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Beastly Boy

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Member since: Fri Mar 18, 2016, 11:21 AM
Number of posts: 5,091

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Russia's Counterpart To NATO Is On The Brink Of Collapse

The Collective Security Treaty Organization, better known by its initials, CSTO—or by Moscow’s aspiration that it should be an equal counterpart to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)—is now on the brink of collapse, yet another case of the collateral damage Russia has suffered in the post-Soviet space from President Vladimir Putin’s disastrous war against Ukraine. When the CSTO was created in 1992, Russia and five other post-Soviet states were members; a year later, it had grown to nine. But in the intervening years, it contracted to six. Now it is becoming more clear that, by next year, the CSTO, which Moscow had placed so much hope in, will most likely be reduced to only three: Russia, Belarus and Tajikistan. Moreover, after Tajikistani President Emomali Rahmon’s attack on Putin at the Tashkent summit of regional leaders earlier this month, it is entirely possible that this much-ballyhooed military alliance will be left with only two members (Centralasia.media, October 14). Indeed, the signs of the collapse of this Russian project are now so obvious that one Moscow security analyst, Georgy Filin, argues that “the CSTO is repeating the fate of the Warsaw Pact” (Versia.ru, October 17).


It is thus difficult not to accept the conclusions offered by two independent Russian analysts, Anatoly Nesmiyan, who blogs under the screen name “El Murid,” and Filin, who was cited earlier. Nesmiyan says that the situation Moscow finds itself in now with the CSTO in Central Asia and the South Caucasus “very much recalls [a similar situation] before the demise of the USSR,” with Russia pulling out and others moving in, however unwelcome that may be for the Kremlin (Bbc.com/Russian, October 10). And Filin, even more pessimistically, suggests that, today, as the CSTO situation demonstrates, “Russia does not have too many friends, even fewer partners and almost no remaining allies” (Versia.ru, October 17).



Confirmed by Russian Defense Ministry: attack on military base inside Russia


11 dead, 15 wounded. Two attackers identified as being from a CIS country (Commonwealth of Independent States consisting of nine former Soviet Republics) also dead.

No further details available

Israel's Got Major Problems, but It's Not an Apartheid State

Israel is not an “apartheid state.” According to Merriam-Webster, apartheid is a “racial segregation” and specifically, “a former policy of segregation and political, social and economic discrimination against the nonwhite majority in the Republic of South Africa.”

This definition is easy to dissolve: Israel does not have a racial segregation implemented by law. It’s an easy fact to check.

There are Arab citizens—citizens with full, equal rights—in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, as well as in the Israeli court system, including the Supreme Court. There are Arab doctors, professors, policemen, teachers, and countless other professions, working side by side with Jews. Not all of them consider themselves Palestinians, and it is not for Halper (or anyone else) to define their national identity for them. And there are many Druze and Bedouins, who are part of the Arab population in Israel, who serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Calling Israel an apartheid state also flattens a complicated, but crucial, issue: it does not distinguish between the state of Israel within the Green Line—Israel’s eastern border prior to the 1967 Six Day War—and the occupied West Bank.



Playing semantic games with the well established definition of apartheid is not only childish, but damaging to any attempts to seriously address real issues. For the sake of the Palestinians in the occupied territories, it's time to end this nonsense.

The Russian Army Is Losing A Battalion Every Day As Ukrainian Counterattacks Accelerate

Forbes' assessment of Russia's losses in the past three days:

The Russian army is losing at least a battalion’s worth of vehicles and men a day as twin Ukrainian counteroffensives roll back Russian territorial gains in eastern and southern Ukraine. That’s hundreds of casualties and scores of vehicle write-offs every day.

These losses are catastrophic for Russia. The Russian army barely was sustaining a little over 100 under-strength battalions in Ukraine before Kyiv’s forces counterattacked in the south on Aug. 30 and in the east eight days later.

In just under two weeks of brutal fighting, the Ukrainians have destroyed, badly damaged or captured 1,120 Russian tanks, fighting vehicles, artillery systems, trucks, helicopters, warplanes and drones, according to the Ukrainian general staff. Independent analysts scouring social media for photos and videos have confirmed nearly 400 of the Russian losses.

Around 5,500 Russian troops have died in Ukraine since Aug. 29, according to Ukrainian officials. It’s possible the Ukrainians are overstating the death toll, but it’s worth noting that recent U.S. estimates of Russian losses have been only slightly lower than Ukrainian estimates.

Worse for the Russians, in their faltering defense of the south—and total rout in the east—they’ve failed to inflict heavy losses on the attacking Ukrainian brigades. Rough estimates have the Ukrainians losing one-tenth as many troops and vehicles since Aug. 30.

Worse still, captures account for half the Russian vehicle losses. The Ukrainian army in just the last week and a half has seized enough Russian tanks, fighting vehicles and artillery to equip an entire brigade. In other words, the Ukrainian army actually has more vehicles now than it did before launching its counteroffensives.

The Ukrainians meanwhile have taken so many Russian prisoners of war—potentially thousands—that they’re struggling to accommodate them. “We have nowhere to keep all the POWs,” Oleksiy Arestovych, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said Friday.


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