9th May (’22): Victory Day (Russia and many eastern countries)

Victory Day] is a holiday that commemorates the victory over Nazi Germany in 1945. It was first inaugurated in the 15 republics of the Soviet Union, following the signing of the German Instrument of Surrender late in the evening on 8 May 1945 (after midnight, thus on 9 May Moscow Time). The Soviet government announced the victory early on 9 May after the signing ceremony in Berlin. Although the official inauguration occurred in 1945, the holiday became a non-labor day only in 1965, and only in certain Soviet republics.

In East Germany, 8 May was observed as Liberation Day from 1950 to 1966, and was celebrated again on the 40th anniversary in 1985. In 1967, a Soviet-style “Victory Day” was celebrated on 8 May. Since 2002, the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has observed a commemoration day known as the Day of Liberation from National Socialism, and the End of the Second World War.

The Russian Federation has officially recognized 9 May since its formation in 1991 and considers it a non-working holiday even if it falls on a weekend (in which case any following Monday will be a non-working holiday). The holiday was similarly celebrated there while the country was part of the Soviet Union. Most other countries in Europe observe Victory in Europe Day (often abbreviated to VE Day, or V-E Day), 8 May, as a national remembrance or victory day.

Ukraine-Russia war: ‘Russian attack on Wednesday 16 February’.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been informed that the day of the Russian attack will be Wednesday 16 February.

CNN reports it in a breaking news.

Zelensky declared Wednesday, February 16, the potential date of the Russian attack according to the US alert, “day of unity”.

There has been a “dramatic acceleration” in the deployment of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said this, calling on “all Americans still in Ukraine to leave the country immediately”.

Some Russian troops near the Ukrainian border have started moving into “attack positions”. CBS reports this, quoting an American official, according to whom Moscow has moved part of the long-range artillery into firing position.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and US President Joe Biden agreed that “an opportunity remains” to resolve the crisis in Ukraine “with diplomacy”. Downing Street made it known after the phone call between the two leaders.

“We do not believe that Vladimir Putin has already made a final decision” on the possible attack against Ukraine: Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, reiterating that military action is possible “at any time”. Kirby, however, did not want to enter into the merits of intelligence information that the scheduled day for the attack would be Wednesday.

Pentagon chief Lloyd Austin will be visiting Brussels, Poland and Lithuania from Tuesday: US Defense spokesman John Kirby announced this.

“There is a chance of finding an agreement with the West,” Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told President Putin. While Defense Minister Shoigu announced that ‘part of the exercises’ of the armed forces in Moscow ‘is ending, another will be completed in the near future’. During the same meeting, the Russian president, quoted by TASS, said that the expansion of NATO eastwards ‘is infinite, very dangerous and takes place at the expense of the former Soviet republics, including Ukraine’.

But the Pentagon reveals: ‘Russia strengthened its military device on the border with Ukraine over the weekend’

The Tension between the United States and Russia is skyrocketing – Russia wants to invade Ukraine.

For several weeks, the possibility of a new Russian invasion of Ukraine has become increasingly concrete. Since last November, the Russian government has been massing thousands of soldiers near the border of eastern Ukraine, threatening to intervene if the West, or rather NATO, does not decide to give up keeping Ukraine under its influence, and therefore does not show with clarity of wanting to give up the process of “enlargement to the east”. In recent days, concerns about a possible Russian intervention have grown even more intense and there are reasons to believe that Vladimir Putin’s regime is indeed considering a military operation of some kind.

The first thing to bear in mind is that any Russian military operation in Ukraine would not be something new, nor particularly unexpected.

Over the past fifteen years, Putin’s Russia has shown on several occasions that it is willing to use force to guarantee its influence in neighboring countries that were part of the Soviet Union: it happened for example in 2008 in Georgia, where Russia intervened by pushing back the Georgian troops who had invaded South Ossetia; and it happened in 2014 in Crimea, when men with covered faces were sent by Putin to take control of the Ukrainian peninsula, then annexed by a very controversial referendum.

The second thing to consider is that Ukraine is particularly important to Russia, and has been for some time.

Putin would like NATO, the military alliance of which the United States is the informal leader, to provide an official guarantee of renouncing Ukraine to join the organization (although no one is willing to do so for now) and therefore expand its own. presence to the east. In recent days, several analysts have mentioned the long article published by Putin last July in which the Russian president spoke of the “historic unity between Russians and Ukrainians” and argued, in essence, that Ukraine belonged to Russia and that the formation of a Ukrainian national identity detached from Russia was to be considered an “anti-Russia project”.

The situation that has arisen today is particularly worrying for several reasons.

18th October ’21: Alaska Day

Alaska Day (Russian: День Аляски) is a legal holiday in the U.S. state of Alaska, observed on October 18. It is the anniversary of the formal transfer of the Territory of Alaska from Russia to the United States, which occurred on Friday, October 18, 1867.

On March 30, 1867, the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian Empire for the sum of $7.2 million. It was not until October of that year that the commissioners arrived in Sitka and the formal transfer was arranged. The formal flag-raising took place at Fort Sitka on October 18, 1867. The original ceremony included 250 United States Army troops, who marched to the governor’s house at “Castle Hill“. Here the Russian soldiers lowered the Russian flag and the U.S. flag was raised.

The official account of the affair as presented by General Lovell Rousseau to Secretary of State William H. Seward:

... The troops being promptly formed, were, at precisely half past three o’clock, brought to a ‘present arms’, the signal given to the Ossipee … which was to fire the salute, and the ceremony was begun by lowering the Russian flag … The United States flag … was properly attached and began its ascent, hoisted by my private secretary [and son], George Lovell Rousseau, and again salutes were fired as before, the Russian water battery leading off. The flag was so hoisted that in the instant it reached its place the report of the big gun of the Ossipee reverberated from the mountains around … Captain Pestchouroff stepped up to me and said, ‘General Rousseau, by authority from his Majesty the Emperor of Russia, I transfer to the United States the Territory of Alaska’ and in a few words I acknowledged the acceptance of the transfer, and the ceremony was at an end.”

Alaska’s territorial legislature declared Alaska Day a holiday in 1917. It is a paid holiday for state employees. The official celebration is held in Sitka, where schools release students early, many businesses close for the day, and events such as a parade and reenactment of the flag raising are held.

It should not be confused with Seward’s Day, the last Monday in March, another state holiday which commemorates the signing of the treaty for the Alaska Purchase in which the U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia on March 30, 1867.

Alaska Day is protested by some Alaska Native people who view the holiday as a celebration of the violence used to take their land away. Native organizers assert that the land was not Russia’s to sell in the first place, therefore the sale of the land to the U.S. is illegitimate.

Russia tightens control over the internet as elections approach

As the legislative elections that will be held between 17 and 19 September approach, Russia is increasing its control over the internet, as recent news shows. The last move in chronological order passes through a court.

On September 14, the Russian court in Tagansky imposed fines on operators of social networks and messaging apps for not deleting content that Moscow deems illegal, such as references to an app linked to the opponent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Alexei Navalny, now in jail. The penalties amount to 21 million rubles ($ 287,850) and have hit Facebook, Twitter and Telegram.
Against the “smart vote”

Russia previously accused Google and Apple of election interference because they refused to remove the same app, called Navalny, from their stores. The application is an attempt to catalyze the “smart voting” of the opposition by suggesting which independent candidates have the best chance of winning in each election. Google would also be asked to ban references to the phrase “smart vote” in its search engine.

In Russia in the next few days 450 members of the lower house, the Duma, will be elected, as well as various local representatives. Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party currently holds 334 seats in the Duma, but the president’s popularity is waning.
The blocking of the network

The site dedicated to “smart voting” has been blacked out in recent days and the authorities are trying to make it unreachable in every way. The Russian telecommunications giant Rostelecom, the country’s main provider of digital services, has asked its subsidiaries in a letter to ban access to Google’s DNS servers and Cloudflare. Dns are databases of websites that allow you to bypass any domain blocks in some parts of the world.

The news circulated when the letter from Rostelecom appeared on the Telegram channel ZaTelecom. The authenticity of the note was then confirmed to the Russian media Rbk by a representative of the company. The official goal of this novelty would be to “organize stable internet access”. In practice, this is another way to prevent the bypassing of blocks on sites and apps that are banned from Moscow

Kamala Harris’ Mysterious “Abnormal Health Accident”: Does She Have Havana Syndrome?

US Vice President Kamala Harris’s arrival from Singapore to Vietnam was delayed for a few hours on Tuesday 24 August due to fears of an “abnormal health incident” which could be linked to “Havana syndrome” in the capital, Hanoi. . It is not clear who those affected by the disease are. Information relating to a possible health incident was brought to the attention of Vice President Services by the US Embassy in a statement. After careful verification, it was decided that the Vice President would continue her tour, as reported by the BBC. But what is Havana Syndrome or “Havana Syndrome”? For some time it has been a source of tension between various international powers. Observed for the first time in 2016 by US diplomats stationed in Cuba, the case covers a number of ailments that can associate tinnitus with dizziness, nausea, headaches and in particular memory lapses. Specifically, there are those that the US State Department (source journals.sagepub.com) has described as “medically confirmed symptoms”. The shared hypothesis is that so far these have been organized microwave radiation attacks that have left American employees, diplomats and military personnel with major brain injuries. In total, nearly 200 Americans (including CIA agents) fell ill with similar diseases, mainly in Cuba and China, but also in Russia. The United States, which believes that direct energy rays may be the cause of the Havana syndrome, suspects that Russia is behind these cases, but Moscow denies any responsibility. A spokesperson for Kamala Harris declined to comment on the reasons for delaying this new leg of the vice president’s Southeast Asia tour launched Sunday, which aims to reaffirm Washington’s commitment to the region in the face of China’s expansionist ambitions.

What’s happening in Belarus

Belarus Protests
People carry an old Belarusian national flag during an opposition rally in Minsk, Belarus, Monday, Aug. 17, 2020.

In addition to containing the word russia in the name of its state, Belarus is one of the easternmost countries, despite being part of Europe. Many people may not know this, but Belarus is the only European country that still has the death penalty.
In these days you have surely read news about the demonstrations that are taking place in Minsk (capital) and a bit throughout the Belarusian country.

Aleksandr Lukashenko was reconfirmed president of Belarus for the sixth term with 80.23% of the vote. Thus ends the most contested electoral round of the last ten years in Minsk, which reconfirms the father-master who has ruled it with an iron fist since 1994 as the leader of the country and unleashes the street revolt, with the opposition led by the defeated candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya who denounces cheating in the conduct of elections.

While Vladimir Putin’s Russia, which has always been an ally of Minsk, and Xi Jinping’s China congratulate the winner, the tension is very high throughout the country: during the night thousands of Belarusians took to the streets in the night to protest. Clashes with police, who fired rubber bullets, launched tear gas and used fire hydrants against demonstrators who contested the validity of the vote

The Italian Russiagate

 

italianrussiagate
The leader of the Lega, Matteo Salvini, with the Russian President Putin.

 

Almost all Americans know the Russigate case or at least have heard of it.

The terminology used to indicate the names of the scandals derives precisely from the famous scandal that occurred in 1972 with an American president: Nixon. In 1972 the watergate scandal broke out. Since then the word gate has been used …

Many people do not know that there is another russiagate: the Italian one.
Although there are still no judicial implications on the case, it is a very important issue because it could affect all European politics.

The coincidence of having two Russiagates overshadows the two events leading the citizen to think that it is an external question.

Moreover, in recent weeks the Italian russigate is taking on more and more relevance because Salvini (leader of the Lega party and former deputy premier) is directly involved and seems to avoid as much as possible questions on the subject.

On October 22nd the RAI3 television channel broadcast an episode with all the details and secrets of the story arousing the criticism (for better or for worse) of many. In fact many politicians are asking Salvini to clarify the matter.

According to many, the Lega would have asked the Russians to finance the electoral campaign for European elections with a good 65 million euros.

Yet another Impeachment for Trump

caricatureTrump
caricature of the president donald trump

 

Trump problems never end …
Is he against everyone or are they all against him?
Maybe both …

After the Russiagate investigation that put the president at risk for impeachment, there is the case of pressure on Ukrainian politicians that would have favored Trump in the elections. The president denied that he had only spoken to Zelens’kyj of Joe Biden.

Although Nancy Pelosi (Democratic Party) is beating for her to have an impeachment, it is unlikely that this will happen because the mid-term elections have only guaranteed victory to the parliament and not to the Senate, where an impeachment presentation would be rejected.

Trump is unpleasant to many. His economic power is very large, but other politicians (democrats) would have done some trick to get more votes.

Trump’s consent is falling … but where are all those voters who voted for him in 2016? Trump is one of the few presidents to have lowered unemployment to 4%: a historical record.

Men of the right are always acted on of their power…

La politica USA di TRUMP: tra muro messicano, dubbi russi ed shoutdown.

usa

Con l’inizio del 2019 il governo TRUMP supera i 22 giorni di pausa delle attività federali, battendo il vecchio record del 1996 del governo CLINTON.

L’inattività del governo è quello che viene denominato shutdown ovvero chiusura. La causa è il braccio di ferro con i Democratici per i fondi per la costruzione del muro con il Messico.

Questa inattività ha portato a paralizzare l’attività governativa della Nazione nella quale 800 mila lavoratori sono senza stipendio dei quali più della meta costretto a lavorare lo stesso.

Una situazione non rosea per gli STATI UNITI che vedono una caduta di Donald Trump nei sondaggi.

Addirittura la prova più evidente dello shutdown è l’accoglienza che ha riservato il presidente americano ai giocatori di football dei Clemson con il cibo fast food al posto del buffet ma offerto di persona da Trump.

La costruzione del muro con il Messico aveva creato molte perplessità già prima del periodo a cavallo tra la fine del 2018 e il 2019. Il presidente americano aveva annunciato la costruzione (o meglio l’estensione del pezzo già esistente) già nel 2017 appena dopo la vittoria delle elezioni nel novembre del 2016. Qui il paradosso è alquanto palese perché il muro è già parzialmente esistente dalla costruzione del 1994 quando Bill Clinton con il suo partito Democratico ne ordinò la costruzione e fu estesa nel 2006 con l’approvazione del Secure Fence Act, firmato da George W. Bush, e votato anche da 25 senatori democratici, tra cui Hillary Clinton e Barack Obama.

Probabilmente la voce alta di TRUMP non piace a molti, che sin dall’inizio del suo mandato ha messo in chiaro la sua linea politica affermando un azione per la diminuzione dei migranti dal Messico, l’unico paese (oltre al blindato Canada) che porta persone clandestine di tutte le etnie e di tutte le nazionalità del mondo che incentiva inevitabilmente anche il Terrorismo, un tema che sta a cuore all’attuale presidente e magnate americano.

Non è un caso che un altro punto sulla questione di dibattito politico dei Repubblicani è l’ingresso delle persone dai paesi islamici: Iran, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Siria, Somalia, Sudan e Libia. L’obiettivo è quello di  generale controllo più severo dei permessi di soggiorno, test più restrittivi sui candidati alla permanenza negli Stati Uniti e la chiusura dei programmi di accoglienza per i rifugiati. In sintesi Trump limiterebbe la quota a 50mila (rispetto a 110mila di Obama) stando a quanto rivelerebbe il Wall Street Journal.

La barriera è fatta di lamiera metallica sagomata, alta dai due ai quattro metri, e si snoda per chilometri lungo la frontiera tra Tijuana e San Diego. Il muro è dotato di illuminazione ad altissima intensità, di una rete di sensori elettronici e di strumentazione per la visione notturna, connessi via radio alla polizia di frontiera statunitense, oltre ad un sistema di vigilanza permanente effettuato con veicoli ed elicotteri armati. Altri tratti di barriera si trovano in ArizonaNuovo Messico e Texas.

Nelle ultime ore Trump ha richiamato i democratici: “Tornino a Washington a lavorare per mettere fine alla terribile crisi umanitaria al confine con il Messico”. “Io sono alla Casa Bianca, i democratici sono in giro, anche e vedere musical”. Trump si riferisce direttamente alla speaker Nancy Pelosi, che si trova a Puerto Rico dove va in scena la prima del popolare musical ‘Hamilton’. ‘Servirebbero quindici minuti per un accordo sul muro se “i democratici si sedessero al tavolo” a trattare.

Come se non bastasse gli ultimi timori messicani per Donald Trump arrivano da Julian Castro (messicano di origine ma americanissimo essendo nato in texas) che si è candidato come presidente degli Stati Uniti. Il 44enne texano fa parte del partito democratico e può essere una spina nel fianco per le future ricandidature per le elezioni di presidenza.

«Quando mia nonna è arrivata qui, circa cento anni fa, sono sicuro che non avrebbe mai potuto neanche immaginare che, soltanto due generazioni più tardi, uno dei suoi nipoti avrebbe servito il proprio Paese come membro del Congresso degli Stati Uniti mentre assieme a tutti quanti voi pronunciava queste parole: “sono candidato come presidente degli Stati Uniti d’America!».

Dichiarazione che fa presagire quanto meno un briciolo di possibilità alla presidenza sebbene lo scenario è tutto da definire

 

I problemi non finiscono qui per Trump, che vede arrivarsi di continuo polemiche e accuse sulle questioni delle (ipotetiche) “amicizie” con i russi. Il Presidente americano ha dovuto smentire persino alle accuse del vecchio direttore del FBI James Comey, secondo le quali TRUMP avrebbe lavorato per la Russia persino come agente segreto. Una accusa pesantissima che rasenta persino l’inverosimile tant’è che lo stesso TRUMP ha dichiarato che si tratta di accuse senza recedenti che lo hanno costretto a licenziare Comey ed a nominare un nuovo direttore nel maggio del 2017. Le argomentazioni dell’accusa del vecchio direttore dell’FBI erano ignote fino ad oggi.

Trump avrebbe licenziato Comey per nascondere le conversazioni private avvenute con il presidente russo Vladimir Putin sulle interferenze di una leggittima elezione conclusasi con il successo nel novembre del 2016. Secondo Rudolph Giuliani, avvocato di Trump, se in tutti questi mesi non è uscito niente significa che l’FBI non ha scoperto nulla di compromettente.

Rigurado le politiche estere gli Stati uniti d’America si preparano ad una “guerra fredda” contro la Cina e (probabilmente) contro la Russia riguardo le rotte commerciali e marittime nell’artico. Infatti il riscaldamento globale ha portato lo scioglimento dei ghiacciai che ha permesso e permetterà di navigare su rotte che in precedenza erano completamente impossibili da percorrere. La Cina che si è dichiarata “potenza quasi artica” e creerà una “Via della seta polare” e permetterà alla sua flotta di operare liberamente nella regione. La Russia invece, per motivi sopratutto geografici è sempre stata interessata alle rotte marine artiche oltre all’interesse di mantenere le basi militari. Sicuramente nella guerra fredda la Cina è la Nazione più coinvolta con gli Stati Uniti sopratutto per altre questioni ben note come i dazi sul commercio e l’azienda HUAWEI, una dei maggiori produttori di Smartphone al mondo.

Sui dazi la questione è stata molta tesa nel 2018 ma in questi primi giorni del 2019 si è avuto uno spiraglio di pace grazie anche all’incontro del 1° Dicembre 2018 tra Donald Trump e Xi Jinping, a margine del G20 di Buenos Aires. Tramite una telefonata tra il vicepremier cinese Liu, il segretario Usa al Tesoro e il rappresentante del commercio americano Robert Lighthizer, la Cina ha annunciato che ridurrà i dazi sulle auto americane importate dal 40% al 15%. Un passo da gigante se si pensa alle tensioni del 2018 che ha scatenato ripercussioni anche sull’economia e sui mercati europei tanto che il 25 luglio 2018 si è tenuto un incontro tra Donald Trump e il presidente della Commissione europea Jean-Claude Juncker per la tregua alla guerra sui dazi.

La politica degli U.S.A. è nota a tutti già dalle elezioni del 2016 quando TRUMP propagandò l’AMERICAN FIRST ovvero l’azione governativa di dare priorità ai prodotti americani facendo pagare così dazi sui prodotti in importazione dall’estero. Nel Marzo 2018 il Presidente Americano firmò una legge con la quale istituì dei dazi sull’importazione di alcuni materiali come l’alluminio e l’acciaio.

L’ultima notizia che ci giunge dal continente americano è che TRUMP ha rafforzato lo scudo anti-missili per proteggere la propria nazione da possibili attacchi dei nemici. Anche se al momento non c’è alcuna decisione concreta il presidente americano ha tenuto a precisare che si sarebbero i presupposti per avviare un azione del genere.

Per concludere, oltre al blocco delle attività federali, giudice federale della California ha bloccato almeno temporaneamente l’entrata in vigore delle nuovo norme volute dal presidente americano Donald Trump in base alle quali i datori di lavoro possono decidere di non offrire gratuitamente alle donne anticoncezionali. La norma sarebbe dovuta entrare in vigore lunedì in 13 Stati e a Washington.