Putin, arse, elbow

Justin has just outlined the economic war we don't hear much about. I did hear part of Russia's trade talks with India. Held in English. Anything they want in any currency. They had also being working together on hypersonic missiles. Some have been tested. This is a bit of a hidden aspect about Russia. They do have good / trading relationships with some countries and have had for some time.

Fuel, I assume gas too. Biden has an idea. Remove the embargo and allow sales but at a set price that leaves a bit of profit. The Arabic states would "love that" and I wonder how feasible it is. It might be a backstop idea if certain countries start falling apart and can't cope. Some wont anyway so are bound to be tempted to trade. I think Russia would have to be on it's knees.

The actual war. No end in sight unless something gives. There are talks of diplomatic solutions again not that they will get anywhere. Another months or two might indicate how the fighting is currently going. The nature of it means it wont achieve anything quickly.

Not much on grain of late. Ships have loaded and it seems still some attempts by rail which makes it more expensive. Doesn't seem to be newsworthy any more. No mention that Russia also exports a lot. That is probably happening. I believe it's mostly wheat.

UK - seems we are heading for a depression. More unemployment etc but additional structural aspects are cropping up - strikes. Inflation tends to end but that doesn't mean prices will fall - they may have to be paid for a long time. Pay rises push prices up but not all will be covered by them. Base rates are generally expected to be increased further - more expensive mortgages. Personally I am not convinced that has much effect on business CapEx. If a business decides to invest they are mostly interested to the return and payback time and more importantly certainty. Wars, covid and messed up supply chains don't help with that neither does reduced growth.
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Putin has signed a decree to increase the numbers in the armed forces

Large cash incentives to aid recruitment ?

All ? Of his regiments in the Ukraine are below numbers due
To losses

Some to such an extent that they are categorised as in effective

50 to 60,000 dead
Or pow

I pity the regular Officers/NCOs who will be expected to lead these 'recruits' into battle who will have minimal training and more than likely not want to be there and show only loyalty to the cash, rather than the cause. :(
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Ukraine seems to be launching a major counter attack in the Kherson Oblast overnight and today, could be the start of the promised counter offensive in the area, they could trap a large number of russians if it goes well.(y)
Kim il Jung is coming to Putins aid

Flogging him thousands of artillery shells

The mad mullahs in Iran are flogging him drones

The special military operation is not going to well for him at present
Strange imo

That Pakistani PM was in Russia brown nosing Putin days after the Ukrainian invasion ???

In which case perhaps they should be looking more to Russia for aid ??
His reputation in who's eyes?

I think his power derives from his ability to maintain the current government and business institutions in place and under his direct or indirect control.

While everyone around him is getting very rich and has a healthy fear of being sent to the gulags or getting novicocked if the get out of line, Putin is safe.
The only thing missing from the above scenario is Putin stroking a white cat.
The russians seem to be on the run in vast areas of Eastern Ukraine at the moment, seems the attack in the South was a feint, but with such a large frontline they can probe and expose any weak spots at will and keep the russians on their toes.
It would seem ?? Or appear ??

That the Ukranian army is making significant gains in retaking territory ?

Reports that the Russians are abandoning significant military equipment in there hasty retreat ? From some areas ?

Dunno but what or how will the Ukranians deal with those that they consider collaborators in areas they retake ? That have been under Russian occupation for months ?
Yep the Russian MoD have said the Ukrainians are advancing. Apparently the Russian forces there were pulled back to consolidate.

The abandoned kit and amunition will be of great value to the Ukrainians. The Russians have lost a lot of kit and possibly people.
I don't think anyone has mentioned that the US have voted to supply Ukraine with the 300km version of Himars munition. Putin will be cross.
That gives the Ukrs facility to do much better against remote arms dumps, bridges and the like. Crimea is mostly within range
Ra ra ra, but Putin has many options. I expect he'll accuse the West of killing civilians, so he can use his bigger rockets which will do the same.

In the meantime he can use more of his TOS-1A thermobarics. The later TOS-2 has a protection system against precision weapons.
It's a multiple rocket relatively short range system which sucks the flesh off anything in the area covered, whether in a bunker or not. Or fries it.
The abandoned kit and amunition will be of great value to the Ukrainians. The Russians have lost a lot of kit and possibly people.
All the signs are that the Russians are withdrawing in soft skinned vehicles, leaving artillery and MBTs behind them as they have insufficient heavy transport to recover them. The Russian army is more set up for rail transport which is a tad difficult when the opposition have captured the main rail junction between you and your territory at Izyum
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