China is helping Russia with microchips for banking cards.
Day 43 of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine. I’m seeing people at the top level of the government acting like this is all brand new. No. Russia invaded Ukraine eight years ago. Russia annexed Crimea. Russia has been in Donbas.
This conflict has already been going on for years.
Boston Marathon Banning Runners in Belarus and Russia
The Boston Marathon won’t allow Russian and Belarussian runners who still reside in their home countries:
The Boston Marathon will not allow Russian and Belarusian athletes who were accepted via open registration and live in their home countries to compete in this month’s event, the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) said on Wednesday.
Runners who are Russian or Belarusian citizens but reside outside either country will be permitted to compete but not under the Russian or Belarusian flag.
“We are horrified and outraged by what we have seen and learned from the reporting in Ukraine,” BAA President and CEO Tom Grilk said in a statement. “We believe that running is a global sport and, as such, we must do what we can to show our support to the people of Ukraine.”
The BAA said it will not recognise country affiliation or the flag of Russia or Belarus at any of its races and events “until further notice”.
US Claims New Sanctions are “Damaging”
Biden bragged about the new “devastating” sanctions against Russia, which include ones against Putin’s children. Officials believe Putin and his patsies hid their assets with their families:
“I made clear that Russia would pay a severe and immediate price for its atrocities in Bucha,” President Biden said in a tweet. “Today, along with our Allies and partners, we’re announcing a new round of devastating sanctions.”
The White House says the measures freeze the assets of “Russian elites and their family members, including sanctions on: President Putin’s adult children, Foreign Minister Lavrov’s wife and daughter, and members of Russia’s Security Council including former President and Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.”
“President Biden will sign a new Executive Order that includes a prohibition on new investment in Russia by U.S. persons wherever located, which will further isolate Russia from the global economy,” the White House added.
The sanctions also freeze the assets of Sberbank and Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa Bank, from “touching the U.S financial system and prohibit U.S. persons from doing business with them,” the White House also said.
Putin and his trolls are always one or two steps ahead of the West. They’re smart, unfortunately. After the first round of sanctions they had to know the West would eventually target their families. More than likely this will not affect these people at all.
UN Votes Tomorrow to Suspend Russia From Human Rights Council
The UN will vote tomorrow to suspend Russia from the Human Rights Council:
Diplomats tell Fox News on Wednesday that the U.S. and Ukraine will present to the U.N. tomorrow a proposal to suspend Russia from its Human Rights Council.
The meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in New York will begin around 10 a.m. local time and a two-thirds majority vote is needed to suspend Russia from the Council.
This is great news! Except for one thing. Well, actually, a handful of things.
The Human Rights Council includes Cuba, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Qatar, and Venezuela.
Weird, huh? There’s no doubt Russia is violating human rights in Ukraine, but the government does it to its own people. There’s also no doubt the five countries above violate human rights on a daily basis.
The UN is useless.
The Czech Republic Sends Tanks to Ukraine
The Czech Republic is the first NATO country to send heavy armor to Ukraine. I wonder how Poland feels about that since the US put a stop to them sending jets to Ukraine:
The Czech Republic has sent tanks and infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine, becoming the first Nato country to provide the heavy armour Kyiv has been calling for.
More than a dozen T-72 tanks as well as a number of BVP-1 infantry fighting vehicles have been loaded on to trains destined for Ukraine.
The vehicles will provide much-needed firepower for the Ukrainian army as battles continue to rage across the country.
Twitter Won’t Recommend Russian Government Accounts
President Donald Trump does not have a Twitter account. Russian government officials and agencies still have accounts.
I’m not for censorship. I’m for consistency. But everyone clap because Twitter will finally…not recommend those government accounts:
The official accounts will no longer be “recommended” to Twitter users across all categories of the app, including in searches, the platform said.
The official English account of Russian President Vladimir Putin has 1.7 million followers.
The Californian company, like its rival Meta – parent company of Facebook and Instagram – had already blocked the accounts of the Russian state-run media RT and Sputnik in the EU.
Moscow responded by restricting access to Twitter in the country and blocking Facebook and Instagram, AFP reported.
“We will not amplify or recommend government accounts belonging to states that limit access to free information and are engaged in armed interstate conflict – whether Twitter is blocked in that country or not,” Twitter said.
China Helping Russia Banking Cards
To the shock of no one, China has swooped in to help Russia with their banking cards. Sanctions keep Russia away from SWIFT while Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing Russians:
Russia is turning to microchip manufactures in China to circumvent western sanctions which have boosted demand for bank cards linked to the Mir payment system, an executive with the domestic payment system said.
Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have cut Moscow off the global financial system and from nearly half of its $640 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves.
Oleg Tishakov, a board member with the National Card Payment System (NSPK), said Russia is facing a shortage of microchips as Asian manufactures suspend production amid a coronavirus pandemic and European suppliers have stopped cooperating with Moscow following sanctions.
“We are looking for new microchip suppliers and found a couple in China, with certification process ongoing,” Tishakov told a conference on Tuesday, without giving further details.
Some of Russia’s biggest banks no longer have access to the SWIFT global banking messaging system, and international payment cards Visa and MasterCard have stopped servicing Russian accounts abroad. Mir’s connection to Apple Pay was removed last month.
Ukraine Conflict Lasting for Years….Like Eight Already
It infuriates me when I have to be a broken record: Russia invaded Ukraine eight years ago. You could actually go back to the Orange Revolution.
Someone tell Gen. Mark Milley that this conflict has already been going on for years:
A top US general has warned that the potential for “significant international conflict” is increasing and said the Ukraine conflict could last for years.
Gen Mark Milley told Congress: “The Russian invasion of Ukraine is threatening to undermine not only European peace and stability but global peace and stability that my parents and a generation of Americans fought so hard to defend.”
“I do think this is a very protracted conflict, and I think it’s measured in years. I don’t know about decade, but at least years, for sure.”
“We are entering a world that is becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict is increasing, not decreasing.”
Milley, who is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, also said he would support establishing permanent US bases in eastern Nato states like Poland and the Baltics – but with US forces rotating through.
All About Mariupol
The Ukrainian security agency SBU said Russia will concentrate on Mariupol. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also thinks Russia is blocking anyone from helping people evacuate so they can “clean up” their war crimes:
Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of blocking humanitarian aid to Mariupol to buy time so Moscow can “clean up” human rights abuses.
Ukraine’s president spoke in an interview with Turkey’s Haberturk television following the discovery of bodies of civilians in towns around Kyiv, including hundreds of murdered victims in Bucha.
Russia is preparing a “large-scale provocation” in the besieged southern port city of Mariupol and plans to blame it on Ukrainian troops, security services have warned, writes Ewan Somerville.
The SBU, Ukraine’s security agency, said data showed Russian forces “plan to gather bodies of Mariupol residents killed by the Russians themselves in one place and present them as mass victims of Ukrainian troops”. “The atro cities… in Bucha came as a shock to the whole world,” the SBU wrote in a post on the social media site Telegram. “Ruthless concentrated evil cynically covers its actions with clumsy fables about the Nazis.”
Following the international outcry at mass civilian deaths in the town, “t he main task of Russian propaganda today is to divert the attention of the audience, both international and domestic, as much as possible,” the agency added.
“Scenarios for new fakes have already been developed, and Russian propagandists are preparing the groundwork. In particular, lies about alleged crimes of Ukrainian defenders of Mariupol are actively being ‘thrown’ into the information field.”
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