Due to rapidly-breaking developments and in order to facilitate readers’ access to the latest dispatches, we are publishing this article as it is being written. please check back for updates and additions.
To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, on The Trenchant Observer web site, and you will see a list in chronological order.
1) William Alberque and Fabian Hoffmann, “Nuclear risks over Ukraine are slim but real. Here’s what NATO can do,” Washington Post, March 31, 2022 (9:00 a.m. EDT);
2) Editorial Board, “Let Ukraine Go on Offense Against Russia
The U.S. is still not providing all of the weapons it needs to retake territory from Vladimir Putin,” Wall astreet Journal, March 31, 2022 (6:42 pm ET).
3) AFP News, “Lavrov Hails China As Part Of Emerging ‘Just World Order,'” International Business Times, March 30, 2022 (6:58 a.m.);
4) (Xinhua), “Chinese FM holds talks with Russian counterpart,” People’s Daily Online, March 31, 2022 (09:07).
Responding to nuclear threats
Alberque and Hoffmann provide valuable insight into what is actually involved in nuclear escalation, in effect looking behind the Russian refrain of “You fight me, One, Two, Three, World War Three”.
The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board, while arguing for the provision of more and better weapons and real-time military intelligence to Ukraine, make some disturbing onservations along the way.
The Journal’s Editorial Board writes,
The Ukrainians need heavier weapons to go on offense, including tanks and fighter aircraft like the MiG-29s that Poland wants to provide under the political cover of NATO. It also needs intelligence on Russian troop movements and vulnerabilities in the east. Now is the time to help Ukraine take the offensive. Reports of demoralized Russian forces are more frequent, including defectors who have taken equipment with them.
But in a private briefing on Capitol Hill this week, Administration officials continued to resist bipartisan pressure to provide heavier weapons. The claim is that they won’t make much difference to the conflict, but the Ukrainians are a better judge of that. It’s much harder to dislodge dug-in tank battalions with infantry armed with hand-held Javelin antitank missiles than it is with tanks or aircraft that can strike from above.
The concern among Ukraine’s supporters on Capitol Hill and the Pentagon is that the Biden Administration doesn’t want Ukraine to go on offense. It wants a negotiated settlement as soon as possible. France and Germany, the doves in the NATO coalition, are in a similar place. They worry that if Russia suffers even greater losses, Mr. Putin might escalate again and perhaps in more dangerous ways that drag NATO directly into the war. In a sense, Mr. Putin with his threats is defining the limits of U.S. assistance to Ukraine.(emphasis added)
In China, Lavrov touts new “multipolar, just, democratic world order”
On a sudden visit to Huangshan, in eastern China where a conference on Afghanistan was taking place, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, after meeting with Chinese officials, touted the emergence of a new “multipolar, just, democratic world order.”
The Chinese response was muted, with no news stories on Lavrov’s meetings or pronouncement.
You have to give Lavrov the 1922 prize for over-the-top chutzpah, representing the Russian assault on civilization as the harbinger of a new “multipolar, just, democratic world order.” To understand Lavrov’s use of these terms, one must consult George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-four, and understand how Newspeak works.
The most significant aspect of this announcement was the deafening silence with which it was greeted by Chinese officials and the Chinese press.
The Trenchant Observer