Germany agrees to send Leopard 2 Tanks to Ukraine…

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has bowed to considerable pressure and agreed to send Leopard Tanks to Ukraine. He has also agreed not to block other countries from sending their Leopard Tanks to Ukraine. The U.S. plans to Send M1 Abrams Tanks to Ukraine. It can be hard to independently verify data but Ukraine claims to have destroyed an insane amount of Russian equipment and soldiers. I am no Eisenhower, so I don’t fully understand the focus on tanks. It seems …

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Dmitry Medvedev predicts Irish Unity next year…

man in yellow and white long sleeve shirt sitting on white ball

I was trying to avoid news this week, but this one is more in the silly session section, so content to let you have some fun. The second most powerful man in Russia took to Twitter to make some predictions. The predictions are a bit bonkers. Either he was on the vodka over Christmas, or more likely, he is having some fun with social media. 6. War will break out between France and the Fourth Reich. Europe will be divided, …

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What next for the Ukraine War?

If Vietnam was the first TV war, Ukraine must surely be the first Social Media one. Anyone with a passing interest in international affairs will have seen the war porn; clips of tanks bursting into flames, drones dropping bomblets on armoured vehicles, artillery strikes and even snipers snuffing out lives. Rather than a dearth of information we have too much and it is difficult to separate facts from misinformation or truth from propaganda. What is clear, there is no sign …

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Russian missiles strike NATO member Poland killing two…

flying rocket during daytime

It seems it was not a deliberate strike, but still it will be very interesting to see what happens next. BREAKING: A senior U.S. intelligence official says Russian missiles crossed into NATO member Poland, killing two people. A Polish government spokesman did not immediately confirm the information, but said leaders were meeting on "crisis situation." https://t.co/W1hhjwa6ez — The Associated Press (@AP) November 15, 2022 Brian O'NeillI help to manage Slugger by taking care of the site as well as running …

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Intercepted calls from Russian soldiers in Ukraine…

The New York Times has created an interactive story from intercepted calls from Russian soldiers in Ukraine. It makes for an inciteful if harrowing read and listen. Exclusive: The New York Times obtained intercepted calls made by Russian soldiers in Ukraine, including damning accounts of the execution of civilians. Hear the audio. https://t.co/CtMjVhLLZl pic.twitter.com/yjN0EGSQiu — The New York Times (@nytimes) September 28, 2022 The soldiers admit to killing civilians as well as looting. They also tell of massive casualties in …

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Putin announces ‘partial mobilisation’ of Russia and threatens nuclear retaliation…

First the pandemic, then the cost-living crisis, and now we have nuclear annihilation to look forward to. From Reuters: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday called up 300,000 reservists to fight in Ukraine and said Moscow would respond with the might of all its vast arsenal if the West pursued what he called its “nuclear blackmail” over the conflict there. It was Russia’s first such mobilisation since World War Two and signified a major escalation of the war, now in …

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Revisiting Nuclear Power : Part 1 : how it works

It can have escaped few of us that the effects of the war in Ukraine and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, alongside the ongoing issue of climate change, have led to renewed interest in the possibilities offered by nuclear power and how it can help to solve the problems governments around the world are facing. This is leading to a re-evaluation of the case for nuclear, and, hopefully, objective consideration of its strengths and weaknesses. I believe that it …

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Empires are most often born on the battlefield, but they die in the bookstore…

St. Basil's Cathedral. This was taken during my first night in Moscow. Decided to take a stroll down the Red Square to see all the sights.

A good article by Ivan Krastev over in the FT. He discusses how Russia’s actions in Ukraine have not only fatally damaged Russia not just economically but also culturally. From the article: Rumour has it that, asked who are Vladimir Putin’s most trusted advisers, one of his inner circle replied drily: “Ivan the Terrible, Catherine the Great and Peter the Great.” Last week, Russia’s president openly compared himself to Peter, and the invasion of Ukraine with the tsar’s expansionist wars …

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Irish Neutrality and military alliances…

nato, flag, compass rose

The Irish Times recently published my letter on Neutrality and military alliances. In this post, I reprint the letter as well as expand on the topic. A chara, – It has often been noted that generals tend to fight the battles of today with the weapons and strategies of the last war. Russia may be finding this out to its cost in Ukraine. Critics of Ireland’s policy of neutrality and relative lack of military capability tend to call for us to …

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Putin says that Russia is fighting for the motherland in Ukraine…

It is the 9th of May, the traditional Victory Day in Russia. Unfortunately for Putin, he has still not gotten his victory over Ukraine. The invasion which he assumed would take two or three days is now dragging on for over three months. Ukraine played an important role in WW2, a fact not lost on Zelensky. ⚡️Zelensky in his WWII victory day speech: 'We won then. We will win now.' “We will never forget what our ancestors did in World …

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Ukraine claims to have sunk the flagship Russian warship Moskva…

Close up shot of a battleship cannon

Quite a stunning achievement from the Ukrainians if true. This is quite a good thread on the subject: Some thoughts on the apparent sinking of the Russian Black Sea flagship Moskva: if confirmed, it's likely to go down in history as one of the most audaciously successful attacks in modern naval history. /1 pic.twitter.com/hWlLdbNMxP — ChrisO (@ChrisO_wiki) April 14, 2022 The Russians are denying the attack claiming the ship was injured by onboard missiles catching fire. I suspect the Ukrainian …

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Playing New Games Without Frontiers…

sochi 2014, russia, olympiad

As we’re all too aware in our own small corner of the world, politics and sport can often be a toxic mix. But in the light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine the combustion of sporting and politico-economic interests was inevitable. George Orwell famously described sport as “war minus the shooting”. The same principle applies today with many governments using it as a propaganda weapon. But one thing which has changed massively since Orwell’s day is the lucrative multi-billion dollar …

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Russian Invasion of Ukraine: International Relations Theory…

soldiers, war, gun

In trying to understand the grave, current political times the world finds itself in regards to the totally amoral Russian invasion of Ukraine, I often think back to what I had learnt in my International Relations classes as part of my Politics degree that I studied many years ago. One theory of international relations that I have always referred to for my understanding of global politics is the theory of realism. Put simply, realism assumes that states behave like humans …

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“Every time you think, ’No, he wouldn’t, would he?’ Well, yes, he would…”

putin, politics, kremlin

Fiona Hill is an expert on Russia and a biographer of Putin. Her interview with Politico is a good background to the current Russian invasion of Ukraine. Some quotes: Putin is usually more cynical and calculated than he came across in his most recent speeches. There’s evident visceral emotion in things that he said in the past few weeks justifying the war in Ukraine. The pretext is completely flimsy and almost nonsensical for anybody who’s not in the echo chamber …

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Russia invades Ukraine…

kiev, ukraine, church

Not content with already being the biggest country in the World, Russia has invaded its neighbour Ukraine. The whole thing is a real failure of diplomacy. Bringing NATO onto the very borders of Russia was always going to provoke a response. But as an independent country, Ukraine has its rights also. The whole thing is profoundly depressing. Thousands of civilian casualties, refugees, a humanitarian crisis. Not to mention how it could escalate. You can follow the whole thing live on …

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Apocalypse Now? The Ukraine crisis and should we be worried?

kiev, ukraine, city

On 22nd October 1962 President John F Kennedy took to live television to warn the American public that Soviet nuclear missiles had been discovered on Cuba, a mere ninety miles from the Florida coast. The American military, including the Strategic Air Command with its B-52 bombers armed with nuclear weapons, was put on full alert. For the next six days, the world held its breath as the Americans affected ostentatious preparations for an invasion of Cuba and the US Navy …

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What happened to the Polish people under Russian Occupation?

“History is written by the victors” is a well known and often accurate statement, however, for me it was never truer than when examining Russia’s role in World War II (WWII). With VE day (Victory in Europe) having now just passed, it was notable that many people highlighted the important role Russia played in bringing about freedom in Europe by helping to defeat Nazi tyranny. Whilst there is absolutely no doubt that Russia played a huge role in defeating Nazism, …

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This weekend we should also remember Russia and their role in the liberation of Europe from the Nazis…

If like me you grew up watching Holywood War Movies you assume the Second World War was won by the plucky brits and their good looking yank buddies – The Russian role in the affair was conveniently airbrushed out of the story. But looking at the stats you soon realise that Russia was the most crucial player in the fight against the Nazis. The Red Army suffered 8,806,453 causalities in WW2 this compares to 407,300 Military deaths for the USA …

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You have to admire the Russians. They are the ultimate internet trolls…

Seems Theresa May is getting annoyed at Russian meddling in Western politics. From the BBC: Senior Russian politicians have dismissed accusations by Theresa May that Moscow has meddled in elections and carried out cyber-espionage. On Monday night, Mrs May accused Moscow of “planting fake stories” to “sow discord in the West”. She said Vladimir Putin’s government was trying to “undermine free societies”. The Russians hit back with: #UK Prime Minister @theresa_may on @Russia: “We know what you are doing”. We …

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Russia’s increasing influence

A regular attack launched at Donald Trump in the recent US Presidential election campaign was his worryingly warm attitude to Vladimir Putin’s Russia, more serious was accusations of Russian hacking and complicity in various scandals through the campaign. At the beginning of this year, it was reported that American intelligence agencies were conducting an investigation into how the Kremlin is influencing politics across Europe.  There are major fears in US intelligence that the Russians are determined to exploit European disunity …

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