Thought for the day

"There is no worse mistake in public leadership than to hold out false hopes soon to be swept away. The British people can face peril or misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy, but they bitterly resent being deceived or finding that those responsible for their affairs are themselves dwelling in a fool's paradise." -- Winston Churchill

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Update(1228ET): The Daily Mail is calling it a "deal soaked in blood" after the governments of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Russia confirmed that Brittney Griner's release for notorious convicted arms trafficker Viktor Bout came via Saudi/UAE mediation efforts led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS).

This is not The Onion, but CNN, which produced a whole report in effect arguing that internationally banned weapons are OK if given to Ukraine for the 'good cause' of fighting Russia...

"Ukrainian officials and lawmakers have in recent months urged the Biden administration and members of Congress to provide the Ukrainian military with cluster munition warheads, weapons that are banned by more than 100 countries but that Russia continues to use to devastating effect inside Ukraine."

The European Commission has announced on Wednesday that a new program to aid civil society, students, scientists and professionals in Belarus worth 25 million euros was endorsed.

The statement released by the European Commission explains the objectives covered by the allocated funds.

Firstly, funds are provided to "civil society activists to promote democratic changes and human rights in Belarus." The European Union believes that thanks to this aid, they would be "able to continue their work despite the very difficult context on the ground."

- It is currently impossible to completely restore Ukraine's energy system to what it was before the crisis, Ukrainian media quoted President Vladimir Zelensky as saying in a video address on Wednesday.

"I've held a meeting on the stabilization of the energy system and the protection of our power plants. We are constantly increasing the generation and supply of electricity - we are adding more volume every day. But we should not forget that it is now impossible to restore 100% of the energy system as it was before," Zelensky said.

The EC proposed to block Russian TV channels MikeRivero Thu, 12/08/2022 - 13:18

The new package of sanctions against Russia may include a clause on the blocking of four Russian TV channels. Such a measure of influence on the Kremlin is proposed in the official statement of the European Commission (EC), made on behalf of its head Ursula von der Leyen.

"We will strike at the Russian propaganda machine by additionally disconnecting four channels and all other platforms for distributing content from the air," the European Commission said in a statement.

Putin says Polish nationalists dream of seizing western Ukraine MikeRivero Thu, 12/08/2022 - 13:16

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said Polish nationalists can’t wait to seize western Ukraine.

"As for the governments of some of our neighbors, Poland, nationalist elements there dream of taking back their so-called historical territories, seizing the western territories that Ukraine gained as a result of a decision by Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin following World War II," the president said at a meeting with the Human Rights Council.

He said "these territories were taken away from Poland and given to Soviet Ukraine."

As the security crisis and energy instability worsen in Europe, mainly in Germany, the unfeasibility of continuing the current European model of automatic alignment with American foreign policy becomes increasingly evident. American rivalry with Russia, passively embraced by European states, seriously violates EU’s interests and places the entire bloc under a serious threat.

A confession by former German chancellor Angela Merkel regarding the true nature of the Minsk agreements – a roadmap for peace in Ukraine that was brokered by Berlin – could be used as evidence in a tribunal involving Western politicians responsible for provoking the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

The former German leader admitted in an interview with Die Zeit on Wednesday that the actual purpose of the Minsk agreements was to give Ukraine time to prepare for a military confrontation with Russia.