STUCK in Ukraine, the Russian army is now trying to avoid the Ukraine army but still wanting to under-mine Ukrainian morale by using cruise missiles and bombs to destroy civilian infrastructure. Without putting infantry on the ground to take control, simply destroying buildings will not work. This was brutally shown in Russia in 1941-1945.

The corrupt mindset that siphons off billions from the Russian state – crippling healthcare, transport infrastructure, even military projects – to spend on huge yachts and mansions is totally materialistic. This mindset falsely defines cities and countries by their buildings, not by the unwavering spirit and determination of their people.

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In World War Two the Nazis used the V1 and V2, the first cruise missiles. They also dropped 12,000 tonnes of bombs on London and 24,000 tonnes on Britain as a whole.

Cities were badly damaged but their inhabitants emerging after the blitz just “kept calm and carried on.”

In that war the Nazis shelled and bombed Russian cities. Stalingrad was reduced to rubble, but its underground basements and shelters meant the invading forces were drawn into hugely costly battles against more effective defending infantry. In the Stalingrad siege the invaders lost 850,000 men, killed, wounded or taken prisoner.

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Even other key members of the Russian state have profound doubts about the current Ukraine invasion. A leaked Russian Secret Service report stated: “Even with minimal resistance from the Ukrainians we’d need 500,000 people, including supply and logistic workers” to control Ukraine. Another estimate is more than a million. Even formerly pro-Russian political parties are refusing to work with Russian troops in the few captured Ukrainian towns.

Bedevilled by corruption, poor organisation and equipment (Russia, one of the largest oil producers in the world, is short of fuel for tanks and military vehicles!), Russian troops have understandably low morale – one army group even ran over their own commander! They are facing an enemy that is fiercely fighting to defend its own land; a massive uphill battle.

Russia faces severe sanctions which have seriously undermined its economy, and the much more effective public relations and propaganda of the Ukraine government. The failure of Vladimir Putin to learn from Russian history could be fatal!

Andrew Milroy

I WAS dismayed to learn on Tuesday morning that Edinburgh City Council have decided to cancel discussion on a proposal seeking to twin the city with the city of Gaza.

It appears the item was pulled to “give full consideration to legal matters raised since publication of the agenda”, since “the Israeli authorities have challenged any consideration of the matter – even to negatively consider – as unlawful, on grounds it ‘could’ support Hamas”– a listed terrorist organisation.

READ MORE: Edinburgh twinning with Gaza motion pulled from council agenda

This is despite claims by the Gaza Council Media department that their municipal officials are appointed by Ejtimaa meeting, a process similar to how tribal elders in a Jirga group appoint leaders in Afghanistan, and their denial of Hamas involvement in Gazan local elections.

The city council move follows an earlier warning from UK Lawyers for Israel that individual councillors could face up to 14 years in prison if the proposal to twin with Gaza went ahead.

It seems strange, at a time when we are all being asked to respect and support the rights of a sovereign country, and after years of being warned about another state’s interference in our own and US democracy, that the agents of different state actor can openly and successfully threaten the elected officials of the people of Edinburgh and determine for themselves who we can or cannot develop friendly relations with. Strange times indeed.

MJ Hauxwell

THE letter by Brian Powell (Mar 29) contains a serious inaccuracy. James Wilson DID NOT sign the American Bill of Rights (which is the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States). He did sign the American Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States – he was one of six Scots to sign both documents.

With regard to an American Bill of Rights, he said this in the Pennsylvania Convention to Ratify the Constitution of the United States: “…there was no direct motion offered for any thing of the kind …that, even in single governments, a bill of rights is not an essential or necessary measure … A bill of rights annexed to a constitution is an enumeration of the power reserved.

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“If we attempt an enumeration, everything that is not enumerated is presumed to be given. The consequence is, that an imperfect enumeration would throw all implied power into the scale of the government, and the rights of the people would be rendered incomplete.”

Michael Follon