Weekly Links

By Taylor Marvin

Depiction of Roman Emperor Constantius II. Via Wikimedia.
Depiction of Roman Emperor Constantius II. Via Wikimedia.

A video imagining a future where Russian freedom fighters battle a fascist, expansionary, and — ludicrously — militarily dominant Ukraine provides an insight into the Russian government’s preferred narrative of the conflict.

In light of worst-case fears that Vladimir Putin will try and annex territory in the Baltic states, reporting that suggests that most Russian-speakers in Estonia would oppose such a move.

Anya Schmemann writes that Russia’s annexation is a serious setback, not victory, for “a middling power with a faltering economy and serious demographic problems trying desperately to stay relevant both on the world stage and in its own neighborhood.”

In Syria, the apparently extreme degradation of government forces after three years of war (via Robert Farley) and Charles Lister on the challenges of any plan to supply Syrian rebels.

Jeffrey Lewis, Brown MosesCheryl Rofer, and Aaron Stein all have convincing debunkings of a recent piece by Seymour Hersh arguing that the August 2013 chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime was actually the work of the Syrian rebels and Turkey. Basically, the technical details don’t support Hersh’s claim, and there’s no reason to think the Turkish government would pursue a false flag attack designed to bait the US into intervening.

More on the simplistic popular Western memories of the Rwandan genocide.

Foreign Policy has a long investigation into the failures of the African Union – United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur, a force “bullied by government security forces and rebels, stymied by American and Western neglect, and left without the weapons necessary to fight in a region where more peacekeepers have been killed than in any other U.N. mission in the world.”

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