Newsletter 38.

Russian forces concentrate on the Ukrainian border.

Four weeks ago, I dedicated the ‘editorial’ to developments in Ukraine. Since then I have been waiting for the situation to clarify itself. Following that issue, there was a week or so of alarm, while arguments were heard that Europe was on the brink of WWIII. Indeed it looked as though some dangerous brinkmanship was happening.  NATO was boosting its training missions to the Ukrainian military. The USA flew in several hundred million dollars’ worth of military equipment. Joe Biden ‘phoned the Ukrainian president, Zelensky, to assure him that he had the USA’s full support and the USA announced it planned to send naval ships to support Ukraine in the Black Sea. Russia very publicly, mobilised a massive armed force on its side of the frontier.

All that heightened tension has now subsided. So what has happened? Basically Russia has achieved its strategic objective without giving the EU the hoped for justification for yet more sanctions. (Biden, saving face, found another excuse and imposed them anyway.) To avoid dangerous misunderstandings, Russian planners wanted to bring home to NATO the reality of Russian military superiority along its frontier. Martyanov

By having forced the issue now, Russia has almost certainly avoided the necessity of involvement in a kinetic war further down the track. Ukraine has been forced to accept the reality that European powers have no wish to be forced into a hot-war with Russia by a loose-cannon such as Zelensky and that Ukraine will never be allowed to join NATO.  Biden’s assurances of support have been shown to be meaningless. His advisers have been forced to acknowledge the military reality of Russia’s overwhelming superiority in its border zone. Such an acceptance of reality makes the world a much safer place.

Global Governance

Syria’s suffering  Poor Syria.  Who would want to be the grass when the elephants fight? The globe needs governance! 4 minute read.

COVAX Progress: the UN organised COVAX roll-out 3 minute read

Peace and Conflict Resolution

Ukraine doco.   Oliver Stone doco with key interviews on the conflict in Ukraine.  1 hr. 34 minute watch.

Farewell? Afghanistan  The Taliban’s ‘freedom fighters’ might believe they have won but, as Trump found when trying to withdraw from Syria, forces within the USA will do all in their power to keep a finger in the Afghani pie.  3 minute read.

Environment & Climate Change

Marine safe areas NZ cautious about marine safe areas. 2 minute read.

Mini-nuclear power generation  Small scale nuclear reactors on the road to carbon reduction. 5 minute read.

Progress  Don’t worry about loss of bio-diversity  –  we can create new varieties!   As a heads up as to where this technology could lead it should be noted that DARPA is already involved in the project. (“The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for the use of the US Military.”) 5 minute watch.

Human Rights & Justice.

Xinjiang Is our Foreign Minister simply playing follow-my-leader?

Weaponising human rights   Calls our Foreign Minister’s views into question. 3 minute read – or a much longer, but interesting, watch.

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