50 interesting facts about NATO and why it matters in today's Ukraine and Russian war
NATO is the organization that has dominated military relations in the 28 member states on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean for more than six decades. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the world's leading international institutions. It is a political and military alliance of 28 member states in Europe and North America.
The alliance makes all decisions by consensus. Each Member State, no matter how large or small, is on an equal footing in the discussions and decisions taken. Member States are committed to respecting and promoting individual freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These values are NATO's main transatlantic bonds.
You can read the 50 interesting facts about NATO below:
1. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is one of the most important institutions in the world. NATO is a military alliance of 28 member states in Europe and North America. All decisions of the alliance are taken by consensus.
2. Each Member State has an equal position in every discussion and decision that is taken. Member States are committed to respecting individual freedoms, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. These values are extremely important in NATO's transatlantic relationship.
3. The alliance's primary responsibility is to protect and defend the territories of the Member States. Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty provides for a commitment to collective defense, and an attack on a Member State is an attack on the organization.
4. However, Article 5 was invoked only once in NATO's 67-year history on September 12, 2001, a day after the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.
5. NATO has a permanent and integrated command structure, with military personnel from all member states. The Alliance has two Strategic Leaderships, Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium, and Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, USA.
6. Subordinate to these two strategic leadership are two joint command forces, based in Brunssum, the Netherlands, and in Naples, Italy, which are responsible for conducting and managing military operations.
7. The Command Structure also includes an Air Force Command Center (Ramstein, Germany), a Center for Land Forces (Izmir, Turkey) and a Navy (Northwood, UK).
8. NATO has a number of active permanent forces, which contribute to the collective defense of the Western military bloc on a permanent basis.
9. These standing forces include four navies, ready to act on the first signal. NATO also has an integrated air defense system, which maintains contact with the national air force and includes the missile shield.
10. NATO is taking part in several air missions in which Alliance fighter jets fly over the airspace of member states that do not have a military air force. NATO permanently defends the airspace of Albania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.
11. NATO benefits from military expertise from the 28 member states. This expertise includes tanks, submarines and fighter jets. When the alliance collectively decides to conduct a military operation, member states are called upon to place their troops and equipment under NATO command.
12. Soldiers taking part in NATO operations are collectively treated as "NATO forces", even if they represent multinational forces from bloc member states, and in some cases from partner countries or contributing troops.
13. The only military equipment that is owned by NATO is the AWACS air fleet. From 2013. NATO will operate five Global Hawk monitoring drones. The procedure for requesting troops and military equipment is called "force generation".
14. The 28 member states contribute directly and indirectly to covering the costs of NATO operations and the implementation of Alliance policies and activities.
15. But most of the contributions are indirect, through the participation of allies in NATO military operations. Member States shall cover the costs of operations whenever they agree to participate in such activities.
16. Direct contributions to NATO's common budget are made by member states according to a cost-sharing formula that takes into account national GDP. These contributions finance the costs of integrated structures, common equipment and NATO facilities.
17. In the five decades since World War II, the military alliance has successfully prevented an open conflict between the United States and Russia.
18. Under the security umbrella offered by NATO, people in European states, the United States and Canada were able to enjoy the benefits of democratic elections, the rule of law and substantial economic growth.
19. NATO relies on a combination of conventional and nuclear military capabilities to deter the aggressiveness of third countries, and these remain a key element of the Alliance's strategy.
20. Member States are also committed to controlling firearms, supporting the disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear warheads.
21. NATO has often acted to maintain international security and peace. In 1995, the Western military alliance contributed to the end of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the implementation of the peace agreement.
22. In 1999, NATO put an end to the massacre and expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo. NATO troops continue to operate in Kosovo under a UN mandate.
23. Since 2003, the NATO presence under the UN mandate has assured the world that Afghanistan will never be a safe haven for terrorists again.
24. In 2011, NATO acted on a UN mandate to ensure the security of Libyan citizens. Alliance ships are fighting piracy off the Somali coast and conducting counterterrorism operations in the Mediterranean.
25. Since February 2016, NATO has provided assistance to European authorities, who have had to deal with a large number of migrants.
26. NATO vessels are taking part in surveillance, monitoring and intelligence gathering operations to support international efforts to reduce illegal migration from the Aegean Sea.
27. NATO forces have repeatedly delivered humanitarian aid, including to the United States, following the devastating Hurricane Katrina and the 2005 earthquake that hit Pakistan hard.
28. It faces threats such as terrorism, piracy, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and cyber warfare, which knows no borders.
29. For this reason NATO has developed a global network of security partners, which includes 40 states around the world and international organizations: the United Nations, the European Union, the OSCE and the African Union.
30. NATO's mission in Afghanistan includes 13 partner states. Kosovo's operations are supported by eight partner states. In addition to partners involved in NATO missions and operations, the Western military bloc has developed a wide network of partnerships, including the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, the Mediterranean Dialogue Forum, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, and other partners around the world, including Australia, Japan and South Korea.
31. Any European state that can contribute to the security and principles of the Alliance is invited to join. However, accession depends on the decision of that state.
32. Six times, between 1952 and 2009, a number of 16 European states chose to join the alliance and became member states. This process has helped to maintain peace and stability in Europe.
33. On 19 May 2016, Member States' foreign ministers signed a protocol inviting Montenegro to join NATO. Following the signing of the protocol, Montenegrin representatives may attend allied meetings as observers.
34. After the Allies ratify the protocol, Montenegro can become a full member of NATO. Currently, three states aspire to join NATO, namely Georgia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Macedonia.
35. The allies evaluate each candidate state according to its own merits. A wide range of political, economic and security reforms must be implemented before a state can join NATO.
36. Member States consult and make decisions on a daily basis on security issues at all levels and in a variety of areas.
37. A "NATO decision" is the expression of the collective will of all 30 Member States, as all decisions are taken by consensus.
38. Hundreds of officials, as well as civilian and military experts, come daily to NATO Headquarters to exchange information, share ideas and help prepare decisions when needed, in cooperation with national delegations and NATO headquarters staff.
39. 40 non-member states work with NATO on a variety of political and security issues. These states pursue dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance, and many contribute to NATO-led operations and missions. NATO also cooperates with a wide network of international organizations.
40. Partner States do not have the same decision-making authority as Member States.
41. NATO has always innovated and adapted to ensure that its policies, capabilities and structures take into account current and future threats, including the collective defense of its members.
42. NATO is committed to respecting the principle that an attack on one or more of its members is considered an attack on all. This is the principle of collective defense, enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
43. So far, Article 5 has been invoked only once, in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 in the United States of America in 2001.
44. NATO is an alliance of states in Europe and North America. The alliance represents a unique link between these two continents, giving them the opportunity to consult and cooperate in the field of defense and security and to carry out multinational crisis management operations together.
45. The strategic concepts specify the Alliance's core tasks and principles, its values, the evolving security environment, and the Alliance's strategic objectives for the next decade. The 2010 strategic concept defines NATO's core tasks, such as collective defense, crisis management and cooperation-based security.
46. Membership of NATO is open to "any other European State capable of developing the principles of this Treaty and contributing to the security of the North Atlantic area."
47. NATO has what the Treaty calls the Accession Action Plan. It helps aspiring members prepare for membership and meet key requirements by providing practical advice and personalized assistance.
48. NATO benefits from the capabilities and expertise of its members. This includes tanks, submarines and fighter jets. When the Alliance collectively decides to carry out an operation, it calls on the Allies to place troops and equipment under NATO command.
49. Personnel involved in a NATO operation are often collectively referred to as "NATO forces", these are strictly speaking the multinational forces of NATO member countries, and in some cases, it is the partner countries or other countries that contribute troops to these operations.
50. The only military equipment that NATO has is a fleet, AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control) aircraft. Starting in 2018, NATO will also operate five surveillance drones, called the Global Hawk. The procedure for requesting forces and equipment for an operation is often called "force generation".
For many of us, winter is our favorite season for the simple reason that it brings us directly to the magical holiday season.
December is also the first calendar month of winter, the month of the first snow, the month of gifts and the month in which we celebrate the most beautiful Holidays: Santa Claus, Christmas or New Year. It is the last month of the year, the month of rich meals with loved ones, the month of carols and good wishes, the month of plans for the coming year, but also the family month.
Most of us love and celebrate them according to our own customs and traditions, these being different from one area to another, but also from one country to another. Below are some of the most interesting customs or traditions celebrated by the peoples of Europe:
Christmas in Greece
In Greece, the birth of Jesus is celebrated on December 25. People go to bed early to attend the Christmas service, which begins at 4 p.m. When they return from church, the whole family shares honey, dried fruit, and Christopsomo ("Christ's Bread"), a kind of nut pie that the housewife prepared the night before and in which she made sure to leave her mark. fingers, symbol of the fingerprints of Christ, proof that he was born.
Gifts are not given at Christmas, but on January 1, when the Greeks celebrate St. Basil. This saint is, in fact, the one who brings the gifts. On Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and Epiphany, Greek children go from house to house singing about the birth of Jesus, the coming of a new year, and the baptism of Jesus in exchange for a few coins.
Christmas in Italy
In Italy, the Christmas holiday lasts for 3 days (24, 25, 26), hence the "crib" - the scene of the Nativity of Jesus, which Italian families install 9 days before Christmas.
During this period, Italians offer sweets with the image of Santa Claus or Jesus to their loved ones, co-workers or neighbors. In Italy, however, Christmas traditions differ from region to region. In the north of the country, the gifts are brought by Santa Claus (Santa Claus) or Little Jesus (Gesu Bambino), on December 25. Elsewhere, they are brought by St. Lucia on December 13.
Christmas in Poland
In Poland, the Christmas period ("Gwiazdka" or "little star") is dedicated to the regeneration of the vital forces of the world, that is, of humans, animals and nature, in order to fulfill the cycle of the passage of time, in the best conditions.
Modern traditions associate magic, New Year's blessings, home decoration, and symbols of reconciliation. Christmas carols are still very much present during this period. In some regions, carolers, groups of children or teenagers, will go from house to house with multicolored stars and scenes of the Nativity of Jesus.
For the preparation of Christmas food, a few straws are slipped under the tablecloth to remind them that Jesus was born in a manger. Before they start eating, all those seated at the table share the unleavened bread (oplatek), marked with scenes of the Lord's birth, and wish them well.
Christmas in Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, Christmas ("Koleda") begins at 12 o'clock at night, when young girls prepare a special bread ("Krava") for their favorite "Koledar" (carol). "Koledarii" are young unmarried or newlyweds, who, dressed in traditional clothes, hold in their hands a "Koledarka", a large carved oak stick. They go around the village and stop at each house to make wishes and to receive gifts specially prepared for them. The Christmas holiday lasts until dawn.
Christmas in Germany
The Germans call Christmas "Weihnachten", which means "solemn night", or "Heiligenachten" - "holy night". It is evoked, then, not the birth of Christ, as in Latin countries, but the service at midnight on Christmas.
From the first Sunday of Advent, the Christmas fairs invade the city markets, thus starting the end-of-year holidays. The Advent wreath, made in the family, with green branches that celebrate nature, is placed, in these days, in houses. On it are either four candles, which will be lit successively every Sunday of Advent, or 24 bags of sweets and goodies that will be tasted daily in the family.
Until Christmas, the Germans visit, as a family, the countless biblical scenes of the Nativity of Jesus, in miniature or life-size, figurative or animated, built everywhere.
Christmas in Denmark
Christmas in Denmark is a holiday that is shared with family and friends. Advent festivities begin four weeks before Christmas. The wreath of green branches is made with family or friends and every Sunday is an opportunity to take part in festive meals, in the company of loved ones.At the beginning of December, all the houses and apartments are lit in red, either with a candle or with lanterns made of various materials. Whether they are fir trees or other trees, the trees in front of the houses are also lighted, and the balconies of the apartments are decorated.
Christmas traditions in Europe
Therefore, the spirit of Christmas is found in every place and has a special meaning for each of us.
How do you celebrate this holiday?
Fans storming the field after their team qualified for European Championship.
Euro 2020 top 40 funniest memes that have been generated by the European Football Championship
The European Football Championship will take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021. Initially, the tournament was supposed to take place in 2020, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was postponed to this summer. At the same time, the organizers did not change the dates of the event - from June 11 to July 11, and also retained the official name that appears in all documents and materials about the tournament - Euro 2020.
St. Petersburg (Russia), Copenhagen (Denmark), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (Netherlands), London and Glasgow (Great Britain), Bilbao (Spain), Dublin (Ireland), Munich (Germany), Budapest (Hungary).
Prior to that, the final Euro tournament was traditionally held in one, sometimes in two countries that acted as co-organizers (Belgium / Netherlands in 2000, Austria / Switzerland in 2008 and Poland / Ukraine in 2012). The current format was invented by ex-UEFA President Michel Platini: in 2020, the organization celebrated its 60th anniversary, and in honor of this anniversary, the Euro was conceived as a football festival across Europe.
The final tournament of Euro 2020 will be attended by 24 teams, which are divided into six groups of four teams each. The teams that took the first and second places in the groups, as well as the four best teams from those that will become the third, advance to the 1/8 finals. Then everything goes according to the classical system with elimination - 1/8 finals, 1/4 finals, 1/2 finals, final.
8.Inventing new words
9.If you know, you know
10.Get well soon
12.Some things will never change
13.Italian hand gesture
16.Welcome to hell
17.Well, now what?
21.The best part
26.Today is the day
27.Won the Euros
28.Are you ready?
37.Dreams are coming true
What can architecture and Belgium have in common? Well, we can say for sure that, like in any other country, there is something to see here. If you ever plan to visit Belgium, then you should definitely see the Brussels City Hall and the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, which are located in Brussels. And as you walk through this land of architectural wonders, you will definitely notice the houses. Yes, simple houses in which the people of Belgium live. True, they are somewhat different from ordinary houses. What exactly? At the very least, a strange, ridiculous and grotesque design, which makes you think that they were built with your eyes closed. It is these architectural structures that are collected in the Instagram account with the self-explanatory name Ugly Belgian Houses ("Ugly Belgian houses"), to which 140 thousand people have already subscribed.
"Why are you taking pictures of me?"
Bus included in the architecture of the house. Thumbs up!
The poor white house looks scared
This is a garage and looks pretty malevolent.
The moment you were given some different free bricks
Archaeologists recently discovered a garage in Giza
His "eyes" express pure terror
Everybody Needs Goth Neighbors
When, during the divorce, the spouse got half of the house and he took it
Apparently, this house is disguised so that no one can find it in the dark.
This house looks at us with its indifferent glass gaze
Belgians have a special relationship with architecture
The surprise effect worked with a bang
It doesn't look like a house from any angle
People with radically different tastes live in this house.
He can turn into a normal house, but he doesn't want to
Is this a house at all?