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Develop a national framework for projects implementation efficiency & governance: economists Samsung smartphones are available with attractive offers for this Eid Technical Strategic Partner Huawei awarded by bKash প্রাথমিকের শিক্ষকদের অনলাইনে বদলীর কার্যক্রম উদ্বোধন Momen to lead Bangladesh in UN Ocean Conference পবিত্র ইদুল আজহা উপলক্ষ্যে জাতীয় চাঁদ দেখা কমিটির সভা আগামীকাল Russia and West clash at UN Security Council Oxfam condemns G7 for ‘leaving millions to starve’ Continued arms supplies from US to Ukraine increase threat of further escalation : envoy ৩০ জন নারী উদ্যোক্তার অংশগ্রহণে চলছে আনিসুল হক কোহর্ট উদ্যোক্তা হাট Samsung introduces ‘Meet the Eid’ campaign ahead of Eid with sizzling offers British Council stages Noishobde ’71 BRAC Bank wins four VISA awards Sufferers of false allegation over Padma Bridge deserves compensation: Momen Japan to provide 165,989m Yen to Bangladesh for 3 projects HC orders to form commission to find conspirators against Padma Bridge ২৮ জুন এক নজরে বাংলাদেশ New Canadian envoy calls on State Minister for Foreign Affairs কর্মক্ষম ‍যুবশক্তির কর্মসংস্থান না করা গেলে জনমিতিক লভ্যাংশের সুফল ভোগ করা যাবে না Strengthen the Tobacco Control Law: ATMA

SPIEF’s business program to reflect Russia’s readiness to develop new ties

Bangladesh Beyond
  • Updated on Thursday, June 16, 2022
  • 121 Impressed

SPIEF’s business program to reflect Russia’s readiness to develop new ties


Dhaka June 16 2022 :


Inside Russia: Outside Russia : News Digest by Embassy of Russian Federation in Bangladesh on June 16 2022.



Ukraine’s survival in doubt – former Russian president

Dmitry Medvedev suggests the country may not be there to pay its debts in two years

The deputy chair of Russia’s National Security Council has suggested Ukraine may not survive as a sovereign nation for two more years, considering its current state. Dmitry Medvedev, a former president of Russia, made the remarks on Wednesday in response to Kiev’s reported plans to borrow energy from Western sponsors.

According to a report on Tuesday in Foreign Policy magazine, Ukrainian officials are looking for ways to secure supplies of natural gas for the upcoming winter that would not be sourced from Russia. Among their ideas is importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the US, preferably paid for later under a “lend-lease” scheme.

Kiev is asking for 6 billion cubic meters of LNG delivered to terminals in Europe and pumped to Ukraine via pipelines, the report said. The cost would be repaid in two years, “once domestic production of gas is ramped up”. Yuriy Vitrenko, head of the Ukrainian energy monopoly Naftogaz, has claimed the Americans were surprised by the proposal, but received it well.

In his post on Telegram, Medvedev said that without American aid Ukraine would “simply freeze in the winter” before questioning whether the US will be able to recover the debt.

“Who said that in two years Ukraine would still be on the world map?” he wrote.

“Though the Americans probably don’t care anymore. They have invested so much in their ‘anti-Russia’ project that all other considerations are not that big of a deal for them,” he added.

The Kremlin commented on Medvedev’s remarks later in the day by saying Ukraine’s problems are not a secret.

“The most important thing is that the nationalist units keep on fighting, and the Ukrainian leadership is still unwilling to rein in those units and take a sober look at their situation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “This certainly does not bode well for Ukraine.”

Kiev has condemned Medvedev’s remarks. Mikhail Podolyak, adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, retorted: “Ukraine was and it will be,” and called Medvedev a would-be personification of “Russian imperialism” and a “small person with big insecurities,” saying the real question was where the Russian official would be in two years.


Russian MFA says Kiev halted talks with Moscow on orders from US handlers

PETERSBURG, June 15. /TASS/.  Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Wednesday said Ukraine halted peace talks with Russia on orders from its US handlers while Russia was prepared to carry on.

“These talks were frozen, halted, broken off,” she said on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. “Let them (Ukraine – TASS) say for themselves what they did with these talks. We know that very well because we have information that was the order given by their American handlers.”

The diplomat said Kiev hasn’t yet reacted to the Russian response to the Ukrainian proposals to settle the situation in the country.

Zakharova also said it was Ukraine that sought talks, and Russia agreed to the proposal. However, the spokeswoman said the Kiev regime subsequently started to put forward various conditions for the negotiations. “We saw a lot of things: The venue is wrong, the makeup of the delegation isn’t right, the host country needs to be different. There were a lot of quirks,” she said.

Talks between Russia and Ukraine are currently put on hold. Vladimir Medinsky, aide to the Russian president, who headed the Russian delegation at the talks, said, they were suspended entirely by Kiev.


Russian border comes under fire from Ukraine – governor

A checkpoint in Russia’s Kursk Region has been targeted, according to the regional governor

A border checkpoint in Russia’s Kursk Region was attacked by Ukraine on Wednesday morning, according to local governor Roman Starovoyt.

The Krupets crossing was targeted at around 7.30am local time, he wrote on Telegram.

“There were no casualties or destruction” as a result of the incident, the governor said.

The attack was suppressed by return fire from Russian border guards, he added.

On Tuesday, six people were reportedly wounded and some 50 houses damaged when Ukraine shelled the village of Zaymishche in neighboring Bryansk Region.

Kiev’s forces have carried out numerous attacks on settlements and border checkpoints in Russia’s southwestern regions of Belgorod and Bryansk since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February.

The strikes, targeting both infrastructure and residential areas, have resulted in destruction, injuries, and several civilian deaths. This prompted the introduction of a heightened level of terrorist threat in the affected regions.

Moscow has previously warned that it will hit Ukrainian “decision-making centers, including Kiev” if attacks inside Russia don’t stop.


Boosted Sputnik V Maintains 97% Effectiveness Against Omicron, Study Shows

The study showed that the vaccine is 97% effective when boosted with Sputnik Light or revaccinated with Sputnik V in cases of hospitalisation from the COVID-19 strain.

A team of Russian scientists, including specialists from the Vorokhobov City Clinical Hospital No. 67 and the Gamaleya National Centre of Epidemiology and Microbiology, have carried out research into the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine against the Omicron variant.

“According to the results, the efficacy of the Sputnik V vaccine boosted with Sputnik Light or revaccinated with Sputnik V was 97% against all types of hospital admissions caused by the Omicron strain and 99.4% against critical cases”, the study showed.

Effectiveness against all types of hospital admission after receiving at least one dose of the vaccine was 85.9%, the study detailed.

The original Sputnik V (Gam-COVID-Vac), developed by Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute, was registered in August 2020 and has since been authorised for use in 71 countries with a total population of over 4 billion people. The two-dose vaccine has a single-dose version – Sputnik Light – which has been authorised in more than 30 countries. The Russian Direct Investment Fund invested in the development and production of the Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines.


Monkeypox vaccine needs to be developed in Russia — expert

PETERSBURG, June 16. /TASS/. A monkeypox vaccine is needed in Russia, since the incidence is growing in the world, Alexander Gintsburg, director of the Gamaleya Center, told TASS on Thursday on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

“Naturally, it is needed,” he said in response to the corresponding question. “Today, no one can explain why this infection, which was endemic to the African continent, is spreading across the globe for no apparent reason. I am afraid that it cannot be explained by untraditional sexual contacts only. The number of confirmed cases is growing day after day.”

According to Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, more than 1,600 confirmed monkeypox cases and nearly 1,500 suspected cases have been reported to the WHO this year. Such reports have come from 39 world nations, including 32, which never had this disease.

Russia’s sanitary watchdog said on June 8 that no monkeypox cases had been registered in Russia.


SPIEF’s business program to reflect Russia’s readiness to develop new ties

PETERSBURG, June 16. /TASS/. Russia’s course toward openness and wide international cooperation will be the focus of the business program of the 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which begins on Thursday.

Participants will look for new possibilities for strengthening the country’s economic sovereignty and for resolving priority tasks facing humankind.

The jubilee, 25th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), is especially symbolic. Over the years of its existence, it has become an authoritative international event, which is often called Russian Davos. But the organizer of the forum in Davos, the World Economic Forum, this year embarked on a path of “cancelling” and, due to the Western sanctions, has suspended contacts with the Russian side, which has participated in this forum since 1986. However, Russia was discussed practically at all sessions of the Swiss forum. The SPIEF, on the contrary, is one of the most open formats, with delegates from more than 120 world nations, including such not very friendly countries as the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands, taking part.

On June 16, the forum will be attended by Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to his press secretary Dmitry Peskov, the president will meet with businessmen to discuss the situation in the automotive industry. The meeting will also be attended by Russian government officials. Apart from that, according to Peskov, Putin will have contacts with entrepreneurs and investors.

Friendly dialogues

The forum’s traditional interstate business dialogues demonstrate new priorities of the country’s foreign economic cooperation. The Russia-China dialogue will address the unprecedented challenges the two countries are now facing and their plans of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation. The Russia-Africa dialogue will focus on the food and energy security on the continent and its emerging centers of global development.

The dialogue between the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and ASEAN will discuss the development of environmental and climate projects, industrial cooperation, digitalization processes. The Russia – Latin America dialogue will center round prospects for cooperation in the energy, healthcare, pharmaceutical and high technology sectors. The Russia-Turkey and Russia-Egypt dialogues will address a wide range of practical issues concerning vacant niches in trade, industry, agriculture.

Opportunities in a new world

The central topic of this year’s forum is New Opportunities in a New World. Russian President Vladimir Putin said in his address to the forum that the Western countries’ numerous mistakes in their economic policies and their illegitimate sanctions have entailed a wave of global inflation, the severance of traditional logistics and production chains, growing poverty and food shortages.

It is practically impossible to address these global problems without Russia’s participation. And although the country’s current task is to strengthen its own economic sovereignty, Russia is not going to close and will continue its course to openness and wide economic cooperation. The search for a balance between domestic and global problems is reflected in the main four topics of the forum’s business program.

The forum’s key topics

The New Economic Order: Responding to the Challenges of the Time. This track is dedicated to issues of economic recovery, international cooperation within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS, and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the transformation of global trade, businesses’ efficiency in the new logistics environment, green alternatives to traditional fuels, the situation on the global oil and gas markets.

The Russian Economy: New Objectives and Horizons. This track will focus on new challenges facing the country: the transition from the anti-crisis agenda to boosting the economy’s long-term potential, the investment climate in Russian regions, the development of the Russian financial market and R&D sector, etc.

Modern Technology for Humanity: Building a Responsible Future. This track will embrace issues of international cooperation in science, digital sovereignty and information security, digitalization of the healthcare sector, etc.

Investment in Development as Investment in People. This track will look at cultural codes of the new reality, the development of human capital assets, new skills and employment models in the post-Covid world.

The program of the first day features more than 200 official events: business sessions, dialogues, meetings, presentations, signing ceremonies, etc.

About the forum

The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum organized by the Roscongress Foundation is taking place on June 15 through 18. This year’s forum is dubbed: ‘New Opportunities in a New World’. A number of other events will take place beyond the business program, among them are the SME Forum, the Creative Business Forum, the Drug Security Forum, the SPIEF Junior Dialogue and SPIEF Sport Week. TASS serves as the event’s official photo hosting agency and the information partner.


Nearly 4,200 Journalists From 30 Countries Register to Cover SPIEF, Kremlin Aide Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Nearly 4,200 journalists from 30 countries have registered to cover the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Kremlin aide Yury Ushakov told reporters.

“As for the coverage of the forum by journalists… 4,188 journalists from 30 countries have been registered by now,” Ushakov said.

He said that that total of 40 high-ranking delegations from over 40 countries are expected to participate in the event.

“A fairly large number of guests are expected. And if we talk about high-ranking delegations from abroad, official, government delegations, then we expect that these delegations will come from more than 40 countries of the world,” the official told reporters, adding that the participation of heads of major foreign companies and banks is also expected.

The Kremlin official mentioned that 1244 Russian companies and 265 foreign companies have confirmed their attendance.

“There will be no official representatives from unfriendly states at the forum,” Ushakov said, adding that the forum’s participants plan to talk about the economic changes in the world and sanctions pressure on Russia.

Ushakov also noted that president Vladimir Putin will hold meetings with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan and Milorad Dodik, the Serb member of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s tripartite presidency on the sidelines of the forum.

The Russian president plans give his assessment of the current situation in the global economy and politics during his speech at the forum, he added.

“As for the president’s speech, it is being prepared now, and it is expected that the president will give an assessment of the current situation in the world economy and politics, of course, we will talk about the problems that the world economy is facing today, about unfair interstate competition, trade and financial wars, sanctions, restrictions, and so on,” Ushakov told reporters.

The jubilee XXV St. Petersburg International Economic Forum will be held in St. Petersburg on 15-18 June.



US backs idea of another European military bloc

Washington would support a possible security alliance between the UK, Ukraine, Poland and the Baltic States, its envoy to NATO says

The US Permanent Representative to NATO, Julianne Smith, said on Tuesday that Washington would “want to support” the idea of a new security alliance, which could reportedly include Ukraine, the UK, Poland, the Baltic States, and possibly Turkey.

Last month, Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had floated the idea of a so-called “European Commonwealth” to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his visit to Kiev in early April.

According to the paper’s sources, Johnson sees the bloc as “a new system of political, economic and military alliances – alternative to the European Union.”

He believes that the UK, Ukraine, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as Turkey “potentially, at a later stage” should come together on the basis of their “diffidence towards Brussels,” dissatisfaction with Germany’s sluggish response to Russia’s offensive in Ukraine, and concerns over the threat posed by Moscow to security on the continent, the Italian paper reported.

During her briefing on Tuesday, Julianne Smith was asked how the US would react if London eventually managed to realize its idea of a “European Commonwealth.”

She responded by suggesting that such a union could actually contribute to NATO’s goal of further strengthening its eastern flank, which became a priority for the US-led alliance after the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict in late February.

“Obviously, we support initiatives that help build capacity. And to the extent that NATO members break off into partnerships or into some groups to help build capacity and collectively… strengthen the Alliance, then that’s something that we would want to support,” the US envoy said.

Aside from Ukraine, the potential members of the new grouping are all NATO members, with Poland and the three Baltic States also being in the EU.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has not yet responded to Johnson’s “European Commonwealth” proposal, as he is waiting for the outcome of an EU summit on June 23, Corriere della Sera reported. During the gathering, the European leaders are going to decide whether Ukraine should be given the status of an EU candidate nation.

A report by Politico on Monday claimed the European Commission was going to support granting such status to Kiev. Other reports suggested that nations including Denmark and the Netherlands could block the Ukrainian bid altogether over concerns about corruption and rule of law in the country.


Mexico condemns Western policy on Ukraine

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has slammed Western countries for their approach to the conflict in Ukraine, suggesting that waves of foreign arms shipments will only result in more bloodshed.

Speaking to reporters at his daily press briefing on Monday, Obrador addressed the Ukraine-Russia conflict. While he stopped short of singling out any countries, he said those sending weapons to Kiev – a policy strongly favored by the United States and most of its NATO allies – are helping to rack up casualties on all sides.

“How easy it is to say: ‘There I send so much money for weapons, I provide the weapons and you provide the dead.’ It is immoral,” he said, adding “Couldn’t the war in Ukraine have been avoided? Of course. The policy failed and look at the damage it causes, the loss of human lives.”

The president did not elaborate on how the hostilities could have been averted, but went on to say that “the same policy must no longer continue,” claiming it is driven by “elites” and not “the people.”

Though Mexico has stated that it does not support Russia’s attack on its neighbor, it has refused to join a Western sanctions spree targeting the Russian economy and has refrained from weapons transfers to the government in Kiev. Obrador, meanwhile, declared last month that his country seeks to “remain neutral” toward the conflict, notwithstanding pressure from Washington, whose envoy Ken Salazar previously urged Mexican officials to “be in solidarity with Ukraine.”

NATO is continuing its efforts to arm Ukraine, with alliance’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying this week that Kiev should receive additional heavy weapons. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who hosted a meeting between Stoltenberg and six other NATO members on Tuesday, backed that stance, insisting “it is crucial for Russia to lose the war” and that the US-led military bloc should “stand united” behind Ukraine.

“As we cannot have a direct confrontation between NATO troops and Russia, what we need to do is make sure that Ukraine can fight that war, that it has access to all the necessary weaponry,” Rutte added.

The United States leads the world in weapons deliveries to Ukraine, providing billions of dollars in heavy and light arms since March, including artillery pieces, multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS), drones, helicopters, as well as anti-armor and anti-air missiles, among other gear. Kiev has continued to demand additional military assistance, with an aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky outlining a lengthy wish list on Monday, seeking thousands of armored vehicles, 500 tanks, 1,000 howitzers and a host of other weapons.


Xi Jinping tells Putin he is ready to help settle Ukrainian crisis — TV

BEIJING, June 15. /TASS/. In a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin China’s leader Xi Jinping expressed his readiness to help settle the Ukrainian crisis, China’s central television said on Wednesday.

“All parties concerned must take a responsible stance, thus promoting the correct settlement of the crisis in Ukraine,” the broadcaster quotes Xi as saying. “China is prepared to keep playing its constructive role.”

As Xi explained, Beijing was taking an independent position on the Ukrainian issue, “taking into account the facts and historical realities.”

“We actively contribute to preserving peace on the global scale. Likewise, we contribute to maintaining a stable economic order in the world,” he stressed.

On February 24, Putin launched a special military operation following a request for help from the leaders of the two Donbass republics. After that, the United States and its allies imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia and stepped up weapons supplies to Kiev.


Russian ambassador concerned by US plans to send more HIMARS to Ukraine

WASHINGTON, June 15. /TASS/. US Under Secretary of Defense Colin Kahl’s remarks about the possibility of increasing supplies of High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS) to Ukraine are extremely concerning and reveal Washington’s course towards escalation, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said on Wednesday.

“The fact that a high-ranking Pentagon official sees the possibility of broadening supplies of long-range systems causes extreme concern. This remark may be viewed as Washington’s intention to move towards further escalation. It only confirms that the Americans have no intention of seeing a peaceful solution,” he said.

“No wonder the official’s remarks were made in the run-up to a yet another meeting of the US and its allies to discuss military support of Ukraine. Apparently, this is how the administration is making its associates believe that there is no alternative to the path of supplying the Kiev regime with more weapons,” Antonov added.


SCO Considering Admission of Ten More Member States, Observers and Partners in 2022

TASHKENT (Sputnik) – The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is currently considering membership, observation and dialogue partnership applications from 10 more countries, with a final decision expected during its annual summit in September, Uzbek Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov said on Wednesday.

Uzbekistan, which is currently chairing the organisation, will host the annual summit in the city of Samarkand from 15-16 September.

“Applications from about 10 more countries intending to participate in SCO activities as full members, observers, and dialogue partners will be considered,” Norov told the Uzbek foreign ministry’s official news agency, Dunyo.

Further expansion of the SCO is one of the key issues on the summit’s agenda, Norov said, adding that the organisation had already prepared a memorandum on Iran’s commitments to become a SCO member country.

“The document will practically pave the way for a full-fledged membership of this major Middle Eastern country in our organisation,” he said.

The Uzbek foreign minister added that several other memorandums of partnership are expected to be signed during the summit with international and regional organisations, including the League of Arab States, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).

According to Norov, the summit will be of “significant importance” as it will become a timely and effective platform for the SCO leaders to discuss a series of issues on the regional and global agenda.


Kremlin comments on Turkey’s proposed military operation in Syria

Russia does not believe a potential military operation by Turkey against Kurdish militias in Northern Syria would “contribute to stability and security” in the Arab Republic, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Wednesday.

President Vladimir Putin’s Special Envoy on Syria Alexander Lavrentyev noted that, in Moscow’s eyes, such an incursion on the part of Ankara “would be an ill-advised step that could lead to the destabilization of the situation.” Russia is planning to urge Turkey to try to resolve any issues peacefully, the official added, speaking on Wednesday at the beginning of an international meeting on Syria in Kazakhstan’s Nur Sultan.

Last month Turkey announced its plans for a military offensive in Northern Syria, with the establishment of a 30-kilometer “safe zone” along the Syrian border named as its key objective. Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan explained that his country’s Armed Forces would launch an “anti-terrorist” operation, targeting the northern Syrian cities of Tal Rifat and Manbij which have large Kurdish populations and are currently controlled by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group. Addressing lawmakers from the ruling Justice and Development Party, he added that the military would then move “step by step into other regions.” The Turkish leader didn’t specify when exactly the operation would begin.

Turkey considers Kurdish militias in northern Syria to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara has designated as a terrorist organization.

Speaking by phone with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in late May, Erdogan argued that the creation of a “safe zone” in Northern Syria was “imperative.”

Commenting on Ankara’s plans, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in turn made it clear that the Turkish operation was “something that we would oppose.” The American diplomat warned that “any new offensive would undermine regional stability.”

Turkish forces have crossed into Syrian territory on several occasions in recent years.

In October 2019, Ankara deployed its military to the north of the neighboring country in what it codenamed as ‘Operation Peace Spring.’ Hostilities came to an end after President Erdogan met with his Russian counterpart and sealed a deal, according to which a 30-kilometer buffer zone was to be established in Northern Syria, free from Kurdish armed groups. Ankara conducted similar military incursions in 2018 and 2016 as well.

According to Russian news agency TASS, Turkey and Ankara-backed local militias currently hold as many as 10% of Syrian territory, incorporating some 4.4 million residents.

Turkey insists that it is only acting in self-defense, preventing the formation of a hostile self-governed Kurdish area on its Southern border. The Syrian government, in turn, has consistently condemned what it describes as the illegal occupation of its territory by Turkish forces.



Humanitarian corridor opens in Severodonetsk

Moscow says it will allow civilians to leave the besieged chemical plant, but will block Ukrainian soldiers seeking to escape

The Russian military opened a humanitarian corridor for trapped civilians to leave the besieged Azot chemical plant in the city of Severodonetsk on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, Moscow said Kiev had asked it to provide safe passage for civilians wishing to leave the plant. It requested that non-combatants would be allowed to flee to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Lisichansk on the other side of the Seversky Donets River, the Russian military said.

However, this plan was rejected on the basis that it was physically impossible, given that all bridges connecting the city to Lisichansk had been destroyed. Moscow also claimed the proposal could be a scheme to enable blockaded Ukrainian troops to escape the Azot plant.

Instead, the Russian side agreed to allow civilians leave in the other direction to the town of Svatovo, which is controlled by the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR).

The humanitarian corridor will remain in place for 12 hours from 8am local time, a statement from the Russian military said. The provision of safe passage was confirmed on Wednesday morning by a spokesman for the LPR militia.

The Russian military expressed skepticism about the willingness of the Ukrainian troops to allow civilians leave Azot. It claimed that the peaceful residents of the city had been forced by Ukrainian soldiers to go to the plant to serve as human shields.

LPR officials estimated that as many as 1,200 civilians and 2,500 troops may be sheltering at the plant, which is located on the western outskirts of Severodonetsk.

Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.


Ukrainian troops thwart humanitarian corridor – Donbass militia

Only one civilian has walked out of the besieged Azot chemical plant, a military commander has said

Ukrainian soldiers holed up at the Azot chemical plant in Severodonetsk have foiled the evacuation of civilians through a humanitarian corridor provided by Russia, a military commander with the People’s Republic of Lugansk (LPR) has said.

“The evacuation of civilians from Azot has been completely thwarted by the opposing side,” Aleksandr Nikishin, from the LPR’s second army corps, told journalists.

“One person – a 74-year-old man – has gotten out of the plant,”  he said. It happened before 8am local time when the Russian humanitarian corridor was to become operational.

The man walked out “by accident” as he was unaware of the planned evacuation, saying that Ukrainian troops hadn’t informed the civilians inside about it, Nikishin claimed.

And at around 8:10am Kiev’s forces at the plant began firing at Russian positions from a tank, a howitzer and a mortar, he added.

“The evacuation of people is impossible under such circumstances and a decision was made to close the humanitarian corridor,”  Nikishin said.

According to the commander, talks with the Ukrainian military will continue to make sure that some 1,500 civilians at the plant are moved to safety.

Ukrainian troops retreated to the Azot chemical plant a week ago after the strategic city of Severodonetsk had fallen under Russian control. Moscow insisted that non-combatants had been forced into the facility to be used as human shields.

On Tuesday, the Russian military said that Kiev had asked Moscow to provide safe passage for civilians at the plant to the Ukrainian-controlled city of Lisichansk on the other side of the Seversky Donets River.

The plan was rejected on the basis that all bridges connecting Severodonetsk to Lisichansk had been destroyed. The Russian side also expressed concerns that Ukrainian fighters could use the evacuation as cover up for their own escape.

Instead, Moscow offered to open a humanitarian corridor towards the town of Svatovo, which is controlled by the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR), on Wednesday.

Russia attacked its neighboring state in late February, following Ukraine’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements, first signed in 2014, and Moscow’s eventual recognition of the Donbass republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. The German- and French-brokered protocol was designed to give the breakaway regions special status within the Ukrainian state.

The Kremlin has since demanded that Ukraine officially declare itself a neutral country that will never join the US-led NATO military bloc. Kiev insists the Russian offensive was completely unprovoked and has denied claims it was planning to retake the two republics by force.


Russia will end operation in Ukraine where it deems right — deputy foreign minister

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Russia will put an end to its military operation in Ukraine there where it finds appropriate, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said on the 60 Minutes program on the Rossiya-1 television channel on Wednesday. He stressed Moscow’s steadfast commitment to the originally proclaimed goals of the military operation.

“Our reaction is to prove that these plans (to make Russia suffer a defeat – TASS) will collapse, that they will fail, that we will put an end to it there where we deem right, and not where some strategists, ideologists or military planners in Washington or other capitals imagine. We must prove this by our willpower, by the force of arms, and by our readiness to stand firm, to adhere to the aims that were declared by our leadership, and to ensure their achievement,” Ryabkov said, while answering a question about whether Russia had a response to the Americans’ indifference to Moscow’s statements.

“If [Ukrainian President Vladimir] Zelensky and his team are not ready for negotiations, if those behind him are determined to continue their mindless, or rather, insane pumping of Ukraine with weapons, it is their choice, it is sad, it is tragic, but we cannot retreat,” Ryabkov added.


Ivan Timofeev: It’s about more than Ukraine, Russia is staging a rebellion against the West and its liberal world order

By Ivan Timofeev, Valdai Club Programme Director & one of Russia’s leading foreign policy experts.

Moscow has been unwilling to accept the secondary role assigned to it by the West and now the consequences are being felt

The military conflict in Ukraine today is the central flashpoint in relations between Russia and the West, and largely sets the tone for security policy in the Euro-Atlantic region. It also has many global implications. In the ideological sphere, it is increasingly presented as a struggle between the liberal world order and the “mutiny of the malcontents.” It is Russia that today has assumed the role of the vanguard of such a rebellion, openly challenging its Western rivals.

The use of the concept of a revolt here is not accidental. The West is promoting a liberal world order based on clear ideological assertions. These include the market economy; the globalization of standards, trade and technologies; liberal democracy as the only acceptable political form for the organization of states; an open society and a diversity of cultures and ways of life; and its interpretation of human rights. 

In practice, the implementation of these principles varies from country to country and changes over time. However, the diversity of practice has little effect on the integrity of the ideology. Unlike the West, Russia does not offer an alternative ideological menu. So, Moscow, today, differs from the Soviet Union, which at one time adopted another modernist creed –socialism– and actively promoted it as a global alternative.

At the same time, both liberalism and socialism are Western doctrines. The pair are based on the ideas of progress, rationality and emancipation. There are more similarities between them than you might think. Socialists offer a different view of private property, pointing to the excesses of the uncontrolled market. Already in the twentieth century, however, there was a convergence of liberal and socialist ideas in the form of a combination of state regulation and the market. With regards to their political ideation, democracy and the power of the people are no less important for socialism than for liberalism. Traces of the idea of globalisation could be found in the concept of international worker solidarity. Liberation from prejudices and the rationalisation of all spheres of life are expressed as clearly in socialism as in liberalism.

The problem with the Soviet Union was that the implementation of socialist ideas eventually turned into an imitation. The principles of democracy remained on paper, but in reality they were crushed by an authoritarian (and at certain stages totalitarian) state. In the initial rationalisation of the economy and industrialisation, the USSR achieved amazing success, but later it ran into stagnation, unable to adapt its system to rapidly changing world realities. The weakness of the economy, with its raw-material bias, was identified back in the Brezhnev era. Emancipation, at first, proved unprecedented, but was also ultimately hobbled by the increasingly rigid social structure of the Soviet state. At the end of the Cold War, the picture was completed by double standards and a cynical attitude towards the ideology of Soviet society itself and its elite.

Despite the collapse of the Soviet project, the policy of the USSR could hardly be called a rebellion. Throughout its history, the state still offered a systemic alternative. Relations with the bourgeois environment could be called an attempt at revolution, and then rivalry and competition, but not a revolt. Soviet policy had a positive agenda, offering a holistic picture of the world.

The current “Russian rebellion” is based on dissatisfaction with the established status quo of the liberal world order, or rather, its individual consequences for Russia.

There are reasons for such a posture. Scepticism about democracy has been fuelled by the practical possibilities for foreign states to ‘hack’ democratic institutions. Colour revolutions in the post-Soviet space have only strengthened this attitude. 

The flip-side of democracy is the possibility of interference in democratic institutions from the outside in order to ‘correct’ the political course. The US, not without reason, was considered a key ‘hacker’ of national sovereignty through the manipulation of democratic institutions abroad. All the more ironic was the indignation of Washington itself, after Russia itself allegedly also tried to interfere in American democracy.

Russia’s greatest annoyance was its secondary role in the unipolar world order, the disregard for its interests, and that system’s increasingly clear refusal to perceive it as an equal partner. Interestingly, economic factors were secondary for the ‘Russian rebellion.’

In theory, Russia can be considered dissatisfied with its peripheral status in the global economy and its role as a raw materials appendage. In practice, Russia has become very deeply integrated into the international division of labour. However, compared to the stories about democracy, sovereignty and foreign policy, Russia’s concern with its place in the world economy was articulated in a very weak way. Liberal emancipation can hardly be considered the main political problem for Moscow. In some aspects, the Russian narrative has distanced itself from the Western mainstream. This concerns such topics as multiculturalism and sexual minorities; although in the West itself, perceptions of these remains extremely heterogeneous. At the same time, in terms of lifestyle, Russia is a European and Western country, so culture, like the economy, can hardly be considered a key source of the problem.

Given the concentration of Russian discontent in the political sphere, it is hardly surprising that it was the Ukrainian issue that became the trigger for the“Russian rebellion.” The Maidans and the change of power were seen by Moscow as a cynical hack into the country’s political system, and a harbinger of a potential hack eventually targeting Russia itself. 

In addition, at the doctrinal level, Ukraine was increasingly positioned as a fundamentally different project, drifting further and further towards Western values. From the point of view of foreign policy, it was with regards to the Ukrainian issue that Russian interests in the field of security were discriminated against in the most acute form. Economic issues here also acquired political overtones: Moscow could put pressure on Kyiv with gas prices and threats to diversify its transit, but it was clearly losing to the European Union and other Western players in the very model of economic integration. It is not surprising that all those contradictions that had accumulated after the Cold War made themselves known in Ukraine.

Realising that the game was being played according to fundamentally unfavourable and discriminatory rules from the Russian point of view, Moscow not only slammed the table with its fist and brushed the pieces off the board, it also decided, figuratively speaking, to hit its opponents hard on the head with this board. Rivalry ‘according to the rules’ turned into a fight, the field of which is Ukraine. At the same time, on the part of the West itself, there is a degree of irritation, discontent and rejection of Russia, proportional to its own discontent or even surpassing it. 

The West is frustrated by the very fact of a decisive rebellion, its senselessness in terms of the balance of benefits and losses, and the ruthlessness of Russian pressure. Hence the obvious non-selectivity and emotionality of retaliatory strikes, a bizarre mixture of sanctions bombings, plans to confiscate Russian property, defeat the ‘oligarchs’ (the most pro-Western wing of Russian high society) and equally senseless bullying of the Russian cultural, sports and intellectual elite, and of the citizenry as a whole. Only the threat of a direct military confrontation with Moscow keeps them from using military force.

The West has every reason to fear the “Russian rebellion.” Worries about the liberal world order arose long before 2022 and even before 2014. Compared to Russia, China poses a far greater danger. If the ‘Russian rebellion’ is successful, it will become clear that China’s ambitions will be even more difficult to contain. Moreover, unlike Russia, China can offer an alternative economic model, and its own view of democracy, as well as a different ethic of international relations.

The success of the ‘Russian rebellion’ may become a prologue to much more systemic challenges. Therefore, the pacification of Russia for the West has become a task that clearly goes beyond the boundaries of the post-Soviet and even the Euro-Atlantic space.

Meanwhile, in the actions of Moscow, there have been signs of progress that are unpleasant for the West. Yes, the Western blockade will increase the lag and backwardness of the economy. Yes, military operations are costly. Yes, they can cause unpredictable social reactions and even present a challenge to political stability. None of these challenges, however, are capable of knocking Russia off its political course from now on. Moscow is slowly developing an offensive and seems to be determined to integrate the occupied Ukrainian territories into its political, informational and economic space. 

Ukraine faces not only colossal economic and human losses, but also the threat of losing territory. Large-scale Western aid is having an effect, making it difficult for Russia to act. Apparently, however, it is not able to stop Moscow: infusions of military equipment are simply ground up by military operations. The longer the conflict drags on, the more territory Ukraine could lose. This presents the West with the unpleasant realisation that it is necessary to reach at least a temporary agreement with Russia. It will be preceded by an attempt to reverse the military situation. However, if it fails, Ukraine will simply not be able to stop the further loss of its statehood.

In other words, the ‘Russian rebellion’ has a chance to end in success in the sense that it may end in a fundamental reformatting of a large post-Soviet state that has recently been hostile to Russia. It will show the readiness and ability on the part of Russia to back up its claims with the most radical actions.

Will the success of the rebellion mean its victory? This will depend on two factors. The first is the international political implications. A military success in Ukraine could set off a chain of global consequences leading to the decline of the West. However, such a scenario is far from predetermined. The West’s margin of safety is high, despite its apparent vulnerability. The readiness of other non-Western players to give up the benefits of globalisation for the sake of abstract and vague political guidelines like a multipolar world is not completely obvious. 

It is likely that the West will have to endure the new status quo in Ukraine, but this does not mean the defeat of its model. Russia does not systematically challenge this system and does not have a complete picture of how to change it. In Moscow, perhaps, they believe that the structure has become obsolete and expect it to collapse by itself, but this conclusion is far from certain.

The second factor is the consequences for Russia itself. By avoiding promoting a global alternative to the liberal order, Russia will at least have to decide on a programme for its own development. So far, its contours are also built mainly around the denial of the West and its models in certain areas. Nevertheless, the vast majority of other non-Western countries, while defending their sovereignty, are actively developing and cultivating Western practices that benefit them. These include the organisation of industry, developments in the field of science and education, and participation in the international division of labour. 

The rejection of such practices, just because they are conditionally Western, as well as the ‘cosplay’ of Soviet attitudes created amid different historical conditions and left in the distant past, can only increase the difficulties that Russia is currently facing. The preservation and development of a market economy as well as an open and mobile society remain among the most important tasks.

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