Wars & Rumours of Wars

AD1184

Celestial
There's quite a good academic paper here from the late 1990s on the western folly of NATO expansion, called Creating a Disaster: NATO's Open Door Policy by Robert J. Art:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2658073?seq=1

You can read the whole thing by creating a free account at JSTOR.

I don't agree with everything in it, but it is an interesting look into contemporary opinion at the time of the first post-Cold War NATO expansion.

A few choice quotes from beyond the first page visible without logging in:

"Defense of member territory is no longer the sole directive for NATO; now it must address instability within and among the newly-created states of Europe. This requires crisis prevention, peacekeeping, and peacemaking--missions that NATO has already begun to undertake.

[...]

"The West has done itself no good by going through with a decision that is unpopular across the entire political spectrum of Russian political opinion and that has complicated the life of pro-Western reformers who want to tie Russia closer to the West. Except for those on the extreme right, Russians do not believe that the present enlargement threatens their territory. What they fear from enlargement is exclusion from the West, not attack by NATO. The European Union and NATO are two of the West's most important institutions, and membership in them rightly signifies full participation in Western affairs. Russians can therefore view their inability to join either as meaning that they are not considered worthy of full participation in the Western world. This sense of exclusion is a serious issue.

[...]

[By footnote:] "In the Washington Treaty that created NATO, the signators did not formally qualify the enemy against whom the alliance was directed, although all knew it was the Soviet Union. The treaty did, however, retain for the member states the right of national control over the use of force, thereby rendering military assistance not automatic, but contingent upon national decision. This was the price to be paid in order to get the Washington Treaty through the United States Senate. The text of the treaty makes the point clear. By Article 5, 'the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.' By Article 11, however, the members provided a safety catch: 'This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.'

[...]

[By footnote:] "Adding Russia to NATO is not popular with European members of NATO. David Yost, a close observer of European security affairs, cites German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe's views, made clear in September 1994, as representative of European views on adding Russia: 'Russia cannot be integrated, neither into the European Union nor into NATO ... If Russia were to become a member of NATO it would blow NATO apart ... it would be like the United Nations of Europe--it wouldn't work.'

[...]

"NATO's expansion must be limited and, preferably, stopped, if Russia's co-operation is to be secured. No European-wide structure will succeed if in the process of creating it, Russia is estranged or, worse yet, made an implacable enemy. Yet, that is exactly what the United States and its allies risk if they next induct the Baltic states or Ukraine into NATO. [...] Boris Yeltsin is on record as stating that if NATO takes in any of the former Soviet republics, that will be cause for abrogating the Founding Act and will lead to a complete breakdown of Russia's relations with the West. The same result is nearly as likely if many more states are inducted but Russia continues to be excluded. The Larger NATO grows without Russia, the more apparent it becomes that Russia is being discriminated against. Thus, if the Founding Act is to be used as the institutional hook to draw Russia into a cooperative security arrangement with the Wet, then it is the height of stupidity to take steps that would cause Russia to abrogate it.

"If further expansion of NATO without Russia risks alienating it, then the West faces two choices. Either it closes the barn door for a long time after taking in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, or it makes a second round of expansion, if political expediency requires another one sometime soon, as innocuous as possible by taking in only a few states and only those that are non-controversial, such as Slovenia, Austria, and Sweden. The states of Europe that lie in the contested zone--such as Finland, the Baltic republics, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Macedonia--must understand that they have no God-given right to NATO membership. Furthermore, the must be made to understand that NATO expansion beyond a certain size risks bringing on two scenarios: the one they fear most--a Russia hostile to them; and the one they about least but which is equally bad for them--an ineffective NATO. If these nonmember states cannot, for understandable reasons, comprehend these two dangers, then the United States together with its Western allies must make the facts of Realpolitik life clear to them, instead of catering to their historic nightmares and pandering to America's manifold European ethnic groups, as has been the case to date. These states must be made to understand that their security is better off with a viable NATO that they cannot join than with one that is not viable but to which they belong. The latter will do them no good whatsoever, but there is always the chance that the former can do them some good."​

The Founding Act mentioned is the NATO-Russia Founding Act which, as I am sure you can imagine, is now effectively abrogated by the deterioration of relations between Russia and NATO in recent years. Russia finally forced the closure of the NATO office in Moscow last year, bringing an end to NATO-Russia cooperation, although this was dead in the water ever since 2014. It's also worth noting that many of the countries that Art mentions as consisting the 'contested zone' have been inducted into NATO since his writing. The Baltic Republics, Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia (now North Macedonia) are now all NATO members. It was announced emphatically that Ukraine and Georgia would become NATO members at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.

NATO expansion (excluding Russia) is only one factor in creating the conditions for this current conflict. A significant one, for sure, but there is at least one other factor in European Union expansion (excluding Russia), in terms of actions that the west has been taking, but if you point these things out now, you are accused of being a mouthpiece for the miserable Kremlin regime.
 

AlienView

Noble
I just learned Putin is only 69. Evidently way more vigor than Biden.
Looks can be deceiving and Biden is 10 years older than Putin.

But Putin in my opinion is suffering from a form of dementia that causes him to look backwards more than forward
- He wants to, and is succeeding in turning the World into the old Cold War paradigm and keeping the World in a state
of conflict - And maybe generating the long feared WWIII.

Was Ukraine really a part of Russia? - What Putin has succeeded in doing is turning the Ukraine and its people into
a national identity that will hate Russians as much as they hated the Stalinists that created the previous genocide
of the Ukrainians. At this point in Putin's folly - Putin has succeeded in ending his nations significance in the World
- Has turned Russia into a more dangerous form of North Korea and what Ronald Reagan once called it "The Evil Empire".

"The "Evil Empire" speech was a speech delivered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983 during the Cold War. In that speech, Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and as "the focus of evil in the modern world". Reagan explicitly rejected the notion that the United States and the Soviet Union were equally responsible for the Cold War and the ongoing nuclear arms race between the two nations; rather, he asserted that the conflict was a battle between good and evil." {Wikipedia}
 

nivek

As Above So Below
There's quite a good academic paper here from the late 1990s on the western folly of NATO expansion, called Creating a Disaster: NATO's Open Door Policy by Robert J. Art:

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2658073?seq=1

You can read the whole thing by creating a free account at JSTOR.

I don't agree with everything in it, but it is an interesting look into contemporary opinion at the time of the first post-Cold War NATO expansion.

A few choice quotes from beyond the first page visible without logging in:

"Defense of member territory is no longer the sole directive for NATO; now it must address instability within and among the newly-created states of Europe. This requires crisis prevention, peacekeeping, and peacemaking--missions that NATO has already begun to undertake.

[...]

"The West has done itself no good by going through with a decision that is unpopular across the entire political spectrum of Russian political opinion and that has complicated the life of pro-Western reformers who want to tie Russia closer to the West. Except for those on the extreme right, Russians do not believe that the present enlargement threatens their territory. What they fear from enlargement is exclusion from the West, not attack by NATO. The European Union and NATO are two of the West's most important institutions, and membership in them rightly signifies full participation in Western affairs. Russians can therefore view their inability to join either as meaning that they are not considered worthy of full participation in the Western world. This sense of exclusion is a serious issue.

[...]

[By footnote:] "In the Washington Treaty that created NATO, the signators did not formally qualify the enemy against whom the alliance was directed, although all knew it was the Soviet Union. The treaty did, however, retain for the member states the right of national control over the use of force, thereby rendering military assistance not automatic, but contingent upon national decision. This was the price to be paid in order to get the Washington Treaty through the United States Senate. The text of the treaty makes the point clear. By Article 5, 'the Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.' By Article 11, however, the members provided a safety catch: 'This Treaty shall be ratified and its provisions carried out by the Parties in accordance with their respective constitutional processes.'

[...]

[By footnote:] "Adding Russia to NATO is not popular with European members of NATO. David Yost, a close observer of European security affairs, cites German Defense Minister Volker Ruhe's views, made clear in September 1994, as representative of European views on adding Russia: 'Russia cannot be integrated, neither into the European Union nor into NATO ... If Russia were to become a member of NATO it would blow NATO apart ... it would be like the United Nations of Europe--it wouldn't work.'

[...]

"NATO's expansion must be limited and, preferably, stopped, if Russia's co-operation is to be secured. No European-wide structure will succeed if in the process of creating it, Russia is estranged or, worse yet, made an implacable enemy. Yet, that is exactly what the United States and its allies risk if they next induct the Baltic states or Ukraine into NATO. [...] Boris Yeltsin is on record as stating that if NATO takes in any of the former Soviet republics, that will be cause for abrogating the Founding Act and will lead to a complete breakdown of Russia's relations with the West. The same result is nearly as likely if many more states are inducted but Russia continues to be excluded. The Larger NATO grows without Russia, the more apparent it becomes that Russia is being discriminated against. Thus, if the Founding Act is to be used as the institutional hook to draw Russia into a cooperative security arrangement with the Wet, then it is the height of stupidity to take steps that would cause Russia to abrogate it.

"If further expansion of NATO without Russia risks alienating it, then the West faces two choices. Either it closes the barn door for a long time after taking in Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic, or it makes a second round of expansion, if political expediency requires another one sometime soon, as innocuous as possible by taking in only a few states and only those that are non-controversial, such as Slovenia, Austria, and Sweden. The states of Europe that lie in the contested zone--such as Finland, the Baltic republics, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Bosnia, Macedonia--must understand that they have no God-given right to NATO membership. Furthermore, the must be made to understand that NATO expansion beyond a certain size risks bringing on two scenarios: the one they fear most--a Russia hostile to them; and the one they about least but which is equally bad for them--an ineffective NATO. If these nonmember states cannot, for understandable reasons, comprehend these two dangers, then the United States together with its Western allies must make the facts of Realpolitik life clear to them, instead of catering to their historic nightmares and pandering to America's manifold European ethnic groups, as has been the case to date. These states must be made to understand that their security is better off with a viable NATO that they cannot join than with one that is not viable but to which they belong. The latter will do them no good whatsoever, but there is always the chance that the former can do them some good."​

The Founding Act mentioned is the NATO-Russia Founding Act which, as I am sure you can imagine, is now effectively abrogated by the deterioration of relations between Russia and NATO in recent years. Russia finally forced the closure of the NATO office in Moscow last year, bringing an end to NATO-Russia cooperation, although this was dead in the water ever since 2014. It's also worth noting that many of the countries that Art mentions as consisting the 'contested zone' have been inducted into NATO since his writing. The Baltic Republics, Romania, Bulgaria, and Macedonia (now North Macedonia) are now all NATO members. It was announced emphatically that Ukraine and Georgia would become NATO members at the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest.

NATO expansion (excluding Russia) is only one factor in creating the conditions for this current conflict. A significant one, for sure, but there is at least one other factor in European Union expansion (excluding Russia), in terms of actions that the west has been taking, but if you point these things out now, you are accused of being a mouthpiece for the miserable Kremlin regime.

An excellent read, thank you for posting that, I'm still digesting some of the key viewpoints of this article, but it remains clear that NATO expansion eastward, first and foremost, along with the expansion of the European Union, has created this situation and war in the Ukraine...While it is Russian bombs and Russian soldiers killing Ukrainians and destroying their country, the blood of the dead are on the hands of America and Europe and their NATO policies...The article shows some of its dated discussion, an example is mentioning America's lack of support for an independent Taiwan, which now seems clear that America supports an independent Taiwan which has infuriated China and has caused China and Russia to become closer allies...China still needs American investment and capital so that alliance with Russia is limited, however America must stop thinking that these two countries would never go to war with America...I think this is what the American government thinks, why else would Biden show such a pathetic stance as he has done recently by his ignorant comments regarding Putin...This article to me supports my view that NATO should have been disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union, it served it's original purpose and keeping NATO around and allowing it to expand does not encourage peace but only furthers destabilization and discontent and this war in the Ukraine reveals just that...

but if you point these things out now, you are accused of being a mouthpiece for the miserable Kremlin regime.
Yes indeed, my views that NATO is largely responsible for what is happening in the Ukraine has not set well with a few American friends I have...

...
 

nivek

As Above So Below
"The "Evil Empire" speech was a speech delivered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983 during the Cold War. In that speech, Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and as "the focus of evil in the modern world". Reagan explicitly rejected the notion that the United States and the Soviet Union were equally responsible for the Cold War and the ongoing nuclear arms race between the two nations; rather, he asserted that the conflict was a battle between good and evil." {Wikipedia}

As much good Ronald Reagan helped accomplish during his presidency, it's things like this that reveal cracks in his otherwise shining armor...The US must share equal responsibility for the cold war, it takes two to tango, so to speak...This ignorant thinking Reagan had has led in part, to the current problems in Europe today...

...
 

nivek

As Above So Below
Russia threatens Bosnia and Herzegovina over NATO membership

A Russian ambassador on Thursday said Bosnia and Herzegovina could face the same military aggression unleashed on Ukraine if the country joins NATO. Igor Kalbukhov made the remarks during an interview with broadcaster FTV on Thursday. He noted that the country is free to join the 30-member alliance but that Moscow would respond, Euractiv reported.

"If (Bosnia and Herzegovina) decides to be a member of any alliance, that is an internal matter," he said. "Our response is a different matter. Ukraine’s example shows what we expect. Should there be any threat, we will respond."
Kalbukhov then accused the West of stoking division and tensions by claiming Russia is preparing a plan. "We do not have any plans. We will respond having analyzed the strategic and geopolitical situation," the ambassador said. NATO membership is not a reality for BiH given the current lack of consensus on the matter in the country, he added.

Moscow has vehemently opposed a NATO expansion, particularly with nations it shares borders with. A day after the Kremlin launched its invasion of Ukraine, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova issued a warning to Finland and Sweden.

"Finland and Sweden should not base their security on damaging the security of other countries and their accession to NATO can have detrimental consequences and face some military and political consequences," she said in a video clip.

Finnish Ambassador to the United States, Mikko Hautala, told Fox News that Russia has always voiced opposition to his nation's membership in NATO. "I think we are really well prepared. We have one of the best armies in Europe. We have a really strong defense. We have really good international partners," he said. "We are not in a position that we would get scared because of one statement. There's nothing new. That's the old Russian position."


AP_WORLD_NATO_member_countries_VER_3.png
 

nivek

As Above So Below
UK could serve as Ukraine's 'protector' against future Russian attacks: Peace talks may result in Western allies agreeing to military response to guarantee Kyiv's security if Putin's forces withdraw

The UK and its 'international partners' are said to be discussing guaranteeing Ukraine's security if Vladimir Putin's forces withdraw - including possible military action in the event of another Russian invasion. The Kremlin is demanding that Ukraine 'demilitarise' as part of any peace deal. In return, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky) insists that Western countries act as guarantors that could intervene in the event of further aggression: UK Royal Marines in Norway during winter warfare training: Zelensky speaks to British MPs in Parliament via videolink). It came as the UK announced plans to supply air-defence systems to Poland to protect it from any Russian incursions. No10 also left the door open to a possible role in holding the peace in Ukraine, but said the issue was still 'quite far down the road'. Ukraine has not spelled out the terms of the 'security guarantees' it is seeking.

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nivek

As Above So Below
South Africa’s president blames NATO for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine: 'war could have been avoided'

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday blamed NATO for provoking Russia into invading its neighbor Ukraine. Speaking in parliament Thursday, Ramaphosa said the war, now entering its 4th week, could have been avoided if NATO hadn’t expanded eastward.

"The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region," Ramaphosa said.

He was careful to clarify that South Africa "cannot condone the use of force and violation of international law."

The South African president refused to condemn Russia, saying he had been approached to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict but did not specify who approached him.

"There are those who are insisting that we should take a very adversarial stance against Russia. The approach we are going to take (instead) is … insisting there should be dialogue," he said, adding: "Screaming and shouting is not going to bring an end to this conflict."

Ramaphosa said he did not want to take sides because it would hurt his country’s role as a possible mediator. He alluded to South Africa playing a similar role in a conflict between Northern Ireland and former Finish President Marti Ahtisaari. South Africa was one of 35 countries that abstained from voting on the UN resolution condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russia was joined in voting against the resolution by Belarus, which is providing staging for Russia's military, North Korea, Eritrea, and Syria. The United States and 140 other countries voted to adopt the resolution.



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AD1184

Celestial
Looks can be deceiving and Biden is 10 years older than Putin.

But Putin in my opinion is suffering from a form of dementia that causes him to look backwards more than forward
- He wants to, and is succeeding in turning the World into the old Cold War paradigm and keeping the World in a state
of conflict - And maybe generating the long feared WWIII.

Was Ukraine really a part of Russia? - What Putin has succeeded in doing is turning the Ukraine and its people into
a national identity that will hate Russians as much as they hated the Stalinists that created the previous genocide
of the Ukrainians. At this point in Putin's folly - Putin has succeeded in ending his nations significance in the World
- Has turned Russia into a more dangerous form of North Korea and what Ronald Reagan once called it "The Evil Empire".

"The "Evil Empire" speech was a speech delivered by U.S. President Ronald Reagan to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983 during the Cold War. In that speech, Reagan referred to the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" and as "the focus of evil in the modern world". Reagan explicitly rejected the notion that the United States and the Soviet Union were equally responsible for the Cold War and the ongoing nuclear arms race between the two nations; rather, he asserted that the conflict was a battle between good and evil." {Wikipedia}
Many of us are nostalgic for the Cold War era, but to suggest that the present day Russian Federation is a continuation of the Soviet Union is silly. Ignoring Putin's supposed expansionist desires, let us consider his country's capabilities. Putin has invaded one neighbouring country, with which it shares a significant border, at enormous cost to Russia. It has not managed to amass an occupation force for the effort, so whatever its strategic aims in Ukraine, which are not entirely clear to outsiders, we can rule out occupation as being one of them. Furthermore, its commitment of such a large force to Ukraine, and its having sustained so many losses there, significantly hampers its ability to carry out other invasions in other countries. It does not have the troops, the equipment, the know-how, nor the economic strength to sustain a campaign beyond Ukraine, and may not even have the ability to sustain its current campaign in Ukraine for very much longer. Its military would be quickly decimated by NATO forces in any conventional conflict on NATO territory. Even if we were to suppose that Putin wanted to expand Russia's empire further westward, encompassing more and more former Soviet republics, it could not do so.

Looked at in a different light, Russia has given many warning signs over three decades that it is not happy with the west seeking to expand its sphere of influence right up to Russia's borders under three different Russian presidents (although you might contend, with justification, that Medvedev was a Putin puppet). It has had to tolerate quite a lot of this over that time, as it has been gradually encircled, but also deliberately excluded from the club of western-aligned countries, and about which it could do very little, being greatly weakened after the collapse of the Soviet state. As an absolute red line, however, it has said that it considers any western attempt to bring Ukraine into the fold of NATO and the EU an existential threat, for which it is willing to fight tooth and nail to prevent. The Russians have demonstrated this to be true by invading Ukraine. In 2014, they annexed Crimea and backed pro-Russian separatists in the Donbas region, after a US-backed putsch deposed the legitimate and democratically-elected president of Ukraine to install an explicitly pro-Western government.* Access to Crimea was of enormous strategic importance to Russia, due to its Sevastopol naval base which it continued to rent from Ukraine, and by and large the Crimean population is Russian-speaking and quite happy to be Russian.

I would contend that Russia actually has very little desire for getting caught up in foreign entanglements, much less so than the US and major NATO countries. Putin's invasion of Ukraine, although a wicked, wrongful war of choice on his part, is more an act of desperation than the act of a nascent empirical power. Russia is a declining, and not a rising, state, and the war in Ukraine is one that smarter western choices could likely have prevented, had we not deemed that we do not need to take the Russian perspective into account and consider only our own aims and those of prospective "partner" countries in NATO and EU expansion.

Many are now saying that Russia's Ukraine invasion now proves that NATO expansion was the correct choice. But Russia's war is a desperate reaction to western encirclement, isolation, and exclusion by an anti-Russian military pact and geopolitical order, and those moves by the west were not started because European countries and the US thought that the Russian Federation, under Putin or otherwise, was expansionist.

*When an armed mob, consisting in part of some neo-Nazis and other far-right nationalist groups, stormed the nation's capitol building, and attacked the police force, causing several deaths, with utter disregard for the nation's constitution, because they were not happy with the results of the previous election. Sound familiar? Western media almost universally referred to this mob as consisting of "pro-democracy activists". Those same media figures really did not like it when it happened less successfully a few years later in the US, and did not use such friendly terms to describe the participants when it happened there, even though they were objectively less violent than in Ukraine.
 
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nivek

As Above So Below
Another consequence of this unnecessary war caused by NATO are grain shortages which the West and the world will suffer food shortages in the nearer future...Russia was the number one exporter of fertilizer which they have stopped exporting and now with the spring planting season coming there is a vast fertilizer shortage in the world...Also Russia and Ukraine have stopped exporting grains, which while I'm not sure of the percentages, they both were contributing a generous amount...There are other factors involved with the grain shortage problem but this war further hurts rather than helps the problem...

...

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AD1184

Celestial
The article shows some of its dated discussion, an example is mentioning America's lack of support for an independent Taiwan, which now seems clear that America supports an independent Taiwan which has infuriated China and has caused China and Russia to become closer allies.
I think America has always effectively backed Taiwanese independence, even at the time the paper was written, without making any formal commitment to that end. The paper mentions the 1996 Taiwan Strait incident, when Clinton ordered a large show of force in response to an attempted Chinese intimidation of Taiwan, by sailing the Nimitz carrier battle group through the strait. This prompted China to invest in its own aircraft carrier (which it has not yet had much success with), and to develop its anti-aircraft carrier capacity (which is now considerable). However, what America would not do then, and still will not do now, are a) state affirmatively in diplomatic remarks that it will intervene on behalf of Taiwan if it is attacked, or enter a formal defensive pact with Taiwan, and b) acknowledge Taiwan's sovereignty as an independent state. The US continues to strive to keep its military commitment to Taiwan ambiguous, and it continues to formally acknowledge the 'One-China' principle.

Biden’s Taiwan Gaffes Risk Real-World Consequences
One-China policy - Wikipedia
Taiwan Relations Act - Wikipedia
 

Rick Hunter

Celestial
Chiang Kai-Shek was always the USA's choice for leadership of China, even after he was effectively exiled to Taiwan. I guess Nixon finally decided that wasn't going to happen and made nice with Mao.
 

nivek

As Above So Below
Deepfake presidents used in Russia-Ukraine war

A deepfake video shared on Twitter, appearing to show Russian President Vladimir Putin declaring peace, has resurfaced.

Meanwhile, this week Meta and YouTube have taken down a deepfake video of Ukraine's president talking of surrendering to Russia. As both sides use manipulated media, what do these videos reveal about the state of misinformation in the conflict? And are people really believing them?

The unconvincing fake of President Zelensky was ridiculed by many Ukrainians. Volodymr Zelensky appears behind a podium, telling Ukrainians to put down their weapons. His head appears too large for and more pixelated than his body - and his voice sounds deeper.

In a video posted to his official Instagram account, the real President Zelensky calls it a "childish provocation". But the Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications had warned the Russian government may well use deepfakes to convince Ukrainians to surrender.


_123745087_deepfake2.png


_123749588_fakeputin.png


In a Twitter thread, Meta security-policy head Nathaniel Gleicher said it had "quickly reviewed and removed" the deepfake for violating its policy against misleading manipulated media.

YouTube also said it had been removed for violating misinformation policies. It had been an easy win for the social-media companies, Nina Schick, author of the book Deepfakes, said, because the video was so crude and easily spotted as fake even by "semi-sophisticated viewers".

"The platforms can make a big hoo-ha about dealing with this," she said, "when they aren't doing more on other forms of disinformation. "There are so many other forms of disinformation in this war which haven't been debunked. "Even though this video was really bad and crude, that won't be the case in the near future."

And it would still "erode trust in authentic media".

"People start to believe that everything can be faked," Ms Schick said "It is a new weapon and a potent form of visual disinformation - and anyone can do it."


(More on the link)

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nivek

As Above So Below
Putin's flaccid performance could be his undoing: Body language expert reveals how polo neck-wearing Russian leader uses carefully choreographed 'patriotic victim' routine to appear overcome with 'emotion'



Vladimir Putin's body language at a rally in Moscow showed him trying to present himself as an 'emotional, reasonable and patriotic man', an expert said today. The Russian president praised his troops in front of his adoring supporters as forces pressed their lethal attacks on Ukrainian cities with shelling and missiles. And body language expert Judi James has told how his pauses for cheers 'seem to be choreographed for moments when he tries to appear overcome by emotion'. She added that Mr Putin displayed a 'dramatic rolling of his shoulders' during the event, which suggests he is trying to reboot his strength and his ability to fight'. And Ms James said that he uses alternate hands to gesticulate with signalling that 'ranges from tentative, thoughtful explanation with explanatory rituals, like a spread-eagled gesture that rolls into a loose fist, and a flaccid chopping gesture'. Mr Putin spoke today as Moscow police said more than 200,000 people were in and around the Luzhniki stadium for the rally and concert which marked the eighth anniversary of Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula, seized from Ukraine.

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nivek

As Above So Below
Bill Maher rips cancel culture 'lumping' Russians with Putin: If they weren't White, we'd call that 'racism'

"Real Time" host Bill Maher took aim at what he claimed was the canceling of Russian citizens who have nothing to do with Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

"Do you think we're, um, lumping the Russians too much with their government?" Maher asked the show's panelists during Friday night's "Overtime" segment. "I feel like in this country what we're doing now, everything Russian is bad and every Russian is bad.

"First of all, it's not fair," Maher said. "If they weren't White, I feel like we'd call that racism, you know. To lump everybody together -- not every, I mean, a lot of the Russian people don't know what's going on."

"Also strategically, it's unwise," author Max Brooks jumped in. "Because what we were very smart about doing in World War II is, we knew the war was going to come to an end. And we knew that if we punished all Germans the way we did after World War I, we would back them into a corner. So we crafted the narrative that ‘You Germans are led astray by Hitler,’ because we knew, even if in some cases it wasn't true, you know, we said to the average Nazi, you still got to run the post office.

"So we have to think, we cannot back the Russians as an entire group into a corner. If we can separate Putin from the Russians in general, then we don't only have a victory, we have a post-war plan," added Brooks, 49, the son of comedic filmmaker Mel Brooks and the late actress Anne Bancroft.


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nivek

As Above So Below
Depressed Vladimir Putin has moved his family to a 'secret underground city' and is 'set to hold a nuclear evacuation drill' with the Kremlin's doomsday plane, insider account claims



Vladimir Putin recently shocked his top officers by demanding a nuclear evacuation drill is carried out amid continued concerns over the Russian despot's state of mind, a source has claimed. The same source previously said Putin is suffering from multiple and serious medical problems, and also claimed that Russian death toll in the Ukraine war was higher than even Kyiv's estimates with over 17,000 casualties in 23 days of fighting. The source said that Putin shocked his top generals recently by demanding nuclear drill be undertaken, increasing fears he is preparing for a nuclear conflict. Putin previously threatened NATO allies with 'consequences greater than any you have faced in history' should they intervene in the Ukraine conflict, and placed Russia's nuclear forces on high alert earlier this month. Another Russian expert has claimed that Putin has moved his family to a secret underground city to keep them safe from a potential nuclear fallout.

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