Moscow appears to be making good on a threat to cut off gas supplies to countries that refuse Vladimir Putin’s new demand to pay in rubles. Europe has said that doing so would breach sanctions and strengthen Russia’s hand unacceptably. Poland has been particularly vociferous in its criticism of Russia over the war.
- UPS stops operations in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus
- Russian court freezes Google assets
- Ruble hits near 2-year high against euro
- Rosatom unveils several sources of lithium production in Russia
- Europe to face deep economic and political crisis — Russian Security Council
- German Minister Says Full Embargo on Russian Oil ‘Manageable’
The share of Russian oil in Germany’s imports has fallen to about 12%, from 35% before the invasion of Ukraine, Habeck said Tuesday at a news conference in Warsaw.
- Germany to double 2022 inflation forecast
- EU Sanctions May Stall Work on Russian LNG Project, Technip Says
While the engineering company is seeking more information about the EU sanctions imposed earlier this month, Technip already is “particularly cautious” about spending any more money on Arctic LNG 2, Pieton said. It’s been “working toward an orderly handover of the project” to Novatek.
Novatek holds 60% in Arctic LNG 2, with the remaining shareholders including French oil major TotalEnergies SE, as well as Chinese and Japanese firms.
- Millions [in the UK at least] turn to food banks as cost-of-living crisis deepens
Food-bank charity the Trussell Trust says it fed 2.1 million families in the 12 months up to March — 14 per cent more than the same period ending in 2021.
- Nuclear Power Could Help Europe Cut Its Russia Ties, but Not for Years. It’s @kristina’s favorite subject!
- Russia moving closer to a gold standard
- China aids Zambia in debt restructuring process
- Four in Ten U.S. Small Businesses Plan to Raise Prices by at Least 10%
Overall, more than two-thirds of the respondents plan to increase prices in the next three months, according to the survey, conducted between April 14 and April 17 among 540 business owners. Almost half of the small firms are planning increases of 4% to 9%.
- Americans are spending nearly a third of their income on mortgages — the largest share since 2007
- Can U.S. LNG Cure The World’s Coal Addiction? Toby Rice Thinks So. I don’t think so.
“U.S. LNG is one of the world’s largest weapons to combat climate change,” Rice says. “Unleashing it would enable the United States to replace up to one-third of international coal in the next 20 years. But equally important, as the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia highlights, it would allow us to provide energy security to our allies while weakening the energy dominance of our adversaries.”
- In The Caribbean, Severe Food Insecurity Has Increased By 72% In The Past Two Years
- Cuba Experiences an Exponential Reactivation of Tourism
- It’s Getting Too Expensive to Export Soybeans From Top Grower Brazil
Diesel price hikes and worsening road conditions have led to expensive freight rates. The cost to export soybeans this season has exceeded Cargill’s estimates for freight rates by at least 25%, slashing margins, according to Paulo Sousa, who heads Cargill’s operations in the South American nation.
- El Salvador’s bitcoin experiment hasn’t gained traction as locals continue to trust cash more than crypto, survey says
The survey concluded that only 5% of all sales were done in bitcoin.
- Russia’s war heats up cooking oil prices in global squeeze
“We will just have to boil everything now, the days of the frying pan are gone,” said Glaudina Nyoni, scanning prices in a supermarket in Harare, Zimbabwe, where vegetable oil costs have almost doubled since the outbreak of the war. A 2-liter bottle now costs up to $9.
- Ukraine war to cause biggest price shock in 50 years - World Bank
- Poor Nations Face ‘Perfect Storm’ of Debt, Food, and Energy Crises: UN
- The flood of Russian sanctions has left banks in need of help
We must acknowledge the heavy lifting in the financial sector required to make the price of war unacceptably high
- Russian Crude on Tankers is the Highest on Record
In what seems like a paradox, amid the current environment, the volume of Urals crude currently held on tankers, is the highest level since records began in 2016.
Diplomatically and Politically:
Involving Ukraine or Russia:
- 17 dead in Russian military research facility fire last week
- Russian court dissolves country’s main LGBTQ rights organization
- Putin breaks out the Kremlin’s ridiculously long table to meet with the head of the UN
- Putin and Erdogan praise development of Russian-Turkish cooperation
- LPR says about ten countries ready to establish relations with republic
- Zelensky says Russia-Ukraine peace talks will end if Moscow holds ‘pseudo-referendums’ in occupied areas or moves to grab more Ukrainian territories
- Ukraine might dissolve into several states, top Russian security official says
- Zelensky administration advisor says there are ‘hardly any’ war crimes Russia hasn’t committed in Ukraine
[Ukrainian] officials have said that at least 21,000 civilians died during Russia’s offensive on [Mariupol].
- Moldova urges calm, boosts security after Transnistria blasts
She condemned the explosions that hit Transnistria’s security ministry, a radio tower and a military unit, causing damage but no reported injuries.
Sandu said she had not had direct contact with Transnistria’s leadership.
- Dramatic protests erupt in France after Macron wins reelection
Meanwhile, 28% of the population abstained from voting, the highest rate in 50 years.
Finland and Sweden joining NATO is “very dangerous charlatanry” and amounts to provoking Russia, Croatian President Zoran Milanovic said on Tuesday. Zagreb will refuse to ratify their membership until the US and EU pressure the neighboring Bosnia-Herzegovina into guaranteeing ethnic Croats their basic voting rights, Milanovic added.
Asia and Oceania:
- China calls out US ‘war crimes’
- China rebukes Australia’s ‘wild remarks’ on war
- Moscow and Beijing will oppose hegemony on world stage together — Chinese envoy to Moscow
- Kim Jong-un vows to bolster nuclear capability during a parade showing off the new missile.
- Sri Lankan President and PM Locked in a Tug-of-War
- As US retreats, Saudi Arabia and Iran are trying to mend fences
As Gulf Arab states lose faith in the United States' commitment to their security, two Middle East archrivals are taking matters into their own hands.
- The Role of Modern China in a Changing World
We are currently witnessing the greatest change in the Geo political landscape that has ever occurred in the lives of those alive today.
- Myanmar Violence: a Slow Burn US Proxy War
- What the Ousting of Pakistan’s Prime Minister Really Means
- Australian opposition party vows to train Pacific armies
Australia’s opposition party promised Tuesday to establish a Pacific defense school to train neighboring armies in response to China’s potential military presence on the Solomon Islands.
- Hunger grips Burkina Faso due to increasing jihadi violence
Some 3.5 million people are food insecure, with nearly 630,000 expected to be on the brink of starvation, according to the latest food security report by the government and U.N. agencies. This is an 82% increase from last year of people facing emergency hunger.
- Senegal reacts to Macron re-election. Mainly just “Thank god it wasn’t Le Pen.
- Togo MPs pass vote to join Commonwealth
- Harvard acknowledges slavery ties, sets up $100m reparations fund
- The vast majority of young Americans likely to vote want Biden to act on student debt — but many don’t believe their votes make ‘a real difference,’ Harvard poll finds
- Brazil Court Deals Blow to Massive Amazon Gold Mine Project
Environmental and Indigenous rights defenders on Tuesday welcomed a Brazilian court ruling that will continue to block a Canadian company from building what would be the South American nation’s largest open-pit gold mine in the Amazon rainforest.
- UN approves measure requiring states to justify veto
The measure is intended to make veto-holders the United States, China, Russia, France and the United Kingdom “pay a higher political price” when they use the veto to strike down a Security Council resolution, said one ambassador who asked to remain anonymous.
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says the US aim is to make Russia so weak it can’t invade another country again
- Germany agrees to send heavy weapons to Ukraine after major policy U-turn
- Moon of Alabama talks about the attacks on Ukraine’s railways, and:
I have estimated that the Ukraine does not have enough trucks to replace railway logistics and those logistics are now falling apart:
- Raytheon chief warns of delays in replenishing Stinger missile stocks
- The Russian Ministry of Defense has accused London of a “direct provocation” after British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey encouraged Ukrainian forces to use UK-supplied weapons to attack targets inside Russia. Any attempts to do so would invoke an immediate response, the ministry warned in a statement on Tuesday.
- Kadyrov has announced a $1 mln reward for information on the whereabouts of two Ukrainian volunteer battalions
- Explosions and strikes everywhere, all of the time.
- Head of the DPR: “After reaching the borders of the Donetsk region, it is necessary to start the next stage of the operation, taking into account what is happening in Transnistria and the shelling of the regions of the Russian Federation bordering Ukraine.”
Dipshittery and Cope:
- Mariupol is almost wiped out but will ‘never surrender’, says top Zelensky adviser
- Russian troops in Ukraine have suffered as many deaths as the entire 9-year Afghan war that contributed to the USSR’s collapse
“It is our assessment that approximately 15,000 Russian personnel have been killed during their offensive,” Ben Wallace, UK’s Secretary of State for Defense said in a statement released by the British embassy in Washington on Monday. He also estimated that approximately a quarter of the battalion tactical groups were “not combat effective.”
“Russia has so far failed in nearly every one of its objectives,” he added. How many articles repeating the exact same fucking bullshit points can they write?
- Will the Ukrainian Army Hold in Its East? Dipshittery or analysis… dipshittery or analysis…
Beyond tactical assessments, there are two primary reasons I’ve said Ukraine would win this fight. Here’s… why…. Reason 1: Conventional joint and combined arms operations are hard. Real hard. … Good militaries understand all this, and good military leaders ensure it happens…. Less-than-good militaries put conscripts under arms, field equipment with inherent faults, and allow corruption.
The second reason I’ve been bold is because I had the chance to see how seemingly small things contribute to big failure … Not-so-good units don’t accept critiques, don’t fix broken processes, repeatedly allow small issues to turn into big problems, and don’t reflect on their own leadership failures.
- Putin wanted a militarily weaker Ukraine. He got the opposite
- Gen. Mark Milley: If Russia gets away with war on Ukraine ‘cost-free,’ then ‘so goes’ international order
“What’s at stake is the security of Europe,” Milley said, adding that Russia’s invasion “is the greatest challenge to the security of Europe since the end of World War II.”
Yeah, says the US, with all their mili… wait, what’s in this next paragraph?
“And indeed, you can easily make the case that what’s at stake is the global international security order that was put in place in 1945,” Milley told CNN at Ramstein Air Base in Germany following a meeting hosted by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin with allied countries.
Goddamn it, they beat me to the joke! Though I don’t think it was intentional.
Milley said the post-war world order has “prevented great power war, and underlining that entire concept is the idea that large nations will not conduct military aggression against smaller nations, and that’s exactly what’s happened here, an unprovoked military aggression by Russia against a smaller nation.”
I assume they’re saying shit like this just to piss us off at this point.
- Russian troops in Mariupol are making local Ukrainians dig mass graves in exchange for food and water, mayor says
I assume they’re doing this while twirling their mustaches, showing off their mobile crematoriums, and shoving babies out of incubators?
- Putin May Not Like How He’s Changed Europe
Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has transformed Europe within a matter of weeks. A continent once fractured by the refugee crisis is now taking in millions of refugees. Countries such as Germany have made considerable pledges to increase military spending. The European Union said it would cut off Russian oil and gas “well before 2030” — a once unthinkable prospect. The European project seems more confident in itself than at any other time in recent history.
We discuss how European identity went from revolving around war to being centered on economic trade, why Europe has treated the Ukrainian refugee crisis so differently from previous refugee crises, how the West’s overly economic understanding of human motivation blinded it to Putin’s plans, what the relative success of politicians like Le Pen and Orban means for the future of Europe, how fears of demographic change can help explain phenomena as different as Putin’s invasion and Donald Trump’s election, whether Putin’s invasion can reawaken an exhausted European liberalism and much more.
Sounds like a fascinating conversation.
Is this the Western alliance’s last hurrah?
My mother fled Ukraine in World War II. She says this is worse. I don’t doubt this is awful for many Ukrainians, but like, holy shit. This is not worse than the Nazi fucking invasion.
Why no one dare tell China’s Xi the awful truth – zero-Covid isn’t working
538: Were The Stimulus Checks A Mistake?
A Real Foreign Policy for the Middle Class. Basically “we’ve gotta get more racist towards China”. Not worth the read.
I Thought I’d Mention:
- Weary of many disasters? UN says worse to come. Also: Humanity entering ‘spiral of self-destruction’, UN warns
If current trends continue the world will go from around 400 disasters per year in 2015 to an onslaught of about 560 catastrophes a year by 2030.
By comparison from 1970 to 2000, the world suffered just 90 to 100 medium to large scale disasters a year, the report said.
- Ukraine’s long-persecuted Roma minority joins war effort
Despite being persecuted and marginalised throughout Ukraine’s history, the Roma minority – an estimated 400,000 people – have contributed enthusiastically to the war effort.
Such optimism is refreshing, but Ukrainian media outlets have not been too proactive in reporting the Roma community’s efforts, and many outside are unaware of their contribution.
And while the war is creating a sense of unity, a shared sense of patriotism is unlikely to ease the level of discrimination faced by the minority.
When the war ends, Roma service members who survive the conflict will return to dirt-poor communities where barriers to social integration remain and where the pace of change is glacial.
Some Good News! Well, Until They Retaliate I Guess, But In The Meantime:
- Number of US police officers murdered up by 59%