back to article Putin threatens supply chains with counter-sanction order

Russian president Vladimir Putin has authorized retaliatory sanctions against individuals and organizations that have taken action over the illegal invasion of Ukraine. An executive order issued on Tuesday explains that Russia will implement reprisals against states and international organizations that have acted against …

  1. ShadowSystems Silver badge

    You want to play hardball?

    Then we're refusing to buy any borsch, caviar, or vodka. See how you like them apples, nyaaaaa!

    *Sigh*

    I wish this war would end already. Can someone please go put the child to bed so he can sleep off the temper tantrum & let the world return to a saner footing?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: You want to play hardball?

      Wish we could, but he's currently at the coal pile and he's carrying an oil lantern...

      1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

        Re: You want to play hardball?

        I smell desperation. Mining and oil extraction equipment require parts for maintenance that Putin can no longer get. Threatening to cut of supplies of what he cannot deliver is already a pattern. He is currently hiding in an impregnable bunker. It won't be long before the strongest oligarchs see to it that he stays their for the rest of his life.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          "He is currently hiding in an impregnable bunker"

          Hopefully the lock breaks off on the door of his bathroom when he goes for a shit then. No one will be around to check on him, problem solved.

          1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            He is currently hiding in an impregnable bunker

            Hitler hid in an impregnable bunker. And we all knew (except one person) what happened to Hitler in the end.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Hiding in the bunker

            The former KGB HQ in Moscow which Putin is very familiar with has a nuclear fallout shelter underneath. If the one in the next door building is anything to go by, it is at least 100ft underground. I know because that's where we put the Hardware that did the PIN encryption/decryption for the banks ATM system in the 1990's.

            That part of Moscow had a labyrinth of tunnels that connected the Government Departments together. It was rumoured that the KGB bunker was linked to the bunker under the Kremlin.

        2. jmch Silver badge

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          "Threatening to cut of supplies of what he cannot deliver... "

          Unfortunately not so much the case. Russia can and at the moment is exporting almost 80 million m3 to Europe through Ukraine pipelines. NordStream pipeline is IIRC double that. Not sure what the exact figures would be right now, but about 40% of Europe gas consumption comes from Russia. Closing that off would be a huge economic hit for Russia as it's their major revenue source.

          But it would also almost certainly lead to an EU-wide energy crisis. EU energy consumption is 22% gas, if 40% of that comes from Russia it's about 9% total energy. There's also a big chunk of oil products. While I can't find good numbers, we're talking 15-20% of EUs total energy consumption that would need to be saved or sourced from elsewhere. Germany, Italy, the Baltics and Bulgaria are particularly reliant on Russian oil and gas.

          So far the belief has been that Putin can't finance the war without these exports, and Europe can't function normally without the imports, which is why the oil and gas has kept flowing all through the crisis. If Putin goes through with this, it would be painful for Europe for a while.

          However, I think that long-term this is actually the best outcome, forcing the EU to increase it's own production via nuclear (I hope) and renewables. Particularly if Germany would rethink it's ban on nuclear.

          1. hoola Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Whilst this is inevitable the crunch point is when it happens and how long it will take to backfill the shortfall.

            I don't know what facilities there are for LNG imports using ships. You need to have storage capacity when it is unloaded. Now in theory Germany has that as there was (until the lack of wind) about 10 weeks storage capacity. Whether it is in the right place to allow LNG that has been shipped to be stored again I don't know.

            My guess is that storage is still well under capacity so the buffer will be limited.

            There is presumably demand for LNG ships at the moment and they are very specialised so the assumption is that there is not the capacity to just make up the shortfall in the timescale.

            That takes us back to square one, a very nasty short-term hit on major European economies. The knock-on will also be further increases in energy costs for everyone else so the overall impact will be wider.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              Yes, storage is a major problem, and LNG ships are a major capacity constraint.

              But the BIG problem is port capacity. That is the BIG bottleneck. And it takes a long time and a lot of money to build new ones.

              > a very nasty short-term hit on major European economies

              And on poor people. Come winter time, expect the deaths-from-cold numbers to soar. Heating is expensive, and rapidly becoming a luxury item for the bottom quartile of the population. They will die a lot.

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                Addendum:

                > capacity constraint

                That applies at both ends of the supply chain, btw.

                For example: Australia can't help you out with our LNG, because our LNG export capacity is full.

              2. Boolian

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                Yeah, well living in a country that has been domestically 'energy rich' for several decades and has more than enough spare capacity to heat every home gratis - many, people still die of cold and related health issues annually people still live in 'fuel poverty' and the numbers were growing well before any 'special military operation'

                Fuel/ energy shortages are not the metric of fuel poverty. It will exacerbate it certainly and more will certainly succumb.

                Mainland Europe may, or may not have the generations of experience of watching gas flares offshore, tankers of petroleum products rumble past their homes, gazing forlornly at the wind, turbines and hydro dams gracing the hills above vast swathes of coal fields - all the while throwing extra coats on the bed for warmth - but they'll learn...sadly

            2. John Jennings

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              Germany (and Italy) have storage facilities for approx 45 days. However, the reserves are at around 20% - typical after winter - so say 15 days at usual rates.

              You cannot replace the pipelines with ships at LNG ports - there isnt capacity within the EU and it takes years to build a deep sea LNG facility.

              Given that Bulgaria (was near enough) 100% reliant on Russia for both gas and oil, it is getting backfilled from Germany - putting more pressure on its reserves.

              LNG isnt just used for heating and power. Its one of the major components used by the chemical industry. by sector: 44% domestic & heating, 28% industrial, the rest power (thats for Germany).

              Cutting off gas means no chemical product from the likes of Bosch. The German emergency plans calls for a complete sutdown of industrial to extend reserves for domestic and civil uses. I dont think it factored in supporting the rest of the EU on its reserves.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Largely correct but (some of) the baltics have already dropped Russian gas and are importing lpg instead

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              At a total collective population about that of a single EU city, they have that capacity within the existing "fat".

              The EU, at over 400 million people, does not.

          3. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Closing that off would be a huge economic hit for Russia

            Look east. Specifically, south east asia. There are some countries that would benefit from very cheap Ural oil.

            It took a long time for the US government to stop China from "sharing" oil with NK.

            China also has a huge appetite with oil. Russia is one of China's biggest oil supplier. The other is Iran.

            1. My-Handle Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              "very cheap Ural oil"

              Look at what you just typed. If China et al are going to buy oil at a cheap rate, that means that Russia isn't going to be earning the normal rate on it's oil. Even if the oil / gas continues to flow, those profit margins are going to take a big hit.

              Depending on Russia's negotiating skills, how much China wants to be seen doing business with Russia, and how much it costs to get that oil / gas out of the ground in the first place, it could still be a big hit to the Russian economy. Even if everything turns out in their favour, they will still need to build the infrastructure to move all that oil and gas, which means a short term hit. And the Russian economy doesn't look all that healthy right now regardless.

              1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                Cheap in this case means just 'a little bit less than the market rate'. With oil prices skyrocketing, it seems that from an economic point of view, invading Ukraine may have been one of the best moves to bolster the Russian economy.

                There is no doubt in my mind that if companies like Shell or Exxonmobile could buy 'cheap' oil throigh a series of intermediaries, that they would jump at the opportunity.

                Laissez faire capitalism...

              2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                that means that Russia isn't going to be earning the normal rate on it's oil

                No arguments there. It is not "just" pumping the oil from under the ground but, rather, STORING them.

                When the oil starts to flow it is very difficult to "shut the tap". That oil needs to be stored somewhere. Russia does not have a lot of storage because, in the past, there was really no need to.

                But now, nearly every country, except China, NK and India, everyone has stopped buying Russian oil. Those "excess stock" needs to be stored somewhere.

                Iran did that a few years ago when they used their own tankers as floating storage units. But there will come a time those storage tanks are going to get full.

                So, yes, they may not earn much but Russia will earn a not less because for them to move tiny bits they need to sell those stocks at a significantly reduced prices.

                China have a lot of teacups and they are happy to pay in cash, as in "cold" cash, and whatever currency Russia wants.

                China state refiners shun new Russian oil trades, teapots fly under radar

                Cheap in this case means just 'a little bit less than the market rate'.

                I would not call a discount of US$31/b "little bit less than the market rate" if you multiply that with 500k barrels (per shipment).

              3. John Jennings

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                I think you forgot India - it wants the gas and oil too.

                The Russians do have a competitive market available to them.

            2. Alan Brown Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              "It took a long time for the US government to stop China from "sharing" oil with NK"

              One of the reasons for that is that when the Chinese cut off oil/electricity supplies in the early 2000s, the NK kleptocracy simply let the peasants starve whilst continuing to take what they wanted

              China wasn't equipped then to handle several million starving Koreans heading north and still isn't now although its transportation infrastructure makes it better able to move people away from the borders with every year that goes by. Such an event would still need a humanitarian response on par with the Ukrainian one and the logistics are pretty hefty thanks to the rugged territory along the very long china-NK line

            3. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              > It took a long time for the US government to stop China from "sharing" oil with NK.

              They didn't stop it.

              It still continues apace. Just more covertly.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Given the number of mysterious fires and explosions at key Russian facilities, I wouldn't be surprised if something untowards happens to that pipeline too...

          5. Plest Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Cutting Russia's gas is a big no-no ( "non non"! ), simply can't be done unless everyone wants to sit wrapped in blankets from Oct onwards this year. Oil, hmm, very slim chance that could be cut way back if OPEC are prepared to stump up more "black gold".

            Globalisation is a great idea when everyone gets along and behaves like adults, the second some spoilt little shit decides they want to take their ball home then it's all over.

          6. Snowy Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            They are only talking about oil, as far as I know the gas will continue to flow.

          7. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Painful for a while, but Europe has a fairly large buffer (over a year) in the pipes and it's summer

            European pain will ease but as Europe switches to alternate sources Russian pain will only intensify

            1. John Jennings

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              In your dreams

              even this time of year the gas reserves are 20-30 days MAX.

              Only longer if all industry consuming oil is shut down - then only another 10-15 days.

              Imports from LNG ships might add 10 days (15 with full sutdown).

        3. Sitaram Chamarty

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          speaking of "bunker" reminds me...

          I wonder if there's a Downfall parody of this situation (you know, the one with Hitler ranting) already

        4. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          > He is currently hiding in an impregnable bunker

          I believe he's currently/imminently in hospital for surgery.

          Problem: I've read that his deputy who'll be stepping in, his Number 2 & designated successor, makes Putin look sane, reasonable, co-operative, and a champion of human beings' rights.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            I wouldn't worry too much about a deputy. He (and I assume it is a he) is the deputy because he isn't Putin and has no aptitude for the task of becoming Putin. If Putin goes, the field is clear for just about anyone who is ambitious and ruthless. They don't have to be insane and, if they want the army's support, being sane enough to do a reverse ferret on the Ukrainian debacle might just be the necessary qualification for power.

            1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              This chap: https://duckduckgo.com/?q=Nikolai+Patrustev

              Ex counter-intelligence KGB. Currently bossman of the Security Council. Described as a hardliner, apparently responsible for convincing Putin that Ukraine was being taken over by Nazis, apparently responsible ("key architect") for the Ukraine invasion's strategic plan.

              1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                Ah, thanks. Intelligence and the Army aren't best of friends right now. (Something about not being welcomed with garlands by nubile virgins on day one of the invasion.) My guess is that this guy is toast if Putin isn't around.

              2. John Jennings

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                That dude is more likely to roll out the tactical nukes than withdraw.

                Dont assume that a replacement will be less aggressive than the current incumbent. What would the EU & NATO do then?

      2. NoneSuch Silver badge

        Re: You want to play hardball?

        Make that 5 gallons of diesel and a road flare.

    2. Zolko Silver badge

      Re: You want to play hardball?

      & let the world return to a saner footing?

      wait .... before the invasion the main talking points where lockdowns and curfews because of some techno-mutated virus, Humanity ending with rising temperature and climate change, millions of refugees worlwide, central banks printing money without end while the banksters continue to take in billions of profits .... the world before was not sane, that's why we got this now.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: You want to play hardball?

        None of those things led to Putin deciding to go nuts and invade Ukraine with a woefully (thankfully) unprepared military that can do nothing but try to bomb Ukraine back to the stone age.

        Well apart from perhaps that Putin seemed to put himself in isolation throughout Covid reducing the number of people he was talking to, which seems to have left him only talking to the Yes men, and no one telling him he was being utterly stupid.

        All those other things are the new "normal". We're changing the definition of insanity as we speak...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          Professor Maersheimer (University of Chicago).

          "Why the Ukraine is the West's fault."

          You may not like what you hear, that doesn't make it false though.

          https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JrMiSQAGOS4

          1. Jonathan Richards 1 Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            > "Why the Ukraine is the West's fault." [emphasis added]

            There's an interesting reason why Ukraine would like everyone to stop using the definite article in front of their country's name, see e.g. Ukraine or the Ukraine: Why do some country names have 'the'?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            More like Paul Manafort's fault. It was Manafort that got that Putin puppet Yanukovych, back into power after the rigged election of 2004.

            It's easy to forget Manafort works for the Russians, installing puppet leaders into democracies using black money he gets from Russia to market them.

            https://www.huffpost.com/entry/yanukovych-manafort-indictment-trump_n_59f72e5ae4b03cd20b82fe20

          3. RPF

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Maersheimer also said that Putin would NEVER invade Ukraine......

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              First thing... this video is from 6 years ago. He was making predictions on the information he had at the time.

              Second, if someone makes 10 predictions about geo-politics of which 1 does not turn out to be correct, it does not follow that all 10 predictions are all of a sudden incorrect.or that the person making these predictions doesn't know what he's talking about. Quite the opposite is true.

              This is not science, where if one part of a thesis is proven to be false, that the whole thesis is invalid.

          4. lglethal Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            I'm at work so I cant watch that video, but all I will say is this.

            An independent nation is free to do as it chooses, based on the will of its own people.

            And maybe Russia should consider the old saying - if the people you considered friends/allies/subordinates start turning away from you and seeking new friends and allies, perhaps the problem isn't with them, or the new people they are talking to, but with yourself. Maybe Russia should think about why all those old soviet block countries turned away from them, rather than trying to bully and scare them into coming back...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              I completely agree with your sentiment, but with that same sentiment in mind, you may also want to ask yourself why the people in Donetsk en Luhansk no longer wanted to be part of Ukraine after the change in government in 2014.

              1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                > the people in Donetsk en Luhansk

                You missed a bit:

                "a small but violent, centralised, and heavily militarily-backed-by-Russia subset of the people in Donetsk en Luhansk"

                1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

                  Re: You want to play hardball?

                  "a small but violent, centralised, and heavily militarily-backed-by-Russia subset of the people in Donetsk en Luhansk"

                  Are you quoting from a reliable source or just pulling stuff out of your arse?

                  My guess though, would be that they didn't want to be part of this anymore.

                  https://youtu.be/5SBo0akeDMY

                  Source: BBC

          5. TeeCee Gold badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Same old. It's like the old "we should have confronted Hiltler over CZ". Trouble was there was no more appetite for a full-on shooting war then any more than there is now.

            Thus we did the same thing, walked along the road of peace by idiots until the wheels came all the way off.

            It's all very well talking about how we should have done whatever to prevent ${tyrant} cementing himself into power, but that requires a vast amount of moral flexibility[1] that never materialises until the shooting starts.

            With hindsight, you can always look back and say "well, we should have done XYZ to prevent him/her/them/grapefruit getting his/her/its/segmenteds feet under the table in the first place". In practice, spotting that ${unknown_political_wannabee} is an insane tyrant in the making at the time requires a functional crystal ball.

            [1] Starting with Black Agency "wet" ops and escalating from there.

            1. Plest Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              Even more so when the markets have all those lovely upward trends day after day. All our pensions tied into this wonderful financial machine we've created, then some spoilt shit decides to act like a silly toddler and the rest of us just have roll our eyes and wait until they get a good smack and sent to bed with no supper!

          6. Reg Reader 1

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            That was a very interesting lecture. Thanks for sharing that.

          7. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Putin is the west's fault. There's a long chain of reasons why hawks and "business decisions" stopped Russia developing towards social democracy.

            Those kleptocrats and oligarchs might have their roots in the USSR, but they're enabled in modern times by the likes of Haliburton and the Kochs

          8. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            "You may not like what you hear, that doesn't make it false though."

            It's a superficial account that doesn't really hold up to deeper scrutiny (no mention of the Budapest memorandum, interferrence in Belarus, the Balkans, etc, as far as I'm aware, no analysis of why Russia fears a defensive alliance, in essence no analysis of the Russian actions and motivations, etc), and hasn't really aged well in the intervening 5 years. The dismissal of comparisons between Putin and Hitler as "laughable" is in and of itself laughable - both are authoritarian leaders who weaseled into ultimate power via constitutional manipulationfrom lower positions, invaded based on false flag operations (Chechen bombings), controlled the media, elimiated opposition, etc - clearly enough similarities to allow a prima facia comparison. He is, however, correct on the West's willingness to engage in regime change being a problem.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              NATO is a 'defensive' alliance that's engaged in a lot of offensive operations and regime changes since it's inception. Just ask Yugoslavia.

              If it's ok for NATO & NATO members to engage in kinetic diplomacy and support invasions like Yemen, why should we be suprised when Russia does the same?

              I guess one good thing to emerge from this is NATO isn't needed to counter the Warsaw Pact... I mean Russia any more. Former members could invest in their own military instead, and combine into multinational forces as & when the need arises.

              1. Jon 37

                Re: You want to play hardball?

                I think one very clear thing to emerge from this is that nations need nuclear weapons to deter invasion from Russia.

                As well as needing nuclear weapons to deter invasion from the US. (Compare the handling of Iraq vs Iran. Iraq didn't have nukes and got invaded. Iran probably doesn't have nukes but is very cleverly playing the "but we are close and could develop them quickly if we needed to" card).

                Countries with nukes don't get invaded.

                Joining NATO is a way to get the protection of US nukes against Russia, and the alliance with the US to protect against the US.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              (no mention of the Budapest memorandum, interferrence in Belarus, the Balkans, etc, as far as I'm aware, no analysis of why Russia fears a defensive alliance, in essence no analysis of the Russian actions and motivations, etc

              Aside from interference by Russia in the Balkans all of these points are discussed.

              You're either trolling, skimmed or possibly didn't even view the video.

          9. tel130y
            Meh

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            It also doesn't make it the truth, although the argument is entirely feasible..

            1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

              Re: You want to play hardball?

              Find reliable sources, cross-check the information you find there and use your knowledge of history to cone to your own conclusions.

          10. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            Rebuttal from the director of the Foreign Policy Institute in Estonia: https://twitter.com/KristiRaik/status/1521816207359361024

            Whilst reading, remember that Putin believes that Ukraine shouldn't exist as a country (RIA Novosty ran an article explaining why a genocide in Ukraine was "necessary"), the fall of the USSR was the greatest tragedy of the 20th Century, Russia is entitled to its' own sphere of influence (that would have to be Eastern Europe and Kazakhstan, because China, Turkey, and North Korea are their only other real neighbours), and that Russia should be restored to the glory of Imperial Russia (from his rambling justification prior to launching the invasion). Plus "Russki Mir" requires Russia to have vassal/client states at it's borders, so that any fighting is outside Russia's borders, that Russia doesn't really produce finished goods (but Ukraine does), and the fact that Putin tried to form "OPEC for grain" with Ukraine to fix prices (who refused). Either Putin has changed in the last 5 years, or Prof Maersheimer is just wrong.

          11. rcxb1 Bronze badge

            Re: You want to play hardball?

            I made it 5 minutes into that video. He claims Asia and the Middle East is more important to the US than Europe post 2000, because of the rise of China? What nonsense.

            Europe has a bigger economy than even the US... The US has strategic military bases all over Europe, and performs joint military operations with European allies. Most European countries are healthy, liberal democracies, like the US. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state said in no uncertain terms that Europe is the US' most important ally. None of this is true of China. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan are important US allies, but Japan is on a bit of a decline, and the rise of China isn't going to make them too much more important to the US.

            And the middle east? EVs are developing quickly, so oil is becoming less important in the US and elsewhere. The US is a net exporter of energy at this point. The US does not need the middle east very much, and would be fine with just a couple allies in the region. Iran is dying to sell its oil to everyone. Saudi Arabia remains a steady ally.

        2. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          "None of those things led to Putin deciding to go nuts and invade Ukraine"

          Uh... Isn't part of this because he's been sectioned away from the world for ages due to a grave fear of contracting the virus and obviously lacking the parental supervision he so obviously needs?

          I think the isolation has made him crazy, and for the moment none of his nearest have the balls to tell a nutter that he's a nutter (doesn't tend to improve one's life expectancy).

        3. Zolko Silver badge

          Re: You want to play hardball?

          None of those things led to Putin deciding to go nuts

          actually, I think that one of the things that made Putin go nuts is the "west " paying Russians in self-printed monopoly money. That's why they want to be paid, now, in "real " money. And that's why, after the end of this war, the international monetary system might look very different from what was before.

          Other people are calling for a "Great Reset " or a "New World Order ", there is no going back to the good ol' days.

  2. Flywheel
    FAIL

    But, but where am I going to get all my SPAM, now !?

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      or the bounces for all of the "joe job"s where your e-mail address is in the 'From' header in thousands of spam mails [less likely if SPF records are done/handled right].

      And those "luxury replicas" - how HORRIBLE not having THOSE.... </snark>

  3. Jim Mitchell

    As I understand it, neon can be made anywhere. Its just that people who currently have the equipment to extract and sell it are all currently involved in a war. China is probably already working on plans to take over that market.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Not sure about "made" but yes. China tried to corner the world market in rare earth's a few years ago. They started with a healthy share of the market and succeeded only in pushing the price up so that a load of new (or old) entrants came in (or back) and stole some of their customers.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Doctor Who?

    One minute he's threatening nuclear strikes. The next he's threating to stop selling stuff that's probably already subject to sanctions.

    To quote Clara from Doctor Who - Never start with your final sanction. You've got nowhere to go but backwards.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    How much do we need?

    I know that Europe is in quite an energy crunch but the other materials might not be as scarce as Putin hopes. COVID started this thing where businesses charged high prices as a result of labor shortages and then realized that it's super profitable to keep charging high prices and not paying for employees. New competition will eventually come along to fix some of that, but those new competitors are likely to also find ways to avoid or reduce dependencies on materials with limited supplies.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    update

    Let's start calling him Putout

    "If you can't measure output, then you can't measure input." - Charles Schultze

  7. Danny 2 Silver badge

    A Cold War is preferable to the hot war

    The EU needs to stop all fossil fuel imports from Russia today. Imports are pouring fuel on a fire that will spread to us.

    I don't give a damn about German industrial profits, or whatever is keeping the blood trade going. I do care about my mum only being able to heat one room and having to dress warm indoors. The cold affects the old differently. She's not in a Ukraine basement though, so not that cold. There are things we can do in this emergency to mitigate the cold, such as communal living for the elderly with free heating, free food.

    In the medium term start insulating homes and fast-tracking renewables, stuff like that that reduces energy imports. Ration energy use - no foreign holidays for the rich as the poor freeze and starve. Spirit of the Blitz. We need to stare this monster down.

  8. Aghios Vasilis tou Stalingrad

    Ζήτω η Ρωσία!

    1. genghis_uk

      Но не с Путиным!

  9. Mikel

    If you rely on Russian supply...

    Then you ain't the sharpest tool in the shed.

  10. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Re: Black Magic -- counter-spells

      Oh hello, they've already been firing warning shots. Spells. Whatever.

      Radio Free Europe: Witches cast spells for Putin

      1. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

        Re: Black Magic -- counter-spells

        Radio Free Europe is a CIA cutout...

        If that's where you're getting your information from, it's not surlrising that you don't know what's really going on.

    2. Kabukiwookie Silver badge

      Re: Black Magic -- counter-spells

      As for ministry of Truth, it looks like the US now officially has one as well...

      https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/apr/28/dhs-created-disinformation-governance-team-police-/

      For your protection of course...

  11. Jake Maverick

    Elon Musk is Russian? and he's given the Ukranians Internet access that the Russians (supposedly) have no control over? How has there been no retaliation against Elon Musk?

    am i missing something, or does this really not add up.....?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Musk is South African, not Russian. He is an oligarch but I don't think he has a super yacht, maybe we could seize his rockets.

      Russia is not the cyber warfare superpower it was cracked up to be. They can't even encrypt their military coms and are getting far harder hacked than they are hacking.

    2. John Jennings

      Well.... I wouldnt stand too close to a starlink uplink in a battlezone........

      I imagine the russians are using them for target practice- or at least command and control identification.

  12. mcswell

    I want to be sanctioned by Putin!

    I want Putin to sanction me, so I can frame the announcement and hang it on my office wall. Where do I apply?

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