The following may be of interest because it gives the view of the government in Kiev regarding recent events in Syria. Please keep in mind that when ACEWA posts an article under “News” or “Analysis” it is not necessarily endorsing its contents. In the following piece, reporter Matthew Schofield notes that, “In recent weeks, as Russian bombs and missiles have started landing in Homs, Hama and Aleppo in Syria, concern has grown among Ukrainians that one of the primary targets of the barrage actually is their country.”
Ever since the first indications that there were Russians encamped at the airfield in Latakia, theories have proliferated around Russia’s strategy in Syria, its intentions, and questions on how far they — and others — will go.
There are lots of things that these theories get wrong.
MARIUPOL, Ukraine (AP) — Four exit polls from Ukraine’s local elections released Monday indicated the governing coalition would retain its dominant position in the west and center of the country despite widespread disappointment with the government of President Petro Poroshenko.
The Central Election Committee said it had received data from only 30 percent of the vote by Monday morning, reflecting the challenge of calculating the results of elections for more than 10,700 local councils as well as mayors. More than 130 parties fielded candidates. Complete results were expected Nov. 4.
After weeks of political wrangling, the Iraqi parliament finally agreed to allow Russia to launch air strikes against the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Iraq, paving the way for the involvement of a powerful new combatant in an already complex battleground in a move that will likely incense the US.
Will the next president avert a new Cold War between the United States and Russia over Ukraine? Katrina vanden Heuvel, the editor and publisher of The Nation, wants to know. Make the wrong move, she warns, and you risk a disaster for “women, children and other living beings.”
Prof. Paul Robinson explores some reasons why liberal Russian political parties such as PARNAS remain unpopular at the polls. According to Robinson, while the oft-stated liberal complaint that “they suffer from a combination of state repression and constant propaganda from state-controlled media” may have some validity, Robinson speculates that, among other reasons, “it is possible that Russian liberalism is tainted because it has never been able to develop a healthy relationship with the state and with concepts of legality, constitutional process, and the like. This comes out in the obsession with street protest, the hopes for ‘regime change’, a ‘colour revolution’, and so on.”
Steven Starr, the director of the University of Missouri’s Clinical Laboratory Science Program, as well as a senior scientist at the Physicians for Social Responsibility, writes in a timely piece for the Federation of American Scientists that “While it is impossible to precisely predict all the human impacts that would result from a nuclear winter, it is relatively simple to predict those which would be most profound…
Following the detonation (in conflict) of US and/or Russian launch-ready strategic nuclear weapons, nuclear firestorms would burn simultaneously over a total land surface area of many thousands or tens of thousands of square miles.”
A small but vocal group of retired American military officers, including President Obama’s former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, have become so disgusted with the Obama Administration’s lack of a coherent strategy for defeating the Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq, that they have publicly come out, supporting the Russian intervention, and calling for a US-Russian partnership to defeat ISIL, even if it means postponing the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Some of these retired flag officers retain deep ties to active duty officers, up to the level of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
VIENNA (AP) — The United States, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey put forward new ideas Friday to revive a failed push for a political transition in Syria that could end the country’s civil war, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. But they remained deeply divided over the future of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The following is an open letter Oxford University’s Tina Jennings to the editor of TIME magazine. According to Jennings, “We would do well to take Putin at his word now and again. He chooses his words exceedingly carefully and doesn’t do sound bites. The result of this approach is that Putin not only means what he says, he also says what he means. This is so refreshing by the standards of ordinary politicians we’re accustomed to in the West that it may feel perplexing, even disorientating, for some.”