Sunday, April 17, 2022

Easter Bonfire in Times of War

This year the Easter Bonfire is no longer a sign of revival but a reminder of destruction.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Chinese Obituary for a Russian Battleship

Here is an unusual obituary for battleship 'Moscow', flagship of Russia's Black Sea Fleet. Even though modernized, it should have served the Russian navy during the last 40 years. Now it sank due to an 'explosion of ammunition', probably incited by Ukrainian forces using cutting edge anti-ship missiles.


As to the destruction of the Ukrainian Antonov AN-225, the biggest aircraft ever built, here is a video footage showing the damage inflicted by Russian military and which is mentioned in the above 'obituary':



Thursday, April 14, 2022

Evacuation of Russia's Flagship in the Black Sea

UPDATE on April 15, 2020:
Russia's flagship 'Moscow' sank within hours after
having suffered from a detonation of ammunition.




China's Global Journal - Global Network 环球时报环球网, quoted by other media from Mainland China, reported the following news:

乌克兰敖德萨军政管理局负责人13日表示,乌军使用“海王星”导弹重创了俄黑海舰队旗舰“莫斯科号”导弹巡洋舰。乌克兰总统办公室主任顾问阿列斯托维奇也对乌克兰媒体表示“莫斯科号”导弹巡洋舰中弹起火。

[An official Ukrainian source stated on April 13:] The Ukrainian army used the 'Neptun' missile to seriously damage missile cruiser 'Moscow', the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet.


The R-360 Neptun missile system is the latest Ukrainian version of a Russian system. It was pre-produced in small series in 2021 and planned to enter military service by 2022.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Poland - Russia Behind Polish Leader's Plane Crash ?

Yesterday, April 11, the news agency American Press AP quoted the Polish Press Agency PAP as follows:

The latest of the commission’s reports, released Monday, alleges that an intentional detonation of planted explosives caused the April 10, 2010 crash of Soviet-made Tu-154M plane that killed [Poland's president Lech] Kaczynski, the first lady and 94 other government and armed forces figures as well as many prominent Poles.

Their deaths were the result of an “act of unlawful interference by the Russian side,” the commission's head Antoni Macierewicz told a news conference.

"The main and indisputable proof of the interference was an explosion in the left wing ... followed by an explosion in the plane's center," said Macierewicz, who in 2015-2018 served as defense minister in Poland's right-wing government.

He denied that any mistakes were made by the Polish pilots or crew members, despite bad weather at the time of the crash.
[The crash took place on a military airfield near Smolensk, Russia.]




Editor's Note:
The above quoted Polish sub-committee report has an official status, and PAP is a government financed press agency. However, political development in EU member state Poland has become complicated in recent years. As American Press AP put it: The latest report once again drums up hostility toward Russia among some Poles, chiefly supporters of the nationalist government, in what seems to be an effort to consolidate the voter base of the Law and Justice party, which was founded by the Kaczynski twins in 2001.

Thursday, April 07, 2022

Ukraine - Beijing Blaming the West

Important UPDATE
added on April 8

Yesterday, April 6, semi-official People's Network published a statement given by the spokesman for the Chinese Mission to the European Union. That statement rejects EU accusations of China spreading unacceptable Russian conspiracy theories on the issue of the Ukrainian war, blaming the United States and NATO.

The Chinese statement indirectly hints at America's foreign policy under former US presidents like George W. Bush and which had led to the destabilization of Afghanistan and Iraq, yet without directly naming anybody. Published by China's semi-official online voice, that statement revives the idea of what the Chinese people got to know as 'US imperialism', allegedly representing a hegemonial attitude based on wrong accusations and tactical lies and which doesn't even refrain from the use of military force.

The statement, however, doesn't show any shift of position on the Chinese side. It only reiterates what is already known about China's verbal intention to recognize basic norms of international relations while acting in accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and its commitment to promote peace talks and efforts to cool down the situation.

发言人重申,中方在乌克兰问题上的立场是一贯的、明确的,也是客观的、公允的。有关文章刻意歪曲中国立场主张,中方对此表示强烈不满、坚决反对。我们提醒有关人士不要选择性失明。这几十年来,是谁散布虚假信息发动战争侵犯别国的主权和领土完整?是谁不断扩大地域领域影响扰乱了地区稳定?是谁挑起冲突造成了大规模人道主义灾难?这样的责任,还需要“归咎”吗?双重标准欺骗不了世人的眼睛,旧冷战时代的盟友阵营绝不能代表公平正义。

The spokesperson
[for the Chinese Mission to the European Union] reiterated that China's position on the Ukraine issue is consistent, clear, objective and fair. The relevant article deliberately distorts China's position and proposition. China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to this. We remind those concerned not to be selectively blind. In the past few decades, who has spread false information and launched wars to violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries? Who is constantly expanding regional influence and disrupting regional stability? Who provoked the conflict and caused the massive humanitarian disaster? Does such responsibility still need to be "blamed"? Double standards cannot deceive the eyes of the world, and the alliance of the old Cold War era can never represent fairness and justice.


AFP [on a regular press conference]: EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Borrell said that Chinese officials were reluctant to talk about Ukraine during the China-EU leaders' meeting last week. How do you respond to this?

Zhao Lijian
[spokesman for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs]: A few days ago, the leaders of China and the EU held a very successful meeting. The remarks of the relevant European officials you just mentioned are not in line with the facts. What the relevant EU officials should do is to advance the bilateral relations between China and the EU in accordance with the consensus and spirit reached at the China-EU leaders' meeting, instead of making irresponsible remarks.

Only one day after the official statement was made by China's EU Mission, immediately confirmed by a spokesperson for China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a more popular and less diplomatic version of China's stance appeared as 'personal view' in China's Defense Journal.

Saturday, April 02, 2022

Ukraine - Why China Won't Openly Oppose Russia


Last Update: April 05, 2022

China's Policy of "Saying One Thing, Doing Another"


Eurasianet, a news center specialized on the Caucasus region and Central Asia, came to the following conclusion:

Since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China has said all the right things in support of Russia, its professed strategic partner. Chinese officials have faithfully repeated Russian propaganda, refusing to describe the unprovoked attack on Ukraine as a “war” or “invasion,” while echoing the Kremlin claim that NATO’s expansionist desires are the root cause of the conflict.

But Beijing’s actions are telling a different story, underscored by the March 9 Foreign Ministry announcement that the Chinese Red Cross is supplying almost $800,000 in humanitarian assistance to Ukraine. The amount is small, but the gesture is significant in the current context: Chinese leaders are hedging their geopolitical bets.

It was just over a month ago that Russian leader Vladimir Putin met with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics. The two issued a joint statement describing bilateral relations as “superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era,” and cooperation as having “no limits.”

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, however, China’s behavior toward Russia has been circumspect and restrained, its officials proclaiming solidarity with Russia without following up in substance. Before Russian troops attacked, Chinese officials spoke against Western sanctions. But once the United States and European Union started imposing sanctions and disconnecting Russian banks from the SWIFT financial network, leading Chinese financial institutions began quietly adhering to the restrictions, according to Bloomberg news service.


Related Article: Chinese fleeing Ukraine - Official Support



Strategic Benefits for China


A personal view published in the Chinese Financial Times Network put it that way:

There is now a popular view at home and abroad that China will be an important beneficiary of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. The reason is that the Russia-Ukraine conflict highlights the contradiction between Russia and the West, especially the United States, and leads the United States' strategic focus from Asia to Europe, which will reduce the international pressure on China. In other words, China will be the winner of this geopolitical conflict. To demonstrate this point, the claim often cites the US war in Afghanistan as an example. After President George W. Bush took office in 2001, he planned to exert more pressure on China, but the "9·11" terrorist attack in 2001 completely changed this situation. In the following 20 years, the United States has devoted itself to combating international terrorism, thus easing the pressure on China. China has therefore won 20 years of golden development opportunities and made great strides in economic construction. Now, at a time when the United States regained focus on deploying a geopolitical strategy of "back to Asia" and treating China as a strategic competitor, the Russian-Ukrainian conflict broke out again, which prompted the United States to reconsider its global strategy and allocate more power to Europe.

It is therefore that China will not be inclined to join ranks with a global majority of nations to oppose Putin's war on Ukraine. China's priority would rather be a silent reconstruction of global alliances and delivery chains to compensate for the damage inflicted by Putin's war on China's 'One Road One Belt' strategy in Central Asia.

Furthermore, showing public disagreement with Putin's macciavellian strategy for eastern Europe could reshift the focus of international criticism to China's own domestic and global strategies.


China Still Follows its Global Economic Strategy

On April 2, the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong published an article titled "Why the War in Ukraine Won't Derail China's "One Belt, One Road" Initiative's ambitious goals". The author is Hong Kong - APEC Trade David Dodwell, executive director of the Policy Research Group.


欧亚铁路是个惊人的成功。去年,大约有150万个集装箱往来于中国与23个欧洲国家的130个城市之间,在疫情扰乱了海运和空运之际,占中欧贸易的5%至8%。

俄乌冲突无疑扰乱了运输,但长期来看,认为这将产生重大影响是不准确的。

对北京而言,欧亚铁路只是中国争取世界贸易市场准入多样化、减少对马六甲海峡和苏伊士运河的依赖、确保能够长期获得国内长期供应不足的大宗商品渠道的众多项目之一。根据路孚特公司“一带一路”倡议数据库统计,它已包括全球2631个项目,总价值达3.7万亿美元。

从这个角度看,“一带一路”为一个不稳定的世界提供了极其重要的防御。欧亚铁路短期损失部分集装运输业务,不会让中国人夜不能寐。

The Eurasian Railway was an astonishing success. About 1.5 million containers travelled between China and 130 cities in 23 European countries last year, accounting for 5-8% of trade between China and Europe at a time when the pandemic has disrupted sea and air freight.

The Russian-Ukrainian conflict has undoubtedly disrupted transportation, but it would be inaccurate to think that this will have a significant impact in the long run.

For Beijing, the Eurasian railway is just one of many projects China is seeking to diversify market access to world trade, reduce its reliance on the Straits of Malacca and the Suez Canal, and ensure long-term access to commodities that are chronically undersupplied at home. According to Refinitiv's Belt and Road Initiative database, it already includes 2,631 projects around the world with a total value of US$3.7 trillion.

From this perspective, the Belt and Road Initiative provides an extremely important defense against an unstable world. The Eurasian Railway will lose some container transportation business in the short term, which will not keep the Chinese up at night.



Related Article: Putin's War - China's Perception