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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 16-Apr-2014
16-Apr-14 World View -- East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back

Web Log - April, 2014

16-Apr-14 World View -- East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back

Mali separatists appeal to Russia for support on independence

This morning's key headlines from

East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back

Ukrainian troops receive munitions at a field in east Ukraine on Tuesday (CNN)
Ukrainian troops receive munitions at a field in east Ukraine on Tuesday (CNN)

A day later than originally threatened, Ukraine's acting President Olexander Turchynov announced the beginning of an "anti-terrorist operation" by Ukraine's army to strike back at pro-Russian separatist activists in cities in eastern Ukraine. Later, Turchynov said the airbase at Kramatorsk had been "liberated" from "terrorists."

This clash could go either way, but based on what I've read, I personally don't feel that there's yet enough "social fuel" in this population for this to spiral into something major.

However, a victory by Kiev or even a stalemate may not be acceptable to Russia, who are thought to have been promoting chaos in Ukraine to have an excuse to invade.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that the sharp escalation of the conflict in Ukraine puts the country on the brink of civil war. Putin may be looking for an opportunity to launch a short, sharp attack to take control of east Ukraine too quickly for anyone to react. BBC and Voice of Russia

Russia and Europe's far right become political allies through anti-Americanism

In past decades, Russia was usually allied with far left Communists and Socialists in Europe, but in this generational Crisis era, Russia is increasingly finding European allies among far right and right-wing populists. (The phrase "far right" has a different meaning in Europe and in America.) With the European Parliament elections approaching, some of these parties are increasingly open about their desire to act as an advocate for Russia in Brussels.

These parties are natural allies of Russia because of their common skepticism of immigration and concerns about Islamic extremism. But the broadest foundation for cooperation is their joint anti-Americanism, and their opposition to the European Union's close ties with the United States. According to one right-wing politician:

"Instead of playing the stooge of the US in the encirclement of Russia, Brussels must finally be able to build positive relations with Moscow and show understanding of Russian interests."

It's thought that Russia's objective is to destabilize and weaken the European political scene, and weaken the European-American alliance. Spiegel

Mali separatists appeal to Russia for support on independence

Following the secession of Crimea from Ukraine, the Russians are becoming the go-to guys for any secessionist group in other countries.

In April, 2012, the Tuareg ethnic group declared that northern Mali was seceding from Mali, and the new country would have the name Azawad. The governing party would be called the Mouvement National de Libération de l'Azawad (MNLA). ( "7-Apr-12 World View -- Tuareg rebels declare independent state of Azawad in northern Mali") This led to an invasion in the north by al-Qaeda linked militants, followed by the introduction of a French peacekeeping force in January, 2013.

MNLA officials made a recent visit to Russia:

"[The goal was to spread] the message of the people of Azawad everywhere, particularly in the countries that are members of the UN Security Council, some of which have veto power. ...

All the causes of the conflict were explained to the government of the Russian Federation. The political, social and cultural reasons for the recurring revolts and the suffering of the people of Azawad were discussed at length. The president of the MNLA's leadership, Mr. Bilal Ag Acharif, clearly expressed the necessity and the urgency of finding a solution to this never-ending conflict through a political dialogue. He reaffirmed the availability of the MNLA to operate by means of political negotiations provided that they are based on the sincere and frank willingness of all the parties."

Russia has its own secessionist issues, with some activists in Russia's North Caucasus provinces wanting to form a separate Islamic state. Russia's foreign ministry reaffirmed to the MNLA the availability of the Russian Federal government to help the different parties to find a just, equitable and durable solution for the crisis. Memri

Israel claims secret talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait about Iran

Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday that Israel is holding secret talks with some Arab states to establish diplomatic ties based on a common fear of Iran. He specifically named Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, neither of which recognize Israel. Israel has signed peace deals with only two of its Arab neighbors, Egypt and Jordan. According to Lieberman,

"For the first time there is an understanding there that the real threat is not Israel, the Jews or Zionism. It is Iran, global jihad, (Lebanese Shi'ite guerrilla group) Hezbollah and al Qaeda. There are contacts, there are talks, but we are very close to the stage in which within a year or 18 months it will no longer be secret, it will be conducted openly."

However, both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait deny that any such talks are taking place or have ever taken place. According to Kuwait's foreign ministry:

"These claims are baseless. There are no meetings, official or unofficial contacts, public or secret."

A similar statement was issued by the Saudis. Reuters and Anadolu (Turkey)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 16-Apr-14 World View -- East Ukraine clashes become dangerous as Kiev strikes back thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (16-Apr-2014) Permanent Link
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