U.N. Accuses Both Russia and Ukraine of Potential War Crimes, Summary Execution, Torture of Prisoners of War

U.N. Accuses Both Russia and Ukraine of Potential War Crimes, Summary Execution, Torture of Prisoners of War

The Russian and Ukrainian armed forces have been accused of torturing and executing prisoners of war over the past year by the United Nations, which said that such actions could amount to war crimes.

A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) claimed that both Russia and Ukraine have engaged in the summary execution of prisoners of war, which contravenes numerous international human rights laws and treaties on war.

The OHCHR said that they documented cases of summary executions of at least 25 Russian prisoners of war (POWs) under the authority of Ukrainian forces.

“Such cases amount to gross violations of [international human rights law] and serious violations of [international humanitarian law] that may constitute war crimes,” the report said.

The UN body went on to claim to have documented poor treatment of POWs at eight of the 31 transit or permanent camps run by the Ukrainian government, in which they found documented cases of torture and other forms of poor treatment of Russian prisoners, including so-called “welcome beatings” in a prison in Dnipro from March to May 2022.

According to the OHCHR, the Ukrainian government provided them with “full and confidential access” to the locations where prisoners of war are being held, as opposed to the Russian government, which refused to do the same.

Through investigative efforts, including interviewing Ukrainian POWs who were released from Russian captivity, the UN said that they found evidence of the summary executions of 15 POWs at the hands of the Russian armed forces or the Wagner Group mercenary organisation or other contracting groups.

They went on to claim evidence of POWs being used as human shields, the death of two wounded prisoners for lack of medical attention, and the use of torture to extract information.

The report also highlighted an instance that went viral on social media in July of last year in which a Russian soldier was filmed appearing to cut off the testicles of a man wearing a Ukrainian armed forces uniform before shooting him in the head.

The UN said that while they were not able to identify the victim in the video, the “incident does not appear staged and would manifestly amount to torture, including sexual violence, and wilful killing.”

A series of videos published in November appearing to show the summary executions of dozens of Russian POWs at the hands of Ukrainian forces were also deemed as “highly likely authentic.”

The report claimed that while torture and other poor treatment of prisoners of war occurred on both sides, the practice was more commonly documented against Ukrainian POWs, with nine out of ten of those interviewed reporting such abuse compared to around half of Russian prisoners who claimed to have been tortured or subject to other abuse.

Commenting on the findings, Matilda Bogner, the head of the UN monitoring mission, said: “We are deeply concerned about the summary execution of up to 25 Russian prisoners of war and persons ordered to combat by Ukrainian armed forces, which we have documented.”

“In relation to the treatment of Ukrainian prisoners of war, we are also deeply concerned by the summary execution of 15 Ukrainian prisoners of war shortly after being captured by Russian armed forces,” Bogner continued. “The Wagner Group — military and security contractors — perpetrated 11 of these executions.”

While often lauded by the West, Ukrainians have previously been accused of wrongdoing in the war by Amnesty International, who alleged that they were unnecessarily endangering the lives of civilians by establishing military bases in residential areas including schools and hospitals, as well as launching attacks from heavily populated civilian areas in attempts to deter retaliation from the Russians.

President Volodymyr Zelensky slammed the report from the human rights organisation, claiming that Amnesty International was “playing into Russia’s hands” and shifting “blame from the aggressor to the victim of aggression.”

Embarrassingly, just days later Amnesty International backed down and apologised, issuing a statement in which the organisation said that it “deeply regrets the distress and anger that our press release on the Ukrainian military’s fighting tactics has caused.”

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Pentagon Chief Downplays Chances of Military Victory for Ukraine

Pentagon Chief Downplays Chances of Military Victory for Ukraine

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has downplayed the chances of a military victory for Ukraine, saying the war would likely end with negotiations.

In an interview with CNN taped on Thursday, Austin was asked, “Do you still ultimately think Ukraine can win this?”

Austin did not say “yes,” but instead said, “Ukraine’s goal is to take back as much of their sovereign territory as possible.”

And when asked if the war ends with negotiations or on the battlefield, Austin responded, “Most likely, it will end with some sort of negotiation.”

He then said Ukraine’s “going in point” for negotiations would probably be to get all Russian forces out of Ukraine, suggesting it would not be the outcome:

Most likely, it will end with some sort of negotiation. And what the Ukrainians are interested in is getting their — getting the Russians out of their sovereign territory. And I think that’s probably going to be their going-in point — point with — you know, I’ll let the Ukrainian speak for themselves.

Despite not predicting a military victory for Ukraine, Austin said the U.S. would continue supplying Ukraine with military equipment for as long as Ukraine is fighting.

“As long as Ukraine continues to conduct operations and continues to work to take back its sovereign territory, we’ll be there with them,” he said.

So far, the U.S. has provided at least $33 billion in military aid to Ukraine in one year alone. Other allies and partners have provided an additional $20 billion in military aid. This does not include tens of billions more in other kind of support.

Austin is not the only U.S. defense leader who believes there will not be a Ukrainian military victory anytime soon.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Joe Biden’s top military adviser Gen. Mark Milley last month said, “From a military standpoint, I still maintain that for this year it would be very, very difficult to militarily eject the Russian forces from all — every inch of Ukraine and occupied — or Russian-occupied Ukraine.”

Army Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Keith Kellogg, who served as national security adviser to the vice president during the Trump administration, slammed the Biden administration for having no strategy to end the war and just continuing to send more weapons.

“Look, this is an endless war,” he said Friday on Fox News. “We are starting to fall into the same trap…we haven’t figured out how to end this war. And there is a way to do it. We haven’t put that forth. And that’s what President Biden needs to do. He needs to say, ‘Look, this war can be brought to a conclusion. It needs to stop.’”

He added, “The American people are going to get very dissatisfied with it by putting all this money, and there’s no end state. Look, he’s got a great bumper sticker, ‘As long as it takes’…That’s not a strategy, that’s not a policy, and they need to come up with one to figure out how do they end this thing.”

Kellogg also said the war would turn into a war of attrition “shortly,” and the Ukrainian forces cannot win a war of attrition.

“Look, when I was in Ukraine, you look at a country that’s lost major cities…and you look at a country that a third of their population are now refugees. You look at 100,000 Ukrainian soldiers dead. You look at 150,000 Russian soldiers dead, is this going to keep going on?” he said.

“Somebody needs to say this is how we stop it. There are ways to do it. It can be done. But this administration is not leading the way to do it. And they need to. The free world looks at us to lead and right now we’re not — we’re just following,” he said.

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Escalation: UK to Become First State to Hand Ukraine ‘Longer Range Weapons’ Says PM Sunak

Escalation: UK to Become First State to Hand Ukraine ‘Longer Range Weapons’ Says PM Sunak

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged that the United Kingdom will become the first state to supply Ukraine with “longer-range weapons” to use in its war with Russia.

In comments made on Saturday at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Rishi Sunak said that the West must “help Ukraine to shield its cities from Russian bombs and Iranian drones and that’s why the United Kingdom will be the first country  to provide Ukraine with longer-range weapons.”

The British premier went on to say that his government is working with other NATO allies to “give Ukraine the most advanced air defence systems and build the air force they need to defend their nation.”

“[The United Kingdom] is ready to help any country to provide Ukraine planes they need today but we must also train Ukrainian pilots to use advanced jets,” he said.

This escalation comes at a precarious moment for Ukraine’s Western backers, with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressing concern that Communist China is considering graduating from “providing rhetorical, political, diplomatic support to Russia” to “providing lethal support to Russia” — a move which would have “serious consequences” for Sino-American relations.

Over the past year, the British government has sent nearly £4 billion to Ukraine in aid, £2.3 billion of which has come in the form of weapons, ammunition, or other military equipment.

Following Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to London earlier this month, Downing Street said that it was actively considering shipping fighter jets and long-range missiles to the war-torn country.

The two types of long-range missiles reportedly under consideration are the 150-mile range Harpoon high-explosive anti-ship missile and the 350-mile range deep penetration Storm Shadow cruise missile. According to Ukrainian defence sources speaking to The Times of London, Kyiv would use such weaponry to expand the current conflict by launching an assault on the Crimean peninsula, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

It is also conceivable that British long-range missiles could be used to wage attacks on Russia proper — a move that could see the localised war transform into a global conflict.

In addition to doubling down on sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine, Sunak said that NATO should consider creating a “new charter” in its alliance agreement at the upcoming meeting in Vilnius, Lithuania in order to “help protect Ukraine from future Russian aggression”.

Earlier this month, Sunak and Zelensky signed a document dubbed the London Declaration, in which Britain recommitted to its stated stance of supporting Ukrainian admission into the NATO alliance — a move that has been cited as one of the chief motivating factors for the invasion of the country by the Kremlin, which has said that having NATO expand onto its doorstep is a “red line”.

Nevertheless, the declaration states that “[t]he UK has continued to lead the way in support for Ukraine to defend itself including anti-tank weapons and tanks. Our military support to Ukraine is enduring. UK support will continue to contribute across all three domains; Land, Air, Sea.”

So far, there has been little discussion of actually seeking an end to the war through peace negotiations at the Munich summit, which will conclude on Sunday. Appearing before the conference on Friday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that the West must prepare for a “long war” as he called on allies to supply Ukraine with more tanks, weaponry, and ammo.

The German leader was followed by French President Emmanuel Macron, who despite being an early proponent of peace negotiations with Moscow said in Munich that now is  “not the time for dialogue”, adding that Western powers must aid Ukraine in launching a counter-offensive against Russia in order to have a “credible” position at the negotiating table.

The prospect of a peace deal was also diminished this week by comments from President Zelesnky, who stated that he would not accept any agreement if it involved territorial concessions to the Russians — a position that will likely serve as a non-starter for Moscow.

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‘Nothing Is Off the Table’ — Sunak Considering Sending Fighter Jets to Ukraine amid Pressure from Boris and Zelenksy

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’ — Sunak Considering Sending Fighter Jets to Ukraine amid Pressure from Boris and Zelenksy

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said that “nothing is off the table” in terms of sending fighter jets to Ukraine after demands from both President Volodymyr Zelenksy and former Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday.

Following a speech delivered in the historic Westminster Hall by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksy in which he cheekily thanked the United Kingdom “in advance” for shipments of “powerful English planes” to fight the Russians, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman attempted to play down the prospect of sending fighter jets to the country for now, noting that Ukrainian soldiers are not currently trained in how to fly British war planes — a process that typically takes years.

However, Downing Street said that the measure, which would represent a dramatic escalation in the conflict, is under active consideration.

“I think you can see from the steps that we are taking that we are willing to put Ukraine in the position where, once we have reached the goals of training pilots, they are able to fly these type of jets,” the prime minster’s spokesman said according to The Times.

“What we have not made a decision on is whether we send UK fighter jets. Obviously there is an ongoing discussion among other countries about their own fighter jets, some of which are more akin to what Ukrainian pilots are used to.”

When personally pressed on whether the British government would send jets to Ukraine, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Nothing is off the table.”

The pressure on the government to send jets into Ukraine was ramped up further on Wednesday following Zelensky’s speech by former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been one of the chief advocates in the Western world for pouring more military equipment into the conflict zone since the invasion last February.

Demanding that the Ukrainian president’s call for arms be headed, Mr Johnson said: “There is nothing to be lost and everything to be gained by sending planes now.”

The former prime minister went on to note that the UK has over 100 Typhoon jets at its disposal, adding: “The best single use for any of these items is to deploy them now for the protection of the Ukrainians.”

In addition to sending billions in weaponry to the frontline in Ukraine, Britain has also been at the forefront in training Ukrainian  soldiers on how to use advanced Western arms, including the use of anti-tank missiles and main battle tanks. The UK is set to send a provision of Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems, with the country already spending nearly £4 billion in military aid to the former Soviet nation.

After addressing the Parliament on Wednesday, Zelensky joined Prime Minster Sunak on a trip to Dorset in the south west of England, where the British military is actively training Ukrainian soldiers.

Appearing in front of British tanks and soldiers, Zelensky told reporters that Ukraine will be “intensifying our diplomacy” on the issue of receiving Typhoon fighter jets from the West.

“When it comes to Typhoons, not everything depends just on the decision of Great Britain. I will be working in that direction because this is how we have been able to change many things,” the Ukrainian leader said.

“We are intensifying our diplomacy and I do believe within a day we will be able to meet with a dozen EU leaders and then we will go back home. All of these conversations, they have to take place quickly.”

At the conclusion of the visit, Zelensky and Sunak signed the “London Declaration” in which the United Kingdom reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within its recognised borders, as well as Ukraine’s right to pursue its own security arrangements, including future membership of NATO.”

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WW3 Watch: German Foreign Minister Declares ‘We Are Fighting a War Against Russia’

WW3 Watch: German Foreign Minister Declares ‘We Are Fighting a War Against Russia’

In a stunning statement contradicting her own government and the official line from NATO, Germany’s Foreign Minister declared that her country and Europe as a whole is in a “war against Russia” in Ukraine.

Speaking before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on Tuesday, Annalena Baerbock of the German Green Party and a top member of the traffic light coalition government of Olaf Scholz, publicly contradicted the head of her government by saying that they are at war with Russia.

“I’ve said already in the last days – yes, we have to do more to defend Ukraine. Yes, we have to do more also on tanks,” Baerbock said. “But the most important and the crucial part is that we do it together and that we do not do the blame game in Europe, because we are fighting a war against Russia and not against each other.”

The comments from the foreign minister came just hours before Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced that Germany would indeed be sending military tanks to Ukraine. However, the German leader expressly said that this did not represent an act of war against Russia, maintaining the Western line that the tanks are allegedly only intended for defensive purposes.

“We must always make it very clear that we are doing what is necessary and possible to support Ukraine, but at the same time preventing an escalation of the war to a war between NATO and Russia, and we will continue to observe this principle,” he said.

Aside from being contradicted by the chancellor, Germany’s chief military ally in the European Union, France also rejected Baerbock’s declaration, with a spokeswoman for the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs at the Quai d’Orsay, Anne-Claire Legendre saying: “We are not at war with Russia and none of our partners are.”

“The delivery of military equipment as part of the exercise of its self-defence… does not constitute a co-belligerence,” she said. “We deny these statements made by the Kremlin.”

On Thursday, Germany’s Federal Foreign Office also attempted to walk back the comments from Baerbock, telling the Bild newspaper that supporting Ukraine’s defensive effort against Russia “does not make Germany a party to the conflict.”

Yet, the comments were not missed by the Kremlin, with Moscow likening the statement to a recent interview from former German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who suggested last year that the 2014 Minsk peace agreement was intended to buy Ukraine time in order to build up armaments to fight Russia.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said: “If we add this to Merkel’s revelations that they were strengthening Ukraine and did not count on the Minsk agreements, then we are talking about a war against Russia that was planned in advance. Don’t say later that we didn’t warn you.”

Despite the Green Party’s traditionally anti-war stance, Baerbock has been one of the most vociferous voices in Germany on behalf of the Ukrainian war effort against Russia. Indeed, speaking from Prague in September, the foreign minister said that her government would be willing to support Ukraine for years “no matter what my German voter thinks.”

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Macron Sends ‘First Western Tanks’ to Ukraine, Followed by U.S. and Germany

Macron Sends ‘First Western Tanks’ to Ukraine, Followed by U.S. and Germany

In a potentially escalatory move, French President Emmanuel Macron became the first Western leader to supply Ukraine with tanks following talks with President Volodymyr Zelensky.

On Wednesday, the Elysée announced that French-made AMX-10 RC light tanks — which were designed in the 1980s and are currently being phased out of the French military — will be sent to Ukraine. The move is a significant change of position from the Macron government, which hitherto has shied away from sending armour to the war zone for fear of escalating tensions with Moscow.

France has already been supplying Kyiv (Kiev) with air defence systems, anti-aircraft missiles, artillery, and armoured vehicles, but President Macron has been one of the few voices in Europe to consistently call for continued peace negotiations with Vladimir Putin to bring the conflict to an end.

The decision to send French-made tanks to the battlefield appears, therefore, to be a first move in shifting perspectives from western capitals on the viability of peace talks with the Kremlin.

A French presidential aid said according to the AFP: “The president wanted to increase aid” to Ukraine “by accepting to deliver AMX-10 RC light tanks,” adding: “It is the first time that Western-designed tanks are supplied to the Ukrainian armed forces.”

President Zelensky for his part wrote on Twitter: “Had a long and detailed conversation with President of France Emmanuel Macron on the current situation. Thanked for the decision to transfer light tanks and Bastion APCs to Ukraine, as well as for intensifying work with partners in the same direction.”

Just days later, U.S. President Biden said he too would be sending armoured fighting vehicles to Ukraine, selecting Bradley M2s to be donated. Germany is also getting involved, announcing at the same time it would be sending Marder IFVs to Ukraine, a potentially risky move given the German Army has just brought back its now-vintage Marder armour to front-line service, given the new replacements have so many problems they have proven totally unusable in actual service. 

The decision of Germany to send the Marder armour follows months of intense debate at home, which at times has even touched on whether to send heavy tanks — not just the lighter Infantry Fighting Vehicles now being supplied by France, the United States, and Germany.

There is growing pressure from the Greens and the neo-liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) which make up the other governing parties of the so-called traffic light coalition.

Green Member of the Bundestag, Anton Hofreiter said earlier this week per Der Spiegle: “With the announcement of the French government to supply scout tanks, the argument of going it alone is finally absurd. Scholz must now end his blockade.”

The FDP’s Marie-Agnes Strack-Zimmermann, who chairs the Defence Committee in the German parliament, said: “In the spirit of Franco-German friendship, the Chancellor must finally recognise and add to the signs of the times. The ball is now in Berlin.”

Earlier this year, Germany reversed its long-standing prohibition on sending or selling weapons to conflict zones following the February invasion of Ukraine, allowing the shipment of anti-aircraft gun shells to the country. Though the country has been the leading economy of the European Union for decades, it has long-neglected spending money on its own military. In a vindication of frequent criticisms from former President Donald Trump, Scholz announced after the invasion that Germany would finally seek to meet its NATO spending requirements on its military. Yet, this will likely take time to see results.

Therefore, SPD member of the Bundestag and Bundeswehr officer Johannes Arlt said that German tanks should only be supplied to Ukraine if there are plans to replace them on a one-to-one basis in the German military.

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Exclusive Video: Western Leaders Have ‘Misplaced Optimism’ in Ability to Defeat Russia, Says German MEP

Exclusive Video: Western Leaders Have ‘Misplaced Optimism’ in Ability to Defeat Russia, Says German MEP

Western leaders have “misplaced optimism” in their ability to defeat Russia in Ukraine and oust Vladimir Putin from power, a German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) told Breitbart London.

In an exclusive interview, Dr Gunnar Beck, MEP for the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, said that there is a lack of calls for peace in Ukraine in Europe and America because politicians have made the miscalculation that Ukraine can prevail and that the Russian people will turn against Vladimir Putin.

“There is a lot of triumphalism right now, talk of Russia being pushed back to its pre-conflict borders and I think that’s misplaced triumphalism. What we need in Ukraine, above all, is a genuine compromise peace as soon as possible,” Dr Beck told Breitbart London.

“I don’t have a crystal ball, but my sense is that it is a miscalculation and if it is, I rather doubt that the Russian population will cease to support President Putin if the conflict is increasingly perceived there in terms of not just a conflict with Ukraine but with the whole of the West.”

The German MEP claimed that while the main focus among the legacy media, and indeed among the political class in the West, has been on the losses suffered by Russia, “Ukraine’s losses in manpower and equipment are much larger than Russia’s and Ukraine can ill afford such loss of life.”

“We’ve seen the exodus of millions and millions of Ukrainians, many of whom will never come back, large loss of life among Ukrainian men, widespread destruction. The country will be ruined if the conflict continues much longer, so in my view, peace is the absolute priority and of course I would like to see the German government do more in this regard, rather than simply adopt a very inflexible line in relation to Russia.”

The German politician said that Western leaders should be seeking a compromise that leaves “Ukraine intact” but also grants some concessions to the Russians so that Putin can actually agree to such a deal.

To date, there has been little movement among Western leaders towards peace, with former U.S. President Donald Trump and Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán being notable exceptions.

Dr Beck went on to predict that there will be growing “dissatisfaction” among the peoples of the European Union as the conflict continues the wreak havoc on their economies, and that there will likely be increased protests against the continuation of the war, with his country in particular perhaps facing the brunt of the damage due to its over-reliance on Russian energy.

“I don’t think that Europeans in Central and Western Europe are really prepared for the kind of economic and possibly further sacrifices their own governments appear to be willing to accept,” he said.

It remains to be seen if such sentiment among the public will do anything to sway leaders to the cause of peace. Indeed, in September the German Foreign Affairs Minister, Annalena Baerbock, said that her government would be willing to continue to subsidise and support the Ukrainian war effort for years, no matter whether the voters in Germany approve or not.

“We stand with Ukraine as long as they need us,” the Green Party politician said, adding that this pledge comes “no matter what my German voter thinks.”

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Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin Defends Woke War Against Russia

Democrat Rep. Jamie Raskin Defends Woke War Against Russia

A poll shows reduced support for U.S. economic aid to Ukraine’s government, and Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin is justifying the military campaign against nuclear-armed Russia as a war in defense of woke values.

“Moscow right now is … a world center of antifeminist, antigay, anti-trans hatred, as well as the homeland of replacement theory for export,” Raskin (D-MD) said in October 25 statement that was issued after 30 progressives withdrew their plea for peace talks. His letter said:

Moscow right now is a hub of corrupt tyranny, censorship, authoritarian repression, police violence, propaganda, government lies and disinformation, and planning for war crimes … In supporting Ukraine, we are opposing these fascist views, and supporting the urgent principles of democratic pluralism. Ukraine is not perfect, of course, but its society is organized on the radically different principles of democracy and freedom …

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is an “imperialist” and a “colonizer,” Raskin said in his letter, which was released just two weeks before the Democrats are expected to lose in the midterm elections.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) speaks at the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 13, 2022. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The October 25 poll asked: “What type of ongoing aid from the U.S. for Ukraine are you most likely to support?”

Just 40 percent supported a continued inflow of weaponry and money to Ukraine, according to the poll of 1,079 respondents by the Trafalgar Group.

Twenty-five percent opposed any aid.

Ukraine Aid Survey Trafalgar Group

Thirty-one percent favor a continued transfer of weaponry — but not money — to Ukraine, whose economy and infrastructure have been wrecked by Russia’s guided weapons.

Other polls shows strong support for Ukraine, but weaker GOP support and much worry about nuclear weapons.

The Raskin statement justifies President Joe Biden’s strategy in the Ukraine war and also seeks to counter the rising worries among right-of-center advocates and the establishment’s foreign policy professionals. Other Biden supporters are pushing back about public worries. “They’re tactical nukes — they’re just bigger versions of what a conventional attack would be,” said Neil deGrasse Tyson, a Harvard-trained scientist and “science communicator.”

GOP leaders are also showing the first signs of a split.

Multiple GOP candidates are urging limits on air for Ukraine. “We’ve got to stop the money spigot to Ukraine eventually,” GOP Senate candidate J.D. Vance told a TV station in Ohio.

“I think people are gonna be sitting in a recession and they’re not going to write a blank check to Ukraine,” GOP House leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), told Punchbowl News in an October 28 article. “Ukraine is important, but at the same time, it can’t be the only thing they do, and it can’t be a blank check.”

But establishment GOP advocates are also pushing back against the public’s concerns. The GOP leader in the Senate, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) issued a statement on October 21, saying:

The Biden Administration and our allies need to do more to supply the tools Ukraine needs to thwart Russian aggression. It is obvious this must include additional air defenses, long-range [weapons], and humanitarian and economic support to help this war-torn country endure the coming winter.

The Ukraine-Russia war began as a fight for territory on the east bank of the Dniepr river, where ethnic Russians comprise a majority of the mixed Ukrainian and Russian population.

After initial advances, many stalled Russian combat units are now being targeted and destroyed piece-by-piece by U.S. surveillance and U.S. weapons — such as the HIMARs launcher for satellite-guided rockets. The long-range weapons are guided by Americans but are triggered by Ukrainians.

The gradual destruction of the Russian forces is prompting Russian officials to suggest they may use nuclear weapons to avoid a defeat.

growing number of establishment personalities are warning that the U.S. opposition to a compromise deal with Russia may push the Russians to escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

However, U.S. officials have issued their counter-threats as they continue the joint destruction of Russian forces, which may have resulted in the death of 50,000 Russian soldiers. “I don’t think there is any such thing as [their] ability to easily use a nuclear weapon and not end up with Armageddon [for Russia and other countries],” Biden said on October 7.

U.S. officials have consistently refused to push Ukraine towards a negotiated deal, and have instead announced that Ukraine will set the terms of a peace deal. “Nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine,” Biden said on June 3. “It’s their territory. I’m not going to tell them what they should and shouldn’t do.”

Raskin’s statement also escalates the conflict to a worldwide war of all against “autocracy”:

Ukrainians today give the democratic world a chance for a critical and historic victory, and we must rally to their side. It is important to be on the right side of a just war, and it is even more important to be on the right side and win. Just as Ukrainian resistance gives us hope, a Ukrainian victory would give us an opening to a much better future for all humanity …

All champions of democracy over autocracy—whether they call themselves progressives, conservatives or liberals—should be doing whatever we can to ensure that Ukraine wins this just war as quickly as possible.

The Ukrainian government has also escalated the conflict. On October 25, for example, a group funded by the Ukrainian government held an international meeting in Croatia to claim control over the Crimea peninsula.

The peninsula was captured in 1783 by Russia’s Catherine the Great from the Turks — 62 years before the United States annexed Texas from Mexico.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the event:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) also spoke at the October 26 event, reinforcing prior U.S. declarations for the Ukrainian claim over Crimea. “Crimea is Ukraine,” she said.

In a short history of the region prepared for the conference, the Ukraine group does not even try to argue the Crimea was ever populated by Ukrainians.

The peninsula was part of Russia for a relatively short time period. Crimea was part of the Russian Empire from 1783 until 1917 … [and] from 1921 until 1954 [under the Soviet Union] … The Russians became the ethnic majority as a result of repressions, persecutions and deportation of Crimea’s indigenous people.

Instead, the statement argues that the Ukrainian nation deserves control of the Russian-populated area because it helps non-Ukrainian ethnic Tatars move back to the Crimea: “the country that took upon itself the key role in accommodating the Crimean Tatar repatriates and assisting them in settling down was an independent Ukraine.”

The statement did not say that Ukraine would protect the Russian population in the Crimea if the peninsula is placed under the control of Ukraine.

Peace talks are being supported by many establishment players, including Admiral Mike Mullen, a former chief of staff at the Pentagon. “The sooner the better as far as I’m concerned,” he told ABC News.



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