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Scholz Urges Wider Alliance Against Russia to Thwart Putin - Bloomberg

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Scholz Urges Wider Alliance Against Russia to Thwart Putin

  • German chancellor speaks at World Economic Forum in Davos
  • Attack on Ukraine undermines rules-based order, Scholz says
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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for more countries to join international efforts to isolate Russia, saying President Vladimir Putin must not be allowed a victory in Ukraine that could embolden other warmongers.

Scholz’s plea came as the European Union struggles to maintain a united front in talks over further sanctions against Moscow, and many emerging powers in Asia, Africa and South America show little readiness to criticize or even punish Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

“Putin wants to return to a world order in which the stronger dictate what is right; in which not everyone is entitled to freedom, sovereignty and self-determination. This is imperialism,” Scholz said in a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Thursday.

“This is an attempt to bomb us back to a time when war was a common political tool, when our continent and the world lacked a stable order of peace,” he added.

In his speech, which included a rare swipe at China, Scholz said Russia’s invasion was not only threatening Ukraine’s existence but was also undermining an international order of rules-based cooperation which has limited large-scale military conflict in recent decades.

“That’s why our goal is very clear: Putin must not win his war. And I’m convinced: He won’t win it,” Scholz said.

Putin will only end his military campaign if he realizes that he cannot break Ukraine’s defenses, he said, adding that this “is why we support Ukraine.”

Scholz also highlighted some of Germany’s historic decisions triggered by the war, including a push to cut dependency on Russian energy imports and abandoning a long-standing policy of not sending weapons to conflict zones.

Germany has sent military gear such as anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft defense systems to Ukraine. It also plans to provide heavy artillery together with the Netherlands. A plan to allow a German defense company to sell tanks directly to Ukraine got bogged down due to a lack of available ammunition.

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Scholz reiterated that Germany and its allies agreed to avoid any steps which would pull the North Atlantic Treaty Organization directly into the war as this would mean confrontation between nuclear powers.

“It is about making it clear to Putin: There will be no dictated peace,” Scholz said. “Ukraine will not accept that, and neither will we.”

Germany, which currently holds the presidency of the Group of Seven industrialized countries, wants to avoid a split in which Europe and the US would face a front of emerging powers led by China and Russia.

In a bid to counter this, Scholz has invited the leaders of India, Indonesia, South Africa, Senegal and Argentina to the G-7 summit in Elmau in the Bavarian Alps at the end of next month.

Scholz called out China over apparent abuse of mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs in mass detention camps in the Xinjiang region, saying such “violations of human rights” cannot be ignored.

— With assistance by Katharina Rosskopf

(Updates with Scholz comment on China)
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Five Best: Books on Counterespionage - WSJ

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Five Best: Books on Counterespionage

Selected by Howard Blum, the author, most recently, of ‘The Spy Who Knew Too Much: An Ex-CIA Officer’s Quest Through a Legacy of Betrayal.’

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Are the school shooters directed and manipulated by the Foreign (Russian} Intelligence Services?

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Are the school shooters directed and manipulated by the Foreign (Russian} Intelligence Services? - GS


Are (the susceptable due to mental illnes or similar problems) school shooters directed and manipulated (including on-line) by the Foreign (Russia is the prime suspect) Intelligence Services (allied with the Russian Mob, their foot soldiers)?! 

The statistical conneection between the frequency of shooting episodes and the international events has to be explored further, but it appears to be present on the first (unarmed eye) glance. 

There is no use of denying and avoiding this issue, it has to be dealt with. 

To me, it seems very likely that Putin himself might be behind this and other activities of this type. It is quite possible that this was a retaliation for the Beslan School incident at first, and then it aquired the momentum of its own. 

FBI and other Counterintelligence Services: you have to act now or it will be no end to this; the attempts to terrorise and to intimidate America and other countries will continue and intensify. 

Michael Novakhov | 5:50 AM 5/27/2022 - Post Link

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Michael Novakhov on school shootings, Putin, and Russian Intelligence Services - GS


Are school shooters mentally ill? | Greg Swenson

“I understand that mass shooters have been around for a while, but there are some societal issues here that have to be addressed.”

Should we blame society for school shootings? Calum Macdonald and Chloe Tilley speak to the chair of Republicans Overseas Greg Swenson on Times Radio.
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Times Radio brings you the latest breaking news, expert analysis and well-informed discussion on the biggest stories of the day.

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Germany vows Putin 'won't win' Ukraine war as Russians advance | Jordan Times

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A man walks past a damaged building after a strike in Kramatorsk in the eastern Ukranian region of Donbas, on Wednesday (AFP photo)

KYIV, Ukraine — German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed Thursday that Vladimir Putin will neither win the Ukraine war nor dictate the terms for peace, as Russian troops made fresh attempts to take a key eastern city.

Ukrainian officials said Russian forces had tried to storm the besieged industrial hub of Severodonetsk and nearby Lysychansk, the focal point of Moscow's renewed offensive in the Donbas region.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on the West to offer help "without limits", specifically heavy weaponry for his outgunned troops, and blasted suggestions a negotiated peace could include territorial concessions.

European powerhouse Germany has faced frequent Ukrainian criticism for not doing enough to help, but Scholz underscored the "resolve and strength" of Berlin and 

Western allies.

"Our goal is crystal clear, Putin must not win this war. And I am convinced that he will not win it," the German chancellor told the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Putin has "already failed in all his strategic aims" and Russia's plan to capture all of Ukraine is "further away today than it was at the beginning" of its invasion on February 24.

“It is a matter of making it clear to Putin that there will be no dictated peace,” said Scholz. “Ukraine will not accept that and neither will we.”

‘I am not scared’ 

Since failing in its early objective of capturing Ukraine’s capital, Moscow’s army has plotted a slow but steady course deeper into the country’s eastern Donbas region.

Fierce fighting is now centred on Severodonetsk, as Ukrainian forces try to stop Russian troops encircling the city and cutting off the lone road in.

Ukraine’s presidency said in a morning update that “Russian troops tried to storm Severodonetsk and Lysychansk”, with three people killed in Lysychansk.

“It is clear that slowly, slowly, our guys [Ukrainian soldiers] are simply retreating to more fortified positions,” Lugansk regional governor Sergiy Gaiday said on Telegram on Thursday.

“It’s very hard for the guys. Extremely hard. But they are holding on”.

In the eastern front city of Kramatorsk, children are roaming the rubble as the sound of shellfire booms.

“That was a 22 [122-mm artillery],” said Yevgen, a sombre-looking 13-year-old who moved to Kramatorsk with his mother from the ruins of his village Galyna.

“I am not scared,” he declared as he sat alone on a slab of a destroyed apartment block. “I got used to the shelling in Galyna.”

Four civilians were killed in shelling in the Donetsk region around Kramatorsk, while two were killed in Kharkiv region in the northeast, the Ukrainian presidency said.

‘Without limits’ 

As the fighting raged, Zelensky called out the international community for paying too much attention to Moscow’s interests.

He took specific aim at former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and The New York Times for suggesting territorial sacrifices might be necessary to end the conflict.

Kissinger, the 99-year-old champion of realpolitik, this week told Davos that a return to the “status quo” before Russia’s invasion would prevent a broader war.

Russia formally annexed Crimea in 2014, while separatist groups aligned with Moscow have controlled parts of Donbas, which comprises Donetsk and Lugansk regions, since the same time.

But Zelensky ruled out any such concessions and urged the West to add to the billions of dollars of weapons it has already poured into Ukraine.

“We need the help of our partners — above all, weapons for Ukraine. Full help, without exceptions, without limits, enough to win,” Zelensky said in his daily address to the nation.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba had earlier told Davos that his country “badly” needs multiple-launch rocket systems to match Russian firepower.

Kyiv has also been pushing for a full energy embargo on Russia in addition to the sweeping economic sanctions already imposed on Moscow since the invasion.

‘Show me one Nazi!’ 

Russia’s central bank cut its key interest rate Thursday to 11 per cent from 14 per cent following an emergency meeting, as authorities sought to rein in the ruble which has surged in value despite the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow slapped strict capital controls to boost the economy after the imposition of the sanctions and since then the ruble has staged a spectacular rebound, but Russia fears a strong ruble can hit budget revenues and exporters.

Russia has meanwhile called on the West to lift the sanctions in exchange for freeing up grain exports, with fears mounting of a global food crisis, particularly in Africa.

The Kremlin is also seeking to tighten its grip over the parts of Ukraine it occupies, including fast-tracking citizenship for residents of two southern regions that are mostly under Russian control.

The United States branded the plan an “attempt to subjugate the people of Ukraine”.

Even in areas where Ukraine has pushed back Russian forces, such as around the second city of Kharkiv, the shells continue to fall.

Russia’s rationale of a “special military operation” to “demilitarise and de-Nazify” Ukraine draws a snort of derision in one village near Kharkiv.

“Show me one Nazi in the village! We have our nation, we are nationalists but not Nazis nor fascists,” says retired nurse Larysa Kosynets.

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Blinken: US to lead international Russia-Ukraine bloc against China | KATV

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Blinken: US to lead international Russia-Ukraine bloc against China


U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken looks on before a meeting with Japan's Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi in Tokyo, Monday, May 23, 2022. (Philip Fong/Pool Photo via AP)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the Biden administration is aiming to lead the international bloc opposed to Russia's invasion of Ukraine into a broader coalition to counter what it sees as a more serious, long-term threat to global order from China.

In a speech outlining the administration's China policy to be delivered on Thursday, Blinken will lay out a three-pillar approach to competing with Beijing in a race to define the 21st century's economic and military balance, according to excerpts of the address released by the State Department.

While the U.S. sees Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin's war in Ukraine as the most acute and immediate threat to international stability, Blinken will say the administration believes China poses a greater danger.

"Even as President Putin's war continues, we will remain focused on the most serious long-term challenge to the international order – and that is the one posed by the People's Republic of China," Blinken will say.

"China is the only country with both the intent to reshape the international order — and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do it," he will say. "Beijing's vision would move us away from the universal values that have sustained so much of the world's progress over the past 75 years."

Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Kazakhstan's Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi at the State Department in Washington, Friday, May 20, 2022. (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)

Thus, Blinken will lay out principles for the administration to marshal its resources, friends and allies to push back on increasing Chinese assertiveness around the world.

However, he will also acknowledge that the U.S. has limited ability to directly influence China's intentions and ambitions and will instead focus on shaping the strategic environment around China.

"We can't rely on Beijing to change its trajectory," Blinken will say in the speech, to be delivered at George Washington University. "So we will shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open and inclusive international system."

The speech follows President Joe Biden's just-concluded visits to South Korea and Japan, where China loomed large in discussions. Biden raised eyebrows during that trip when he said that the United States would act militarily to help Taiwan defend itself in the event of an invasion by China, which regards the island as a renegade province.

The administration scrambled to insist that Biden was not changing American policy and officials said that Blinken will restate that the U.S. has not changed its position. Blinken will say that Washington still holds to its "One China" policy, which recognizes Beijing but allows for unofficial links with and arms sales to Taipei, according to officials familiar with the speech.

Those officials said Blinken will make the case that the global response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine serves as a template for dealing with China's efforts to mold a new and unpredictable world order to replace the rules and institutions that have guided relations between states since the end of World War II.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a meeting with Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General, Hissein Brahim Taha, at the State Department in Washington, Wednesday, May 25, 2022. (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP)

China, Blinken will say, has benefited greatly from that international order but is now trying to subvert it under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party.

"Rather than using its power to reinforce and revitalize the laws, agreements, principles, and institutions that enabled its success, so other countries can benefit from them, too, Beijing is undermining it," Blinken will say. "Under President Xi, the ruling Chinese Communist Party has become more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad."

Investment in domestic U.S. infrastructure and technology along with stepping up diplomatic outreach to potentially vulnerable countries are other elements of the policy are key to the U.S. approach, Blinken will say.

In the latest manifestation of China's push to expand its reach that has drawn concern from the U.S. and other democracies, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Thursday began an eight-nation tour of Pacific islands during which Beijing hopes to strike a sweeping agreement that covers everything from security to fisheries.

Wang opened his tour in the Solomon Islands, which last month signed a security cooperation pact with China that some fear could lead to a Chinese military presence there. The agreement was finalized shortly after the Biden administration announced it would open a U.S. embassy in the Solomons as part of its efforts to engage in the greater Indo-Pacific region.

The Biden administration has largely kept in place confrontational policies toward China adopted by its predecessor in response to Chinese actions in its western Xinjiang region, Hong Kong, Tibet and the South China Sea.

And, while the administration sees areas for working with Beijing, such as combatting climate change, it will not trade cooperation for compromising on its principles regarding human rights and rule of law, Blinken will say.

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May 25, 2022 8:08 am | Uvalde Robb Elementary | Putin's exit 'being discussed' in Kremlin as elites and allies turn on him | FBI investigating assassination plot against George W. Bush

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