Ukraine War, February 3, 2023: Turkey flouts sanctions; Will U.S. and EU press fence-sitters in the “Global South”?

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To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine” in the Search Box on the upper right, and you will see a list in chronological order.

To understand the broad context within which current developments in Ukraine should be considered,see

“Ukraine War, October 26, 2022: The context for analysis of current developments; The “dirty bomb” as a Russian propaganda distraction from current war crimes,” The Trenchant Observer, October 26, 2022.


1) Jared Malsin,”Russia’s Ukraine War Effort Fueled by Turkish Exports
Trade data show Russia is getting generators, rubber and vehicles from Turkey,” Wall Street Journal, February 3, 2023 (1:04 pm ET);

2) María R. Sahuquillo (Kiev),,”La UE reconoce el esfuerzo de Ucrania en las reformas, pero avisa de que no hay atajos para la adhesión; Zelenski pide a los líderes comunitarios iniciar este año el diálogo para la integración,” El País, el 3 de febrero 2023 (10:24 EST);

3) María R. Sahuquillo (Kiev), “The EU recognizes Ukraine’s efforts in reforms, but warns that there are no shortcuts for accession; Zelenski calls on community leaders to start the dialogue for integration this year,” El País, February 3, 2023 (10:24 EST)

4) Pavel Lokshin, “Russlands unbekannter Kolonialismus,” Die Welt, deb 3. Februar 2023 (23:03 Uhr);

5) Pavel Lokshin, “Russia’s unknown colonialism,” Die Welt, February 3, 2023 (11:03 pm;


Jared Malsin draws attention to the fact that Turkey, a NATO member, is not adhering to the international sanctions regime, and is in fact furnishing Russia with goods that go into supplying its war machine.

The Turks argue, with a straight face, that their policy is to apply only those sanctions that have been approved by the U.N. Security Council. This is more than a clever argument, given the fact that Russia is a member of the Security Council and no sanctions against Russia will ever be adopted by that body.

The Turkisk argument, which one hears in other capitals in the South, is a bad-faith argument. If it is ever uttered in the presence of a UE or U.S. official, it should be immediately rebutted and its disingenuous character loudly denounced.

The fact that Turkey is not applying international sanctions underlines the fact that in the long run, the outcome of the Russia-Ukraine conflict may very well be decided by nations on the periphery, nations in the “Global South” who either continue their shameful policy of sitting on the fence in the face of naked Russian aggression and barbarism, or decide or are pushed to get off the fence.

Their choice is to get off the fence and join the civilized nations of the world in what is an existential struggle to defeat Russian militarism and barbarism, by defending Ukraine and upholding the U.N. Charter, international law, and our civilization which rests on those two pillars.

It is time to grasp the desperate nature of the battle between Russia and the civilized world, and to pull out all the stops in the quest for victory.

That means pushing the nations of the “Global South”, hard, very hard if necessary, to get off the fence and to look squarely at what is going on in Ukraine.

That means U.S. and E.U. and other diplomats in countries like Brazil, South Africa, or Mexico need to go on television and push the local government by posing  the hard questions:

“Are you really OK with these war crimes?” Diplomats should be specific, with videos and photographs.

“Are you really OK with Russia committing acts of genocide as these are defined in the Genocide Convention against Ukraine and Ukrainians?”

“Are you really OK with Putin and hiss accomplices committing the crime of aggression, just like the Nazi war criminals who were tried at Nuremberg, found guilty, and hung?”

“Are you really OK with Russian barbarism, and Russia’s attempt to overthrow the U.N. Charter and international law?”

“If you are OK with all that Russia is doing, stay on the fence for now. But look in the mirror and repeat each of these affirmations to yourself.”

“Then, go talk to your children and grandchildren, and repeat each of these affirmations to them. Explain what you understand each affirmations to mean.”

“Then, get off the damned fence!”

“We need you to help us defeat Russian militarism and barbarism. The future of the world and our civilization is partly in your hands.”

“Our governments and our diplomats need to press hard against the vacuities and bad-faith arguments of the fence-sitters in the South.”

“You think both sides are at fault? … REALLY?”

The Trenchant Observer


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