Tag Archives: Vladimir Putin

Rehearsal for ‘Armageddon’ Underway as NATO and Russia Hold Nuclear Exercises

“All nuclear exercises imply willingness to mass murder civilians, wipe out entire cities, and risk all-out nuclear war,” said ICAN. “They also risk accidents and escalation, and will legitimize Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric.”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 10-17-2022 by Common Dreams

A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress leads a formation of aircraft including American, Polish, German, and Swedish fighter aircraft over the Baltic Sea on June 9, 2016. (Photo: U.S. Air Force)

As NATO on Monday began its annual rehearsal for nuclear war in Europe and Russia prepared to conduct its own nuclear drill amid Cold War-like tensions inflamed by the invasion of Ukraine, peace advocates underscored the imperative for de-escalation in order to avert catastrophe.

“All nuclear exercises imply willingness to mass murder civilians, wipe out entire cities, and risk all-out nuclear war,” the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) warned ahead of the NATO drill. “They also risk accidents and escalation, and will legitimize Russia’s dangerous nuclear rhetoric.” Continue reading

Share Button

For Vladimir Putin, Russia’s future is North Korea-lite

The occupied Luhansk and Donetsk regions offer the president a template of brute, military-style governance

By Jeremy Morris  Published 9-30-2022 by openDemocracy

Vladimir_Putin. Photo: Kremlin/CC

Right now, with the Kremlin’s annexation of the occupied territories in southern and eastern Ukraine imminent, public focus is naturally on the implications for Russia’s war against Ukraine and on the prospect of escalation by Russia.

But as an anthropologist working on Russian politics and society, I’m interested in how the administration and governance in places like the so-called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ reflect a possible future for the whole of Russia – a future that looks like ‘North Korea-lite’. Continue reading

Share Button

Direct democracy can force governments to better represent the people – but it doesn’t always work out

The Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade has led to a push for citizens initiatives to enshrine abortion rights.
Jeff Kowalsky/AFP via Getty Images

 

Susan Stokes, University of Chicago

In August 2022, a statewide referendum in Kansas saw citizens overwhelmingly reject a plan to insert anti-abortion language into the state’s constitution. It comes as a slew of similar votes on abortion rights are planned in the coming months – putting the issue directly to the people after the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling.

But are referendums and citizens initiatives good for democracy? It may seem like an odd question to pose on International Day for Democracy, especially at a time when many feel democracy is imperiled both in the U.S. and around the world. Continue reading

Share Button

Gorbachev’s legacy is lauded by the West. The reality is more complicated

Gorbachev was heralded by the West but his political legacy feels largely irrelevant today

By Thomas Rowley  Published 8-31-2022 by openDemocracy

Former Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, Moscow, May 12, 2010 Photo: Veni/flickr/CC

It was in 1984, Mikhail Gorbachev recalled, that he met Margaret Thatcher at Chequers.

The relationship between the pair has since been romanticised, with Thatcher famously referring to Gorbachev as “a man one could do business with”.

In his recollection of the trip, Gorbachev remembered the encounter as “open and friendly”, adding: “nevertheless, our ideological differences immediately became apparent”. Continue reading

Share Button

The UN must act now to stop the crackdown in Russia

New amendments have been added to the ‘undesirables law’ as Putin looks to intimidate, silence and quash dissent

By Damelya Aitkhozhina  Published 8-2-2022 by openDemocracy

Andrey Pivovarov, former executive director of Open Russia, a pro-democracy movement | Image: Facebook / Andrey Pivovarov

For months, Russian authorities have regularly unleashed repressive announcements on Fridays. 15 July was no different.

That day, a court in the city of Krasnodar sentenced Andrey Pivovarov, the former executive director of the now-defunct pro-democracy Open Russia Civic Movement, to four years in prison on charges of leading an ‘undesirable organisation’. Continue reading

Share Button

The Ukraine war has given NATO renewed credibility. That’s a problem

On the biggest issues that will threaten people around the world in the coming years, NATO is well-night irrelevant

By Paul Rogers  Published 5-21-2022 by openDemocracy

Image: Public domain

So far, the greatest of Vladimir Putin’s many failures in the Ukraine war is his aim of seriously weakening NATO.

Far from creating greater disunity between member states, Russia’s president has given NATO a new purpose, just as its role was starting to be questioned. Its unity has even been enhanced, and Sweden and Finland have now applied to join.

This may have drastic global consequences. Continue reading

Share Button

Did the Kremlin launch an invasion to guarantee Putin’s succession?

Independent Russia has yet to come up with a way of transferring power other than war

By Dmytro Babachanakh  Published 5-4-2022 by openDemocracy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power since 2000 | Image: Kremlin.ru

Much has been written about Russia’s war against Ukraine and yet for many, one fundamental question remains unanswered: why did Vladimir Putin decide to launch a full-scale invasion in the first place?

When the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and occupied the Ukrainian Donbas region in 2014, the explanation for its actions seemed straightforward. In response to Ukraine’s revolution that removed a pro-Russian president, Russia had sought to gain complete control of Crimea and turn it into a military base, weakening Ukraine and stalling the country’s integration with NATO and the EU. Continue reading

Share Button

The French election is all about imperialism. Here’s why

With oligarchs using their media outlets to promote far-Right presidential candidates, France is being haunted by its own ghosts

By Adam Ramsay  Pubished 4-6-2022 by openDemocracy

Screenshot: CNN

To understand the coming French election, we need to start not with the incumbent president Emmanuel Macron, nor with any of his rival candidates, but with a billionaire called Vincent Bolloré.

Like many oligarchs, he started out by inheriting a family business founded by his ancestors – in this case, in the 1820s. These days, the eponymous Bolloré is one of the 500 biggest companies in the world, and has a stranglehold on West African trade, controlling 16 major ports down the coast from Mauritania to Congo-Brazzaville. Continue reading

Share Button

Russian Artist Depicts Bucha Victims in Photos Staged Around Moscow

The artist lay face-down with his hands tied behind his back at four locations in the Russian capital.

By Julia Conley  Published 4-5-2022 by Common Dreams

In protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, a Russian artist on Tuesday recreated a widely-circulated image of a victim of what Ukrainian officials have called the “Bucha massacre” in the town of Bucha, outside Kyiv. The artist held the one-person demonstration at four locations in Moscow. (Photo: Holod/Twitter)

As Moscow residents went about their morning early this week, they may have come across an artist laying face-down in front of government buildings and landmarks, recreating widely-seen images of the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine which have sparked international outrage in recent days.

Wearing a brown jacket with their hands tied behind their back with white fabric, the artist appeared on a staircase outside the Kremlin, two streets crowded with pedestrians, and a bridge outside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, according to images posted Monday by independent Russian media outlet Holod. Continue reading

Share Button

Western hypocrisy: What Joe Biden gets wrong about Russia

Those in the Middle East know the kind of destruction seen in Ukraine all too well – the West was the perpetrator

By Paul Rogers  Published 4-2-2022 by openDemocracy

Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense/flickr/CC

Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine remains in a violent stalemate. Russian forces are pausing their attempts to occupy Kyiv, having withdrawn some of their forces from around the capital, but a major retreat is highly unlikely given Russia is recruiting several thousand mercenaries from Syria.

The Kremlin’s strategy now is to concentrate on overrunning the southern Ukraine port city of Mariupol, before joining up Russian forces in Crimea with those in Donbas to take control of as much of the region as possible. Continue reading

Share Button