In Episode 167 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg examines Putin’s plans to place tactical nuclear weapons in Belarus. The Russian strongman’s dubious justification for the move is the UK’s decision to supply depleted uranium shells to Ukraine. Depleted uranium is indeed sinister stuff—but Russia itself has been already using DU weapons in Ukraine for over a year now! Russia’s reckless occupation of the Zaporizhzhia power plant also represents a far more serious escalation on the ladder of nuclear terror than the use of DU. Putin further claims he is merely countering the NATO tactical nuclear weapons stationed in Europe. But NATO’s warheads are stored in underground vaults, to be loaded onto plane-dropped gravity bombs if the Alliance makes a decision for their use. In contrast, Moscow has already placed nuclear-capable tactical missiles in Belarus—as well as in the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, bordering NATO members Poland and Lithuania. If these were armed with warheads, it would represent a dramatic escalation in hair-trigger readiness. Additionally, Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukasheno has now broached actually having Russian strategic ICBMs placed in his country. The civil opposition in Belarus has been effectively crushed in a wave of mass repression over the past three years—but an underground resistance movement is now emerging. This struggle finds itself on the frontline of the very question of human survival. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon. (Map via PCL Map Collection)
Will an "October surprise" in the prelude to the mid-term elections in the US be the outbreak of world war—that is, direct superpower conflict? Things are escalating fast on the frontlines with both of the United States' major imperial rivals. The US Navy's Pacific Fleet is preparing to carry out a "global show of force" as a warning to China, after a near-skirmish between a US warship and a Chinese destroyer in the disputed South China Sea. Meanwhile, NATO is planning to conduct its largest military exercises since the end of the Cold War, Trident Juncture 2018, along Norway's border wth Russia. This comes as Washington and Moscow are odds over missile deployments, accusing each other of violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. (Image: Lockheed Martin)
As Trump and and Kim Jong-un exchange nuclear threats, anti-missile protesters in rural South Korea scored a win, prompting Seoul to delay plans to expand the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery that the Pentagon installed in April. The announcement came as villagers and activists were blocking the road to the THAAD base.
Two sisters abused by their family in Saudi Arabia were deported by Turkey—despite their asylum bid and fears they will be tortured or even executed by Saudi authorities.
Protesters blocked roads and clashed with police in South Korea’s rural Seongju county as US forces began installing the Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system.
As the US moves to deploy the THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea, local farmers have launched a protest campaign and lawsuit to halt the installation.
The Flynn resignation has been followed by a fast and dramatic escalation of US-Russia tensions, with Pentagon troops deployed to Romania and a near-skirmish in the Black Sea.
The breakdown of US-Russia cooperation over Syria comes as Moscow moves missiles to the Polish border and withdraws from an agreement on plutonium disposal.
The US anti-missile station in Romania was officially activated, to harsh protests from Moscow—as NATO prepares to deploy German troops in the Baltic republics.
Revelation of Washington's plan to station missile-capable nuclear warheads in Germany was met with a Russian threat to deploy ballistic missiles in the Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad.
As the Pentagon adds 14 interceptors to its anti-missile system in Alaska, some observers see a design on Arctic resources also sought by competitors Russia and China.