Soviet Union

Ukraine War, November 6, 2022 (II): International Law and the structural impediments to a ceasefire or peace settlement in Ukraine

Analysis Most commentators, politicians, and even policymakers who urge a negotiated ceasefire or peace settlement in Ukraine tend to assume that achieving such a goal…

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Ukraine War, October 28, 2022: Biden needs to speak to Putin in language he understands; Biden makes sure Ukraine fights with one hand tied behind its back




Ukraine War, June 28, 2022: Why we are losing the war in Ukraine


Ukraine War, June 28, 2022: American diplomacy fails to win support against Russia among non-allied countries; G-7 leaders disappoint, are reminiscent of leaders in 1930’s facing Nazi threat


Ukraine War, February 23, 2022: History–It all matters; blame enough to go around; cyber and collective self-defense of Ukraine against Russian aggression; conditions for a cease-fire; the long war with Russia (cold and maybe hot) that lies ahead: the failure of U.S. and NATO strategy; avoiding Armageddon


Ukraine Crisis, February 5, 2022: News reports ignore developments on the ground, with a few notable exceptions; Russian invasion not “imminent”, but could occur at any moment–UPDATED NOW WITH LINKS TO LATEST DISPATCHES


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)

Developing Because so much is being written about the Ukraine Crisis, we are providing links to the most important news dispatches and analyses, in particular…


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

Stefanie Bolzen reports on what could be a dramatic development, “At the same time, it was reported in Kiev (‘verlautete aus Kiew’) that Great Britain, Poland, and Ukraine are preparing a tripartite security pact.
A triparite security pact, depending on its provisions, could lead Poland to come to the defense of Ukraine if Russia invades the country. Should that then lead further to a Russian attack on Poland, the mutual defense obligation in Article 5 of the NATO Treaty could come into play, requiring all NATO members to come to the defense of Poland in repelling the Russian attack.

At that point, the world would be facing a direct nuclear confrontation between Russia, on the one hand, and the U.S., Great Britain, anf France, on the other.
The new U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, did an outstanding job in presenting the case against Russia and in defending fundamental principles of the U.N. Charter and international law. 10 members of the Council supported the holding of a public meeting, and implicitly the position of the U.S. NATO, and EU countries. Only Russia and China voted on a procedual motion not to hold the meeting. India, Kenya, and Gabon abstained.


Biden’s defeatist approach to Ukraine: “If Putin invades Ukraine, we will sanction every clerk in his office.” In the meantime, U.S. clerks will go through the motions at the U.N. Significant risk of nuclear war exists.

The U.S. has called for an “open” meeting of the U.N. Security Council for Monday, January 31, the last possible day before Russia takes over the rotating Presidency of the Council for the month of February. It is not clear if this call was for an “Emergency Meeting” of the Security Council. If it wasn’t, it should have been.

The call for a meeting on Monday and not Friday reveals the total lack of urgency which seems to animate the Biden Administration’s actions.

Having not heard any serious international law arguments criticizing Russia’s actions and threats against Ukraine, one must assume that the call for a Security Council meeting is just a perfunctory gesture. Someone must have woken up and realized that the Russians were assuming the Presidency of the Council on Tuesday, which could make convening a meeting more difficult.

John F. Kennedy read The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman in 1962. We should all be reading it now. And another of her books which which is highly relevant, The March of Folly (1984).

The Guns of August, which was published only months before the Cuban Missile crisis, appears to have had a deep impact on John F. Kennedy and his approach to decision-making during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Given how dicey that U.S.-Soviet nuclear confrontation was, it could be that one reason we are all here is that he read that book.

If you see international lawyers and diplomats on television talking about international law, there may be some hope for diplomacy.

If you see generals talking about military capabilities and deployments, we may be headed toward a major ground war in Europe, and the attendant risks of escalation to a limited nuclear conflict or to an all-out nuclear war.


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…


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.


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…





Das Scheitern des Völkerrechts in Syrien: Russland und Syrien, und jetz die Turkei

Siehe auch, Clemens Wergin, “FLÜCHTLINGSKRISE: Deutschlands epochales Versagen, Die Welt, 10. März 2020 (13:15 Uhr). Bento Scheller, in einer Meinung veröffentlicht in der Welt am…


House Democrats can resume impeachment inquiry into obstruction of justice

Trump is a man of cunning media intelligence, the fruit of a lifetime of obsession and immersion. That he knows little else is disappointing, but after the 2016 campaign should not come as a surprise.

He is at the same time a master of the greatest Nazi, Soviet, and Russian propaganda techniques, and a highly skillful and engaging TV performer.

He is indeed a world historical figure, with incredible power to shape national values, the ability of Americans to appreciate the truth, and their capacity to adopt policies based on science and ascertainable facts. With his successful defiance of the Constitution and Congressional oversight, he has acquired unprecedented power, in the U.S. at least, to affect the course of both domestic and world events.