Vietnam feels impact of Russia-Ukraine war in energy prices, defence industry

Vietnam’s state utility EVN says it could run out of cash by May unless it raises electricity prices.

Vietnam feels impact of Russia-Ukraine war in energy prices, defence industry
After China and India, Vietnam has the world’s third-largest pipeline of new coal power projects (Photo: AFP/STR)

HANOI: Vietnam may be thousands of kilometres away from the Russia-Ukraine war, but it is feeling the effects of the conflict, particularly in energy prices and its defence industry.

The Southeast Asian country is seeking to hike electricity prices for the first time since 2019 amid the ongoing global energy crisis, following record losses by its state utility.

Vietnam produces around 40 million tonnes of coal each year and imports another 29 million tonnes or so, with most of the coal going towards fuelling the country’s power plants.

However, the cost of doing so has increased exponentially.

“Because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the price of coal in the global market in 2022 has increased by sixfold since 2020, and by 2.6-fold since 2021,”  said chairman of Vietnam Valuation Association Nguyen Tien Thoa. 

Vietnam’s state utility EVN has forecast it could run out of cash by May this year unless it raises electricity prices. This comes as the firm expects combined losses of nearly US$4 billion for 2022 and this year.

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War Propaganda

From What Is Propaganda? (1944) By Ralph D. Casey (Published July 1944)

The Nazis prepared for war from the moment Hitler came into power in 1933. In the feverish building up of German striking power, they had the support of the professional military men. The Nazis not only produced the weapons of war; they geared their economy for the strain of a future conflict. They carried on political intrigues to promote their purposes. Their propaganda machine had long been a going concern when Hitler felt ready to strike at Poland, the first step in an ambitious plan to lay the world at his feet.

Military, economic, political, and propaganda weapons were forged for the fray. Britain and France and, soon after, other peaceful nations were compelled to forge them to resist the Nazi onrush.

Today’s war is four-dimensional. It is a combination of military, economic, political, and propaganda pressure against the enemy. An appeal to force alone is not regarded as enough, in the twentieth century, to win final and lasting victory. War is fought on all four fronts at once—the military front, the economic front, the political front, and the propaganda front.

To understand how this four-dimensional warfare has come about, we have to look at history. We have to go back to the rise of nationalism in the eighteenth century.

Before the American and French revolutions took place at the end of the eighteenth century, many armies fought in the pay of monarchies, such as the Bourbons, Hapsburgs, and Hohenzollerns, or of individual leaders. They were mercenary armies. They did not fight for patriotic motives. They did not fight for causes. They fought because fighting was their business. No fight, no pay!

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Word war: In Russia-Ukraine war, information became a weapon

By DAVID KLEPPERFebruary 23, 2023

FILE - Destroyed Russian armored vehicles sit on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. In the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, disinformation and propaganda have emerged as key weapons in the Kremlin's arsenal. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

FILE – Destroyed Russian armored vehicles sit on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 31, 2022. In the year since Russia invaded Ukraine, disinformation and propaganda have emerged as key weapons in the Kremlin’s arsenal. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II, and the first to see algorithms and TikTok videos deployed alongside fighter planes and tanks.

The online fight has played out on computer screens and smartphones around the globe as Russia used disinformation, propaganda and conspiracy theories to justify its invasion, silence domestic opposition and sow discord among its adversaries.

Now in its second year, the war is likely to spawn even more disinformation as Russia looks to break the will of Ukraine and its allies.


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A Human Approach to World Peace

The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet

When we rise in the morning and listen to the radio or read the newspaper, we are confronted with the same sad news: violence, crime, wars, and disasters. I cannot recall a single day without a report of something terrible happening somewhere. Even in these modern times it is clear that one’s precious life is not safe. No former generation has had to experience so much bad news as we face today; this constant awareness of fear and tension should make any sensitive and compassionate person question seriously the progress of our modern world.
It is ironic that the more serious problems emanate from the more industrially advanced societies. Science and technology have worked wonders in many fields, but the basic human problems remain. There is unprecedented literacy, yet this universal education does not seem to have fostered goodness, but only mental restlessness and discontent instead. There is no doubt about the increase in our material progress and technology, but somehow this is not sufficient as we have not yet succeeded in bringing about peace and happiness or in overcoming suffering.
We can only conclude that there must be something seriously wrong with our progress and development, and if we do not check it in time there could be disastrous consequences for the future of humanity. I am not at all against science and technology – they have contributed immensely to the overall experience of humankind; to our material comfort and well-being and to our greater understanding of the world we live in. But if we give too much emphasis to science and technology we are in danger of losing touch with those aspects of human knowledge and understanding that aspire towards honesty and altruism.
Science and technology, though capable of creating immeasurable material comfort, cannot replace the age-old spiritual and humanitarian values that have largely shaped world civilization, in all its national forms, as we know it today. No one can deny the unprecedented material benefit of science and technology, but our basic human problems remain; we are still faced with the same, if not more, suffering, fear, and tension. Thus it is only logical to try to strike a balance between material developments on the one hand and the development of spiritual, human values on the other. In order to bring about this great adjustment, we need to revive our humanitarian values.
I am sure that many people share my concern about the present worldwide moral crisis and will join in my appeal to all humanitarians and religious practitioners who also share this concern to help make our societies more compassionate, just, and equitable. I do not speak as a Buddhist or even as a Tibetan. Nor do I speak as an expert on international politics (though I unavoidably comment on these matters). Rather, I speak simply as a human being, as an upholder of the humanitarian values that are the bedrock not only of Mahayana Buddhism but of all the great world religions. From this perspective I share with you my personal outlook – that:

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Gas: a history of Energy Security in the EU. And what’s next post-Russia?

February 14, 2023 by James Kneebone

The security of supply of gas has been the hottest topic of the last 12 months since Russia invaded Ukraine. James Kneebone at the Florence School of Regulation (FSR) has written an explainer that lays out the EU’s history of dealing with energy security, going back to the 1990s. Because the EU has a single market for natural gas and widely shared value chains (pipelines, LNG terminals, storage, etc.), impacts are felt across the bloc. But that interconnectedness is also a strength and the basis for ensuring security across the region. Kneebone also details the updated regulations that are behind the drive to build in new capacity and obligations for solidarity between Member States. It means that today, the coordination and cooperation for allocating resources and delivering better energy security are stronger than ever.

What is security of supply?  

The European Environment Agency (EEA) define security of energy supply as “…the availability of energy at all times in various forms, in sufficient quantities, and at reasonable and/or affordable prices.” In the context of gas security of supply specifically, the concept refers to the provision of gaseous energy, namely ‘natural gas’[1].

What does a security of supply risk look like?  

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Russian missiles rain down on Ukraine towns on Christmas Day with Reuters 26 Dec 2022

People from the collective ‘Kyivska Kolyada’ ride in the train after singing Christmas carols and collect money for the Ukrainian army at a metro station in Kyiv, Ukraine, 25 December 2022. 2022 is the first year Orthodox churches were allowed to hold a Christmas prayer service on 24 December. Traditionally, the Orthodox church celebrates Christmas on 6 January. [EPA-EFE/OLEG PETRASYUK]


Russian forces bombarded scores of towns in Ukraine on Christmas Day as Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was open to negotiations, a stance Washington has dismissed as posturing because of continued Russian attacks.

Russia on Sunday launched more than 10 rocket attacks on the Kupiansk district in the Kharkiv region, shelled more than 25 towns along the Kupiansk-Lyman frontline, and in Zaporizhzhia hit nearly 20 towns, said Ukraine’s top military command.

Russia’s defence ministry said on Sunday that it had killed about 60 Ukrainian servicemen the previous day along the Kupiansk-Lyman line of contact and destroyed numerous pieces of Ukrainian military equipment.

Reuters was not able to independently verify the reports.

Putin’s 24 February invasion of Ukraine – which Moscow calls a “special military operation” – has triggered the biggest European conflict since World War Two and confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Despite Putin’s latest offer to negotiate, there is no end in sight to the 10-month conflict.

“We are ready to negotiate with everyone involved about acceptable solutions, but that is up to them – we are not the ones refusing to negotiate, they are,” Putin told Rossiya 1 state television in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

An adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Putin needed to return to reality and acknowledge it was Russia that did not want talks.

“Russia single-handedly attacked Ukraine and is killing citizens,” the adviser, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted. “Russia doesn’t want negotiations, but tries to avoid responsibility.”

Russian attacks on power stations have left millions without electricity, and Zelenskyy said Moscow would aim to make the last few days of 2022 dark and difficult.

“Russia has lost everything it could this year. … I know darkness will not prevent us from leading the occupiers to new defeats. But we have to be ready for any scenario,” he said in an evening video address on Christmas Day.

Ukraine has traditionally not celebrated Christmas on 25 December, but 7 January, the same as Russia. However, this year some Orthodox Ukrainians decided to celebrate the holiday on 25 December and Ukrainian officials, starting with Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s prime minister, issued Christmas wishes on Sunday.

The Kremlin says it will fight until all its territorial aims are achieved, while Kyiv says it will not rest until every Russian soldier is ejected from the country.

Asked if the geopolitical conflict with the West was approaching a dangerous level, Putin on Sunday said: “I don’t think it’s so dangerous.”

Kyiv and the West say Putin has no justification for what they cast as an imperial-style war of occupation.

Blasts at Engels airbase

Blasts were heard at Russia’s Engels air base, hundreds of kilometres (miles) from the Ukraine frontlines, Ukrainian and Russian media reported on Monday.

Russia’s governor of Saratov region, home to the Engels air-base, said law enforcement agencies were checking information about “an incident at a military facility”.

“There were no emergencies in residential areas of the (Engels) city,” Roman Busargin, the governor of the region, said on the Telegram messaging app. “Civil infrastructure facilities were not damaged.”

The air base, near the city of Saratov, about 730 km (450 miles) southeast of Moscow, was hit on 5 December in what Russia said were Ukrainian drone attacks on two Russian air bases that day. The strikes dealt Moscow a major reputational blow and raised questions about why its defences failed, analysts said.

Ukraine has never publicly claimed responsibility for attacks inside Russia, but has said, however, that such incidents are “karma” for Russia’s invasion.


UN: 2022 tough for gender-based violence in Ukraine, Iran, Afghanistan and Europe

By Sofia Stuart Leeson |

 22 Dec 2022 (updated:  22 Dec 2022)

epa10363106 Pro-government supporters, including families of killed Iranian soldiers, protest against the UN and western countries in front of the United Nation office in Tehran, Iran, 13 December 2022. EPA-EFE/ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH

2022 has been a year where high-profile international cases of violence against women, such as in Iran, Ukraine, and Afghanistan, have made headlines, but this is just part of a trend that permeates every aspect of society, according to United Nations (UN) officials interviewed by EURACTIV.

UN Women Brussels Director Dagmar Schumacher and the UN’s Director in Brussels Camilla Bruckner sat down with EURACTIV to discuss progress in Europe and the situation for women outside of the Union following the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

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Russia bans 45 foreign-owned banks or banking units from selling their shares

Logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen in Zurich

[1/3] The logo of Swiss bank Credit Suisse is seen at its headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland October 4, 2022. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

  • This content was produced in Russia where the law restricts coverage of Russian military operations in Ukraine

MOSCOW, Oct 26 (Reuters) – Russia on Wednesday banned dealings in the shares or share capital of 45 banks or banking units, all either owned by parties in countries that Russia terms “unfriendly” or owned through foreign capital.

Western countries and allies, including Japan, have piled financial restrictions on Russia since it sent troops into Ukraine in late February. Moscow retaliated with obstacles for Western businesses and their allies leaving Russia, and in some cases seized their assets.

The list followed a decree issued on Aug. 5 by President Vladimir Putin banning dealings in stakes in the financial and energy sectors owned by parties in “unfriendly” countries unless specific permission was given. read more read more

The list, published on Wednesday, included Russian units of Intesa (ISP.MI), Credit Suisse (CSGN.S), Raiffeisen (RBIV.VI), Citi (C.N), OTP bank <OTPB.BU> and UniCredit Bank (CRDI.MI), as well as the Russian Yandex-Bank and Ozon-Bank.

Citi, the largest Wall Street bank to have a presence in Russia with an exposure of $8 billion, plans to wind down nearly all of the institutional banking services as it is unable to sell the business amid the recent sanctions-related laws. read more read more read more

Russia using rape as ‘military strategy’ in Ukraine: UN envoy

By Philip Wang, Tim Lister, Josh Pennington and Heather Chen, CNN


Updated 2:35 AM EDT, Sat October 15, 2022

Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, at a Security Council meeting in New York in 2018.

Pramila Patten, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, at a Security Council meeting in New York in 2018.Xinhua/ShutterstockCNN — 

Russia is using rape and sexual violence as part of its “military strategy” in Ukraine, a UN envoy said this week.

The claim follows data released by a panel of UN experts recently that verified “more than a hundred cases” of rape or sexual assault incidents reported in Ukraine since February.

“When you hear women testify about Russian soldiers equipped with Viagra, it’s clearly a military strategy,” Pramila Patten, UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said in an interview with AFP on Thursday.

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Latvia removes Soviet-era monument in Riga

In view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Latvia issued a decree that all objects glorifying totalitarian regimes must be destroyed by November 15. This included the Soviet victory monument erected in 1985.

A controversial Soviet-era monument in the Latvian capital was brought down, despite protests from the Baltic state’s ethnic Russian minority to keep it.

Police officers and the press watch as the 80-meter high obelisk is torn down in Latvia’s capital Riga

A concrete obelisk topped with Soviet stars, which was the centerpiece of a monument commemorating the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany, was demolished in Latvia’s capital, Riga, on Thursday.

Two diggers with pneumatic hammers brought the 79-meter (261-foot) obelisk down to the applause of numerous onlookers. A number of large-scale bronze statues had already been removed from the monument in the preceding days.

In view of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Latvia issued a decree that all objects glorifying totalitarian regimes must be destroyed by November 15. This included the Soviet victory monument erected in 1985.

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Civilians killed as Russia intensifies attacks across Ukraine

Russian forces fire missiles and shells across Ukraine after military announces it is stepping up its onslaught.

A girl and an elderly lady walk among the debris of a destroyed local market after a Russian missile strike in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region on July 16, 2022
People walk by debris of a destroyed local market after a Russian missile attack in the town of Bakhmut, Donetsk region, Ukraine [Anatolii Stepanov/AFP]

Published On 16 Jul 202216 Jul 2022

Russian forces have fired missiles and shells at cities and towns across Ukraine after Russia’s military announced it was stepping up its onslaught against its neighbour, with Ukrainian officials reporting that at least 17 more civilians had been killed.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu gave “instructions to further intensify the actions of units in all operational areas, in order to exclude the possibility of the Kyiv regime launching massive rocket and artillery attacks on civilian infrastructure and residents of settlements in the Donbas and other regions,” his ministry said on Saturday.

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Sahel (Africa) violence could drive more refugees toward Europe

FILE- In this April 15, 2022 file photo, malnourished children wait for treatment in the pediatric department of Boulmiougou hospital in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. The U.N. is warning that 18 million people in Africa’s Sahel region face severe hunger in the next three months. Two U.N. agencies are citing the impacts of war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic, climate-induced shocks and rising costs – and warning that people may try to migrate out of the affected areas. (AP Photo/Sophie Garcia, File)

GENEVA (AP) — The head of the U.N. refugee agency says “Europe should be much more worried” that more people from Africa’s Sahel region could seek to move north to escape violence, climate crises like droughts and floods and the impact of growing food shortages caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, called for more efforts to build peace in the world as conflicts and crises like those in Ukraine, Venezuela, Myanmar, Syria and beyond have driven over 100 million people to leave their homes — both within their own countries and abroad.

UNHCR, the U.N.’s refugee agency, on Thursday issued its latest “Global Trends” report, which found over 89 million people had been displaced by conflict, climate change, violence and human rights abuses by 2021. The figure has since swelled after at least 12 million people fled their homes in Ukraine to other parts of the country or abroad following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion.

This year, the world is also facing growing food insecurity — Ukraine is a key European breadbasket and the war has greatly hurt grain exports

The African Union, whose continent relies on imports of wheat and other food from Ukraine, has appealed for help to access grain that is blocked in Ukrainian silos and unable to leave Ukrainian ports amid a Russian naval blockade in the Black Sea.

Ukraine’s ‘Nuremberg Moment’ Amid Flood of Alleged Russian War Crimes

So many crimes are being documented that they need a new court.

By Robbie Gramer, a diplomacy and national security reporter at Foreign Policy, and Amy Mackinnon, a national security and intelligence reporter at Foreign Policy

An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.
An aerial view of crosses, floral tributes, and photographs of the victims of the battles for Irpin and Bucha that mark the graves in a cemetery in Irpin, Ukraine, on May 16.

JUNE 10, 2022, 3:48 PM

As Russia continues its assault on Ukraine, top Biden administration officials are working behind the scenes with the Ukrainian government and European allies to document a tsunami of war crimes allegedly committed by Russian forces.

Putin’s War

How the world is dealing with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

But the sheer volume of the documented war crime cases could be too overwhelming for Ukraine’s justice system as well as for the International Criminal Court (ICC), raising questions of how many cases will be brought to trial and how many accused Russian war criminals could ultimately face justice.

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Cannes Film Festival Opens With Zelenskyy Video Address

Zelenskyy quoted Chaplin’s final speech in “The Great Dictator,” which was released in 1940, in the early days of World War II: “The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people.”

The 75th Cannes Film Festival kicked off Tuesday with a live satellite video address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

May. 17, 2022, 04:09 PM EDT

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy appears via remote during the opening ceremony of the 75th international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)

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