Monday, December 5, 2022

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Dawn: the state terrorist

Good morning, dear readers,

we can’t look behind the thick walls of the Kremlin, but you can guess: The man in Moscow is furious.

The Russian leadership has invested the equivalent of around $ 300 million to launch more than 100 kamikaze rockets and drones into Ukrainian cities. Earlier this week, the Kremlin sent three waves of fire and destruction on Kiev, Lviv and other places. The largest Russian air operation since the beginning of the war.

It was a act of barbarism, which claimed the lives of at least 19 people and severely affected the Ukrainian energy supply. The goal: to terrorize the civilian population and overthrow the Ukrainian resistance.

But the The Kremlin tyrant led in the next defeat: In Lviv people danced and defied terror, in Kiev excavators erased the impacts from the urban landscape only the next day. Matching videos and photos quickly spread online, the message: You can’t catch us.

Also Internationally, the president of Russia once again made sure his opponents came close: The West condemned the missile attacks with the utmost firmness, even India, a major buyer of Russian oil, suddenly expressed “deep concern” about Moscow.

In addition to warm words, the West sent heavier weapons in Kiev: Not only the first of four long-awaited Iris-T air defense systems landed in Ukraine from Germany. The United States also announced the provision of “advanced air defense systems” in response to the terror of Russian bombing. Britain wants to provide the country with anti-aircraft defense missiles. If Putin is unlucky, the Ukraine soon on the most effective air defense system in Europe Sit.

Putin apparently has himself miscalculated again.

Officially, the Russian leadership justified the missile attacks with the explosion on the Crimean bridge, which Putin in turn called a Ukrainian “act of terrorism”. The Kremlin despot wanted retaliation for the delicate blow to a major Russian army supply line. But what kind of revenge should it be?

Because if Russia really wanted to take revenge, that is, seriously damage Ukraine, it would launch a new offensive or at least conquer the newly annexed Ukrainian territories, which according to the Kremlin’s interpretation now belong to the Russian Federation. But the Russian military is currently unable to do this. He had no military success for months. lack of ammunition and equipment,

demoralized troops and casualties of up to 90,000 soldiers make what was once the second strongest army in the world a shadow of itself.

This is why Putin intervenes cruel but militarily senseless measures.

Russia’s missile terror is one admission of weakness. Terror is a tactic that does not rely on one’s own strength, but depends on the change in the opponent’s behavior: giving in, withdrawing, surrendering. The Russian leadership is resorting to the methods of state terrorism because it does not know what else to do. He exposed his vulnerability to the world.

What he cannot achieve on the battlefield, Putin is now trying to do politically: The head of the Kremlin, who months ago compared himself to Peter the Great and dreamed of a Russian empire, is suddenly willing to negotiate. For the president of Russia it starts now new phase of the warwhere he wants to secure his war booty internationally.

to be ready for talks with the United States, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently announced. A meeting has already taken place with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has already successfully mediated between Kiev and Moscow this Thursday planned. Suddenly he can’t go fast enough. The Ukrainian army is already knocking on Cherson’s doors.

However, it is not clear how the talks will go. Russia has not changed its war objectives and Ukraine, on the battlefield in the initiative, shows no willingness to respond.

To soften its enemies, Russia is therefore increasingly resorting to hybrid warfare: targeted attacks on civilians, gas stick threats and the “freezing of entire cities of Europe” (head of Gazprom Miller), cyber attacks and attacks on critical infrastructure.

However, Moscow’s biggest trump card in its attempt to destabilize the West is that nuclear blackmail. “We will defend our country by all means,” said the head of the Kremlin after the annexation of the four areas of southern and eastern Ukraine.

Reach out – and at the same time threaten nuclear annihilation: Russian carrot with a stick. It is fitting that Putin also offered the prospect of opening the last intact line of Nord Stream 2 on Tuesday, knowing full well who he would reach in Germany. Putin’s plans are transparent, but not stupid.

Because it records movement in political discourse in the West: in Germany, but also in the United States, more and more people are demanding that the The West should push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskii to negotiate. German intellectuals and politicians are calling for a “diplomatic offensive”. armistice.

This usually means that Ukraine would have to surrender territories to dissuade Russia from nuclear escalation. Unfortunately, only a few have the courage to say it openly, they prefer to hide behind the slogan “Armistice now!”.

It would be entirely in Putin’s spiritwhich wants annexed regions to be protected internationally before Ukraine makes further gains on the ground.

But one Putin’s submission to nuclear blackmail would be shortsighted and only at first glance would it reduce the risks. Because if Putin got away with it, the world would be different. Then an attacker would have incorporated foreign national territory through nuclear blackmail – awarded with the stamp of international recognition.

The signal would be devastating: even suddenly other nuclear powers feel encouraged to do soexpand their borders at the expense of neighbors.

What would prevent North Korea from threatening South Korea with the red button to move its border a little south? Why should Chinese President Xi Jinping hold back his plans to finally take Taiwan? And the Iranian regime would work even harder to develop a nuclear bomb.

The world would be a much more dangerous place. A dark age would arise, in which autocrats would use the red button to crush smaller states or otherwise take advantage of them. Suddenly we would be living in a different world.

Anyone now calling for Russia to be approached in the face of Putin’s nuclear threat should be aware of it.

Thursday advises Bundestag a row central legislative draft of the traffic light: This is the flat-rate price of energy for pensioners in the amount of 300 euros increased housing benefit And heating allowance. The measures are part of the third aid package with which the federal government wants to mitigate the consequences of the energy crisis. Even the law of citizens’ moneywhich will replace Hartz IV from January 2023, will be debated for the first time in Parliament.

Four days after the state elections in Lower Saxony Social Democrats and Greens begin talks on the possible formation of a government on Thursday. That there is one New edition of a red-green coalition should come was actually a foregone conclusion. The similarities had already been pointed out during the election campaign, but now things should be done very quickly: probing this week, coalition talks next week. Poker for posts has already started behind the scenes. Who will be allowed to sit on the government bench in the future, who will be dumped? One can be curious.

Shoulder to shoulder against China: The United States Navy holds joint military exercises with Philippine naval forces in the South China Sea. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos praised the move as a contribution to “peace in the region”. The island state feels increasingly threatened by China. Because Beijing is increasingly flexing its muscles in the region, and not just towards Taiwan. The nascent Chinese superpower claims nearly the entire South China Sea for itself.

Like a species new Peter the Great, Vladimir Putin wanted to take his place in the history books. But it’s actually more the same Ivan the Terrible. Russian historian and expert Mark Galeotti explains to my colleague Marc von Lüpke why this is and how the post-Putin era could be.

In the new “Die Zeitraffer” podcast from t-online journalist Richard Gutjahr talks to prominent guests about digital change. TV presenter Claus Kleber is a guest on Episode 1. It’s about big tech companies and their critics. What conditions do we need to survive in the digital world of tomorrow?

Once a model student, today a problem child: the prospects for the German economy are slim. My colleague Frederike Holewick did some research because the energy crisis is hitting Germany particularly hard.

The next mysterious attack on Russian critical infrastructure. Click here.

Good day. Tomorrow our Deputy Director Peter Schink will write for you at this point.

Best regards,


Daniel Mutzel

Daniel Mutzel
Deputy Head of Politics
Twitter: @Daniel Muetzel

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With material from dpa.

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