Permalink Video Proof Ukraine Using Chemical Weapons Against Russian Troops

WARNING. GRAPHIC VIDEO BELOW. VIEWER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED. | Video has been put out by the Ukrainian Armed Forces laughing about their use of Chemical Weapons to kill Russian Troops. The video, complete with happy, carnival-type music, appears below. The video, shot from the drone which drops the chemical weapon, shows two separate cartridges being dropped on Russian troops who have taken cover in a small creek or stream. The first cartridge has limited effect. The second cartridge, with a blue end cover, is utterly horrifying.

Permalink LIVE UPDATES: Death Toll From Quakes in Turkey and Syria Exceeds 8,000

On 6 February, south-eastern Turkey and northern Syria were rocked by a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, several powerful aftershocks and then another earthquake causing unimaginable devastation. | The earthquake toppled thousands of buildings and has left more than 8,000 dead in both countries. The death toll is expected to climb as more bodies are recovered from the rubble. Many international organizations and world leaders have offered assistance to the Turkish and Syrian authorities to deal with the consequences of the disaster. Turkey says it was the most powerful earthquake recorded in the country since 1939. It was followed by more than 78 aftershocks and a second quake of 7.5 magnitude.

Permalink Historical parallels: Kursk-1943 - Bakhmut-2023

Elena Panina (Елена Панина) | Historical parallels: Kursk-1943 - Bakhmut-2023 | The upper photo shows German Ferdinand SAU shot down near Kursk in 1943. On the lower photo - Latvian SAU M109A5Ö, transferred to AFU and shot down near Bakhmut in 2023. The two photos summarize the whole point of the West's wars with Russia. History repeats itself. We will have to answer the challenge again, just as we did 80 years ago. It will not be easy. But our cause is right. The enemy will be defeated. Victory will be ours! (Translation: DeepL.com)

Permalink Zelensky burning down Ukraine for Western applause – exiled opposition leader

Viktor Medvedchuk | The country was plunged into a fire for the inflated ego of this man | President Vladimir Zelensky condemned Ukraine to destruction in the name of Western interests because he is too incompetent and ambitious to govern it properly, exiled opposition leader Viktor Medvedchuk believes. Zelensky was elected in 2019 as a “peace candidate” who pledged to put an end to the warmongering policies of his predecessor, Pyotr Poroshenko, Medvedchuk, who was the leader of the banned Opposition Platform – For Life, wrote in an article published by RIA Novosti on Wednesday. But instead of becoming “a sentence” for Poroshenko, which was his campaign promise, Zelensky became a sentence for Ukraine, the politician said. The new leader had a mandate to rebalance Ukraine’s political system and make the country neutral and peaceful, Medvedchuk wrote. But this required a boring routine and difficult work. Zelensky “failed to put the nation in order, and found that blaming Russia rather than his own incompetence for the problems” was easier.

Permalink Norway Procures New Leopard Tanks From Germany Bringing Hot Arms Debate to a Close

In recent years, Norway has maintained a close military collaboration with Germany, including submarine cooperation. The bilateral engagements between Oslo and Berlin received a shot in the arm after the conflict in Ukraine began, as Norway replaced Russia as the EU's biggest supplier of gas. | Norway has decided to acquire 54 German Leopard 2A7 main battle tanks, bringing a bitter debate between the military and politicians over funding priorities to a close.  The planned 19.7Bln NOK ($1.91Bln) package also includes an option to buy a further 18 vehicles. The new tanks will replace Leopard 2A4 vehicles and are due to be phased in between 2026 and 2031. Although the contract with manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann (KMV) has yet to be signed, Norway's Defense Materiel Agency said it is expected to be in the near future.  Justifying the procurement, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store enigmatically claimed that Oslo finds itself in "one of the most demanding security policy situations since the Second World War." He also stressed that the Leopard 2A7 acquisition will both lead to closer security ties with Germany and ensure that Oslo shares a common main battle tank with its Nordic neighbors and close allies. The choice of the Leopard follows Norway’s close military collaboration with Germany on a number of major defense and security related projects, including submarine cooperation.

Permalink Britain Is Much Worse Off Than It Understands

Simon Tilford | Things weren’t nearly this bad in the 1970s—but the country’s leaders haven't grasped that yet. | By any criteria, the United Kingdom faces a serious economic and social crisis, one that will deepen without big shifts in policy. Yet there is little sense of this crisis among the country’s elite, not least its politicians.  The power of narratives helps explain this disconnect. The gap between the U.K.’s reality as portrayed by the dominant narrative of its economy’s performance and real life as experienced by its average citizen has widened to the breaking point. The resulting political distortions are now making the underlying problems even worse.  Narratives and the emotional impulses that drive them play an underappreciated role in our understanding of the way economies work and whether they are perceived to be performing well or not. Sometimes, there is real grounding to those narratives; other times, they are largely fictional constructs. This does not necessarily mean that those who believe them and propagate them are dishonest, only that their personal experience may not be representative of the economy as a whole.

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