Saturday, February 26, 2022

Ukraine In The Membrane, Con't

With the final diplomatic stumbling blocks over Russian sanctions from the EU and especially Germany gone, the economic pain for Putin and his crew of oligarchs is now in full swing.

The United States, Britain, Europe and Canada on Saturday moved to block Russia's access to the SWIFT international payment system as part of another round of sanctions against Moscow as it continues its assault against Ukraine.

The measures, which will also include restriction on the Russian central bank's international reserves, will be implemented in the coming days, the nations said in a joint statement.

"We commit to ensuring that a certain number of Russian banks are removed from SWIFT," Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the European Union's executive, said in a statement to the media.

"This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally."

She said that cutting Russian banks off the system will stop them from conducting most of their financial transactions worldwide and effectively block Russian exports and imports.

She said allies would stop Russia from "using its war chest," paralysing the assets of its central bank, freezing its transactions and making it impossible for the central bank to liquidate its assets.

"Finally, we will work to prohibit Russian oligarchs from using their financial assets on our markets," she said.

EU foreign ministers will discuss the sanctions package at a virtual meeting on Sunday evening, the fourth time they come together in a week.
The move effectively freezes Russia's finances and is the global finance equivalent of unplugging Russia from the world's financial grid. The UN Security Council is expected to formally call for a special meeting tomorrow as well, the move effectively disables any veto from the five permanent members, including Russia.

Putin picked a fight and at this point with Kyiv still holding after 72 hours and a world of financial hurt coming for Monday, he's got a fight.

Whether it's the fight he wanted, we'll see.

Our Little Russian White Supremacist Domestic Terrorism Problem, Con't

America's cadre of white supremacist domestic terrorism groups sure love them some Vladimir Putin as a prime example of their bloodlust for conquest of the "impure", and they might even love him more than the Mango Malefactor.

White nationalist livestreamer Nicholas Fuentes has made no secret of where his loyalties lie in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

“I wish Putin was president of America,” he mused to his 45,000 subscribers on Telegram on Wednesday morning.

Fifteen hours later, Russian forces invaded Ukraine. And Fuentes, who’s hosting a far-right conference in Florida Friday night, was psyched.

“I am totally rooting for Russia,” he wrote the following morning. “This is the coolest thing to happen since 1/6.”

“UKRAINE WILL BE DESTROYED", added Fuentes, who describes himself as a “Christian nationalist,” someone who thinks the U.S. is a fundamentally Christian nation. “I never doubted you [Putin], my Czar."

Over on the Gab platform, its CEO Andrew Torba also expressed his support for Putin.

“Lol Putin is brilliant. Western Media, which is obsessed with ‘muh Nazis’ will have a tough time spinning this one,” wrote Torba, who’s sponsoring Fuentes’ conference, the America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), this weekend. “What he really means is Ukraine needs to be liberated and cleansed from the degeneracy of the secular western globalist empire.”

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine Wednesday night, far-right personalities have declared Russia a beacon of anti-wokeness and Putin a strong ethnonationalist. In their minds, Ukraine is just a corrupt pawn in a vast “globalist” conspiracy.

It may seem confusing that much of the American far-right, who increasingly describe any policies they dislike as “communism,” would be rooting for Russia, given the history of the Soviet Union. But for at least a decade, Russia has been cultivating deep ties and even bankrolling ultranationalist and far-right movements elsewhere. Religious fundamentalists and white supremacists, inspired partially by the writings of a Kremlin-linked ideologue, have hailed Putin as a white Christian crusader on a mission to restore traditional values.

The far-right’s support for Russia also has roots in fringe narratives about Russia that have been simmering for decades, according to Matthew Kriner, managing director of the Accelerationism Research Consortium (ARC). For example, some antisemitics have long claimed that Russia’s communist era was a historical blip and the result of a “Jewish conspiracy.”

“They’re looking past the communist era,” said Kriner. “Those who can see a deeper ethnonationalist, ethnofascist component to Russia can find comfort and affinity toward what Putin is doing.”

In the U.S., “wokeness”—a catchall term for progressive or inclusive policies—is increasingly characterized on the right, especially among Christian nationalists, as antithetical to American values. That way of thinking has bled into pro-Putin rhetoric from the far-right this week. Some have mocked the U.S. for its inclusive policies on transgender recruits.

“Putin’s military gets Ukraine,” wrote Arizona state Sen. Wendy Rogers, who is speaking at AFPAC, on her Telegram channel. “Our military gets trannies and face masks.”


And let's not forget for a moment that the cadre I spoke of earlier includes dozens of sitting Republican political candidates at all levels of government, state legislators, and members of Congress, like Wendy Rogers.

If these assholes get control of the country again, well...

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