All things Russia Vs. Ukraine for march 31, 2022

1. Tucker Carlson: The errors in calculous on the Russian invasion


2. Putin doubles down on switching to Rubles for payment of energy. Will post two more links discussing it. Caution on the Zero Hedge one, as it tends to lean Russian, but that doesn’t mean its entirely wrong.

Mishtalk: “Ruble strong like bull”

Zero Hedge: Putin signs decree

This will be updated over the day both here in the post, and in the comments. Please check both over the course of the day.

On a personal note, it seems that the US has deployed a never before seen strategy of “Cognitive ambiguity”. Israel for many years had a policy of Nuclear Ambiguity. The idea was, no one should attack them because they don’t know for sure if Israel has nuclear retaliatory potential or not. And not admitting they have them solved diplomatic problems for people who imagine that societies without enough cooperation, civilization or science should have equal access to these terrible weapons.

But now the US has a new strategy. Cognitive ambiguity, where you have no idea who is actually leading the country, making the decisions, stating policy or uttering angry bed-time threats. It’s literally no surprise to anyone that Biden is unfit. Millions of bots on social media will argue, and communists will fight tooth and nail to keep him in for their own reasons. But even they know he is way past his sell-by.

The only motive I can think of that might maybe kinda-sorta be in the public interest is the idea of cognitive ambiguity. He represents a kind of Nixonian “Mad Man” theory of military policy. The enemy thinks he is so crazy he might do anything so don’t piss him off.

But its more likely that Nanci Pelosi and other Democrats, Obama etc. really enjoy being the defacto president and having their own dementia-ridden marionette. He shields them from criticism, and they can do whatever the hell they want with that protection.

3. Russia implements the draft

(The initial claim, that Putin is angry because his generals did not tell him about military failures in Ukraine, reminds me of a story Mark Steyn wrote out in the National Post once upon a time when he was a columnist there. First, remember this video is from CNN. Increasingly I suspect all their anchors are cloned and raised in the basement in front of a green screen. Their connection to reality is limited to depositing their cheques. But assuming her claim is correct for the moment:

(Quoting Steyn’s story from memory) ‘When Hitler had to travel in Germany, he told his driver to avoid any war damage as his sensitive nature would make it too painful to see what horrors had been done to his beloved Germany. If there was no way to get somewhere without going through bombed out areas, he had special curtains installed in the car so he could block out the entire view till it was safe to look outside again. Contrasting that with Churchill, whenever he heard of a bombing in England, he would race out to it to asses the damage and learn all he could about German methodology and know how best to help the locals. (Coventry notwithstanding)

So one might think if Putin’s generals are too frightened to tell Putin about the reality on the battlefield, we get a sense of the reality of the man himself. And it doesn’t bode well for the outcome. Probably for any of us.

4. Gen. Boykin: Russian generals are not being straight with Vladimir Putin

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

60 Replies to “All things Russia Vs. Ukraine for march 31, 2022”

  1. zero hedge – Putin Signs Decree Ordering Gas Exports To Be Halted If Buyers Don’t Pay In Rubles

    Contrary to expectations that Vladimir Putin was bluffing about collecting rubles in exchange for Russian energy exports, moments ago a decree signed by the Russian president confirmed that that was not the case.

    According to Bloomberg, Putin said he had signed a decree demanding payment in rubles for Russian gas supplies, which is set to begin April 1 as previously reported.

    According to the decree, while Russia will continue to supply gas at set volumes and prices, it will demand that buyers of gas open accounts in Russian banks, and warned that Moscow can halt gas contracts if buyers don’t pay in rubles ; additionally, new proceedings in EUR or USD could be blocked. Pushing what many viewed as a bluff to the edge, Putin said that active contracts will be halted if demands are not met, and explained that the move is meant to increase settlements in national currencies.

    Putin’s decree follows an earlier report in the Russian press that Gazprom was studying options of halting gas supplies to Europe amid RUB payment issues. It also follows comments from the Kremlin which suggested that it would look into the idea from lawmakers to ask other nations to pay for a wider range of Russia exports in rubles.

    Indicating Russia’s operational readiness to follow through with the plan, Interfax adds that Putin has ordered for special accounts for gas payments to be opened at Gazprombank which will sell gas FX on a Moscow exchange.

    In kneejerk response to the news, US nat gas prices spiked – perhaps in anticipation that much of US output will now be LNG-ed over to Europe, potentially creating a US shortage in due course…

    • twitter @disclosetv

      JUST IN –

      German companies “can, want, and will” pay in euros, Chancellor Scholz said in response to Putin’s new decree on Russian gas.


      Scholz: Unternehmen werden russisches Gas weiter in Euro bezahlen

      Ungeachtet der Drohung des russischen Präsidenten Wladimir Putin, westlichen Unternehmen den Gashahn zuzudrehen, wenn sie nicht ab 1. April in Rubel von Konten in Russland bezahlen, hat Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz (SPD) bekräftigt, dass Gaslieferungen weiterhin in Euro bezahlt würden.

    • BRUSSELS – EU clinches US LNG deal, brushes off Russian rouble demand

      The European Union and United States are set to unveil a deal on Friday to supply Europe with more U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG), sources told Reuters, as the European bloc seeks to quickly curb its reliance on Russian fossil fuels.

    • NYT – Regulators raid companies involved in natural gas in Europe.

      Media reports linked the raids to subsidiaries of Gazprom, the Russian gas giant.

      BERLIN — European Union and German regulators carried out unannounced inspections at several companies involved in the supply, transmission and storage of natural gas, on suspicion of violating E.U. competition regulations, the authorities said on Thursday.

      None of the companies targeted in the raids, which took place on Tuesday, were identified, and both the European Commission, the executive arm of the bloc, and Germany’s antitrust regulator, the Bundeskartellamt, refused to comment further.

      Reuters and German media reported that two companies subjected to the inspections were Gazprom Germania GmbH and Wingas GmbH, both subsidiaries of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas supplier. Neither company responded to requests for comment.

      The commission said that the surprise raids were part of “a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anticompetitive practices.” If sufficient evidence of wrongdoing is found, a formal investigation can proceed.

      Earlier this month, the commission singled out Gazprom for possible violations of market regulations on competition.

      “The Commission continues its investigation into the gas market in response to concerns about potential distortions of competition by operators, notably Gazprom,” it said in a March 8 statement that laid out its plans to diversify Europe’s sources of natural gas.

      In 2018, the commission reached a settlement with Gazprom, after a long-running antitrust investigation into its dominance in regional gas markets across Europe. Unlike with other competition inquiries into companies like Google and Intel, the commission did not fine Gazprom, provoking criticism from officials in Poland who feared the deal did not go far enough to prevent similar behavior in the future.

      Last year Russia provided about 45 percent of the European Union’s natural gas imports; in Germany, Russia’s share was even higher, amounting to 55 percent of imported natural gas.

      In addition to Wingas and Gazprom Germania, Gazprom holds stakes in several other companies that own or operate natural gas storage facilities and thousands of miles of pipeline.

      Europe’s largest underground tank for natural gas, in Rehden, Germany, is owned by Astora, another subsidiary of Gazprom. But the amount of gas that it holds on reserve has dropped to historic lows, even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24. Last week, European Union leaders proposed requiring underground storage facilities to be at least 90 percent full by Oct. 1 of each year.

      Gazprom is also involved in four long-distance pipelines, through joint ventures with the Germany-based Wintershall Dea, including Nord Stream AG, which owns the original pipeline carrying natural gas directly to Germany from Russia under the Baltic Sea. A second, parallel pipeline that the Russians had rushed to complete last year over vociferous objections from Washington, called the Nord Stream 2, was effectively frozen two days before Russia invaded Ukraine.

    • Nancy Pelosi says ‘Putin price hike’ needs to be ‘addressed’

      ….Can’t Let Higher Gas Prices Be An “Excuse” To Produce More American Energy

      ….“A Long Term Opportunity” To Push Green New Deal

      …..Biden’s Budget Raises Taxes On Oil Production, Pelosi Admits “Consumers Pay For That”

      ….“This Is Not Enough Money, We Are Gonna Even Need More Money”

    • global news – “A contract is a contract:” European leaders say they will pay for Russian gas in euros, not roubles

    • Austria opposes embargo on Russian oil, gas supplies – chancellor

      Austria is strongly reliant on Russian gas supplies, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said
      VIENNA, March 31. /TASS/. Austria opposes an embargo on the supplies of oil and natural gas from Russia to Europe because it’s strongly dependent on them, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said on Thursday.

      The chancellor said Austria is strongly reliant on Russian gas supplies. “Therefore, we clearly rebuff any ideas about halting the imports of Russian gas or Russian oil,” he said on OE-24 television.


      Austria’s OMV Expects Papers From Gazprom On Gas Payments In Rubles

      Austrian energy company OMV told Sputnik on Thursday that it is waiting for Russia’s Gazprom to explain in writing the use of rubles as payment for Russian gas despite the euro being the agreed-upon Currency.

      “OMV is expecting written information from the partner Gazprom. Our current contractual requirement is to make payments in Euros. OMV always follows all sanctions and legal statutes in place,” an OMV spokesman said.

  2. europravda – NATO chief: expect Russia to inflict more suffering

    Russian troops are not withdrawing from Ukraine but rather repositioning, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.

    He said the alliance expects “additional offensive actions” from Russia, that will bring “even more suffering”.

  3. europravda – UK spy chief: Russian troops refusing to carry out orders

    “It increasingly looks like Putin has massively misjudged the situation.”

    A UK intelligence chief, Jeremy Fleming, claims demoralized Russian soldiers in Ukraine are refusing to carry out orders and sabotaging their own equipment.

    • MSNBC – Putin In The Dark: U.S. Intel Finds He’s Being Misled By Advisers

      Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about the Russia’s military struggles in Ukraine, according to declassified U.S. intelligence, the New York Times reports.

    • Fox News – Putin has ‘failed miserably’ to achieve milestone objectives Gen Boykin

      …Putin’s military generals are misleading him

    • CBC – White House says Putin misled by advisers on Ukraine war

      Advisers to Russian President Vladimir Putin are shielding him from how badly the invasion of Ukraine is going, top U.S. officials have said.

      The head of the U.K.’s intelligence agency says Russia has massively misjudged Ukraine’s ability to defend itself.

    • BBC – Putin’s advisers not telling him truth about Russia’s war in Ukraine, says UK spy boss

      In a rare speech, Sir Jeremy Fleming said Russia has “massively misjudged the situation” in Ukraine, adding that beleaguered Russian troops have been sabotaging their own equipment and accidentally shot down one of their own aircraft.

      The spy chief says Mr Putin has “overestimated the abilities of his military to secure a rapid victory”.

      Meanwhile the US says it has intelligence of tensions between the Russian president and his military leadership.

      • The UK is senile, reliving old imperial feuds. Jealous of the Czar, who’s too cozy with India, the Jewel in the Crown. Russophobia is an endemic, chronic pathology in the UK. The patient should be restrained, as a threat to self and others. Padded cell.

        Even Col. Kemp, whom I’ve always respected, has gone around the bend:

        The Russian army has run out of time
        As sanctions continue to bite, sustaining even a stalemated campaign will be increasingly difficult for Russia. […] Despite Putin’s efforts at intimidation, including nuclear threats, it is essential that Nato escalates its financial and military support…

        Paradoxically, Zelenskiy’s best course of action now might be to draw the Russian army beyond its culminating point, luring it into street fighting in the cities where defending forces can inflict disproportionate attrition against the attackers….
        He’s actually recommending urban warfare, the most costly and destructive in civilian lives and infrastructure. Bonkers.

        The Mini-Manual for the Urban Defender

    • ‘Putin has already lost’ says head of British Army

      Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the Chief of the Defence Staff, said that Putin overestimated his military’s power with his invasion of Ukraine, which has run into fierce Ukrainian resistance that has inflicted devastating losses on Moscow’s armies.

  4. europravda – Zelenskyy dismisses Russian claims of scaleback

    “We don’t believe anyone, not a single beautiful phrase”

  5. MARCH 28 2022 – PBS – Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Ukraine and the West: ‘Don’t push us into the corner’

    Biden on Monday stood by his comments over the weekend that Russia’s Putin “cannot remain in power” as Zelensky said he was open to discussing neutrality for his nation in exchange for a ceasefire.

    Ryan Chilcote talked with Putin’s chief spokesman and deputy chief of staff Dmitry Peskov to get a view inside the Kremlin.

  6. CNN – Putin authorizes draft of nearly 135,000 into Russian military

    Christiane Amanpour reacts to news that Putin signed a decree on spring conscription, fixing a target for 134,500 individuals to be drafted into the Russian armed forces.

  7. DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Paramilitaries in Ukraine – How Ramzan Kadyrov and Chechen mercenaries shape the war

    The leader of the Russian province of Chechnya is calling for the storming of Ukraine’s capital Kiev as part of Russia’s so-called ‘special military operation.’

    For years, soldiers from Chechnya have been fighting alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    Chechen separatists fought two wars against Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    But Russia violently defeated the separatists.

    Now, Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation and is ruled by Ramzan Kadyrov – a loyal ally of President Vladimir Putin.

    Putin has repeatedly called upon Kadyrov’s paramilitary fighters to undertake risky missions in Ukraine.

    But some Chechen separatists have also joined the war – fighting against Russian forces.

  8. DEUTSCHE PRAVDA – Oil and gas supplies: How Europe prepares for disruption in energy flows

    …fossil fuel producers in countries including the United States are hoping for a boom. Despite President Biden’s plans to invest in renewable energy sources, the White House says the US expects to export more gas and oil to Europe.

    Ines Pohl traveled to the state of North Dakota to find out how producers there hope to cash in on the renaissance in fossil fuels.

    Europe is further planning to lean more heavily on liquified natural gas, or LNG, as it tries to break its dependence on Russian gas.

  9. “The initial claim, that Putin is angry because his generals did not tell him about military failures in Ukraine, reminds me” of propaganda that began to be broadcast nearly from the beginning.

  10. This draft by Putin is fake news spread by the ukrainian psy-op centers. In fact, almost all of the “news” about the conflict that regular westerners get to read / watch comes from the same source.

  11. Point of View Statement on Conflict in Ukraine: Negotiate Peace Now

    Peace and Conflict Resolution scholars and foreign affairs practitioners convened at the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter School’s Point of View research and retreat facility in Mason Neck, Virginia on March 22, 2022 issued the following appeal to the conflicting parties in Ukraine:

    All parties to this conflict are now hurting. The costs in human life and suffering are mounting and the damaging effects of the conflict are rippling around the world. It is high time for the parties to agree to an immediate and complete cessation of hostilities. Continuing the struggle inevitably multiplies the damage and poses increasing risks that nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction may be used…

  12. Thread: Ben Judah, Atlantic Council [NATO mouthpiece]

    A wave of Kremlin annexations incoming? South Ossetia has announced it plans to take steps to “join Russia” in the near future. This follows an announcement in the so-called Luhansk People’s Republic in the Donbas it will hold a referendum on joining Russia after the war.

    There has also been talk of the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic “joining Russia” in the Duma and mention of this as a possibility by its own leadership.

    Also worth noting that South Ossetia troops have joined the fighting in Ukraine and Russia is withdrawing its own troops from the territory to join fight there. So it is exposed and this could be to make a signal.
    South Ossetian troops fighting for Russia in Ukraine

    Some in the breakaway territory worry that, by getting involved militarily in Ukraine, they could be exposing themselves to an attack from Georgia.

    • Creepy Ben Judah:
      “One of the key analytical failings for the French and German intelligence chiefs in the run up to the war was a lack of trust in what their MI6 and CIA colleagues were telling them. Understandable post-Iraq and AUKUS but on Ukraine erroneous.”
      The CIA and MI6 have engineered this crisis – according to Russian-language TV, (via my neighbors). They say “Atlanticists” with the same scorn we say “globalists”.

  13. “Now we’re going to f*ck them all.” What’s happening in Russia’s elites after a month of war

    Sanctions and propaganda have rallied even those who were against the invasion around Putin

    [I]t can be said that, over the past month, Putin’s dream of a consolidation among the Russian elite has come true. These people understand that their lives are now tied only to Russia, and that that’s where they’ll need to build them. The differences and the influence of various circles and clans have been erased by the fact that, for the most part, people have lost their past positions and resources…

    According to several people on different levels of power, the personal sanctions have done Putin a big favor, having helped him accomplish what he had failed to do for many years: to turn the Russian elites into a near monolith.

    “All these personal sanctions cement the elites. Everyone who was thinking about a new life understands that, for the next 10-15 years at least, their lives are concentrated in Russia, their children will study in Russia, their families will live in Russia. These people feel offended. They will not overthrow anyone, but will build their lives here…”

  14. reuters – U.S. privately warned about Russia’s Kaspersky software

    The U.S. government began privately warning some American companies that Moscow could manipulate software designed by Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky to cause harm, according to a senior U.S. official and two people familiar with the matter

  15. europravda – Latvian parliament approves ban on Russian military symbols ‘V’ and ‘Z

    Latvia’s parliament has approved a ban on displaying the Russian military ‘Z’ symbol following its invasion of Ukraine.

    MPs voted on Thursday to prohibit people from displaying symbols of military aggression and war crimes at public events.

    Anyone found guilty under the new law will be fined up to €350 euros, while companies can be fined up to €2,900 euros.

    The Latvia parliament (Saeima) said in a statement that changing the law on public events was “urgent”.

    “While condemning Russia’s war activities in Ukraine, we must take a firm stance that symbols glorifying Russia’s military aggression,” said Artuss Kaimins, chair of the Latvian Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee.

    “The letters ‘Z’, ‘V’, or other symbols used for such purposes have no place in public events,” he added.

    Latvia had already banned symbols that promote or glorify Nazi or communist regimes, except where they are used for “educational, scientific or artistic purposes”.

    Citizens are now also prohibited from holding any events within 200 metres of any monument commemorating the Soviet army or its occupation of Latvia after the Second World War.

    In the last month, the ‘Z’ symbol has become a common sight on Russian military vehicles and pro-Kremlin social media accounts.

    Russia’s defence ministry has also used the letter ‘V’ in connection with the war in Ukraine. Neither letter exists in the Russian alphabet.

    Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has called for a universal ban on the political use of the letter ‘Z’ following the invasion.

    Lawmakers in another Baltic country Lithuania are also debating a ban on the black and orange Georgian ribbon and the ‘Z’ symbol.

    Federal authorities in Germany have also welcomed announcements by some states to investigate whether individual instances of the “Z” use constitute criminal acts.

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