Two dysfunctional systems

Since the start of the year, much of the world?s attention was focused on two trials on opposite sides of the world. In one, a brave truth-teller was persecuted by a vengeful administration after stirring up his patriotic followers in protest against tyranny. In the other, Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate.

Putin as obnoxious ex

“Putin trusts the stuff that comes up from the ground more than the stuff that might come out of his people’s heads. So, he has built a petro-autocracy that is fueled by natural resources, not human resources. He then uses the cash to lubricate an engine of corruption that keeps him and his cronies in power, while denying his youth the tools and freedoms to truly realize their full potential.”

Russia lying about Corona death toll? Say it ain’t so!

Data released by Moscow’s city government on Friday shows that the number of overall registered deaths in the Russian capital in April exceeded the five-year average for the same period by more than 1,700. That total is far higher than the official Covid-19 death count of 642 — an indication of significant underreporting by the authorities. …

“The new figures contrast sharply with the line that has been peddled by the Kremlin.

“Speaking to President Vladimir V. Putin at the end of April, Anna Popova, the head of Russia’s consumer rights and human well-being watchdog, boasted that the country’s mortality rate was ‛among the lowest in the world.’ Russian state-run television channels have been relentlessly advertising the country’s effort to fight the virus as superior to Western nations’.”

Russia?s government has boasted of a low coronavirus mortality rate, but figures from an obscure city agency cast doubt on those claims.

NATO is still relevant to some people

NATO’s original purpose was to protect member states from Russian (previously Soviet) aggression. Non-member states? Not so much. And admitting Georgia would be extremely provocative so it’s not going to happen. Presumably, the problem will go away when Georgia goes away (which is slowly happening through “borderization“).

As the transatlantic alliance turns 70, Georgia?situated on Russia?s doorstep?desperately hopes to join.