foreign news coverage



Ukraine War, June 19, 2022: Biden is lost in a fog on Ukraine; Only strong fresh winds from younger leaders can clear the air



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


Ukraine War, April 14, 2022 (I): U.S. diplomacy fails to generate support in developing world to condemn and defeat Russia in Ukraine war




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

On some days there is no single striking development in the Ukraine Crisis, but rather just different stories that illuminate this or that aspect of…


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

If we learned anything from Vladimir Putin’s invasion of the Crimea and the Eastern Ukraine in 2014, it is that he is a tricky old KBG spymaster, who places a premium on feints and deceit–and deniability.
Deceit and distraction, and delight at fooling the West,, were at the heart of Putin’s strategy in 2014, and they may be now.
Another key dimension of Putin’s strategy and tactics is desensitization. By playing with the West in 2014, , e.g., “Are the white trucks in the “humanitarian aid” convoy carrying military supplies or food and water?”, or “Are they going to cross the Ukrainian border without inspection or authorization?”, for example, Putin desensitized his opponents to his norm violations.

Well, they crossed the border. Later, the realization that regular Russian forces crossed the border doesn’t seem like such a big deal. His earlier desensitization tactics seem to drain the emption from the reactions to later grave violations of international law.

He has played with the West to such an extent in the present crisis, threatening a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, that this desensitization tactic may lead to a milder reaction if e.g., he only seizes a strip of land linking the Donbas to the Crimea.
Another key dimension of Putin’s strategy and tactics is desensitization. By playing with the West, e.g., “Are the white trucks in the “humanitarian aid” convoy carrying military supplies or food and water?”, or “Are they going to cross the Ukrainian border without inspection or authorization?”, for example, Putin desensitized his opponents to his norm violations.

Well, they crossed the border. Later, the realization that regular Russian forces crossed the border doesn’t seem like such a big deal. His earlier desensitization tactics seem to drain the emption from the reactions to later grave violations of international law.

He has played with the West to such an extent in the present crisis, threatening a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, that this desensitization tactic may lead to a milder reaction if e.g., he only seizes a strip of land linking the Donbas to the Crimea.
Recent cyber attacks on oil shipping terminals and facilities in Northwest Europe could well foreshadow a move in the kind of hybrid warfare Putin could use in the present confrontation between Russia, on the one hand, and NATO, Ukraine, and other democracies, on the other.
An op-ed in the New York Times, by an expert in Vienna, points to the possibility that Putin may have something much bigger in mind than an attack on Ukraine with conventional forces.
We may soon be looking at a conflict bween Russia and NATO which involves a significant cyber component for the first time.

If this occurs, a key question will be how nimble the U.S. and its allies will be in responding to attacks of probable but less than certain origin.


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.


Reflections on Czechoslovakia (1968) and Ukraine (2022): August 20, 1968 — “Dubček, Svoboda!”

As Russian tanks threaten to invade Ukraine, memories of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia come to mind. What is at stake in Ukraine today is…


Change Putin’s calculations: Put force back on the table, and begin active cyber-warfare measures to defend Ukraine

What can be done now to change Putin’s calculations, or to respond to an invasion?

The U.S. and NATO countries should begin active cyber-warfare countermeasures to help defend Ukraine from ongoing Russian attacks on its computer networks and infrastructure. In this realm, the  U.S. may have the most advanced capabilities, and should begin using them now. Above all, U.S. decision makers should avoid undue hesitance by  demanding absolute proof of attribution of the attacks. In a wartime setting, officials and nations may need to act in the absence of perfect information.

If Russia is not behind the attacks, who do U.S. analysts and policymakers think is? Nigeria? Lesotho? Fiji? It is immaterial whether the operators are Russian officials or others acting under their control.

Finally, in order to influence Putin’s calculations at this late stage in the game, NATO members should leave open the possibility of coming to Ukraine’s defense through the use of military force and active cyber-warfare measures, in exercise of the right of collective self-defense under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, if Russia invades Ukraine and a major war develops.


Vladimir Putin’s hubris, and Dimitry Peskov’s flair for self-satire and parody; If Putin invades Ukraine, could that be his last rodeo?

What an irony it would be if Putin’s hubris led him to invade Ukraine, and the consequences of that action–as the Russian body bags came home, Russia was expelled from the SWIFT international payments system, suffered from severe sectorial sanctions, and Finland joined NATO–led to his removal from power.

If Putin invades Ukraine, it could be his last rodeo.


Russian intervention in Kazakhstan II (January 7, 2022)

January 7, 2022 See, 1) AFP, “Russia’s ‘mini-Nato’ intervenes in Kazakhstan Clashes reported in Almaty as govt buildings cleared of protesters,” 24newshd.tv January 7, 2022(7:43…


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…



The “Children Editors” at the Washington Post and the New York Times (updated January 15, 2022)

  Developing See, David Ignatius, “The Biden administration weighs backing Ukraine insurgents if Russia invades,” Washington Post, December 19, 2021 The “Children Editors” at the…


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.