- IMF to expedite $5 billion loan to Ukraine
- The German government said that the issue of partial write-off of the national debt of Ukraine is not being considered now.
- Russia’s annual inflation hikes to 17.62%
- Putin orders to refocus metals export to promising markets
- Sergey Nosov: “Russia and China cannot in a moment completely abandon settlements in dollars”, but the Chinese Foreign Ministry says that Chinese companies will more actively use rubles or yuan in trade with Russia.
- China guarantees supplies of Russian products to its market, says ambassador in Moscow
- Russia sanctions Mark Zuckerberg
- Russia not facing default – central bank
- The largest oil companies in China want to buy out the British Shell’s stake in the Sakhalin-2 project, after Shell withdrew from the Russian market.
- Kerryposters rejoice: Kerry Praises Europe As ‘The Lead On The Planet’ For The Energy Transition: “Europe has had no choice but to understand they’ve got to move off of Russian fossil fuels as fast as they possibly can" Because America forced them to! And they’re just moving to other sources of natural gas anyway!
- JPMorgan issues crude warning to EU: “An immediate embargo on Russian oil could send prices soaring, the bank says”
- This measure of German inflation just hit its highest level since 1949
- Ukrainian workers flee ‘modern slavery’ conditions on UK farms
- Germany & Netherlands roll out gas drilling plans: “Officials say the need for non-Russian gas outweighs the “minimal” impact on wildlife near the UNESCO world heritage site”
- Germany plans to wean itself off Russia’s oil supply by the end of the year
- Worst crisis since the second world war’: Germany prepares for a Russian gas embargo
- Fuel prices in Germany reach 50-year record high.
- Italy signs gas deal with Angola in a bid to boycott Russia
- Italy introduces laws on air conditioning, saying that the temperature cannot go below 25 degrees, in order to save power. Violators face 500-3000 euro fines.
- Kiev lobbies to block Russian gas pipeline: “The Ukrainian government is reportedly trying to convince European nations to eliminate Russian gas shipments via the Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The move is intended to force Russia to move more of its Europe-bound gas supplies through Ukraine”
- IKEA wants to resume their operations in Russia.
- Danish brewers will lose almost $1.5 billion due to withdrawal from Russia.
- IMF head warns rising food and fuel prices strain family budgets ‘to breaking point’
- The West may have just killed the G20: “With their demarches against Russia, Western members of the global club are demolishing its purpose”
- China’s ‘Whole Nation’ Effort to Advance the Tech Industry: “The “whole nation” system was an old approach that dominated during China’s planned economy period, where the government mobilized and allocated resources through administrative command. … The old “whole nation” system faded after China’s transition to a market economy in the late 1970s … Xi proposed that a “new type whole nation system” should be built to push technological progress and breakthroughs."
- China ramps up Russian steel-making coal imports, with 1.4 million tons in March, compared to 600,000 tons for March 2021. Coal for power generation declined.
- Russia and China are working on supply chains, settlements in national currencies
- Jacobin on de-dollarization
- Apparently India is not running out of coal like I last reported, at least, not as quickly as 8 days, according to a new article, which claims India has at least 30 days of coal stocks (and is probably willing to buy more from Russia anyway). Holding myself accountable and all that.
- Mongolia has seen a wave of protests in response to soaring inflation. The demonstrators have rallied around the slogan “we want to live” — damning the disappointed promises of the country’s postsocialist transition.
- Mixed Fortunes for Kazakzstan Grain: While Kazakhstan has the potential to be an influential player in the global grain economy, it needs to first overcome domestic and logistic challenges
- US house prices hit an all-time high. “The median existing-home price for all housing types in March was $375,300, up 15% from the year before, according to the National Association of Realtors.”
- Bloomberg: Hunger and Blackouts Are Just the Start of an Emerging Economy Crisis: “The combination of real-economy shocks and financial-market tightening, [Lipsky] said, is “going to push a large number of low-income countries into the need for debt restructuring.””
- Historically high food prices here to stay, says FAO economist: " we are talking about seasons rather than months of high prices"
- Shifting Maps of Euro-Asian Economic Relations: The Untouched Potential of the South Caucasus and Central Asia
- Will the Ukraine war put an end to global economic interdependence?
- Western-led globalisation might end, but the new globalisation might have an Eastern face
- Nakedcapitalism: Russia’s Campaign in Ukraine and the West’s Response: The End of the Beginning?
- Israel adds Chinese yuan to reserves
- More Than Half of US Student Loan Borrowers Say They Can’t Afford Single Payment
- Biden says U.S. will send $1.3 billion in additional military and economic support to Ukraine
- Mexico Tells Oil Giant Pemex ‘You’re on Your Own’ to Cover Debt Payments
- India keen to raise oil imports from Brazil
Diplomatically and Politically:
- Experts predict lasting environmental damage from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. It will take years to clear the damage and rebuild, experts say
- Russian billionaire Oleg Tinkov blasts Putin’s ‘insane war’ in Ukraine, claiming that 90% of Russians are against the war.
- Peskov has said that Russia sent a draft agreement of a peace proposal but Ukraine has not responded yet. Peskov: “[Ukraine is] constantly moving away from their words, constantly changing them … [the lack of consistency] is having very bad consequences in terms of the negotiations’ effectiveness.”
- Russian Ambassador to US Says Biden Officials Don’t Want to Speak With Him
- In Germany, Afghan refugees began to be evicted from apartments in order to settle Ukrainian ones
- In Latvia, your citizenship will be revoked if you support the Russian invasion.
- Greek media report that the Russian tanker “Pegasus” detained near the island of Euboea will be released.
- Tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan escalate after Pakistan decides to take military action against the Pakistani Taliban hiding out in Afghanistan’s territory; with Afghanistan warning of “bad consequences” if Pakistan attacks once more. These strikes seem to also have killed significant numbers of civilians.
- Sri Lanka’s Protests Transcend Ethnic, Religious Divisions
- The 10-month-old Israeli coalition government is facing its deepest political crisis to date, after weeks of high-profile attacks across Israel, military action in the West Bank, and after Israeli police entered and arrested hundreds at one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.
- US-Saudia Ties Set for a Long Nosedive: “On the one hand, Washington has failed to force the OPEC countries to increase oil production, and on the other hand, the region is already calibrating to form a joint security architecture independent of Washington. In fact, as reports in the US mainstream media have highlighted, Biden’s decision to use its oil strategic reserves to control rising oil prices was specifically forced upon him by Saudia’s refusal to break the OPEC-plus pact” Also this from RT.
- Iran-Armenia Relations Continue to Strengthen: “oday, the tense situation in the region does not prevent the strengthening of dialogue between Iran and Armenia. On the contrary, an unstable situation forces countries to be more united, leading to a deepening and broadening of mutually beneficial partnerships”
- The mishandling of the Taiwan issue by the US will be detrimental to its ties with Beijing
- Australian PM accused of ‘massive foreign policy failure’: Morrison said “Our view is very much that we don’t go stomping around telling leaders in [the] Pacific islands what they should and shouldn’t do. You work with them respectfully and carefully,”, which made people mad at this extremely reasonable statement.
- Argentina to Reestablish Full Diplomatic Ties with Venezuela, Calls for Latin American Integration
- Boris Johnson to offer India alternatives to Russia ties on visit
- Cameroon signs Russian military deal
Ukraine in general:
- Russia has launched a new ICBM, called the Sarmat. The Pentagon was warned in advance by Russia that they were doing this test (probably wise). The missile travelled the entire width of Russia at Mach 20 meaning it travels at 7 kilometers per second and could hit Berlin from Moscow in under 4 minutes; megathread comment discussing it linked. Here’s some footage of the launch.
- CNN: “The US has not seen any indication Russia has made any moves to prepare nuclear weapons for use during the war, but two sources familiar with recent intelligence assessments told CNN that US officials are more concerned about the threat of Russia using them than at any time since the Cold War.”
- Russia Says NATO Tries To Prolong Fighting In Ukraine
- Forbes: T-72s To The Rescue? Ukraine’s 5th Tank Brigade Could Roll Into Battle Any Day Now.
- Germany has no weapons that can be quickly delivered to Ukraine
- Scholz was under growing pressure on Wednesday over his perceived lack of leadership over the war in Ukraine and his dogged refusal to send heavy weapons to the country.
- Germany will transfer modern tanks to Eastern European countries, and then those Eastern European countries will send their old Soviet weapons to Ukraine. Not sure how this fits in with the previous statements but the grift is so fucking obvious lmao. in fact…
- How Pentagon contractors are cashing in on Russia’s invasion. CEO of Raytheon in January: “we are seeing, I would say, opportunities for international sales… [T]he tensions in Eastern Europe, the tensions in the South China Sea, all of those things are putting pressure on some of the defense spending over there. So I fully expect we’re going to see some benefit from it.” and, more recently: “Eventually we’ll have to replenish [weapons stockpiles] and we will see a benefit to the business over the next coming years.”
- Ukraine has not received any ‘whole’ fighter jets from anyone, Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby has said
- Moon of Alabama: Some Of The Weapons Delivered To Ukraine Will Be Used Against Us
- A British general admits that NATO is not ready for a conflict with Russia, and that if Russia attacked the UK, then British troops would be destroyed in “about a week” by Russian aircraft. However, they do have a GDP the size of Italy, so I’m not seeing the big issue here.
- The Kremlin rejected the Easter truce, because literally why would they? They’re winning and don’t want to let Ukraine regroup.
- Russian forces establish full control of Rubezhnoye in Lugansk Republic
- Russian assault on Avdiivka is starting.
- Russian telegram says that the Ukrainian authorities deliberately cut off electricity in the cities of the Kharkiv region. The Ukrainian authorities have accused the mayor of the city, Gennady Matsegora, of treason because of cooperation with Russia.
- More explosions in Kharkiv. Honestly, at this point, just assume there are always explosions in Kharkiv. There are explosions everywhere along the Donbass front.
- Russia is advancing rapidly and deeply into Ukraine, sweeping away enemy strongholds, according to Russian telegram. Seems believable to me with all the non-stop goddamn explosions.
- Putin declares Mariupol is in Russian control.
- Putin orders Russian troops to seal off the Azovstal plant with the Nazis inside “so that not even a fly comes through.” rather than risk his troops fighting Nazis in a complex underground maze. Agreed - don’t give them “heroic deaths”, let them shit themselves and starve to death in the dark.
- Putin offers the Azovstal Nazis one last chance to surrender, presumably before they’re all locked inside and slowly die.
- The Russian forces at Mariupol are now largely moving to the Avdeevsky sector of the front, with some staying behind to lock the Nazis in Azovstal.
- Mykolaiv under “substantial” Russian missile fire. The power went out there.
- Explosions in Zaporozhye.
- Head of the DPR states that the Ilyich factory in Mariupol will be restored, and possibly the Azovstal plant. He wants Mariupol to continue to be an industrial city.
Dipshittery and Cope:
- The reason intelligence agencies keep getting it wrong. The reason?: “It is remarkably difficult to predict how a person will respond to crisis, to know who will evade responsibility and who will powerfully rise to it. Judging the mood of a whole nation, as well as forecasting how it will behave in a cataclysm, is harder yet.” … “in mid-February this year, “U.S. officials” — in the usual anonymous style — expected Russia to take Kyiv in several days and all of Ukraine in about a week” UKRAINE IS THE LARGEST COUNTRY IN EUROPE. IF PUTIN TOOK ALL OF UKRAINE IN A WEEK IT WOULD BE THE GREATEST MILITARY CONQUEST YET SEEN ON PLANET EARTH. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?
- WaPo: China is muscling its way into Pacific island nations. The U.S. must push back. God, this article actually fucking raised my blood pressure. Here’s some select quotes. “[China and America] will have to overlook the fact that some of that money will go toward potentially unsavory regimes. [it goes on to list reasons why some Pacific countries are bad]” Yeah, the United fucking States is a real stranger to supporting unsavory regimes. “[after listing their problems] None of that is pretty, but China will surely overlook a country’s commitment to democracy or modern conceptions of human rights.” Oh my fucking god. “… the threat from China will start to get uncomfortably close to home. Better to spend big and push outward now rather than to be boxed into a corner later.” Yeah, like a certain other nation perhaps? Like a certain adversary that was also constrained by hostile powers and then did a big push outwards recently? I swear to fucking god, when the revolution comes we will not make an excuse for the terror, I promise.
- To bolster the kind of war-crimes evidence that has not always proved easy to admit to international courts, a group is looking to the technology behind cryptocurrency and NFTs.
- China Threatens the Breakup of Europe: Europe and America should respond with tripwire troops in Taiwan
- Smaller, targeted amounts of student loan forgiveness are more likely to benefit struggling Americans, report claims. The libs are STILL doing this? Oh my fucking god.
- @riley, your comment is prophetic and yet still, real life is beyond the horrors that you could have imagined: Mariupol Could Be the Thermopylae of the 21st Century
If Putin’s propagandists had their choice, they’d paint the Ukrainian defenders at Azovstal with the same brush. The Kremlin peddles the fiction that it must attack Ukraine to “denazify” it. This claim is absurd — Ukraine is a pro-Western democracy with a president of Jewish descent. But to Russian ears, the narrative might superficially match some of the Ukrainian defenders in the steel factory, who include the Azov Battalion, a nationalist regiment with alleged neo-Nazi ties.
So the nobility of a last stand is inevitably at least in part in the eye of the beholder. And yet, Azovstal does resemble Thermopylae. Each was, or is, strategic — Thermopylae was the gate to invade Greece; Mariupol is a land bridge that could connect Russian-held Crimea with the Donbas region the Russians are now trying to swallow.
No matter the particular circumstances, for those of us in more humdrum life situations, last stands remain mysterious. What motivates men and women to face such overwhelming force, and near-certain death? It may be that they’re heeding a primal instinct to fight injustice — even if it only means making the enemy pay the highest possible price. If we sell our lives dearly now, the instinct may whisper, future attackers will think twice about coming after our kin.
The Ukrainians at Azovstal are fighting for one another, for their country, and for history. Maybe, like the rebel samurai and so many others before, they’re also fighting just because the whims of fate placed them in a particular place at a particular time, and they heard the call to take their last stand. If they perish, it will be on their own terms, and with honor.