Russia is back on its Ukraine bullshit again: last week, the Russian navy boarded and seized a Ukrainian gunboat and a tugboat taking the crews of the vessels prisoner, at least for the time being. NATO is sitting on their hands, just like they did when Putin sent mercenaries and unflagged Russian special forces operators into Ukraine to wrest control of the Crimea peninsula back in 2014. There's a lot of finger wagging and tut-tutting, sure. Trump said that he was calling off his chat with Putin last week as a result of the Russian military's aquatic clusterfuck...but then he met with him anyway.
After four years of putting up with Russian occupation of a chunk of their territory, Ukraine knows better than to leave sorting it out to diplomacy: the seizure of the nation's vessels could well be Putin's way of gauging the west's reaction to a larger action--one that could lead to a large-scale assault on Ukrainian turf.
In response to Putin's dry run, Ukraine has called up its citizen reservists, declared martial law in some parts of the country, and has been toying with the idea of refusing entry to any Russian male of fighting age. Oh, and they've asked Canada to renew the assistance that they've been giving them for the past few years.
From The CBC:
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Canada is being asked to renew its military training mission to Ukraine — a proposal that's taking on a whole new level of urgency as border tension ramps up with Russia.
For the crime of talking to a western media outlet about his native tongue, Tashi Wangchuk has been sentenced to prison.
Back in 2015, Mr. Tashi spoke to the New York Times about his concerns that Tibetans were in danger of losing their native language. It was a problem that had been brewing for a while. Tibet declared independence from the much larger nation in 1913. They had their culture, their Dalai Lama and their territory. Things were good… for around 36 years. In 1949, Mao Zedong got China all hot and horny for Communism. Looking to regain the lands that they felt belonged to them, for political and defensive reasons, The People’s Republic of China invaded Tibet in 1950, invaded Tibet, scourging the nation’s culture, language and beliefs in an effort to bring it into line with China’s political doctrine.
China’s never relented its stranglehold on Tibet’s politics but, over time, it did come to allow a certain amount of levity for ethnic minorities, not just in Tibet, but in other Chinese territories (both traditionally recognized or taken by force). Diversity in custom and language were begrudgingly tolerated. In 1984, China went so far as to protect the right to the preservation of language and culture, so long as it didn’t get in the way of their political agenda, under the law. So, when Mr. Tashi chatted with The Grey Lady, he assumed that he and the Chinese government would be cool.
He couldn’t have been more wrong.
The most recent iteration of the Central People’s Government holds a more assimilationist approach to governance: One people, one language, yadda yadda. Read the rest