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Member since: Fri Jun 7, 2019, 02:43 PM
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Russia reasserts right to use nuclear weapons in Ukraine

Source: The Guardian

The Kremlin again raised the spectre of the use of nuclear weapons in the war with Ukraine as Russian forces struggled to hold a key city in the south the country.

Dmitry Medvedev, a former Russian president who is deputy chairman of the country's security council, said Moscow could strike against an enemy that only used conventional weapons while Vladimir Putin's defence minster claimed nuclear "readiness" was a priority.

The comments on Saturday prompted Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, in an appearance by video link at Qatar's Doha Forum to warn that Moscow was a direct threat to the world.
"Russia is deliberating bragging they can destroy with nuclear weapons, not only a certain country but the entire planet."

Russia has approximately 6,000 nuclear warheads - the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons in the world. In an interview on Saturday, Medvedev said Russia's nuclear doctrine did not require an enemy state to use such weapons first.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2022/mar/26/russia-ukraine-war-zelenskiy-hails-powerful-blows-by-ukrainian-army-as-russia-hints-at-scaling-back-offensive-live?filterKeyEvents=false&page=with:block-623f02a38f08d422c5d5de58#block-623f02a38f08d42

As Putin loses even more men and equipment in his brutal invasion of Ukraine, I feel it is more and more likely that he will lash out and escalate to using tactical nuclear weapons as he falls into the "sunk cost fallacy" trap. Like a gambler on a massive losing streak, I feel Putin will keep "doubling down" and ultimately resort to the most horrific weaponry in his arsenal.

Because of the "sunk cost" fallacy, I feel confronting Putin as soon as possible with the direct over whelming military superiority of the US and NATO would actually lessen the chance of nuclear escalation and save lives in the process by halting Russia's attack on civilians and cities.

It would increase the possibility that elements inside the Russian government and military would act to remove Putin from power before Russian losses reached a point of no-return.

Russian forces secure a partial land corridor, Ukrainian officials say, but have had few recent terr

Source: NY Times

Russian forces secure a partial land corridor, Ukrainian officials say, but have had few recent territorial gains.

Even as Ukraine’s military said on Friday that Russian forces had secured a partial land corridor from Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, analysts say there has been little in the way of large scale territorial gains elsewhere in Ukraine in recent days.

About a month into Russia’s invasion, the Ukrainian government and military directly said for the first time that its intelligence showed the Kremlin believed the invasion had entered a new “protracted” phase, according to the Institute for the Study of War.

Since the war began, Moscow has considered the securing of a land corridor from Russia to the Crimean Peninsula a key strategic aim. Ukraine’s defense ministry said in a statement that Russian forces had been “partially successful” in securing enough territory around the besieged southern port city of Mariupol to move troops and supplies between Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and Russia.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/live/2022/03/25/world/ukraine-russia-war#russian-forces-secure-a-partial-land-corridor-ukrainian-officials-say-but-have-had-few-recent-territorial-gains

This is a significant admission from the Ukrainian officials.

If the besieged city of Mariupol is taken by the Russian invaders, which experts expect it will in the coming weeks, this land corridor to Crimea would be significantly strengthened.

45% of Ukraine population worry about accessing food: UN

Source: Anadolu Post (Turkey)

As Russia's war on Ukraine enters its second month, the UN World Food Program said Friday it estimates that 45% of the people in Ukraine are worried about finding enough food to eat.

“Food is one of the top three concerns, along with safety and fuel for transportation,” WFP spokesman Tomson Phiri said at a UN news conference. “The country’s food supply chain is broken. The existing systems that feed the tens of millions trapped inside Ukraine are falling apart: trucks and trains destroyed, airports bombed, bridges fallen, supermarkets emptied, and warehouses drained.”

He said the WFP is deeply concerned that families in embattled areas, especially Mariupol in southeastern Ukraine, have even greater problems finding food. “Lack of access to conflict-hit areas and a lack of humanitarian partners on the ground are the biggest obstacles to providing life-saving assistance to families inside Ukraine,” Phiri noted.

“The encircled city of Mariupol is running out of its last reserves of food and water.”

Read more: https://www.aa.com.tr/en/russia-ukraine-war/45-of-ukraine-population-worry-about-accessing-food-un/2546044

The UN food agency says that one out of five people in Ukraine are already short on food and are forced to use coping strategies like reducing the size and number of meals and eating less food.

Adults are not eating for days so children can have food.

Zelensky chief of staff: Ukraine 'very disappointed' in NATO summit results

Source: The Hill

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said Thursday the country has been let down by the emergency NATO summit in Brussels over the Russian invasion.

"We are very disappointed," Yermak said during a video call with the Atlantic Council, The Washington Post reported. "We expected more bravery. We expected some bold decisions."

Ukraine was hoping NATO would agree to a no-fly zone over Ukraine or supply the country with fighter jets, Yermak said, two moves that President Biden has explicitly ruled out as potentially drawing the U.S. into a bigger fight with Russia.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/599786-zelensky-chief-of-staff-ukraine-very-disappointed-in-nato-summit-results

Why would Ukraine be disappointed in NATO after billions of dollars of arms and supplies have been sent in the last month and even more are on the way?

Well, perhaps because the lives of the Ukrainian Armed forces are not an unlimited resource?

Perhaps because 3.5 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries?

Perhaps because another 6.5 million civilans have been forced from their homes inside Ukraine?

Perhaps because constant inhumane shelling by the Russian invaders is reducing Ukraine's cities to rubble?

In short, perhaps because the US and NATO response is insufficient compared to the desperate plight of the Ukrainian people and nation, well, at least from the perspective of President Zelensky and the Ukrainian government.

Russia says it has gained control of Ukrainian city Izyum

Source: The Hill

The Russian military has claimed to have taken control of the Ukrainian city of Izyum, according to reports from Moscow-controlled media outlet RIA-Novosti, reports CNN.

Ukraine, however, has denied this claim, and Ukrainian Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi's adviser Lyudmyla Dolhonovska told CNN that the battle against Russian invasion and takeover of Izyum is "still going on."

Izyum lies on a main road between Kharkiv and the Russian separatists areas of Luhansk and Donetsk in the east of Ukraine, notes CNN.
The city has had a blockade on communication since intense battles for control of the city began last week.

The first documented images and videos of the damage in the battle for Izyum have begun to be released, depicting shelled buildings, bodies left out in the street and mass destruction, CNN reported.

Read more: https://thehill.com/policy/international/russia/599713-russia-claims-to-have-gained-control-of-ukrainian-city-izyum

This is part of the Russian invaders' attempt to trap an estimated 40% of Ukraina Armed Forces in a pincer movement in eastern Ukraine.

Experts say the Ukrainian army could still withdraw westward to avoid encirclement but conceding territory in the east.

Their plan "B" is besieging Ukraine's major cities to tie up troops while pressing this offensive in eastern Ukraine that is more readily resupplied.

As for the actual state of the battle the OP also provides a link to CNN's report which in turn provides links on the current situation:

[div class"excerpt"]First images emerging from Izyum show widespread destruction and bodies in the streets
From CNN's Paul P. Murphy, Celine Alkhaldi and Josh Pennington

Izyum, an eastern Ukrainian city about 72 miles (116 kilometers) southeast of Kharkiv, has been cut off from nearly all communications since intense battles between Russian and Ukrainian forces broke out there last week.

Now, the first videos and images have emerged from the city.

They show widespread destruction, charred and bombed-out buildings, and bodies left lying in the streets.

CNN has geolocated and verified the authenticity of the videos, which were uploaded to social media on Tuesday. The population of Izyum was around 54,000 people.

Some context: A senior US defense official told CNN earlier Tuesday that Ukrainian armed forces were fighting to knock the Russian military out of the town after the Russians moved in from Ukraine's eastern Donbas region.


"Russia is here forever" Stunning ABC News Report with Video

Ukrainians continue to defend Mariupol from Russia

In a new video shown on Russian state television, Russia forces can be seen firing rocket launchers in the streets of Mariupol, signaling that Russia may be closer to taking control of the city.


Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boycherenk has fled the city

Russian forces continued their grinding territorial advances in Mariupol, entering parts of the city center on March 24. Ukrainian forces confirmed that Russian forces seized the Church of the Intercession of the Mother of God in the center of Mariupol on March 24.[32] Social media users geolocated several other videos of fighting in Mariupol to areas close to the city center, confirming ongoing Russian advances.[33] Several videos circulated on social media confirm that Russian Naval Infantry and Chechen forces are participating in the fighting.[34]

Ukraine’s Donetsk Oblast Military Administration Head Pavlo Kyrylenko stated on March 23 that Mariupol Mayor Vadym Boycherenko relocated to an unspecified city outside Mariupol because the mayor was unable to stay in constant contact with regional authorities due to poor signal in the city.[35] Kyrylenko added that Russian forces are intentionally targeting the city’s critical infrastructure, destroying heat, water, and electricity, forcing city authorities “to leave the city to be able to work to save the people.

The Mariupol City Administration reported on March 24 that Russian forces are using loudspeakers to falsely claim to Mariupol residents that Zaporizhia is no longer accepting refugees, the Ukrainian government has abandoned them, and that Russian forces have captured Odesa.[36] City authorities additionally reported Russian forces have forcibly deported approximately 6,000 Mariupol residents to Russia as of March 24.[37] Russian forces likely intend to demoralize Mariupol’s defenders and residents to force the city to capitulate.


This means that the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Mariupol, along with other city authorities, have fled the city.

It's estimated that 100,000 civilians remain trapped without food, water, electricity and under constant Russian shelling.

Is there a red-line for what the Russians will be allowed to do inside Ukraine?

By red-line I mean actions that would compel the US and NATO to act and directly confront Russia in Ukraine.

Is there a level of barbarity against the men, women and children of Ukraine that we would simply not tolerate and would use our own overwhelming military might to stop?

Honest question.

Any and all responses greatly appreciated.

Biden says NATO will respond 'in kind' if Russia uses chemical weapons

Source: Washington Post

At his news conference in Brussels on Thursday, Biden said NATO’s response if Russia used chemical weapons in its invasion of Ukraine “would depend on the nature of the use.”

“We would respond. We would respond,” Biden said. “If [Putin] uses it, the nature of the response would depend on the nature of the use.”

Later, Biden did not go into detail about whether NATO would respond militarily if Putin deployed chemical weapons in Ukraine.

“It would trigger a response in kind,” Biden said. “Whether or not you’re asking whether NATO would cross … we’d make that decision at the time.”

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/03/24/russia-ukraine-war-news-putin-live-updates/#link-HCEK5PRFA5BO3INO3363CK6RYE

“It would trigger a response in kind,” Biden said.

Does this mean the US and NATO would use chemical weapons on Russian troops, or that the US and NATO would supply chemical weapons to Ukraine?

“Whether or not you’re asking whether NATO would cross … we’d make that decision at the time.”

If the US and NATO choose not to directly confront Russia after the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, where would the red-line be?

Is there a red-line at all for what the Russians will be allowed to do inside Ukraine before the US and NATO get directly involved?

"Are the days of US dollar dominance drawing to a close?"

Financial Review
Mar 20, 2022 – 8.00pm

Are the days of US dollar dominance drawing to a close?

Concern is growing that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will accelerate the demise of the international financial system, and dislodge the US dollar from its privileged status.

For many, reports that China and Saudi Arabia are now stepping up negotiations to price oil sales in yuan provided confirmation that the US dollar has now begun its ineluctable slide. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, Saudi Arabia is now in active talks with Beijing to price some of its oil sales to China in yuan, a move that would dent the US dollar’s dominance of the global petroleum market.

The report comes as a growing number of analysts warn that Beijing’s determination to diminish the US dollar’s privileged position at the heart of international finance will have been bolstered by the sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its allies.

The problem is that if the US dollar and US government bonds are no longer deemed risk free, there will be a growing focus on assets that are presently outside the global banking system, such as gold and commodities, and cryptocurrencies.
Zoltan Pozsar, global head of short-term interest rate strategy at Credit Suisse, says a crisis unlike anything since Nixon took the US dollar off gold in 1971 is now under way, which will lead to the creation of a new world monetary order.


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