This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back
- Russia and Europe’s far right become political allies through anti-Americanism
- Mali separatists appeal to Russia for support on independence
- Israel claims secret talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait about Iran
East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back
A day later than originally threatened, Ukraine’s acting PresidentOlexander Turchynov announced the beginning of an “anti-terroristoperation” by Ukraine’s army to strike back at pro-Russian separatistactivists in cities in eastern Ukraine. Later, Turchynov said theairbase at Kramatorsk had been “liberated” from “terrorists.”
This clash could go either way, but based on what I’ve read, Ipersonally don’t feel that there’s yet enough “social fuel” in thispopulation for this to spiral into something major.
However, a victory by Kiev or even a stalemate may not be acceptableto Russia, who are thought to have been promoting chaos in Ukraine tohave an excuse to invade.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the sharpescalation of the conflict in Ukraine puts the country on the brink ofcivil war. Putin may be looking for an opportunity to launch a short,sharp attack to take control of east Ukraine too quickly for anyone toreact. BBCand Voice of Russia
Russia and Europe’s far right become political allies through anti-Americanism
In past decades, Russia was usually allied with far-left Communistsand Socialists in Europe, but in this generational crisis era, Russiais increasingly finding European allies among far right and right-wingpopulists. (The phrase “far right” has a different meaning in Europeand in America.) With the European Parliament elections approaching,some of these parties are increasingly open about their desire to actas an advocate for Russia in Brussels.
These parties are natural allies of Russia because of their commonskepticism of immigration and concerns about Islamic extremism. Butthe broadest foundation for cooperation is their jointanti-Americanism and their opposition to the European Union’s closeties with the United States. According to one right-wing politician:
Instead of playing the stooge of the US in theencirclement of Russia, Brussels must finally be able to buildpositive relations with Moscow and show understanding of Russianinterests.
It’s thought that Russia’s objective is to destabilize and weaken theEuropean political scene and weaken the European-American alliance.Spiegel
Mali separatists appeal to Russia for support on independence
Following the secession of Crimea from Ukraine, the Russians arebecoming the go-to guys for any secessionist group in other countries.
In April 2012, the Tuareg ethnic group declared that northern Maliwas seceding from Mali, and the new country would have the nameAzawad. The governing party would be called the Mouvement National deLibération de l’Azawad (MNLA). This led to an invasion in thenorth by al-Qaeda-linked militants followed by the introduction of aFrench peacekeeping force in January 2013.
MNLA officials made a recent visit to Russia:
[The goal was to spread] the message of the people ofAzawad everywhere, particularly in the countries that are membersof the UN Security Council, some of which have veto power…
All the causes of the conflict were explained to the government ofthe Russian Federation. The political, social and cultural reasonsfor the recurring revolts and the suffering of the people ofAzawad were discussed at length. The president of the MNLA’sleadership, Mr. Bilal Ag Acharif, clearly expressed the necessityand the urgency of finding a solution to this never-endingconflict through a political dialogue. He reaffirmed theavailability of the MNLA to operate by means of politicalnegotiations provided that they are based on the sincere and frankwillingness of all the parties.
Russia has its own secessionist issues, with some activists inRussia’s North Caucasus provinces wanting to form a separate Islamicstate. Russia’s foreign ministry reaffirmed to the MNLA theavailability of the Russian Federal government to help the differentparties to find a just, equitable and durable solution for the crisis.Memri
Israel claims secret talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait about Iran
Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that Israelis holding secret talks with some Arab states to establish diplomaticties based on a common fear of Iran. He specifically named SaudiArabia and Kuwait, neither of which recognize Israel. Israel hassigned peace deals with only two of its Arab neighbors, Egypt andJordan. According to Lieberman:
For the first time there is an understanding therethat the real threat is not Israel, the Jews or Zionism. It isIran, global jihad, (Lebanese Shi’ite guerrilla group) Hezbollahand al Qaeda. There are contacts, there are talks, but we arevery close to the stage in which within a year or 18 months itwill no longer be secret, it will be conductedopenly.
However, both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait deny that any such talks aretaking place or have ever taken place. According to Kuwait’s foreignministry:
These claims are baseless. There are no meetings,official or unofficial contacts, public or secret.