Articles and analysis

s200 joseph.fallon"To know your enemy, you must become your enemy" – Sun Tzu, The Art of War
"In war, truth is the first casualty" - Aeschylus
"Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you." ― Joseph Heller, Catch-22

War rages in Ukraine. According to UN officials, as of May 12th, "About 14 million Ukrainianshave been forced from their homes—including more than six million who have fled the country—and at least 3,496 civilians have been killed since Russia began its invasion." Those numbers, even then, were considered an undercount, writes Joseph E Fallon..

WHY?

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On the 4th of March, while meeting his counterparts from Joint Expeditionary Force partner nations in Estonia, the UK Secretary of State for Defence Ben Wallace said the Russian aggression against Ukraine is "Patrick Nopens IMG 20220301 161558 2an attack on our freedoms, our values and the security of Europe".writes Patrick Nopens.

On the same day, at the NATO Foreign Ministers' meeting, Secretary-General Stoltenberg declared solidarity with the Ukrainian people and urged Russia to stop the unprovoked war against Ukraine immediately and without conditions. He then made an astounding statement: "We are not part of this, and we have the responsibility to ensure it does not escalate and spread beyond Ukraine." Indeed, while repeating their commitment to protecting all (NATO) allies, the ministers were very adamant about their unwillingness to deploy NATO troops on the ground or impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine. This position has remained unchanged.Despite this verbal support, massive economic sanctions and military aid, the Ukrainians are on their own when it comes to doing the actual fighting.

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Peter O Polack Author PicIn a modern world where military conscription has almost been erased except in obsolete authoritarian regimes, one glaring example has been Russia's one year military service requirement reduced from two years in 2008 for those 18-27 years of age. Like Angola and Afghanistan, the rich and well-connected mostly escape the current selections.

Apart from poor conditions of service, postings to distant locations with extreme weather and pay that is a fraction of regular or contract soldiers, Russian conscripts have also had to face the recurring decimal of hazing often with deadly outcomes such as a 2019 incident when a Russian conscript killed eight other soldiers. Incidents of reported abuse of power against junior enlisted personnel number nearly three a day.

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