Inside the Biden administration’s decision to reverse course and give tanks to Ukraine

Biden warmed to a path suggested by Blinken and Sullivan and a plan proposed by Milley and Austin.

02:15 /02:29 ABC News

Jan. 26, 2023, 4:30 AM EST

By Courtney Kube, Carol E. Lee and Abigail Williams

When he announced his decision to provide Abrams tanks to Ukraine, President Joe Biden made a point to say Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had recommended the move. But Austin, along with other military leaders, had for weeks argued it didn’t make sense for the U.S. to send the tanks to Ukraine, and he made his recommendation about how to provide them only after it was clear Biden wanted to send them, about 48 hours before his announcement, three U.S. officials said.

Biden wasn’t initially sold on sending the tanks, despite pressure to do so to give cover to Germany to send Ukraine some Leopard 2 tanks, the officials said. He warmed to the idea after Secretary of State Antony Blinken presented him with potential solutions to an issue that was very publicly exposing divisions within the U.S.-European alliance, the officials said.

In this file photo taken on May 19, 2022, a US Abrams tank is seen as troops from Poland, USA, France and Sweden take part in the DEFENDER-Europe 22 military exercise, in Nowogrod, Poland. - US President Joe Biden will address Americans on January 25, 2023, about US support for Ukraine, the White House announced, amid expectations that the US will announce future delivery of Abrams tanks. The White House gave no details of the remarks scheduled for 12:00 pm (1700 GMT), other than saying Biden "will deliver remarks on continued support for Ukraine."
A U.S. Abrams tank crew participates in a military exercise with troops from Poland, France and Sweden in Nowogrod, Poland, on May 19, 2022.Wojtek Radwanski / AFP – Getty Images file
Tiếp tục đọc “Inside the Biden administration’s decision to reverse course and give tanks to Ukraine”

Russia, Vietnam slowly but surely parting strategic ways

Asiatimes Hanoi is now openly diversifying its weaponry purchases away from Moscow, an emerging break driven by the war in Ukraine


When Vietnam hosted this month its first-ever International Defense Expo at a military airstrip in Hanoi, the event signaled a quiet but evolving shift in the communist nation’s defense policy.

Tiếp tục đọc “Russia, Vietnam slowly but surely parting strategic ways”

U.S., Russia vie to sell arms to Vietnam at first Hanoi fair

reuters – December 8, 20223:17 PM GMT+7

By Francesco Guarascio  and Khanh Vu

Vietnam holds first international arms expo in Hanoi

Military arms are displayed at the Vietnam International Defence Expo 2022, in Hanoi, Vietnam, December 8, 2022. REUTERS/Khanh Vu

HANOI, Dec 8 (Reuters) – U.S. and Russian defence firms on Thursday displayed weapons and promoted models of aircraft at Vietnam’s first large-scale arms fair, as the two powers vie for influence and arms sales in the strategic Southeast Asian country that borders China.

The event at a Hanoi airbase attracted 174 exhibitors from 30 countries, including all large arms-making nations except China.

Tiếp tục đọc “U.S., Russia vie to sell arms to Vietnam at first Hanoi fair”

Vietnam’s wood trade under pressure from logging, Ukraine war

nikkei Murky origins plague furniture sector coming down from COVID-fueled buying spree

A company displays lumber in Vietnam, whose wood products industry is grappling with risks ranging from the Ukraine war to fake forest certificates and U.S. trade probes. (Photo by Lien Hoang)

LIEN HOANG, Nikkei staff writerOctober 28, 2022 16:08 JST

HO CHI MINH CITY — Reputational risks are piling up for a Vietnamese lumber industry already beset by a falloff in demand from the heights of the pandemic.

One of the world’s biggest wood and furniture exporters, Vietnam enjoyed a surge in orders when overseas buyers spent COVID lockdowns renovating their home offices and kitchens.

But the Southeast Asian country faces accusations of importing Chinese goods for re-export with “Made in Vietnam” labels since the onset of the China-U.S. tariff war in 2018. Now an actual war in Ukraine is stoking concern that sanctioned products from Russia may be routed through Vietnam, which maintains a neutral stance on the conflict between Kyiv and Moscow, as it does with Beijing and Washington. A third concern, about logging of fuel wood, has added to the pressure.

Tiếp tục đọc “Vietnam’s wood trade under pressure from logging, Ukraine war”

How Russian timber bypasses U.S. sanctions by way of Vietnam

A new report says Russian birch wood is routed through Asia before being shipped to American stores.

Washingtonpost – By Michael Tatarski

Plywood allegedly made from Russian birch is being loaded on a ship in Haiphong, Vietnam, for export to the United States in May 2022. (Obtained by Environmental Investigation Agency)

October 1, 2022 at 2:00 a.m. EDT

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam — Russian birch wood has continued to flow to American consumers, disguised as Asian products, despite U.S. economic sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, a new report says.

The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), a nonprofit watchdog group based in Britain, has found that most birch products currently being exported from Vietnam to the United States originate in Russia. According to Vietnam customs data, roughly 40,000 cubic meters of birch wood is transported every month from Russia andChina into Vietnam, where it’s assembled into furniture and plywood.

Tiếp tục đọc “How Russian timber bypasses U.S. sanctions by way of Vietnam”

Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar deepen Russia ties to blunt economic woes

NikkeiSoutheast Asia nations seen giving Moscow breathing room on sanctions

Oil tanks at a petroleum depot in the port of Vladivostok, Russia. Myanmar starts importing Russian fuel oil as early as September.   © Reuters

YOHEI MURAMATSU and TOMOYA ONISHI, Nikkei staff writers

September 6, 2022 04:22 JST

BANGKOK/HANOI — From wooing more Russian tourists to boosting trade, Southeast Asian nations are bolstering economic ties with Russia in hopes of curbing inflation and spurring their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. and European countries have imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine. But these efforts could be hindered by emerging nations as they prioritize addressing their own economic headwinds.

Tiếp tục đọc “Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar deepen Russia ties to blunt economic woes”

Raisi hosts Erdogan, Putin in Tehran


Days after U.S. President Joe Biden made his tour of the Middle East, the leaders of Iran, Russia, and Turkey meet in Tehran for a three-way summit.

Raisi and Putin are trying to talk Turkey out of war. With Russia engaged in Ukraine, Turkey is planning its own “special military operation”—this time against the Kurds in Syria’s north.

Tiếp tục đọc “Raisi hosts Erdogan, Putin in Tehran”

Why is the US not pushing for an end to the Ukraine war?

Al Jazeera English – 16/6/2022

The United States is principally responsible for creating the crisis in Ukraine, according to University of Chicago political science professor John Mearsheimer, and it has no current interest in reaching a negotiated settlement now.

Mearsheimer sees US sanctions against Moscow as an attempt to knock Russia out of the ranks of the great powers.

The way he sees it, the US has declared war against Russia, in effect, but the Ukrainian people are doing the fighting.

Join host Steve Clemons for this wide-ranging conversation about how both sides consider themselves locked in an existential threat, with no way out.

NATO: Lịch sử một tổ chức quân sự

YÊN BA 26/3/2022 6:00 GMT+7

TTCTĐể hiểu được cuộc xung đột ở Ukraine hiện tại, không thể không nhìn lại một lịch sử rất dài, ít ra là từ những ngày ngay sau cuộc chiến lớn gần nhất ở châu Âu.

 Việc mở rộng NATO là một trong những vướng mắc lớn nhất của quan hệ Nga – Mỹ suốt thời gian ông Putin cầm quyền, trải 5 đời tổng thống Mỹ. Ảnh: The New York Times

Ngày 5-3-1946, trong bài phát biểu tại Đại học Westminster, bang Missouri, Mỹ, Thủ tướng Anh Winston Churchill, người kiên định sự nghi kỵ không giới hạn với nhà lãnh đạo Liên Xô Joseph Stalin (ngược lại cũng thế), tuyên bố: “Từ Stettin ở Baltic tới Trieste ở Adriatic, một bức màn sắt đã buông xuống trên khắp lục địa”.

Tiếp tục đọc “NATO: Lịch sử một tổ chức quân sự”

Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine

To understand the tragedy of this war, it is worth going back beyond the last few weeks and months, and even beyond Vladimir Putin

US president Bill Clinton raises his glass to toast with Russian president Boris Yeltsin at a dinner reception in the Kremlin Hall in 1995.
 Photograph: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP


theguardian – 

Listen here

 Read the text version here

Tiếp tục đọc “Was it inevitable? A short history of Russia’s war on Ukraine”

PODCAST: Asia Stream: The old and new Cold War

From Nixon’s 1972 visit to Beijing condoning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we investigate what went wrong in the U.S.-China relationship

Nikkei – February 25, 2022 13:08 JST

NEW YORK — Welcome to Nikkei Asia’s podcast: Asia Stream.

Every week, Asia Stream tracks and analyzes the Indo-Pacific with a mix of interviews and original reporting by our correspondents from across the globe.

New episodes are recorded weekly and available on Apple PodcastsSpotify and all other major platforms, and on our YouTube channel.


Tiếp tục đọc “PODCAST: Asia Stream: The old and new Cold War”

Russian troops seize Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine

Ukraine nuclear power plant attack: All you need to know

Russian troops seize Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine, after attack sparks fire.

Published On 4 Mar 20224 Mar 2022

Russian forces have captured Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, the largest in Europe, according to regional officials.

Ukrainian authorities said on Friday Russian shelling had caused a fire at a building in the plant complex that was later put out. The blaze raised alarm from leaders worldwide of a potential massive disaster. Russia blamed the attack on Ukrainian saboteurs, calling it a “monstrous provocation”.

Here is what we know so far:

INTERACTIVE - Zaporizhzhia

Where is it located?

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is located in the southern Ukraine steppe on the Dnieper River, some 550 kilometres (342 miles) southeast of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, and about 525km (325 miles) south of Chernobyl, the site of the world’s worst nuclear power plant accident in 1986, which has also now been seized by Russian forces.

The plant has a total capacity of about 6,000 megawatts, enough to power about roughly four million homes.

On Wednesday, residents carrying Ukrainian flags had blocked the road to the plant, in an apparent standoff with Russian forces.

What happened?

But on Friday Russian troops were accused of attacking the plant, in an assault Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy branded “nuclear terror” and said could endanger the continent.

A video feed from the plant showed shelling and smoke rising near a building at the plant compound.

Tiếp tục đọc “Russian troops seize Europe’s largest nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine”

UN votes to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for withdrawal

In an emergency session, 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, 35 abstained and five voted against

  • It is the first time in 40 years the security council has referred a crisis to the assembly and only the 11th time an emergency session of the UN general assembly has been called since 1950.
  • Russia-Ukraine war – latest updates

Julian Borger in WashingtonWed 2 Mar 2022 18.10 GMT

The United Nations has voted overwhelmingly for a resolution deploring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and called for the immediate withdrawal of its forces, in a global expression of outrage that highlighted Russia’s increasing isolation.

In an emergency session of the UN’s general assembly, 141 of the 193 member states voted for the resolution, 35 abstained, and five voted against. The only countries to vote no in support of Moscow were Belarus, North Korea, Eritrea and Syria. Longstanding allies Cuba and Nicaragua joined China in abstaining.

ICC begins collecting evidence of war crimes; more talks to begin – as it happenedRead more

The resolution said the UN “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine”. It demanded that “the Russian Federation immediately cease its use of force against Ukraine” and “immediately, completely and unconditionally withdraw all of its military forces”.

The resolution is not legally binding, but is an expression of the views of the UN membership, aimed at increasing pressure on Moscow and its ally, Belarus.

“It isn’t going to stop Russian forces in their stride, but it’s a pretty enormous diplomatic win for the Ukrainians and the US, and everyone who has got behind them,” Richard Gowan, UN director at the International Crisis Group, said.

Speaking before the vote, the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, compared the Russian invasion to the Nazi conquest of Europe.

“A few of the eldest Ukrainians and Russians might recall a moment like this, a moment when one aggressive European nation invaded another without provocation to claim the territory of its neighbour, a moment when a European dictator declared he would return his empire to its former glory and invasion that caused a war so horrific, that it spurred this organization into existence,” Thomas-Greenfield said.

Tiếp tục đọc “UN votes to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for withdrawal”

Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis

The greatest tragedy about Russia’s potential invasion is how easily it could have been avoided.

By Stephen M. Walt, a columnist at Foreign Policy and the Robert and Renée Belfer professor of international relations at Harvard University.

Bill Clinton and Joe Biden  at a meeting of the U.S. Congressional delegation to the NATO summit in Spain on July 7, 1998.

JANUARY 19, 2022, 5:49 AM

The situation in Ukraine is bad and getting worse. Russia is poised to invade and demanding airtight guarantees that NATO will never, ever expand farther to the east. Negotiations do not appear to be succeeding, and the United States and its NATO allies are beginning to contemplate how they will make Russia pay should it press forward with an invasion. A real war is now a distinct possibility, which would have far-reaching consequences for everyone involved, especially Ukraine’s citizens.

Tiếp tục đọc “Liberal Illusions Caused the Ukraine Crisis”

Mỹ rút quân khỏi Iraq: Lịch sử sang trang, Washington dồn toàn lực cho một “NATO ở châu Á”

Đại sứ Nguyễn Quang Khai | 07/08/2021 19:10

Mỹ rút quân khỏi Iraq: Lịch sử sang trang, Washington dồn toàn lực cho một "NATO ở châu Á"
Ảnh: AP

SHRút quân khỏi Iraq tiếp sau Afghanistan, Washington đang điều chỉnh lại chiến lược toàn cầu, tập trung đối đầu với Trung Quốc và Nga.

Ngày 27/7/2021, tại Washington, Tổng thống Mỹ Joe Biden và Thủ tướng Iraq Mustafa Al-Kadhimi đã ký Thỏa thuận về việc chấm dứt nhiệm vụ chiến đấu của quân đội Mỹ tại Iraq vào cuối năm nay.

Tiếp tục đọc “Mỹ rút quân khỏi Iraq: Lịch sử sang trang, Washington dồn toàn lực cho một “NATO ở châu Á””