My master document is now 60,000 words long. God help me.



  • A European ban on Russian crude risks Moscow using the natural gas ‘power tool’ in its arsenal, Vortexa said
  • What are EU’s chances of surviving without Russian gas?
  • Europe has not enough alternatives to Russian gas
  • Russian Gas Stoppages Spur Europe’s Race for New Energy Supplies
  • Europe: Sanctions Haven’t Made Clear What Counts as “Russian Oil”
  • Europe: An embargo on Russian oil would trigger a recession in Europe and investors are underpricing disruptions to energy supplies, Barclays says
  • Ukraine exports grain to Europe in exchange for weapons Russia: Volodin stated that up to $500 billion worth of Western assets were blocked on the territory of the Russian Federation, which counterbalances the $300 billion of Russian reserves blocked in the West. In the event of the confiscation of the property of Russian oligarchs in the West, Russia will begin to confiscate the property of Western businesses in Russia.
  • Russian oligarchs anticipated sanctions months before the war started and moved money through the informal payment system known as Hawala, an expert says
  • Russia: Mass flight of tech workers turns Russian IT into another casualty of war: About 10 percent of the tech workforce is projected to leave Russia before the end of May. Like, that’s not good (if it’s true) but 10% isn’t what I would call a “mass flight”. 90% are staying.
  • Russia: Russian internet group Yandex reports $110 mln net loss in Q1
  • Russia expects trade with China to reach $200 billion by 2024
  • Russia: Western companies have difficulties while leaving Russian market
  • Russia: Gazprom reveals increase of gas supplies to China
  • Germany: Uniper to pay for Russian gas via Russia account
  • France: French Car Sales Keep Sliding as Ukraine War Hurts Supply Chains
  • UK: Economic downturn likely, the Institute of Directors warns
  • UK: Sunflower Oil ‘Vanishes’ as Ukraine War Grinds On
  • UK: High energy prices leave oil giants untroubled by Russia exit or tax hints
  • Netherlands: Dutch dockers refuse to unload ship with Russian diesel cargo

Asia and Oceania:

  • China’s Xi vows stronger antimonopoly efforts, healthy capital market
  • China discusses protecting assets from U.S. sanctions with banks
  • Singapore must prepare for economic challenges, Government doing ‘all it can’ to cushion impact: PM Lee
  • India Is Investing Billions To Create A Robust Healthcare System
  • S. Korea’s Exports to China Drop Amid Fallout From Lockdowns

Middle East

  • Saudi Arabia Economy Grows at Fastest Pace in Decade on Oil Boom


North America:

  • USA: 3 warning signs that the US economy could be headed for a downturn this year
  • USA: Healthcare workers with long COVID are having their careers cut short due to debilitating symptoms as the industry struggles with labor shortages
  • USA: Surging prices force consumers to ask: Can I live without it?
  • USA: Is a recession on the way? What data says about the economy
  • USA: :Has inflation reached a peak? Three signs that prices could soon come down
  • USA: High inflation in parts of the US won’t come down until house-price growth does too. An economist says that could take some time.
  • USA: Gasoline Prices Have Peaked For Now
  • USA: Up, Up And Away - Energy Prices Continue To Soar


Diplomatically and Politically:

Involving Ukraine or Russia:

  • Pelosi concludes secret visit to Ukraine
  • Ukraine FM asks China to be security guarantor


  • Demand for Nuclear Bunkers Soars as Russia-Ukraine War Fuels Fear in Europe
  • UK: Four in five people in the UK believe in being ‘woke’ to race and social justice
  • UK Government Must Act to Avoid Widespread Rail Strikes, Says Scottish Minister
  • Asylum in Denmark: Is the country guilty of double standards?

Asia and Oceania:

  • Beijing Escalates Restrictions, but Still Stops Short of Lockdown
  • China: Beijing shuts Universal Studios, bans restaurant dining in major escalation of Covid restrictions
  • China: Police arrest 9 after building collapses in central China. These were the building owner and also people in charge of design, construction, and safety assessments.
  • China: Lockdowns and supply chain disruption to accelerate Apple’s move away from China, with India a likely beneficiary, analysts say
  • Taiwan says it will not follow mainland China’s ‘cruel’ Covid lockdowns
  • India: Climate Emergency: India’s Unprecedented Heatwave Adds to Global Bread Shortages

Middle East

  • Intense Turkish occupation bombing by helicopters and warplanes targeting the province of Dohuk, northern Iraq.
  • 3 missiles reportedly strike the vicinity of Ain Al-Assad American occupation base in Iraq.
  • Iranian Foreign Ministry warns Iranian citizens against traveling to Sweden due to the activities of anti-Islam elements and the non-judicial behavior of the Swedish police.


  • Guinea to move to civilian rule in three years


General news

  • Russia claims that Ukrainians have planted mines at the Nikolayev reservoir dam, and if blown up (and blamed on Russia), would drown the surrounding area with 45,000 people in it.
  • Scholz defends Germany’s caution on sending heavy arms to Ukraine
  • Russia says it hit 17 Ukrainian facilities, killed more than 200 troops
  • A Russian general who commanded electronic warfare units was killed in a strike that killed 100 soldiers, top Ukraine official says. I can’t wait until he rises from the dead like the other ones.
  • There are still enough jets in Russia, but not enough first-class pilots, a military expert says
  • Moon of Alabama: Media Are Now Whitewashing Nazis They Had Previously Condemned
  • Putin might give up control on Ukraine war soon. Here’s why.

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be forced to give up control of the war in Ukraine for days as he is set for cancer surgery, and will reportedly nominate hardline former FSB chief Nikolai Patrushev to take temporary control of the invasion while he is under the knife, a Kremlin insider has claimed.

  • Ukraine may soon receive Slovak MiG-29 fighters.
  • Russian aviation destroyed two Ukrainian S-300 complexes in the area of Artyomovsk and Zaporozhye

Eastern Ukraine:

[Fire] breaks out at Russian military site near Ukraine Fighting in the direction of Liman. 2 Su-24s of the Ukrainian Air Force were shot down in the Kharkiv direction.

Southern Ukraine:

  • The first Russian bank is preparing to open branches in Melitopol.
  • ‘We’ll fight as long as we have to,’ Ukrainian fighter says from Mariupol. What are you fighting, rats in the basement?
  • Around 100 civilians leave Azovstal, heading to Zaporozhye, says Zelensky
  • Depot in Odessa with Western arms destroyed
  • Also, airport in Odessa destroyed.

Dipshittery and Cope:

Whether this precarious situation turns into a true global famine depends largely on what the United States, European Union, China and other large and wealthy nations do now. The United States must lead by example.

It doesn’t help that China is hoarding key food products, stockpiling corn and wheat to safeguard its own population.

U.S. leaders, including Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, have spoken powerfully in recent days about the need to step up with more aid. Congress must back that up. Sadly, President Biden made things worse with his recent push to have more ethanol in gasoline this summer. That takes even more crops out of the global food supply.

“He wants to deliberately keep a certain distance in from Shanghai,” said Deng Yuwen, a former editor of a Communist Party newspaper who now lives in the United States. “No doubt, he’s doing a lot about fighting the pandemic behind the scenes, but of course he does not want to be directly drawn into the mess in Shanghai.”

Mr. Xi’s orders have instead been passed through subordinates or meeting summaries. They have cited his demand to stick to a “dynamic zero Covid” goal: essentially ensuring no cases in a population of 1.4 billion by strict mass testing and isolation of infections or close contacts.

The outbreaks in Shanghai, Beijing and other cities are testing Mr. Xi’s acumen and authority before an important Communist Party congress late this year. While he is nearly certain to win a groundbreaking third term as party general secretary, Mr. Xi also wants to ensure the leadership is dominated by officials who will defend him and enforce his agenda.

Mr. Xi wants to demonstrate serene political mastery, and until lately, the zero-Covid strategy has been a signature achievement: an effective, if expensive, and generally popular vow that China would avoid mass sickness and deaths.

After Communist Party officials initially downplayed the virus in early 2020, Mr. Xi built China into an epidemiological fortress, stifling infections and protecting the economy while the United States suffered nearly one million Covid deaths.

“This policy was a demonstration that the government puts the health and the welfare of the Chinese people first,” said Patricia Thornton, a professor at the University of Oxford who studies Chinese politics and society. “That’s becoming a much more difficult story for Xi Jinping to tell.”

“After more and more people understand that the economic costs are too high and unsustainable, change will come more easily,” Mr. Lu said in a telephone interview.

Mr. Xi has made China’s relatively few deaths from Covid — nearly 5,000, mostly in the early months of the pandemic — a core of his argument that the Communist Party is more effective at government than any liberal democracy.

“My hope is that it creates world peace or helps create world peace.” That’s what Jack Dorsey, the former Twitter Inc. chief executive and now head of the digital payments company Block Inc., said about Bitcoin at a webinar in July 2021.

The events of the past two years — first the Covid-19 pandemic and now the Russian invasion of Ukraine — have been sufficiently disruptive to make another shift in the global monetary order seem likely. But what form will it take? Two hypotheses have come to the fore, by no means mutually exclusive. … The first is that cryptocurrency’s hour has arrived. … Hypothesis two is that we are witnessing the twilight of the dollar.

What other currency was preferable to the dollar as a reserve and trade currency, he asked, “when Europe’s a museum, Japan’s a nursing home, China’s a jail, and Bitcoin’s an experiment”?

Several years ago, I grew very concerned that these Chinese payment systems were going to eat the world — or at least were going to become dominant in emerging markets. Fortunately for the Western world, the Chinese Communist Party decided that Alibaba founder Jack Ma was getting too big for his boots and pulled the plug on his and Eric Jing’s plans for world domination.

The problem for China is that prophecies of the dollar’s demise, which people have been making since the late 1960s, keep turning out to be wrong. True, as the University of California, Berkeley’s Barry Eichengreen has pointed out, the dollar’s share of allocated international reserves has declined somewhat since the beginning of the century, from 71% to 59%. But it’s not as if central banks have been swapping dollars for renminbi.

Russia’s aim is to push westward from its redoubts in Crimea and Donbas, eventually breaking through and encircling Ukrainian forces. Stopping this is the reason Ukraine needed an immediate infusion of heavy weaponry; actually enabling Ukraine to go on the counteroffensive later this spring and summer is the reason it will need still more in the coming weeks.

When past U.S. policy has failed in Ukraine, it was often because, fearing to provoke Mr. Putin, it did not do enough to deter him. Obviously, the Biden administration must not err in the opposite direction now. But the record of the war so far, including Europe’s admirable determination to seek new energy sources, vindicates a policy of maximum firmness. Mr. Putin’s war aim is not merely to conquer Ukraine but to overthrow the international order itself. It’s worth accepting costs and taking risks to make sure that Russia fails — and emerges from the conflict unable to wage such aggression again.

Russian troops have been forced to merge and redeploy units from their “failed advances” in Ukraine’s north-east, the UK Ministry of Defence has said, as both Kyiv and Moscow deal with serious losses on the frontline in the Donbas region.

The Strategic Logic of Russia’s War on Ukraine

The verdict is in: Russia invaded Ukraine for two reasons. One is Moscow’s obsessive pursuit of nationalist and imperial ambitions—unifying the two countries and eliminating a separate Ukrainian identity. The other is Vladimir Putin’s misperception—he is an insulated, overconfident autocrat who misplayed his hand.

These theories are surely true, but years of working in and writing about wars have taught me there’s usually more to the story. Whether it’s a world war, a U.S. invasion or a West African rebellion, observers are quick to focus on passions and mistakes and to demonize leaders who launch a conflict. Yet most wars have strategic roots as well, ones that work in concert with passions and mistakes.

The Ukrainian people had twice tossed out Russia-leaning leaders in revolutions in the past 20 years. … He spent years influencing Ukrainian politics with money, propaganda, assassinations and support for separatists. These risky investments didn’t pay off—and might have pushed Ukrainians closer to the West and democratic government. … This was a worrisome trend for Mr. Putin. As Ukraine entrenched its freedoms, regime change there became more difficult.

What the fuck are you talking about?

There are three interlocked strategic logics at work in this interpretation of events. The first stems from the lack of domestic checks on Mr. Putin’s power. As a personalized ruler, he’s insulated from the costs borne by average Russians—such as the privations of living under punishing sanctions, or sons dying in battle.

The second logic is known as a commitment problem. It’s a classic strategic dilemma that starts with a closing window of opportunity. After every other measure had failed, Mr. Putin could halt Ukraine’s democratic and Western shift only by threatening to attack.

The final strategic logic arises from uncertainty. Many people, including most military analysts, were surprised by how things turned out. Russian forces proved less competent than expected. Ukraine’s resolve to fight exceeded expectations, as did Western unity on sanctions.

Historians and political scientists usually need both psychological and strategic forces to explain wars. Take World War I. Popular accounts stress that naive and nationalistic leaders sleepwalked into war. But there were strategic forces too—Russia’s imminent rise, the Allies’ uncertain resolve, and Europe’s unchecked leadership. These helped propel flawed European leaders into war and explain why they fought for years.



  • ‘Turning the dial up’: US south-west braces for extended wildfire season amid drastic drought
  • Honeybees Are Not “In Decline”, But The Beekeeping Industry Does Face Challenges
  • Lake Powell officials face an impossible choice in the West’s megadrought: Water or electricity
  • West African countries agree on climate strategy
  • A ‘Life-Affirming’ Remedy for Climate Despair. Man, this is so close to being good but it falls just short.

It is not clear why [the man who set himself on fire in front of the Supreme Court] self-immolated. We do know that climate despair and desperation lurk in the shadows all around us.

In a 2021 global survey of 10,000 people ages 16 to 25 published in The Lancet Planetary Health, 56 percent said that humanity was doomed, and 45 percent said climate anxiety affected their daily lives.

Instead of despair and alienation, we can find a sense of purpose and community in the face of the climate crisis.

We can also pour [our feelings] into disruptive protest and nonviolent direct action, which as history and social science demonstrate, are the fastest path to transformative change.

I Thought I’d Mention:

  • An article about the day-to-day life of Ukrainians now. Has some MSM brainworms in it but it’s actually quite interesting if you’ve been wondering what people are actually, like, doing while their country is being invaded.