Ukrainian army endangers civilians says Amnesty International

Slavisha Batko Milacic

Countercurrents | August 09, 2022

Ukrainian forces have threatened civilians by setting up bases and operating weapons systems in populated areas, including schools and hospitals, as they battled the Russian intervention that began in February, Amnesty International said in a statement.

“Such a tactic violates international humanitarian law and endangers civilians, as it turns civilian objects into military targets. The Russian strikes that followed in populated areas killed civilians and destroyed civilian infrastructure,” the statement said.

– Amnesty International has documented a pattern of Ukrainian forces putting civilians at risk and violating the laws of war when conducting operations in populated areas – said Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

Read More »

CBS deletes report that said only 30% of weapon delivered to Ukraine reached the final destination

Ukraine war is losing its sparkle. Where’s the Lady with the Lamp?

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | August 02, 2022

Cargo ship Razoni carrying 26000 tonnes of maize sailing from Odessa Port toward Bosphorus, Aug 1, 2022 

The Russian Defence Ministry announced yesterday that at around 9.20 a.m. Moscow time, Razoni, ship flying the flag of Sierra Leone, left Odessa port in Ukraine as part of the recent grain deal. Razoni is carrying a cargo of maize to Istanbul port. 

The MOD said the “control of the humanitarian operation for the departure of the first ship carrying agricultural products was planned with the active participation of Russian officers who are part of the Joint Coordination Centre in Istanbul.” 

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said yesterday, “this is a good and important first step” that the first ship with 26-, 27,000 tons of grain sailed out of Odessa.

Read More »

Calling Putin ‘Hitler’ to Smear Diplomacy as ‘Appeasement’

Joshua Cho

FAIR | July 21, 2022

Earlier this month, a New York Times (7/2/22) report, “How the Russian Media Spread False Claims About Ukrainian Nazis,” argued that falsely branding people as Nazis is inherently propagandistic:

The lie that the government and culture of Ukraine are filled with dangerous “Nazis” has become a central theme of Kremlin propaganda about the war.

NYT chart of Russian articles about Ukraine that mention Nazism

The New York Times (7/2/22) attributed a spike in mentions of Nazism at the start of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to Putin describing Ukraine as “full of Nazis,” but did not discuss Western media comparing Putin to Hitler.

To say Ukraine is “filled” with Nazis is an obvious exaggeration, although even a relatively small number of Nazis has wielded disproportionate influence in the Ukrainian government (Kyiv Post3/26/19Euronews8/4/21). Nevertheless, FAIR (3/7/141/15/221/28/222/23/22) has covered the Western media’s denial of the far-right’s role in the Ukrainian 2014 coup, as well as their complicity in amplifying Ukrainian neo-Nazi publicity stunts during the war. 

Read More »

Ukraine’s ‘Great Game’ surfaces in Transcaucasia

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 16, 2022

Presidents of Russia, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Iran and Kazakhstan (clockwise from left) took part in the 6th Caspian Summit, Ashgabat, June 29, 2022

If the metaphor of the “Great Game” can be applied to the Ukrainian crisis, with the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) at it core, it has begun causing reverberations across the entire Eurasian space. The great game lurking in the shade in the Caucasus and Central Asian regions in recent years is visibly accelerating. 

The edge of the game is above everything else the targeting of Russia and China by the United States. This unfolding game cannot be underestimated, as its outcome may impact the shaping of a new model of the world order. 

Starting with the Caspian Summit in Ashgabat on June 29, the inter-connected templates of the great game in the Caucasus began surfacing. The fact that the summit was scheduled at all despite the raging conflict in Ukraine — and that Russian President Vladimir Putin took time out to attend it — testified to the high importance of the event. 

Read More »

Ukraine peace talks in the cards?

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | July 16, 2022

A goods yard in Kaliningrad, the Russian exclave that has become increasingly isolated since the start of Ukraine war

Finance ministers are the pangolins in the world of international diplomacy, solitary animals and predatory, unlike foreign ministers who are like glowworms, mesmerising and gorgeous animals that create light through their tail. While the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken attending G20 foreign ministers meeting in Bali a week ago staged a dramatic walkout when Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov rose to speak, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen simply sat through the speech by Russian minister Anton Siluanov at the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs that began in Bali on Friday. 

Indeed, Yellen said her piece — calling Russia’s war in Ukraine the “greatest challenge” to the global economy and all that — while Russian Deputy Finance Minister Timur Maksimov who was present, calmly listened. But a joint communique is unlikely, as the US is pressing G20 allies for a price cap on Russian oil, where consensus is lacking. All the same, the moderation in Yellen’s behaviour catches attention, as she realises, perhaps, that she no longer sets the global agenda. 

Read More »

Real debt trap: Sri Lanka owes vast majority to West, not China

Sri Lanka owes 81% of its external debt to US and European financial institutions and Western allies Japan and India. China owns just 10%. But Washington blames imaginary “Chinese debt traps” for the nation’s crisis, as it considers a 17th IMF structural adjustment program.

Benjamin Norton

Multipolarista | July 11, 2022

Facing a deep economic crisis and bankruptcy, Sri Lanka was rocked by large protests this July, which led to the resignation of the government.

Numerous Western political leaders and media outlets blamed this uprising on a supposed Chinese “debt trap,” echoing a deceptive narrative that has been thoroughly debunked by mainstream academics.

In reality, the vast majority of the South Asian nation’s foreign debt is owed to the West.

Read More »

The Deeper Meaning of Ukraine

Alastair Crooke

Orinoco Tribune | July 09, 2022

The wider Ukraine meaning lies in this insight: Other leaders are no longer naïve when the West offers glass beads (or paper dollars) in exchange for their real riches

The West, in its cavalier manner, entered upon war with the Russia-China axis, without due care.  It expected easy ‘wins’ with sanctions imploding the Russian economy, and with military urban-war tactics borrowed from Syria, bleeding out the Russian army. Instead, it is turning-out to be a monumental débacle. More than that, its multiple failures and insultingly-cocksure propaganda are proving a breakpoint, ushering-in a new era rather than nailing down the old order, as the West had hoped.

Why is this new era so grave?  Firstly, because of that which lies ‘beneath’. The structural weaknesses and ‘dry rot’ that have been accumulating over decades, in damp basements. It was kept away, out of sight. The ‘children’ were removed from earshot, when ‘adults’ spoke amongst themselves, to acknowledge the decay and rot affecting their Mansions.

Read More »

Ukraine Update: Former U.S. Special-ops Soldiers Train Ukrainian Soldiers, Says New York Times

Countercurrents | July 06, 2022

A number of U.S. veterans are reportedly training Ukrainian soldiers near the frontlines of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, said the New York Times in an article — In Ukraine, U.S. Veterans Step In Where the Military Will Not — on July 3, 2022, Sunday (https://www.nytimes.com/2022/07/03/us/politics/american-combat-volunteers-ukraine.html).

“Americans are in Ukraine,” states the New York Times, noting that the exact number of U.S. citizens fighting on the front lines of the conflict is unknown.

The New York Times adds that some of these Americans are also volunteering for casualty evacuation teams and to be bomb disposal specialists, logistics experts and instructors.

The New York Times also claims that there are currently small teams of former special operations members providing training to Ukrainian soldiers and, in some cases, helping Kiev’s forces plan combat missions.

Read More »