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The International Legion of Territorial Defence

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, March 7th, 2022 - 107 comments
Categories: International, Russia, United Nations - Tags:

An organisation has been set up with the blessing of the Ukraine government to bring in volunteer fighters from across the world to fight in Ukraine against Russia.

Apparently it has 16,000 volunteers from across the globe.

About 90 years ago, large contingents of international leftists and anarchists fought alongside republicans against Fascists in the Spanish Civil War from 1936 to 1939. The fascist side of the Spanish government got a lot of help from the German NAZI military, and the left and the Republicans lost.

Of the 20 or so New Zealanders who went to Spain to fight, four died. There were also 66 Australian men and women who joined the fight there. The strength of the left in New Zealand was strong and communist activity within parts of the left was then at its strongest. Sympathy for those fighting in Spain had fair cause here.

There will be a similar temptation, as in days of old, to join with the volunteers and fight to defend Ukraine. It ought to be as simple, surely?

It pays to check what you are fighting for.

President Zelinsky clearly didn’t want to implement the Minsk II Accord. In Paris at the end of January, seven years after the Minsk II agreement, Ukraine and Russia held marathon eight-hour talks mediated by Germany and France. The Minsk II agreement simply reflected the situation on the ground. Nothing doing.

Zelinsky is a leader who rose to power as a confection of the controversial media billionaire Ihor Kolomoisky. Kolomoisky was the owner of the country’s largest bank until he was accused of siphoning off US$5.5 billion out of it. He has been banned from entering the United States.

Zelinsky certainly campaigned against corruption, but the Pandora Papers showed that he was neck deep in a network of companies co-owned with friends and TV business partners. The include Serhiy Shefir who produced this shows that got him to stardom, and his brother Borys who wrote the scripts. Then there were the owners of Zelinskyy’s production studio Kvartal 95.

However much infighting there was on the Spanish Republican side between leftists, Communists, anarchists and others, you could be confident that the Nazis were on the other side. President Zelinsky’s call-out to foreigners is clearly attractive to many, but according to a 2019 report from the intelligence and security consultancy the Soufan Group, you can start in the fight with level-headed certainty and soon be vulnerable to right wing radicalisation while there.

The perpetrator of the Christchurch Massacre claimed in his manifesto to have visited Ukraine and done exactly that (not linking to the manifesto sorry).

In early March 2014 Neo-NAZIs were actively assisted by the CIA to roll the elected Ukraine government, and they were then assisted into the highest levels of government in Ukraine.

Overseen by CIA director John Brennan in Kyiv, “special security units” coordinated savage attacks on the people of Donbas, who opposed the coup. Video and eyewitness reports show fascist thugs burning the trade union headquarters in the city of Odessa, killing 41 people trapped inside. Obama congratulated this “duly elected” coup regime for its ‘remarkable restraint’.

On the political level the neo-nazi Ukraine Social National Party quickly evolved into Svoboda. For several elections they did well in the east of the country.

Upon reflection, the former Director of the CIA thought it was not a good idea to pump weapons into Ukraine.

In March 2018 Ukrainian neo-NAZIs were recruiting actual nazi sympathisers in Britain to join in the eastern Ukraine battles.

In January 2019 there were major demonstrations by neo-nazis in multiple cities in the Ukraine.

And it continued to build.

In May 2019 President Zelinsky dissolved Parliament. From the fresh election his own Servant of the People Party has 61% of members who have never before held office. But Zelinsky’s parliamentary results have set Svoboda back strongly, even in the east where they were strong.

Still, in Kyiv in April 2021 there were large marches celebrating the Galicia Division who supported the German Nazi Party in World War 2.

Just a few days ago the Russian and Ukraine governments were having to trade charges about who was more Nazi.

It may well be that President Zelinsky is indeed as noble as he states. It is simply true that the Ukraine is the victim of a hostile and unprovoked attack from Russia. Zelinsky is a motivational and convincing speaker to even the most politically hardened of audiences.

But this isn’t the simple divide of left and right that the left fought for in Spain 1936, so don’t run off and join the International League of Territorial Defence as if it were a morally simple cause.

107 comments on “The International Legion of Territorial Defence ”

  1. Ad 1

    Correcting my own sentence: "Upon reflection, the former Director of the CIA thought it was not a good idea …"

    With thanks to MS for the formatting.

    [Updated now – MS]

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      That was actually a pretty good piece Ad, thanks…one or two things I could easily pick out to critique, but I won't…as you have rightly pointed out, this is a very complicated conflict and one with many layers of nuances that you or I won't be aware of, and one with many other global players gleefully stocking the fires in the background, fires that have eventually and some say predictably ignited this terrible war.

  2. Jenny how to get there 2

    There are neo-nazis fighting on both sides.

    It should be no surprise Fascism and Nazism are death cults that make a fetish of war and nationalism.

    ….The ideologues, as well as some prominent members of the neo-Nazi Russian National Unity party [headed by Alexander Barkashov, believed to be in Donetsk at the moment], Alexander Dugin’s ultra-nationalist Eurasia Party; Edward Limonov’s Other Russia party and Black Hundred are either actively involved in the fighting in eastern Ukraine or effectively encouraging others to take part.

    Pavel Gubarev, one of the leaders of the Donetsk militants from the outset is known for his roots in the Russian National Unity party. His aide, Alexander Proselkov, shot and killed on July 31 by the militants’ own security guards, was a Russian national and member of the neo-fascist International Eurasia Movement and Eurasian Youth Union, both closely linked to Dugin. He was one of many Dugin followers now in eastern Ukraine.

    Neo-fascist Dugin’ has friends and / or followers in high places in Moscow. His anti-Western and anti-democratic rhetoric was disturbingly echoed in Glazyev and Shevchenko’s addresses in Yalta.

    Dugin, Barkashov and Limonov and their supporters have provided active support and training to militants in eastern Ukraine.

    Nor is any of this new. Anton Shekhovtsov, a researcher on far-right movements, reports clear evidence of Russian security service support for pro-Russian ‘separatists’ since 2005….

    Russian fascist ideologue Dugin: Why stop with Donetsk and Luhansk?

    01.09.2014

    Halya Coynash

    • Ad 2.1

      Probably worth updating from an 8 year old citation.

      I cover the "both sides" point anyway.

      • Jenny How to get there 2.1.1

        About that 8 year old citation

        .The International Legion of Territorial Defence « The Standard

        "I cover the both sides point." Ad.

        About that. Just one sentence? That one sentence directs to a link, in that link, neo-nazis in Russia and indeed neo-nazis fighting on the Russian side in the Donbas are not mentioned.

        In the linked article there is one single sentence, that does admit that "nationalism" is flourishing in Putin's Russia, but in the same sentence qualifies this by saying, "extreme nationalism" is on the rise in the Ukraine.

        Hardly covering both sides.

        I stand by what I wrote.

        It had to be said.

  3. Gosman 3

    What actual policies of the Ukrainian government would qualify as "neo-Nazi"?

    I think that as you have made a claim that elements of the Ukrainian government have effectively been infiltrated by neo-Nazis it is beholden on you to show how they are influencing that country at a practical level.

    Are they making life more difficult for minorities like Jews and Russians? If so, how come the President is Jewish and the Russian army is not exactly being welcomed as a liberator in the Russian speaking areas in East of the country like in Kharkiv?

    • Ad 3.1

      I cited evidence for that claim for the 2014 elections.

      I then noted that Zelinsky had won the subsequent election and pushed back gains from the neo-NAZI power.

      It would be churlish to decide which side has greater neo-NAZI influence on the Russian or Ukrainian sides. That's the point of the post.

      Allan Ripp: Ukraine has a Nazi problem, but Vladimir Putin's 'denazification' claim for war is a lie. (nbcnews.com)

      • Gosman 3.1.1

        Even bringing up "neo-Nazis" (whether in Ukraine or Russia) is pointless. You may as well be looking for the bogeyman under the bed. Instead of focusing on irrelevant factors (unless you can point to a reason WHY there is an immediate concern about them) perhaps the focus should be on whether the invasion of Ukraine by Putin's army can be stopped. Do you have any ideas on that front?

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          Western analysts, the CIA, and Putin himself view neo-NAZIs as highly relevant to the invasion. So the reason WHY analysing them is relevant can be read on multiple fronts as I've described above.

          Whether Putin's armed forces can be stopped: that's a different post.

          • Gosman 3.1.1.1.1

            Putin, the CIA, and Western analysts (whoever "they" are) think a lot of dodgy stuff that has no relevance to reality. The trouble with you focusing on it gives credence to one of the made up excuses Putin used for the invasion. You might not be a supporter of Putin but articles like this come across as providing cover for his actions.

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.1

              I've just cited over a dozen reports to start to describe 'they'. Propaganda isn't going to go away because you want it to.

              Be skeptical. Read widely. Cite from reputable sources. Mock the rest.

          • Stuart Munro 3.1.1.1.2

            Putin will say anything.

            So it's Nato, and Nazis he's fighting against. And democracy – dangerous stuff that.

            The importance of the Nazis seems to be in the role of pretext, as is the case with Nato creep. Putin has invaded other states without such pretexts.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.1.1.2.1

              It seems that you love 'whataboutisme' and be the learned theologian of the subject when it suits regarding Putins actions, but ignore the US 'adventures' in other nations

              But lets just be historical about the 'Putin invasion of Georgia' which occured when Georgia began shelling the South Ossetian villages and Russian peacekeepers. Did the Georgians really think it was a great idea ( probably sillier than Putin invading Ukraine.)

              As for why Ossetia has Russian peacekeepers maybe the same question should be asked of US mainly Nato forces in Kosovo – still a part of Serbia

              hmm.. civil war , ethnic violence . Who knew?

              https://www.stripes.com/branches/army/2021-08-19/Kosovo-Bondsteel-National-Guard-Vermont-2580248.html

              • Stuart Munro

                You've got to keep them separated Ghost, the actions of the US and the Putin administrations can be right or wrong in different places and for different reasons.

                Consider Yemen – a thorn in the side of US ally Saudi, and the recurrent site of war crimes involving bombing civilians. A black mark against the US for tolerating it, but they are probably not the instigators (their war on terror stuff may have played a part however). Someone has been supplying the Houthis with drones. It could be Russia, Turkey, or Iran, if it's someone nearby. Iran is the prime suspect. Is Iran's intervention benign then, supporting an oppressed population against a criminal adversary? It rather depends on the use the Houthis make of the aid, and Iran's object in supplying it.

                As for the Putin branch of Kremlinology, I'm afraid I have family who've been in the room when he was ranting, and a brave one that was on the ground reporting from the Chechen war genocide. We have few illusions about him, and are inclined to debunk his more egregious fictions.

                • ghostwhowalksnz

                  Saudi deliberately attacked the country first

                  “'The civil war began in September 2014 when Houthi forces took over the capital city Sanaa, which was followed by a rapid Houthi takeover of the government. ….”

                  “Hadi [Saudi supported President] fled the country the same day. -25th March [163][164] Concurrently, a coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched military operations by using air strikes to restore the former Yemeni government

                  Certainly Yemen has the ability then to strike back at Saudi but at the time didnt have military support from Iran ( they had Ukrainian ballistic missiles)

                  Surely the Yemenis are allowed to defend themselves – and if that means hits on Saudi and Emerati cities then self defence allows that.

                  Its nearly a decade back now but the Saudis certainly intervened in a Civil war in their neighbour and were only later subject to self defence attacks by Yemen.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yemeni_Civil_War_(2014%E2%80%93present)

                  • Stuart Munro

                    I don't think many folk are under the illusion that Saudi is an exemplary state. And its oil reserves are no trivial consideration. But I think the US hands-off policy in respect of Saudi is primarily driven by its status as the custodian of the two holy mosques. Any western intervention runs the risk of uniting a pretty substantial religious community against it.

                    Saudi's issue with the Houthis is harder to read – complicated history there Who are the Houthis, and why are we at war with them? (brookings.edu)

  4. mikesh 4

    The appearance of the AFD party in Germany, coupled with the fact that remilitarization of Germany seems to be on the cards, must also be worrying Putin. It would therefore seem worthwhile for Russia to denazify Ukraine if they can, since another babarossa would be greatly assisted if there were neo nazis in Ukraine.

    • Gosman 4.1

      This again presupposes that there are neo-Nazis in any significant levels of power within the Ukrainian government. That has not been established. Instead of worrying about phantom potential threats maybe you should look at the actual oppressive government trying to impose it's will on others.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        All the neo-NAZI threats within government that were there prior to Zelinsky's 2019 election are still there.

        They have been growing for a while.

        In 2009-10 local elections Svoboda made a breakthrough by winning in three Galician regions and the mayor's office in Ternopil.

        In 2012 Svoboda came into Parliament with 10.4%.

        In 2013-14 Ukrainian radical nationalists played a crucial and indispensable role in the Maidan uprising, though they were a minority.

        The first step, simply, is to recognise that the neo-NAZI problem is neither a fiction of Russian propaganda, nor can it be reduced to the inevitable but temporary effects of the war.

        A second step is to see Ukrainian radical nationalists’ unique extra-parliamentary power, aggravated by their interpenetration with the law-enforcement and weak liberal civil society, presents a real danger to human rights and political liberties in Ukraine.

        At the moment they have been kept at bay by Zelinsky's win and charisma. But the chances of Zelinsky surviving more than one more month in power are less than 50%. So the problem already there is going to come back in force and this time with a lot more guns. money, and volunteers.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Ad: I note that you stopped quoting numbers after 2014.
          Let me link the 2019 election.

          Since the 2019 election, what has been the numbers of ‘neo-nazi’ vote in parliament? Something like 4% in total and dropping?

          There is a useful set of charts about party regionalism in wikipedia.

          The opinion polls leading up to the 2019 election are also instructive.

          Basically I can’t see anything that actually supports either you argument or that the Russia

          As for the coup – that seems like simple speculation to me. It assumes that no-one does anything about it. Which does seem quite unlikely, and something that neither you nor Mike haven’t provided any basis for. Apart from a vote in the UN about two weirdo countries in the world who have militias in their constitution.

          • Ad 4.1.1.1.1

            Agree that the threat has decreased in state elections and as I noted since the 2019 election.

            It grew elsewhere.

            Right now in the middle of an all-out war all those distinctions are temporarily dissolved into a binary.

            As soon as a settlement comes it all splinters again.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1.1.1.1.1

              From 2014 they changed its election system, from a NZ style constituencies and party lists To a single nationwide list and no constituencies

              For obvious reasons various 'fatherland partys' arent going openly campaign on ultra nationalist themes as the EU is watching and the switch to nationwide party lists means their strength in the polish border region ( 2012 30% plus) and was diminished.

              No surprise their lowest vote in 2012 was the Russian speaking heartland including the Black Sea Coast ( known since Catherine II time as New Russia)

      • mikesh 4.1.2

        This again presupposes that there are neo-Nazis in any significant levels of power within the Ukrainian government.

        They don't have to be in government to be a threat. They just have to exist. In the event of a Nazi led movement against Russia they would not be asking the Ukranian government for permission before they participate.

    • Psycho Milt 4.2

      It isn't fascism that worries Putin. If it were, he'd be doing something about Russian far-right extremist groups rather than invading Ukraine. What genuinely seems to worry him is having a Slav democracy right next door setting an example for his own people of what they could have instead of dictatorship.

      As for German re-armament, full credit for achieving this previously-unthinkable change goes to V. V. Putin himself. Invading other countries is a rich source of unforeseen consequences.

      • mikesh 4.2.1

        It isn't fascism that worries Putin. If it were, he'd be doing something about Russian far-right extremist groups rather than invading Ukraine.

        Why do you think that?

        • Psycho Milt 4.2.1.1

          Because that would be the priority of a sane person who genuinely believed the existence of far-right groups was a threat to his country. He seems sane, so the only conclusion is that his claim about the threat of fascism is not genuine.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.2

        German re-armament happened in 1956 onwards when the Bundesrepublik joined Nato and in the 70s reached half a million strong in the Army alone with huge forces in the German speciality – Panzers

        https://www.bundeswehr.de/en/about-bundeswehr/history/cold-war

        Quite a distortion to consider the current situation as the norm .

        • Gosman 4.2.2.1

          It was purely a defensive force designed to counter the massive Soviet offensive force based in East Germany and Czechoslovakia.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.2.1.1

            Im sure the Soviet Group of Forces in east germany would say the same.

            That 'defensive Nato' claim was broken in its offensive operation against Serbia, Libya and even patrolling the mountain valleys of Afghanistan

            However its a myth that Germany never re-armed after WW2

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Since truth is the first casualty of war, we get to comment on truth-claims instead. Framing then becomes the key to interpretation. For instance, Zelinsky's rhetoric when he addressed the EU by videolink got a prolonged standing ovation. Freedom-fighter framing got that – not his endless stream of platitudes.

    I have no problem with idealists from foreign countries heading there to fight for freedom but they really ought to think about it deeply first. Zelinsky unilaterally requested entry into the EU for Ukraine. If he got a mandate from his govt for that, I didn't see the fact reported. Skating on thin ice, considering his electorate was split down the middle in the referendum on the question of joining NATO.

    According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low. However, since the Russo-Ukrainian War and Annexation of Crimea, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ukraine%E2%80%93NATO_relations

    However there's this significant parliamentary mandate:

    On 7 February 2019, the Ukrainian parliament voted with a majority of 334 out of 385 to change the Ukrainian constitution in order to help Ukraine to join NATO and the European Union.

    Therefore there is indeed a reasonable basis for international solidarity in support of Zelinsky's initiative. If I were the UN sec gen I'd itemize a confirming referendum as part of any peace settlement…

    • Gosman 5.1

      I am pretty sure there would be a substantial majority support in Ukraine for Ukraine becoming a member of both the EU and NATO now. You can thank Putin for bringing about that.

      • Blazer 5.1.1

        Always has been.

      • mikesh 5.1.2

        What Zelinskyy should been at pains to promote was Euro-Russo-Sino unity. Think of the economic power such a block have, particularly if it took in other countries which belong to that vast Northern continent as well. It can't be in Ukraine's best interests to be the meat in the East-West power game sandwich. But I guess Washington's pawn was never going to think those sorts of thoughts.

    • mikesh 5.2

      Therefore there is indeed a reasonable basis for international solidarity in support of Zelinsky's initiative.

      And a basis also for 'Russia's invasion.

      • Dennis Frank 5.2.1

        Dunno if I can agree that Putin's paranoia re NATO is reasonable. Understandable, if it emanates from his perception that NATO is ruled by the USA. It isn't.

        NATO is only a real threat to Putin if he attacks a member country. Is it reasonable to attack a country requesting membership? Not when your country is on the Security Council of the UN. It's irrational on that basis.

        • mikesh 5.2.1.1

          The ostensible purposes of NATO and the actual purposes may well be two different things.

          • McFlock 5.2.1.1.1

            Except that Nato expansion requires Nato's "purposes" and the prospective member's "purposes" coinciding.

            Whereas invasion, as we see, can be a unilateral act.

            Thing is, the invasion of Ukraine simply demonstrates that all the Eastern European nations who embraced Nato in the last 30 years had a plausible need for defense against Russian invasion. Whatever NATO's "purposes", there is a clear "purpose" for the nations who requested membership or partnership "action plans": deter invasion.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 5.2.1.1.1.1

              https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/04/ex-nato-head-says-putin-wanted-to-join-alliance-early-on-in-his-rule

              Certainly Nato 'light' or the Partnership for Peace military alliance was offered to Russia along with the other European non nato countries.

              • McFlock

                dang, that article's a doozy:

                Vladimir Putin wanted Russia to join Nato but did not want his country to have to go through the usual application process and stand in line “with a lot of countries that don’t matter”, according to a former secretary general of the transatlantic alliance.

                already snubbed by not being begged to join, the prospect of democracy was not to his liking:

                After the Orange Revolution street protests in Ukraine in 2004, Putin became increasingly suspicious of the west, which he blamed for funding pro-democracy NGOs

                lols

            • mikesh 5.2.1.1.1.2

              Thing is, the invasion of Ukraine simply demonstrates that all the Eastern European nations who embraced Nato in the last 30 years had a plausible need for defense against Russian invasion.

              It doesn't demonstrate anything of the sort. There were reasons for the invasion of Ukraine – the bombing of the Dombass area, the threat implied by their desire to join NATO, and the threat of Nazis in the Ukraine. You may not think that these are sufficient reasons, but that's just a judgment on your part. I doubt whether Putin would agree with you, and I suspect he's a bit smarter than you, and better informed re Ukraine.

              • McFlock

                Nations wouldn't be so eager to join Nato if Russia didn't do shit like send troops into the Donbass area of the Ukraine.

                As for ridding Europe of Nazis, a laudable goal if he'd started doing it in Russia first.

                Putin is probably smarter than me, but it sure looks like he's outsmarted you, too.

                • mikesh

                  Nations wouldn't be so eager to join Nato if Russia didn't do shit like send troops into the Donbass area of the Ukraine.

                  Which was for the purpose of defending the region from attacks by the fascist dominated Ukraine government.

                  As for ridding Europe of Nazis, a laudable goal if he'd started doing it in Russia first.

                  A "night of the long knives" would not be as simple to carry out as it was in Germany in the thirties, but fascism in another country on one's borders would almost certainly a matter of concern, particularly if that other country was already pretty hostile toward one.

                  Nations wouldn't be so eager to join Nato if Russia didn't do shit like send troops into the Donbass area of the Ukraine.

                  So what. NATO has been around for decades. The current invasion has no bearing on its formation; or on Ukraine’s desire to join.

                  • McFlock

                    Which was for the purpose of defending the region from attacks by the fascist dominated Ukraine government.

                    Oh, okay, so it's fine for nations to annex part of other nations if the other nation's government isn't nice?

                    Or is it just fine when Russia does it, but not when the US does it?

                    Nations wouldn't be so eager to join Nato if Russia didn't do shit like send troops into the Donbass area of the Ukraine.

                    So what. NATO has been around for decades. The current invasion has no bearing on its formation; or on Ukraine’s desire to join.

                    lols, so the actual invasion has made no change in the invaded nation's desire to join a mutual defence pact. Coolcool.

        • Subliminal 5.2.1.2

          You seem to have forgotten Libya and Afghanistan. But I would say that it was the Nato bombing of Belgrade that was the real head turner for non western countries view of Nato. Fisk at the independent is now behind a paywall hence the archived page.

          • Dennis Frank 5.2.1.2.1

            Seems totally irrelevant. If you feel there's a signal to some kind of principle therein, it wasn't evident to me on a quick scan. Just seemed like an historical war report…

        • mikesh 5.2.1.3

          Putin is probably no more paranoid than Churchill was when the latter talked about an "iron curtain descending over Europe". What we have is two sides trying to prevent an invasion by their opposite, when neither side has any desire to invade the other. And we have the US doing its damnedest to provoke an atmosphere of "paranoia" in order to keep them apart. Russia has nothing to gain from an invasion of Europe; and the Europeans have nothing to gain from an invasion of Russia. The only power with anything to gain from hostilities between the two is the USA.

          • McFlock 5.2.1.3.1

            What we have is two sides trying to prevent an invasion by their opposite, when neither side has any desire to invade the other.

            Russia is afraid the Ukraine will invade it?

            lol

            • mikesh 5.2.1.3.1.1

              No. But there are probably other reasons for her invasion.

              • McFlock

                So we don't have "two sides trying to prevent an invasion by their opposite", then. We have one side that invaded it's opposite for "other reasons".

                thanks for clearing that up – Russia has not invaded Ukraine as an act of self defence.

  6. aj 6

    Literally admitting propaganda is part of the plan. Not that that should surprise anybody. Russia will be doing the same. In a world full of justified lies the biggest casualty is truth.

    What difference is there between publishing propaganda and publishing a piece that essentially outright excuses the publishing of propaganda? New York Times also emphasized Saddam had weapons of mass destruction just to keep the morale high.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/03/technology/ukraine-war-misinfo.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    I wonder what influence the propaganda war will have on the decision of some to join the cause.

    • Ad 6.1

      Propaganda matters and is particularly intense in this war.

      • aj 6.1.1

        I agree. Propaganda has been a big part of every war since I've been alive, but in the digital / social media world it is magnified many times.
        It becomes virtually impossible to believe anything/everything you read or see. But propaganda is not designed to impart the truth to anyone.

      • Hongi Ika 6.1.2

        War Pornography is the correct terminology.

  7. McFlock 7

    It's a fair call – anyone going over there could end up alongside all sorts of dickheads.

    I wonder how much the apparent lurch to the right was a reaction to being invaded, though. Nationalism tends to get extreme when your government rolls over for an historic occupiers, who then takes some border regions when a revolution topples their man.

    But lots of Ukrainians, basic civilians and not just the leadership or military, seem pretty hardcore opposed to being occupied by Russia. And Russia has it's own nationalist-extremist problem, as others have pointed out.

  8. lprent 8

    In early March 2014 Neo-NAZIs were actively assisted by the CIA to roll the elected Ukraine government, and they were then assisted into the highest levels of government in Ukraine.

    That was an article from 2014. What is interesting to see was where the people mentioned in the article wound up. I just did a quick random jump through the people mentioned in that article.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andriy_Parubiy – MP, no obvious current position otherwise

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleksandr_Sych – disappeared from political life as far as I can see.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ihor_Shvaika – no longer an MP

    + about 5 others that also seem to have disappeared from Ukrainian public life.

    Perhaps you might like to update your post with some actual current information about these 'neo-nazi's in public life in positions of influence in the government – since 2019.

    Basically that whole article appears to be based on a group that kind of vaporised after 2014. Frankly it reads like hysterical bullshit after the the 2014 political chaos that has virtually no relevance to now – 8 years later.

    • Ad 8.1

      The citations already provided show that neo-NAZI state-level influence peaked from the 2014 term and moved into civil society.

      For the period 2014-19, the best summary of their influence within civil society is the Feb 2019 article in The Nation by Lev Golinkin.

      Neo-Nazis and the Far Right Are On the March in Ukraine | The Nation

      The 2019 Presidential elections are of course key. But Zelinsky, even if we take all his rhetoric as truth, has a very small chance of staying in office.

      Should current government fall, all the neo-NAZI problems come back into a massively damaged society in a hurry, this time with more people and arms, and even less restraint.

      • Dennis Frank 8.1.1

        You do seem to be onto something. From that essay in the Nation:

        Speaker of Parliament Andriy Parubiy cofounded and led two neo-Nazi organizations: the Social-National Party of Ukraine (later renamed Svoboda), and Patriot of Ukraine, whose members would eventually form the core of Azov.

        Although Parubiy left the far right in the early 2000’s, he hasn’t rejected his past. When asked about it in a 2016 interview, Parubiy replied that his “values” haven’t changed. Parubiy, whose autobiography shows him marching with the neo-Nazi wolfsangel symbol used by Aryan Nations, regularly meets with Washington think tanks and politicians; his neo-Nazi background is ignored or outright denied.

        The Speaker of Parliament is a structural component of governance. A neo-Nazi in that position, doing active liaison with elements of the deep state in the US capital, can't be discounted as insignificant on any basis.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1.1

          Yes as a satellite of the EU economic system openly using ultra nationalist themes and policies were kept quiet ( many factories moved there for sub assemblys to take advanatge of low wages once the eastern europe labour force could migrate to higher paid jobs in western EU nations)
          https://europe.autonews.com/automakers/porsche-suspends-macan-panamera-output-due-ukraine-conflict

          ACT in NZ does similar with its extreme neo liberal policies, they are kept quiet and only talked about amoungst party activists

        • CrimzonGhost 8.1.1.2

          Svoboda is far right, ultranationalist but it purged it's Neo-Nazis, it might be near Fascist but Fascism and Neo-Nazism are not the exact same thing. They have 15000 members and only one seat in the Assembly. At height of pop. hey got 10% of vote just after Maidan in the new elections but shrunk and shrunk since then. Putin's quest to de-Nazify via an invasion LOL only succeeds in resharpening their teeth as they do have experience in Maidan uprising and in organizing to fight the Russian "Little Green Men" in Luhansk/Donetsk so now patriotic Ukrainians are turning to them for training. If Ukraine survives in some form I'm sure they'll once more get some more support in an election.

      • SPC 8.1.2

        Are you really arguing that Putin's removal of Zelinsky from office is likely to result in a move to the right in both Ukrainian government and wider society (with more people and arms than before)?

        Have you informed the Ural mountain bunker man, that his plan to remove the regime and excise the nationalist extremist right will achieve the exact opposite?

        He needs to know.

        • Ad 8.1.2.1

          The only prediction I'd make for Ukrain'e future is years of anomie and extremism like any trashed state.

          • SPC 8.1.2.1.1

            Two scenarios.

            Russia annexes the south and east and installs a puppet regime (with Russian security) that recognises loss of this territory and Crimea.

            As above, but the regime comes to an end – this rump state joins the EU, but is otherwise nuetral.

            • SPC 8.1.2.1.1.1

              The above is based on realism – however if Putin is a Dugin Russian idealist it will be full annexation.

              • ghostwhowalksnz

                The parallel is Mexican Tejas

                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican%E2%80%93American_War

                The Mexican government refused to be pressured into signing a peace treaty at this point, making the U.S. invasion of the Mexican heartland under Major General Winfield Scott and its capture of the capital Mexico City a strategy to force peace negotiations. Although Mexico was defeated on the battlefield, politically its government's negotiating a treaty remained a fraught issue, with some factions refusing to consider any recognition of its loss of territory. Although Polk formally relieved his peace envoy, Nicholas Trist, of his post as negotiator, Trist ignored the order and successfully concluded the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. It ended the war, and Mexico recognized the Mexican Cession, areas not part of disputed Texas but conquered by the U.S. Army.

      • mikesh 8.1.3

        The dumping of Yanukovic was hardly democratic. The usual procedure would have been to wait for the next presidential election and vote him out. That's how things are usually done in a democracy. A president would have to be impeached. Yanukovic apparently agreed to an early election, possibly coerced, but the fascists started impeachment proceedings anyway. What were they afraid of? That an election might see him re-elected?

        Apparently he was dumped because he entered into an economic assistance agreement with Russia when a small vociferous group of citizens wished to favour the EU. I doubt if that could be considered a reason for not wanting to wait for an election in order to get rid of him, whatever the merits or otherwise of that decision of his.

        • Psycho Milt 8.1.3.1

          "The usual procedure would have been to wait for the next presidential election and vote him out."

          For an example of how that plays out in practice, see Belarussians trying to vote out Lukashenko in 2020. Guys like that don't admit or allow electoral defeat – the options are they die of old age still in office, they're killed or they leave the way Yanukovic did, ie fleeing before the citizenry can get their hands on them. There is no "vote them out."

        • CrimzonGhost 8.1.3.2

          Yanukovyich was a Fascist type. Imprisoned his major opponent on trumped up charges, tried to centralise power to himself and turned his back on his election pledges for EU but not NATO and neutrality to make a deal with Putin …popular protests ensued, he tried to use Police, Militia, Army but many elements refused and his own party turned it's back on him and the Assembly voted no confidence and then he fled to Russia before he couldd be impeached or tried for treason, fraud etc. Now he's sitting waiting to be installed as puppet probably.

    • weston 8.2

      On the contrary lynn the political chaos in 2014 has every relevance to now eight years later because its perfectly obvious to some of us at least the yanks are the maggots in the cheese so to speak and having fermented the unrest in the first place as per their classic playbook we have the situation today .Currently their media is in overdrive pumping out war stories something you yourself called war porn very recently all in lockstep of course and recklessly imo choreographed to wring every vestige of sympathy for the poor citizens of ukraine resulting in an outpouring of support from arround the world and a frenzy of extra lethal weapons being provided such as javelin missiles which as others have pointed out here will result in ever more civilian deaths as now any suspicious structure capable of concealing a fighter armed with a javelin will have to be destroyed before the opposing group can advance .No building will be safe in other words .

      Seems like the whole world has gone nuts in just a few weeks and the level of hypocrisy from american and ue interests is astounding the war in yemen perpetrated by the us uk and their arab allies goes on unabated israel bombs its neighbors with impunity and occupies palestine with no un mandate unless im mistaken .This list could go on and on .As if in a competition of insanities now germany has announced apparently that they intend to remilitarize wtf !? are we gonna see the iron cross once more emblazoned on the wings of bombers heading for russia ?

      Perhaps those fullas you mentioned earlier as having vaporised saw the error of their ways and went off an started up a nice little cafe somewhere but i doubt it .

      • Gosman 8.2.1

        It is astounding that you blame civilian damage and casualties on the Ukrainians DEFENDING their country (which they have EVERY right to do).

        Is that what you do for all Wars or just ones that the "bad guy" is the USA?

        • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.1

          Mostly the most destructive ones in recent decades have involved the US.

          Fallujah , Raqqa were flattened cities you may have heard of . I dont think the inhabitants had anything like the heavy firepower that Ukraine has but those cities were flattened anyway because that was 'the mission'

          Add to that the US allies like Saudi Arabia and Israel who have used their US planes on major attacks on Sanaa Yemen and Beruit.

          And if we want to talk about redrawing borders to make new realities , how come only one district of Palestine had a Jewish majority in the UN 1947 partition plan , that was Tel Aviv, which excluded the contiguous old city ( but Arab) of Jaffo.

          What Europe and US wanted they got out of that situation.

          • Psycho Milt 8.2.1.1.1

            So, your point is that the Russians are acting as badly as the US did with the Iraq war. It's a start, at least. It's a pity Bush will never pay for his crimes, but that's no reason Putin shouldn't pay for his. Also, Russians are in fact acting worse than the US, in that Iraq genuinely was a fascist dictatorship and a proven threat to its neighbours, but Ukraine is a functioning democracy and no threat.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.1.1.1

              Of course it doesnt mean that Putin has done a stupid thing. or the continued war in Iraq and Syria led to massive civilian loss of life or even blatant disregard of US military own protocols , many civilian targets too. Of course some would say the split of approvals was deliberate to allow these things and the Hospital attack in Kunduz to happen

              https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/20/us/airstrike-us-isis-dam.html

              But you know who was an combat ally with US, UK, Australia in the attack on Iraq – POLAND ( who also were part of the dismemberment of Czechoslavakia in 1938-39 and before that the Invasion and territory grab of Ukraine in 1919-21)

        • weston 8.2.1.2

          This war is not black and white gosman for starters there are three sides or four if you count the US .The russians dont wanna see missile silos over the back fence and the ukrainians are fighting a civil war with their countrymen then you have uncle sam once again behind the scenes stirring the pot .Whats their end game gosman ?Are they using ukraine as their proxies to fight Russia ? Zelinsky seems to be doing a pretty good job of presenting himself as a hero but how wise is it to be handing out rifles to civilians and encouraging grandmas to make molatov cocktails ? Have the russians been using flamethrowers ?The "fight to the last man " senario comes accross to me like a bad movie script when you could seek peace with a few compromises but each to his own .

          • Psycho Milt 8.2.1.2.1

            "If you count the US."

            Ukraine's problem is that the US isn't a participant in this war. Do try and pay attention.

            • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Its is a participant in that it directly aids Ukraine and has been doing so for some time Famously Trump was impeached for trying to barter the military aid appropriated by Congress to use to get the Ukraine government in a smear against Biden

          • Gosman 8.2.1.2.2

            The US is unlikely to station Nuclear missiles in Ukraine even if the country was to join NATO. They certainly haven't done so in countries much closer to the Russian heartland such as the Baltic nations. The eastern border of Estonia is only 152 km from the center of St Petersburg.

          • Gosman 8.2.1.2.3

            What sort of peace should the Ukrainians accept – to be demilitarised and for the government of the country to be imposed on them by the Kremlin (both of which are stated aims of the Russian invasion)?

            • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.2.3.1

              Theres a name for it and applied for 70 years Finlandisation.

              Imposed on the Finns too, seemed to have worked out for them fine

              Being nuetral has its benefits , ask the Irish, Swedes, Swiss.

          • CrimzonGhost 8.2.1.2.4

            No, they're weren't just fighting a civil war with their "fellow countrymen". They wer fighting a war against colonist Russians and the Russian State. In both Crimea and the two partial breakaway provinces many Russians and Russian speakers wanted autonomy/federalism within Ukraine …not "independence"/subsumation into Russia.

    • Hongi Ika 8.3

      Don't think the CIA have helped matters in the Ukraine.

    • CrimzonGhost 8.4

      Svoboda is far right, ultranationalist but it purged it's Neo-Nazis, it might be near Fascist but Fascism and Neo-Nazism are not the exact same thing. They have 15000 members and only one seat in the Assembly. At height of pop. hey got 10% of vote just after Maidan in the new elections but shrunk and shrunk since then. Putin's quest to de-Nazify via an invasion LOL only succeeds in resharpening their teeth as they do have experience in Maidan uprising and in organizing to fight the Russian "Little Green Men" in Luhansk/Donetsk so now patriotic Ukrainians are turning to them for training. If Ukraine survives in some form I'm sure they'll once more get some more support in an election.

  9. aj 9

    I’m no fan of this man, but he he understands the realism principle of geopolitics.

    Henry Kissinger 2014: To settle the Ukraine crisis, start at the end.

    Putin should come to realize that, whatever his grievances, a policy of military impositions would produce another Cold War. For its part, the United States needs to avoid treating Russia as an aberrant to be patiently taught rules of conduct established by Washington. Putin is a serious strategist — on the premises of Russian history. Understanding U.S. values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point of U.S. policymakers.

    • Stuart Munro 9.1

      Kissinger is a lost soul, as is to be expected of admirers of Metternich. With the demise of its ideological heft, Russia has no claim whereby it ought to lead other nations, so understanding its kleptocracy isn't especially important.

      Were we simply to recognize any warlord of a certain size, there would have been no issue with Hitler. Our current world order expects governments to demonstrate a popular mandate, one which would, in the absence of murder, media suppression and blanket propaganda, have made the invasion of Ukraine an electorally risky step. It is not to be expected that anything desirable would come out of an essentially debased and criminal state, nor has it. The country most in need of denazification is Russia.

  10. While I believe that Russia's invasion of Ukraine is a despicable act, and the ongoing war crimes against civilians belie Putin's claims to be on some kind of peacekeeping mission, NATO & the USA displayed a stunning amount of arrogance by inviting Ukraine to join, breaking a long term understanding with Russia.

    Thread

    • Hongi Ika 10.1

      So the USA & NATO poked the Russian Bear too hard and he has bitten back ?

      • Gosman 10.1.1

        How did the US and NATO poke Russia prior to this War? NATO expansion has been entirely voluntary. Nations have asked to join. They were not compelled to do so like most nations in the Warsaw pact.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1.1

          Ask Cuba and Venezuela about their freedom to join military pacts

          • Hongi Ika 10.1.1.1.1

            Having spent some time in Cuba about 15-20 years ago, the US were not particularly nice to the Cuban people from 1901-1959 after they annexed Cuba after the Spanish – American War in 1901, then they got really pissed off with Castro & Guevera when the Cuban Revolution occurred in 1959 and they chucked the Americans out.

            However this New President is not super good and many of the Cuban People are not particularly happy with his performance to date.

        • mikesh 10.1.1.2

          The Warsaw pact countries were already under Russia's control, when the pact was put in place, as a result of WWII. Russia's purpose in keeping them under her thumb was not a sign of aggression on her part, but rather a means of establishing a defensive buffer between herself and the rest of Europe. Understandable, perhaps, given the losses she had suffered as a result of the war.

          • Stuart Munro 10.1.1.2.1

            But not understandable for the peoples of those countries – consigned to the rule of corrupt despots for great power convenience.

      • roblogic 10.1.2

        Essentially, yes. Bears are aggressively territorial beasts. It doesn't justify Putin's invasion but it's not like it came out of nowhere.

    • Ad 10.2

      That is a really good string thanks Rob.

      Certainly makes me wonder what Brennan and Obama thought they were doing there.

  11. Sanctuary 11

    I think it is also worth commenting on the Galizien Waffen SS division. Not all SS formations were made up of hardened, indoctrinated blond haired, blue eyed wannabe Nazi supermen. The SS – as a political rather than military organisation – often raised units that the army didn't really care for. The Galizien division was a good example of this. It has to be remembered that the Ukraine had been subjected to a brutal artificial famine (the Homodor) and Ukrainian nationalism and intelligensia had been savagely repressed by Stalin. Much like the Balts, The Ukrainian Insurgent Army, created in October 1942, fought with the Germans against the Poles and Communism and against the Germans and Fascism if they thought that helped further their aim of an independent Ukraine. Ukrainian partisans were for example, responsible for the ambush death of the prominent Marshal of the Soviet Union Nikolai Vatutin. Like all other militias of nationalities of the time they engaged in all the usual murderous ethnic cleansing of Poles and other minorities.

    The Soviet Union was the only country in Eastern Europe that outlawed anti-semitic activity, and as a result Jews in the USSR and Eastern Europe were enthusiastic supporters of Soviet communism – hence Hitler's "Jewish-Bolshevik" conspiracies. Given the general atmosphere of anti-Jewish sentiment since the pogroms of the Tsars Ukrainians had all the depressingly usual anti-semitic attitudes typical of the era.

    Throw in hunger and it is pretty clear formations like the Galizian SS division had few, if any, actual Nazis in it and it's troops were largely motivated by a savage anti-communism, a far dollop of typical anti-semitism and a vague hope that helping the Germans win would further the establishment of an independent Ukraine.

    None of this of course is meant to make excuses for any war crimes against Poles and Jews and other ethnic groups they managed to get their hands on, it's just to point out that for all the nomenclature of being an "SS" formation the motivation of this division was far more mixed than it's title might suggest.

    • Ad 11.1

      It starts to remind one of why the EU was set up and continually strengthened in the first place: to find a way to do business other than to roll tanks in when you disagree. The hard right will finally have a hard time in EU area elections like France.

      It was certainly rich to hear Kenya's UN Ambassador Kimani speak recently of "complet[ing] our recovery from the embers of dead empires in a way that does not plunge us back into new forms of domination and oppression", when his government had just set troops into Somalia on some bogus pretext.

      Kimani, Zelinsky and Putin would do well to read Wole Soyinka's "A Season of Anomie", which is the slide of a postcolonial country into ungovernable mess, chaos, extremism, and uncontrolled brutality.

      Ukraine is a hair trigger away from another Rwanda.

      • Sanctuary 11.1.1

        Europe has a dirty little secret – it's post war stability has been built on lethal ethnic cleansing during and post WW2, with mass expulsions of ethnic groups to create ethnically homogenised populations finally settling the pre-war tensions and adding to the untold misery of the immediate post-WW2 world in Europe, and where that didn't occur due to communism it simply erupted decades later, as in the Balkans and parts of the ex-USSR.

        • Ad 11.1.1.1

          Is that really true since decolonisation?

          France is in the 2000s much more mixed, as is the UK, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Spain, BENELUX, Sweden, Greece, and more.

          Granted that hasn't been the case as much in Hungary or Austria.

          But in most of the EU the open internal borders and five decades of absorbing postcolonial and refugee migration waves has made most of the EU much more cosmopolitan.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 11.1.1.2

          Every 'End of Empires' period has let to civil and against neighbours wars.

          Ottoman Empire end in Europe led to a long period of wars between neighbours, and effectively only ended when the last Balkan War – that between Serbia and Austria precipitated WW1.

          Same with the former Ottoman Empire in Arabian peninsula

          WW1 and the end of German Russian and Austrian empires saw many little wars breakout but Versailles treaty was both a dampner on that and the seeding of new conflicts

          Even the end of being part of the UK immediately led to an internal civil war in Ireland – where the new government was even more brutal than the British ( executed over 70 prisoners , many without trial including some politicians who didnt participate in military action )

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 11.2

      “the Germans gave assurances that the division would fight only against the Red Army, allowed Ukrainian chaplains to serve with the division, undertook to train Ukrainian officer cadres, and released a number of Ukrainian political prisoners”

      http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/display.asp?linkpath=pages%5CD%5CI%5CDivisionGalizien.htm

      “In a speech to the soldiers of the 1st Galician division, Heinrich Himmler stated:

      Your homeland has become so much more beautiful since you have lost – on our initiative, I must say – those residents who were so often a dirty blemish on Galicia's good name, namely the Jews ... I know that if I ordered you to liquidate the Poles ... I would be giving you permission to do what you are eager to do anyway.[41]  "
      

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/14th_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS_(1st_Galician)#Atrocities

      “The SS used some of its most seasoned killers to oversee the development of its new division. SS Gen. Jurgen Stroop, who would later be executed as a war criminal for his brutal destruction of the Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, was brought on as an advisor.”

      https://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/defence-watch/canadian-government-comes-to-the-defence-of-nazi-ss-and-nazi-collaborators-but-why

      I note the sanitised Ukraine version. I…sadly… probably know too much of this history. They certainly were evil POS

  12. Jenny how to get there 12

    Propaganda is much a part of war as bombs and shells.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-03/inside-the-separatist-republic-that-triggered-the-war-in-ukraine/100871262

    The first victim of war is truth. The second is civilians.

  13. Jono 13

    The United States of Amnesia launched a totally illegal war in Iraq in 2003. The Reasons were false and erroneous. The majority of nations denounced the invasion….as they had prior to its launch. Where was the global outrage then? There were worldwide protests by people in the street but companies and swift and IOC did NOTHING. Stones and glass houses. It's beyond rich that 24-7 propaganda demonized russia and putting while Bush sips whisky in Texas. See nick Bryant's latest for bbc as an example. Bush and Blair should be in jail…the West needs a good look in the mirror.. russia went in "soft" compared to us in Iraq. If China forged defense alliances with Honduras and Cuba…then an anti-us Mexican elected and wants to join…how WOULD US react?

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    Budget 2022 further strengthens the economic foundations and wellbeing outcomes for Pacific peoples in Aotearoa, as the recovery from COVID-19 continues. “The priorities we set for Budget 2022 will support the continued delivery of our commitments for Pacific peoples through the Pacific Wellbeing Strategy, a 2020 manifesto commitment for Pacific ...
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  • Government delivers timely support for whānau
    Boost for Māori economic and employment initiatives. More funding for Māori health and wellbeing initiatives Further support towards growing language, culture and identity initiatives to deliver on our commitment to Te Reo Māori in Education  Funding for natural environment and climate change initiatives to help farmers, growers and whenua ...
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  • Government delivers critical infrastructure
    New hospital funding for Whangārei, Nelson and Hillmorton 280 more classrooms over 40 schools, and money for new kura $349 million for more rolling stock and rail network investment The completion of feasibility studies for a Northland dry dock and a new port in the Manukau Harbour Increased infrastructure ...
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  • A health system that takes care of Māori
    $168 million to the Māori Health Authority for direct commissioning of services $20.1 million to support Iwi-Māori Partnership Boards $30 million to support Māori primary and community care providers $39 million for Māori health workforce development Budget 2022 invests in resetting our health system and gives economic security in ...
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  • Investing in better health services
    Biggest-ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget Provision for 61 new emergency vehicles including 48 ambulances, along with 248 more paramedics and other frontline staff New emergency helicopter and crew, and replacement of some older choppers $100 million investment in specialist mental health and addiction services 195,000 primary and intermediate aged ...
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  • A Secure Future for New Zealanders’ health
    Landmark reform: new multi-year budgets for better planning and more consistent health services Record ongoing annual funding boost for Health NZ to meet cost pressures and start with a clean slate as it replaces fragmented DHB system ($1.8 billion year one, as well as additional $1.3 billion in year ...
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  • Cost of living package eases impact on households – 2.1 million Kiwis to get new targeted payment
    Fuel Excise Duty and Road User Charges cut to be extended for two months Half price public transport extended for a further two months New temporary cost of living payment for people earning up to $70,000 who are not eligible to receive the Winter Energy Payment Estimated 2.1 million New ...
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  • Budget highlights underlying strength of economy in face of global headwinds
    A return to surplus in 2024/2025 Unemployment rate projected to remain at record lows Net debt forecast to peak at 19.9 percent of GDP in 2024, lower than Australia, US, UK and Canada Economic growth to hit 4.2 percent in 2023 and average 2.1 percent over the forecast period A ...
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  • Budget 2022: A secure future in difficult times
    Cost of living payment to cushion impact of inflation for 2.1 million Kiwis Record health investment including biggest ever increase to Pharmac’s medicines budget First allocations from Climate Emergency Response Fund contribute to achieving the goals in the first Emissions Reduction Plan Government actions deliver one of the strongest ...
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  • Budget 2022: A secure future
    Budget 2022 will help build a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security, while providing support to households affected by cost of living pressures. Our economy has come through the COVID-19 shock better than almost anywhere else in the world, but other challenges, both long-term and more ...
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  • Health Minister to attend World Health Assembly in Geneva
    Health Minister Andrew Little will represent New Zealand at the first in-person World Health Assembly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from Sunday 22 – Wednesday 25 May (New Zealand time). “COVID-19 has affected people all around the world, and health continues to ...
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  • New efforts to counter illegal timber trade
    New Zealand is committing to trade only in legally harvested timber with the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today. Under the Bill, timber harvested in New Zealand and overseas, and used in products made here or imported, will have to be verified as being legally harvested. ...
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  • Deaths in New Zealand lower than expected so far during the pandemic
    The Government has welcomed the release today of StatsNZ data showing the rate at which New Zealanders died from all causes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been lower than expected. The new StatsNZ figures provide a measure of the overall rate of deaths in New Zealand during the pandemic compared ...
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  • New law helps secure New Zealand’s maritime domain
    Legislation that will help prevent serious criminal offending at sea, including trafficking of humans, drugs, wildlife and arms, has passed its third reading in Parliament today, Foreign Affairs Nanaia Mahuta announced. “Today is a milestone in allowing us to respond to the increasingly dynamic and complex maritime security environment facing ...
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    6 days ago
  • Trade and Export Growth Minister to travel to Bangkok for APEC
    Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor is set to travel to Thailand this week to represent New Zealand at the annual APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) meeting in Bangkok. “I’m very much looking forward to meeting my trade counterparts at APEC 2022 and building on the achievements we ...
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