Russia

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…


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

Developing. We are publishing this article as it is being written. Please check back for updates. UKRAINE: THE WAR TO SAVE THE U.N. CHARTER AND…


Ukraine War, May 8, 2022: In emotionally powerful symbolic move, First Lady Jill Biden meets with First Lady Olena Zelenska in Ukraine on Mother’s Day and VE Day; The moral responsibility of journalists for disclosures of sensitive military information (“Loose lips sink ships.”)

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”…


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.


Biden’s disastrous remarks; REPRISE from 2015: Putin resumes fighting near Mariupol

Following President Joe Biden’s disastrous remarks on Ukraine on January 19, 2022, which raised the possibility that the West’s response to a Russian incursion into Ukraine might not trigger the full response of heavy sanctions against Russia, one can only react with utter dismay.

His comments, and others about divisions among NATO countries, underline Biden’s propensity to put his foot in his mouth. In this case, he has done so with potentially disastrous results. His remarks have greatly weakened the credibility of the West’s deterrent threats against Putin’s and Russia’s potential invasion of Ukraine.

Biden’s answers at his press conference make clear that his foreign policy team is incompetent, above all, because of the quality of the thinking of the man who heads it, Joe Biden himself.

His communications team made a grave mistake in allowing him to hold a long press conference which lent itself to his thinking out loud and rambling on in his replies.


The fatal flaws in U.S. thinking about responses to Russian aggression against Ukraine–UPDATED January 14, 2022

As far back as December 19, David Ignatius reported on a telltale fatal flaw in U.S. thinking about how it and NATO would respond to a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

He reported that American military advisors and policy makers were discussing how to provide assistance to Ukrainian “insurgents” or a Ukrainian “insurgency”. Ignatius on January 6 and David E. Sanger and Eric Schmittt on January 8 report that policymakers are still using the same terminology.

In doing so they have framed the question in a way which naively fails to take international law into account, much less to use it actively to achieve American deterrence goals, while employing a conceptual framework that assumes Ukrainian defeat. They are talking in terms of providing military assistance to “insurgents” after Russia has taken over Ukraine.

The conceptual framework assumes defeat, while completely ignoring international law and the U.N. Charter.

Story also availabe on Medium / James Rowles
See https://jamesrowles.medium.com/


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…



Purin’s threats suggest he leans toward invading Ukraine (Updated December 31, 2021)

Updated January 11, 2022 The analysis in the article below, updated on December 31, 2021, appears to be confirmed by Russian statements following the bilateral…





China and Russia form common front against the West

One such mistake has been to grant unscripted interviews on television. In his interview with George Stephanoupoulis, on ABC-TV, Stephanapoulis asked him if he thought Vladimir Putin was “a killer”. Biden, unaccompanied by his handlers and off-script, naively answered, “Yes.”

The answer enraged Putin, who at a press conference, said,

“What would I answer him? I would tell him: be healthy,” Putin said. “I wish him good health. I say this without irony, no jokes. This is first of all.”
CNN

So, Biden’s first big mistakes vis-à-vis Russia and China were to publicly call Putin a “killer” and to adopt a confrontational attitude at the first bi-lateral meeting between foreign ministers with China.

In both cases, Buden and Blinken were playing primarily to their domestic audience. The point is not that Biden and Blinken should not have spelled out in detail their criticisms of China. The point is this was the wrong time and the wrong place.

The common front against the West should come as no surprise. Its timing has at least symbolic significance.


Where can Trump go to escape the law? Israeli settlements in the West Bank?

First, because it is occupied territory it is far from clear that the U.S. extradition treaty with Israel would be held to apply. In any event, if an extradition request were made to Israel, the treaty’s dubious applicability to the occupied territories would offer Trump and his co-conspirators ample opportunity for litigation and delay–and, if need be, escape.

Second, if Trump becomes the object of an extradition request, or an INTERPOL “red ticket” for his arrest, should his West Bank settlement refuge become risky, he can always slip over the border into Saudi Arabia.

If Saudi Arabia represents a strong and secure fall-back location for Trump and his co-conspirators, the West Bank represents a huge potential for real-estate and other developments by Trump and his minions.

One can easily imagine one or more West Bank Trump Tower and Golf Resorts  in the West Bank.  The weather is ideal during the winter months in Europe, which is a relatively short plane ride away (six or seven hours from Paris).

But it is time to act.  The clock is ticking.


Trump weighs military coup options

Trump reportedly discussed with the duo (Michael Lynn and Sidney Powell) Flynn’s idea of declaring martial law and having the military “rerun” the election — or, failing that, appointing Powell as a special counsel to probe (nonexistent) election fraud.
…Never before in U.S. history has there been a record of a president discussing a military coup to stay in office. Is there any doubt that if Trump could find any active-duty generals willing to carry out this plot against America, he would give it the go-ahead? In this instance, all that is preserving the Constitution is the military’s fidelity to the rule of law.
–Max Boot



Where can Trump go to escape the law? Will he make it to the airport?

Yet if he waits to depart Washington until after he is no longer President, one extremely important question remains:

Will he make it to the airport?
To gain a fuller understanding of the complex relocation decisions Trump will face after noon on January 20, read our series on “Where can Trump go to escape the law?” These articles, which contain analysis and advice from a serious international lawyer, would cost Trump thousands of dollars were he to pay for them.

Together, they amount to a kind of “Extradition for Dummies” textbook.

Will Trump make it to the airport?

Leaving washington, traveling to Mar-a-Lago?

Leaving Mar-a-Lago, traveling to the Bahamas?

Leaving the Bahamas, traveling to Havana, to transfer to a direct flight to Moscow?




Apple bows to Russian pressure, shows Crimea as Russian territory

Apple has recently bowed to Russian pressure and started showing the Crimea on its maps as Russian territory. See “Weltkarte: Bei Apple ist die Krim…