Ukraine War Has No End in Sight

Scott Ritter

As the Ukraine conflict enters its third month, the Kremlin looks likely to achieve its major military objective of securing physical control over the eastern Donbas region. Peripheral territorial acquisition of the strategic southern city of Kherson, as well as a swath of territory connecting Crimea to the Donbas and the border of the Russian Federation, also looks likely.

This will, however, fall short of expectations by both Russia and many military observers when the war began. Perhaps the greatest contributor is what appears to be a massive Russian intelligence failure over prewar assessments that organized resistance by Ukraine would be limited and easily overcome. Instead, the Russians were met by an organized, capable and determined Ukrainian military that has shown great resilience in defending against Russian attack. Instead of a quick campaign of less than a month, Russia found itself in a drawn-out fight that required its military to alter its approach — pulling back from supporting attacks against Kyiv and Odessa in favor of a more singular focus on eastern Ukraine.

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Geopolitical Update

U.S. to leverage Russia-Ukraine Bloc Against China, Says Blinken

Countercurrents | May 27, 2022

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Thursday the Biden administration aims to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China.

Media reports including a report by AP from Washington DC said:

In a speech outlining the administration’s China policy, Blinken laid out a three-pillar approach to competing with Beijing in a race to define the 21st century’s economic and military balance.

While the U.S. sees Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, Blinken said the administration believes China poses a greater danger.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/geopolitical-update-u-s-to-leverage-russia-ukraine-bloc-against-china-says-blinken/

Sweden And Finland Set To Join NATO

Countercurrents | May 16, 2022

Sweden’s ruling party dropped the country’s historic military nonalignment on Sunday and agreed to join NATO, shortly after Finland’s leaders officially announced they would do the same.

Media reports from Europe and other places said:

The moves were major steps in ending decades of military neutrality for the two Nordic nations, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continued to dramatically shift security considerations in Europe.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said their accession would be a “turning point for security” in Europe. “Their membership in NATO would increase our shared security, demonstrate that NATO’s door is open, and that aggression does not pay.”

“We arre now facing a fundamentally changed security environment in Europe,” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson said.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/sweden-and-finland-set-to-join-nato/

Japan, EU Agree To Raise Efforts In Indo-Pacific

Countercurrents | May 13, 2022

Geopolitical developments are expanding quickly in various regions of the world.

Media reports from various regions said:

Japan and the European Union on Thursday agreed to step up their sanctions against Russia as leaders from the two sides raised concerns about the war’s impact in the Indo-Pacific, where they seek to strengthen their partnership and increase engagement amid China’s growing assertiveness.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who held talks in Tokyo with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel, told a joint news conference that Japan supports tough sanctions against Russia and ample support for Ukraine because the war “shakes the foundation of the world order not only in Europe but also in Asia.”

“Security in Europe and in the Indo-Pacific are inseparable,” Kishida said.

The EU leaders said they want to take a greater role and responsibility in the region and agreed to bolster cooperation in a range of areas including digital transformation, renewable energy and climate.

Read the Full News: https://countercurrents.org/2022/05/geopolitical-update-japan-eu-agree-to-raise-efforts-in-indo-pacific/

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

Ukraine Crisis: News/Updates drowned by the cacophony of Mainstream Media

As the crisis in Ukraine unfolds, highly significant developments are taking place in Europe and in other geopolitical stages across the world. For any conscious reader/learner, studying these developments are crucial. The cacophony in the mainstream media drowns out these events and present a very biased, partial scenario of the current situation. However, this has always been the nature of the mainstream media — to serve as mouthpieces of the imperialist establishments. As a blog inclined to serve the masses, JoP feels that it is its duty to bring analyses and updates of those aspects/developments to the attention of our readership. In that spirit, we publish four posts from the Countercurrents which may help our readers understand the ongoing situation in Ukraine. However, we would like to clarify that the articles posted here are for non-profit, non-commercial, educational purposes. The views expressed in this article(s) are those of its author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the JoP.

Nevertheless, if you do find JoP’s posts to be informative and therefore necessary in the face of the mainstream narrative, we would like to request you to share our posts with your friends, family or anyone you feel like sharing with. Happy Reading!

Ukraine Update: Zelenskyy’s Representative Blames U.S. And Budapest Memorandum Signatories For War

Countercurrents Collective | March 28, 2022

A representative of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described signatories to the Budapest Memorandum as a reason Ukraine is at war, citing their failure to hold up their end of the agreement.

“They signed their obligation to protect Ukraine, to provide the security and safety,” Fedir Venislavsky, President Zelenskyy’s representative to Ukraine’s Constitutional Court, told Fox News.

“Which means when Ukraine gave up its nuclear potential … Ukraine was confident the other countries who have signed all of those agreements were going to guarantee its territorial integrity, it is independence and it is sovereignty.”

“Unfortunately, we are deeply sorry” the signatories of the Budapest Memorandum and the Charter “did not perform” and “provide the security of Ukraine” and “there is a war because of that going on in our territory,” Venislavsky explained.

The Budapest Memorandum “says that whatever countries would sign that, they would guarantee the safety and security of Ukraine. And there is the charter about the special partnership between NATO and Ukraine and all the signatories,” Venislavsky added.

“Innocent people are dying every day simply because we believed that those countries were going to provide what they obliged for.”

Venislavsky said the failure to protect Ukraine will have lasting consequences.

“After the Ukrainian case, I think there are going to be a lot of doubts in the world regarding international obligations that are given in exchange for whatever concessions,” Venislavsky said.

Zelensky Steps Up Criticism Of West

A Washington post report (Zelensky steps up criticism of West, demanding weapons and sanctions) report said:

Zelensky is demanding that the United States and its allies send more weapons and ratchet up sanctions, portraying some leaders as timid in the face of Russian aggression. His escalation of criticism comes one day after President Biden extemporaneously declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.”

Zelensky said in a video address on Sunday, praising the southern port city that has come under horrendous bombardment by Russian forces. “Their determination, heroism and firmness are astonishing,” he said. “If only those who have been thinking for 31 days on how to hand over dozens of jets and tanks had one percent of their courage.”

Read Full Article: https://countercurrents.org/2022/03/ukraine-update-zelenskyys-representative-blames-u-s-and-budapest-memorandum-signatories-for-war/

Ukraine Update: U.S. Sets Red Line For China

Countercurrents Collective | March 25, 2022

A Reuters report said:

The Biden administration, seeking to deter China from aiding sanctions-hit Russia, on Wednesday warned Beijing not to take advantage of business opportunities created by sanctions, help Moscow evade export controls or process its banned financial transactions.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that G7 countries would soon announce a unified response to make sure Russia cannot evade Western sanctions imposed over its invasion of Ukraine with the help of China or any other country.

Read Full Article: https://countercurrents.org/2022/03/ukraine-update-u-s-sets-red-line-for-china/

Ukraine Update: NATO Faces Splits On Russia Question

Countercurrents Collective | March 24, 2022

A Washington Post report (As allies meet, splits emerge in NATO about how to deter Russia) said:

As President Biden landed in Brussels on Wednesday splits were emerging within NATO and in Washington about how to deter the Kremlin from further escalation. Allied leaders are discussing whether it is best to keep Russia guessing about what will trigger a bigger military response or to outline precisely what would draw NATO into a conflict.

It said:

‘Some NATO policymakers in Europe worry that there has been too much public messaging about what the alliance won’t do — send its troops into Ukraine, nor, for the moment, send fighter jets for which Kyiv has been campaigning. With the threat of Russian nuclear and chemical weapons looming over the battlefields of Ukraine, a better approach, they say, would be not to rule out anything publicly.

Read Full Article: https://countercurrents.org/2022/03/ukraine-update-nato-faces-splits-on-russia-question/

Ukraine Update: Vietnam And Malaysia Oppose Anti-Russian Sanctions

Countercurrents Collective | March 23, 2022

Vietnam and Malaysia did not support the anti-Russian sanctions and agreed to remain neutral towards the Ukraine crisis, Malaysian Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob told reporters Tuesday after his visit to Hanoi.

“We discussed the Russian-Ukrainian conflict and agreed that Malaysia and Vietnam will remain neutral on this issue,” he said according to the Bernama news agency. “As for sanctions against Russia, we do not support them.”

“The sides do not support unilateral sanctions; we recognize restrictions that could be imposed only by the UN Security Council,” the Prime Minister underscored.

He noted that the two countries “do not support such aggression against a sovereign state,” underscoring that their “position is non-interference.”

“We expect a diplomatic resolution of the crisis in Ukraine,” the Prime Minister added.

Read Full Article: https://countercurrents.org/2022/03/ukraine-update-vietnam-and-malaysia-oppose-anti-russian-sanctions/

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

China sees parallel between Ukraine, Taiwan

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline | March 20, 2022

On the evening of 18 March, President Xi Jinping (R) had a video call with US President Joe Biden at the request of the latter.

The Chinese stance on developments around Ukraine was initially one-dimensional, namely, there is no conceivable comparison between Ukraine and Taiwan issues, as they are fundamentally different, because Taiwan is a part of China, whereas Ukraine is an independent country. Factually, that was a correct stance. 

However, there has been a shift lately toward acknowledging that the Eurasian tensions hold an analogy for Indo-Pacific region. The Chinese commentaries underline that the relentless expansion of the NATO in the post-Cold War era is the root cause of events unfolding over Ukraine. In the video call with President Biden in the weekend, President Xi Jinping implicitly touched on this aspect: 

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China-India Relation: New Developments

[THIS ARTICLE IS POSTED HERE FOR NON-PROFIT, NON-COMMERCIAL, EDUCATIONAL PURPOSE. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS ARTICLE ARE THAT OF ITS AUTHOR(S) AND DO NOT NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEW OF THE JOP]

Consequences on Ditching Russian Oil – Moscow

teleSUR | March 07, 2022

Consequences of removing Russia from the oil market in Europe. Mar. 7, 2022. | Photo: Twitter/@Tr_Ekinimi

On Monday, the Russian Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the consequences of removing Russian oil from the market.

Aleksandr Novak, Russia’s deputy prime minister, noted the consequence that the removal of Russian oil from the market will bring, starting for the rise in energy prices, with a foreseen of over $300 per barrel of oil.

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Reflections on Events in Afghanistan

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Indian Punchline

The Taliban fighters posing for family photo and relaxing in the Presidential Palace, Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug 15, 2021

1. Collapse of the Afghan Army 

Social media reported that at the Kabul residence of the Afghan National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib who post-haste fled to Tajikistan on Saturday with President Ashraf Ghani, three Toyota Landcruiser SUVs were found stacked with American dollar bills. 

Mohib was the shadow king of Afghanistan. He controlled the country’s defence budget. In the coming year, he would have handled over $3 billion, which the US has earmarked as assistance for the Afghan armed forces. The Taliban spoiled his party. 

The mystery of the Afghan armed forces losing the will to fight is actually no mystery at all. The main reason has been the misappropriation of defence budget. In Ghani’s set-up, Mohib, his trusted flunky, controlled the Defence Ministry — not the Defence Minister — and he obviously did well for himself — and probably Ghani too. Time will tell. 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan/

2. The green shoots of politics are reappearing 

The explosion of life is unstoppable. The first buds are edging their roots from the dirt no sooner than Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul on Sunday, without telling anyone, carrying a massive loot of ill-begotten wealth stolen from his people. And the green shoots of political recovery are appearing. 

Tense and urgent care is needed. The region is rallying. Pakistan has taken the lead. 

On Sunday afternoon, a galaxy of senior Afghan politicians, largely drawn from the erstwhile Northern Alliance of the late 1990s, arrived in Islamabad to cogitate with the Pakistani leadership regarding the mainstreaming of the Taliban. The delegation comprised three top figures from Panjshir Valley, veteran Hazara leaders, the Jamiat-e Islami, Afghan Parliament (including, interestingly, the eldest son of the Tajik leader from Mazar-i-Sharif Mohammed Atta Noor.) 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-the-events-in-afghanistan-2/

3. The Return of the Native 

There is immense curiosity about the Taliban’s first moves following the dramatic return to Kabul after two decades. The big question on everyone’s mind is whether the Taliban has ‘changed’ since the 1990s. Opinions vary. But, so far at least, there are no signs of a return of repressive authoritarian rule. 

The stunning press conference on Tuesday in Kabul by the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid distinctly exuded an air of moderation and tolerance to dissenting voices. 

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-3/

4. The ‘X’ Factor in Kabul 

The Chinese commentaries vehemently reject the western claims of democratic transformation in Afghanistan. A conversation on Tuesday between the Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his American counterpart Antony Blinken (at the latter’s initiative) brought this out sharply.

Wang told Blinken that ‘facts have once again proved that mechanically copying an imported foreign model cannot readily be fitted to the use in a country with completely different history, culture and national conditions, and ultimately, is unlikely to establish itself.’

Wang said that without the support of people, ‘a government cannot stand’, and the use of power and military means to solve problems will only cause more problems, and ‘lessons in this respect deserve serious reflection.’ Wang underscored that Afghanistan’s open and inclusive political framework ought to be ‘in accordance with its own national situations.’ read more

Read Full Article: https://www.indianpunchline.com/reflections-on-events-in-afghanistan-4/

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After backing Maidan coup in Ukraine, is Biden ready for peace?

Pushback with Aaron Maté

The Grayzone | June 20, 2021

Hard to believe, but the Putin-Biden summit may have actually opened the road to an improvement in the global situation, at least a recognition by the US that its power is not unlimited, and that endless hostility toward sovereign nations like China or Russia may prove ultimately counterproductive and downright deleterious to American power. As well, if this summit opens a path to peace in the Donbas, everyone will be the winner. Russia’s rapid and highly impressive military mobilisation during the last US-precipitated crisis in Ukraine may have opened the eyes to some Western planners, forcing them to accept the fact Russia is a major world power, capable of global strategic muscle.

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The Imperial geopolitics is facing challenge

Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | June 04, 2021

Developments on the world stage are stunning. Almost every day, geopolitical incidents and moves are appearing magical.

The developments are challenging the Empire’s geopolitics in regions. Months ago, the Empire gave an impression that it’ll regain ground whatever has been lost, prestige that slipped down from its crown. Immediate moves were taken, at least for public view. Those were image-rebuilding moves, and some other “things”.

As part of that image rebuilding exercise and something extra, war ships were ordered to cross certain straits, carrier group was ordered to navigate a certain sea, a certain country – China – was identified as the chief foe, a certain leader – Putin – was identified as “killer”, and certain talks were held in Tokyo and some other capital cities, and in a certain city – Anchorage in Alaska, attempts were made to press Iran to go back to a position not comfortable for Tehran, the Ukraine border was made hot, which led at least one analyst to write Ukraine was back at the center of geopolitics [1] – a dead analysis that was.

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Pentagon official warns Middle Eastern countries against aligning with China and Russia

Morning Star | June 02, 2021

President Joe Biden

SENIOR Pentagon official Dana Stroul warned Middle Eastern countries against aligning with Russia or China for security on Tuesday.

Speaking in an online webinar at the Middle East Institute, she urged support for the US instead, insisting that nations would gain more from strategic relationships with Washington.

“To me, the choice is clear between what you can get from China or Russia and what you can get from the United States,” she said.

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