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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Rep. Ramon Alexander, the incoming leader of the House Democrats, says he will not seek reelection following allegations that he sexually harassed a former employee of Florida A&M.

Alexander made the announcement in social media posts Thursday, days after the Tallahassee Democrat reported details of the sexual harassment complaints made against him.

His statement did not mention the allegations, though he has previously apologized and told the paper the interactions were consensual.

“After thoughtful consideration and personal self reflection, I will not seek re-election for my final term in the Florida House of Representatives,” Alexander wrote on social media, adding that it was his “true honor” to serve in the Legislature.

The allegations were included in complaints the employee made to the state human relations commission, the paper reported. The employee told the paper Alexander groped him multiple times and sent him unwanted sexually explicit texts and other material over the phone. The employee’s attorney did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Alexander, who is married with children, has gained national media attention recently through his criticism of new Republican policies that limit discussion of race in schools.

Rep. Evan Jenne, the current House Democratic leader, issued a statement Thursday saying the caucus will meet soon to elect a new leader-designate. Earlier in the week, Jenne told the paper it would be irresponsible to comment with specificity given the “sensitive and serious nature” of the claims.

“He and his family are in my thoughts as they navigate into this next phase of their lives,” Jenne wrote Thursday.

Alexander was elected to the House in 2016, representing a district that includes parts of the capital, Tallahassee.

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Ignorant Putin is leading Russia to destruction, writes ex-Yeltsin defence aide ALEXANDER TEMERKO

A vast superpower with a proud Communist history launches a brutal war on its far smaller neighbour, sending thousands of troops over the border.

The objective is the utter humiliation of that country — its demilitarisation, as well as regime change and a complete overhaul of its political structure so that it becomes a client state.

I am not talking here about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This brutal assault across national boundaries took place more than 40 years ago when China invaded Vietnam.

But the parallels between the two wars are uncanny and, as I shall explain, they hold a vital lesson for president Putin. One that he is steadfastly — and very foolishly — ignoring.

Former Yeltsin aide Alexander Temerko: 'Putin is trapped by all the myths of military power that underpin his legitimacy, and which serve as the main ideological foundation of the Russian state. The fact is that today, Russia is an aggressor and a pariah, and its "legendary" army turns out to be a barbarous and shameful gang of war criminals and marauders'

It was in February 1979 that the Red Dragon’s soldiers started pouring over the border.

The Vietnam War had ended just four years earlier, and China had been instrumental in ensuring North Vietnam’s victory against the US-backed South.

But the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping’s relationship with the new Communist government in Hanoi had deteriorated dramatically — and he wanted to teach them a lesson.

Vietnam had been weakened by war and poverty. No analyst, political scientist or military expert gave the country more than a week before the Chinese captured Hanoi.

Yet the 100,000-strong Vietnamese Army halted the Chinese People’s Liberation Army — which dwarfed it six times over — in its tracks. Suddenly, the world saw that the legs of the Colossus were made of clay.

In the space of two months, the myth of the ‘invincible’ Chinese war machine had been relegated to the dustbin of history.

Ultimately, the nuclear superpower was incapable of defeating the small but well-equipped, trained, battle hardened and motivated Vietnamese Army.

Now, look at the situation in Ukraine. The Russian Army has given up any attempt to take the capital Kyiv from a hugely motivated Ukrainian Army.

It has also just pulled back from Kharkiv, only 30km from the Russian border, echoing the Chinese retreat from Lang Son, so close to China’s border.

Deng Xiaoping only needed a few weeks of such ruinous warfare to understand that his army was only good for set-piece parades past Mao Zedong’s mausoleum on Tiananmen Square in Beijing.

A convoy of pro-Russian troops is seen before the expected evacuation of wounded Ukrainian soldiers from the besieged Azovstal steel mill

The ‘Great Helmsman’ did not retreat into paranoia and manically search for external enemies, nor desperately spend his dwindling war chest to re-equip his smashed army with new tanks and rockets.

Instead, he decided to withdraw his troops, and realised that global integration and a booming economy were more important for the Celestial Empire than maintaining the myth of the fiercest army in the world.

Putin, however, is not nearly as clever as Deng Xiaoping. He continues the war — and in so doing, remains hostage to his own propaganda.

As someone who spent his childhood in Soviet Ukraine before moving to Moscow and eventually taking up a senior post in the Russian Defence Ministry during the Boris Yeltsin era, I can tell you what this propaganda means.

It is founded on the military parades of Victory Day in Red Square, the fables of Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812 and other historic Russian military victories, going all the way back to the first prince of Moscow Dmitri Donskoi and his fight against the Mongol hordes in the 14th century.

In short, Putin is trapped by all the myths of military power that underpin his legitimacy, and which serve as the main ideological foundation of the Russian state.

The fact is that today, Russia is an aggressor and a pariah, and its ‘legendary’ army turns out to be a barbarous and shameful gang of war criminals and marauders.

The country crossed its own grim Rubicon when it committed war crimes and massacres in Bucha and Mariupol.

Russia has abandoned any notion of adopting the ‘Chinese option’ —to stop, change course and correct its mistakes — and the result is disaster.

It is because of Putin’s reckless determination to carry on the war regardless that the US Senate voted to re-institute the Lend-Lease Act last month — bringing back the World War II measure that allowed the U.S. to quickly resupply Allies in the fight against Nazi Germany — to ensure sufficient U.S. military hardware reaches Ukraine.

The UK has now begun sending the Ukrainian Army heavy offensive weapons, and a united West has implemented devastating sanctions against the energy and financial sectors of the rogue state, as well as sanctioning key individuals — including the murderer and criminal, Putin himself.

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And in Europe — even in Germany (and what a change of heart that is from its supine approach to the Russian bear!) — assorted Ministers of Defence have decided to take all necessary steps to prevent even the theoretical possibility of the defeat of the Ukrainian Army.

So badly has Putin mismanaged the situation that world leaders from Washington to London to Berlin have agreed not only to defend Ukraine from its aggressor, but also to ensure the return of previously captured territories —and more importantly to break the Russian war machine to its foundations, so that the country will never be able to threaten anyone ever again.

Even more dramatically still, Putin has managed single- handedly to expand NATO up to the borders of St Petersburg.

With Sweden and Finland now expressing their intent to join, Russia has hamstrung itself strategically and tactically, not just in Ukraine but along its entire border with Europe.

The invasion of Ukraine, in short, has consolidated the West. The final battle with the spectre of a past beloved by Putin is now taking place on Ukrainian soil.

And the outcome will, I am convinced, deliver a harsh and powerful lesson to all those tyrannical aggressors like him who feel threatened by the multi-polar international system we have built.

The message will be: Anyone who hopes to get to Heaven by threatening the world with weapons of mass destruction will instead first find himself in the dock of the International Criminal Court, and then ultimately, in an ignominious and unglorified Hell.

Destroyed Russian tanks and military vehicles are seen dumped in Bucha amid Russia's invasion in Ukraine

The current Russian leader will never be a Deng Xiaoping.

As a result of his vainglorious obduracy, Ukraine will see to the destruction of the Russian Army, and the West will see to the destruction of its economy — not least its war-economy based on the very hydrocarbons which Europe has pledged to give up.

Russia’s vampiric oil and gas supplies will be replaced by green, nuclear energy, supported by a coordinated system of gas supplies — all of which we in the West can and will build together, very soon and very quickly.

Beyond this, our recourse should be to pray to God — a prayer that following the economic and political collapse of Russia in its current form, the nation will have a new leader capable of integrating it into global society, where human rights and dignity will be its cornerstone, and justice and prosperity will be common for all.

Alexander Temerko is a Ukrainian-born British businessman and founder and director of AQUIND Ltd.

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