Gauging the Efficacy of Western Sanctions Against Russia MikeRivero Mon, 01/30/2023 - 08:36

As the Russo-Ukrainian war enters 2023, its sustained intensity raises consternation amongst various policymakers in the US and Western Europe as to whether sanctions against Moscow are achieving desirable results. Despite the imposition of Western sanctions, there is no apparent end to the invasion in sight, nor are there any serious attempts at negotiations from Russia’s President Vladmir Putin.

A 59 year-old male Finnish farmer took up skating at age 50, declared himself transgender, and performed yesterday under the female name Minna-Maaria at the opening of the European Figure Skating Championship.

Finland was proud to announce that they would be including the world’s “first trans figure skater” at the proceedings, only to discover Markku could not skate.

 

Western countries agreed to supply tanks for use against the Russian invasion this week, prompting the Ukrainian government to push the envelope further, with discussions about more major military equipment advancing.

(above, clockwise from top left: German Frigate Lübeck (F214), German Leopard-2 Main Battle Tank, German 212A diesel-electric hydrogen fuel cell attack submarine, F-16 fighter jet)

On January 16-17, NATO Force Integration Unit (NFIU) Latvia hosted a counter-mobility workshop which allowed participants to build partnerships…and discuss military engineering plans specific to Latvia, including regional barrier activities of territorial forces.

Ukraine and its Western allies are engaged in “fast-track” talks on the possibility of equipping the invaded country with long-range missiles and military aircraft, a top Ukrainian presidential aide said Saturday.

Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, said Ukraine’s supporters in the West “understand how the war is developing” and the need to supply planes capable of providing cover for the armored fighting vehicles that the United States and Germany pledged at the beginning of the month.

The representatives of the European Service of External Actions of the European Union visited the Ministry of Defense of Georgia. They were hosted by the first deputy minister, Lela Chikovani, together with the representatives of the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Forces. The meeting was held within the strategic dialogue.

 Chair of the NATO Military Committee Rob Bauer said that the US-led bloc is ready for a direct confrontation with Russia in an interview with Portugal’s RTP TV channel.

Replying to a question on the matter, he asserted: "We are ready." That said, he added that NATO is going to respond only if Russia crosses the red line by invading one of NATO member states.

EU Ministers Seek Trump-Style Border Walls Amid Spike In Illegal Border Crossings MikeRivero Sat, 01/28/2023 - 09:07

Some members of the European Union are calling for the body to support renewed construction of border barriers as Europe has seen a rise in illegal border crossings in recent months.

Has World War III already begun?

That’s a serious question and deserves serious consideration by investors. A wave of analysts and commentators have warned that the war in Ukraine could spin out of control and escalate into World War III.

One variation on that theme is that the war could escalate into a nuclear war with tactical nuclear weapons deployed. Most point a finger at Russia as the party that will launch a nuclear strike out of desperation at a failing campaign in Ukraine.

Actually, the opposite is true.

The harshest winter since 2008 is contributing to shortages of staple vegetables across Central Asia and sending prices north in a region still suffering from COVID-induced food inflation. 

In Uzbekistan, record frosts have highlighted the shortcomings of the national energy system as even residents of the capital spent days on end without power. But the cold has also hammered the agriculture sector in the region’s most populous country.