Category Archives: War Notes

Ukraine: Don’t Count on a “Winter Lull” in the Fighting

A Winter Hibernation in Ukraine’s War?

Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer, Independent Columnist
Bangkok Post — December 6, 2022

When the two most senior military and intelligence officials in Washington make the same obvious error in public three times in three weeks, you have to wonder what they are really up to. Can it just be simple ignorance, or do they have a hidden agenda? Continue reading Ukraine: Don’t Count on a “Winter Lull” in the Fighting

The Ukraine War’s Other Front: Libraries & their Warrior Librarians

[NOTE: This report is one of the most clarifying pieces I have read on the Ukraine. In one sentence it gets beyond and beneath all the horrible physical death and destruction, and sets it in context: “The wars of this century are wars over meaning.

The Guardian, December 4, 2022

‘Our mission is crucial’: meet the warrior librarians of Ukraine

Oksana Bruy

When Russia invaded Ukraine, a key part of its strategy was to destroy historic libraries in order to eradicate the Ukrainians’ sense of identity. But Putin hadn’t counted on the unbreakable spirit of the country’s librarians

By Stephen Marche

The morning that Russian bombs started falling on Kyiv, Oksana Bruy woke up worried about her laptop. Bruy is president of the Ukrainian Library Association and, the night before, she hadn’t quite finished a presentation on the new plans for the Kyiv Polytechnic Library, so she had left her computer open at work.
Continue reading The Ukraine War’s Other Front: Libraries & their Warrior Librarians

Updates: Ex-Neutral Finland Ready for War if Russia invades, Premier Says

[Note: the sudden about face of Finland & Sweden away from their longtime neutral stance to seek Nato membership was for me like a double lightning strike: I’ve never visited either one, but could see they knew Russia up close, and through hard experience. For that matter, it was clear neither nation was a shrinking violet: both had serious, sizable defense forces. But the sudden invasion of Ukraine, as described below, radically upended decades of preparedness and planning. It also sent shock waves far away, shattering assumptions right here, in my cozy armchair. Nine months later, the shocks continue.]

Finland PM Sanna Marin says Europe is ‘not strong enough’ without the US

Speaking in Sydney, Marin says Europe needs to build its own defence capabilities and says Finland is preparing for cyber-attacks from Russia

The Guardian — December 2, 2022

Finnish prime minister Sanna Marin has called for Europe to build its own defence capabilities in the wake of the war in Ukraine, saying that without US help it is not resilient enough.

Continue reading Updates: Ex-Neutral Finland Ready for War if Russia invades, Premier Says

Timothy Snyder on Strategic Fundraising for Ukraine

When the Yale historian Timothy Snyder was asked by Ukraine’s government to fundraise for the war effort, he considered a project to restore Chernihiv library. It would have been an obvious choice for the bestselling author, who has visited the ruined library – a gracious gothic terracotta structure that survived two world wars but was smashed to rubble in March by Russia’s 500kg bombs.

Yet he soon decided that a fundraiser for a library would be “kind of morally self indulgent”. When he asked his friends in Kyiv what was most urgently needed, nobody hesitated: anti-drone defence. “I thought I should do the thing which is most urgent now,” Snyder told the Guardian in a phone interview from the Yale campus. “The ruins of the library are going to be there. I can raise money for that later. But right now, what’s happening is that the Russians are trying to freeze millions of people out by destroying the power grid. And so what I should be trying to do is try to stop that.”

Continue reading Timothy Snyder on Strategic Fundraising for Ukraine

Progress Against Sedition In the Military? Not Yet . . .

“Burying the lead” (or “lede”) is a form of journalistic malpractice that stuffs the most important information or disclosures in an article under a layer of mostly irrelevant or unoriginal text, likely to deflect readers from noticing them.  This article is a prime example.

Continue reading Progress Against Sedition In the Military? Not Yet . . .