The Dirty Business of War. Part II
Continued. Read Part I here
Russia started this war but never officially called it “war”, it is only a “special operation”. It is for political and financial reasons it seems. If you are a soldier and you are killed or maimed at war, you are entitled to financial compensation. “Special operation” isn’t a “war” officially, thus no money. Putin promised an equivalent of $100,000 for every soldier killed in battle, but many families are unlikely to see any of it. The Russian military was offered, but never collected thousands of soldier bodies scattered all over Ukraine. Reasons? A missing soldier is MIA, and MIA doesn’t mean dead. “No body” equals “no pay” to the family. Money would probably be split up among the generals. A known fact: on paydays Russian commanders don’t distribute soldier funds until after the fighting is done for the day. They pocket the salaries of those who die. Heartless conniving SOBs, if you want our opinion.
Recent loss of “Moskva” (Moscow) rocket cruiser is a case in point. It quickly went under, after being struck by Ukrainian missiles. Its crew and military aboard are only MIAs now, with only a handful of survivors (no more than 50 out of possibly 1000+ people aboard). Russian TV was showing admirals meeting with survivors. The footage was made years before and was quickly slapped together to “minimize” losses to the public. Two days later the subject is no longer front-page news – or any news. Russia uses mobile cremation vehicles, incinerating bodies to hide war crimes. We don’t know whose bodies are being burned. Some people are not to be found ever again.
And where’s tragedy, there is farce. What is the rave of Russia these days, for those against the war? A 1973 cartoon where kids go underwater in a sub called “Neptune” (same as the missile’s name that hit “Moskva”) and located a fascist German cruiser with Z-29 designator. How ironic. Fascism made a full circle. Letter Z had been chosen to ID every invading vehicle of the Russian army. People of Russia draw the letter Z on buildings, cars, even cakes; wear it on T-shirts, as a matter of national pride and support for Vladimir Putin. The cartoon had been blocked from being watched in Russia by the copyright owner.
Let’s add an insult to injury. Down with “Moskva” went a reliquary with a tiny piece of “real” Holy Cross. It was pompous and officially purchased from parties unknown to us for $40 millions. It was supposed to guard and protect the vessel against enemy’s fire (we are kidding you not). An official investigation had been opened up to find out if the holy relic was authentic.
A large number of prominent Americans and Europeans have been barred entry into Russia. Boris Johnson, British Prime Minister, was banned from ever coming there. He must be crying his eyes out now that he lost his summer home in Siberia (this is a joke, of course).
In its desire to evade sanctions the Russian Federation is beginning to go off the deep end. The state legislators suddenly legalize use of crypto currencies, which were almost outlawed before the war. They have been cutting off USD and EUR financial markets and payments systems and this is how they want to counter the sanctions. Russia had nationalized (as in “steal”) the entire fleet of Boeings and Airbuses it leased from the Western companies (over 500 airplanes). Instead of returning them back to the lessors, as demanded, they have been re-registered to Russian ownership, without any compensation to owners. Any such aircraft is subject to arrest if it lands in most places. However, there are several countries that will not seize the stolen planes when they land there. It is now legal to trade in pirated copyrighted materials – as in software, music, movies, books and other works subject to copyright law. Many Western social platforms are no longer accessible – like Meta and Instagram. Russian citizens brace for imminent Internet disconnects.
There is now legislation in the works that would permit confiscation of property belonging to citizens of “unfriendly nations”. To any American who worked there but left: if you own an apartment or a vehicle you may soon lose ownership. The same would apply to any Russian citizen who left the country to live in one of the “unfriendly” states. Russian subjects may soon be stripped of their citizenships if they protest against the war their country started. Western companies that left are being forced to transfer assets to local firms, effectively losing their investments. If you are a foreigner who owns Russian stocks as the war started you are barred from selling them. You are effectively being held hostage and your investment has been confiscated. Ruble is no longer a convertible currency; the state sets the exchange rates – not the markets. You cannot withdraw more than 10,000 USD from your account in cash over there. Most banks have no physical foreign currency to give. The state is likely to convert your holdings into worthless rubles some time soon. There is a broad threat of savings confiscation if things get worse and the country would need money to pay its own bills. Somehow, no one thinks about business or political reputation. Toxicity is off the scale. Would you trust a country that steals your property? And this is just the beginning. There marches Russia, back to the Middle Ages. Life will adapt, of course, and find a way to bring back some of the modern toys, but they would be limited and expensive. Many political, financial, civilization gains that country had – wiped out, at a speed of lightning.
NATO and its European Union nations had not been beyond reproach on how they acted in the current crises. The European leaders for a while were in self-denial – over the loss of Russian oil and gas; over the fact that they must support Ukraine by any means possible. Poland and the Baltic nations were the first to join the fight. They know first hand what Russia is and what it is capable of. It seems that some countries wish for the war to end soon, so they can quickly return to doing business with Russia. Unfortunately, here will be no return to the “business as usual”. What some countries are saying and doing are two different things. Russia’s supporters in Europe are Serbia and Hungary. Bulgaria, Hungary and Moldova accept refugees, but will not permit passages of cargo or flyovers with arms destined to Ukraine. Some of what was promised to Ukraine is not being delivered or being delayed. Bureaucracy is deadly in war. They are clamoring for weapons and some of it is not getting there fast enough. We are of opinion that for any European political leader or party that speaks or acts against supporting Ukraine in any way, there’s Russian money (or blackmail) somewhere up the feeding chain.
In our opinion, the two real “baddies” are both France and Germany. They talk the good talk, but don’t do the walk. Both countries have other agendas when it comes to Russia. Likely, they plan to do brisk business with the former enemy when the war ends. Both support Ukraine on TV, but Germany clearly sabotages every attempt to supply desperately needed weapons. We found the following (and verifiable) interesting tidbit floating on the internet and shall provide this chronology of events without further comments. Actions speak louder than words. Draw your own conclusions as to who Mr. Olaf Scholz, the currently Germany’s Chancellor really works for.
Infamous Olaf Scholtz Chronology (valid as of this writing):
– At the end of February 2022 Germany’s military equipment manufacturers send Mr. Scholz a long list of available weapons in stock
– Mr. Scholz would not respond to Ukraine’s inquiries as to the availability of arms
– Mr. Scholz states that Germany has no weapons available to supply to Ukraine
– The manufacturers turn the list directly over to the Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany
– Mr. Scholz publicly states that these weapons are of no use in the current war
– The manufactures deny his statement and turn the list to the German press
– Mr. Scholz states that Ukraine can’t use these heavy weapons, as they require complex training
– German military experts tell the world Ukrainian army can be trained to use them in 2-3 weeks
– Mr. Scholz states these are weapons needed by NATO and NATO must approve the transfer
– NATO officials and military deny this statement
– Mr. Scholz states that neither NATO member countries nor the EU supply heavy weapons to Ukraine
– The USA, United Kingdom, Australia, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Turkey, Italy, Finland Denmark, the Netherlands publish a list of heavy weapons they will be supplying to Ukraine
– Under pressure, Mr. Scholz earmarks 2 billion Euros for Ukraine support
– Bundestag (German federal parliament) discovers that only 1 billion Euros would be available in 2-3 months and Mr. Scholz retains veto powers over funds distribution
– The USA, France, Britain are trying to pressure Mr. Scholz
– Mr. Scholz makes a statement that Ukraine can have access to 1 billion Euros right way and can select any weapons it chooses from the list
– Ukraine’s ambassador to Germany states that Mr. Scholz had removed every line item wanted by Ukraine and the entire budget is less than the stated 1 billion Euros
The real reason for the above behavior may have something to do with one Mr. Marsalek, a big-time con man who is hiding in Moscow. His past financial affairs were approved and licensed by the German Ministry of Finance. And who was in charge of that government body at the time? One Olaf Scholz. There may be a connection there. Mr. Chancellor may not want to anger Mr. Putin and have him extradite Mr. Marsalek to Germany, as requested. Again, draw your own conclusions.
The resentment with this scandalous behavior is brewing in Germany. Mr. Chancellor may lose his job after all. This whole situation is very fluid. To be continued…
End of Part II
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