Putin Threatens to Escalate War If Ukraine Receives Long-Range Missiles

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday threatened to further escalate the war in Ukraine in light of Western countries’ continued military assistance to the former Soviet state, warning the U.S. and other countries against providing long-range rocket systems capable of hitting targets in Russia. A shipment of such weapons would prompt Russian forces to target “objects that we haven’t yet struck,” said Putin in a televised interview. The Russian president made the comments as at least five airstrikes hit Kyiv early Sunday morning, following weeks of relative calm in the capital, and fighting continued in the eastern Donbas region. Ukraine…

GOP Lawmaker Introduces AUMF to Facilitate US Intervention in Ukraine

Amid global calls for focused diplomacy to end the Russian war on Ukraine, U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger on Sunday introduced a measure that would give congressional authorization for President Joe Biden to intervene militarily if Russia uses biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons. The outgoing Republican congressman from Illinois announced the Authorization for Use of Military Force to Defend America’s Allies Resolution of 2022 on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” more than two months after Russian President Vladimir Putin launched the long-anticipated invasion. “I don’t think we need to be using force in Ukraine right now. I just introduced an AUMF, an…

The West’s Tax Loopholes Render Sanctions on Russian Oligarchs Moot

Where would Vladimir Putin be without the Russian oligarchy? Without Russia’s oligarchs, political leaders of the Western world have concluded, Putin would be tottering. Western leaders have made squeezing Russia’s richest a central piece of their strategy to end Putin’s Ukraine cross-border assault. These same Western leaders, unfortunately, have failed to take seriously what ought to be an equally pressing question: Where would Russia’s oligarchs be without the West, without the Wall Streeters, wealth managers, and assorted other high-finance riff-raff “paid millions,” as Institute for Policy Studies analyst Chuck Collins puts it, “to help billionaires sequester trillions”? Western leaders have…

Trump Calls on Putin to Release Dirt on Biden Family

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday appealed to Russian President Vladimir Putin to release dirt on President Joe Biden’s family as the U.S. and its NATO allies try to halt the Kremlin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Trump said in an interview with right-wing host John Solomon that Putin “should release” dirt on Hunter Biden since the Russian autocrat is “not exactly a fan of our country.” Trump’s remarks Tuesday underscore his relentless efforts to use foreign and sometimes adversarial powers to help him politically. Trump infamously asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to do him a “favor” by launching a dubious…

Ukraine, Russian Negotiators Say They’re Inching Closer to Peace Deal

Negotiators said they’ve made progress on a potential peace deal to end the war in Ukraine. The deal would require a number of concessions from both Ukraine and Russia — chief among them, Ukraine would have to agree to drop any intention of joining the NATO military alliance, and would also have to agree to not host any foreign military bases or foreign-based weapons within its borders. In exchange, Russia will withdraw from Ukraine and accept new military agreements between Ukraine and the U.S. and European nations to ensure Kyiv is protected against the threat of future invasions. There are…

Russian and US Oligarchs Funnel Money to Charity for Personal and Political Gain

Russian oligarchs close to President Vladimir Putin are facing renewed scrutiny and sanctions. These oligarchs have shifted trillions of wealth out of their mother country to offshore tax havens, with holdings in U.K. and U.S. real estate and other investments. But they are also funneling millions into U.S. charities. Russian oligarch donations, whether intentional or not, cast a rosier glow on the oligarchs’ own reputations; keep them connected to powerful Americans even when their companies are under sanction; and potentially even give them a voice in shaping U.S. attitudes and policy toward Russia. When Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24,…

Leaked Video Shows Madison Cawthorn Calling Ukraine’s Zelenskyy a “Thug”

A newly leaked video shows far right Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-North Carolina) calling Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy a “thug” and deriding the Ukrainian government as “evil” and “woke.” In a short video obtained by WRAL, Cawthorn says, “Remember that Zelenskyy is a thug. Remember that the Ukrainian government is incredibly corrupt and is incredibly evil and has been pushing woke ideologies, and really there’s a new woke ruling.” The video was likely taken at a town hall in Asheville, North Carolina, over the weekend. It’s unclear what Cawthorn is referring to when he says that the Ukrainian government is pushing…

Greene Bought Oil, Defense Stocks While Complaining About War Profiteers

New financial filings reveal that far right Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Georgia) bought up to $15,000 in stock in defense manufacturers and energy companies two days before Russian forces invaded Ukraine. On February 22, Greene bought stocks in defense industry giant Lockheed Martin and military supplier Caterpillar. She also bought between $1,000 and $15,000 worth of stock in Chevron and NextEra Energy, a utility and energy company. All of these companies’ stocks have grown in the weeks since Vladimir Putin launched his invasion of Ukraine, with Lockheed Martin up by about 20 percent since then. The purchases came the day…

Putin Issues Warning About “Future of Ukrainian Statehood” Amid Refugee Crisis

Despite evacuation efforts hampered by Russian shelling, Ukraine is enduring Europe’s most rapidly escalating refugee crisis since the second world war, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees said Sunday. “More than 1.5 million refugees from Ukraine have crossed into neighboring countries in 10 days — the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II,” tweeted the commissioner, Filippo Grandi. Also highlighting the crisis created by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.N. Refugee Agency warned Sunday that “in the coming days millions more lives will be uprooted, unless there is an immediate end to this senseless…

Lobbying Firms Sever Partnerships on Russian Pipeline After Raking in Millions

Lobbyists are distancing themselves from foreign companies partnering on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline project after lobbying for them for a total of $17 million since 2017. According to Politico, three lobbying firms severed ties with companies partnering on the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The terminations bring a multimillion dollar lobbying push to a halt as President Joe Biden announces sanctions on the company constructing the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and Germany pauses certification of the pipeline. Foreign companies partnering on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 have spent heavily on lobbying around the pipeline project, which would deliver Russian…

Biden and Putin Agree “in Principle” to Ukraine Summit Amid Rising Tensions

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday agreed “in principle” to hold a summit on Ukraine as global fears of a war involving the two nuclear-armed powers remain high. In a statement, the office of French President Emmanuel Macron — who spoke separately with Putin and Biden on Sunday — said that both leaders accepted the idea of the summit, though the precise details have yet to be agreed upon. Medea Benjamin, co-founder of the U.S.-based peace group CodePink, applauded Macron for brokering the diplomatic effort. “If he can get Putin and Biden to meet, if…

A Russian Invasion of Ukraine Could Destabilize Russia’s Political Order

The U.S. and U.K. officials and media have long been warning against the “imminent” Russian invasion of Ukraine. Whatever the prospects of such an invasion are, it also raises an important question about the character of the Russian political regime and how the invasion may change it. Let us hypothetically assume, as many have, that Russia can defeat the Ukrainian army and occupy a large part of Ukraine (especially the southeastern and central regions). The question is what to do with this part of Ukraine. The problem is not the unlikely massive Ukrainian guerrilla war against the Russian army. The…

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