Links 4/12/2022

Thanks to the efforts of Dave our Tech Guy, we are closing in on a new and offshore host. Of the various offshore legal regimes that would protect us from interference by the usual suspects, Iceland seems to offer the strongest protection. But we cannot find a host in Iceland to provide us with a managed dedicated server and 24/7 voice support (not chat, which is laggy). Can any readers confirm that Iceland has a robust legal regime as far as press protections are concerned? Can any readers suggest a host in Iceland? We have found only one so far who will talk to us. They seem very professional but sadly a bit underpowered for our needs

If so, please provide contact information — ideally, a phone number — to Yves in mail (yves-at-nakedcapitalism-dot-com).

* * *

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.

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Lasers from space create unique new map of Earth’s forests FreeThink (David L)

55-year study reveals an overlooked but critical desert symbiote is disappearing Inverse (David L)

Collapse Won’t Reset Society Palladium (Robert M). There’s an obvious logical gap here. The reason past societies continued to function was that records were intact and so legal and government processes could continue. But what happens if chips stop being manufactured?



Heart inflammation after Covid vaccine ‘no more common than after other jabs’ Guardian (Kevin W)


Queen news: Monarch was ‘exhausted’ by Covid as monarch bemoans ‘horrible pandemic’ Express (resilc)


Guangzhou closes schools and seals off districts Asia Times (resilc)

Shanghai Covid lockdown spurs race to stockpile food across China South China Morning Post


Why the latest rise in COVID-19 cases is being treated differently The Hill


The UN’s latest climate report is a guide to what could actually halt climate change Vox



Interesting big picture overview. No breakdown ‘per population’, but note a huge drop in investment in the UK. Also, not huge dominance of mergers/takeovers vs greenfield investments.

The Chinese also clearly favour northern Europe over the south.


The India Fix: What does the dramatic Army-Imran Khan fallout in Pakistan mean for Delhi? Scroll (J-LS)

France’s presidential election rematch is no replay as Macron, Le Pen eye suspenseful final duel France24 (furzy)

Brittle Win for Macron in French Election 1st Round Points to Tough Race for 2nd Round Alexander Mercouris, YouTube

New Not-So-Cold War

Scott Ritter and The Battle of the Donbass Gonzalo Lira, YouTube

Ukrainian Journalist in 2014: 1.5M people in Donbas are “superfluous”, need to be “exterminated” YouTube (furzy)

EU Urges Member States to Send Ukraine Weapons in Days Not Weeks Bloomberg (furzy). Wishful thinking is not a plan.

Europe’s roads and railways aren’t fit for a fight with Russia Politico (Micael T)

Stoltenberg: NATO planning large, permanent military presence on eastern border Politico

Ukraine: A conversation with Scott Ritter UNAC, YouTube. Among other things, Ritter, who remember worked for NATO at a moderately senior level, explains they the Stoltenberg plan above na ga happpen.

* * *

“The policy of the USA has always been to prevent Germany and Russia from cooperating more closely” Swiss Standpoint. Intriguing details, such as:

We forget that Crimea was independent, even before Ukraine became independent. In January 1991, while the Soviet Union still existed, Crimea held a referendum to be managed from Moscow and not from Kiev. It thus became an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Ukraine did not get its own independence referendum until six months later in August 1991. At that point, Crimea did not consider itself a part of Ukraine. But Ukraine did not accept this. Between 1991 and 2014, it was a constant struggle between the two entities. Crimea had its own constitution with its own authorities. In 1995, encouraged by the Budapest Memorandum, Ukraine overthrew the Crimean government with special forces and abrogated its constitution. But this is never mentioned, as it would shed a completely different light on the current development.

The State Department Failed to Prevent the War. Will It Now Prevent the Peace? American Conservative (resilc)

Asian fault lines of Biden’s war on Russia Indian Punchline. Note: “The hypothesis of Ukraine being in Europe and the conflict being all about European security is delusional.” Kevin W flags the second to last paragraph.

How Do We Deal With a Superpower Led by a War Criminal? New York Times. Resilc: “Like Bush in Iraq/Afghanistan, Obama in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen, Trump in Yemen, Afghanistan, Biden in Yemen??????” Global Times (the Chinese house organ) roused itself: US elites like Friedman unprincipled vanguard of US public opinion war

Preventing War Is In America’s Interest American Conservative (resilc)

Networks covered the war in Ukraine more than the US invasion of Iraq Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

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OPEC tells EU it’s not possible to replace potential Russian oil supply loss Reuters (Kevin W)

India monthly purchase lesser than Europe’s in a day: Minister on Russian energy Hindustan Times (J-LS)

Eon rules out German nuclear power plant extension Financial Times

* * *

McCarthyism re-emerging stronger than ever in Ukraine policy debates Responsible Statecraft (resilc)

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30 av 38 män köpte sex av kvinnor från Ukraina svt NYHETER. Translation is rough but still clear they got caught up in sex trafficking: 30 out of 38 men bought sex from women from Ukraine


Can Israel Exist without America: Numbers Speaks of a Changing Reality CounterPunch (resilc)

The role of drought in Syrian war was exaggerated PhysOrg (Robert M)

Women face chronic violence in Syria’s ‘widow camps’, report warns Guardian (resilc)

Imperial Collapse Watch

A bill to allow recruits with previous mental health treatment is on the way Military Times. Kevin W:”Long Covid cutting recruit numbers availabilities?”


Trumpworld Figures Go Into Meltdown After Donald Trump Endorses Dr. Oz in Pennsylvania Senate Race Daily Beast


Garland Gets His Fish: Liberal Activists Move From “Pack the Court” to “Sack the AG” Jonathan Turley (guurst)

The Rhodes Scholars Guiding Biden’s Presidency Unlimited Hangout (Chuck L)

Marjorie Taylor Greene: judge mulls move to bar Republican from Congress Guardian. BC:

While not being a supporter of any of the parties involved, I am troubled by using the color of defending the Constitution to preclude the will of potential voters while ignoring due process.

How can someone be declared to be “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof” when not a single person has been convicted of insurrection, or even conspiracy to attempt insurrection? How is engaging or supporting insurrection possible without insurrectionists?

The Democrats America Is Leaving Behind Atlantic

Groundhog Day: Are we doomed to a Trump v. Biden time loop? Matt Labash (resilc)

Psaki warns price rises will be ‘extraordinarily elevated’ because of the war in Ukraine Daily Mail (J-LS). Yours truly continues to stockpile…

Stratospheric Airfares American Prospect (Randy K)

Our Famously Free Press

From earlier this year, still germane (dk):

‘Gotta get off this plane’: JetBlue passengers plead with crew after aborted landings at JFK New York Post (J-LS)

Once a retail giant, Kmart nears extinction after closure WNDU (resilc)

Class Warfare

Starbucks is advertising for an in-house lawyer with experience in ‘strike contingency planning’ amid increased unionization efforts Business Insider (Kevin W)

Schultz: Starbucks Can’t Be ‘Distracted’ by Union’s ‘Different Vision’ QSR Magazine

PA AFL-CIO Prez Being Investigated Over Sexual Harassment – 14,000 Etsy Sellers Strike Over Fee Increase – 300 Howard University Hospital Staffers Strike Mike Elk

Amazon is still struggling to make drone deliveries work The Verge (Kevin W)

Antidote du jour (Maggie K, embarrassingly sitting in my inbox for a VERY long time!):

And a bonus (guurst). !!!!

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. JohnA

    Re* * *

    30 av 38 män köpte sex av kvinnor från Ukraina svt NYHETER. Translation is rough but still clear they got caught up in sex trafficking:

    One amusing translation fail that is gibberish is ‘insats torsk’ as insert cod’ To clarify
    Here insats is more operation/mission, and while torsk does mean cod, it is also slang for a client of a prostitute.
    And while the article blames the war for the prostitution, Ukrainian women have long been victims of prostitution rings in many European countries, sadly,

    1. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, John.

      We exchanged comments to that effect a fortnight or so ago. Since then, UK police have warned of this heightened risk. The trade union for such workers in Blighty, called the Collective, has yet to say anything.

      With regard to supply, three decades of neoliberalism in the former Warsaw Pact have certainly increased the numbers of what are also called “Natashas”, not just in western Europe, but in Turkey, the Persian Gulf and as far as Mauritius.

    2. JohnA

      The article also blames the war for the prostitution. However, sadly Ukrainian women have been victims of prostitution rings/gangs in many European countries for many years. I doubt the war has made much difference in that respect.

      1. JohnA

        According to the article, the brothel is in Östermalm, one of the priciest parts of central Stockholm. Not somewhere refugees would be rehoused in, so the women must have been in a brothel ring that dates to before the war/special operation.
        It is also noteworthy how unneutral Sweden is. At a time of heightened tension, allowing a US navy ship to dock in Stockholm for R&R and refuelling etc. instead of Nato allies across the Baltic or Germany, for example. Swedish politicians are as much US vassals as the upper crust of the EU elite.

    3. Dandelion

      Ukraine is also the world’s leading producer of infants for export. As other countries outlawed commercial surrogacy — ie the creation of babies on spec — Ukraine went full bore into the industry. I do not know what is happening to the infants currently under production at the various Ukrainian surrogacy farms or those recently produced now that the buyers can’t pick up the product, and when the manufacturers never contracted to maintain responsibility for care and maintenance of said product.

  2. GramSci

    Re: Extermination

    Don’t overlook this description on furzy’s YouTube clip:

    “According to the interim financial report Hromadske TV was funded in 2013 by the Netherlands Embassy (793,089 Ukrainian hryvnias, -₴-), the US Embassy (399,650 ₴) and by George Soros’ International Renaissance Foundation (247,860).[16] By June 2014 Hromadske TV had received another 558,842₴ from the Government of Canada, 394,181₴ from the Fritt Ord Foundation, 287,898₴ from the Embassy of the United States, Kyiv, 207,402₴ from an auction organized by ‘Dukat’ (the Auction House) and 1,875,180₴ from individual contributors.”

    1. timbers

      Saw that, too.

      But is there a shift in the narrative underway? Was shocked this was allowed in US print:

      Russian ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, was interviewed by Newsweek. He explained Russia’s political and judicial reasoning behind the war:

      “The special operation in Ukraine is the result of the unwillingness of the Kiev regime to stop the genocide of Russians by fulfilling its obligations under the international commitments,” Antonov told Newsweek. “The desire of the NATO member states to use the territory of a neighboring state to establish a foothold in the struggle against Russia is also obvious.”

    2. Maritimer

      “By June 2014 Hromadske TV had received another 558,842₴ from the Government of Canada”
      CDN Prime Injector and WEF Stooge Trudeau has bought off the media in Canada to the tune of $660 million over the last three years. And he loves despots like Zelensky and of course Xi of the Chinese dictatorship he has said he so admires.

      Meanwhile Canadians, unless there is hockey, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………

      1. Andy

        Yeah TrueDough is most definitely a Chinese stooge…he really showed his love for Xi and friends by bowing to the Trump administration and keeping the Huwaei CFO under house arrest for almost three years, joining the US and EU sanctioning of Chinese companies and Communist Party officials and by participating in US/NATO “freedom of navigation” jaunts to the South China Sea.

        Unfortunately many “conservatives” are as unhinged about China as “liberals” are about Russia.

  3. Mr Magoo

    Re: “Ukrainian Journalist in 2014: 1.5M people in Donbas are “superfluous”, need to be “exterminated””

    Not sure this is a fair title. The journalist (not politician) was mentioning 1.5 million people as “superfluous”, then later in the dialogue mentioned “there is a certain class of people that need to be exterminated”.

    On the range of people of influence (from politicians -> journalists -> man on the street), this is somewhere in the middle. Not sure though it qualifies as Ukrainian ‘policy’ and not fair titling on the video. People on both sides in this conflict (and it is a Russian invasion of a 30 year independent Ukrainian state) can be found that exhibit abhorrent behavior/comments. Not sure pointing out, and maybe cherry-picking comments in the headline, is useful.

      1. JTMcPhee

        Might consider a side gig maybe with Politifacts or Twitter/YouTube “fact checkers?”

    1. The Rev Kev

      You will have to take my word for it that I have been following the news from the Donbass since before the 2014 Putsch and that this sort of statement has been made on Ukrainian TV several times at least. So consider this. Suppose that the Russians had never gone into the Ukraine and that the Ukrainians had invaded the Donbass instead last month. As NATO has been training the Ukrainian army up to NATO standards at the rate of five battalions a year and the best of the Ukrainian army was in that invasion force, I do not think it a stretch to label it a NATO invasion army that would have had total NATO support. So soon that army conquers the two Donbass republics and any war crimes are muffled by the western media. So after this happens, just what do you think would happen in those territories? Considering the fact that a lot of people are going missing or turning up dead in the Ukraine for just suggesting negotiations I think that I can guess how it would have gone down in the east and it would not have been pretty. And there has long been a thread of thought at replacing the people there with ‘pure’ Ukrainians.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Indeed, even if we forget completely the history of the area before this year, even then the initiator was Ukrainian military, who 17th of February commenced heavy artillery fire against both Luhansk and Donetsk (as witnessed by OSCE observers) leading to thousands of people evacuating. For a week the Ukrainian military killed and maimed (what they considered) Ukrainian civilians before Russia intervened.

      2. Mr Magoo

        I don’t think it a stretch that stuff was said on Ukrainian TV. Maybe it would have been better to find a direct quote, rather than pasting pieces together though?

        And I also agree that atrocities are covered up all the time. It seems to be coming in spades for this conflict from both sides. But your argument seems more along the lines of speculation and ‘whataboutism’ vs providing facts. The clear fact is that Russia did invade, far beyond the Donbass region under specious arguments. Nobody should get a free pass, just because others did in the past.

        And there is a history far beyond 2014 between Russia and Ukraine which might go a long way to explaining a lot of things, as well as the level of resistance by Ukrainians, no matter how futile it will probably turn out to be.

        1. The Rev Kev

          Stuff like this becomes easier to understand when you flip it. So suppose that China staged a revolution in Mexico which put Nazis in power and that America was now facing them along the Rio Grande. You don’t think that a lot of Mexicans want those States that they lost to the US in the Mexican-American war back again? Then Chinese instructors by the thousand starts updating the Mexican army with the latest training and the latest equipment. Nazi ideology is spread throughout the Mexican army by the act of placing cadres of them in every major unit. Mexico announces that they will let China put in place tactical missiles near the Rio Grande put promise that they are to be used only against Uyghurs and will never have nuclear payloads. The Chinese then announce that they will help Mexico build two missile boat bases in Tijuana – within easy range of the US Navy base in San Diego. And when Washington protests, the Chinese dismiss them as not worth listening to because realistically, what are the Americans gunna do? See? Always easier to understand a situation when you flip it.

          1. Mr Magoo

            So the Mexicans would be landing in Delaware and pushing into the capital to take over the seat of the US government? Go on, I am intrigued….

            I question the US role in all of this, and what could have been done better. However, I hardly see this as a basis for making excuses for Russian actions in Ukraine via spinning videos.

            1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

              No excuses.

              Russia is totally justified in defending itself and the Russian people of the Donbass.

              And yes, the Mexicans would land in Delaware with a sizable force to tie up the American Forces while they concentrate on their real goals in Texas/Southwest.

            2. lyman alpha blob

              Let’s make it simple – no US-sponsored coup(s) in Ukraine, no Russian invasion.

              Rusia was fine cooperating with Ukraine until the US interfered. The US has no business meddling in other country’s affairs halfway across the world, especially given its own largely mendacious mewling about foreign interference in the US.

            3. Polar Socialist

              You don’t think that this Special Military Operation is one of the biggest failures of US and European foreign policy since letting Germany join NATO? Really?

              1. JBird4049

                Nobody in the area is sin free. The Russians did invade and has committed atrocities. The Ukrainian government and military is infested with neo-nazis who have and are committing their own atrocities, which includes assassinating government officials who don’t follow their policies. Finally, the United States/NATO has spent something like a decade in setting the whole mess up for both profit and ego.

                And lets be honest with the Russian invasion. If the scenario that Rev Kev did happen, there would be a collective “oh, hell, no” amongst American no matter their ideology. Left and Right. It wouldn’t matter. An invasion might still be wrong, but the collective impulse would understandably be there and very likely the entire American military would be down there.

                1. Polar Socialist

                  I wasn’t really pointing fingers either at Ukraine or Russia, but to Europe and USA in general and EU in special.

                  Because, regardless of who’s to balem for the war, one of the long term ideas, or pillars, or EU is that it’s “a leading actor in peace and security”. Now two largest countries in Europe are fighting each other – that should be touted as the biggest failure of any security or foreign policy EU has ever adopted or attempted.

                  Borrell should have already be granted the resignation he should have requested the minute the Russians crossed the border. Von der Leyen should be traveling from EU capital to EU capital explaining how she failed and how EU can mitigate this.

                  If EU ever is going to be an actor in Europe (not to speak of the world), the question on everyone’s lips in EU should be “how in the we allowed this to happen?”

            4. David May

              I, and probably most of the rest of the world, actually wish that would happen. Stop killing us, please.

            5. FredW

              In this analogy, it is the US that corresponds to Russia. It would be the US invading Mexico, let us say at Veracruz, to pin down troops at Mexico City and to then move north to fight the problem troops in their dug in positions from behind.

          2. JEHR

            You should make a complete flip by including the Holodomor, too, if you are going to make comparisons. The Americans would have had to starve the Mexicans over a long period of time. Not a good comparison, in my view.

            1. The Rev Kev

              Well, after NAFTA the Mexicans farmers were starving. So they went across the US border to start new lives and to send money home to Mexico to support their families there.

            2. Lex

              Just so we’re clear, any wikipedia article on Ukraine is heavily influenced by Lebed’s “cultural” work in the US after having been spirited out of Europe by US intelligence. It’s all in the declassified CIA docs as published by the the USG. You may want to learn a bit about Lebed.

              But to your point, the Holodomor was a part of the much larger terror famine perpetrated by Stalin, it was not (no matter what Ukrainian nationalists tell us) an act specifically directed at Ukrainians. Additionally, “Ukrainians” very much includes ethnic/linguistic Russian peasants. The same ones that modern “Ukrainians” consider not-Ukrainian. Beyond that, the far western provinces which are the homeland of the ethnic ukrainians was not part of the USSR during the famines. They had never really been part of any historical Russia, but at the time were controlled by Poland.

              You’re also missing the facet of the hypothetical history where the Mexican political elite were in charge of the US for 30+ years after the famine. Or perhaps you are not aware that the Ukrainian Communist Party was the dominant political faction from the death of Stalin to the collapse of the USSR. (bonus points for the fact that the Russian Federation left the USSR before the Ukrainian SSR did, Kazakhstan was the last SSR to leave the union but it didn’t really matter since after Ukraine left Kazakhstan was the only SSR left.)

        2. hemeantwell

          Stressing “the clear fact is that Russia did invade” serves to pull attention away from other “clear facts” including, as noted by the OSCE, the ramping up of shelling of the Donbass by Kiev on February 16. I’m not going to relist all of the indicators not only of aggressive potential but also intent on the part of the Kiev regime for you. What I would like to raise for consideration is the possibility that Biden’s announcement of a prospective Russian invasion was not simply based on intercepting Russian communications, but more broadly based on his understanding (well, that of his advisors) that the Russians were prepared to strike preemptively if they thought the Donbass was going to be invaded. NATO appears to have been giving them good reasons to think so.

          Doesn’t anyone remember the Tonkin Gulf incident? While it was paltry in scale compared to this episode, it involves a similar posture of innocent victimhood on the part of the US, justifying a major escalation that ratcheted up the conflict both militarily and politically in the form of the Tonkin Gulf resolution, composed and ready to go within 3 days after the ‘attack.’ The Johnson administration knew that eventually aggressive probing would result in a North Vietnamese counter. It is hardly fanciful to suggest that the Biden administration knew that a buildup of forces and the onset of heavy shelling might trigger a Russian preemptive strike, justifying a sanctions-based crusade.

        3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

          Pretty sure you’re doing the WHATABOUTISMS with your “both sides are committing atrocities.”

          The Ukrainian NAZIS are slaughtering their own people.

  4. Quentin

    The photos of Zelensky seated on a palatial staircase are chilling and creepy: a preening narcissist demanding attention while the world around him, for which he claims and bears the greatest responsibility, comes crashing down. The US and EU pooh-bahs must experience great satisfaction at the PR savvy of ‘their man’.

    1. Joe Well

      Didn’t he want to accept the Minsk II accords before the US helped forced his hand? Isn’t he kind of being forced into all this? Isn’t the choice between Vanity Fair spreads or being assassinated?

      1. JTMcPhee

        What choice would a righteous man make? Is it really that binary? And he could always defect to the friendly West, where democracy rules and— oh, wait…

        And I have seen a bunch of his video appearances. He is not, IMO, a nice person.

      2. dk

        Perhaps not forced but tempted with stardom in the Western media. And of course the opportunities for lucrative brand capitalization that come with it. If he survives his fortune is made (assuming positive prospects for US dollar hegemony of course).

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Was at least as much as the Right Sector and other goons who said they’d kill him if he settled Ukraine’s hash with Russia (although Scott Ritter points out the US was funding the Banderists though the 1990s, and it looks like Soros picked it up after that. Very very creepy presentation at an INET where Soros and Chrystia Freeland were high fiving each other over Soros saying his Open Society foundation had given grants either directly or to an immediate family member of every person in the then current Urkaine gov’t, which was IIRC 2017. Since it was about 15% neoNazis in the Administration, way way out of proportion to their representation in the population, Soros was openly taking credit for having funded them).

        But US now propping up Zelensky, see his world tour with Victoria Nuland doing advance work.

        1. Skip Intro

          I suspect that if one really dug, they would find unbroken US support for Banderistas and the Ukraine nazis since Operation Paperclip took over Gehlen’s networks, and set up Gladio. This is the case for much of the Eastern European far right, I suspect.

          1. Russell Davies

            One of those Banderistas was Yaroslav Stetsko, formerly co-chairman of the National Captive Nations Committee, which was signed into law by Eisenhower in 1959, the idea of “captive nations” being that these were historic nations in Central and Eastern Europe – and beyond – which had effectively been kidnapped by the Soviet Union.

            The Committee established an annual Captive Nations Week to highlight the fate of those Sovietised nations. The week still exists but it now has as its focus those countries that labour under the yoke of authoritarianism – Biden declared the third week of July 2021 to be Captive Nations Week.

            Stetsko was second in command to Stepan Bandera of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists. He became leader of the OUN after Bandera was poisoned. Russ Bellant, who wrote ‘Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party’, had this to say about Stetsko, in a 2014 interview with Foreign Policy in Focus: “Yaroslav Stetsko was the number two leader of the OUN during World War II and thereafter…Stetsko in 1941 was the guy who actually marched into Lvov with the German army June 30, 1941 [i.e. during Operation Barbarossa], and the OUN issued a proclamation at that time under his name praising and calling for glory to the German leader Adolf Hitler.”

            According to his Wikipedia page, in Lvov Stetsko declared the formation of a Ukrainian National Government which “will closely cooperate with the National-Socialist Greater Germany, under the leadership of its leader Adolf Hitler which is forming a new order in Europe and the world” – as stated in the text of the “Act of Proclamation of Ukrainian Statehood”.

            Stetsko was brought to the US after the war and remained politically active for decades. Bellant’s book has a lot more on him apparently.

      4. Dr. John Carpenter

        You say that like the West has any compunction about “retiring” leaders once they have outlived their usefulness.

      5. Soredemos

        He was elected, with 73% of the vote, on a platform that included resolving the Donbass crisis and normalizing relations with Russia (as well as general anti-corruption, which I find hilarious). When he went to the Donbass front to try and rein ‘his’ troops in, they told him to piss off, and right-wing militias later made it clear they could lynch him at their leisure.

        1. integer

          A very interesting dynamic emerges when one considers that Kolomoisky was funding Azov Battalion while he was funding and providing support to Zelensky’s campaign.

    2. Katniss Everdeen

      You’d think that if leilani can spell leilani she could spell “weird,” but maybe that’s one of those algo-driven spelling changes to get around the “disinformation” censors.

      That said, there’s no time like the present to let msnbs “streaming” know whatcha got. See jen psaki.

      Sandbags and a grand staircase is “genuis.”

    3. Nikkikat

      The powers that be are wishing they could produce more just like him (zelensky) to help with future coups and wars. He’s so good at giving speeches and being photographed. A propaganda dream man.
      This photo is very creepy indeed.

    4. KD

      Hard to believe Zelensky is living it up. He has been handed the impossible, he has a state infiltrated with a number of people who would execute him in a second if he tried to sell out the “patriotic cause”, and those people are backed by the US, who is happy to see everyone in Ukraine dead if it hurts Russia. On the other side, you have Vladimir Putin, who appears to regard him as the puppet ruler of a non-state and would not think twice about having him shot if it served Russia’s interests of state.

      He has no real power, even if he is perceived as legitimate, because Ukraine will be decided with bullets, not ballots, and his police and army are not independent from the nationalists. Even if he purged the nationalists, that would put him in the American bullseye, and it is not clear that Russia would show any quarter. He is still looking at a military disaster, and he could still be assassinated in a heartbeat. We haven’t mentioned the People, but they won’t be impressed after he gets done crawling on his belly for NATO or the Russians, which will end up happening at some point as things decay.

      My guess is that its at least 2-1 odds he ends up face down in an alley with a hole in his head, and if he lives, he will be stuck groveling to some puppet master with no room to maneuver, and probably with a low life expectancy. I note the Vidkun Quisling did not enjoy his retirement.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Scott Ritter has repeatedly said Russia very much wants Zelensky alive. He contends that the fact that the West has built him up as the heroic leader of Ukraine means they invested way too much in propaganda to then try to claim he lacks the authority to sign a peace agreement. He believes Russia has infiltrated the SBU and so can protect Zelensky. We’ll see, since the neo-Nazis have long threatened to kill Zelensky if he gets too friendly with Russia.

        Ritter’s elaboration of that argument in his new video with Lira is that the military professionals in the army will recognize they are losing and will (soon) want to surrender rather than have more young men (and of course themselves) die for a lost cause. The Right Sector and Azov types oppose that since they are goners (the senior ones will be hauled off for war crimes; Russia has said it will administer battlefield justice to the others; I suspect anyone with a Nazi tattoo will be shot). He says the motives of the professionals will be to take out the neo-Nazis themselves for their own survival and to be able to tell the Russians they’ve taken care of the denazification so the country can be turned back over to Ukrainians sooner (ex local/regional votes re more autonomy as was envisaged and agreed in Minsk or joining Russia a la Crimea). We’ll see if that happens

        He also believes Russia will try him for war crimes and incarcerate him. The precedent there is how we treated Civil War leaders. I think the latter is a stretch. But Ritter is convinced Zelensky will not live out his days as a rich man in Miami, so the unstated fallback is an assassination if/when he leaves Ukraine.

        1. KD

          When you are depending on the ability of your avowed enemy in a time of war to have infiltrated your own secret police service sufficiently to protect you from assassination attempts from your own people, and you are depending on their continued mercy to stay alive, that is a rock and a hard place, hard to envy his lot. Nazi bullet to the head, assassination by Russian security forces, or life in a Russian prison, doesn’t get better than that. Poor guy, he must be a twit to fall into that trap.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            Russians very much want him alive at least until a treaty is signed. They need him more than any other player in this big drama.

            US and SBU incentives are to kill him when Ukraine is clearly losing to thwart a peace treaty and ideally blame it on Russia too.

  5. The Rev Kev

    “Can Israel Exist without America: Numbers Speaks of a Changing Reality”

    Israel may find it a tougher slog than they think without the US. So let me demonstrate. Here is a map showing which countries have sanctioned Russia-

    As you can see, this is the ‘international community’ that we keep on hearing about which turns out to be only North America, Europe plus a few vassal states in the Pacific. But it is obvious that without the US, this all falls apart. Now lets look at a map of those countries that recognize Palestine-

    You can see that that map is almost identical as the first one (different colours though) with only the ‘international community’ blocking Palestinian recognition. So without the US, the linchpin for the international recognition of Palestine is pulled so where will that leave Israel then?

    1. Pat

      But do we believe that Israel is still run by rational actors?

      Their illogical actions over the last decade are not the result of the same forces that have given us the clown car landed the US in such deep doodoo, still there seems to be the same distinct lack of self awareness regarding their own delusions that we have.

      Crazy everything is crazy.

  6. Joe Well

    “The State Department failed to prevent the war.”

    “Purdue Pharma failed to prevent the opioid epidemic.”

    “Exxon Mobil failed to prevent global warming.”

    Is there a term for this kind of statement?

    1. Stick'em

      “Failed to prevent” is the usual blame deflection spin on a fustercluck situation. My guess is the Trolley Problem has an oversized effect on the way Western society thinks about moral situations:

      Morally speaking, is it more acceptable to kill one person through action or to allow five people to die through inaction? Typically the general public chooses inaction to be more morally justified despite being outweighed by the utilitarian benefit of actually doing something. The bottom line is politicians/corporations learned they can get away with doing nothing concrete to help people relatively easily in the arena of public perception.

      1. Gawr Gura

        Failure implies that action was taken, but that the action was inadequate. “Well, we tried.”

        1. Stick'em

          So the train is on the track and you notice on its current path it is going to run over five guys.

          You also notice there is a way to switch the train to a different track where there is only one guy standing on the tracks, but to do this requires YOU to pull a lever to make the switch.

          What do YOU do?

          Most people say they would do nothing and let the 5 guys get run over. This is a failure to act.

          This kind of failure to act (failure to prevent the killing of 5 people) sounds better on people’s conscience.

          It’s a thought experiment. The outcome of this sort of moral dilemma helps propaganda headline writers phrase the situation in such a way as to minimize liablity, yes?

          Take one of the statements in the OC:

          “Purdue Pharma failed to prevent the opioid crisis.” This implies the pharmaceutical company had agency, which is to say they had the ability to do something differently to prevent the problem. And this statement is true. There’s some liability here.

          But the point is for the PR people, it is much better to say “Purdue failed to prevent the opioid crisis” than it is to tell the whole truth. The whole truth is “Purdue knowingly hired a legion of pharmaceutical salespeople to lie and convice everyone through bogus advertising OxyContin is not addictive to intentionally rake in billions of dollars.” Because this is what actually happened, it’s what the headline should really say.

          In the first way, the trolley operator/Purdue is guilty of being passive because they did nothing. In the second way, the trolley operator/Purdue is guilty of doing something, namely running over one guy (murder) and conspiring to make $ off intentionally addicting Americans.

          The “doing” is what people see as the more immoral act, yes?

          I get there is also as sense of “failing” where you tried and it didn’t work. But here in these headlines, there is “failing” where they actually tried to make the problem worse – not fix or prevent it – but rather put it on steroids.

          For example, the government didn’t try to prevent global warming, they intentionally made it worse:

          1. GC54

            The modern American would Tweet “those 5 idiots on the tracks deserved everything coming to them”. And “at least with Biden the trolley is running on a reliable schedule again”. And “if the trolley company wasn’t unionized, we could replace the inattentive probably opioid-addled operator with a slick AI”.

      2. Bruno

        This sort of “problem” is why “academic” comes so close to signifying nonsensical. Why? Because its fundamental premise never obtains, can never obtain, in the actual world. That premise is *absolute certainty* of outcome but the inherent uncertainty of perception forces all action based on perception to reckon with the real possibility of differing outcomes by a probabilistic analysis ranging from virtually certain to virtually impossible–and such calculation is not merely full of uncertainty (including that you don’t know whether your action on behalf of a stranger would protect a saviour or a mass murderer)–it cannot even be made under conditions requiring immediate choice of action or choice between “acting” and “nonacting.” What should be accepted is that if an action is clearly evil (like the malicious infliction of pain to a living being) inaction is *always* the morally correct choice.

        1. Bruno

          Incidentally, in the “interesting” form of that trolley problem a clearly moral (though probably imprudent) action is available but seemingly excluded from academic consideration–to jump from the footpath oneself, accepting the near certainty of one’s own death in hope that it is possible to save another’s life.

        2. Stick'em

          Of course the trolley problem is a false dichotomy which doesn’t happen to the vast majority of people in real life. I never switched a train in my life. Not even a toy train.

          It’s intentionally designed to tease out the observation that when playing God, most people think rubbernecking 5 preventable deaths is morally superior to pushing a button and causing 1 death to save ’em.

          Personally, I would pull the lever, take out the 1, and live with a guilty conscience and my 5 new best friends. But apparently taking this utilitarian position is uncommon.

          Back to the “failed to _____” headlines, you can easily imagine your average politician considering his career prospects if he actually acts to end climate change by leaving fossil fuels in the ground, for example. The average ‘Merican is going to yell the hysterical “They’re coming to take our cars!!!” line and the politician will never be re-elected.

          Nobody liked Jimmy Carter telling us to be frugal by saving water and having a wood stove and driving 55 mph and by the way, learn the metric system (90 kph). Better for one’s re-election chances to just play stoopid and do nothing. Which is exactly what we’ve seen all the rest of them do since we began teaching kids about global warming in the 1950s:

          1. rowlf

            Just back the trolley over the person asking the question and save the other six people. It is a make-believe situation so no rules apply. Pure Calvinball.

  7. Michael Fiorillo

    Regarding the Claire Daly clip: it ends before the MEP she was addressing, Angel Dzambazki, gave her a Nazi salute as he left the hall.

    All Hail Banderastan!

    1. Tom Stone

      Clare Daly is one hell of an attractive Woman.
      I grew up with women like that, not a weakling among the lot.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      what they did include of him….smirking, eye rolling, holier than thou , not even considering her words on their merits…was enough for me to form an opinion of his character(sic).
      and as for her…wow.
      i’d never heard of either of them before this.
      i know nothing else about her, but i reckon we need many, many more just like her.

    3. Joe Well

      I wonder if showing that salute in the clip would have gotten it banned from social media?

      And the talking point among the Twitterati: video clip of Russophilic far-right politician banned due to Nazi salute.

    4. PlutoniumKun

      Claire Daly is a one woman wrecking ball, in good and bad ways. She managed to completely split the Irish Trotskyist left wing (not that his is hard, the ‘split’, as the old joke goes, is always first item on every meetings agenda) for reasons nobody outside a tight milieu understand. The guy next to her is Mick Wallace, a former property developer who went bankrupt after the Celtic Tiger, got elected mainly it seems to avoid bankruptcy, left his wife for Daly, and now constitutes the other half of whatever her chunk of the Left is called now (I can never keep up).

      Like most of the Irish hard left, she considers herself a leader of the working class, whether they like it or not. In reality, they much prefer Sinn Fein.

    5. Chops

      Shame about some of what she says. From the barrel of a gun is exactly where a lot of peace comes.

    1. John

      There’s plenty if business in the Ukie adoption trade. They will languish in orphanages until they are possibly adopted. So custom babies or spec babies, there’s demand. Better if they don’t have obvious defects.
      I know someone who facilitates adoptions. I get her POV that the child is better off here if they can find a family. But I suspect it encourages the problem at the source. Unfortunately there are a lot of unwanted children on this planet.

  8. The Rev Kev

    “Scott Ritter and The Battle of the Donbass”

    Was listening to this earlier today if for no other reason than you had Gonzals Lira and Scott Ritter together. The Ukrainians as well as the NATO countries know that the Russians are going to eliminate that pocket where that Ukrainian army is trapped and the people there have only two choices – surrender or die as Ritter puts it. And that is precisely why we are hearing all these frantic calls about so called chemical warfare attacks and atrocities – anything to try to delay or stop this attack. Ritter now thinks that this will all be over sooner rather than later and I can see why. Once that pocket is subdued, that releases tens of thousands of troops to take part in other operations and the same will happen when Mariupol is finally cleared. They will no longer be tied down keeping those Ukrainians forces locked up and and will be able to be sent to other areas to undertake other operations. And all those bs stories how the Russians are failing and moral is in the toilet will be replaced with the stark realization that Russia has essentially won this war and so the Russians will now concentrate on winning the peace.

    1. timbers

      Watched that yesterday. Apparently the toughest nut to crack will be the highly fortified AUF positions located in the Kramatorsk area. Saw a headline that an eight mile long Russian convoy is head in that general direction. Once the dug in AUF near Kramatorsk is overcome by the Russians, it’s plausible most of the rest of Ukraine up to the Dnipro will be Russian’s for the taking if she so chooses, as we may see a noticeable if not complete folding of the AUF fighting ability.

      I also agree with Ritter that Russia will not take the city of Kharkiv forcibly. For the same reason they didn’t take Kiev. Same applies to Odessa IMO. But wouldn’t rule out encirclement of Odessa until surrender IF Russia decides Ukraine must lose her coastline. And taking more of eastern Ukraine – up to the Dnipro – is not out of the question.

      As we’ve seen, the West is able to get weapons into Ukraine without using Black Sea ports. But taking the coast will close off port cities, greatly diminish Western naval access to Black Sea, and secure water for Crimea.

      1. The Rev Kev

        And if the Russians take the entire Black Sea coastline, how will the Ukraine get their wheat to the world market? Rail cannot compete with the huge loads that ships take so that means they would have to ask Russia to set up a train corridor to a port like Odessa – and maybe pay rent.

        1. timbers

          Forgot to mention biggest surprise to me if true…Lira mentioned his finance contracts told him the Federal Reserve was in panic over freezing Russian USD access and tried to stop that.

          1. The Rev Kev

            That really bothers me that if true. A commenter mentioned the existence of a ‘Tiger Team’ (I hope he weighs in to take credit) in the White House. So could it be that this group of national security officials are just making decision on the fly to hurt Russia without having an idea how it could all blow back on the US and its allies? And that the Federal Reserve alone could have told them how their actions are blowing up the world economy but this Tiger Team is not asking anybody else for their opinions?


            1. Ranger Rick

              Tiger teams are a NASA-ism from the 60s. I’m not sure why Biden would need a team of experts planning for nuclear war in Ukraine — the Department of Defense makes plans all day, every day, for every potential eventuality.

              1. JTMcPhee

                DoD people seem to be a little reluctant when it comes to beating the actual it-might-actually-happen war drums.

                Nuland, etc., not so much.

            2. hemeantwell

              I’m very much looking forward to reporting that outlines the connections between this faction in the Biden administration and similar elements in the major NATO countries. They must be in significant degrees of tension with their political and military elites, particularly in Germany where, you’ll recall, their top admiral was canned after saying the Russians should be respected. I’m intrigued by the strong position taken by Jacques Baud, the retired colonel in the Swiss intelligence service who has become something of a Euroversion of Scott Ritter and whose credentials seem solid, at least as far as I can make out. There appear to be plenty of potential fault lines in this latest Coalition of the Willing.

            3. Acacia

              In his analysis of the lead-up to the Ukraine conflict, Jacques Baud notes:

              One can notice the total absence of the CIA and Western intelligence agencies in the entire discussion that preceded the Russian offensive. Everything Blinken told us came from a “Tiger Team” that he himself set up, within his department. These scenarios that were presented to us did not come from an intelligence analysis, but from self-styled experts who invented a scenario with a political agenda. This is how the rumour that the Russians were about to attack was born.

              1. The Rev Kev

                This is starting to remind me of the Office of Special Plans which was set up by Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith before the Iraq invasion. All sorts of dodgy “intelligence” was stove-piped straight to Bush’s White House and bypassed the regular intelligence agencies who could have told them that most of that stuff was bs. But that was the point of having it-


              2. ex-PFC Chuck

                From the link:

                “If you don’t understand how war happens, then you can’t find a solution. We are exactly in this situation.”

                Yes. And this is not an accident. They don’t want us to know and they don’t want a solution. The USA wants Afghanistan II.

          2. Susan the other

            Yes, that little bit caught my ear too. Most interesting that we have “politicians” (Clintonistas) that can “interfere” in just about anything, including the behavior of the “independent” Federal Reserve. Lira then asked Ritter if it was possible to “interfere” in Pentagon decisions and Ritter said no-way – that these guys were “nobodies” when it came to serious decisions. Still, I’m uneasy about all the little shit stuff, like a thousand cuts. We need to control our rogue factions. Lira and Ritter did such an extensive run-down of the actual facts of the Ukraine war that I took notes until I filled the page and then I gave up and just listened. They were spectacular. Thanks for posting.

      2. Yves Smith Post author

        Um, please tell me evidence of US getting weapons in beyond a not consequential level? Ukraine army is pretty much out of gas. Ukraine army is pretty much out of armored vehicles and is now using passenger vehicles. Ukraine army is out of shells because West can’t supply shells that work in their Russian-made equipment. Any fancy stuff takes training.

        Russia already captured/destroyed nearly 3x the magic drones that Turkey admitted to having sent. Oops.

        Russia is also blowing up stuff upon entry. Ritter reported on Russia destroying some not very useful stuff sent from Poland apparently just to make the point.

        1. timbers

          Could be a one off, but Russian military claims to have destroyed an S-300 coming shortly after Slovakia said it was sending its S-300 to Ukraine. That doesn’t prove it is the same S-300 Slovakia has sent or will send or may never send…but yah weapons are getting into Ukraine even if not useful and soon destroyed.

        2. Charlie Sheldon

          One thing I have not seen – but maybe other readers have – is an analysis of what has really been destroyed by the Russians since the invasion as regards military, industrial, and infrastructure elements – fuel farms, military plants, armories, key railheads, military bases, airports. Based on what the Russians are saying, they are methodically going through the entire country flattening all such things, to make sure the Ukraine military system is absolutely gone. Watching some of the people who do daily map reports using open sources, it seems the Russians are striking all over the country, but I have not seen a chart or list showing whether the Russians are close to being done with this phase of the war.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            The most recent update from the Russians included fuel silos and bunkers in “Donbass” (I’ll just use this short hand). They said they used a hypersonic missile on one of the bunkers. The change in targets matches their announcement of a new phase.

          2. Greg

            All the aggregations I’ve seen that were made by third parties (ie not counting what the defense departments say) have been made using OSINT, which doesn’t show ukrainian losses.
            So no, no good list of what has actually been hit by russians available.

        3. Soredemos

          “Ukraine army is pretty much out of armored vehicles and is now using passenger vehicles.”

          I’ve seen multiple videos attesting to this. One was an al-Jazeera report where in the background you can clearly see an entire Ukrainian squad of uninjured men pile out of an ambulance van like it was a clown car. Another is a video of a mortar squad proudly posing before a DHL yellow van they use to move about, and a third was a scene of a bunch of Ukrainian soldiers walking down a road, with a single black civilian pickup the only vehicle in sight.

          Meanwhile videos of giant Russia convoys moving towards the Donbass front keep showing up online. Saw one this morning of a huge one that was military truck after truck after truck, interspersed with many APCs with soldiers lounging on top. Hey, does anyone else remember how a couple weeks into the invasion media started claiming Russia was running out of military trucks and ‘proved’ this by a screenshot of a white dump truck with Z painted on the side? Because I sure remember it (I remember quite a few very stupid propaganda talking points that appeared only to be dropped).

          I think at this point we can dismiss the claim that Russia doesn’t have good logistics. Even if we accepted all the stories about dozens of convoys being destroyed by Ukrainian citizen soldiers, an awkward fact would remain: the convoys keep coming.

      3. Polar Socialist

        In principle the Ukrainian coast is already blockaded, and as long as the conflict continues, Turkey will not allow passage for any foreign warship to Black Sea.

        There’s still 3 NATO countries with naval bases in Black Sea, so we can sure West will return as soon as the Bosporus opens again.

        Re-opening the water channel to Crimea is also a boon for the Kherson area agriculture, so at least the countryside would be happy to have good relations with anyone willing to keep the water running. I’ve heard that a lot of them feel betrayed by Russia in 2014, so they for now they are mostly keeping their thoughts to themselves, in case the nationalists return someday.

    2. Randy

      There seems to be a tendency to believe that because the “international community’s” propaganda about imminent Russian collapse is bs, the contra that the Russians are right on the verge of total victory must be true. Even if the Ukrainians are operating at severe disadvantages when it comes to artillery, air power, etc., a dug in enemy with high moral can still outlast and outfight a technologically superior foe as long as they are willing to pay with their lives and the lives of their loved ones. This is the lesson of every defeat of an imperial power in the 20th century. I can see a possible Ukrainian win if they can just wear out the Russians, who are gambling big on overcoming superior numbers through encirclement.

      1. Irrational

        But as Ritter says “Russia is right there” – they can re-supply at will. Second Charlie S.’s lament that it is hard to find facts and figures – whenever I search all that comes up is Ukraine destroying Russian equipment and I have not waded through all the propaganda links to find anything else.

        1. timbers

          And more to Randy’s point – Russia can wipe out dug in UAF positions. She shown us she can with hypersonic weapons. But she prefers they surrender instead. And that’s sometimes harder to do.

      2. Soredemos

        Ukraine can’t win. They can’t maneuver. It’s unlikely that morale is that great (the propaganda can’t fully suppress all the defeats. Mariupol is collapsing right now, in a very visible way). As for being dug in, they don’t have anything that can’t simply be cruise missile’d to pieces. And if for whatever reason that doesn’t work, the Kinzhal has already proven it can render even deep nuclear bunkers vulnerable.

    3. Lex

      I’m not expert enough to make reasonable predictions, but I am thinking that there’s going to be a pretty complete collapse of the AFU in fairly short order. If the Uk Marines in Mariupol are out of food and ammo, the fortified positions in Donbas can’t be far behind. I’m expecting a little bit of shock and awe on those positions like the recent Kinzhal strike to provoke some significant surrenders among AFU regulars and then it will get ugly.

      Super interesting that the UMoD has started talking in ways that are a lot different than a few weeks ago. It has a recent release saying that the AFR forces around Kiev were there only to pin AFU forces and eliminate reinforcing their eastern front, as well as those forces still being a threat to Kiev so the AFU remains effectively pinned (but now probably very low on fuel). I’m wondering if there’s been some, er, liquidation of the political leadership at UMoD. I’m not ready to believe that the infographic put out actually comes from the Ukrainian side, but they’re no longer talking about how the AFU will soon be headed towards Moscow.

      Morale on the Russian side is not problem. The west doesn’t realize that until recently it was dealing with the Russian fatherland, which is representative of the Russian mind, diplomacy, etc. But now they’ve awakened Mother Russia, which is representative of the Russian soul. If you stir Mother Russia in anger, the only thing left to do is get out of the way.

      1. Polar Socialist

        Latest scuttlebutt in Donbass Telegram aggregate channels is that two battalions of the 36th Marine Brigade surrendered today in Mariupol. That’s 300 wounded and 800 healthy but starved and tired men. In the photos one can only see tens of surrendered Ukrainians, though.

        If true, then Mariupol defense is collapsing. The same channels are also saying there are calls for professional prison wardens to report for duty due to the large number of foreign fighters captured. Apparently they will not be treated as prisoners of war but as criminals, so they will not be released when the peace agreement is signed.

        1. Soredemos

          The Mariupol fight is effectively over. The port has been taken. Which only leaves the Ilyich steel plant, which is where hundreds of marines attempted a breakout which spectacularly failed yesterday, so there can’t be many Ukrainian fighters left in the plant, and if there are their morale must be nonexistent, as well as the Azovstal steel plant, with all its underground levels and tunnels. The Russians seem to be considering just pumping water into the air vents to flood the place.

          1. Yves Smith Post author

            I think the reason they have not flooded out that plant already and may never do so is there is rumored to be really bad shit on the lowest floors (remember it goes 6-8 floors below ground level), like torture cells or chemical/bioweapons caches. Of course that may simply be a rumor designed to prevent said flooding. But the Russians want to preserve forensic evidence.

        2. Lex

          Hard to parse the multiple reports on the Uk Marine surrender but it does seem to be almost 1,500 this week. It appears that the Mariupol forces are basically out of everything they need. I assume the the Donbas troops have more, but when was the last time they were significantly resupplied? IMO, Russia is doing the slow strangle of Donbas with the hope that many Ukrainian regular forces will surrender. It could have already pulverized the defensive positions with strategic bombing (that wouldn’t necessarily wipe out the forces in Donbas, but it would certainly have an effect). That it hasn’t may be telling.

  9. Keith in Modesto

    Re: “Why the latest rise in COVID-19 cases is being treated differently” at The Hill.

    This nauseating read includes this example of what is becoming the favorite neoliberal mantra:

    “What’s going to happen is that we’re going to see that each individual is going to have to make their calculation of the amount of risk that they want to take in,” [Fauci] added.

    They speak as if the vast majority of us who work for a paycheck and struggle to get by have the same resources and means to meaningfully assess risk or take steps to mitigate them on an individual basis as people like Fauci and the top tier of the professional/political class. He can work remotely if he chooses. I don’t have that option and neither do most working-class people. I wear an N95 mask while I’m indoors at work, but the vast majority of my coworkers (~50 people) do not. And I have no idea if the ventilation is adequate. I doubt it.

    How do we really have choice when it’s either risk infection from an actually serious disease or quit your job? “Each individual is going to have to make their own calculation” is just the Faucian way of saying “Because f[family blog]k you! Go die!”

    1. Stillfeelinthebern

      Yesterday, I went for the first time in 2 yrs, to an in person meeting of a small environmental group that I have attended for 8 yrs. I was wearing a N95 mask and one member immediately shouted out, “are you sick?” Before I could get in a word, he started complaining about how the masks end up in the ocean and masks muffle the voices of wearers so you cannot hear them. He ended with the doctors are profiting from the masks. Then he proceeded to say that if you are fully vaccinated you do not need masks. This person is a Green Party activist.

      It’s full out crazy when you are left to make a “personal” decision and both sides are going to attack you.

      I’m deeply grateful to nakedcap and all the commentators for the information posted here.

    2. jefemt

      Fauci’s point on individual responsibility of choice is the bellwether to, adios Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, U I, any ‘national’ programs.

      See Failed State

      1. Stillfeelinthebern

        I completely agree. I am sure, from the beginning, there has been a glee in having a virus that would take out old people, fat people and disabled people because they are “takers.”

        1. the last D

          I have to admit that I’m functionally computer illiterate, but can we still use mapquest to direct us to the barricades?

      1. Mikel

        Darnit! You beat me to my new name for him. I was just thinking about it yesterday.

    3. thump

      KiM, I share your revulsion at this Hill article. I work in a grocery store, and have for the whole pandemic. After the first couple months of people getting used to mask requirements, I’ve generally felt that customers and co-workers were generally pretty good about behaving considerately. When mask mandates were dropped, at first customers without masks seemed just happy to not have to wear masks, and didn’t mind the little bit of extra distance I gave them, just happy to have “normal” service. Now, people seem to be getting more used to it, or just entitled, and have been getting in my face more. It looks like the current wave (of size TBD) is just starting where I am (SF bay area). If cases and positivity rates increase greatly w/o mask mandates being reimposed, I’m likely gonna be outta there. My family are all as vaxxed as we can be, but the 40-50% reduction in Long Covid from vaccination I recall in one study is not especially reassuring. [FWIW, my masking now is a soft cloth mask, worn loosely under an N95, the idea being that the fairly compressible cloth will help fill any gaps in my non-test-fitted N95. My glasses don’t fog. I have considered getting a CO2 monitor to carry with me, but the ones everyone seems to like are $250.]

  10. Lex

    “As a tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I cannot claim to be one of those “experts” in foreign policy that we are constantly being told to listen to.” When can we just say “oligarch”? Maybe it’s time to openly admit that our national symbol is mostly a vulture in a nice suit. Oh sure, I’ve seen bald eagles take fish from a lake, but you’re much more likely to see them eating road kill on the shoulder.

    Re: the Indian Punchline piece and current events in Pakistan, it’s pretty shocking that after two decades plus of failure, we’re still doing the “arc of instability” plan. It does generally produce the desired results in some fashion, but they’re always unpredictable, generally violent and often have massive blowback issues.

    The Baud interview might be a better presentation than his published piece at polinit, mostly because if you look at the other stuff on offer at the polinit site it leans pretty weirdly towards some strains of eastern european cryptofascism. It doesn’t make the article wrong, of course, nor is the site clearly fascist propaganda. But there’s a lot of Dugin there and a lot of the light v. dark that’s popular in Orthodox Slavic conspiracy and nationalist circles. (btw, I think Dugin is pretty good analyst but his prescriptions leave a lot to be desired)

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      ” Oh sure, I’ve seen bald eagles take fish from a lake, but you’re much more likely to see them eating road kill on the shoulder.”
      back when i was serious about fishing, i floated the Llano, and watched a bald eagle on the rocky bank tear into a dead, mostly rotten deer carcass….white head all bloody, with gore all over…actually chased buzzards away…
      like universe tapping my shoulder, it was such a meaningful sight that i dropped anchor and fished right there so i could watch and think about it.
      (this was maybe 2003? or so, when lil george et alia were flexing the imperial muscles.)

      contrast with wild turkeys(Ben Franklin’s preferred national bird)

      as for Dugin, i’ve watched him for a long while…not so sure “fascist” applies 1:1…that bunch’s preferred term is “Traditionalist”….and a big part of that “tradition” is utter hatred of fascists(the real kind). they also have a strong dislike for sexual libertinism(gays) and a fondness for “traditional” gender roles….all things that make our Idpol folks squirm.

      there’s a definite language barrier, here, as well as much disinformation from “our side”…much of it subtle.
      Dugin, to be clear, is not my kind of guy…to say the least…but he appears to be important if we want to understand Russian nationalism and many of the things that have happened within Russia over the last 20-30 years: esp. their version of “grievance culture”. if poland is the boo radley of europe, russia is definitely the crazy uncle in the attic who gets let out every now and then only to say weird shit that the polite people don’t understand.
      i see Dugin as a russian version of Mencius Moldbug.
      needs further study(and better, more reliable, translations).

      1. Lex

        Yeah, even “cryptofascist” is a (potentially) poor approximation of Dugin. He’s certainly no Limonov. Agree on your take about Russian nationalism and Dugin. I’d put him on the spectrum where it’s just a small step towards Russian fascism. Russians hate Nazis, but that’s very much about 25M dead and being classed as subhuman in Nazi ideology. There are definitely strains of Russian nationalism that border on ethno-nationalism and fascism (in a broad, economic/political sense).

        LOL. The crazy uncle rants are really easy to misunderstand or manipulate as well.

  11. IEL

    I have not been able to follow the Ukraine situation as closely as I would have liked so I would appreciate any input on this. Is Mariupol primarily defended by the Azov Battalion? Is most of Azov located there? If 1) and 2), is Kyiv letting the Russians eliminate (or heavily degrade) Azov, to the advantage of both Kyiv and Moscow (at the cost of the reported massive suffering and casualties to civilians in Mariupol?

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Mariupol is taken except for some Azov and other Ukraine troops that have been pushed into the port area, which is industrial. Main group is at Azovstal factory, a massive complex. Another bunch is at what I believe is the Illych factory (name close but not exact). A third group was at the port proper, I think captured (there was a report a few hours back that the entire port had finally been taken.

      Russia had pushed the remaining Ukraine troops into the port maybe a week ago. But the residential areas are a train wreck, not due much to Russians but Ukraine. Patrick Lancaster, an American who is doing reporting (as in not embedded) had been driving around Mariupol and interviewing civilians. To a person they hate the Ukrainians and describe how the Ukrainians shelled the residential buildings, they would describe how they came from Ukraine-controlled sectors.

      Max 3000 left and not able to do much except starve.

      1. The Rev Kev

        Was watching Patrick Lancaster’s latest video where he was walking around and interviewing civilians. Surviving must be really tough for the people still there. One guy told him a coupla times that the Ukrainians told him to evacuate himself and his family to a nearby school but the guy decided to stay where he was. He had no idea if others were told the same. That night the school was heavily shelled- (33:11 mins)

        1. Charlie Sheldon

          I stumbled on Lancaster the day the invasion began and have been watching him ever since. While it might be true he selects only the anti-Ukrainian interviews for inclusion in his videos (for those among us who are sure everything is entirely agenda-driven) I would argue he is actually the ONLY on the ground reporter who is giving any information at all free of the overwhelming pro-Ukrainian view, and as such he is serving a highly useful purpose. At some point when all this is said and done he should get the highest possible journalistic award. It is sickening that no MSM outlets have used parts of his videos. If and when that happens, then we will know, for sure, the tide of opinion is changing.

          1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

            PL just posted an update last night saying that a Ukrainian Missile landed half a block away from where his wife and kids were in RUSSIA.

        2. Brian Beijer

          My favorite part was when that same man laughed at PL and the camera man when they reacted to explosions nearby. He said something like, “Those weren’t even close. They were around 500 meters away. You get used to it.” Even though I admire PL for his work, that guy made PL look like he’d never seen real action before. One cool sob.

          That whole video served as an illustration of the amount of catastrophy humans can bare. It gives us a glimpse into the future we will all probably face soon enough. The woman who buried her husband and their neighbors in her front yard only a few days earlier left me speechless. I don’t think I would have been nearly as functional and coherent. It should be shown in every high school across the West.

      2. IEL

        Thanks. Do you know if the battle has largely destroyed the Azov Battalion, or are they still an effective force? If they are toast then maybe a peace deal can be struck once the Russians take Donbas.

  12. super extra

    But what happens if chips stop being manufactured?

    hobbyists working at home with old photo printing equipment and the right chemicals and a suitable substrate can make chips on par with what was produced up to the early 1970s. There is also a rather healthy hobbyist community focused on repairing old computing equipment (especially the common components, like capacitators with known defects). There is also a type of chip that is ‘programmable’ (called an FPGA, field programmable gate array) that historically was used to prototype new types of chips but is now moving into a more ‘regular use’ pattern, where the CPU is effectively software rather than fixed in the hardware. FPGAs will probably get heavy use in the next generation of US-designed consumer electronics, because you can make a wide range of chip types with a single run of FPGAs, and one of the biggest manufacturer of them is AMD, which is American and has been expanding its fabs in Texas.

    My personal ‘thing’ on this topic, though, is that general use computing can and should disappear when the “cheap” consumer chips become difficult to manufacture when/if everything is reshored. Computer engineers SHOULD be working on ways to reduce the power draw and resource usage of the devices while extending usage life, and setting some limits on inputs is a great way to do that. Mobile phones have proven definitively that not only does everyone not need a desktop/laptop, most do not want them. With them go the keyboard and mouse and window paradigm of the last 40 years of computing and software design.

      1. super extra

        Yep, agreed. I think the most likely outcome of a massive drop in chip-making capabilities is a de-digitization of most of what was done over the last 40ish years, reserving the chips for the really critical areas where they are genuine value add (like industrial timing-type applications). But for that stuff, you don’t need fancy ultrathin ultrafast ultratiny chips, you are still within the range of stuff that can be made with simpler fabs. The vast majority of productive jobs don’t require a computer, because the only real killer productivity application the personal computer ever generated were the office-type suites (word processing and number manipulation via a gui~>databases) and those also don’t require the newer chips.

    1. jefemt

      The article really seemed to focus on public record systems, property law, and sanctity of contract.
      Not sure where Mr. Chips comes in.
      The State makes efforts at redundant backup records. If and when we Jackpot, the folks with resources will bring full pressure to have their contracts enforced.
      Paper backup of digital data is not dead, especially at the local level.
      Who will have the money and resources to bring up the records and contracts?
      The property-owning classes —they might finance debtor’s prisons.
      They will still have servants to wipe their jasmine-scented poo from their arses as the practical reality of needing to get by is reinforced by the peasant minion class.
      They have and will have the scales tipped in their favor by having more resources to retain and defend ‘their’ property.
      The little guys will roll or lose as they have relatively no weight to put on the scale, and no ladder to reach the scales.

      The article brought to mind a great read, Alan Weissman’s The World Without Us.

      1. super extra

        yes, I thought the piece’s focus on contract sanctity was pretty funny considering the west has established it no longer matters to those who matter. Losing access to cheap consumer chips long term means completely rethinking (and retooling) how much of everything we touch has been computerfied, and how important it really is. I always think of camera and lens technology before WW2; I have a few really beautiful mid-1930s folding rangefinder cameras that, as I understand it, are made from parts that were manufactured before the war into a camera that was sold almost a decade after the war and was still competitive with those newer models. Technology does not go in a straight arrow, it forks and stubs all the time. There is no guarantee there will be computers as we know them in a hundred years, or even forty. I do think we’ll preserve ‘devices’ that do a lot of what they do and more, but they’ll be reserved for much less than they are today. They are simply too resource-costly for the actual value added for most things they are put to today.

      2. Sub-Boreal

        Yes, that’s a fine book which deserves to be better known.

        Two others in a similar vein, worth checking out: Jan Zalasiewicz (2008), The World Without Us, and David Farrier (2020), Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils.

      3. Yves Smith Post author

        Sorry, you are fantasizing regarding government records. Nearly all have been digitized. NY state agencies don’t have records going back as long as 7 years. They were on computers and wiped. Tax returns are nearly all submitted electronically, fer Chrissakes.

        1. Skippy

          Might just be me YS but for some reason the thought of the “Blackout” in the Movie Blade Runner 2049 comes to mind …

    2. .human

      “Smart phones” need to go the way of the dodo.

      Everyone does not need a computer in their pocket and their distraction and manufacture is tantamount to inhuman.

      1. Mikel

        I was laughing about this the other day.
        I’m walking to the store and realize that I’ve forgotten my phone. We’ve been trained to think, “What if something happens? I may need my phone.”

        Then I laughed as I looked at the distance from the store back to my place. That would be shouting distance for my mother back in the days of the letting children roam free. And we did roam with no phone and no fear.

    3. Glen

      Just some anecdotal observations from a user:

      I suspect smartphones would go first since these tend to last about three years in careful use (especially now that batteries cannot be replaced.) I can get about ten years out of a typical desktop if I build one from better components (better quality capacitors on the motherboard and power supply).

      But I have to agree that chip fabs were much more common back in the 80’s. It seemed like most large manufacturers ran their own fab facilities until the MBAs came along in the 00’s and outsourced them.

    4. Skip Intro

      That might jumpstart the landfill mining industry. Lots of old chips sitting in mountains of electronic discards.

    5. Eric F

      In the late 1970’s I helped design a computer with state of the art Z-80 chip set operating 8-bit calculations at 4 MHz.

      That’s Mega, not Giga hertz. A thousand times slower and 1/8 the bandwidth of a cheap computer now.

      Your hobbyists will not be able to produce anything even remotely like what we have become accustomed to

  13. mandrake

    I’m a little surprised Mexico doesn’t rate some mentions recently. They had a presidential recall vote Sunday and some politically dramatic moves in their energy reform efforts (pitting Mexican resource nationalism vs US investor rapacity — er, I mean concern with clean energy). Forgive me if I missed anything.

  14. The Rev Kev

    “Europe’s roads and railways aren’t fit for a fight with Russia”

    Is this wise? Roads and rail work both ways of course. Back in the 30s Germany built up their autobahn network as well as their rail so that it would be easier for them to transport armies to different points along their border. But of course by 1945, American armies were using those very same autobahns to spread throughout Germany which made their work easier. So if Europe improves that rail and road network, that could come back to haunt them.

    1. Polar Socialist

      I think the point is that the Eastern European roads and bridges were designed for Warsaw Pact equipment, which Russia still uses. So if the updates have not changed the weight too much, the Russian tanks can still roll along, while Western heavy equipment would be in trouble.

    2. voislav

      Russian tanks are under 50 tons, typically in the 45 ton range, while western and US tanks are much heavier, in the 60 – 70 ton range. It’s been a known issue for years, western forces would be restricted to main roadways, while Russians intentionally went with lighter vehicles to allow use of smaller roads/bridges.

      The logic during the Cold War was that the Western allies would not act as an aggressor due to overwhelming Warsaw Pact advantage in numbers. Western tanks prioritized protection and ability to fight at long range, as they expected to be fighting mostly from stationary defensive positions, using tanks as mobile anti-tank guns. Russians on the other hand expected to conduct a massive offensive to overrun Europe as quickly as possible, so they prioritized mobility, sacrificing some protection and combat capability.

      So the current tank design philosophy is still driven by Cold War logic, mostly because all current tank designs are late Cold War designs or their improvements.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The flat desert of Western Iraq served as highways for the Abrams, and the result was we learned all the wrong lessons.

    3. Procopius

      Remember the difference in railway gauges, too. That was an important reason Germany lost in Russia. The logistics people had to somehow transfer the ammo and food to cars that would fit the Russian tracks. That meant the German armies had to stop every now and then to wait for their supplies to catch up with them. The same thing would apply to the Russian armies moving westward. Remember they stopped in Poland for three (?) weeks while the Nazis destroyed the Warsaw Resistance (except for the Communists). The reason they gave was that they had to resupply and refit.

  15. Rolf

    Clare Daly’s EU Parliament clip is inspiring — I can’t stop replaying it. Would that any of our ‘Democratic’ party representatives hold — never mind voice — such heretical views. On the other hand, we seem to have enough Dzhambazki’s seated to fill a clown car many times over.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      All she needed was a Twitter account and she coulda been AOC. A politician who is in favor of peace! What a revolutionary! How does she feel about motherhood and apple pie?

  16. Wukchumni

    Once a retail giant, Kmart nears extinction after closure WNDU
    My family was devoted to the cause (Attention K-Mart shoppers: under the flashing blue light… mens’ underwear is half off for the next 15 minutes) and maybe we shopped @ Sears occasionally, and the difference was stark in the popcorn dept which both stores had, Sears would sell you this chintzy small square box for the same price as a big bag @ K-Mart, advantage to the latter.

    K-mart tried to have everything including a pet dept (birds & gerbils) and i’ve told this tale before but its worth repeating…

    I’m 11 and i’ve saved my pennies to buy a parakeet, cage, food and accoutrements, maybe $25 for the ensemble including a little booklet on how to converse with my newfound feathered friend, and the purchase was consummated…

    The next morning I wake up to say hello to Reggie (I had already named him) and Reg is very much toes up on the floor of his cage, quite dead.

    I’m devastated in the fashion that kids are when a pet dies, and my mom picks up the cage with the recently departed ‘keet and we drive down to K-Mart and she explains how we only bought this bird yesterday, and how could it have died?

    The pet manager tells her ‘Lady, an 18 wheeler full of 20,000 parakeets leaves Michigan bound for the west coast and its a miracle any of them survive’.

      1. Carolinian

        Strip malls hell. Kresge’s was right across the downtown main street from Woolworths. The dime store idea is very old indeed.

    1. Carolinian

      Walmart haters seem to forget that before Walmart there was Kmart with largely the same business model. Walmart was Kmart but more competently (and no doubt more ruthlessly) run.

      And in towns like mine Walmart was a very late comer. The advent of the Reagan era seemed to fuel it as working class people lost their unions (or in my town their non union textile mill jobs) and obsessed over inflation. Perhaps one of the most shocking events of the past few months has been Walmart raising its prices.

      And wages. If this keeps up the US president may turn out to be an escapee from a “care home” (oh wait).

    2. LifelongLib

      When we were kids my sister had a parakeet. One day I was sitting across the room from its cage and it suddenly started flying around cheeping. By the time I got there it was lying on the bottom of the cage with its eyes closing. Wonder if there’s some kind of parakeet sudden death syndrome…

      1. caucus99percenter

        A family I knew in Amsterdam had several parakeets die on them in short order before figuring out that the cause was a preservative chemical in the wood their new cage was partly made of.

        1. LifelongLib

          IIRC the cage was metal, but of course there’s the paint, the perch, the feed, plus whatever maladies parakeets are subject to. My sister didn’t get another one.

  17. russell1200

    The collapse article is ridiculous.

    You might want to ask the natives of the Americas what a collapse of disease/conquest can look like.

    The amount of reforesting after the Western Roman collapse was enormous. Use of manufactured goods dropped like a rock. It didn’t get back to where it was until the 18th-19th century.

    And as you note, if we loose our data, we have no backup.

  18. Tom Stone

    I’ve spent a little time thinking about what’s happening at the Imperial Court lately.
    Biden disrespected a lot of important people when he unilaterally decided to impose sanctions against Russia that amount to an act of War.
    He’s “The Face (Farce?) of the Republic” and can’t be treated in the cavalier manner Assange and Murray were for committing the same crime.
    So we see the corruption scandal picking up steam,increasing the pressure a little at a time and the public humiliation at the ACA bash expertly delivered by Barry-O.
    I expect to see Biden’s frailty ( Dementia) exposed a little more each week, the pressure on Jim and Hunter increased a little more each week and Brandon offered a deal he can’t refuse.
    The charges against Jim and Hunter reduced to little more than a wrist slap and Joe allowed to ride into the sunset with what dignity the best PR can confer.
    Joe in Walter Reed with Harris’ taking temporary command until it’s clear that our beloved leader’s health problems prevent him from servicing the populace any longer.
    Having “The People’s Choice”‘s coronation take place on July 4th, Because Freedom!!! would almost guarantee her a Nobel Peace Prize…
    It would be a Win/Win for those that matter and the rest of us can subsist on week old twinkies.

    1. Michael Ismoe

      They will wait until after the elections to dump Uncle Joe. They have been told by Mitch that they won’t be getting any more Supreme Court picks through after the Dems lose the senate so there’s zero chance they can get a VP nomination through either. The sweet spot is sometime between November elections and January 3rd 2023. Jill will be a “grieving widow” by the first of the year and we’ll have the Joseph R. Biden Middle School in New Castle, Delaware as our only proof that this sad episode happened.

  19. Wukchumni

    Psaki warns price rises will be ‘extraordinarily elevated’ because of the war in Ukraine Daily Mail (J-LS). Yours truly continues to stockpile…

    What does ‘extraordinarily elevated’ mean in terms of how much prices will go up on food, in particular?

    And yes, its time to fill up your pantry and then some…

    1. griffen

      It sounds better than “the beatings will continue until morale improves.”? Getting used to $4 for gasoline again; elevated pricing everywhere and on more or less everything.

      Can the rest of us get a gig being a quasi journalist person for MSDNC? Standards be darned.

    2. Dean

      Yves you mentioned you were stocking up. Can you share your strategy or maybe even write a post how to navigate these waters?

      1. griffen

        There is a thread for that discussion. My recall is hazy but it was on a recent thread during a weekend, where much discussion was posted about bread and what have you.

        Some time on a Saturday or Sunday discussion in Links. Others have also spelled out such plans, often in incredible detail.

      2. griffen

        See, thread on April 2nd under Links for that day. Discussion centers around bread and so forth. Lot of good material in there.

      3. foghorn longhorn

        Here’s a good strategy
        Whatever ran out during covids, stock up on
        Whatever you use on a daily basis, stock up on
        Just imagine that we are fixing to enter The Greater Depression and act accordingly

      4. Yves Smith Post author

        The big question for most people is if you have or are willing to buy a real deep freezer. If you have the normal consumer freezer, their self-defrosting means you can’t keep meats frozen for more than 6-8 months. With a real deep freezer, you can freeze proteins for a year.

        I have a full year of canned fish (which I eat normally 3 days a week, 2 cans each): low mercury tuna and salmon. Lots of oatmeal (I eat a small amount for brunch, I eat only 2 meals a day, with plain yogurt). I may buy a bit more whey protein, which I normally eat only when on the road as a backup in case yogurt becomes scarce.

        I have smoked trout frozen (belt and suspenderish, but an aide threw it in the freezer once so I discovered by accident that smoked trout freezes beautifully, so dry that the freezing does not break up the flesh), frozen sustainable teeny shrimp, frozen chicken breasts, frozen scallops, and a little frozen turkey to make more turkey chili (I already have some frozen turkey chili and homemade black bean soup). Some sweet potatoes to have with the soups/chils but they only keep a few months. Lots of frozen spinach and I need to buy more. Canned beans for more chili and bean soup. Canned tomatoes for chili. Some chicken broth for soups and for the chicken breast dish I make. A TON of lime juice (I used to get fresh limes since juice of 1/2 a lime = covid preventive, but realized lime juice is cheaper and more convenient). Some pickled peppers. Dressings that I like. Buying kombucha when on sale (current max sell by dates now August; I only drink 2-3 oz a day and expect to give it up when it gets pricey)

        My big problem with stockpiling is veggies. I could eat spinach 4-5 days a week but I would like to have something else. And aside from the cooked spinach, I prefer fresh. I do like picked veggies so that could be a fallback. I may have to develop more of an appetite for krauts and kimchee.

        1. Skippy

          Kimchee – !!!!!!

          Make your own the native way in a earthenware pot, heck you could easily grow most of the ingredients in trays and pots and the rest is stuff that can be stored well. Heck in Korea they do it on apt balcony’s vs the traditional in the ground method. Best thing is there is a Kimchee for every season.

          Here you go

          How to make Kimchi – a quick and easy recipe that only takes 30 minutes of hands-on time before mother nature takes over! Full of healthy, gut-healing probiotics, the benefits of eating kimchi are endless. This authentic kimchi recipe is vegan adaptable, gluten-free and can be made as spicy or as mild as you like!

          P.S. would enjoy the thought of locals wondering what doing digging holes in the yard for … mirth …

          1. PlutoniumKun

            Wild garlic leaf kimchee is amazing. I’ve been collecting wild garlic in local woodlands this spring with a friend and she makes it into kimchee to preserve it. Its delicious in an omelette or just mixed in with a salad. Maybe not for eating before a social occasion though, it seems to bring out the garlic ness of the leaves.

            1. Skippy

              Since you mentioned wild garlic I would note that my grandfather from the traditional farm would pick wild garlic and onion and save it in an old tin can. Then when there was a hint of a cough or sinus issue would eat a small palm full to ward off the infection.

              WOW at the clearing effects of having a dose of that … bang …

              1. PlutoniumKun

                Certainly garlic seems to have a lot of genuine medicinal benefits.

                It still baffles me that here in Ireland we have forests full of the stuff growing and its only Chinese and Korean people who bother going out to collect it. I’ve a Chinese friend here who actually (successfully) transplanted sods of earth with wild garlic into her local oak woodland just to save herself a drive in future years. Its growing surprisingly well.

                1. Skippy

                  Kudos to her and I think that is a good example of blending the past and the now for what its worth. But sadly so many in developed countries have been trained to buy stuff for a pulse effect and dependency.

                  I used to on the farm dig up roots and stuff in the old way by the tutelage of grandparents for tonics and stuff, never forget the laugh my grandfather had when I inquired about a unripe persimmon and I bit into it whilst on the tractor.

                  Oh well …

        2. skippy

          Oops wanted to say some of the Kimchee I had in small villages in South Korea, which at the time, early 80s, like out of a period movie was just incredible. Reminiscent of all the insane salsas and jar condiments in central/south America. Cheap, easy to make, lasts forever, top up as it is used, only one condition, only use a clean spoon to serve and all is good.

        3. Lex

          A vacuum sealer will make a huge difference in freezing food, vegetable or meat. Meat stored in a freezer longer than a year is still edible, it just won’t taste as good. Vacuum sealing will improve that somewhat.

          You can fairly easily freeze fresh veggies, though they’ll never be very good thawed and eaten uncooked. Blanche them, dry them, and freeze them on a baking sheet. Then transfer to the container for freezer storage (again, vacuum sealer will help tremendously). Blanching time will vary depending on the vegetable, but the key is drying them and freezing them flat and separated.

          Not as tasty, but a food dehydrator is probably a good investment at this point.

  20. The Rev Kev

    “McCarthyism re-emerging stronger than ever in Ukraine policy debates”

    Would it be crass to point out that the same techniques being rolled out to squash dissent now are also the same that were used against people who disagreed with the way that governments handled the pandemic such as with Iv********, vaccinations & masks? It’s like they have a doctrine manual somewhere with all the same tactics, techniques & procedures. And of course all they people they have in their Rolodex now are the same ones as were used before.

    Before I forget. Remember that ‘brave’ blonde Russian newsreader that opposed the war while live in TV? Well she just got another job – ‘as a freelance journalist for the TV channel Welt, which is owned by Axel Springer.’ How about that-

    1. JohnA

      And Assange’s may end on 20 April if the magistrate agrees to the deportation request and he gets whisked to some US airforce base and spirited away before/even after another appeal can be lodged. As with the US diplomat’s wife/CIA agent, (delete as appropriate) who killed a young motorcyclist in a RTA, outside a base. Apparently she forgot to drive on the left. She was flown out of England straightaway, and left others to argue whether or not she had diplomatic immunity. A fait acompli precedent for sure.

    2. Dr. John Carpenter

      Way past time. I’ve been following this story for a while and it’s just disgusting. Anyone who wishes to maintain the belief that we’re the good guys should steer clear.

  21. Wukchumni

    In what would be an unprecedented move, the U.S. Interior Department is considering an action that would create a possible, immediate cutback in Colorado River water supplies to Arizona, California and Nevada: holding back nearly a half million acre-feet of water it had planned to release this year from Lake Powell to Lake Mead.

    In a letter Friday to all seven Colorado River Basin states, Assistant Interior Secretary Tanya Trujillo wrote that such a possible cutback would be aimed at keeping Powell from falling below the elevation at which electricity couldn’t be generated at Glen Canyon Dam.

    Trujillo warned of possible major risks to the dam’s operations and infrastructure if Powell falls below the “minimum power pool” level of 3,490 feet.

    If that happened, it would raise concerns about the dam’s ability to deliver water to the Lower Basin states of Arizona, California and Nevada, wrote Trujillo, Interior’s assistant secretary of water and science.

    “In such circumstances, Glen Canyon Dam facilities face unprecedented reliability challenges, water users in the basin face increased uncertainty, downstream resources could be impacted, the Western electrical grid would experience uncertain risk and instability and water supplies to the West and Southwestern United States would be subject to increased operational uncertainty,” Trujillo wrote.

    1. Ignacio

      Another one to the basket of problems piling up. I had read the state of Colorado reservoirs was awful but man, this has great potential to destroy agriculture (my guess is that, as usual, most of water goes to agricultural use) this spring.

      1. Wukchumni

        All of the agriculture grown with Colorado River water in Cali is annual crops, and yes-another food source being ripped asunder by climate change.

        For now people are more important than food as far as H20 goes, spinach doesn’t pay property taxes.

        It could be worse though, in my neck of the woods the majority of agriculture grown are tree crops and you can’t just decide to not water them, game so over.

        There’s a 1,000 pistachio tree orchard on Hwy 198 planted 11 years ago and this might be the first year of production-as in any nuts whatsoever, or maybe next year?

        1. The Rev Kev

          If down the track water becomes so scarce that people are fighting over it and if the company that owns that orchard does not chop that orchard down to stop it depleting water, that people will take the law into their own hands to burn it down. And maybe at that point that land can be used to grow food for local use with crops that do not use a lot of water.

          1. Wukchumni

            If water ever got to that point of scarcity, I think the state would seize the goods from the orchards, there’s just 3 functioning desalination plants on the whole Cali coast, too little-maybe we should have built more desal plants and less F-35’s?

            The vast majority of tree crops (there’s relatively few nut & fruit trees grown south of Bakersfield) received no water allocation from the state and are completely dependent upon wells drilled ever deeper in a race to the bottom, literally.

            Think of 100,000 long metal straws all drinking from the same milkshake…

        2. RobertC

          Repeating my 4/2/2022 post:

          Wukchumni — I’ve argued we should give CA farmers and ranchers all the water they can USE with the caveat none of the unprocessed products can be shipped out of the US (not even over the border for processing) but processed products can.

          For example:

          grapes — nope raisins — nope wine — yep

          beef sides — nope hamburger — nope Hungry Man meatloaf dinner — yep

          My friends (and nieces and nephews) making circling motions around their heads when I put this forward but maybe maybe they’re coming around.

    2. RobertC

      Wukchumni — would you know what the “major risks to the dam’s … infrastructure” are? I’m not understanding that. Thanks.

        1. WobblyTelomeres

          Maybe they use water to cool the turbines? Sorta like a modern automotive fuel pump uses fuel as a coolant (by being submerged in the fuel tank).

      1. Ignacio

        Might it be that dams are built to support pressure and when pressure disappears nasty things can occur? — Pressure builds at dam toe apparently when the reservoir is empty.

  22. vao

    A follow-up to the story about Germany putting Gazprom Germania (GG) under fiduciary administration last week.

    1) The trustee (Bundesnetzagentur) just announced that storage tanks of GG are nearly empty. Its largest storage facility at Rehden (which is also the largest in Germany) is only 1% full.

    2) Actually, GG gas tanks were, at 18% fill overall, already below the critical 30% mark last December, with that largest facility itself at only 7%. Thus GG had failed to re-fill its tanks as promised by the Russian government (with some ambiguity as to the link with the commissioning of Nordstream II). In contrast, gas tanks from other owners were about 2/3 full then.

    3) Last month, the EU drafted legislation that would force countries to fill their gas facilities to at least 90% before each winter.

    4) Its adaptation in German law, to be promulgated in May, would impose 80% fill by the 1st October, and 90% by the 1st December. In 2021, gas storage facilities were overall only 70% full by the start of the heating season.

    1. Pat

      Wow, why one could think that Gazprom and Russia had an idea what might happen. Either that or Germany needed to impose that trustee much earlier…

      1. vao

        Either that, or this is a felicitous consequence of the wrangle about Nordstream II, where GG insists that, yes, it very much would like to fill its tanks, but it is impossible as long as Nordstream II is not commissioned, and no, those decrepit pipelines crossing Ukraine won’t do, they are leaking like sieves…

        In truth, the whole story looks by itself to be a full-fledged, long haul chess game.

        Gazprom controlling the gas supply and infrastructure in Germany. The EU trying to force Gazprom to separate infrastructure and supply. The wrangle about Nordstream II. GG drawing down on its gas reserves. The EU preparing legislation imposing minimum fill factors for storage facilities. The war in Ukraine, with attendant sanctions. Gazprom trying to sell GG within Germany and smashing against a wall. Gazprom subsequently selling GG to mysterious entities. Germany imposing a trustee. Gazprom recalling its managers but keeping supply contracts. Germany discovering GG has practically no gas in storage and mulling what to do till the fateful 1st October, when tanks should be full to 80% and when the fiduciary administration lapses…

    2. RobertC

      vao — thank you very much for your follow-up. Please keep them coming because this is a significant story.

      As a past government bureaucrat I predicted last week With “Gazprom recalling its managers from GG and its subsidiaries” that leaves the German trustee Bundesnetzagentur, presumably without gas operations management expertise, as the fall guy to face [the politicians] fury. And that’s what’s happening even if it isn’t reported. In the vernacular “Too bad so sad sucks to be you.”

      With storage facilities not only below mandated levels but almost empty that leaves two questions:

      1. With the existing pipeline and liquid NG transit paths essentially at capacity, how will the additional NG needed to refill the storage facilities reach Germany by October? Answer: Nordstream II.

      2. Where will Germany obtain the roubles needed to buy the Russian gas? Answer: What roubles — pay no attention to that Gazprom bank.

      PS apologies for being late to the game here — I was distracted in the middle of my comment.

      1. vao

        Nordstream II, more complications.

        1) The owner of Nordstream II is a firm named “Nord Stream 2 AG”, registered in Switzerland, and entirely owned by Gazprom.

        2) On the 16th November 2021, the German government temporarily suspended the certification process for the operator of Nordstream II, because of the EU requirement that supplying gas and operating pipelines must be performed by independent entities.

        3) Whereupon Nord Stream 2 AG founded a German company named “Gas for Europe GmbH”, transfered to it ownership of that part of the pipeline located on German territory (54 km out of 1230 km), including the end station.

        4) On the 22nd February, i.e. on the day Russia recognized the Lugansk and Donetsk republics, Germany suspended the certification of the (new) Nordstream II operator indefinitely.

        5) Whereupon Nord Stream 2 AG fired 106 employees (almost all its personnel, as I understand), entering some kind of hibernation state.

        It seems to me that every party makes its moves just so as to parry the other’s ones without coming to a complete break: certifications are not cancelled, but suspended; infrastructure is not expropriated, but placed under fiduciary administration; Gazprom does not dissolve its subsidiaries, but takes away employees; gas deliveries continue, but storage tanks are not refilled; etc.

          1. vao

            It sure looks like China and Russia are playing chess, judo or fencing, and I wonder what kind of deft, crushing moves they have in reserve to try bringing the match to an end.

  23. Eureka Springs

    In response to: A bill to allow recruits with previous mental health treatment is on the way

    “We have more than three decades of experience now with antidepressants,” Dr. P. Murali Doraiswamy, a psychiatry and medicine professor at Duke University, told Sullivan during the hearing. “There’s no evidence whatsoever to indicate that it impairs performance.”

    If this is true, Why have I known so very many people who experience tremendous troubles with their anti-depressants? They miss dosages, or the scrip after a time just quits working and many months are spent getting off one kind while trying others until things settle in somewhat reasonably for a while maybe. If that Dr. can’t find “any evidence” he/she is not looking at all to point of being a danger to any patient on this type of med. Do they revoke peoples licenses for anything anymore? And in the shared spirit of the great Clare Daly above lets remind the Dr. just how mad one has to be to join a military with the soul purpose of murdering anyone someone tells you to for any reason. How a military could exist without a super majority of their recruits not being certifiably crazy is always what’s unsaid.

    1. newcatty

      Agree with your statement, “How a military could exist without a super majority of their recruits not being certifiably crazy is always what’s left unsaid”.The military relies on people who are often sociopaths, narrcicists and often losers in the greater society. This bill that allows recruits with previous mental health (illness) treatment is a clear sign that the military is not meeting their recruitment quotas. Why does this nagging feeling come over me whenever I read about “the troops”? That they would bring back the draft in a flash, if they can manufacture consent from the US public that our best, strongest military in the world needs more troops? Uncle Sam needs You! Hope I’m wrong.

  24. Mikel

    “Collapse Won’t Reset Society” Palladium

    The writer is trying to assign a one size fits all meaning for collapse. He also thinks that because something has never happened it never will.

    For some people in the world, society already has collapsed.
    And just because it doesn’t happen to everybody all at once, doesn’t mean a collapse isn’t happening.

    Then there is a difference between a collapse in social structures, a collapse in power structure, and a collapse in belief system. Some – I guess these we be considered the doomsday folks – think it’s going to be the entire trifecta.

    He can’t imagine the collapse of a belief system.

    1. Wukchumni

      The thing is, collapses have happened pretty much independent of one another, the Mayans were in ascendancy as the western Roman empire was going away, and the Mayan culture collapsed as Chaco Canyon was a vibrant society, etc.

      There has never been a worldwide collapse, nor one where the majority of the players were all interconnected financially.

      1. Mikel

        You’ve raised another question. Why is lack of collapse associated with the creation of empire?

  25. Dave in Austin

    I’ll restrict my comment to the use of chemical weapons (gasses) in the Ukraine.

    All biological weapons are prohibited by international law. But the use of non-lethal chemical weapons is not. Thus the police use of CS (tear gas) and the military use of CS and CN in Vietnamese tunnels to flush-out both the VC and the terrified civilians.

    Other chemicals the US has used include Agent Orange, a growth hormone that over-speeds plant respiration and leads to plant death from lack of water uptake. It was originally classed as a biological agent- a hormone- and was designed to destroy the Japanese rice crop in the fall of 1945. As a defoliant it was used to clear vegetation in Vietnam and apparently caused health problems for both US and Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. There is also good reason to believe we’ve used gasses designed to “put people to sleep”, but I’ll save that for another day.

    One man’s non-lethal gas designed to save civilians hiding in tunnels is another man’s “It just killed an old lady and two babies.” Non-lethal is not a binary concept since the victims are not homogeneous. And if the choice is to just throw a grenade into the tunnel if people refuse to come out? War is not easy.

    This morning, according to Al Jazeera, a Pentagon reporter said on Twitter that: “The Pentagon says reports of Russia’s use of chemical weapons in Mariupol are “if true, deeply concerning” and reflect the concerns it has had about Russia’s potential to use “riot control agents, including tear gas mixed chemical agents in Ukraine”.

    These gasses are heavier than air so they would fill the tunnels in the Azov works and flush-out those hiding there. The first reports said “dropped by a helicopter” which I take as a warning. I’m sure the US press will scream “War Crime!” but the US government, which uses the gasses, will be silent.

    I doubt the “4,000 Ukrainian fighters there” number. The Ukrainian Marine unit was probably 1,000 at the start and the reports say 300 wounded and more than 300 out of food and ammo just surrendered after putting up a serious fight near the harbor. They didn’t surrender to the Donersk crowd or the Chechens; they surrendered to the Russians. The videos show an organized, well run surrender. They look tired but not afraid. Having known Marines from around the world, I’ll bet the POW barracks will be run by Russian Marines.

  26. curlydan

    “Heart inflammation after Covid vaccine ‘no more common than after other jabs’”

    I’m going to have to “trust the science” on this one… haha. But I can say that in the pre-COVID I noticed mild heart pain around October for 2-3 years in a row. I didn’t know what to think of it, but I wore a heart monitor for 2 weeks that came up with nothing.

    Then, after my Moderna booster (on top of my previous two Pfizers), I again noticed heart pain for 1-2 days where I could not sleep on my left side for one night. Some ibuprofen I took at night seemed to help.

    But all this got me to thinking that my October heart pains occurred soon after my flu shots that my company offered at the yearly benefits “health” fair.

    People are pushing me for the next booster, but I am pretty much firm that I’m not going to do more than 1 per year. At least for me, my heart’s not in it…

  27. Andrew Watts

    RE: Brittle Win for Macron in French Election 1st Round Points to Tough Race for 2nd Round

    It should go without saying that I don’t agree with these opinions after yesterday. If I had to choose the specific historical events which are determining the landscape of French politics it would definitely be the Revolution just not the second World War. The memories of the Vichy regime still play an important role in determining outcomes like the right-wing support for Mitterrand in the 80s. However, I think the root of all these divisions has it’s origins in the Dreyfus Affair.

    Furthermore, by skipping ahead to Vichy people are ignoring the intrawar period where the fascists tried to seize power by force during the Stavisky affair riots in ’34. These events do explain the rapid collapse of France, and the rise of Vichy collaborators, as the fissures which emerged never healed. That assertion is still contested by intellectuals and historians by the way. It’s not like the fascists stormed Parliament or any thing.

    Nor do I agree with the assertion that Marine Le Pen is a De Gaulle-like figure. De Gaulle was allied with the monarchists and moderate right and was more of a reforming Caesar that was eventually hated by just about everybody. While I suppose there’s an argument to be made that the National Front/Rally aren’t fascists and Le Pen is a Caesar I don’t buy it. Our understanding of Caesarism in the modern era was articulated by Oswald Spengler. I kinda doubt he would’ve agreed that the European fascists, or their heirs, were the Caesars he imagined would emerge as he fled Nazi Germany

    I wouldn’t compare her to Trump either. The emergence of Trump garnered the same reaction that the political establishment had to Nixon. Nixon, for all his many faults, wasn’t a fascist. Again, not what Spengler probably had in mind. Whereas the core membership of the National Front/Rally is very much so outside of the Catholic traditionalists and other reactionaries. That’s an important reason why people need to stop thinking about this strictly as an anti-establishment vote. Both the American and French presidencies are, in theory, limited by checks and balances… in practice?

    Eh, not so much.

  28. KD

    Marjorie Taylor Greene: judge mulls move to bar Republican from Congress

    Yes, this is where we are going, we’ll have our very own PMC version of the Iranian Counsel of Guardians to decide if candidates can stand for office because they are too un-Islamic or transphobic or whatever the latest PMC transgression against decency is. Because Democracy isn’t Democratic if the People can just vote for the candidate they prefer, because if they prefer an Enemy of Democracy, then it becomes a threat to Democracy if you hold free and fair elections and elect an Enemy. Besides which, when any candidate wins that doesn’t meet the selection criteria, its only because the Russians or some other nefarious entity interfered in the election, as the People would never vote for an Enemy of Democracy if the election was fair.

    1. hunkerdown

      This “democracy” they keep talking about sounds more and more like they’re actually talking about “private property” which is the negation of democracy. I think we’re getting Newspeaked.

  29. deplorado

    The interview with Jacques Baud was outstanding. It probably is the most comprehensive yet succinct overview of how the current situation was reached.

    1. begob

      The one thing missing was an assessment of what kind of assault the Ukrainians were planning – against the two republics, or Crimea, or even cross border to circle round and on to Rostov.

  30. TigerTown

    RE” Gonzolo Lira – Scott Ritter Interview

    In the second hour of the interview, Ritter asserts that the Federal Reserve was opposed to sanctions on Russia in wake of the latter’s invasion of Ukraine. I haven’t found independent reporting or confirmation. Is there any?

    IF Ritter’s assertion is meritorious, this would conform that this override may have been anticipated to be a financial problem a point Michael Hudson makes regarding the problem with U.S. promoted sanctions.

    Ritter’s assertion of Victoria Nuland and related people, many who are prominent on cable news programs, including pro-Ukrainian voices, pushing for anti-Russian actions have been secondary in U.S. foreign affairs and will likely be even less so when the Russian-Ukrainian war is finished in a “victory” for Russia. This appears to be another area to monitor as the war winds down.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      No it is Lira who asserts that. Lira originally was a finance blogger and says he has a lot of personal contacts at the Fed who say the Fed was opposed top to bottom.

      There have been reports that the White House decided to impose the more radical sanctions (imposed the second day after a first round didn’t get much press approval) with only an hour or two of thinking, which means any consultation with the Fed would have been impossible. Foreign Assets Control (as in sanctions oversight and enforcement) are under the Treasury, so arguably the Administration could fly alone. I saw that in a pretty authoritative source, like The Hill or Politico, but given the state of search cannot find it again.

    1. flora

      And from MSN UK:

      The idea “China does lockdowns the right way” is an uninformed, not well thought out idea for democracies to try. Authoritarian regimes like the CCP can get away with it, but it doesn’t seem to stop anything… except a functioning civil society. It’s like Mao’s great leap forward, act 2.

        1. Basil Pesto

          Given that this is not China’s first rodeo with lockdowns in the past two years, which have heretofore been successful (note that the lockdowns begun in regions other than Shanghai a few weeks ago seem to have brought cases right down, meaning normal live unencumbered by SARS2 will be able to resume there soon), it might be worth asking what the salient differences are between Shanghai’s current lockdown and the other successful ones in China. If he did so, he might understand that the current situation in Shanghai is a consequence not of the failure of lockdown, but a failure to lockdown.

          But of course, that’s as much in Tucker Carlson’s interest as the health and wellbeing of the people of China, let alone America, whom he is clearly happy to see killed and maimed en masse by an out of control virus in perpetuity. Nice guy.

          1. PlutoniumKun

            It was discussed btl here last week – it seems most likely to be due to the Shanghai governments assumption that they were too important to lock down, and so never prepared. The management of lockdowns is very much a city/provincial responsibility in China. Shanghai might be a victim of its own overconfidence.

            1. Basil Pesto

              and they thought they could get away with Western style quarter-measure mockdowns when it started kicking off, those predictably failed, and here we are. Hard to tell what’s going to happen now because there seem to be mixed messages coming from China, and westerners relaying these developments – not even necessarily shitbags in the Murdoch stable as above – bring their own biases to their interpretation and analysis when relaying these developments.

  31. B flat

    Current news reports are passing this morning’s shooting in New York as just part of rising gun violence. The Daily Mail has more info:

  32. drumlin woodchuckles

    In his Indian Punchline article ” Asian fault lines of Biden’s war on Russia ” . . . Mr. Bhadrakumar writes . . .
    ” Equally, the Anglo-American project to embroil Myanmar, bordering China, in an armed insurgency has floundered for want of a sanctuary in India’s northeastern region and due to the perceived congruence of interests among the surrounding countries in Myanmar’s stability. ”

    This is the first I have heard of the insurgency in Myanmar being an Anglo-American project. Does Mr. Bhadrakumar have any evidence for that?

    I have some indirect if-this-then-that type of evidence against the insurgency in Myanmar being an Anglo-America project. And it goes like this: if the Anglo-American projectors are supporting or even praising an insurgency anywhere, the Left always condemns that insurgency and praises the government that insurgency is being fought against. Since the Left hasn’t even been mentioning the events in Myanmar at all, that indicates that the Left does not know how to accuse America of causing it and supporting it. And if the Left can’t accuse America of being at fault for events in Myanmar, then the Left is not even interested in events in Myanmar.

    If Mr. Bhadrakumar can give the Left talking points about how the insurgency in Myanmar is an Anglo-American project, the Left would be very grateful. It would give the Left one more thing to hate America for and accuse America of causing. So this is Mr. Bhadrakumar’s big chance to tell the Left everything he knows about how America ( or Anglo-America or whatever) has caused the insurgency in Myanmar.

  33. RobertC


    Day 1 of 2 for fourth U.S.-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue Secretary Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III, Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr. S. Jaishankar, and Indian Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh at a Joint Press Availability


    We’re standing together for our shared commitment to uphold a free, rules-based international order that safeguards sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence. Today, we reaffirmed our commitment to promoting regional stability, the rule of law, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and to expanding our strategic partnership with ASEAN.

    Russia’s war against Ukraine is an attack on Ukraine’s people; it’s also an attack on that rules-based order that we both adhere to and defend. The United States will continue to increase our support to the government and people of Ukraine and call on other nations to do the same, just as we call on all nations to condemn Moscow’s increasingly brutal actions.

    Russia’s aggression stands in stark contrast to the vision that the United States and India share for a free and open Indo-Pacific. And Russia’s actions are having a profound impact not just in Europe and in Ukraine, but around the world – for example, causing food insecurity and rising prices. Ukraine’s farmers have been forced to flee or to fight, as Russian troops intentionally destroy farmland and equipment and prevent Ukraine from exporting their wheat through Black Sea ports.

    Our countries are working together to try to bring more food to world markets, as well as to the World Food Program. And the United States is also focused on securing more funding for the World Food Program and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization and producing more fertilizer so that we can help others sustain crop yields in the future.

    …In the video meeting that they held earlier today, Prime Minister Modi welcomed President Biden’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework initiative[1]. It can allow us to increase our collaboration across more issues, including digital trade, supply chain resilience, infrastructure, and tax policy.


    …I have talked to American companies for making India an aerospace and (inaudible) program. I have invited them for these programs. We are talking to U.S. companies for co-development and co-production. We’re proposing it to them. We have asked the U.S. companies to work in the UP and Tamil Nadu corridor and invest in that area.


    …The bedrock of our relationship, as you would all agree, is its human element. It could be the students who come to universities, the flow of talent that defines our knowledge partnership, or indeed the technology and business relationships which promote innovation. They’re all examples of the human bridge that connects our societies so uniquely.

    …And again, we discussed an Indian initiative called performance-linked initiative which would incentivize manufacturing in India, and I think it’s very much in American interest to support it.


    …And finally, I’d just note our Development Finance Corporation just announced a $500 million loan to First Solar, which will produce solar panel modules in southern India, furthering climate goals, diversifying solar supply chains.


    …On the issue of future systems, we are engaged in active discussions with India on how to best support their modernization needs. And again, as we look at the future, we want to make sure that we maintain the ability to operate together, and so we look forward to those continued discussions. And it also includes a range of options that would make our systems more affordable. So this is work that will continue going forward, and again, look forward to continuing to have them as a strong and reliable partner.


    …I would like to say that there is a strategic relationship between the two countries and they are strategic partners. And I have insisted that India would focus on co-development of productions and all the investors should come to India. They are welcome. And because in India, they can develop the “Make in India” because we want to build and make everything in India.

    My summary: China bad Russia bad Ukraine good help Afghanistan Make-in-India

    Question from Pranay Upadhyay, ABP News And my question to Secretary Austin: In the recent past, we have seen that the U.S. military supply to countries like Pakistan has been used against Indian interest.

    And Austin’s answer is … he didn’t hear the part about Pakistan.

    [1] IPEF is going as well as BBBW and BBB. India would be better served joining RCEP and maybe CPTPP.

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