During wartime, Europe’s strongest leaders are women
https://www.nationaljournal.com/s/720628/during-wartime-europes-strongest-leaders-are-women/?unlock=NLSJ5PO6BPJFXO6K, posted 3 Mar by peter in eu politics ukraine war
Women are now playing a significant role in international security and foreign policy. And experts say they are changing how the international community responds to military aggression.
What Putin Fears Most
https://www.journalofdemocracy.org/articles/what-putin-fears-most/, posted 15 Feb by peter in fascism opinion politics russia toread war
Russian president Vladimir Putin wants you to believe that NATO is responsible for his February 24 invasion of Ukraine—that rounds of NATO enlargement made Russia insecure, forcing Putin to lash out. This argument has two key flaws. First, NATO has been a variable and not a constant source of tension between Russia and the West. Moscow has in the past acknowledged Ukraine’s right to join NATO; the Kremlin’s complaints about the alliance spike in a clear pattern after democratic breakthroughs in the post-Soviet space. This highlights a second flaw: Since Putin fears democracy and the threat that it poses to his regime, and not expanded NATO membership, taking the latter off the table will not quell his insecurity. His declared goal of the invasion, the “denazification” of Ukraine, is a code for his real aim: antidemocratic regime change.
European Parliament declares Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism
https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20221118IPR55707/european-parliament-declares-russia-to-be-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism, posted Nov '22 by peter in eu politics russia terrorism ukraine war
Parliament calls on the European Union to further isolate Russia internationally, including when it comes to Russia’s membership of international organisations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. MEPs also want diplomatic ties with Russia to be reduced, EU contacts with official Russian representatives to be kept to the absolute minimum and Russian state-affiliated institutions in the EU spreading propaganda around the world to be closed and banned.
Against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s escalating acts of terror against Ukrainian civilians, the resolution further calls on EU member states in the Council to swiftly complete its work on a ninth sanctions package against Moscow.
Time to Question Russia’s Imperial Innocence
https://www.ponarseurasia.org/time-to-question-russias-imperial-innocence/, posted Aug '22 by peter in history politics russia ukraine war
The Russian invasion of Ukraine could start the painful process of decolonizing Russia. Much depends on whether Russian intellectuals let go of the ideals of a great Russian people and the friendship of “brotherly” nations. This requires accepting the sovereignty and equality of other countries and cultures and admitting responsibility for the Soviet genocidal colonial past. Decolonizing Russian political discourse and culture will debunk the myth of Russian imperial innocence and victimhood and restore the dignity of the colonized.
Russia’s War Against Ukraine Has Turned Into Terrorism
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/07/russia-war-crimes-terrorism-definition/670500/, posted Jul '22 by peter in politics russia terrorism ukraine war
We Americans and Europeans are used to thinking of terrorism as something involving fertilizer bombs or improvised weapons, and of terrorists as fringe extremists who operate conspiratorially in irregular gangs. When we speak of state-sponsored terrorism, we are usually talking about clandestine groups that are supported, covertly, by a recognized state, in the way that Iran supports Hezbollah. But Russia’s war in Ukraine blurs the distinction among all of these things—terrorism, state-sponsored terrorism, war crimes—for nothing about the bombing of Serhiivka, or Kremenchuk, or Kharkiv, is surreptitious, conspiratorial, or fringe.
Instead Russia, a legitimate, recognized world power—a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council—is directing constant, repetitive, visible terrorist violence against civilians, many of whom are nowhere near the fighting. The attacks are not errors or accidents. The planes carrying bombs can be tracked on radar screens. Occasionally, Moscow issues denials—the shopping-mall bombing was, like many others, described by Russian state media as “faked”—but no apologies. The Russian army will not punish the murderers. On the contrary, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has already awarded medals to the brigade that committed so many atrocities in the town of Bucha.
In applying to NATO, Finland and Sweden give the lie to Putin’s claims
https://www.economist.com/leaders/2022/05/15/in-applying-to-nato-finland-and-sweden-give-the-lie-to-putins-claims, posted May '22 by peter in opinion politics propaganda russia sweden war
Finland and Sweden are right to have concluded from the tragic war being waged in Ukraine that they need more security. Mr Putin is dangerous and unpredictable not because of NATO, but because of the way he has chosen to govern Russia. Their applications should rapidly be approved. As with NATO’s expansion in the past, their membership will help secure European peace.
What Vladimir Putin misunderstood about Ukrainians
https://www.economist.com/1843/2022/04/04/what-vladimir-putin-misunderstood-about-ukrainians?etear=nl_today_3, posted Apr '22 by peter in politics russia science ukraine
Ukrainians have reminded us what freedom means -- a word that for many in rich democracies had long ago curdled into platitudes. The resilience of the population has impressed the West and surprised the Kremlin. It shouldn't have. For the past few years I've been trying to unlock the secret of Ukrainian identity by talking to Ukrainians. Through my research project, Arena, based originally at the LSE and now at Johns Hopkins University, I've worked with Ukrainian journalists and sociologists to find ways of strengthening democracy. My team has interviewed thousands of adults across the country. Our fieldwork shows that the response to Russia's invasion has deep roots in Ukrainian history.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky on how to deal with the "bandit" in the Kremlin
https://www.economist.com/by-invitation/2022/03/19/mikhail-khodorkovsky-on-how-to-deal-with-the-bandit-in-the-kremlin, posted Apr '22 by peter in eu fascism opinion politics russia usa war
Part of the problem is that the current leaders of Western countries have never dealt with thugs. Their experience and education relate to interactions between statesmen. The principle of these peopleâs behaviour is that both sides concede to each other in the interests of their electorate or subjects. War is evil to them, and the use of force is a last resort.
This is not the case with Vladimir Putin. He was raised in the KGB, an organisation that relied on force and disregard for the law.
Vladimir Putin Has Fallen Into the Dictator Trap
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/putin-dictator-trap-russia-ukraine/627064/, posted Mar '22 by peter in fascism opinion politics russia transparency war
If you live in a fake world long enough, it can start to feel real. Dictators and despots begin to believe their own lies, repeated back at them and propagated by state-controlled media. That might help explain why Putin's recent speeches have stood out as unhinged rants. It's certainly possible that his mind has succumbed to his own propaganda, creating a warped worldview in which the invasion of Ukraine was, as Trump put it, an incredibly "savvy" move.
Putin Proves There Are Worse Things Than American Power
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/03/putin-kremlin-imperialism-ukraine-american-power/624180/, posted Mar '22 by peter in china fascism opinion politics russia usa war
Blaming America first became all too easy. After September 11, U.S. power was as overwhelming as it was uncontested. That it was squandered on two endless wars made it convenient to focus on America's sins, while underplaying Russia's and China's growing ambitions.