Ukraine’s security and intelligence services have struggled with reputational issues ever since independence. During the early post-Soviet period, the Security Services and Foreign Intelligence Service operated with much the same mentality as the KGB during the Cold War, with the West seen as the main adversary. However, this has long since ceased to be the case. In the years following the 2014 Euromaidan Revolution, an overdue Ukrainianization process has taken place within the country’s intelligence services. This transformation was on display recently when the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine unveiled the 74-page “White Book 2021” analyzing current international threats to Ukrainian security.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on January 25-28 will hold the first part of this year's regular session in a hybrid format, allowing delegates to participate both via video link and by attending the Strasbourg event in person.
Tragic history is known to repeat itself. The first time it's pure tragedy, and the second – it's also a farce. However, as we already saw in 2014, farce can also turn out to be bloody. Today, the number of parallel lines between modern Russia's foreign policy and that of the Third Reich is staggering and thus frightening. Some other right-wing radical regimes in Europe try not to lag behind Russia's Putinists, having also decided to start "getting up from their knees" and revisit the roots of the "soil and blood" ideology, which laid the foundation of Nazism). In doing so, they look at the experience of their predecessors, the accomplices of Nazi criminals who could be found in any European country.
Russia is constantly trying to manipulate various international platforms and formats to spread its propaganda. December 2, 2020, the Russian Federation tried to use the Arria-formula meeting of the UN Security Council members to legitimize representatives of the “LPR/DPR” militants, invited by Russia as a third party to express their opinion. Representatives of the so-called DPR and LPR — N. Nikonorova and V. Deinego — for the first time at a meeting of the UN Security Council were going to report on the subject: “Implementation of the 2015 Minsk Package of Measures on the settlement in Ukraine: a year since Paris “Normandie” Summit”. Some kind of the Kremlin’s attempt to impose direct negotiations between the militants and Ukraine on the eve of the 2019 Paris Summit in the Normandy format.
Agresywna polityka Rosji na arenie międzynarodowej polegająca na eksportowaniu wpływów geopolitycznych z regionu na region jest jednym z największych wyzwań stojących przed demokratycznym światem. Afryka Północna i Środkowa, Bliski Wschód, Kaukaz i Arktyka to tylko niektóre z wielu regionów, w których Rosja (choć nie zawsze z powodzeniem) próbuje ustalić agendę. Europa Wschodnia, ze względu na swoje znaczenie strategiczne, geograficzne i historyczne, jest dla Rosji najważniejszym regionem, w którym utrata wpływów wywoła „efekt domina” we wszystkich zewnętrznych ofensywach Kremla.
W tym tygodniu przestrzeń informacyjna Rosji (i nie tylko) została wysadzona w powietrze przez nowe dane o życiu osobistym Putina. Pomimo tego, że doczekali się szerokiej dyskusji, szereg pytań pozostało bez odpowiedzi - kto na tym skorzysta, dokąd to prowadzi i jakie będą konsekwencje. To, co dzieje się dzisiaj, rok temu było po prostu niemożliwe. Informacje o życiu osobistym prezydenta oraz jego zdrowiu są szczególnie chronione. Ale systemowy kryzys zarządzania w Rosji, który spowodował gospodarczy i społeczny, zerwał wszystkie tajne zasłony, pokazał sednu problemów, ujawnił kłamstwa i korupcję.
Moscow has been making every effort to legitimize the annexation of Crimea for several years. Varieties of methods are used. For example, dubious structures like “Friends of Crimea” are being created (it promotes the idea of some “Russian realities on the Peninsula,” I wonder which exactly - the lack of water, the ecological disaster caused by sulfuric acid air pollution in Armyansk or the garbage pyramids?). These are some “public tribunals” (once created for terrorist purposes, but were plundered). These are the voyages of European politicians (bought by Russia, by the way, relatively inexpensively) to the territory of the occupied Peninsula.
Russia has been losing its grip on the former Soviet republics it aims to bring under the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. Recent crises in Belarus, Central Asia, and the Caucasus region have made it difficult for President Vladimir Putin’s image as a master tactician of global power.
Russian President Vladimir Putin says the main focus in his address will be on the global challenge the COVID-19 is posing. At the same time, he will remain silent on Russia having become another major challenge to the international community in the time of crisis. While the whole world is fighting the pandemic, Moscow tried to push through the UN General Assembly its version of the Declaration of Solidarity in the face of the challenges posed by COVID-19, where the idea of lifting international sanctions off itself and its satellites was on among high-profile theses. Thus, from the UN rostrum, the Russian Federation tried to spread the narrative that, in the face of a common deadly threat, the West should forget about sanctions and turn a blind eye to Russian aggression against Ukraine, forget about the problems of Donbas and Crimea, and unite with the Kremlin. And if not, then it's the U.S. and EU who will be responsible for new corona victims.
On September 8, Russian defense chief Sergei Shoigu chaired a conference call with the Russian defense ministry leadership. Media said the minister focused on the upcoming international large-scale Caucasus-2020 military-strategic exercises, set to be held in the Southern Military District, on the territory of Chechnya, Dagestan and North Ossetia starting September 21. He also touched upon athletic records set at ARMI-2020 international games.
US relations with Russia have plummeted nearly to Cold War levels and a series of latest events and accusations have come as a stark reminder of the Russian state’s assertive actions abroad, from military operations in the Middle East to alleged election-meddling in the West. The US officials are closely watching Russia’s actions to prepare the right response which will likely make it even harder to repair Russia’s frayed ties with America. On July 9th, following reports of Russian bounties on American soldiers in Afghanistan, Congressman Max Rose introduced the Stopping Malign Actions from Russian Terrorism (SMART) Act with Congresswoman Kendra Horn of Oklahoma to require the US Department of State to determine if the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism.
On July 17, 2014, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was downed over Donbas. All 298 passengers and crew members were killed. Less than a month later, a Joint Investigation Team was formed allowing criminal investigators from the Netherlands, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine to start the investigation. After the investigation was completed, the trial started in the Netherlands in March 2020. Investigation identified what weapons were used to bring down the Boeing, where they came from, where the launch site was and who the suspects are. Russia denies its involvement in the tragedy. Read on for details.
Hopes that a pandemic-weakened Russia will want to end the war in Ukraine are largely disappointed. Even though Vladimir Putin’s approval rating has slumped to its lowest level since he came to power 20 years ago amid the COVID-19 pandemic, his plans to destabilize the situation in Ukraine are still alive. The Kremlin’s hybrid war against Ukraine remains at heart of Russian foreign policy.
Over the time, the Victory Parade has lost its true sense, having become Putin's political PR aimed to show to the whole world the power of Russian army as a force to be reckoned with. The world has long become a different place so no one is afraid anymore of Russians showcasing their obsolete weapons.
Russia's decision to hold a traditional military parade on Moscow's Red Square is nothing but "victory obscurantism" amid the coronavirus spike and a demonstration of Kremlin's "military prowess" to divert the attention of ordinary Russians from own social problems.
Russian mercenaries from Wagner PMC who are fighting in Libya on the side of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar desecrated Niffati Mosque in Ein Zara in south of Tripoli https://igtds.org/2020/06/mosque-vandalized-by-russians-in-libya-wagner-group-neo-nazis-on-the-side-of-khalifa-haftar