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Residents told to stay indoors as 54-year-old Russian trawler blazes in Norwegian port

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Locals have been ordered to close all windows as firefighters lost control of the blaze on Sunday evening aboard the 49-meter-long fishing boat. The vessel was eventually towed out to sea and to a shallow bay where the vessel continued to burn through the night.

Bursts of black smoke rose into the sky as the burning ship passed through the waters of Bøkfjorden.

the Tamango belongs to the Antey group based in Vladivostok. The vessel had engaged in crabbing in the Barents Sea and docked at Kirkenes at the end of June.

None of the crew were reportedly injured in the blaze.

According to Review of Sør-Varanger, there are 47 tonnes of fuel on board. The firefighters do not rule out that the ship may eventually sink.

A major explosion early Monday morning rocked the burning vessel and forced emergency personnel to withdraw from the site.

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Photo: Atle Staalesen

According to Interfax, the Tamango was hired by the Antey-Sever subsidiary on a so-called bareboat charter, which means that the crew and provisions are all provided by the charter organization.

The Antey Group is one of the largest crab and seafood producers in Russia. It is based in the Russian Far East, while its subsidiary Antey-Sever is located in Murmansk.


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Opinion: One year after the start of the anti-Lukashenko protests, Belarus within Putin’s reach | Reviews | DW

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Since the people of Belarus took to the streets on the evening of August 9, 2020 to protest the results of a fraudulent presidential election, one figure has weighed heavily in the country.

It is not Alexander Lukashenko, his ruler for 27 years; nor Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, who was Lukashenko’s main challenger and now heads a de facto provisional government in exile in Belarus – the figure is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Oil, arms and Ryanair

Since the Russian strongman congratulated Lukashenko on his electoral “victory” last August, the Kremlin has continued to consolidate its hold over the neighboring country.

Lukashenko regularly meets with Putin. Official records of these meetings invariably mention either a Russian loan granted or extended to the Minsk regime, or low-cost Russian oil and gas deliveries to Belarus.

Konstantin Eggert of DW

More worryingly, the Russian and Belarusian armies have been conducting almost non-stop joint military exercises for a year now. The exercises will culminate in September, with large-scale military games called “Zapad”, which means “the West” in Russian.

Probably the most important trend of the last year – although much less visible – has been what many experts are already calling a creeping absorption of the Belarusian State Security Committee (which still proudly calls itself the KGB) by his older “brother” – the Russian State Security Service (FSB).

The Russian Ambassador to Minsk, Yevgeny Lukyanov, is widely believed to have served in both the Soviet KGB and the FSB.

Russian and Belarusian intelligence services join forces

Recently, just days after a brazen act of air piracy allowed Belarusian authorities to hijack a Ryanair commercial flight and force it to land in Minsk under false pretenses in order for KGB agents to arrest the anti-activist and journalist. -Loukachenko Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend (a Russian Citizen), the two agencies proudly announced that they would strengthen their cooperation against “the destructive West”.

The Lukashenko regime even paraded a depressed and frightened Pratasevich past state television cameras to make a forced confession about subversive activities in a scene worthy of the Stalinist-era show trials.

Prominent security observers like Mark Galeotti believe the FSB helped its Belarusian “colleagues” to carry out the operation.

A similar suspicion of inter-agency cooperation hangs over the mysterious death of Belarusian activist Vitaly Shishov, whom police found hanged in a Kiev park this week. Chichov had emigrated to escape the grim reality of inevitable arrest and possible torture in Belarus.

Would Lukashenko challenge the EU without Putin’s support?

In this atmosphere of fear and intimidation, it is no surprise that anti-regime rallies across Belarus have all but ceased, with hundreds if not thousands of Belarusians fleeing the country, mainly to neighboring Poland and Lithuania. .

In July, Lukashenko also stepped up his confrontation with the EU by abandoning the EU-Belarus readmission treaty and easing his country’s visa restrictions to allow thousands of migrants from the Middle East, Asia and Asia. Africa to freely enter Lithuania, an EU member state.

Lithuanian authorities have called the move “an act of hybrid warfare” as they rushed to house hundreds, then thousands of migrants and to fortify their border.

It is highly unlikely that the Belarusian dictator would have adopted such an aggressive stance towards the EU without Putin’s prior consent.

For the Kremlin, supporting Minsk is an effective and inexpensive way to show that it does not leave the allies in embarrassment, as well as to display its ability to threaten the EU on a massive scale.

However, opponents of Lukashenko, including Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, remain reluctant to mention Putin and continue to speak only of the Lukashenko regime threatening Europe. Some even let me understand in private conversations that they believed Putin would eventually tire of Lukashenko embarrassing him and agreeing to negotiate his exit from politics. This kind of calculation is a big mistake.

What is the end of the game for Putin on Belarus?

Everything the Kremlin does points to Russia’s goal of absorbing Belarus in one way or another, even though it can officially stay on the map with Lukashenko as its leader.

Putin doesn’t need to repeat his 2014 Crimea operation to gain full control of Belarus – Minsk agreeing to host Russian military bases and adopting the ruble as its national currency would suffice.

This would make Putin the ruler of the Belarusian economy – allowing the subsequent takeover of his most valuable assets by Russian companies selected by the Kremlin – as well as a foothold allowing Russia to simultaneously confront Ukraine in the process. the south and Poland, a NATO member, to the west.

After Putin’s international isolation was effectively ended by Joe Biden at their summit in Geneva in June, there appears to be little will in the US or the EU to stop such developments should Putin have to. seize Belarus. With most of the militants murdered, in prison or in exile, neither is the Belarusian opposition.

When Belarus’ democratic revolution began a year ago, few imagined that Lukashenko’s cruelty, Putin’s money, and their combined security agencies would tip the scales so much that the country’s existence would ultimately be on the line.


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A moving portrayal of the Soviet Union at the end of the era

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I discovered this novel when it was left in a vacation apartment that I was renting. When I started reading it, I was immediately struck by the similarities with Solzhenitsyn, one of the greatest exponents of quality fiction of the 20th century.

We learn about the experiences of Ivan Demidov’s WWII (his almost miraculous rescue from death on the battlefield provides a surprising openness to the novel) and his post-war life. He is declared “Hero of the Soviet Union” for his bravery, which allows him to have priority and extra rations in insufficient grocery stores. For a time he was celebrated in propaganda television programs and invited to give patriotic speeches in primary schools, but Russia gradually lost interest in its war heroes.

The other main character is Olya, Ivan’s beautiful and intelligent daughter, who studies languages ​​and is employed as an “interpreter” by the KGB. But its real role is to “entertain” and spy on foreign businessmen visiting Moscow. Her life as a glorified prostitute brings sufficient material comfort but little personal contentment.

The tale skillfully blends the present and the past and explores the – mostly difficult and daunting – experiences of different generations of Russians. Andreï Makine applied for and obtained political asylum in France during a teacher exchange program in 1987. In this first published book, he gives a first glimpse of one of his recurring themes: how the Soviet system a prostitute (sometimes literally) is the brightest and the best.

The father and daughter are perhaps less developed characters than they could have been (in particular, more on the relationship between the two would have been welcome). This is a flaw that could be attributed to the fact that this is a first novel, but the wickedness, misery and corruption of a society that has gone astray are made vivid, memorable and moving. . Ivan and Olya desperately yearn to express themselves, verbally, emotionally and in all other ways, but the world they find themselves in inhibits and blocks them.

It is not all gloomy. The abrupt but appropriate end gives hope, albeit limited, for better times.


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Covid-19: India partners with China, Russia and Brazil for genomic sequencing | India News

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NEW DELHI: Indian scientists, in partnership with experts from China, Russia and Brazil, will perform genomic sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 and work on the epidemiology and mathematical modeling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This will help trace the genetic mutations, recombinations as well as the distribution of the virus and also make predictions about the future of its spread,” the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement on Friday, while announcing the collaborative approach between countries within the framework of the BRICS-Multilateral research and development project.
“The study will provide a common platform to share and analyze data from four different countries and understand the pathways and transmission dynamics of viruses,” he said.
Whole genome sequencing is necessary for the identification of genetic mutations and recombinations of the coronavirus, while epidemiological studies can help assess its distribution. On the other hand, mathematical modeling is necessary to assess the future spread of Covid-19.
As part of the joint research, the Indian and Brazilian parties will assess the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental samples through metagenome analysis for wastewater-based epidemiological surveillance (WBE). Chinese and Russian scientists will perform real-time PCR detection of SARS-CoV-2 in biological material (nasopharyngeal swabs) from patients with symptoms of respiratory diseases and study genomic variability, comparative genomics and phylogenetic analysis.
“Genomic, metagenomic and epidemiological data from India, China, Russia and Brazil will be integrated to develop mathematical models for the analysis of mutations, population genetics, phylogenetic relationships, analysis of recombination and risk assessment to reveal the spread network and dynamics of the virus, ”the ministry said.
This decision will help to map the routes of spread and dynamics of the virus. The database developed by the different groups will also compare the distribution and survival of the virus in the different regions and establish the surveillance of the relevant early warning system.
The collaborative research plan was developed taking into account the strengths of international collaborators from the Institute of Microbiology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences of China, the Federal Center for Research in Fundamental and Translational Medicine of Russia and the Virus Laboratory. and measles, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Brazil.


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An Exclusive Look At How Space Force Defends America – KION546

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By Jim Sciutto, Chief National Security Correspondent

I’ve been incorporated into every branch of the US military multiple times – in war zones and on bases – but nothing quite resembles an inside look at the new US space force. Space Force “Guardians”, as they are called, do their jobs hundreds, if not thousands of kilometers, from the front lines of the conflicts they fight.

And yet every Guardian we spoke to described their fight as just as hostile as any other front today.

“Space is a battlefield,” said Col. Matthew Holston, commander of Space Delta 8. “That’s why we created the United States Space Force as a separate service. So every day we train our operators to prevent conflicts, but if deterrence fails, to compete and win in space.

My team and I visited Mission Control at Buckley Space Force Base in Aurora, Colorado, where the Guardians fly the nation’s missile warning satellites. Using infrared sensors, these satellites, orbiting 22,000 miles above Earth, roam the planet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, looking for missile launches and nuclear detonations.

“Always vigilant”

“We never stop, always vigilant and we have never failed,” Lt. Col. Michael Mariner, commander of 2 Space Warning Squadron, told me. “And there is a reason for that. And that’s because that’s how important this mission is to our nation. We provide decision-quality data to tactical combatants in the field to save their lives. “

In January 2020, these satellites went into action – detecting several Iranian missiles targeting the Al-Asad air base in Iraq where US troops were stationed. Before these missiles rained down, within minutes, the Space Force had issued a life-saving warning to American units on the ground.

“It’s lightning fast,” Space Force 4 specialist Sally Stephens, who was on duty that day, told me. “We don’t get reminded very often of where our data is arriving, and that night was a shocking reality. “

Missile warning satellites are just a fraction of the hundreds of US government and commercial satellites monitored and defended by the Space Force Guardians today.

The problem is, space – once considered largely friendly territory – has become a potential war zone.

China is launching “kidnapper” satellites, with grapple arms capable of removing the satellites from their orbit.

Russia is deploying “suicide bombers” capable of striking and destroying US space assets.

And Russia has a new weapon that Space Force is dubbing the “Nesting Doll”

General John “Jay” Raymond, chief of space operations for the US Space Force, told us about one of the most alarming episodes of a growing arms race in space.

“In 2017, Russia launched a satellite, and you can imagine it kind of like this doll,” he said. “It opened and another satellite came out. And it opened and a projectile came out. This projectile is designed to kill American satellites. So in 2019 they did the same, but this time they put it next to one of our satellites. It opened, the second doll came out and we started talking about it.

“Talking about it” meant, in effect, warning Russia.

As General Raymond told me, “we described what safe and professional behavior [is] – it is important. Today there are no rules in space. This is the wild Wild West.

A potential front

Russia and China also have directed energy weapons, which can damage or disable US satellites from a distance. The era of lasers in space has already arrived.

Space Force is now an independent branch of the US military due to this alarming new reality: Space – once relatively peaceful territory – is now seen as a potential front in any modern warfare.

The United States has many more satellites than any other country: some 2,500, compared to 431 for China and 168 for Russia, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

And a whole range of military technologies depend on it: satellites help warships and planes navigate and communicate … help smart bombs and guided missiles hit their targets … help fighters monitor threats on land, by sea ​​and in the air.

“There is nothing we do as a joint force, be it humanitarian aid, disaster relief or combat that is not made possible by space,” Raymond said.

More than many Americans realize, civilian technologies also depend on space.

The nation’s GPS satellite constellation, flown by the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Space Force Base Schriever in Colorado Springs, is the backbone of several critical infrastructures.

“The standard American people will probably use space 20 to 30 times between waking up and having breakfast,” said Col. Miguel Cruz, commander of Space Delta 4.

In what way precisely? Holston, the commander of Space Delta 8, explained.

“If you just look at everyday life, the financial industries rely on positioning and timing information for accurate banking transactions and transactions, with financial markets synchronizing all of these operations, our transportation industry for positioning. and timing, air, land, sea, and rail all depend on the Global Positioning System to be able to run our critical infrastructure, ”he said.

Raymond described the importance of space to American life saying, “The United States is a space nation. We have long understood that space is the basis of all our instruments and of our national power. “

This reliance on space is one of the reasons Space Force was erected into its own separate branch of the military in December 2019. This step, in practice, makes “a significant difference,” Raymond said.

“The target is on your back”

“It allowed us to attract more talent, to develop that talent in a way that we haven’t been able to do in the past,” Raymond explained. “It helped us to strengthen our requirements. It makes me a member of the Joint Chiefs. This allows me to integrate space into joint combat constructions. It also puts me on a par with the international chefs I deal with, which allows us to strengthen our partnerships. “

The task of defending the nearly three dozen GPS satellites falls on a remarkably small team: ten Guardians on duty at any given time, almost three times the number of the half-billion-dollar satellites they fly.

Schriever Space Force Base controls multiple constellations of US satellites, each constellation with dozens of satellites, each providing capabilities, such as GPS, secure military communications and, increasingly, situational awareness in space, that is, in search of adversaries. and weapons targeting US space assets.

The danger for the United States is that greater dependence on space equates to greater vulnerability.

“Our biggest challenge is to stay on top, isn’t it? Said Mariner, the commanding officer of 2 Space Warning Squadron. “When you’re at the top, when you’re at the top, the target is on your back, everyone shoots for you. So they are developing better technology.

New satellites are designed with greater maneuverability, armor to block directed energy weapons, and resilience so that the loss of one or a few does not disable the system.

Space Force commanders welcome the entry of the private sector into space, as it creates more and cheaper options for entering orbit. In June of this year, the last GPS satellite was mounted on a SpaceX rocket.

“I would bet on the American industry any day,” Raymond said. “It’s a huge advantage that we have.

As for the militarization of the United States, Space Force wants to avoid an arms race in space.

“We would prefer the domain to remain conflict-free,” Raymond said. “But as in any other field, air, land, sea and now space, we will be ready to protect and defend.”

Opponents have already attempted to use space weapons to temporarily deactivate US satellites, using lasers and directed energy weapons to blind or “dazzle” them.

Space warfare is not science fiction, but a battle already underway today.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.


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Over 30 million Russians receive two COVID vaccines – Deputy Prime Minister – Society & Culture

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MOSCOW, August 6. / TASS /. More than 39 million Russians have been vaccinated against the new coronavirus, of which 30 million have received both vaccines, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova told TASS on Friday.

“As of the morning of August 6, 2021, more than 39 million people in Russia have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 30 million have received the two injections,” she said.

According to Golikova, the leaders in terms of population coverage are Moscow, Moscow region, Belgorod region, Republic of Tyva, Tyumen region, Nenets Autonomous Region, Tula region, Sakhalin region, Chechen Republic and the Chukchi Autonomous Zone.

“Moscow, the regions of Moscow, Tula and Belgorod, and the Chechen Republic have demonstrated the widest vaccination coverage and the decline in mortality over the past two months,” she added.

Mass vaccination of the adult population began in Russia on January 18. Today, four coronavirus vaccines have been registered in Russia, namely Sputnik V and Sputnik Light developed by the Gamaleya Center of the Russian Ministry of Health, EpiVacCorona developed by the Vector Center of the health watchdog, and CoviVac developed by the Chumakov Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac are two-dose vaccines, while Sputnik Light is a single-dose version of Sputnik V.


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Obituary: Philip Chatfield, artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet

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Philip John Chatfield: dancer, ballet director; b December 2, 1927; d July 25, 2021

Philip Chatfield, who died at the age of 93, was artistic director of the Royal New Zealand Ballet in the mid-1970s. Together with his New Zealand wife, dancer Rowena Jackson, he influenced many young dancers in this country.

Chatfield was born in 1927 near Southampton, in the south of England, “in the same village as Benny Hill,” he later rejoiced. His own cheerful humor is recalled by all who knew him.

He learned ballet at the age of 6. He writes (in Royal New Zealand Ballet at Sixty, 2013): “I was the only boy in school. I loved it … in 1939, at age 11, Ninette de Valois awarded me a five-year scholarship to Sadler’s Wells Ballet School … I became a full-time member of the Royal Ballet Company at 15 years. . “

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In all respects this is a meteoric path for a young dancer, and Philip was also fortunate to be mentored by Nikolai Sergeyev, who had escaped from the Russian Revolution, and brought many 19th century ballet classics from the Russian repertoire to the British. company.

Chatfield and Rowena in August 1984.

Gary Fearnley / Stuff

Chatfield and Rowena in August 1984.

The extensive collection of Royal Ballet programs in the Alexander Turnbull Library (from the Alexander Grant bequest) provides evidence of Chatfield’s lead and solo roles. Tall and handsome, with an elegant physique, he danced classical roles with aplomb, and was cast in Frederick Ashton’s talisman choreography, Symphonic variations (1946), and in ballets by John Cranko among many others.

World War II had depleted the ranks of male dancers at the Royal Ballet, so New Zealanders Alexander Grant and Bryan Ashbridge, untouched by wartime service and years of food rationing, with Rowena Jackson, had an encouraging and welcome impact on the Royal Ballet stage. after the war years. Soon after arriving in London, Jackson and Ashbridge each won gold at the Adeline Genée awards in unprecedented colony scoop. Chatfield had noticed a photo in Dance time of a young New Zealand dancer recently arrived in England. He saved the photo and was able to easily recognize Rowena when she introduced herself to the Royal Ballet’s companion class.

A few years later, Russell Kerr and Anne Rowse also traveled from New Zealand to England to pursue their ballet studies and both found success in careers with the London company Festival Ballet. Nicholas Beriosov, another Russian emigrant, was there to mount the works of the Diaghilev Company, a 20th century heritage repertoire that would in turn return to New Zealand when Russell Kerr became artistic director of the New Zealand Ballet in 1963, thus keeping the company on the world map of ballet where Poul Gnatt had already placed it in 1953.

Philip Chatfield in 1960, when he moved to New Zealand with his wife Rowena.

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Philip Chatfield in 1960, when he moved to New Zealand with his wife Rowena.

In 1958 Chatfield married Rowena Jackson, who was then also a soloist with the Royal Ballet. They toured Europe and America extensively, followed by an extended tour of New Zealand and Australia in 1958-59. Soon after, the couple withdrew from the show and moved to New Zealand, starting a family.

They aided in the adventure of the New Zealand Ballet and the associated National Ballet School, becoming directors in the mid-1970s, a committed relationship between the company and the school closer than any twinning between the two institutions before. or since. They later moved to Brisbane to be closer to their family. Philip died there at the age of 93. “I am overwhelmed by the friendliness of the people – and the house is full of flowers,” Rowena reports in the days following her death.

Although they retired from the show, the Chatfields agreed to participate in the United Ballet season here in 1959-60 (an exciting combination of Gnatt’s New Zealand Ballet and Kerr’s Auckland Repertory Ballet) for which they staged. and danced in Ashton’s The ice skaters. The program included Danish work, Dream visions by Gnatt, the fabulous of Kerr Prince Igor, and the legendary Prismatic variations, co-choreographed by Kerr and Gnatt.

Rowena Jackson with Russell Kerr, foreground, at a United Ballet Company rehearsal in Auckland in August 1959. In the back row, from left, is Viv Jacobs Ballet Company Manager Philip Chatfield and Poul Gnatt.

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Rowena Jackson with Russell Kerr, foreground, at a United Ballet Company rehearsal in Auckland in August 1959. In the back row, from left, is Viv Jacobs Ballet Company Manager Philip Chatfield and Poul Gnatt.

Who needs England when you can organize seasons like this here? they wondered. Raymond Boyce, designer, Richard Campion, entrepreneur, and John Todd, patron, knew how to make it happen, and the dancers withstood all manner of pioneering conditions to keep the show on the road. At the time, ballet in this country was hitting far above its weight, funds still low but production values ​​still high and a genealogical repertoire guaranteed.

Moving to Auckland with two children, Paul and Rosetta, Philip and Rowena found ways to make ends meet (running a coffee shop, beauty salon, grocery store, as well as guest teaching, running programs dance for television, working for the Auckland Holiday Society). They were persuaded by Dorothy Daniels to replace her when she retired from the management of the National Ballet School. Philip became director with Rowena as a partner, inviting colleagues Anne Rowse and Deirdre Tarrant as tutors. Many students remember the genealogical training they received.

In 1975 Philip was appointed artistic director of the New Zealand Ballet. The company was in debt, confidence was low, and the board was planning to shut it down. Philip was offered the job “for six weeks” – he accepted the challenge, insisted for a few years, and put the bank account back in the dark. He persuaded Jon Trimmer to join the company after some time in Auckland Dance Center.

Philip Chatfield with his wife Rowena at their restaurant in Browns Bay, Auckland, in April 1979.

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Philip Chatfield with his wife Rowena at their restaurant in Browns Bay, Auckland, in April 1979.

Her own choreography included The kiss and Last Meeting. Full length The Sleeping Beauty had Patricia Rianne and Linda Anning alternating in the lead role, in partnership with Jon Trimmer. There was also “a memorable collaboration with the local Maori who helped me a lot when I choreographed a work, Tohu Aroha, to music composed by Christopher Norton ”. In 1978, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the company, he resigned from his post as director. Artistic director Harry Haythorne invited him back from Australia on stage The kiss and Last Meeting for the company’s 30th anniversary season in 1983.

Russell Kerr writes: “Philip Chatfield whom I have seen several times as a dancer, producer, teacher and finally artistic director. Always a pleasant and straightforward personality, a quick wit when it suited the occasion … an extremely kind person who will be missed by those lucky enough to have been a friend or acquaintance. Anne Rowse remembers “such a strong partnership between Rowena and Philip. They really made a team.

Kerry-Anne Gilberd says, “I remember Philip’s love for dance, music and his humor too. He and Rowena were instrumental in the start of my dancing career, for which I am eternally grateful ”; Dawn Sanders writes: “Philip had an incredible memory, having stood at the back of the stage at ‘The Garden’ (Covent), observing, noticing, absorbing the finer details of the ballets. When he reproduced The Sleeping Beauty here he knew each other’s roles and always delivered elegantly.

From Sue Nicholls: “The door would open onto the vast space of the National Ballet School, the Marion St studio, and Philip Chatfield would walk in as if he was appearing on the stage in Covent Garden. He had charisma and it was inspiring. His classes made us eat space, his choreography was moving. For my part, I loved it. There were some funny moments where Philip and Rowena argued as politely as possible, the differences in how past repertoire was memorized and needed to be passed on to us newbies. I can’t remember who won.

From Martin James: “Dear Philip Chatfield, it was you who saw talent in me, which led to a long career. Thank you.The kiss no two that you created that I will never forget because the music always resonates with me, apart from the choreography itself! ”

Jon Trimmer remembers it, and also Last Meeting, like the characteristic style of Philip.

I personally remember Philip and Rowena attending a dramatic dance I choreographed at an Auckland University Arts Festival in 1969 – Landing in unknown seas, to music by Douglas Lilburn, poetry by Allen Curnow. The venue and content were outside of their normal theater ballet comfort zone, but they attended and made kind comments afterward. The dance is, for the most part, unrated and only summarily documented, so that kind of self-interest and connection between the people involved becomes the warp of its weft, the folded to his thrown, the memory instantly danced in the night.

Philip is survived by Rowena, his wife of 63 years, his son Paul, his daughter Rosetta (Clark) and their families, including nine great-grandchildren.

Sources: Rosetta Clark, Hugo Manson, Russell Kerr, Anne Rowse, Jon Trimmer, Kerry-Anne Gilberd, Martin James, Sue Nicholls, Dawn Sanders, Alexander Turnbull Library.


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Liberty Times editorial: Cold War memories help bond

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On June 22, Lithuania became the first EU country to announce that it would donate COVID-19 vaccines to Taiwan. Its shipment of 20,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Taiwan on Saturday last week, two months ahead of its due date. On July 16, Slovakia announced that it would donate 10,000 doses of the vaccine to Taiwan and plans to send a large delegation here next month. Last Monday, the Czech cabinet followed suit by announcing a donation of 30,000 doses to Taiwan.

As well as being EU member states, Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic share their Cold War histories. These countries existed in an eastern European region ruled by the Communists, either occupied or controlled by the Soviet Union. Now that these countries are committed to helping Taiwan, we must seize this opportunity to strengthen ties with them.

Some countries in Soviet-controlled eastern Europe shared borders with European democracies. They had long been nurtured by Western culture and were no strangers to democracy. Although they were brought under Communist control at the end of World War II, their Soviet-backed regimes were unpopular.

In the 1990s, under the wave of revolutions in the countries of Eastern Europe, followed by a process of decommunization, the communist regime and the planned economies were abandoned, giving way to democratic governance and economies free. The pain and the cost of the transition implied by this political and economic change have led the peoples of these countries to cherish all the more the democracy they have today. They are often more committed than the citizens of Western European democracies in their opposition to authoritarian rule and their determination never to turn back.

Lithuania’s engagement with Taiwan shows how a small country with a small population can nonetheless refuse to bow under pressure from the great powers. The Foreign Ministry announced last week that it would establish a Taiwanese representative office in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius. It will be our first representative office in Europe to be established under the name Taiwan, and the first Taiwanese representative office to be established in a country that maintains diplomatic relations with China.

After establishing an office in Slovakia in 2003, it is a significant diplomatic achievement for Taiwan to open another representative office in Europe 18 years later. Moreover, establishing a new presence on behalf of Taiwan, freed from the shackles of a “one China”, is an example for other countries who wish to engage with us in the same way.

Pressure from China has forced Taiwan to keep a low profile when negotiating diplomatic breakthroughs with other countries. However, even before Taiwan announced the creation of the new office, Lithuania said in March that it planned to establish a representative office in Taiwan with a view to expanding relations.

By approving offices in each other’s countries, Lithuania refused to be influenced by China and also withdrew from the Beijing-led “17 + 1” regional cooperation mechanism with Central European countries and eastern.

These decisions show the international community how determined a small country can be when it refuses to be intimidated or tempted by Beijing’s sticks and carrots. When Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis announced his country’s vaccine donation to Taiwan on June 22, he said “freedom-loving people should look out for each other.”

Although Lithuania maintains diplomatic relations with China, it has left no doubt that it intends to move closer to Taiwan while keeping its distance from China.

In his July 19 column in the British newspaper The Times, Edward Lucas praised Lithuania for leading the way in the fight against China and its dictatorship, saying Lithuania deserved more substantial support from its allies in the liberal democratic world. Lithuania’s image as a country that refuses to back down has put it in the international spotlight, gaining geopolitical support from democratic countries as it faces threats from Russia.

The Czech Republic, another country east of the Iron Curtain, is also looking to engage with Taiwan. Rejecting threats from Beijing, Czech Senate Speaker Milos Vystrcil led an 89-member delegation to Taiwan last August to engage in substantial cooperation with the country. Vystrcil’s speech at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei on September 1 last year – in which he said in Mandarin, “I am a Taiwanese” – was moving for government and opposition lawmakers, and inspired a deep sense of democratic friendship.

Through his actions, Vystrcil expressed his commitment to safeguard democracy. His predecessor as President of the Czech Senate, Jaroslav Kubera, who was a friend of Taiwan, died suddenly on January 20 last year, on the eve of his planned visit to Taiwan. His widow then revealed that the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic sent Kubera a letter warning him to cancel his visit to Taiwan. Barely six months later, his successor made Kubera’s wish come true by leading a delegation to Taiwan.

This sequence of events reflects the collective atmosphere of antipathy towards Beijing in Czech society, which even China’s friendly Czech government finds it difficult to challenge. The election of the Czech Senate in October last year was a landslide victory for the then opposition camp, to which Vystrcil belongs, strengthening its dominance in the upper house, and the decision of the Czech Cabinet to make donating vaccines to Taiwan is an indication of where that nation’s politics are headed.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (王毅) reacted to Vystrcil’s support for Taiwan by calling it an attempt to turn against the 1.4 billion Chinese and saying that Vystrcil “would pay a heavy price”. Slovak President Zuzana Caputova said her country could not accept China’s threat against the Czech Republic and that Slovakia would support its neighbor.

The two countries, which were united as one Czechoslovakia until their peaceful separation in 1993, can truly be called sister nations. Slovakia followed in the footsteps of the Czech Republic in favor of Taiwan by announcing that it would donate vaccines to Taiwan. In Central and Eastern Europe, China’s frequent diplomatic coercion on EU countries has had the unintended effect of arousing dark memories of the Communist regime, except that the Soviet “Big Brother” has been replaced by the “warriors”. wolves’ from China.

Lithuania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic gave Taiwan vaccines in exchange for masks and other medical supplies last year. Donations back and forth may seem limited, but this “virtuous circle” has not only warmed the hearts of every nation, but also shows that these former communist countries of Eastern Europe are looking to the Indo-Pacific region in the search for alliances with democratic partners. .

22 years ago Taiwan established diplomatic relations with Macedonia, now known as North Macedonia, which is in the same region. These ties ended before three years had passed. Now that a new strategic space is opening up in Europe, these former communist countries are of capital importance. If Taiwan wants to play an international role and stand up against China, it should make more efforts to study Eastern Europe.

Translated by Julian Clegg

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Belarusian armed forces: structures, capabilities and defense relations with Russia

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The Belarusian armed forces have limited capabilities. They are understaffed and for the most part equipped with outdated weapon systems. But as Russia’s only ally on its western border, Belarus would play a critical role in the event of a Russia-NATO conflict.

The day after the August 2020 elections, the forced landing of Ryanair flight 4978 and the arrest of opposition activist Roman Protasevich, the fabrication of a migration crisis on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border and, more recently, the refusal Belarusian sprinter Krystina Timanovskaya to leave Tokyo after her Olympic performances drew a lot of attention to Belarus and its relations with Russia.

In the 1990s, Belarus had the highest concentration of military forces in the world, but its military might has declined steadily since. This analysis uses open source intelligence to examine in detail the structure and capabilities of Belarusian armed forces today. Alone, they would find it difficult to carry out the missions assigned to them. But Lukashenko’s reckless actions and the resulting isolation forced Minsk to accept an ever closer defensive relationship with Moscow. The analysis also describes the de facto subordination of the Belarusian armed forces to Russian military command structures and their wartime role of providing substantial logistical support to the Russian armed forces.

Please download and read the article: Belarusian Armed Forces: Defense Structures, Capabilities and Relations with Russia


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US targets China, Russia in military exercises

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