All things Russia Vs. Ukraine for April 1, 2022

1. IMF Warns That Sanctions Against Russia Threaten to Weaken the Dominance of the Dollar

The recent financial sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are threatening to weaken the dominance of the U.S. petrodollar as the world currency, said First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to The Financial Times.

(Much more to come today. A video by Vladimir Putin explaining how his energy will only be sold for Rubles is in the works. It is here below with Italian titles.)

2. How Russia’s attack affects Hungary

RAIR article on the Hungarian reaction here:

We will update over the course of the day.

 

 

About Eeyore

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

27 Replies to “All things Russia Vs. Ukraine for April 1, 2022”

  1. global news – Canadian intelligence flags Russian disinformation campaigns amid Ukraine war

    Canada’s electronic espionage agency is warning that Russian state-backed actors are seeding online disinformation around the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    While the news comes as no surprise to those familiar with Russian information warfare tactics, publicly releasing an assessment based on classified intelligence gathering is an unusual step for the Communications Security Establishment.

    “Since Russia’s brazen and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine, we have observed numerous Russia-backed disinformation campaigns online designed to support their actions,” the agency wrote in a series of tweets Friday morning.

    The CSE specified the alleged disinformation storylines: that Ukrainian authorities were harvesting organs from fallen soldiers and civilians, and that Russian troops were only attacking military targets in their “special operation” on Ukrainian soil.

    The agency also identified, “Russia’s efforts to promote stories that falsely categorize Russian protesters and citizens opposed to invasion as supporting neo-Nazis and genocide.”

    The CSE said it is sharing the intelligence to help Canadians protect themselves from Russian disinformation, which is spread on social media and with the aid of pseudo-journalists and less reputable websites.

    https://globalnews.ca/news/8727605/canadian-intelligence-flags-russian-disinformation-campaigns/

  2. sky news UK – Christopher Steele says he can’t see a way back for Putin

    Christopher Steele ran the Russia desk at MI6 and tells Sky News’ Beth Rigby that intelligence is “as much an art form as a science”.

    He says he can’t see a way back to the international stage for Russia’s President Putin.

  3. reuters – Putin ally warns agriculture supplies could be limited to ‘friends’

    April 1 (Reuters) – One of President Vladimir Putin’s allies warned on Friday that Russia, a major global wheat exporter, could limit supplies of agriculture products to “friendly” countries only, amid Western sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

    Dmitry Medvedev, who served as president from 2008 to 2012 and is now deputy secretary of Russia’s security council, said he would like to outline “some simple but important points about food security in Russia,” given the sanctions imposed.

    Most of them have been part of the country’s agricultural policy for years.

    “We will only be supplying food and agriculture products to our friends,” Medvedev said on social media. “Fortunately we have plenty of them, and they are not in Europe or North America at all.”

    Russia already supplies wheat mainly to Africa and the Middle East. The European Union and Ukraine are its main competitors in the wheat trade.

    The priority in food supply is Russia’s domestic market and price control within it, Medvedev said. Russia has been using grain export quotas and taxes since 2021 to try to stabilise high domestic food inflation.

    Agriculture supplies to “friends” will be both in roubles and their national currency in agreed proportion, Medvedev said.

    Currency of payment can already vary in each grain export contract subject to the needs of buyers and sellers. However, Medvedev’s remark comes after Russia’s recent demand for foreign buyers to pay for Russian gas in roubles.

    Russia banned most Western food imports in 2014 when it annexed Crimea from Ukraine but may expand the list further now, Medvedev added.

    Many foreign companies such as producers of chocolate halted sales of their brands in Russia last month.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/putin-ally-warns-agriculture-supplies-could-be-limited-friends-2022-04-01/

    • Even so, grain is fungible. Global supplies are vastly reduced. Egyptians face starvation.

      My favorite chocolate is made in Moscow. I’d exchange a case of M&Ms for ___ [name’s in Cyrillic script].

  4. CNN – Video shows helicopters attacking fuel depot inside Russia

    Russian authorities say a fire broke out at a fuel depot in Belgorod, Russia, after an air strike coming from two helicopters belonging to the Ukrainian Armed forces.

  5. sky news UK – Ukraine War: Ukrainian troops in Izyum confident of victory

    John Sparks travels to the outskirts of the city of Izyum in eastern Ukraine where he meets Ukrainian troops in a surprisingly relaxed mood

    • Martin,
      This guy reminds me of the British journalist who was supposed to be a prisoner of ISIS. But he seemed more of an apologist, reporting human interest drivel.

      • " supposed to be "yes ..... John Cantlie ...

        Funny ... just a few days ago I tried to find out what happened with him...

        -------------------------------

        Stories of kidnapped journalists must be told despite blackouts
        [...]

        My own story for GQ’s July 2019 issue about what happened to John Cantlie has just been published online, a full two and a half years after its publication.

        That delay was the direct result of intervention from the British Foreign Office and its head of counter-terrorism, I was informed, which persuaded the magazine’s editor that publication online, and presumably its perusal by Islamic State leaders in Iraq and Syria who don’t hold a subcription to the printed mag, would put Cantlie at immediate risk.

        https://www.cjr.org/first_person/john-cantlie-james-foley-syria.php

        ————————————
        The last hostage: the story of John Cantlie

        [...]John Cantlie still alive? And, if so, to what lengths had he gone to survive when all the others were executed?
        [...]

        https://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/politics/article/the-last-hostage-the-story-of-john-cantlie

  6. NEWSWEEK – Zelensky Fires Two Top Generals—Ukraine ‘Traitors’

    Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has decided to fire two of his top officials and has dubbed them “traitors.”

    In an address on Friday morning, the President announced that he had fired the chief of Main Department of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), Naumov Andriy Olehovych.

    He also removed the head of the SBU in Kherson, Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych.

    Zelensky posted this address on his Facebook page and also reflected on the low expectations people had for Ukraine’s ability to stand up to Russia.

    The Ukrainian president accused the two officials of failing to do their duty and protect Ukraine.

    He also warned that they “will all be punished,” but said he did not currently have time to deal with them.

    “Now, I do not have time to deal with all the traitors. But gradually they will all be punished,” Zelensky said in his address.

    “That is why the ex-chief of the Main Department of Internal Security of the Security Service of Ukraine, Naumov Andriy Olehovych, and the former head of the Office of the Security Service of Ukraine in the Kherson region, Kryvoruchko Serhiy Oleksandrovych are no longer generals.”

    “Those servicemen among senior officers who have not decided where their homeland is, who violate the military oath of allegiance to the Ukrainian people in regards to the protection of our state, to its freedom and independence, will inevitably be deprived of senior military ranks.

    “Random generals don’t belong here.”

    Zelensky, who more generally communicates to praise his forces, did not go into further detail on why the two generals had been fired.

    Before addressing the current situations on multiple fronts in Ukraine, Zelensky praised, what he called, the “heroes” within the Ukrainian forces.

    “To the real heroes of the Security Service, the same absolute gratitude, just as to each and everyone who sincerely defends our state.

    “There are really a lot of heroes among the servicemen, we are grateful to them.”

    Zelensky also commented on his diplomatic efforts to stop the conflict. He highlighted that he had spoken with European leaders on gaining more support, further sanctions for Russia and joining the European Union.

    He closed his statement with a hopeful message about the future of the country.

    “No matter what, we all have to think about the future,” Zelensky said.

    “About what Ukraine will be like after this war. How we will live because this is a war for our future.

    “This is a war for our lives in which we have only one way, to gain peace for Ukraine. To gain Ukraine’s security. Glory to all our heroes.”

    Newsweek has contacted the Ukrainian government and military for more information .

    https://www.newsweek.com/volodymyr-zelensky-fires-general-traitors-naumov-andriy-olehovych-kryvoruchko-serhiy-oleksandrovych-1694105

    • Russians say there’ve been plenty of on-the-spot executions of officers. That sounds credible to me.

      Besides the presumably more loyal professional military, ALL men under 60 are subject to conscription. A not-insignificant proportion is Russian-Uke, with dual loyalty at best. But the same goes for other minorities who have been marginalized for the last few years.

      Behind the lines, who’s paranoid? Are they sufficiently paranoid?”

  7. national post – Ukraine pauses recruitment of foreign fighters amid flood of untrained volunteers

    ‘The Ukrainian military guys I’ve talked to don’t want to sacrifice young Canadians or young Brits for dramatic effect’

    When thousands of Canadians and other foreigners volunteered to join Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion, the embattled country welcomed the offers with open arms.

    Ukraine’s embassy and consulates here actively encouraged the involvement of would-be fighters from Canada, unusual activity for diplomats.

    But five weeks into the bloody war, Ukraine has temporarily halted recruitment into its foreign legion, with the government and other sources citing countries that have banned their citizens from enlisting and a flood of volunteers with limited military experience.

    The country’s parliament plans to address some of the issues at a session Friday, said a spokesman for the International Legion for the Territorial Defence of Ukraine.

    That includes the possibility of granting Ukrainian citizenship to volunteers stripped of their own nationality for taking part in the struggle, said the person, who asked not to be named because of security concerns.

    “There are multiple reasons (for halting recruiting) with one of them being the lack of firearms,” said the International Legion spokesman. “Our parliament, Verkhovna Rada, would be voting this Friday on some positions (related to) the International Legion and based on that vote we would be able to proceed.”

    Former Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, who is helping Ukrainian diplomats here vet applicants for the legion, said none of the potential fighters they have interviewed has gone over yet because “several weeks ago the Ministry of Defence put a pause on the mission.”

    He and other Canadians helping in the recruitment or studying the war say Ukraine greatly appreciated the outpouring of support — but has come to realize it makes no sense sending foreign infantry neophytes to the front lines.

    “The Ukrainian military guys I’ve talked to don’t want to sacrifice young Canadians or young Brits for dramatic effect,” said Lubomyr Luciuk, a Royal Military College (RMC) professor.

    “This shows there are people in Canada, in the United States, in Great Britain, in Georgia, in Italy, in Greece who say, ‘I want to stand with my Ukrainian brothers and sisters as they fight to defend their country,’” he said. “But very quickly it becomes obvious that some of these well-intentioned volunteers are not ready.”

    That said, the International Legion indicated earlier this month that hundreds of Canadians had already joined the battle, even forming their own unit — the Canadian Ukrainian Brigade. Another Canadian group, the Norman Brigade, is also fighting now in Ukraine.

    Although the federal government has warned Canadians it’s unsafe to travel to the country, it has put up no legal barriers to those who want to fight there. But some other places, including Austria, Switzerland, South Korea and Slovakia, have suggested it’s unlawful for their nationals to join the International Legion.

    “When fighters apply they know it and some are saying that they would be willing to give up their citizenship in lieu of a Ukrainian one,” said the International Legion spokesman. “It’s one of the (issues) that will be discussed (by parliament) on Friday.”

    Very quickly it becomes obvious that some of these well-intentioned volunteers are not ready

    The bigger complication, though, may well be the level of experience of many of the foreigners who are volunteering.

    Wrzesnewskyj said he and the Ukrainian diplomats in Canada have been rejecting applicants for front-line infantry roles who do not have actual combat experience. But he said Canadians without such background have already travelled to Ukraine and may be more of a hindrance than a help.

    “Some people assumed they would arrive, they would get quick training, be given a gun and head off to the front,” he said. “There are all sorts of consequences if untrained people head in.”

    But he and Luciuk noted there is still a great need for volunteers in other areas, such as providing humanitarian aid. They can also fulfill military tasks that are crucial to a fighting army but don’t involve actual combat. That includes transporting food, ammunition and other supplies or evacuating wounded soldiers from the battlefield.

    A rough rule of thumb — sometimes known as the tooth-to-tail ratio — is that about two thirds of the troops in a war zone fill support roles and a third engage in actual combat.

    “It may be a little less exciting, a little less satisfying to the ego,” said the RMC’s Luciuk. But “that’s a perfectly helpful, useful and essential service.”

    https://nationalpost.com/news/world/ukraine-pauses-new-recruiting-to-foreign-legion-as-it-grapples-with-non-military-volunteers

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    TRT – What impact have foreign fighters had in the Ukraine conflict?

    Nir Arielli, an associate professor of International History at Leeds University, discusses the role foreign fighters are playing in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

  8. al ajzeera – Ukraine Azov battalion denies neo-Nazi association

    Ukraine’s Azov battalion has been the main force defending the city of Mariupol.

    The group has a reputation for fighting fiercely, but it has also said to hold far-right views.

    In 2016 the United Nations accused it of violating international humanitarian law.

    In 2019, 40 US congress members unsuccessfully tried to designate the Azov as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin referenced the presence of such units within the Ukrainian military as one of the reasons for launching his so-called “special military operation – to de-militarise and de-Nazify Ukraine”.

    The unit has denied it adheres to Nazi ideology as a whole, but Nazi symbols such as the swastika and SS regalia are rife on the uniforms and bodies of Azov members.

    The Azov battalion understands it has a neo-nazi image problem but to change it will require support from the rank and file, many of whom are suspected of having far-right links.

  9. MARCH 31 2022 -THE HILL – US lethal aid shipments to Ukraine ‘already arriving,’ Pentagon says

    The U.S. has already sent Ukraine “about a half a dozen” lethal aid shipments as part of the Biden administration’s $800 million package passed earlier this month, the Pentagon’s top spokesperson said Thursday.

    “Those shipments are already arriving, in fact, from the time [President Biden] signed the order to the first shipment going on its way was like four days … and there’s already been about a half a dozen shipments that have flowed into the region,” press secretary John Kirby told reporters.

    Kirby said the administration expects it will take “a couple of weeks” to complete shipments from the package, which included funding for a mixture of weapons systems and “support and sustainment items” including “food, body armor, helmets, small arms and ammunition, medical and first aid kits.”

    “I would tell you that things aren’t sitting long at these intermediate staging shipment sites before they’re getting picked up by convoys and taken into Ukraine. So four days is pretty quick,” he added.

    Javelin anti-tank missile systems and Stinger air defense systems are among the weapons included in the first few shipments to Ukraine, along with medical supplies, body armor and small arms and ammunition, Kirby said.

    The U.S. has contributed about $2 billion to Ukraine over the past year. Forces there have fought off a Russian-backed separatist revolt in the country’s eastern region since 2014.

    The $800 million military aid package is the largest single such package Washington has approved for Kyiv since Russia began its invasion in the country on Feb. 24.

    Prior to that, Biden on March 12 directed the State Department to provide Ukraine $200 million in defense aid, after making a similar order for a $350 million aid package shortly after Russia invaded.

    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/3255737-us-lethal-aid-shipments-to-ukraine-already-arriving-pentagon-says/

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    APRIL 01 2022 – Pentagon Commits Extra $300 Mn In Security Aid To Ukraine

    The US Defense Department announced Friday it is allotting $300 million in “security assistance” for Ukraine to bolster the country’s defense capabilities, adding to the $1.6 billion Washington has committed since Russia invaded in late February.

    The package includes laser-guided rocket systems, drones, ammunition, night-vision devices, tactical secure communications systems, medical supplies and spare parts.

    “This decision underscores the United States’ unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in support of its heroic efforts to repel Russia’s war of choice,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

    On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky discussed “additional capabilities” to help the Ukrainian military, the White House said in a statement after the call.

    In mid-March, Congress passed a funding bill that included $13.6 billion for humanitarian and military aid to Ukraine and NATO allies in eastern Europe.

    Shortly after, Biden announced $1 billion in new security assistance to Ukraine.

    A large portion of the military equipment the United States has given to Ukraine has come from its own stockpile, through a process known as a “presidential drawdown.”

    Unlike that process, the $300 million announced Friday will go towards new contracts for military equipment from the Pentagon’s defense industry partners.

    One of the technologies included in the announcement are more Switchblade tactical drones.

    Dubbed “kamikaze drones,” Switchblades can be directed by an operator to find and, when ready, plunge onto a target, exploding on contact.

    Kirby added that the “United States also continues to work with its allies and partners to identify and provide to the Ukrainians additional capabilities.”

    https://www.barrons.com/news/pentagon-commits-extra-300-mn-in-security-aid-to-ukraine-01648860606

    ====================================
    twitter @breaking911

    Pentagon announces additional $300 million in aid to Ukraine.

    The Biden administration has now provided more than $2.3 Billion to Ukraine amid Russian invasion
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    PIC:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FPTUslXX0Asyl9m?format=jpg&name=900×900
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    FOX News – Zelenskyy talks war with Russia in interview with Bret Baier

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