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Ukraine War, May 1, 2022: Conditions for negotiation and settlement; Russia running out of precision-guided weapons; Warning against war aim of humiliating Russia

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates. To see a list of previous articles, enter “Ukraine”…

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Ukraine War, April 13, 2022 (I): U.S. still hung up on “offensive” v. “defensive” weapons distinction; U.S. won’t provide Ukraine with intelligence or weapons that would enable it to strike targets in Crimea or Russia, for fear of provoking Russia


Ukraine War, March 29, 2022 (I): New Ukrainian position in Istanbul negotiations; Reparations–Russia must pay for this war for generations


Ukraine Crisis, February 21, 2022 (Part II): Weighing options–Biden’s Munich moment


Ukraine Crisis, February 10, 2022: Putin compares Ukraine’s role in Minsk II negotiations to that of rape victim; Lavrov treats British foreign secretary Liz Truss with disdain


Cyber attacks on European oil terminals: A taste of Putin’s next hybrid war?


Ukraine Crisis, February 2, 2022: U.S. and NATO Replies to Putins demands (with links to leaked documents)


Ukraine Crisis, February 1, 2022: Security Council meeting on January 31 a welcome success; tripartite security pact between Ukraine, Poland, and Britain reportedly in preparation


The Ukraine Crisis: Current Developments (and the risks of nuclear war)–January 29, 2022


U.S. should call for “Emergency Meeting” of U.N. Security Council, invoking Article 39 of the U.N. Charter, to urgently consider the Russian military buildup on Ukraine’s frontiers, Russia’s demand for NATO commitments, and associated threats

There is no sign that the Biden administration has decided to launch a serious international legal critique of Russia’s mobilization of troops near the Ukranian…


Invasion may be several weeks away, the Guardian reports; Germany sends 5,000 helmets; deterrence must succeed; time to take matter to U.N. Security Council

Obama’s non-lethal aid to Ukraine in 2014:

The White House says it is still reviewing other items on Kiev’s wish-list, including medical kits, uniforms, boots and military socks.

‘You want to calibrate your chest-thumps,” a senior military official said of the step-by-step American response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military moves. “He does something else in Ukraine, we release the socks.'”

One has to wonder what universe the Germans are living in with their non-lethal aid of 5,000 helmets. The world of Obama’s socks? We all saw how that worked out, with Russia invading the Eastern Ukraine in August, 2014.

The biggest questions are whether Germany is going to close ranks by declaring now it will block authorization of the Nordstream II pipeline if Putin invades Ukraine, and whether Germany and other countries will commit now to expelling Russia from the SWIFT international payments system if Russia intervenes in Ukraine.

Anything short of current commitments, made public, any agreements to merely consider or talk about these measures, will not deter Putin from invading Ukraine.

Deterrence must succeed. It is time to take Putin’s threatened invasion to the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly

In the battle for freedom against tyranny, in the war between advocates of upholding the U.N. Charter and international law, on the one hand, and the advocates of “might makes right”, on the other, a “good try” in seeking to deter Russia is not good enough.

Putin and Russia must be successfully deterred from military intervention in Ukraine.

It is time to go to the U.N. Security Council and to lay out the legal case against Putin for all the countries in the world to see, and to force them to take a position by voting in the Security Council and the General Assembly.


Use international law: Take Putin’s threatened invasion of Ukraine to the U.N. Security Council and the General Assembly; use SWIFT and Nordstream II to move beyond an illusory deterrent and really deter Putin; sanction Belarus for complicity in any invasion

U.S.,NATO, and EU heavy “costs” that will be imposed on Russia if it invades Ukraine are a deterrent, built on illusions, which will not deter Putin.

The West needs to strengthen its deterrent threats and to start imposing sanctions now.

Russia should be sanctioned for threatening the use of force in violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter, and bringing the world dangerously close to a major war in Europe which has the potential of escalating to a nuclear conflict.

The West has been playing defense, reacting slowly to Russia’s threat of a war of aggression against Ukraine.

German war criminals were tried at Nuremberg for committing “crimes against peace”. Putin is committing crimes against peace as we speak.

NATO and the West need to stop responding to Putin’s unlawful demands and to start making their own demands on Putin and Russia.

The best defense is a good offense, it is often said.

It is now time for the civilized nations if the world to move from defensive maneuvering to going on the offense against Putin and Russia.

They should demand the following steps from Putin, and impose escalating sanctions on Russia if he does not comply, and until he does.
These demands include the following:

The U.S., the EU, and NATO member countries should begin imposing severe economic sanctions on Russia for its ongoing threat to further invade Ukraine, for its continuing occupation of the Crimea, and for its continuing occupation, both directly and through agents under its control, of Donetsk and Luhansk provinces (together “the Donbas’j in the Eastern Ukraine.

The goal should be to really deter Putin from invading Ukraine, not just putting on a good show that NATO, the U.S. and the EU tried. A secondary goal should be to deter Belarus from allowing Russian troops to launch an invasion from its territory.

To really deter Putin, all countries should pressure Germany to go along with the expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system, if it invades Ukraine, and to commit now to cancellation of the Nordstream II pipeline project if that occurs.

As the civilized nations of the world move to offensive operations in defense of Ukraine, the imposition of heavy economic and other sanctions, perhaps on a partial and escalating basis, should begin at once.

Both Fiona Hill, above, and former Defense Secretary William Cohen, have called for the question of the threatened Russian invasion of Ukraine to be taken to the U.N. Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly.

These steps should be undertaken at once.


The nuclear deterrent; Sanctions threats not credible–SWIFT and Nordstream II sanctions off the table; Germany’s debt to the world, and the appeasers in the SPD

Germany should state clearly, immediately, and unequivocally, that it will support expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system if Russia invades Ukraine. Germany’s ambivalence on this point has greatly diluted the deterrent force of threats to adopt this measure.

Germany should also state unequivocally, and immediately, that if Putin invades Ukraine, it will kill the Nordstream II gas pipeline project and will never authorize it to operate in its territory.

Germany, which was responsible for the collapse of the international legal order beginning in 1938, owes the world at least these two measures.

Politically and financially, these steps will not be easy to take. Germany now stands at the center of the world stage, with a potentially decisive voice in Putin’s calculations.

International law and international order require sacrifices. These, however, are minimal when compared to the sacrifices of war.
It is time for leaders in many countries to wake up to what is going on and to what the stakes are, and to take Russia’s threat of launching a major European war to the United Nation Security Council. They need not wait further on the foreign policy leadership of the U.S. Great Britain, or France, Ukraine, or any member of Security Council, or the Secretary General of the U.N., can call for an Emergency Meeting. This they can do at any time, but the right time is now.

Such action would complement diplomatic efforts currently being led by the U.S. Britain, in particular, and also Germany, seem to have a better understanding of the U.N. Charter and international law than do current leaders in the United States.


Vladimir Putin, like Adolf Hitler, challenges the world (Updated)

In 1938, Adolf Hitler, with German troops massed to invade Czechoslovakia, challenged the world.

The capitulation at Munich turned out to be the first step in the final collapse of the international legal order….

Putin’s threat may be parochially perceived by some in Europe as a threat to the “European Security Order”, but in fact it is much more than that. It is a frontal attack on the international legal norms and institutions which safeguard the security from military attack of every country in the world, and every territory with an established international demarcation line, such as Taiwan.

The U.S., NATO members, and other countries in the region have not risen to effectively meet the threat, or are only belatedly beginning to do so.

If the threat is as great as that outlined above, how could it be sufficient to simply threaten economic sanctions and other non-military measures in the event Russia invades Ukraine?

If these deterrent threats do not appear to be working, as preparations for a Russian invasion continue while diplomatic negotiations show no promise, is not more required?

Once the evil of war is loosed upon the world, no one can predict what course it may take. One should recall the rosy predictions in August, 1914 of those who launched WWI, expecting six weeks of hostilities. It didn’t work out as that way.

Germany should state clearly, immediately, and unequivocally, that it will support expulsion of Russia from the SWIFT international payments system if Russia invades Ukraine. Germany’s ambivalence on this point has greatly diluted the deterrent force of threats to adopt this measure.

Germany should also state unequivocally, and immediately, that if Putin invades Ukraine, it will kill the Nordstream II gas pipeline project and will never authorize it to operate in its territory.

Germany, which was responsible for the collapse of the international legal order beginning in 1938, owes the world at least these two measures.

Politically and financially, these steps will not be easy to take. Germany now stands at the center of the world stage, with a potentially decisive voice in Putin’s calculations. International law and international order require sacrifices. These, however, are minimal when compared to the sacrifices of war.

Politically and financially, these steps will not be easy to take. Germany now stands at the center of the world stage, with a potentially decisive voice in Putin’s calculations. International law and international order require sacrifices. These, however, are minimal when compared to the sacrifices of war.


Putin seeks legally binding commitments from NATO that would be void under international law, threatens aggression against Ukraine if NATO doesn’t quickly accept his demands

See, Anton Troianovski, “Putin’s Next Move on Ukraine Is a Mystery. Just the Way He Likes It; The contradictory, sometimes menacing messages from the Kremlin…


Russian intervention in Kazakhstan

Analysis and Opinion See 1) “Russia and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) decide to send troops to Kazakhstan–text of CSTO Charter,” The Trenchant Observer, January…



Ukraine: Putin’s “red lines” and the “red lines” of the U.N. Charter and international law

Putin’s “red lines: have no meaning or significance under international law.

But Russia’s threats of an invasion of the Ukraine if it and NATO do not accede to Russia’s demands–for some kind of tong-term and binding security arrangements to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO or the EU–themselves violate the most fundamental norms of the United Nations Charter and international law.

These might be called, in a non-technical sense, the real “red lines” in international relations–the real “red lines” of the United Nations Charter and international law.


Russia threatens Ukraine, in violation of U.N. Charter; U.S. and NATO should push back with international law and the threat of real sanctions

See, 1) “REPRISE: Russia’s utter and continuing violation of international law in the Ukraine: U.N. General Assembly Resolution A/RES/25/2625 (1970) on Principles of International Law…