Mês: março 2018

Nukes

Better Nukes for a Safer Planet   Dmitry Orlov Mar. 6, 2018   A lot of people seem to have lost the thread when it comes to nuclear weapons. They think that nuclear weapons are like other weapons, and are designed to be used in war. But this is pure mental inertia. According to all the evidence available, nuclear weapons are anti-weapons, designed to prevent weapons, nuclear or otherwise, from being used. In essence, if used correctly, nuclear weapons are war suppression devices. Of course, if used incorrectly, they pose a grave risk to all life on Earth. There are other risks to all life on Earth as well, such as runaway global warming from unconstrained burning of hydrocarbons; perhaps we need to invent a weapon or two to prevent that as well. Some people feel that the mere existence of nuclear weapons guarantees that they will be used as various nuclear-armed countries find themselves financially, economically and politically in extremis. As “proof” of this, they trot out the dramaturgical principle of Chekhov’s Gun. Anton Chekhov wrote: “Если вы говорите в первой главе, что на стене висит ружье, во второй или третьей главе оно должно непременно выстрелить. А если не будет стрелять, не должно и висеть.»” [“If you say in Act I that there is a gun hanging on the wall, then it is a must that in Act...

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Russia

State of the Union   Vladimir Putin Mar. 1, 2018   Citizens of Russia, members of the Federation Council and State Duma, Today’s Address is a very special landmark event, just as the times we are living in, when the choices we make and every step we take are set to shape the future of our country for decades to come. It is at such turning points that Russia has proven, time and again, its ability to develop and renew itself, discover new territories, build cities, conquer space and make major discoveries. This unwavering forward-looking drive, coupled with traditions and values, ensured the continuity in the thousand-year-long history of our nation. We have gone through major challenging transformations, and were able to overcome new and extremely complex economic and social challenges, preserved the unity of our country, built a democratic society and set it on the path to freedom and independence. We ensured sustainability and stability in almost all areas of life, which is critical for a huge and multi-ethnic country like ours with its complex federative structure and diversity of cultures, with historical divides that are still alive in people’s memory and major challenges Russia had to face over the course of its history. However, sustainability is the foundation of development but not its guarantee. We have no right to allow a situation when the stability that has been achieved would lead to complacency, all the more so as many problems remain unresolved. Today, Russia ranks among the world’s leading nations with a powerful foreign economic and defence potential. But we have not yet reached the required level in the context of accomplishing our highly important task and guaranteeing people’s quality of life and prosperity. But we must do this, and we will do this. As I said...

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