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Ukraine Updates: Putin Threatens Retaliation, Explosions in Central Kyiv

Ukraine Updates: Putin Threatens Retaliation, Explosions in Central Kyiv

Russia released U.S. Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian drug trafficker incarcerated in America.

It’s Day 64 of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a war that’s been going on since 2014.

Russia released a U.S. Marine for a drug trafficker but Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened retaliation if any of Ukraine’s allies interfere in the war. You could say the West has been involved since the beginning.

Gazprom stuck to its word by cutting off gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria. Europe’s gas prices have soared.

Explosions in Central Kyiv

Russia strikes Kyiv during UN meeting in the city:

Russia fired two missiles into the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on Thursday during a visit by U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and one hit the lower floor of a residential building, injuring at least three people, its mayor said.

Reuters could not independently verify the cause of the explosions. Kyiv has enjoyed relative calm since Russian invasion forces failed to capture it in the face of stiff Ukrainian resistance and withdrew several weeks ago, but remains vulnerable to longer-range Russian heavy weaponry.

The blasts shook Kyiv’s central Shevchenko district and the three injured have been hospitalised, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Twitter post.

Defence Minister Oleksii Reznikov and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba both said the blasts were caused by Russian missiles. Reuters witnesses had earlier reported the sound of two blasts.

The explosions occurred after U.N. chief Guterres completed talks with Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensiky focusing on efforts to evacuate civilians from the Russian-besieged southern port of Mariupol.

Guterres told Portuguese broadcaster RTP when asked about the blasts: “There was an attack on Kyiv…it shocked me, not because I’m here but because Kyiv is a sacred city for Ukrainians and Russians alike.”

Um….maybe not bring up the Russians when talking about Kyiv?

Russia Frees U.S. Marine Trevor Reed

Russia released U.S. Marine Trevor Reed in exchange for a Russian drug trafficker incarcerated in America.

Reed started living in Russia in 2019. He was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer. They sentenced him to nine years in prison:

He had been celebrating in a park with his longtime Russian girlfriend and her colleagues at the time, his father, Joey Reed, told Fox News Digital earlier this month.

Reed was sentenced to nine years in prison, though his family has maintained his innocence and the U.S. government has described him as unjustly detained.

“He was extremely intoxicated because they’d been to a party for her law firm in a park,” he explained.

At the time, Reed had been taking Russian language classes for an international studies degree through the University of North Texas, his father said.

Following a public trial, Reed was convicted in July 2020 of assaulting police officers and was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Reed spent time in prisons and labor camps.

From Fox News Digital:

In their own statement, the Reed family thanked Biden “for making the decision to bring Trevor home” as well as other administration officials and Bill Richardson, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations whom the family said traveled to Moscow in the hours before the Ukraine war began in hopes of securing Reed’s release.

“Today, our prayers have been answered and Trevor is safely on his way back to the United States,” the statement read, adding that “as soon as he’s ready, he’ll tell his own story” and that the Reed family stands with “all the other families of wrongfully detained Americans who are still waiting for their own release moment.”

Reed was one of several Americans known to be held by Russia, including WNBA star Brittney Griner, who was detained in February after authorities said a search of her bag revealed a cannabis derivative, and Michigan corporate security executive Paul Whelan, who is being held on espionage-related charges his family says are bogus.

“We won’t stop until Paul Whelan and others join Trevor in the loving arms of family and friends,” Biden also said Wednesday.

Gas Prices

Putin said that unfriendly countries would lose their energy supplies if they do not pay in rubles.

A lot of countries told Putin where to shove his rubles. Russia’s Gazprom then stopped the gas flow to Poland and Bulgaria. Neighboring EU countries have sent the two countries some gas.

Now all of Europe is suffering:

European gas prices rose by a fifth after Russia’s Gazprom suspended supplies to Poland and Bulgaria, saying they had failed to make payments that were due a day earlier in roubles.

Futures contracts tracking Europe’s wholesale gas price advanced almost 20 per cent at €117 per megawatt hour in early trading on Wednesday.

“Gazprom has completely suspended gas supplies to Bulgargaz (Bulgaria) and PGNiG (Poland) due to non-payment in roubles,” Gazprom said in a statement on Wednesday.

Gazprom Export, the gas group’s export subsidiary, did not receive payments for April gas supplies from Bulgargaz and PGNiG in roubles as of the end of the business day on April 26, as was required by the new Russian rule, it said.

Putin: Don’t Get Involved

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that NATO is already in a proxy war with Russia. I guess Putin missed that message:

Countries “that get it into their heads to meddle in ongoing events from the side and create unacceptable strategic threats for Russia, they must know that our response to counterpunches will be lightning-quick,” Russia’s president said in a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday.

Putin said Moscow had “all the instruments for this, ones nobody else can boast of now,” in an apparent reference to recent Russian tests of hypersonic and intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry nuclear payloads and are particularly difficult for anti-air systems to intercept.

“We will use them, if the situation calls for it. And I want everyone to know,” Putin said. “All decisions on this matter have been taken.”

Putin said western attempts to “economically strangle Russia” through sanctions had failed. He claimed Russian troops had prevented “a real danger of . . . a major conflict that would have unfolded on our territory according to other people’s scripts” by invading Ukraine.

He said the west wanted to use Ukraine as a platform to attack Russia through the Crimean peninsula, which it annexed in 2014, and the separatist-held eastern Donbas border region.

“The countries that have historically tried to contain Russia don’t need a self-sufficient, massive country such as ours. They think that it is dangerous to them just by means of its existence. But that’s far from the truth. They are the ones threatening the whole world,” he said.”

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Comments

Rupert Smedley Hepplewhite | April 28, 2022 at 7:49 am

Didn’t Grandpa Puddingcup promise Europe he would supply gas I’d Putin got frisky?

I don’t know whether to laugh, or start installing a bomb shelter. Maybe I will just eat more chocolate, while I can.

When Natural Gas becomes Scarce – Food becomes Scarce too.

Remember, 70% of crop inputs are fossil fuel inputs.

Putin is demanding that European countries pay for Russian oil/gas in rubles. Poland and Bulgaria refuse. They are also the ones due to pay next and represent weak strategic countries Russia is prepared to attack and plans to. Just another fundamental European problem that the EU (another epic failure) is hopelessly divided over.

This is an opportunity to test whether the ruble is truly backed by gold which Putin claims. Exchange for the rubles and then demand that gold. If the answer is no, no gold standard. Just worthless paper. Same with China where they also are claiming to be transitioning to gold-backed clams. At least we could get THAT myth off of the table.

No one has enough gold to return to a gold standard. And all major economies are inadequate to ever repay the sovereign debt amassed. And then there is the rest of the non-government debt.

We are already into WWIII and all major leaders are in trouble. We have a corrupt, senile old fool overseeing the attempted tyrannic takeover (dismantling) of America, Russia with a corrupt, sickly ego-maniac tyrant overseeing the collapse of his own country and Xi also presiding over a collapsing China with CCP snakes wriggling and hissing all around him. What a mess. We need Trump back yesterday or at least before civilization itself is irradicated.

    CommoChief in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 28, 2022 at 9:11 am

    Russia is not creating a direct exchange rate for Rubles to gold. They did create an indirect linkage by setting a purchase price for the ongoing purchase of gold from their domestic miners. Russia is a key supplier of physical gold among other minerals and precious metals.

    The goal for gas purchases appears to be to induce purchasers to create an account at Gazprom in which they deposit in Euro, which are converted to Rubles via the Russian central bank. Effectively it’s the same as paying in Euro but it allows all sides to save face. IMO, it’s a minor point and refusing it serves to further antagonize Russia for little gain.

    The US govt debt to GDP ratio is 137% while Russian govt dent to GDP ratio is 18%; both are year-end 2021 figures. It would seem that if the ruble is ‘worthless paper’ then a fair analysis would proclaim the $ as even less valuable on that basis. Of course as the world reserve currency the US largely gets a pass on that judgment, until the day comes that we don’t and then we have issues. The fed reserve can print $ but they can’t print wheat or oil and one day that will become very apparent.

      Correct. For some reason (corruption?), Gazprom was spared on the sanctions. And they are also protected by Janet Yellen who is warning everyone to leave Russian ol/gas alone. Snakes everywhere. But “dem wit da guns make da rules”. I would add “dem wit da economy” and “dem who can innovate”. We still hold all of the major cards. We just need to get leaders who are invested in America and not in China or Russia or Ukraine or with the drug lords…. They suddenly find themselves threatened by freedom of speech and Mama Bears.

        CommoChief in reply to Pasadena Phil. | April 28, 2022 at 9:59 am

        IMO, the reason that purchase of Russian oil and Nat gas remain unsanctioned is the reality that there is no possible substitute in the short or intermediate term. Poland imported 45% of it’s Nat gas usage from Russia; maybe their inventory can last them through the fall but winter? Germany would have to shut down it’s manufacturing economy if they refused to purchase Russian Nat gas so that they could supply residential Nat gas for heat.

        Russia supplies a large percentage of the raw materials needed for the modern world. Alternatives exist elsewhere that can, at great expense, be brought on line but the alternatives will be far less efficient and the build out to support them will take half a decade at least to put in place.

        In sum, the west is going to voluntarily handicap it’s economy on the heels of a two year Covid fiasco because Russia and Ukraine have a border dispute. Here at home we are beginning to see see some impacts as world commodity prices rise, oil, Nat gas, grain, cooking oil and some become nearly unavailable; chlorine, fertilizer. It’s going to get worse in terms of economic pain. Recession is looming.

          A big part of making judgments about this is that we are looking at flawed data much of which is manipulated. It is very hard to determine what data is correct. I’ll bet that very few realize that our natgas production and exports are at record high. There are battles for control of every aspect of civilization and it is happening everywhere while we fight each other in our echo chambers. I am observing a lot of cognitive dissonance regarding government policy on domestic oil production where the WH makes an announcement that doesn’t square with the data.

          I think most of our energy problems right now are due to supply channel disruptions and just plain lying by the government. It’s showing up in everything. We have the Fed (hawk) finally focused on squelching US inflation while the Treasury (Janet Yellen-dove) continues to take her cues from the global economy.

          One very good sign has been the result of Musk smashing the key public narrative control mechanism by acquiring Twitter. We have governors declaring they will follow DeSantis’ lead on CRT in school e.g and his threatening Disney with shareholder lawsuits over fiduciary duty (probably played a big role in the Twitter board caving), and with McDonald leading the way for corporations fighting ESG requirements which was soon followed by several other company CEOs and ex-CEO weighing in to support, the tide has turned.

          This fight will now be forced out of the back rooms and into the public space. Including in Congress. I expect this to be a very confusing aspect about the events as more and more scoundrels are unmasked. McCarthy seems to be a main scoundrel right now. More masks are going to drop about him and people supporting him. That 1/6 tape was a drop in the bucket.

          We are in trouble.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | April 28, 2022 at 10:36 am

          Phil,

          I don’t disagree with any of that. Obscuring the process and data that lead to faulty conclusions and bad policy as a result is old hat.

          Chief, when strategizing globally, I don’t concentrate so much on where everything is found and who needs it. Everyone needs something important from somewhere. I start with the fact that the US is still the only country on Earth capable of being truly independent. We have more energy resources than anyone else. We can quickly return to feeding ourselves with no help with plenty to export. We have the technology to keep improving which is how we became such a dominant economy. Free to innovate and innovation attracts capital.

          What we need to do right now is to stop fighting the small battles and arguing minutiae and focus on the monster infection that has spread throughout every detail of our lives. We CAN get rid of it if we disengage from where this monster gets its strength: the spy devices we keep buying and using all day long. We are addicted to the echo chamber. Musk buying Twitter has made the monster go apoplectic because it is their lifeline that is now threatened. They are desperate and will do ANYTHING to hold onto the power that is suddenly slipping out of their hands. Desperation leads to ugly behavior and not just pathetic people sobbing. These people are dangerous and the plan has been to crash the global economy into the arms of socialism. They are so close. It’s not over. We need all hands on deck.

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | April 28, 2022 at 11:23 am

          The US is the only Nation that can be independent? Not today we can’t. We don’t make aspirin much less the overwhelming majority of any pharmaceuticals. We could reverse that over time, that’s true.

          The issue is convincing our leadership to adopt policies that would create the conditions for reshoring the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and a great deal of other things to secure the self reliance necessary as a precondition to national security.

          The potential exists but the globalist Corp and true believers who participate in WEF and it’s progeny policies will not go quietly. The Russia Ukraine situation shows the levels the western leadership will go to preserve their interdependent ideals. They demand that we erect the Leviathan upon our foundation of Locke based ideals but get upset when others; Putin, use other aspects of Hobbes to confront their edifice of an interdependent, global Leviathan.

          “The US is the only Nation that can be independent? Not today we can’t.”

          Why does it have to be true today? Trump proved that most of the pieces can be pulled together very quickly. What have been going on has been a coordinated effort to destroy America. We can quickly regain energy independence in months and if we got farmlands back in the hands of Americans rather than Chinese, the same could be true with food. Do you think our military might will become second-rate in the next 2-3 years? Then what is it that makes you not see the picture I am painting?

          NO ONE ELSE ON EARTH has the power and resources we have. They NEED us. Trump was returning us to dominance while everyone else was committed to managing our decline to being an undeveloping country.

          Take look at the global map. What advantage does anyone have at preventing us from getting what we need? China needs their colonization of Africa for oil and other resources which will most be transported by ship. Ships can be sunk. Pipelines can be sabotaged. African nations are already desperate to separate themselves from their new slave masters.

          And this is China, the country we are being asked to accept will overtake us by 2030. They have nothing the rest of the world needs other than cheap labor and their economy is so inefficient that even cheap labor is not cheap enough. So they steal technology but can’t keep up because they don’t innovate. Energy? We win. Food? We win. Technology? We win.

          We have work to do and will have to suffer through a tough stretch but we will never make it if we don’t try or lose heart because “it’s too hard”.

          BTW, US Grant is being promoted to 5-star General. How appropriate is that? At a time where we defend douchbags like McConnell and McCarthy while casting shade at Trump and trying to get DeSantis to challenge him, the general that Abe Lincoln defended despite an endless onslaught of calls to fire him (“‘I can’t spare this man; he fights!” gets promoted. Trump and DeSantis cannot be spared. They FIGHT! Yet we are defending McConnell and McCarthy while throwing shade at Trump.

          Do you think we have a problem?

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | April 28, 2022 at 12:57 pm

          Phil,

          A couple of final observations here:
          1. Fighting is fine but winning the fights is far more important.
          2. DJT most certainly didn’t achieve the reshoring of US pharmaceuticals, it wasn’t for lack of trying. He did begin to set conditions to allow and promote that goal against massive pushback.

          This isn’t intended as a slight for DJT at all he did more than any other to raise awareness, point out and begin correcting deficiencies. The issue here is that we are no longer occupying the same space in terms of economics, manufacturing or defense that we held in 1992. That was in many ways the zenith of Pax Americana. We lack the same power we did then.

          Creation is always more difficult than destruction and resuming anything close to the manufacturing base and consequent power and independence that flows from it that existed even three decades ago is a very long distance. We need to be realistic about our diminished strength and temper our diplomacy to match it instead of trying to police the world either militarily, economically or diplomatically. Once we have our own house in good repair we could reconsider a return to Pax Americana. In the meantime we should identify and accept our limitations while seeking to restore our domestic harmony and prosperity.

With the majority of the Russian soldiers in Ukraine coming from the Far East sections of Russia, I wonder if:

1.) Japan will take back the Kuriles.

2.) China will say “Screw Taiwan, it can wait, lets take Siberia instead right now.

I don’t recall Trump exchanging criminals for innocent prisoners. Glad the Reed family got their son back, but it seems Russia came out on top in this trade.

Also, I was told the gas contracts various European nations took out would somehow make up for having a direct pipeline delivering oil and gas from Russia. Doesn’t seem like that is happening.

“It’s Day 64 of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a war that’s been going on since 2014.”

THANK YOU. This needs to be the first sentence in every article about this conflict.

It’s Day 64 of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in a war that’s been going on since 2014.

The Biden/Maidan/Slavic Spring in the catastrophic Obama world war Spring series.