Tag: ukraine

Why Poland Must Annex Ukraine

Daniel Szwec | @szewc_daniel

Historically speaking, the Baltic-Black Sea isthmus, currently occupied by the Polish and Ukrainian states has always experienced extremely strong policical forces, ones set on uniting the region into a single political entity. From having a monopoly on the non-Scandinavian geopolitical European Rimland’s border, to being the crossing of trade routes from North to South, and East to West, the region was already in a political union, in the form of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, during which the region enjoyed enormous prosperity and had the largest aristocratic class in all of Europe. What’s more, the geopolitical longing for uniformity may be seen as one of the major causes for the first world war- the region was split in between the Entente and the central powers- Western Poland belonging to the German Empire, the East of Poland and the Ukraine belonging to the Russian Tsardom, and Galicia belonging to Austria-Hungary.

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Ukraine Requests Assistance from NATO

By Jack Parkos | Ukraine

With the the Kerch Strait crisis heating up, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has requested for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to assist Ukraine in the conflict, asking that they deploy naval vessels to the Sea of Azov.

Image result for sea of azov
Sea of Azov pictured on a map (Credit: Wikipedia)

The Crisis began after Russian Navy vessels attacked Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea. Since then, both sides have accused the other of being at fault. Ukraine claimed that this was an act of aggression by Russia. Meanwhile the Russians claimed that Ukraine illegally entered its waters. Since this incident, Ukraine has implemented martial law for the first time in its history.

Porshenko has claimed that Putin wants “nothing less” than to occupy the Sea of Azov. In an interview with a German newspaper he stated:

Germany is one of our closest allies and we hope that states within NATO are now ready to relocate naval ships to the Sea of Azov in order to assist Ukraine and provide security,

Petro Poroshenko
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (Credit: Wikipedia)

“We cannot accept this aggressive policy of Russia. First it was Crimea, then eastern Ukraine, now he wants the Sea of Azov. Germany, too, has to ask itself: What will Putin do next if we do not stop him?”

Ukraine is not an official member of NATO, but the alliance has given support to Ukraine in the past. So far, no action has been taken. Secretary General of NATO Jen Stoltenberg stated that the organization is closely monitoring the situation.

Russia has to understand that its actions have consequences, and that’s the reason why NATO has reacted so firmly against the actions of Russia against Ukraine over several years.  NATO Allies have imposed economic sanctions.  NATO has, not least because of the actions against Ukraine; illegally annexing Crimea, destabilising Eastern Ukraine.  We have implemented the biggest reinforcement to our collective defence since the end of the Cold War, also with more presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.

And then, NATO Allies and NATO have provided strong political and practical support to Ukraine.  We help to modernise the Ukrainian armed forces; we provide some support to the naval forces of Ukraine, and we are constantly assessing what more we can do to provide support and to help Ukraine.  We do this partly within the NATO framework, but also some Allies provide some direct support on the bilateral level and we support and encourage that.

So, we are following and monitoring the situation very closely and we constantly assess what more we can do because Russia has to understand that its actions have consequences.


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Ukraine Says Russia Attacked and Seized Navy Ships

By Indri Schaelicke | United States

On Sunday, Russian Navy vessels opened fire and seized 3 Ukrainian Navy ships. A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense stated that Russia’s navy attacked, boarded and seized the small gunboats Berdyansk and Nikopol as well as the tugboat accompanying them, Yana Kapu.

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Joseph Stalin Was Undeniably Tyrannical and Evil

Nate Galt | United States

Joseph Stalin ruled the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics after the death of its founder, Vladimir Lenin, until his own death in 1953. His rule caused millions of deaths in his own country. Stalin was born in Georgia, which was under the control of the Russian Empire. He changed his name from “Jugashvili” to “Stalin,” meaning “man of steel.” He did rule with an iron fist, becoming most famous for his leadership of the Red Army in World War II and for his brutal repression of his political opponents. Commissars, army officials, dissidents, and other perceived rivals of Stalin were either sent to “gulag” prison labor camps in Siberia or were simply executed. Stalin was a dictator who resorted to totalitarian measures, directly ordering the deaths of millions of people. 

His totalitarian regime’s victims were not limited to his political opponents. When the Soviet dictator realized that Ukraine was drifting more towards the West, he decided to implement a famine known as the “Holodomor” in Ukrainian. His officers took the vast majority of food from certain parts of Ukraine. A survivor of this genocide recounts the story to a special U.S. government committee. She stated that “all the train stations were overflowing with starving, dying people” and that “there wasn’t a dog, a cat, or a sparrow in our village.” People resorted to cannibalism to survive. The evidence of Stalin’s rule causing the deaths of millions of Ukrainians cannot be denied. 

At the beginning of Stalin’s rise to power after the bloody Russian Revolution, he wanted to make sure that he would remain General Secretary of the Communist Party and leader of the U.S.S.R. Part of his plan to do so was his elimination of any opposition. One of his strongest opponents was the Russian Orthodox Church. He wished to “completely eliminate” all religion and wanted more persecution of the clergy, going as far as imprisoning many Catholic bishops in western Ukraine.  Joseph Stalin’s rule repressed religion and aimed for its destruction. He even destroyed several historic churches to build monuments and palaces dedicated to the glory of his rule and to his country, a clear sign that Stalin did not respect freedom of religion.

When the German Reich attacked the Soviet Union as a part of Operation Barbarossa, breaking the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Stalin was caught by surprise. Adolf Hitler’s offensive was quick and deadly. Western Soviet cities like Kiev and Minsk soon fell under the control of the Reich. Stalin spoke to his people, saying that the “Great Patriotic War” was a matter of life and death for the people of the U.S.S.R. He wanted absolutely “no mercy for the enemy” and stated that any cowards or traitors should be shot on sight. The Nazi-Soviet war of attrition raged on, with millions of men, women, and children mercilessly slaughtered. After key turning-point battles such as Stalingrad, the Third Reich was forced to retreat.

After the fall of the Nazi capital of Berlin on May 9, 1945, Stalin and the Allies were victorious. After the war, propaganda pamphlets owed the destruction of fascism to Stalin. The cruel dictator’s leadership during the war may have saved his country. Stalin’s supporters and communists point to the Allied victory as a good deed of his. They also point to the fact that the Russian literacy rate skyrocketed during his rule. They say that the economy grew during Stalin’s reign. He implemented a series of five-year plans in order to further industrialize the Soviet Union, hoping to produce more electricity, steel, coal, and oil. The Soviet Union certainly played a major role in World War II and the economy had a noticeable upturn; however, this fact should not distract anyone from the fact that Stalin murdered millions.

While Stalin’s modernizations could be considered a slight success, there were millions of victims of his authoritarian, oppressive regime. Low estimates put all non-wartime casualties at 10 million while the highest estimates state that Stalin was responsible for the death of 35 million people. Joseph Stalin’s methods of maintaining power were totalitarian. He kept the populace in line by the threat of execution or sentencing to a Siberian “gulag” labor camp. Tens of thousands died in these cruel camps as a result of several factors, such as the biting cold, fatigue, or starvation. In all, while Joseph Stalin ruled the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and attempted to modernize it, the primary result of his regime is the murder of millions of innocent people. There are thousands of pieces of evidence that prove that these deaths were caused by the government of the U.S.S.R. Despite certain improvements in Russian education, the economy, and the victory in the deadliest war to ever have been fought, the death toll is too great to ignore. 


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Crimea Massacre: School Shooting Occurs in Kerch

By Teagan Fair | United States

On Wednesday, 18-year-old Vladislav Roslyakov went on a killing spree in Kerch Polytechnic College in Crimea. He reportedly ran from classroom to classroom, killing 20 people and wounding 50 others before shooting himself.

About The Killer

Vladislav Roslyakov was a fourth-year student at Kerch Polytechnic College. The school is in Kerch, Crimea, which Russia annexed with the rest of the region in 2014. The boy, according to reports, aspired to be an electrician. According to the tabloid Mash, Roslyakov was a “shy young man who spoke to almost no one.” His parents had also divorced when he was young.

The Russian daily Kommersant relates that Roslyakov’s father was disabled. His mother, on the other hand, was a Jehovah’s Witness who worked at a hospital. The killer grew up lower-class and lived with only his mother. His interests included video games and weapons. As some sources report, he also had an interest in murderers.

Possible Motives

Roslyakov reportedly had a strong disdain for his school, and had vowed revenge on his peers, said a friend of his. According to an ex-girlfriend of Roslyakov, students bullied him for being different. He had posted on social media just days before the attack regarding the lack of sense in his life. Moreover, he mentioned the possibility of committing the shooting and killing himself.

Several media outlets have made comparisons between this attack and the Columbine shooting. For example, both killers placed bombs in the dining area and committed suicide in the library. Additionally, Roslyakov wore a white shirt with the word “Hatred”. This, of course, is similar to Eric Harris’ “Natural Selection” shirt. Given that the killer’s knowledge of past shooters, it is entirely possible that the Columbine massacre inspired this attack.

The Events of the Crimea Massacre

One of the killer’s classmates reportedly spotted him entering campus on Wednesday. At 11:46 AM, this occurred well after the school day had begun. The student told Mash that he and a friend greeted Roslyakov as they normally would. However, later that day, the two reportedly heard gunfire from inside the school while they were outside.

Roslyakov had come to school suspiciously with two backpacks, one gray and one black. The killer held a Hatsan Escort Aimguard 12-gauge pump-action shotgun, grenades, as well as a nail bomb that had successfully detonated, according to some witnesses. On the contrary, others only recall the use of firearms and grenades. Some witnesses, though, have even claimed to have seen several attackers. Roslyakov got a license and 150 rounds for his weapon in early September.

The Official Report

According to the Russian daily Kommersant, he “moved from room to room and, like an experienced special forces fighter, first threw a home-made grenade before going to shoot people.” Sergei Melikov, deputy chief of the Russian National Guard, said that the explosive device was home-made and the Investigative Committee, the nation’s most senior investigative agency, claimed that the device had shrapnel. Investigators later said they had found a second explosive device among the gunman’s possessions.

“Some victims’ internal organs were ruptured, we’re finding washers and ball bearings in their livers, intestines, blood vessels,” claims Veronika Skvortsova, Russian Prime Health Minister. “Limbs have been amputated – people have lost feet and shins,” she said. Russian officials had originally classified the attack as terrorism. Later, however, they reclassified it to ‘mass murder’, unable to find a political motive. By the end of it, Roslyakov reportedly murdered 15 students and 5 teachers. He also injured up to 50 others.

This tragic event happened in a nation that is foreign to many. We, nonetheless, as a human race, grieve for the many victims at the Kerch Polytechnic College, their families, and the people of Crimea.


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