On September 30, 2022, Russia declared its annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts – Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia, and Kherson. Not only none of the oblasts was under complete Russian control at the time of annexation, the unilateral proclamation of “new Russian territories” took place amid Russian military setbacks seen by many as one significant continuing retreat.
To make the annexation look legitimate, the Kremlin staged “referendums” in all four oblasts. Then, according to the “will of the people” there, the State Duma voted for admitting these four into the Russian Federation, with the Russian Constitutional Court acknowledging in a hasty overnight session on October 2, 2022, that four new treaties with “the newly-acquired territories” fully correspond to the Russian Constitution.
In the Kremlin’s view, this set of obviously illegitimate actions showed its complete legitimacy. It seems to have worked for the internal political agenda as Putin’s Goebbels-style propaganda gurus have used billions of dollars much more effectively than his military aides. At the same time, it has shown the absence of the Rule of Law with its basic presumption that no one – including the most highly placed officials – is above the law. The “legal documents” supporting the annexation prove that Russian authorities live in virtual reality.
February 21, 2022, Putin acknowledged the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk Republics to use it three days later as a pretext for the military invasion of Ukraine. But the document he signed stated that Russia recognizes the whole territory of Donetsk oblast as the Donetsk Republic, which means that for the Donetsk Republic to become a part of the Russian Federation, all people of Donetsk oblast should have been represented at the staged referendums. Failing to seize the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk oblast by the end of September, the Kremlin couldn’t do it. And neither the Kremlin nor the State Duma or should-be highly-professional judges of the Constitutional Court expressed any care for the fact.
The preamble of the Russian Constitutional Court’s approval of the four treaties states that as a consequence of arbitrary decisions of the Soviet government, the territory of the Ukrainian SSR was primarily comprised of lands with a predominantly Russian population without the will of the people. Moreover, according to the viewpoint of the Russian Constitutional Court, the situation in Ukraine began to deteriorate after the collapse of the Soviet Union. And it became even worse after the government change in Kyiv in 2014.
The Russian Constitutional Court also noted that “admitting belief in good and justice as one of the founding values of the multi-national people of the Russian Federation, and being a social state governed by the Rule of Law, Russia can not ignore massive facts of violations of the right to life and discrimination based on ethnic and linguistic affinity, more so on the territory with the population of which Russia has long-lasting historical, cultural and humane connections.”
This official statement provides legal grounds for the revision of the collapse of the USSR. The Russian Government may use this official legal ruling of the Constitutional Court to acknowledge the void of the Belovezh Accords of December 1991, which declared that the Soviet Union ceases to exist, effectively overturning the will expressed by more than 76% of the Soviet people, who in March 1991 voted for preserving the Soviet Union.
In 2017 Sergei Kiriyenko, head of the Kremlin internal policy team and an architect of the structure of the contemporary internal politics in Russia, declared that “the Russian state functions on principles different from the treaty principle.” His statement justified why the Kremlin did not want to re-sign a treaty between Tatarstan, a subject of the Russian Federation, and the federal center. The treaty that was refused to sign was approved by the Russian Parliament in 2007 to be effective for ten years, and to be re-approved in 2017. And the 2007 Parliament’s approval followed the 1994 Treaty signed by Tatarstan with the Kremlin, after Tatarstan refused to sign a Federative Treaty between the Kremlin and all Russian regions, which became the basis of the Russian Federation and its Constitution of 1993.
Openly loyal and Kremlin-supporting Chechnya never had any treaty signed with the Kremlin. After two wars there is not even a valid peace treaty between Chechnya and Moscow, let alone a Federative Treaty. May 12, 1997 Aslan Maskhadov, the then President of the Chechen Republic Ichkeriya signed a peace treaty signed with the Russian President Boris Yeltsin. That peace treaty provided legal grounds for controversies to be resolved only by peaceful means and according to the norms of international law (needless to remind you that Putin violated it three years later). It is interesting that Boris Yeltsin declared that the Treaty “put an end to the war and 400 years of conflict”.
This treaty followed the Khasavyurt Accords of 1996, titled “On principles of the basis of relations between the Russian Federation and the republic of Chechnya”. Both documents do not clearly define the status of Chechnya within or outside of the framework of the Russian Federation. The documents de-fact treated Chechnya as an independent state, and at the same time the Russian Parliament never ratified the documents, which is obligatory for international treaties and agreements.
This mix of misleading title and content demanded a particular provision of the Russian Constitutional Court stating on December 26, 1996, that the signed Khasavyurt Accords did not regulate any relations between the Russian Federation and one of its subjects, clearly leaving Chechnya outside the existing legal structure of the Russian state. Moreover, the Chechen Republic Ichkeria, whose President signed the treaty, was declared “ceased to exist,” replacing it with the Republic of Chechnya, leaving any documents signed before legally void.
As we see from the legal point of view there are at least two subjects of the Russian Federation that have no legally effective treaties with the central authority.
Most regions signed the Federative Treaty of 1992, which later was transformed into the Russian Constitution. The signing needed to repeat in a new format in 2002. The initial treaty provided for a later re-signing revision of approval only for the regions initially formed as Republics, and usually, these are ethnicity-based regions. But Putin’s negligence of the law when he felt that he had authority, which he already possessed in 2002, let the resignation issue out of his attention scope. In 2017 Tatarstan demanded this attention but only received Kiriyenko’s statement that the Russian Federation was not based on any treaties.
And this is when legal cover for acquisitions of new territories plays a role. In 2014 Moscow signed a treaty with the Republic of Crimea. In September 2022, four “new subjects of the Russian Federation” became its part through treaties.
Looking at the Russian state legal structure, we see one republic with a treaty not re-signed (Tatarstan) and another that changed its name without signing any legal treaty with Moscow (Chechnya). There are also 18 republics that initially signed the federative treaty. Still, later the Kremlin declared that there was no need to prolong it without talking any supporting legal actions. Finally, there are also three republics with existing treaties whose legitimacy is not recognized internationally (Crimea, Luhansk, and Donetsk republics), and of course, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia oblasts.
This context shows the total absence of the Rule of Law in Russia and undermines its Constitution and legal principles of interrelations between the regions and the Kremlin.
The current mobilization state of Russian politics and economy drives the Kremlin to re-organize its administrative structure based on purely economic effectiveness reasoning. An obvious target for future reforms will be ethnic republics, as now different level Russian media start spreading statistics proving the predominance of Russians in the historically ethic-based republic. A good example is a Krasnodar Krai discussion of why the Maykopsky district of the Republic of Adygea can’t be a part of Krasnodar Krai since 85% of people in the community are Russians, raising a question about Adygea as a whole with 65% of Russians leaving there.
This Kremlin-inspired discussion presents an existential threat to many smaller ethnicities abiding in Russia. Many ethnic people already feel they are being exterminated by the war in Ukraine, with just a handful coming back from hundreds sent to the frontline. And suppose they look closely at the legal grounds of why they live in the Russian Federation to find out their absence. In that case, the centrifugal forces of Russian internal politics, becoming increasingly evident with every war defeat, may become unstoppable.
Fidel Castro’s Political Struggle Unites Havana and Moscow
Under the auspices of an official state visit to attend the unveiling of a statue in memory of former leader Fidel Castro in northwestern Moscow, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez unreservedly expressed support for anti-American position taken by Russia, reminded the history of Cuba and the Soviet Union during the Cold War when shared the same stand.
Diaz-Canel Bermudez highlighted the significance of the visit to Moscow. Cuba and Soviet Union had similar experience, both were blockaded. “It takes place at a time when both Russia and Cuba have been subjected to unfair unilateral sanctions and have a common enemy, a common source which is the Yankee empire, which manipulates a large part of humankind,” he said. “We constantly condemn the sanctions imposed on the Russian Federation and the sources of the ongoing conflict so that people are not misled and do not blame Russia for this, and we also condemn what Europe is doing, being completely subordinate to US interests.”
Referring to the unveiling of the monument, he described it as a true reflection of Fidel Castro’s personality in the midst of struggle, just like in the midst of struggle today. He denounced the imperialist powers and further praised all efforts of the Russian Federation and, under such complicated circumstances, Russia’s role in orienting the world towards multi-polarity.
Russia can always rely on Cuba. Moscow and Havana will continue to strengthen cordial bilateral relations and defend the great values of freedom, equality and justice. The principle of continuity, not just a slogan or a motto, but to continue promoting relations with the Russian Federation. Cuban leader thanked Russia for its support for his country and spoke in favor of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.
President Vladimir Putin noted in his speech that the bilateral relations between Cuba and Russia have been making steady headway in the past three years since the previous meeting in the Kremlin. He pointed to the appreciable developing cooperation between foreign ministries, parliaments and governments. State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin visited Cuba quite recently.
The Russia-Cuba Intergovernmental Commission is working. It held its 19th session. There are plans for cooperation between the governments with many joint projects up to 2030.
Putin stressed that the Soviet Union and Russia have always supported and support the Cuban people in their struggle for independence and sovereignty. “We have always opposed any restrictions, embargoes, blockades and so on. We have always backed Cuba on international platforms. We are seeing that Cuba occupies the same position with respect to our country, to Russia,” he added.
All this is a result of the traditional friendship that was started by Comrade Fidel Castro. Today, Cuba and Russia agreed to have unveiled a monument to him. Indeed, this is a good memory of him, a true work of art. He is so dynamic, always in motion, moving forward. It definitely captures the look of a fighter that he had.
Putin really remembered his personal meetings very well, even the details with him. “He was an impressive man. I remember how during our first meeting in his office when we were freely discussing the current situation during lunch, I was stunned by his attention to detail and his knowledge of the nuances of ongoing events, even if they took place far away from Cuba,” he narrated the story.
“He was aware of and could analyse everything happening in the world. It was very interesting and useful for me to have these meetings with him. Relying on this firm foundation of friendship, we must certainly move forward and enhance our cooperation in the current conditions,” Putin said in conclusion.
Work on the bronze-made three-meter-monument lasted for six months and took place in the Russian capital. Castro is depicted seated on a rock with a stylized map of Cuba inscribed on it. The image reflects the heroic path of a person who stood up for the rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, according to the Kremlin’s press service fact sheet.
The Moscow city legislature approved the idea of such a monument on February 16. The initiative to erect a monument to Fidel Castro came from the leadership of the Russian Defense Ministry. The idea was supported by the Russian Military-Historical Society which held a closed artistic contest with 11 works participating.
The monument was erected on Moscow’s square named in honor of Castro. Fidel Castro was one of the leaders of Cuba’s revolutionary movement who chaired Cuba’s Council of Ministers from 1959 to 2008. The Cuban politician died in 2016.
Reason And Anti-Reason In Moscow: Psychiatric Determinants Of “Cold War II”
Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine has obviously critical implications for United States foreign policy. Among other things, this expanding Russian “crime against peace” has undermined once residual hopes for superpower reconciliation or “détente.” In essence, whatever the variable particulars, we are now embroiled in “Cold War II.”
Are there any discernible psychiatric elements to this “war?” As a key player in world politics, is the Russian president fundamentally rational or irrational? And how should a meaningful answer be determined?
There are some additional questions. Is it plausible that Mr. Putin might sometime pretend irrationality as a calculated step toward “escalation dominance?” How could American analysts reliably distinguish between authentic enemy irrationality and pretended enemy irrationality? How credible are Putin’s periodic threats to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine? To be sure, assessing an adversarial head of state is not “normally” a psychiatric task.
Still such informed queries need not imply “abnormality.” Inter alia, such an implication could mean dispensing with variously tangible distinctions between “normal” and “abnormal.” This dispensation need not suggest that findings of “abnormality” would be insignificant, but only that Putin’s most injurious traits could present in obscure or unforeseeable ways.
In some cases, owing to the higher likelihood of decisional miscalculations during crises, these qualities could prove more portentous than “normalcy.” Here, though counter-intuitive, a perfectly rational Vladimir Putin could pose greater global perils than an irrational Putin. As to a Russian president who would become genuinely “mad,” prediction would become all but impossible. Then, using a poplar gaming metaphor, all bets would be off.
Credo quia absurdum, warned the ancient philosophers. “I believe because it is absurd.”
There is more. It will be important for US decision-makers to differentiate between a Vladimir Putin who is “merely” evil from one who is abnormal, irrational or “mad.” Though there exist no intrinsic or “essential” meanings to such potentially overlapping descriptions, current strategic theory centers most conspicuously on judgments of “irrationality.” More precisely, an irrational national decision-maker is one who does not value national survival more highly than any other preference or combination of preferences.
Such matters would always be multifaceted and bewildering. Nuance would be critical. Accordingly, specific designations of “normal” and “abnormal” could appear sharply delineating or mutually exclusive. But US foreign policy decision makers could also discover that any true qualities of abnormality, irrationality and madness are more correctly thought of as isolable points along a common continuum than as sharply distinct analytic alternatives.
There is much more to understanding Vladimir Putin and his belligerent threats than first meets the eye. Sigmund Freud wrote about the Psychopathology of Everyday Life (1914) while tracing assorted connections between “abnormal” and “normal.” He was surprised to learn just how faint the supposed lines of any tangible conceptual demarcation could actually be. Exploring parapraxes, or slips of the tongue, a phenomenon that we now popularly call “Freudian slips,” Freud concluded that certain specific psychopathologic traits could sometimes be discovered even in “normal” persons.
What would this mean?
How might it impact US foreign policymaking in “Cold War II?”
After the Holocaust, American psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton interviewed Nazi (SS) doctors. Perplexed, as a physician, that such monstrous crimes could have been justified as “hygiene,” Dr. Lifton was determined to answer some basic and necessary questions. Most elementary was the altogether reasonable query: How could Nazi doctors have managed to conform large-scale medicalized killing of innocent and defenseless human beings with their otherwise normal private lives?
In similar fashion, US decision makers and other world leaders ought now to inquire about Vladimir Putin and his all-too-many underlings, separatist enablers and otherwise witting allies.
In response, history could be instructive. It was not unusual for Nazi doctors to remain good fathers and husbands while murdering Jewish children. These defiling physicians (doctors sworn by Hippocratic oath to “do no harm”) were capable of supervising genocidal mass murders six days a week (on Sundays they “normally” went to church). Now we must ask along very similar lines of questioning:
Are Russian soldiers and their Ukrainian nationalist collaborators murderers who are also able to remain good fathers and good husbands?
Robert Lifton carried on his examinations of the Nazi “biomedical vision” as a Yale Professor and Fellow of the Max Planck Institute for Research in Psychopathology and Psychotherapy. For this American-Jewish physician, such examination was not just some random undertaking of narrowly intellectual curiosity. Rather, adhering to widely-accepted and reason-based protocols, Dr. Lifton embarked upon a series of carefully rigorous scientific studies.
To the physician, the Oath of Hippocrates pledges that “I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art.” When asked about this unwavering duty, most interviewed SS doctors experienced no personal contradictions. In Nazi pseudo-biology, “The Jew” was “a source of infection.” Ridding society of Jews, it followed, was a properly “anti-infective” medical goal. The Nazi doctors saw such murderously irrational “excisions” as a proper “obligation” of “healing,” “compassion” and (above all) “hygiene.”
Do Vladimir Putin and his compliant subordinates have similarly “cleansing” views of Russia’s Ukrainian genocide? Based on readily available evidence, this is hardly a difficult question.
Resembling their Nazi forbears, perpetrators of the ongoing Russian genocide in Ukraine must prepare to consider Putin-ordered mass murders as a crime justifiable by metaphor. Literally millions of Holocaust murders offer irrefutable evidence of just how easy it is to subordinate science and reason to the most preposterous forms of comparison. With any such willful subordination, otherwise normal military behavior is giving way again to once unimaginable levels of inter-state and intra-state predation.
There is more. The duality of good and evil within each individual person is a very old idea in western thought, most notably in German literature, from Johan Wolfgang von Goethe and Friedrich Nietzsche to Hermann Hesse and Thomas Mann. Always, in studying this clarifying literature, we may learn that the most critical boundaries of caring and compassion are not between “normal” and “abnormal” persons, but within each individual person. As Putin-ordered Nuremberg-category crimes continue to escalate, it is high time to recognize that the porous walls of human normalcy and abnormality can allow a single individual to navigate effortlessly between polar extremes.
Pertinent oscillations would take place between cruelty and altruism, violence and calm, right and wrong, or reason and anti-reason.
In the best of all possible worlds, truth could never be manipulated as political contrivance. It is, after all, an exculpatory trait, both in specific psychiatric assessments and in serious judgments of international relations. Still, at any identifiable moment of human history, the veneer of human civilization has remained razor thin. It has remained brittle, fragile, tenuous, ever- ready to crack along multiple and mutually-dependent interstices.
After attending the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, political philosopher Hannah Arendt advanced the controversial hypothesis that even extreme evil can be ordinary or “banal,” that it can be generated by the seemingly benign absence of authentic thought. This novel interpretation was widely challenged and disputed following the trial, but it remained identifiably rooted in certain classical views of individual human dualism, particularly Goethe’s Faust. Hannah Arendt’s troubling idea of evil as mundane was further reinforced by various-earlier studies of nefarious human behavior in the crowd, the herd, or the mass, especially in overlapping works of Soren Kierkegaard, Max Stirner, Arthur Schopenhauer, Gustave Le Bon, Carl G. Jung, Elias Canetti and Sigmund Freud.
In all these thematic writings, a common focus is placed upon the potentially corrosive impact of group membership and identity on individual human behavior. Freud’s own best contribution remains his Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego (1921). Here, the psychologist-philosopher already understood that Reason is at perpetual war with Anti-Reason and that political dictatorships will inevitably favor the latter.
Robert Lifton likely knew all this. Still, he sought something more, some other isolable mechanism by which the ordinary or “normal” evildoer could render himself or herself “abnormal.” Ultimately, he discovered this esoteric mechanism in an intra-psychic process Lifton labeled as “doubling.”
Different from the traditional psychoanalytic concept of “splitting,” or what Freud preferred to call “dissociation,” doubling is the means whereby an “opposing self” begins to replace portions of the “original self,” in effect usurping and overwhelming that original self from within. When this happens, we may learn further, the opposing self is able to embrace evil-doing without restraint and while the original self still seeks to remain “good.”
Significantly, for optimum understanding of Putin’s grave crimes against Ukraine, doubling may permit Russian evil doers to avoid personal guilt and thus live simultaneously within two coinciding but adversarial levels of human consciousness.
As a “maneuver,” however unwitting, doublingallowed Nazi doctors to be murderers and decent family men at the same time. In similar fashion, doubling is likely the way that shameless Putin-functionaries are able to reconcile the blatant ordinariness of their public lives with derivative displays of personal cruelty. As with Nazi doctors and the Jews, it is plausible that “know nothing” Putin-followers regard the harms being inflicted upon “sub-human” Ukrainians as not merely pleasing, but also as a welcome form of “healing.”
Sometimes, truth may emerge through paradox. To wit, there can be an abnormal side to normalcy. For the future, in thinking about how best to protect human beings from yet another genocidal national leader, all states and peoples would be well-advised not to think of such leaders in starkly polar terms – that is, as “normal/abnormal” or “good/evil.”
In the Third Reich, doublingwas not the only reason that “normal” individuals were able to be complicit in crimes against humanity. Elements of “groupthink,” especially an overwhelming need to belong, have always expressed a dominant decisional influence on human behavior. Clinically, at least, whatever sorts of explanation might ultimately emerge as most persuasive, we humans may finally have to accept that the most odious and contemptible national leaders have sometimes been clinically “normal.”
Such conclusions ought to be kept in mind as US national security officials prepare to better understand the “psychopathology of normalcy.” In support of such necessary preparations, these officials should focus more diligently on fact-based explanations than on narrowly simplistic or conspiratorial ones. Analyzing Vladimir Putin has already become an urgent task for America’s scholars and national policy makers, but it is also a task wherein US assessments of adversarial normalcy need not imply any diminishing dangers. Even a completely “normal” Vladimir Putin could underestimate American military reactions and/or overestimate his own forces’ capacity to fend off American nuclear reprisals.
At some still-indeterminable point, one when violence-stoking hatreds are channeled by the Russian President into the crudely belligerent nationalism of “Mother Russia,” they could precipitate a catastrophic international war. And this prospect could include a nuclear war.
In the final analysis, truth will be exculpatory: “Happy are those who still know that behind all speeches are the unspeakable lies.” This cryptic observation by Rainer Maria Rilke, the Dionysian poet (a poet generally associated with dense philosophical issues of “being”) laments the lies of individual leaders like Vladimir Putin. Though the virulent particulars of such lies are ever-changing around the world, their overall generality of meaning remains constant. Such welcome generality also represents an inherently gainful trait of science, medicine and law.
Why does the famous Edward Munch “scream” (see image above) resonate so tellingly? It is because so many “normal” human beings are able to grasp thatin a self-defiling world that is presumptively normal, not to be abnormal represents a special form of madness.Now, amid the ongoing horrors of Russia’s genocidal war against Ukraine, it is this unique form of madness that is most worrisome.
Even if Vladimir Putin could be judged more-or-less normal, there would remain multiple perils for a US President to consider, some of them unprecedented or sui generis. Though both abnormality and irrationality could render Putin increasingly dangerous to world order, even national leaders who would remain normal and rational amid such evident global absurdity could bring this long-suffering planet to irremediable misfortune. After experiencing or witnessing Putin-inflicted horrors of anti-Ukraine violence, humankind’s only plausible hopes lie latent in certain complicated fusions of truth, intellect, justice and prudence.
This means, among other things, that the core task before a beleaguered humankind is intellectual; it is not narrowly political.
As always, in Moscow and elsewhere, Reason and Anti-Reason can coincide. More particularly, as 20th century German philosopher Karl Jaspers observes in Reason and Existenz (1955): “The rational is not thinkable without its other, the non-rational, and it never appears in reality without it. The only real question is in what form the other appears, how it remains in spite of all, and how it should be grasped.” Until we can prepare to answer this many-sided question with refined thinking and accumulated expertise, Putin’s aggression against Ukraine will glow ever more menacing.
 See: RESOLUTION ON THE DEFINITION OF AGGRESSION, Dec. 14, 1974, U.N.G.A. Res. 3314 (XXIX), 29 U.N. GAOR, Supp. (No. 31) 142, U.N. Doc. A/9631, 1975, reprinted in 13 I.L.M. 710, 1974; and CHARTER OF THE UNITED NATIONS, Art. 51. Done at San Francisco, June 26, 1945. Entered into force for the United States, Oct. 24, 1945, 59 Stat. 1031, T.S. No. 993, Bevans 1153, 1976, Y.B.U.N. 1043. Significantly, Russia’s current aggression – resembling Nazi Germany’s attacks on assorted nations between 1939 and 1945, made possible subsequent crimes of genocide.
 See by this writer, Louis René Beres: https://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/united-states-nuclear-strategy-deterrence-escalation-and-war
 Do you know what it means to find yourselves face to face with a madman,” inquires Luigi Pirandello in Act II of Henry IV, “with one who shakes the foundations of all you have built up in yourselves, your logic, the logic of all your constructions? Madmen, lucky folk, construct without logic, or rather, with a logic that flies like a feather.”
 Some of these egregious Russian crimes nay not be literally genocidal in strict jurisprudential terms, but nonetheless qualify as “genocide-like” crimes. For precise characterization of the concept “genocide-like crimes,” by this author, see: Louis Rene Beres, “Genocide and Genocide-Like Crimes,” in M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW: CRIMES (Dobbs Ferry, NY: Transnational Publishers, 1986), pp. 271 – 279.
 Political philosopher Hannah Arendt would have said “banal lives.”
 International humanitarian law, or the laws of war, comprise: (1) laws on weapons; (2) laws on warfare; and (3) humanitarian rules. Codified primarily at The Hague and Geneva Conventions, and known thereby as the law of The Hague and the law of Geneva, these rules seek to bring discrimination, proportionality and military necessity into belligerent calculations. On the main corpus of jus in bello, see: Convention No. IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, With Annex of Regulations, Oct. 18, 1907, 36 Stat. 2277, T.S. No. 539, 1 Bevans 631 (known commonly as the “Hague Regulations”); Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3114, T.I.A.S. No. 3362, 75 U.N.T.S. 85; Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3316, T.I.A.S. No. 3364, 75 U.N.T.S. 135; Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Aug. 12, 1949, 6 U.S.T. 3516, T.I.A.S. No. 3365, 75 U.N.T.S. 287.
. Twentieth-century Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y’ Gassett clarified the generic bases of such a leader-induced declension in his classic The Revolt of the Masses (1930): “It’s not that the vulgar believes itself to be superexcellent and not vulgar, but rather that the vulgar proclaim and impose the rights of vulgarity or vulgarity itself as a right.“
 During his presidential tenure, too little attention was directed toward Donald J. Trump’s open loathing of science and intellect. Ironically, the Founding Fathers of the United States were intellectuals. As explained by American historian Richard Hofstadter: “The Founding Fathers were sages, scientists, men of broad cultivation, many of them apt in classical learning, who used their wide reading in history, politics and law to solve the exigent problems of their time.” See Hofstadter’s Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1964), p. 145. A post-Trump conclusion ought now to surface: How far we Americans have fallen.
 Regarding Nuremberg-category crimes, see: AGREEMENT FOR THE PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS OF THE EUROPEAN AXIS POWERS AND CHARTER OF THE INTERNATIONAL MILITARY TRIBUNAL. Done at London, August 8, 1945. Entered into force, August 8, 1945. For the United States, Sept. 10, 1945. 59 Stat. 1544, 82 U.N.T.S. 279. The principles of international law recognized by the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the judgment of the Tribunal were affirmed by the U.N. General Assembly as AFFIRMATION OF THE PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW RECOGNIZED BY THE CHARTER OF THE NUREMBERG TRIBUNAL. Adopted by the U.N. General Assembly, Dec. 11, 1946. U.N.G.A. Res. 95 (I), U.N. Doc. A/236 (1946), at 1144. This AFFIRMATION OF THE PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW RECOGNIZED BY THE CHARTER OF THE NUREMBERG TRIBUNAL (1946) was followed by General Assembly Resolution 177 (II), adopted November 21, 1947, directing the U.N. International Law Commission to “(a) Formulate the principles of international law recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and in the judgment of the Tribunal, and (b) Prepare a draft code of offenses against the peace and security of mankind….” (See U.N. Doc. A/519, p. 112). The principles formulated are known as the PRINCIPLES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW RECOGNIZED IN THE CHARTER AND JUDGMENT OF THE NUREMBERG TRIBUNAL. Report of the International Law Commission, 2nd session, 1950, U.N. G.A.O.R. 5th session, Supp. No. 12, A/1316, p. 11.
See Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem (1963).
 On this key theme, see especially Karl Jaspers, Reason and Anti-Reason in our Time (1952). In a diagnosis that seems to fit perfectly with America’s recent struggles against Trump-inflicted criminality, Jaspers summarizes a lethal problem of “normalcy.” In essence, notes Jaspers: “The enemy is the unphilosophical spirit which knows nothing and wants to know nothing of truth.”
 Crimes against humanity are defined formally as “murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population before or during a war; or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of the domestic law of the country where perpetrated….” See Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Aug. 8, 1945, Art. 6(c), 59 Stat. 1544, 1547, 82 U.N.T.S. 279, 288.
 But see Karl Jaspers, Reason and anti-Reason in Our Time (1952): “There is something inside all of us that earns not for reason, but for mystery – not for penetrating clear thought but for the whisperings of the irrational….”
 Recall, in this connection, Bertrand Russell’s timeless warning in Principles of Social Reconstruction (1916): “Men fear thought more than they fear anything else on earth, more than ruin, more even than death.”
 Authoritative legal assumptions concerning solidarity between states concern a presumptively common legal struggle against aggression and genocide. Such a “peremptory” expectation, known formally in law as a jus cogens assumption, had already been mentioned in Justinian, Corpus Juris Civilis (533 CE); Hugo Grotius, 2 De Jure Belli ac Pacis Libri Tres, Ch. 20 (Francis W. Kesey., tr, Clarendon Press, 1925) (1690); and Emmerich de Vattel, 1 Le Droit des Gens, Ch. 19 (1758).
 For early accounts by this author of nuclear war effects in particular, see: Louis René Beres, Apocalypse: Nuclear Catastrophe in World Politics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980); Louis René Beres, Mimicking Sisyphus: America’s Countervailing Nuclear Strategy (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1983); Louis René Beres, Reason and Realpolitik: U.S. Foreign Policy and World Order (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1984); and Louis René Beres, Security or Armageddon: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (Lexington, Mass., Lexington Books, 1986). Most recently, by Professor Beres, see: Surviving Amid Chaos: Israel’s Nuclear Strategy (New York, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016; 2nd ed. 2018). https://paw.princeton.edu/new-books/surviving-amid-chaos-israel%E2%80%99s-nuclear-strategy
 In German, “Existenzphilosophie.”
In law, responsibility of Russian President Vladimir Putin for such Nuremberg-category crimes is not limited by his official position or by any other requirement of direct personal actions. On the underlying principle of command responsibility, or respondeat superior, see: In re Yamashita, 327 U.S. 1 (1945); The High Command Case (The Trial of Wilhelm von Leeb) 12 LAW REPORTS OF TRIALS OF WAR CRIMINALS 1, 71 (United Nations War Crimes Commission Comp. 1949); see: Parks, COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY FOR WAR CRIMES, 62 MIL.L.REV. 1 (1973); O’Brien, THE LAW OF WAR, COMMAND RESPONSIBILITY AND VIETNAM, 60 GEO.L.J. 605 (1972); U.S. DEPT OF THE ARMY, ARMY SUBJECT SCHEDULE No. 27 – 1 (Geneva Conventions of 1949 and Hague Convention No. IV of 1907) 10 (1970). The direct individual responsibility of leaders for crime s of war, genocide and genocide-like crimes is unambiguous in view of the London Agreement, which denies defendants the protection of the Act of State defense. See AGREEMENT FOR THE PROSECUTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE MAJOR WAR CRIMINALS OF THE EUROPEAN AXIS, Aug. 8, 1945, 59 Strat. 1544, E.A.S. No. 472, 82 U.N.T.S. 279, Art. 7. Under traditional international law, violations were the responsibility of the state, as a corporate actor, and not of individual human decision-makers in government or the military. Today, even if Putin could argue persuasively that Russian military violations in Ukraine were being committed without his express authorization, he would still remain legally responsible.
 This form could center on oft-cited differences between n rationality and non-rationality in world politics. See, by this author, Louis Rene Beres (Israel): https://besacenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/516-Israeli-Security-and-Enemy-Rationality-Beres-Author-approved-version.pdf
 See by this writer, Louis René Beres, at Air and Space Operations Review, USAF (Pentagon): https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/ASOR/Journals/Volume-1_Issue-1/Beres_Nuclear_War_Avoidance.pdf
 The term world order reform has its contemporary origins in a scholarly movement begun at the Yale Law School in the mid-and late 1960s, and later “adopted” by the Politics Department at Princeton University in 1967-68. The present author, Louis Rene Beres, was an original member of the Princeton-based World Order Models Project and wrote several early books in this scholarly genre.
 Regarding considerations of justice in these matters, neither international law nor US law advises specific penalties or sanctions for states that choose not to prevent or punish genocide by others. All states, most notably the “major powers” belonging to the UN Security Council, are bound, inter alia, by the peremptory obligation (defined at Article 26 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties) known as pacta sunt servanda, that is, to act in continuous “good faith.” This pacta sunt servanda obligation is itself derived from an even more basic norm of world law commonly known as “mutual assistance.” This civilizing norm was famously identified within the classical interstices of international jurisprudence, most notably by eighteenth-century Swiss legal scholar, Emmerich de Vattel, in The Law of Nations (1758).
 The seventeenth-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal remarks prophetically in Pensées: “All our dignity consists in thought…It is upon this that we must depend…Let us labor then to think well: this is the foundation of morality.” Similar reasoning characterizes the writings of Baruch Spinoza, Pascal’s 17th-century contemporary. In Book II of his Ethics Spinoza considers the human mind, or the intellectual attributes, and – drawing further upon René Descartes – strives to define an essential theory of learning and knowledge.
China’s strategic ties with Russia are rock-solid
Since China and Russia have forged the comprehensive strategic partnership at the high-level unseen in history, there have been inquiries into its endurances. Given the U.S.-led unilateral world order of today, the enhanced strategic entente between the two largest Eurasian powers is perceived as the strongest counter-balance to the U.S. hegemony. Yet, this scenario has been questioned since the Ukrainian crisis started last February. The world has become more concerned with unexpected impacts upon the global economy and energy security under geopolitical repercussions to come.
There is no question that since China and Russia see each other as the strategic assets, people wonder what Russia can expect from China during the ongoing war and its aftermath, and then how Beijing can offer to Moscow which has actually fought alone against the NATO driven by the Anglo-American axis since the crisis broke out. Recently, U.S. President Joe Biden claimed that China has been “keeping their distance” from Russia, yet, China instantly refuted it by saying that China and Russia strategic relations “are rock-solid”. As the largest neighbors to each other and comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era, Beijing and Moscow have the common interests which are primarily built on a high degree of mutual trust and strong internal dynamics. In October, China reiterated that given the mutual trust and firm mutual support to each other’s core interests, China will firmly support Russia in rallying and leading the Russian people under their current leadership to achieve strategic development goals against all the odds and disturbance, and to further establish Russia’s status as a major country on the international stage.
As China is the largest developing country of the worl, Beijing is well-aware that it needs two or three more decades of peaceful environment to become a modernized country. Equally, as China is the largest rising power in history, it opines that the ruling power—the United States and its core allies such as Japan and Britain—will not easily accept the rise of China because it has the glorious dimensions of ancient civilization which has been highly motivated by its modern humiliation imposed by foreign powers. In addition, geographically, Eurasia is defined as the “Heartland” of the world stretching from the Volga to the Yangtze and from the Himalayas to the Arctic Ocean. It is neatly under the jurisdiction of China and Russia. Accordingly, the scenario is that Beijing and Moscow see each other as the geostrategic sinew regionally and globally. Since 2014, China has further highlighted “back-to-back” partnership with Russia to assure them to address common risks and challenges. However, the United States has held Eurasia as the pivot of the grand chessboard. Even during the 1990s when the supremacy of the U.S. in the world affairs was unchallengeable, American strategists like Kissinger, Brzezinski and etc. argued that no matter which power, either of Europe or Asia, dominates Eurasia, that looming danger is surely seen by Washington as a structural threat to its primacy in the world.
Now and in the near future, the Ukrainian crisis has tested the endurances of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership. On the one hand, China has supported Russia diplomatically while making all efforts to promote the direct dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. In reality, Russia is not alone in fight to end the U.S. hegemonic order simply because it has been sided with the emerging powers of the world and the majority of the Global south. According to BBC news, since the war started in Ukraine, China has substantially expanded trade with Russia, particularly food and energy imports from Russia. Although there is no sample evidence to verify that China has also supported Russia militarily and financially, it is undeniable that the military ties between the two countries have been maintained as usual as Chinese forces joined the regular drills as scheduled previously. For sure, China grasps the consequences if it losses Russia as the most effective strategic partner in the international arena since it is the rationale behind China’s “back-to-back” strategic coordination with Russia.
On November 14, President Xi had a meeting with his U.S. counterpart President Biden in Bali, Indonesia. He said frankly that China was highly concerned about the current situation in Ukraine. And facing a global, composite crisis like the one in Ukraine, it is important to give serious thought to the following: first, conflicts and wars produce no winner; second, there is no simple solution to a complex issue; and third, confrontation between major countries must be avoided. China has all along stood on the side of peace and will continue to encourage peace talk, such as a resumption of peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. It is also imperative that the U.S., NATO and the EU will conduct comprehensive dialogues with Russia.
However, U.S. national security strategy outlines that it should make all efforts to prevent the emergence of peer competitors. As an inopportune mentality originated from the Cold War, it only elevates U.S. primacy to the level of doctrine served to antagonize, offend, and alienate China and Russia which are the most ascendant powers among all other major powers. Sadly, the U.S. policy-makers have insisted that they could afford to isolate Russia and China from the world affairs simultaneously. Given this, it is logic to see the return of the new typed China-Russian entente cordial in the name of strategic partnership.
In the next decades that is to say in the next 20 years, China and Russia strategic relations are not only limited to the geopolitical concerns, but also serve a wide range of bilateral and multilateral issues. Their economies are highly complementary as China is a manufacturing hub but wants multiple kinds of natural resources. Equally, Russia has enormous energy reserves and much advanced military designs but needs investment and consumer goods to enhance its social-economic demands. Under the Year of Scientific-technological Innovation Framework (2020-21), China and Russia also rolled out a long list of cooperative projects from energy, the Arctic navigation channels to the agreement in joint-building a research station on and orbiting the Moon. It is well-noted that the Sino-Russian space collaboration will cause substantial impact on the U.S. relations with China and Russia and on international security as Graham Allison warned that there was a looming prospect, at least in theory, that China and Russia would co-construct a lunar station before the United States does. If that occurs, the joint Sputnik in the 21st century would dent America’s reputation as the world’s leading technological giant. As a result, it would give China and Russia a leverage in what can be said of an inevitable race for the Moon’s resources, and back on Earth, this grand strategic partnership would further enhance back-to-back strategic coordination in international affairs.
In sum, “together, China and Russia never fail”. It has been reiterated by both Beijing and Moscow. Accordingly, China is ready to work with Russia to pursue a well-coordinated approach to high-level exchanges and exchanges in various fields. Meanwhile, China and Russia along with many other like-minded countries are determined to defend the international system with the United Nations at its core.
Significance of first EU-Bangladesh political dialogue
The European Union (EU) and Bangladesh held their first “political dialogue” on Thursday (November 24) in Dhaka to “elevate” their...
USA-KSA Energy War and Global Energy Crisis
The response of the USA to OPEC and its partner’s plan to reduce output by two million barrels per day...
Is a Marshall Plan for Ukraine possible?
Reflecting on Ukraine’s future beyond the current conflict, many politicians and experts speculate about the expediency of a new Marshall...
Why International Institutions Survive: An Afterword to the G20 Summit
We, of course, are extremely critical of the very idea of global institutions and the prospects for their survival amid the emergence of a qualitatively...
America Produces Biological Weapons; Does Russia? Does China?
On November 26th, Russia’s RT News bannered “US ‘military biological activities’ a threat to the world – Russia”, and reported...
The Taliban Finally Granted Permission to the Former President Karzai to leave Afghanistan
Based on the information, the former president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, was permitted to leave the country. At a time,...
The Charisma and Chaos of Imran Khan
The chances of Imran Khan winning the elections of 2018 were quite murky. Despite his unparalleled fan base and populist...
Defense3 days ago
The Ukraine War is a sales-promotion campaign for Lockheed and other U.S. ‘Defense’ Contractors
East Asia4 days ago
Hollywood with Chinese Characteristics
Southeast Asia4 days ago
‘Mr. Trong Goes to Beijing’: General Secretary Trong’s Beijing Visit Affirms Vietnamese Balancing Act with China
Diplomacy4 days ago
Higher Education and Diplomacy: Essential Skills for Becoming a Diplomat
Finance4 days ago
Europe in panic: Six weeks left before the US rolls out ‘industrial subsidies’
Southeast Asia3 days ago
Sustain instability in Myanmar is censure to India’s Act East Policy: Time for Proactive measure
Science & Technology2 days ago
Kissinger and the current situation considering the development of Artificial Intelligence and the Ukrainian crisis
Tech News4 days ago
New world-class European supercomputer inaugurated in Italy