Links 3/10/2022

Dear patient readers,

Lambert and I, and many readers, agree that Ukraine has prompted the worst informational environment ever. We hope readers will collaborate in mitigating the fog of war — both real fog and stage fog — in comments. None of us need more cheerleading and link-free repetition of memes; there are platforms for that. Low-value, link-free pom pom-wavers will be summarily whacked.

And for those who are new here, this is not a mere polite request. We have written site Policies and those who comment have accepted those terms. To prevent having to resort to the nuclear option of shutting comments down entirely until more sanity prevails, as we did during the 2015 Greek bailout negotiations and shortly after the 2020 election, we are going to be ruthless about moderating and blacklisting offenders.


P.S. Also, before further stressing our already stressed moderators, read our site policies:

Please do not write us to ask why a comment has not appeared. We do not have the bandwidth to investigate and reply. Using the comments section to complain about moderation decisions/tripwires earns that commenter troll points. Please don’t do it. Those comments will also be removed if we encounter them.

* * *

A spider as big as the palm of your hand could soon invade the East Coast, scientists say USA Today. On the bright side, they eat stink bugs,

Ants could be used to sniff out cancer because they can smell disease like dogs, study suggests Daily Mail

How Carnivorous Plants Evolved Smithsonian


Microorganisms could be ‘gamechangers’ in ecosystem restoration

All organisms produce methane (press release) Max Planck Institute

Russia’s War Casts Huge Shadow Over the Future of ESG Bloomberg


Faust Files: Zeke Emanuel on ‘Living With COVID’ MedPage Today. Emanuel: “I think it’s the same thing over and over again. It’s the country forgetting, and the country wanting to move on, and the country not devoting the kind of leadership and skill to actually implementing these things.” Oh. The country.

Two Years Into the Pandemic, Americans Inch Closer to a New Normal Pew Research. Ya see, it’s the country.

* * *

The Effectiveness Of Government Masking Mandates On COVID-19 County-Level Case Incidence Across The United States, 2020 Health Affairs. From February, still germane. From the Abstract: “In this observational study of matched cohorts from 394 US counties between March 21 and October 20, 2020, we estimated the association between county-level public masking mandates and daily COVID-19 case incidence. On average, the daily case incidence per 100,000 people in masked counties compared with unmasked counties declined by 23 percent at four weeks, 33 percent at six weeks, and 16 percent across six weeks postintervention. The beneficial effect varied across regions of different population densities and political leanings. The most concentrated effects of masking mandates were seen in urban counties; the benefit of the mandates was potentially stronger within Republican-leaning counties. Although benefits were not equally distributed in all regions, masking mandates conferred benefit in reducing community case incidence during an early period of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

How much of the covid death toll is a function of peer pressure? Philip Bump, WaPo. The spectrum of mask policy now ranges from “rejection” to “personal choice.”

* * *

One California University Has Unified Town and Gown to Fight Covid. Why Haven’t Others? KHN. See here at NC on college administrators and Covid.

2 years into long COVID, a UMaine professor feels like she’s ‘been buried alive’ Bangor Daily News


Coronavirus: Chinese state-owned firm signs deal with Pfizer to supply pill to treat Covid-19 South China Morning Post. Paxlovid.

Behind Nickel’s “epic short squeeze”: overseas institutions are eyeing loopholes in the rules for “legal robbery”, vicious operations What China Reads


Regime Chiefs Plotting ‘Kill All, Torch All’ Policy in Upper Myanmar The Irrawaddy


Boris Johnson news – live: Seven oligarchs sanctioned by UK, as Patel under pressure to change visa process Independent

Ukraine crisis to dominate EU leaders’ Versailles summit France24

Sweden’s PM says push to join Nato would destabilise northern Europe FT

Architect of Sweden’s no-lockdown Covid strategy resigns FT

The Koreas

A vicious anti-feminist backlash stuns South Korea Globe and Mail

The unknown oligarch fighting for an endless Korean war Responsible Statecraft


Middle East faces severe wheat crisis over war in Ukraine Deutsche Welle

World’s Oil Giant Adds to Diesel Strain With Rare Buy Tender Bloomberg

New Not-So-Cold War

Russian Offensive Campaign Assessment, March 9 Institute for the Study of War.

Status quo. Many imponderables…. Commentary:

I dunno. I’d be happier if an account were given of how this happened. Interesting thread, though!

Ukrainian Front – strategy without tactics (MUST SEE) The Saker

A closer look at the volunteers who are signing up to fight the Russians NPR. Commentary:

Wait ’til the more presentable Banderite Fascists surface in their Miami condos and start going on cable….

Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing children’s hospital in Mariupol Al Jazeera

A Russian antiwar view on things Yasha Levine

The Case for a No-Fly Zone in Ukraine Joe Lieberman, WSJ

Kamala Harris Heads to Eastern Europe Amid Rising War Tensions Vanity Fair

NEW REPORT: US Military Personnel Have Entered a “War Time” Posture Michael Tracey

* * *

Victoria Nuland: Ukraine Has “Biological Research Facilities,” Worried Russia May Seize Them Glenn Greenwald. Commentary:

Less definitive than it sounds when you start to pry it apart.

US official: Russian invasion of Ukraine risks release of dangerous pathogens Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine may put at risk a network of US-linked labs in Ukraine that work with dangerous pathogens, said Robert Pope, the director of the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, a 30-year-old Defense Department program that has helped secure the former Soviet Union’s weapons of mass destruction and redirect former bioweapons facilities and scientists toward peaceful endeavors.

Russia’s ‘warning’ of Ukraine’s biological weapons sounds just like Syria Guardian. Oh noes.

* * *

Symbol Manipulation (1): Fact Check-TikTok video showing how to work Russian military tanks predates invasion Reuters. Recently retweeted by the usually, er, professional Claudia Sahm:

Symbol Manipulation (2):

Symbol Manipulation (3): Meet the photojournalists behind the powerful images of war in Ukraine NBC. And the reporters?

* * *

Ukraine: Did China Have a Clue? Stimson Center

Ukraine helped build China’s modern military, but when war came, Beijing chose Russia WaPo

* * *

The Crackpot Realism of America, Russia, and Ukraine Ross Barkan, Political Currents

Biden Administration

Amazon accused of possible illegal obstruction of US House antitrust probe FT

Supply Chain

The container logistics implications of war in Ukraine Hellenic Shipping News

The Bezzle

Facebook Libra: the inside story of how the company’s cryptocurrency dream died FT

Our Famously Free Press

Meet the Censored: Cherie DeVille Matt Taibbi, TK News

Democidal propaganda from the Times (1):

Leonhardt again–

Democidal propaganda from the Times (2):

Democidal propaganda from the Times (3):

Australia pressured Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. Is America next? Columbia Journalism Review (dk).

Sports Desk

The NFL Has Been Using an Unproven Measure to Get Players With Covid Back on the Field Fast KHN

Guillotine Watch

Billionaire Says He Just Got ‘Lucky’ When Friend Sold His Company To Microsoft Deal Breaker

Class Warfare

Why globalization in one tweet:

In Praise of “Whataboutism” Black Agenda Report

Antidote du Jour (via):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Guest Post, Links on by .

About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. JohnA

    Re Sweden’s PM says push to join Nato would destabilise northern Europe

    The Swedish media were in full aghast mode at this news yesterday, having been incredibly hawkish and anti-Russia, pro NATO for a long time.
    The main conservative daily Svenska Dagbladet ran a leader column with the argument that Sweden was acting like a consciliatory wife whose husband keeps beating her, ie the husband is Russia/Putin. Not sure I get the logic of that, as Sweden has been unmarried ie neutral for 200+ years and its earlier squabbles with Russia where in Tsarist times. But I suppose any straw is worth clutching at when you have been shilling to join Nato for years.

  2. Samuel Conner

    > On the bright side, they eat stink bugs

    I’ve seen more of these in recent years, but am not too happy about what a new large orb weaver might do to populations of butterflies and hummingbirds.

    1. The Rev Kev

      From what I have read, those Joro spiders seem pretty harmless which is good news. So they will not be like the African “killer” bees that panicked people years ago nor will they be like the Murder Hornets (remember them?) that we read about. In short, they appear to be just another bug-

      1. PlutoniumKun

        I was expecting some Aussie to come along here to say;, ‘You call that a spider? thats not a spider, this is a spider’.

          1. fresno dan

            The Rev Kev
            I think your clip is misleading – according to my study of giant spider movies, you are 1 billion and thirty three times more endangered by giant spiders if your a voluptuous young woman taking a shower. I will not speculate as to why evolution has selected giant spiders with an affinity for such women showering, but undoubtedly, it confirms some survival advantage…

        1. fresno dan

          I’d call that a mouse trap. A portable, self directing, multi use mouse trap. Its free, and you only have to pay it in mice…

            1. fresno dan

              first rule of spider mouse trap: Never run out of mice
              second rule of spider mouse trap: NEVER RUN OUT OF MICE

    2. BrianH

      I don’t get it. It seems that whatever crud has infected the scientists who are supposed to be leading the charge on COVID has infected the scientists in this article.

      “ “People should try to learn to live with them,” Andy Davis, research scientist at Georgia’s Odum School of Ecology and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “If they’re literally in your way, I can see taking a web down and moving them to the side, but they’re just going to be back next year.”

      Comparing this spider to one that we failed to control many years ago and coming to the conclusion that we might as well let it run amok goes against the science and thinking of controlling invasive species. There certainly is some humor in the size of this spider and the goofy interactions it will have with humans. But the spider’s potential impact on the plant and animal life it will encounter as it spreads is tragic.

      1. hunkerdown

        It is written to address a remarkably juvenile reader, precisely as expected from a national elite propaganda organization presumptuously calling their explainer rag “THINK”. Have Scholastic Books and MSDNC at last merged, one wonders.

    1. fresno dan

      Stephen V.
      FYI on March 7 NC posted that Hudson article. The comments are particularly elucidating

    2. Jeremy Grimm

      As a consequence of my move of residence, I have not had access to the web for several weeks. Wow! I come back to find the u.s. crumbling with new cracks forming moment-by-moment. No one would call me an optimist — this is madness far beyond the worst I could imagine. Worse still, as the u.s. collapses and the world ‘order’ wobbles on its axis like a dying top, I cannot help but feel greater dread at the accelerating impacts of climate chaos working changes which I can only vaguely sense. In a brief instant, so much sand has vanished from the top of the hourglass measuring the time that remains for adapting to the changes coming, and the changes are growing in severity, breadth and complexity.

    1. BillS

      In the transcript, “Donbass” looks like it became “Dumbass”. I had to laugh! “Referendum in Dumbass” or the “Dumbass Navy”! :-)) Was some kind of speech-to-text algorithm used to generate the transcript?

      The piece was quite informative – I liked the review of the history from the collapse of the USSR and Putin’s part in it.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        yeah. the machine translation made it somewhat difficult,lol.
        especially all the (inaudible) when there should have been a rus/uk name of a town, company or individual.
        regardless, very enlightening re: the history of all this.
        i remember reading Taibbi back then, pre-internet…when i lived closer to, or in, big cities, and could access lots of non-mainstream press.

    2. GramSci

      I found it interesting that while Taibbi goes out of his way to praise Obama’s restrained treatment of Putin, he does not mention Hillary’s State Department (with help from the War Department) poking Putin in the eye at every opportunity. I don’t think he even mentions Russiagate by name. Taibbi doesn’t go there.

      Perhaps discretion is the better part of valor.

      1. lyman alpha blob

        Taibbi has been pointing out the stupidity of Russiagate for years. Paul Jay on the other hand caught a case of the TDS so maybe Taibbi just didn’t want to get into it with him…

    3. Carolinian

      An interesting interview and one doesn’t want to get too Pollyanna-ish about Putin. But Taibbi is puzzling over why the cynical, oligarchic Putin that he knew would take such a radical move. Matt doesn’t want to credit the notion that there really was an existential threat and that Putin is a sincere patriot.

      I’ve been scolded here for my love of Olivier’s Henry V–in reality a king who was a very mixed bag. But perhaps people do sometimes do undergo a kind of Prince Hal, “I know thee not old man,” transformation. Power seems to be bringing out the worst in Biden, who is a figure with his own corrupt past. Perhaps it sometimes produces a different result. Regardless it shouldn’t be a US problem.

      1. Yves Smith

        I also have to keep reminding readers (who are repeatedly barraged with characterizations that strongly create the reverse impression) of the point Scott Ritter has had to make repeatedly: Putin is not a decider. The funds for the incursion were budgeted, apparently last year. The invasion was approved first by the Security Council and then the Duma. The US press loves portraying him as an autocrat, when that ain’t so.

    4. fringe element

      If you watched the video from the Saker website, it invalidates what Jay and Taibbi are saying. I say this as someone who is a big fan of Taibbi. I own two or three of his books and subscribe to his website. That said, I am learning that even people I admire are humans and, as such, must be understood to be imperfect and sometimes wrong. None of which invalidates the great work they do, but just puts it in an adult context. Taibbi needs to stop talking about Ukraine.

      1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

        Same. The Great Divide, Griftopia, and to a certain extent Hate Inc are great populist political books. I got sent Griftopia because I signed up for Operation Paperback which is a fucking awesome group of people that send books to Deployed American Soldiers. Like 5 awesome people sent me a box full of books each ?. I think I received at least 30 books. And you know what the best part was? They ask you in the application what kinda books you want. I only wrote one word, “Politics.” I got books from all over the establishment spectra. But Taibbis my favorite find. Rove, the worst. Hearing about his life is BORINGGGGGGG blahhhhh. I got half way through before I put it back on the hand made bookshelf. I read the Reinquist biography by one of his PMC buddies. Ober…? And there were a few Foreign Policy books too. The Dragon and the Elephant was one.The Taibbi book came in a package from North Carolina. A very nice lady.

        Griftopia ruled.

        Here’s to hoping Taibbi understands the Ukrainian War, because it will have huge implications in American Domestic politics.

  3. OnceWereVirologist

    Xinhua News Agency Commentary

    Link to the commentary on the US and its “Empire of Lies”. Cut and paste to Google Translate for a passable translation if your Chinese isn’t up to the task. Worth reading and thinking about what it means for the state of American and Chinese relations that the state news agency of the PRC prints an editorial so blazingly anti-American right now.

    1. PlutoniumKun

      I’m not sure that sort of statement is all that much out of line with years of commentary in Chinese official or semi-official mouthpieces, but this message is the near unanimous line that I’ve seen in Chinese social media. There has been a complete 180 degree turn among my Chinese friends and contacts now in who they trust. Jokes about censorship in China were normal just a few years ago, but now they trust Chinese media more than western media. I really wonder if western media outlets are aware that they’ve become a complete joke worldwide (not just in China).

      This is of course dangerous in many ways as once upon a time thoughtful people around the world listened to the BBC or CNN to get some sort of balance to their own distorted or heavily censored media. Most were not foolish enough not to realise they were been fed some sort of propaganda, but were usually able to work out a fairly realistic view of the world. But the complete collapse of any sort of objectivity in the west has left billions of people entirely dependent on either unambiguously direct propaganda (which Xinhua represents), or various forms of twisted social media messaging.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        Da…i’m appalled at the current state of american media.
        sitting in the truck most of the day on tuesday, when i tired of reading, i listened to the radio. NPR, mostly…but i listened to WOAI, too…glenn beck, hannity, etc.
        npr had a long segment where they interviewed 3 energy/econ professors at length, then had callers.
        callers were as one voice about how us paying $10 for a gallon of gas was so worth it to protect democracy(gag me with a spoon).
        the energy/econ guys were mostly in agreement with the gist of us here at NC…this is bad…will get worse, etc.
        all of them repeatedly said that usa poor would feel it the most…and all 3 said repeatedly that we’d hafta start sending out checks to counter that pain. it was weird…having listened to such people for so long, i didn’t expect that.

        then, regular “news” at the top of the hour…and i noticed another strange thing: the usage of certain words when referencing rus/ukr.
        it’s like the MSM style guide has been updated suddenly.
        ie:’when speaking of all this, include the words ‘reckless’,’unprovoked’, agrressive, etc etc.
        i didn’t have a pen at the time…but you can go to CNN right now and see it in action…the obligatory usage of all these words.
        and then some ‘expert’ on ukraine comes on with “how we got here”…and their tale is exactly the opposite of what i remember from the entire period…even from the MSM itself.
        i’m well used to being gaslighted…but this is orders of magnitude worse than anything i remember.

        1. ambrit

          And now I just heard and saw a flight of Army helicopters flying in a Southeasterly direction. There is a State run military training base just south of here, but their website, which usually gives advanced notice of artillery training firing exercises, is silent.
          The helicopters looked like old fashioned Hueys, so it might be National Guard.

        2. Samuel Conner

          I’ve noticed at least since 2016 that there is a lot of ‘gratuitous narrative-serving’ adjectives and adverbs in the online and radio reporting I encounter.

          An example that immediately springs to mind is the common phrase ‘conspiracy theory’ prefaced with ‘unfounded’ or ‘debunked’ (this combination is on display in real time regarding R allegations about U biolabs).

          I interpret this rhetorical device to be a hint of the user’s intentions: ‘here is the “news,” but also here is how it is intended that you are to think about the “news”.’

          When I see this (and I see it everywhere), I reckon that I’m being manipulated.

          1. m

            “Horse paste” is another doctrine that came down from the Ministry of Propaganda. And then it was universally applied….

        3. Pat

          Do we have an over and under in how long it takes those callers to decide that they were always against this and how high prices and limits and lines are a big problem.

        4. lyman alpha blob

          About that “protecting democracy” thing – NC has been covering the Myanmar coup daily since it began. The leader that the junta ousted was a Nobel peace prize winner – just like Barry O! – and yet nobody in the western world gives two [family blog]s about it.

          Maybe somebody should point it out to the pro-Ukrainian nazi-ignoring twitter warriors.

          It’s a little unclear to me why no western politicians do seem to care about it – the situation seems ripe for a good old proxy war. An empire can never have too many of those

        5. Lambert Strether Post author

          > i’m well used to being gaslighted…but this is orders of magnitude worse than anything i remember

          It’s the same with Covid. We have two propaganda campaigns going on simultaneously, each of unprecedented reach and scale, both in support of fabulous levels of corruption and lethality.

          Makes you wonder what will happen when we double down, because we always do….

      2. Werther

        Pluto, that about complete collapse of objectivity…I endured that once again while having dinner with the TV set on, hélas’, Dutch national news. I nearly wasted it with my wife and after shutting the set down, had to apologise. The main tearjerker they offered was ‘the humanitarian tragedy’ in Mariupol. Which to a degree is what you’d expect in wartime, but presented without any context. It reminds of the utter melodramatic way Dutchbat was lured to go protecting people in Srebrenica. We all know what happened there… it’s the complete lack of a sense of reality and objectivity…. Of course people in need deserve help, but why is it framed to boost hatred against Russia and the russians?

        1. LawnDart

          It reminds of the utter melodramatic way Dutchbat was lured to go protecting people in Srebrenica

          Yeah, the UN’s volunteer hostages… …that f’ed some of your boys up. Not easy watching the people that you signed-up to protect get systematically massacred in front of you, especially while disarmed, alone (foresaken by your command), and wondering if you’d be next…

  4. ambrit

    A certain non-standard website, with an “Eastern” slant is stuck at 8 March. Anyone else see this? (Am I going crazy alone, or in good company?)

    1. Samuel Conner

      Yesterday, a site of this kind (interestingly, this specific site was bitterly criticized in comments at Saker as having swallowed the West line) was completely unavailable for several hours: “site not found”. That’s weird — does it mean DNS doesn’t know of the address?

      This site, today, is accessible, but has nothing on Ukraine more recent than 3/8. There is a 3/10 Syria item.

      1. ambrit

        Ah, then it is a “thing” of sorts.
        The “memory hole effect” is just happening to items about the Ukraine. Hah! That’s targeted action for you! (As to who’s responsible, the usual comment is applicable; all sources are suspect.)
        Thank you.

      2. deedee

        Asking genuine/naive question here: What is the deal with the Saker and Martyanov? I’ve been following their statements about the “real” progress of the war which don’t seem to have manifested thus far. I noticed an earlier comment Lambert or Yves (don’t remember which) had about their “triumphalism.” Seems to me that their patriotic love for Russia might be a blind side.

        1. Stephen T Johnson

          Well, nobody’s infallible. Both of them are (IMO) good for laying out what they believe and why, and later on – if they clearly got something wrong (i.e. the Saker expecting and predicting a much more limited conflict) acknowledging it. I don’t think anyone really knows how this thing will play out.
          The Russian strategy has only a limited precedent in their Aleppo campaign, and I don’t think anyonereally knows how this will play out. Dollars to donuts the cats at Stavka are tweaking a lot of stuff on the fly. I do think it’s increasingly clear that something caused the RF to act sooner than later, though I expect it will be sometime before we know what thing or things really triggered the decision.
          Anyway, welcome to Cod War 2.0 I guess.

          1. deedee

            I don’t but then I also don’t see that all of their predictions have been accurate either. The truth, as ever I suppose, is somewhere in the middle.

            1. Samuel Conner

              My interpretation is that their assessments of “what the Rs are trying to accomplish” is more plausible than the interpretations I see in the bits of the Western press I am most exposed to.

              In particular, they think that the Rs are trying to 1) disarm Ukraine (while destroying as little as possible of its civilian infrastructure) and 2) purge the element (the nationalists) that is determined to have hostile relations with R.

              These aims align with what the R government has publicly affirmed are the purposes of the intervention. It might be that the site is simply parroting a propaganda line. But perhaps these really are the R goals and the R performance thus far is consistent with these being the actual goals.

          2. BlueMoose

            All I see in my MSM viewings is that Ukraine is kicking ass. If so, why should EU/Nato countries get further involved?

            1. Lambert Strether Post author

              And why would Nuland be worried about the biolabs?

              On the other side, Russia seems basically to have paused. I don’t see what sense that makes. I don’t think time is on Russia’s side, and I see a lot of imponderables.

              1. Ricardo

                Since you asked, perhaps Russia has not paused. Perhaps it’s ‘all going to plan’ per Putin’s statement. Perhaps all the ducks need to be in line for the final assault. Perhaps the 40km line of mobile weapons paused north of Kyiv, and now redeployed, are ready for action. Perhaps Odessa is the last piece in the jigsaw. The Russians are already softening up the western cities.

                A constant refrain from westeners (Blinken, Johnson) is that all this gameplan from Russia is ‘out of ‘their playbook’. If that’s so obvious to them, why can’t they see Putin’s next move?

                “they make a desert and call it peace” (attributed to Calgacus, by Tacitus)

                I think time has been on Russia’s side all along, and they’ve only been at the kinetic stuff for a handful of weeks.

                As for biolabs, that’s a distraction masquerading as an excuse. That kind of weapon takes a lot of time to do its work – less than useful in the short haul. Chem weapons on the other hand? Well, days would work for that.

                I’ll grant you this, I think Putin is in a hurry – as he should be. A protracted European war is too terrible to contemplate. Better he completes his chosen task in short order, with the minimum of casualties. Then we can rearrange the chessboard after we have picked the pieces off the floor.

                I know it was not an assignment, but you did ask.

        2. Socal Rhino

          Their comments on the status of the war are in line with other sources such as Colonel Mcgregor (sic). The triumphalism I think is in their view of western culture in decline and the competitor culture ascending, and confidence in competitor’s ability to import substitute and reverse engineer IP (but see also Dean Baker’s recent comments on the latter).

      3. Darthbobber

        If its the site I think it is, their website this morning had a maintenance landing page, anticipating 24 to 48 hours of work to attack-proof the site, and featured a link to their Telegram feed which works fine.

        (If nothing else, this conflict has probably been a great boon to Telegram.)

        1. ambrit

          The site now has a posting stating that they were de-platformed by their Germany based webhost. Something to do with the supression of propaganda.
          We really cannot make this stuff up.

  5. OIFVet

    Ross Barkan’s article is pretty good, the obligatory denunciation of putin as evil and cruel notwithstanding. I suppose one needs to issue these disclaimers these days in order to drive home the relevant points about the US role in this fiasco.

    Re Joe Lieberman, why am I not surprised that he forgets to mention any nukes flying back and forth while claiming that WW3 is totally worth it? What is truly awful is that he reappeared just as I had finally forgotten him.

    1. Pat

      I admit that with the usual suspects touting Hillary as the Democratic hope the other day I may have cursed us by saying “at least we haven’t heard from Lieberman.” Mea Culpa.

    2. Carolinian

      Hillary is becoming ever more visible as well. Perhaps, like Al Gore, she can choose Lieberman as her running mate.

      Guess you are glad to be away from here.

      1. OIFVet

        Yes and no. I do miss America fairly often. Funny thing is how much I feel like a foreigner at times, even though I was born here. My accent is apparently a dead giveaway. Went to a bar recently, tried to order a beer in Bulgarian, and the barkeep switched to English ?

        I have made some friends in the US expat community here, and they are as diverse politically and otherwise as the US itself. They all feel the need to self-censor themselves in public about what is going on, whether they are on the Putin is evil incarnate side or have a more nuanced and informed opinion about what is happening. It’s fear of how the locals will react about Americans expressing an opinion about what is happening 200 miles away. That’s pretty saddening for me, but it is what it is.

        Tomorrow I am driving an ethnic Bulgarian Russian friend to Varna on the Black Sea, to help him collect an ethnic Bulgarian Ukrainian friend of his who is fleeing from Odessa. That gives you a picture of just how complicated and intermixed people and their relationships can be in this part of the world. Which is why it is so hard for me to watch and read the never-ending stream of ignorance and lies that’s emanating from some parts of the US and the West, and their useful flunkies in the East. And why sociopaths like Lieberman really creep me out.

        1. BlueMoose

          Good luck to you, and have a nice drive. Imagine my success trying to convince my Polish wife that 99% of what she is hearing on ‘the news’ is total BS.

          In my past life, I always wanted to make an extended visit to both Bulgaria and Romania.

          1. OIFVet

            I have a similar issue with my girlfriend, who is otherwise well-educated and intelligent member of the BG PMC. Two or three times since the invasion I was afraid that she would either break up or reach for the rolling pin. You know how Slavic women can be when their blood is up ?

            If you ever get the chance to travel to BG and Romania, take it. I try to spend as much time in the mountains as I can, long treks are wonderful for one’s sanity, and it’s beautiful!

        2. Susan the other

          This is just like “Syria” – when we all asked wtf is going on over there?, and our dear leaders explained that it was a civil war between various Muslim factions (same in Iraq). So the Saker’s video of the Russian giving the Russian side of things, showing a map that revealed much more land under Russian control (more like a solid third of the country, including Kiev) and the guy said this is a civil war, brother against brother. I’m inclined to believe this. And it does explain all the other factions of compatriots involved. A complicated mix. But, as we did, (whether or not it is even true about civil war), the Russians are in the mix and determined to solve it in their own favor. If the Russians had said “Oh well, que sera sera” the nazi Banderites would certainly sera. And there would then be an equivalent war for oil further east on Russian land.

          1. fringe element

            One of the things Putin stressed in that long 22 page speech he gave before the hostilities got underway is that in the 30s they waited too long to take action against the Nazis and over twenty million Russians died because of that miscalculation. His framing was that it would be inexcusable to make that mistake twice.

  6. Michael Ismoe

    A closer look at the volunteers who are signing up to fight the Russians NPR.

    Back in 2003, after a country that ends in “Q” was invaded and a bunch of guys who had no real reason to get into the fight got in, and they were labeled “terrorists”.

    Times have changed.

    1. Louis Fyne

      during the 30 years war, supposedly it was the mercenaries who really messed up the German countryside. Probably left a residual institutional memory why mercenaries are not legal combatants under the Geneva Conventions.

      Be leery of people itching to volunteer fight as mercenaries, either greedy, running away from a shady past, a psychopath, or naive about real war. Or a mix of all above

    2. IMOR

      And on the U.S. side, guys who weren’t national armed forces and had no reason but $ to get in mostly avoided being labeled “thugs”, ” mercenaries”, “assassins”.
      ” It doesn’t matter he’s a fascist/
      least you can’t say he’s a communist!”

    3. Andrew Watts

      This is illegal for Americans to do as it’s a blatant violation of the Neutrality Act. Conducting hostile acts against a foreign government that the US isn’t itself at war with is strictly prohibited according to that law. T. Roosevelt’s Department of Justice extended the understanding of this Act to the funding and training of foreign fighters on American soil. They weren’t amused, even if the president was, that Homer Lea was actively assisting Sun Yat-sen’s revolution against the Qing dynasty. Lea also couldn’t be appointed to any official capacity during the 1911 Revolution and was informed as such by the State Department.

      On the other hand, there is no law against an American going to fight with a foreign insurgent group. At least according to Attorney General Robert Kennedy after the Bay of Pigs. Just as long as said entity isn’t fighting against a government, prince, and some other polity that Washington recognizes as legitimate and/or has diplomatic relations with.

      History is full of entertaining anecdotes ladies and gentlemen.

  7. The Rev Kev

    “2 years into long COVID, a UMaine professor feels like she’s ‘been buried alive’ ”

    This professor’s experiences may be a sign of things to come. So you may see the medical establishment divided as to whether Long-Covid is “real” or not. I personally would bet that the CDC would cast shadow on the very idea of such a thing and certainly healthcare corporations will not want to know about them. The only thing is that this will not be like the victims of Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome or the 9/11 responders. The numbers of people effected will number in the tens of millions if not scores of millions – and all of who can still vote and lobby. But it will be messy sorting out and while the MSM will label such people as nothing but whiners and hypocondriacs.

    1. jr

      You betcha. A whole new sub class of Americans is being birthed here. They will be scorned, mocked, and vilified by their neighbors. Families will turn away in frustration and shame. Lazy, malingering, and worst of all a constant reminder that the American dream is a fly-blown carcass on the shoulder of the highway of history. When some turn to booze and drugs, the final judgements will be tendered. Suicides will be ignored. You know, like our veterans.

      1. anon y'mouse

        and more than half of what you say will happen will do so at the direction of policy think tanks who don’t want the government disability roster to swell when they are trying to eliminate/privatize regular SSI and Medicare.

        but the people will believe what lines the press feed them about these worthless layabouts with their psychosomatic illnesses.

        this, to me, is another tell from that class of substack warriors who are against masking or any preventative measures—almost all of them have already been active classifying Long Covid as “psychological”. because of course, to them Covid itself is “just another cold” and nothing that needed anything done about it.

        these people were all fed these lines to keep repeating them among their base of subscribers, it appears. by whom, i don’t know. but one must ask, qui bono? my answer is “capitalist rentiers everywhere” and that’s not satisfying to me.

    2. Maritimer

      “So she drove to a friend’s cabin in the woods in Wisconsin and spent two weeks sick and alone in quarantine before returning to her home in Bangor.”
      In my jurisdiction, the same bad, harmful advice: stay home, get sicker and then come to the hospital. This advice continues to this day.

      Prophylaxis and treatment have been available for at least a year or more. Dr. Peter McCullough has hammered away at this point over and over as have many other experts.

      Even now, there are alternative recommendations both for long Covid and for mitigating the side effects of the injections. But, if the Hoss does not want to drink…….

      As for myself, I intend to avoid the Jackpot.

  8. Arby

    Thank you for the link to the Independent article, Boris Johnson news. I am in full agreement with the first sentence in Liz Truss’ statement. Perhaps a roadmap to restrain all oligarchs everywhere.

  9. John B

    In “Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing children’s hospital in Mariupol” Al Jazeera reports that Putin accuses Ukrainian nationalists of hampering evacuations of civilians.

    Yet, historically, the besieger wants to keep civilians in a besieged fortress/city, to exhaust its food supplies, while the defender would prefer to let them go — sometimes even forcing them out. For example, Article 18 of the US Union Army’s Lieber Code of 1863 stated, “When a commander of a besieged place expels the noncombatants, in order to lessen the number of those who consume his stock of provisions, it is lawful, though an extreme measure, to drive them back, so as to hasten on the surrender.” Similarly, at the siege of Leningrad, the Germans sought to starve the city and blocked civilian exit as well as entry. After World War II, Additional Protocols to the Geneva Convention prohibit starving a civilian population in a siege, but the temptation for the attacking force to do that remains.

    Also, local militias may not be enthusiastic about watching their families starve or get blown up. So, Putin’s claims that the Ukrainian defenders are the ones blocking civilians from leaving don’t seem plausible to me.

    1. OnceWereVirologist

      Citing the military practice of 1863, a world before air strikes and social media, as a source on the modern conduct of sieges seems very odd. The Russians are not going to wait months to literally starve out the defenders of Mariupol. You should also consider that Mariupol was the largest city in Donetsk oblast that remained under Kiev’s control after the rebellion. The Azov battalion was headquartered there precisely because it was thought that the citizenry might be disloyal. There’s every reason to believe that the die-hard Ukrainian nationalists fighting there might not have the locals best interests at heart.

    2. Polar Socialist

      For all practical purposes Mariupol is besieged by the local militia. The nationalists inside, preventing people from leaving, are from the Western Ukraine.

      Mariupol is the second largest city of Donetsk – one of the two break-away republics. That’s why Russians are leaving the “mopping up” of Mariupol to Donetsk militia: they know the place (as you know your hometown), they know the people (family and friends) and they are in constant contact with the civilians inside the city.

    3. Darthbobber

      1) The “local militias” on the Ukrainian side aren’t from around there. (The ones on the Russian side are).
      2) Somebody was obviously keeping civilians from leaving even in the early days when the city was still open. It wasn’t the Russians, who weren’t anywhere near yet.
      3) The Russians don’t seem inclined to settle in for a siege, so ideas based on siege warfare don’t seem applicable.
      4) Utilizing the civilian populace as human shields may be applicable.

    4. Katniss Everdeen

      When has a “report” like this, with the u.s. just itching to butt into somebody else’s business and turn it into “our” military “responsibility,” EVER turned out to be true after the fact?

      And how serendipitous that it comes up at the same time that victoria nuland admits that the u.s. is funding/conducting biowarfare “research” at some 26 “labs” in a country with a military controlled by literal nazis fer chrissakes.

        1. Kouros

          Like the dialog between Nuland and Marco Rubio in the Senate Committee inquiring about the issue?

          1. Josef K

            It’s difficult to defend Nuland, but I do so in the interest of accuracy. She did not say “biowarfare research.” Thus do rumors become facts.

            A good metric for differentiating what type of research or other work is being done would be the complexity of the labs, and their budget or cost of building up. Is that information not attainable? Or might it not fit the narrative?

            1. The Rev Kev

              The fact that a lot of those samples were being flown back direct to the US while the others were ordered to be destroyed does raise one’s suspicions. If it was ordinary research, the Ukrainians could have just had the Russians send in a biowarfare team to check out what was there and confirm that it was above board. They did not. They hit the panic button instead. In cases like this, I flip it to say ‘suppose China had the same sorts of research centers near the Mexican and Canadian borders. How would Washington react?’

              1. Lambert Strether Post author

                > The fact that a lot of those samples were being flown back direct to the US while the others were ordered to be destroyed does raise one’s suspicions.

                Got a link on that?

                1. The Rev Kev

                  I have found links about the samples being destroyed and a story today how it was the WHO that advised this but the one I read about some being flown back to the US is now buried somewhere in Google’s results. I would imagine that they would be ones like the plague which was reported being present.

        1. Vandemonian

          The ASB/Military Twitter feed reports that:

          – All staff and patients were removed from the hospital at the end of February
          – The damage to the buildings was staged, and doesn’t look like artillery damage
          – The distressed mother photographed outside the hospital is a small time model with an Instagram account.

          It’s a biased feed, I know, but an interesting alternative view.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > The distressed mother photographed outside the hospital is a small time model with an Instagram account.

            This should be easy to verify. Has anyone done it?

              1. Basil Pesto

                it’s kind of funny that Higgins says “the model was legit pregnant and therefore the photo is authentic bc she was a patient at the hospital, obviously”. This is supposed to be a paragon of sleuthing and reason?

              1. The Rev Kev

                Russell Bentley’s YouTube channel now only gives a 404 Not Found.

                “When you tear out a man’s tongue, you are not proving him a liar, you’re only telling the world that you fear what he might say.”

                – Tyrion Lannister

    5. NotThePilot

      While the idea of starving out any resistance faster isn’t a point I had considered, I think the best counterpoint is that the Russians actually have a clear, recent precedent of encouraging & honoring these humanitarian corridors.

      I don’t know if Russian advisors were the ones that initially came up with the idea, but in Syria, the “green buses” were probably one of the most effective things the government-side did. And it wasn’t just civilians; anyone that wanted a bus to Idlib could go and even take their light arms with them. Before the government started doing that, their territory was like Swiss cheese with lots of dug-in pockets.

      Not only did the evacuations let the government consolidate its territory, but packing a lot of disparate holdouts in one place also seemed to have caused a lot of infighting. So I’m honestly still leaning towards the Russian narrative on the evacuations so far, simply because they’ve clearly used the exact same method to their advantage in Syria. Why would they sabotage something that worked?

    6. martell

      Media was different back then, was it not? Photos of dead civilians would not immediately show up on an assortment of platforms. Nor would they immediately be put to good use by enemy propagandists. As far as psychological warfare goes, compelling the besieging enemy to risk large numbers of civilian casualties is a good move. Completely amoral, it is true. But aside from that, a good move. We should probably also keep in mind that the people currently holding part of Mariupol (last time I “looked”) are avowed Nazis. Finally, if we assume that the Russians do not wish to occupy the whole of the place for any great length of time (which goes along with assuming that they are not complete idiots), it would make sense for them to limit the harm they cause to noncombatants. Cruelty should be quick and selective. These are neighbors, relatives even, with whom Russians are going to have to live. This makes for a stark contrast with the Nazis you mentioned. Theirs was a war of extermination from the start.

      1. Darthbobber

        I can imagine the breathless coverage of the crimes against humanity at Vicksburg. Never mind Sherman’s march.

    7. Skip Intro

      Unless you consider that the civilians are hostages… a human shield. I think that is more plausible than the historical siege precedents. The human shield aspect makes it especially valuable to broadcast any civilian casualties as widely as possible, even if it means fabricating the reports or even the casualties. Ukraine is fighting a media war.

  10. t

    In price gouging news, is it just me or do other not-online people find that the Twitter links now redirect to the Twitter sign-up page? For me, on my phone, it has never been more difficult to read twitter without an account.

    1. hunkerdown

      Hacking Twitter URLs 101: Tweet URLs posted via the share link on the Twitter web site are specially encoded so that they display and behave differently. In any Twitter URL, everything including and after a # or ? sign is a parameter for code and should be treated as hostile, i.e. backspaced into oblivion. Ditto for most other URLs, although some news sites and a rare few blogs identify content with a parameter like id=1234567 which must be retained.

      To avoid the leaky free-wall you have to delete cookies for from time to time, or better, use available browser controls to prevent them from being set in the first place.

      1. BeliTsari

        Thank you! Use of twitter to keep up with candid epidemiologists, astute HCW & foreign Health Care mass studies has been FAR scarier than either acute, PASC or vaccine side effect. Roughly like climbing out to a terrified rail crane operator, dangling over a swaying ladle & gaping tundish, in a power-outage from an EF3. It’s disgusting now, to see these clinicians buy into the brain-fog of WAR!

    2. Sutter Cane

      Twitter basically won’t let you look at anything now without signing up for an account.

      You can use Nitter, a free and open source alternative Twitter. It lets you read the threads without being signed into twitter or having an account. Just replace “nitter dot net” for “twitter dot com” in the url for the user/post.

      1. LawnDart

        For your consideration:

        Twitter unveils version of site that can bypass Russia block

        Twitter has launched a privacy-protected version of its site to bypass surveillance and censorship after Russia restricted access to its service in the country.

        Another step forward in the battle for hearts-and-minds. As I recall, Eastern Block denizens became quite skilled at reading between the lines, and aside from samizdat, pretty much was the only way to distinguish realities different than those presented by Mir and Pravda.

        How well will the Twitterverse align with with what’s ticking between the eyes and ears of this efforts intended audience?

        And why do I feel the need to break out the old gravity-boots whenever I am exposed to Western-aligned media and its tools?

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      > In price gouging news, is it just me or do other not-online people find that the Twitter links now redirect to the Twitter sign-up page? For me, on my phone, it has never been more difficult to read twitter without an account.

      Yikes, that’s not good. I hate to revert to screen dumps, though. (My fault, because I’m logged in.)

      Very stupid of Twitter’s management, since they’re making it harder for people to see a reason to sign up. (That same post-Jack management is also trying to get me to abandon the chronological timeline and go back to their algo).

  11. polar donkey

    I can kind of feel how freaked out people are by how busy Costco is at 3pm on a Wednesday. It isn’t March 2020 freak out, but alot of people there buying up stuff. The gas station was another story. Long lines. Many people topping off their tanks. Rather than let their tank run low and fill up at end of week, they are getting quarter and half tanks mid week. People expect gas to keep rising. The Kroger gas station across street had 2 cars at it.

    1. Pat

      On network news last night the opener went from sensational hysterical they threw the babies out headlines re the hospital that was bombed in Ukraine to shots of long lines at a Northeast Costco as families try to get the cheapest gas possible afraid of what the weekend will bring. All this was in the first five minutes.

      I am not saying people shouldn’t be afraid, I mean it isn’t like we aren’t run by corrupt sadistic psychopaths with little or no concern for the effects of their largely incompetent actions. I just want to point out that it is impossible to find any news outlet that doesn’t ramp up the hysteria to 11. Propaganda and grabs for ratings can eventually wear down the most sensible person. Our media has a whole lotta sins to answer for if there is a hell.

    2. jo6pac

      Safeway gas is the cheapest in Tracy, Calif. has gone up in 10 days $1.00. It went $4.19 to $5.19 today. I’m sure joe b. has a plan/s

      1. PlutoniumKun

        Joe B sure has a plan. One is to buy oil from his good friend and loyal US ally President Maduro in Venezuela. Bloomberg has already decided that Maduro is a moderate capitalist that the US can do business with. If its ok by Bloomberg, then I’m sure its ok by Joe.

        1. fresno dan

          Secretary of Energy Granholm:
          So, what else can we do in this fight? We are on a war footing—an emergency—and we have to responsibly increase short-term supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and to minimize harm to American families.
          That means releases from strategic reserves across the world, like we’ve done. And that means you producing more right now, where and if you can.

          And at the same time, the war in Ukraine isn’t the only thing sending shock waves through the energy sector. We’ve also got to reckon with the impact of climate change—and the clean energy transition that isn’t just coming; it’s here.

          The truth is, the U.S. government has always partnered with the energy industry in times of need.* For over a hundred years, the oil and gas industry has powered our nation and gotten us where we are today. We are eternally grateful for that.
          As far as I can tell by all the largess granted by the US government, the US energy industry is always needy…

          1. Wukchumni

            When the gas lines appear soon, I heard that in lieu of an odd/even number on your license plate designating which days you can fill up, gas availability will go to SUV’s on Monday-Saturday, with all other makes being allowed to fill up only on Sunday.

            Another tangent of the 1979 gas shortage was an odd one in that there was no shortage of diesel, and as a result a new VW diesel Rabbit was selling for a few thousand over MSRP if you could find one.

            1. Amfortas the hippie

              aye. i remember all that, altho i was only 10.
              my dad was then working for my grandpa’s company…small industrial sheetmetal in houston…and he showed up one day with those 18″ square magnet signs with the company name and number for mom’s car so she could get to the front of the line to get gas.
              i remember asking her if that wasn’t cheating,lol…and, being a precocious child, noticing her obfuscations and contortions.
              all that and yellow ribbons on trees everywhere, for the iran hostage thing.

            2. Bart Hansen

              The odd – even thing was before vanity plates. Today they will need a new algorithm.

            3. Old Jake

              Diesel prices may have jumped over the rest, but you can always make your own from vegetable oils. Just don’t run on nothing but bio-diesel for too long as injectors and high pressure pumps were not engineered for the stuff and I think they eventually get gummed up.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Joe B sure has a plan. One is to buy oil from his good friend and loyal US ally President Maduro in Venezuela. Bloomberg has already decided that Maduro is a moderate capitalist that the US can do business with.

          I have picked up rumors that Maduro, by Venezuelan standards, has moved right. Perhaps that and a realization by the Biden Adminstration that Greedo is a putz will yield Venezuela some much needed foreign exchanged (as opposed, I imagine, to giving Russia port facilities…).

      2. petal

        jo, ours is up 30 cents since the 7th, so 2-3 days. Premium now at $4.899. Wondering if it’ll be an even 5 tomorrow or by Monday. Going to start keeping a log of gas prices just for “fun”.

    3. Louis Fyne

      Local newspaper had an interviewee say that they drove 20 minutes out of there way to get Costco gas.

      Costco gas is cheap, but not cheaper enough make up for extra depreciation and wear amortized onto your car if one lives beyond a certain range.

      1. Aumua

        Or sitting in a line that literally goes out into the road, blocking traffic. People are nuts.

  12. The Rev Kev

    “Australia pressured Google and Facebook to pay for journalism. Is America next?”

    The whole story about this was dodgy with a lot of hidden details and behind the scenes negotiation. Scotty from Marketing was big-noting himself about the whole thing of course. I cannot help but feel that our government was acting as a cat’s paw here for perhaps the big western governments. In a case of the dog that did not bark, I never once heard of the US government clearing their throat and start talking about sanctions against Oz if they went ahead with this measure. Strange that as they had done the same to France.

  13. Craig H.

    Ukraine crisis to dominate EU leaders’ Versailles summit

    King Louis originally built Versailles because if he had all of the royals in one place the dummies would get up to far less malicious mischief than if they were scattered all over the countryside with no supervision. Far safer to have them expending the bulk of their energy trying to seduce each other’s mistresses.

    Perhaps we bring it back? These people could all stay there permanent. It might be a fine thing if the French truckers circled the place and didn’t allow any of them ever to leave. It’s not such a bad place to be confined. They could have champagne, foie gras, and caviar delivered every day. And coke. They will need lots of coke.

    1. The Rev Kev

      I think that the Russians have given up on the Europeans as being hopeless to deal with as well as too bellicose. I just saw a few minute ago how Russia has now withdrawn from the Council of Europe saying ‘Moscow won’t be part of a “transformation of the oldest European organization” into “a run-of-the-mill platform where NATO allies … can chant invocations of Western superiority and engage in narcissism’. Ouch! But the Council still wants Russia to pay their fees anyway-

      1. Brian Beijer

        lol. What do you wanna bet that Russia pays their fees in rubles? I’m sure Russia will deposit those rubles in a Russian bank for the Council of Europe to pick them up any time they wish ;)

        According to Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, as of a few minutes ago, this is exactly what Russia plans to do with all external debts.

        1. Brian Beijer

          Here is what the Finance Minister said from Sputnik’s message on Telegram:
          Russia will repay external debts in rubles, and then it will be possible to convert them into foreign currency when Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves are unfrozen, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said.

          “A special procedure has been established for servicing external debts, including state debts. We will repay our external obligations in rubles, and we will carry out the conversion by unfreezing gold and foreign exchange reserves,” Siluanov said at a meeting of Russian President Putin with members of the government.

          1. Yves Smith

            On further thought, there is some logic. The companies don’t get to act like deadbeats. They have to put aside the amount owed. And the idea is to give the West an incentive to get over itself and undo the sanctions so lenders can be paid.

            But this isn’t a clever punishment or circumvention, as the Saker suggested.

      2. Basil Pesto

        Terrible news symbolically and, for ordinary Russian people, practically. Their comments are similar to the self-serving toys-out-the-pram waffle that the Tories come out with whenever they talk about leaving CoE/ECHR. In leaving the ECHR’s jurisdiction, Russia becomes more like America in not submitting itself to its regional human rights court (in USA’s case, the Inter-American court) on grounds of general aloofness. It goes some way to reinforcing the fears expressed by Ames, Levine and others about an acute reactionary and repressive lurch in Russia itself.

    2. anon y'mouse

      i’ve long said that the Wall Street players need a video game where their casino activity won’t affect the real world in any way.

      it’s what the Metaverse planners have in mind for the rest of us—being satisfied with the digital/virtual because we likely will never experience the real thing. so why not that environment for the ultimate abstraction gamblers?

      oh, right—now we’re talking about power to control the world and the rest of us. which they can’t really simulate very effectively, i guess.

      1. fringe element

        Without even going as far as a metaverse, I already know a couple of hard core gamers who spend most of their waking hours glued to their games to tune out the awful state of their own lives. It seems to be a pretty effective escape even at the current level of development.

  14. howard nyc (formerly Davis CA)

    I am so sad for my fellow PMC (a class to which I am proud to be called a traitor) and their leadership such as Dr. Zeke Emanuel. Continually betrayed and let down by ‘the country’ and failed by ‘the people’.

    OTOH, I knew immediately from the headline of the California University and town that it was my hometown, which has done very good things from the beginning of the COVID age, excellent coordination between the college, local govt and local school district; all three institutions I have old roots. While they have not been perfect, I am proud of Davis.

    I don’t post often, so let me thank the management and community of NC . The morning message acknowledging the ‘worst information environment ever’. Being reminded I am not alone in my heterodox view of this war, this pandemic, this society is essential to my well being. As a better expression of my gratitude, check is on the way.

    1. Bruce F

      I agree. Very well said.

      I don’t post often, so let me thank the management and community of NC . The morning message acknowledging the ‘worst information environment ever’. Being reminded I am not alone in my heterodox view of this war, this pandemic, this society is essential to my well being. As a better expression of my gratitude, check is on the way.

    2. Ed Miller

      UC Davis and COVID: I am disappointed that no NC commenter caught the fact that Dr. Corsi is Dean of Engineering at UCD.

      Coincidence that they are doing this? I think not!

      I wish there were more universities doing this with the community. At UCSD they have been building Corsi-Rosenthal boxes for labs and classrooms but I am not aware that the effort is extensive throughout San Diego schools. (My son teaches at UCSD)

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > UC Davis and COVID: I am disappointed that no NC commenter caught the fact that Dr. Corsi is Dean of Engineering at UCD.

        I believe Corsi became Dean recently, before this program was initiated. That said, UC Davis must be that rare being: A university run by sane people.

  15. lyman alpha blob

    RE: Russia’s War Casts Huge Shadow Over the Future of ESG

    Perhaps another unintended benefit of the invasion? The thought that climate problems caused by excess capitalism can be fixed with moar capitalism in the form of greenwashing investment funds is an idea that deserves to die.

  16. CaliDan

    >Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing children’s hospital in Mariupol Al Jazeera

    A cringe-worthy sentiment given the subject, but it is extremely refreshing that Al Jazeera has the wherewithal/leeway/scruples/integrity/etc. to mention multiple times that it cannot independently verify any of the statements coming from officials. Just a little journalistic humility goes a long way.

    1. Aumua

      I notice that yesterdays headline about the alleged bombing boldly declared many casualties, including children, while today’s story is now “some people may have been injured”.

    2. juno mas

      If you go to the V of Saker website there is a long article that has mucho comments following. A commenter linked to a drone video that shows Ukrainian forces atop the hospital BEFORE it was “bombed”. One commenter apparently had a freind who worked in the hospital. The nurses were told to leave the hospital so the Ukies could use it as a redoubt, he said.

      The Ukie claims appear to be propaganda. The building is not collapsed, and there is only one large person in a medical hammock. The “children’s hospital” was basically a maternity ward.

      The fog of war is especially thick with the rise of the Internet. Staging atrocities has become the play of the day.

      1. Wukchumni

        I’d oft wondered what WW2 would have been like if the internet was around, and it would have been the same as now, used mostly for misinformation.

          1. JB4049

            Using a VPN, I can get it. It feels more like China everyday although they have outlawed the use of them. Just wait until someone in Congress suggest doing so or putting in a “backdoor.”

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              I just shared the link to my Faceborg page in Louisiana. Sputnik still available where I’m at!

  17. fresno dan
    Today Treasury is imposing correspondent and payable-through account sanctions on Sberbank.
    The city of Fresno lost about $400,000 in 2020 after falling victim to an electronic phishing scam, and former Mayor Lee Brand’s administration failed to disclose the loss to the Fresno City Council and taxpayers, The Fresno Bee has confirmed. Furthermore, the Fresno City Attorney’s Office in December 2021 rejected a public records request from The Fresno Bee seeking city communications regarding the fraud. The city told The Bee no records were located. However, The Bee recently obtained emails that existed prior to the records request. The electronic fraud was disguised as an invoice from a subcontractor working on the construction of the new southeast Fresno police station, Councilmember Miguel Arias told The Bee. The invoice included the subcontractor’s letterhead, and only the account numbers were different. A city staffer completed an electronic money transfer, not knowing the invoice was a fake, he said.
    So, banks can be cut off by the Fed when the Fed wants to cut them off.
    Now, I understand that Fresno is small potatos, and that cities or individuals losing money is no concern to the wealthy or their minions, as they are all pretty much in the business of scaming the poorer to help the richer.
    But once you broach the idea that the payments system is not inviolate, than why can’t the US cut off all those scammer banks in foreigh countries??? Too much work? Or that a lot of high finance is illegal and once you open that can of worms, maybe the whole system collapses???

    1. Wukchumni

      Now, I understand that Fresno is small potatos, and that cities or individuals losing money is no concern to the wealthy or their minions, as they are all pretty much in the business of scaming the poorer to help the richer.

      It’s becoming clear now, fresno dan Quayle… or am I reading too much into things?

      How embarrassing for Fresno to fall for some online grifter, the sad truth being that said shyster will probably spend the purloined funds more effectively than the city of Fresno would have, so there’s that.

        1. Wukchumni

          Lets face it, potatoes are the largest part of the underground movement, and thus are in charge of vowel movements.

          What do you think the Incas called a Vodka & OJ?

          I don’t know, but it wasn’t called a Screwdriver, as they hadn’t been invented yet.

  18. .Tom

    “Architect of Sweden’s no-lockdown Covid strategy resigns.” According to Reuters (I have no FT sub): “Architect of Sweden’s light-touch COVID response gets job at WHO – The man who became the face of Sweden’s no-lockdown pandemic policy, Anders Tegnell, is stepping down as chief epidemiologist to take up a role at the World Health Organization (WHO), the Swedish Health Agency said on Wednesday.”

    1. Brian Beijer

      OMG! I’m going to have a shot of whiskey tonight and toast his *ss good-bye. What wonderful news! It’s a shame it came two years too late. I didn’t know that as I’ve stopped reading any Swedish news of late. I can’t stomach the anti-Putin, pro-Zelensky crap anymore.

    2. Samuel Conner

      The thought occurs that we might need a neologism for public health officials who offer a defense of policies that promote contagion.

      Perhaps “epidemiapologists”?

      CDC is well staffed with them, me thinks.

  19. Tom Collins' Moscow Mule

    “The Crackpot Realism of America, Russia, and Ukraine”—-

    “Basically the people I was arguing with when I tried to put the Russian point … the response that I got was really: ‘Who cares what they think?”

    Indeed, who cares and why should anyone?

    Excepting that, eventually all of the chickens come back home to roost and all of the spillovers and unintended consequences associated with the arrogance of not caring about what someone else thinks must be dealt with eventually, at some point in an unknown and unfolding future. What are the entire range of consequences, the ripple effects, of not caring about what someone else ‘thinks’? In this particular case, the collective “we” are about to find out.

    And so it is, in a few words, the nub of the entire human problem, starting at the most basic of interactions occurring at the individual interpersonal level (which are foundational) and ending with the larger social interactions occurring among nation states.

    1. fresno dan

      Indeed, who cares and why should anyone?
      A glib answer would be Sun Tzu and know thy enemy. But the not caring to know is so disheartening on so many levels. But to me, what that reveals most is not only a willingness to be fooled, manipulated, and indoctrinated, but a desire to not search for, acknowledge, and accept reality. It seems there is something – I don’t know if this is particularly American – where what one wants to believe supplants what is.

  20. tegnost

    Ya see, it’s the country.

    Emanuel: “I think it’s the same thing over and over again. It’s the country forgetting, and the country wanting to move on, and the country not devoting the kind of leadership and skill to actually implementing these things.”

    The PMC can only be failed…

    1. lyman alpha blob

      Mask mandates were just dropped for schools yesterday in my town. My kid went in with one on like a necklace, just in case she needed it, but dropped it after about an hour when most other kids weren’t wearing one. She said most of the teachers were still wearing them for now.

      Similar to what it says in your link, one reason my kid says some do still want to wear a mask had nothing to do with the pandemic and much more to do with normal adolescent insecurities. Two years ago they were still in elementary school but now junior high and the masks cover up their acne. Those battling it are in no hurry for a big reveal to their classmates.

      1. MJ

        Maybe the masks are causing their acne. I’ve been suffering from terrible acne for the past two years. My doctors say its caused by the masks. I’m not a teenager. I’m 78 years old.

  21. Duke of Prunes

    I usually skip the late news and watch Seinfeld re-runs. Horrors of horrors!!! Last night the channel started a “scroll” which ran the “headlines” of the day all through the show and its commercials. Of course, most of the headlines were Ukraine related – including that very dubious claim about bombing the children’s hospital. This Ukraine propaganda nonsense is chasing me to just reading books (and NC, of course). Maybe that’s not such a bad thing…

    1. fresno dan

      The Pentagon on Friday released the findings of its inquiry into the October 3, 2015, air attack on a Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF) hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. If the report was meant to demonstrate that appropriate action had been taken against those responsible, it was a failure. Instead, it highlights both the unlawfulness of the attack and the inadequacy of U.S. military justice. Those responsible received administrative punishment — and not a single criminal charge was pursued.
      The airstrike killed 42 patients, caregivers and medical staff, and injured dozens more. Some patients burned alive in their beds as the U.S. gunship struck the hospital for more than half an hour. There was no doubt about the hospital’s protected status; the report acknowledges the Pentagon had the hospital’s coordinates.

      The report details violations of the law of armed conflict committed by U.S. forces on the ground in Kunduz and in the AC-130 aircraft that carried out the attack that destroyed the hospital. The report notes, for instance, that the ground commander who ordered the strike and the aircrew “failed to comply with the LOAC (laws of armed conflict)” by making an “unreasonable” determination that the MSF facility was a lawful target and an unjustified blanket determination that all at the site were combatants, and ordering the attack on persons at the site even after observing that they did not appear to be armed or engaging in hostile activity.

      Not all laws of war violations are war crimes — only serious violations committed with criminal intent or recklessness. Yet two of the report’s findings make clear that serious violations occurred. First, the attack was unlawfully indiscriminate because “neither commander distinguished between combatants and civilians nor a military objective and protected (civilian) property.” Second, even if the commanders reasonably believed they were carrying out an attack on a lawful target, the report found that the attack was unlawfully disproportionate to the expected military gain of the attack.

      In its summary, the Pentagon concedes that violations were committed, but says they did not amount to war crimes. The reason, according to the summary, is because the “label ‘war crimes’ is typically reserved for intentional acts — intentionally targeting civilians or intentionally targeting protected objects.”

      War crimes may “typically” be committed intentionally, but as the U.S. military knows very well, they don’t have to be. War crimes can also be committed through reckless behavior.
      And commanders overseeing the operation failed to call off the attack after MSF had alerted them that they were attacking a hospital. The attack continued a full eight minutes beyond when commanders directly involved in the air control operations were told they were shooting at a hospital, although the Pentagon says the “ground force and the AC-130U aircrew were unaware the aircrew was firing on a medical facility throughout the engagement.”

      Left out of this litany of recklessness is the investigation team’s recommendations — they are redacted. We don’t know whether the team called for criminal action.
      The thing about the US and its rule of law is that there are endless procedural safeguards (protracted to help put things down the memory hole) – yet the actual decisions rendered are often beyond credulity – so the media can report that the incident was investigated and resolved. That the investigation is a farce, the conclusions absurd, and evil unpunished is simply omitted…

  22. Wukchumni

    Kamala Harris Heads to Eastern Europe Amid Rising War Tensions Vanity Fair
    ‘I’m glad to be in war saw, ha ha cackle, guffaw & chortle, Putin is a thug, tee-hee, moar sanctions!’

    1. ambrit

      I wonder if ‘K’lite will actually be shot at when she gets off of the plane at the Kiev airport?

  23. Steve B

    Re: New Not-So-Cold War
    I think the real unknown here is not Russia’s intentions. Putin has told us his geopolitical concerns – fear of NATO inclusion of Ukraine and US nukes on the Russian border. He has told us his strategy – demilitarisation and ‘de-Nazification’ of the Ukraine state. But what are the USA’s geopolitical intentions? That’s the real question. For an answer, we surely have to look at the influence of the neocons in Washington. Zbigniew Brzezinski laid it all out in his 1997 primer The Grand Chessboard. He had a clear vison for post-Cold War Russia – partition into a European Russia, a Siberian Republic and a Far Eastern Republic. Was it this vision which motivated the recent US-backed colour revolutions not just in Ukraine (2004, 2014), but also in the belt of countries abutting Ukraine – Belarus (2006, 2020) to the north, Moldova (2009) to the south and Georgia (2003), Kazakhstan (2020) and Kyrgyzstan (2005, 2010) to the south-east? This certainly looks on the map like attempted encirclement of a ‘European Russia’ by US proxies. And it suggests the next logical step in US strategy is admission of Finland into NATO and US nukes installed in the Baltic states.

    1. fresno dan

      Steve B
      Everything I know about real history, I learned at NC. Whether overthrowing Iran in the 50’s, screwing around in Vietnam, nefariuos involvment in Chile…the list is almost endless. It is hard to see that other than enriching the rich, that any these US machinations have made the world any better, and almost certainly, worse. But give a man a think tank, a military industrial complex, and every problem needs US involvment.

    2. lyman alpha blob

      The US has spelled out its intentions very clearly elsewhere too. Remember the neocon Project for a New American Century? The armchair warriors have taken down their website which in the late 90s explicitly called for a catastrophic event that would rally the world around the US, and which occurred just 3 years later when many of the signatories were high ranking government officials. Imagine that. It’s been full on imperialism ever since – no more Grenada level dog and pony invasions for the US!

  24. Pie

    Hey! I rather enjoyed a Twitter thread that was included in 3/9/2022 links that included a couple minute clip of Zelensky’s comedy routine from approx. 2014, I believe. Since then, the thread is POOF — gone. Does anyone know anything about the account, the video?

    1. fjallstrom

      If it’s the thread I think it is, the originator of that thread deleted it after it became to popular. Something about muting notifications not working. He re-posted it in some format Twitter didn’t let me access (without signing in).

      A reminder perhaps that not all people, not even all people on social media, wants to be big on social media.

  25. fresno dan
    This may be the last time a strategy based on locking up currency may be feasible. If the sanctions don’t end the war — the maximalist goal they have been assigned — it will be easy to argue that the absolute maximum use of U.S. financial power has its limits. The basic flaw is the assumption that sanctions are “weapons” and the accompanying hope (or misperception) that financial censure can be an effective brake on military aggression. Sanctioned countries will further reduce Western leverage over their national wealth because the safest markets have proven they can become the riskiest of all. This won’t happen immediately because the world remains overwhelmingly dollarized, but as the Treasury’s initial strategy notes, U.S. financial power is likely to erode over time. The power of sanctions as a central tenet of national security strategy could be on the verge of unwinding. The further the U.S. pushes geopolitical challengers away from its financial ecosystem, the less leverage it will have to deny that access as punishment in the future.
    Pixels – you can’t drive a car powered by a computer screen, and you can’t eat a sandwich with wheat that exists in an electronic ledger. It seems to me that so much of the “value” of a US dollar is a network effect. Now, it seems the world faces a choice – the US financial nexus, or real Russian oil and wheat.
    How many people in the world face US economic sanctions? China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, maybe India, and so on? And who SHOULD face sanctions, e.g., Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etcetera…

  26. PlutoniumKun

    The Koreas

    A vicious anti-feminist backlash stuns South Korea Globe and Mail

    The unknown oligarch fighting for an endless Korean war Responsible Statecraft

    With all thats going on I think its very easy to overlook that ROK may be on the verge of taking a lurch to the right politically. The new president is a very US libertarian oriented conservative. He was elected on a strong anti-worker, anti-China and low tax stance. The only thing holding him back is the legislature, which is still strongly dominated by the Democrats (centre left party). But this could change quickly in the next elections. This really leaves Taiwan as the last centre left democracy in Asia by my count.

  27. britzklieg

    This is not a time for levity but I can’t resist pointing to a short video from The Onion in 2015. By the end we have learned that “according to sources close to VP” every brazen, monstrous action Putin has taken is driven by an “all-consuming, burning desire to avenge” Evgeny Plushenko’s loss to Evan Lysacek at the 2010 Winter Olympics: “If a man can’t do a quad, what kind of man is he!”

  28. tindrum

    The MSM is truly truly awful, everything, everywhere. I have been reduced to theSaker, NC, JohnHelmer and TUCKER CARLSON!!!!!
    May god have mercy on my soul.

  29. Alphonse

    Is anyone in charge of the response to Russia? In other words, does anyone have the power to apply the brakes if sanctions or threats go too far?

    I think the most compelling answer is No. We are witnessing a decentralized attempt to cancel a nuclear power. Individuals, corporations, schools, individuals are spontaneously jumping on board. The mob is irrational and knows no limits. This is extremely dangerous.

    We’ve seen this before – woke cancellations, Trump Derangement Syndrome, unpersoning of the unvaccinated. The justifications are ideological, but the phenomenon is not – it’s a product of our social structure, psychology and communications technology.

    Since ancient times, scapegoating has been a common response to epidemics. Rene Girard’s theory mimetic contagion (my summary) and Mattias Desmet’s mass formation provide similar complementary explanations of how this happens. Social isolation, fear, anger, and a lack of meaning lay the psychological groundwork. Without the need for central direction, people start to mirror one another’s emotions and behaviours. The dynamic is supercharged by the characteristics of social media described by Byung-Chul Han. People form a swarm. Their exclusive goal is to destroy a target – the scapegoat – without regard to collateral damage.

    This analysis is emerging online. Here (Twitter, edited) is a summary from Jack Murphy:

    We’re witnessing a global networked open source war against a nuclear state. The network has no mortality, no morality, no proportionality, no sense of justice and is 100% maximalist. It can not provide an off ramp for this conflict.

    The globalized network war machine has picked Putin as the scapegoat and the network will exercise it’s own demons by annihilating its enemy. Think “burn the witch” except this time the witch has nuclear weapons which can destroy the world.

    Does it feel like anyone is urging de-escalation? What happens to people who suggest we should chill? How dangerous is it to be a politician who acknowledges these realities and tells Karen to sit down and shut up except this time Karen is a decentralized global swarm?

    What happens when you speak out against network consensus?
    – deplatforming
    – disconnection from financial service
    – exclusion from restaurants and stores and necessities of life
    – public shaming + banishment
    that’s the consequences of opposing the consensus. who can do that?

    Network consensus is KILL PUTIN. REGIME CHANGE. CIVIL UPRISING. None of which leads to the end of the conflict. No one controls it, no one can stop it, and it has no sense of fear or death.

    Possible solutions:

    – Redirect the network. Girard and Desmet agree that the mass can switch to higher value/scarier targets, just as they have from covid to Russia. But they will still want to destroy a scapegoat. (QAnon fits the scapegoat pattern perfectly. That supports the diagnosis, but an insane conspiracy theory is no solution.)

    – Time. The mass can dissipate over time. But that could take years.

    – Disperse the network and prevent mimesis. Taking social media and TV offline would presumably do it.

    – Address the preconditions for mass formation. Turn the knob down on anger and fear, reduce isolation and provide healthier sources of meaning.

    – Strong leadership. Assuming it’s possible for a leader to contradict the swarm. Leadership that strong might introduce its own dangers.

    Commentary that focuses on leaders and policies while ignoring the swarm and the dynamics that create it is missing the big picture. Even if we avoid catastrophe here, the swarm might just move on to another dangerous target.

    1. Sean

      I don’t think we need to worry about Russia or Russia’s feelings too much. This social media cancellation is confined to the West, and living in the center of West as most of us here do, it feels like the West is the world when it really is not.

      One thing that surprised me is the amount of support Russia is getting, from countries I wouldn’t quite have expected it from – India, Saudi Arabia, even Mexico refused to put any even symbolic sanctions.

      Sanctions and asset confiscation ($500 billion worth or so!) will send Russia into a deep recession this year. But the country remains a huge capital exporter and now instead of stockpiling dollars and euros to later be confiscated, I think they will use their current account surplus for domestic import substitution, military replenishment, and welfare support. The only reason Russia has a newly viable agricultural sector is sanctions, and I expect these new sanctions to kick start some more development.

      Meanwhile, the asset freezes in the west have had to spook Saudi Arabia, China, and other large net capital exporters. It’s inevitable that this will speed up a movement of assets and investment away from America, the UK and Europe.

      1. Alphonse

        It’s not about Russian feelings. It’s about a mob overwhelming or circumventing rational leadership. We have people marching in the streets demanding military NATO go head to head. It’s not even about Ukraine anymore: they want to destroy the Russian regime. At any cost, even if that risks nuclear war.

        I’m listening to military analyst John Robb talk to Jack Murphy about this on his podcast right now. It will be on YouTube in a couple of hours. I’m only part way in, but I highly recommend it.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > People form a swarm. Their exclusive goal is to destroy a target – the scapegoat – without regard to collateral damage.

      Well, now we know how social media scales….

  30. KD

    The Crackpot Realism of America, Russia, and Ukraine

    Not sure if anyone noticed, but Buck Turgidson of Dr. Strangelove is actually RIGHT about everything he says, and if the President had listened to him, the movie would have had a different ending.

  31. newcatty

    The swarm is created by the blob and manipulated by msm. My group’s actions to react are protesting. The other group’s actions are a mob. Fear, anger and the social isolation are mass psychological control of the population. The scapegoat is the pressure release valve of the public. 24/7 the narratives are created and controled with msm. Look around us. Divide and conquer of people is easier then ever. Lies, obfucations, omissions are, if outed, just ignored and, on a turn of a quarter, the narrative is flipped to a new topic or interpretation. The people are bombarded with dread of the immediate future. Pandemics, climate change and war are fearful situations that are here now. Doubled down with the cutting edges on the plebes psyches of basic necessities threatened by things such as high gas, food and housing costs. Who is the scapegoat of the moment? Who is the savior of the moment?

  32. Soredemos

    “I’d be happier if an account were given of how this [apparent Russian ineptitude in Ukraine] happened.”

    I’m not convinced it has happened. Yves and Lambert are correct about how ludicrously bad the information landscape is right now.

    The Ukrainian side has been a never ending source of claims. And they shredded their credibility right from the start with the Snake Island and Ghosts of Kiev nonsense. Every day now claims are made of more destroyed Russian convoys, bombed evacuation corridors (Russia sets them up just to scare people away from using them? Really? That’s the narrative?), and clueless Russian defectors, seldom with any evidence provided (though there is plenty of evidence for things like destroyed small recon forces of BMPs, I don’t really doubt those are real enough).

    Meanwhile the Russian side basically claims everything is going according to plan, with loses well within projected levels. I’m very much more inclined towards the latter narrative than the former, though Russia absolutely has made genuine mistakes (they still somehow don’t have full air superiority, and I think Kharkov specifically was a major fumble. I think they really thought it would fall quickly because it’s supposedly Russian friendly).

    Call me gullible, but I’m increasingly taking the claims of Putin and the Russian government that this is a ‘special military operation’ aimed at disarming and denazifying Ukraine, and forcing it to adopt neutrality, and not a conventional war of conquest, at face value. Russia has been deliberately restraining its military capabilities in order to try and minimize civilian casualties, as well as leave enough of the non-Nazi Ukrainian military intact that it can police itself after a Russian withdrawal.

    The goal isn’t conquest, and any analysis of the operation’s supposed failings that starts from the presupposition that this is a normal military campaign is worthless.

    As things stand now, Kharkov is a slog, but Kherson has been taken, as has the whole coast up to Mariupol. Nikolaev, Sumy, Chernigov, and Mariupol are surrounded (and Mariupol seems to being retaken fairly quickly). Kiev has been surrounded for well over a week, and over half the city’s population has evacuated. Luhansk has been almost entirely retaken except for Severodonetsk. The Donbass cauldron seems to have not only been closed, but is currently being cut into two smaller cauldrons.

    The West of the country (where most of the refugees seem to be from) has been entirely untouched aside from some missile strikes.

      1. OIFVet

        It’s amazing how the embassy tweet mentions that the beauty blogger is “indeed pregnant,” as demonstrated by the screenshot of its tweet, and then Elliot Higgins goes all in on proving that what the embassy didn’t say is that she is indeed pregnant. “Who are you going to believe, Bellingcat or your lying eyes?” They are quite brazen, aren’t they…

Comments are closed.