The Afghan authorities till the last did not believe in the withdrawal of the U.S. army from the country and considered all movements of American troops over the past six months to be military maneuvers, Mohammad Farajallah, an expert on the Near and Middle East, the editor-in-chief of the Ukraine in Arabic online portal, told the Experts Club YouTube channel.
“For some unknown reason, the Afghan leadership decided to reshuffle personnel in the army and appointed a person who had been undergoing long-term treatment in the UAE as the Minister of Defense,” the expert added.
Farajallah believes that due to these factors, the Afghan armed forces were in a deplorable state by the beginning of the large-scale offensive by the Taliban. In addition, according to the expert, the Afghan army is used to fighting according to the American model, and was not ready for the lack of massive air support and satellite intelligence.
“At the end of April, the U.S. military ceased serving Afghan aircraft and transmitting intelligence. They announced that they were beginning to withdraw their troops. The Afghan authorities, in turn, did not prepare (for the Taliban’s offensive) and did not understand the importance of the situation. Also, this situation damages the reputation of the CIA, which in its forecasts gave the Taliban at least six months to seize power,” the orientalist emphasized.
Another wrong decision of the Afghan authorities, according to the expert, was the concentration of military units in large cities. This led to the formation of a kind of besieged garrisons without supply lines, which rather quickly surrendered to the Taliban one after another.
The expert said the main factor behind the quick victory for the Taliban was the low morale of the Afghan army. The few pockets of resistance were brutally suppressed by the Taliban, but most of the army simply laid down their arms.
“The Taliban have worked with the heads of clans who have a huge impact on the local population, including soldiers of the Afghan army. When a tribal elder tells a local soldier to drop his weapon and go home, he has no choice but to obey, as tribal leaders have much more authority than inexperienced army commanders,” he noted.
Watch the first part of the program on the situation in Afghanistan here
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The Macroeconomic Review section has been launched on a monthly basis within the framework of the Experts Club. In the first video, the co-founder of the project, PhD in Economics, Maksim Urakin, analyzed the main macro indicators.
“The goal of our Macroeconomic Review project is to provide the viewer with the key statistics and information in the most convenient form, to do it succinctly and clearly, replacing cumbersome tables and lengthy reasoning with graphic analysis,” research organizer Maksim Urakin said.
In the block on the population of Ukraine, the latest data of the State Statistics Service on the number of residents of our country were presented, a comparison was made between the statistics of state bodies and the indicators of the so-called “electronic census” of January 2020. In addition, the latest data on unemployment and wages in the regions were studied.
In the economic block, the indicators of GDP, the volume of foreign trade, the main trade partners of Ukraine, the national debt, the indicators and sources of investment and industrial production are analyzed.
All data is presented in the form of graphs and diagrams that complement the visual backdrop.
In the future, the Experts Club will analyze and present both the current statistics of Ukraine and compare the latest data with the previous periods, as well as with the indicators of other countries.
In addition, a series of thematic programs are planned, which will be devoted to the state of various sectors of the Ukrainian economy and their characteristics over the period of 30 years of independence.
The full video can be found on the Experts Club YouTube channel at the link:
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On July 15, the Presszvanie project, with the support of the Experts Club, held another webinar for journalists entitled “How Figures and Facts Lie to Us, and What to Do with This.”
Oleksandr Kramarenko, the editor-in-chief of the Dengi and Korrespondent magazines, spoke about how to correctly operate with figures and facts within the framework of data journalism, how to adequately use critical thinking and data presentation techniques.
The webinar video is available at
According to political scientist Daniil Bogatyriov, in recent weeks, international relations are characterized by an escalation in confrontation between various centers of power.
According to the expert in international affairs, the beginning of not one, but two cold wars is characteristic of the current geopolitical situation in the world: between Russia and the United States in Eastern Europe and between China and the United States in Southeast Asia.
“For example, a recent meeting of the representatives of the U.S. Department State and the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Alaska only exacerbated contradictions between the countries. At the end of the meeting, unambiguous confrontational statements were made. The American side expressed to the Chinese one claims about the violation of human rights in Hong Kong and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, the increasing pressure in Taiwan. The Chinese, in turn, pointed to the facts of human rights violations in the United States during the suppression of the BLM protest movement,” Bogatyriov said.
According to the political scientist, a similar level of confrontation has also been achieved between the United States and the Russian Federation.
“Today we see attempts to eliminate internal opposition in Russia and Belarus. Thus, the Russian authorities have launched a process to recognize the structure of Alexei Navalny (the Anti-Corruption Foundation) an extremist organization. It is no coincidence that the so-called conspiracy of the opposition intelligentsia has been uncovered in Belarus just now,” the expert said.
He noted that all these processes in the future may lead to the formation of the phenomenon of “large spaces” in various regions of the world, which will in fact be zones of direct influence of one or another large state.
“We are entering the world of “large spaces,” the world of zones of influence, where a cold war will flare up between them and in the future serious restrictions on the movement of citizens and any other cross-border activities are not ruled out. Such things will be possible only within the framework of their large space, that is, this will lead to the lowering of the very real “iron curtain,” as it was in the last cold war,” Bogatyriov summed up.
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Ukrainian YouTube channels in 2020 have grown in terms of audience and views, head of the YouTube partner program in Central and Eastern Europe Javid Aslanov said during an online conference on Wednesday, March 24.
According to him, over the past year, the number of Ukrainian channels with 100,000 subscribers and more has increased by 35%, and channels with 1 million subscribers and more – by 45%. On average, a Ukrainian user spends on YouTube more than 55 minutes every day.
According to YouTube, the main markets for Ukrainian creators on the platform are India, Indonesia, Brazil, the United States, the Middle East, and the EU.
Also, according to YouTube statistics, over the past three months, more than 1 billion users around the world have watched the channels of Ukrainian authors.
Among the most popular languages (in addition to Ukrainian and Russian), in which Ukrainian creators run their channels, are English, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic, as well as Portuguese, Indonesian and Vietnamese (in abbreviated order).
In Ukrainian segment of YouTube during the pandemic, quite unique trends arose: in December 2020, educational content (physics, mathematics and chemistry) in Ukraine was watched 50% more actively than a year before.
Viewers’ interest in local travel content has significantly increased – videos about hiking and rafting have grown in views by more than 80%.
“One of the most interesting trends in Ukrainian YouTube during the pandemic was the content on fish farming – the viewing time of the corresponding videos increased by 50% in December 2020 compared to December 2019,” the project’s presentation said.
In general, in Ukraine in 2020, daily views of home workout videos increased by 70,6%, videos with meditations increased in views – by 35%, and views of culinary channels increased by 45%.
In addition, the time of watching live streams on YouTube worldwide has grown ten times in three years, and viewers watch live streams on average four times longer than regular videos.
Almost 60% of Ukrainians call themselves Europeans, according to the survey held by Active Group sociological company. This is evidenced by the results of a common study conducted by Active Group sociological company and the Experts Club company and presented at the Interfax-Ukraine agency.
“Being asked if he/she considers himself/herself a European, 43.4% of respondents said affirmatively, 14.6% said rather yes, while 13.6% said rather no, and 24.1% said definitely no,” said head of Active Group Oleksandr Pozniy at a press conference at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv.
Another 4.3% found it difficult to answer this question.
According to the expert, 64.5% of citizens consider it important to introduce a visa-free regime with the countries of the European Union, while 72.3% did not use these preferences.
A number of 25.7% of respondents said visa-free regime is very important, according to 38.8% of the respondents it was rather important, for 18.8% – rather not important and 8.2% of the respondents considered it to be strongly useless.
According to the survey, only 23.5% of respondents took advantage of the “visa-free” opportunity to travel to European Union countries, 4.2% found it difficult to answer the question.
According to Active Group, the survey was conducted by telephone interview on June 7-9. Some 1,236 respondents were interviewed in all regions of Ukraine, except for the uncontrolled territories and Crimea. The study is representative by age, gender and place of residence. The sampling error does not exceed 2.8%.