Utagawa Yoshitoshi Ariko weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight 1886
Von Greyerz is not a politician or journalist; he’s a gold dealer. Maybe that’s why he can paint such a clear picture.
• Nuclear War, Debt Collapse Or Energy Depletion? (Egon von Greyerz)
War is obviously a potentially catastrophic threat since the sheer existence of the world and mankind is now at maximum risk. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Since the beginning of mankind there have probably been over 100,000 important wars and conflicts. Wars are horrible whoever starts them. Most wars end in major fatalities and injuries and a massive human and financial cost. And at the end of the war, the situation is often worse than when it started, like in for example Afghanistan, Vietnam, Iraq and Libya which countries the US invaded unprovoked. The same will most probably be the case in Ukraine. There are always two sides to a war. I learnt many years ago that before we judge someone, we must walk three moon laps in his moccasins. So let us first walk in Putin’s moccasins.
The whole West hates Russia and have personalised it to Putin. Few realise that many of the people behind Putin are extreme hardliners and much more dangerous. Historically, Ukraine (like many European countries) has had a motley existence. Since the late 1700s to 1991 Ukraine was part of Russia / Soviet Union with a brief interruption after the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. After the Maidan Revolution in Ukraine in 2014, the Minsk agreement brokered by Germany and France stipulated that parts of the Donbas region should be granted self-government. There should also be a ceasefire and withdrawal of heavy weapons by the Ukrainians. The Minsk agreement was never honoured and Ukraine continued to kill over 20,000 Russians in the region and to bomb the Donbas. As the bombing intensified in early February 2022, (allegedly at the insistence of the US), Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
So the above is how Russia and Putin sees the Ukrainian situation. Wearing America’s moccasins, the US Neocons are extremely worried about losing the US hegemony. Since WWII, the US has basically failed with every war they have been involved in. But in their view, if they fail in the present conflict, that will be the end of US dominance both politically and financially. Ukraine is clearly just a pawn in a much bigger game between the two titans – USA and Russia. I watched Zelensky’s latest speech live to UK parliamentarians where he was begging for planes, weapons and money. This is obviously the role of a defending leader although he is clearly sacrificing his people. But wars are really really bizarre. Clapping every sentence that Zelensky uttered about the evil Russian invaders were around 1,000 politicians whose British ancestors, over a 400 year period, had invaded, conquered and ruled over 400 million people and 25% of the world’s landmass including major parts of Asia, Australia, Africa, Middle East and America. But today the shoe is on the other foot.
Politicians are masters at throwing stones whilst sitting in glass houses. But wars are always about CONSEQUENCES. It is clear at this point that the West is sadly ignoring the potential consequences of this war as they keep sending money and weapons but no peace makers. The US has no desire for peace at this stage and Europe just follows blindly whatever the US initiates without thinking of the consequences which both economically and militarily are much graver for Europe. Zelensky has asked for tanks and is getting them. He is now asking for planes which the NATO countries are also considering. There are not yet any NATO troops in Ukraine officially but it is clear that there are many NATO soldiers there without the official uniforms. An Austrian colonel confirms that if a NATO soldier takes off his uniform, he is a mercenary and this seems how NATO sends troops to Ukraine unofficially. Also the Mozart group led by a retired US Marine Corps Colonel acts in Ukraine as mercenaries. So what is clear that there are not only NATO weapons in Ukraine but also soldiers. This by definition is as close to WWIII as the world can get.
“The entire Eastern Seaboard of the US may soon be pervasively contaminated by carcinogenic vinyl chloride & other toxic chemical waste. I’ve spent days collecting limited data & agonizing over whether to publish this. This is my warning. Pray I’m wrong.”
“..if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother.”
• There Is Fire In Our Crowded Theater (Gaertner)
Up to two and a half million gallons of one of the most toxic substances known to man have been released into the air, water and soil of the Eastern Seaboard, and are presently making their way south and east. Acid rain, which in this case is hydrochloric acid mixed with concentrated, unburned vinyl chloride, has (so far) been reported in every direction: West: 400 miles west to Lafayette (probably further). North: 1200 miles north up to Durham, Canada; East: 1200 miles east to NYC and Boston today more. South: 800 miles southwest to Kentucky so far. Vinyl chloride is water-soluble, takes months to degrade in soil or water (the Camp Lejeune spill was just a few thousand gallons), boils at 8F, and its metabolites absolutely maul DNA: safe exposures are considered to be in the parts per billion (“Standards”), and we’re talking about parts per million exposure likely coming for everybody east of the Mississippi.
There will likely be some isolated parts of the eastern United States that escape contamination. However, I sure as hell would not want to wait around to find out which ones will be passed over. There are 250 million people living to the east of the Mississippi River, and considering the rate at which it is progressively moving south with the water and east on the winds, every single person on the entire eastern seaboard may have only a few more days to leave before they are exposed to a lethal concentration of vinyl chloride. Everybody in the areas which have received acid rain have already been exposed, and will likely develop extensive cancers over the coming few months.
I will just say: If you live anywhere east of the Mississippi River – in my humble opinion – LEAVE. Maybe plan to come back in a couple of weeks; the magnitude of this will be more evident by that time. We have been at war for the last three years, and somebody may have just landed the killing blow with an utterly, historically unprecedented chemical weapons attack.
I’ve waited as long as I can, in good conscience, to gather evidence and to write this. I fully understand what I’m saying, and that 99% of people either can’t leave, or want to wait for more information, or just generally refuse to believe something of this scale could ever happen here. Not to mention that there’s absolutely no way this article will reach everybody that needs to hear it. I can scarcely believe I’m writing this, and I have been praying to be wrong. I really, really hope that I am wrong, but I do not think so. The authorities sure aren’t going to tell us the truth about any of it. So, for those of you who are inclined to take it seriously, or aren’t quite sure yet, read on for the data and events thus far, share this with anybody you care about, and if you are in the affected area – that is, anywhere east of the Mississippi – LEAVE. Or, don’t – I’m not your mother. Time is short. I hope I’m wrong.
Yeah, 360º sounds about right. Sweet Jesus. These people are selected for incompetence.
• Putin Must Turn ‘360 Degrees’ – German FM Baerbock (RT)
Russian President Vladimir Putin must “change by 360 degrees” in order for Ukraine to be safe, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told the Munich Security Conference. In other words, former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev pointed out, he must continue doing exactly what he is doing. Appearing alongside American Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba on Saturday, Baerbock was asked whether there is “any chance of Ukraine being safe in the long term” if Putin remains in office. “If he doesn’t change by 360 degrees, no,” the German FM replied. “It’s hilarious that Europe is run by such ignorant people,” former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev wrote on social media. “There is no doubt, connoisseur of geometry, that it will be so,” he mocked. “We are holding our ground.”
Baerbock, Blinken, and Kuleba spoke at a panel entitled ‘Visions for Ukraine,’ in which the three attempted to sketch out an image of what the country might look like post-conflict. All three agreed that to get there, Russia must unconditionally withdraw from territory claimed by Kiev, which includes the Russian region of Crimea and the four formerly Ukrainian regions that voted to join Russia in September. Echoing previous statements from Kiev, Kuleba said that a “long vision” of victory for Ukraine involves not only a Russian withdrawal, but “compensations for the damage inflicted, accountability for perpetrators of crimes, and most importantly, Russia must change.” “As long as Putin is in power, we will be in trouble,” he claimed, adding that his removal or retirement would lead to “a period of opportunity for all of us.”
Ukraine’s Western backers are not unanimous on the topic of regime change. While US Deputy Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland – who largely orchestrated the pro-Western coup in Kiev in 2014 – has explicitly called for this outcome, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that such an approach is doomed to fail. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? Who is your leader? How to implement it? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” he told the Munich conference.
“..some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe..”
• China To Present Its Ukraine Peace Proposal (RT)
China will present a plan aimed at peacefully resolving the conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. Those calling for continued fighting “don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians,” he also warned. “We will put forth China’s position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis,” Wang said, without providing a timeline for the proposal. “We will stand firm on the side of peace and dialog.” Wang did not outline any specifics of the plan but said that “the territorial integrity and sovereignty” of those involved should be respected, as should the “legitimate security concerns” of the belligerents. “Attacks on nuclear power stations” must also be opposed, he said, likely in reference to the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant, which Ukraine and Russia have accused each other of shelling.
China is well positioned to broker peace, he said, as it is “not a party directly concerned, but [it] did not sit idly by” since Russia’s military operation in Ukraine began nearly a year ago. China has refused to join the Western-led sanctions regime against Russia, and has deepened its economic ties with Moscow over the last year. During this time, Wang said that China backed the peace talks in Belarus and Türkiye, the latter of which were abruptly ended by the Ukrainian side last spring, despite an agreement being reached in principle. Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has claimed that Kiev withdrew from these talks at the West’s request, while Ukrainian media reports blamed former British PM Boris Johnson for urging the Ukrainians to back out of a deal.
“We saw a framework text on the peaceful resolution of the crisis, however that was stopped” Wang told his audience in Munich. Without directly blaming any Western countries, the Chinese diplomat suggested that “some forces might not want to see peace talks materialize.” “They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians or the harm to Europe,” he continued. “They might have strategic goals greater than Ukraine itself.” American and NATO officials have consistently urged Ukraine to keep fighting, with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declaring in December that a ceasefire would lead to “a phony peace.” European leaders, meanwhile, have largely stuck to the US line that Kiev will decide when to sit down to talks.
When China has a peace proposal, everyone must listen. But the US doesn’t want negotiations or peace. The first thing to come out would be the end of the unipower: they would have to acknowledge they have already lost. They don’t want that put in black and white.
• ‘Stop Dangerous Acts,’ China Tells NATO (RT)
The main reason for Europe’s current “security plight” is NATO’s insistence on pursuing absolute security and political exclusion against specific countries, China’s ambassador to the United Nations Zhang Jun has claimed. Speaking at the UN Security Council briefing on Friday, the envoy noted that the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is the result of NATO’s continued expansion towards the east and urged the US-led military bloc to abandon its Cold War mentality and to stop being “a troublemaker.” He also pointed out NATO’s “self-contradictory” behavior, where it promotes itself as a “defensive alliance” while at the same time constantly seeking to “breach its geographic confines and expand its agenda, stoke division and tensions, create fears and confrontations.”
“Pursuing absolute security and political exclusion and containment by force against a specific party is the very crux of the reason why Europe is in the security plight,” he said. “Europe, and even the whole world, will be caught up in greater turmoil” unless NATO changes its mindset, the diplomat added. Zhang reiterated China’s calls for a ceasefire between Russia and Ukraine, and urged them to start peace negotiations as soon as possible. He also suggested that the US, EU and NATO should sit down with Moscow for a “comprehensive and in-depth dialogue” based on the principle of security indivisibility. “They should discuss how to build a balanced, effective, and sustainable security architecture and realize common security,” he said, adding that it is crucial to stop any attempts to “hype up” the conflict in order to avoid further escalation and expansion.
Meanwhile, Beijing has seen its own relations with the US deteriorate to new lows over the recent downing of an alleged Chinese spy balloon earlier this month. The US has announced it would be shutting down military communications with China after the incident and imposed sanctions on implicated Chinese companies and institutions. Beijing, in turn, has denied the allegations, arguing the balloon was a civilian airship. It has nevertheless vowed retaliation over the incident and has reduced its military and diplomatic ties with the US. Beijing has also repeatedly criticized Washington for allowing a number of US officials to make repeated visits to the self-governing island of Taiwan, which China considers to be part of its sovereign territory. As the White House has also continued to greenlight arms sales for Taipei’s military, Beijing imposed sanctions on US arms manufacturers Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.
Desperate attempt to drag China into the conflict.
What weapons does China have that Russia does not?
• US Fears China May Provide Russia With Lethal Weapons – Blinken (TASS)
The United States fears that China is allegedly considering giving Russia lethal weapons, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told NBC in an interview, a fragment of which was broadcast on Sunday. According to Blinken, in a conversation with Chinese State Councilor and Director of the CCP Central Foreign Affairs Office Wang Yi, he “had an opportunity <..> to share our [the US’] very real concerns about China’s support for Russia.” “What we’ve seen over the past years is, of course, some political and rhetorical support, even some non-lethal support. But we’re very concerned that China’s considering providing lethal support to Russia,” the US Secretary of State said.
He said that providing “lethal support” to Russia would have “serious consequences [for Beijing] in our [China-US] relationship”. He also recalled that this was something that “President [Joe] Biden shared with [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] on several occasions”. In late January, John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the US National Security Council, said that the United States urged China not to support Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine. According to him, Washington intended to take action against those companies, including the Chinese ones, that violated the US sanctions regime against Moscow.
China is focused elsewhere.
• Raisi in Beijing: Iran-China Strategic Plans Go Full Throttle (Escobar)
Beijing and Tehran are already actively cooperating in the construction of selected lines of Tehran’s subway, the Tehran-Isfahan high-speed railway, and of course joint energy projects. Chinese tech giant Huawei is set to help Tehran to build a framework for a 5G telecom network. Raisi and Xi, predictably, stressed increased joint coordination at the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Iran is the newest member, as well as a new drive along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). While there was no explicit mention of it, underlying all these initiatives is the de-dollarization of trade – in the framework of the SCO but also the multipolar BRICS group of states. Iran is set to become one of the new members of BRICS+, a giant step to be decided in their upcoming summit in South Africa next August.
There are estimates in Tehran that Iran-China annual trade may reach over $70 billion in the mid-term, which will amount to triple the current figures. When it comes to infrastructure building, Iran is a key BRI partner. The geostrategy of course is hard to match: a 2,250 km coastline encompassing the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Sea of Oman and the Caspian Sea – and huge land borders with Iraq, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Every think tank in China sees how Iran is irreplaceable, not only in terms of BRI land corridors, but also the Maritime Silk Road. Chabahar Port may be a prime Iran-India affair, as part of the International North South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) – thus directly linked to the Indian vision of a Silk Road, extending to Central Asia.
But Chinese port developers do have other ideas, focused on alternative ports along the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian Sea. That will boost shipping connections to Central Asia (Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan), Russia and the Caucasus (Azerbaijan). And that makes perfect sense when one combines port terminal development with the modernization of Iran’s railways – all the way to high-speed rail. An even more revolutionary development would be China coordinating the BRI connection of an Iranian corridor with the already in progress 3,200 km-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), from Kashgar in Xinjiang to Gwadar port in the Indian Ocean.That seemed perfectly plausible when Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was still in power, before being ousted by a lawfare coup. The key of the whole enterprise is to build badly needed infrastructure in Balochistan, on both sides of the border. On the Pakistani side, that would go a long way to smash CIA-fed “insurgents” of the Balochistan Liberation Army kind, get rid of unemployment, and put trade in charge of economic development.
“..All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West..”
• Iran-China Strategic Partnership: The Big Picture (Escobar)
The key takeaway of President Ebrahim Raeisi’s state visit to Beijing goes way beyond the signing of 20 bilateral cooperation agreements. This is a crucial inflexion point in an absorbing, complex, decades-long, ongoing historical process: Eurasia integration. Little wonder that President Raeisi, welcomed by a standing ovation at Peking University before receiving an honorary academic title, stressed “a new world order is forming and taking the place of the older one”, characterized by “real multilateralism, maximum synergy, solidarity and dissociation from unilateralisms”. And the epicenter of the new world order, he asserted, is Asia. It was quite heartening to see the Iranian president eulogizing the Ancient Silk Road, not only in terms of trade but also as a “cultural bond” and “connecting different societies together throughout history”.
Raeisi could have been talking about Sassanid Persia, whose empire ranged from Mesopotamia to Central Asia, and was the great intermediary Silk Road trading power for centuries between China and Europe. It’s as if he was corroborating Chinese President Xi Jinping’s famed notion of “people to people exchanges” applied to the New Silk Roads. And then President Raeisi jump cut to the inescapable historical connection: he addressed the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), of which Iran is a key partner. All that spells out Iran’s full reconnection with Asia – after those arguably wasted years of trying an entente cordiale with the collective West. That was symbolized by the fate of the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal: negotiated, unilaterally buried and then, last year, all but condemned all over gain.
Beijing and Tehran, now on overdrive and with no time to lose, may face all manner of challenges – and threats – from the Hegemon; but their 25-year strategic deal does honor historically powerful trading/ merchant civilizations now equipped with substantial manufacturing/ industrial bases and with a serious tradition in advanced scientific innovation. The serious possibility of China-Iran finally configuring what will be a brand new, expanded strategic economic space, from East Asia to West Asia, central to 21st century multipolarity, is a geopolitical tour de force. Not only that will completely nullify the US sanction obsession; it will direct Iran’s next stages of much needed economic development to the East, and it will boost the whole geoeconomic space from China to Iran and everyone in between.
“The risk of an escalation of the conflict in Ukraine for NATO is incomparable with the danger of a Russian victory”
The support of Europe hinges on the idea that Russia wants to conquer the entire continent. Made up from thin hot air.
• NATO Chief Reveals Biggest Risk In Terms Of Ukraine Conflict (TASS)
There are no risk-free options in terms of the conflict in Ukraine but the biggest risk of all is if Russia wins, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said, addressing the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “Some worry that our support to Ukraine risks triggering escalation. Let me be clear: there are no risk-free options, but the biggest risk of all is if Putin wins,” he noted, adding: “This will make the world more dangerous and us more vulnerable.” The NATO secretary general highlighted the need to learn “some important lessons” from the Ukraine conflict. “First, we must sustain and step up our support to Ukraine” and “give Ukraine what they need to win,” Stoltenberg pointed out.
“The second lesson is that we need to continue to strengthen our deterrence and defense,” he went on to say. “The third lesson is that we need to strengthen the resilience of our societies. Military forces are necessary to protect our security but they are not sufficient. We must also secure our cyberspace, our supply chains and our infrastructure,” the NATO chief stressed. According to him, the most important lesson is that “North America and Europe must stand together.”
“..and gain control over its natural resources..”
• Poland, Baltic States Seek To Dismember Russia – Envoy To UN (TASS)
Poland and Baltic countries are seeking to dismember Russia and gain control over its natural resources, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya told the UN Security Council on Friday. “When, how, and on whose prompting was the OSCE taken hostage by those ravaging Russophobes – Poles, Balts, and other young Europeans, who no longer even try to conceal their plans to dismember Russia and seize its natural resources? If you do not take it from me, check against the manifest that Ms. Anna Fotyga, ECR MEP from Poland, published recently in Euractiv,’” Nebenzya told a UNSC briefing dedicated to the anniversary of Resolution 2202 that endorsed the Minsk Package of Measures on Ukrainian reconciliation.
“..everyone there is on the side of war except us.”
• EU ‘Indirectly At War’ With Russia – Orban (RT)
Europe has become “immersed in war” due to its policy of supplying arms and military intelligence to Ukraine throughout its conflict with Russia, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said on Saturday, addressing his country’s refusal to send weapons to Kiev. Speaking at his annual state-of-the-nation speech in Budapest, Orban reiterated that Hungary won’t fall in line with other EU member states by supplying military aid to Ukraine, its northeastern neighbor, adding that European leaders appear to be “sleepwalking” into an expanded conflict. “It started with helmets and now we are already at the delivery of tanks, in the future also of airplanes, and before long we will hear about the so-called peacekeeping units,” Orban said.
“Europe is getting immersed in war, in reality they’re already indirectly at war with Russia,” he added. Orban, who has served as Hungary’s Prime Minister since 2010, stated that Hungary will “maintain economic relations with Russia and recommend this to our allies” even as Western leaders continue to impose sanctions on Moscow. He also said that while Hungary remains a proud member of both the EU and NATO, the military bloc must remain a defensive alliance and not be used to “collectively attack a third country” – adding that a “sovereign Ukraine between Hungary and Russia” is in Budapest’s best interests.
The premier maintained that Hungary has shown “great humanitarian aid” for Ukrainian refugees, and said he’d like the Russia-Ukraine conflict to end immediately but that he does not have the influence within NATO and the EU to get that done, as “everyone there is on the side of war except us.” While he also discussed issues such as inflation and domestic political affairs, around half of Orban’s hour-long speech was centered around policy matters involving Moscow and Kiev. There will be no resolution in Ukraine, Orban concluded, until lawmakers in both Moscow and Washington sit at the negotiation table. Until then, only more fighting – and the threat of a world war – awaits.
That Sunak guy is a dangerous fool:
“..Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.”
• Highlights from the Munich Security Conference (RT)
Running from Friday to Sunday, the Munich Security Conference is a global affair, attended by guests from more than 100 countries. However, this year’s conference mostly focused on Ukraine, with President Vladimir Zelensky urging his Western backers to provide more “modern weapons,” and the leaders of the UK, France and Germany seemingly eager to meet his demands. Speaking at the conference on Friday, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on Western leaders to give Ukraine “advanced, NATO-standard capabilities.” Now is the time to “double down” on military support for Kiev, he added, no matter the cost in “blood and treasure.” The UK is the largest supplier of military aid to Ukraine after the US, with London committing £2.3 billion ($2.77 billion) to Kiev’s forces last year.
Psychopath gynecologist Pustula von der Lugen says that anti-Russia sanctions were already being developed by December 2021. pic.twitter.com/MskGmf3cZC
— Pepe Escobar (@RealPepeEscobar) February 18, 2023
In addition to training 20,000 Ukrainian soldiers and pilots this year, Sunak recently announced that the UK would send 14 Challenger 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine, along with the country’s entire stock of AS90 artillery guns. Russian President Vladimir Putin is “betting we will lose our nerve,” Sunak said, promising that the UK would “prove him wrong” by increasing the supply of artillery ammunition, armored vehicles, and air defense systems. However, reports suggest that the flow of weapons to Ukraine has left British stockpiles almost depleted. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called on allies to send Ukraine Leopard 2 main battle tanks from their own stockpiles. Berlin has been “intensively campaigning” for this since it gave operators of the Leopards permission to export them to Ukraine last month, he claimed.
Scholz’s position marks a dramatic turnaround, given that his government initially refused to authorize delivery of the tanks. Berlin relented in the face of a pressure campaign from its allies, but these allies have since tempered their enthusiasm. Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, and Turkey have outright refused to donate their Leopards, and Finland – which led the “free the Leopards” campaign to pressure Germany – only promised to train Ukrainian soldiers on the tanks. Canada, Norway, Portugal, and Poland are among the few other states that have agreed to supply Leopards, though German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius acknowledged this week that they had only assembled “half a battalion” so far.
French President Emmanuel Macron declared on Friday that Paris does not seek “regime change” in Moscow, a position not shared by his allies in Kiev. “When I hear a lot of people advocating for regime change, I would just ask them: for which change? Who’s next? We experienced several times in the past decade a lot of regime change in a lot of countries. It’s a total failure,” Macron said. Macron has maintained contact with Putin since the military operation in Ukraine began, and has cautioned the West against trying to force “humiliating” peace terms on Russia. However, he has continued to provide Kiev’s forces with progressively heavier weapons, including infantry fighting vehicles and artillery guns.
Kamala Munich Security Conference
Blinken said yesterday in Munich that 200,000 Russians have been killed or wounded. The BBC counts 14,709 killed.
• Ukraine SitRep – Casualty Numbers, Lack Of Tanks, Something Is Up (MoA)
There is some interesting news on the casualty count in the war in Ukraine. Ivan Katchanovski translated bits from a Russian language BBC report: “Based on open sources, the BBC managed to establish the names of 14,709 Russian soldiers who died in the war in Ukraine. Throughout 2022, Russian sources typically reported about 250-300 dead each week. In January, these figures doubled.” #Russia 1/ “But in just two weeks in February, the BBC Russian Service, together with Mediazona (recognized as a “foreign agent” in Russia) and a team of volunteers, managed to confirm the names of 1,679 dead, which is five times more than the usual weekly numbers.” #Ukraine #ukrainewar 2/
The war started in eighths week of 2022. There were thus 44 weeks in the rest of the year. With 300 dead per week the number of Russians killed until the end of 2022 was 13,200. (These numbers likely included the number of Wagner mercenaries killed but probably not those of the Donbas militia.) The BBC then counts 2,400 killed in January and 1,700 in February. The total is thus below 20,000 the number Col. MacGregor and others have estimated for the Russian side. The BBC says it estimates that it only catches half of the dead but gives no sound reason why that would be the case.
The daily losses on the Ukrainian side are much higher. The daily clobber list of the Russian Ministry of Defense mentions about 400 Ukrainians killed every day. This is consistent with the numbers Ukraine’s government mentioned last summer and fall. Over the 358 days of the war the total sums up to about 143,000. The Russian reports do not include the number of those who got killed by the Wagner mercenaries in the Bakhmut area. That number is by likely well above 20,000.
The WHO lost all credibility in the pandemic. For decades.
• Biden Admin To Sign Deal to Give WHO Authority Over US Pandemic Policies (ET)
The Biden administration is preparing to sign up the United States to a “legally binding” accord with the World Health Organization (WHO) that would give this Geneva-based UN subsidiary the authority to dictate America’s policies during a pandemic. Despite widespread criticism of the WHO’s response to the COVID pandemic, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra joined with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in September 2022 to announce “the U.S.-WHO Strategic Dialogue.” Together, they developed a “platform to maximize the longstanding U.S. government-WHO partnership, and to protect and promote the health of all people around the globe, including the American people.”
Alex Jones Ventura
Stunning accuracy! Alex Jones predicted pandemics & forced vaccines over 20 years ago. #AlexJonesWasRight pic.twitter.com/2S1lqvOhL1
— Melissa Tate (@TheRightMelissa) February 18, 2023
These discussions and others spawned the “zero draft” of a pandemic treaty, published on Feb. 1, which now seeks ratification by all 194 WHO member states. A meeting of the WHO’s Intergovernmental Negotiating Body (INB) is scheduled for Feb. 27 to work out the final terms, which all members will then sign. Written under the banner of “the world together equitably,” the zero draft grants the WHO the power to declare and manage a global pandemic emergency. Once a health emergency is declared, all signatories, including the United States, would submit to the authority of the WHO regarding treatments, government regulations such as lockdowns and vaccine mandates, global supply chains, and monitoring and surveillance of populations.
“They want to see a centralized, vaccine-and-medication-based response, and a very restrictive response in terms of controlling populations,” David Bell, a public health physician and former WHO staffer specializing in epidemic policy, told The Epoch Times. “They get to decide what is a health emergency, and they are putting in place a surveillance mechanism that will ensure that there are potential emergencies to declare.” The WHO pandemic treaty is part of a two-track effort, coinciding with an initiative by the World Health Assembly (WHA) to create new global pandemic regulations that would also supersede the laws of member states. The WHA is the rule-making body of the WHO, comprised of representatives from the member states.
Flash light fish
Flash light fish have organs below their eyes filled with bioluminescent bacteria
They can use this to communicate, creating blink patterns specific to a situation, like a visual Morse code to coordinate behaviour in low visibility
Watch to the end
— Science girl (@gunsnrosesgirl3) February 18, 2023
The Mwanza flat-headed rock agama also known as the Spider-Man agama, can’t spin webs but can climb up vertical walls with ease
The ocean sunfish (Mola mola) is one of the heaviest known bony fishes in the world. Adults typically weigh between 247 and 1,000 kg (545–2,205 lb). Yet, Newly hatched sunfish larvae are only 2.5 mm (3⁄32 in) long and weigh less than one gram
This is a sturgeon from British Columbia: this kind of fish can reach a length of 6 meters (20 feet) and an age of 100 years.
[read more: https://t.co/RM0ioQl7MO]
[Yves Bisson: https://t.co/JLOEuYECVb] pic.twitter.com/6qohXJPq8t
— Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) February 18, 2023
Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.