The free world vs. Putin

The Portuguese Galp Service Stations are contributing 1.5 million euros to the Ukrainian Red Cross

https://www.galp.com/corp/en/careers/service-stations

Lithuania first country to stop buying Russian gas

Lithuania cuts off Russian gas imports, urges EU to do same
Lithuania says it has cut itself off entirely of gas imports from Russia, apparently becoming the first of the European Union’s 27 nations using Russian gas to break its energy dependence upon Moscow

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireStory/lithuania-cuts-off…

The Captain

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A Lithuanian official was on Amanpour some time ago, talking about how they have been working on getting free of Russia for years. One big step was building a regassification plant, which went on line a few years ago. As a bonus, being able to buy gas from anywhere in the world, vs what Putin and Gazprom dictate, their cost fell.

iirc it was the Estonian PM that said their electrical grid is still synchronized with the Russian grid. They have been working on connecting to the EU grid for years, but it is a very large, expensive, project.

Steve

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What will war crimes trials for Putin, et al do to the world economy?

https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/p/april-2-2022
Today, Ukrainian soldiers recaptured the areas around Kyiv that Russian forces had taken early in the invasion. Retaking the territory, they found mined homes, executed civilians, and, in the city of Bucha near Kyiv, a mass grave of nearly 280 civilians. In the town of Trostyanets, the evacuating Russians defecated in the rooms of the police station and on a dead civilian outside.

The reported war crimes and atrocities have made it impossible to separate the Russian troops from Russian president Vladimir Putin. Their shared criminality will have the effect of solidifying Putin’s power by making all the Russians outcasts together as they have deliberately demonstrated they reject the western rules of war.

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What will war crimes trials for Putin, et al do to the world economy?

First, keep in mind the video being broadcast could be staged propaganda.

That being said, Putin is pretty much invulnerable to outside reprisal. As long as he has his nuclear arsenal, the west is not going to intervene, even if the reports of mass, intentional, killing of civilians by Russian troops are true. Can’t take a chance on Putin deciding to incinerate the world.

I don’t know what the west could do, other than take the route used with the AVG in early 1941: expedite the sale of hardware, and recruitment of mercenaries, to fight in the pay of Ukraine.

Steve

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Steve,

That assumes Putin does not start at all with NATO.

I am not sure any of us can bank on Putin not expanding this war. He has a losing hand, but can greatly bloody us. That assumes either he or his generals do not go full nuke or we can shoot down his missiles. Unknows, but this game is much more high risk than we like to think. Odds Putin surprises us are bad.

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I don’t know what the west could do,

It’s the economy, Steve!! The West is sending boatloads of equipment to thousands of motivated fighters vs. a Russia with a weak economy that is not capable of sustaining the loses they are suffering in Ukraine. Putin is regrouping now and the second wave could be bloodier than the first but by then the Russian military will be so depleted that they either go home or start a nuclear war in which case all bets are off.

Maybe the most important thing is to break the Kremlin Propaganda Machine to let ordinary Russians know what is really happening. Protesting against dictators is a very perilous occupation but change has to come from within.

The Captain

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… change has to come from within.

You mean like it did in Germany and Japan in 1945.

Oh, wait …

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It’s the economy, Steve!! The West is sending boatloads of equipment to thousands of motivated fighters vs. a Russia with a weak economy that is not capable of sustaining the loses they are suffering in Ukraine. Putin is regrouping now and the second wave could be bloodier than the first but by then the Russian military will be so depleted that they either go home or start a nuclear war in which case all bets are off.

Maybe the most important thing is to break the Kremlin Propaganda Machine to let ordinary Russians know what is really happening. Protesting against dictators is a very perilous occupation but change has to come from within.

The Captain,

If I were attempting to maintain defense in Russia, my biggest fear would be a second front in the Stans. Oil rich with fundamentalists radicalization.

Considering the state of the economy, GDP the size of Italy with half the GDP per capita of Italy and the economy took a hard hit from sanctions, this is a recipe for unrest. Add in an un motivated, poor equipped and untrained military, this war has got to end. Not because the west says so, but because the security situation in Russia demands it.

Cheers
Qazulight

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Maybe the most important thing is to break the Kremlin Propaganda Machine to let ordinary Russians know what is really happening.

This is happening. Turns out after Russia more or less banned FB and Twitter, Russia still needs to use a SM to broadcast. The propaganda machine turned to Telegram which is encrypted. Ukraine turned to Telegram as well for that reason. Russian authorities can not see what the Russian public sees on Telegram. Russia has to allow Telegram to manage the public. They more than likely wont shut it down.

Telegram was invented by a couple of Russians who are living for a while I think it was in exile.

You mean like it did in Germany and Japan in 1945.

Yes! Change has to come from within. All the Allies did was to convince Germany and Japan that it was a good idea to demilitarize. The Carrot and the Stick thingy! The Ukrainians with the help of the Free World are incentivising Russia to change.

The reason WWI led to WWII was that WWI ended badly, in an armistice, not in a total humiliation rout like WWII. You got to beat the crap out of the aggressors, out of the bullies.

“Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Teddy Roosevelt.

The Captain

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It’s the economy, Steve!! The West is sending boatloads of equipment to thousands of motivated fighters vs. a Russia with a weak economy that is not capable of sustaining the loses they are suffering in Ukraine.

Putin just announced the drafting of another 130,000 men. That is equal to the entire force assembled to invade Ukraine on the first go. No matter how much equipment the west pours in to Ukraine, even with an advantageous kill ratio, Ukraine will run out of men. The leaders of Belarus and Kazakhstan both “owe” Putin for helping put down their internal rebellions, so add their armies to the Russian force.

Meanwhile, Putin continues covert ops to undermine western governments. Viktor Orbán, whose party retained control in Sunday’s election, is still kissy-face with Putin. There is a sizable isolationist faction in the US that could not care less what happens in Ukraine, and a small, but loud, pro-Putin faction in the US.

You got to beat the crap out of the aggressors, out of the bullies.

As the POTUS said, Putin is the problem. The problem will continue as long as Putin is in power. Putin is sitting on a nuclear arsenal, so can’t be directly confronted like the Axis powers were in WWII.

Steve

The reason WWI led to WWII was that WWI ended badly, in an armistice, not in a total humiliation rout like WWII. You got to beat the crap out of the aggressors, out of the bullies.

The Captain

Odd, that’s not how I remember the story?

After World War One, Germany was severely punished by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles. The newly formed Weimar Republic faced much opposition from both right- and left-wing groups. From 1918 to 1933, reparations payments, hyperinflation and the Great Depression caused much economic hardship for the German people.

Tim

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I understand why in the beginning there was a lot of talk about possible Putin expansion of the war to other countries, but I wonder about this now when I am reading pieces about the vast amount of equipment he has lost, the poor state of reserve equipment, the impossibility of repair, the large loss of life, the large number of soldiers incapacitated by wounds, the policy of supposedly not sending fresh conscripts into combat, their likely poor performance if they were sent, the number of earlier conscripts which are going to jump at the chance of going home at the end of their term, and the difficulty of raising additional resources without admitting that this is a war, not some kind of minimal action, and that one is losing.

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Putin just announced the drafting of another 130,000 men. That is equal to the entire force assembled to invade Ukraine on the first go.

I remember there being 190,000 right before the invasion started. Supposedly, they have promised not to send any of these new conscripts to war any time soon, but then they also said that no conscripts were part of the force in Ukraine and that obviously is not true. What is clear, though, is that if they send any of these new conscripts to Ukraine, they will be very poorly trained, i.e., cannon fodder. Moreover, the prior class of conscripts is nearing the end of their term and most seem likely to want to go home rather than contracting for a longer term.

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I understand why in the beginning there was a lot of talk about possible Putin expansion of the war to other countries, but I wonder about this now when I am reading pieces about the vast amount of equipment he has lost, the poor state of reserve equipment, the impossibility of repair, the large loss of life, the large number of soldiers incapacitated by wounds, the policy of supposedly not sending fresh conscripts into combat, their likely poor performance if they were sent, the number of earlier conscripts which are going to jump at the chance of going home at the end of their term, and the difficulty of raising additional resources without admitting that this is a war, not some kind of minimal action, and that one is losing.

-tamhas

#PutinWarCriminal and #RussianWarCriminals must answer for scenes so vicious on the European continent that people with easy to upset stomachs should not view the following images. You are about to see how the Russian thugs dressed in military gear threw the Geneva Convention into a mass grave. We had hints of this depravity in Syria, where Russians operated. But Assad and Putin covered up for one another. I don’t wonder, but I know the Western world will not stand for other Russian expansionism elsewhere. Zelenskyy will continue to stoke the Western World’s conscience with the white-hot flames of moral outrage.

Russia invading Ukraine is our first “world war” built on cellphones connecting 4 Billion people all over the planet. In this war, the occupied country takes back their land in just weeks and sees horror shared instantaneously - with the whole world watching. Anyone with eyes can see the evidence of war crimes the world must prosecute. We must end these wars, which should have stopped in the 20th Century.

And yes, Russia must arrest Putin and turn him over to the World Court. The free world built on the rule of law must try and convict Putin so that other Authoritarians can see their actions will have dire consequences in the 21st Century. The new Russian leadership will also have to go after Putin’s cronies and kleptocrats to claw back the stolen Russian commonwealth. The new leadership that wants to re-establish Russia in a world economy must understand that the West will no longer play ball with bloody dictators hiding behind Christo-Fascism to whitewash their crimes.

Putin is a dead man walking. At this moment in time, he has eviscerated FSB leadership (with his arrest three weeks ago of top operatives in 20 FSB headquarters all over Russia) and has lost his military’s confidence. Putin no longer has the trust of his bureaucracy. He needs to extend his meeting tables by another football field length. He is the world’s Public Enemy No. 1 because of photos like this which anyone with a phone and backdoor connections inside a country ruled by Autocracy cracking down on the internet can view in a second.

When you see this first horrific image, think of Putin’s projection to “denazify Ukraine.” Imagine the horror this poor woman faced in this first image. Whether Russian troops carved the Nazi swastika into her skin before or after they raped and murdered her, this poor woman died in abject fear due to an enemy with no moral compass and no cares for the rule of law.

If fear of nuclear annihilation means we can’t go after these monsters, then I don’t belong in this world. We must track them down. We must demand justice for civilians who were butchered and left to rot on streets and in mass graves, many of them with hands tied behind their backs.

https://twitter.com/peregreine/status/1511013191249240070

425) #StandWithUkraine #PutinWarCriminal #RussianWarCriminals

Putin lies that he invaded Ukraine to “de-Nazify” the country. Meanwhile, his barbaric thugs did this to a woman they raped, murdered, and defiled. Warning! Rough block of photos here:

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Moreover, the prior class of conscripts is nearing the end of their term and most seem likely to want to go home rather than contracting for a longer term.

I’m pretty confident those conscripts will discover they are in for the duration, and they have no say in the decision. Remember how the US Army had trouble recruiting when the war in Iraq was going full blast? Remember how tours in Iraq were extended, due the lack of replacements?

WASHINGTON — All active-duty Army units deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will serve up to 15-month tours instead of the standard 12 months overseas, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced Wednesday.

https://www.stripes.com/branches/army-units-iraq-and-afghani…

And what does Putin’s labor pool look like?

Graph in this article: over 50% of Russian males between 25 and 34 are overweight or obese. Of the 35-44 cohort, 70% are overweight or obese.

https://www.karger.com/Article/Fulltext/493885

Russian alcohol abuse, while decreased from historical levels, is still very high. In Russia, 30% of deaths are alcohol related, vs 3.2% in the US.

https://qz.com/403307/russia-is-quite-literally-drinking-its…

So, a large share of those conscripts Putin just demanded will be obese alcoholics.

Steve

The reason WWI led to WWII was that WWI ended badly, in an armistice, not in a total humiliation rout like WWII.

Pretty much the opposite, actually. The peace agreement between Britain France et al, and Germany et al, was so one-sided as to spark two noteworthy reactions:

1: The US refused to sign on, and negotiated a separate peace, because the US government thought the other treaty too punitive;

2: A British economist, advisor to the British negotiating team, QUIT IN DISGUST. The he went home and wrote a book of the economic history of Europe - covering the period from 1920 to 1938 or so. Published in 1919. He included the rise of a demagogic dictator in Germany, and the resumption of war. This book proved so accurate that he’s still well known today - name was Keynes.

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Putin just announced the drafting of another 130,000 men. That is equal to the entire force assembled to invade Ukraine on the first go.

So the first group of ~100K+ “highly trained and motivated” soldiers couldn’t do the job, so now they are going to send in the B team to do the job properly?

Mike

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Pretty much the opposite, actually. The peace agreement between Britain France et al, and Germany et al, was so one-sided as to spark two noteworthy reactions:

Not only did the war end badly as I contend but the peace was brokered badly as Lord Keynes and President Wilson contended and the two events are deeply intertwined. Had the war not ended in an armistice, the victors would have extracted revenge on the battlefield instead of in the Palace of Versailles.

The Captain
visited the Palace of Versailles as a kid when we trekked from Hungary to Venezuela after WWII.

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Pretty much the opposite, actually. The peace agreement between Britain France et al, and Germany et al, was so one-sided as to spark two noteworthy reactions:

What that misses is the demands the US made on it’s erstwhile allies for repayment of war debts, in full, with interest. As it worked out, the repayment agreements worked out by SecState Hughes and SecTreasury Mellon were more lax than what Congress demanded, but still accounted for every penny that the US had loaned. One provision the US absolutely would not accept was making repayments by the debtors contingent on the debtors receiving reparations from Germany.

In a letter obviously intended for US consumption, a very high UK official, I forget which one right now, to the French ambassador to the UK, said that, if it was up to the UK, it would forgive the debts owed it by it’s allies, and forego reparations from Germany, but, as the US was pressing the UK for cash, the UK had to demand cash from it’s allies, and reparations, so it could pay the US.

Hence the pressure on Germany for reparations, so everyone could pay their debts to the US, using the cash paid by Germany.

I did a little figuring, extrapolating the price per square mile the US paid Denmark for the Virgin Islands in 1917, to the land area of all the UK held islands in the Caribbean, plus British Honduras. The total I got equaled the principle owed by the UK to the US, about $4B, and part of accrued interest. The amount owed by the other allies to the UK, which had financed all of them prior to April 1917, was slightly less than what the UK owed the US. So, the US could have taken the UK colonies as payment, the UK, relieved of that debt, could forgive all the loans made to it’s allies, as that would be about a wash with the amount the UK owed the US. Then the majority of the pressure on Germany for reparations would vanish. I was not the only person to think of this. There was a lot of chatter in American newspapers at the time about such a swap of colonies for debt, but President Harding and PM Lloyd George both said no.

I suspect FDR observed the strife caused by the US acting like a loan shark, hence took a very casual attitude about the allies returning or paying for “lend lease” goods twenty years later.

Steve

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