Ukraine, 7-29-22

First, links to reports from Reuters, Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, National Public Radio, and the Moscow Times; others are accessible by clicking on their names below. Then, a link to a letter by military analyst Scott Ritter to his representatives in Congress questioning U.S. funding for a Ukrainian “blacklist” of individuals deemed promoters of Russian propaganda. — MCM

   

Dozens of Ukrainian POWs reported killed in missile strike, by Max Hunder and Pavel Polityuk | Reuters * Russia, Ukraine trade blame for prisoner deaths * UK says Russia deploys Wagner fighters more widely * Ukraine says grain ships loaded but no date yet to move | ODESA/KYIV — Dozens of Ukrainian prisoners of war appeared to have been killed in a missile strike today, with Moscow and Kyiv accusing each other of carrying out the attack. The incident overshadowed U.N.-backed efforts to restart grain shipments from Ukraine and ease a looming global hunger crisis stemming from the war, now in its sixth month. Russia’s defence ministry said . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Russia, Ukraine trade blame over strike on POW jail. From Agence France-Presse. Moscow and Kyiv today accused each other of bombing a jail holding Ukrainian prisoners of war in Russian-held territory, with Russia saying 40 prisoners and eight prison staff were killed. Russia’s defence ministry said the Ukrainian strikes were carried out with US-supplied long-range missiles, in an “egregious provocation” designed to stop soldiers surrendering. . . . Ukraine’s military denied carrying out the attack saying its forces “did not launch missile and artillery strikes in the area of Olenivka settlement.” It instead blamed Russia’s invading forces for “a targeted artillery shelling” . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Isolation complication? U.S. finds it’s hard to shun Russia, by Matthew Lee | The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The Biden administration likes to say Russia has become isolated internationally because of its invasion of Ukraine. Yet Moscow’s top officials have hardly been cloistered in the Kremlin. And now, even the U.S. wants to talk. Russian President Vladimir Putin has been meeting with world leaders, including Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country is a NATO member. Meanwhile, his top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, is jetting around the world, smiling, shaking hands and posing for photos with foreign leaders — including some friends of the U.S. And on Wednesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Concerns around shipping Ukrainian grain. Reported by Jackie Northam | National Public Radio What it would actually take to send out Ukrainian grain. They need to bring in minesweepers, figure out shipping companies to use, assure no more missile attacks, sort out danger pay, and lots more. Click HERE to listen and read.

   

Ukraine reduces Russian soldier’s life sentence to 15 years. The Moscow Times. A Ukrainian court today reduced to 15 years a life sentence handed down to a Russian soldier for pre-meditated murder in the country’s first war crimes trial. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced to life in prison in May after being found guilty of fatally shooting a 62-year-old civilian in northeastern Ukraine in the early days of the war. His lawyer had vowed to appeal the verdict, arguing that “societal pressure” had influenced the verdict. “According to . . . READ MORE . . .

   

U.S. should not fund Ukrainian ‘blacklist, by Scott Ridder | Consortium News The Ukrainian Center for Countering Disinformation, which appears to receive U.S. government funding, this month issued a list of 72 individuals — about one-third of them Americans — who the Center claims promote “Russian propaganda.” Scott Ridder, whose commentary has appeared in this blog, is on the list, and wrote concerning U.S. funding for it to his two U.S. senators and his congressman. Click HERE to see the list, and HERE to read the letter.

Ukraine, 7-28-22

First, links to reports from the Associated Press, Agence France-Presse, and Reuters; others are accessible by clicking on the organizations’ names below. — MCM

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Russia attacks Kyiv area for first time in weeks, by Susie Blann | The Associated Press KYIV — Russian forces launched a missile attack on the Kyiv area for the first time in weeks today and pounded the northern Chernihiv region as well, in what Ukraine said was revenge for standing up to the Kremlin. Ukrainian officials, meanwhile, announced a counteroffensive to take back the occupied Kherson region in the country’s south, territory seized by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s forces early in the war. The Vyshgorod district on the outskirts of Kyiv was targeted . . . READ MORE . . .

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12 dead, 25 wounded in Russian strikes in central Ukraine. From Agence France-Presse KYIV – Russian missiles struck the city of Vinnytsia in central Ukraine today, killing at least 12 people in what President Volodymyr Zelensky called “an open act of terrorism”. Ukraine’s emergency services said there were “12 dead, including one baby, and 25 wounded” and dozens of rescue workers were fighting to put out a large blaze sparked by the strikes. The news came as EU foreign and justice ministers prepared to meet in The Hague for a conference on alleged Russian war crimes. Zelensky said he . . . READ MORE . . .

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The enemy within: Russian agents infiltrated deep into Ukraine, by Mari Saito and Maria Tsvetkova | Reuters KYIV/PARIS — People the Kremlin counted on as its proxies in Ukraine overstated their influence in the years leading up to the invasion, said four of the sources with knowledge of the Kremlin’s preparations. The Kremlin relied in its planning on “clowns – they know a little bit, but they always say what the leadership wants to hear because otherwise they won’t get paid,” said one of the four, a person close to the Moscow-backed separatist leadership in eastern Ukraine. . . . The Russian intelligence infiltration succeeded in one way: It has sown mistrust inside Ukraine and laid bare the shortcomings of Ukraine’s near 30,000-strong Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, which . . . is now tasked with hunting down traitors and collaborators. . . READ MORE . . .

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TO BE CONTINUED

Ukraine, 7-27-22

A common theme runs through the three essays linked just below: truth and the hoops and snares that some who like it must jump through or avoid; the first is from Brownstone Institute, the two others are from Consortium News. Next, links to Associated Press, Reuters, and National Public Radio reports. — MCM

   

The Long Knives Are Out for Elon, by Paul Frijters, Gigi Foster, Michael Baker | Brownstone Institute In April 2022, Elon Musk announced he was buying Twitter and was going to enforce the First Amendment of the US Constitution that enshrines free speech. That announcement was like a declaration of war on Big Tech, Big Pharma, and the other powerful interests that had grown richer by means of lies (and associated products and services) that they managed to sell to the population with the help of censorship. The announcement that a . . . READ MORE . . .

   

The Whistleblower Crackdown, by John Kiriakou | Consortium News This is National Whistleblower Week, with Saturday marking National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The National Whistleblower Center in Washington has its annual lunch, seminar and associated events scheduled.  Whistleblowers from around the U.S. attend, a couple members of Congress usually show up and we talk. . . . I’m not sanguine about where our efforts stand, especially on behalf of national security whistleblowers.  Since I blew the whistle on the C.I.A.’s torture program in 2007 and was prosecuted for it in 2012, I think the situation for whistleblowers . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Washington’s Russian Drone Fantasy, by Scott Ritter  | Consortium News According to the official U.S. government narrative, a “desperate” Russia — suffering significant battlefield reversals in Ukraine including the loss of “large numbers” of reconnaissance drones while its own military industrial capacity lacks the ability to provide adequate replacements due to Russia’s “economic isolation” — has turned to Iran for assistance. “Our information,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan declared, “indicates . . . READ MORE . . . .

   

Ukraine’s grain is ready to go. But ships aren’t. Why? Risk. By Aya Batrawy | The Associated Press Shipping companies are not rushing to export millions of tons of grain trapped in Ukraine, despite a breakthrough deal to provide safe corridors through the Black Sea. That is because explosive mines are drifting in the waters, ship owners are assessing the risks and many still have questions over how the deal will unfold. The complexities of the agreement have set off a slow, cautious start, but it’s only good for 120 days — and . . . READ MORE . . .

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Russia cuts gas flows further as Europe urges energy saving, by  and | Reuters FRANKFURT/LONDON — Russia delivered less gas to Europe today in a further escalation of an energy stand-off between Moscow and the European Union that will make it harder, and costlier, for the bloc to fill up storage ahead of the winter heating season. The cut in supplies, flagged by Gazprom (GAZP.MM) . . . this week, has reduced the capacity of Nord Stream 1 pipeline — the major delivery route to Europe for Russian gas — to a mere . . . READ MORE . . .

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Russia to quit the ISS after 2024. Reported by Charles  Maynes | National Public Radio  Russia says it will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024. This echoes intentions previously set by Russia and comes amid tensions with the U.S. and the West over the war in Ukraine. Click HERE to listen and read.

   

Russia says it will pull out of the International Space Station after 2024. Reported by  | NPR The head of the Russian space agency has said his country will end its participation in the International Space Station in 2024. What does this mean for the future of its partnership with NASA? Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow, read.

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At 75, the CIA is back where it started – countering the Kremlin. Reported by Greg Myre | NPR At its creation in July 1947, the CIA delivered briefings to President Harry Truman that would still sound current in today’s news feeds. The many examples include . . . Click HERE listen and read.

   

The EU agrees to plan that aims to cut gas consumption across Europe by 15%. Reported by  and  | NPR Russia claims mechanical issues are the reason for the supply cut. Germany’s economy minister accused Russia’s president of playing a “duplicitous game.” Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow, read.

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TO BE CONTINUED

Heinberg, 7-26-22

The essay that follows is out of chronological order in this blog’s scheme of things. It’s author, a founder of the Post Carbon Institute, sent it out (most recently) yesterday or the day before. It is also out of order in that the important money that keeps newspapers, magazines and broadcast and cablecast shows going and officeholders elected and appointed and  the major political parties hanging on want to hear nothing of its message, and hence it hasn’t gotten out. People who don’t like to read can skip the essay and find “The End of Suburbia” (circa 2005) on the Internet and watch it instead, or first. — MCM

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Will Civilization Collapse Because We’re Rusnning Out of Oil?

By Richard Heinberg | Post Carbon Institute

Will civilization collapse because it’s running out of oil? That question was debated hotly almost 20 years ago; today, not so much. Judging by Google searches, interest in “peak oil” surged around 2003 (the year my book The Party’s Over was published), peaked around 2005, and drifted until around 2010 before dropping off dramatically.

Well, civilization hasn’t imploded for lack of fuel—not yet, at least. Instead, oil has gotten more expensive and economic growth has slowed. “Tight oil” produced in the US with fracking technology came to the rescue, sort of. For a little while. This oil was costlier to extract than conventional oil, and production from individual wells declined rapidly, thus entailing one hell of a lot of drilling. During the past decade, frackers went deeply into debt as they poked tens of thousands of holes into Texas, North Dakota, and a few other states, sending US oil production soaring. Central banks helped out by keeping interest rates ultra-low and by injecting trillions of dollars into the economy. National petroleum output went up farther and faster than had ever happened anywhere before in the history of the oil industry.

Most environmentalists therefore tossed peak oil into their mental bin of “things we don’t need to worry about” as they focused laser-like on climate change. Mainstream energy analysts then and now assume that technology will continue to overcome resource limits in the immediate future, which is all that really seems to matter. Much of what is left of the peak oil discussion focuses on “peak demand”—i.e., the question of when electric cars will become so plentiful that we’ll no longer need so much gasoline.

Nevertheless, those who’ve engaged with the oil depletion literature have tended to come away with a few useful insights:

* Energy is the basis of all aspects of human society.

* Fossil fuels enabled a dramatic expansion of energy usable by humanity, in turn enabling unprecedented growth in human population, economic activity, and material consumption.

* It takes energy to get energy, and the ratio of energy returned versus energy spent (energy return on investment, or EROI) has historically been extremely high for fossil fuels, as compared to previous energy sources.

* Similar EROI values will be necessary for energy alternatives if we wish to maintain our complex, industrial way of life.

* Depletion is as important a factor as pollution in assessing the sustainability of society.

Now a new research paper has arrived on the scene, authored by Jean Laherrère, Charles Hall, and Roger Bentley—all veterans of the peak oil debate, and all experts with many papers and books to their credit. As its title suggests (“How Much Oil Remains for the World to Produce? Comparing Assessment Methods, and Separating Fact from Fiction”), the paper mainly addresses the question of future oil production. But to get there, it explains why this is a difficult question to answer . . .  READ MORE . . .

 

 

Ukraine, 7-26-22

Today, links to reports from the Associated Press, National Public Radio, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, teleSUR, and the Moscow Times; others are accessible by clicking on the organizations’ names below. — MCM

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Russia says it wants to end Ukraine’s ‘unacceptable regime, by Susie Blann | The Associated Press KYIV  — Russia’s top diplomat says Moscow’s overarching goal in Ukraine is to free its people from its “unacceptable regime,” expressing the Kremlin’s war aims in some of the bluntest terms yet as its forces pummel the country with artillery barrages and airstrikes. . . . “We are determined to help the people of eastern Ukraine to liberate themselves from the burden of this absolutely unacceptable regime,” Lavrov said at an Arab League summit in Cairo late Sunday, referring to Ukrainian President Volodymr Zelenskyy’s government. Apparently suggesting that . . . READ MORE . . .

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New Russian airstrikes target Odesa region of Ukraine, by Susie Blann | AP KYIV — Russia targeted Ukraine’s Black Sea regions of Odesa and Mykolaiv with airstrikes today, hitting private buildings and port infrastructure along the country’s southern coast, the Ukrainian military said. The Kremlin’s forces used air-launched missiles in the attack, Ukraine’s Operational Command South said in a Facebook post. In the Odesa region, a number of private buildings in coastal villages were hit and caught fire, the report said. In the Mykolaiv region, port infrastructure was targeted despite the agreements Moscow and Kyiv signed last week that was intended to allow grain grain shipments to resume from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. Hours after the strikes, a Moscow-installed official in southern Ukraine said . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Rep. Elissa Slotkin on her visit to Ukraine and meeting with President Zelenskyy. Reported by Mary Louise Kelly, Elena Burnett and Christopher Intagliato | National Public Radio Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Mich., about her trip to Ukraine with a bipartisan Congressional delegation and meeting with President Zelenskyy. Click HERE to listen and read.

   

Europe agrees on compromise gas curbs as Russia squeezes supply, by Kate Abnett | Reuters * U ministers agree to emergency gas use cuts * Voluntary cuts would become binding in supply emergency * Final deal exempts numerous countries, industries * EU racing to save gas as Russia slashes supply | BRUSSELS —European Union countries approved a weakened emergency plan to curb their gas demand today, after striking compromise deals to limit the cuts for some countries, as they brace for further Russian reductions in supply. Europe faces an increased gas squeeze from Wednesday, when Russian’s Gazprom (GAZP.MM) has said it would cut flows through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline to Germany to . . . READ MORE . . .

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Hungary Rejects ‘Unenforceable’ EU Gas Plan: Minister. From Agence France-Presse.BRUSSELS — Hungary today slammed an EU proposal to reduce gas consumption as “unenforceable” after the bloc’s energy ministers approved the plan. “This is an unjustifiable, useless, unenforceable and harmful proposal,” Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said. Hungary was the only member state to oppose the plan, which passed on a majority vote. “We were the only ones to signal that we are voting no . . . given that this decree completely ignores the interests of Hungarian people,” Szijjarto told reporters . . . READ MORE . . .

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Ukraine plans to start grain exports via seaports this week. From teleSUR. Ukraine is preparing to start grain exports via the Black Sea ports this week under the grain deal signed last Friday in Türkiye [Turkey], Ukrainian officials said on Monday. On July 22, Ukraine and Russia separately signed a deal with Türkiye and the United Nations to resume grain shipments from Ukrainian ports to international markets. Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said the movement of ships from the Black Sea ports is due to . . . READ MORE . . .

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Russia doing better than expected despite sanctions – IMF. From AFP. Despite damaging Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s economy appears to be weathering the storm better than expected as it benefits from high energy prices, the IMF said today. The sanctions were meant . . . READ MORE . . .

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Russia to exit international space station ‘after 2024’, space chief confirms. From The Moscow Times. Russia will withdraw from the International Space Station (ISS) “after 2024” and build its own orbiting space outpost, the newly appointed chief of state space agency Roscosmos said today. “I think that by that time . . . READ MORE . . .
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TO BE CONTINUED

Ukraine, 7-25-22

Today, links to reports from the Associated Press, Reuters, National Public Radio, Agence France-Presse and the Washington Post; others are accessible by clicking on their names below. — MCM

   

‘The money is gone’: evacuated Ukrainians forced to return, by Anna Cara | The Associated Press POKROVSK, Ukraine — Tens of thousands of people have returned to rural or industrial communities close to the region’s front line at considerable risk because they can’t afford to live in safer places. . . . The Pokrovsk mayor’s office estimated that 70% of those who evacuated have come home. In the larger city of Kramatorsk, an hour’s drive closer to the front line, officials said the population had dropped to about 50,000 from the normal 220,000 in the weeks following Russia’s invasion but has since risen . . . READ MORE . . .

   

The Ukrainian nationalists standing in Russia’s way on the eastern front, by Simon Lewis | Reuters At the sharp end of efforts to stop the Russian army’s progress in eastern Ukraine are the Carpathian Sich battalion, a unit of Ukrainians and foreign nationals who answered Kyiv’s call for help to confront the invader.”Now it’s more of an artillery war. It’s a tougher war, a scarier war, where only people who are strong in their spirit can fight,” said . . . a field commander in the battalion . . . READ MORE . . .

   

The U.N. brokered a deal but can Ukraine’s grain shipments be exported safely?  Reported by A Martínez and Joanna Kakissis | National Public Radio Less than 24 hours after Ukraine and Russia formalized a deal to reopen Black Sea ports and resume agricultural exports, Russian missiles hit the port in Odesa. Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow, read.

   

Kremlin Says Odesa Strikes Should Not Hamper Grain Exports. From Agence France-Presse The Kremlin said today that Russian strikes Friday on Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa “should not affect” a UN-brokered deal between Moscow and Kyiv to unblock grain exports. “This cannot and should not affect the start of shipment,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters. He said Moscow’s strikes targeted “exclusively” military infrastructure and were “not connected with the agreement . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Official says Kherson to be ‘liberated’ from Russia by September. From AFP. A Ukrainian official said Sunday that the country’s southern region of Kherson, which fell to Russian troops early in their February invasion, would be recaptured by Kyiv’s forces by September. “We can say that the Kherson region will definitely be liberated by September, and all the occupiers’ plans will fail,” Sergiy Khlan, an aide to the head of Kherson region, said in an interview with Ukrainian television. The Ukrainian army, emboldened by deliveries of Western-supplied long-range artillery . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Ukraine looking for more ‘game-changer’ weapons, by Isabelle Khurshudyan, Karen DeYoung, Alex Horton and Karoun Demirjian | The Washington Post NEAR IZYUM, Ukraine – If only they had more, and more sophisticated, weapons from the West, Ukrainian officials often tell their American counterparts and anyone else who will listen, they could make short work of Russian invaders. Last month’s arrival of the first of what are now a dozen U.S. multiple-launch precision rocket systems, known as HIMARS, has already been a game changer, soldiers here said last week. . . . The Biden administration has parceled out the rocket systems slowly, watching how the Ukrainians handle them — and how the Russians respond. To fighters on the ground, that makes little sense at a crucial . . . READ MORE . . .

Ukraine, 7-24-22

First, links to reports from National Public Radio, the Associated Press, Reuters and teleSUR; others are accessible by clicking on their names below. Then, a link to a report from Odesa published last Thursday by The Moscow Times. — MCM

   

A solution for the food crisis is in jeopardy after Russia attacks Ukrainian port. Reported by Joanna Kakissis | National Public Radio Russia and Ukraine signed a deal to export food across the Black Sea. Now it’s in doubt after Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s biggest port Saturday. Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow read.

   

The Horn of Africa is facing drought and food shortages.  of NPR speaks with Samantha Power, administrator of the United States Agency for International Development about food shortages and drought in the Horn of Africa. Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow, read.

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Russia says strike on Ukrainian port hit military targets, by Susie Blann | The Associated Press KYIV — Russian defense ministry officials today insisted that an airstrike on the port of Odesa — less than a day after Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement on resuming grain shipments from there — had hit only military targets. “In the seaport in the city of Odesa, on the territory of a shipyard, sea-based high-precision long-range missiles destroyed a docked Ukrainian warship and a warehouse with Harpoon anti-ship missiles supplied by the U.S. to the Kyiv regime,” ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said at a daily briefing. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Ukraine works to resume grain exports despite Russian strike on Odesa, by Natalia Zinets | Reuters * Russia confirms Odesa strike, says warship was hit * Zelenskiy: attack shows Moscow can’t be trusted on deal * Zelenskiy’s advisor: shipments will suffer if strikes continue * Moscow, Kyiv had signed grain export deal on Friday * Accord had sought to avert major global food crisis | KYIV — Ukraine pressed ahead today with efforts to restart grain exports from its Black Sea ports under a deal aimed at easing global food shortages but warned deliveries would suffer if Russia’s strike on Odesa was a sign of more to come. President Volodymyr Zelenskiy denounced Saturday’s attack as . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Ukraine to receive another $270 million military assistance from U.S. From teleSUR. U.S. Department of Defense spokesman John Kirby announced Friday a new package of military assistance to Ukraine worth an estimated $270 million. It includes 580 Phoenix Ghost kamikaze drones, four High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems (HIMARS), 36,000 shells, and anti-tank ammunition, he said . . . .In total, Washington has so far sent more than $8.2 billion in military aid to Kiev. READ MORE . . .

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In Odesa, calls to ‘de-Russify’ meet tangled debate, by  | The Moscow Times ODESA, Ukraine — As well-dressed patrons gathered outside the Opera and Ballet Theater in this Black Sea port city for a recent afternoon performance, there were telltale signs of the ongoing war with Russia. The crowd, a mix of men and women wearing military uniforms as well as suits and dresses, was much smaller than in pre-war times. Regulations meant . . . READ MORE . . .

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TO BE CONTINUED

Ukraine, 7-23-22

First, via Consortium News, a link to an article that helps explain how and why a popular TV actor became Ukraine’s president and some of what followed. Then, from the Berkshire Eagle, a link to a detailed look at the country’s history as a leading grain producer and how the war brought this “to a grinding halt.” Next, links to National Public Radio, Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse reports; others are accessible by clicking on their names below. — MCM

   

Servant of the Corrupt, by Pedro Gonzalez | IM—1776 / Consortium News Understanding the real Volodymyr Zelensky requires seeing him as a creation of Ukrainian oligarch Ihor Kolomoisky. Zelensky is, in truth, a puppet of intrigue. It might be hard to believe now, but revelations from documents in the Pandora Papers — millions of files from offshore service providers leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and shared with partners around the world . .   READ MORE . . .

   

Will Ukraine again feed the world? By James Brooke | The Berkshire Eagle Over the last decade, the world took for granted the rivers of cheap grain that quietly flowed from the black soils of Ukraine. . . . Populations benefited. The World Food Program bought half its wheat from Ukraine. China bought 15 percent of its corn . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Ukraine and Russia agree to a new deal focused on grain shipments. Reported by Joanna Kakissis | National Public Radio Ukraine and Russia agreed to a UN-brokered deal on grain shipments out of the Black Sea that Turkey will oversee. The food supplies are badly needed around the globe. Click HERE to listen and read.

   

Russia hits Ukraine’s Black Sea port in wake of grain deal, by Susie Blann | The Associated Press KYIV — Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odesa hours after Moscow and Kyiv signed deals to allow grain exports to resume from there. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry denounced today’s strike as “spit in the face” of Turkey and the United Nations, which brokered the agreements. Two Russian Kalibr cruise missiles hit the port’s infrastructure and Ukrainian air defenses brought down two others, the Ukrainian military’s Southern Command said. READ MORE . . .

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Russian missiles hit Ukraine port, putting landmark grain deal at risk, by  | Reuters * Two missiles hit port in Odesa, Ukraine says * Moscow, Kyiv had signed grain export deal on Friday * Unclear if exports possible after Saturday’s strikes * Deal had sought to avert major food crisis * UN secretary-general condemns the missile strikes | KYIV — Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s southern port of Odesa on today, the Ukrainian military said, threatening a landmark deal signed just the day before to unblock grain exports from Black Sea ports and ease global food shortages caused by the war. The deal signed on Friday by Moscow and Kyiv and mediated by the United Nations and Turkey was hailed . . . READ MORE . . .

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Russian missiles hit Ukraine’s Odesa port, key to grain deal, by  | Agence France-Presse Russian missiles struck Ukraine’s key Black Sea port of Odesa today, officials said, in an attack Kyiv described as a “spit in the face” of a deal signed by the warring neighbors a day earlier to resume grain exports blocked by the conflict. Two cruise missiles hit terminal infrastructure, regional authorities said on social media, casting a shadow over . . . READ MORE . . .

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Germany bails out its largest energy company after Russia cut off gas supply. Reported by  | NPR  Natural gas is flowing again between Russia and Germany. But Berlin isn’t sure how long that may last, and is shoring up its gas supplies while looking for other energy options. Click HERE to listen and, one day, read.

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TO BE CONTINUED

Ukraine, 7-22-22

First, links to reports from the Associated Press, National Public Radio, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, and teleSUR; others are accessible by clicking on their names below. Finally, a link to televised analysis of recent diplomatic and economic developments, delivered two days ago on the New Delhi station WION. — MCM

   

School in east Ukraine hit by Russian strike, bodies found, by Susie Blann | The Associated Press KYIV — Ukrainian emergency workers recovered three bodies from a school hit by a Russian strike in the east of the country, officials said today, as attacks continued in several parts of the nation. The reported casualties follow a barrage Thursday on a densely populated area of Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, that killed at least three people and wounded 23 others. . . . . Russia this week has reiterated its plans to seize territories beyond eastern Ukraine, where . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Deal for Ukraine grain exports due to be sealed in Istanbul. From the Associated Press. ISTANBUL — U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were due today to oversee the signing of a key agreement that would allow Ukraine to resume its shipment of grain from the Black Sea to world markets and Russia to export grain and fertilizers — ending a standoff that has threatened world food security. . . . The deal foresees the establishment of a control center in Istanbul, to be staffed by U.N., Turkish, Russian and Ukrainian officials, which would run and coordinate the grain exports, officials have said. Ships would be inspected to ensure that they are carrying grains and fertilizer and not weapons. It also . . . READ MORE . . .

   

There soon may be a deal to free up Ukrainian grain shipments blocked by Russia. Reported by Charles Maynes | National Public Radio Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Russian has blocked shipment of grain. Negotiations have taken place for weeks, mediated by Turkey and the U.N., to oversee safe passage of the shipments. Click HERE to listen and, tomorrow, read.

   

Fertilizer cargo from Russia heads to U.S. as many worry about food shortages, by Arathy Somasekhar and Timothy Gardner | Reuters HOUSTON/WASHINGTON — A tanker carrying a liquid fertilizer product from Russia is about to arrive in the United States, sources and vessel tracking data showed in recent days, at a time of widespread worry that sky-high global fertilizer prices could lead to food shortages. President Joe Biden’s administration has not blacklisted Russian agricultural commodities, including fertilizers, in the aftermath of the Ukraine invasion. Still, many . . . READ MORE . . .

   

East Ukraine pro-Russians block Google. From Agence France-Presse. MOSCOW — The pro-Russian authorities of eastern Ukraine’s separatist republics said today they had blocked Google, accusing the U.S. giant of promoting “violence against Russians”. “We took the decision to block Google on the territory of the Donetsk People’s Republic,” rebel leader Denis Pushilin said on Telegram, accusing it of promoting “violence against Russians, in particular the people of the Donbas”. The neighbouring Lugansk People’s Republic blocked Google on Thursday. . . . Pushilin accused Google of working “openly on the orders of its curators in the American government”. He claimed . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Russia Expands Its ‘Unfriendly Nations’ List. From teleSUR. “Greece, Denmark, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia have been added to the list of countries that commit unfriendly acts against Russia, in particular against its diplomatic and consular missions abroad,” the Russian Presidency said today. . . . The Kremlim’s list establishes restrictions on countries that have sought to limit Russia’s international economic and political . . . READ MORE . . .

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‘The mouth of a bear’: Ukrainian refugees sent to Russia, by Lori Hinnant, Cara Anna, Vasilisa Stepanenko and Sarah el Deeb | Associated Press Nearly 2 million Ukrainians refugees have been sent to Russia, according to both Ukrainian and Russian officials. Ukraine portrays these journeys as forced transfers to enemy soil, which is considered a war crime. Russia calls them humanitarian evacuations of war victims who already speak Russian and are grateful for a new home. An Associated Press investigation based on dozens of interviews has found . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Putin’s big win against the U.S.; Iran, Russia strike $40 billion energy deal. From WION. Among the topics summarized on the evening program Gravitas Live: Cooperation between Russia, Iran and Turkey, and the dilution of Western sanctions. Click HERE to watch.

Covid, 7-21-22

First, a link to a link to a news release from the office of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, describing proposed legislation called the Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022. Then, via, Global Research, a link to commentary by a physician who opposes it. Next, a link to a  conversation on YouTube between leaders of two groups that oppose the legislation. Finally, links to commentary on it on behalf of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, WholeFoods Magazine, and the Natural Products Association. NOTE: Government’s approach to fighting Covid-19, highly influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, has belittled or prohibited alternative approaches, not limited to the uses of the medicines hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. — MCM

   

Durbin, Braun Introduce Legislation to Improve Safety and Ensure Transparency of Dietary Supplement Industry. News release. Describing a measure cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Mike Braun, R-Indiana, it begins by asserting, “Nine out of ten American adults support listing requirements for dietary supplements.” READ MORE . . .

   

Big Pharma Wants to Put an End to Vitamins and Supplements, by Dr. Joseph Mercola | Global Research / Mercola One of the latest attempts to thwart your ability to access nutritional supplements comes in the form of draft legislation that would require premarket approval for dietary supplements. In short, it would require supplements — which are food — to undergo the same approval process as drugs. In the past, the drug industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Big Pharma Versus Your Vitamins. Alexis Baden-Mayer of the Organic Consumers Association interviews Gretchen DuBeau of the Alliance for Natural Health USA. Click HERE to listen and watch YouTube video.

   

Durbin-Braun supplement bill stops far short of real reform, by Peter Lurie, MD, MPH | Center for Science in the Public Interest Legislation introduced today by Senator Richard Durbin and Senator Mike Braun will help the Food and Drug Administration better understand the dietary supplement marketplace by creating a listing database of all marketed supplements. However, . . . READ MORE . . .

   

Dietary Supplement Listing Act of 2022 Introduced; Industry Divided, by Maggie Jaqua | WholeFoods Magazine Is Mandatory Product Listing “an important component of modernizing DSHEA” (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994) or is the legislation “misguided and dangerous”? …industry groups weigh in, and NPA [the Natural Products Association] calls for action. READ MORE . . .

   

Controversial Durbin-Braun Proposal for Dietary Supplements Makes Its Way into PDUFA. A Natural Products Association news release. WASHINGTON — The controversial and divisive Durbin-Braun premarket approval concept . . . would be damaging to the industry. . . “The radical and dangerous legislation from Senators Durbin and Braun . . . would require premarket approval for dietary supplements and weaken key privacy protections of the Bioterrorism Act, which protects the dietary supplement supply chain,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D. president and CEO of the Natural Products Association. “Last time I checked . . . READ MORE . . .