The Armenian Genocide | Opinion of Diego Carcedo

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the incombustible president of Turkey, has not metabolized the rejection of the European Union and his resentment reveals it almost daily. Since he managed to stop the military attempts to overthrow him by the simple method of incarcerating them all, has not stopped entangling the precarious international stability in its geographical area.

He is involved in the eternal war in Syria, he has interfered in the Libyan conflict and the Lebanese drama, he has fought, and immediately allied again, with Putin, he flirts with the Iranians, he has lent a hand in the Nagorno Karabakh confrontation and live obsessed with fighting the Kurds. Those who know him well say that his dream is to recover the old Ottoman Empire.

In ambitions it does not fall short. But in politics, and more so in international relations, there is never a lack of resources to curb ambitions. Turkey has been dragging for a hundred years the stigma of the genocide committed in Armenia. Between 600,000 and 800,000 people were assassinated by order of the government, then in Istanbul, in an attempt to erase from the map the identity and culture of the Armenian people who resisted their rule.

Successive Turkish governments never accepted this reality, which further tarnishes their history. They have always denied it and retaliated against those who thoroughly investigated and reported it. To this negative attitude, nothing less than the new American president has just responded, Joe Biden. In a speech that honors him, he announced that the Armenian genocide must be clarified. The first interpretations agree that it is a way to lower Erdogan’s fumes.


“For the first time we are moving towards a clash with China and Russia”

Charles A. Richard, Chief of the United States Strategic Command and the head of the US nuclear arsenal, said it loud and clear during an appearance in the Senate: your country should prepare for a nuclear war since current conflicts could escalate “very rapidly”, in reference to clashes with China and Russia and its advances in nuclear weapons. If the US does not start investing more in nuclear defense and infrastructure, it will be “at risk of losing credibility in the eyes of our adversaries ”, he added.

“For the first time in our history, our country is moving towards confrontation with two strategic adversaries that at the same time have nuclear capabilities, but must be deterred in a different way,” said the military high command, who leads the Strategic Command in charge of managing the United States nuclear triad: strategic bombers, submarines and ICBMs.


Patrushev and Sullivan discussed preparations for a meeting between Biden and Putin

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and US National Security Assistant Jacob Sullivan spoke on the phone. One of the topics of the talks was the upcoming meeting between the presidents of the two countries, Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden. They also exchanged views on global strategic security issues. In particular, about the Open Skies Treaty (OON) and the Iranian nuclear program. The conversation took place at the initiative of the American side.

“Nikolai Patrushev and Jacob Sullivan discussed the preparations for the summit meeting,” says the website Security Council. – An exchange of views took place on a number of problems on the international agenda. The importance of the early launch of a bilateral mechanism for strategic stability, the need for interaction between Russia and the United States on the nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula, on the situation around the Iranian nuclear program was emphasized.

Mr. Patrushev said that the accusations against Russia, on the basis of which Washington imposed new anti-Russian sanctions, were groundless and unsubstantiated. “Despite the unconstructive steps of the American side, leading to further degradation of bilateral relations, the readiness to continue the dialogue has been confirmed,” the press service of the Security Council said.

On April 15, the United States imposed new anti-Russian sanctions in connection with allegations of cyberattacks, the annexation of Crimea, and Russian interference in the American elections. Washington has announced the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats. On April 16, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced retaliatory actions: the expulsion of ten diplomats and restrictions on the work of US diplomatic missions. US Ambassador John Sullivan was advised to go “home for consultations.” Last week Joe Biden invited Vladimir Putin to meet.

For more details on relations between Russia and the United States, see the Kommersant article “Let You Not Salt”.


USA and China – How the confrontation between the United States and China affects Ukraine

Smells like big money
smells like war.

S. Zhadan

Over the past weeks, significant events have taken place in and around Ukraine, which, perhaps, will determine our future for years to come. Commentators actively talk and write about them. However, the proposed interpretations do not seem to convey the true scale and meaning of the changes taking place before our eyes.

The leading Western states are determined with an official positioning in the new situation. On March 3, the new US administration released the Temporary National Security Strategies (Interim National Security Strategic Guidance“We are dealing with a world where nationalism is growing, democracy is retreating, rivalry with China, Russia and other authoritarian states is increasing, as well as a technological revolution that is transforming all aspects of our life,” the authors of the document note.

They emphasize the transnational nature of most threats and state that the world is entering the process of forming a new order. Emphasis is placed on competition with the PRC and Russia’s attempts to increase its importance by playing a destructive role in the world arena.

The US administration refuses isolationism, relies on strengthening alliances, work in international institutions and strengthening of relative advantages. The key task is the political, economic and social improvement of the state.

flickr/U.S. Department of State

Two weeks later, on March 16, 2021, the UK government released its policy paper “Global Britain in an Age of Competition: An Integrated Security, Defense, Development and Foreign Policy Review” (Global Britain in a Competitive Age: the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy).

According to British strategists, the modern world is developing under the influence of four main groups of factors. Among them:

  • geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts – the growing role of China and the importance of the Indo-Pacific region, as well as other emerging markets;
  • systemic competition – increasing competition between different states and non-state actors;
  • rapid technological changetransforming societies;
  • transit calls – climate change, global health challenges, shadow finance, organized crime and terrorism.

The Russian Federation, despite the curtsey of the authors of the report to the Russian people, is an immediate and acute threat along with Iran and North Korea. The UK government is declaring Russia a de facto rogue state.

Incidentally, we note that, unlike the Americans, the British twice remembered Ukraine, offering their participation in the construction of Ukrainian defense capabilities.

Western leaders now consider it advisable not to use expressions in relation to the Russian leader. So, on March 17, US President Joe Biden publicly called Vladimir Putin a hitman. After that, even the most ardent supporters of a new “reset” lost hope for an improvement in US-Russian relations.

This step can hardly be considered accidental. It doesn’t matter if it was just a slip of the tongue used to demonstrate a position, or a premeditated action. Now a comprehensive agreement, about which much has been said, is unlikely. At least for the period while Biden is in charge of the White House, and Putin is in the Kremlin.

Although (quite in a modern style) the Americans insist that confrontational zones – both geographic and sectoral – will border on zones of cooperation, such as limiting strategic nuclear weapons or fighting a pandemic. Non-public consultations on all issues of bilateral interest will also continue.

Relations between the United States and the Russian Federation are likely to worsen. And, despite the deep reluctance and even undisguised aversion to the radical deterioration of relations with the Russian Federation, the EU and its leading states are forced to take part in it.

The answer of the head of Russian diplomacy to the question of new European sanctions against Russians at a press conference in Beijing with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang I. Sergey Lavrov once again accused the EU of destroying the infrastructure of relations is indicative. At the same time, he stressed the readiness of the Russian Federation to build them up if Brussels wants to overcome the “anomaly” in bilateral relations.

A likely key zone of exacerbation of relations between the West and the Russian Federation has also been identified. As expected, it becomes the territory of the former USSR. The syndrome of June 22 (according to the conviction of Russian, and not only, strategists, it was size that saved the USSR in 1941, the Germans did not manage to take Moscow before winter) is working: the Kremlin is persistently implementing a policy of creating a buffer territory free from threats to itself.

Speaking on March 18 at a rally in Moscow dedicated to the 7th anniversary of the seizure of Crimea, Putin again spoke about the sacred significance of the peninsula for Russia. But it is much more important that he once again made the territorial integrity of Russia’s neighbors dependent on the state of relations with the Russian Federation.

Complaints about “unclear reasons for the transfer of Russian territories by the Bolsheviks” and the conditional recognition of the current borders by the behavior of neighbors with direct quotes from the Russian Foreign Policy Concept are a threat not only for Ukraine, but also for Belarus, Kazakhstan, even the Baltic countries. The paradoxical logic of the Russian strategy – to attract with threats – does not work very well. But the Kremlin is relentless: as they decided, it will be so. Especially if the internal situation in Russia needs new foreign policy successes and victories over eternal (and not only) enemies.

The short period of Russian hopes for Vladimir Zelenskiy’s compliance is over. In the Russian Federation, they were once again convinced that the matter is not in the name of the president of Ukraine, it is in the most modern Ukraine.

And therefore, among all its neighbors, the leadership of the Russian Federation only recently publicly declared Ukraine an enemy state and a “geopolitical project of Russia’s enemies.” So, the Moscow bell first of all rings for us.

The British, like the Americans, in the already mentioned report, admitted that the main competitor of the West is the People’s Republic of China. This is the case when geopolitical competition is logically complemented by ideological one: China is a clear embodiment of successful authoritarianism.

But although the very tough document of the Donald Trump administration, US Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China, was removed from the White House website, competition between states continues. This is evidenced by the exchange of unusually non-diplomatic statements on March 19 at the summit with the participation of senior foreign policy officials of the United States and China in Anchorage (Alaska, USA). However, the summit itself also testifies to the persistent search for compromises by both large states.

It is between the United States and China that the main axis of competition in today’s world is being formed. Informal coalitions are gradually being formed around these states.

Despite years of efforts to maintain uncertainty, Ukraine in 2021 has clearly and unequivocally decided on the camp. Question Motor Sich sales has gone too far in seven years. And sooner or later, direct questions must be answered directly. Especially when the Americans and the Chinese ask them.

The reaction of the strategic partner did not slow down – the Chinese business delegation visited the occupied Crimea.

Competition between the United States and China is intensifying. International tensions are on the rise. The EU is gradually joining Washington’s position on China. And here the role of Russia is very interesting. At the already mentioned meeting in Beijing, S. Lavrov and Wang Yi made a statement in which they outlined a common vision of the development of the modern world by authoritarian states. The text offers an interpretation of human rights, democracy, international law and multilateral cooperation. In other words, the PRC and the Russian Federation are trying to redefine the key concepts of the vocabulary of Western diplomacy.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

In general, the PRC is pushing the Russian Federation to the first line of confrontation with the West, demonstrating in contrast its moderate position and negotiability. Both states are trying to use each other. However, everyone is more or less satisfied. An absolute win-win for the participants in the game. Of course, China is more powerful than Russia, its leadership is more confident, therefore, the PRC’s successes are much greater.

Everything, in general, is clear. In addition to the joy of many Ukrainians because of the exacerbation between the United States and the Russian Federation. It is very important to realize that confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation does not automatically mean an increase in real aid to Ukraine.

Russia is not the USSR; Washington’s stakes in confrontation with it are not so big. We are not talking about a cold war. And for our wobbly boat, no wind is good.

Ukraine is the best place for Russian demonstrations, including military ones. With a high probability, it will start in Donbass. And then – how it goes. It is possible that the Russians and the lack of water in the Crimea are used as a pretext for action.

The internal situation is also fleeting. Coming to the fore, the NSDC made a number of high-profile decisions at its traditional Friday meetings. And it’s not just about limiting Russian influence, although this is extremely important. Equally important is the fact that pro-Russian forces seem untenable in the short term to defend their vital interests with their own hands.

However, it is fundamentally that the rules of the game in the Ukrainian elite are changing rapidly again, or rather, rapidly evaporating. Now you can potentially have a lot and even more power. A tactically complete and irrefutable victory.

At the same time, a powerful tool of extrajudicial restrictions has been created: the inviolable, at least potentially, really no longer exist. Everyone is equal. And yesterdays, and those who will become the former tomorrow.

In this whole story, the most important thing is to stop on your own, not getting carried away by the process and managing not to succumb to its internal logic. So far, almost no one in history has succeeded in doing this in time.

There is also an important foreign policy dimension in the history of sanctions. The expansion of the toolkit strengthens our position in the confrontation with Russia, but also allows, if necessary, to clearly demonstrate our significant differences from the states of Europe, in particular in the plane of observance of the principle of the rule of law. Although it is better to remain silent about our judicial system. So, the overdue intensification of the struggle against Russian influence in our case does not mean an approach to the EU and NATO. And, consequently, Ukraine is consolidated in the “gray” zone between the West and the Russian Federation.

Of course, we are not talking about European and Euro-Atlantic rhetoric. There will be a hell of a lot of it, over time – more and more. Because there is nothing more humane than talking about dreams, the realization of which is distant.

Thus, the confrontation between the United States and the Russian Federation is rapidly escalating against the background of increasing competition between the West and the PRC. This directly concerns Ukraine, the international situation around which is becoming more and more complicated. Meanwhile, the coronavirus pandemic continues and weakens the ability of an already weak state to adequately respond to external challenges.

In principle, the recipes have long been understood, but in order to achieve success today, it is necessary to move much faster than we have moved until now. These include, in particular:

  • stepping up preparation, primarily defensive and security, for a serious escalation of relations with the Russian Federation. At the same time, it is important to try not to create a pretext for Russian provocations on our own;
  • strengthening national resilience;
  • clearly formulating our request to the United States and its allies;
  • positive development of relations with neighbors – now is the worst time for their destruction.

However, in the end, we should recall the thought of the philosopher K. Popper about the unpredictable consequences of our conscious and purposeful actions. The best theoretical constructions during their practical implementation can transform beyond recognition and lead to absolutely unexpected results. And this applies not only to Ukraine, although it is in the first place. It is not without reason that almost the main characteristic of the modern fickle world is its fundamental unpredictability.

Read more articles by Sergei Nemyrych at the link.


why does Britain consider Russia the # 1 threat

The UK recognizes Russia as a “hostile state” and China as a “commercial competitor” in a comprehensive review of security, defense and foreign policy issues. This was reported by The Times, citing sources in the British government. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will officially launch the report on March 16. According to the newspaper, the document calls Russia “the largest threat posed by the state” due to “frequent aggressive incursions” into the water and airspace of Great Britain, as well as Russia’s willingness to “kill its opponents in the UK.” We discussed this message with a political scientist, an employee of the Charles University in Prague, Alexander Morozov.


The long hand of the Kremlin

London, Autumn 1978, a bus stop next to Waterloo Bridge. A man hits fortuitously with his umbrella to another waiting in line. He apologizes and disappears; has a foreign accent. The other catches his bus and goes to work in the BBC Foreign Service, but he feels a burning spot where the tip of the umbrella has struck him. When he gets to the BBC he sees that he has a red inflamed spot. That afternoon he suffers from a high fever and ends up at Saint James Hospital. For three days, as he worsens, he tells everyone that he has been prodded with an umbrella. On the third day he dies.

It looks like a primitive James Bond movie, Sean Connery’s, but it’s a true story. The dead is Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian dissident who works in the anti-communist propaganda apparatus of Radio Liberty, dependent on the North American Government, so that the police take the “accident” seriously and order the autopsy to the toxics department of the Ministry of Defense. Experts find in the leg a tiny platinum pellet, a ball of a millimeter and a half in diameter and hollow. It was filled with ricin, one of the most potent toxins in the world, which caused Markov’s death.

Although the press baptized the case as “The killer umbrella”Markov was not prodded with an umbrella, as he believed, they have shot him with a compressed air mechanism concealed in an umbrella. It is a variant of the famous KGB gas pistol of the 1950s, used by the Soviet agent Stachinsky to assassinate the Ukrainian nationalist leaders Stefan Bandera and Lev Rebet in Germany.

Ten days before the attack on Markov in London, a similar case occurred in Paris: another Bulgarian opponent, Vladimir Kostov, received the poisoned platinum pellet with a traced modus operandi, with minimal variations. Instead of a bus stop, a subway stop, instead of an umbrella, a bag to hide the trigger. But there has been a fundamental variant: the platinum pellet has accidentally lost part of its ricin load, and the dose has not been fatal, Kostov will survive in hospital.

Years later, deserters from the KGB will tell that, in those 70s, the Bulgarian secret services they had requested “technical assistance” from their Soviet counterpart, the KGB, to undertake the elimination of active opponents abroad.

Spy does not kill spy

In movies we have seen a thousand times the dangers faced by secret agents, however in reality there was an unwritten law for the CIA and the KGB. The CIA did not assassinate KGB agents, the KGB did not assassinate CIA agents. However, this law did not apply to political dissidents, to “traitors” who, taking advantage of their refuge abroad, became a threat against the Soviet regime. A tradition that would have continued from Stalin to Putin – a former KGB colonel – if the accusations of the Russian opposition are true.

The fiercest Stalinist assassination campaign abroad was the one launched against the Trotskyists in the late 1930s. It must be borne in mind that, in those years, hundreds of thousands were massacred in the Soviet Union itself. of mere opposition suspects, the so-called Great Purge. In 1938 Rudolf Clement, Trotsky’s secretary, disappeared in Paris; soon they found floating in the Seine a corpse whose head had been cut off, but which was identified as Clement’s by his friends. Less sophisticated had been the execution in Lausanne, in 1937, of the Trotskyist Ignace Reiss, a former secret agent of the Comintern: he was thoroughly machine-gunned, had 15 bullets in his body.

Another Trotsky secretary, Erwin Wolf, made the mistake of going to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He disappeared into the same dark well as Andreu Nin, head of the POUM, and a large number of Spanish supporters of Trotsky

Another secretary of TrotskyErwin Wolf made the mistake of going to fight in the Spanish Civil War. He disappeared into the same dark pit that Andreu Nin, head of the POUM, and a large number of Trotsky’s Spanish sympathizers, in the relentless purge that the Communist Party and the NKVD (as the KGB was then called) carried out during the Negrín government. Anti-Stalinist foreigners like the Austrian socialist Kurt Landau, or Marc Rhein, son of the historical Russian socialist leader Abrammovich, also disappeared in the Barcelona of 1938.

With Lev SedovTrotsky’s son and close associate, they took pains to conceal the murder as much as possible. He apparently died after being operated on for appendicitis in Paris, where he lived under a false identity. However, years later, former agents of the Soviet services recounted their participation in the poisoning of Trostky’s son. Who would be finally assassinated in Mexico in 1940, as the culmination of this campaign of executions ordered by the Kremlin abroad.

There is no space here to make a detailed list of them, but taking a leap in time, in 2006 we found in London what seems a return to the old uses. Alexander Litvinenko, a former agent who had gone over to the service of the Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky (Putin’s sworn enemy) died of a radioactive poisoning produced by polonium-210. A very original way of killing, as it was the first known case of death from that cause.


Unanimous condemnation of the Arab world to the attacks in France

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait or Jordan have lamented the terrorist attack. Even the Erdogan government stressed that “no reason can justify the murder of a person or violence”

The conviction comes after the escalation of verbal violence between France and the Arab world. Turkey called for a boycott of French products

“Terrorism is a common enemy that has nothing to do with a specific religion and goes against the values ​​of life and peace that the Islamic religion represents,” said the Jordanian Foreign Ministry.

The attack that this morning has claimed the lives of three people at the hands of a radical Islamist in the Notre Dame de Nice basilica has unleashed a cstream of solidarity and unanimous condemnation in the Arab world. A special reaction given the escalation of tension between some Muslim countries and France, after the call for a boycott of French products by the Turkish President, Taiyip Erdogan.

So, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates (UAE) or Jordan Today they condemned the attack, that the terrorist acts “contradict” the teachings of Islam and other religions. In a statement, the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the “terrorist attack” and stressed that “extremist acts are contrary to all human religions and beliefs.” “We recall the importance of rejecting such practices that generate hatred, violence and extremism,” the note stated.

“Energetic” condemnation of Turkey

Own Turkish government has “strongly” condemned the terrorist attack and has stressed that “no reason can justify the murder of a person or justify violence.” The Turkish Foreign Ministry notes in a statement posted on its website that those who “organize such a brutal attack on a holy place of worship do not respect religious, humanitarian and moral values.”

For its part, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, He also stated in a statement his “categorical rejection” of the attack in France, the third in just over a month, and pointed out that the terrorist attacks “contradict the teachings of all religions.”

Likewise, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain they also condemned the attack and rejected “all forms of violence, extremism and terrorism, for whatever reasons,” the respective foreign departments of the four countries indicated, as well as the Lebanese President Michel Aoun in a brief tweet.

End hatred between peoples

Along these lines, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait made reference in another note to the need to “double international efforts to reject any practice that generates hatred between peoples and fuels extremism and terrorism.”

“Terrorism is a common enemy that has nothing to do with a specific religion and goes against the values ​​of life and peace that the Islamic religion represents,” the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said in a statement published in Twitter

Moreover, today, Al Azhar, the Sunni institution of reference in the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, formed by 57 countries, warned of “the escalation of the discourse of violence and hatred”, on a day in which Muslim countries celebrate the anniversary of the prophet Muhammad or Aíd al Mawlid.

Avoid cartoons of Muhammad

The Superior Council of Ulemas of Morocco, the highest religious body below the king, today ordered its imams to avoid in their sermons tomorrow Friday the issue of Muhammad cartoons, which have caused great controversy in recent days throughout the Muslim world.

In a circular from a regional instance of the Council published today by the portal, and which ensures that it has been received throughout the country, the Council does not explicitly refer to the cartoons, which on the other hand it condemned without ambiguity three days ago in an “ad hoc” statement.

In your circular today, you urge all magnets to “get away from political battles” and “avoid insults to people, institutions and States”, alluding to France, which these days is suffering a commercial boycott campaign in several Muslim countries.

Macron, in Nice

Conviction in Europe

In Europe, the condemnation has also been absolute. Thus, the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has sent a message to Emmanuel Macron, assuring that “the cynical and cruel crime” generates special indignation in him for having taken place inside a church.

European leaders have unanimously condemned the Nice attack, which has killed three people. “Consternation”, “Indignation” or “cruel crime” are part of the sentiments expressed by leaders such as the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, the Italian Prime Minister, Giussepe Conte, or the British Boris Johnson, who has described the attack as “barbarian”. “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and the United Kingdom unconditionally supports France in the fight against terror and intolerance,” added the ‘premier’ in a tweet.

What will be the new security device?

Macron has announced that the military security device will increase from 3,000 to 7,000 soldiers in the country. This increase will protect places of worship during the upcoming All Saints holiday and schools for the return of the autumn holidays, which takes place from next week, said the French president.

In addition, he has convened a Defense Council for this Friday in which, he has assured, more measures will be taken, while he has promised to “protect” citizens and “respond” with “firmness and unity” to the attack, the third that the country suffers in a month.

The basilica, after the attack

In what context does the attack come?

It should be remembered that France is currently on high alert after the death of a teacher on the outskirts of Paris at the hands of an 18-year-old young man of Chechen origin for showing cartoons of Muhammad in a freedom of expression class, the same published by the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and which motivated the attacks against the weekly in 2015. In addition to the cartoons, the measures that France has taken against some Islamist groups, such as the expulsion from the country of its most radical leaders, have caused friction among the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and French President Emmanuel Macron. Erdogan has even called for a boycott of French products.

Have there been more attacks?

Yes. This very Thursday morning a man who was threatening passersby with a weapon in the street in the French city of Avignon has been killed by the police. In addition, in Saudi Arabia, a citizen has attacked with a sharp object a security guard at the French consulate in the city of Jeddah, in the west of the country, causing him minor injuries, according to the official SPA agency.