Does that mean they are now definitely not communists any more ?
Russia's Ministry of Digital Development has acknowledged that sanctions may send its tech businesses to the wall, and announced a raft of measures designed to stop that happening – among them ending dependency on internet infrastructure hosted offshore and disconnecting from the global internet. News of the industry support …
It's the only economic model which will work under these conditions (for small values of work) so they're going to have to go back to it, but they still haven't worked out yet that their vast amount of hoarded oligarchical wealth won't have any value, hence this intermediary step.
The elephant in the room is that Putin is only kept in power by his wealthy oligarchical cronies.
A significant and sustained drop in the value of their shit will see him out on his ear and he knows this. Hence the ever more insane and outlandish posturing and blamestorming from Mad Vlad as the situation wears on.
"... the ability to offer jobs to foreign workers without first having visas approved, ..."
Why would you volunteer to be a hostage?
BTW: It's been a 10+ days since y'all mentioned Kaspersky and its difficulties with one leg in Russia and one in the West. Can we have more on this cautionary tale? (Also interested as a friend is still using the AV product (cuz Win7))
Being able to call the war a war would also help.
Fairly recently I read the entire Wikipedia Talk pages of the Vietnam War, all 28 pages of it.
The American commentating disabused me of common misconceptions outside America.
A/ It was not a War, merely a Conflict.
B/ Drugs were not important in the Conflict.
C/ America in no way ever lost a war; but having skilfully achieved all their aims, withdrew proudly as Victors.
I understand that the offers of humanitarian corridors to Russia and Belorussia are not going down well with the residents of Kharkhiv and Kyiv. They would prefer to travel to countries that have not engaged in military activities against Ukraine. It seems they fear being used as hostages (if family members are in the Ukraine army), prisoners (if of military age) or for propaganda ('Look here are some oppressed Russian speakers who have fled the genocide perpetrated by of the Ukrainian NAZIs').
So their rouble is basically worthless, their stock market non-existent... the remaining 22% of their foreign currency reserves are in physical gold based in.. Russia. They can't export anything, fly anywhere, pay for anything or import anything, since all manufacturers , distributors and freight haulage have ceased. All their aircraft have had their insurance removed with Shipping soon to follow. Their oil is effectively under embargo as they couldn't even auction Ural quality barrels at 18$ (Ok apart from Shell who weirdly waded in and bought it all at that price).
Over the weekend it seems Asian countries alongside Switzerland started shutting down accept to cryptocurrency platforms for Russian users so that avenue is slowly closing.
With all this in mind, how could a business even thrive, let alone exist... this is the problem with the interconnected world today.. when your economy has effectively been time-warped back to the soviet era in a matter of 10 days... oh and in the meantime you're bleeding 20 billion a day feeding a meat grinder across the border which will become your new Afghanistan. All of this because you're hunting neo-Nazis on a 'special operation'?
RIP Russian tech industry.
There could possibly have been more strategic planning for introducing a collapsed USSR back into the world, more a Martial Plan than a Versaille treaty land grab.
Instead we were more concerned about job losses in our defence sector and what commission we could make on helping oligarchs funnel their money into real estate.
Ironically the only person with a grand plan for economic cooperation was Shroder, who ended up just making Germany dependant on Russian gas.
Ukraine isn't a new Afghanistan for Russia, it's something far worse. The Soviets lost a total of about 15,000 dead in that war - which lasted nearly 10 years.
Obviously we don't know casualty figures from this war, but I'm beginning to suspect that the Ukrainian claims aren't that far over the top - and it could be more than 5,000 dead in a week. We're missing huge amounts of the battle - which aren't making it to Twitter or journalists' cameras - because most of that stuff is coming from journos or people with smartphones in cities. But even there we've seen whole Russian light infantry formations attacking into cities without heavy support and getting slaughtered.
One suggestion being that Russia's military comms have broken down, and so lightly armed Airborne and Rosvgardia (internal security troops) attacked into cities solo in the early days following the plan - and their support didn't materialise.
But even though the Ukrainians are losing ground, they're holding firm outside Kiev and not even retreating much around Kharkiv and the North East. Which suggests that there's some fierce fighting going on there, which our intelligence agencies will know about because all our spy planes are up feeding intel to Ukraine (and analysing Russian tactics for us for later). The more cautious US/UK sources were estimating Russia had suffered a couple of thousand dead at the end of last week. So more dead in a week than in an average year of the Afghan war.
The Russians can't sustain this tempo for long. They don't have many fresh units to commit and their logistics system isn't up to the job. Though I doubt the Ukranians are in much of a condition to counter-attack on any scale. But I think the equipment losses are also pretty fearsome. Something's going to have to give soon - even if it's just the war settling down into a grim stalemate for a few weeks.
know about because all our spy planes are up feeding intel to Ukraine (and analysing Russian tactics for us for later
Not just spyplanes. B52s from the UK bases this morning are on aerial station over Buzau, Romania - easy striking distance of Odessa. The standard Rivet joint presence and also a battlefield command plane. These are just the ones with ADS-B on so we can see them. I'm sure that the US want the B52 presence to be known.
Also, Rzeszow-Jasionka airport is the busiest one in Poland at the moment due to C17 and C130 movements.
super hornets even had their transponders on yesterday flying CAP on Romanian border. Plenty UH60's going backwards and forwards too. It was decent enough to see the usual stratotanker lining up with a pair of hornets.
Seems the sky fuel trucks have an 8 hour shift too, as they cross over on the way back to Ramstein after 6.5 hours on station.
My mum is addicted to watching them, she got a nice picture of a pair of hercules circling to drop height, flying towards the border then the transponders went dark. She's an ex RAF SGT from the 50's and still has her marbles.
With the Russians grinding to a halt, a shit ton of supplies (food, water, medicines, and of course weapons) will have been sent in to Kyiv and other cities which are not yet cut off. Even if Russia pummels the cities from the air, they can never hold the rural areas - it's a vast country. The west will continue shipping Ukraine the latest infantry weapons, including anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons and the west is not going to run out of money. They will also be supplying intel from air and satellites.
This war is absolutely unwinnable for Russia. There is no prospect, even if Kyiv falls, that the highly motivated Ukranians in the rest of the country won't have some kind of centralized command, even if it is run from inside NATO territory.
If the Russians have not accepted defeat yet, they better start looking for what the best they can get from any peace deal is. Because the longer they go on, the worse their position looks.
This war is absolutely unwinnable for Russia
From OUR perspective, yes (based on a couple of factors, one being that we generally agree Russia should have NEVER done this in the first place)
But from Putin's perspective, the general exercise of intimidation, terror and fear is most likely part of a GREATER plan. Otherwise why ELSE would he target civilians like this? Yes, Putin is a SOVIET ERA COMMUNIST, in no uncertain terms. Like Stalin.
(the 20th century, and Stalin, called Putin and they want their USSR back)
Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia would likely agree there, they couldn't wait to join, and who could blame them? Apparently Finnish support for joining NATO has risen from somewhere in the 30s% to a significant majority since last year...
Historians may also like to point out what happened to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Otherwise why ELSE would he target civilians like this?
He's targetting civillians like this because he's fucked up. Make no mistake, the Russians are already burning through plan B and are on to plan C - and that's after only a week.
Plan A was a quick, glorious victory. Using a surprise attack and special forces to decapitate the Ukrainian government. Loudly claim victory, hang a few "Nazis" and all back in time for tea and medals. I'm still not clear whether Putin's plan was to fully annex Ukraine or just to install a puppet government and bugger off - that's a question of whether he truly believes his own bullshit about how Ukraine isn't really a country, Ukrainians are just Russians with a bit of a funny accent and that it's an evil CIA imposed government that Ukrainians are desperately waiting for Russia to liberate them from.
If he does genuinely believe all that shit, then he's stupider than we thought - and we can dismiss all idea that he's even capable of coming up with clever plans. Let alone implementing them.
If he doesn't believe all that bullshit, then why the fuck did he launch such a stupid invasion plan, that was guaranteed to fail?
But then his current plan B makes no sense either. If his objective is a friendly Ukraine - or at least one that accepts Russian hegemony, then bombing its cities to rubble means permanent burning hatred. Which means there can be no peace deal. But if he's not aiming for a peace deal, then how the fuck to he expect to annex and control 44 million Ukrainians in a truly massive country with fewer than 200,000 troops!
If they lost a conservative 3,000 killed last week - then we'd expect about 4-5 times that number in injuries. How long does he expect this war to carry on, when he's taking 10% casualties a week?
So I'm presuming the plan is to use rocket artillery to destroy a couple of cities, to force Ukraine to surrender. But on what terms?
There is no plan. Putin is a gambler, who's mostly taken low-risk chances and got away with it. And people (I guess including him) have taken some of his losses as wins - like breaking off the Donbas from Ukraine. All that did was guarantee further conflict, and after 8 years the Russian economy never recovered from the sanctions. Now he's gone for a massive gamble in Ukraine and there are no upsides - the economic damage is massive, but the Russian army is also now fucked. It's lost massive amounts of equipment it can't afford to replace, and destroyed its reputation and morale.
China (those other "genuis" long-term strategists) have encouraged Russian adventurism in order to distract and weaken the West. Only to see the Europeans and Americans unite in a massive blast of sanctions and new military spending, plus link up with Australia, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. We're all now rebuilding our Cold War state institutions (having had this shock) and I bet they'll be turned on China next. For Russia and China, this has been a policy disaster.
> We're all now rebuilding our Cold War state institutions (having had this shock) and I bet they'll be turned on China next. For Russia and China, this has been a policy disaster.
It certainly seems to be not going too well for Russia.
One thing which doesn't seem to get mentioned too much is that there's a number of financial, economic and political implications if Russia is successfully able to take over Ukraine. E.g. 80% of russian gas exports go through Ukraine (which was meant to be negated by Nord Stream 2), and Russia and Ukraine produce almost a third of the world's total wheat production.
Put simply, taking ownership of those gas pipes and wheat fields would give Russia a hell of a lot more revenue and a lot more political clout.
Meanwhile, China is stuck in a sanctions war with the USA, and is always looking for ways to legitimise it's claims over Taiwan, so was quite happy to side with Russia.
However, they've now seen what happens when a large but relatively inexperienced and underequipped conscript army attempts to invade a country with a modern military which has had time to prepare.
And how the West has reacted far more strongly to this invasion than most people would have predicted, both in terms of sanctions and by providing the Ukraine with lots of weapons and other forms of indirect support.
And how Putin has decided to up the ante by threatening to use nukes.
And all of the global economic impacts that this war is having, at a time when we're still dealing with the shocks caused by Coronavirus. Which in turn could devastate their export industries.
Overall, I don't think it's been a full blown policy disaster for China, but I do suspect that they're quietly shifting from tacit approval of Russia's actions to a more neutral stance.
And the more that Putin waves his magic nuke card, the more they'll sidestep away from him...
Overall, I don't think it's been a full blown policy disaster for China, but I do suspect that they're quietly shifting from tacit approval of Russia's actions to a more neutral stance.
I'm not sure President Xi's inner circle are capable of honest self-analysis. Rather like Putin's regime, its becoming much more of a personal dictatorship than an autocracy.
The Russians and the Chinese have spent the last decade poking at a divided West. Apparently seeing those divisions as encouragment to keep poking. Until eventually what's happening is that the West are realising that they're going to have to act collectively.
What was it Napoleon said? Never interrupt your enemy when he's making a mistake.
But they just don't seem to be able to help themselves. Take China EU relations. China got this nice win, when the EU signed that trade and investment deal between the Trump and Biden presidencies. Biden's team asked the Europeans to hold off until he was in power and could talk about it. But they pushed ahead. Merkel even came out and said that Europe should be equidistant between the US and China. Ignoring the fact that one of those two is a vicious dictatorship running a cultural (if not actual) genocide in Xianjiang and Tibet and the other is an ally who actually pays to have troops stationed in Germany to defend it against an increasing Russian threat. Ah I still remeber the days of being ridiculed for saying Merkel's foreign policies were awful, and being told she was the best politician since sliced bread...
But having achieved this great division between the US and in particular France and Germany (but also the rest of the EU - even though France and Germany pushed that trade agreement), China had to fuck it up. The EU put in some sanctions against minor Communist Party officials over Xinjiang, so China responded by sanctioning a bunch of MEPs. Well how were they to get that deal through the European Parliament now? All those years of effort to split the EU and US buggered up in one fit of pique!
And now we have China's unofficial trade embargo on Lithuania, because they accepted a trade mission from Taiwan to be set up in Vinius. Well of course if you're going to embargo goods from one member of the EU, what about the others? Well for a few months the EU tried to ignore it. Germany tried to pressure Lithuania to back down. But now the EU have taken China to the WTO over it? And Australia, the US, UK and others have joined the action.
So I'm not sure if China or Russia's governments are currently capable of seeing how badly they're screwing up. Meanwhile the big democratic economies are being forced to realise that they need to cooperate diplomatically, militarily and economically. Plus the supply chain mess caused by the pandemic is simultaneously making people look at their economic dependence on China. This is the exact time for China to be meek and cooperative, to let sleeping dogs lie and hope we decide that would be too much effort. But instead they team up with Russia to show us that if we do nothing, the world is going to get even scarier.
Several excellent analytical posts here. Mainstream media should consider employing some of you.
On China, I'm intrigued but the possibility that they've quietly supported Putin's insane views only to leverage a shift in the Wests stance towards the Middle Kingdom.
I could easily conceive a situation where they quietly negotiated a opening in trade with the West in exchange for Stabbing Vlad in the back.
After all, "Before you can stab someone in the back, you have to get behind them"
It depends what you mean by 'winning'. Getting Ukrainians to accept rule from Moscow and living happily ever after is not going to happen any time soon. But Putin needs to declare some sort of victory or his tenure as president will not last much longer.
The worry from the military analysts (at least the ones on the BBC and Channel 4 here in the UK) is that the Russians will decide that fighting in built up areas 'hand to hand' as it were is a hiding to nothing, and go for the Thermobaric* option - using a flammable aerosol to create an intense and long lasting explosion which as a byproduct creates an electromagnetic pulse and so depletes the atmosphere of oxygen that anyone who survives the intense heat suffocates. If that does not work, they may simply stay outside the cities and bombard them with heavy artillery until they are just re-arranging the rubble, or use 'battlefield' nuclear rounds.
Of course eventually Russian conscripts who have seen and done terrible things will return to Russia and start telling their stories. There will suspiciously not be a memorial listing the names of all the dead Russian soldiers as then people would be able to count them. And, of course, the sanctions will continue to bite, particularly after the EU weans itself off Russian oil and gas, although the Chinese may take some of that.
The Independent newspaper has an article that members of the FSB have been tipping off Zelensky's security team about assassination attempts, maybe they are also providing info on other military plans? If that is the case, then Putin's problems are really bad.
So, companies can get loans at 3% if they don't lay off staff and index wages. The rest of the world, quite rightly, intends tanking the Russian economy creating all of the attendant inflation that entails. What use is a debt service cost of 3% if the inflation rate is 20% (at least) and I have to lock wages to inflation and retain staff? The only way the 3% service cost can be provided is by money printing which feeds inflation which feeds the cost of indexed salaries which feeds my need to borrow more money which is, by definition, an inflationary spiral. The only way out is to remove the locks of cheap lending, enforced indexing and staff retention.
Rather like the Covid loans, it makes no sense as a long-term strategy: the intention is to prevent an immediate sectoral collapse that would take years to rebuild. Given that it's improbable this is a short-term issue for the Russian economy it can only be a holding move while they try to come up with a longer-lasting strategy - which could well be direct state control.
They should be able to print Roubles for quite a bit. The collapse in the economy is going to be deflationary - so printing in order to keep people in work is actually quite a sensible move - as it was with Covid support. But that only works in the short to medium term.
The question is how much they can use the economy to substite for the imports they can no longer get. I suspect the answer is not much. Apparently the small artisanal food economy is now pretty robust in Russia, after the Russian response to Western sanctions after the Crimea annexation was a ban on imports of European luxury foods. But I suspect that's a tiny island around Moscow and St Petersburg - and not something they can do to get chips for their car plants or spares for their oil and gas drilling equipment.
Russia's economy is a lot more globalised than it was in the Soviet era - so the pain is going to hit most sectors of it. I guess they're going to be able to ship some stuff in from China, but you can imagine the prices might be a bit high (what with their being no alternative) and sanctions from Japan and South Korea are pretty heavy as well, so they're going to struggle to get things like chips, decent computers and machine tools. Which is terrible for the long term.
The problem is, what are they going to pay China with? Most likely cheap oil and gas. This will then free up global supplies for the rest of the world. China will go back to cheap manufacturing having had Russia over a barrel (literally). They will also gladly sell Russia knock off chips, parts, cars etc. Proxy state almost.
That would have been sensible considering the sanctions going on. The new-Cost of Aeroflot's fleet I've just worked out at (all in billion $, the average age of Aeroflot's planes are 6 years old).
That would have been a serious chunk out of some oligarch's pockets.
I think the problem, for Putin at least, is that if they withdraw he is done. I think he is done anyway, it just depends how many people he kills before he is stopped. I think this was timed for the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Covid economic pressures and rising fuel/energy prices with the idea that the west would have no stomach to oppose him. It could also be a push to destabilise western economies given the cost of fuel/energy and loss of Russian supplies. I don't understand the way most people make decisions at the best of times so probably completely wrong.
If Russia disconnects its regular citizens from the internet entirely, presumably leaving only their higher ups and trolls farms like the IRA, I hope the west completes the task by disconnecting Russia (and Belarus) entirely, because none of those remaining would have good intentions so there's no reason to give them access.
Cisco has decided it's time to leave Russia and Belarus, almost four months after stopping operations in response to Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine.
The networking giant announced it would halt operations in Russia and Belarus "for the foreseeable future" on March 3 this year.
A June 23 update suggests Cisco sees no future in either nation.
A Moscow court has fined Airbnb, Twitch, UPS, and Pinterest for not storing Russian user data locally, according to Russian regulator Roskomnadzor.
The decision was handed down by the Tagansky District Court of Moscow after the four foreign companies allegedly did not provide documents confirming that the storage and processing of Russian personal data was conducted entirely in the country.
Twitch, Pinterest and Airbnb were fined approximately $38,500 while UPS received a fine of roughly $19,200.
Russia and China have each warned the United States that the offensive cyber-ops it ran to support Ukraine were acts of aggression that invite reprisal.
The US has acknowledged it assisted Ukraine to shore up its cyber defences, conducted information operations, and took offensive actions during Russia's illegal invasion.
While many nations occasionally mention they possess offensive cyber-weapons and won't be afraid to use them, admissions they've been used are rare. US Cyber Command chief General Paul Nakasone's public remarks to that effect were therefore unusual.
The latest drone headed to Ukraine's front lines isn't getting there by air. This one powers over rough terrain, armed with a 7.62mm tank machine gun.
The GNOM (pronounced gnome), designed and built by a company called Temerland, based in Zaporizhzhia, won't be going far either. Next week it's scheduled to begin combat trials in its home city, which sits in southeastern Ukraine and has faced periods of rocket attacks and more since the beginning of the war.
Measuring just under two feet in length, a couple inches less in width (57cm L х 60cm W x 38cm H), and weighing around 110lbs (50kg), GNOM is small like its namesake. It's also designed to operate quietly, with an all-electric motor that drives its 4x4 wheels. This particular model forgoes stealth in favor of a machine gun, but Temerland said it's quiet enough to "conduct covert surveillance using a circular survey camera on a telescopic mast."
What's said to be a Ukrainian-made long-range anti-drone rifle is one of the latest weapons to emerge from Russia's ongoing invasion of its neighbor.
The Antidron KVS G-6 is manufactured by Kvertus Technology, in the western Ukraine region of Ivano-Frankivsk, whose capital of the same name has twice been subjected to Russian bombings during the war. Like other drone-dropping equipment, we're told it uses radio signals to interrupt control, remotely disabling them, and it reportedly has an impressive 3.5 km (2.17 miles) range.
"We are not damaging the drone. With communication lost, it just loses coordination and doesn't know where to go. The drone lands where it is jammed, or can be carried away by the wind because it's uncontrollable," Kvertus' director of technology Yaroslav Filimonov said. Because the downed drones are unharmed, they give Ukrainian soldiers recovering them a wealth of potential intelligence, he added.
Microsoft has blocked the installation of Windows 10 and 11 in Russia from the company's official website, Russian state media reported on Sunday.
Users within the country confirmed that attempts to download Windows 10 resulted in a 404 error message.
After freezing operations in Russia earlier this year, IBM has told employees it is ending all work in the country and has begun laying off staff.
A letter obtained by Reuters sent by IBM CEO Arvind Krishna to staff cites sanctions as one of the prime reasons for the decision to exit Russia.
"As the consequences of the war continue to mount and uncertainty about its long-term ramifications grows, we have now made the decision to carry out an orderly wind-down of IBM's business in Russia," Krishna said.
Accounting software colossus Intuit has decided to pull its QuickBooks product from India.
The decision comes into effect on January 31 2023, after which QuickBooks products and service offerings for accountancy and small business customers will no longer be available in the world's second most populous country.
"After careful consideration, the decision was made that we can no longer continue to deliver and support QuickBooks products that serve the needs of small businesses and accounting professionals across India," reads a notice posted yesterday.
The government of the Philippines has welcomed the decision by giant business process outsourcer Concentrix Corporation to forgo tax incentives and instead allow its staff to continue working from home for the foreseeable future. The nation feels that subsidising outsourcers' bottom lines does nothing to boost the local economy.
The Philippines imposed lengthy and strict COVID-19 lockdowns that saw its substantial business process outsourcing sector quickly adapt to working from home. The nation's government supported that move by continuing to offer the pre-COVID subsidies it offered to outsourcers that run offices located in certain special economic zones.
Those subsidies have subsequently been removed, and the requirement to operate from special economic zones restored.
A Russian operated botnet known as RSOCKS has been shut down by the US Department of Justice acting with law enforcement partners in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. It is believed to have compromised millions of computers and other devices around the globe.
The RSOCKS botnet functioned as an IP proxy service, but instead of offering legitimate IP addresses leased from internet service providers, it was providing criminals with access to the IP addresses of devices that had been compromised by malware, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California.
It seems that RSOCKS initially targeted a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as industrial control systems, routers, audio/video streaming devices and various internet connected appliances, before expanding into other endpoints such as Android devices and computer systems.
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