#StandwithUkraine

| March 3, 2022

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has shocked us all and united the civilised world against Vladimir Putin’s criminal regime.  Open Forum stands with the victims of Russian aggression and supports immediate and effective measures to drive out the invaders and restore peace, independence and territorial integrity in the region. We proudly #StandwithUkraine

Russia’s reign of thieves

The pernicious effects of decades of authoritarianism and endemic corruption have been vividly on display during Russia’s botched invasion of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s heroism may help save Taiwan

Ukraine is not the only peaceful, democratic country menaced by a much larger, authoritarian aggressor. If Russia had strolled to an easy victory in Ukraine, China would surely have been emboldened to attack Taiwan, but the combination of fierce resistance and international support may make even President Xi think twice.

Africa fails the Ukraine challenge

Few African countries have condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so there may be little sympathy for nations on the continent who feel the rippling effects of the war.

Why Ukraine looks west

Vladimir Putin assumed his tanks would roll across Ukraine in three days, presenting a weak and divided west with a fait accompli, but far from strengthening his grip on Europe, Putin has inflamed sentiment against him and ensured Ukraine’s attachment to the West.

Putin forces the world to take sides

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s growing aggression in Asia and the Pacific may soon force the rest of the world to take sides in an ideological, economic and perhaps military confrontation between freedom and tyranny.

The battle for ideas will shape new global order

The world has a choice to make between the freedom and democracy offered by the West and the aggressive authoritarianism of Russia and China.

Asia hides in the sidelines on Russia’s invasion

Europe’s firm stance against Russia’s outrageous invasion of Ukraine stands in sharp contrast with the silence and ambivalence shown by most Asian nations.

Weaning Europe from Russian fuel

Europe remains dependent on Russian fuel exports for a third of its energy needs, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed the folly of depending on a hostile state and funding its war machine, forcing Europe’s politicians to finally begin to cut energy ties with Putin’s criminal regime.

Many paths to justice in Ukraine

It is unlikely the ICC will bring lasting justice in Ukraine, but there are many legal avenues that could help as well as victory on the battlefield against the Russian invaders.

Not even the end of the beginning

84 days into Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – the latest and most bloody act in a long running war against its neighbour – Vladimir Putin’s plans appear to be in tatters but previous wars caution against premature conclusions of victory.

Learning defence lessons from Ukraine

The West refused to accept Ukraine into NATO, sell it arms to defend itself, or fight by its side against the Russian invasion, but now the Western powers, including Australia, are learning valuable lessons in winning a modern war against a major opponent.

Bringing Russia’s war criminals to justice

Some of the Russian troops who have murdered, raped and plundered their way across Ukraine have been captured and will be put on trial by Ukraine, but Russia has no intention of investigating its own wrong doing and the stone-faced leaders who ordered this terrible war may never face justice.

Naval lessons from the Black Sea

The sinking of Russia’s flagship and the ongoing humiliation of its navy in the Black Sea by Ukrainian drones and missiles offers lessons for navies in the Pacific, not least in offering clues to counter China’s naval aggression.

David v Goliath – How Ukraine has held off Russia

Having refused to arm or fight for Ukraine, or allow it to join the EU and NATO, the West expected Ukraine to fold quickly to a Russian invasion, but inspired leadership, incredible courage, modern western weapons and a willingness to learn from past mistakes have humiliated Vladimir Putin and his lumbering army.

Paper tigers on parade

The problems dogging Russia’s botched invasion of Ukraine are rooted in its disfunctional society as much as the technical shortcomings of weapons which look better on paper than they work in the field.

How Ukraine won the propaganda war

Russia’s army of internet trolls and official propagandists have fared about as well as their ill-fated tanks on the battlefield in their war against the intelligent, agile and creative defenders of Ukraine.

Putin attends his own funeral

Russia celebrated its ‘victory day’ over fascism on May 9 but its own descent into fascism continues, and no amount of big hats and goose stepping can hide how badly things are going for Vladimir Putin.

Europe must invest in its own survival

The end of the cold war allowed European powers to slash defence spending, but the reality of Russia’s threat to the free world demands a much greater investment in the tools required to defend freedom and independence from Putin’s barbarism.

Will Russia double-down on its Ukrainian disaster?

Russia is suffering heavy losses in the third month of its supposed 3 day invasion of Ukraine, but rather than recognise his folly, Putin seems intent on pushing on and trying to swamp Ukrainian resistance with sheer numbers.

Parades and Patriarchs in Putin’s Russia

Vladimir Putin is using a potent mix of patriotism, xenophobia, religious fervour and nostalgia for the power of the Soviet Union to maintain popular support for his failed invasion of Ukraine.

Russia attacks and the whole world suffers

Beyond the ruined cities, murdered civilians and raped women of Ukraine, the global consequences of Russia’s attack include food shortages and global price spikes as well as millions of refugees, underlining the case for global action to defeat the invasion.

Destroying Russia’s war machine

The West refused to support Ukraine in the past, and gave a green light to Russia’s invasion, but the success of Ukraine’s resistance means that Western aid is now pouring in and Russia’s once vaunted military machine is being humiliated.

Russia’s debacle gives China pause for thought

A swift Russian victory in Ukraine would surely have encouraged China to invade Taiwan, but determined local resistance, effective sanctions and the power of modern Western weapons will give Xi pause for thought.

Don’t let Russia turn Ukraine into Syria

Russia brutalised Syrian cities and civilians in its brutal campaign to prop up Assad’s appalling regime, and its repeating the same thuggish playbook in its desire to crush Ukraine.

12 reasons to arm Ukraine

The USA and Europe sat on its hands while Russia menaced Ukraine, with all too many people either excusing Putin’s actions or shying from the fight. Now that Ukraine has proved its ability and will to survive, the West has a moral and self-interested duty to help the Ukrainian military win its struggle against tyranny and aggression.

I came, I saw, I vetoed

The United Nations is supposed to offer a forum to uphold international law, but the vetos wielded by authoritarian states on the Security Council has rendered it impotent to tackle crises like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Why Europe’s far right sticks with Putin

European leftists instinctively sided with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but now it’s far right populists in the USA, France, Hungary and elsewhere who excuse Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and oppose help for that embattled country.

Russia’s gas weapon backfires

Russia’s weaponization of its controversial natural gas supplies to the West is beginning to backfire by destroying demand for it.

Home is where the heart is

Many of the millions of Ukrainian refugees who fled the Russian invasion in February and March are looking to return home. ‘Nobody wants to run from the war’ says one of Ukraine’s displaced millions contemplating the conflicting pulls of home, family and safety.

This is what a hero looks like

In sharp contrast to the rapacious narcissist haunting the Kremlin, and the timid pygmies in the USA and EU who initially left Ukraine to burn, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has inspired his embattled country and the world with the simple virtues of courage, conviction and honesty.

Russia’s long slide into pariah status

Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine is the culmination of its long slide into the diplomatic abyss. Only Eritrea, Belarus, North Korea and Syria voted against the UN resolution condemning the attack.

Tracking wartime destruction from space

A new automated analysis of satellite imagery can reveal the extent of building destruction in conflict zones, providing vital information for humanitarian aid.

Russia’s long slide into pariah status

Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine is the culmination of its long slide into the diplomatic abyss. Only Eritrea, Belarus, North Korea and Syria voted against the UN resolution condemning the attack.

Eyes in the sky on the Russian invasion

Satellite imagery has uncovered evidence of Russian war crimes – including numerous mass graves of murdered civilians – as well as helping Ukraine’s defenders pinpoint and destroy Russian vehicles and bases.

Ukraine’s ambassador appeals for heavy weapons to defend freedom for us all

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Australia says the country needs large stocks of heavy weapons, tanks, artillery, long-range missiles and air-defence systems to defeat the Russian offensive.

Reframing security in a post-invasion world

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is part of a new era of ideological competition and great power confrontation that has uprooted the post-Cold War international order.

Russia’s Ukraine invasion must be Australia’s clarion call

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has shown that war between major powers has become a reality to be faced squarely, rather than an abstract concept to be dismissed or wished away.

Generation “Z”

Just as generations of Russian children were brainwashed into accepting communism, so young people today are being indoctrinated to support Putin’s brutal internal repression and aggressive foreign wars in the name of fervent nationalism.

Sanctions on Russia could prove a windfall for Australia

Australia is Russia’s closest competitor in global markets and is the obvious winner as Putin’s pariah state loses exports due to international sanctions.

President Zelenskyy’s Orthodox Easter address

While the Orthodox Church in Russia officially supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy used the holiest day in the Orthodox calendar to hope for peace and thank the nation’s people for their courage.

One woman’s war

Russia launched its appalling assault on Ukraine at daybreak on the 24th of February. Here is one woman’s experience of the war so far.

Ukraine’s struggle is our fight too

Supporting Ukraine is the best way to strengthen global deterrence against military adventurism from authoritarian regimes. The more Australia can do to strengthen Ukraine, the more confidence we can have that fellow democracies will help us in the future.

The great game in the digital age

Optimists once hoped the collapse of European Communism presaged the ‘end of history’, but Putin’s menacing of Europe – mirrored by China’s naked ambition in Asia – is forcing the democratic world to resist once again the rise of rapacious authoritarianism.

Euphemisms won’t help Ukraine

The West must abandon the language of appeasement and call out Russia’s war on Ukraine for the thuggish aggression it is.

Russia’s slide into tyranny

After Soviet communist dictatorship collapsed, Russia’s brief flirtation with democracy descended into autocracy as an ever more powerful President centred absolute power in his own hands.

Wolverines!

Red Dawn, a 40 year old film in which American teenagers resist a Soviet invasion against all the odds, is helping to inspire Ukraine’s heroic fight against its Russian invaders.

They know we know they’re lying

The ridiculous lies which Russia tells to evade blame for its outrageous actions in Ukraine are part of a larger pattern of barefaced falsehoods and deception in which truth has no meaning at all.

Putin’s plan to bury Ukraine

Russia’s plan to annihilate Ukraine and assimilate its citizens into a greater Russian empire underline the urgent need to defeat Putin’s thuggish invasion and overthrow his criminal regime.

Listen to Ukraine, not apologists for Russia

Many Western commentators still go out of their way to excuse Russia’s aggression and ignore the right of Ukraine and Eastern Europe to live in peace, freedom and democracy.

Why Australia’s highest peak honours an anti-Russian freedom fighter

Russia has been bullying, invading and oppressing its East European neighbours for centuries, and Australia’s highest mountain is named after one of the many heroic freedom fighters who opposed its brutish assaults on their lands.

The battle for Donbas

Russia has waged a proxy war in the east of Ukraine for the last eight years, and the region is now the main battleground in Russia’s wholesale invasion, with the once idyllic port city of Mariupol falling at the cost of thousands of civilian casualities.

Russian sanctions start to bite

Russia’s economy has been hit hard by Western sanctions, although continued energy sales continue to pump billions into Putin’s war machine.

The good, the bad and the ugly

The political, economic and social ramifications of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are already rippling around the world, uniting democratic nations in Europe but exacerbating tensions and divisions elsewhere.

A warning from history

The atrocities committed in Bucha and elsewhere in Ukraine by Russian troops on helpless Ukrainian civilians recall the horrific memories of the Katyn massacre of 20,000 Polish officers and decades of Soviet lies and denials.

Sounds like teen spirit

While teenagers in Australia fret about school and friends, their peers in Ukraine face an army of thugs determined to destroy them, but despite the threat to their lives and nation they retain their hopes and good humour for the future.

7 lessons from Ukraine

While the West seemed content to leave Ukraine to Putin’s wolves, spirited resistance and agile tactics have slowed and reversed the Russian advance, building momentum for increased international support and offering lessons for Australia’s armed forces.

When good men do nothing

Russia’s vile atrocities against Ukrainian civilians is deliberate and systematic, and yet even the horrors of Bucha are not enough to stir the West into full scale economic and military action against Putin’s terrorist regime.

Tanks for the memories

Russian military power rests on indiscriminate brute force deployed against civilian targets by tanks and artillery, but the success of Ukrainian fighters armed with modern drones and anti-tank missiles may be a nail in the coffin of tanks in modern warfare.

No more hand wringing, fight for Ukraine

Two decades of Western weakness and appeasement did nothing but enable the brutality unleashed by Russia in Ukraine. Now Russia has chosen war, we should give them one to remember.

I am not a beauty for you

Rape is not a new weapon in warfare – or Russian army history – and the gang rapes, torture and mass killing of civilians in Ukraine by Russia troops will continue until Putin’s hordes are stopped by force.

Russia’s support is fed by grade Z propaganda

Despite a handful of brave protestors, the Russian people overwhelmingly support Putin’s ‘Special Military Operation’ in Ukraine and swallow the ludicrous narratives and alternative facts peddled by compliant media.

Katyn 2.0

Russia’s horrific string of atrocities across Ukraine and the barefaced lies of propagandists to deny responsibility evoke memories of another time Russia invaded a neighbour, murdered thousands of captives, then threw the blame on others.

Barbaric acts feed filthy lies

We should not be surprised that a brutal dictatorial regime which will invade its peaceful neighbour and murder its civilians in the face of global outrage has no qualms about lying about it too.

Welcome to the hell

Hundreds of murdered civilians have been found by Ukrainian forces, bound and shot in the back of the head by the retreating Russian invaders, but still the West offers only words rather than action to hold Putin to account for his crimes.

If the cap fits

The epithet ‘fascist’ is often thrown as a generalised political insult, but when Russia invaded Ukraine, its leader was immediately labeled “fascist” by Ukrainians and others and for once that label fits.

Russia’s genocide in Ukraine

There’s a real threat that Russia will commit wholesale genocide in Ukraine and, as evidence of civilian mass murders and other war crimes emerge, there is good reason to believe it is already underway.

Bullies, not victims

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the latest in a series of acts of naked aggression by Russian rulers against the country’s neighbours, motivated by grand imperial claims and a self-pitying narrative of victimhood.

Russia’s troops are on the run

Russia’s well armed but poorly motivated troops have been mauled by spirited Ukrainian resistance, with reports of desertions mounting – alongside evidence of dreadful atrocities against civilians as they retreat.

Sending Bushmasters would prove support for Ukraine

Sending Australian Bushmasters to Ukraine will be a highly visible demonstration that the world is watching and supporting the fight against Russia, a symbol as important as any military capability they will provide.

Could a palace coup oust Putin?

With no democratic means to remove Vladimir Putin from power, and the ruthless suppression of protests on the streets, could a palace coup offer the only way to eject the architect of Russia’s disastrous invasion of Ukraine?

Putin’s people – How the KGB took back Russia then took on the West

Catherine Belton’s book “Putin’s People” explains how the Russian dictator and his KGB cronies snuffed out democracy in Russia and began to rebuild the Soviet Empire to entrench themselves in power.

Putin’s revanchist excuses for going to war

What are the causes of Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine and why have they created Europe’s most serious conflict since World War II? The answer is in the mind of President Vladimir Putin, the only person in today’s Russia with the authority to go to war.

A giant among pygmies

The power of Ukrainian President Zelenskyy’s address to the Australian parliament underlined his growing international stature, and offered a sharp contrast with the petty personalities and politics in Australia’s domestic political scene.

Russia’s war has lessons for the ADF

The success of Ukraine’s spirited but limited armed forces against the supposed might of the Russian invaders offers lessons for Australia’s own defence forces.

Putin must go

Adding to the bounty on Putin’s arrest or assassination would be another way to ramp up pressure on Russia’s dictator, and might just offer the easiest end to his bloody campaign in Ukraine.

Zelensky needs more than applause from Australia

President Zelensky and the heroes of Ukraine are fighting for freedom on behalf of us all, and they need real help to resist Russia’s band of thugs, vandals and murderers , rather than the usual mix of platitudes and empty gestures.

A red line in Ukraine

There is no risk-free option for dealing with an expansionist and tyrannical nuclear power, but imposing a ‘no atrocities’ red line for Ukraine offers the best prospect of both preventing a second Holodomor and minimising the long-run risk of nuclear war.

Russia’s road to defeat

The Russian soldier is Putin’s weak point. Squeeze him until he surrenders or send him home wounded or in a body bag, to deliver the message the Russian people aren’t getting from their state-run media: Get out of Ukraine! And then maybe we can all sleep better.

Europe at war

The debate about whether we’re in a new cold war has a decisive, brutal answer with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

@Heart @Soul @Ukraine

Ukraine’s official Twitter account exemplifies the spirit, creativity, courage and humour which have characterised its heroic – and sadly unsupported – resistance to Russia’s thuggish invasion.

Fighting back v fairy tales

Russia’s army has underperformed in its invasion plans, while Ukraine’s has risen to the challenge, and the reasons may have their roots in the respective country’s fairy tales.

Hands of friendship and the Russian fist

Poland’s embrace of Ukrainian refugees builds on the collective memory of Russian brutality in Eastern Europe, not least the events that tore Poles and Ukrainians apart over two centuries ago.

Countering Putin’s propaganda blitz

The heroic protest of Marina Ovsyannikova on Russian TV against the Ukraine War was seen across the world, and despite Putin’s best efforts, the truth about the war is percolating through the cracks of the Kremlin’s propaganda.

How to handle a mad dog?

How do you solve a problem like Vladimir Putin? A two-level game is needed, based on understanding the psychology behind his destructive leadership, to drive a wedge between him and the Russian people.

Putin’s history is bunk

Putin’s skewed view of Russia’s history reflects his regime’s embrace of a form of crude, reactionary ethnic nationalism that emphasises ethnicity, hierarchy and autocracy.

The West’s weakness spurred Putin’s gamble

The swift Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014 exposed the gaps in the West’s deterrence policy. Moscow’s decision to escalate the Russo-Ukrainian conflict was driven by its desire to exploit the same gaps again, this time for an even larger strategic objective.

Why Russia’s church backs Putin’s war

Patriarch Kirill’s support for the bloody and unprovoked invasion of a country where millions of people belong to his own church underlines how Orthodox leadership have usually been little more than an arm of the authoritarian state.

Ukraine’s economic rebirth – and survival

The successful liberalisation of Ukraine’s economy stands in stark contrast with Russia’s oligarchies, offering another reason why Putin remains determine to crush it.

The circle of we

Western social media support for Ukraine is encouraging, but its people need practical help and military assistance to withstand Putin’s bloodthirsty campaign to literally wipe its people and culture from the map.

Alley of a hundred heroes

Ukraine has many memorials to the fallen heroes of its struggle for freedom and democracy, and Russia’s invasion will see many more raised in the future.

Putin’s pet fascists

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has tried to justify his invasion of Ukraine as an attempt to ‘denazify’ the nation, but in reality it is Putin who has relied on neo-nazis to help crush democracy in Russia and promote his interests abroad.

Ukraine’s women stand tall

Although they have suffered terribly in Russian captivity, thousands of Ukrainian women have taken to the front line to fight Putin’s invasion, continuing a proud tradition of resistance to tyranny.

The case for killing Putin

The killing of tyrants such as Vladimir Putin has a long history, and while any action may have unforeseen consequences, justice would see the violence he has unleashed on innocents fall upon his own head.

The West owes Ukraine more than words

The Western democracies should offer greater support for Ukraine, including direct military action, to reward the hope, courage and faith shown by Ukraine in its defence of freedom against tyranny.

Putin’s war on history

Vladimir Putin has worked hard to suppress research into the many crimes of the Communist era he is trying to recreate, just as his invasion of Ukraine has been justified through a litany of lies and paranoia.

Ukraine chose Europe, so Russia chose war

Three weeks after Putin’s invasion, the people of Ukraine are putting up fierce resistance to the latest in a long line of authoritarian Russian attempts to crush their national spirit and identity.

Ukraine’s fight for freedom – 100 years ago

Ukraine, like Poland, the Baltic States, and many other nations have a long history of fighting for freedom against their Russian oppressors, and the revolt of Ukraine against the Bolsheviks a century ago may have lessons for today.

Would NATO even defend itself?

The West allowed Vladimir Putin to devastate Ukraine, and now fears are growing that Russian threats to NATO’s eastern members would not generate the tough response implied by NATO membership.

Russia targets Ukraine’s hospitals

The barbarity of Russia’s deliberate attacks on Ukraine’s hospitals is matched only by its army’s desperation as their wretched invasion stalls.

The real leader of the free world

Speaking from his nation’s besieged capital of Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a powerful appeal to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, underlining his growing status as the defacto leader of the free world.

Russia’s brutal recent history shows its blueprint for Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is merely the latest step in its remorseless suppression of internal debate, brutal crushing of separatist movements and piecemeal invasion of its neighbours over the last twenty years.

Russia steps up attacks on women and children

As the West stands by and does nothing, Russian attacks on women and children in Ukraine are intensifying, as Putin tries to suppress national resistance to his faltering invasion.

Cyberwar – the battle to keep Ukraine online

Russia has done all it can to block Ukrainian voices on the internet, but the mass of real-time content streamed around the world by Ukraine’s citizen reporters has united and galvanised the world’s response to Russia’s savage invasion.

We must fight for Ukraine

International outrage and economic sanctions have not made Putin rethink his murderous invasion of Europe’s largest country. It’s time for the West to back up its words and good intentions with actions and fight to save Ukraine.

Russia’s big brother

The violence unleashed on the people of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin is matched only by his utter disregard for truth in his justifications for war.

The cost of war

International sanctions have placed Russia on the verge of bankruptcy, but Putin cares as little about the economic suffering of his people as he does about the misery he is inflicting on the people of Ukraine.

Murder in uniform

Heartbreaking images of Putin’s war in Ukraine are circulating around Russia as well as the rest of the world. If Putin grinds on, the smartphone war may just deliver regime change in Russia rather than Ukraine.

Dumb bombs and rust

The incompetence of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine shows how easily a determined NATO response with modern, motivated and well-led armed forces could have saved millions from Russia’s lumbering reign of terror.

A tale of two thugs

The Russian invasion of Ukraine and the military coup in Myanmar 12 months ago appear very different conflicts, but both are calamitous strategic mistakes directed by autocratic leaders who surrounded themselves with yes-men while the world around them changed.

Russia in the dock over war crimes

Russia has displayed its contempt for international norms by its invasion of Ukraine, but international courts are already gearing up to bring Russian war criminals to justice, however symbolic their deliberations may be.

A country, not a region – it’s Ukraine not ‘the Ukraine’

Commentators and journalists referring to ‘the Ukraine’ in their coverage of the Russian invasion are falling into the Soviet trap of denying Ukraine the statehood it holds and is fighting against all odds to retain.

Europe at the crossroads – again

Putin has united a fractious Europe against him, and every day the brave Ukrainian defenders withstand the Russian onslaught, the pressure for Putin to return to the negotiating table ramps up.

Everyone can boycott Russia

Governments, organisations and companies around the world have cut their ties with Putin’s Russia, but ordinary consumers can do their bit by spurning Russian goods and services.

Beauty and the beast

Russia cares nothing for international law, the sovereignty of other states, the lives of civilians or the wrath of the rest of the world. It is little surprise therefore that Ukraine’s priceless cultural heritage is becoming yet another victim of its brutal war.

Russia’s nuclear bluster

Vladimir Putin’s threat that NATO intervention to save Ukraine from his clutches would inevitably lead to nuclear war is as hollow as every other statement he makes, but is still proving effective at staying the West’s hand.

Russia’s bloodbath in Ukraine

Russia is suffering a heavy rate of casualties at the hands of determined Ukranian resistance, provoking memories of the Soviet folly in Afghanistan which provoked similar international outrage over 40 years ago.

Nine observations on the war in Ukraine

A week and a half since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, here are nine observations on developments in the worst war in Europe since 1945 – not least that NATO air power could have turned Russia’s long and lumbering convoys into mincemeat.

Putin’s mini-me in Belarus

Russia has few friends left in the world, but controlled by its own hard-line dictator for 28 years, Belarus is a client state which not only supports the invasion but is actively fighting on Russia’s side.

Tech giants put the squeeze on Russia

The high sounding moral principles often espoused by major technology firms seldom reflect their actual activities or intentions, but even the ‘big 5’ are now putting the squeeze on an increasingly isolated Russia.

It’s time for action to save Ukraine

With the situation in Ukraine reaching a critical point, Western democracies must back their rhetoric with action to force the Russian invaders back behind their borders once again.

The world signs up for Ukraine’s cyber army

Over a quarter of a million people around the world have joined Ukraine’s ‘cyber-army’ to respond to the Russian cyber attacks and propaganda that accompanied its invasion of Ukraine. It’s time for Australia to aid the fight, rather than hinder it.

Europe turns blue and gold for Ukraine

After two decades of ignoring or appeasing Vladimir Putin’s bluster and aggression, European leaders have finally faced the reality of the angry and voracious bear on their borders.

Lies, damned lies, and Russian propaganda

Terrified of the truth and his own people, as all dictators, are Vladimir Putin is locked in a vicious struggle not only to subjugate Ukraine, but also to keep the Russian people in line through limiting information about the war to official lies and propaganda.

Putin’s MAD option

Russia’s massive nuclear arsenal, and Putin’s professed willingness to use them, has stayed the West’s hand in helping Ukraine, but an increasingly crazed Putin might use them against Kiev, knowing the West might not respond.

Help pours in for the heroes of Ukraine

The head of Ukraine’s diplomatic mission in Australia, Volodymyr Shalkivskyi, says military and humanitarian aid sent by friendly countries is helping Ukraine fight its Russian invaders.

Calls grow for NATO no-fly zone

As Ukrainian civilians come under direct attack from Russia’s invading army and refugees pour into other central European countries, the clamour for a military response from NATO is getting louder.

Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow?

Fears the West’s failure to militarily intervene to save Ukraine from Russian tanks may embolden a Chinese assault on Taiwan may be misplaced – as China’s bloody history of regional bullying suggests they plan to do it anyway.

Russia – The failed state

While Vladimir Putin cowers in his bunker, increasingly isolated from reality and the rest of the world, the devastation his troops are wreaking on Ukraine is being equaled by the desolation and isolation of his own fiefdom as Western sanctions begin to bite.

Words are worth something

The West continues to stand by and watch Russia’s desecration of Ukraine without offering direct military action, but at least the rhetoric of its leaders reflects the gravity of the situation and recognises the true nature of the threat posed by Russia.

Will Putin’s iron grip begin to slip?

Brutal despots such as Vladimir Putin aim to rule for life, no matter how many people they have to kill to stay in power. They can only be removed on the streets or by the elites, so will sanctions encourage the people or the oligarchs to oust him from power?

Understanding Australia’s Ukraine policy

Australia has expressed its support for Ukraine in the current crisis, although we have only just begun to supply military aid. Expressing support for democratic values falls short of fighting for them, and the current war may just be a foretaste of a closer conflict to come.

Ukraine’s agony rekindles Europe’s resolve

After decades of minimal defence spending and nervously tip-toeing around Russian strategic sensitivities, nations across Europe are mobilising their forces and flocking to join NATO now the true nature of Russian intentions can no longer be denied.

Protests erupt in Russia against Putin’s war

Thousands of protesters against Putin’s war have marched in over 50 Russian cities, despite years of blanket propaganda in state controlled media and sweeping arrests of those brave enough to raise their voice against Putin’s regime.

Russia’s cyber-assault is a warning to Australia

Russia’s savage assault on Ukraine began long before the first tanks rolled in, as 21st century battles are now being fought in cyberspace, as well as with missiles on land, sea and air.

The long war to come

Russia gambled on Ukraine – and world opinion – folding as quickly as Crimea to its attack, but the spirited resistance of the Ukrainian people and outrage from the rest of the globe to its brutal assault mean that it faces a bitterly contested occupation until Putin is finally overthrown or sees reason.

Putin’s desperate nuclear gamble

Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in return for a worthless guarrantee from the USA and Russia of its independence and freedom. Now, as Putin’s aggression rebounds against him, the Russian dictator is playing the nuclear card to bully the civilised world.

Anonymous declares war on Russia

Russian state cyber-hackers waged unrelenting war on Ukraine’s online infrastructure long before the war began, but now hackers and citizens around the world are fighting back and targeting Russia’s cyber systems in retaliation.

Even FIFA kicks Russia from international sport

Russian teams and sports people are being kicked out of every sport in the world, and even FIFA, the notoriously corrupt and Russia-friendly international football association, is finally following suit and isolating Putin’s criminal regime from its tournaments.

What use is the United Nations?

For the first time since World War II, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council has employed force to appropriate territory of another UN Member State, and yet the United Nations seems powerless to take any worthwhile action.

The revolution will be televised

Phone, dashcam and CCTV footage of Russia’s horrific crimes in Ukraine has help harden world opinion against Putin’s thuggish regime, and may yet play a role in his downfall.

Saint Olga of Kyiv – Ukraine’s patron saint of defiance and vengeance

The past few days have seen Ukrainians bravely defying a vicious onslaught of Russian aggression. Ukrainians are used to adversity and they have a special medieval role model who personifies their bravery in the face of hardship imposed by their Russian foes.

Russia’s well-oiled killing machine

Russia has a long and ignoble history of invading its neighbours, but its armed forces’ embarrassing performance against tiny Georgia in 2008 provoked an intensive modernisation which has now been unleashed in all its fury against the people of Ukraine.

Putin sets the world against him

Putin’s brutal vision of a resurgent Russian empire will not stop at the borders of a butchered Ukraine.

Bringing Putin to his knees

Russia’s dictator is now threatening to use nuclear weapons against the West as his bloody aggression aligns the world against him, but tough financial sanctions should offer a more credible threat against Russia’s creaking economy.

Kick Russia’s kleptocrats in their wallets

Putin runs a ‘rogue mafia state’, having turned Russia into ‘a gas station with nukes,’ in the words of Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, and so the best way to hit the ruling clique is to seize the money they have looted during their self-serving reign.

Ukraine’s heroes fight on against the odds

The heroism of Ukraine’s leaders, soldiers and citizens has won the admiration of the world, and against all the odds they continue to fight against the Russian invaders, sadly without the direct support of the West.

The modern Munich moment

If we are on the path to another bloody global confrontation, future historians will no doubt claim it would have been easier to stop Putin in 2008 when he invaded Georgia, or 2014 when he seized Crimea, or 2022 when he invaded Ukraine.

A world split asunder

The real-time feeds of Russian attacks in Kyiv and Kharkiv bring home the brutal reality of what Putin is doing to people who dared live in democracy on his doorstop.

Putin’s bloody gamble

While Russia’s dictator claims his invasion of Ukraine is to counter western militarisation, it is the West’s failure to arm and protect Ukraine which has enabled this reckless adventure.

The short arm of the law

The fact that Russia, the current president of the UN Security Council, launched its invasion of Ukraine during a Security Council meeting to resolve the crisis tells you everything you need to know about its contempt for international norms – and their powerlessness to stop it.

Don’t fall for Putin’s propaganda

Sanctions and military aid will help Ukraine survive Russia’s brutish invasion, but dismantling Putin’s ludicrous justifications for the war may be just as important in the court of world opinion.

What the West should do now

The west sat by and did little when Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and annexed Crimea in 2014 but the full-scale invasion of Ukraine currently underway in pursuit of Putin’s crazed imperial ambitions is impossible to ignore.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deals another blow to the rules-based order

Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, and China’s growing menace to Taiwan and the South China Sea, pose a threat to the democratic world order which the USA, Europe and their allies appear both powerless and unwilling to confront.

Why Russia’s invasion flouts international law

The world confronts a Russia crisis – rather than a Ukraine crisis – given Vladimir Putin’s delusions of rebuilding the Soviet Empire. Russia perverts the language of international law in order to flout it, and continues its descent into a pariah state, rather than living in peace with its neighbours.

Putin’s tanks roll into Ukraine

The Russian dictator’s de-facto annexation of yet more Ukrainian territory in the name of absorbing more ethnic Russians into his empire recalls Adolf Hitler’s insidious assimilation of neighbouring states before the start of the Second World War.

Three scenarios for war in Ukraine

A failure by the west to confront and repel hostile Russian action in Ukraine would have serious repercussions for the future of Europe.

Putin rolls the dice for war

Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons after it won its freedom from the Soviet Union in return for Russia respecting its independence – an agreement Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is now flagrantly disregarding as he inches ever closer to plunging the world into war in an effort to shore up his authoritarian regime.

Will sanctions stop Russia?

While the process of imposing economic sanctions is firmly institutionalised in the US and increasingly so in other Western nations, there’s little empirical research into their effectiveness.

Russia looks beyond Ukraine to the Asia-Pacific

The ongoing European security crisis is much bigger than Ukraine as Russia continues to expand its malign and bullying influence in the Asia-Pacific as well as intimidate and invade its fearful neighbours.

Russia’s secret war against Ukraine

The risks of all out combat with the West over Ukraine may stay Russia’s hand, but its tactics of hybrid warfare to extend its power and influence – as employed by China in Asia – are already underway.

Ukraine’s long fight for freedom

Ukrainians do not want democracy because they are being “subverted” by the West, as Russia claims. Ukrainians want freedom because they are proud of living in a sovereign state, rather than an imperial Russian borderland.

Shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine

Australia should maintain solidarity with Ukraine and the wider democratic world in efforts to deter Russia from launching a new attack.

The west must stand up for Ukraine

The West needs to stand up against Putin’s bullying of Ukraine and show determination, unity, and a serious commitment to uphold international legal norms and defend freedom and democracy against Russia’s authoritarian and neo-imperial designs.

Understanding Putin’s threat to Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s military build-up on the Ukraine border threatens to plunge Europe into a wider war, and appeasement or acquiescence will only bolster his dreams of restoring the Soviet empire.

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