Vladimir Putin Statement on Ukraine, Recognition of Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics

Today, 2022-03-02, Roscosmos rolled out a Soyuz 2.1b launcher for the scheduled launch of another batch of OneWeb Internet satellites contracted through Arianespce. The satellites were scheduled to be launched on 2022-03-04 at 22:41 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Here is a pre-flight preview of the mission from Everyday Astronaut.

Shortly thereafter, Roscomos posted the following tweet.

roscosmos_oneweb

SpaceNews reports, “Rogozin puts poison-pill conditions on OneWeb Soyuz launch”.

The Soyuz-2.1b rocket will be removed from the pad unless OneWeb guarantees by 1:30 p.m Eastern Standard Time March 4 its satellites will not be used for military purposes, the Russian space agency tweeted March 2.

“There’s no negotiation on OneWeb: the UK Government is not selling its share,” U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng tweeted just hours later.

Meanwhile, Roscosmos director Dimitry Rogozin says workers are painting over offending flags on the OneWeb payload fairing. (Click tweet to play video.)

https://twitter.com/Rogozin/status/1499043075586469900h

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Serpentza on CN social media take on the war:

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Quite probably. But then, Xi has already outplayed the “leaders” of the West – although it was not really much of a match. An expression which Obama used about JV teams comes to mind.

It is rather embarrassing when the woman who is supposed to lead the UK’s efforts on the diplomatic side mistakes the Baltic and Black Seas, and when the man who is supposed to lead the UK’s efforts on the military side seems to be fixated on the 1800s Crimean War – the one where Russian guns decimated the Charge of the Light Brigade.

We may be watching the ultimate failure of “Woke”. The West deploys lawyers & accountants in a Financial War; Russia deploys tanks & fighter jets in a Military War. Is the pen really mightier than the sword?

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This confirms that the OneWeb Soyuz launch from Baikonur, originally scheduled for 2022-03-04, is now cancelled.

SpaceNews reports, “OneWeb leaves Baikonur Cosmodrome after Roscosmos ultimatum”:

OneWeb on March 2 ordered staff to leave Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan amid an impasse over the planned March 4 launch of its latest batch of satellites on a Soyuz rocket, an executive for the U.K.-based company said.

Chris McLaughlin, OneWeb’s chief of government, regulatory affairs and engagement, told SpaceNews it decided to leave the Russian-controlled launch site after Roscosmos issued an ultimatum on the mission.

In addition,

Widening sanctions and worsening relations between Russia and the West also pose manufacturing questions for OneWeb.

Although OneWeb builds its satellites in Florida under a joint venture with Airbus, it uses spacecraft thrusters imported from Fakel, a Russian propulsion company.

With OneWeb’s other previous launch option, Soyuz flights from French Guiana, also indefinitely suspended, it appears they’re without a ride until and unless they adapt their payload to another rocket and arrange launch services with its operator.

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Re: Savage Video clip: Michael Savage and I talk on the telephone & email about this. He just sent me this Pandora Papers: Ukraine leader seeks to justify offshore accounts | Pandora Papers News | Al Jazeera

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The Wall Street Journal has a Heard on the Street piece today, 2022-03-03, “If Russian Currency Reserves Aren’t Really Money, the World Is in for a Shock” which explores the potential consequences of the central banks of the U.S., Japan, and EU countries blocking the Russian central bank’s access to the US$ 630 billion of foreign exchange reserves they hold on its behalf. (The column is not, at this time, behind a paywall—this may change by the time you try to retrieve it.)

“What is money?” is a question that economists have pondered for centuries, but the blocking of Russia’s central-bank reserves has revived its relevance for the world’s biggest nations—particularly China. In a world in which accumulating foreign assets is seen as risky, military and economic blocs are set to drift farther apart.

After Moscow attacked Ukraine last week, the U.S. and its allies shut off the Russian central bank’s access to most of its $630 billion of foreign reserves. Weaponizing the monetary system against a Group-of-20 country will have lasting repercussions.

If currency balances were to become worthless computer entries and didn’t guarantee buying essential stuff, Moscow would be rational to stop accumulating them and stockpile physical wealth in oil barrels, rather than sell them to the West. At the very least, more of Russia’s money will likely shift into gold and Chinese assets.

Indeed, the case levied against China’s attempts to internationalize the renminbi has been that, unlike the dollar, access to it is always at risk of being revoked by political considerations. It is now apparent that, to a point, this is true of all currencies.

What can investors do? For once, the old trope may not be ill advised: buy gold. Many of the world’s central banks will surely be doing it.

Here is a Trader University video on the big freeze, which it calls a “financial nuclear bomb”.

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As you mentioned earlier, it does seem as if our Best & Brightest have not thought through the consequences of their actions. If we ignore for now the “fat tail” risk of the current situation expanding to all-out thermonuclear war, the economic reverberations of the current Western financial war could quite easily be very damaging – to the West !

In its most basic form, money is a medium for facilitating exchange – a smarter form of barter. Now that it is clearly foolish to build up reserves of money outside the country (or stacks of gold bars in a London vault, for anyone except the English), we may see a return in international trade to something closer to barter. Saudi sends China a tanker full of oil, in exchange for the Chinese sending a container ship loaded with computers; and the ships pass on the high seas.

If the world heads in that direction (over a period of years, of course), life would become rather miserable for any country which currently runs a trade deficit.

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Best & Brightest? I think Dumb and Dumber may be more accurate. :wink:

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We have learned that when the media says “without evidence”, there likely is substantial evidence.

So what are we to make of this:

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I was joking of course. That was Feb 24. Putin has crossed the line the suffering he is inflicting on civilians including the Russian speakers who he says he wants to protect is not justified. That said if we enforce no fly zone it will most likely escalate to nuclear war and the end of EU UK USA Russia …

It’s hard to hit this many click-bait high notes in so few words. First of all, a “dirty bomb” (radiological dispersal device) is not a nuclear weapon, as it does not involve a nuclear reaction of any kind. It just contaminates an area with radioactive material in the same way a chemical weapon disperses a toxic substance.

Second, “plutonium-based” makes no sense at all for a dirty bomb, except if the goal is to induce pearl-clutching by those terrified of the word “plutonium”. Plutonium-239, as used in nuclear weapons and reactor fuel, has a half-life of around 24,000 years which means it has very low radioactivity and is dangerous only if dispersed in fine particles and inhaled. Numerous biological and chemical agents which are much easier to obtain are far more dangerous. Besides, if you can lay your hands on plutonium-239, which is the supreme fissile material for bombs, only an idiot would turn it into a dirty bomb rather than a nuke.

The best materials for dirty bombs are those with short half-lives and much higher activity, such as cesium-137, which is easily extracted chemically from used reactor fuel rods. For that matter, irradiated fuel rods themselves, without any further processing, are a witches’ brew of high activity nuclides suitable for a dirty bomb.

Finally, for what purpose would Ukraine envision using a dirty bomb? The actual damage from the radiation of a dirty bomb is usually less than the high explosive it uses to disperse the material, and it has been described as a “weapon of mass disruption”, meaning that its main effect would be to induce fear in an ignorant civilian population. It would have no effect or utility as an area denial weapon against a military force.

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Putin likely could have gotten all this* via negotiation and giving Ukraine a supply of oil and gas. That plus the existing nuclear infrastructure would have made Ukraine a very hospitable place for future energy-intensive industries.

  • The constitutional provision might have been more of an implicit understanding (Finlandization).

Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was demanding that Ukraine cease military action, change its constitution to enshrine neutrality, acknowledge Crimea as Russian territory, and recognise the separatist republics of Donetsk and Lugansk as independent states.

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That is really doubtful. These terms are more or less simply a restatement of what Russia has been saying for a long time – including in public documents sent to the US and NATO.

The element of all of this we should not forget is that the Ukraine is a very corrupt country – with known corruption extending all the way to the President of the United States (via his son). It seems that the ordinary Ukranian has as little control over the oligarchs running that country as we do over the Political Class running ours.

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Presumably, that would have increased the chances for a deal

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We can only look at what happened – no deal was achieved, despite Hunter Biden sitting on the Board of a prominent Ukranian gas company. The lack of a deal is very hard to understand, because the rulers of the Ukraine could probably have avoided the war and got most of what they wanted simply by agreeing never to join NATO. Especially interesting since apparently Zelensky campaigned for office on a peace platform.

Maybe this is tinfoil hat time, but there are reports (a) that there were a number of US-funded “Fauci Labs” in the Ukraine working on – who knows what?, and (b) Russia’s initial missile attacks seem to have focused on the cities where those labs were located. There are also rumors that Russia is beginning to release captured documents from those US-funded biolabs – but we peons will not learn about that because “Our Guys” have done their best to cut off all communications from Russia.

Maybe Putin is evil – but, if so, he is certainly not the only one.

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I think both Putin and Zelenskyy (and perhaps even Biden) were being manipulated/mislead.

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Rather than write a separate post about this war creating a Gell Mann Amnesia Effect overload, I’ll vent here.

Multiple times, I have heard supposed military experts mention that we should send “F-14s” to Ukraine. Similarly, none of the people comparing the active nuclear plants to Chernobyl mention the differences between PWR and graphite-moderated reactors.

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Equally, we almost never hear mention of what was happening at Chernobyl when things went pear-shaped – They had installed a new safety system and were testing it.

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Hunter was a Russian asset with his “Barisma” deal. Indeed, one of the Russian news outlet had a joking comment about how Barisma was a gift that kept on giving. The oil may have been Ukrainian but the owner was a Russian oligarch.

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