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

Standing Up to Russia

by Oui Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 08:34:50 AM EST

KYIV, Ukraine: Antony Blinken and Pentagon General Austin announce a new phase in war of non-negotiations as goal.

Spokesperson to Zelensky ...

America offers a win over Russia as the Ukrainians deserve to be free.

Blinken: Russia is failing in war aims, Ukraine 'succeeding' | AP News |

American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Monday after a secrecy-shrouded visit to Kyiv that Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelenskyy is committed to winning his country's fight against Russia and that the United States will help him achieve that goal.

"He has the mindset that they want to win, and we have the mindset that we want to help them win," Austin told reporters in Poland, the day after the three-hour face-to-face meeting with Zelenskyy in Ukraine.

Austin said that the nature of the fight in Ukraine had changed now that Russia has pulled away from the wooded northern regions to focus on the eastern industrial heartland of the Donbas. Because the nature of the fight has evolved, so have Ukraine's military needs, and Zelenskyy is now focused on more tanks, artillery and other munitions.

Support to the very bitter end ...

Will a media, metal and aviation tycoon be the big winner of the Ukrainian election?

The comedian and the oligarch | Politico – Apr 17, 2019 |

    “While Donbas burns, our city is as quiet as a graveyard. And that’s thanks to our Governor Kolomoisky” — Dnipro restaurateur
Zelensky is crippled as his main benefactor is put under US Treasury sanctions early March ... a free sovereign state under full control of the empire. Earlier Poroshenko was ordered by Biden to be released as he was being prosecuted for treason, the same charge as Medvedchuk, opposition leader in Verkhovna Rada.

To Support Zelensky, the United States Needs to Negotiate With Putin | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – Mar 10, 2022 |

    “It’s not that I want to talk to Putin,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last week about Russia’s president. “I need to talk to Putin. The world needs to talk to Putin. There is no other way to stop this war.”

The United States should heed this plea. Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion has been both heroic and effective, but its situation is precarious. For all their flaws, Russia’s armed forces may yet prevail in a prolonged conflict, and there is still a real danger that much of Ukraine will become a Russian vassal state under a puppet government. Moreover, even if Ukraine can hold off Russian forces indefinitely, the prospect of forcibly evicting them from its territory—particularly in the south—is daunting. All the while, Russia is slaughtering Ukraine’s citizens ever more indiscriminately.

Ukraine suspends 11 political parties with links to Russia | The Guardian - March 11, 2022 |

Offering long range missiles to bring the conflict to the enemy.

Russia: Explosions at Oil Depots in Bryansk

Bryansk, Russia: 2 Russian military base/depot attacked - massive fire/explosion reported

The awful truth is dawning: Putin may win in Ukraine. The result would be catastrophe | The Guardian Opinion |

The contrast was startling. In New York, António Guterres, the UN secretary general, launched a belated, desperately needed initiative to halt the war in Ukraine. "At this time of great peril and consequence, he [Guterres] would like to discuss urgent steps to bring about peace," his spokesman said. The UN chief, he revealed, was proposing immediate, in-person talks with Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Volodymyr Zelenskiy in Kyiv.

At roughly the same time as this hopeful development unfolded, the UK's Boris Johnson, riding a "Partygate" getaway plane to India, was colourfully rubbishing peace efforts. Putin, he claimed, was an untrustworthy reptile. "I really don't see how the Ukrainians can easily sit down and come to some kind of accommodation. How can you negotiate with a crocodile when it's got your leg in its jaws?" Johnson asked.

This gaping disconnect is doubly disturbing. It suggests lack of coordination between the UN chief and a permanent member of the UN security council on how best to proceed. It also highlights a wider problem: diverging, sometimes opposing, occasionally self-serving, approaches to the crisis by western leaders who have hitherto trumpeted their unity of purpose.

The outrage in western countries sparked by Putin's 24 February invasion is starting to fade. Likewise the burst of optimism that followed Ukraine's success in repelling the Russian advance around Kyiv. Now, as Moscow begins a huge, slow-motion offensive in the east, concern grows that this conflict has no end-point and that the enormous economic and human damage that results may be permanent - and global.

The new western sponsors of Zelensky will refuse to negotiate a compromise as a long, extended war will deteriorate Russian assets and global influence. Where Napoleon failed and Nazi Germany destroyed Stalingrad, but was defeated, the US, Britain and NATO are determined to teach Russia a lesson.

EU Borrell on oil embargo

EU Urges Solidarity Fossil Fuel Embargo

OPEC Will Not Be Part of US Sanctions

EU turns into NATO economic arm, Russian diplomat bashes Borrell's statement | TASS |

During his visit to Kiev, Josep Borrell said for the first time in the history of the European Union that the conflict "will be won on the battlefield," but not through diplomatic efforts.

EU leaders never made any statements about the priority of the military victory over the political solution during the wars in Yugoslavia, or in Libya, or in Afghanistan, where most of the EU nations were involved as NATO members. Nor were any such statements voiced during the US-led invasion of Iraq, which the leading EU countries condemned as based on disinformation and lies about Baghdad's possession of weapons of mass destruction.

EU's Top Diplomat ... Worst Choice Possible

Quite fortunately one leader of the EU-27 stays in power ... a tough road ahead as the bordering states in the East have Biden's ear.

Russia Announces Ceasefire Around Mariupol's Azovstal Steel Plant | AFP Agency |

#UPDATE Russia's defence ministry on Monday announced a ceasefire around the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol to allow a civilian evacuation from the industrial area that has been sheltering the remaining Ukrainian resistance in the port city

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 11:07:00 AM EST
Make this guy platoon commander ...

Rambo Hollywood style ... a human bunker buster 🫣

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 11:10:13 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 25th, 2022 at 11:11:15 AM EST
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The 4th most populous nation of 280 million ...

G20 Summit a diplomatic minefield for host Indonesia | Asia Times - Apr 1, 2022 |

JAKARTA, Indonesian President Joko Widodo is sticking to what critics complain is his naïve belief he can convince the G20 leaders to set the Ukraine war aside and focus solely on the economic issues that spawned the growth of the organization in the first place in 1999. 

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said allowing Putin to take his seat at the G20 would be a "step too far" after Russia's ambassador to Jakarta Lyudmila Vorobieva revealed Putin intended to accept Widodo's formal invitation, which he made last November at the Rome summit.

Widodo's naivety extends to Indonesian politicians and even some academics who have called on him to use his position as president of the G20 to resolve the Ukrainian conflict instead of simply acting as what legislator Effendi Simbolon referred to as an "event organizer."

"Putin is not going to the G20," one former senior US State Department official told Asia Times. "It's impossible. I just can't imagine him attending. It's simply not going to happen."

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 09:44:31 AM EST
All G20 leaders, including Putin, invited to Indonesia summit - minister | Tass |

The leaders of all G20 countries have been invited to the upcoming summit in Indonesia, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said on Thursday.

When asked whether Putin will be present at the G20 summit scheduled to take place on Indonesia's resort island of Bali, the minister replied: "Well, we [have] invited." She added that invitation to top-level events are sent beforehand.

"Now all the countries in G20 have received their invitations," she added.

"In terms of arranging the meeting itself, just like what we had yesterday, it was not easy, but, in the end, they are all in the same room. But if you don't agree and you want to express this <...>, you walk out," she said, apparently referring to a decision by some delegates to leave Wednesday's meeting of G20 finance ministers and Central Bank chiefs during the speech of Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, who participated in the event via a video linkup.

"That's another expression of the politics, but it doesn't prevent us from talking about the substance which is important," the Indonesian minister said. "So this should be manageable and doable."

Bloomberg reported earlier, citing own sources, that the United States had demanded that Indonesia exclude Russian President Vladimir Putin from participation in the upcoming G20 summit, warning that otherwise some countries might send lower level delegations to the meeting.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 09:45:54 AM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 09:47:11 AM EST
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Bullying tactics continues across Asia ...

Indonesia under pressure from US to include Ukraine at G20 summit | SCMP |

The United States is among nations pressing Indonesia to include Ukraine as a guest at the Group of 20 summit in November, frustrated at Jakarta's refusal to withdraw an invitation for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The shift in tactics shows the diplomatic wrangling confronting Indonesia as G20 host this year, and the dilemma for member states including the US given Putin's war in Ukraine, now entering its third month. Russia is a member of the G20, alongside countries like China and India, which have not joined sanctions on Moscow for its aggression.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 09:48:01 AM EST
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Not a Proxy War ... delivery of defensive lethal weapons only ... defending over there ...  #WeAreNato

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 11:58:25 AM EST
    Not a Proxy War ... delivery of defensive lethal weapons only
    ... defending over there ...

UK Minister backs Ukraine carrying out Russia strikes with British weapons #JamesHeappey said the UK believed it was "completely legitimate" for #Ukraine to identify targets in Russia in order to disrupt attacks on Ukraine.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 12:30:18 PM EST
Quite difficult to get sources/links from MFA Lavrov account, they are all blocked.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:29:51 PM EST
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Ridiculous ... UK Minister playing semantics with military engagement #WeAreNato

40 countries are gathered today at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany to bolster military aid to Ukraine

The wider international community, not NATO, is providing military support to Ukraine, said British armed forces minister James Heappey, responding to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's assertions that the Western alliance was "in essence" engaged in a proxy war with Russia.

"The donor community is, not NATO," Heappey told Sky News when asked about Lavrov's comments.

"The donor effort is something that has been brought together by countries that are yes, many of them are from NATO, but others are from beyond ... it is not NATO that is doing the military aid,"  said Heappey, adding that he did not think there was an "imminent threat" of escalation in Ukraine.

Earlier Lavrov said the risks of nuclear conflict should not be underestimated, but Heappey dismissed the warning as "bravado".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:32:15 PM EST
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Two explosions inside Moldova destroyed transmission towers of Russian news broadcasts.

More explosions in Transnistria take down communication towers | BNE Intellinews |

Two explosions destroyed the biggest telecommunications towers in Moldova's separatist region Transnistria in the morning of April 26,.

According to the press centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, the explosions at the Pridnestrovian Radio and Television Centre (PRTC) in the town of Maiak, Grigoriopol district in the Transnistrian region, occurred at 6:40 and 7:05 local time. There were no casualties.

The incident comes after the separatists' Ministry of State Security (MGB) in Tiraspol came under attack from a grenade launcher on April 25. The incident, followed by a Russian propaganda offensive claiming Nato member Romania was preparing to capture Transnistria, was treated as a provocation by the Moldovan authorities. 

While the impact of the attack on the empty headquarters of the MGB was rather symbolic, the destruction of the antennas seems to have more material implications.
Moldova has banned Russian radio and TV stations on its territory, but it is unable to enforce the decision in Transnistria, which has been under the control of pro-Russian separatists since the early 1990s.

On the other hand, the Moldovan authorities have constantly attempted to prevent the escalation of the situation in the separatist region.

PRTC's capacity to still relay Russian radio and TV stations was not revealed.

The separatist authorities only confirmed that the two most powerful antennas were out of order: one of one megawatt, the second half-megawatt. Both has been relaying radio broadcasts from Russia. 

PRTC is one of 14 radio transmitting centres in the former USSR. The radio centre was built in the late 1960s.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence claimed, after the grenade attack in Tiraspol but before the telecommunication antennas were taken down, that the Russian provocations in Transnistria will continue. They cited indications given by top Transnistrian officials on the preparation of bunkers, three days before the grenade attack.

The territory of Transnistria will be used either as a "mobilisation reserve" (2,500 Russian troops are currently there and Russian nationals can join the army), or for launching attacks against Ukraine, the Ministry of Defence in Kyiv commented.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 12:32:01 PM EST
Biden Knows What He's Doing With Putin | Progress Pond - Foreign Affairs |

This is precisely wrong. The goal here is not to negotiate an end to the war. If Ukraine wants to make concessions to Putin which allow him to keep huge chunks of their country, pay no price for the damage he's done, do nothing to rebuild Ukraine's flattened cities, and sit back while the sanctions are lifted, then they can make that call themselves. No outsider, and certainly no allies, should press that kind of decision on them.

The goal here is for Russia to leave Ukraine entirely, including Crimea and Dombas, and pay serious reparations. The second goal is for Russia to rejoin the community of nations, which means normal diplomatic and economic relationships, and this is simply never going to be possible with Putin in charge.

Russian business leaders probably understand this. Russian military leadership probably understands this. And they are the ones who will have to remove Putin from power and negotiate the peace.

You seriously believe Zelensky is his own man??

Martin Longman: "Look how ridiculous Michael O'Hanlon's criticism appears in the context of reasonable end games to this conflict .."

"What it tells me, and worries me, is that the top team is not thinking about plausible war termination," said Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and author of the book "The Art of War in an Age of Peace: U.S. Grand Strategy and Resolute Restraint".

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:33:43 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:34:57 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 01:35:55 PM EST
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Times of Indaia | PM Modi to inaugurate Raisina Dialogue 2022 on April 25, 21 Apr
The Raisina Dialogue 2022, base on the theme "Terranova--Impassioned, Impatient, Imperilled", will be modelled along six thematic pillars--Rethinking Democracy: trade, technology and ideology; End of Multilateralism: a networked global order; Water Caucuses: turbulent tides in the Indo-Pacific; Communities Inc: first responders to health, development, and planet; Achieving Green Transitions: common imperative, diverging realities; Samson vs Goliath: the persistent and relentless technology wars
25 April: Statement by President von der Leyen with Indian Prime Minister Modi
The Raisina Dialogue, which started in 2016, is India's flagship conference on geopolitics and geoeconomics committed to addressing the most challenging issues facing the global community. The conference is organised by MEA in collaboration with the Observer Research Foundation (ORF).
All India Radio News | Raisina Dialogue: Afghanistan, Ukraine, and COVID have global consequences for every person, says EAM Jaishankar, 26 Apr
External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar today said, India has a very clear position on the conflict in Ukraine which emphasizes an urgent cessation of fighting and a return to diplomacy and dialogue. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue Townhall, Dr. Jaishankar said Ukraine conflict is an issue of concern for everyone. Replying to a query from the audience, the Minister said, Asia faces its own sets of challenges which often impact the rules-based order [FKA international norms FKA international law].

He pointed out that the entire civil society in Afghanistan was thrown under the bus by the world less than a year ago. He stressed that it is all about finding the right balance of beliefs and interests. He added that priorities are different for different countries and there are equally pressing issues in other parts of the world

Ministry of External Affairs | India-UAE Consultations on UN Issues, 26 Apr
by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 02:00:38 PM EST
euractiv | In Delhi, Von der Leyen warns of Ukraine war impact on Indo-Pacific, 26 Apr
Speaking in Delhi, Von der Leyen called out Russia and China's REVISIONIST joint statement published in February that had declared an UNRESTRAINED bilateral partnership, calling the current security situation "a defining moment".
India has so far adopted a neutral stance, walking a TIGHTROPE in its relations with the West and Russia, which is the country's largest arms supplier, also by its refusal to openly condemn President Vladimir Putin's invasion. The country has also taken up Russian offers of discounted crude oil.

Von der Leyen, however, during the speech and her whole visit to the country avoided publicly calling on India to revise its position on Russia.

Instead, speaking in presence of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and high-ranking Indian officials, Von der Leyen said that "for the EU, strengthening and energising its partnership with India is a priority in this upcoming decade".

euractiv | Will a Russian EU oil ban resurrect the 1970s?
"Those of a certain age may recall the oil shortage OPEC embargo of the 1970s. In response to the crisis, then-US president Jimmy Carter encouraged Americans in a series of speeches to use less energy."

euractiv | Germany revamps 1975 oil crisis law OPEC embargo in face of new energy supply threats
"As a first step, Berlin had temporarily put the German subsidiary of Russian state-owned company Gazprom under ["]government stewardship["], but continued to oppose the idea of expropriation."

freedom molecules
MSM BBC | Russia to suspend gas supplies to Poland, 26 Mar

PGNiG said Russian energy firm Gazprom had told it all gas deliveries to the country would be halted from 08:00 CET (07:00 BST).

Gazprom has justified the suspension under new rules announced last month, which mean "unfriendly" countries must pay for gas in roubles.

PGNiG has refused to do this.

by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 09:04:12 PM EST
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DW | Russia's Gazprom to halt gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria, 26 Mar non-payment
PGNiG said in a statement that it was monitoring the situation and is prepared to obtain gas from other connections thanks to a "government strategy of diversifying" sources.
Bulgargaz said in a statement that it "fully met its obligations and has made all payments required under its current contract in a timely manner, strictly and in accordance with its terms."
ENTSOG: points, zones, operators map; TASS | Gazprom informs Bulgargaz
Gazprom did not immediately confirm the cut-offs. However, Russian news agency Tass
According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), the physical flow of Russian gas through the Kondratki station stopped on the night of April 26. At the same time, a similar situation was observed on the night of April 24.

According to the Polish gas pipeline network operator Gaz-System, the flow of Russian gas through the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline on the border of Belarus and Poland through the Kondratki gas measuring station as of April 25 fell by 75% compared to April 21.

quoted a Gazprom executive saying that Poland must pay for its gas supplies under a "new payment procedure."
< wipes tears >
by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 11:44:20 PM EST
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"No one asked them to. But they did it anyway."

by Cat on Wed Apr 27th, 2022 at 08:51:34 PM EST
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From Pepe Escobar's Telegram channel forwarded from Gallia Daily, the Voice of France...

French  Special Forces in Ukraine?

According to exclusive information obtained by sources close to Gallia Daily, it is highly likely that French special forces have been deployed to Ukraine.

Earlier this month, two platoons of the 13th Parachute Dragoon Regiment (13RDP) were deployed to an unknown destination for a 2-4 month renewable mandate.

The 13RDP is the intelligence regiment of the French special forces. It is specialised in unconventional warfare, strike guidance (JTAC), sabotage, the use of optical reconnaissance means (blackhornet drones, cameras) as well as HIV capture.

Several reports seem to indicate that these men were deployed to Ukraine ...

h/t MofA

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 02:07:46 PM EST
The 13e RDP took part in the Gulf War. This was highlighted when three operators were captured by the Iraqis in late 1990. The 13e RDP was, along with other French units, heavily involved in the Kosovo War and used tactics and technology to force Serbian armour to attempt to engage Kosovo Liberation Army and other Allied forces in the open, which enabled them to be destroyed by Allied bombing, particularly by the United States Air Force and the Royal Air Force.

The 13e RDP also contributed to the capture of Momčilo Krajišnik in 2001 by close range recons.

From Wikipedia page this link ...

Eyes on target: 'Stay-behind' forces during the Cold War

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 02:09:02 PM EST
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Today's highlights in the Ukrainian conflict with Russia.

Ukraine Latest: EU Gas Prices Soar as Poland Braces for Flow Cut | Bloomberg |

  • Moldova Accuses Moscow-Backed Separatists of Fueling Tensions
  • Russia Warns of `Real' Nuclear War Risk as Ukraine Talks Go On
  • U.S. Sees Russian Military Shortfalls After Austin, Blinken Trip
  • German Minister Says Full Embargo on Russian Oil 'Manageable'
in the breakaway Transnistria region of Moldova reported an attack on a military unit Tuesday, hours after a pair of antennas broadcasting Russian radio were blown up, the latest violence reported in the Moscow-backed enclave in recent days.

Moldovan President Maia Sandu blamed the attacks on factions within the separatist-held enclave and said her government would resist "attempts to drag Moldova into actions that may endanger peace within the country." 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 05:10:21 PM EST

Both sides prepped for weeks for planned false flag attacks

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 05:30:44 PM EST
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archived "It must be about ten feet wide...."
6 Mar in Ruble and Rupee
by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 07:24:25 PM EST
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'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 05:33:39 PM EST
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UN | Secretary-General's opening remarks at press encounter with Russian Foreign Minister, 26 Mar
I had a very frank discussion with the Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, and it is clear that there are two different positions on what is happening in Ukraine.  
According to the UN, in line with the resolutions passed by the General Assembly, Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a violation of its territorial integrity and against the Charter of the United Nations.

But it is my deep conviction that the sooner we end this war, the better - for the people of Ukraine, for the people of the Russian Federation, and those far beyond.  

The United Nations has repeatedly called for ceasefires to protect civilians and to facilitate a political dialogue to reach a solution. So far, that has not been possible.
My proposal is for a coordinated work of the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and the Ukrainian and Russian Federation forces to enable the safe evacuation of those civilians who want to leave, both inside the Azovstal plant and in the city, in any direction they chose, and to deliver the humanitarian aid required. This is not just about what is happening in Ukraine, as we are seeing shock waves around the world.
We need a world that is multipolar, with multilateral institutions, and those multilateral institutions must abide by the UN Charter and by international law - and by the UN Charter and by international law, recognizing full equality among States, they hopefully will be an instrument that will allow us, once again, to come together as humankind and address the dramatic challenges we face, from climate change to epidemics and to many others, and in which the only war we should have would be a war of those that put the planet at risk.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the RF | Speech and answers to media questions by Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov during a joint press conference following talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Moscow, April 26, 2022
We had intense negotiations. We talked about many of the problems facing the UN. There is work that continues on Syria, on Libya. We must not forget the Middle East settlement. This is one of the oldest conflicts in the world, which, contrary to the resolutions of the Security Council, is moving further and further away from its solution.

For obvious reasons, the focus was on the situation on the European continent in the context of what is happening in Ukraine, the DPR and LPR. The situation there has developed not today and not yesterday. We are grateful to the Secretary General and his team for their understanding of the need to consider the situation in Ukraine and around it not in isolation from the processes on the world stage, but in the context of trends that are accumulating and far from always go in line with the ideals of the UN, the principles enshrined in the Charter UN. Today I spoke in detail to our colleague and friend A. Guterres that we see how this situation has accumulated to a large extent. In a decisive context, this happened as a result of the course taken by our American colleagues and their allies for the unlimited expansion of NATO, the establishment of a unipolar world.
Of course, we talked about the fate of the UN as a whole. About the attempts of our Western colleagues to take the discussion of key issues beyond the framework of universal formats under the auspices of the UN and its system, to "produce" various partnerships, appeals that are presented as a "club of advanced workers", a "club of the elite". In the same vein, there is an initiative put forward by France and Germany - the "Alliance of Multilateralists". What is this if not competition with the UN? Or the initiative of the United States, which in 2021 held a "summit of democracies", where they issued an invitation on their own, without consulting anyone. This also drew the attention of our interlocutors today. This is, in general, a dangerous "bell" for the UN, an attempt to cross out the basic rules and principles of the UN Charter. Namely, that the Organization was created on the basis of the sovereign equality of states. This is written in the UN Charter. This needs to be reminded. We will do this more often so that no one in New York or in the capitals of the member countries forgets about it. ...

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 26, 2022
AFP: The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said there is a real threat of a third World War breaking out following his country's invasion of Ukraine. Does China share Mr. Lavrov's view on that? And what preparations is China taking in case the scope of the war grows larger?
Wang Wenbin: No one wants to see the outbreak of a third world war. We hope that relevant parties can keep cool-headed and exercise restraint, prevent escalation of tension, realize peace as soon as possible and avoid inflicting a heavier price on Europe and the world. Under the current circumstances, all parties should, first and foremost, support dialogue and negotiation to prevent the expansion and prolongation of conflicts. At the same time, we should reflect on why Europe has again got caught up in the geopolitical conflict more than 30 years after the end of the Cold War, on how to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture, and on how to strengthen the global security governance system.

by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 07:49:36 PM EST
Vladimir Putin Meeting with UN Secretary General António Guterres, 26 Mar transcript
PUTIN: ...I am aware of your concern regarding Russia's military operation in the Donbass, in Ukraine. I think that will be at the heart of our conversation today. In this regard, I would only like to note that the whole problem arose after the coup d'état that took place in Ukraine in 2014. This is an obvious fact. You can call it whatever you want and you can have whatever attachments you want to those who did it, but this is really an unconstitutional coup.
I would like to inform you that, despite the ongoing military operation, we still hope that we will be able to reach agreements on the diplomatic track as well. We are negotiating, we do not refuse them.

Moreover, at the talks in Istanbul - and I know that you were just there, I spoke with President Erdogan today - we managed to achieve quite a serious breakthrough. Because our Ukrainian colleagues did not associate the security requirements of the international, international security of Ukraine with such a concept as the internationally recognized borders of Ukraine, leaving Crimea, Sevastopol and the newly recognized Russian republics of Donbass out of brackets, but with certain reservations.
This is what I would like to say at the beginning. Surely we will have many questions related to this situation. Maybe we can talk about other issues.

I am very glad to see you. Welcome to Moscow!

GUTERRES (retranslated): Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for receiving me in the Kremlin.

In fact, as Secretary General, my main concern is the situation in Ukraine. I have a clear understanding that we need a multilateral order based on the United Nations Charter and international law. Any rules to be established must be established by consensus of the international community and fully comply with international law. I tirelessly, firmly believe in international law, in the UN Charter. That is why we often have different views on situations that occur
We firmly believe that the violation of the territorial integrity of any country is completely inconsistent with the UN Charter. We are deeply concerned about what is happening now: we believe that there has been an invasion of the territory of Ukraine. Nevertheless, I arrived in Moscow with a pragmatic approach. We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation in Ukraine.

The United Nations is not part of the political negotiations. We have never been invited or allowed to participate either in the Minsk process or in the Normandy format. The UN has never been a part of these formats. We are not part of the negotiations and I had the opportunity to express this to President Erdogan. We support dialogue between the two countries and support Turkey's goodwill in advancing this approach. But our main task with regard to the humanitarian situation in Ukraine is to resolve and improve this situation. That is why today I had a meeting with Minister Sergey Lavrov, and I put forward two proposals.
We pursue one goal, namely: to alleviate the situation of people, to reduce their suffering. As I said, this can be done by bringing together both parties - the ICRC, our department - OCHA. Create the necessary conditions, make it as transparent as possible, so that no one can blame others anymore for something not happening.

PUTIN: Dear Mr. Secretary General!

First, about the invasion. I am very well acquainted, very well - I have personally read all the documents of the International Court of Justice on the situation in Kosovo. I remember very well the decision of the International Court of Justice, which states that in exercising the right to self-determination, a territory of any state is not obliged to apply for permission to declare its sovereignty to the central authorities of the country.

This was said about Kosovo, and this is the decision of the International Court of Justice, and this decision was supported by everyone. I personally read all the comments of the legal, administrative, and political bodies of the United States and European countries: everyone supported this.

If this is so, then the republics of Donbass, the Donetsk People's Republic and the Luhansk People's Republic, have the same right, without applying to the central authorities of Ukraine, to declare their sovereignty, because the precedent has been created, right? Do you agree with this?

GUTERRES (retranslated): First of all, Mr. President, the United Nations does not recognize Kosovo.

PUTIN: Yes, yes, yes, but the court recognized it. Let me finish....

by Cat on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 11:58:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 07:55:38 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 07:56:59 PM EST

Poland is well prepared with full storage facilities and delivery through Yamal pipeline eastwards from Germany and Norway.

My earlier diaries ...

Poland Surges Towards Energy Sovereignty

Antagonizing Europe's Best Partner to Deliver Gas

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 08:15:03 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 08:17:38 PM EST
Complete bull ... doesn't even qualify as a decent attempt for disinformation. The Murdoch rag ...

Vladimir Putin's 20-Year March to War in Ukraine--and How the West Mishandled It

True, the US mishandeld the relationship with Russia but not in the manner described in the article.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 26th, 2022 at 08:35:39 PM EST

Not really enlightening reading by this BBC correspondent ...

Related reading ...

Poles and Ukrainians Troubled History

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 30th, 2022 at 01:49:33 PM EST

by Cat on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 11:16:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
U.S. Mission | OAS Member States Condemn Russian Attack on Ukraine, 25 Feb
Remarks by Bradley A. Freden, Interim U.S. Permanent Representative
We urge all countries in the Hemisphere to join us in strongly and publicly condemning Russia's  aggression and affirming  our support for Ukraine.  We ask that you call on Russia through every possible channel to cease its hostilities.

We must remain united in our message to Russia:  the territory of a sovereign state cannot be seized by force of arms.   Borders cannot be redrawn at gunpoint.  Russia's military aggression is illegal and unacceptable to the civilized world.

We call on all democratic countries to press Russia to halt its military operations in Ukraine immediately, return its troops and equipment to Russia, and cease all further aggression against Ukraine, including its ongoing cyber attacks.

We look forward to working with other OAS member states to uphold the values of the international system and support a return to the status que ante.

Grey Zone multipolarista | Nicaragua's Sandinista gov't expels OAS, calling it US 'colonial instrument' of coups and invasions, 24 Apr
Managua also declared its immediate withdrawal from the organization, stating clearly, "Nicaragua is not a colony of anyone, therefore it is not part of the Ministry of the Colonies." [...] This initiated a formal withdrawal process that would have taken two years. But in a fiery speech on April 24, Foreign Minister Denis Moncada declared that Nicaragua was leaving the OAS immediately, blasting it as a "deceitful agency of the State Department of yankee imperialism."
Nicaragua expropriates OAS building, will replace it with 'Museum of Shame' documenting imperialist crimes, 28 Apr
by Cat on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 12:27:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lavrov : Hitler was Jewish, just like Zelinskiy

During an interview with Italy's Rete 4 channel, Lavrov was asked how Russia could say it needed to "denazify" Ukraine, when the country's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, was Jewish.

"When they say 'What sort of nazification is this if we are Jews', well I think that Hitler also had Jewish origins, so it means nothing," Lavrov said, speaking through an Italian interpreter.

"For a long time now we've been hearing the wise Jewish people say that the biggest anti-Semites are the Jews themselves," he added.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 2nd, 2022 at 11:17:56 AM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 4th, 2022 at 07:29:06 AM EST

#zelensky "if Azov fighters die in Azovstal, forget any peace talks ..."

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 4th, 2022 at 07:36:04 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed May 4th, 2022 at 07:37:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Civilians were filmed by the Azov militants when leaving their basements as well as by Russian media when they reached the village of Bezimennoe where they were treated by Russian forces, representatives of the UN, and the Red Cross. ...
After the evacuation of some civilians from the basements ["catacombs"] in the Azovstal facilities on April 30 and May 1, the new round of hostilities broke out in the area. Massive artillery shelling and aerial bombardment of Azovstal resumed. Azov militants besieged in the facilities open fire in an attempt to find any weak spots in the Russian/DPR defence around the plant. In response, Russian forces destroy Ukrainian firing positions. Rare attempts of Ukrainian nationalists to break through are also prevented. ...
by Cat on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 11:40:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]

'They won't surrender' - last stand at Mariupol's steelworks as 300 more civilians evacuated

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 04:02:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anatoly Shariy has lived in the EU for 10 years, and has been accused of peddling Kremlin propaganda.

Spain arrests Ukrainian blogger accused of 'high treason' by Kyiv | Politico |

Shariy, once known for his investigations into alleged corruption in Ukraine's government, has been widely accused by Ukrainian media and politicians of peddling pro-Kremlin narratives to his large online following. Shariy strongly denies the allegations, and once vowed to give €1,000 to anyone who could demonstrate any pro-Russian content in his posts.

The blogger, who has almost 3 million subscribers on YouTube alone, fled Ukraine 10 years ago, claiming that he faced persecution by Kyiv's authorities, and was granted political asylum in Lithuania. In 2021, Vilnius revoked his permanent residency permit and declared him persona non grata, although by that time Shariy had already moved to Spain.

In 2019, the blogger launched the Party of Shariy, a right-wing, Euroskeptic political party that went on to score 2.2 percent in a general election the same year. In March, the party was suspended alongside others for suspected ties to the Russian government.

Detenido en Tarragona el bloguero prorruso Anatoli Shariy, acusado por Ucrania de traición | El Mundo |

The blogger has been at the disposal of the National Court this morning assisted by the same lawyer who defends Carles Puigdemont, Gonzalo Boye.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Thu May 5th, 2022 at 07:19:21 PM EST
The Whispering Prussian: Clausewitz and Modern Wars

Furthermore, since the 1990s technological armaments have surpassed nuclear warfare, and the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) has reached new heights. Aiming at achieving effectiveness, the RMA has deployed new innovations of information technology (IT) to serve military goals. The RMA has led to rapid and dramatic improvements in the American ways of war in the Gulf (1991), Kosovo (1999), Afghanistan (2001-present) and Iraq (2003-2011) (see O'Hanlon, 2020) ; yet without strategic implications (Gray, 2011).

Along with this, the rapid advancement in artificial intelligence that has invigorated companies such as Google and Amazon is poised to bring an unprecedented surge in military innovation, as a 2015-Harvard-Study has shown (Simonite, 2017).

Moreover, these aspects add to the complexity of world affairs, and accordingly to the warfare that has become characterized by chaos and non-linearity.

As strategists began to draw their analysis on chaos theory in the 1990s, the US Department of Defense coined a new term in which to discuss contemporary conflict: VUCA - standing for Volatile, Uncertain, Chaotic and Ambiguous (Gidley, 2017). 

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun May 8th, 2022 at 10:28:42 PM EST
Spycraft: KGB and love for Guinness reads link a spy novel ...

Soviet Union joined Libya and the United States to deliver arms and munitions to the IRA? The Kremlin must have partied with the big win of Sinn Fein.

Isn't espionage a forward thinking strategy of national interest to prevent war and conflict? Nations exploit weakness in society and unrest ... plenty of opportunities. The British embassy in Moscow wasn't a web of spies and agents interfering in domestic issues? Role Sir Andrew Wood as advisor to Orbis Business Intelligence and dodgy Steele dossier. Once a spy, always an asset. See vital effort on counter-terrorism and contra-espionage.

See post in Frank's diary ... Expelling Russia

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:43:07 PM EST
Geographically Britain is an island, but economically and politically it is a vital link in the global network. That openness brings great opportunities, but also vulnerabilities. We know that terrorist groups like Al Qaeda are determined to exploit our openness to attack us, and plot to kill as many of our citizens as possible or to inflict a crushing blow to our economy. It is the most pressing threat we face today.

All of this calls for a radical transformation in the way we think about national security and organise ourselves to protect it. We are entering an age of uncertainty. This Strategy is about gearing Britain up for this new age of uncertainty - weighing up the threats we face, and preparing to deal with them. But a strategy is of little value without the tools to implement it, so alongside this National Security Strategy we will tomorrow publish a Strategic Defence and Security Review. This will describe how we will equip our Armed Forces, our police and intelligence agencies to tackle current and future threats as effectively as they dealt with those of the past.

The War on Terror has made the world less safe and caused tens of thousands of additional deaths.

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Bugged Embassy Case: What Went Wrong | The New York Times - Nov 15, 1988 | (Paper Edition) 😉

Today, the eight-story American chancery in Moscow stands useless, infested with spying systems planted by Soviet construction workers...

As I recall, the building was demolished ... the Kremlin bug like a fly inside the wall. 😁

Those were the times when Big Blue mainframe super computers were delivered with Trojan horse software at no additional cost ... United Nations building in New York and  the European Union HQ in Brussels ... espionage is my trade ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:45:56 PM EST
U.S. Embassy has history of spying charges, countercharges | AP News - Aug 21, 1985 |

Over the years, Americans have complained that the Soviets used microwave radiation, bugged typewriters, and an underground tunnel full of eavesdropping devices to spy on U.S. Embassy personnel.

On Wednesday, the top diplomat at the U.S. Embassy, Charge d'Affaires Richard Combs, said KGB secret police were using a chemical that enabled them to track people's movements.

U.S. officials have protested Soviet electronic surveillance in the past, while the Soviets have regularly accused U.S. diplomats of spying.

Americans living in Moscow have long assumed their telephones and apartments are bugged to monitor their movements and contacts with Soviets.

In 1975, embassy personnel complained that the Soviets had been beaming harmful microwave radiation at the building for years.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:46:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meanwhile here at home ...

Embassy FOB The Hague most expensive next to Baghdad.

The new building goes six bunker floors deep and only underpaid laborers from third world countries were hired for the construction ... not sure whether they met the same fate as slaves working inside the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt.

Ahem ... from Eastern Europe and NATO trusted countries ...

Inspectors check claims of law-breaking at US embassy construction site

Contemplating a new US Embassy on the grounds of Clingendael where Seys Inquart ruled over The Netherlands during the WWII period 1940-45.

    The move Ambassador Clifford Sobel wanted to Park Clingendael, led to a people's revolt. I personally witnessed and participated on May 24th hearing with Mayor Wim Deetman, who came to the community and clarified why the US should move into our neighborhood! The conference room with 650 angry neighbors, led within 10 minutes to a statement by the mayor he would leave the meeting. The mayor called upon the citizens of The Hague, a well educated group of people, to behave or else. LOL

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:48:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I wonder what kind of weird deal is behind the huge park of the Jordanian embassy right in front of the pyramid. I doubt the Jordanians had so much money they needed a huge estate with heavy costs of maintenance.
by Tom2 on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 01:34:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Report Leiden Univ. Asia Section

Crist shipyard in Poland

Slaves to the System, North Korean Forced Labour in the European Union: the Polish Case

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 9th, 2022 at 12:49:21 PM EST

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