• UK is having a big rail strike

    Significant percentage of rail network closed. I think the demand is higher pay.

     
  • 2 British men, who were fighting in Ukraine against Russia, sentenced to death after surrender during Mariupol battle

    Russia calls them foreign mercenaries. It's expected they won't be executed, but will be held as diplomatic tools. Sentenced in Donetsk, Ukraine, occupied by Russian forces. Maybe a prisoner swap.

    The men had been in Ukraine since 2017, serving in the army there, reportedly. One has a well-established life there and a Ukrainian wife.

    Russia does not follow any international order, some say, and this can be kept in mind. The court is recognized by Russia and no other countries. Western MSM refers to it as a show trial.

    The men have 30 days to appeal.

     
  • Germany is increasing defense spending by $2b

    "We're seeing an incredible, very interesting shift in German politics not only when it comes to supplying these weapons [to Ukraine] but also on this discourse on this discussion What it means to be a pacifist. And it's just standing by from the sidelines and seeing how Russia continues to attack Ukraine. ... Many are saying that if you want to support peace and you want to actually support Ukraine they need more than just solidarity on social media. They need either this oil and gas embargo or they need delivery of the heavy weapons the Ukrainian president has repeatedly requested." People saying you can still be a pacifist while calling for and supplying these weapons for Ukraine.

    This activist movement in Germany is reportedly a changed movement, the same movement that in the 60s and 80s called for disarmament, especially nuclear disarmament.

    Another thing Germans are saying is that one of the reasons this war occurred is because of NATO expansion.

    In Germany the main activists protesting are Germans, Ukrainians and Syrians.

     
  • UK making headlines for plan to send refugees to Rwanda

    PM Boris Johnson also made headlines this week for making an apology for violating mask mandate (and something about a fine).

  • Note that RT is banned on YouTube. This news comes from a blogger who used RT.

  • ... the commenter said Z couldn't ban those ones.

  • "Some sort of clarification of the situation of Ukraine was inevitable." - Samo Burja

    "Either there would be another coup like the one in 2014, and the government would once more flip towards Russia. Or NATO would move very quickly, and put NATO troops in Ukraine and make Ukraine a NATO member and Russia probably wouldn't dare to overturn that outcome with military force."

    "Part of the game is inflicting unacceptable political and economic situations on your enemy, forcing your enemy to act first militarily, thereby having the moral justification to retaliate much more strongly."

    "Powers do try to entrap each other into military action. If I believed more in the competence of the Pentagon, I would believe that they had goaded Russia into an invasion that they knew Russia would fumble."
     
  • "NATO is not benevolent. Both NATO and Russia are engaged in imperialistic expansion, driven of course by mutually irresolvable legitimate security concerns." - Samo Burja

  • So far, violence not super high in Ukraine

    MSM is constantly reporting on the destruction, but it's very limited. Talking about 'a building' or 'an attack.'

  • Results of Ukraine war, according to Samo Burja

    1. China develops more alternatives to the Western financial and economic system (West is "fighting tanks with sanctions," so Russia will seek alternatives), and starts offering them to rogue states around the world. Even if China doesn't offer a base of support to Russia, countries around the world will more and more want to turn to China for their economic integration. (Will China also 'buy terrorist states' as Chomsky puts it?)

    2. Russia successfully occupies large chunks of Ukraine that it did not occupy before.

    3. Putin remains in power for the next year.

     
  • Many commentators and experts when talking about Ukraine are saying it's a war crime or it's an unjust war, but leaving it at that.

    They're not saying anymore against Russia's actions. They are all putting it in context of the situation the West has created. Then they add again their line about it not being a just war, or about it being a war crime.

    They liken the war, being a pre-emptive war, to the US invasion of Iraq, which they also say is a war crime.
  • Putin starts destroying cities, or a prolonged war of attrition, are the two prospects Chris Hedges presumes for Ukraine

    Putin has been restrained in the damage he's done in Ukraine, Hedges said, but he may become frustrated and lift restraints, resulting in largescale deaths. Or, if there is a steady stream of arms shipments into Ukraine, it may be a long war of attrition.

    Which would be more profitable for the permanent military industrial complex?

    #Ukraine #Russia #MIC
  • Ukraine seems to for many people be highlighting the negatives of 'nationalism'

    Which unites the right and left, often contains or mixes with racism, one group over another or excluding another.
     
  • "Because Russia controls the air, the game is ultimately fixed against the Ukrainians" - Chris Hedges

    Because the West won't call a 'no fly zone' (which would be interpreted by Russia as an act of war, it's been said), Russia will control the air and therefore the war.

    Hedges hearkened back to Iraq where Apache helicopters basically acted as mobile tank-destroying machines, picking one off after another.

  • Putin's conditions for ending the war:

    - Ukraine must recognize Crimea as Russian

    - Ukraine must recognize Russian-controlled separatist regions as independent

    - Ukraine must change its constitution to formally renounce its ambitions to join political blocs like NATO and the EU

  • Russian vehicles don't seem to be using GPS

  • Ukraine using Turkish (NATO ally) drones against vehicles in Russian convoy


  • How much has the US given the Ukraine for military over the past 5 or 10 years?

    I heard someone say a billion.
  • Ukraine saying Russia is bombing civilian targets, Russia saying Ukraine is placing military equipment near residential buildings which is why it's targeting there

  • Ukraine expects up to 70 fighter jets from Bulgaria, Poland, and Slovakia

    According to RT. Bulgaria denied this, but RT said Poland seems to be on board.

    Thousands of anti-tank and anti-air have been sent in from EU and NATO countries.
  • "Basically, the US regime creates crises, lives off of crises and feeds on various crises in the world. Ukraine is another victim of this policy." - Ayatollah Ali Khamenei

  • "Since 2014 the Kiev regime has been fighting its own people." - Lavrov (Russian FM to UN Council)

    "The ultra-nationalists and neo-nazis who seized power in Kiev after a revolution supported by the West unleashed real terror.

    "It is impossible to remember the terrible tragedy in Odessa on May 2, 2014 without shuddering.... The criminals who committed this crime were known by name. They posed in front of cameras ...

    "Attempts to draw the attention of the UN human rights council to the atrocities that have been going on for 8 years ran into their indifference." etc. Speech in YouTube link below outlines Russias position.

     
  • Foreign legion to fight in Ukraine

    Ukraine has published some videos for people from other countries, that people can come to Ukraine and fight with them.

    It was pointed out that the people this might attract might be in significant part far-right extremists or 'nazis' (whatever that word means right now), and that they would afterwards return to their nations hardened, proud and accomplished in what they'd been doing and the company they'd been keeping.

     
  • John Meashiemer 2015 said in a lecture,

    "But I actually think that what's going on here is that the West is leading Ukraine down the primrose path, and the end result is that Ukraine is going to get wrecked. And I believe that the policy [of] neutralizing Ukraine, building it up economically, getting it out of the competition between Russia on one side and NATO on the other is the best thing that could happen to the Ukrainians.

    "What we're doing is encouraging the Ukrainians to play tough with the Russians. We're encouraging the Ukrainians to think that they will ultimately become part of the West, because we will ultimately defeat Putin and we will ultimately get our way. Time is on our side. And of course the Ukrainians are playing along with this and ... almost completely unwilling to compromise with the Russians, and instead wanna pursue a hardline policy.

    "... it would make much more sense for us to work to create a neutral Ukraine."

    A year after the US-sponsored coup in Ukraine when far-right elements were weaponized by the US to overthrow the government and install what the US thought would be a more pliable one (how Ali Abunimah put it).


     
  • 60km long convoy of Russian military vehicles making its way to Kiev

  • Zelenskyy repeats request for Ukraine to become part of EU
     
  • Ukrainians are constantly glued to TV and internet to get info, but also to confirm it is a true story

    Recently some posts went viral showing an air convoy of Russia AF, which was a video from a year or so ago.

    Today there is a Russian strike on a Kyiv TV tower, and news presenters in America talking to people in Ukraine, one of the first thing that gets clarified is that, "Yes, this is a true story."

    They verify by checking multiple news channels.

    Within Russia, on the other hand, it has been said, TV and internet is controlled by the state.

     
  • Musk says his Starlink internet service up and running in Ukraine

    ... after the Ukraine govt contacted him and asked.

    It had been planned to happen in 2023.

    You need a dish and router to connect, though.

    It's been called by some commentators "a perfect situation for this."

    Not an individual level solution, but one that can be controlled by governments, apparently. Also one that Ukraine's government would be indebted for getting.

     
  • Ukraine has put up cypto wallets for people to donate

    ... saying the money would be used to destroy as many Russian soldiers as possible, it was reported.

    They've received several million into these wallets.

  • Reportedly, Russian side of war not going very well

    Whether this is true or not, there's no way to tell.

    Some have mentioned less than stellar military training of troops, and perhaps most of all that Russians don't want to shoot Ukrainians.

  • Lots of people impressed by things they're reading about regular Ukrainians, school teachers, etc and what they've decided to do in the face of the invasion

    They've been called 'bad ass' by some Americans. It's thought this might be one of the big aspects in causing European nations to decide to really help Ukraine.

    It's been noted that Putin could have used cyber attacks to cut off the internet from Ukraine, but hasn't done anything like that.

  • Estimated that maybe 5m Ukrainians will become refugees in Europe (mostly in Poland)

    They're talking about allowing such refugees to live in EU countries for three years.

  • Zelenskyy wasn't popular among many European nations before, but now he's seen as a kind of folk hero, an underdog fighting for his nation

    ... some say. He didn't accept the US invitation for him to come to the States. He reportedly hasn't been avoiding battles, joining the soldiers where the fighting is. And he has demonstrated he can work 24 hours a day.

     
  • If Putin kills lots of Ukrainians (which it's expected he would have to do to take Kiev) this will increase opposition within Russia, since they two countries have such strong ties, lots of relations - Ian Bremmer's thought

    Questions about possible future Russian demotivation

    Ian Bremmer is from Eurasia Group

     
  • "For the first time ever, the EU will finance the purchase and delivery of weapons and other equipment to a country that is under attack." - EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen

    Germany is transferring a bunch of weapons. So is Sweden, the first time its broken its historically neutral stance in 80 years. Other countries also.

    Challenge in delivery as Ukraine's airports were early Russian targets.

     
  • Russia-Ukraine peace talks on 5th day of war

    In Belarus, on the Ukraine-Belarus border. Delegations from each country which don't include the two leaders.

  • US was trying to make Ukraine into "a de facto member of NATO,"according to John Mearsheimer

    "They [the Russians] aren't interested in negotiating anymore. They're interested in altering the status quo."

    He said the genesis of this conflict was 2008, the decision to try to make Ukraine part of NATO. The crisis breakout was Feb 22, 2014 end of what he calls the 'unipolar moment'). It was then put on the backburner, and then all of a sudden it broke out again.

    The obvious solution is perhaps politically impossible, M said. Because America unwilling to make any concessions on NATO. ... Turning Ukraine into an effective buffer, a neutral state, between Russia and NATO, which is what Ukraine was since independence in 1991 until 2014.

    Before the problem, the problem has to be solved of the lack of agreement between the pro-Russian Donbas and the Ukrainian government in Kiev.

    He said the Russians don't want to negotiate with the UK or Germany or NATO, because they all just do what the Americans ask them to do. So Russia only wants to talk to the US president.

    He (speaking a few days before the actual invasion) said Putin probably had no intention of invading, because that would mean 'owning' Ukraine, being an unwanted occupying force, which in the modern world just comes with so much trouble of all sorts. He said Putin must surely understand that. Also that the West would go to great lengths to cripple the Russian economy. Also, without invading, Putin was 'winning.' He had everyone's attention and everyone was trying to talk to him, and that it was now understood in the West that Ukraine was not going to be possible to bring into NATO.

    He thinks eventually US and Russia become allies against China, and that China is a bigger threat to Russia than the US is. He didn't, however, see an offramp for the Ukraine crisis (speaking before the invasion).

    He said Trump, who wanted to be closer with Putin and pivot to Asia, didn't get his way, but then started to arm Ukraine, 'much tot he chagrin of Russia.'

    He noted the contemporary superhigh anti-Putin, anti-Russian sentiment in the US (both parties, and popularly). He didn't know why, except some guesses like remnant associations to do with the Cold War, Putin's always standing up to the US, that Putin heads an authoritarian state and his stance on homosexuality and other social issues. The invention of the Democrat's story that Hillary lost the election because the Russians manipulated the system and caused Trump to win the vote.

    He said NATO needs the Russian threat to exist. He said that as to the question of getting European nations to spend 2% on military, "Don't hold your breath." They're basically free-riders. Why spend that if the US is going to take care of you anyway? However, if the US pivots to Asia and 'leaves' Europe, and if Europe perceives Russia as a threat, then EU States would spend more on military. If they have to provide for their own defense. He drew a parallel to Japan, which free rode off the US until China grew to a size where it became a real threat. Japan now faces what they perceive to be an existential threat, and has started to talk more like a 'realist.'

    Talking about nuclear weapons, he said that although they have been a force for peace, a deterrent, they weren't much of a factor in Putin's then-possible invasion of Ukraine because the US (Biden) already said if Russia invaded US wouldn't do anything, and even if Americans IN Ukraine were threatened he wouldn't, so they're not really a deterrent in that case. He said what would keep Putin from invading was the costs (invasion, occupation) and the benefits of keeping on without invading (Russia doing well).

     
  • Economic consequences of Russian invasion of Ukraine, by Patrick Boyle

    US and allies are removing some Russian financial institutions from Swift, and imposing major restrictions on Russia's central bank.

    The R central bank has $640b in foreign exchange reserves, much held at various western central banks. But some is in Russia and in China (also not expected to be frozen). So they have about $240b in available reserves. The war costs an estimated $20b per day. This could cause bank runs, tank the Ruble, and cause panic among Russian businesses. 

    The US has previously imposed sanctions on the central banks of Iran, N Korea, and Venezuela.

    S&P lowered Russia's rating to junk (high borrowing rate), and Fitch lowered Ukraine's, and Moody's might do both.

    Russia produces 10m barrels per day of oil. Because Europe and other countries are dependent so heavily on Russian oil and gas, the reaction was slower to their invasion than might otherwise have been the case.

    Germany specifically. While 2022 was set to be the date for the shutting down of all nuclear power in Germany (it's down to 3 plants now and they're planned to shut this year), a plan started 20 years ago and fortified by sentiment after Fukushima in 2011. Also all of Europe has been reducing coal energy and other types like that, focusing on clean energy, but it hasn't happened very fast so they still depend heavily on Russian gas. That effects BP and Total Energy are exposed to Russian energy. BP owns almost 20% of Rosneft, an investment that sent $2.4b profits last year for BP.

    Increases in fertilizer prices, a secondary effect of sanctions of Russian gas exports, will push food prices up everywhere.

    Russia and Ukraine together make up about 1/3 of grain production in the world. Potatoes, sugar beets, sunflower oil also. Food factories are shutting down plants in Ukraine temporarily. There could be food shortages, potentially. Food shortages, which could affect Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Pakistan and Indonesia, could lead to political consequences like uprisings.

    Aluminum, dependent on electricity, 14% of world production in Russia (excluding China).

    Metal producers are cutting their output after natural gas prices shot up like 30%.

    Nickel (batteries), lots is produced in Russia. Palladium (catalytic converters, electrodes and electronics ie auto manufacturing countries like China and North America) too. Platinum (catalytic converters, lab equipment, electrical contacts and jewelry). C4F6 and Neon (semiconductors) are produced by both countries.

    Ukraine is a big producer of titanium (aircraft manufacturing, jewelry, phones, surgical tools).

    US started cutting banking exposure to Russia in 2014 (Crimean conflict), but Austria's Faiffeisen makes 1/3 of their profits in Russia, and some other European banks are also highly involved in Russia.

    UK airlines can't use Russian airspace right now to fly to China. Expected to be all of Europe soon.

      
  • Putin invaded Ukraine Feb 22, 2022

    The first time there's been war in Europe for a while. It's a controlled, limited invasion so far. Deaths are being counted in small numbers.

    Before invading, Putin placed 150k soldiers all around Ukraine and put his ships in the sea southeast of Ukraine.

    Ukrainians started fleeing to Poland and other neighboring countries. Ukraine passed a law forbidding men from leaving the country. News images of crying families.

    Russian tanks and weapons surrounded Kiev.

    Feb 27, Germany passes legislation which it would have been unthinkable it could/would pass before. It will build up its military and take moves to reduce its reliance on Russian gas.

    The German chancellor in a speech said that 'permanent security in Europe is not possible with Russia there,' and ' we find our self in a new age' and that people in Ukraine are fighting 'not just for their homeland but for liberty and democracy, for values that we share with them.'

    The German government will now commit $100b Euros more to buy military stuff. US and some other allies have for years been pushing Germany to spend more than 2% on defense, and this it the first time Germany is going to do that. The idea up until now was that Germany, after WWII, should never again wield military might because of the terrible suffering caused during that war.

    Some commenters say that the resistance Russia faced in trying to take Kharkhiv may have been a surprise for Russia, since there are strong Russian ties there (and one might assume it would be easier to take than other parts of Ukraine).

    Zelenskyy said "That night was hard. What did they do? This is revenge. The people rose to defend their State. They, the Russian army, showed their real face. This is terror. They are going to bomb our Ukrainian cities even more. They are going to kill our children even more in cities."

    Russia is basically just attacking military targets (it said it's hit almost 600 of its targets), such as energy sources, but some have landed in ways that have killed and maimed bystanders.

    Zelenskyy basically accused Belarus of being complicit, helping Russian forces enter from the northern border.

    There's a question about where the two leaders could meet to discuss end to the war. Ukraine rejected Belarus, but suggested Poland. Russia hasn't commented on that yet.

    There's a question about whether Putin calculated well. The clear weapon and military superiority it has over Ukraine allowed it to invade, and use air and ballistic power with effect, but troops walking across Ukraine, actual actions / occupation, it isn't clear Russia will be able to. Also there's a question about how popular this action really is even in Russia. How many fallen Russian soldiers will the country take?

    Klaus Wittmann said he expected a prolonged, underground war, house to house, street to street, where you don't know where snipers or anti-tank attacks might come from. Probably much higher motivation on the side of the defenders. He referred to the Chechen War.

    Russian oligarchs lost around $126b in their value ($40b was the day of the invasion), it was reported.

    Protests have taken place in various places around the world in support of Ukraine. 20-30k estimated participation (but they way the reported said that might make you doubt there was that many really) of one in Berlin, bigger than ones the previous days. It is considered not just a conflict between Russia and Ukraine, but an international conflict. Reportedly, they support supplying Ukraine with weapons.

    Feb 22, 2014 was the day Yanukovich fled Ukraine for Eastern Ukraine (and after that to Russia), and the protesters were said to be in control of Kiev. The Ukrainian parliament voted to impeach Yanukovich and scheduled new presidential elections.




      
  • UK forcasts between 175k and 500k hospitalizations from Omicron

    ... and between 25k and 75k deaths. London School of Medicine. They recommend more vaccinations. They didn't recommend vitamins D or Zinc or the treatment measures discussed in non-mainstream medicine.

    Inconsistent with real-world experience of South Africa, where in a population of 60m 5500 people have been hospitalized so far.

     
  • Britain on the cusp of considering officially the entire Hamas as a 'terrorist organization'

    Because it can't tell which parts are political and which militant. Hamas does have a 'political wing,' though.

    US, Canada and EU already designate Hamas a terrorist group.

    The new Israel leadership has been pushing against 'terrorism' and closing NGOs under this justification.

    "I think it's actually a fallacy to consider military and political separate. The political wing is integral in helping the military wing in terrorist organizations." - Anne Herzberg

    Included in the political move, if it passes (and Boris is considered to be pro-Israel) is criminal liability including jail punishment for people who support Hamas (as a 'terrorist organization'). This will affect all groups doing fundraising, meetings, media coverage. A Cambridge University professor commented that it affects teachers and how they teach, and that there has already been challenges to them and their freedom of expression, and the Hamas classification would add to that. She said England's Palestinian community of about 5000 would not any longer be able to speak freely about this issue.

     
  • Maybe UK special forces concealed unlawful killings of Afghan detainees

    Their word for it was 'failing to fix systemic issues.'

  • A British politician was stabbed to death

    The killing has been announced as motivated by 'terrorism.'

  • British Muslim politician's car

    ... reportedly firebombed (she was not in the car) amid a reported 'hate campaign' calling to stop 'an enclave of a new Muslim nation within our nation.' Arooj Shah (elected to lead the Oldham Council in May of this year after service as a councillor since 2012) had previously spoken about facing hate, abuse and racism throughout her political career.

    A 23-year-old man was arrested in connection.

     
  • 5 years since Brexit referendum (June 23, 2016)

    A panelist back then: 'The spell of the European Union not being questioned has been broken.'

    The vote result was kind of a surprise.

    A recent poll has it that 48% of Britons think it was the wrong decision to have made, and 40% the right decision.

     
  • EU Parliament threatens Russian oil sector

    The EP, responding to Russian military buildups on the Ukraine border, passed a resolution that "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbors."

    The EU stated that other countries should supply more arms to Ukraine, and threatened that if Russia invaded Ukraine the EU "imports of oil and gas from Russia to the EU be immediately stopped, while Russia should be excluded from the SWIFT payment system, and all assets in the EU of oligarchs close to the Russian authorities and their families in the EU need to be frozen and their visas cancelled."

    Russia responded by saying it was ready to be shut off from Swift.

    SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) is a transaction network that connect thousands of banks in over 200 countries. Russia's central bank has its own transaction network, SPFS (System for Transfer of Financial Messages) but outside of Russia only 8 banks use it.
    "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html
    It also "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html
    It also "demands that Russia immediately end the practice of unjustified military build-ups targeted at threatening its neighbours."

    Read more on UNIAN: https://www.unian.info/world/russian-aggression-ep-resolution-proposes-switching-off-swift-for-russia-if-kremling-invades-ukraine-11406190.html

     

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