The Bishop and the Butterfly: Murder, Politics, and the End of the Jazz Age

    [Ukraine War] Bellingcat opens it up


    Creative digital journalism

    A lack of sergeants?

    if true, probably needs to be filed under 'what a tangled web we weave':

    Howso? Russia's boy Donnie signed our rapid am-scray from Afghanistan.

    This is just rewarding Pootie twice.

    this guy is clearly fluent in Kremlin-speak:

    Russian forces are heroically regrouping back to Russia, and Ukrainian forces are in complete panic, chasing them.

    — Dimko Zhluktenko (@dim0kq) November 10, 2022

    WWIII is trending on Twitter. But CNN TV is only covering it starting now, after their commercial.


    Certainly begs the question of whether the "western allies" are telling the public a little white lie while reading Russia the riot act behind the scenesl to avoid WWIII. I did catch part of the Pentagon press briefing with Austin & Milley and they seemed sincere and forthcoming, but you never know these things for sure.

    How Ukraine Blew Up a Key Russian Bridge

    By James Glanz and Marco Hernandez @ Nov. 17, 2022

    The attack severed a crucial Russian supply line and triggered a month of Russian airstrikes. Experts reconstructed how Ukraine pulled it off.

    Galeev says straight out that EU peeps should quit bellyaching about Biden & the U.S.:


    Kazakhstan been watching the Russian political talk shows?

    In September, state-owned KazMunayGas began exporting oil through Georgia and Azerbaijan via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline. 2/

    — Justartsandstuff (@justartsndstuff) November 25, 2022

    The Scottish government!

    interesting even if agitprop, and it's probably not -

    video wth English subtitles -

    Why'd Putin wait on Ukraine?

    Seems he expected Medvedchuk to replace Poroshenko, which would allow him to annex more of Ukraine w/o war.

    But then some comedian won the election...

    ^ note for the above story there are so many contributing reporters, I am not going to even try to count them -

    Reporting was contributed by Aaron Krolik, Adam Satariano, Alan Yuhas, Andrew Higgins, Carlotta Gall, Christiaan Triebert, Eric Schmitt, Helene Cooper, Ivan Nechepurenko, Julian E. Barnes, Mykola Ponomarenko, Natalia Yermak, Oleg Matsnev, Paul Mozur, Ronen Bergman, Stanislav Kozliuk and Valerie Hopkins. Aleksandra Koroleva, Oksana Nesterenko and Milana Mazaeva contributed translations.

    Zelensky planning to visit US Capitol in person on Wednesday


    @  They've headlined it, even tho lots of other news is going on.

    WTF unfucking believable, has he got nothing else he could come up with?!!! It's so nonsensical, so absurd, I bet he's got the "war on Christmas" past spinmeisters rolling in their graves!

    Elsewhere quite believable

    Amy & Cornel Tue uo their loose ends.

    makes a good point that there's this thing that most of them share with Trump as well:

    Russia's in trouble now

    This specific is on fighting Putin disinfo but the comment is on US foreign policy communication in general - I'm sharing it here partly cause I know PP has an interest:

    He self-describes as

    I have opinions. Mostly on US-Africa policy. Former CIA, State, NSC. Still recovering. Currently senior associate @CSISAfrica

    And I believe him on that, have been following him for a while on Africa and seems knowledgeable enough to have all the experience he claims.


    Interesting that he's saying that even if it's propaganda:

    Especially as he's not saying it will end the invasion.

    From a lefty Dutch cartoonist. It's the US shoving Ukrainians into the meat grinder, you see. Remarkable meeting of minds with Tucker Carlson and Matt Gaetz. World's worst horseshoe.

    — Cathy Young (@CathyYoung63) January 10, 2023

    also see Dan Salmon's tweet I just posted on the Crime News thread

    Great Chechen interview

    The world didnt "shrug" at Grozny - they were busy with Rwanda and Yugoslavia, it was an internal Russian action that'd would be near impossible to interfere with, there wasn't much internet (quickly destroyed anyway) and no mobile phones/Instagram... Limited intervention was an experiment - actually Bush Sr set a precedent by not driving on to Baghdad after Kuwaiti liberation, and 10 years of overflight was similar to keeping track of the tribal areas in western Pakistan. Even now, careful US support if Ukraine vs taking on a nuclear power head-on antagonistically. A more pragmatic avoidance of the gung-ho "regime change" that Bush Jr/Cheney championed after scoffing at Gore's "policing".

    The careful response in Ukraine helps avoid a Sarajevo=>WWI tripwire. Likely we should have done much more post-Crimean invasion and Donbas occupation (under Obama), but after Trump got in Jan 2017 it was out of normal people's hands aside from some slight limitations.

    In general I've been critical about Obama in the Mideast/Afghanistan, including the somewhat muddy response to Aleppo (letting the Russians have their way), but he did a good job on the ISIS response/multinational response force.

    And then Trump let ISIS get away and screwed the Kurds. Is that "the world", "the US", or "1 regime"/a "recent spinoff countering previous Republican foreign policy" (or just largely a successful Russian propaganda & influence putsch behind the scenes)



    01/27/2023 04:30 AM EST

    Justyna Gudzowska is the director of illicit finance policy at The Sentry. She previously worked for the United Nations Security Council on sanctions against ISIS and Al-Qaida and for the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    Nathalia Dukhan is a senior investigator at The Sentry, tracking illicit financial flows and armed groups in Central Africa. In recent years, she has led The Sentry's in-depth investigations on Wagner group activities in the Central African Republic

    Russia is massing hundreds of thousands of troops and stepping up its bombardment, perhaps signaling the biggest assault since the start of the war. “I think it has started,” Ukraine’s leader says

    By Marc Santora and Michael Schwirtz, Updated Feb. 2, 2023, 12:01 a.m. ET

    KYIV, Ukraine — Moscow has massed hundreds of thousands of troops in Ukraine and is targeting dozens of places a day in a markedly stepped-up barrage of artillery attacks. Ukrainian forces are struggling to hold their ground on a 140-mile stretch in the east, awaiting tanks, armored vehicles and other weapons systems from the West.

    Ukrainian officials have been bracing for weeks for a new Russian offensive that could rival the opening of the war. Now, they are warning that the campaign is underway, with the Kremlin seeking to reshape the battlefield and seize the momentum.

    “I think it has started,” President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine said this week.


    The Russian approach shifted last month after the Kremlin named Gen. Valery V. Gerasimov to take over its struggling war effort. Since then, Moscow has steadily added forces in Donbas, seeking to do with overwhelming manpower what it has so far failed to do with firepower: break through lines that have been fortified for nine years, going back to when Russia first fomented rebellion in Ukraine’s east.

    Ukrainian intelligence estimates that Russia now has more than 320,000 soldiers in the country — roughly twice the size of Moscow’s initial invasion force. Western officials and military analysts have said that Moscow also has 150,000 to 250,000 soldiers in reserve, either training or being positioned inside Russia to join the fight at any time.

    “We see that they are preparing for more war, that they are mobilizing more soldiers, more than 200,000, and potentially even more than that,” NATO’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, told reporters during a visit to South Korea on Monday. “They are actively acquiring new weapons, more ammunition, ramping up their own production, but also acquiring more weapons from other authoritarian states like Iran and North Korea.”

    A surge in Russian bombardment has accompanied the buildup of forces.

    Konrad Muzyka, a military analyst for Rochan Consulting, which tracks Russian deployments, said that reported Russian artillery barrages had risen from an average of about 60 per day four weeks ago to more than 90 per day last week. On one day alone, 111 Ukrainian locations were targeted.

    He also said that “the Russians are withdrawing a lot of equipment from storage areas.” Still, he concurred with other analysts who say that Russia will struggle to outfit large numbers of new soldiers with tanks, armored vehicles and other effective equipment. [....]



    French President @EmmanuelMacron has elevated Ukrainian President @ZelenskyyUa to the dignity of Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor, the highest distinction that a French president can give to one of his counterparts.

    — J. Alex Tarquinio (@alextarquinio) February 9, 2023

    there are all the answers one could want here, no need to redo long debates

    (found retweeted by Borzou Daragahi @borzou)

    So Elmo interfered with UA drones after all

    I for one think it is wise for that particular service to stay away from that kind of thing. He did after all make sure Ukraine got the service as soon as possible after the invasion knocked out everything else.

    Slovakia's PM:

    In the frozen trenches - except this is 2023, not 1917:

    Marina Yankina, Russian Defense Official, Falls From Window to Her Death

    By Isabel Van Brugen @, 2/16/23 AT 7:45 AM EST

    Biden there?

    As we approach the anniversary of Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, I'm in Kyiv today to meet with President Zelenskyy and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Ukraine’s democracy, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.

    — President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023

    Over the last year, the United States has built a coalition of nations from the Atlantic to the Pacific to help defend Ukraine with unprecedented military, economic, and humanitarian support – and that support will endure.

    — President Biden (@POTUS) February 20, 2023

    Fox is still doing it, same old same old -

    ‘The Risk Was Real’: Fox Hosts Ignore Own Reporters To Falsely Suggest Biden Air Raid Sirens Were Faked

    By Tommy Christopher @ Mediaite, Feb 21st, 2023, 11:30 am

    I agree! Will never forget it!

    (Haven't read most of it yet but Ponomarenko is one of the best)

    Seddon is summarizing live....

    At the high point of the Vietnam War, the US was losing 1k-2k soldiers per MONTH. Even if Ukraine is overestimating Russian fatalities by 100%, Russia is losing 3k troops per WEEK.

    — Gennady Rudkevich (@grudkev) February 12, 2023

    Russia's current fatalities in the war are comparable to what the USSR lost during its disastrous invasion of Finland (Winter War). Though the Soviets managed to achieve that objective in only 3 months.

    — Gennady Rudkevich (@grudkev) February 12, 2023

    For those pointing out that Russia is a dictatorship and therefore indifferent to loss of life: dictatorships lost numerous wars, at least some of them a result of suffering high casualties. At some point, morale plummets and sustaining hostilities becomes socially impossible.

    — Gennady Rudkevich (@grudkev) February 22, 2023

    #Denmark handed over all its #Caesar self-propelled howitzers to #Ukraine - Ministry of Defense of Ukraine#RussiaIsLosing

    — TOGA (@Jano14Toga) February 13, 2023

    Rihards Kols, OSCE Delegate from Latvia, addressed the elephant in the room. #RussiaIsLosing

    — Terrorussia (@putinslies) February 23, 2023

    (Edit to add, looked it up on the last one Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe)

    more from the OSCE meeting

    still like a real person!

    the most applicable is the 2nd half of the article - note this means the Tucker Carlson types are speaking to 28% of voters (not even anywhere near the Trump approval rating during his presidency)



    When voters were asked to name the top five most important foreign policy issues facing the United States, terrorism was first with 49% mentioning the issue, immigration second with 45%, cyberattacks with 41%, drug trafficking at 41%, and climate change at 39%. It is noteworthy that these issues may be international, but they have strong implications for domestic policy as well. U.S./China relations was mentioned 27% of the time, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was mentioned 24% of the time. Upholding democracy globally was mentioned only 14% of the time. Americans appear to be more concerned about potential issues at home, versus wide ranging geopolitical events with not yet clear ramifications.


    When it comes to Ukraine, according to Gallup, one year into the war, 39% of Americans say the U.S. is doing the right amount to aid Ukraine, 30% say not enough, and 28% say the U.S. is doing too much. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of Americans support continuing economic (71%) and military (72%) aid to Ukraine, and 58% are willing to continue to support the country “as long as it takes,” even if U.S. households will have to pay higher prices for gas and food.


    According to a 2022 poll of American public opinion on U.S. foreign policy by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, 81% of Americans say the United States should maintain or increase its commitment to NATO, “the highest level of support recorded since Chicago Council Surveys began in 1974.” They also found Americans’ support for U.S. military bases in Europe to be their highest levels in nearly 50 years of polling by the Council. The Chicago Council notes that this represents a notable shift from past surveys when their security concerns focused squarely on the Middle East. Further polling found Americans across the political spectrum agree Europe is now the most important region for U.S. security (50%), up from 15% two years ago.


    Forty-eight percent of Republicans favor increasing tariffs, versus 34% of Democrats. So much for the party of free trade. This is clearly a reaction to the economic rise of China. Gallup polling indicates that as of 2022, nearly 80% of Americans have an unfavorable view of China, a drastic increase from 2018 when it was 45%. U.S. hegemony derives much of its power from the country’s economic dominance. The rise of China as an economic competitor and possible adversary has convinced many that steps are needed to counter the threat. But do Americans feel this means we must now prepare for war with China the way the country was for so long with the Soviet Union? When Gallup asked whether the U.S. was spending too little, the right amount, or too much on national defense and military in 1981, 51% of respondents answered too little, 22% about right, and only 15% too much. In 2022, 32% said too little, 34% about right, and 31% too much. This seems to indicate Americans may be more willing to use economic competition to achieve their goals rather than military force.


    Foreign policy has never been a front and center issue for the American public unless the country was involved in a major war. Thus, it is not surprising that American attitudes on foreign policy are hard to pin down. In some instances, pollsters may simply be measuring non-attitudes. In other scenarios, Americans may have a complex set of opinions; favoring, for instance, a general isolationist approach but valuing at the same time our alliances and our participation in international organizations or favoring our position in Ukraine but preferring economic warfare to troop deployments. This poses a challenge for policy makers but also illustrates the importance of clear leadership and messaging when it comes to foreign policy.

    The whole article is worth reading, though, as it does a good job of getting across how isolationist the electorate is overall. So the support for Ukraine against Putin is even more remarkable - people clearly see it as a potential war against the west in general that must be stopped.

    "Ukraine, thank you for peace in Moldova!" - shouted the Eurovision participant from Moldova after the performance.


    — Oriannalyla (@Lyla_lilas) May 13, 2023


    A Russian missile strike on a popular restaurant in Kramatorsk, Ukraine killed at least 11 people, wounded dozens more, and showed the peril of trying to claim pieces of ordinary life during war.

    • By Natalia Yermak and Dzvinka Pinchuk

      Photographs by Mauricio Lima

      Reporting from Kramatorsk, Ukraine

      June 28, 2023 @
      People digging through rubble.
      The damaged interior of a restaurant.
      Three women sitting on furniture near a police tape barrier.

    Hey Glenn Greenwald

    And so were overflights for 10 years rather than boots on the ground.

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