ok what the fuck is happening in ukraine

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with details about post soviet politics, and links to realvent background sites, please.

anthony, Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:50 (seventeen years ago) link

layers of corruption bubble to the surface at election results time

lukey (Lukey G), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Ukraine is now controlled by a giant cat, except they had to put a human brain in the cat's head and they used Hitler's.

Freelance Hiveminder (blueski), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 14:57 (seventeen years ago) link

so they drugged to opposition dude (after years of opposition journos murdered, politicians intimidated etc) and forced through a victory for the pro Kremline Bad Dude (a la Double Dragon), but now everyoones pissed off and saying they are at the end of their tether like in Georgia, but mad shit like that prob wont happen cos Ukraine is bigger and less weird and poor and alien to the West so there iwll have to be some sort of dissapation of tension. They already did the tents-in-main-square thing about the journo and then that sort of petered out. so i reckon Yankovich stays in power, everyone settles down (sort of), ukrainians gripe about russian influence for another X years.

but maybe there iwll be some sort of miracle transformation.

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 15:11 (seventeen years ago) link

The situation reminds me a lot of Andrey Kurkov books.

jel -- (jel), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:37 (seventeen years ago) link

I wish this were a Bela Tarr movie.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:38 (seventeen years ago) link

I went to the post office on my lunch hour yesterday, and there was a giant group of protesters in Daley Plaza carrying Ukrainian flags and waving handmade signs that said, "ELECTION IS A FRAUD!"

Sanjay McDougal (jaymc), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:39 (seventeen years ago) link

What was the opposition leader supposedly drugged with? They showed before and after photos of him on the news last night and, man.

sgs (sgs), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:39 (seventeen years ago) link

It is a mystery to all.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:44 (seventeen years ago) link

He wasn't drugged. They just replaced him with a significantly older, grayer man.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:46 (seventeen years ago) link

Has anyne seen John Major lately?

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 17:53 (seventeen years ago) link

Powell: U.S. Rejects Ukraine Vote Results

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell said Wednesday the United States cannot accept the results of elections in Ukraine, which the opposition says was marred by fraud.

Powell warned "there will be consequences" for the United States' relationship with Ukraine as a result of the developments in the former Soviet bloc nation.

Powell spoke shortly after election officials in Ukraine declared that Kremlin-backed Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych won the election over opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko. The announcement raised fears of violence in Kiev, where tens of thousands of demonstrators have been demanding that the results be overturned.

I'm serious ... Ti-i-i-i-im (deangulberry), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 18:13 (seventeen years ago) link

hahaha, that's some pretty funny shit from the US government.

kyle (akmonday), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 18:30 (seventeen years ago) link

http://www.economist.com/agenda/displaystory.cfm?story_id=3422101

teeny (teeny), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 19:20 (seventeen years ago) link

the ukranian girl in my program wore her orange scarf today :(

g--ff (gcannon), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 21:24 (seventeen years ago) link

whats with the :(?

orange is a wicked colour

argh i was reafing baout the ddrug they think was used on him, it is something with "chlor" in the name, and accelerates acne to a massive extent or something.

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 22:06 (seventeen years ago) link

heres a link to what i was talking about

ambrose (ambrose), Wednesday, 24 November 2004 22:40 (seventeen years ago) link

http://vkhokhl.blogspot.com/

Ed (dali), Thursday, 25 November 2004 07:43 (seventeen years ago) link

orange is the campaign color of the dude who got poisoned!! she was not happy, so :(

g--ff (gcannon), Thursday, 25 November 2004 08:08 (seventeen years ago) link

which one is the dude who got poisoned? the Kremlin guy or the Yankee guy?

dog latin (dog latin), Thursday, 25 November 2004 08:51 (seventeen years ago) link

man, I bet she's hot
aren't ukranian girls hot?

I mean, until they turn 30 and immediately turn super-dumpy

trigonalmayhem (trigonalmayhem), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:04 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah i mean its just cool that she is showing her support really. i thought you were pro-Yankovich or soemthing. not that you shouldnt be, but it would be an/....unusual position to be in at the least.

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:29 (seventeen years ago) link

it always makes me sad when people get ugly
unless I'm competing directly with them for ass

trigonalmayhem (trigonalmayhem), Thursday, 25 November 2004 14:31 (seventeen years ago) link

ed that blog is wicked

i really wanna go to kiev

2006?

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 25 November 2004 15:33 (seventeen years ago) link

could be

Ed (dali), Thursday, 25 November 2004 15:57 (seventeen years ago) link

one month passes...
one month passes...
If I was Prime Minister, I would totally dress like Yulia Tymoshenko
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/40795000/jpg/_40795663_1kissap203c.jpg

Madchen (Madchen), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:56 (seventeen years ago) link

She's fucking hot eh?

kate/papa november (papa november), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, she's like the coolest PM ever! She's a wanted crime suspect in Russia though, for assumed corruption.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Thursday, 24 February 2005 11:59 (seventeen years ago) link

Man i don't care what she's done. She's making me drool

http://www.eyecandyforthebrokenhearted.com/ukraine.jpg

kate/papa november (papa november), Thursday, 24 February 2005 12:02 (seventeen years ago) link

man did i ever make a shitty prediction (upthread)

nice pics of timoshenko. whats with the c.17th thing? is this some ukrainian nationalism schtick? national dress a gogo?

ambrose (ambrose), Thursday, 24 February 2005 15:50 (seventeen years ago) link

The hair is definitely a Ukrainian peasant girl thing. I think the clothes are inspired by something.

Madchen (Madchen), Thursday, 24 February 2005 15:51 (seventeen years ago) link

I think it's stunning, and a vast improvement on her old hair.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/olmedia/1895000/images/_1898223_yulia_150_afp.jpg

jocelyn (Jocelyn), Thursday, 24 February 2005 16:15 (seventeen years ago) link

three years pass...

A Stratfor note today:

---

Ukraine made a radical policy adjustment on Thursday by essentially ending its bid for NATO membership. The move, which would have been unthinkable as recently as a month ago, probably resulted from external forces, namely Russia. Ukraine’s abrupt departure from its long-standing bid indicates the ominous involvement of Moscow. In its effort to maintain its security buffer, Russia probably employed its FSB security services.

Economic tools can include fostering closer integration, raising or lowering barriers to trade, embargoing another country, threatening to undermine a country’s financial stability by mass sales of its currency, or by simply shelling out cash. In the case of Ukraine –- and by extension, Western Europe –- Russia frequently has employed natural gas cutoffs.

Political tools are varied, and focus on finding political weak spots for later manipulation. The options include promoting closer integration among citizens with a common heritage found in both of the countries in question. These ties can then be manipulated later. For example, one country can threaten to intervene in the other to protect an allied ethnic group from alleged discrimination. Russia could employ this tactic in relation to ethnic Russians living in Ukraine.

Military tools to influence another state’s behavior include the threat of invasion, conspicuously aiming weapons — anything from artillery to intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs)— at the other country, or providing military assistance to the government or the opposition groups in the other country. Russia’s Feb. 12 threat to aim ICBMs at foreign forces that might deploy in Ukraine falls in this category.

The 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia’s subsequent loss of influence in its near abroad and in the West laid the foundation for Russia’s current geopolitical trajectory. Russia’s resurgence under President Vladimir Putin has involved a strong effort to regain the influence, respect and national security it believes it is due. Moscow’s desire is especially keen given previous Russian humiliations — particularly those suffered by the government of the late Boris Yeltsin, when the West encroached on what Russia perceives as its prerogatives. Russia, however, lacks many of the tools the Soviet Union had at its disposal for compelling other countries’ behavior. This complicates Putin’s effort to satisfy the Russian geopolitical imperative of establishing hegemony in its near abroad.

The Russian resurgence took a potentially fatal hit over Kosovo’s Feb. 18 secession from Serbia. This was an issue of minor importance to the United States and most Western European countries, but a major threat to Russia’s effort to demonstrate its return to major power status. For Russia and Putin to survive the Kosovo insult, retribution elsewhere in the Russian near abroad was expected — namely in the Caucasus, Ukraine, Belarus and the Baltic states.

Ukraine’s dramatic about-face on NATO comes in the context of Kosovar independence. Ukraine’s pro-Western president, Viktor Yushchenko — who came to power in his country’s 2004 Orange Revolution — was clamoring as recently as a month ago for NATO membership, despite a lukewarm reception from the alliance. Rumor has it that Yushchenko’s sudden change at the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels occurred after the Russian president literally ordered him to withdraw Ukraine’s NATO bid, probably reminding him of the aforementioned Russian economic leverage over Ukraine.

Putin likely did not rely on economic coercion alone, however, and we can assume the FSB helped change Ukraine’s mind on NATO. The FSB is quite good at pressuring individuals using threats, intimidation, enticements and even sophisticated assassinations. Yushchenko knows the capabilities of the secret service underworld well, having barely survived a poisoning while seeking office in 2004.

Russia and the FSB probably decided that bringing the existing Ukrainian leadership in line would be easier than introducing a new leadership, allowing Moscow to avoid the pitfalls of Ukrainian politics. Given the lukewarm reception to Ukraine’s membership bid, Kiev could simply have let its application fall by the wayside. Instead, it made an active policy reversal. Compelling Yushenko’s U-turn on Ukraine’s NATO bid thus represents a significant Russian achievement, one that others — particularly Georgia — will observe closely.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 7 March 2008 06:20 (fourteen years ago) link

The willingness of right-wing analysts to suggest that personal threats by the FSB against the Ukrainian government were probably behind the policy change, while completely omitting to mention the saleient fact that Gazprom did in fact cut gas supplies to Ukraine beginning on Monday and only restored full flows on Thursday... well, you're smart guys I'm sure Stratfor, but don't pretend you have less of a policy agenda than Putin does.

mitya, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I imagine anybody writing about Russia who doesn't themselves work for the Kremlin is likely to have on about fifteen tinfoil hats as regards the FSB/GRU apparatus, and with perfectly understandable reason

El Tomboto, Saturday, 8 March 2008 04:50 (fourteen years ago) link

five years pass...

it has come to...trebuchets

http://rt.com/news/ukraine-clashes-kiev-molotov-907/

pessimishaim (imago), Thursday, 23 January 2014 01:44 (eight years ago) link

four weeks pass...

can someone with more geopolitical smarts explain what's happening to me?

the american MSM seems to painting this as a peaceful-freedom-fighters vs. entrenched-corrupt-government thing, but I get the feeling it's more complicated. for one thing reading the foreign press tells me that some ultra- right-wing groups (whose nationalist distaste for Russia apparently trumps reservations they might have about the EU) with a distinctly anti-Semitic bent (and some soft-right groups who have connections to the ultra-rightists) are taking an increasingly visible (and increasingly violent) role in the Kiev protests.

but you know, I don't really know anything about all this. so 'splain me.

espring (amateurist), Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:30 (eight years ago) link

some discussion here - Rolling European Politics Thread

ogmor, Thursday, 20 February 2014 01:05 (eight years ago) link

the protesters are fascists trying to impose the EU on a country that doesn't want it

AIDS (Hungry4Ass), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:41 (eight years ago) link

xpost

i think that washington post thing is a little pollyanna-ish (pollyanish?) about the nature of the protest movement(s), it's true.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:43 (eight years ago) link

but i honestly don't know what to read/who to believe.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 05:44 (eight years ago) link

I'll break it down as i see it.

Yanukovich indicated that he wanted to sign a provisional agreement with the EU to liberalise trade relations. He's not on good terms with Putin and Russia's decision to keep charging Ukraine high fees for gas (which is partly Ukraine's fault for reasons i won't go into) has wrecked the Ukrainian economy. He took the view that opening up Ukraine to the EU would have some short term difficulties (cheap EU products competing with domestic Ukrainian goods, etc) but it was worth it for the potential long term gains. The EU prevaricated over exactly what was on offer, didn't give a clear indication that full membership could be on the cards in the future and wasn't willing to provide financial assistance to help compensate for short-term hardship.

At the same time, Russia did what Russia always does. They said that if you don't want to have a special relationship (in this case preferring the EU over a post-Soviet trade agreement) then you can't expect special favours. Russia started imposing the kind of border checks on Ukrainian traffic into Russia that Poland always has on the other border and stopped giving Ukrainian companies preference on government contracts over Indian, Chinese, etc firms. Ukraine's eastern side is economically reliant on Russia and trade income went down by about 30% over the course of two or three months.

Ukraine also owes Russia a stack of cash for gas it hasn't paid for. The Ukrainian government was very close to defaulting until Russia offered to defer billions of dollars worth of loans in return for signing their trade agreement. Yanukovich didn't really have much of a choice other than accepting.

This went down very badly with a wide range of people, from EU-minded liberals to hardline neo-Fascists and ended up highlighting deep political, regional and ethnic splits in the country that go back decades. Bear in mind that Stalin was responsible for starving millions of Ukrainian peasants and Ukrainian nationalists later collaborated with the Nazis to murder hundreds of thousands of Russians and Jewish people. Western Ukraine remains strongly nationalist - both in the soft sense of wanting to make sure that the country is free of Russian control and in the less soft 'Mein Kampf displayed in bookshop windows' sense. The nationalists are not all violent right-wing extremists, as the Russian press would like to have it, but some of them certainly are. On the other hand, lots of the East of the country, and Crimea, retain a strong Russian identity.

There is no unified protest movement. Some are hardline nationalists, some are liberals, some want to be part of the EU, some want to be free of Russian control, some want to split the country in two, some want to unite it. There are a million positions in between each. The protests are also equally about the economy. Ukraine has been in a massive slump for several years, partly as a result of the oil situation, and people are sick of it.

They're also sick of corrupt, criminal politicians. Pretty much everyone who has held a political post in Ukraine since independence is a corrupt criminal, though, so Yanukovich is not unique in that regard. There's a chance that Klitchko might be different though which is why a lot of people are uniting behind him.

Ramnaresh Samhain (ShariVari), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:02 (eight years ago) link

that's the sanest, most even thing i've read about the situation since i stopped listening to the BBC pretending to be impartial

we sold our Solsta for Rock'n'Roll (Noodle Vague), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:08 (eight years ago) link

I think that's about right, although the geographic split being talked about doesn't seem to be working out so much in reality -- my Ukrainian pals are all Russian-speaking Easterners, and are supporters of the protests. Yanukovich is also widely considered to be the worst of a bunch of idiots -- this is an "enough is enough" moment in many ways. There are neo-fascists in the protest movement, but I have seen no sources that are not Russian-friendly that suggest that they are the majority or growing, and there sure as hell are neo-fascists in Yanukovich's troops as well. There are agents provocateurs at work as well. For the people on the ground this is primarily and simply anti-government protest, but of course there is far more going on than just the people on the ground.

Three Word Username, Friday, 21 February 2014 09:20 (eight years ago) link

in the context you folks describe the way the west (esp. US) is dealing w/ this is kind of embarrassing.

we all know john mccain is an idiot, but appearing with some of the right-wing protest groups and calling for "freedom" was one of his more embarrassingly credulous photo ops.

what about those folks that briefly came into power after the "orange revolution"? my understanding was that they were both crooks _and_ victims of political show trials.

espring (amateurist), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:23 (eight years ago) link

The elite political class in Ukraine is a disaster -- the lack of a central strong figure leading the protests is both a result of and a reaction to that.

Three Word Username, Friday, 21 February 2014 09:33 (eight years ago) link

Yes, Yushchenko (who was president) is a minor crook, his son is a fairly major one. Tymoshenko (who was Prime Minister) stole several billion dollars worth of gas from Russia while people on both sides of the border were dying in poverty. Her reinvention as a St Joan figure is laughable.

Yushchenko and Yanukovich were both PM under Leonid Kuchma, the journalist-murdering crim who was Ukraine's first independent President, so the idea of a major political difference between the two is somewhat overstated.

Ukraine is generally though of as more corrupt than Nigeria. All politicians are required to state their income on electoral forms. There was one election in the mid-2000s where every single candidate but one claimed that their only source of income was their government salary of £5,000 - £13,000. All had BMWs, plush Kyiv apartments and massive country dachas. The one candidate who didn't claim to be living off his stipend ran with the campaign tagline "i'm too rich to need to be corrupt!". He didn't win.

Much of Ukraine's economy is carved up between a small number of oligarch factions and they bankroll everything. Some are pro-Tymoshenko, some are pro-Yanukovich. Quite a few are in favour of EU membership as they think it'll stop future governments from trying to reclaim the money they've stolen, some are against it as they think it'll prevent them from stealing more.

The oligarchs tend to be worse than the politicians. Ukraine' richest man, Rinat Akhmetov (who's more famous as Chairman of Shakhtar Donetsk), for example, was a prominent member of the Donbass Mafia and acquired most of his wealth when his boss (and former Chairman of Shakhtar) died in a bomb attack at a football match.

Ramnaresh Samhain (ShariVari), Friday, 21 February 2014 09:46 (eight years ago) link

Does Bono count as a war crime?

Stevolende, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 18:00 (one month ago) link

The U.S. intelligence community assesses Russia is preparing for a "prolonged conflict" in Ukraine that is likely to become "more unpredictable and escalatory" due to a "mismatch" between Vladimir Putin's ambitions and military capabilities, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified Tuesday.

Why it matters: Both Russia and Ukraine believe they can continue to make progress militarily, turning the conflict into a "war of attrition" with no "viable" prospects for peace negotiations in the near term, Haines told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The big picture: While Russian forces have refocused on the eastern Donbas region after failing to capture Kyiv in the first few weeks of the war, the U.S. views this as "only a temporary shift."

"We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine, during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas," Haines said.
Zoom in ... Putin has at least four "near-term military objectives," according to the U.S. intelligence community:

Fully capture and establish a "buffer zone" in the Donbas, where Russian-backed separatists have declared "people's republics."
Encircle Ukraine's military west of the Donbas "in order to crush the most capable and well-equipped Ukrainian forces fighting to hold the line in the east."
Consolidate control of the land bridge that Russia has established from the Donbas along the southern coast of Ukraine to Crimea, allowing Russian forces to occupy the Kherson region and control Crimea's water supplies.
The U.S. also sees "indications" that Russia wants to extend the land bridge further west to capture the historic port city of Odessa and connect with the pro-Russian breakaway region of Transnistria in Moldova, fully cutting Ukraine off from the sea.
Between the lines: The U.S. views it as "increasingly unlikely" that Russia will be able to establish full control over the Donbas or extend the land bridge to Transnistria, especially without a broader mobilization of Russia's reservists.

"But Putin most likely also judges that Russia has a greater ability and willingness to endure challenges than his adversaries and he is probably counting on U.S. and EU resolve to weaken as food shortages, inflation and energy prices get worse," Haines warned.
The U.S. believes Russia will continue to use "nuclear rhetoric" to deter the West from providing further military assistance to Ukraine, but that Putin "would probably only authorize the use of nuclear weapons if he perceived an existential threat to the Russian state or regime."

https://www.axios.com/2022/05/10/us-intelligence-russia-ukraine-war-putin-goals

dow, Tuesday, 10 May 2022 19:38 (one month ago) link

All in all, I don't see general mobilization as technically feasible or likely, hence I suggested this would not be declared on May 9th. A combination of halfway measures won't dramatically change Russian fortunes either, but they could significantly extend the war. 23/

— Michael Kofman (@KofmanMichael) May 12, 2022

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:45 (one month ago) link

Interesting that the Ukranians are currently pursuing war crime prosecutions, during the actual war itself... is this a first?
Seems like it's rarely done during the heat of battle and only after the hostilities have ended

Andy the Grasshopper, Thursday, 12 May 2022 18:48 (one month ago) link

From Ukrainian Pravda, a remarkable document comprised of the phone videos in peace and war of a very young Russian officer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WIZIspwem2s

worst boy (Sanpaku), Saturday, 14 May 2022 04:44 (one month ago) link

This may seem trivial but it's kind of a big deal... 850 stores with 62,000 staff:

McDonald's has said it will permanently leave Russia after more than 30 years and has started to sell its restaurants...

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-61463876

Andy the Grasshopper, Monday, 16 May 2022 18:00 (one month ago) link

Russian TV reporting that Grimace is a Nazi

Chappies banging dustbin lids together (President Keyes), Monday, 16 May 2022 18:03 (one month ago) link

"unpredictable operating environment" is the nub if the matter, while "humanitarian crisis" is mostly just fronting. sounds to me like mcdonald's doesn't want to be forced to hold rubles it can't convert or repatriate, so it's taking its loss and opting for the tax write off as the best deal going forward.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Monday, 16 May 2022 18:12 (one month ago) link

Yeah, that's probably accurate - the article also mentions that the Kremlin just nationalized Renaults's assets there; maybe McD wants to get out before the same thing happens to them

Andy the Grasshopper, Monday, 16 May 2022 19:08 (one month ago) link

An interview with the grandmother who was turned into a Russian propaganda symbol after greeting Ukrainian soldiers with a Soviet flag:

http://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/05/16/maybe-the-lord-himself-sent-me

Extremely good thread here delving into the Ukrainian government's current plan for the next three months.

Really interesting speech given by Ukrainian defense minister @oleksiireznikov yesterday to EU Defense ministers. A vision of how Ukraine thinks the war will go this summer. Russia will continue quiet mobilisation and Ukraine will try and waste them away. https://t.co/XKkG9hQpvD

— Phillips P. OBrien (@PhillipsPOBrien) May 18, 2022

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 18 May 2022 14:49 (one month ago) link

Moscow 1991 / Moscow 2022 pic.twitter.com/jKey9oURWj

— Shaun Walker (@shaunwalker7) May 23, 2022

xyzzzz__, Monday, 23 May 2022 15:19 (one month ago) link

Currently, Russians aged 18-40 and foreigners aged 18-30 can enter into a first contract with the army. A draft bill on the agenda of the lower house State Duma for today would completely lift that upper age limit.

when you've run out of teenagers, get some Gen Xers in there instead

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 24 May 2022 17:48 (one month ago) link

they might get a sitcom out of this:

Old Navy? No, Old Army!

“when you've run out of teenagers, get some Gen Xers in there instead”

ok doomer

The Hon. Christian Sharia (R - MO) (Hunt3r), Tuesday, 24 May 2022 17:54 (one month ago) link

haha

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 24 May 2022 18:13 (one month ago) link

meanwhile, in Davos

🗣️Henry Kissinger has urged the West to stop trying to inflict a crushing defeat on Russian forces in Ukraine.

The veteran US statesman said that it would have disastrous consequences for the long term stability of Europe

Thread 🧵⤵️https://t.co/9jhNmOvxjI

— Telegraph World News (@TelegraphWorld) May 24, 2022

brisk money (lukas), Tuesday, 24 May 2022 18:17 (one month ago) link

"the following is a paid presentation"

Andy the Grasshopper, Tuesday, 24 May 2022 18:22 (one month ago) link

The Treasury Department on Tuesday took a major step toward pushing Russia into a government default, announcing it would no longer allow the Kremlin to make debt payments owed to American bondholders.

The move will make it much harder, if not impossible, for Russia to avoid a default — a breach of its national debt commitments — which Moscow has tried to avoid since launching the war in Ukraine.

The Biden administration imposed sanctions on Russia’s central bank shortly after the start of the war, but it issued a special license exempting bond payments, allowing Russia to continue to pay its loan obligations. But that license was set to expire this week, and Treasury is now saying it will not be renewed. That means American banks will not be able to process debt payments when Russia tries to make them. In total, the Russian government owes about $20 billion worth of bonds, mostly in dollars, and it owes about $500 million in interest payments over the next month, according to Gerard DiPippo, a senior fellow with the economics program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“This will make the likelihood of a default now significant,” said Adam Smith, a partner at Gibson Dunn and a former Obama administration sanctions official. “We’ve never done this to an economy like this before.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/us-policy/2022/05/24/treasury-russia-debt-default/

Bruce Stingbean (Karl Malone), Wednesday, 25 May 2022 20:37 (one month ago) link

From WSJ newsletter, linked to paywall, but this is the gist:

The war in Ukraine is limiting supplies of a key baby-formula ingredient. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian ports has curbed shipments of sunflower-seed oil, hampering efforts to boost production to alleviate the U.S. infant-formula shortage. Many formula manufacturers use sunflower-seed oil to add critical fats to products. Ukraine has been the No. 1 exporter of the oil, according to the USDA. Finding alternative sources or rewriting recipes to replace sunflower oil will take time, industry experts said.

dow, Saturday, 28 May 2022 18:10 (one month ago) link

The right-wing 'tan your balls' crowd will cite that as a benefit to the Russian invasion. Seed oils are poison, after all.

papal hotwife (milo z), Saturday, 28 May 2022 18:21 (one month ago) link

they might get a sitcom out of this:

Old Navy? No, Old Army!

― rare lipstick or mohawks that somehow make them more valuable (President Keyes), Wednesday, May 25, 2022 3:50 AM (four days ago)

can't imagine a sitcom with this premise and any even vaguely similar name ever being a success tbh

Yul Brynner film festival on Channel 48... (sic), Saturday, 28 May 2022 18:37 (one month ago) link

Wait for my elevator pitch

Oops...

Two Britons, Aiden Aslin and Shaun Pinner are sentenced to death alongside Moroccan national Saaudun Brahim are sentenced to death, Russian media reports

Doodles Diamond (Tom D.), Thursday, 9 June 2022 14:07 (three weeks ago) link

, Jimmy Two Times reports

Wiggum Dorma (wins), Thursday, 9 June 2022 16:06 (three weeks ago) link

A long, disturbing thread about Russian propaganda novels:

THREAD Let's start a long thread about how Russian book market prepared Russians for a full-scale war against Ukraine, NATO, the West, and promoted stalinism and nazism, and how this was ignored by the West. Keep seat belts fasten, you will see a lot of nasty things here. pic.twitter.com/iPgl4OTU7C

— Sergej Sumlenny (@sumlenny) June 11, 2022

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 11 June 2022 16:11 (three weeks ago) link

Sounds about right, sadly.

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 11 June 2022 16:12 (three weeks ago) link

Reminds me of all the Mack Bolan: the Executioner books they used to sell at the supermarket in the 80s

I read that Sumlenny thing earlier. It kind of goes against the idea that Z IS a departure in that pre-Z the idea was to keep the population passive and apathetic with the Z move to mobilize and energize the population going against what went before

I suppose both ideas aren't necessarily entirely contradictory

anvil, Sunday, 12 June 2022 02:44 (three weeks ago) link

t.me/northern_friend in Mariupol

Near a heavily damaged nine-story building I met a guy with a girl of about thirty, their appearance resembled visitors to trendy bars, but they had not washed for a long time, they were collecting some kind of rubbish in the ruins.
-Wow, how dishevelled I wonder what they bombed! Are you local?
-We are locals, but are you not local?
- No, I came to visit relatives.
-Where from?
-Samara, Russia.
-Here, yours and bombed, poured hail and aeroballistic missiles on civilians! Your Russia will turn into North Korea in general!
-Yeah, and soon your Ukraine will not exist at all.
On that they parted.

On that they parted, I can't think why

anvil, Monday, 20 June 2022 10:53 (two weeks ago) link

Oops...

SMAT is crawling the “Russian Facebook”, VKontakte, to ID war criminals.

So far we found: 9/10 of the “Despicable 10”, the un-named Bucha truck driver, and 700 matches total.

Here we name names and share methods and findings. 🧵…..https://t.co/wbkoGyPRlG

— SMAT App (@SMAT_app) June 23, 2022

I rarely look at Aljazeera, but this caught my eye: claims that fall of Severodonetsk is no big deal---true?

The Kremlin is trumpeting the takeover of Severodonetsk because it remained one of the few Ukrainian-controlled towns in Luhansk, one of Ukraine’s smallest and poorest regions that was partially taken over by pro-Russian separatists in 2014.

...Two months of intense fighting also significantly decimated Russian forces in Severodonetsk, where the pre-war population was about 100,000.

“Ukraine has ground down a significant mass of Russian troops and retreated,” Pavel Luzin, a Russian-based expert with the Jamestown Foundation, a think tank in Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera.

...t least two-fifths of Donetsk, a far larger and more populated province, is still controlled by Ukrainian forces.

They have built extensive defense installations there since rebels seized a third of Donetsk in 2014 – and taking them over will prove far more difficult than seizing Luhansk.

Meanwhile, the immediate economic consequences of losing all of Luhansk are minimal.


https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/6/24/what-does-russias-capture-of-severodonetsk-mean-for-ukraine

dow, Friday, 24 June 2022 16:58 (one week ago) link

Pretty true, yeah. The stated goal of Ukraine's command has been to stall things as long as possible while they get in more arms and wear down Russian forces, with a general idea that if they can keep holding them until mid-July things will be where/how they want for the future. We'll see.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 24 June 2022 17:03 (one week ago) link

Over the past six or eight weeks many of the news stories about Ukraine make a point of saying that Zelenskyy has no political space to end the war on any terms but complete Russian withdrawal from all Ukrainian territory. The Ukrainian people won't accept less. Given the disparity in population and productive capacity between Ukraine and Russia, it's hard to see how a strategy of attrition could play out in Ukraine's favor on any time scale not counted in years and hundreds of thousands of casualties.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Friday, 24 June 2022 18:31 (one week ago) link

It seems like the Ukraine was has become a testing ground for all sorts of new-fangled military technologies from the West... all these defense contractors get to see how all their new gadgets play out in the field, with the U.S., UK, etc picking up the tab

The Russian army is massive but their tech is pretty old fashioned, as has been shown

Andy the Grasshopper, Friday, 24 June 2022 18:51 (one week ago) link

However---Ukraine news agency seeming pretty candid about how bad this is:

n June 25 at night, the Russian army mounted a massive missile attack on several regions of Ukraine, Russia resumed attacks using Iskander missiles from the territory of Belarus, and for the first time used Tu-22M3 long-range bombers from the air space of Belarus, the Command of the Air Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine has said.

"In general, more than 50 various missiles were fired from air, sea and ground locations. For the first time the enemy used Tu-22M3 long-range bombers to attack Ukraine from the territory of Belarus. Also, it has resumed the use of Iskander missile systems from the territory of this country," it said on Facebook.

The enemy launched Kalibr cruise missiles from the sea at the targets in the western regions of Ukraine.

In the northern direction, the enemy fired X-22 missiles from Tu-22M3 aircraft and used Iskander and Tochka-U missile systems located on the ground.

"It should be noted that X-22, Onyx, and Iskander missiles are extremely difficult targets for the air defense systems used by the Ukrainian Air Forces. The speed of Onyx and X-22 missiles exceeds 3,000 kilometers per hour. While Iskander missiles move on a ballistic trajectory. Their elimination is a non-typical and difficult task for the air defense systems available in Ukraine," the command said.

A part of the missiles launched by the aggressor were shot down by the Ukrainian air defense system.


https://interfax.com.ua/news/general/841595.html

dow, Sunday, 26 June 2022 02:23 (one week ago) link

Kyiv's Shevchenkivsky district struck by missiles
Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said on Telegram that multiple explosions had taken place in the central Shevchenkivsky district at around 6:30 a.m. local time (0330 UTC) on Sunday.

The district is home to universities, restaurants, and galleries.

"Ambulance crews and rescuers dispatched to the scene. Residents are being rescued and evacuated from two buildings," he said.

At least five people were wounded when a missile hit a building, the head of Ukraine's police force Ihor Klymenko said in a television interview.

Klitschko said the Russian missile strike was intended to "intimidate Ukrainians," ahead of the NATO summit in Madrid from June 28-30.

Klitschko later said two people were hospitalized and rescue efforts were ongoing as people were trapped under the rubble. He said a seven-year-old girl had been rescued from the rubble, and her mother was currently being removed as well.

Emmanuelle Chaze, DW's correspondent in Kyiv, said one person was found dead after the shelling. She tweeted a video of a building in ruins, saying five had been injured.


Images of utter destruction in the heart of Kyiv - this residential building has been hit in the early hours of the morning by Russian rockets.

At least five people are injured, a 7 year old girl was rescued from the rubble, operations are still underway. pic.twitter.com/MaP9VH8l2A

— Emmanuelle Chaze (@EmmanuelleChaze) June 26, 2022

https://www.dw.com/en/ukraine-multiple-missiles-hit-kyiv-district-live-updates/a-62263282

dow, Sunday, 26 June 2022 19:59 (one week ago) link

http://www.bbc.com/news/61790625

There's mounting evidence that Russian forces in occupied areas of Ukraine have been systematically stealing grain and other produce from local farmers. The BBC has talked to farmers and analysed satellite images and shipping data to track where the grain is going.

Oops...

⚡️Putin said that thanks to a good harvest, Russia will be able to supply a record amount of grain. pic.twitter.com/sMLiVM7m6U

— Flash (@Flash43191300) June 24, 2022

From a good BBC study, tracking some of the grain:

"They take grain to the annexed Crimea first, where they transport it to Kerch or Sevastopol [ports], then they load Ukrainian grain on Russian ships and go to the Kerch Strait," says Andrii Klymenko, an expert at the Institute for Black Sea Strategic Studies in Kyiv, who regularly monitors movements of ships around Crimea.

"There, in the Kerch Strait [between Crimea and Russia], they transfer Ukrainian grain from small ships on to bulk carriers, where it is mixed with grain from Russia - or in some cases, they sail to this area just to give the appearance they are loading up with Russian grain."

He adds this is then exported with Russian certificates, saying that it's Russian grain.
Ships have then often headed on to Syria or Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said they have investigated claims about Ukrainian grain being shipped to Turkey and so far not found any evidence.

"We saw that the ships' port of departure and the origin of the goods is Russia on the records," he said.

...The BBC has also obtained documents drawn up by the Russian occupying authorities listing farms where grain is to be transferred to them.

A separate investigation by BBC Russian and BBC Ukrainian has shown that in some cases, the Russians are forcing Ukrainian farmers to sell grain at prices well below market rates, and sign documents to prove it was purchased "legally".

While early reports were typically of outright theft by Russian forces, farmers suggest there has been a change in tactics as the Russians realise that if they pay nothing, future harvests could be sabotaged. The farmers say they have to accept the low prices as they have no alternative and need to buy fuel and pay workers.


Much more: https://www.bbc.com/news/61790625

dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 01:59 (one week ago) link

Uh-oh, the same post you linked! Deservedly so, though.

dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 02:06 (one week ago) link

Latest I've seen on this:

A Russian missile strike on a crowded mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk killed at least 16 people, the head of emergency services said early Tuesday, sparking international outrage.
“The Russian strike today on the shopping centre in Kremenchuk is one of the most brazen terrorist acts in European history,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his evening broadcast posted on Telegram.
Emergency services chief Sergiy Kruk said the main tasks were “rescue work, debris removal and the elimination of fires” following Monday’s strike on the shopping centre.
“As of now, we know of 16 dead and 59 wounded, 25 of them hospitalised. The information is being updated,” Kruk said on Telegram.

“All response groups are working in intense mode,” he said. “The work will go on around the clock.”
“I would like to stress once again: do not neglect air alerts!”
Ukraine: ‘Help end the war by winter’, Zelensky urges leaders
27 Jun 2022

Earlier, Zelensky had said “over a thousand civilians” were in the mall when the missiles struck the city, which had a pre-war population of 220,000 people.
“The mall is on fire, rescuers are fighting the fire. The number of victims is impossible to imagine,” Zelensky wrote on Facebook.
...The Ukrainian defence ministry said the strike was deliberately timed to coincide with the mall’s busiest hours and cause the maximum number of casualties.
The Ukrainian air force said the mall was hit by Kh-22 anti-ship missiles fired from Tu-22 bombers in western Russia’s Kursk region.
...“The missile fire on Kremenchuk struck a very busy area which had no link to the hostilities,” the city’s mayor Vitali Maletsky wrote on Facebook.


https://www.scmp.com/news/world/russia-central-asia/article/3183276/russian-missiles-hit-crowded-shopping-mall-central

dow, Tuesday, 28 June 2022 02:18 (one week ago) link

update, more details:

he Russian Defence Ministry claimed a strike on an arms storage facility detonated ammunition which set the shopping centre on fire.

"Western-manufactured weapons and ammunition stockpiled in the warehouse to be sent to a Ukrainian military grouping in Donbas were hit with a high-precision strike," the ministry said.

Ukrainian officials have denied there was a weapons depot nearby.

CCTV footage captured near a pond roughly 600 metres north of the shopping centre, on the other side of a factory building, shows two missile strikes in the area.
Matching the exact spots where the two missiles land in the CCTV video with aerial images of the area, it appears one missile hit close to the eastern end of the shopping centre, while the other struck the northern end of the factory, near the southern edge of the pond. Satellite images of the area provide further evidence that these were the locations of the strikes.

The factory mentioned by the Russian defence ministry is located roughly 300 metres north of the shopping centre. The buildings are separated by a wall, vegetation and rail tracks, making the claim that "secondary explosions" caused a large fire with multiple casualties in the shopping centre unlikely.

According to the Ukrainian online publication Kyiv Independent, a press officer of the regional administration confirmed that the machinery plant had been hit, injuring two individuals.

Svitlana Rybalko, from the regional State Emergency Service, denied there were weapons stored at the facility."It's a place for making road equipment, machines for road construction," she told the BBC. "There's also a greenhouse nearby where workers grow cucumbers."


More, w video etc.: https://www.bbc.com/news/61967480

dow, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 01:50 (six days ago) link

Meantime, Turkey got what it wanted out of Sweden/Finland for NATO accession and by all accounts Ukraine's been merrily blowing up ammo dumps well behind the lines, so.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 03:29 (six days ago) link

I hope that the Russian oil price cap works and that Yellen gets credit. It seems very plausible and a good case for the things that seem to matter to economists (her peers).

youn, Wednesday, 29 June 2022 13:55 (six days ago) link

Russian pundit perfectly sums up the SMO - “We failed to plan properly. Our goals turned out to be overestimated. Our calculations turned out to be incorrect. Our tactic turned out to be idiotic.” https://t.co/75m3vWisc1

— Dmitri 🇺🇦 (@mdmitri91) July 1, 2022

Oops...

And yet, as a despotic petrostate and charter member of the nuclear club, they can survive massive blunders that would destroy the governments of most nations.

more difficult than I look (Aimless), Saturday, 2 July 2022 01:11 (three days ago) link

Another good thread but this detail in particular, what in the world.

Even their soldiers are getting older. As Putin is terrified of bringing the realities of war to his people. The Duma just passed a bill raising the age for military service to 65! This is Volksturm WWII levels of desperation.https://t.co/bgosQ5STQw

— Phillips P. OBrien (@PhillipsPOBrien) July 3, 2022

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 3 July 2022 13:45 (two days ago) link


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