Peace or War
On TRT World news item President Erdoğan has invited both sides to return to negotiations and a ceasefire. The West is more inclined to prolong fighting to diminish military might of Russia.
Turkiye hopeful on mediation between Ukraine, Russia | Anadolu Agency - Apr 14, 2022 |
Turkey wants to negotiate an end to the conflict in Ukraine, while some other NATO members would like to see it drag on as a way to harm Russia, Ankara's Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in a TV interview. In a lengthy appearance on CNN Turk, Çavuşoğlu addressed Turkey's decision not to sanction Moscow and why the Istanbul talks between Russia and Ukraine failed, among other things.
"There are countries within NATO that want the Ukraine war to continue. They see the continuation of the war as weakening Russia. They don't care much about the situation in Ukraine," Çavuşoğlu said.
While he did not name any names, US President Joe Biden said earlier this month that the conflict in Ukraine "could continue for a long time," which was echoed by the former CIA chief of Russian operations.
NATO Summit of Bucharest - A Declaration of War - Part 2
As for the policy of expanding the alliance, we have been attentively watching your discussion yesterday. On the whole, of course, we are satisfied with your decisions, which took place. But If I speak about Georgia and Ukraine, it is clear that the matter concerns not only security issues. For our Georgian friends, of course, it is one of means to restore their territorial integrity, as they believe. Besides, by means of force, under the aegis of NATO. It is an old, many-years, lasting for more than a hundred years, ethnic conflict between Georgians, between Abkhazians (it is a small ethnic group, it numbers a mere 200 thousand people), between Ossetians, for a hundred years, and more, these conflicts are ethnic. To solve these problems they need not to enter NATO, they should have patience, establish dialog with small ethnic groups. And we have been trying to help them, besides, to help Georgia restore its territorial integrity. And even despite the decisions on Kosovo, we will not recognize the independence of these quasipublic formations, though they have been calling on us since long ago, for decades already. We have been very responsible, very weighted, and call on you to be careful as well.
But in Ukraine, one third are ethnic Russians. Out of forty five million people, in line with the official census, seventeen millions are Russians. There are regions, where only the Russian population lives, for instance, in the Crimea. 90% are Russians. Generally speaking, Ukraine is a very complicated state. Ukraine, in the form it currently exists, was created in the Soviet times, it received its territories from Poland - after the Second World war, from Czechoslovakia, from Romania - and at present not all the problems have been solved as yet in the border region with Romania in the Black Sea. Then, it received huge territories from Russia in the east and south of the country. It is a complicated state formation. If we introduce into it NATO problems, other problems, it may put the state on the verge of its existence. Complicated internal political problems are taking place there. We should act also very-very carefully. We do not have any right to veto, and, probably, we do not pretend to have. But I want that all of us, when deciding such issues, realize that we have there our interests as well. Well, seventeen million Russians currently live in Ukraine. Who may state that we do not have any interests there? South, the south of Ukraine, completely, there are only Russians.
Putin's Address on NATO, Ukraine, and Recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk
Martin Longman respite after 14 long years ...
Martin's Bucharest Summit Review
NATO Membership Should Not Have Been Dangled for Ukraine and Georgia | by Martin Longman - Apr 11, 2022 | Zelensky Willing to Discuss Neutrality at Talks
Robert Draper of The New York Times recounts part of an interview he conducted recently with Fiona Hill, a Russia expert who served in the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations. The following section pertains to briefing a Hill provided to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney before the NATO summit in Bucharest, Romania in February 2008. It's of historical interest because the subject was the advisability of offering NATO membership to former Soviet Socialist Republicans Georgia and Ukraine. Hill thought it was far from a good idea. Bush and Cheney did not heed her advice, although sensible European resistance to the idea forced an unfortunate compromise that the world is still paying for.
War in Europe is not a hysterical idea
By Anne Applebaum | Opinion Washington Post | August 29, 2014 |
Over and over again -- throughout the entirety of my adult life, or so it feels -- I have been shown Polish photographs from the beautiful summer of 1939: The children playing in the sunshine, the fashionable women on Krakow streets.
I have even seen a picture of a family wedding that took place in June 1939, in the garden of a Polish country house I now own. All of these pictures convey a sense of doom, for we know what happened next. September 1939 brought invasion from both east and west, occupation, chaos, destruction, genocide. Most of the people who attended that June wedding were soon dead or in exile. None of them ever returned to the house.
In retrospect, all of them now look naive. Instead of celebrating weddings, they should have dropped everything, mobilized, prepared for total war while it was still possible. And now I have to ask: Should Ukrainians, in the summer of 2014, do the same? Should central Europeans join them?
I realize that this question sounds hysterical, and foolishly apocalyptic, to U.S. or Western European readers. But hear me out, if only because this is a conversation many people in the eastern half of Europe are having right now.
In the past few days, Russian troops bearing the flag of a previously unknown country, Novorossiya, have marched across the border of southeastern Ukraine. The Russian Academy of Sciences recently announced it will publish a history of Novorossiya this autumn, presumably tracing its origins back to Catherine the Great.
Various maps of Novorossiya are said to be circulating in Moscow. Some include Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk, cities that are still hundreds of miles away from the fighting. Some place Novorossiya along the coast, so that it connects Russia to Crimea and eventually to Transnistria, the Russian-occupied province of Moldova.
Putin and Limited Nuclear Strikes
A far more serious person, the dissident Russian analyst Andrei Piontkovsky, has recently published an article arguing, along lines that echo Zhirinovsky's threats, that Putin really is weighing the possibility of limited nuclear strikes -- perhaps against one of the Baltic capitals, perhaps a Polish city -- to prove that NATO is a hollow, meaningless entity that won't dare strike back for fear of a greater catastrophe. Indeed, in military exercises in 2009 and 2013, the Russian army openly "practiced" a nuclear attack on Warsaw.
Anne Sikorski-Applebaum the Raving War Lunatic
So the neocons in the US and conservatives in the UK pushed New Europe into a conflict zone with Russia. Knowingly crossing into the national security zone of the Russian Federation and posing an existential threat. The US and allies continue the policy of confrontation with China in the Indo-Pacific.
A Nuclear Conflict with Russia is Likelier Than You Think | Atlantic Council - July 1, 2015 |
From a policy by former NATO envoys to Brussels and the war room of the Atlantic Council to make Russia a pariah state ...
Zelensky warm reception at Munich Security Conference sealed the decision further talks were futile as it fell on deaf ears.
Ukrainian President Receives Standing Ovation at Security Conference
The European Union sleepwalked into mortal conflict with Russia
Ukraine is one of us and we want them in EU, Ursula von der Leyen tells Euronews
Country Watch Ukraine #146 on Corruption Perception Index (2016)
Status Ukrainian oligarchs in war for Donbass and Southern Azov Sea corridor
Ukraine's richest man Rinat Akhmetov vows to rebuild besieged Mariupol | Reuters |
Metinvest's Ilyich plant to be rebuilt after missile attack.
Metinvest's Ilyich Iron and Steel Works in Mariupol, Ukraine, was attacked in a Russian missile strike, although the mill will be rebuilt, its general director Taras Shevchenko said on April 4.
Enver Tskitishvili, that until now has been acting General Director of PJSC "AZOVSTAL IRON & STEEL WORKS", Metinvest Group, has been appointed General Director of Azovstal.
Enver Tskitishvili had his university education with specialization in "Metal working process", he has PhD in technical sciences with specialization in "Technological thermophysics and industrial heat power engineering" and many years of professional experience in metallurgy.
For three years Enver Tskitishvili headed up Alchevsk Iron & Steel Works. From February 2008 he was General Director of Makeyevka Iron & Steel Plant where a number of large-scale reorganizations were implemented under his leadership, especially at the time of crisis, on output product conversion. From September 2010 Enver Tskitishvili was acting General Director of PJSC "Azovstal Iron & Steel Works".
Azovstal's production capacities allow manufacture of over 5,5 million tons of iron, over 6,4 million tons of steel including 4.4 million tons of BOF steel, over 4,4 million tons of rolled products. Design capacity for manufacture of rail fasteners is 285 thousand tons per year, milling balls - 170 thousand tons per year.
Metinvest is an international vertically integrated mining and steel group of companies, operating assets in each link of the production chain from iron ore and coal mining and coke production, through to semi- finished and finished steel production, pipe rolling and coil production and production of other value-added products. The Group comprises mining and steel production facilities located in Ukraine, Europe and the USA and has a sales network covering all key global markets. The major shareholders of Metinvest are SCM Group (75% ownership) and Smart-Holding (25% ownership) partnering in Company's management.
The transaction between SCM and Smart-Holding on the merger of their metals and mining assets under jointly managed company Metinvest B.V. was closed on 14 July 2014. At the last stage of the transaction, Smart Group contributed 100% of the shares in Trosilia Holdings Limited (Cyprus) to the statutory capital of Metinvest B.V. Trosilia Holdings Limited indirectly owns 46.15% of the shares in PJSC Southern Iron Ore Enrichment Works.
In 2006 Rinat Akhmetov (SCM) and Novynskyi. (Smart-Holding) decided to merge their metallurgical assets - Metinvest was founded.
Sofocleous is the Ukrainian oligarch Oleksandr Onyshchenko's attorney which established Onyshenko's offshore companies Fastilo Trading Ltd. and Vedestima Traiding LTD in Cyprus which also have Sofocleous' signature on their documents. Sofocleous holds a large stake as a private investor in the Latvian bank AS PrivatBank in which Igor Mazepa holds a large 9.23% stake through Mazepa's Concorde Bermuda.
The Future of Ukrainian Oligarchs | Wilson Center - May 2019 |
After World War II, the West experienced a strange economic phenomenon: the United Kingdom was developing dramatically worse than the countries they helped defeat. Germany, Italy, Japan were experiencing an "economic miracle", while Britain was stuck in "stagflation" for decades. In the case of Ukraine a significant number of explanations were ascribed to the peculiar features of the country but they gave no opportunity or understand- ing of how to fix the economy. In 1982, the outstanding economist Mancur Olson published the book "The Rise and Decline of Nations" where he developed his own theory of the decline of countries, and specifically Britain. According to him the reason that hindered the development of the British economy was the existence of "old organizations with special interests" or "cartels", primarily represented by trade unions. In his opinion, any professional organization, association or union that exists for a long time in a particular sector of the economy forms "distributional coalitions" in order to block access to new players to any particular industry and to maintain the existing income situation. He stated that such coalitions use their influence on politicians to ensure the preservation of the status quo. The author called this phenomenon "the British disease". It results in a decline in production, fixing of prices, technological backwardness and so forth. Olson's work coincided in time with Margaret Thatcher's policy. Thatcher declared war on the trade union monoliths and initiated privatization of inefficient state property. The results of this policy are well-known.
Ukraine has apparently caught "the British disease". If we substitute the "British trade unions" with "oligarchs we would recognize a situation very similar to that of post war Britain. Olson in his introduction to the Russian version of his book warned: in the course of time top-officials in different areas may join and collude with other small groups to satisfy their own interests even if it undermines economic growth aspired by a dictator or Politburo. (Is this a direct quote? - if so it must be in parenthesis) This was actually the case in Ukraine during the reign of President Leonid Kuchma who is considered to be "the father of the oligarchy". Ukrainian oligarchs received most of their assets from collusion with officials and via non-transparent privatization. Since that time, control over the political system continues to be a key aspect for saving their business. For many years oligarchs blocked the access to markets for foreign investors and created cartels within whole economic sectors. This led to tremendous social, economic and technological backwardness.
This scenario looks realistic, although the probability of its implementation remains low. Growing geopolitical tensions between the West and Russia might turn Ukraine into a strategic "vanguard". Thus, the introduction of radical reforms and the creation of an effective counteraction to Russia can force the West to actively intervene in the situation in the country.
It can be expressed in direct pressure on oligarchs with the aim of further removal from politics or making them to be loyal to specific political groups.
The weakness of this scenario lies solely in the absence of such groups ideologically close to Western values and in the lack of popular support.
Chomsky On Prevention World War III
Noam Chomsky on How To Prevent World War III | Current Affairs |
The eminent scholar on the worsening threat of nuclear warfare, how to end the war in Ukraine, the self-justifying myths propagated by imperial powers, why the Global South finds American moralizing laughable, and more.
Professor Noam Chomsky is one of the most influential public intellectuals in the world. He has written more than 100 books, including, most recently, Consequences of Capitalism: Manufacturing Discontent and Resistance, co-authored with Marv Waterstone, and, forthcoming, The Withdrawal: Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and the Fragility of U.S. Power by Noam Chomsky with Vijay Prashad. He is currently the Laureate Professor at the University of Arizona and Professor Emeritus in the MIT Department of Linguistics and Philosophy. Professor Chomsky recently came on the Current Affairs podcast to talk to editor in chief Nathan J. Robinson about the threat of nuclear war, how American culture often promotes indifference to the suffering of people in other countries, and the history of U.S. foreign policy that brought us to this point. This interview has been lightly edited for grammar and clarity. The full exchange can be listened to here.
European Union as an economic union w/o defense and foreign policy
There is no alternative to good and stable relations between Moscow and Berlin, said German Foreign Minister Baerbock.
Rejecting US evacuation offer, Zelensky says: I need anti-tank ammo, `not a ride' | TOI Staff - Feb. 25, 2022 | [AP News]
The United States won't fund the ICC unless they prosecute enemy states ... a tool of the empire.
Followers of the ICC have repeatedly pointed out that US cooperation with the court would cease if the ICC opened an investigation into Afghanistan. They insist that there "will be no cooperation from the Afghan government, the Taliban, or the US". Moreover, without any prospects of a successful trial of US officials along with the cessation of cooperation, "[t]here would be significant cost to the ICC, for little gain".
The U.S. does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court
States offering to fund some ICC investigations while ignoring others could entrench a two-tier system of international justice | Al Jazeera |
Soon after announcing the Court's decision to open a war crimes investigation in Ukraine, ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan asked the international community to offer support. A number of states answered Khan's call. Among others, Lithuania, the United Kingdom, Canada, and France sent the ICC additional funds and/or their own legal authorities to support the probe in Ukraine. The level of support for the ICC's investigation in Ukraine is impressive and could increase Ukrainians' chances of finding justice. But many are asking: Will such support for accountability be offered to victims of mass atrocities outside of Europe?
The latter, as Ralph Wilde argued in a recent article for Opinio Juris, is a plea aiming not to deny justice in Ukraine, but to demand similar commitments elsewhere:
"Some are asking `what about', not to justify Russia's actions, but actually, the reverse... to ask why, when violations of international law of the same or a similar nature happen elsewhere.
Some earnest advocates of the ICC believe the Court should make a principled stand and reject earmarked contributions from states. Rebecca Hamilton, for example, maintains that while Ukraine is deserving of the attention it is getting, the notion that funds are available to the ICC only when there's a crisis in Europe is "offensive". She adds that if states "want to support the work of the Court, it's got to be a court for everybody... We are seeing the structural racism of the international system playing out before our eyes."
With that said, doubts regarding the ICC's jurisdiction on this matter have been omnipresent, considering that neither Ukraine nor Russia is a state party to the Rome statute.
The United States is a serial offender of International Law and Geneva Convention against the UN Charter, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Mission of EU on Road to Failure
Where does the hysteria and fear mongering stop?
Follows in the footsteps of Jacques Delors, Dalai Lama, Mary Robinson, Nelson Mandela, Angela Merkel and the Red Cross. #FourFreedomsAward