On October 22, Ekho Moskvy radio station in Moscow reported that in an act of desperation a local political activist in the Ural Mountains region, Vladimir Chukavin, managed to have a thoroughfare renamed “Putin Straße.” The new name is now written on street signs in Germanic Latin script above its former name, still shown in the original Cyrillic.
The 2001 film Conspiracy reconstructs the infamous January 20, 1942, Wannsee conference, during which the following exchange supposedly took place between Rudolf Lange, a Nazi extermination unit commander who liquidated Latvia’s Jewish population of 250,000 in six months, and Friedrich Wilhelm Kritzinger of the Reich chancellery:
The world continues to ask questions about who is responsible for the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines (MH) flight 017 as it was crossing the airspace over the border between Russia and the eastern region of Ukraine near the city of Donetsk. The aircraft, a U.S.-made Boeing 777, was by all accounts and data intercepts available so far, brought down by a Russian-made Buk (SA-11 Gadfly/SA-17 Grizzly) self-propelled surface-to-air-missile (SAM) battery located close to the Russian border.Read more
More than twelve years as an American living in the capital of Ukraine cause one to stop taking much notice of the daily inconveniences: power cuts, Internet outages, up and down currency exchange rates that are cause for exchanging only enough money to get through the next day, murderous traffic, collapsing infrastructure. These are some of the niceties that come with life in the less-than-fully-developed countries that are what most of the wrecked post-Soviet republics still remain more than 20 years after they became independent.
There is a joke in Ukraine these days that says “totalitarian states now assume a national character that is consistent with the past profession of their dictators. In Belarus, a former collective farm director (Aleksandr Lukashenko) has turned the country into what appears to be one big kolkhoz (the Soviet name for a large agricultural collective). In Russia, a former KGB officer (Vladimir Putin) has converted the nation into a massive police state. And now in Ukraine, a former convict (Viktor Yanukovych) is trying to make the country into one, giant prison.”
Andrew Marshall, the longtime director of the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment, has had a number of titles conferred on him over the years. A 1999 profile in Washingtonian magazine dubbed him “the most influential policy maker you have never heard of.” Others of us who have known him over the years have christened him “the Jedi Master” because, like the enigmatic Yoda from the George Lucas Star Wars saga, he has an uncanny ability to see ahead and to grasp the strengths and weaknesses of the nation’s adversaries.Read more
On the first weekend in June and for the twelfth year in a row, senior foreign policy makers, military officials, politicians, and defense industry representatives flocked to an exclusive hotel resort in this Southeast Asian city-state for the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian Security Summit. The event now draws a Who’s Who of global military power personalities: Asian, European and U.S. defense ministers; regional military commanders, including a high-level delegation of strategists from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) military.
Living in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine, one becomes highly sensitive to public figures who look away from genocidal, government-created famines. The Holodomor or “Extermination By Hunger” was a 1932-33 famine in Stalin-era Ukraine that cost the lives of as many as 7.5 million people. This act of genocide has been officially acknowledged only in the last decade—more than 7 decades later and 15 years after the Soviet state responsible for it ceased to exist.
Rio de Janeiro
When it comes to recognizing both the traditional position and strengths of -Brazil and its status as an emerging global player, the Obama administration seems to be tone deaf. Nothing illustrates this better than how the United States is conducting its defense industrial relations in this country.Read more
One of the world’s last Communist regimes may be about to unravel. But unlike the 1989-1991 fall of the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact puppet states in Central and Eastern Europe, the collapse of North Korea could have far-reaching and destructive aftershocks. Moreover, there is little evidence that any of the major powers that will be affected are prepared for—or even want to acknowledge the possibility of—what comes next.
Kiev – A close friend from the Republic of China (otherwise known as Taiwan) lived for several years in Foshan, in the southern province of Guangdong in the People’s Republic of China (PRC). One day, when feeling rather hopeless about Chinese society, she remarked, “what I hate about this place is that no one cares about human life. If someone is killed in a traffic accident or from some other cause no one does anything because the police say ‘oh that is just a person, it does not really matter.’ But if a car is stolen then they are on top of it like a flash because the car is worth money to someone—particularly if the police find it and can persuade the owner to pay them to give it back.”Read more
Taipei, Republic of China —Aircraft carriers are the cause of apprehension here in Taiwan. The concern is that, in the event of any future hostile action taken by China against Taiwan, U.S. carriers would be taken out by China’s increasingly capable arsenal of anti-ship missiles—and that the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy’s air wing (PLAN AF) would bring attack aircraft and other strike assets closer to Taiwan.Read more
Speculation over the medical condition of former Chinese Communist leader Jiang Zemin continues unabated since a Hong Kong television station, ATV, broadcast an unattributed news story of his death on July 6. Jiang’s health has been thought to be in decline for some months, but when he did not make an appearance for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist party on July 1, it was suspected that the 84-year old must be in his last days.Read more
As Henry Kissinger used to say, at times it is more dangerous to be America’s friend than its enemy. Further confirmation of this sage observation came on June 24 when the Obama State Department blocked another request by Taiwan to purchase 66 Lockheed Martin F-16C/D fighter aircraft. These are badly needed by the Republic of China's air force to supplement an aging fleet of U.S., French and indigenously-built combat aircraft.Read more
Kiev – At around 10 a.m. Moscow time on March 23, the world saw another example of just how dangerous it is to be an investigative reporter in Russia. Sergei Topol, a 55-year-old political journalist, was beaten by two men outside of his apartment building at 1 Kotelnicheskaya Naberezhnaya—one of the prestigious Stalin-era, wedding cake-style buildings, located not far from the Kremlin. He was hospitalized with numerous bruises and a concussion.Read more
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