Ukrainian servicemen walk past a minefield warning sign on the front line with Russia-backed separatists near Luganske in Ukraine’s Donetsk region. Photo: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP via Getty Images Over the past few months, Russia has amassed tens of thousands of soldiers, along with tanks, artillery, and other materiel near its border with Ukraine in what U.S. intelligence (and much of the world) has interpreted as a buildup in preparation for an invasion. At the same time, online propaganda and disinformation activity has increased , as have cyberattacks on Ukrainian targets, including one that took down several government websites on Friday. It is no coincidence that these ominous activities look strikingly similar to the lead-up to Russia’s 2014 invasion of its weaker neighbor, in which it annexed Crimea and launched the still-ongoing insurgency by Moscow-backed separatists in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. Indeed, if Russia does send troops into Ukraine in the … [Read more...] about Is Another Russian Invasion of Ukraine Inevitable?
Us foreign policy
For the first time in seven years, the Jordanian royal court recently released a photo of King Abdullah II meeting with an Israeli official, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, Jan. 5 in Amman. This gesture is a clear indication that relations between the two neighboring countries are warming up again. After a decade of sluggish growth and falling standards of living, Jordan likely wants to capture a bigger share of the growing pie of Arab economic cooperation with Israel. U.S. legislators from both parties recently launched a bipartisan House-Senate caucus that would be a “ cheerleading squad ” for the Abraham Accords, signed last year between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. In the first year of peace between Israel and the UAE, bilateral trade reached $700 million. In 2020, bilateral trade between Israel and Jordan stood at $250 million, 27 years after they had signed a peace treaty. These numbers suggest that Jordan has much to gain by moving beyond the … [Read more...] about ‘Warmer’ peace with Israel offers Jordan better economic dividends
Some employees and their families left the Russian Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine, earlier this month amid fraught tensions between the two countries, The New York Times reported , citing a senior Ukrainian security official. The Ukrainian security official told the newspaper that mostly the wives and children of employees from the Russian Embassy began leaving on Jan. 5. A total of 18 people left the embassy. Over the next couple of days, roughly another 30 staff members and relatives from the Russia's consulate in Lviv and the embassy in Kyiv also left. ADVERTISEMENT A U.S. official said in a statement to the Times regarding the matter that “we have information that indicates the Russian government was preparing to evacuate their family members from the Russian Embassy in Ukraine in late December and early January.” However, the newspaper noted that it remains unclear exactly what Russia is trying to communicate by such a move to empty out its diplomatic facilities in … [Read more...] about Russia removing staff from Kyiv embassy: report
ROME — The U.K.-based Guardian newspaper wondered aloud Tuesday why Joe Biden is one of the most unpopular presidents in U.S. history, calling his low esteem a “puzzle.” “Joe Biden ends his first year in office at a particularly bleak moment for a US president who promised competency and normalcy,” writes Lauren Gambino for the notoriously left-wing Guardian . “After winning more votes than any presidential candidate in American history, Biden is now – just 12 months later – one of the country’s most unpopular presidents,” Gambino asserts, noting that a Quinnipiac poll released last week found Biden with a “dire” 33 percent approval rating. As signals of his end-of-year blues, much of Biden’s domestic agenda “is stalled on Capitol Hill,” the virus is “once again raging out of control,” his vaccine mandate for large employers “was blocked” by the Supreme Court, inflation is at “a nearly 40-year high,” and diplomatic talks have “failed to pull Russia back from the brink of … [Read more...] about The Guardian: Joe Biden Is One of America’s ‘Most Unpopular Presidents’
A Monday letter from top officials in the the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) warned that faith-based groups are likely to remain targets of violence. "Faith based communities have and will likely continue to be targets of violence by both domestic violent extremists and those inspired by foreign terrorists," FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate and John D. Cohen, who is the top intelligence official at DHS, said in the letter, which was obtained by CNN . The letter also said online platforms linked with domestic violent extremism had discussed Jewish targets in connection with conspiracy theories about the pandemic, the results of the 2020 election and "even the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and resettlement of Afghans to the United States," according to CNN. ADVERTISEMENT The letter comes shortly after several hostages were held for hours at Congregation Beth Israel, a synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, over the weekend before one was … [Read more...] about FBI, DHS warn faith-based communities will likely remain targets for violence
More than a dozen people were killed by Saudi airstrikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday night, in an apparent response to an attack on the capital of the United Arab Emirates by the Houthi militia earlier in the day. The attack on Sanaa hit the home of Brig. Gen. Abdullah Qassem al-Junaid, former leader of the air force academy in Sanaa, and killed the general, along with his wife and son and five other members of the household, according to The Washington Post . A total of 14 were killed and 11 injured in the strikes, per the Post. Rescue teams are still searching for survivors under building rubble. ADVERTISEMENT The two airstrikes came hours after Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for a drone attack earlier on Monday in Abu Dhabi, the UAE's capital, that killed three people and left six others wounded. Three petroleum tanker trunks exploded in Abu Dhabi, in addition to other explosions that led to a fire at the city’s airport. In response to … [Read more...] about Saudi-led coalition targets Houthi rebels in Yemen after Abu Dhabi attack