Ukraine: U.S. Helped Ukraine Target Russia’s Moskva Flagship, Russia Can’t Find Buyers for Commodities
A convoy is headed to Mariupol to evacuate the 200 civilians who remain at the steel plant.
Only a few more days until May 9, Victory Day in Russia. The war still rages on.
We’re finding out more about America’s involvement in Ukraine, including help targeting Russia’s darling flagship, Moskva.
Russian Commodity Exports
Europe wants to stop using Russian energy sources. Now Russia cannot find buyers for those sources even though it has major plans to expand in Asia:
But in redrawing its exports map, Moscow faces significant hurdles, putting its sanctions-stricken economy further at risk.
European Union officials this week are preparing a sixth round of sanctions that aim to undercut Russia’s energy exports. Among the proposals are a phased ban on Russian oil purchases as well as sanctions on service providers, such as ship insurers, that would stifle Russian crude shipments to other parts of the world.
The new infrastructure that Russia needs to transport the exports that Europe used to buy will take years to build. It is experiencing difficulties chartering ships to transport its oil as insurers and banks fear the impact of sanctions. Major trading houses, meanwhile, are cutting their Russian business. It is also uncertain how much of Russia’s commodities big buyers such as China would be willing to buy, as Beijing looks to diversify its suppliers.
Whether Russia succeeds in rerouting its commodities flows carries high stakes for the Kremlin.
Oil-and-gas sales contributed nearly 42% of federal budget revenues in the first quarter of the year. Elevated energy prices following the invasion of Ukraine have been filling Russia’s coffers, partially compensating for the loss of customers in Europe. A long-term decline in exports, however, may make spending cuts necessary, at a time when Russia is looking to support its economy and avoid social unrest as incomes fall.
The export shake-up is also crucial for the global economy. Russia grew in recent decades into a leading exporter of a range of commodities to the world, akin to a giant gas station and mining pit for international buyers. Disruptions in the trade amid already tight global markets would further fuel inflation in the West.
UN: Evacuation Convoy Headed to Mariupol’s Steel Plant
Over 200 people are still trapped at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol. The UN said an evacuation convoy is headed that way to rescue them:
An evacuation convoy should arrive by Friday at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, where about 200 civilians are still trapped in underground bunkers where Ukrainian fighters report bloody battles with Russian forces, Martin Griffiths, the United Nations’ emergency relief coordinator, said on Thursday.
The convoy is the latest joint effort by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross, which have managed to evacuate about 100 people from the Azovstal plant in the past few days and more than 340 people from other parts of Mariupol on Wednesday.
Mr. Griffiths, speaking at a donor conference for Ukraine in Warsaw, said that the convoy would hopefully “receive those civilians remaining in that bleak hell that they have inhabited for so many weeks and months.” The city of Mariupol has been largely destroyed by shelling that began on Feb. 24, when Russia’s invasion started, and the Azovstal complex’s underground bunkers became something of a shelter of last resort as residents’ abodes and other havens were obliterated.
Mr. Griffiths said the operations had been “a herculean effort” and dangerous, but that “it would have been worth it to save one person.”
U.S. Helped Ukraine Take Out Moskva
U.S. officials said that our intelligence helped Ukraine locate Moskva, the flagship of the Black Sea fleet:
The United States provided intelligence that helped Ukrainian forces locate and strike the flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet last month, another sign that the administration is easing its self-imposed limitations on how far it will go in helping Ukraine fight Russia, U.S. officials said.
The targeting help, which contributed to the eventual sinking of the flagship, the Moskva, is part of a continuing classified effort by the Biden administration to provide real-time battlefield intelligence to Ukraine. That intelligence also includes sharing anticipated Russian troop movements, gleaned from a recent American assessment of Moscow’s battle plan for the fighting in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, the officials said.
The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war. But in recent weeks, the United States has sped heavier weapons to Ukraine and requested an extraordinary $33 billion in additional military, economic and humanitarian aid from Congress, demonstrating how quickly American restraints on support for Ukraine are shifting.
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Dear God, would it kill whoever is blabbing about all that US Intelligence is doing to shut up about it for a change? It’s one thing to help the Ukrainians in a war and let it be known which side the US supports- which is a solid aspect of diplomacy- but this sort of nonsense does not need to be known. Especially by the ened.
“The administration has sought to keep much of the battlefield and maritime intelligence it is sharing with the Ukrainians secret out of fear it will be seen as an escalation and provoke President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia into a wider war.””
So somebody DID have their thinking caps screwed on straight, they just got overruled by “officials.”
Great clown show we have here.
Amen. Using our intelligence gathering abilities to materially help one side of a conflict target and kill high value targets of the other side of the conflict seems like an act of war to me. If we are gonna do it, it better not come out. In my mind, this would justify Russia, at the least, considering any satellites/planes we are using for that purpose to be legitimate military targets.
Yeah it’s scary bad.
Nothing beats a war for distracting attention from sagging poll numbers and ongoing domestic failures.
I don’t believe any of it.
Biden is so bad he can’t even boost his numbers by trying to start a war.
All this media blabbing about our intelligence help against the Russians will have consequences. If all the points in the above article come together including collapsed commodity markets, and shortages of necessities along with rampant inflation then maybe the people of Russia will revolt against the government. They’ve done it before.
Whitewall: the Russian people stood by Stalin after Hitler invaded despite the millions Stalin had already murdered. What makes you think the Russian people won’t stand by Putin? They’re infinitely tougher than Americans and Europeans. If shortages and inflation make anyone revolt against their government, my bet is it will be the EU and Biden administrations that go bye-bye.
“…then maybe the people of Russia will revolt against the government. They’ve done it before.”
Not really. The russians have serf DNA. Just share a shot of vodka and they’ll be happy.
And modern Americans have sheep DNA.
Speak for yourself.
No difference in today and 250 years ago.
So, Barry, you’re saying the Founding Fathers would have bent over and accepted a stolen election? Political prisoners held in DC jail without bail for 16 months? Lockdowns and mask laws? Mandated injections of experimental drugs? Drag queen story hour? BLM riots? A Ministry of Truth? Foreign entanglements? Government surveillance? TSA strip searches? FBI entrapment of political opponents? Censorship? Seizures of private property?
Ba, ba, ba!
Are you stupid? You are the one saying just that with your “Americans have sheep DNA”.
You, not me. I’m just stating a fact that Americas makeup is the same as it ever was.
Which does not change the fact that russians are at their very core, serfs. And they act it.
Perhaps they are encouraging Putin to lash out against specific Americans so the Biden government can then go to war in Ukraine and try to overthrow Putin. That’s Biden’s goal now, right… the overthrow of Putin.
No, Biden’s goal is to do anything necessary to distract the American people from the fact that his regime is a total failure. And if that means getting the U.S. into a unneeded and unwanted war which we cannot win he’ll do it. But it certainly won’t remove Putin. That’s a fact.
What difference would it make if Ukraine actually belonged to NATO? The way it is, they have all the benefits without any obligation on their part.
To Russia it’s beginning to look more and more like the US is at war with them.
“What difference would it make if Ukraine actually belonged to NATO? The way it is, they have all the benefits without any obligation on their part.”
If Ukraine actually belonged to NATO, Zelenskyy wouldn’t merely be able to “ask” or “Request” a No-Fly Zone. He’d be able to force it, or even invoke Article 5. Either of those things would force NATO to essentially enter the war or collapse as an alliance.
Of course had Ukraine been in NATO that fact would probably have prevented antics like the 2014 invasion in the first place.
I am an ignoramus, but I believe the following:
1. NATO (and the EU) will not accept Ukraine, no matter how much the U.S. pressures the EU countries, who recognize their perilous situation this year (can they afford to support a destitute Ukraine for long, given their collective situation wrt economics?).
2. Article 5, as I understand it, is a “suggestion”, not an imperative.
If Germans really cut Russian gas and oil imports to zero in the immediate term, many of them will die over the next 10 months. They cannot replace those energy products that quickly. Even after that time, the denial of Russian energy will result in economic death to a lot of EU countries. At present, EU is paying at least 7 times more for energy than is paid in the U.S., and that cost will only go UP. How long can the EU subsidize their subjects in that price environment?
“1. NATO (and the EU) will not accept Ukraine, no matter how much the U.S. pressures the EU countries, who recognize their perilous situation this year (can they afford to support a destitute Ukraine for long, given their collective situation wrt economics?).”
This is basically true, unless the situation in Ukraine blew up into a wider war between Russia and NATO (in which case I imagine corners would be cut). NATO was clever enough to write some conditions specifying that no nation could start on the track to join if it had outstanding territorial issues, which Ukraine clearly does with Russia due to the latter’s occupation of Crimea, parts of the Donbas, and sizable chunks of others. This is also why Moldova isn’t eligible due to Transnistria and Georgia due to South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
This proved to be a dangerous weakness the Kremlin has exploited- generally set a neutral nation on fire and drag it into an unfixable frozen conflict it would need a lot more firepower than it has to fix, and thus prevent it from joining NATO- but it has served its purpose of keeping NATO out of direct confrontation in long running territorial disputes well enough.
“2. Article 5, as I understand it, is a “suggestion”, not an imperative.”
Absolutely not. Indeed, it’s pretty much the glue that keeps NATO together, and its wording is quite strong (especially by the standards of international treaty gobbledegook).
You can read Article 5 and Article 6 (Which clarifies the scope of Article 6) here. https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natolive/official_texts_17120.htm
“If Germans really cut Russian gas and oil imports to zero in the immediate term, many of them will die over the next 10 months.”
That’s possible. My gut feeling is there is somewhat less radical than that, but that they would have to pay an absolute premium to get substitute sources. Not helped by the likes of the German Left screwing up and trying to denuclearize without sufficient alternatives and Biden’s handlers sticking their hands in the eyes of the Sunni Petromonarchies.
“They cannot replace those energy products that quickly.”
“Even after that time, the denial of Russian energy will result in economic death to a lot of EU countries. ”
I’m not sure it will go that far, but it will absolutely hurt.
“At present, EU is paying at least 7 times more for energy than is paid in the U.S., and that cost will only go UP. How long can the EU subsidize their subjects in that price environment?”
That’s an issue, and I think we’ll have to see how it goes. In any case, Trump’s policies would have made this a golden opportunity for the American energy sector(s). But of course the left got into power and thoroughly sabotaged that, because of course we can’t have energy independence. Biden and his puppeteers are apparently considering a shift back but the lost time and progress is never coming back.
It looks like Putin was suckered into a proxy war that he can’t win, and is losing military assets that he can’t replace. I’m no fan of Putin, but the only beneficiary of destabilizing Eastern Europe is the MIC. This would have never happened if Trump was president.
I W I S H that destabilizing Eastern Europe- which used to be Putin’s old bread and butter but seems to be turning against him- would only benefit the MIC (which I think tends to be blamed for too much). But it won’t.
Take a look due South. If nothing else, the destruction of the Moskva as well as whatever other naval losses happen will help pave the way for Turkey and its Sultan Erdogan to claim dominance of the Black Sea once again. That and whatever other “migrants” sweep in.
It will get bad.
It would mean American troops and airmen fighting and dying in eastern Europe.
It did not go well for Charles of Sweden, Napoleon or Hitler but led by that great military genius Biden and his stellar team we will probably scare Putin into resigning replaced by a Russian speaking Thomas Jefferson.
More likely we would see thousands of American servicemen dying in a war that won’t resolve a thing. See border conflicts in the Balkans, Middle East, Cyprus, Ethiopia, etc.
We may see more than thousands of Americans dying.
The Russians have a concept called “escalate to deescalate” when it comes to war. If they feel they are losing they may escalate to using a nuclear weapon to shock everyone into coming to the negotiating table.
If they were crazy enough to do this there is no telling what happens. There is no guarantee that it will be limited to one nuke or we wouldn’t respond with a nuke in response.
“…or we wouldn’t respond with a nuke in response.”
One would hope we would respond to a nuclear war with nuclear weapons. With the current illegitimate maladministration I have my doubts.
OTOH, short of Putin being sick and dying he’s not going to use nukes. He would lose and die. Putin knows damn well who built their nuclear arsenal and the probability that many will fail to yield. He has absolute certainty that ours will work and they are close by, just off his coast, a few minutes away.
Putin would not survive and he knows it. Short of a medical death wish, all the nuke talk is just russian psychological ploy aimed at weak lefties.
Cutting off Russian oil, Nat gas, grain, minerals, PM tomorrow morning would do a whole lot more than add to inflation. It would collapse the economies of western Europe and result in destabilizing much of Africa and central Asia. It would make it impossible for Germany and thus the EU to continue economic/financial subsidies for Italy, Greece and other weaker EU members which would destabilize those Nations.
For the next 5 years we will see Global Famine and Global Energy Shortages.
Over a billion people face chronic Starvation. It’s going to be much worse than you imagine. But it would be better if Russia wasn’t taken offline.
This fall will be eye opening for many folks when the full consequences of the food disruption become apparent. Some people can’t/won’t compute:
1. Less land being plowed this spring = less harvest
2. Less fertilizer due to shortage = less crop yield
3. Pre existing shortages in world grain supply reserve leave little to no buffer
4. Poor winter grain crop harvest this spring just adds to the cascade of supply problems
Hungry people are desperate people and the areas where the food shortage will be most pronounced are themselves exporters of other if MS critical to a modern society; rare earth metals, oil, Nat gas, palm oil and so on. When these exports are interrupted due to instability from food shortages then we have further disruption to the inputs we need to maintain our own standard of living.
Five years of this? Maybe. It’s always possible our leadership stops being self destructive but I wouldn’t count on it before 2025 and a new administration.
Is there any chance that you will be linking to news articles that aren’t blocked & paywalled like the Wall Street Journal? I really have no motivation to spend $8/month ($96/year) on a subscription to read the articles. Just wondering.
In other words, we are in direct war with Russia without getting it declared. That will surely ease tensions in the region.
Also, no one is buying Russia’s exports now. However, time will make those buyers change their minds real quick.
Very well said. That is the essesece of the situation.
A segue from Obama’s world war Spring and “burden” series, and prelude to Biden’s world war in DIE and mass abortion fields.
Letting it be known publicly that we helped Ukraine by providing intelligence is the height of stupidity.
Russia knows that we are providing intelligence but if we denied it they really couldn’t do much. That’s the way it was during the Cold War. Us and them both providing “intelligence” to various sides in a conflict.
Going public in this way could push Russia into attacking our assets in the area.
Also a wider war could push Russia and Putin into a military theory of escalate to deescalate where if Russia feels it’s losing it escalates to using nukes to get everyone to the negotiating table. No telling what happens at that point. We may use nukes ourselves especially if any American forces are hit by Russian nukes.
1. The russians already knew we were helping the ukrainians
2. There is nothing the russians can do about it without making it even worse for theirselves
3. Escalating is what the puppet masters of the biden administration want, up to a point. Putin is just playing the global game with them.
4. Talk of nuclear war is just psychological ops. Putin/russia would lose. They know it and we know it. Not going to happen.
The leaders in this country, the european countries, and the russians don’t give a damn if half the people on earth starve. The communists have murdered well over a hundred million in the last century. They wouldn’t blink and eye over a few billion added to the toll.
We should have nuked Moscow in 1945 instead of the Japs. Most of the trouble in the world lies at the feet of the soviets.