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Byron Shire
October 5, 2022

Russia’s war on the Ukraine

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Here is a collection of letters sent in by readers about the current situation in Ukraine

Putin on the chips?

Margrette Young, Dorroughby

It would be more effective to shut down the casinos in Australia to penalise the Russian oligarchs as a sanction re Ukraine.

Remember the royal commission identified millions of dollars of dirty money being processed through the casinos in NSW and Victoria. Far more than legal banking. 


Appease Russia now

Nathan Jones, Cudgen

It has been anticipated for a long time, and the war between Russia and Ukraine had just begun.

We all agree that ‘what’ is happening is wrong. It is an unprovoked attack on the people of Ukraine. We need to focus on the ‘why’ of this attack as a way of understanding what Russia wants so we can have a quick and peaceful solution soon.

It is not exactly about land acquisition; they already have the largest country on Earth. The Russians were promised by the USA in the months before and after the Berlin Wall came down, in 1989, that NATO would not expand one inch eastwards.

Over the last 30 years that has turned out to be a significant broken promise.

This situation has been described as similar to the 1962 Missile Crisis but in reverse. Compromise was the key then to avoid a war between nuclear superpowers, and compromise is needed now.

The Soviet Union agreed to not have its missiles in Cuba, if the USA removed its missiles based in Turkey, on their border. If Ukraine agrees to compromise and remain a neutral nation and not a member of NATO for the next, say, 50 years, then I think that would appease Russia and they would withdraw their military forces.

It looks very unlikely that any other nation will send their soldiers to defend Ukraine as we are all watching from the sidelines. The economic sanctions against Russia are unlikely to make them change their mind.

In the early days of the Cold War, it was decided that Austria would be a neutral nation and not part of the Eastern Warsaw Pact nor part of the Western NATO alliance. Austria survived quite well during those 50 years, and I am sure Ukraine will as well as a neutral nation. I am not supporting Russia, just the quickest path to lasting peace in the region.

Gas fuels war

Peter Olson, Goonengerry

The Germans have now agreed not to buy the cheap Nordstream pipe gas and instead to buy the much dearer, but politically acceptable, fracking gas, from our allies.

From a commercial view, the issue appears to be about who supplies the gas and of course, also about selling more weapons.

From our opponents view, it is about nuclear missiles being placed on their border and aimed at them.

From the media’s view, it is entirely about ‘Russian aggression’ and to the Russian speaking people of the Donbass region, it is all about their independence. Even if none of this is true, the allies’ fracking gas will now be sold, instead of the vastly cheaper Nordstream gas.

Since the price of fuel has risen correspondingly, the inflation mentioned in several unpublished Echo letters, will simply accelerate.

As forecaster Martin Armstrong wrote today: ‘they may in fact have unleashed WWIII and this is merely the first shots that will be remembered’.

Star wars, space cadets

Gareth W R Smith, Byron Bay

Now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, war in space is a real possibility. 

Given US reluctance to put soldiers on the ground and fly its warplanes over Russia-dominated airspace, the majority of its reconnaissance and surveillance intelligence is going to come from outer space, and Russia knows it. 

Last November Russia demonstrated its ability to destroy satellites by hitting one of their own Soviet era satellites with a missile, thus contaminating space with thousands of fragments. 

On the US side, Trump’s much-derided Space Force may soon demonstrate its worth by taking the battle into the heavens… with unknown consequences for our planet.

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  1. Russia is a super power, if they wanted to kill Ukrainians they could nuke the place.
    Even with non-nuke missiles the Russians could flatten the place if they didn’t care about civilian deaths.
    In 2014, the US ran a coup and put in a fake govt that has let the US pile weapons on the Russian border.
    There has been a slow rolling genocide of Russian speaking Ukrainians for 8 years, now the govt has armed their civilians that are running around murdering the third of the country that speaks Russian.
    Ukraine is one of the most corrupt places on the planet that allows everything you could imagine, as long as you have the right friends. It’s a crime bunker.
    Joe Biden’s son is up to his neck in Ukrainian corruption to fund his meth fueled life style.

    The Russian govt is bad, but they are saints comparing to the Ukrainian Regime. But we should not get involved with either.

    • Chris, surely you jest with your 2nd last sentence.
      Yes, I see it now, how could I have been duped. It is actually the “Ukrainian Regime” ( your words ) bombing their own country, killing their own citizens.
      ‘Saintly Vlad’ is sitting quietly at home just horrified seeing the Ukraine destruction on his TV.

  2. Re the Ukraine story. Some of us know a little more of the Ukraine people
    & their on the spot spit-&-polish. There’s no Russian head-patting coming
    from here & Putin should do all of us the decency of stepping down. The US
    is far from perfect along with our own while the beat goes on. Again it’s Men
    With Guns.

    • The Russians have had women in their military for over a century.

      The Center for Strategic and International Studies – Executive education program says…

      “From the all-women Death Battalion led by Maria Bochkareva in the Russian Revolution, to the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, dubbed the “Night Witches” by the Nazis that fought in World War II, lore of women defending the Motherland is well-known among Russians.”

      “Women serve in the Army, Aerospace Forces, Navy (although on certain ships only) and Rocket Forces.”

      “of the 41,000 women serving, about 4,000 are officers, including 44 colonels.”

  3. Women have always served in armies, good, bad or indifferent though
    I’d question the year & input.
    Russian poets closer to our times who often ‘got deleted’ [that is died]
    quite early in life because they would not ‘shut up’. I’ll list a few, male
    & female . . . Natilia Gorbaneveskaya, Nardia Mandelstam [Hope
    Abandoned], Boris Pasternak, Dan Pagus, Marina Tsvetayeva, Joseph
    Brodskey, Olga Berggolts, Y. Yevtushenko, & Anna Akhmatova. There
    are many more. As a matter of fact I’ll repeat here one of the pieces
    I wrote in my ‘selected poems; The Volatile Principle’ 2020.

    1987). Stefanie Bennett

    Such a conditional catch-cry
    one trembles
    to utter it. And where
    once stood Petersburg
    now stands
    that watermark;
    an antipodean centerfold.

    Akhmatova . . . pious bell ringer!
    Helix. Euphemistic tormentor –
    a cartload of straw
    bears its strange burden
    throughout city square
    . . . and onto that
    your name – a sea
    of steepled hands burning.

    Above sear the wings of Punin
    become Autumnal rags
    to wrap your
    iconoclasm in.
    You lie sallow; vindicate
    the metaphysical
    kiss of nations.

    Salutation’s wry comfort across
    an evensong’s wailing wall –
    still – what else must I give
    wild coloratura
    but this? My own
    prospecting Acmeism . . .
    this belated neo-stanza.


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