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I am a simple man, and a lot of things are beyond my understanding. It seems to me that using sanctions in the current manner will hurt the West as much or more than those being sanctioned in the long run. It seems that we are helping to create and or expand global trade infrastructure that doesn't need to rely so much on the US dollar. A deindustrialized US that reaps so much from the reserve status of its currency appears to me to be taking a big gamble even if we aren't in the early stages of a global conflict. Which I don't really think we can win.

Conflicts develop a gravity of their own and participants are caught up on the back of the beast with no easy way to get off. I can't visualize a way to back this thing down. Can anybody? I can imagine a lot of ways for this to get worse. And it is getting worse. Getting worse is the default.

If Washington has a plan to end this war, I can't say that I have heard it articulated.

Oh wait, this is a news thread so let me put on my citizen journalist hat and report. I've talked to a fair number of people and it's clear to me that the average American Joe still doesn't know where Ukraine is and isn't interested in finding it on a map. We are lost in a maze of mirrors over here.
 
Moderator Action: This is a news thread and for the most part that means linking to actual news stories for people top read and comment on. Anecdotal opinions do not count as actual news. None of us hear speak for the Average American Joe. And, keep in mind that ~50% of Americans would be "Janes". Thanks.
 

Food giant Danone announces final withdrawal from Russia​


Food giant Danone has confirmed the finalisation of its divestment in Russia, a market it had entered in 1992.

The French corporation had indicated in late March that it had received the regulatory permissions it needed to sell its subsidiary in Russia to a businessman associated with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, following a loss of control over the entity.

The sale of its dairy and plant-based products (EDP) to Vamin R LLC, a Russian dairy company owned by Mintimer Mingazov, reportedly linked to Kadyrov, was initially scheduled “in the coming weeks.”

On Friday, Danone announced that it had executed the sale after obtaining necessary Russian regulatory permissions. However, financial details of the deal remained undisclosed.

Following Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and economic sanctions imposed by Western nations, many multinational corporations chose to pull out of Russia, while others suspended their operations in the oil, automotive, and luxury sectors.

Danone kicked off the process of transferring its operations more than seven months after the invasion. It had been one of the pioneering multinational corporations to venture into Russia in August 1992, soon after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Dairy products such as milk and yoghurt were marketed in Russia under the Danone, Danissimo, and Prostokvashino brands.

In 2010, the group acquired 57.5% of Russia’s second-largest dairy products company, Unimilk, representing a 21% market share and 25 factories.

Russia accounted for about 5% of Danone’s global sales.

 

Food giant Danone announces final withdrawal from Russia​


Food giant Danone has confirmed the finalisation of its divestment in Russia, a market it had entered in 1992.

The French corporation had indicated in late March that it had received the regulatory permissions it needed to sell its subsidiary in Russia to a businessman associated with Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, following a loss of control over the entity.

The sale of its dairy and plant-based products (EDP) to Vamin R LLC, a Russian dairy company owned by Mintimer Mingazov, reportedly linked to Kadyrov, was initially scheduled “in the coming weeks.”

On Friday, Danone announced that it had executed the sale after obtaining necessary Russian regulatory permissions. However, financial details of the deal remained undisclosed.

Following Russia’s military aggression in Ukraine on 24 February 2022 and economic sanctions imposed by Western nations, many multinational corporations chose to pull out of Russia, while others suspended their operations in the oil, automotive, and luxury sectors.

Danone kicked off the process of transferring its operations more than seven months after the invasion. It had been one of the pioneering multinational corporations to venture into Russia in August 1992, soon after the fall of the Soviet Union.

Dairy products such as milk and yoghurt were marketed in Russia under the Danone, Danissimo, and Prostokvashino brands.

In 2010, the group acquired 57.5% of Russia’s second-largest dairy products company, Unimilk, representing a 21% market share and 25 factories.

Russia accounted for about 5% of Danone’s global sales.

A solid victory for the Russian left.
 
This sort of heavy handed with us or against us politics is precisely the reason why most of the world despises OTAN and america and why they are in support of Russia in the first place.
They are despised mostly because of hypocrisy and elitism IMO. When attitude to the countries like Kyrgyzstan is "sanction them" / "throw them a bone", whereas members of the club get special treatment.
A solid victory for the Russian left.
More for their Russian and non-Russian competitors, similarly capitalist unfortunately.
 
More for their Russian and non-Russian competitors, similarly capitalist unfortunately.
Yeah, point taken, but in this day and age "left" and "capitalist" don't actually have to be antonyms.
 
Yeah, point taken, but in this day and age "left" and "capitalist" don't actually have to be antonyms.
Were they ever really? Social democracy has existed ever since leftism has as an alternative to revolutionary Marxism. Earlier even, depending on how you define leftism.

They are despised mostly because of hypocrisy and elitism IMO. When attitude to the countries like Kyrgyzstan is "sanction them" / "throw them a bone", whereas members of the club get special treatment.
Precisely. Most of the world sees america and its vassals in OTAN as being the new evil empire of the world trying to turn smaller nations into their colonies. Mostly because that is precisely what they actually are.

The current international order is essentially the continuation of early 20th century colonial politics by another name (the UN security council is basically the old colonial empire + Soviets and America) and is deeply exploitative to most of the worlds nations and people. And to a lot of them Russia is seen not as an evil empire invading poor Ukraine but as the plucky underdog standing up to the evil empire by fighting one of its vassals. And honestly, there is merit to that interpretation. I mean, is what Russia is doing right now really that worse than what OTAN did to for example Iraq?

Now, this is not saying I support their invasion of Ukraine. Of course not. But I would also have to be extremely blind not to see the hypocrisy of America and OTAN calling someone else an evil imperialist.
 
Were they ever really? Social democracy has existed ever since leftism has as an alternative to revolutionary Marxism. Earlier even, depending on how you define leftism.


Precisely. Most of the world sees america and its vassals in OTAN as being the new evil empire of the world trying to turn smaller nations into their colonies. Mostly because that is precisely what they actually are.

The current international order is essentially the continuation of early 20th century colonial politics by another name (the UN security council is basically the old colonial empire + Soviets and America) and is deeply exploitative to most of the worlds nations and people. And to a lot of them Russia is seen not as an evil empire invading poor Ukraine but as the plucky underdog standing up to the evil empire by fighting one of its vassals. And honestly, there is merit to that interpretation. I mean, is what Russia is doing right now really that worse than what OTAN did to for example Iraq?

Now, this is not saying I support their invasion of Ukraine. Of course not. But I would also have to be extremely blind not to see the hypocrisy of America and OTAN calling someone else an evil imperialist.
Lucky you! You are going to be experiencing what 20th c, and 19th c.m colonial politics amounted to in a not to distant future the way things are currently going, courtesy of Russia and China.

(It makes more sense for Russia – since it still IS the only surviving 19th c. colonial empire. The Chinese otoh are implementing a modernized version of the British 19th c. "informal empire" through financing (and profits going to London/Beijing as the then-and-now case might be), in particular in Africa.)

That is to say, you will avoid it IF you are part of the OTAN. If not – probably no such luck.

Everyone can be hacked off the Europeans and Americans if they like. But is all the accomplish is to fall victim to a new spate of colonialism, just with new faces, if they absolutely must – or rather one will be imposed on them, just not by the usual suspects.

And them, when the stars align, maybe they can start appreciating what the post-WWII sustem ACTUALLY did, and how the post-Soviet situation ACTUALLY worked.
 
Moderator Action: Back to Ukrainian War news please.
 
I do feel there is something lost if posting news links is all that can be done.



And here's a news article:

Source

On the night of Sunday, May 19, during a special operation of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine at a refinery in the city Vyborg Three vertical fuel tanks were destroyed by explosive devices in the Leningrad region.

...

Since the end of January, Ukraine has regularly struck oil refineries in Russia with long-range drones. Overall The security service carried out at least 13 successful attacks on Russian refineries, stated the head of the SBU, Vasyl Malyuk. According to him, thanks to this, oil production and processing in the Russian Federation decreased by 12%. He emphasized that revenues from the export of petroleum products make up a third of the Russian budget

...

On April 30, Politico reported that in Russia, as a result of drone attacks on oil refineries, the supply of gasoline is running out. It is noted that diesel fuel prices for Russian consumers increased by almost 10% in a week%. Gasoline prices have increased by 20% since the beginning of the year.

I'd read about the attacks last week on Novorossiysk's refinery, but this article gave greater context than I had seen before. The Politico article visualizes it:

1716148217130.png

* = 7-day rolling average

Whether that dip can be sustained, we'll see. But it looks like perhaps Ukraine's oil strikes are adding up to more than a symbolic response to Russia's thermal plant strikes, but enough to have a noticeable impact.

In other oil-related news, while much smaller than China or India, South Korea is taking steps to insure it isn't indirectly buying Russian oil products: Source

Cargoes of an oil product from Russia are building up at sea as South Korean buyers turn cautious, highlighting how the invasion of Ukraine continues to impact flows more than two years after the war began.

More than 2 million barrels of Russian naphtha, a building block for plastics, have been held in tankers for more than a week, with some in the waters near Oman, as of May 5, according to market intelligence firm Kpler. That’s up from a weekly average of about 790,000 barrels in January and February.

Petrochemical makers in South Korea — traditionally major buyers of the Russian product — are now shunning direct imports, and any cargoes with unclear origins, for fear of government scrutiny, according to traders with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified. That follows the launch in March of an investigation into naphtha imports by the country’s authorities.

...

Before the assault on Kyiv, Russia was South Korea’s top naphtha supplier. While direct flows dwindled after the war began, imports from nations such as United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Singapore and Tunisia swelled, according to Kpler data. In March, however, South Korean authorities launched the probe to examine whether naphtha from Russia was being re-labeled.

Since then, imports from Mideast suppliers — such as Kuwait and Oman — have risen, according to Viktor Katona, an analyst at Kpler. At the same time, Russian naphtha flows to China and Taiwan have expanded, Katona said, noting shipments from Moscow accounted for more than half of Taiwan’s imports in April.

While South Korean refiners and petrochemical companies are allowed to import naphtha from Moscow, they need to comply with a Group of Seven price cap that bars access to western services if cargoes cost more than certain levels. Seoul isn’t a part of the G-7 but it has supported measures that the group imposed in an effort to punish Russia for the war.
 
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I do feel there is something lost if posting news links is all that can be done.
Moderator Action: The goal for this thread has been two fold. One, to keep the discussion focused on war related events and two, to avoid several things that we saw regularly in the early threads: bickering over who's right; derails over prewar events and introducing unrelated topics into the threads. Not all posts need to have news links but they should try to address news previously posted. Discussions do wander and some of that does get ignored but when it goes on too long or strays to far from what is happening "on the ground" we remind people to get back to news. Repeated violations or ongoing inappropriate posting can earn thread bans and or infraction points. We have always encouraged folks to start side threads on topics they want to discuss that involve non current news or side topics not directly related to conflict. Few people do that.

The just previous series of posts began to stray into golbal history and colonization which do not fit with the war news theme. They would be perfect for a side thread and, certainly, if asked, we would move posts into such a thread. We also understand that the nature of the war news has changed from the events of 2022 and early 2023 to a more sedate (less excitig?) series of events. That seems to leave the door open for more divergent posts to spice up the conversation. We really don't want to go down that path.


tldr: Post the news and talk about the news. Be nice; don't bicker or name call.
 
Having a solution to your problem is not a requirement for pointing out why your solution is wrong. Especially not when that solution is to go around the world forcing countries to align with your foreign policy at gunpoint., economic or otherwise.

It's not my solution, mine would have been to immediately wipe out Russian soldiers from Ukraine using NATO Air Forces, ending the war day one. Thousands of lives saved compared to the current situation, or half of the world nuked.

Their solution is surely also bad, but remember the cause: Russia invasion of Ukraine.

Don't blame the victims, I'm not in a part of the world that is gaining something from those sanctions, AFAIK those who benefits are the US (selling fossil fuels to Europe at a higher price), North Korea and Iran (selling weapons to Russia, getting whatever they get in exchange), China and India (getting more petrol/gaz than they can use, at low price, and giving them an upper hand in any exchange with Russia), etc...

But if in the end it prevents a larger war in Europe by raising its cost to unsustainable levels for Russia to the benefit of the middlemen, it's the lesser of two evils.

An example with India, which managed to force Russia to reinvest in India the billions of rupees they gained from crude oil exports. Those are not going to directly finances their war in Ukraine.


Russia has used the rupees in SRVAs to make investments in stocks, government securities, infrastructure schemes and other areas, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity. They declined to go into details in view of the sensitivities involved.
The two sides are still conducting most of their trade in their national currencies, with some payments for energy supplies being made in UAE dirhams, the people said. The Indian side has been loath to make payments in the Chinese yuan, especially in view of the dragging military standoff on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that has taken India-China ties to an all-time low.
 
One or two Russian ships may have been hit in Sevastopol this WE.

Needs confirmation, the article below seems to mix sources between the reports on 2 ships


that other article mention the two ships separately

 
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If one adopts the policy of not believing things until they are officially denied:


then I'd guess Russia is planning to encircle Kharkiv.

In that specific case most articles I've read in the past months about this offensive are basically saying the same thing: Kharkiv itself is not the objective, it's (still) Chasiv Yar.

Now, as red_elk pointed, if the front was to collapse near Kharkiv it's another story.
 
In relation to the previous discussion about what can/can't be done about sanctions and embargo if you want your money (Dollar/Euro) to still have some credibility in international finance


Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavsky said the move will hand Ukraine up to €3 billion (about $3.3 billion) this year.

"We have approved in the EU using revenues from Russia's central bank's frozen assets to help Ukraine," wrote Lipavsky on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Up to €3B only this year, 90% goes for Ukraine's military. Russia must pay for its war damages."
 
NYT: "The government has for the first time ordered nationwide rolling blackouts for Monday night to conserve energy."

Business Insider:
  • Russia's war machine looks different today than it did at the start of the conflict.
  • Moscow has new defense leadership in place and is setting the stage for an offensive this summer.
  • Putin is finally getting serious about the fight, and it's not good for Ukraine.
 
This morning's big news item in Finland:

Russia now allegedly (sourced to a leaked internal Russian government resolution) intends to unilaterally declare a change to the sea borders with Finland and Lithuania. We'll see if they go through with it – but it is typical of Russia pushing the envelope to gradually shift situations into conflict, and escalate them. Russia is a signatory of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, so the Finnish comment so far is that Finland expects Russia to act within that framework it is a signatory of – and which also defines and recognizes Russia's borders. But it would be consistent with present Russian politics to push this kinds of situation to an end where Russia effectively has no internationally defined and accepted borders. The situation in Ukraine is well on the way already. (Then the Finns are also saying IF Russia goes through with this, there will have to be a hard Finnish response.)
It's around this, the Russian island of Hogland (and some more in the vicinity) in the Gulf of Finland, Russia wants mores space. In strategic or even tactical, terms it makes little difference. The Gulf of Finland is a narrow body of water, and with both Finland and Estonia in NATO, it becomes a gauntlet for the contingent of the Russian Baltic fleet in St Petersburg to run regardless. (Otoh maybe Estonia is not assumed to be in NATO, or even independent, in the future...) But this kind of uniltateral Russian annexation, even of "just" a bit of water crates a point of conflict with Finland, and by extension NATO, where nothing previously existed – for future use, a potential "casus belli"...
Estonia is commenting that there should be a joint response to something like this.
 
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