Category Archives: News & Views

Ukraine sends 38 tons of barbed wire to Lithuania for construction of fence on border with Belarus

Ukraine has sent 38 tons of barbed wire to Lithuania. This is the first batch of aid that Ukraine promised last week, reported the Ukrainian State Emergency Service.

“More than 38 tons of humanitarian cargo departed today, August 12, from Ukraine to Lithuania. This is the first stage of assistance of the three that Ukraine sends in accordance with the Decree of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the order of the Cabinet of Ministers. The assistance will contribute to strengthening the protection of Lithuania’s borders from illegal migrants,” the report said.

A week ago, the Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers decided to supply 100 kilometers of barbed wire to the Republic of Lithuania.

http://uawire.org/ukraine-sends-38-tons-of-barbed-wire-to-lithuania-for-construction-of-fence-on-border-with-belarus

As a multiple time combat Veteran, I say: “Happy Independence Day, Afghanistan”

It was a waste, and a failure, and obvious as such for over a decade. The military is for fighting. The psychopathic busy bodies in government, media, and academia (and their drone-like followers who probably sleep with the news on, lest they not know what they are supposed to believe), think it’s their business to change the way everybody lives. Consequently, the entire military was transformed into a police force and social influence organization. Soldiers should not be police. Soldiers are for killing and breaking things, not policing and fixing.

What do I care if Afghans destroy statues in the name of Islam (as opposed to destroying them in the name of tolerance)? What do I care if Afghans mutilate children’s genitals for the wrong reasons, instead of for the right reasons, as we do in the U.S.? Were mandates about face covering supposed to be a bad thing?

With the utter hypocrisy which I now consider to be the norm, it is the same people and institution who’ve spent the last generation promoting cultural relativism who are now outraged that culture on the other side of the world has resoundingly rejected the neo-liberal order.

I want the silver lining to be a re-assertion of the principle of self-determination.

***

2008: Email from Afghanistan

2009: Something Worth Fighting For

2010: Narrative and Memory at War

Czech Republic Doubles Down on Gun Rights With New Constitutional Amendment

The Czech Chamber of Deputies have approved a constitutional amendment that explicitly gives citizens the right to use firearms when necessary to protect one’s life.

The proposal, first submitted by Martin Červíček (ODS) last year, is based on cementing the right to self-protection, which he says is the most basic human right.

https://praguemonitor.com/news/national/20/06/2021/czech-republic-doubles-down-on-gun-rights-with-new-constitutional-amendment/

From an email thread with diaspora Ukrainians

Ukrainians, of all people, should be skeptical of omnipresent media speaking with one voice, telling them that a heterodox perspective is not just wrong, but evil. Thankfully, the Ukrainians in Ukraine are skeptical — one of the few blessings of having lived under communism. The diaspora, not so much.

30 Methods and Characteristics of Communism: http://romaninukraine.com/30-methods-and-characteristics-of-communism/

Thanks for the original email, Lyubomyr.

All these people clutching their pearls and calling you hateful names are not bad people. They’re just weak. They’re like one lady described in Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago. She was a true believer, and when the secret police finally came to arrest her she could not handle the cognitive dissonance between her belief in the infallibility of the communist authorities, and the fact that they were arresting her. So, according to his account, she made up a story about her own guilt and confessed it to her children as they dragged her out the door.

As Solzhynitsyn said: “Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

Not through me either, goddammit.

​Court rules against university that targeted Christian group, saying they were ‘hard-pressed’ to find a more blatant example of ‘discrimination’

From my Alma mater, the University of Iowa.

The anti-Christian trends in the US are horrifying reminiscent of anti-Christian madness of the Bolsheviks. There has even been a rash of arsons against churches which go unreported.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday ruled against the University of Iowa calling its decision to deregister a Christian student group as one of the most obvious examples of discrimination that it has ever seen.

In a ruling issued on Friday, the court unanimously sided with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a national faith-based group that organizes local chapters at colleges and universities around the country, putting on Bible studies and worship gatherings.

In 2018, the University of Iowa decided to deregister InterVarsity — along with other student religious groups on campus — over its commonsense practice of requiring leaders to agree with its statement of faith.

In targeting religious groups, the university cited its Human Rights Policy, which mandates that student groups not differentiate on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity, and a range of other categories — religion included.

Besides the school’s obvious trampling on students’ freedom of religion, lawyers for the Christian group argued that the school also enforced its policy discriminatorily. The 8th Circuit Court agreed.

In the ruling, the court told school administrators it was “hard-pressed to find a clearer example of viewpoint discrimination” than the actions they took against the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/university-iowa-christian-group-discrimination

Ukraine Inks Infrastructure Deal with China After Biden Snubs Zelensky for Putin

Remember when they said Trump was Putin’s puppet?

Ukraine Inks Infrastructure Deal with China After Biden Snubs Zelensky for Putin

Chinese government media outlets confirmed Sunday that Beijing’s Ministry of Commerce had recently signed a reportedly expansive deal to invest in nationwide infrastructure in Ukraine, following the latter’s decision not to co-sign a statement at the United Nations condemning China for committing genocide.

The Global Times and China Daily offered no details as to the new infrastructure deal between Kyiv and Beijing, reportedly signed June 30, just days after Ukraine’s surprise exit from the genocide statement. The outlets instead emphasized that the deals showed that the government of President Volodymyr Zelensky was willing to increase China’s influence in his country in the name of growing Ukraine’s economy. Ukraine has been a partner in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a global infrastructure debt trap program, since at least 2018, when China established a BRI “promotion center” in the country.

. . . .

The Zelensky administration’s abrupt shift in attitude towards Chinese investment follows the president’s condemnation of American counterpart Joe Biden last month for failing to impose sanctions on Russia’s Nordstream 2 fuel pipeline. When completed, the pipeline will grant Russia essentially unobstructed access to key European markets, icing out Ukrainian competition and making key American allies like Germany more dependent on Russian natural gas. Zelensky has asserted the pipeline is a national security threat to Ukraine — currently at war with Russian-backed separatists in its east and partially colonized by Russia in Crimea — and to the United States.

https://www.breitbart.com/asia/2021/07/05/ukraine-inks-infrastructure-deal-china-after-biden-snubs-zelensky-putin/

Ukraine Seeks to Become China’s ‘Bridge to Europe’ After Biden Gets Cozy with Putin

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky offered to help Ukraine become a “bridge to Europe” for China during a phone conversation with Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Tuesday, the Kyiv Post reported Wednesday.

“Volodymyr Zelenskyy expressed hope that Ukraine could become a ‘bridge to Europe’ for Chinese business,” Ukraine’s presidential office wrote in an official summary of the July 13 phone call.

“The heads of state discussed the importance of developing interpersonal contacts between our countries and agreed to conclude a visa-free agreement between Ukraine and China,” according to the press release.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2021/07/16/ukraine-seeks-become-chinas-bridge-europe-after-biden-gets-cozy-putin/

Law on land market in Ukraine comes into force

The agricultural land market launched as part of the land reform carried out by the government, begins to function on July 1. At the first stage of the reform, only citizens of Ukraine will be able to buy and sell land plots, one individual will be able to have no more than 100 hectares at their disposal.

The right to acquire agricultural land on January 1, 2024 will be received by legal entities created in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine, while the ultimate beneficiary of one or several legal entities will be able to consolidate through them in aggregate no more than 10,000 hectares.

https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/law-on-land-market-in-ukraine-comes-into-force.html

Can Zelensky’s Turn to Populism to Save Him in the Next Ukrainian Election?

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/can-zelenskys-turn-populism-save-him-next-ukrainian-election-188516

With forty-two percent of Ukrainians disappointed in Volodymyr Zelensky’s performance last year and sixty-seven percent believing the country is heading in the wrong direction, it is not surprising Ukraine’s president is turning to populism. Only twenty percent believed Zelensky’s presidency was better than his predecessor Petro Poroshenko, thirty percent thought he was worse while forty-one percent were of the opinion there was no difference between the two.

The traditional populist enemy in Ukraine has always been oligarchs. During election campaigns, all Ukraine’s political forces, ranging from left to right and irrespective of whether they are pro-Western or pro-Russian, promise to ‘deal with oligarchs.’

With one eye towards the next elections, Zelensky has launched a ‘de-oligarchization campaign’ with two enemies in his sights. The first is the pro-Russian Opposition Platform For Life Party who he sees as the main competitor to his own Servant of the People Party among Russian speakers in southeast Ukraine. The second is Poroshenko against whom he has a personal grudge and seeks to dampen support for the center-right European Solidarity Party that the former president heads.

. . . .

Zelensky’s ‘de-oligarchization’ is unclear about how oligarchs are to be defined and the names are restricted to a secret list of thirteen people who allegedly have inordinate influence in politics, the media, and over state officials. Zelensky seeks to remove the influence of these thirteen oligarchs over the media and political parties and deny them access to privatization of large facilities.

It is never explained how oligarchs would be forced to sell their media outlets. This would likely lead to protests in international organizations and human rights bodies about threats to media freedom in Ukraine. Similarly, with a huge shadow economy accounting for upwards of half of GDP and assets deposited overseas, Zelensky has not explained how the authorities intend to end the covert funding of political parties by big business. Big business after all provides financial donations to political parties in the US and Europe.

Indeed, it is perhaps not surprising Zelensky’s ‘de-oligarchization’ populism ignores Ukraine’s huge shadow economy as attempts to reduce its size would be unpopular among his base. Anti-establishment populists like Zelensky prefer to attack ‘elites’. The shadow economy contributes to widespread lower levels of corruption and widespread disrespect for the rule of law. Of the thirty million ‘economically active’ Ukrainians only 37 percent (10.9 million) pay taxes. 11.8 million Ukrainians who are able to work do not officially make any money; in other words, they work in the shadow economy where they earn unofficial salaries. Compounding this are high rates of tax avoidance in western Ukraine which does not see this as a contradiction in its claim to be the most patriotic region of the country. Tax avoidance is also high in the port city of Odesa and to a lesser degree in the capital city of Kyiv.

. . . .

Who stands to benefit from Zelenskyy’s election populism?

‘De-oligarchization’ will benefit oligarch Igor Kolomoysky who was instrumental in bringing Zelensky to power in 2019 and remains untouchable. Oligarchs close to Tymoshenko were also untouchable during her populist ‘de-oligarchization.’ Zelensky has never once in his two years in power criticized Kolomoysky even though the oligarch has opposed all of his reforms. Kolomoysky controls a quarter of Zelenskyy’s Servant of the People parliamentary faction which has blocked government reforms. Kolomoysky directly interferes in Ukrainian politics through his For the Future political party which came fourth with twelve percent of the vote in last year’s local elections.

Kolomoysky faces numerous lawsuits abroad but none at home where the Zelenskyy controlled prosecutor’s office has initiated no criminal cases. In August 2020, the FBI raided companies owned by Kolomoysky in Cleveland and Miami and seized properties in Kentucky and Texas. On March 5, 2021, the U.S. sanctioned Kolomoysky ‘due to his involvement in significant corruption.’

To ingratiate himself with President Joe Biden, Zelensky could follow through with Ukrainian sanctions against Kolomoysky, although this is unlikely. Ukrainian gas oligarch Dmytro Firtash, who the U.S. has been seeking to extradite since 2014 from Vienna on corruption charges, was sanctioned by Zelensky last week. President Biden told Zelensky after this month’s NATO summit that Ukraine has to clean up its corruption to be invited into a Membership Action Plan (MAP). Cleaning up President Zelensky’s inner circle would be a very good place to start Ukraine’s drive to enter a MAP as a stepping stone to joining NATO.

Ukrainians’ fear that ‘de-oligarchization’ will benefit Zelensky’s circle seems, therefore. to be true. Kolomoysky would certainly attempt to take over large companies which went bankrupt from populist high taxes and loss of markets. It is interesting to note the manganese ore sector, already controlled by Kolomoysky, faced a mere twenty-five percent tax rate since 2020 at which time iron ore taxes increased to fifty percent. Inexplicably, manganese ore escaped any tax increase in Zelenskyy’s populist tax hikes.

Zelenskyy’s populist ‘de-oligarchization’ has four fundamental problems. Firstly, it is poorly thought out because it is more geared to increasing the president’s popularity than undertaking any real change of the type long demanded by the U.S. in return for its support. Secondly, selectively targeting one of the key sectors of Ukraine’s economic growth and exports will only incentivize more companies to join the already large shadow economy. Thirdly, allowing Russia to take over Ukraine’s export markets would be unwise when nearly three quarters of Ukrainians believe their country is at war with Russia. Fourthly, Zelensky’s ‘de-oligarchization’ will benefit Kolomoysky at a time when he is sanctioned by the U.S. Fifthly, ‘de-oligarchization’ is impossible without reducing Ukraine’s huge shadow economy, reducing widespread tax avoidance among Ukrainian citizens and fighting deep levels of corruption in the judiciary.

Read more: https://nationalinterest.org/blog/can-zelenskys-turn-populism-save-him-next-ukrainian-election-188516

Russia’s aggressive rhetoric increasing since Biden-Putin summit

Russia demands cancellation of annual Sea Breeze 21 exercise in Black Sea https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2021/06/23/7298135/

Russian Defence Minister Shoygu blames Ukraine for tension ahead of NATO summit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27qsFIW9n0s

Russian navy fire warning shot at British naval vessel in the Black Sea https://www.pravda.com.ua/rus/news/2021/06/23/7298176/; https://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/11727447

Ukraine reacts: https://www.pravda.com.ua/news/2021/06/23/7298185/

Ukrainian city of Mariupol to purchase Iron Dome air defense system from Israel

Deputy Mayor of Mariupol Sergey Zakharov said that the city authorities plan to purchase the Iron Dome missile defense system from Israel.

According to him, the opening of the airport in Mariupol requires that the distance from the zone of demarcation of the warring parties was more than 160 kilometers, but it is only about 40. Since the Ukrainian Defense Ministry and the international community do not consider the flights to the city located near the conflict zone safe, the mayor’s office of Mariupol decided to acquire an effective Israeli missile defense system.

http://uawire.org/ukrainian-city-of-mariupol-to-purchase-iron-dome-air-defense-system-from-israel

We’ll see what happens with this. Earlier, Russian pressure on Israel prevented them from selling arms to Ukraine.

***

During the earlier years of the war (2015) Mariupol was hit by rockets several times. Here’s the viral dashcam video: http://romaninukraine.com/up-close-dash-cam-video-of-mariupol-mlrs-attack/

Though I’m not sure this isn’t a waste of money from Ukraine’s perspective. The Russians use the type of cheap missiles which are fired from Grad Rocket MLRS systems. Why counter them with $100,000 anti-missile missiles.

Nord Stream 2: Biden waives US sanctions on Russian pipeline

This is for all the people who spent years asking me how I could be in Ukraine and support Trump — who the lying press spend four years condemning as Putin’s puppet among other ridiculous nonsense.

The Biden administration has waived sanctions on a company building a controversial gas pipeline between Russia and Germany.

The US also lifted sanctions on the executive – an ally of Russia’s Vladimir Putin – who leads the firm behind the Nord Stream 2 project.

The move came in a report on Russian sanctions delivered to Congress by the Department of State.

Critics say the pipeline is a major geopolitical prize for the Kremlin.

The project, which would take gas from the Russian Arctic under the Baltic Sea to Germany, is already more than 95% complete.

The Department of State report notes that Nord Stream 2 AG and its chief executive, Matthias Warnig, a former East German intelligence officer, engaged in sanctionable activity.

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-57180674

***

Exclusive: Zelensky “surprised” and “disappointed” by Biden pipeline move

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says he learned through the press — not any direct heads-up — that President Biden had decided to stop trying to block a Russian pipeline that Ukraine sees as a dire national security threat.

Driving the news: Zelensky used an hourlong Zoom interview with Axios on Friday to beseech Biden to meet with him face to face before a June 16 summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin — offering to join him “at any moment and at any spot on the planet.”

The embattled leader spoke of Putin’s psychological pressure campaign; his own anger-turned-disappointment at the U.S.; and his hope that Biden . . . can still outmaneuver Russia and rescue Ukraine.

Why it matters: Russian gas currently flows through Ukraine en route to Europe. Nord Stream 2, a Russia-to-Germany natural gas pipeline, would allow Russia to circumvent and isolate Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital. Zelensky said the U.S. is the only power capable of stopping Russia.

“This is a weapon, a real weapon … in the hands of the Russian Federation,” he said. “It is not very understandable … that the bullets to this weapon can possibly be provided by such a great country as the United States.”

https://www.axios.com/zelensky-biden-ukraine-russia-nord-stream-pipeline-fe50756b-6b82-43f0-b390-734ea3e95de0.html

The Need for a Nuremberg for Communism

To carry out the “Nuremberg for Communism” project, it is, therefore, necessary that it be received not only by people who care about political freedom, historical truth, and moral justice, and not only by the organizations and foundations that defend the values and principles of the Western tradition from any totalitarianism but also by national and international political institutions, to arrive at an official resolution condemning the crimes of communism and its ideology. For this purpose, it is necessary that it be taken up and re-launched by intelligent and sensitive political leaders who have the courage to counter the “politically correct” wave that is sweeping all Western societies.

To comment, you can find the MeWe post for this article here.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2021/05/the_need_for_a_nuremberg_for_communism.html