ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is seeking the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin in connection with the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, according to a statement released by the court March 17. The ICC Pre-Trial Chamber II also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights. Both stand accused of the war crimes of unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied territories of Ukraine into Russia.
Doomsday clock moves, Russia nixes talks
The Science & Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Jan. 24 moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward, citing the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine. The Clock now stands at 90 seconds to midnight—the closest to global catastrophe it has ever been. The press release announcing the move spared no criticism for Russia, excoriating Moscow for breaking its commitment to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and borders in the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, and violating international protocols by bringing its war to the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear plants.
Italian anarchist on prison hunger strike
Supporters are warning that Italian anarchist militant Alfredo Cospito is in danger of dying in prison after more than a month on hunger strike. Cospito, being held at Bancali prison in Sassari, Sardinia, began his hunger strike Oct. 20 to protest the inhumane conditions he faces under Article 41-bis of the Italian legal code, with harsh restrictions on his mobility and communication with loved ones, and no prospects for a review of his life sentence. The European Court of Human Rights in 2019 ruled that Article 41-bis, designed for terrorist and Mafia-related cases, violates the European Convention on Human Rights.
Podcast: against space imperialism
In Episode 146 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg protests the unprovoked imperialist attack on the asteroid Dimorphos, and rants against the sacrosanct dogma of space expansionism. The much-hyped asteroid threat is clearly being used as a cover for militarization of space to achieve global hegemony on Earth—and for eventual corporate pillage of the heavenly bodies. Finally, a long-overdue voice of space skepticism emerges from academe, with the book Dark Skies: Space Expansionism, Planetary Geopolitics, and the Ends of Humanity by Daniel Deudney. But hubristic notions of "space communism" have also been seen on the political left, as discussed in the book I Want to Believe: Posadism, UFOs and Apocalypse Communism by AM Gittlitz.
Massive military drills from North Sea to Caucasus
NATO on Oct. 17 opened an annual exercise to test nuclear deterrence capabilities in Europe, with the participation of 14 of the 30 member countries. The drill, this year dubbed "Steadfast Noon," will run two weeks and involve 60 aircraft. "As in previous years, US B-52 long-range bombers will take part; this year, they will fly from Minot Air Base in North Dakota," NATO said in a statement. "Training flights will take place over Belgium, which is hosting the exercise, as well as over the North Sea and the United Kingdom."
Russia keeps escalating nuclear war threats
As Russia suffers more territorial losses on the ground in eastern Ukraine, figures close to the Putin regime are escalating both the frequency and blatancy of their threats to use nuclear weapons. Ramzan Kadyrov, head of Russia's region of Chechnya who has mobilized his regional forces to fight in Ukraine, stated on social media platform Telegram Oct. 1: "In my personal opinion, more drastic measures should be taken, right up to the declaration of martial law in the border areas and the use of low-yield nuclear weapons." (Reuters)
Podcast: Donbas = Sudetenland
In Episode 143 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg notes the all too telling irony that Putin's annexation of Ukraine's Donbas region came on exactly the same day as the 1938 Munich Agreement, which approved Hitler's annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland region. Russian annexation of the Donbas was preceded by that of Crimea, just as the Nazi annexation of Sudetenland was preceded by that of Austria. This is the same pattern of escalation toward world war—only this time Putin's overt nuclear threats make the stakes even higher. Signs of hope include the anti-draft uprising in Russia and mass exodus of Russian youth, which undermine Putin's war effort and threaten his very regime. War Resisters International has issued a petition demanding that European states offer asylum to all Russian deserters and conscientious objectors to military service. Alas, much of the Western "left" continues to cover up for Putin's criminal aggression. Dissident websites such as CounterVortex and Balkan Witness debunk the Russian war propaganda being recycled by Putin's internet partisans on the pro-fascist pseudo-left.
Russia escalates threats of nuclear war
In the wake of Vladimir Putin's barely veiled nuclear threat upon announcing a mobilization of Russia's reserve forces to reverse his recent losses in Ukraine on Sept. 21, official and semi-official Moscow commentators have made such menacing completely explicit. Later that same day, former Putin advisor Sergei Markov was interviewed by BBC Radio, whose anchor politely began with "Good morning to you." Markov replied: "It's not a good morning for everybody. In Russia there's partial mobilization and for Western countries, for your British listeners, I would say that Vladimir Putin told you that he would be ready to use nuclear weapons against Western countries, including nuclear weapons against Great Britain. Your cities will be targeted." (Daily Beast, Indy100)
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