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BeyondGeography

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Hometown: NY
Member since: Tue Dec 30, 2003, 12:41 AM
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Victory of Putin ally Orban in Hungary may trigger freeze on EU funding

https://twitter.com/JClickbaited/status/1511336481134153737
Vladimir Putin has congratulated Hungary’s strongman leader, Viktor Orbán, on his decisive election victory, amid signs that European Union authorities will launch a sanctions process against Budapest that is intended to safeguard EU funds at risk from democratic-backsliding member states.

Two members of the European parliament said they expected the European Commission to launch the “rule of law conditionality mechanism” against Hungary, a legal process that could ultimately switch off billions in EU payments to Budapest. EU countries that have government-controlled courts and captured state institutions can be deprived of EU funds, but the law has never been tested.

At the European parliament in Brussels on Monday, MEPs expressed shock at Orbán’s victory speech, where he hit out at “opponents”, including a characteristic dig at “Brussels bureaucrats”, but also Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy. The swaggering speech came just hours after the western world reacted in horror to the atrocities at Bucha and other towns near Kyiv…EU leaders were conspicuously silent on a day when independent election observers at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported that the Hungarian vote was “marred by the absence of a level playing field”.

…Petri Sarvamaa, a centre-right Finnish MEP, said, based on his understanding, the commission was going to trigger the process within days, but added that Hungary posed far deeper questions. Europe could be approaching a historic moment, he said. “We are facing existential issues. These are totalitarian authoritarian regimes vis-a-vis the democratic world and Orbán seems to be willing to be part of that [first] camp.”

“We appeased Viktor Orbán … and we, the union, appeased Vladimir Putin. And if we continue on this path.. We will find ourselves obsolete.”


https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/apr/04/victory-of-putin-ally-orban-in-hungary-may-trigger-freeze-on-eu-funding
Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue Apr 5, 2022, 09:52 AM (0 replies)

China Should Heed Lessons from Russia's Ukraine Invasion, US Official Says

“Your adversary’s probably stronger than you think it is,” warned the assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs.

Russia’s poorly executed invasion of Ukraine and the international community’s economic and diplomatic response are cautionary lessons for China and others who may want to attempt aggressive actions in the Pacific, the Pentagon’s policy chief for the region said Monday.

“When we look at the types of acts of aggression that we worry about in the Indo-Pacific—and the Taiwan Strait being the top of that list—it's going to be very difficult, and I think that there are broad lessons there to be drawn from Ukraine,” Ely Ratner, assistant defense secretary for Indo-Pacific security affairs, said at the Sea-Air-Space conference outside Washington, D.C.

“Number one, military operations are probably going to be more difficult than you think for a whole bunch of reasons: because you're not tested in the way you think you are, because your adversary’s probably stronger than you think it is. And because the terrain might be more difficult than you’ve anticipated, et cetera.” The economic sanctions imposed against Russia after the invasion in February went much further than expected by Russian and Chinese leaders, Ratner said.

“I think that's a very important lesson, particularly for an economy in China that's in very bad shape,” he said. “But to be facing, potentially, that kind of economic penalty and costs for acts of aggression is something one would not take wisely when your own economy is facing such incredible headwinds.”

https://www.defenseone.com/policy/2022/04/china-should-heed-lessons-russias-aggression-us-policy-leader-says/364021/


Posted by BeyondGeography | Tue Apr 5, 2022, 12:32 AM (7 replies)

The US asks Cyprus to transfer its Russian made weapons to Ukraine

In a significant move, US representatives in Cyprus have asked the government whether they would be willing to transfer the country's Russian-made weapons to Ukraine.

The request was received positively by President Nicos Anastasiades who gave the go-ahead for further discussions to be done quickly. This would mean that Cyprus will no longer remain neutral in the war, as is usually the case.

…Kathimerini's sources stated that the Americans specifically asked for Cypriot anti-aircraft weapons as well as attack helicopters. Of particular interest are two types of anti-aircraft systems, the TOR/M1 (purchased from GR) which deploys the S-300 missile system and BUK M-2, including T-80u and BMP3 as well as the MI-35 helicopter.

Consequently, if weapons from the Cypriot armed forces are to be deployed to Ukraine they will be replaced with corresponding American weaponry.

https://knews.kathimerini.com.cy/en/news/the-us-asks-cyprus-to-transfer-its-russian-made-weapons-to-ukraine
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 11:14 PM (6 replies)

In Ramzan Kadyrov's criticism, a window into Putin's growing Ukraine crisis



One of President Vladimir Putin's most important allies is becoming increasingly outspoken in his criticisms of the Kremlin over its execution of the war in Ukraine. Ramzan Kadyrov's willingness to criticize top Kremlin officials directly, and thus indirectly criticize Putin, is notable. It evinces rising tensions in Russia's elite over the absolute failure to subjugate Ukraine.

…Earlier last week, Kadyrov released an odd video in which, while swiveling in a chair in one of his opulent offices, he complained that Russia's lead negotiator in talks with Ukraine was making too many compromises. Then, on Sunday, Kadyrov escalated by publicly lambasting Putin's chief press officer, Dmitry Peskov. Kadyrov appears to dislike Peskov over the latter's occasional reminding of the Chechen leader as to who ultimately rules Russia.

Posting to his very active Telegram feed, Kadyrov complained that Peskov had defended Russian TV host Ivan Urgant even though Urgant had criticized the war in Ukraine and left Russia. Kadyrov contrasted Peskov's treatment of Urgant with the experience of Chechen forces in Ukraine who "sit in a cold trench for several days." The strongman complained that Peskov had not offered congratulations over Putin's awarding of a lieutenant general rank to him (Putin awarded that rank last week in recognition of the Chechen military service in Ukraine — although, perhaps interestingly, Putin did not award Kadyrov the higher rank of colonel general). Kadyrov asked why Peskov did not "comment more delicately" so as to boost Chechen morale. He concluded that Peskov's "priority scale" is unacceptable and "we need to do something about it," followed by a suggestive pause.

It's highly unlikely that Kadyrov would act against Peskov. Doing so would risk a personal affront to Putin that the Russian leader simply could not tolerate. Still, political tensions are clearly growing both inside the Kremlin and at the Russian frontier…

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/in-ramzan-kadyrov-s-criticism-a-window-into-putin-s-growing-ukraine-crisis/ar-AAVPRfU?ocid=ob-tw-enus-677

Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 08:51 PM (0 replies)

"Les soldats russes ont peur de tout chez eux, mais en Ukraine ils se prennent pour des tsars."

https://twitter.com/Ccesoir/status/1511097528506322952
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 06:04 PM (3 replies)

NYT: Satellite images show bodies lay in Bucha for weeks, despite Russian claims.

https://twitter.com/nytimes/status/1511060668610457612

An analysis of satellite images by The New York Times refutes claims by Russia that the killing of civilians in Bucha, a suburb of Kyiv, occurred after its soldiers had left the town.

When images emerged over the weekend of the dead civilians lying on the streets of Bucha — some with their hands bound, some with gunshot wounds to the head — Russia’s Ministry of Defense denied responsibility. In a Telegram post on Sunday, the ministry suggested that the bodies had been recently placed on the streets after “all Russian units withdrew completely from Bucha” around March 30.

Russia claimed that the images were “another hoax” and called for an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting on what it called “provocations of Ukrainian radicals” in Bucha.

But a review of videos and satellite imagery by The Times shows that many of the civilians were killed more than three weeks ago, when Russia’s military was in control of the town.

More (including video) at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/04/world/europe/bucha-ukraine-bodies.html?smtyp=cur&smid=tw-nytimes
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 03:35 PM (2 replies)

Technology has really complicated the war plunder game

Ukraine already has the names and addresses of the Bucha battalion (and I’m sure those lists will expand). Match these images to Clearview’s AI facial recognition platform (which Ukraine is already using) and these guys will be easy to ID.
https://twitter.com/i_see_some_sht/status/1510920305929334784
https://twitter.com/KryazhevaMaryna/status/1510591641417129984
https://twitter.com/gpsmith1/status/1510724137622421523
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 09:20 AM (1 replies)

The Psychology of an Isolated Russia - The New Yorker



Historian Stephen Kotkin and David Remnick. A few weeks old but ever relevant.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Mon Apr 4, 2022, 06:30 AM (3 replies)

Israeli Envoy Blasts 'War Crimes,' Foreign Ministry Spokesman Covers Putin's Ass

https://twitter.com/avischarf/status/1510614306307649538
Israel’s ambassador to Ukraine denounced the killing of civilians in a Kyiv suburb as a “war crime” on Sunday, in a break from the more restrained rhetoric exhibited by Israeli officials since Russia invaded the former Soviet republic just over a month ago.

“Deeply shocked by the photos from #Bucha. Killing of civilians is a war crime and cannot be justified,” Ambassador Michael Brodsky tweeted on Sunday morning, using the hashtag #UkraineRussiaWar.

Brodsky’s comment came after Ukrainian forces recaptured the city, where Reuters saw bodies lying in the streets, and the hands and feet of multiple corpses poking out of a still open grave at a church ground.

Brodsky’s comments are different from those coming from higher echelon officials in Jerusalem, and it is very unusual for an official Israeli representative to actively post such a message on his Twitter account.

https://twitter.com/michael_brodsk/status/1510504944499105793

Asked if the Foreign Ministry’s official position was that Russia had committed war crimes in Ukraine, a spokesman replied: “No. It’s a tweet by the ambassador regarding the photos. He didn’t blame Russia.”

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/in-rare-rebuke-israeli-envoy-blasts-war-crimes-after-russia-flees-kyiv-suburb-1.10716828?utm_source=App_Share&utm_medium=Twitter
Posted by BeyondGeography | Sun Apr 3, 2022, 03:19 PM (6 replies)

High marks to Boris Johnson on the question of weapons to Ukraine

https://twitter.com/condorbox/status/1510370046887043072
While some allies, including America, Germany and France, are said to want to wait for a provocation by Russia before providing more deadly lethal aid, Johnson has made clear that he believes it should be made available immediately.

“Boris says we don’t need another trigger,” the senior government source added. “He [Putin] has already crossed the line ... Whatever Zelensky asks for he will get, if we have it.”

President Zelensky has called for the West to supply Ukraine with anti-ship missiles, including Harpoons, which are used by the Royal Navy. US officials last week signalled that the issue was being discussed by Nato members.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/70688f70-b29f-11ec-b03d-8bd1be808b51?shareToken=ec5a88a1b78fbbbec2cce915026319ec


I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling sufficiently provoked.
Posted by BeyondGeography | Sat Apr 2, 2022, 06:03 PM (4 replies)
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