Tuesday 26 April 2022

Adeyinka Makinde Interviewed on The Mind Renewed: The Ukraine Crisis 2022

TMR 281: Adeyinka Makinde: On the Ukraine Crisis 2022

For the second interview in our short series on the Ukraine Crisis we are once again joined by the lawyer, writer and university lecturer Adeyinka Makinde, who has appeared on the programme several times in the past to speak on geopolitical matters.

In this in-depth interview, recorded on 8 April 2022, Adeyinka Makinde draws upon his considerable knowledge and understanding of military history and international relations to share with us his perspective on the historical, political and geographical conditions that he argues have led to the current Crisis.

Adeyinka Makinde trained for the law as a barrister. He lectures in criminal law and public law at a university in London and has an academic research interest in intelligence & security matters. He is a contributor to a number of websites for which he has written essays and commentaries on international relations, politics and military history. He has served as a programme consultant and provided expert commentary for BBC World Service Radio, China Radio International and the Voice of Russia.

Of his past TMR appearances, the following interview most helpfully provides further background to some of the points discussed in this programme:

TMR 198: Adeyinka Makinde: Russia & Britain - An Enduring But Fruitless Rivalry.

© The Mind Renewed/Adeyinka Makinde (2022)

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. He has an interest in history and geopolitics.

Saturday 16 April 2022

Positing Canada as a Blood-Stained Enforcer of the U.S. Empire

Canada has a lot to answer for its role in training members of the neo-Nazi Ukrainian Azov regiment which took the lead in prosecuting the war against the Russian-speaking Ukrainians which Russia has labelled a "genocide" given that between 11,000-14,000 civilians died in the 8 year-long conflict.

The wolfsangel-insignia bearing military formation is not the only far right unit to have been "absorbed" into the Ukrainian armed forces. Members of fascistic, ultranationalist groups such as Pravy Sektor serve in the army and indeed President Volodymyr Zelensky awarded the "Hero of Ukraine" medal to a member of that group.

A Canadian military delegation also trained one Ukrainian soldier who "sported the crest of a Nazi SS unit from the Second World War".

This was in 2020.

Canada has also supplied the Ukrainian military with weapons and equipment.

But the "sins" of Canada do not end there.

Canada has a blood-stained record in aiding the United States in a number of insalubrious geostrategic endeavours through the decades.


. Played a significant role in the demise of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba of Congo. Lt. Colonel Jean Berthiaume, an infantry corps commander who served in the Congo as Chief of Staff at ONUC (United Nations Operation in the Congo), helped deliver Lumumba into the hands of his political enemies.  Berthiaume told a journalist three decades later how he tracked Lumumba after Lumumba escaped house arrest and was heading for sanctuary in his political stronghold in the east of the Congo. Berthiaume telephoned Colonel Joseph Mobutu to tell the army chief and future Head of State that he knew where Lumumba was and where he would be tomorrow. He laid out a plan to use Canadian-trained paratroopers to arrest Lumumba in a small village which had a runway. Lumumba was arrested as planned and executed by firing squad in February 1961.

. Trained many of the soldiers who participated in the overthrow of President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana in February 1966. Soon after Nkrumah's overthrow, C.E. McGaughey, the Canadian High Commissioner in Accra, wrote “a wonderful thing has happened for the West in Ghana and Canada has played a worthy part.” McGaughey also noted that “all the chief participants of the coup" were graduates of the Canadian-led Junior Staff Officers training program at the Ghanaian Defence College.

. Utilised diplomatic manoeuvres and its Special Forces soldiers to bring about the eventual overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti in February 2004. In January/February of 2003, Canada organised an international gathering titled the "Ottawa Initiative on Haiti" at which the foundations for a coup in Haiti were laid. A year later, Canadian forces secured "key locations" around Haiti including the airport at Port-au-Prince which Canadian Special Forces occupied while their US counterparts kidnapped Aristide and spirited him out of the country and into exile.

. Played a role as part of the NATO member states who devastated Libya during the violent overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. During what they dubbed "Operation Mobile", the Canadian air force gave air cover to Islamist proxies in attacks on the Libyan national army, conducted bombing raids on Libyan infrastructure and indulged in psychological warfare by broadcasting anti-Gaddafi propaganda messages from a CP-140 Aurora maritime patrol aircraft.

It is an unenviable record of which a great many people, even Canadian nationals, remain unaware.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England. He has an interest in history and geopolitics.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Jean-Paul Belmondo: Legendary French Film Actor and Boxing Afficionado

Jean-Paul Belmondo

I had no idea that Jean-Paul Belmondo, the legendary French actor, passed away last September at the age of eighty-eight.

The son of an Algerian Pied-Noir of Italian descent, he had a brief but undefeated spell as an amateur boxer from 1949 to 1950.

I understand that he never lost his passion for the sport. When he attended boxing events, he watched everything from the preliminaries to the main event. He was friendly with boxers and gave them advice and encouragement.

Belmondo played the role of a boxer in the 1963 movie "Magnet of Doom". He also played a boxer turned World War I aviator in "L'as des as", a fictionalised version of events in the life of Georges Carpentier.

He was a prominent part of what came to be known as the New Wave of French Cinema but was also a mainstream actor who imprinted his unique screen persona into the consciousness of French film fans and international audiences.

Belmondo was born on April 9th, 1933 and died on September 6th, 2021.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.

Friday 1 April 2022

The Mystery of the Helicopters of Mariupol

Wreckage of a Ukrainian Mi8 helicopter shot down by air defence systems manned by militiamen of the Russian-speaking separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR)

The Russian armed forces have essentially defeated the Ukrainian forces in this city on the Azov Sea.

The battles have been ferocious, but the Ukrainian forces which were led by the neo-Nazi Azov Battalion have now retreated to a stronghold, the Steel Works Industrial centre known as the Azovstal Iron and Steel Works where they are making a last stand.

It is a massive complex of great economic importance to Mariupol. I am sure that the Russians will want to leave the plant intact rather than bomb it to ruins in order to kill the Azov members. Therefore, they may opt to lay siege until the occupants run out of food and supplies. Or they may enter the plant and destroy the occupants via hand-to-hand fighting.

The Russians are basically "mopping up" in Mariupol using a large-sized contingent of Chechen forces. I have no doubt that the Azov soldiers are being ruthlessly liquidated.

Please note that although the Azov personnel are fanatical and dedicated fighters, they have also used citizens of Mariupol as "human shields". They have placed military equipment on top of buildings such as hospitals and they did their utmost to prevent civilians from leaving the city. This has been corroborated by audio-visual footage and in the Greek press by ethnic Greek Ukrainian nationals.

Now, the interesting thing is that a series of helicopter missions have headed to Mariupol in recent days. These Mi8 helicopters have flown during the night at low altitude in an attempt to evade radar.

In one incident an approaching helicopter was shot down, and in another more recent incident, two helicopters actually landed at the steelworks but were shot down when they took off. One was destroyed while the other crash landed and two prisoners were taken.

The downings of the helicopters are reportedly the work of militiamen of the Russian-speaking separatist Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).

There are uncorroborated rumours that among those trapped at the steel works are NATO military advisers. Different reports mention different nationalities such as British, American, Polish and French.

It is worth noting that military instructors from NATO countries including Britain were among the dead after Russian precision missile strikes on military training establishments in western Ukraine were carried out.

Another uncorroborated rumour claims that French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned President Vladimir Putin to "beg" Putin to allow French military advisors "safe passage".

None of this can presently be corroborated but the shooting down of helicopters headed to the steelworks is true. There are gruesome photographs of the aftermath.

Among those allegedly killed are the Azov Commander, Major Denys Prokopenko and the Deputy Commander Lieutenant Svyatoslav Palamar (call sign Kalina).

The first reports were that the helicopters were sent to evacuate the Azov military leadership, which of course is plausible. In fact, it is the most likely explanation.

However, the uncorroborated rumours of attempts to rescue NATO military advisors adds a fascinating dimension to a quite compelling war story.

© Adeyinka Makinde (2022).

Adeyinka Makinde is a writer based in London, England.