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October 05, 2022

EU Pushes For More Sanctions Which Will Come Back To Bite It

On February 22, two days before Russian troops entered the Ukraine, the U.S. and the EU put reams of sanctions onto Russia. They also confiscated some $300 billion of Russia's reserves that were invested in the 'west'. The sanctions had been negotiated between the EU and the U.S. and prepared for over several months.

The idea was to bankrupt Russia within a few weeks. The deluded people behind those sanctions had no idea how big and sanctions proved Russia's economy really is. The sanctions failed to influence Russia in any way but their consequences led to a shortfall of energy in Europe and increased the already high inflation rates. Inflation in Russia is sinking and its general economic numbers are good. The now higher energy prices generate sufficient additional income to completely finance its war efforts.

A sane actor would conclude that the sanctions were a mistake and that lifting them would help Europe more than it would help Russia. But no, the U.S. and European pseudo elites are no longer able to act in a sane manner. They are instead doubling down with the most crazy sanction scheme one has ever heard of:

Cont. reading: EU Pushes For More Sanctions Which Will Come Back To Bite It

Posted by b at 16:48 UTC | Comments (76)

Media Hide Fascist Ideology Of Ukrainian Militia Which Visit Congress

'Western' media continue to denazify Ukraine by pretending that the Nazi formations in that country, which they had long decried, are now a harmless collection of celebrities.

One could follow those changes along various pieces in the New York Times:

Mar 15 2019:

On his flak jacket was a symbol commonly used by the Azov Battalion, a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization.

Feb 11 2020:

Defenders of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion, which the F.B.I. calls “a paramilitary unit” notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology,” accuse us of being part of a Kremlin campaign to “demonize” the group.

Mar 17 2022:

Facebook last week said it was making an exception to its anti-extremism policies to allow praise for Ukraine’s far-right Azov Battalion military unit, “strictly in the context of defending Ukraine, or in their role as part of the Ukraine National Guard.”

Apr 29 2022:

These scenes are from videos shared online in recent days by the Azov regiment, a unit in the Ukrainian military, which says they were taken in the mazelike bunkers beneath the sprawling Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, Ukraine.

As I had written previously:

What was once "a Ukrainian neo-Nazi paramilitary organization" which even the FBI said is notorious for its “association with neo-Nazi ideology” was first relabeled as merely "far right" before it became a normal "unit in the Ukrainian military".

Today the New York Times topped that evolution by turning a Ukrainian government press release into a tear dripping story about the reunion of freed Azov losers with their families:

Released Azov commanders have an emotional reunion with family members in Turkey.

Cont. reading: Media Hide Fascist Ideology Of Ukrainian Militia Which Visit Congress

Posted by b at 8:45 UTC | Comments (138)

October 04, 2022

Ukraine - What Explains The Recent Russian Retreats?

Over the last months Ukraine has launched a counteroffensive against Russian positions in the Kharkov region. The attack against thin Russian forces was quite successful but has cost the Ukrainian army several thousand men and irreplaceable hardware. That does not seem to matter for Kiev.

Several reasons for the success were given. The Russian forces in the area were even smaller than people had thought and the Ukraine was willing to push every reserve it had through the Russian defense lines. The Russian artillery was equally thin and could not use enough area weapons like multiple rocket launcher systems to stop the storming Ukrainian forces.

In consequence the Ukraine took a quite large share of land. Most st of these was thinly inhabited rural areas. Even the city of Lyman which the Russian gave up on had less than 30,000 pre-war inhabitants.

Kharkov region October 4

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Kharkov region September 1

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But another Ukrainian counteroffensive lets me doubt the explanations given for the area losses near Kharkov.

Cont. reading: Ukraine - What Explains The Recent Russian Retreats?

Posted by b at 16:39 UTC | Comments (365)

October 03, 2022

The Expected Financial Crash Is Finally Here

When two experienced economy and finance analysts, who both correctly predicted the derivative crisis of 2008, again warn of an imminent crash one better listens up.

Today Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism writes about the now Inevitable Financial Crisis:

For months, I have been confident that Europe would suffer a financial crisis and a depression, as in a real economy catastrophe accompanied by a market crash. It might not be that severe and lasting as 1929, but the breadth would mean there would not be 1987 quick bounceback nor a 2008 derivatives crisis concentrated at the heart of the banking system. Even though that looked like financial near-death experience, the same factors that made it more acute in many respects also made it easier for the officialdom to identify and shore up the key institutions that took hits below the water line.

The short version of what follows is things are looking even worse now, and on multiple fronts.
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Below we’ll discuss the rapidly accelerating real economy crisis, which is exacerbated by central bank tightening as pretty much the only line of defense against inflation that is almost entirely the result of a multi-fronted supply shock.1 Needless to say, the Fed raising interest rates (which Bernanke recognized as necessary in 2014 to tame bubbly asset prices but then lost his nerve) does nothing to get more chips from China or magically cure Covid-afflicted staffers so they can show up at work. But it will whack all sorts of speculators and financial firms who have wrong-footed their interest rate positions.

And it also seemed apparent that the US would be pulled into the maelstrom, perhaps not as far, but contagion, supply chain dependencies, and the importance of Europe as a customer would assure the US would suffer too.

The second warning comes from 'Dr. Doom' Nouriel Roubini:

Cont. reading: The Expected Financial Crash Is Finally Here

Posted by b at 18:01 UTC | Comments (245)

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-165

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:16 UTC | Comments (380)

October 02, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-164

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 12:19 UTC | Comments (293)

The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-163

Last week's posts on Moon of Alabama:


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> The US views the sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipelines as a “tremendous opportunity” to wean the continent off of Russian energy, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters on Friday. With winter approaching, Blinken said that the US wants Europe to decrease its fuel use. <

Beguiling the traitors:

Secretary Antony Blinken @SecBlinken - 15:59 UTC · Sep 29, 2022

Congratulations to my friend and German Foreign Minister @ABaerbock on being named to @TIME Magazine’s 2022 #TIME100 Next List. Thank you for your steadfast support for democracy, freedom, and human rights during challenging times.
2022 TIME100 Next: Annalena Baerbock

> However, I would maintain that with this speech the Russians have both the Chinese and the Indians by the tail, not the other way around. There is no way that either of these great powers can walk away from Russia without losing all credibility in the Global South as champions of a multipolar world and challengers to the rapacious collective West. <

---
Other issues:

Cont. reading: The MoA Week In Review - (Not Ukraine) OT 2022-163

Posted by b at 11:51 UTC | Comments (166)

October 01, 2022

Ukraine Open Thread 2022-162

Only for news & views directly related to the Ukraine conflict.

Please stick to the topic.

The current open thread for other issues is here.

Posted by b at 11:28 UTC | Comments (259)

Putin's Remarks On Europe

From Vladimir Putin's speech held at the signing ceremony of treaties on accession of Donetsk and Lugansk people's republics and Zaporozhye and Kherson regions to Russia:

Western countries have been saying for centuries that they bring freedom and democracy to other nations. Nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of bringing democracy they suppressed and exploited, and instead of giving freedom they enslaved and oppressed. The unipolar world is inherently anti-democratic and unfree; it is false and hypocritical through and through.
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Recall that during WWII the United States and Britain reduced Dresden, Hamburg, Cologne and many other German cities to rubble, without the least military necessity. It was done ostentatiously and, to repeat, without any military necessity. They had only one goal, as with the nuclear bombing of Japanese cities: to intimidate our country and the rest of the world.

The United States left a deep scar in the memory of the people of Korea and Vietnam with their carpet bombings and use of napalm and chemical weapons.

It actually continues to occupy Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea and other countries, which they cynically refer to as equals and allies. Look now, what kind of alliance is that? The whole world knows that the top officials in these countries are being spied on and that their offices and homes are bugged. It is a disgrace, a disgrace for those who do this and for those who, like slaves, silently and meekly swallow this arrogant behaviour.

They call the orders and threats they make to their vassals Euro-Atlantic solidarity, and the creation of biological weapons and the use of human test subjects, including in Ukraine, noble medical research.

It is their destructive policies, wars and plunder that have unleashed today’s massive wave of migrants. Millions of people endure hardships and humiliation or die by the thousands trying to reach Europe.

They are exporting grain from Ukraine now. Where are they taking it under the guise of ensuring the food security of the poorest countries? Where is it going? They are taking it to the self-same European countries. Only five percent has been delivered to the poorest countries. More cheating and naked deception again.

In effect, the American elite is using the tragedy of these people to weaken its rivals, to destroy nation states. This goes for Europe and for the identities of France, Italy, Spain and other countries with centuries-long histories.

Washington demands more and more sanctions against Russia and the majority of European politicians obediently go along with it. They clearly understand that by pressuring the EU to completely give up Russian energy and other resources, the United States is practically pushing Europe toward deindustrialisation in a bid to get its hands on the entire European market. These European elites understand everything – they do, but they prefer to serve the interests of others. This is no longer servility but direct betrayal of their own peoples. God bless, it is up to them.

But the Anglo-Saxons believe sanctions are no longer enough and now they have turned to subversion. It seems incredible but it is a fact – by causing explosions on Nord Stream’s international gas pipelines passing along the bottom of the Baltic Sea, they have actually embarked on the destruction of Europe’s entire energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who stands to gain. Those who benefit are responsible, of course.

The whole speech includes much more and deserves your attention. (For those who can not reach the Kremlin site a text file with the speech is available here.) If you can not reach In essence Putin is setting up Russia as the new liberation force the same way the Soviet Union had been one for many formerly colonized smaller countries. The 'third world' may well turn to Russia when it needs help.

Europe though is fu**ed (recommended read). Our politicians have not only allowed our societies to be undermined by the U.S. but they have actively helped it along. They continue to do so despite the obviously coming economic and social catastrophe the U.S. has caused with the destruction of Europe's access to cheap energy.

Only a huge shift in public sentiment can change that. My only hope is that the upcoming dark decade in Europe will bring about those changes.

Posted by b at 10:31 UTC | Comments (151)

September 30, 2022

Ukraine - Four Oblasts Join Russia

In 1922 Vladimir Il'ich Lenin, head of the revolutionary Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, decided that several regions which for centuries had been Russian and under Russian rule were to be put, for reasons unknown, under the administration of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine. In 1954 a similar decision was taken with regards to autonomous republic of Crimea.


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The sudden disintegration of the Union in 1991 led to unruly phases in the newly created republics. Ethnic Russian people suddenly found themselves in territory that was no longer ruled by Moscow. In several of the new countries ethnic non-Russian majorities started to suppress the Russian minorities. Today's Baltic countries, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are to various degrees prime examples for this.

Before 1991 the Ukraine had never existed as a state or independent entity. The early Cossack tribes in the yellow part and green parts of the map had asked for Russian protection against attacks from Poland, Lithuania and other neighbors. In the new Ukraine ethnic Russians were nearly half of the population and the parties they supported managed to win several countrywide elections. Big voting differences were visible along regional/ethnic lines. The country had strong economic relations with Russia. Its industry depended on Russian gas while nearly all its machine and steel exports went to Russia.

Cont. reading: Ukraine - Four Oblasts Join Russia

Posted by b at 15:36 UTC | Comments (402)