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DnD Central / Re: Regimes that can't take it.
Last post by ersi -
“The countries that were formerly colonized may not necessarily care for the advice of the former colonies. Certainly in Latvia, we can understand this,” he said during a video interview from Riga. During a recent EU summit with Latin American countries “I realised that, actually, their perception of Europe was often a little bit like the Baltics’ perception of Russia,” [Latvian Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš] said.

In the same vein, Kariņš also compared the view that former French colonies can have of Paris, to the perception Latvians have of Moscow. “I suppose to … an old French colony, those people listening to what the French president has to say, may seem similar to a Latvian listening to what Putin has to say,” he argued.
He dared to say the silent part out loud. Well, of course, because he is resigning.

He does not imply it directly, but the remaining silent part that our Western colleagues need to hear is that Western behaviour bears colonial hallmarks to this day despite pretensions to the contrary. Or actually he implies that too.

What will they reply? At best probably something like "Ces pays ont perdu une bonne occasion de se taire" à la Chirac. More likely they will pretend it was never said and never heard.
DnD Central / Re: what's going on in france
Last post by ersi -
Nicolas «Nous avons besoin des Russes et ils ont besoin de nous» Sarkozy is in yet another corruption scandal. This time it is for having funded his election campaign with Qaddafi's money.

By the way, Estonia's PM Kaja Kallas is also in yet another scandal, this time something that could actually topple her, i.e. the fall of the government would lead to a different PM, not like last time. She has funded her husband's business, and his business includes transporting metal boxes to Russia. As everybody knows, among others it is military people who like to package everything in metal boxes. So there may be potential sanctions breach we are talking about.

In a decent democracy, we would not have to wait for a guilty verdict,[1] but clean the air. When journalists confronted her, she gave very inappropriate answers, saying that she knows nothing, does not have to know anything, and that journalists are nasty for asking questions, all in one breath.

In her career as PM, she keeps stumbling into scandals wrt internal policies, while her international image as a strong pro-Ukraine driver in the EU is very different.[2] As a minimum, she would have to clean up her act with domestic journalists. Her latest action is to declare she will not step down.

Estonia’s pro-Ukrainian PM faces pressure to quit over husband’s indirect Russian business links
Because at this stage nobody has to go to jail. Ordinary working people often have to give up their jobs for much less, so it is appropriate when politicians have to give up their posts to serve as a worthy example.
Additionally, she is haunted by her father's ghost, who is suspected (but not convicted) of major embezzlement in connection with Estonia's monetary reform in early 1990's. Her father ensured Estonia's successful de-roubleing, but did not forget to reward himself in the process. Yes, it should be history, but it is troubled history.
DnD Central / Re: What's Going On In Russia?
Last post by ersi -
When I was trying to figure out earlier what might follow from Prigozhin's march on Moscow, I factored in Prigozhin's undeniable service to Russia and to Putin personally. For example,
- troll factories and cyber campaigns to warp Western media space and elections process
- redirecting Africa's gold, diamonds and other mineral wealth to Russia instead of the West
- battle gains in Syria and Ukraine

These alone are quite substantial achievements, right? But additionally, Prigozhin was a personal friend of Putin since early 1990's, if not earlier. As so-called Putin's cook or chef, Prigozhin served as Putin's food taster, literally, and for other people as food poisoner via his catering companies.

By this very public execution, Putin indicates that none of this matters. Hopefully everybody will interpret this "message" correctly. When the service for the country does not matter and personal friendship also does not matter, then absolutely nothing matters. Therefore Putin cannot be trusted in anything whatsoever. The lesson for his inner circle is that there is no way to please Putin and earn his trust. Even Prigozhin could not maintain it to the end. The lesson for the world at large is that there is no way to appease Putin and ensure something like peace for our time. Handing the victory in Ukraine war to Putin and helping him save his face will not make Putin your partner, reliable or otherwise. It will just make you look stupid, trusting the least trustworthy autocrat in the world, and he will be sure to show it to you.

Putin has played all his cards now. Everybody should see that he is ready to go out with a bang. Putin is not worth sparing and Russia as it is is not worth sparing. Getting rid of Putin and of Russia as it is will be more of a relief than a regret, including to Russians.
DnD Central / Re: The comings and goings of the European Union
Last post by ersi -
A fun little article reminding about Borrell's misadventures. However, he has his defense:

In Borrell’s defense, he wasn’t the only EU big beast to get trampled on in Moscow in recent years.

The EU is nicely defended by the fact that there is not just one idiot on the top job (and who is apparently unfierable), but many.
DnD Central / Re: Tripe about Ukraine
Last post by ersi -
Ukraine’s Forces and Firepower Are Misallocated, U.S. Officials Say

Worth reading in full, how U.S. military topheads have recommendations on how to make Ukrainian counteroffensive more effective. The obvious counterargument is that if the West had kept its assurances as per Budapest Memorandum, we would not be in this problem in the first place. What Ukraine needs now is superior firepower (because it cannot have superior manpower compared to Russia) and this is up to the West.

The main recommendation by Americans is to concentrate forces to a particular point where progress is desired, namely southern section of the front, bringing in forces from the eastern section. To me it seems this is already the case, since Ukraine is currently making small gains in south while Russia is making small gains in east. Russia made important strategic decisions under Surovikin (now jailed or worse) during winter months of abandoning the city of Kherson and constructing strong defence lines to the remaining front. All the West, particularly Germany, did during winter months was whine about lack of Russian gas for heating.

Personally I thought Ukraine started the counteroffensive very well with intros straight into Russian soil, even though this did not apparently distract Russian forces enough. It is again the fault of the West, including USA, that they try hard to discourage Ukraine from attacking in and on Russian soil for fear of dragging Nato into the war, whereas Russia in contrast is naturally fully permitted to attack on Ukrainian soil, which is ludicrous. Besides, in Putin's mind he was in combat with Nato already before the annexation of Crimea. Now that the most effective Russian troops, namely Wagner, are gone from the front, there is a chance of breakthrough, if only pressure is kept up.
DnD Central / Re: What's Going On In Russia?
Last post by ersi -
Wagner chief Prigozhin listed as passenger on plane that crashed with no survivors, Russian authorities say

So, Prigozhin is presumed dead now, due to an airplane crash near Tver, Russia. If true (the source for now is Russian media), it is not a coincidence, even though assuming that it's not a coincidence makes Putin too much of a mastermind plotter. Then again, his plotting is hollowing out whatever still keeps him standing.

Just before this news, Prigozhin published a video of himself in a desert, promising to make Russia great in Africa. So he was starting to get bravadocious again.
DnD Central / Re: Money dumped in vast amounts for space?
Last post by ersi -
Yes, they were in a hurry. Russians were competing with India. India's probe launched earlier, but is on a longer trajectory. India's probe is now lowering itself towards the moon and in a few days we'll see whether it lands or lands to pieces.

ISRO is bidding to make a successful soft landing on the moon, which will make India the fourth country in the world to achieve the feat after the United States, Russia and China.

"Chandrayaan-3 is set to land on the moon on August 23, 2023, around 18:04 Hrs. IST. Thanks for the wishes and positivity! Let's continue experiencing the journey together," ISRO announced on X (formerly Twitter).