The world’s youngest prime minister – Sanna Marin of Finland has defied Vladimir Putin in joining NATO

abc.net.au – By Lucy Sweeney and Lucia Stein

Sanna Marin smiles widely as she stands outdoors in a white collared shirt
Sanna Marin became the youngest leader in the world when she took over as Finland’s Prime Minister in 2019.(Reuters: Remo Casilli)

When Finland’s Prime Minister, Sanna Marin, and Sweden’s leader, Magdalena Andersson, met for a key press conference in April, it became a defining moment for both countries. 

For decades, Finland and Sweden had clung to their non-militarily-aligned status, pursuing close ties with Europe, while maintaining a cordial relationship with their eastern neighbour, Russia. But the war in Ukraine changed everything. 

While Ms Marin refused to give any kind of timetable on the decision at the time, she hinted at the press conference that Finland’s bid would happen “quite fast”.

Her prediction came true. Within a month, the proposal was before Finland’s parliament and signed off, and this week the full membership of NATO agreed to formally invite both countries to officially join the alliance.

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‘Thanks, Putin’: Defense spending spikes across NATO

FP – JUNE 30, 2022

NATO leaders emerged from their summit in Madrid this week touting a more muscular alliance ready to face down Russia and start tackling the long-term challenges from China. And it’s starting to look like they finally have plans in place to put their money where their mouths are.

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Những cuộc tập trận trên Thái Bình Dương

DU LONG 13/6/2022 6:00 GMT+7

TTCTCuối tháng 6 này, thao diễn hải quân hằng năm RIMPAC của Mỹ, quy tụ hải quân 26 quốc gia, sẽ khai diễn. Trước đó, từ cuối tháng 5, hải quân Trung Quốc và Nga đã độc lập diễn tập cũng trên Thái Bình Dương. Bên cạnh quan hệ đối kháng sẵn có, năm nay còn thêm tác động của cuộc chiến Ukraine, nên các cuộc diễn tập này càng hàm chứa tính đối đầu.

Hôm 3-6, Hãng tin Thổ Nhĩ Kỳ AA loan tin 40 tàu chiến và 20 máy bay tham gia diễn tập thuộc hạm đội Thái Bình Dương của Nga tại phía đông nước này từ ngày 3 tới 10-6. 

Cũng theo AA, cuộc tập trận nhằm phối hợp nhóm tàu trên với không quân của hải quân trong việc rèn kỹ năng săn ngầm, tác xạ các mục tiêu trên mặt nước và trên không, đồng thời tổ chức tiếp tế trên biển cho hải quân trong vùng biển Thái Bình Dương.

 Binh sĩ các nước Úc, Mỹ, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brunei, Nhật Bản, và New Zealand chụp ảnh chung trên tàu sân bay trực thăng HMAS Adelaide trong cuộc tập trận RIMPAC 2018. Ảnh: navy.mil

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A looming threat

NYT Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has civilians in Taiwan taking China’s aggression more seriously.

Civilians participating in a battle simulation during a combat medic training workshop near Taipei in May. Since the war in Ukraine began, a growing number of Taiwanese have been making their own preparations for war.
Civilians participating in a battle simulation during a combat medic training workshop near Taipei in May. Since the war in Ukraine began, a growing number of Taiwanese have been making their own preparations for war.Credit…Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times
Ian Prasad Philbrick

By Ian Prasad Philbrick

June 19, 2022, 7:26 a.m. ET

Taiwan has spent more than seven decades under the threat of an invasion: China sees the island as a breakaway part of its territory. In the months since Russia invaded Ukraine, Taiwanese citizens have come to view a Chinese incursion as a more serious possibility than ever. My colleague Amy Qin, who’s based in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital, recently reported on how the island is preparing. I called her to learn more.

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What next? Ukraine’s allies divided over Russia endgame

People look at destroyed buildings in Irpin, outside Kyiv, as Russia's attacks on Ukraine continues
Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Lysychansk

1/3

People look at destroyed buildings in Irpin, outside Kyiv, as Russia’s attacks on Ukraine continues, June 9, 2022. REUTERS/Marko Djurica/File Photo

Reuters

PARIS/BERLIN/WASHINGTON, June 13 (Reuters) – Is it better to engage with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine or to isolate him? Should Kyiv make concessions to end the war, or would that embolden the Kremlin? Are ramped up sanctions on Russia worth the collateral damage?

These are some of the questions testing the international alliance that swiftly rallied around Ukraine in the days after the Russian invasion but that, three months into the war, is straining, officials and diplomats told Reuters.

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

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

foreignpolicy.com

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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No more parties in Davos for Kleptocrats

Transparency International


27/05/2022: No more parties in Davos

This week, policymakers, business executives and other public figures gathered in Davos, Switzerland where the World Economic Forum’s largest meeting took place in person after a two-year hiatus. We sat this one out, but our warning from Davos 2020 on how corruption eats away at democracy still rings true.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Davos 2022 on 23 May.
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Understanding The China-Russia Trade, Investment & Economic Relationship In The Context Of The Ukraine Conflict

silkroadbriefing.com

 May 10, 2022Posted bySilk Road Briefing

Surging Trade As Bilateral Relations Grow Closer

China and Russia have grown increasingly close in recent years, including as trading partners, in a relationship that brings both opportunities and risks as Russia reels from tough new sanctions led by the West in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Total trade between China and Russia jumped 35.9% in 2021 last year to a record US$147.9 billion, according to Chinese customs data, with Russia serving as a major source of oil, gas, coal and agriculture commodities, and running a trade surplus with China.

Since sanctions were imposed in 2014 after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea, bilateral trade has expanded by more than 50% and China has become Russia’s biggest export destination The two were aiming to boost total trade to US$200 billion by 2024, but according to a new target unveiled last month during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing for the Winter Olympics, the two sides want bilateral trade to grow to US$250 billion.

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THE PUTIN SHOW

economist.com

How the war in Ukraine appears to Russians

May 17th 2022

When vladimir putin was first elected president of Russia in 2000, he changed little in the office he inherited from Boris Yeltsin. Yet in place of a pen on the desk, Mr Putin put a television remote control, one visitor noted. The new president would obsess over the media, spending the end of his days watching coverage of himself. One of his first moves was to bring under Kremlin control the country’s television networks, including ntv, an independent oligarch-owned channel, which had needled the new president with unflattering depictions of him as a dwarf in a satirical show called Kukly, or Puppets.

After more than two decades in power, today Mr Putin is the puppet master. The state controls the country’s television channels, newspapers and radio stations. The Kremlin gives editors and producers metodichki, or guidance on what to cover and how. As young audiences shift online, the Kremlin seeks to control the conversation there, leaning on social networks and news aggregators, blocking or undermining unco-operative digital media and flooding popular platforms, such as the messaging app Telegram, with state-approved content. Propaganda has long propped up Mr Putin’s regime. Now it fuels his war machine.

Since the president announced a “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24th, control over information has become even tighter. Censorship laws bar reporting that cites unofficial sources. Calling the war a “war” is a crime. Protesters are detained for holding signs that contain eight asterisks, the number of letters in the Russian for “no to war”. Many Western social networks and platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, have been banned or blocked. The last remaining influential independent media bastions have been pushed off air. Dozhd, an online tv station, has suspended its streams; Novaya Gazeta, a liberal newspaper whose editor recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, has halted publication; Echo Moskvy, a popular liberal radio station, no longer broadcasts from its longtime Moscow home on 91.2FM.

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Cannes Film Festival Opens With Zelenskyy Video Address

huffpost.com

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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Russians confirm they are hitting Ukrainian targets with banned cluster and phosphorus weapons 

news.yahoo.com

VALENTYNA ROMANENKO — SUNDAY, 15 MAY 2022, 14: 22

The Russian invaders confirm that they are using phosphorus and cluster weapons in Ukraine, which are prohibited by international conventions.

Source: another intercept of the invaders’ conversation by the Security Service of Ukraine

Details: These are particularly dangerous and inhumane types of weapons.

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Five deadly weapons Russia is accused of using in Ukraine

thehill.com

Five deadly weapons Russia is accused of using in Ukraine

BY JORDAN WILLIAMS AND LAURA KELLY – 04/18/22 6:20 PM ET
Russia has been accused of using everything from so-called vacuum bombs to chemical weapons as it fights to overtake Ukraine.

Some of the worst weapons that Moscow has allegedly used are indiscriminate in their nature, prompting concerns about their impact on civilian populations from Ukrainian officials, the West, and human rights groups monitoring the war.

“There is deliberate targeting of civilian populations and noncombatants, which is against international law,” said John Erath, senior policy adviser for the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation. “And it really does not matter what type of weapon is being used. That is really bad.”

Here are five of the worst weapons Russia has been accused of using in its invasion. Tiếp tục đọc “Five deadly weapons Russia is accused of using in Ukraine”

G7 Leaders’ Statement

MAY 08, 2022•STATEMENTS AND RELEASES The White House

  1. Today, on 8 May, we, the Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7), alongside Ukraine and the wider global community, commemorate the end of the Second World War in Europe and the liberation from fascism and the National Socialist reign of terror, which caused immeasurable destruction, unspeakable horrors and human suffering. We mourn the millions of victims and offer our respect, especially to all those who paid the ultimate price to defeat the National Socialist regime, including the western Allies and the Soviet Union.
  2. Seventy-seven years later, President Putin and his regime now chose to invade Ukraine in an unprovoked war of aggression against a sovereign country. His actions bring shame on Russia and the historic sacrifices of its people. Through its invasion of and actions in Ukraine since 2014, Russia has violated the international rules-based order, particularly the UN Charter, conceived after the Second World War to spare successive generations from the scourge of war.
  3. Today, we were honoured to be joined by Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. We assured him of our full solidarity and support for Ukraine’s courageous defence of its sovereignty and territorial integrity, and its fight for a peaceful, prosperous and democratic future within its internationally recognised borders, with the liberties and freedoms that so many of us enjoy today.
  4. President Zelenskyy underlined the strong resolve of Ukraine to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity. He stated that Ukraine’s ultimate aim is to ensure full withdrawal of Russia’s military forces and equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine and to secure its ability to protect itself in the future and thanked G7 members for their support. In this regard, Ukraine emphasised that it relies on its international partners, in particular on G7 members, in providing necessary assistance in the domain of defense capabilities, as well as with a view to ensuring a swift and effective recovery of Ukraine’s economy and to securing its economic and energy security. Ukraine has entered into discussions with international partners on security mechanisms for a viable post-war peace settlement. Ukraine remains committed to working closely with G7 members to support Ukraine’s macroeconomic stability in the face of the challenges posed by the full-scaled Russian invasion, massive destruction of critical infrastructure and disruption of traditional shipping routes for Ukrainian exports. President Zelenskyy noted his country’s commitment to uphold our common democratic values and principles, including respect for human rights and the rule of law.
  5. Today, we, the G7, reassured President Zelenskyy of our continued readiness to undertake further commitments to help Ukraine secure its free and democratic future, such that Ukraine can defend itself now and deter future acts of aggression. To this end, we will pursue our ongoing military and defence assistance to the Ukrainian Armed Forces, continue supporting Ukraine in defending its networks against cyber incidents, and expand our cooperation, including on information security. We will continue to support Ukraine in increasing its economic and energy security.
  6. Together with the international community, we, the G7, have provided and pledged additional support since the start of the war exceeding USD 24 billion for 2022 and beyond, in both financial and material means. In the coming weeks, we will step up our collective short-term financial support to help Ukraine close financing gaps and deliver basic services to its people, while also developing options – working with the Ukrainian authorities and international financial institutions – to support long-term recovery and reconstruction. In this regard, we welcome the establishment of the International Monetary Fund’s Multi-Donor Administered Account for Ukraine and the European Union announcement to develop a Ukraine Solidarity Trust Fund. We support the World Bank Group’s support package to Ukraine and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development’s Resilience Package.
  7. We call on all partners to join our support for the Ukrainian people and for refugees, and to help Ukraine to rebuild its future.
  8. We reiterate our condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked, unjustifiable and illegal military aggression against Ukraine and the indiscriminate attacks against civilians and civilian infrastructure, which has resulted in terrible humanitarian catastrophe in the heart of Europe. We are appalled by the large-scale loss of human life, assault on human rights, and destruction that Russia’s actions have inflicted on Ukraine.
  9. Under no circumstances can civilians and those not taking an active part in the hostilities be legitimate targets. We will spare no effort to hold President Putin and the architects and accomplices of this aggression, including the Lukashenko regime in Belarus, accountable for their actions in accordance with international law. To this end, we will continue to work together, along with our allies and partners around the world. We reaffirm our support for all efforts to ensure full accountability. We welcome and support the ongoing work to investigate and gather evidence on this, including by the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the independent investigation commission mandated by the United Nations Human Rights Council and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s mission of experts.
  10. We further condemn Russia’s attempts to replace democratically elected Ukrainian local authorities with illegitimate ones. We will not recognise these acts in violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  11. We will continue to counter the Russian strategy of disinformation, which deliberately manipulates the global – including the Russian – public in the hope of shrouding the Russian regime’s culpability for this war.
  12. Our unprecedented package of coordinated sanctions has already significantly hindered Russia’s war of aggression by limiting access to financial channels and ability to pursue their objectives. These restrictive measures are already having a significant impact on all Russian economic sectors – financial, trade, defence, technology, and energy – and will intensify pressure on Russia over time. We will continue to impose severe and immediate economic costs on President Putin’s regime for this unjustifiable war. We collectively commit to taking the following measures, consistent with our respective legal authorities and processes:

    a. First, we commit to phase out our dependency on Russian energy, including by phasing out or banning the import of Russian oil. We will ensure that we do so in a timely and orderly fashion, and in ways that provide time for the world to secure alternative supplies. As we do so, we will work together and with our partners to ensure stable and sustainable global energy supplies and affordable prices for consumers, including by accelerating reduction of our overall reliance on fossil fuels and our transition to clean energy in accordance with our climate objectives.

    b. Second, we will take measures to prohibit or otherwise prevent the provision of key services on which Russia depends. This will reinforce Russia’s isolation across all sectors of its economy.

    c. Third, we will continue to take action against Russian banks connected to the global economy and systemically critical to the Russian financial system. We have already severely impaired Russia’s ability to finance its war of aggression by targeting its Central Bank and its largest financial institutions.

    d. Fourth, we will continue our efforts to fight off the Russian regime’s attempts to spread its propaganda. Respectable private companies should not provide revenue to the Russian regime or to its affiliates feeding the Russian war machine.

    e. Fifth, we will continue and elevate our campaign against the financial elites and family members, who support President Putin in his war effort and squander the resources of the Russian people. Consistent with our national authorities, we will impose sanctions on additional individuals.
  13. We continue to work with our international partners and invite them to stand with us and to follow suit with similar actions, including to prevent sanctions evasion, circumvention and backfilling.
  14. President Putin’s war is causing global economic disruptions, impacting the security of global energy supply, fertiliser and food provision, and the functioning of global supply chains in general. The most vulnerable countries are affected most severely. Together with partners globally, we are stepping up our efforts to counter these adverse and harmful impacts of this war.
  15. President Putin’s war against Ukraine is placing global food security under severe strain. Together with the United Nations, we call on Russia to end its blockade and all other activities that further impede Ukrainian food production and exports, in line with its international commitments. Failure to do so will be seen as an attack on feeding the world. We will step up efforts to help Ukraine to keep producing in view of the next harvest season and exporting, including by alternative routes.
  16. In support of the United Nations Global Crises Response Group, we will address the causes and consequences of the global food crisis through a Global Alliance for Food Security, as our joint initiative to ensure momentum and coordination, and other efforts. We will closely cooperate with international partners and organisations beyond the G7, and, with the aim of transforming political commitments into concrete actions as planned by various international initiatives such as the Food and Agriculture Resilience Mission (FARM) and key regional outreach initiatives, including towards African and Mediterranean countries. We reiterate that our sanctions packages are carefully targeted so as not to impede the delivery of humanitarian assistance or the trade of agricultural products and reaffirm our commitment to avoid food export restrictions which impact the most vulnerable.
  17. The G7 and Ukraine stand united in this difficult time and in their quest to ensure Ukraine’s democratic, prosperous future. We remain united in our resolve that President Putin must not win his war against Ukraine. We owe it to the memory of all those who fought for freedom in the Second World War, to continue fighting for it today, for the people of Ukraine, Europe and the global community.

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