I’m quoted in articles in The Verge and the Daily Beast (also Bellingcat) on chemical weapons in Syria. Rachel Becker discusses the long-term effects of chemical weapons. Adam Rawnsley debunks Russian disinformation.
Back in 2010, a couple of things seemed strange to me about the Ukrainian election. Yulia Tymoshenko came across as much more corrupt and autocratic than I had recalled. At the same time, Victor Yanukovych had greatly upgraded his image from unimaginative apparatchik.
I don’t follow Ukraine as closely as I do the Baltic states, so I figured that I had missed some things about Tymoshenko and that maybe Yanukovych was transcending his origins. This week I learned that those impressions were a result of Paul Manafort’s work with Yanukovych’s campaign. Read More
On Donald Trump and Russia: One of the better timelines I’ve seen derived from the Manafort/Gates indictments and the Papadopoulos plea. Profiles of people you will be hearing more about:
More than 90 American nuclear scientists say that we need to keep the Iran nuclear deal in place. An Iranian analyst says that Donald Trump requested a meeting with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations meeting in September, but Rouhani turned him down. This has not been confirmed, but it’s something to watch for. Update (11/1/17): Confirmed by the State Department. Regime change probably wouldn’t end Iran’s nuclear program. Read More
Conflicting reports on whether a US carrier group steaming toward North Korea plans to intervene militarily if North Korea tests a nuclear weapon or a missile this weekend to celebrate the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birth. Seems like a bad idea. More about North Korea’s strategy. China is calling for restraint. Read More
The Trump circus in the White House continues. You have undoubtedly seen more than enough articles about Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor because of his (not fully explained) telephone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, or maybe it was because he lied to Vice President Michael Pence, or maybe it was because someone leaked about the whole mess to the media.
So I won’t link to much of that; in any case, I am working on posts relating to it and the question of just how connected the White House is to Russia. Flynn is the third to resign from Trump’s service for too much connection to Russia, along with Paul Manafort and Carter Page. You have probably seen news reports about calls for an independent investigative body to look at the whole mess. Read More
The enormous containment built to house the damaged Chernobyl reactor was sucessfully installed today. That link contains a time-lapse video of the arch’s movement from where it was constructed.
The damaged building and reactor are now protected from the elements, and cleanup work can take place inside the containment. Dust from the building had been subject to scattering by the wind.
European Commission statement This is some of the good stuff that the European Union does.
It seems like there is a competition for worldwide attention. Donald Trump has it wrapped up at the moment, but Vladimir Putin is making a strong attempt. We can expect Kim Jong Un to weigh in soon, especially since his deputy ambassador to the UK has defected to South Korea (photo of North Korean embassy in London from here).
Here’s some of the news about Russia. Read More
Two more fragments of information about Donald Trump’s ties to Russia. One identifies another Trump advisor with business ties, and the other says, without showing clearly, that Trump’s strategy toward Ukraine changed after Paul Manafort came on board his campaign. Thin stuff. Read More
Today is the thirtieth anniversary of the reactor explosion at Chernobyl. Here are some of the best articles. The coverage, overall, is surprisingly good, not just the standard “Radiation – Be very afraid!” Read More