Tag: Russia

Civil War in Russia? Everything We Know Now (with Updates)


Yevgeny Prigozhin, chief of the Wagner Group.

Putin thought he could take Kyiv in a few days. Fifteen months later, his mercenaries and army are fighting each other.

Details on the situation are coming fast and furious, with many reporters, diplomats, and politicians sifting through contradictory statements and unproven claims. But here’s where things stand at 7 p.m. ET.

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There was a discussion in another post I wrote (the one about the elections in Turkey) about the nature of Russia and of international alliances. Not wanting to threadjack my own post, and prompted by a good comment from Heavy Water, I wanted to ask if anyone among the Ricochetti had read this excellent article […]

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Russia Appears to Be in Very Bad Shape


Recently Dr. Bastiat initiated a discussion about Russia with this post titled “Pretending to Be Mystified by the Obvious.”  Nicholas Eberstadt was mentioned in the post and this reminded me of a podcast that Eberstadt participated in about a month ago.

In that podcast, Eberstadt mentioned that Russia has managed to have a society with European levels of education and Haitian levels of life expectancy, at least for 15-year-old males. I looked up an article Eberstadt wrote last November titled “Russian Power in Decline.”  Here is an excerpt that I found just as surprising as the demographic comparison between Russia and Haiti:

20 Years Ago: The Prize


February 2003. The transatlantic forecast was cold and overcast, with winter squalls and a chance of chemical or nuclear warfare. The immediate post-9/11 era was not a great time to travel. I went to the Berlin Film Festival to present an American Cinema Foundation prize named for Polish director Andrzej Wajda, for merit and courage in filmmaking. Chosen by a jury from eastern and central Europe, that year the winner was Russian filmmaker Alexander Sokurov.

After months of a military buildup, much of the world was apprehensive to the point of dread about an impending special military operation: America was about to launch war in the Middle East, and we made no secret of it. Most of our allies begged us to reconsider. By 2003, the goodwill we retained from the end of the Cold War had waned; the worldwide admiration we’d earned with our prosperity was rapidly fading with it. Yet not one of the invited guests connected our American prize to war in Iraq. Russian, Polish, and German officials came to the award ceremony in a gesture of post-WWII, post Cold War reconciliation. Today, with Ukraine as the backdrop, the Polish Film Institute, the European Film Academy, and others are calling for boycotts of Russian films and cultural events. I understand the emotion, but I think it would be a mistake, not just culturally or morally. It would be a fateful blunder.

“Warszawo, walcz”


“Warsaw, Fight!” The call to fight that was heard in Warsaw on August 1, 1944. Poland did not have a collaborationist government when Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany.

The Warsaw Uprising was the largest single battle by resistance fighters against the German occupiers in Europe. There were two battles in Warsaw. The Jewish Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began on April 19, 1943. This was the single largest revolt by Jews during WWII.

‘My Brigade No Longer Exists’


The Russian invasion of Ukraine, sometimes called a ‘Special Operation’ by Russian leadership, has created an existential crisis…for Ukraine.

It is an existential crisis for Russian conscripts that are on the front lines of brutal trench warfare. Russian leaders claim that Ukraine belongs to Russia. Ukrainians do not agree with that claim. Regardless of all the claims made by those inside and outside of Ukraine, regardless of the side they advocate for, this is the largest land war in Europe since WWII.

Join Jim and Greg as they welcome news of the U.S. striking back against Iranian-backed bases in Syria after an Iranian drone targeted a U.S. position. But they also wonder why the Biden administration is simultaneously easing sanctions against Iran so it can make millions selling electricity to Iraq. They also roll their eyes as Politico rolls out puff pieces on Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. Both Bragg and Milley are lauded as examples of apolitical devotion to their jobs.  But the facts tell a very different story. Finally, they have fun with the Columbia University promotion of Hillary Clinton “running” again – but only to teach her new class on her experience in foreign policy.

Join Jim and Greg as they serve up three bad martinis. First, they wince as Chinese dictator Xi Xinping visits Moscow to strengthen ties with Vladimir Putin. They also react to Mexico’s socialist president rejecting any blame for the fentanyl epidemic in the U.S. Instead, he blames American parents for not hugging their children enough. Finally, they assess the legal drama swirling around former President Trump, the far left Manhattan district attorney who may be poised to indict Trump, and how legal experts throughout the political spectrum believe the forthcoming charges are very dubious.

Join Jim and Greg as they applaud Texas for trying to protect its border with Mexico since the Biden administration clearly has no interest in doing so. But will the GOP plan survive the courts if it gets through the legislature? They also break down the news of a Russian warplane forcing down a U.S. surveillance drone, including the immediate U.S. response and the long term consequences. Finally, they inject some much needed comic relief into the week as Newark, New Jersey, finds it became sister cities with a place that doesn’t even exist.

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Today it was reported that Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary, said that Hungary needs to rethink it relationship with Russia.  This comes a few days after Orban announced that Hungary would support allowing Sweden to join NATO.  So, is this merely a coincidence?  Or is Orban thinking that Western backed Ukraine is likely […]

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Would you shake the hand of someone representing a country that invaded your country? Following the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, many sports leagues excluded Russian teams from competition.  In the sport of tennis, however, this had not happened because tennis is viewed as an individual sport.  Russian tennis players have continued to play […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they welcome the news that a far left House Democrat is leaving in June to take a job in the private sector, leaving Dems with one less vote for five months. They also react to Vladimir Putin announcing that Russia is suspending participation in the most recent START agreement that Biden though was such a grand achievement in 2021. They also wonder what the U.S. is really ready to do if China gets more aggressive in aiding the Russian war effort. Finally, they roll their eyes as Don Lemon is allowed to return to CNN but will be required to undergo “formal training” after his comments about women being past their prime last week. In addition, they take a deeper look into the venomous, sometimes racist comments unleashed against Haley because she happens to be on the political right.

The View from the Eastern Front


This essay doesn’t have anything to do with the lofty views of the policy wonks. In my opinion, the Russian war against Ukraine will probably last longer than Putin thought it would. Ukraine may lose the breakaway districts, or parts of them. I do not think Russia will ever control the entirety of Ukraine.

I’m more interested in the grunts on the battlefield. Whether Putin realizes it or not, the NATO countries are getting an education on the Russian military and its tactics.

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  Custine in Moscow is a very different personality than Custine in St. Petersburg. A possible reason for this may be some incidents that occurred on the road to Moscow, where he comes to realize that he has fallen into the habits of casual cruelty and indifference to suffering that he sees embedded in the […]

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Join Jim & Greg as they discuss formal research into what we’ve known for years – that Russian social media memes made virtually no impact on the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. They also react to reports that classified documents from President Biden’s days as vice president were discovered at his office at the University of Pennsylvania. And they pop some popcorn as Biden tries to pressure the Democrats to move Georgia up in the 2024 primary calendar, while New Hampshire and other states fight to stay at the front of the line.

More year-end awards today!  Jim and Greg embark on the second half of their six-episode saga known as the 2022 Three Martini Lunch Awards. Today, they offer up their selections for the best political idea, worst political idea, and boldest political tactics for the year. Their selections range from the campaign trail to the halls of Congress to the biggest land war in Europe in more than 75 years.