domenica, Giugno 16, 2024


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Il diario di oggi parte dall’importanza delle criptovalute nella guerra in Ucraina. 

FOCUS – Finance typically plays a major role in wars, but the Russia-Ukraine war is the first major conflict with a prominent role for cryptocurrencies. Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, the United States and its partners have levied an unprecedented series of sanctions on Russia. These efforts have raised questions, including in Congress, about whether cryptocurrencies can be used by Russian actors to bypass sanctions. Aidan Arasasingham, Gerard DiPippo – CSIS – Cryptocurrency’s Role in the Russia-Ukraine Crisis


  • As the Taliban took Kabul last August and completed their spectacular return to power, international media attention drove a frenzy of global interest in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan is no longer headline news, the country is facing a perfect storm of worsening humanitarian, economic, health and governance crises. The United Nations projects that at least 24 million Afghans, more than half the population, will need humanitarian assistance in 2022. With almost 9 million people on the edge of starvation, Afghanistan is fast becoming the most food insecure country in the world. Hameed Hakimi, Oli Brown – Climate change must become part of the global agenda on Afghanistan


  • Despite the progress women in Africa have made in the professional sphere, they remain underrepresented in strategic and essential positions. In fact, in academia, the representation of women can be likened to a pyramid where very few women exist at the top and in key leadership positions, especially in Africa. Rebecca Afua Klege – Brookings – Strategies for advancing African women in academia




  • A first round of negotiations between Chad’s ruling transitional military council (TMC) and representatives of armed groups set to kick off in Doha, the Qatari capital, has been delayed by 48 hours. The talks, which were expected to start on Wednesday, could mark a critical passage in the country’s transition towards elections. Virginia Pietromarchi – Al Jazeera – Chad military gov’t, armed groups peace talks in Doha on hold




  • Chinese President Xi Jinping has increased efforts in recent months to try and erase the XIVth Dalai Lama’s influence inside Tibet and among the growing number of adherents to Buddhism elsewhere in China. This suggests an apparent urgency to ensure that the exiled Dalai Lama’s reincarnation, when the situation arises, will be nurtured by tutors compliant with the Chinese communist regime and later remain in the firm grip of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The spectre of two Dalai Lamas — one quite outside Beijing’s control – like presently in the case of the Panchen Lama, though one of whom has been secreted somewhere among China’s 1.4 billion people, haunts the Chinese communist leadership. Jayadeva Ranade – VIF – China’s Efforts to Erase the Dalai Lama’s Influence and Promote Panchen Lama’s Influence are Yielding Minimal Results



  • Environmental multilateralism in a time of growing geopolitical conflict is more important than ever. Patrick Schroder, Klas Wetterberg – Chatham House – Towards a global plastics treaty
  • Amid the spikes in geopolitical risk witnessed in recent years, there may be a need to explore some of the reserves in international mediation and diplomacy, including those pertaining to the mediation roles of regional organizations and small advanced economies. The distinguishing feature uniting some of the small open economies is that they perform important mediation roles not only in their respective regions, but also on a global scale. Yaroslav Lissovolik – Valdai Discussion Club – Small Countries as Key Agents in Peace Mediation


  • On International Women’s Day, March 8, the Guatemalan Congress passed an extraordinarily regressive “Life and Family” bill that undermines the rights of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. President Alejandro Giammattei announced on March 10 that he would veto the law, noting that it violated international treaties. While outrage around the bill is justified and should continue, the bill also serves to divert attention from the pernicious dismantling of the rule of law that the government and its allies are currently undertaking. Cristian González Cabrera,


  • Hindu supremacist groups are demanding restrictions on Muslim girls wearing hijab in classrooms in more Indian states after a court upheld a ban on the traditional headscarf in Karnataka state, worrying students who had protested against the ban. The Karnataka High Court’s decision on Tuesday, backing the southern state’s February ban on the hijab, has also been welcomed by top federal ministers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who say students should avoid wearing religious clothing in class. Al Jazeera – India’s Hindu groups want wider ban on hijab after court verdict
  • During the last decade and a half, there has been growing global concern about the quality of democracy in countries that were considered to be embracing democratic principles and running democratic governments. Surprisingly, the opposite was in evidence, preceding these years. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was followed by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Together, they brought the Cold War to an end and sounded the death knell of dictatorial regimes in Eastern Europe. The impact of these events was dramatic. They hastened a wave of democratisation, not merely in Eastern Europe, but across continents—in the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. The share of free countries grew from 36 to 46 percent between 1988–2005.  Ramanath Jha – ORF – Reinforcing global and Indian democracy
  • In the recently concluded assembly elections for five states, while much of the attention has been on the BJP’s spectacular victory in politically significant Uttar Pradesh, the real surprise is the Punjab outcome. The Aam Aadmi Party’s historic victory in a state with no reliable voting base and a weak and invisible party organisation is a fairy tale story almost similar to what the newbie party achieved in the Delhi elections in 2015. Ambar Kumar Ghosh – ORF – How ‘Delhi model’ facilitated AAP’s historic Punjab sweep
  • Mass swarms of dozens or hundreds of drones guided by AI are increasingly being touted as the new lethal threats in the modern battlefield. The world got a taste of this emerging military technology in May 2021 during the 11-day conflict between Israel and Hamas. To understand the implications of this emerging technology for the military and its significance for India as a whole join Lt Gen (Dr) V K Saxena (Retired) and Shashank Sharma for a discussion on the threat from drone swarms, worldwide developments in drone swarm technologies and where India stands in this field. VIF – Drone swarms – a grave threat. Where are we?



  • Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has proposed constitutional reforms to limit the powers of his office, saying the country needed to switch from “superpresidential” rule to a presidential republic with a strong parliament. Tokayev was elected president in 2019 with the backing of his predecessor Nursultan Nazarbayev, who had resigned after running the oil-rich nation for 30 years, but retained sweeping powers until recently. Al Jazeera – Kazakhstan president proposes reforms to limit his powers


  • The Malian army and armed Islamist groups have allegedly killed at least 107 civilians in central and southwestern Mali since December 2021, Human Rights Watch said today. The victims, most allegedly summarily executed, include traders, village chiefs, religious leaders, and children. HRW – Mali: New Wave of Executions of Civilians




  • Pakistan’s economy has been battered by rising inflation, COVID, supply chain shocks and high energy prices over the last few years. But in that world of constant shocks, its booming startup sector is turning out to be a silver lining for the country. In 2021, 83 startups raised $350m according to Invest2Innovate, a Pakistani consultancy firm. And so far this year, the sector has already raised $136m.
  • Political power in Pakistan is not so much about the arithmetic in assemblies, as it is about the algebra of politics. Prime Minister Imran Khan forgot this iron law of Pakistani politics when he assumed that the support of the Pakistan Army to his regime was a constant. Sushant Sareen – ORF – Imran in his labyrinth
  • The feeling of dread and fear all Pakistanis are familiar with returned when a bomb blast ripped through a Shia mosque in Peshawar on March 4, 2022. Three days later, another suicide attack targeting a cultural festival killed five Frontier Constabulary paramilitary personnel in Sibi, Balochistan. Scores of people dying in suicide bombings reminded Pakistanis of the dark days of 2009 and 2010, when terror had a tight grip over the country. Is the recent uptick in suicide attacks a harbinger for the eventual return of the days of terror? If so, how will Pakistan counter another wave of terrorism, this time without an American presence in the region and with limited fiscal and military support? Neha Ansari – Atlantic Council – A terror redux in Pakistan ?

RUSSIA – UKRAINE (impact, reaction, consequences)

  • Someone has posted a list of Russian technology players and their public stances on Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine. Is it a blacklist? A public accounting? And who’s behind it? The list, from an anonymous group called Stopwar22, is a series of links to public Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media posts from some key players in Russian tech development expressing either their support for Russia’s invasion, their opposition to it, or some muddled position in between. (You can access the list here, but note that the hosting company, Notion, has flagged the post as possibly containing “illegal, or inappropriate content.” The posts from inside Russia are now blocked in keeping with the government’s new censorship practices, making it difficult to view either in Russia or outside of it.). Patrick Tucker – Nextgov – A Civil War is Brewing In Russian Tech Circles
  • “Where the enemy advances, we retreat. Where the enemy retreats, we pursue,” Mao Zedong, the founding father of communist China, once said to highlight the importance of strategic dynamism at times of crisis. After embarking on an all-out invasion of Ukraine, which has triggered a crippling wave of Western sanctions and left its economy in need of an urgent lifeline, Russia is now expected to follow Mao’s playbook and seek new opportunities in the East. The problem, however, is that Russia’s unprovoked aggression in Europe may have ruined its once sky-high chances of making a successful pivot towards the lucrative markets of Asia. Richard Javad Heydarian – Al Jazeera – Asian powers are unlikely to ease Russia’s economic woes
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy asked the United States Congress for a no-fly zone and more sanctions in his latest public appeal for help as Russians continue their invasion that has killed thousands and pushed more than three million refugees into Eastern Europe. “We need you right now. I call on you to do more,” Zelenskyy said Wednesday, addressing the US Congress by video from Kyiv. Al Jazeera – ‘Close the sky over Ukraine’: Zelenskyy pleads to US Congress
  • Russia has said that some parts of a possible peace deal with Ukraine are close to being agreed after Kyiv hinted at a possible route for a compromise, raising hopes of an end to the three-week war. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the talks were becoming “more realistic”, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there was “some hope for compromise”, with neutral status for Ukraine – a major Russian demand – now on the table. Al Jazeera – Talk of ‘compromise’ as Russia-Ukraine peace talks set to resume
  • Experts analyse Russia’s tactics and Ukraine’s readiness in the attempted assault on Kyiv. Chatham House – Briefing: Attacking and defending Kyiv
  • The war against Ukraine by Russia has entered a perilous phase on multiple fronts, as a thaw between Kyiv and Moscow seems unlikely in the coming weeks with Europe, backed by the United States (US) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), applying hard sanctions and decoupling political and economic relations with President Vladimir Putin. In midst of this chaos, private citizens or “foreign fighters” have been both courted by Ukraine and promoted by some Western leaders to take up arms. This trend is problematic. Kabir Taneja – ORF – The risks and dangers of foreign fighters taking up arms to fight in Ukraine
  • The new stage of the Ukrainian crisis will have global consequences. For some, it will bring short and medium-term costs, and very significant ones. For many, however, it will create opportunities to increase their influence over the long term, writes Valdai Club Programme Director Ivan Timofeev. Valdai Discussion Club – Ukrainian Crisis. Who Has the Upper Hand?
  • Recent nuclear saber rattling by Russian President Vladimir Putin is forcing the West to confront a question that even many national security professionals have been able to ignore for decades: Would Putin actually use tactical nuclear weapons? More specifically, would he order a tactical nuclear strike on Ukrainian military forces out of frustration that his military forces have failed to achieve their objectives? Assessing that possibility requires a reevaluation of certain assumptions that is long overdue. – Modern War Institute – Would Russia Use a Tactical Nuclear Weapon in Ukraine?
  •  Social media and messaging service companies need to do much more to meet their human rights responsibilities in Ukraine and other crises and conflicts around the world, Human Rights Watch said today. HRW – Tech Companies Should Prioritize Rights in Ukraine
  • Ukraine informed the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today that the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant (NPP) had been re-connected to the national electricity grid and no longer relied on emergency diesel generators for power, Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. IAEA – Update 22 – IAEA Director General Statement on Situation in Ukraine
  • The ‘fog of information war’ challenges any meaningful analysis at this stage. The western narrative with connivance of the corporate sector has virtually silenced the ‘other’ narrative. It is clear that everything can and will be weaponised not just information. Age-old norms and conventions have been thrown out of the door by western powers. However, one can tentatively take note of certain issues that are still emerging. Air Vice Marshal (Retd) Rajesh Isser, AVSM,VM (G) – VIF – The Russian Airpower Dilemma
  • When the Ukraine crisis hit the headlines a few months ago, conventional wisdom suggested that whichever way the situation evolved, China would be its biggest beneficiary. Since the start of covid, China’s global image had gone for a toss. Harsh V. Pant – ORF – What China may have learnt and unlearnt from the Ukraine crisis
  • Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) on the important role that Congress plays in standing up to Russian aggression in Ukraine. Congressman McCaul serves as the lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and has been vocal in condemning Putin’s escalatory actions and reinforcing the U.S. commitment to its partners, especially Ukraine. Ranking Member McCaul recently traveled to the Poland-Ukraine border where he spoke with refugees escaping Putin’s unprovoked war of aggression. Just two weeks after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the number of refugees fleeing Ukraine has reached 2 million, leading to one of the fastest-growing refugee crises in Europe since World War II. CSIS – Aiding Ukraine: How the United States Can Give Ukrainians the Means to Fight
  • Not only are US and EU sanctions illegal under the UN charter, the US freezing of Russia’s reserves is simply theft. It smacks not of independence either of institutions or the legal system, but of their profound politicization, nay criminalization, in US interests, writes Valdai Club expert Radhika Desai. Valdai Discussion Club – Financial Sanctions vs the US Dollar
  • Many Ukrainians first heard the explosions of Russian missiles on the news or via online video footage. But as Putin’s war continues to escalate, the horrors of the conflict have moved closer and closer to families living in more isolated towns and villages across Ukraine. Andrew D’Anieri – Atlantic Council – Ukraine’s exodus escalates as millions more prepare to flee Putin’s invasion
  • How far will these autocrats take their “no limits” friendship? As Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine grinds on, the Kremlin has reportedly reached out to Beijing for some extra military muscle. Meanwhile, there’s chatter among foreign-policy thinkers in both China and the West that President Xi Jinping could play a uniquely useful role in mediating the conflict. So today we’re taking a different approach to our Fast Thinking alerts. Call it Fast Forward: Insight from our top Sinologists about China’s potential options for dealing with its combustible next-door neighbor. Atlantic Council – FAST THINKING: What China stands to gain—and lose—by wading into the Ukraine war
  • On March 11, Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka paid a working visit to Moscow and held talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that lasted five hours. Immediately ahead of the meeting, both presidents called the challenge of Western sanctions an opportunity to regenerate Russia’s and Belarus’s own economies. Lukashenka also reported that Belarus purportedly connected the Chernobyl nuclear power plant to the Belarusian grid, “forcibly,” that is, despite the professed lack of interest on the Ukrainian side (YouTube, March 11). Grigory Ioffe – The Jamestown Foundation – Belarusian Analysts Look for Way out of Russia’s War in Ukraine
  • Since the start of Russia’s massive re-invasion of Ukraine, Kyiv has made repeated pleas to its Western partners for stepped-up military assistance. As a result, many have been sending weaponry, including lethal armaments, to Ukraine. Such support significantly boosts the capabilities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces but is also of great political significance. It is no secret that Kyiv seeks further internationalization of its war against Russia. These efforts culminated with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleading with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine (, February 24). That request, however, was almost immediately rejected by both the United States and the Alliance’s senior officials (Kyiv Independent, February 28). Jakub Bornio – The Jamestown Foundation – Transfer of Polish Fighter Jets to Ukraine: An Attempt to Internationalize the War? (Part One)
  • In what may be as important as any other battlefield in Ukraine, Moscow is losing the Church war in that country. The autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) has notably come out strongly in defense of Ukrainian sovereignty, whereas the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP) has adopted a pacifist stance, calling for an end to the fighting rather than Ukrainian resistance to the Russian onslaught. Thus, in war-time Ukraine, the former is gaining ever higher levels of support, while the latter is approaching a state of collapse. In short, many Ukrainians view the Moscow-oriented Church’s position as treasonous and are shifting their allegiance. Paul Globe – The Jamestown Foundation – Moscow Losing Church War in Ukraine and More Broadly


  • Opposition leaders and commentators in Rwanda are being persecuted by the authorities for “their speech and opinions”, intensifying a culture of intolerance towards dissent, a human rights group has said. In a damning report published on Wednesday, Human Rights Watch said it had monitored court documents, verdicts and judges’ arguments against several Rwandans who have ended up behind bars due to the country’s “abusive legal framework”. Virginia Pietromarchi – Al Jazeera – HRW: Rwanda silencing YouTubers with ‘abusive’ legal framework



  • South Korea saw a regime change with the election of the leader of the People Power party Yoon Suk-yeol in the presidential election held on 9 March. Seen as a political novice, the conservative-leaning Yoon rose to the highest office in less than a year after entering politics by defeating his rival Lee Jae-myung of the Democratic Party and became the 20th President of Korea by a razor-thin margin. Yoon secured 48.56 per cent of the votes against Lee’s 47.83 per cent. Final voter turnout was 77.1% – similar to the previous election in 2017. Yoon is set to take office on 10 May. Rajaram Panda – VIF – Regime Change in South Korea: Speculations for the Region




  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in Riyadh during a trip to the Gulf for talks aimed at moving away from reliance on Russian oil and gas supplies amid Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine. The Saudi press agency SPA said Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman also attended the meeting on Wednesday, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a strategic partnership council. Al Jazeera – Johnson meets Saudi, UAE leaders as Ukraine war roils oil prices


  • Verizon landed three Enterprise Infrastructure Solutions or EIS task order awards with the Defense Department—worth a combined $966.5 million—to supply enhanced technical support and network modernization services at the Pentagon and elsewhere, officials confirmed. Brandi Vincent – Nextgov – DOD Awards Verizon Almost $1 Billion to Modernize its Networks
  • While other countries invest in people by building welfare systems that provide security, enhance well-being and health, and keep people from falling into poverty, the United States (US) has maintained a poorly coordinated patchwork of programmes. Social assistance and insurance help people and families get through tough times and improve people’s well-being. As such, they lead to better social and economic outcomes both in the short and long term. Terri Chapman – ORF – Gaps in social protection: The US is failing to make needed investments in people
  • The Fed’s new framework—known as Flexible Average Inflation Targeting (FAIT)—grew out of a period in which inflation fell short of the 2 percent target and inflation expectations drifted down, despite very low interest rates and much lower unemployment than had previously been thought consistent with low, stable inflation. Keeping expectations from moving below 2 percent is especially important when the real equilibrium interest rate appears also to be quite low, making the zero low bound (ZLB) an increasingly salient policy constraint. Donald Kohn – Brookings – Assessing the Federal Reserve’s new monetary policy framework


  • Over the past 75 years, the United States and the United Kingdom have built the deepest intelligence alliance in the world. Despite decades of cooperation, however, there exists today a significant misalignment between the strategic prioritization of this “special relationship” and the regulations, policies, organizational cultures, and technologies that facilitate its day-to-day activities. This report’s recommendations are designed to encourage the adoption of policies, procedures, and tools that will enable the United States and the United Kingdom to achieve the deep level of collaboration they have repeatedly committed to in bilateral agreements, national security strategies, and intelligence guidance. If allies and partners are an indispensable pillar of both nations’ strategies to challenge rising and revanchist authoritarianism and other threats, then the U.S. and UK intelligence communities should jointly pursue robust interoperability that appropriately balances risk with opportunity. Jake Harrington, Riley McCabe – CSIS – The Case for Cooperation: The Future of the U.S.-UK Intelligence Alliance



  • The war in Ukraine is now at the top of the world’s agenda – as it should be. It is against the United Nations charter and the consequences for the people of Ukraine are extraordinarily brutal. But we must not forget other parts of the world where people face relentless violence and suffering and urgently need international support. Yemen, one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, is a case in point. War has been raging for more than seven years, and January was a record-shattering month for civilian casualties. Yemen’s economy lies in ruins, and basic services are collapsing. Martin Griffiths, Ann Linde – Al Jazeera – We need to remember the crisis in Yemen is not over
  • Three out of four Yemenis will depend on food assistance in 2022, United Nations (UN) officials said ahead of a high-level pledging conference that aims to raise funds for the war-torn country. The UN has stressed that $4.3bn is needed to address Yemen’s food shortages this year and prevent 19 million people from going hungry, and it hopes that attendees at the conference will meet that goal on Wednesday in Geneva. Barbara Bibbo – Al Jazeera – Yemen hunger crisis: $4.3bn needed, says UN



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