Jun 032023
 


Paul Klee Hammamet with Its Mosque 1914

 

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)
Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)
Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)
Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)
Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)
Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)
Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)
Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)
Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)
China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)
Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)
Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)
FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)
China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)
Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

 

 

 

 

Sandbags
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664815151256674304

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biden laptop

 

 

The Friends of BRICS, a preamble to BRICS+

Cape Town
https://twitter.com/i/status/1664657498668781570

 

 

 

 

BBee Musk

 

 

 

 

 

 

View from India. Zorawar Daulet Singh is an award winning author and strategic affairs expert based in New Delhi.

NATO’s Big Gamble In Ukraine Has Failed (Zorawar Daulet Singh)

Fifteen months into the biggest land war in Eurasia since the Second World War, the tables have turned. US and NATO began with a confidence that a proxy war was the only way to roll back Russian influence in Europe. It was aimed to cut Russia down to size and snuff out the incipient multipolar order. On paper it was an ingenious, if diabolical, strategy. Ukrainian blood and NATO weapons would be more than a match for Russia. At the very least, western policymakers surmised, Russia would be bogged down in another protracted ‘Afghanistan’ or ‘Vietnam’ for years, while America would swoop across the world as a rejuvenated superpower. The opposite has occurred. On every front in this proxy war – it is more apt to classify the conflict as a limited great power war – US goals have fallen short.

The US’s Weak Hand The international community has stayed scrupulously away from lining up behind the West. Other than its loyal G-6 states in tow, Washington has witnessed a resounding rejection of NATO’s plan to demonise and contain Russia. The Global South has instead discovered an opportunity to advance their own interests and embrace a multipolar world order where weaker states can henceforth bargain for better deals with the major players. India’s foreign policy exemplifies this trend that can today be seen in South America, Africa, Middle East and even in parts of East Asia. Great power geopolitical alignments have also shifted adversely. China – the swing power for the West – has barely budged its position. Since the outbreak of the Ukraine war, Washington has attempted to imagine cleavages between Moscow and Beijing that it could exploit for a new western rapprochement with China. Senior US policymakers, including the President, along with a flurry of European leaders have attempted to court the Xi Jinping regime in an attempt to nudge China away from Russia. But to little avail. The Chinese seem unwilling to jeopardise their partnership with Russia. With their own potential flashpoint right under their nose in Taiwan, Beijing fears a similar fate for itself in the future.

Unanticipated Economic Blowback The real trump card in Western hands has always been the economy: the legacy dominance of the US dollar, control over international supply chains, and the ability to arbitrarily impose collective sanctions and isolate a country. These are unique leverages that no other great power can claim to possess as of today. This is where the US truly felt it had the upper hand. It could not only destabilise Russia, perhaps even fatally, but also rewrite a new chapter on globalisation. Yet shockingly again, and despite dramatically severing European energy and industrial linkages with Russia, the blowback to the West has been more severe than the intended impact on the Russian economy. European economies are reeling from inflation and the spectre of de-industrialisation, fueled by a supply side energy and commodity crisis caused by western sanctions. Industrial giants like Germany have slumped into a recession. Economists can no longer deny just how critical the Russian commodity and energy link as well as market access was for European prosperity and industrial vitality.

How Russia Escaped, India Too But how did Russia escape its own economic strangulation? Very simply, the non-western world did not commit hara-kiri. China and India along with several other developing economies quickly replaced western markets, providing not only a lifeline to Russian exports but also drew unusual growth benefits of their own from discounted crude oil. Flushed with revenues, Moscow has been able to procure industrial components, machinery and consumer goods necessary for its basic economic stability. Trade with China is estimated to touch $200 billion in 2023, emulating a role played by Germany in the past. As a consequence, Russia defied the double-digit recession forecast for it in 2022 by only contracting by 2.1 percent. Even the IMF projects positive GDP growth for the Russian economy in 2023 and 2024.

The War Theatre: Advantage Russia Finally, it is in the war theatre itself where events have unfolded calling into question the entire geopolitical gamble of the West. After the initial phase when Russia received a rude shock about the full extent of NATO’s penetration and the systematic buildup of the Ukrainian armed forces since 2014, Moscow shifted to a strategy of attrition. This meant occupying territory – usually the primary objective of a war – became less important (other than of course the ethnic-Russian dominated Donbass and Crimea) than degrading and destroying the NATO-built force inside Ukraine. Classical war of manoeuvre with large tanks battles in vast open fields or direct assaults on entrenched Ukrainian positions – scenarios that NATO expected and trained the Ukrainian military for and for which it invested in major defence lines around the Donbass – were replaced by gruelling and bloody struggles for strategic cities and gateway towns. Russia has prevailed in all these major urban battles that will help it secure eastern Ukraine. At the same time, Russia has used its offensive firepower to freely strike at military, logistic, high value infrastructure, and command and control targets across Ukraine including in Kyiv. Russia adapted to fight an intelligent and relatively low casualty war of its choosing and not the one NATO had planned to bog it down in.

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Blinken seeks many more years of war:

“The United States will help Ukraine build a powerful, modern military, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a speech in Helsinki. Blinken stressed that Washington will continue to provide Ukraine with military assistance so that the Armed Forces of Ukraine can fight Russian aggression. He said the United States would help Ukraine build “the army of the future.” This, he says, means “a modern air force, air and missile defense, modern tanks and armored vehicles, the ability to produce ammunition, as well as training and support for combat readiness of forces and equipment.”

Blinken Dismisses Calls for a Ceasefire: Build Up Ukraine’s Military (Antiwar)

The US will focus its efforts on arming Ukraine and not attempting to bring the war to a negotiated settlement, America’s top diplomat said. Secretary of State Antony Blinken laid out a plan to massively expand Kiev’s military before talks begin. In a speech delivered in Finland on Friday, Blinken stated, “The United States – together with our allies and partners – is firmly committed to supporting Ukraine’s defense today, tomorrow, for as long as it takes.” He continued, “We believe the prerequisite for meaningful diplomacy and real peace is a stronger Ukraine, capable of deterring and defending against any future aggression.” Blinken dismissed the idea of even a temporary pause in the fighting. “Some countries will call for a ceasefire. And on the surface, that sounds sensible – attractive, even. After all, who doesn’t want warring parties to lay down their arms? Who doesn’t want the killing to stop?” He said.

“But a ceasefire that simply freezes current lines in place and enables Putin to consolidate control over the territory he’s seized…It would legitimize Russia’s land grab. It would reward the aggressor and punish the victim.” The Secretary of State offered an ambitious vision of Kiev’s future military capabilities. “America and our allies are helping meet Ukraine’s needs on the current battlefield while developing a force that can deter and defend against aggression for years to come.” He added, “That means helping build a Ukrainian military of the future, with long-term funding, a strong air force centered on modern combat aircraft, an integrated air and missile defense network, advanced tanks and armored vehicles, national capacity to produce ammunition, and the training and support to keep forces and equipment combat-ready.”

It is unclear how long it would take to build the deterrence force envisioned by Blinken. American arms stockpiles are dwindling as Washington attempts to transfer Kiev enough military equipment to keep its army fighting. The US additionally has plans to significantly increase arms transfers to Taiwan. Blinken claimed, “Our support for Ukraine hasn’t weakened our capabilities to meet potential threats from China or anywhere else – it’s strengthened them.” In November, the Wall Street Journal reported, “US government and congressional officials fear the conflict in Ukraine is exacerbating a nearly $19 billion backlog of weapons bound for Taiwan, further delaying efforts to arm the island.” Additionally, the White House may not have the support it needs in the Capitol for such a massive military buildup in Ukraine. Blinken asserted that “in America, this support is bipartisan.” However, at the beginning of May, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said future support for Ukraine would be contingent on success in Kiev’s long-planned counteroffensive.

Since McCaul’s statement, Ukraine has slowly lost more territory to Russian forces, including Bakhmut. Zelensky committed endless resources to the city in a months-long battle despite the advice from his Western backers. The White House is now preparing for the counteroffensive to fail. Washington’s strategy, as laid out by Blinken, calls for arming Ukraine and weakening Russia. “Russia is significantly worse off today than it was before its full-scale invasion of Ukraine – militarily, economically, geopolitically,” he stated, adding, “President Putin has diminished Russian influence on every continent.” However, Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of US European Command, told Congress in April that Moscow’s ground forces are “bigger today” than before Moscow launched its invasion of Ukraine last year.

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“..even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.”

Ukrainian Counteroffensive Would Turn Into ‘Bloodbath’ – Orban (RT)

Everything must be done to avoid a Ukrainian counteroffensive against Russian forces as it would have devastating consequences for Kiev, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said. During an interview with Kossuth Radio on Friday, Orban stated that “even someone like myself with a year-and-a-half experience of military service knows perfectly well… that if I attack, I’ll lose three times more than the one who is on the defense.” Ukraine likely has a population of “somewhere between 20 to 30 million” at the moment, which is “a fraction” of what Russia has, he said. Russia’s population is over 146 million, according to data from the Federal Statistics Service.

The launch of a major counteroffensive by Kiev in such conditions “would be a bloodbath,” the Hungarian leader warned. “Even in the best-case scenario [for Kiev], no better result could be achieved… on the battlefield, than what could’ve been reached through negotiations even before the conflict,” he said. “We must do everything we can before the launch of a counteroffensive to convince the sides that ceasefire and peace talks are necessary,” Orban insisted. Ukraine has been planning a large-scale counteroffensive against the Russian forces for months, claiming it would allow Kiev to retake all territories lost to Russia, including Crimea.

The operation was expected to start in spring, but had been delayed on numerous occasions as Ukrainian officials complained about bad weather, a lack of ammunition, and the reluctance of the West to supply warplanes. Hungary has taken a balanced approach since the outbreak of the conflict between Moscow and Kiev in February 2022. Budapest has supplied humanitarian aid to Ukraine, but refused to send arms to President Vladimir Zelensky’s government, unlike many fellow EU member states. Hungary has also consistently called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and criticized the sanctions imposed by Brussels on Moscow, arguing that they have failed to achieve their goal and were hurting the EU more than Russia.

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”Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer..”

Orban Delighted At Erdogan’s Victory Over ‘Soros’ Man’ (RT)

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban described the election victory of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu as a “huge relief” in a radio broadcast on Friday. “If Erdogan had not won, Soros’ man would have opened the borders to immigrants,” Orban claimed, referring to Kilicdaroglu as an agent of billionaire currency speculator and funder of liberal causes George Soros. Had he won, up to 3 million of the 4 million refugees living in Türkiye would be flooding the Hungarian border by the end of the summer, Orban presumed. “I didn’t just root for him, I prayed specifically for President Erdogan’s victory,” Orban continued. “It would have been a tragedy if he had not won.”

The prime minister argued that unlike Erdogan, Kilicdaroglu would have been a pro-war leader, potentially disrupting Russian gas supplies to Hungary and Serbia. Hungary receives the vast majority of its natural gas from Russia via the TurkStream pipeline, which carries gas from Russia to Southern Europe through Türkiye. Budapest has repeatedly blocked EU efforts to impose an embargo on Russian gas to punish Moscow for its military operation in Ukraine. Orban stressed the importance of convincing Ukraine and Russia “that a ceasefire is needed and that peace talks are necessary,” lamenting that “the vast majority in the EU is against us, they are at our throats.” He predicted a “bloodbath” if Kiev were to go ahead with its planned counteroffensive, pointing out that the odds were not on the Ukrainians’ side.

Erdogan officially won reelection on Sunday following a runoff vote, entering his third term with support from 52.14% of the electorate, according to Türkiye’s Supreme Election Council. While Kilicdaroglu ran on a globalist platform of restarting EU accession talks, improving relations with the country’s NATO allies, and rolling back many of Erdogan’s domestic reforms, he took a more forceful stance against open borders during the runoff, promising to send refugees back to their home countries. Erdogan consistently portrayed his opponent as hostile to traditional values, pro-terrorist, and pro-LGBT.

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“..as long as his government remains in power..”

Orban Warns Hungary Will Never Fight Russia (RT)

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has pledged not to “fight” Russia or let the country get dragged into the Ukraine conflict as long as his government remains in power. The prime minister made the remarks on Friday during an interview with local Kossuth Radio. Budapest sees the ongoing hostilities between Moscow and Kiev as a “close” yet “outside threat,” Orban explained. “We are not involved in the war, Hungary is not at war with Russia, and will not be for as long as this government is in place, certainly not,” the PM stated. Orban also slammed belligerent statements repeatedly made by “left-wing politicians” who have claimed their countries were “at war” with Russia already. The PM did not, however, point to any specific examples of such statements.

“When left-wing politicians say that ‘we are at war with Russia,’ while sitting at home in a comfortable armchair, they do not know what they are talking about. They have lost their minds. ‘We are at war with Russia’ is a statement that no sane person can afford since World War II.” Unlike fellow NATO and EU member states, Hungary has taken a neutral stance on the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began in February 2022. The country has refused to provide any military aid to Kiev and has even prohibited the flow of arms from third parties to Ukraine through its territory.

The country has also been opposing the EU’s anti-Russian sanctions, particularly those damaging its own vital interests, namely restrictions in the fields of conventional and nuclear energy. Budapest has consistently argued that the restrictions failed to meet their proclaimed goals and were hurting the EU more than Russia. At the same time, Budapest has been providing humanitarian aid to Ukrainian civilians who have been impacted by the crisis. Hungary has also repeatedly called for settling the conflict through a diplomatic solution.

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This is a war summit. Nothing to do with peace.

Zelensky Talks Peace Summit With Scholz (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has said his recent meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz included talks on preparing for a “Global Peace Summit.” Earlier this week, media outlets reported that Kiev and its Western backers were planning to convene a global meeting centered on Kiev’s “peace formula,” which has already been rejected by Moscow. According to a statement published by Zelensky’s office, the president met with the German leader on the sidelines of the European Political Community Summit in Moldova’s capital Chisinau on Thursday. He thanked Scholz for “supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula” and for his “readiness to join its implementation.” The two leaders also “discussed joint preparations for the Global Peace Summit and the involvement of the widest possible range of participants,” the statement noted.

The Ukrainian president urged Berlin to keep military aid flowing to Kiev, specifically air defense systems, citing the “escalation of Russian missile terror against Ukraine.” On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that French President Emmanuel Macron had offered to host the summit in Paris, with Denmark and Sweden also putting themselves forward as potential hosts. European officials have allegedly extended invitations to Brazil, India, China, and several other non-Western countries, with Russia being conspicuously absent from the list. Published late last year, Ukraine’s peace formula demands that Moscow withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s borders as established in 1991, including Crimea.

Moreover, the plan envisages Russia paying reparations for damage caused, and handing over officials accused by Ukraine of war crimes, to face international tribunals. Moscow has unequivocally rejected this formula, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov describing its terms as essentially the “capitulation of Russia.” Speaking on Friday, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that there are no indications that dialogue with Ukraine will be possible any time soon. He explained that the proposals floated by European nations have so far failed to accommodate Moscow’s security concerns, which are a priority for Russia. Earlier this week, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, expressed skepticism over the prospect of Russia engaging in peace talks with Ukraine in the near future.

The diplomat argued that Moscow seems intent on achieving a military victory over its neighbor, and that fighting is likely to continue throughout the summer. Aside from Ukraine’s own peace formula, there have been several plans suggested by other nations. Notably, China released its own 12-point roadmap on the first anniversary of the conflict in late February. While dismissed out of hand by the US, its NATO allies and Ukraine, the plan has been received favorably by several other nations, including Brazil and Russia.

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Many more years of war.

Europe Suffers Sharp Munitions Deficit Due To Military Aid Largesse (TASS)

Europe is experiencing a palpable deficit of ammunition due to its generous military support for the Kiev regime, Italian daily La Repubblica reported on Friday. According to the newspaper, among other items, there is a shortage of shells and explosives for warheads. That said, Kiev cannot launch its much-hyped counteroffensive until it accumulates sufficient supplies. The US has already doubled its production from 200,000 to 400,000 shells a year, while in 2025 it hopes to surpass the one million mark. Meanwhile, in Europe this figure is at the level of just 50,000. According to La Repubblica, financing being provided by Brussels is aimed at changing the current state of affairs but, that said, the goal of churning out one million 155-mm shells “every 12 months appears to be overly ambitious.”


Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said that the EU plans to deliver another one million munitions to Ukraine in the next 12 months. According to him, 24 EU countries have joined the initiative to expand production of 155-mm artillery shells with 1 billion euros being appropriated for this purpose. He specified that the European Defense Agency, a branch of the EU, had taken the lead on this issue.

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“Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter.”

Russian Oil Giant’s Profits Soar Amid Sanctions (RT)

Net profits at Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft, jumped by 45.5% in the first quarter of this year compared to the previous three months, hitting 323 billion rubles ($4 billion) due to a rise in output, the company announced this week. Analysts polled by the Interfax had expected the figure to be far smaller, at $2.9 billion. Oil and gas production in the first quarter increased by 0.8% from October to December, exceeding four million barrels per day, Rosneft reported. Production at the Sakhalin-1 project in Russia’s Far East jumped by 180%, quarter on quarter. The company’s CEO Igor Sechin, however, warned that operations would be further impacted by Moscow’s decision to reduce its oil output by 500,000 barrels per day, or about 5%, in order to bolster global oil markets.


“While the cut did not have much influence on the Q1 2023 results, it will have a strong impact on the results of the following quarter,” he warned. Rosneft attributes the rise in profits to increasing energy sales to India and other ‘friendly’ states. India, the world’s third-largest crude importer, ramped up purchases of Russian oil shortly after the start of Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine and the ensuing Western sanctions. New Delhi has repeatedly stressed that energy security is its top priority. It has chosen not to succumb to Western pressure and has continued to stock up on Russian supplies, even after the G7 price cap on Russian oil came into force late last year. Sechin said recently that Moscow and New Delhi had agreed to “substantially increase” the supply of crude oil to India and diversify its grades.

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China’s setting up the table. Next round, intentions won’t be enough.

Moscow, Kiev, EU Seeking Peaceful Solution To Ukraine Crisis – Special Envoy (TASS)

Moscow, Kiev and the European Union vowed to work toward a peaceful solution to the Ukraine crisis, Chinese Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui said, commenting on his recent international tour. “The first thing that I felt clearly was that every side involved positively assessed China’s efforts. Everybody’s hoping for a peaceful solution to the [Ukraine] crisis,” Li told a briefing at the China Public Diplomacy Association. According to the Chinese envoy, both Russia and Ukraine, as well as the EU, support the stance of China which is seeking to resolve the conflict through political means. From May 15 to May 26, Li Hui visit Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During that tour, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, and diplomats from the aforementioned nations, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. His key goal, Li said, was to discuss the Ukraine conflict.

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“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.”

China Special Envoy Urges Europe To Ponder Causes Of Ukrainian Conflict (TASS)

The Chinese government’s special representative for Eurasian affairs, Li Hui, suggested on Friday that his European counterparts should ponder why the Ukrainian conflict had developed and why Russia had launched a special military operation in Ukraine. The Chinese envoy was speaking in response to a question from a Western journalist who asked him for clarification. “When I was in Europe, I invited my colleagues from European states to think hard about the root causes of the Ukrainian conflict,” Li said at a news briefing of the China Public Diplomacy Association in Beijing following his international tour. “They can all think hard and draw their own conclusions,” Li said. While explaining the reasons for the special military operation he referred to Russia’s arguments.


“You ask why Russia took such actions. I will answer you with one phrase, which my Russian colleagues shared with me,” Li said. “They started the operation to protect the lives, property and security of the people of Donbass.” As the Chinese diplomat specified, regardless of the causes of the Ukrainian crisis “it is necessary to restore peace as soon as possible through negotiations in a political way.” On May 15-26, Li Hui visited Ukraine, Poland, France, Germany, the EU headquarters and Russia. During this trip, he met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky and with diplomats from these countries, including Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. The task, as Li confirmed, was to discuss the Ukrainian conflict.

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“..I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become..”

Propaganda Perverts Reality In The Minds Of Americans (Scott Ritter)

At the end of April, my daughter Victoria and I departed New York City’s JFK airport, ultimately bound for the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, the first destination of what would be a 26-day, 12-city tour of Russia. While the official purpose of the visit was business (I was promoting my book, Disarmament Race, which has been published in the Russian language by the Komsomolskaya Pravda publishing house), the unofficial – and for me, most important – purpose of the visit was an opportunity to better understand today’s Russia. To do this, I was going to dig deeper into Russian history, get a better grasp of the culture, and, in the process, try to understand the “Russian soul” in as precise a manner as possible.

From my perspective, both objectives were accomplished. I’m inclined to believe that Komsomolskaya Pravda was pleased with the results of a tour that drew positive media coverage, resulted in well-attended town hall-style events involving vigorous question-and-answer sessions, and reportedly resulted in the initial print run of 10,000 books to be sold out in a manner of days. Through the considerable interaction I had with Russians of all walks of life, I came away with deeper insight into the complexity of what comprises the modern Russian nation circa 2023. However, divining an articulable definition of the Russian soul – if indeed possible at all – requires deeper introspection into the plethora of data and experiences captured during this journey than the passage of several days affords and is beyond the scope of this article.

I left on this adventure fully cognizant of the existence of an informational pandemic in America known as Russophobia, and I always believed that I was realistic as to the challenges that I would have to face in trying to convert my Russian experience into a fact-based vaccine to counter this disease of the American mind. However, the scale of the obstacles that I imagined overcoming paled in comparison to the reality that hit home literally as I stepped off the aircraft on our way back home, when Victoria and I were both pulled out of the passport checkpoint for an hours-long interrogation by investigators from Customs and Border Protection who specialize in travelers from designated nations such as Russia.

I will start by noting that the treatment my daughter and I received was professional and courteous. I understand the political reality of the times we live in, and the perceived necessity of questioning US citizens who travel to Russia while relations between our two nations are at an all-time low. My concern is not in the conduct of the interrogation, but rather the substance of the foundational information upon which the questions asked of me were based. As the CBP officer admitted, he had interviewed hundreds of Russians after the start of the military operation in Ukraine in February 2022. The picture he had of Russia was singularly grounded in the perspective of political dissidents who had a bone to pick with President Vladimir Putin, and the narrative that they painted about Russia had become gospel for the CBP. By extension, it has heavily influenced the overall assessment by the US government, since these dissident debriefings constitute a major source of the primary intelligence used by national security analysts throughout the American intelligence community.

In short, my interrogation quickly became a debate between myself on the one hand, and a combination of Alexey Navalny (the imprisoned Russian opposition figure who most of the Russian dissidents support, according to the officer) and the Ukrainian government on the other. Virtually every point I made was immediately defined as “pro-Russian propaganda.” I tried to impress upon the CBP officer the reality of Russia, today, especially concerning both the high level of support for, and underlying criticism of, the Russian government about the military campaign in Ukraine. However, in the end my arguments, and the facts they were based upon, were categorized as “Kremlin talking points” no matter how hard I tried. I left the interrogation with a new appreciation of how deeply ingrained into the intellectual DNA of the official US government the Navalny and Ukrainian narratives have become, and how difficult it will be to root them out.

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WHO?

“The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities”

Who Can You Trust? (Jim Kunstler)

Anyway, you must ask yourself: why on earth should I trust the WHO about anything? Did they not participate in laying a trip on the world with Covid-19? How did those lockdowns work out? Do you think they destroyed enough businesses and ruined enough households? How’s the vaccination program doing? Effective? Safe? Yeah, maybe not so much. Maybe killing a lot of people, wrecking immune systems, sterilizing reproductive organs, causing gross disabilities, shattering lives. Of course, in over three years neither the WHO nor the US medical authorities showed the slightest interest in helping to figure out how the Covid-19 virus was made in a lab, and exactly how it got loose in the world. Lately, Dr. Ghebreyesus has warned the world about much worse future pandemics supposedly coming down at us.

Oh? Really? What does he know that we don’t? That possibly new efforts to concoct chimeric diseases are ongoing in labs around the world? (You know that dozens of such labs were discovered in Ukraine as the war got underway there in 2022.) What’s Dr. Ghebreyesus doing to stop that? If US orgs and citizens are involved in this “research,” why doesn’t the WHO alert our government leaders so they can stop it. (Would they? I’m not so sure.) And, who is behind it this time? The Eco-Health Alliance again, like with Covid-19? By the way, that outfit got another whopping grant last fall from the NIH to “study” bat viruses — right after the NIH terminated a previous grant on account of The Eco-Health Alliance failing to turn over notebooks and other records. No, you cannot trust the WHO about anything. The “trust horizon” (a concept introduced by the great Nicole Foss, late of The Automatic Earth dot com) is shrinking. You can no longer trust any distant authorities.

You also cannot trust the US federal government (especially the executive branch behind “Joe Biden”). And notice: the trust horizon is shrinking just as the world is de-centralizing. This, you see, is the main contradiction behind all the Globalist’s twisted ambitions to control everything, including you. They are working against the current tide of human history which is pushing everything toward down-scaling, re-localization, and re-assertion of the sovereign individual person. That trend will become increasingly evident as things organized at the giant scale start to implode — giant retail chains, medical behemoths, hedge funds, big banks, you name it. The world no longer has the mojo for globalism. There’s reason to wonder these days whether the USA has the mojo to remain a unified national polity of states. Our federal government is not only financially bankrupt beyond any coherent reckoning, it is also morally bankrupt, and it has decided to make war against its own people. None of this is satisfactory and none of this is working. It’s time to figure out who and what you can trust and act accordingly.

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“Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena..”

FBI Relents, Agrees To Deliver Subpoenaed Memo Alleging Biden Bribery (JTN)

Facing a potential contempt of Congress vote, FBI Director Christopher Wray relented and has agreed to bring a subpoenaed document from the Biden family investigation to Capitol Hill for lawmakers to inspect on Monday, House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer announced Friday. The document in question, an FD-1023, contains uncorroborated allegations that an informant provided the FBI in June 2020 alleging that Joe Biden, when he was vice president, was engaged in a bribery scheme to change US policy in return for $5 million to his family’s businesses, lawmakers have said. Congress was alerted to the document by an FBI whistleblower who raised concerns the allegations were never fully investigated. Comer and Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa demanded to see the document, and Comer followed with a subpoena.

As recently as Wednesday, Wray indicated he would not turn over the document in compliance with the subpoena, but would let lawmakers come read it at the FBI. But a deal was struck late Thursday for the FBI to bring the document to the Capitol, officials said. “Chairman Comer will receive a briefing from the FBI and review the document on Monday,” his committee told Just the News in a statement. “Chairman Comer has been clear that anything short of producing the FD-1023 form to the House Oversight Committee is not compliance with his subpoena. This unclassified record contains pages of details that need to be investigated further by the House Oversight Committee.” In a statement to Just the News, the FBI said it wanted to accommodate Congress while also protecting sensitive confidential human source information that often is recorded in memos even before it is corroborated.

“Director Wray offered to provide the Committee’s Chairman and Ranking Member an opportunity to review information responsive to the subpoena in a secure manner to accommodate the committee, while protecting the confidentiality and safety of sources and important investigative sensitivities,” the bureau said. “The FBI has continually demonstrated its commitment to working with the Committee to accommodate its request, from scheduling briefings and calls to now allowing the Chair to review information in person. The FBI remains committed to cooperating with the Committee in good faith.”

The bureau also cautioned that FD-1023 forms are “used by FBI agents to record unverified reporting by a confidential human source. Documenting the information does not validate it, establish its credibility, or weigh it against other information verified by the FBI. “Revealing unverified or possibly incomplete information could harm investigations, prejudice prosecutions or judicial proceedings, unfairly violate privacy or reputations, create misimpressions in the public, or potentially identify individuals who provide information to law enforcement, placing their physical safety at risk,” it added.

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“In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.”

China Has Tamed The World’s Most Powerful Explosive- Military Scientists (SCMP)

A Chinese research team said they have significantly improved the safety of the world’s most powerful explosive by engineering a five-fold boost to its shock resistance capacity. The breakthrough could speed up the large-scale application of the explosive in battle, making Chinese weapons far superior in terms of destructive power, according to the scientists. CL-20 is the most deadly non-nuclear explosive in existence. When detonated, it can produce destructive shock waves with blast pressures many times higher than other common explosives like TNT and RDX. In a recent war game, Chinese defence researchers sank an entire US aircraft carrier fleet in the South China Sea with 24 hypersonic missiles. Some military experts believe that these weapons used CL-20 warheads.

The mass production of CL-20 is extremely difficult. China is the only country so far to possess such industrial capability and has used the explosive in some of its newest weapons, according to a US Energetics Technology Centre study commissioned by the Pentagon in 2021. But the use of CL-20 is still limited due to its sensitivity to shock, according to the Chinese team led by explosive scientist Guo Changping from the Sichuan Military and Civilian Co-Innovation Centre for New Energetic Materials. Guo and his colleagues developed a new nanotechnology that can help synthesise CL-20 composites with ultra-high stability. In a falling hammer test, the impact sensitivity or “H50 value” of the new CL-20 explosive was 68cm (26.8 inches), much higher than that of the original material at 13cm.

Falling hammer tests involve dropping a weight onto a sample of explosive material from a specified height and measuring whether it detonated. The height at which half of the samples detonate is known as the H50 value and is used as a measure of impact sensitivity. “CL-20 has a high mechanical sensitivity, which makes it prone to safety accidents during its development, production, storage, transport and use, due to friction and impact. Its safety performance needs to be improved,” Guo’s team said in a peer-reviewed paper published in the Chinese Journal of Explosives and Propellants in April. “We are seeking a new method to break through the current technology barriers. It will inspire the design and preparation of high-security, high-energy propellants and explosive formulas of the future,” the scientists added.

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The video is now free for the whole weekend, not just 24 hours.

Woke Twitter Employees Exit In Fallout Over What Is A Woman Censorship (Rebel)

Several high-profile Twitter employees have exited the company following their decision to undermine the leadership of Elon Musk in censoring the Daily Wire’s documentary on trans-affirming surgeries for minors, “What Is A Woman?” One of the employees in question, Maie Aiyed, who served as the company’s program manager for brand safety, was exposed for having previously published posts disparaging white people following her exit. Aiyed shared her departure from Twitter, colloquially referred to as “the bird app,” through a post on a verified account linked to her. Although the tweet did not detail the reasons for her exit, it extended gratitude to some of her colleagues.

The departure announcement coincided with the news of Ella Irwin’s resignation, the chief of Twitter’s trust and safety department, and the platform’s restriction on the premiere of The Daily Wire’s documentary, “What Is A Woman?”. Elon Musk confirmed on Friday that their departures were directly related to the effort to censor the documentary. Historical posts from Aiyed, exhibiting a pattern of dismissive remarks towards white people, resurfaced among users following the news of her departure. Her previous posts, dating back to 2017, ranged from undermining white individuals’ comprehension of other cultures to caricaturing their behaviors and preferences.

As detailed by Fox News producer Gregg Re, Aiyed tweeted various racial grievances against white people. In one instance, Aiyed even stated that she was “actively avoiding reading books by white authors.” Aiyed’s account portrays her as having Egyptian heritage, frequently posting about video games and an array of other subjects, often in a sardonic tone. LinkedIn data indicates that Aiyed has held the role of a program manager for Brand Safety Partnerships at Twitter in the San Francisco Bay Area since March 2022, a tenure that predates Elon Musk’s acquisition of the company. Her professional history includes employment at other major tech companies such as YouTube, Patreon, and Dropbox.

What is?

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John Strand Jan 6

 

 

Unvaxxed

 

 

Gadaffi

 

 

Sun spots

 

 

Monarchs

 

 

Rabbit Hole

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 242022
 


Salvador Dali Bay of Cadaques 1925

 

The Fear of Fear Itself: The Gripping Truth Out of Ukraine (Butler)
It Was Never About Ukraine (Antiwar)
Black Holes And Digestive Systems, Or Why Hegemon Is Doomed (FMAN)
New York Times Confirms SBF To Speak Alongside Zelensky, Yellen (ZH)
EU Parliament Brands Russia ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’ (RT)
Russia Is Not ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’ – US Ambassador (RT)
Huge Swathes Of Ukraine Without Power & Water (ZH)
Ukraine – Lights Out, No Water And Soon No Heat (MoA)
Germany Rejects Boris Johnson Claims It Said Ukraine Should Fold To Russia (G.)
EU Has ‘No Right’ To Get Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Kiev (RT)
Ukraine Halts Russian Oil Transit To EU – Transneft (RT)
EU Claims To Have Fully Substituted Russian Gas (RT)
China Secretly Hoarding Gold To Ditch Dollar – Media
NATO Contacts Claim Is Media ‘Invention’ – Moscow (RT)
Anti-Twitter Advertisers Have Been Under-Performing The Market For Months (ZH)
Elon Musk: Coalition of Political Groups Behind Lack of Moderation Council (ET)

 

 

 

 


Jim Garrison in his book, “On the Trail of the Assassins.”
“I knew by now that when a group of individuals gravitated toward one another for no apparent reason…inexplicably headed in the same direction as if drawn by a magnetic field..as often as not the shadowy outlines of a covert intelligence operation were somehow becoming visible”

 

 

Elon AOC

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Since Putin’s gas hike was not enough to stir Americans into a blood ritual for total war, the liberal world order is throwing grocery prices into the mix.”

The Fear of Fear Itself: The Gripping Truth Out of Ukraine (Butler)

Now we are asked to be afraid of Vladimir Putin weaponizing gas! We must act in defense of the Russian’s weaponizing food! And Vladimir Putin personally killed J.F.K. with a BB-Gun from the Texas book depository in Dallas. Did Russia’s leadership wake up one morning in 2014 and decide a NATO regime was needed in next-door Ukraine? Well, no. Were the Russians shelling people with Polish DNA in Kyiv for eight years? Certainly not. The EU, NATO, and the New York Times would have informed us of that. So why would Russia act the way she has recently? I see no one out there gazing with practical eyes on this situation. Oh, commodities and controlling them! Money! Tons and tons of money! That has to be it.

Some weeks back, Vladimir Putin’s government decided to allow the free passage of grain ships through the Black Sea out of southwestern Ukraine. The “food” was ostensibly headed to the starving people of Africa and Asia that Washington, London, and Brussels were berserk over. Even the United Nations has held that starving people worldwide need to blame Russia. I was reading a Voice of America report on recent UN meetings about the Ukraine/Black Sea shipments, and it reads like intel for Wall Street commodities brokers. And there’s the point. Food security worldwide is now the red-hot poker western elites are jabbing Russia with now. Since Putin’s gas hike was not enough to stir Americans into a blood ritual for total war, the liberal world order is throwing grocery prices into the mix.

For those in the dark or dizzied by all these events, and I am often with you, the accessible version is to simply call this World War III. Yes, we are already in it. But think about the sequence of recent events and their impact for proper clarity. First, Nord Stream was blown up. The next day a pipeline from Norway to Poland carrying much more expensive natural gas went into operation. A few days after this, the Poles demanded trillions in reparations from the Germans for WW2 grievances settled decades ago. The essentials that power economies and people are being weaponized, but the perpetrators hide in plain sight behind the media they own.

Retired U.S. Colonel Douglas MacGregor gave the best appraisal of the situation in a talk with Aaron Maté and Katie Halper. MacGregor, dubbed “America’s Greatest Warfighter,” is a war hero and former strategy advisor during the Trump administration. He says, in no uncertain terms, that Washington and London’s leaders are on a mission to destroy Germany and the German-Russian cooperative potential. I believe he is right on all counts, but he leaves off how the western elites (banksters) are profiteering from it all. This is a multiple-pronged strategy, not some haphazard knee-jerking.

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“Russia refused to play by the rules..”

It Was Never About Ukraine (Antiwar)

In his March 21 press briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price told the gathered reporters that “President Zelenskyy has also made it very clear that he is open to a diplomatic solution that does not compromise the core principles at the heart of the Kremlin’s war against Ukraine.” A reporter asked Price, “What are you saying about your support for a negotiated settlement à la Zelenskyy, but on whose principles?” In what still may be the most remarkable statement of the war, Price responded, “this is a war that is in many ways bigger than Russia, it’s bigger than Ukraine.” Price, who a month earlier had discouraged talks between Russia and Ukraine, rejected Kiev negotiating an end to the war with Ukraine’s interests addressed because US core interests had not been addressed. The war was not about Ukraine’s interests: it was bigger than Ukraine.

A month later, in April, when a settlement seemed to be within reach at the Istanbul talks, the US and UK again pressured Ukraine not to pursue their own goals and sign an agreement that could have ended the war. They again pressured Ukraine to continue to fight in pursuit of the larger goals of the US and its allies. Then British prime minister Boris Johnson scolded Zelensky that Putin “should be pressured, not negotiated with.” He added that, even if Ukraine was ready to sign some agreements with Russia, the West was not.” Once again, the war was not about Ukraine’s interests: it was bigger than Ukraine. At every opportunity, Biden and his highest ranking officials have insisted “that it’s up to Ukraine to decide how and when or if they negotiate with the Russians” and that the US won’t dictate terms: “nothing about Ukraine without Ukraine.”

But that has never been true. The US wouldn’t allow Ukraine to negotiate on their terms when they wanted to. The US stopped Ukraine from negotiating in March and April when they wanted to; they pushed them to negotiate in November when they did not want to. The war in Ukraine has always been about larger US goals. It has always been about the American ambition to maintain a unipolar world in which they were the sole polar power at the center and top of the world. Ukraine became the focus of that ambition in 2014 when Russia for the first time stood up to American hegemony.

Alexander Lukin, who is Head of Department of International Relations at National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow and an authority on Russian politics and international relations, says that since the end of the Cold War Russia had been considered a subordinate partner of the West. In all disagreements between Russia and the US up to then, Russia had compromised, and the disagreements were resolved rather quickly. But when, in 2014, the US set up and supported a coup in Ukraine that was intended to pull Ukraine closer into the NATO and European security sphere Russia responded by annexing Crimea, Russia broke out of its post Cold War policy of compliance and pushed back against US hegemony. The 2014 “crisis in Ukraine and Russia’s reaction to it have fundamentally changed this consensus,” Lukin says. “Russia refused to play by the rules.”

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“This black hole is now swallowing the entire Energy System of the country as you read this, and attracting dangerously some of the closest objects to its orbit such as Poland, the Baltic Bonsai Countries and the neighboring EU..”

Black Holes And Digestive Systems, Or Why Hegemon Is Doomed (FMAN)

Ukraine is like a black hole. It swallows everything you throw at it… Billions of dollars in assistance, millions of tons of military material, and (I hope not) hundreds of thousands of lives of Khokhol and its Nazi buddies, especially if they allow the Clown-Zirkus to remain in power for much longer without a check. This black hole is now swallowing the entire Energy System of the country as you read this, and attracting dangerously some of the closest objects to its orbit such as Poland, the Baltic Bonsai Countries and the neighboring EU, all of them being steered directly to the void, in suicide mode, by their (brain disabled, dim-witted, deranged and psychopathic) ruling elites.

But what are really black Holes? You can ask yourself. From an astronomical standpoint, it is simply a star (of some mass) that, at the end of its life, collapses into a point (the singularity) due to the gravity produced by its own mass. This gravity is so intense that not even light can escape from it, hence the name “Black Hole”. They can achieve this state through a variety of processes, but the end result is always the same: something from which you cannot escape if you fall within its event horizon. And that is only defined by its mass, electric charge, and momentum. Whatever falls behind its event horizon is forever out of reach of observers on the outside.

There might be another (more convenient) meaning for this particular Ukrainian black hole. I read in my university days an anthology edited by Jerry Pournelle, where he said that Russians never use the term, because it has some eschatological connotations… some kind of biology-related obscenity. I don’t know if it is true, but I have to say that comparing Banderastan to the black hole at the end of the digestive system of some kind of mythological beast (let’s call it Hegemon) looks like much more pertinent in this case. This end has a particularly long and interesting list of possible denominations.

The beast, has an insatiable hunger, if allowed it would devour us all. The crazy psychopaths ruling elites in the West are feeding it as quickly as possible and as much as they can (wasting in the process the wealth, health and resources of those they govern) because they are also part of the parasites sucking the life and energy off the beast. The more they throw into the mouth, the more they suck out of it. The system works perfectly for them and, what is left, once processed and liberated of most of the real substance and value, is excreted through the blackhole at the end.

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Max Keiser:
• I guess the good news about the FTX racketeering scandal is that it looks like it’ll take down several high profile media outlets, the entire ‘crypto’ farce and many scammy VC’s and banks.
• [NYTimes] @dealbook just indicted itself as being part of a criminal enterprise and participating in the FTX racketeering scandal.

New York Times Confirms SBF To Speak Alongside Zelensky, Yellen (ZH)

As we discussed last night, Sam Bankman-Fried has now demonstrated that he is both a pathological liar and a sociopath, the kind who in “explaining” to his employees how he stole billions (over $4 billion according to new FTX CEO John J. Ray) from the now bankrupt FTX, an act which left it insolvent and without liquidity, called it “loans” which were “generally” not used for “large amounts of personal consumption” (just “small amounts” used for such trivial items as $40 million penthouses and private jets). And the only reason we don’t officially call him a criminal just yet, is because he has not yet confirmed he used clienOutrage After New York Times Confirms SBF To Speak Alongside Zelenskyy, Yellent money from his exchange to fund his personal hedge fund, an act which would cost any other individual decades in jail… but not prominent democrats like SBF or Jon Corzine, of course.

Plus it’s the US legal system’s job to do that, not ours. Although we are growing increasingly skeptical this prominent Democratic donor will ever see the inside of a courtroom. It’s not just us: with much of the entire world demanding to know how this corpulent 30-year-old still has not been thrown in prison, or at least charged with a variety of crimes, the NYT just confirmed to the entire world what a farce the one-time paper of record has become, and how it is willing to whore itself out for clicks – not to mention prominent Democrat donors – because moments after SBF tweeted that he will be speaking with Andrew Ross-Sorkin moderated NYT “summit” on Nov 30… … Sorkin quickly confirmed as much.

And so, instead of being under arrest, SBF will instead be treated like a luminary alongside other such other Democrat icons as Zelenskyy (who according to some may have been intimately familiar with FTX fund flows in the past year) and of course the woman who along with Ben Bernanke and Jerome Powell, made it all possible by blowing the biggest asset bubble of all time: Janet Yellen. And while we are certain that the NYT – which we assume is done writing puff pieces on behalf of SBF after it became a laughing stock last week – would be quick to mercilessly cancel and expel from its “prestigious” conference anyone who had misgendered some post-op transsexual, it is willing to give this thieving pathological liar and sociopath a forum in which to profess his innocence to the entire world, and by association with other Democrat “celebrities”…

 

 

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Europe is not where the brains are.

EU Parliament Brands Russia ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’ (RT)

The European Parliament adopted a non-binding resolution designating Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” on Wednesday. In a strongly worded but largely symbolic document, MEPs also called on the European Union to further reduce diplomatic ties with Moscow and quickly adopt a ninth package of anti-Russia sanctions. Diplomatic relations with Russia should be cut “to the absolute minimum necessary” and Russian “state-affiliated institutions,” such as Russian cultural centers and diaspora organizations, should be closed and banned, the MEPs said. As the European Union cannot officially designate states as sponsors of terrorism at present, the parliament called on bloc members to put in place the necessary legal framework and to consider adding Moscow to the relevant list.

It also urged EU members to initiate “a comprehensive international isolation” of Russia and “to swiftly complete its work on a ninth sanctions package.” The resolution, which was supported by a vast majority of parliamentarians, accused Russia of conducting “deliberate attacks and atrocities” against Ukrainian civilians, of destroying critical infrastructure in the country, and of violating human rights. Therefore, it said, the European Parliament “recognizes Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism and as a state which uses means of terrorism.” Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky welcomed the resolution, tweeting that “Russia must be isolated at all levels and held accountable.”

In recent weeks, similar largely symbolic declarations were adopted by NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. While Kiev has repeatedly urged the West to declare Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism,” only a few countries – including Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Czech Republic – have heeded the call, and their actions have been limited to symbolic gestures. Those with the power to enforce anti-terrorism sanctions against other states, specifically the US, have so far refused to take such a step. In August, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned Washington that designating Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism would become “a point of no return” in bilateral relations.

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“..Van Schaack said the US is “very interested in what the Europeans are doing,” adding that such a resolution “carries great weight.”

Russia Is Not ‘State Sponsor Of Terrorism’ – US Ambassador (RT)

The US cannot designate Russia as a “state sponsor of terrorism” since it simply does not fit the relevant criteria, the US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Criminal Justice Beth Van Schaack told a briefing on Tuesday, while commenting on a similar initiative by European lawmakers. The EU parliament adopted a resolution calling Russia a “state sponsor of terrorism” on Wednesday. “The designation of a state sponsor of terror in terms of the way US law defines it is not a good match for Russia here,” Van Schaack told journalists. Washington is currently “exploring other potential designations” that would allow it to potentially imposed further sanctions on Moscow, the ambassador added. According to Van Schaack, such a label would not be necessary since the US is already “utilizing our sanctions to an incredible degree.”

The non-binding resolution by the EU parliament was supported by 494 MEPs while 58 voted against it and 44 abstained. The MEPs particularly stated that Russia’s attacks on “the civilian population of Ukraine [and] the destruction of civilian infrastructure” amount to “war crimes” and “acts of terror.” The document also called on Brussels to develop a relevant legal framework allowing it to officially designate entire nations as sponsors of terrorism, adding that it is currently not possible. The resolution also demanded what it called the “comprehensive international isolation” of Russia, including the further reduction of diplomatic relations and the swift adoption of a new round of sanctions. “Contacts with its official representatives at all levels (should) be kept to the absolute minimum necessary,” the document said.

On Tuesday, Van Schaack said the US is “very interested in what the Europeans are doing,” adding that such a resolution “carries great weight.” The EU parliament’s document adopted so far is largely symbolic as it does not impose any legal commitments on Brussels. On Wednesday, the Russian Foreign Ministry blasted any such designations as a way for the West to legitimize their “unilateral coercive measures” against their perceived adversaries. “A number of nations representing the ‘collective West’ use such labels as a ‘terrorist state,’ ‘terrorist regime’ or a ‘state sponsor of terrorism’ to designate those nations [they consider] ‘unwelcome’ and not fitting their warped perceptions of democracy,” Ivan Nechayev, the deputy head of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Information and Press Department, told the Russian media.

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“Everything is fine with the station. There is nowhere to generate electricity.”

Huge Swathes Of Ukraine Without Power & Water (ZH)

Ukraine’s energy operator Energoatom has announced Wednesday emergency power shutdowns in effect across all regions of the country amid a new large wave of Russian airstrikes. Sirens have been sounding throughout the day across the country. President Volodymyr Zelensky in follow-up estimated that 10 million Ukrainians now lack access to electricity due to the attacks. “There are emergency shutdowns in addition to planned, stabilization ones,” he explained. “The elimination of the consequences of another missile attack against Ukraine continues all day.” Casualties have been reported in the eastern cities of Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia, and at least one person has been reported killed in Kiev.

Speaking of the renewed attacks on the capital, Mykhailo Podolyak, head of the Office of the Ukrainian President’s office said, “A new massive attack on infrastructure facilities is underway.” He described, citing recent anti-air defense systems acquired from Western countries, “While someone is waiting for World Cup results and the number of goals scored, Ukrainians are waiting for another score – number of intercepted Russian missiles. A new massive attack on infrastructure facilities is underway. In NASAMS, IRIS-T and Air Defense Forces we trust.” Kiev’s mayor, Vitali Klitschko, issued an emergency message on social media warning that ongoing Russian strikes are “Hitting one of the capital’s infrastructure facilities. Stay in shelters! The air alert continues.”

Also alarming is that the mayor in a follow-up message said that water services have been suspended in Kiev after the major strikes. While it’s not the first time that some war-hit parts of Ukraine have been left without electricity and water, the country is now in an extremely dire and urgent phase, having already seen an estimated half its national power infrastructure degraded or destroyed. Temperatures are quickly dropping, with the capital having witnessed its first snow earlier this month. Nuclear power generation is also being severely impacted: Several units were shut down at the Pivdennoukrainsk nuclear power plant in southern Ukraine due to a loss of power during Russian air raids across Ukraine, Ukraine’s nuclear energy firm Energoatom said. An Energoatom spokesperson said, “Everything is fine with the station. There is nowhere to generate electricity.”

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“To stop these attacks requires a political solution. Ukraine will have to give up and find some agreement with Russia.”

Ukraine – Lights Out, No Water And Soon No Heat (MoA)

Earlier today the Russian military shut down the Ukrainian electricity network. Previous attacks had limited the distribution capacity to some 50% of demand. Controlled blackouts over several hours per day allowed to give some electricity for a few hours to most parts of the country. The attack today created a much larger problem. Not only were distribution networks attacked but also so the elements that connect Ukraine’s electricity production facilities to the distribution network. All four nuclear power stations of Ukraine with their 15 reactors are now in shutdown mode. Kiev along with most other cities of Ukraine no longer has electricity. Moldavia is likewise effected as it received some 20% of its electricity from Ukraine. When the Ukrainian network shut down the only local thermal power plant shut down too. It is likely that it can be switched on again but that can be a complicate process.

Limited electricity imports from the European system into Ukraine may still be possible but that electricity would only be available in Ukraine’s western cities. Before today’s attack the Washington Post reported of the difficulties in repairing the network. As we ad explained before the Russian attacks are hitting the transformers that connect the national 330 kilovolt backbone network. These are hard to replace: “As the scope of damage to Ukraine’s energy systems has come into focus in recent days, Ukrainian and Western officials have begun sounding the alarm but are also realizing they have limited recourse. Ukraine’s Soviet-era power system cannot be fixed quickly or easily. In some of the worst-hit cities, there is little officials can do other than to urge residents to flee — raising the risk of economic collapse in Ukraine and a spillover refugee crisis in neighboring European countries….

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that about half of the country’s energy infrastructure was “out of order” following the bombardment…. For weeks, Russian missiles have targeted key components of Ukraine’s electrical transmission system, knocking out vital transformers without which it is impossible to supply power to households, businesses, government offices, schools, hospitals and other critical facilities. During a briefing for reporters on Tuesday, Volodymyr Kudrytskyi, the head of Ukrenergo, the state-run power grid operator, called the damage to the power system “colossal.”… Russians, he said, were mainly targeting substations, nodes on the electrical grid where the current is redirected from power stations. The main components of these substations are autotransformers — “high-tech and high-cost equipment” that is difficult to replace….

A list of “urgent needs” from DTEK, the country’s largest private energy company, circulating in Washington, lists dozens of transformers along with circuit breakers, bushings and transformer oil…. But it is the autotransformers — the “heart” of the substations, in the words of Kudrytskyi — that are at the top of the Ukrainians’ list of needs and the key to keeping the country’s electrical grid functioning. The Ukrainians have tried to buy up every autotransformer they can find, going as far as South Korea to purchase them, but they still need to place orders for more to be built.“We try to collect everything around the world that they have now, and order more,” said Olena Zerkal, an adviser to Ukraine’s Energy Ministry. Any attempts to repair the network are useless as long as Russia continues to attack it. To stop these attacks requires a political solution. Ukraine will have to give up and find some agreement with Russia.

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Ha ha ha. I bet Boris spoke the truth for once.

Germany Rejects Boris Johnson Claims It Said Ukraine Should Fold To Russia (G.)

Germany has angrily dismissed claims by Boris Johnson that in the run-up to the Russian invasion of Ukraine it said it would be better for Ukraine to fold than to become embroiled in a long war. Johnson, interviewed by CNN, also claimed that the French president, Emmanuel Macron, was in denial about the threat of invasion, and that Italy, led at the time by Mario Draghi, said it could not help because it was so dependent on Russian hydrocarbons.A spokesperson for the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, rejected the claims with a diplomatically phrased dig at Johnson. “We know that the very entertaining former prime minister always has a unique relationship with the truth; this case is no exception,” the official said. Miguel Berger, the German ambassador to the UK, backed the dismissal of Johnson’s account.

Johnson’s claims appear similar to comments from Andriy Melnyk, the former Ukrainian ambassador to Germany, who has said German politicians told him before the invasion that they expected Ukraine to be defeated within three days and so it was pointless to provide any help. Melnyk claimed on Twitter in March: “On 14 February we were warning German politicians: ‘Kyiv may be bombed in the coming days! We urgently need 12 thousand anti-tank rockets from Germany.’ In response: just mockery. So sad. So furious.” He later claimed that the German finance minister, Christian Lindner, was against supplying weapons to Ukraine or cutting Russia off from the international Swift banking payments. Melnyk told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that Lindner had told him with a smile that he thought Ukraine would collapse within a few hours and that he was ready to talk to a puppet regime that would be installed by Russia.

The German finance ministry denied the accusation. Macron was broadcast before the invasion making desperate pleas to Vladimir Putin to hold talks with Joe Biden. Johnson stressed in his interview that EU nations had later rallied behind Ukraine and were providing steadfast support, but he said that was not universally the case in the period before the invasion in February. “This thing was a huge shock … we could see the Russian battalion tactical groups amassing, but different countries had very different perspectives,” Johnson told CNN’s Richard Quest in Portugal. “The German view was at one stage that if it were going to happen, which would be a disaster, then it would be better for the whole thing to be over quickly and for Ukraine to fold,” he claimed, citing “all sorts of sound economic reasons” for that approach.

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This should stop EU support right there and then, of course. First give us your billions, then we’ll read you your rights. And cut off your energy.

EU Has ‘No Right’ To Get Tired Of Ukraine Conflict – Kiev (RT)

The European Union must cast aside all doubts about new anti-Russia sanctions and double down on slapping Moscow with new restrictions that would curb its missile industry, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba said on Tuesday. Speaking at a regular briefing, Kuleba urged the EU to speed up the work on its ninth sanctions package, which he described as long overdue. “We are only hearing about an attempt to start serious work on its preparation. Such a situation is totally unacceptable,” the minister said. In the same vein, he called on his EU colleagues “to put aside any doubts or, as it is fashionable to say, ‘fatigue,’ and to start to quickly complete the ninth sanctions package.” “If the Ukrainians are not tired, then the rest of Europe, all the more, has neither the moral nor the political right to get tired,” Kuleba stressed.

He called on the EU to focus on sanctions impacting Russia’s capability to produce missiles, which are used by Moscow to conduct strikes on Ukraine’s critical infrastructure. Russia has been targeting Ukrainian energy facilities, including power stations, since October 10, after accusing Kiev of attacking Russian structures, including the strategic Crimean Bridge. Due to these strikes, Ukraine has been experiencing rolling blackouts, with authorities there saying that these attacks have knocked out about 40% of the nation’s energy infrastructure. On Tuesday, Politico reported that the EU has not officially started working yet on the ninth sanctions package against Russia. However, according to two of the outlet’s sources, the new measures may potentially focus on Russian individuals that can be linked to the Ukraine conflict.

The previous sanctions package was adopted by the EU in early October and sought to deprive Moscow of €7 billion ($7.2 billion) in revenues from the import of products which support the Russian economy, including steel products, various machinery, textiles and non-gold jewelry. Following the start of Russia’s military operation in Ukraine in late February, Western countries imposed sweeping new sanctions on Moscow, freezing around half of Moscow’s gold and foreign exchange reserves. According to Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov, these assets “have been essentially stolen” by the West. Last week, Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s National Security Council, claimed that the US, which has supported the sanctions, is seeking to weaken and destroy Russia, and is using Ukraine as a “battering ram” to achieve that goal.

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See? Just to make their point that you have “No Right’ To Get Tired Of Ukraine Conflict”, they cut off your gas…

Ukraine Halts Russian Oil Transit To EU – Transneft (RT)

Kiev has stopped the operation of a section of the southern branch of the ‘Druzhba’ (Friendship) oil pipeline that transits Ukraine, RIA Novosti reported on Wednesday, citing Russian oil-exporting company Transneft. According to the report, oil transmission has been suspended for an indefinite period. “In Ukraine, the section [of Druzhba] has been stopped, from Brod to the Carpathians,” said Igor Demin, an adviser to the president of Transneft. He added that deliveries via the Belarusian section of the pipeline were continuing. Last week, Kiev stopped oil flows to Hungary through the Druzhba pipeline, explaining the suspension was linked to a Russian air strike that reportedly had hit a transformer station near the border with Belarus.


It stated that the service was suspended due to a “drop in voltage.” Kiev later announced plans to raise transit fees for Russian oil running through the pipeline to the EU, due to higher costs resulting from Russian air and missile attacks targeting the country’s energy infrastructure. Ukrainian oil transit fees have already been raised twice this year. The last hike, in April, reportedly brought the total increase on an annualized basis to 51%. Built in the 1960s, Druzhba is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world, which carries crude some 4,000km from Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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We don’t believe you. But still, question: what did you pay?

EU Claims To Have Fully Substituted Russian Gas (RT)

The European Union has entirely replaced Russian natural gas imports with LNG and pipeline gas from alternative reliable suppliers, Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson told a plenary session of the European Parliament on Wednesday. The bloc is due to debate a gas price cap proposal on Thursday to prevent sky-high costs for consumers. “Diversification, demand reduction, a common storage policy [and] our #RepowerEU actions are making a difference,” Simson tweeted after the session, adding: “But we need to stay vigilant.” The substitution of Russian pipeline gas came on the back of the increased purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the United States, experts told RIA Novosti. According to the European Commission, between January and August the total volume of gas imports from Russia, including LNG, decreased by 39 billion cubic meters (bcm).


During the same period, LNG supplies from the United States jumped by almost 80% in annual terms. Last year, Russia accounted for around 45% of the EU’s gas imports. According to the International Energy Agency, Moscow supplied 155 bcm to the bloc, while this year imports are expected to drop to a little over a third of that (around 60 bcm). Meanwhile, analysts from the research firm Kpler warned this month that replacing Russian pipeline gas supplies with LNG would result in significant costs for the EU. Unlike pipeline gas, which is usually supplied under long-term contracts, LNG is more often purchased on the spot market, and its cost tends to be many times higher. Meanwhile, increased purchases by the EU have been making it difficult for developing countries to buy LNG, as they are being now forced to compete on price with wealthier nations.

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“Gold purchases by regulators more than quadrupled in the July-September period and totaled 399.3 tons..”

China Secretly Hoarding Gold To Ditch Dollar – Media

Central banks across the world have stepped up their gold purchases after Russia’s overseas assets were frozen as part of sanctions this year, according to strategists cited by the Japanese business daily Nikkei Asia. Some $300 billion of Russian foreign reserves, and billions more from individuals and businesses, have reportedly been frozen by the US and its allies. The Kremlin has repeatedly slammed the seizures as “theft.” Gold purchases by regulators more than quadrupled in the July-September period and totaled 399.3 tons, according to data revealed in the November report of the World Gold Council. The figure marks a dramatic surge from 186 tons recorded in the preceding quarter, and 87.7 tons in the first quarter of this year. Meanwhile the year-to-date total surpasses any full year since 1967.

Emin Yurumazu, a Japan-based economist from Turkey, told the media that “anti-Western countries are eager to accumulate gold holdings on hand,” after nations saw how Russia’s overseas assets were frozen as part of sanctions. The central banks of Turkey, Uzbekistan and India previously said they had bought 31.2 tons, 26.1 tons and 17.5 tons, respectively. It is currently unclear which nations purchased the rest of the 300-ton total calculated in the industry group’s report. Some unidentified purchases are to be expected, but an unspecified slice of “this magnitude is unheard of,” Koichiro Kamei, a financial and precious-metals analyst, was cited by the agency as saying. “China likely bought a substantial amount of gold from Russia,” market analyst and former Japan director for the World Gold Council, Itsuo Toshima, said.

He explained that the People’s Bank of China likely purchased a portion of the Central Bank of Russia’s gold holdings of over 2,000 tons. The analyst noted that this is typical behavior from the Chinese monetary regulator, which did not disclose any gold purchases from 2009 to 2015, and then reported it had increased the reserves by 600 tons. The People’s Bank of China has not published any new reports on gold purchases since 2019. The gold-buying frenzy comes as part of the latest attempts made by central banks to protect their assets by reducing their exposure to the US dollar. China has been a dominant force in the current de-dollarization trend. According to data from the US Treasury Department, the nation sold $121.2 billion in US bonds between March and October.

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Of course they talk. The US wants to know what Russia is thinking.

NATO Contacts Claim Is Media ‘Invention’ – Moscow (RT)

Russia’s top military commander, Valery Gerasimov, did not communicate with Rob Bauer, the chair of NATO’s Military Committee, contrary to what some Western media outlets have claimed, the Russian Defense Ministry has stated. Reports about “typical” conversations between the two military officials and an agreement on the “safe passage of ships in the Black Sea” are “an invention from the start to the end,” a statement released on Wednesday said. Earlier in the day, the news outlet EurActiv, which specializes in covering EU affairs, cited a NATO source as saying that some Eastern European members of the alliance “raised their reservations” about alleged contact between Bauer and Gerasimov.

The source claimed that the two had regular exchanges aimed at deescalating the conflict, particularly in the Black Sea, and that the parties had agreed to “be careful” to avoid accidents. Unnamed members of the alliance questioned the practice, but others said Bauer was entitled to have his channel of communication with Russia. The Dutch admiral served as the chief of defense in his home country before becoming the chair of NATO’s Military Committee in June last year. The Military Committee is composed of the defense chiefs of all member states, while Bauer has the role of the topmost adviser on military strategy to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s decision-making body. General Gerasimov heads the Russian General Staff, a position equivalent to that of a chief of defense in NATO states.

The EurActiv source claimed that the US, Türkiye, and nations in western and southern Europe “fortunately” countered the push by the UK, Eastern European, and Scandinavian members for “a zero-sum approach” in relations with Russia. Berlin’s role in the alliance has been reduced to virtually nothing, the outlet claimed. “Germans pay, give and don’t speak,” the source was quoted as saying. Nevertheless, NATO members were mostly on the same page in terms of supporting Ukraine, as long as it didn’t compromise their own national security, according to the same tip. The report said that applicants Finland and Sweden were unlikely to join the US-led bloc before June next year, when Türkiye holds national elections. Ankara blocked their accession, claiming that the two nations were not committed to fighting terrorist groups threatening Turkish national security.

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“Oddly, the advertisers are abandoning the platform as its user-base is growing to record highs…”

Anti-Twitter Advertisers Have Been Under-Performing The Market For Months (ZH)

The last few months have seen a growing number of companies choosing to exercise their freedom of speech by choosing to abandon any advertising platforms that dare allow freedom of speech to virulently spread among its users. Since Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter, the fearmongery and virtue-signal-ery has been turned up to ’11’ as the ‘woke-est’ of those companies have reportedly pulled hundreds of millions of dollars worth of advertising from the social media platform (despite Musk’s insistence that “Twitter’s strong commitment to content moderation remains absolutely unchanged.”) Oddly, the advertisers are abandoning the platform as its user-base is growing to record highs…

So, in an effort to quantify just how broke you can become if you go woke, we created the ‘woke advertisers’ basket. This is a market-cap weighted index of 34 stocks representing our best aggregation of the woke-est companies who have publicly claimed they are withdrawing/pausing their advertising on Twitter… and in most cases, have played the ‘virtue signal’ card while doing so over the “dangers” of being on such a “hate-filled” platform”.

Note: an * means the company has issued a statement or was publicly reported as stopping its ads on Twitter and subsequently confirmed. Otherwise, companies identified on this list are “quiet quitters”, based on a Media Matters analysis of Pathmatics data. These companies were previously advertising on Twitter, but then stopped for a significant period of time following direct outreach, controversies, and warnings from media buyers. Since the start of June, when US economic surprise data started to turn down and economic weakness began to be acknowledged – the companies that make up the basket of stocks that have decided to pull back from advertising on Twitter have been underperforming (-11.4% vs S&P -1.9%)…

Additionally, the anti-Twitter basket has significantly underperformed since 03/25 when Musk made his initial offer to buy Twitter (-17% vs S&P -11%) and also underperformed since Musk took over Twitter on 10/27 (+3.3% vs S&P +5.1%), even as the broad market has squeezed notably higher. Is the signaling of how virtuous they are by antagonizing Elon Musk merely a cover for extensive cost cutting and marketing budget reductions as the C-Suite sees recession imminent… Who knows? sBut we suspect that if things are about to shift from bad to worse in the global economy, these anti-Twitter companies are perhaps more likely to underperform (having shown their cards already).

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“They broke the deal..”

Elon Musk: Coalition of Political Groups Behind Lack of Moderation Council (ET)

Elon Musk said Tuesday that Twitter is lacking a moderation council because of the actions of a “large coalition of political and social activists.” The billionaire businessman took over the platform in October and promised shortly after that Twitter would be forming a “content moderation council” that had “widely diverse viewpoints” and that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen before that council convenes.” However, the Tesla CEO said on Tuesday that the absence of a moderation council was due to a group of political and social activists who he claimed broke an agreement with him by encouraging companies to stop advertising on Twitter. Musk was responding to a Twitter user who accused him of penning a “completely fictional” tweet regarding the establishment of a moderation council.


“A large coalition of political/social activist groups agreed not to try to kill Twitter by starving us of advertising revenue if I agreed to this condition,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. “They broke the deal,” he added. [..] Earlier this month, Musk claimed that Twitter’s revenue was declining because of “activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.” “Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America,” Musk said. The businessman later threatened to name and shame the advertisers who were boycotting the platform following his takeover of the site and despite his assurance that the platform would not become a “free-for-all hellscape” where anything could be said, “with no consequences.” “In addition to adhering to the laws of the land, our platform must be warm and welcoming to all,” Musk wrote in an open letter to advertisers in October.

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Schwaub Schools Dr Urso

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peach Faced Lovebird Parrot on a Saguaro Cactus, Phoenix, Arizona

 

 

 

 

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