The Russian Federation made wholesale changes to the legal system that was in place in Crimea before the beginning of the occupation, including by applying the entirety of its legislation to Crimea. By doing so, the Russian Federation acted in violation of international humanitarian law which requires the occupying Power to take all measures in its power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety, while respecting, unless absolutely prevented, the laws in force in the country.48 These changes also led to a more restrictive civic space in Crimea.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Report and analysis one year ago ..

Russia's Unsustainable Business Model: Going All In on Oil and Gas | HCSS The Hague - Jan. 2021 |

Revenues from oil and gas production are essential for Russia. Over the last decennium, they accounted for 40 to 50% of the Russian federal budget and about two thirds of Russian exports; percentages that are higher than those for the Soviet Union in the 1980's.

Russia is, with Saudi Arabia and the United States of America (US), one of the top three global oil producers. Russian oil reserves are only the 7th largest in the world, however. The revival of Western Siberia's giant oil fields, which had seen major reservoir damage under Soviet times, was a significant achievement under the Putin era but has now run its course. Maintaining production levels in these fields, already for decades the backbone of Russian oil production, is becoming more difficult and costly. Exploration for new oil fields in Eastern Siberia has yielded limited success. Unconventional shale oil is a high-cost oil for which the Russian oil industry lacks the technical expertise. Large parts of the Arctic resources lie offshore, and the Russian oil industry has virtually no offshore operating experience. Sanctions are increasingly limiting the Russian oil industry's ability to maintain production levels.

In contrast to Russia's more limited oil reserves its natural gas reserves are the largest in the world. The challenge here is not to produce the gas but to transport it and sell it at a profit. The rise of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) shipping now enables the monetisation of remote gas reserves (and these are plentiful) throughout the world. US shale gas is increasingly providing a soft ceiling for gas prices, as US shale oil has done for oil prices since 2014. Russia will remain the key supplier of gas for the European Union (EU) but with the advance of LNG, abundant LNG import capacity within the EU and the liberalization of European gas markets, its influence on gas prices has diminished.

There is a remarkable symbiosis between the Putin regime and the Russian oil and gas industry. Oil and gas are the major source of income for the government. Oil and gas companies will not challenge the primacy of the Kremlin. Gazprom and Rosneft in particular will undertake projects where the geopolitical interests of the Russian government under Putin take preference over commercial considerations. Oil trading, rigged auctions of oil and gas assets as well as the construction of major projects, such as pipelines, at elevated prices, provide ample opportunities for the enrichment of the circle around Putin.

Ukrainian territory has not only been a large agricultural supplier but was the manufacturing and industrial base of the Soviet Union. For future survival and due to harsh US economic sanctions, Russia has to expand. Going to war is not an option, usually will make things worse. Most likely Russian leadership felt they have been unfairly put under crippling sanctions ... after Putin the deluge.

The US exited Afghanistan and lost a foothold and influence in Central Asia. Russia had to put down the unrest in Belarus and Kazakhstan of Central Asia. Putin is just hanging on ... a dangerous development for the leader of a nation with nuclear weapons. China's Xi Jinping could not be happy with an unstable Russia ... eyeing Eastern Mongolia?

Could be that Biden is playing the Iran card, he would need support of the GCC states and a guarantee of peace between Sunni and Shia believers. Signs are Turkey may reconcile with Arab Gulf states ... could be a grand slam for the Biden administration although it will not help the domestic agenda and chances for Democrats for Congress in November.

Many headaches for Vlad.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 07:06:19 AM EST
Interesting take on how the Atlanticists got hold of German politics, media, banking and a financial hold on industry.

The flagships of German "journalism" have been demonizing Russia and Putin for at least a decade

Posted by: xototox | Feb 22 2022 22:59 utc | 212

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 07:21:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Decades of EU-US sanctions against persons, "entities," and illegitimate or unrecognized states are piled so high now it's difficult to keep track of who--allied and unaligned--are able to evade further punishment ... or "retaliation" if you like ... without first securing "waivers" to participate in

  • free speech
  • elections
  • self-defense
  • commodity trade, from loans to food
  • humanitarian aid, from food to generic drugs

among themselves. for example, Which "democratic" impulse compelled S Korea to pay Iran's UN dues? Which one "annexed" islands in the Indian sea and Pacific Ocean? Which JCPOA signatory arrested the worldwide semiconductor industry? Who inherited master designs of IE/NI, Palestine/Israel, Pakistan/India, S Sudan/N Sudan, Iraq/Kurdistan, HK SAR/Taiwan, S Africa, N/S Korea, UK/Fr Cameroon, TR/GR Cyprus, Somalia, Libya, Syria ...

this garbage: "Recognition" and International Legal Status
and this

17. On 13 March 1996, the Secretary-General received from the Government of the United States of America, the following communication:

"(1) It is the understanding of the United States of America that, as the Convention does not apply to vessels and aircraft that are entitled to sovereign immunity under international law, in particular to any warship, naval auxiliary, and other vessels or aircraft owned or operated by a State and in use on government, non-commercial service, each State shall ensure that such vessels or aircraft act in a manner consistent with this Convention, so far as is practicable and reasonable, by adopting appropriate measures that do not impair the operations or operational capabilities of sovereign immune vessels.

(2) It is the understanding of the United States of America that a State is a 'Transit State' within the meaning of the Convention only if wastes are moved, or are planned to be moved, through its inland waterways, inland waters, or land territory.

(3) It is the understanding of the United States of America that an exporting State may decide that it lacks the capacity to dispose of wastes in an 'environmentally sound and efficient manner' if disposal in the importing country would be both environmentally sound and economically efficient."

(4) It is the understanding of the United States of America that article 9 (2) does not create obligations for the exporting State with regard to cleanup, beyond taking such wastes back or otherwise disposing of them in accordance with the Convention. Further obligations may be determined by the parties pursuant to article 12.

Further, at the time the United States of America deposits its instrument of ratification of the Basel Convention, the United States will formally object to the declaration of any State which asserts the right to require its prior permission or authorization for the passage of vessels transporting hazardous wastes while exercising, under international law, its right of innocent passage through the territorial sea or freedom of navigation in an exclusive economic zone."

Ever more refined are the threads passing through the eyes of NATO needles: First shipment of Indian wheat to Afghanistan to be sent via Wagah[, Pakistan] on Tuesday

The Indian side is also exploring the option of sending more wheat to Afghanistan via Iran's Chabahar port. Iran's foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian had said during a phone conversation with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar in January that Tehran will cooperate with New Delhi in shipping humanitarian aid, including wheat and medicines, to Afghanistan.

Though the first shipment of wheat will begin rolling out on Tuesday, several problems remain because of conditions attached by the Pakistani side. For instance, Pakistan has insisted that all 50,000 tonnes must be shipped within a month using Afghan trucks. People familiar with the matter said this would be extremely difficult as only about 40 Afghan trucks operate at the Attari-Wagah crossing every day.

by Cat on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:45:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Advance forces' battle readiness will quickly degrade, giving Putin only days to choose invasion or retreat
Russian forces massing near Ukraine's borders can only remain in position for a few days before they have to be sent back to nearby bases or risk their capability being significantly degraded, western officials and experts believe.

That means that President Vladimir Putin will come under increasing pressure to use them in a full invasion of Ukraine - or send them back to staging areas, still in Russia's south or west, but tens or even hundreds of kilometres back.

Such advance positions, often with poor protection from the cold, can be held only for a short period - and there is some evidence on social media of the poor conditions endured by soldiers near the border.

Postings spotted by military analyst Rob Lee on Monday showed about 100 soldiers camped out - or rather lying down - at a train station about 20km from Ukraine's border, without rations and having to buy food for themselves.

Russian troops based in Belarus, in forests near the town of Khoyniki, 50km from the Ukraine border, were described by one local a few days ago as people who "drink a lot and sell a lot of their diesel fuel", suggesting a lack of discipline despite the heightened political tensions.

Also : even after rolling back to sustainable positions, they can't stay there forever... If they don't invade before spring thaws the marshes, the movement of tanks will be severely impeded.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 07:59:03 AM EST
The Citizenship Policies of the Baltic States within the EU Framework of Minority Rights

View of The Compliance of the Baltic States with the Principle of Tolerance As Condition for the Development of the United Europe

The article studies the compliance of democracy of the Baltic States with the principle of tolerance. The study demonstrated specific social phobias (xenophobia, migrant phobia, homophobia, islamophobia, romaphobia, etc.), hate speech and other destructive trends in the Baltic countries that contradict values of liberal democracy. The authors argue that Baltic States face similar challenges of strengthening the principle of tolerance as well as how they differ in intolerance manifestations and mechanisms of their prevention and counteraction. In the Baltic States, issues related to promotion of tolerance are claimed to be common at two levels: at the institutional level (countries do not fulfil some of the EU guidelines aimed at enhancing the principle of tolerance); at the value level (population does not accept completely liberal-democratic values that the EU advocates).

Political and Electoral Rights of Non-citizen Residents in Latvia and Estonia: Current Situation and Perspectives

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:13:39 AM EST

Insurers Consider It An Act of War

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:39:56 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 10:59:07 AM EST
For far too long the relationship with Russia sank as the years went by. There have been no substantial talks sinds 9/11, just further deterioration. Forcing democracy down the throat of a proud Russia ... politics of a unipolar world. Dramatic development and messages from Kremlin watchers.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:18:37 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:32:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:33:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Derk Sauer a Dutch citizen moved to Moscow in 1991, publisher and founded the Moscow Times. Has an excellent knowledge of the developments in Russia, was taken by surprise to see an angry Putin .😡 not a good sign.

Never seen such an angry and bloodthirsty #Putin. This does not end well - for #Ukraine but especially for #Russia itself.

I am very surprised no one realized the effect of sanctions, Russia struggling to meet the needs of its people and the flagrant expansion of arch-enemy USA to its border. As I have written over the years ... crossing red lines of Russia's National Security. After the Fall of the Soviet Union is the West sitting back and watch again the collapse of Russia and its people. There will be a price for Europe.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:37:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You keep saying, over and over, that the west is not listening to Putin.

That is false. The west is hearing him, and is not prepared to give him what he is asking for.

A redesign of European security, with Russia's immediate neighbours demilitarised? Does a military intervention on the territory of his southern neighbour make that look like a viable idea?

He's got to put something on the table in exchange, and all he's putting is military threats.

He could proffer human rights, political freedoms, release of political prisoners... no direct gain for the EU or NATO, but everyone wins, and he would have a positive legacy.

It's going to end badly for Russia, and whose fault is it again?

Not Europe. It would be absurd to disarm when you have a dangerous and irrational neighbour. Sure, it would be good for Europe if Russia was more prosperous, but not at the price of security.
Not the Russian people. OK they keep electing this fascist, but that's because he ensures there is no alternative.

Putin has painted himself into a corner, he feels humiliated but he's done it to himself.
We're seeing the tragic decline of a once-mediocre dictator.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 12:38:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For journalists, continuing to talk about Ukraine (while they are used to quickly drop a topic and switch to the new narrative) will be hard. I would not be surprised if some of them end up in burn out.
Kosovo losts now every year the same number of doctors and nurses it has formed, not to mention the medical staff. Brain drain... Not available in the MSM of course but discussed here as part of today's lunchtime news (where the way "war" is pronounced is much more emotional than anytime recently, in spite of a good number of occasions).
https://aod-rfi.akamaized.net/rfi/francais/audio/tranchesinfo/r001/tranche_international_12h10_-_12h 30_gmt_20220223.mp3
by Tom2 on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 01:12:30 PM EST
Kosovo losts now every year the same number of doctors and nurses it has formed

Yes, better salaries. Romania also has a severe problem keeping staff : there are about 20 000 Romanian doctors in France (they are just about the only country doctors left under the age of 65) and damn good, in my experience.

Second biggest contingent of foreign doctors in France : Belgians.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 01:24:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In your opinion, what does that say about the viability of the EU economic model? (cf. Bulgaria, Poland, etc. in addition to the ones you mentioned)
by Tom2 on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 01:38:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It says that it has been mainly designed by right-wing economic liberals, to maximise corporate profits. You're new here, but it's been a major subject of discussion here for the last ten or fifteen years.

There is a slow levelling-up process going on, partly from the eastward shift of European manufacturing (the German, French etc corps getting cheaper qualified labour, but at least creating jobs).

All of this is not dissimilar to the economic model of the USA (economic collapse of entire states is a recurring phenomenon), but the EU has not yet realised that it works (sort of) in the USA through massive transfer payments from the federal level to the poorer states.

With respect to the health sector, I think it means that the EU needs to subsidise wages in the public health sector for those countries whose health staff are being mined by the richer countries.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 03:53:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not discussed in the English-language MSM, perhaps, but covered (not just doctors) in the German (and, apparently, Hungarian) press. German immigration was swamped by illegal immigration from Kosovo (via Serbia and Hungary) before the (well-covered) immigration from Syria started. By that point the Germans had solved the logistics, checking passports on the trains from Italy, noticing where they were sitting, and then removing them when the train stopped inR osenheim.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 01:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Known as Putin's chef, Prigozhin finances the Internet Research Agency (IRA), which has also been added to the EU sanctions list. Based in St Petersburg, the IRA is better known as the "troll factory" , where bloggers work around the clock to flood the global internet with pro-Putin and anti-western views. According to US sanctions, Prigozhin is also believed to be the "manager and financier" of the Wagner mercenary group, which is already subject to EU sanctions for its role in sending forces into conflicts in west Africa.

I knew him as head of Wagner, but he's head of the IRA as well... That fits.

Prigozhin's mother and wife, who owns companies with links to him, are is also on the draft list.

Fixed it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 01:15:11 PM EST
by Cat on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 02:58:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I learned a lot from this documentary, shown on French public TV a few days ago.
It's only in French (with French subtitles if you like)

They did a lot of research, and interviewed witnesses/survivors in the Central African Republic, in particular. Since the country is broke, the government made a deal with the non-existent Wagner mercenary corporation to wipe out the insurgency in exchange for mining rights. Tracing financial transactions enabled the journalists to ascertain that certain transactions related to mercenaries and mining in CAR ended up in an account belonging to a Moscow-based catering company owned by Putin's favourite chef and fixer-upper, Prigozhin.

Wagner gets quick results in African counter-insurgency operations because when they clean up a district, they leave no survivors of military age. They don't like nosy journalists : at least one, Russian, has been killed by them in CAR.

The documentary is all the more admirable in that they had to be very careful in making it.

The IRA has been co-ordinating with them there and in Mali, it seems : social-media campaigns and (presumably) paid protests by locals in both countries, with nice neat placards saying down with France, up with Russia.

I'm not sure it's a sustainable business model, but there's certainly money to be made. I didn't think things could get worse in CAR or in Mali, but they always can. And they have.

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

by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 03:42:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Blackwater Worldwide d/b/a Xe Services LLC d/b/a Academi appears to have parlayed its security expertise and management into a gold parachute.
Paramilitary Emperor Erik Prince Rebrands Blackwater to Get Into the Steak Business, 2018
In 2010, Prince's consulting company Blackwater Worldwide was sold to investors, according to The New York Times.
In addition to his shadowy history of mercenary warfare, Prince has spent the Trump ERA [2/14 years a/o 2018] dogged by investigators and lawmakers over question of Russian collusion. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and House Democrats are both interested in a meeting in the Seychelles between Prince and Russian business magnate Kirill Dmitriev.
Did Mueller conclusively prove Blackwater Worldwide exit strategy (sale, not IPO) did involve Ukrainian oligarchs
the deals ran into resistance from the government in Ukraine, Prince's allies faced bigger problems in New York City, where both Artemenko and Derkach are now under criminal investigation.
because fed and Burisma capital dried up in the Trump ERA
In the weeks after Prince's visit, his associates prepared two versions of a detailed business plan and sent them to officials in Zelensky's office. The first, dated June 23, 2020, stated that the acquisition of Motor Sich would require $50 million to purchase a minority stake, and another $950 million to buy 76% of the factory. The money was meant to come from Windward Capital, an investment vehicle [private equity fund] that Prince has reportedly used in the past.
or wut? It seems to Mueller's FARA investigation into Internet Research Agency (IRA) led  to illicit "lethal aid" earmarked for Kyiv in 2021, not CAR, not Mali, not Senegal.
by Cat on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:54:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's no coincidence that now Biden is in office and Magic Merrick is running DOJ, that the unnecessarily elaborate pretext for indicting cheeto, personally, is unraveling, while NY AG combs 8 years of tax filings and Schiff's HUAC committee is FIGHTING, as they say, the national archive for documentary scraps that vindicate "legislative authority," imagined IRS agent incompetence, and cheeto COLLUSION to defraud the office of POTUS.

All 4 federal prosecutors quit Stone case after DOJ overrules prosecutors on sentencing request, 12 Feb 2021
The Manhattan DA's Trump Investigation Looks Like It's in Deep Trouble, 23 Feb 2022


by Cat on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 12:40:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder how Isr will play the Ukr dispute. Biden has not been too friendly with them since he took office.
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:31:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If this is true, a great boost for Russia in conflict zone.

Turkey to preserve ties with Russia, Ukraine to de-escalate tensions | Reuters/Daily Sabah |

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan highlighted the necessity of maintaining calm and will maintain relations with both countries amid ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine as Moscow recognized the sovereignty of the separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) and the Luhansk People's Republic (LNR).

Speaking to reporters on his way back from Senegal on Wednesday, Erdoğan said Turkey cooperates with both Russia and Ukraine and will not halt relations or plan to impose sanctions against Moscow.

"We have political, military and economic relations with Russia. Same with Ukraine. We cannot give this up if you ask me because our country has high interests in this regard," Erdoğan said.

He noted that Turkey aims to resolve the issue without harming relations and will conduct talks with the Turkish delegation as soon as he returns home.

Will NATO keep Turkey as member?

Can the Russia-Ukraine crisis offer an opportunity to re-anchor Turkey in NATO? | Brookings - Feb. 16, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 02:10:51 PM EST

President @RTErdogan held
a telephone conversation with
Russian President Vladimir Putin.

President Erdoğan stated that Turkey
is ready to do its part to reduce
tensions and maintain peace.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:36:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously that is not true.
From "Sushi": This is a report from LIVEMAP from 5 hours ago: Two Turkish Air Force Airbus A400M entered Ukrainian airspace. Looks like first one heading to Kyiv. If a NATO nation asset is destroyed or personnel killed and injured to gives Biden an opportunty to intervene on behalf of NATO solidarity. This is a critical factor. It may escalate the conflict from a regional one to a continental one.
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:43:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
France's Macron Calls for EU-Russia Security Pact in Break With U.S. Calls for Unity | The Moscow Times - Jan. 20, 2022 |

French President Emmanuel Macron urged the European Union to forge its own security pact with Russia on Wednesday in a break with U.S. calls for unity amid ongoing efforts to forestall a possible Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The EU was not involved in direct talks with Moscow during last week's high-level diplomatic talks to try to ease tensions caused by Russia's massing of tens of thousands of troops near its border with Ukraine.

"We must put together a joint proposal, a joint vision, a new security and stability order for Europe," the French president said.

Macron has sought to improve relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin and modernize the EU's post-Cold War relations with Moscow since taking office in 2017. He is a strong advocate for a Europe that is capable of defending its own strategic interests and maintaining financial independence.

His latest comments stand in stark contrast to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's calls for Western "unity" in its standoff with Russia. 

Putin says Macron told him U.S. has changed stance on Russia's security demands | Swiss Info/Reuters |

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron had told him there had been a change in Washington's stance on Russian security demands, but that he did not know what it was.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 03:23:04 PM EST
Macron is right to persevere, and I approve of his attempts at greater European coherence and autonomy, but Putin has wedged himself so tightly into his corner that I doubt anyone can pry him loose.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:50:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Expansion of NATO is no longer an option for stability and security in Europe.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:47:39 PM EST

Pls check your set R2P policy to protect people from siege and death. Ukraine has not kept its part of the Minsk Agreement.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:51:40 PM EST

Referred to UN Charter and resolution of friendly relations and co-operation between nations.

The Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 04:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can Poroshenko Control Ukraine's Right Wing? | DIF - Oct. 14, 2015 |

With a shaky cease-fire between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels appearing to hold, one of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's most immediate challenges may come from nationalist parties within his own government, and not from his erstwhile opponents in Moscow. 

In the coming months, Ukraine's parliament is expected to vote on legislation to transfer power away from Kiev -- a key component of the Minsk II cease-fire agreement brokered by Germany, France, Ukraine, and Russia (N4) in February. Under the terms of the accord, Kiev is required to grant more autonomy to eastern Ukraine, many of whose residents seek closer ties to Moscow, while Russia is required to withdraw its military hardware and volunteer fighters.

The problem is that Poroshenko currently does not have the votes to amend the Ukrainian Constitution due to opposition from nationalist groups like the Radical Party, Right Sector, and now even political parties beyond the radical fringe, which fear that the legislation will undermine the country's sovereignty and independence.
The impasse threatens to erode the Minsk peace deal and reignite violence between the warring sides. And that impasse may not be disappearing anytime soon. In an interview, Ukraine's new ambassador to the United States said the only way to break the deadlock would be for Russia to withdraw militarily from the conflict -- a step that many doubt Putin will take.

"Special status for occupied areas was imposed on Ukraine in Minsk and looks like a reward for Putin. Many Ukrainians see it as appeasement of Putin from the West," said Olexiy Haran, a professor of comparative politics at Ukraine's Kyiv-Mohyla Academy.

A decentralization bill passed a first reading in Ukraine's parliament in late August, but only served to highlight the difficult path forward for fully implementing the Minsk agreement. During the boisterous parliamentary session, Poroshenko came under fire from both the opposition and his own pro-European coalition, which accused the president of caving to Russia. After the vote, protests outside led by the ultranationalist party Svoboda left four members of the National Guard dead.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 05:04:58 PM EST

Minsk agreements are buried by Kiev's inaction

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 07:41:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alert: Promo Film Ukraine fascist regime

Wagner Group Fighters as Heroes of Modern Russia | April 14, 2021 |

Dmitry Utkin is really a cavalier of the Order of Courage. He was from the Novgorod region." However, Peskov "does not know" whether Utkin has "fighters in Syria" and for what feats he was awarded the Order of Courage.

Utkin is a retired lieutenant colonel born in 1970. He is a career officer, who served as the commander of the 700th separate special forces detachment of the 2nd separate special purpose brigade of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defence stationed in the Pskov region until 2013. He worked under contract with the Moran Security Group, defending ships from pirate attacks in dangerous areas. In September 2013, he visited Syria as part of the Slavic Corps for the first time. Back then, he was not a commander yet and was not Wagner. He took the pathetic nom de guerre after a trip to Syria. Since 2014, he has been the commander of his own unit, which took the name "Wagner Group PMC" from his call sign: Call sign "Ninth."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:10:58 PM EST
Russian PMCs in the Syrian Civil War: From Slavonic Corps to Wagner Group and Beyond | Jamestown |

Slavonic Corps Limited became Russia's first and, in many ways, rather experimental "new type" private military company (PMC), concerned with tasks typically performed by private armies.

While engaged in Syria, the Wagner Group demonstrated four essential qualities: First, it showed it could be successfully employed in military-related tasks (assuming a relatively weak opposing force). Second, it could be used jointly or in conjunction with regular formations (the Special Operations Forces and the Aerospace Forces) for intelligence gathering and reconnaissance. Third, this force could be used to protect objects/critical infrastructure. Fourth, another useful area of application for Wagner has been training local military personnel. The latter two functions are regularly performed by Western PMCs, which may signify a certain transformation that Russian PMCs are currently undergoing in Syria--gradually, and at least partially, becoming more like their American and European counterparts.

Blackwater | by dood abides on Sep 19th, 2007 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:11:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 09:05:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Band of Brothers: The Wagner Group and the Russian State | CSIS - Sept. 21, 2020 |

The Russian private military company Wagner Group may appear to be a conventional business company. However, its management and operations are deeply intertwined with the Russian military and intelligence community.

Direct predecessor of the Wagner Group: the Slavonic Corps

In line with the restrictive legal environment and the logic of plausible deniability, the so-called Slavonic Corps, a private military company, was set up in Hong Kong in 2013 by two employees of a conventional Russian PSC: the Moran Security Group. According to a Norwegian study published in 2020, however, it was in fact the Syrian government that contracted the Moran Security Group to assist Syrian government forces in fighting the Islamic State. As Moran itself was not up to the task, even though it had been operating in Syria already for at least a year, the decision was taken to set up a new entity; this became the Slavonic Corps.

Operatives of the Slavonic Corps (reg. Hong Kong) deployed to Syria in 2013. Their mission was to assist Syrian forces in re-capturing oil facilities from Islamic State militants. However, several coordination and logistical problems arose. The key problem was that the Slavonic Corps relied on the Syrian government for logistics, but instead of the promised modern weapons, it received outdated weaponry in insufficient numbers. Its first combat mission in Syria ended with a spectacular defeat near Deir al-Zour. Survivors were transported back to Russia, and the company was disbanded.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:13:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Securing Syrian Oil Fields near Deir Al-Zour for Kurds | Daily Beast - Feb. 13, 2018 |

Last week, the headquarters of a US proxy in Syria--the Syrian Democratic Forces--and their American advisers came under attack by a large Syrian regime force 8 kilometers east of the agreed-upon Euphrates River de-confliction line near Deir al-Zour.  

In "self-defense," the U.S. launched a large-scale artillery and air assault to repel the attackers. Using F-15s, F-22s, AC-130 gunships, Apache helicopters, MQ-9 unmanned drones, and artillery, US forces killed an estimated 100 attackers, according to some Russian media reports, and destroyed numerous tanks and artillery pieces. Among the reported fatalities, according to a Pentagon official, were Syrian Arab Army soldiers enlisted in the "ISIS Hunters" unit, as well as Russian mercenaries working for Wagner, a private military company under the command-and-control of the Russian Ministry of Defense that has been tasked with re-taking oilfields from ISIS.

Trump Won't Let Go of Syria - Kills Scores of SAA | Feb. 8, 2018 |

Keeping Daesh safe in enclave near Deir Ezzor, east of the Euphrates ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:14:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:15:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:19:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Erik Prince Offered Lethal Services to Sanctioned Russian Mercenary Firm Wagner | The Intercepr - April 13, 2020 |

A business relationship between Prince and Wagner would, in effect, make the prominent Trump administration adviser a subcontractor to the Russian military.

Prince, who is the brother of Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, met earlier this year with a top official of Russia's Wagner Group and offered his mercenary forces to support the firm's operations in Libya and Mozambique, according to two people familiar with Prince's offer.

Wagner officials said they are not interested in working with Prince, three people familiar with their decision told The Intercept.

A lawyer for Prince denied that his client met anyone from Wagner.

What happened in the Seychelles: Erik Prince's account | Jan. 25, 2019 |

    In January 2017 Erik Prince attended a meeting in the Seychelles with the United Arab Emirate's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev, and George Nader, a former consultant for Erik Prince's company Blackwater.

Why bother with Wagner, Erik Prince and Blackwater have a longer history and are truly global working hand in glove with the US State Department for US national interests and security.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 08:21:29 PM EST

Looking for the independent state of Ukraine 🇺🇦

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 09:57:34 PM EST

Understanding Putin's narrative about Ukraine is the master key to this crisis | The Guardian - Opinion |

People often quote his statement "the demise of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century". But it bears pointing out that he enlarged on it later, saying: "Anyone who doesn't regret the passing of the Soviet Union has no heart. Anyone who wants it restored has no brains."

It is crucially important for those who might seek to end or ameliorate this crisis to first understand his mindset. What happened this week is that Putin lost his patience, and his temper. He is furious with the Ukraine government. He feels it repeatedly rejected the Minsk aagreement, which would give the Ukrainian provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk substantial autonomy. He is angry with France and Germany, the co-signatories, and the United States, for not pressing Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to implement them. He is equally angry with the Americans for not taking on board Russia's security concerns about Nato's expansion and the deployment of offensive missiles close to Russia's borders.

To those who say Nato is entitled to invite any state to join, Putin argues that the "open door" policy is conditioned by a second principle, which Nato states have accepted: namely that the enhancement of a state's security should not be to the detriment of the security of other states (such as Russia). As recently as 2010 Barack Obama put his signature to the principle at a summit of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

Clinton's Two Tracks Collide - Nato Enlargement and Russia Engagement (1994)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Feb 23rd, 2022 at 11:15:54 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 08:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 03:37:55 AM EST
EU Mad, Raving Mad - Tunnelvision

Mind you, we are not looking away ... no Munich 1938 moment. 🆘

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 05:49:57 AM EST

Russia must pull back, or there will be trouble in the pipeline: article by Liz Truss | UK Gov |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 05:58:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
US Sanctions On Russia Many Decades Long - Instead of a Chamberlain moment.

US-UK fossil fuel policy is a national interest ... 1953 - 1965/1975 - 1973 - 1979 - 21st Century Pax Americana - Afghanistan beyond 2001 - Iraq - Libya - Syria - Yemen - Ukraine. Never mind lives lost and destroyed.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:14:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 08:52:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
sez, Mr Haig
by Cat on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 08:09:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Friedrich Merz CDU calls it an attack on European values and democracy ... idiot

"I thought it was wrong that the #Schröder government did not accept Putin's offer in 2001 - and it was my mistake as the leader of the opposition not to follow up. But that does not justify what is happening today. #Putin has become a despot." (tm) #Maischberger

"My assessment is that #NordStream2 will not be put into operation for years. We can also supply #Europe with #energy without Russian gas. To do this, however, we must finally stop excluding options and get out everywhere." (tm) #Maischberger #Russian crisis

Bundestag weist Russland Schuld in Ukraine-Krise zu

The new CDU leader criticizes the German government's hesitant course in the face of Russian aggression: As a last resort, Ukraine should be supplied with weapons for self-defense. With a view to Scholz's European policy, he says when the Union would put up "fierce resistance".

CDU closing ranks with sister party CSU in Munich, Bayern? A deadended mindset ... missing leadership of Angela Merkel in Europe.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 07:06:38 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We don't do regime change, we abide by International law - Persia 1953, Vietnam 1963 - Iraq/Iran war 1980 - Iraq 2003 - Libya 2011 - Syria 2011 - Ukraine 2014

Was the UN Charter suspended?

The extent of the Obama administration's meddling in Ukraine's politics was breathtaking. Russian intelligence intercepted and leaked to the international media a Nuland telephone call in which she and U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffey Pyatt discussed in detail their preferences for specific personnel in a post‐ Yanukovych government. The U.S‑favored candidates included Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the man who became prime minister once Yanukovych was ousted from power. During the telephone call, Nuland stated enthusiastically that "Yats is the guy" who would do the best job.


Ukraine: Extremists Reject EU Deal, Demand Violent Overthrow | by Oui on Feb 21st, 2014 |

The extremist leaders took the stage and in a fascist style rhetoric rejected this EU brokered deal. This leader made a clear threat and demanded the resignation of president Yanukovich by 10am tomorrow morning. If he doesn't step down, the mob will march on the presidential palace and force him out. We will be armed and no one can stop us.

Entered another coffin pushed forward through the crowd and all were silenced in prayer.

All calls for no more bloodshed fell on deaf ears.

The extremists wanted it all, NATO membership, lethal weapons and restoration of nuclear weapons ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:42:36 AM EST
... of course this is a daily news headline in the US.

Trucker convoy DC - live: National guard readies for Biden SOTU as just one big-rig in first protest | Independent UK |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 07:34:22 AM EST
FLCCC has a channel on telegram to follow the latest. Some of the most vocal frontline doctors are part of the events around the convoy.
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:20:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Discriminating Tastes: 'Smart' Bombs, Non-Combatants, and Notions of Legitimacy in Warfare

Death by Drone -- Civilian harm caused by U.S. targeted killings in Yemen | OS Justice Initiative |

I covered this cruise missile strike on Yemen in December 2009.

Yemen: Images of missile and cluster munitions point to US role in fatal attack | Amnesty International |

Amnesty International has today released images of  a US-manufactured cruise missile that carried cluster munitions, apparently taken following an attack on an alleged al-Qa'ida training camp in Yemen that killed 41 local residents, including 14 women and 21 children.

The 17 December 2009 attack on the community of al-Ma'jalah in the Abyan area in the south of Yemen killed 55 people including 14 alleged members of al-Qa'ida.

"A military strike of this kind against alleged militants without an attempt to detain them is at the very least unlawful. The fact that so many of the victims were actually women and children indicates that the attack was in fact grossly irresponsible, particularly given the likely use of cluster munitions," said Philip Luther, Deputy Director of Amnesty International's Middle East and North Africa Programme.

The photographs enable the positive identification of damaged missile parts, which appear to be from the payload, mid-body, aft-body and propulsion sections of a BGM-109D Tomahawk land-attack cruise missile.

"Cluster munitions have indiscriminate effects and unexploded bomblets threaten lives and livelihoods for years afterwards. All governments responsible for using them must urgently provide assistance to clear unexploded munitions."

Neither the USA nor Yemen has yet signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions, a treaty designed to comprehensively ban such weapons which is due to enter into force on 1 August 2010.

Key word | Tomahawk |

Anne-Marie Slaughter and the R2P Principle of War | Aug. 31, 2017 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 08:29:08 AM EST
Minister: Germany will not take part in further US attacks on Syria | DW |

Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said that German Tornado reconnaissance jets would not provide assistance for further US attacks on Syria. Speaking to German broadcaster SWR von der Leyen said the German jets had a clearly defined role within the international coalition to carry out reconnaissance for missions against the so-called "Islamic State."

Who May Be Killed? Anwar al-Awlaki as a Case Study in the International Legal Regulation of Lethal Force

Taking Out Anwar al-Awlaki

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 08:54:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]

A compromise was off the table for so many years ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:06:43 AM EST
De Hoop Scheffer: "The West should respect the red lines of Russia"

Dutch Investigation: Iraq Mission Ruled Illegal

  1. U.N. resolution not sufficient for Iraq invasion
  2. Dutch military support in pre-war planning
  3. FM Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (JdHS) gave early support to President Bush
  4. Dutch parliament not fully informed by cabinet ministers
  5. Dutch military intelligence had a more profound view of WMDs in Iraq
  6. Dutch military not involved in invasion, limited to political support
  7. US official request to particpate in pre-war planning kept secret by JdHS
  8. Political decision has no link to appointment JdHS as SG NATO

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:07:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for providing your readers with the memory of the last half-century. We should certainly visit this tea house of the think tank once the weather gets better, if you allow it.
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:14:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Pretending to moral after the Western crimes in Syria and Yemen is really over the top. Especially in a context where the US and its buddies consider they are never accountable.
Oh yeah, the Wagner mercenaries are 'taking no prisoners'? How many Ukrainian mercenaries among them, by the way? In doing so, do they act differently than the national armies of the country who invited them? Algeria, Mali, Burkina, RDC, any army known for its high moral standards? That does not excuse France for not allowing the Malian army enter Kidal because of some secret deals with the Tuaregs (as per the Mali PM in the RFI interview).
Fortunately, we have devoted leaders, such as Rutte who in his great wisdom has sent exactly the kind of small weapons needed for (useless) prolonged street fights, à la Yougoslavia, à la Syria.
That is why we sell weapons, no? to keep making money out of them in a 'sustainable' way. They probably learned from IT and the Apple model...
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:12:56 AM EST

Replacing Russian gas into Europe as a precaution ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:30:44 AM EST
White House: Replacing order for 50 Airbus passenger planes with Boeing 737 MAX

Biden, Qatari Leader Discuss Energy Supply to Europe

Borrell spend time with Saudi fossil fuel supplier for urgent delivery to the EU-27 ...

... with such friends and NATO Stoltenberg rest assured, Europe and democracy is safe.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:31:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 10:10:01 AM EST
... and failure of leadership and diplomacy to end conflicts.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 10:11:25 AM EST
The disruption in the wheat prices is going to strike hard in Egypt, Algeria and a number of others.
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 10:20:35 AM EST
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 10:46:56 AM EST
Geography for Dummies - no more coast on the Black Sea for Ukraine, Liz can concentrate on the Baltic Sea.

Ochakov has been targeted, that was suppossed to be the new Sebastopol built and furnished by the Brits

No more chance false flag attacks near the Sea of Azov as President Poroshenko initiated.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 11:10:13 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 11:20:29 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 11:22:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Posted by: Mesquite | Feb 24 2022 10:04 utc | h/t MofA

Two weeks ago I wrote the following comment for a decent Minsk article with some folks thinking Ukraine might win a fight and saying Putin would have no Russian support. My Ukraine history/ geography is off a bit, but mostly holds up.

If Russia actually invades, they lose SWIFT and Nordstream. Europe freezes and has many industrial losses from losing all Russian gas. I think if Putin bothers, he takes all of Eastern Ukraine, including all of Kiev. Total air supremacy, ECM disruption of all communications, intelligence to the nth degree, lots of moles, overwhelming firepower. Maybe 3 days for cessation of major hostilities. Destruction of the Nazi/fascist troop formations might take longer. Urban areas are mostly Russian, holding the territory would mean fighting rural insurgencies.

Having warned for high risk of hostilities over many years ... never hoped and expected for talks to fail. End of the rope before it snapped.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 11:39:56 AM EST
Do you know what leads to war, Oui?

Dictatorship leads to war. A few of Putin's politburo looked a bit embarrassed on Monday night, but not one of them told him it was a bad idea.

Trump would not have been able to do anything that tragically stupid, and rightly so. Because in spite of his illusions, he was not a dictator.

Now, please go and do something else for a while.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 12:53:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and I will probably be censored soon?

what when the wars are made by our partners in business? your moral does not apply? (see Myanmar, KSA and UAE in Yemen, etc.)

by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:27:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, I could tell you to you-know-what off, but we don't do that here.

Contradicting your idiocies does not constitute censorship.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:33:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you think you were not holding to democratic principles when you suggested that a French election two years ago should not have been held because of covid? Weren't there other ways to let people vote without putting them at risk, but without claiming that it was possible to postpone the election?
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 02:02:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow, is that the best you can do? You're funny.

I might well have said something of the kind (but I am too lazy to look it up : according to etiquette here, it's up to you to quote me) with respect to the second round of the municipal elections. The concern was that it would/did constitute a nationwide super-spreader event.

And the short answer is no, there were no other ways to let people vote without putting them at risk. Municipalities did the best they could to limit the risks, but inventing a new voting system at short notice wouldn't be democratic either.

My idea at the time was that the turnout would be severely depressed (which it was), so it was undemocratic to hold the election in epidemic conditions. I nevertheless participated as a citizen scrutator, to see democracy done. In retrospect, delaying the election would have been worse than holding it, because conditions are only now becoming better than they were then. But the subject was debatable and widely debated, without it being necessary to accuse anyone of having anti-democratic motives.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 02:17:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is here.

I think there was largely enough time to organize the election differently (and this is still true, not only for France). One of the first clusters in France was the result of a UK superspreader who had returned from Singapore.

by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 02:25:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think there was largely enough time to organize the election differently (and this is still true, not only for France). One of the first clusters in France was the result of a UK superspreader who had returned from Singapore.

That's an almost interesting opinion. However, knowing how elections are run in France (and the imagination and flexibility of French administrations [not], and also the principled insistence on verifiable transparency), I am certain that it wasn't possible. Perhaps elsewhere. Not in France.

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

by eurogreen on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 02:47:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the principled insistence on verifiable transparency

Apart from Lignières-sur-Aire, of course. I wonder whether this is unique only in being exposed.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 05:03:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem with micro-communes is the chain of custody. The municipal employee needs to pee some time.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:35:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
...and I will probably be censored soon?

Nope, having a different opinion from others on this site is no cause for ostracism. Having your writings criticized, OTOH, is absolutely fair game.

Quick reminder for everybody: ET Editorial Guidelines

The European Tribune is a left-of-centre community that is devoted primarily but not exclusively to discussions of current events, underlying causes and new ideas in economics, politics, science and society. Users are free to write diaries on any subject they want, as long as these are not

  •    personally offensive,
  •    defamatory,
  •    do not blatantly falsify scientific or historical facts or
  •    advocate theories involving pervasive high-level conspiracies

and to comment on contributions by other users. All views published on this site, without exception, are subject to debate, challenge and criticism by any user (as long as the proprieties of civility and ETiquette are observed).

Let's remember that truth is always the first casualty of war. And when situations become a matter of life and death - literally, it's all too easy to get overheated. Happy posting.

by Bernard (bernard) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:43:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From ancient times, bread is key.

More than a quarter of the world's wheat exports come from Russia and Ukraine.

Infographic: Russia, Ukraine and the global wheat supply | Al Jazeera - Feb. 17, 2022 |

Russia is the world's largest exporter of wheat, accounting for more than 18 percent of international exports.

In 2019, Russia and Ukraine together exported more than a quarter (25.4 percent) of the world's wheat, according to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC).

Wheat is the second most-produced grain in the world after corn. For centuries, it has been cultivated by humans and is essential for making bread, pasta and other food staples.

In 2019, Egypt, Turkey and Bangladesh bought more than half of Russia's wheat.

Egypt is the world's biggest importer of wheat. It spends more than $4bn annually to feed its population of over 100 million.

Combined, Russia and Ukraine cover more than 70 percent of Egypt's imported wheat demand.

Turkey is also a big spender on Russian and Ukrainian wheat with 74 percent of its imports worth $1.6bn coming from those two countries in 2019.

In the crop year of 2021-22, Turkey was the largest buyer of Russian wheat, purchasing 4.5 million metric tonnes as of December 30, 2021. Egypt bought 3.2 million metric tonnes from Russia over the same period.

Russia: World's top wheat exporter

In the early 1980s, corn and wheat accounted for two-thirds of US exports to the USSR.

In 1985, the USSR imported a mammoth 55 million metric tonnes of wheat

Now, Russia has become the largest exporter of wheat worldwide.

In 2001, it accounted for just one percent of wheat exports worldwide. That increased to its highest of 26.4 percent in 2018.

Following the collapse of the USSR, the government removed barriers to business allowing farmers to penetrate the global market as well as to invest in agricultural technology.

The creation of ports and the devaluation of the rouble have also contributed to Russia gaining the lion's share on wheat sales.

Today, Russia ships more than 18 percent of the world's supply, followed by the US (16 percent), Canada (14 percent), France (10 percent) and Ukraine (seven percent).

Future for markets: stagflation for stock markets and will tie hands of FED and ECB.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 12:32:22 PM EST
Egypt switched from French wheat a few years ago because it was... unfit for consumption (anyone having problems with gluten here?)
by Tom2 on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 12:38:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:27:11 PM EST
European Council president stresses need for `transparency and loyalty' in transatlantic relations | Politico EU - Sept. 24, 2021 |

European Council President Charles Michel slammed what he called "acts of war against our environment" that have led to climate change, calling for a "peace treaty with our planet."

"We have tortured our planet, abused our natural resources, we have committed acts of war against our environment. And now nature is fighting back, bringing us back to our senses," Michel told the U.N. General Assembly in New York. "No one can say `I didn't know.' For decades, scientists have sounded the alarm but their warnings fell on deaf ears."

He added: "It's time for humans to sign an armistice with nature, a peace treaty with our planet ... It's time for us to transform the world, just as the previous generation did after the last world war."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:28:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:31:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Adding civic space for women ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:32:20 PM EST
Reminds me of Bush announcement of the illegal invasion of March 22, 2003.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:43:10 PM EST

Are Journalists Any Less Gullible Today than They Were 10 Years Ago? | CAP - March 21, 2013 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 01:44:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:37:47 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 06:55:20 PM EST
Paid for by the UAE -- Hamish de Bretton-Gordon

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Thu Feb 24th, 2022 at 09:37:18 PM EST
Follow his twitter feed #Zelensky for public statements.

The unreliable Sky News UK follows development from Kyiv and broadcasts "breaking" news on Ukraine ...

"Russia kicked out of Eurovision" ☹ really newsworthy

I have seen the videoclip ... it is nowhere to be find ... almost as military censorship cut out a sentence

These are the words I recall, Zelensky spoke English in the clip ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 05:15:53 PM EST

Gas prices in the UK and continental Europe dropped more than a fifth on Friday on relief that western sanctions had not dealt a crippling blow to Russia's ability to sell energy and other commodities.

Russia supplies about 40 per cent of Europe's gas supplies, and concerns that flows could be disrupted after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine saw the price surge almost 70 per cent on Thursday.

But prices cooled on Friday as traders analysed US president Joe Biden's decision to include in his sanctions package a carve-out for energy payments, a crucial source of revenue for Moscow.

"Biden was careful to explain that he was not sanctioning the Russian export of energy," said David Aserkoff, analyst at JPMorgan. "His speech was at pains to say that while the goal was to damage the Russian economy, he sought to limit the impact on petrol prices and implicitly other commodities as well. This was also consistent with the view that sanctions are supposed to hurt the enemy, not oneself."

Futures linked to TTF, Europe's wholesale gas price, fell 25 per cent to €101 per megawatt hour, having traded above €140 on Thursday, while the UK equivalent was down 23 per cent at 246p per therm.

Wall Street stocks yesterday and in Europe on Friday managed to recover from early losses.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 05:20:23 PM EST
by Cat on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 06:54:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
don't underestimate the level of self-sanctioning occurring in the market
by Cat on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 06:57:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Remarks by Condoleeza Rice, top U.S. diplomat during Russo-Georgian War of August 2008, with CNN's Fareed Zakaria:

    We tried to head it off starting all the way back in 2007, because we knew that Abkhazia and [South] Ossetia were powder kegs. Whoever decided to put Russian peacekeepers in Abkhazia and [South] Ossetia as a part of an OSCE peacekeeping force made a terrible mistake that was not our decision. I tried with Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who at the time was the German Foreign Minister, to have some kind of agreement to bring down temperature.

    I remember saying to Saakashvili, the Russians are gonna try to provoke you, don't let them. And in fact, the Russians provoked them and then the war broke out. When that happens, the United States in a difficult position. We are not in a position to go to war with Russia over Georgia. And so, what we tried to do was to strengthen Georgian forces. They had some forces for instance in Iraq, we brought them back. We actually used some naval exercise in a and around the Black Sea to demonstrate support to Georgians.

Related reading ...

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 07:00:01 PM EST

VTB Bank Georgia Hit with Int'l Sanctions

The Georgian branch of Russia's state-owned VTB Bank is no longer able to carry out transactions in U.S. Dollars, British Pounds, or Euros, after the U.S., UK, EU and other allies slapped sanctions on Russian financial institutions in response to the invasion of Ukraine.

The National Bank of Georgia said today as the regulator of commercial banks it has complied with the sanctions and restricted the VTB's transactions in the relevant foreign currency.

In an original statement, the central bank expressed readiness to provide the Russian-owned bank with financial resources in case of liquidity needs.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 07:02:42 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 07:03:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Selling Motor Sich to the Chinese: The Political Significance of the Business Transaction | Aug. 31, 2019 |

The U.S. administration aims to block the sale of a strategically important Ukrainian engine manufacturer for aircraft and missiles to China. During his recent visit to Kyiv, John Bolton has probably warned the Ukrainians about the consequences of finalising such a transaction. The White House has already sent a warning signal, delaying the transfer of $250 million worth of military aid to Ukraine.


Exclusive: Documents Reveal Erik Prince's $10 Billion Plan to Make Weapons and Create a Private Army in Ukraine | TIME - July 7, 2021 |

Prince hoped to hire Ukraine's combat veterans into a private military company. Prince also wanted a big piece of Ukraine's military-industrial complex, including factories that make engines for fighter jets and helicopters. His full plan, dated June 2020 and obtained exclusively by TIME this spring, includes a "roadmap" for the creation of a "vertically integrated aviation defense consortium" that could bring $10 billion in revenues and investment.

At least one of Prince's offers to Ukraine appeared to be in line with U.S. geopolitical interests. As the Wall Street Journal first reported in Nov. 2019, Prince has been competing against a Chinese firm to buy a Ukrainian factory called Motor Sich, which produces advanced aircraft engines.

Prince's interests expanded well beyond the military sector. He traded oil and minerals in Africa. He assembled a private army for his friend, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi. He prepared a force in Somalia to combat pirates in the Gulf of Aden. He helped train a hit squad for the CIA.

The work was complex, especially when it came to acquiring Motor Sich, says the person familiar with Prince's thinking. The factory had been privatized in the 1990s, during Ukraine's chaotic transition to capitalism.

In 2016 and 2017, Chinese investors bought up shares in the factory from its private owners, paying an estimated $700 million for control of Motor Sich. They were not expected to give it up without a fight in the courts. So the lawyers had to find legal grounds for Ukraine to take control of the asset before re-selling it to a new investor. Their plan relied on a regulatory snag: Ukraine's anti-trust agency had not granted approval to the Chinese investment.

The proposal also called for an "ultimatum" to be issued to the Chinese investors in Motor Sich, who would be forced to either accept an "immediate sale" or face the "loss of value," the plan stated.

"If Chinese remain uncooperative," the Ukrainian government should take over the factory and transfer control to new investors, the document says.

Meanwhile, the dilemma with Motor Sich has only gotten more complex. The Chinese investors in the factory filed a $3.5 billion claim in December 2020 at an international court of arbitration, claiming that Ukraine's decision to block the sale was illegal.

The Ukrainian government responded by imposing sanctions against the Chinese investors, one of whom alles the move "an abuse of state power and the suppression of normal business activity." The proposal also called for an "ultimatum" to be issued to the Chinese investors in Motor Sich, who would be forced to either accept an "immediate sale" or face the "loss of value," the plan stated. "If Chinese remain uncooperative," the Ukrainian government should take over the factory and transfer control to new investors, the document says.

Ukraine: Imposition of new set of Sanctions Affecting Chinese Investors, Media Companies and other parties | Feb. 25, 2021 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 11:05:26 PM EST
Arakhamia: Chinese investor paid $700 million for Motor Sich without permission | Apr. 19, 2021 |

Motor Sich's ownership structure is complex. The company passed into private hands in the 90s when Vyacheslav Bohuslayev, a former lawmaker, bought up its shares. It is now owned by a number of offshore companies in Cyprus, Panama, and Belize. The Chinese investors tried to buy the Motor Sich from these entities. 

When the plan failed, the Chinese investors filed a $3.5 billion international arbitration claim against Ukraine in December 2020. 

Earlier this year, President Volodymyr Zelensky imposed three-year sanctions against Skyrizon owner Wang Jing, the company itself, and its parent entity, Beijing Xinwei Technology Group in an effort to stop Motor Sich's sale. 

Wang called Ukraine's recent actions a "continued abuse of state power and the suppression of normal business activity that violates the law and contradicts the basic principles of a market economy."

Motor Sich case: $100 million should be repaid to Chinese investors | July 12, 2021 |

In January, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on China's Skyrizon Aircraft Holdings Limited, an investor in Ukraine's Motor Sich. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the United States wanted to warn exporters that Skyrizon had close ties to the Chinese army.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Fri Feb 25th, 2022 at 11:07:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 05:01:35 PM EST
by Cat on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 10:57:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
1 March 2022
I call on Congress to fund ARPA-H, the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.

It's based on DARPA--the Defense Department project that led to the Internet, GPS, and so much more.

ARPA-H will have a singular purpose--to drive breakthroughs in cancer, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and more.

by Cat on Wed Mar 2nd, 2022 at 01:44:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Almaty's Biosecurity Lab Financed by Pentagon

Diary: Almaty - Kazakhstan by Oui Sat Jan 8th, 2022

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2022 at 03:19:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
China urges U.S. to release details of bio-labs in Ukraine: FM spokesperson

The U.S. bio-military activities in Ukraine are only "the tip of the iceberg," Zhao said. Under various names, the U.S. Department of Defense controls 336 biological laboratories in 30 countries.

"What is the real intention of the United States? What exactly has it done? These have always been the source of misgivings for the international community," Zhao said.

Moreover, only the United States has for 20 years blocked the building of the Biological Weapons Convention verification protocol, and refused to accept inspections of biological facilities within and outside its borders, further aggravating the concerns of the international community, the spokesperson said.

"We once again urge the U.S. side to fully clarify its biological military activities both at home and abroad, and accept multilateral verifications," Zhao said.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 09:48:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]




                             FIRST SESSION


                            OCTOBER 4, 2007

Apart from the issue of mushroom growth of these labs, perhaps the most important question looming over all this is, are these labs safe? The most serious accidents so far have occurred outside the U.S., including the death of a Russian lab worker exposed to Ebola and the SARS
infections that sickened several people and killed a lab worker in Asia. Here in the U.S. for the past 4 years, the CDC has received more than 100 incident reports from labs handling select agents. However, there are indications that the
actual number of incidents may be much higher.

It is also alarming to note that more than a third of the incident reports are from 2007, which begs the question of why has there been such a steep increase in BSL

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 8th, 2022 at 11:03:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
See coverage dual use bio-labs by Cat

today, yesterday and day-before yesterday.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 9th, 2022 at 12:49:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In college when she was taught by maps and not new topographics.

Lesson from Nancy Pelosi

Probably thinking of the Austro-Hungarian empire.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 06:54:30 PM EST
Army of Ukraine lobbyists behind unprecedented Washington blitz | Responsible Statecraft - Feb. 11, 2022 |

Congress has been the primary target of Ukraine's agents, with over 300 House and Senate staff and members of Congress on the receiving end of more than 8,000 emails, phone calls, and meetings with Ukraine's lobbyists. Agents representing the
Ukrainian Federation of Employers of the Oil and Gas Industry, or UFEOGI, the largest association of energy companies in Ukraine, have flooded Capitol Hill with headlines like "Ukrainians call on U.S. Senate to sanction Putin's pipeline weapon," and others claiming "Moscow regards concessions as a sign of weakness."

In 2021, UFEOGI's lobbyists also focused intently on senators who co-sponsored 2020 legislation to block completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, including Cruz; John Barrasso (R-Wyo.); Tom Cotton, (R-Ark.); Ron Johnson, (R-Wis.); and Jeanne Shaheen, (D-N.H.). These senators, all members of the Foreign Relations Committee who had previously taken tough stances toward Russia, were contacted at least 100 times in 2021 and, on multiple occasions, staffers met directly with lobbyists.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 11:22:37 PM EST
Found two experts on relations with Russia from the Old School ... source TRT World broadcast.

How We Failed to Prevent a Second Cold War by Richard Sakwa

The first account of the new Cold War--revealing how today's renewed era of global great power competition could threaten us all

Three decades after the Cold War ended, the hopes for a new and more cooperative era in world politics have been lost. With the rise of China and the resurgence of Russia, today there are once again global powers rivalling those of the West. We are now in a Second Cold War, and international security is under threat.
In this incisive account, Richard Sakwa traces the loss of peace and the new configuration of international politics that has arisen in its place, demonstrating that the years of "cold peace" were little more than a hiatus. As Russia aligns with China, shifts in global politics blur the lines of confrontation and the liberal order as a whole faces unprecedented challenges. In a compelling reinterpretation of the accepted narrative, Sakwa shows how this new conflict could have been avoided--and what we need to learn to finally inaugurate a new peace order.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 11:35:48 PM EST
Invading Ukraine may never have been Putin's aim - the threat alone could advance Russia's goals | by Ronald Suny |

Invasion may never have been the point. One interpretation is that President Putin mobilized his soldiers and sailors primarily to force a dialogue with the West over what the spheres of influence and interest in Eastern Europe should be.

As a scholar who has spent his entire career studying Russian history, I see the current crisis in a broader context. If you zoom out from the events of the past few weeks, it is possible to see this dangerous standoff as part of the continuing fallout from the disintegration of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Some 30 years on, the architecture of what is supposed to be the "new world order" is still being built.

Russia is a regional power in decline and feels insecure. If countries were able to experience emotions, Russia's dominant feeling would be, I believe, humiliation. It feels it is a victim of Western expansion and wants a restoration of its lost influence.

This weakened but still ambitious regional power faces a global one, the United States, that is similarly fearful of losing its sway around the world in the face of a recent military retreat from Afghanistan and the economic threat of China. That standoff - between two hegemons, one regional, the other global - leaves Ukraine as the pawn in the middle.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Feb 26th, 2022 at 11:53:34 PM EST
The end of American hegemony last August!

(liberated edition)

as Samuel Huntington predicted in "Clash of Civilizations And the remaking of World Order" 30 years ago

by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 12:24:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Stop posting excuses for that dumb little Nazi.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 01:43:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
UN Mediation in Libya, Syria and Yemen

The upheavals in the Arab world since 2011 have led to civil wars in three countries: Libya, Syria and Yemen. In all three cases, the United Nations have tried to mediate agreements between the conflicting parties to bring about peace through power-sharing. In this endeavour, the UN can lean on its broad experience in mediation efforts to end civil wars.

In the three conflicts examined here, however, the UN's attempts at reso­lution through power-sharing have failed. In Yemen and Libya, power-shar­ing agreements have not prevented conflicts from lingering on or violence from breaking out again. In Syria, the UN has not even managed to bring together the Syrian parties in the civil war for direct talks. The altered mili­tary balance of power has rendered the initial goal of a political transition unrealistic.

Countdown to $100 oil (47) - Malthus, Mein Kampf and ostriches | by Jerome a Paris on Sep 16th, 2007 |

Israel and Palestine - War Crimes | by Shergald |

Iraq War Grief Daily Witness (photo) Day 328 | by RubDMC |

Territorial dispute between NATO members | by ask on Jul 30th, 2005 |

The US as nuclear rogue state. Part II of II | by Sirocco on Aug 3rd, 2005 |

Why NATO is a thing of the Past | by Frank Schnittger on Feb 25th, 2009 |

Promoting Human Rights Starting In Ukraine | by Oui on Jun 17th, 2021 |

Mission Accomplished: 2488 Americans Died In Afghanistan 2001-2021 | April 15, 2021 |

I will not be a voice of NATO fascism - ever!

The casualties not seen on your TV screen ...

Report Update: Unsecured Libyan Weapons -- Regional Impact and Possible Threats | Oct. 2012 |

The Allied Command Operations (ACO) Civil-Military Fusion Centre ... A United Nations (UN) report on the regional impact of the Libyan civil war indicates that the weapons from Gaddafi's arsenal were smuggled through the Sahel, including Chad, Niger and Nigeria, and have been obtained by terrorist groups such as Boko Haram and al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Some countries in the region reportedly suspect that weapons were smuggled by army regulars and mercenaries who fought for Gaddafi. Furthermore, several states within West Africa have reported an increase in the arms trade.

The unguarded weapons caches scattered throughout Libya have shown to be a major threat not only to Libya itself, but also to the broader region. The availability of small arms, heavy weaponry and munitions strengthen Libyan militias as well as terrorist groups and insurgent forces in the region, which causes major security concerns within and outside of Libya. At the national level, such weapons continue to enable rogue militias, allowing them to refuse government control and pursue their own interests, increasing insecurity within the country. At the regional level, the weapons have consequently spread to many surrounding countries through black market sales to terrorist groups, insurgents, pirates or other criminal entities, which in turn incite profuse violent clashes in the Middle East, North Africa and Horn of Africa regions.

Tuareg Declare Independent State in Mali (Gaddafi Mercenaries) | by Oui on Apr 6, 2012 |

U.S. Weapons, Saudi Airstrikes, Yemeni Deaths: What a U.N. Report on War Crimes in Yemen Means for U.S.-Saudi Weapon Sales


A Yemeni child stands in the wreckage of a bus that was hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike on the Dahyan market in August while carrying school children on September 4, 2018.

The War in Yemen | Start Here | Al Jazeera |

European Tribune has a long excellence of covering humanitarian crisis from a broad perspective.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 07:07:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
NATO is no fascist alliance. It's a confederation of corporatocracies defending the shared history and values of the free world from "The 99%".
by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 05:20:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 02:12:19 AM EST
COVID Trade War UPDATE w/e 26 Feb

I read somewhere about mid-Jan, a memorable one-liner in Roll Call maybe? that insiders expect HHS to cancel the public health emergency declaration on or about March 31.

24 months is a tidy frame for most pilot projects; CDC agitprop and FDA EUAs have nearly collapsed into the Big Shrug, Live With It. On the other hand, "mandates" are sticky, and OSHA did warn it might revisit SCOTUS ruling on private-sector ETS. Could the feds be poised to extend "national security" out of concern for Russian BIO WARFARE?

I wasn't aware that Politico's 19 Feb "interview in Munich" with Bill Gates was a PR accessory of the MUNICH SECURITY CONFERENCE 2022, dominated by tensions o'er UKRAINE.

18 Feb break-out session: "Get Well Soon: Finding a way out of the global pandemic" starts 00:06:00 with "scene setter" Gates, flanked by FMs of Sweden, Canada, and CEO of the Int'l Crisis Group who seems to be holding WHO GenSec Tedros' place as face of Global South equity until the last 10 min.

Sadly, the virus itself, particularly the variant called omicron, is a type of vaccine, that is, creates both B-cell and T-cell immunity, and it's done a better job getting out to the world population than we have with vaccines. If you do sera surveys in African countries you get well over 80% of people have been exposed either to the vaccine or to various variants. So what that does is, it means the chance of severe disease which is mainly associated with being elderly and uh having obesity or diabetes, those risks are now dramatically reduced because of that infection exposure. And it's sad we didn't do a great job on therapeutics, you know, only here two years in do we have a good therapeutic,  vaccines that took us two years to be in over-supply. Today there are more vaccines than demand for vaccines.
by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 06:40:17 AM EST

Cross-out one! 😷

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 09:50:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ebola marketing is dead. Long live the living lab.
by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 05:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
African countries with the lowest median age as of 2021

ooo boy howdy. I'm a bit astounded that demographic detail, among others, ESCAPED westworld DEATH BY CORONAVIRUS modeling?

by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 05:32:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
AOC in Conversation With Noam Chomsky

At 93, Noam Chomsky is the most important leftist intellectual alive. At 32, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one of our most important leftist elected officials. The two recently spoke about our prospects for winning a better world.

We are at a moment in American history when all sorts of long-held assumptions about markets and governments, and even our relationship to one another and to nature, seem to be loosening their grip. The manufacturers of consent no longer seem to have quite so much control over what everyday people do.

To discuss our new environment, left-wing writer and broadcaster Laura Flanders sat down earlier this year with both MIT professor emeritus, author, and public intellectual Noam Chomsky and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York's 14th congressional district. What follows is a transcript of their conversation, edited for length and clarity. A portion of the discussion is available on The Laura Flanders Show's YouTube channel.

LF: I believe this is the first time you have actually met. Is there anything you want to say to each other?
NC: I've been greatly admiring what you've been doing, AOC, and following it closely. So it's a real pleasure to be with you.
AOC: Likewise, it's such an honor and a culminating moment to be able to engage with the one and only Professor Chomsky.
LF: Noam, you and I have talked on and off for about thirty years. In that time, there have always been, as you put it, a long list of unthinkable thoughts in America. Yet I recently read in our newspaper of record, the New York Times, that workers have real power, but the economy just might need some sort of planning -- and that, just possibly, leaving so many things to markets isn't the best idea, especially when it comes to the environment and health care.
Is something shifting? And when you think of the "unthinkables," what's changed and what hasn't, in your view?

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 08:18:11 AM EST
14 Feb 2022
"If Republicans are mad they can't date me they can just say that instead of projecting their frustrations onto my boyfriend's feet. Ya creepy weirdos."
With publicity like this, who needs the Norm.
by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 05:41:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Chomsky: Outdated US Cold War Policy Worsens Ongoing Russia-Ukraine Conflict

The tension on the Russia-Ukraine border represents an ongoing conflict between two nations with many cultural affinities, but is also part of a much larger rivalry between the U.S. and Europe on one side, and Russia on the other. As Noam Chomsky reminds us in the exclusive interview for Truthout that follows, in 2014, a Russia-supported government in Ukraine was forcefully removed from power by a coup supported by the U.S. and replaced by a U.S. and European-backed government. It was a development that brought closer to war the two main antagonists of the Cold War era, as Moscow regards both U.S. and European involvement in Ukraine and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's (NATO) continued eastward expansion as part of a well-orchestrated strategy to encircle Russia. The strategy of encirclement is indeed as old as NATO itself, and this is the reason why Russian President Vladimir Putin issued recently a list of demands to the U.S. and NATO with regard to their actions in Ukraine and even parts of the former Soviet space. In the meantime, senior-level Russian officials have gone even further by warning of military response if NATO continues to ignore Moscow's security concerns.

As Chomsky notes below, the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a solvable problem, but one wonders if the U.S. will remain dedicated to a "zombie policy" that could produce potentially awful consequences in the event of a diplomatic failure.

Noam Chomsky is internationally recognized as one of the most important intellectuals alive. His intellectual stature has been compared to that of Galileo, Newton and Descartes as his work has had tremendous influence on a variety of areas of scholarly and scientific inquiry, including linguistics, logic and mathematics, computer science, psychology, media studies, philosophy, politics and international affairs. He is the author of some 150 books and recipient of scores of highly prestigious awards, including the Sydney Peace Prize and the Kyoto Prize (Japan's equivalent of the Nobel Prize), and of dozens of honorary doctorate degrees from the world's most renowned universities. Chomsky is Institute Professor Emeritus at MIT and currently Laureate Professor at the University of Arizona.

C.J. Polychroniou: Following the undoing of the USSR between 1980-1991, people in Ukraine voted overwhelmingly in 1991 to declare independence from the crumbling communist empire. Since then, Ukraine has sought to align closely with the European Union (EU) and NATO, but Moscow has objected to such plans, as it has always considered Ukraine to be part of Russia, and, accordingly, continued to meddle in the country's internal affairs. In fact, Ukraine became a battleground in 2014 when Putin decided to annex Crimea, which he called the "spiritual source" of the Russian state, and, since then, tensions between the two countries have been very hard to diffuse. In your own view, what's really behind the conflict between Russia and Ukraine?
Noam Chomsky: There's more to add, of course. What happened in 2014, whatever one thinks of it, amounted to a coup with U.S. support that replaced the Russia-oriented government by a Western-oriented one. That led Russia to annex Crimea, mainly to protect its sole warm water port and naval base, and apparently with the agreement of a considerable majority of the Crimean population. There's extensive scholarship on the complexities, particularly Richard Sakwa's Frontline Ukraine and more recent work.
There's an excellent discussion of the current situation in a recent article in The Nation by Anatol Lieven. Lieven argues realistically that Ukraine is "the most dangerous [immediate] problem in the world," and "also in principle the most easily solved."

Russia-Ukraine: Resolving the World's Most Dangerous Conflict | EJIL Talk - Feb. 1, 2022 |

David Scheffer has also noted that the discourse, like that on China and Taiwan , is being conducted using "bedrock principles of international law". He urges using that fact to promote peace by emphasizing the rules prohibiting force.

But Taiwan is not a member of the United Nations and needs to argue that Article 2(4) is jus cogens. As jus cogens, it applies to all significant uses of military force, and it endures in the face of changing state practice. This is interpretation is critical to Taiwan and Ukraine in this moment. But the US, often supported by its NATO allies and Australia, has violated Article 2(4) so often in the last three decades it is in a weak position to make demands that others respect it. "Do as I say, not as I do" has never been a persuasive position.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 08:48:03 AM EST
A period of anti-Jewish riots and military actions--both of which were commonly referred to as pogroms-- took place

Massacres of over 100,000 Jews between 1918 and 1921 paved the way for the Nazi Holocaust-by-bullets

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 09:13:40 AM EST
Jeffrey Veidlinger is Joseph Brodsky Collegiate Professor of History and Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author, most recently, of In the Midst of Civilized Europe: The Pogroms of 1918-1921 and the Onset of the Holocaust.

Tablet has also published original fiction from Aharon Appelfeld ... was an Israeli novelist and Holocaust survivor.

Appelfeld was one of Israel's foremost living Hebrew-language authors, despite the fact that he did not learn the language until he was a teenager. His mother tongue was German, but he was also proficient in Yiddish, Ukrainian, Romanian, Russian, English, and Italian. With his subject matter revolving around the Holocaust and the sufferings of the Jews in Europe, he could not bring himself to write in German. He chose Hebrew as his literary vehicle for its succinctness and biblical imagery.

Babi Yar -- Site of Mass Murder, Ravine of Oblivion | USHMM - by Karel C. Berkhoff |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 09:26:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy says this is "a crucial moment" to decide on Ukraine's membership of the European Union, amid a continuing Russian onslaught, but EU officials say not all bloc members support this.

I have no verificationat what time this offer was made ... could be over one day ago ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 10:03:18 AM EST
hmmm, yes, well, first of all and AFAICT through the fog, "conflict parties" inexplicably does not include a delegation from the "breakaway" provinces.

This event is the latest in a series of UKRAINIAN expressions intended simultaneously to evade "recognizing" political problems festering within its "sovereign borders" AND sue perhaps for ceasefire, if not peace, with RU.

Second, Belarus in the latest in a series of venues allegedly proposed (Kiev by Minsk guarantors' face of evil RU, then Warsaw by UA's FM) rejected in as many days by Zelensky's NATO handlers who intend to keep this shitshow of international norms running until RU draws lint from its pockets.

by Cat on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 05:02:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Russian Oil Wealth, Kremlin and Oligarchs | Dec. 28, 2018 |

Laundering a Russian Oligarch through Israeli Citizenship | May 29, 2018 |

From Kensington to Tel Aviv:

He is an Israeli citizen now with his invested wealth he escapes US sanctions and British investigation into the source of his billions. Furthermore by moving residency to Tel Aviv, he gets tax exemption over 10 years ... so he belongs to the good guys now: well done Roman!

Under the Law of Return, Israel grants automatic citizenship to every Jew, or child or grandchild of a Jew, giving them the "right of return" to live in Israel.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 09:27:47 PM EST
What do you expect? The head of Yad Vashem is now Dani Dayan, one of the settlement leaders,
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Feb 27th, 2022 at 09:44:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Latest from Gomel ...

Russia is interested in coming to an agreement that is in the interests of both sides at talks with Ukraine, Russian negotiator Vladimir Medinsky said on Monday, as officials prepare to meet near the border. Medinsky said talks were expected to begin at 12 p.m. local time (0900 GMT).

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Feb 28th, 2022 at 09:31:36 AM EST
Talks between Ukraine and Russia
have started at the Belarussian border, Ukrainian presidential advisor Mykhailo Podolyak told Reuters via text message on Monday.

Earlier the Ukrainian president's office said Ukraine's goal for the talks was an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine.

I find that a very modest starting position. I think they ought to have put the oblasts of Rostov, Voronezh, Beogorod and Kursk on the table. With a fallback position of demilitarizing them, with UN monitors.

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

by eurogreen on Mon Feb 28th, 2022 at 12:49:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
RT HD, RT Esp HD and RT France HD are switched off on Astra Sat 19.2°E.
It's a shame!  Danke Lügenursel aka Flintenuschi!
h/t Wolle @MofA

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced Sunday that Kremlin-backed RT, formerly known as Russia Today, and Sputnik, would be banned in the EU.

Authoritarianism ... not a democracy ... wow, a first not even during the Cold War and the Red Danger ... crazy stuff. Definitely a show of weakness.

Czechia Mulls Penalizing Support of Ukraine Invasion | Balkan Insight - March 1, 2022 |

Publicly backing the Russian invasion of Ukraine might be subject to custodial sentences of up to three years, Czechia's Supreme State Attorney Igor Striz said in a statement on Saturday.

By the following day, Czech police were already investigating dozens of cases, local news site TN Nova reported. Czech police spokesman Ondrej Moravcik said: "We will carefully evaluate such actions and thoroughly analyse whether they represent such crimes."

The Public Prosecutor's Office appealed for Czech citizens to stay within the confines of the country's constitutional and legal restrictions. Although freedom of expression is stipulated in the Czech constitution, meaning everyone has the right to express their views, it also has its limits just as in any democratic state.

This means that "under certain conditions", anyone publicly supporting or praising the leaders of the Russian Federation regarding the country's attack on Ukraine could face criminal charges, including at demonstrations or even online, Striz said.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2022 at 08:07:52 PM EST

Amid war, an independent Russian radio station goes silent | Al Jazeera |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 2nd, 2022 at 09:32:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 10:39:01 PM EST
'I'm not a loser': Zelensky clashes with veterans over Donbas disengagement (VIDEO) | Kyiv Post - Nov. 28, 2019 |

However, the biggest argument erupted when someone informed Zelensky that the veterans had illegal arms, which they allegedly stored under their beds. The president then demanded they remove the weapons from Zolote.

When one veteran, Denys Yantar, said they had no arms and wanted instead to discuss protests against the planned disengagement that had taken place across Ukraine, Zelensky became furious.

    "Listen, Denys, I'm the president of this country. I'm 41 years old. I'm not a loser. I came to you and told you: remove the weapons. Don't shift the conversation to some protests,"Zelensky said.

Videos of the exchange spread quickly. As he said this, Zelensky aggressively approached Yantar, who heads the National Corps, a political offshoot of the far-right Azov volunteer battalion, in Mykolaiv city.

"But we've discussed that," Yantar said.

"I wanted to see understanding in your eyes. But, instead, I saw a guy who's decided that this is some loser standing in front of him," Zelensky said.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 10:40:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Ukraine, Stepan Bandera's legacy becomes a political football... again | EuroNews - March 19, 2021 |

Now the authorities in Lviv, in western Ukraine, have reignited the debate over the wartime militia leader by requesting the government to rename Arena Lviv in honour of Bandera and forcing Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenskyy to pick a side during a bitter election battle.

"They are pressuring Zelenskyy and [Denys] Shmygal, the prime minister, to decide if they are nationalist or not," said Alexei Jakubin, a senior politics lecturer at Kyiv Polytechnic Institute.

Zelenskyy, who won the 2019 election in Ukraine by a landslide with over 70% of the vote, is currently polling at just 19%.

Lviv's authorities, dominated by right-wing parties including Svoboda and European Solidarity, the party of former president Petro Poroshenko, smell blood.

"Zelenskyy and Poroshenko have a fight going on about who is the most patriotic [and] Zelenskyy is in a difficult position because his support is much lower he is moving [towards] the right wing, which is the territory of Poroshenko," said Jakubin.
"This is a test to see whether or not he is a real patriot," he added.

It is not the first time by any means that a war over Bandera's legacy has been waged in the highest echelons of Ukrainian politics.

In 2010, Bandera was named a "Hero of Ukraine" by the outgoing President Viktor Yushchenko, sparking anger in Europe, Poland and Israel.

He was stripped of the title in 2011 under Yushchenko's replacement, President Viktor Yanukovych, but when Yanukovych was ousted in 2014, Kyiv's City Council renamed the city's Moscow Avenue Stepan Bandera Avenue after the Russian invasion of eastern Ukraine.

The Crisis in Ukraine and the Split of Identity in the Russian Speaking World | Univ. of Haifa - 2015 |

Related reading ...

dKos Joins NY Times Warmongering | Feb. 6, 2022 |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 10:41:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ukraine's far-right warriors set for war with Russia | The Times UK - Jan. 15, 2022 |

Ukraine's newly decorated war hero remains troubled by an ill-chosen remark concerning the bones in the cage of his unit's pet wolf.

By rights Dmytro Kotsyubaylo, nom de guerre Da Vinci, should be basking in glory. Last month the 26-year-old captain became the first living recipient serving in the ultra-nationalist Right Sector volunteer battalion to be awarded the title Hero of Ukraine by the country's president.

Photographs of him shaking hands with President Zelensky at the ceremony in the Ukrainian parliament, where he was also decorated with the Order of the Golden Star for courage on the battlefield, marked not just a moment of personal glory for him but a political rehabilitation for a unit mired in controversy since its formation.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Mar 5th, 2022 at 11:06:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unsolved Maidan massacre casts shadow over Ukraine | Atlantic Council - Feb. 18, 2020 |

Imagine a European capital city where dozens of unarmed protesters are shot down in broad daylight. Now imagine that six years later, those responsible for the slaughter have still not been brought to justice. Inconceivable? Incredibly, this is precisely the situation in today's Ukraine, where scores of protesters participating in the country's Revolution of Dignity Maidan Revolt were killed in the vicinity of Kyiv's Independence Square in late February 2014.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who has inherited this thorny case from the previous administration of Petro Poroshenko, says that everything is being done to uncover the truth about these crimes. Emphasizing that he and his team have the political will and determination to see this through, he nevertheless cautions that enduring flaws in the legal system still stand in the way.

Zelenskyy acknowledged last week that the killings on Maidan remain "the most complicated case in our country." He told the media that evidence and documents have been lost, while the scene of the crime has been tampered with and "cleaned up." He could not say when those who gave the orders would be found, but gave assurances that the matter is being "dealt with faster than several years ago." It is receiving proper attention, he stressed, "and we are doing everything possible."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 6th, 2022 at 12:12:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
h/t Cat Ukraine is not a State Party to the Rome Statute of the ICC ...

... ICC jurisdiction with respect to alleged crimes committed on Ukrainian territory from 21 November 2013 to 22 February 2014.

Where is the ICC report?

Ukraine: Extremists Reject EU Deal, Demand Violent Overthrow | Fri Feb 21st, 2014 |

How the Events of Sniper Fire In Instytutska Street Unfolded - Videos | Feb. 22, 2014 |

Ukraine crisis: What we know about the Kiev snipers | BBC News - April 3, 2014 |

Related reading ...

Unsolved Maidan massacre casts shadow over Ukraine

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Mar 6th, 2022 at 12:25:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Politico.eu.com | Zelenskyy is arming Kyiv residents -- a former rival is helping supply the rest, 11 Mar
Just days ago, Serhiy Prytula was planning to launch a political party to challenge the Ukrainian president. `That was another life,' he says now. ...
In 2019, he left a succesіful career as a radio and TV presenter, actor and comedian to go into politics. He ran for parliament with the Holos, or Voice, party as part of the self-described "patriotic opposition" to Zelenskyy, who Prytula knew well from their parallel careers in media.... Yet Holos only won 20 seats and the party's leader, singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk, soon quit. Prytula followed, planning to found his own liberal-right party.

But these days, when every week feels like a year, two years is a lifetime. And for now, Prytula -- like millions of other Ukrainians -- has paused life in favor of simply managing the war, setting aside his political differences with Zelenskyy, his career in both politics and show business, as well as his friendships with the many Russians he has worked with over the years.
[Prytula's press secretary Maria] Pysarenko asks journalists not to identify the building in central Kyiv where the supply center is being run. But while most of the city center has been eerily quiet for days, a constant stream of vehicles arrives here to both unload goods and to pick up items they will ferry to territorial defense brigades around the city.
With the supply center, Prytula is expanding the fund he set up eight years ago, when Russia fomented war in eastern Ukraine. The money raised then went to support the Ukrainian armed forces fighting Russian-backed separatists, purchasing drones, sniper rifles, radio stations and night vision goggles.
The lack of experience and background checks on people being given arms has caused some concern. One Territorial Defense member described a tense standoff between two units in Kyiv that did not recognize each other and suspected the other of being Russian saboteurs. There have also been cases of journalists being assaulted by Territorial Defense members.

Such is the fog of war, Prytula shrugged.

by Cat on Sat Mar 12th, 2022 at 11:08:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Mar 9th, 2022 at 04:38:31 PM EST

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