Ukraine

dogwatch

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Prez Z has suggested that any negotiated settlement would have to be agreed by a referendum vote. If that happens it will be interesting to see if the people in the Donetsk oblasts get to vote, and on exactly what parts of the proposed settlement. He must for sure have the support of a vast majority of the big-city populations so far, to 'fight forever' - or at least for as long as the Western aid supports them in the war, and supports their economy.

There was a recent piece on TV news - either BBC or Sky - interviewing refugees from Donbas. Most were vocally pro-Russian. As I've said here before, the grandson of a friend has a family from Severodonetsk staying with him. Granny praises Putin to the skies, others less so.

I don't think it is at all clear how many in Donbas want to be part of an integrated pro-Western Ukraine that discriminates against Russian speakers. Even though they have seen their cities demolished by Russian shelling. By all means, Zelensky reflects opinion elsewhere in Ukraine.
 

dogwatch

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My own definition of 'oligarchs' is a fairly loose one and includes even some in the USA. Basically, those with the power to influence major events, for profit reasons.

Using a word entirely out of its usual context to mean "everything I don't like" is about as useful and approximately as accurate as Putin's description of the Ukrainian government as "Nazis".
 

LeoV

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Interview the Russian speaking Donbas people who left after 2014 afraid of the new occupiers too to get a better opinion on what the preference was off them. And ask them if Ukrainian was discriminated in that part.
It is not clear how many off them want to live in a Russian controlled area that discriminate against Ukrainians either.
The fiercest resistance against Russian invasion happened in the Donbas, with Donbas residents fighting against them.

Two sides of a coin. And as you say, this discussion runs in families. It is that complicated. And not a proper excuse to start a war over it.
 

MR.CLEAN

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As an aside . . . . . when signing the Nuclear non-proliferation treaty, the nuclear-armed states agreed to give up their nuclear arms at "an early date". It is not much discussed, but the nuclear-armed states are really in just as much of breach of the non-proliferation treaty as Iran.

Like most legal texts, there is ofc wiggle room in the details, which the nuclear-armed states will cite as excuse/justification, but broadly it is quite clear that there is no intent at all to accomplish "general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control".

"Article VI) Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control.
You wrote that the 'nuclear-armed states are really in just as much breach' as iran, yet your cite is to language requiring them to 'pursue negotiations in good faith'. Outside of very specific business/insurance litigation situations, 'good faith' requirements are always illusory and aspirational.
 

estarzinger

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You wrote that the 'nuclear-armed states are really in just as much breach' as iran, yet your cite is to language requiring them to 'pursue negotiations in good faith'. Outside of very specific business/insurance litigation situations, 'good faith' requirements are always illusory and aspirational.
interesting, thanks.

I did explicitly comment "there is ofc wiggle room ". My experience is that smart lawyers can find holes in pretty much any language. My breach comment was really intended as a layman's 'plain language interpretation', rather than what holes various smart lawyers would punch thru.

This is in an 'international diplomatic' rather than a 'legal' context/language - do you have any experience or knowledge of how 'good faith' is interpreted there?

I would suggest the 'requirement' appears to not even be 'aspirational' (today) for the nuclear powers. They seem to have zero interest, intention, or aspiration in disarming. Which (let's hypothetically say that is true) would seem to me to make them in breach even with the wiggle room wording?
 
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Stingray~

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I would agree with that statement.
:D

Yes, like DW suggested my definition is 'out of context' but at the heart of both the Russian Oligarchs and what I consider to be USA 'oligarchs' is the ability of powerful forces to influence, in both cases, the President. In the USA it is generally a case of bribery too although here it is largely 'legalized' bribery, through our ridiculous campaign financing rules. For a better explanation, the NPR podcast I posted above is a good one.

More to the subject at hand, there seem to be lots of people benefitting financially from the war in Ukraine, although I am not accusing Biden of being one of them.
 
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Stingray~

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Heard a retired US General Breedlove (what kind of name is that? lol) on NPR just now. He made the same point that I have several times.

Russia basically set the terms of this war in Ukraine, something like 'it will all happen there so try defend it there best you can.' Breedlove questions why the hell we should accept those dictated terms, says the whole equation is completely one-sided.
 
In a disclosure required by the electoral authorities, Vladamir Putin declared an average annual income of about $153,000 over the last four years from a salary, military pension, investments and bank interest. His wife earned about $1,200 a year on bank deposits.

Referring to his statement of assets. He declared owning a third of an acre of land near Moscow, an 800-square-foot apartment and a garage in St. Petersburg, a 2009 Lada — and a tow-hitch trailer.

:)
 

Ishmael

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An interesting pack of lies...this whole thing should be in purple.


Address to participants of 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum​


President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,

I would like to welcome you to the 10th St Petersburg International Legal Forum, which, as always, has brought together leading jurists and practicing lawyers from many countries.

I am glad that after a forced interruption, the forum is again being held in person because even the most advanced communication technologies cannot replace a direct dialogue and face-to-face meetings.


Participants at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum recently discussed the most relevant political, financial, technological and cultural issues on the global agenda; many of these issues directly related to international law. It is important that you continue this conversation within this forum and discuss important topics like Law in a Multipolar World.

It is true, a multipolar system of international relations is now being formed. It is an irreversible process; it is happening before our eyes and is objective in nature. The position of Russia and many other countries is that this democratic, more just world order should be built on the basis of mutual respect and trust, and, of course, on the generally accepted principles of international law and the UN Charter.

At the same time, it is being said that law cannot adequately respond to the problems and challenges of today, to today’s turbulent and fundamental changes. There are also more radical assessments that the idea of international law is being dismantled. I fundamentally disagree with these conclusions.

Undoubtedly, the system of international law needs to be further developed, but we should not confuse cause and effect. Crises happen not because law is faulty, but because of attempts to replace law with dictate, and international standards with the national jurisdiction of certain states or groups of states in a deliberate refusal to follow essential legal principles – justice, conscientiousness, equality and humanity. These are not just legal ideals, but values that reflect the diversity of our civilisation.

Some states are not ready to accept losing their supremacy on the international stage, and they are striving to preserve the unjust unipolar model. Under the guise of what they call order based on rules, and other questionable concepts, they try to control and direct global processes at their own discretion, and hold to a course of creating closed blocs and coalitions that make decisions for the benefit of one country, the United States of America. The natural rights of others in international relations are being ignored; the fundamental principle of indivisibility of security is being used selectively. The West’s unilateral, illegitimate sanctions against sovereign states have reached an unprecedented scale.

I will add that the countries that advocate their own exceptionalism also overstep the law and cross out such concepts as inviolability of property and freedom of speech in their own domestic policy as well. In sum, the domination of one country or a group of countries on the global stage is not only counter-productive, but also dangerous and inevitably creates global, systemic risk.

The multipolar world of the 21st century does not have a place for inequality or for discrimination against states and peoples. Therefore, our country speaks for the practical realisation of the pivotal international legal principle of the sovereign equality of states and the right of each state to pursue its own development model.

The Russian foreign affairs agenda has always been and remains constructive. We develop multipolar relations with all who are interested in them and place great value on cooperation within the UN, the G20, BRICS, the SCO and other associations.

Russia is open to dialogue on ensuring strategic stability, preserving agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and improving the situation in arms control. We are focused on joining efforts on crucial issues like the climate agenda, fighting famine, providing stability in food and energy markets, and fair rules in international trade and competition.

All of these areas require appropriate and flexible legal regulation and meticulous cooperation. With this approach, we could avoid crises such as the current one in Donbass that is happening to protect its residents from genocide – and there can be no other definition for the Kiev regime’s actions than “a crime against humanity.”

At the same time, Russia will continue to create a more democratic and just world where the rights of all peoples are guaranteed and mankind’s cultural and civilizational diversity is preserved.

I am confident that, by consistently following international law and joining our efforts, it is possible to resolve the most difficult problems that the world is facing and to provide for the stable, sustainable and progressive development of all states. Both practicing lawyers and jurists can and should bring a significant contribution to the recreation of the authority of law, strengthening its legal institutions and rebuilding trust in international relations.

I wish all of you productive work and interesting networking.

Thank you for your attention.

http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/68785
 

enigmatically2

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I've read this guys stuff for a whole, I haven't agreed with all of what he has written by some way, but this is interesting.
Short version is that when you allow for lack of palletisation & automation in RU logistics, damage to roads etc, GMLRS now means that UKR can now target fuel and ammo depots so far behind the front line that the Russian trucks cannot do even a single return trip a day from a depot to front line.
And rail logistics are easier to target. So as GMLRS makes itself felt, RU logistics (and in particular support for artillery) are effectively unsustainable

 
:D

Yes, like DW suggested my definition is 'out of context' but at the heart of both the Russian Oligarchs and what I consider to be USA 'oligarchs' is the ability of powerful forces to influence, in both cases, the President. In the USA it is generally a case of bribery too although here it is largely 'legalized' bribery, through our ridiculous campaign financing rules. For a better explanation, the NPR podcast I posted above is a good one.

More to the subject at hand, there seem to be lots of people benefitting financially from the war in Ukraine, although I am not accusing Biden of being one of them.
I think that is a very inaccurate and detracting definition of an oligarch.
It presents a misleading picture of both the US political system of government and organized crime in Russia.

Throughout history there have been people who influence the affairs of state. William Cecil influenced the affairs of England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First. Hamilton advised Washington. Jonathan Gray and Joshua Bekenstein have profound access to the Biden administration.

In contemporary Western democracies including the United States, positions of influence and advice on both sides or the aisle have been attained through commercial success, military aptitude, intellectual ability, political & oratory skills and nepotism but rarely by organized crime. The Mafia tried hard during the Kennedy years but were repulsed .

You may dislike the American system of lobbying and depending on your politics you may dislike Warren Buffet, Bill Gates or the Koch Brothers, but it is fundamentally and extraordinarily different from Russia where organized crime has misappropriated vast wealth and vast swathes of the Russian economy and one of these criminals has installed himself as President .

Viewing the Oligarchs as the puppeteers who pull the strings in Russia misunderstands the relationship. The Oligarchs are Putin's underlings, not the other way around. The closest analogy is the Mafia and Putin is the godfather. He decides who gets what and in return he gets a piece of the action. They may come up with ideas and schemes but the final decision is down to Putin advised by a couple of consigliere (notably Nikolai Shamalov). Putin's personal illicit wealth is more than equal to that of the individual oligarchs.

IMHO, an Oligarch , properly defined in the context of contemporary Russia and Ukraine is a person or criminal , who obtained vast wealth by misappropriating the assets of Russian state owned enterprises during the collapse of the soviet system or was subsequently awarded state owned contracts through illegal means or created vast illegal schemes through state schemes after the fall of the Soviet empire. This usually entailed, fraud, thuggery, murder, blackmail and corruption. One of the larger acquirer of assets is Rosinvest which funded by PetroMed which in turn was 50% owned by the Saint Petersburg's Committee on External Relations (KVS).....which was headed by....you guessed it, Vladamir Putin. Everything is in the name of Shamalov whose sole business qualification before he met Putin was that he was a dentist in St Petersburg.

Why is this relevant to Ukraine? Because the Panama papers revealed that Putin has a significant offshore interest in Rossiya bank, a bank that is ostensibly controlled by Shamalov. What bank is the largest investor and lender to Russian development in the Crimea?.....you guessed right again.
 

Rain Man

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Wet coast.
I've read this guys stuff for a whole, I haven't agreed with all of what he has written by some way, but this is interesting.
Short version is that when you allow for lack of palletisation & automation in RU logistics, damage to roads etc, GMLRS now means that UKR can now target fuel and ammo depots so far behind the front line that the Russian trucks cannot do even a single return trip a day from a depot to front line.
And rail logistics are easier to target. So as GMLRS makes itself felt, RU logistics (and in particular support for artillery) are effectively unsustainable


Russia claims to have destroyed two HIMARS units. Hope it is not true, there would only be two left in that case. Four more are due to be delivered soon.
 




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