Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/26/2022

The United States, Britain, Canada, and the European Union announced that selected Russian banks would be cut off from the SWIFT international banking system in retaliation for the invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, unidentified cyber attackers disrupted Russian government websites, and YouTube limited access to Russian channels at the request of Ukraine.

In other news, a recent poll indicates that 61% of Americans feel safer if there’s a gun in the house.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Dean, DV, Reader from Chicago, Upananda Brahmachari, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. I check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

USA
» After Canada, US Truckers Decided to Start Their Own ‘Convoys’. What Are They Protesting?
» Americans’ Trust in Scientists, Other Groups Declines
» Antifa Tries and Fails to Shut Down Jordan Peterson Event in Boston
» Breaking: Trump Speaks at CPAC, Says Putin is ‘Playing Biden Like a Drum’
» Federal Judge Rules Virginia School’s Race-Driven Admissions Policies Unconstitutional
» Leftist Activist Nandini Jammi Targets Satire Site Babylon Bee for Cancellation Over ‘Disinformation’
» Majority of Americans Believe Putin Wouldn’t Have Invaded Ukraine if Trump Were President: Poll
» Massive Nationwide Convoy to D.C. For COVID-19 Protest Set to Travel Through East Idaho
» Michigan Residents Rally to Show Support for Trucker Convoy Headed to Washington, D.C. In Protest of COVID Mandates
» Poll: Majority Feels Safer ‘Knowing There’s a Gun in the House’
» Rebel Correspondent Jeremy Loffredo Speaks About His Coverage of the U.S. Trucker Convoy
 
Canada
» A True Westerner’s View on Participating in the Freedom Convoy
» Anti-Mandate Demonstration Marches to Parliament Hill One Week After Removal of Convoy Protesters
» Breaking: Trump Slams Trudeau’s ‘Left-Wing Fascists’, Stands Up for Canadian Truckers, Freedom Protesters
» CBC Article Complains Ottawa Residents Are Suffering From ‘Phantom Honking’ After Trucker Protests
» Convoy Against COVID Mandates Descending on Victoria Once Again
» Full Footage: Police Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters in Ottawa Last Weekend
» Ontario to Review Vaccine Mandates for Care Home Workers After Freedom Convoy
 
Europe and the EU
» Czechia Lifts Entry Bans & Measures Imposed Due to COVID-19 for Arrivals From Ukraine
» Danish Qu’ran-Burning Anti-Islam Activists to Hold Demonstration in Sweden
» EU Approves Second Sanctions Package Against Russia
» Germany: WHO Appoints Deutsche Telekom to “Standardise the Issuing of QR Codes” And to Create a Gobal Vaccine Passport
» Large German Health Insurer Says Up to 3 Million People Potentially Suffered COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects
» Poland, Sweden and Czechia Refuse to Travel to Moscow for World Cup Playoff Matches
» Polish PM: Donald Tusk ‘Leads the Nord Stream 2 Party’ And Should Resign
» Polish President Duda: Ukrainians Are Defending Not Only Their Own Freedom, But That of All Europeans
» Russia Kicked Out of Eurovision 2022 Over Ukraine Invasion
» Russia’s Northern Neighbour Spooked: Finns Buy Up Anti-Radiation Iodine Tablets, Prepare Beds for Refugees
» Ukrainian Flag Illuminates Greek Parliament Facade
 
Russia
» Additional Military Assistance for Ukraine — United States Department of State
» Boxing Champion Klitchsko Brothers Take Up Arms in Defense of Ukraine
» Breaking: Elon Musk’s Starlink System is Now Providing Satellite Internet Services in Ukraine
» Breaking: EU, US, UK and Canada Announce That “Selected” Russian Banks Will be Disconnected From the Swift
» Czech PM Calls for ‘Toughest Sanctions’ Against Russia, Assures Citizens of Czechia’s Security
» Facebook Blocks Russian State Media Ads
» Farage to CPAC: Putin Had Nothing to Fear From ‘Worst President’ Joe Biden, Invasion Wouldn’t Happen Under Trump
» Germany to Provide Ukraine Anti-Tank Weapons, Missiles
» Greece to Support EU Line on Russia Sanctions, Including on Swift
» Islamist Kadyrov Ready to Unleash Thousands of Chechen Fighters on Ukraine for Putin
» Karpov: A Russian MP Sanctioned by the EU is a Chess Legend
» ‘Madmen Need to be Isolated, ‘ Says Czech President About Putin’s Russia
» Natural Gas Prices Skyrocket Amid War in Ukraine, European Industry Under Threat
» Pics: Kyiv Scarred by Night of Battle With Russian Forces
» Russia Bogged Down, Spin it as Pause for Talks
» Russia-Ukraine War: Smartphone in Hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Addresses Nation as Kyiv Under Attack
» Russia-Ukraine War: Internet Disrupted in Ukraine as Russian Troops Advance
» Russian Government Websites Suffer Disruptions
» Russia Cut to Junk Rating by S&P, Ukraine’s Rating Lowered
» Russia Censors Facebook and Twitter After Facebook and Twitter Pulled Support for Some Russian Media
» Senator Mark Warner Asks Social Platforms to Curb Ukraine Misinformation
» TikTok Sees a Surge of Misleading Videos That Claim to Show the Invasion of Ukraine
» U.S., Allies Consider New United Nations Vote Targeting Russia
» Ukraine Slows Russian Advance as Tens of Thousands Flee the Country
» Ukraine Embassy Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Buy Weapons
» Ukrainian Soldiers Say They Drove Off Most of Russian Landing Force South of Kyiv
» Ukraine Government Turns to Crypto to Raise Funds to Fight War
» Ukraine: France Seizes Russian Ship Over Sanctions
» Ukraine Announces Highest Honor to Soldier Who Reportedly Blew Himself Up to Stop Russian Tanks
» YouTube Restricts Access to Russian Channels at Request of Ukraine
 
Caucasus
» Azerbaijan and Turkey Seek to Benefit From Russian Gas Supply Interruptions
 
South Asia
» India: ‘New’ Mosque in Vellore Opposed by Hindu Munnani
 
Australia — Pacific
» Australia Adds to Russia Sanctions, Seeks to Follow Others With Sanctions on Putin, Lavrov
» Journalists Spread Hoax That Proud Boys Are Sending Brigade of Fighters to Help Russia
» New Zealand: COVID-19: Police Association Wants Unvaccinated Cops Back on the Job After Court Ruling on Mandates
» New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reaffirms Commitment to Scrapping COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates as Protest Halts Traffic in
» New Zealand: COVID Anti-Mandate Protesters at Auckland Domain Defy Police, Put Up Tents
 
Immigration
» Anti-Illegal Immigration Poland Takes in Over 100,000 Ukrainians as Genuine Refugees
» Hungary Offers Safe Haven to Ukrainian Refugees
» Mitsotakis: Greece Ready to Accept Greek Refugees From Ukraine
» Slovakia Permits Entry for Ukrainians Fleeing the War Without Valid Travel Documents
» Thumbs Up for Britain: Border Force Agents Bring 90 Migrants Ashore in Dover After They Crossed Calm Channel Waters in a Dinghy as Number of Arrivals This Year Hits 1,448
» Ukraine Invasion: These Are the Procedures That Await Ukrainian Asylum Seekers in EU
 
Culture Wars
» British Spy Boss: ‘LGBT+ Rights’ Are What ‘Distinguish Us From Putin’
 

After Canada, US Truckers Decided to Start Their Own ‘Convoys’. What Are They Protesting?

What began as a protest against vaccine mandates in Canada’s capital morphed into a blockade of the busiest U.S. border crossing and spurred copycat efforts worldwide.

A handful of trucker-led protests are expected to converge on the U.S. capital in the coming days in what experts said has become a catch-all movement against perceived government overreach.

“What we’re seeing is that people are using this as an excuse to just express a whole bunch of other grievances against the Biden administration or perceived threats on their freedom,” said Cynthia Miller-Idriss, director of American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab. “This might be about mandates but not really about mandates in the long run.”

Multiple convoys launched or plan to this week, and officials are preparing for potential gridlock in Washington and the Beltway — a 64-mile roadway through Virginia and Maryland that circles the District of Columbia — before the State of the Union on March 1.

“The trucker convoys are kind of the latest in what I would say has been happening for over two years, where large groups of people from across the political spectrum, from a variety of different groups — ordinary voters, but also some organized extremists — converge around certain events,” Miller-Idriss said.

Miller-Idriss referenced protests over Second Amendment rights and shelter-in-place orders, as well as the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

“It’s something that starts as a peaceful protest generally — constitutionally protected, totally peaceful protest — but that sometimes gets co-opted or taken up by other groups that may have bad intentions or are misrepresenting even what the original intentions are,” she said.

One group under the banner “The People’s Convoy” left from Southern California and plans to arrive in the “DC Beltway area” by March 5, according to the group’s website. The route passes through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Livestream videos of the kickoff event in Adelanto, California, on Wednesday showed a crowd of several dozen people, some wearing red Trump hats and others waving American, Canadian and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags.

“A lot of people have asked why we’re doing this — what’s your reason behind it. People want a defined, clear answer. They think it’s one thing,” organizer Brian Brase told the crowd. “The truth is, it’s about my children. It’s about my future grandchildren. It’s about our families. It’s about our country. It’s about letting our government know that you work for us.”

A news release from the group called for an end to COVID-19 mandates and states of emergency. The effort is led by “American truckers,” along with “blue-collar workers” and “freedom-loving supporters from all walks of life,” the website says…

           — Hat tip: Dean [Return to headlines]
 

Americans’ Trust in Scientists, Other Groups Declines

Americans’ confidence in groups and institutions has turned downward compared with just a year ago. Trust in scientists and medical scientists, once seemingly buoyed by their central role in addressing the coronavirus outbreak, is now below pre-pandemic levels.

Overall, 29% of U.S. adults say they have a great deal of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public, down from 40% who said this in November 2020. Similarly, the share with a great deal of confidence in scientists to act in the public’s best interests is down by 10 percentage points (from 39% to 29%), according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Antifa Tries and Fails to Shut Down Jordan Peterson Event in Boston

Dr. Jordan Peterson, a conservative author and speaker, once again found himself in Antifa’s crosshairs as members of the far-left activist group gathered to protest his most recent event in Boston this past Thursday. Participants positioned themselves across the street from Peterson’s event at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Boston, calling his message “misogynistic” and “bigoted.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: Trump Speaks at CPAC, Says Putin is ‘Playing Biden Like a Drum’

The room was packed at CPAC when former President Donald Trump took the stage to riotous applause. Trump has kept a hold on the Republican party since leaving office in January 2020, continuing to drive the philosophy and ethos of the conservative movement.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Federal Judge Rules Virginia School’s Race-Driven Admissions Policies Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled Friday that Fairfax County Public Schools’ racially driven admissions policies for its magnet high school unconstitutionally discriminated against Asian-American applicants.

The Coalition for TJ, a parent group for students at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in March sued the Fairfax County School Board after they adopted admissions standards that intentionally reduced Asian-American admittance by 43 percent. Judge Claude Hilton of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division ruled against the district.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Leftist Activist Nandini Jammi Targets Satire Site Babylon Bee for Cancellation Over ‘Disinformation’

Check My Ads co-founder Nandini Jammi set her sights on The Babylon Bee as the latest target of her deplatforming and demonetization campaigns. The leftist activist, who links conservative ideas and outlets to “hate” and “disinformation” in an attempt to get companies to pull their ad buys from the websites she doesn’t like, has made a misstep in targeting The Babylon Bee.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Majority of Americans Believe Putin Wouldn’t Have Invaded Ukraine if Trump Were President: Poll

A majority of American voters believe that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not have invaded Ukraine had former Republican President Donald Trump still been in office, according to a new poll’s results released Friday.

The new Harvard Center for American Political Studies (CAPS)-Harris Poll survey found that 62 percent of respondents think Putin would not have launched an invasion of Ukraine if Trump were still president. Party-wise, 85 percent of Republicans and 38 percent of Democrats answered this way, The Hill reported.

Trump himself on Tuesday went public with harsh criticism of the Biden administration, saying that this would never have happened on his watch.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Massive Nationwide Convoy to D.C. For COVID-19 Protest Set to Travel Through East Idaho

Thousands of truck drivers this week will travel to the nation’s capital as part of a massive convoy to protest what many are describing as government overreach when it comes to restrictions put in place because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants in the nationwide American Freedom Convoy are set to depart from numerous staging points established along interstates 70, 80, 84, 90 and 94 on March 1 and March 2, and at least two groups associated with the convoy will travel through the Gem State before reaching Washington, D.C., on March 7, according to Derek Depauw, a North Dakota-based trucker and route coordinator for the event.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Michigan Residents Rally to Show Support for Trucker Convoy Headed to Washington, D.C. In Protest of COVID Mandates

GENESEE COUNTY, MI — Supporters gathered on a bridge over US-23 in Mundy Township Friday afternoon to see off a trucker convoy headed to Washington, D.C. in protest of coronavirus mandates.

The rally taking place beginning next week which has been given different names, including the Freedom Convoy, has been touted as a showing of solidarity with Canadian drivers who recently held a blockade over coronavirus mandates on the trucking industry.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Poll: Majority Feels Safer ‘Knowing There’s a Gun in the House’

Contrary to what the gun prohibition lobby would have America believe, a new Rasmussen survey released Friday shows that a majority of American adults who say someone in the house owns a firearm (61%) “feel safer knowing there’s a gun in the house.”

Rasmussen learned that 36 percent of poll respondents admit they or someone in their household owns a gun. In recent years, anecdotal evidence suggests that gun owners refuse to acknowledge they have a gun in the home, as they are either worried about social stigma or simply believe it’s nobody’s business.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Rebel Correspondent Jeremy Loffredo Speaks About His Coverage of the U.S. Trucker Convoy

Freelance journalist Jeremy Loffredo (follow on @LoffredoJeremy Twitter) is on special assignment from Rebel News to provide on-the-ground coverage of the U.S. truckers’ convoy to Washington D.C. to protest continued COVID-19 mandates and restrictions.

On yesterday’s episode of The Ezra Levant Show, Jeremy join Ezra to talk about his experience and coverage of the convoy so far.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

A True Westerner’s View on Participating in the Freedom Convoy

Tariq Elnaga joins Sheila Gunn Reid

On this week’s episode of The Gunn Show, former Maverick Party candidate Tariq Elnaga (@TariqElnaga on Twitter) joined Sheila Gunn Reid to discuss the Freedom Convoy to Ottawa.

Tariq and Sheila discuss his time on the convoy, what it’s like to be an enemy of the state in a country he immigrated to, and what Trudeau’s latest show of tyranny means for Western Canada.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Anti-Mandate Demonstration Marches to Parliament Hill One Week After Removal of Convoy Protesters

Demonstrators opposed to COVID-19 mandates returned to Ottawa, though in smaller numbers and notably without any heavy vehicles, for a march on Parliament Hill.

“We want everyone to have freedom of choice and we’re worried that is jeopardized, that’s why we’re here today,” Laura Clark said about attending the demonstration with her husband on Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: Trump Slams Trudeau’s ‘Left-Wing Fascists’, Stands Up for Canadian Truckers, Freedom Protesters

President Donald Trump addressed the packed house at CPAC in Orlando on Saturday, and as he spoke about his own presidency, he slammed the leadership of President Joe Biden as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

He called Canada “A place where democracy is under attack right next door— Canada. The tyranny we have witnessed in Canada should shock the world. They have been slandered as Nazis and terrorists and treated worse that murderers. We stand with the truckers and the Canadians!”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

CBC Article Complains Ottawa Residents Are Suffering From ‘Phantom Honking’ After Trucker Protests

CBC News published an article over the weekend featuring several downtown Ottawa residents who claim that they’re still haunted by “phantom honking” following the weeks-long Freedom Convoy protest in the nation’s capital.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Convoy Against COVID Mandates Descending on Victoria Once Again

A convoy of vehicles and protesters unhappy with government pandemic mandates, mainstream media, vaccines, and the Prime Minister is descending on Victoria once again.

For the fifth Saturday in a row, a large string of trucks and other vehicles boasting Canadian flags is en route to Victoria, in hopes their protests will trigger an end to current COVID-19 restrictions.

Victoria Police say traffic disruptions are anticipated in downtown Victoria and in the area of the BC Legislature throughout late Saturday morning and into the afternoon.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Full Footage: Police Crackdown on Peaceful Protesters in Ottawa Last Weekend

Nearly three weeks of protests took place in the nation’s capital. Many people dedicated themselves to the cause and built a mini village to help those in need. Food, hot drinks, warm-up camps, children’s playgrounds and more! On February 14, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the Emergencies Act to put an end to this peaceful demonstration.

Afterwards, the situation quickly escalated. On February 16, a first paper warning was distributed to all protesters and truckers, and a second and final warning was issued the following day. The tipping point was the following Friday. Police had already begun making arrests on Nicholas Street in the morning. Shortly after, around noon, several hundred police officers from several police forces appeared in front of the Westin Hotel on Colonel By Drive.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ontario to Review Vaccine Mandates for Care Home Workers After Freedom Convoy

As Ontario, Canada looks to end its Wuhan virus restrictions, a provincial government minister has announced a review of vaccine mandates for healthcare workers in long-term care facilities.

The Canadian province’s Minister of Long-Term Care, Paul Calandra, announced this week that the Ontario provincial government, led by Premier Doug Ford, would be reviewing the vaccine mandate in long-term care facilities as it moves to end some coronavirus restrictions.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Czechia Lifts Entry Bans & Measures Imposed Due to COVID-19 for Arrivals From Ukraine

The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Health has abolished the entry ban and all the preventive measures imposed due to COVID-19 on arrivals from Ukraine, opening the doors for the latter’s citizens after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Danish Qu’ran-Burning Anti-Islam Activists to Hold Demonstration in Sweden

Danish anti-Islam politician and activist Rasmus Paludan has been granted permission to hold a demonstration in the Swedish city of Gothenburg nearly two years after his supporters burned a Qu’ran in Malmo, sparking a riot.

Paludan, who leads the Danish political party Stram Kurs (Hard Line), was granted permission to hold a demonstration in Gothenburg this Saturday in the area of Frölunda Torg in the early afternoon.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

EU Approves Second Sanctions Package Against Russia

In an uncharacteristically swift response, leaders of the European Union have approved the second sanctions package against Russia, European Council President Charles Michel announced at a press conference in the early hours of Friday.

As outlined by the heads of state and government in the text of the final declaration, an agreement was reached to hit Russia on the finance, energy and transport sectors, the dual-use sector, export control and export financing, visa policy, and to impose personal sanctions against a number of Russian individuals.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Germany: WHO Appoints Deutsche Telekom to “Standardise the Issuing of QR Codes” And to Create a Gobal Vaccine Passport

The World Health Organization wants to ‘facilitate’ its 194 member states to introduce digital vaccination certificates.

To do so, it’s setting up a ‘gateway’ to standardise the issuing of QR codes that confer privileged health status to their owner. Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems has been chosen as an industry partner to develop the vaccination validation services.

“Corona has a grip on the world,” said Adel Al-Saleh, CEO of T-Systems. “Digitization keeps the world running. Digital vaccination certificates like the EU’s are key to this. We are pleased to be able to support the WHO in the fight against the pandemic. Health is a strategic growth area for T-Systems. Winning this contract underscores our commitment to the industry.”

Nonetheless, with the UK ending all Covid-related restrictions and many other countries headed in that direction, this renewed zeal for the mandating of vaccines proven to have limited efficacy is baffling. It’s almost as if organisations like the WHO are reluctant to relinquish the massive increase in their power the pandemic conferred.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Large German Health Insurer Says Up to 3 Million People Potentially Suffered COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects

One of Germany’s largest health insurance companies, BKK, analyzed the records of 10.9 million insured individuals to determine the rate of Covid-19 vaccine complications and has found alarming data, according to a new report from one of Germany’s best-selling newspapers, Die Welt.

“According to our calculations, we consider 400,000 visits to the doctor by our policyholders because of vaccination complications to be realistic to this day. Extrapolated to the total population, this value would be three million,” told BKK board member Andreas Schöfbeck to Die Welt.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Poland, Sweden and Czechia Refuse to Travel to Moscow for World Cup Playoff Matches

Scheduling for the FIFA World Cup 2022 playoff matches is in crisis after the football associations of Poland, Sweden, and Czechia announced their refusal to participate in any match taking place on Russian soil.

In a joint statement published on Thursday, the three countries condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and insisted that any playoff match for the tournament — due to take place later this year in Qatar — be played outside of Russia.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Polish PM: Donald Tusk ‘Leads the Nord Stream 2 Party’ And Should Resign

The former president of the European Council and European People’s Party (EPP) President Donald Tusk did not do enough to cease the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Thursday.

“Mr. Donald Tusk stood at the helm of Nord Stream 2; the European People’s Party led to the creation of that pipeline. Unfortunately, Tusk did nothing to prevent that,” Morawiecki claimed, instead offering praise to the “huge pressure from the American and Baltic States side” as the primary reason why Europe now “speaks Polish about Nord Stream 2.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Polish President Duda: Ukrainians Are Defending Not Only Their Own Freedom, But That of All Europeans

The European response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine will be the ultimate test for the Western world to prove how committed it remains to the values of democracy, freedom and the rule of law, Polish President Andrzej Duda said in an address to his nation on Thursday.

In the televised speech, Duda offered his thoughts and prayers to Ukrainians caught up in conflict, underlined that Poland would show solidarity with the country, and vowed that the latest act of Russian aggression would be a turning point for the West.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia Kicked Out of Eurovision 2022 Over Ukraine Invasion

Organisers of the international singing contest have taken decisive action against Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

Russia has been banned from competing in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest due to its recent invasion of Ukraine, the NY Post reports.

The European Broadcasting Union, which organises Eurovision, announced Russia’s disqualification in a statement on Friday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia’s Northern Neighbour Spooked: Finns Buy Up Anti-Radiation Iodine Tablets, Prepare Beds for Refugees

Concern over a broader conflict has led Finns to buy large quantities of anti-radiation iodine tablets and to prepare a thousand beds for fleeing Ukrainians as Russia threatens consequences if the country joins NATO.

Pharmacies across Finland have claimed that stocks of iodine tablets, which are used to combat the effects of radiation and nuclear fallout, have run low and, in some cases, have sold out completely, as Finns fear the war in Ukraine could spread.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukrainian Flag Illuminates Greek Parliament Facade

The Greek Parliament has illuminated part of its facade with the Ukrainian flag to express its solidarity with the suffering Ukrainian people.

“The flag of Ukraine illuminates tonight the facade of the Greek Parliament, above the Monument of the Unknown Soldier, from 7 pm to midnight,” a Parliament press release says.

“This symbolic initiative expresses both the condemnation of the Russian military invasion of an independent and sovereign country, a member of the UN, and our unwavering support for the suffering Ukrainian people,” it adds.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Additional Military Assistance for Ukraine — United States Department of State

Press Statement

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Ukraine is a sovereign, democratic, and peace-loving nation. The United States and Ukraine have been partners since Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union more than 30 years ago. After Russia invaded and partially occupied Ukraine in 2014, the United States intensified efforts to help Ukraine deter further Russian aggression, and, if needed, to defend itself from additional attacks. Last fall, as the present threat against Ukraine from Russia developed, under authority delegated by the President, I authorized the Department of Defense to provide $60 million in immediate military assistance to Ukraine. In December, as that threat materialized, I authorized a further drawdown worth $200 million. Today, as Ukraine fights with courage and pride against Russia’s brutal and unprovoked assault, I have authorized, pursuant to a delegation by the President, an unprecedented third Presidential Drawdown of up to $350 million for immediate support to Ukraine’s defense. This brings the total security assistance the United States has committed to Ukraine over the past year to more than $1 billion.

This package will include further lethal defensive assistance to help Ukraine address the armored, airborne, and other threats it is now facing. It is another clear signal that the United States stands with the people of Ukraine as they defend their sovereign, courageous, and proud nation.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Boxing Champion Klitchsko Brothers Take Up Arms in Defense of Ukraine

From the boxing ring to political office, and now, it would seem, to the military front line, Vitali Klitchsko, alongside his brother, Vladimir, is prepared to take up arms and face down the Russian threat in defense of his homeland.

Vitali Klitschko has been the mayor of Kiev since 2014, and has shown little desire to flee his nation following Vladimir Putin’s pre-dawn invasion on Thursday.

“I don’t have another choice, I have to do that. I’ll be fighting,” the 50-year-old former boxing heavyweight world champion told U.K. broadcaster ITV’s Good Morning Britain.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: Elon Musk’s Starlink System is Now Providing Satellite Internet Services in Ukraine

Elon Musk says SpaceX’s Starlink satellites are now active over Ukraine after a request from the embattled country’s leadership to replace internet services destroyed by the Russian attack.

Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked invasion has left parts of the country without internet, while SpaceX has launched thousands of communications satellites to bring broadband to hard to reach areas of the world.

Tesla North reports Mykhailo Fedorov, Vice Prime Minister of Ukraine and Minister of Digital Transformation of Ukraine, asked SpaceX CEO Elon Musk for Starlink internet, a mere 10 hours ago.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Breaking: EU, US, UK and Canada Announce That “Selected” Russian Banks Will be Disconnected From the Swift

EU, US, UK and Canada announce that “selected” Russian banks will be disconnected from the SWIFT banking system. The statement doesn’t indicate names of banks, or whether this will stop oil and gas payments.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Czech PM Calls for ‘Toughest Sanctions’ Against Russia, Assures Citizens of Czechia’s Security

Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala has condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and called for the toughest sanctions to be imposed on the country for its transgressions.

In a speech on Thursday, Fiala slammed the “unprovoked invasion” of Ukraine by Russia, calling it an “act of aggression against a sovereign state” which must not go unanswered.

“I condemn the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” Fiala said, who called on “all Czech citizens in Ukraine to leave the country.”

“Our country is not in immediate danger,” he assured concerned citizens, highlighting Czechia’s membership of the European Union and of NATO as primary reasons for its national security.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Facebook Blocks Russian State Media Ads

Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook said it would block Russian state media from running ads or making money from ads shown its platform.

The hardening of Facebook’s posture toward Russia comes as U.S. tech companies are coming under growing pressure over how they are handling Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said on Twitter that the new ad policy for Russian state media outlets globally had started and would continue to roll out over the weekend.

Russia on Friday said that it was restricting access to Facebook in the country, saying the social media service had moved to block four state media outlets.

Nick Clegg, Meta’s vice president of global affairs, wrote on Twitter that Russia had demanded that the company stop fact checking content by the outlets.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Farage to CPAC: Putin Had Nothing to Fear From ‘Worst President’ Joe Biden, Invasion Wouldn’t Happen Under Trump

In an address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, “Mr Brexit” Nigel Farage said that Vladimir Putin had “nothing to fear” from Joe Biden, whom he described as the worst president in the history of the United States.

Nigel Farage, the leading force behind the populist Brexit uprising that resulted in the United Kingdom leaving the European Union, said that a failure of leadership from President Joe Biden has resulted in Putin being emboldened enough to launch an invasion of Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Germany to Provide Ukraine Anti-Tank Weapons, Missiles

Germany will send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 stinger missiles to Ukraine, the German chancellor said on Saturday in a major policy shift by Berlin.

Olaf Scholz said the Russian invasion marked a “turning point”, and added: “It is our duty to do our best to help Ukraine defend against the invading army of Putin.”

The New York Times reported that Germany has also permitted the Netherlands to send 400 rocket-propelled grenades to Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Greece to Support EU Line on Russia Sanctions, Including on Swift

Greece will support any European Union line on sanctions against Russia after its invasion of Ukraine, including measures to cut off Moscow from the global SWIFT payments system, a senior government official told Reuters on Saturday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Saturday, saying Greece had favoured the harshest EU sanctions against Russia after its attack and stood ready to provide assistance

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Islamist Kadyrov Ready to Unleash Thousands of Chechen Fighters on Ukraine for Putin

Ramzan Kadyrov, leader of the Russian Federation’s Muslim-majority Chechen Republic, is prepared to unleash up to 70,000 fighters on Ukraine to support his “commander-in-chief”, Vladimir Putin.

State-backed Russian news outlet RT published video footage on Friday showing an enormous rally of, it reported, 12,000 “local volunteers” in the Chechen capital of Grozny, with Kadyrov telling the assembly that his advice to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky was to “[call] our President, Supreme Commander Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, and [apologise] for not doing so sooner. Do it in order to save Ukraine. Ask for forgiveness and agree to all the conditions that Russia puts forward.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Karpov: A Russian MP Sanctioned by the EU is a Chess Legend

The European Union responded to Russia’s actions in Ukraine with yet more sanctions against the Kremlin and its allies on Thursday, and one such individual who has been sanctioned is chess legend Anatoli Karpov.

The former Chess master was deputy of the Russian Duma, however the sanctions placed upon him will prevent him from moving through European territory.

He turns 71 years old in May, and has been a long-time member of Vladimir Putin’s United Russian party.

[Comment: Karpov was World Chess Champion from 1975 to 1985.]

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

‘Madmen Need to be Isolated, ‘ Says Czech President About Putin’s Russia

“I think it is time to resort to harder sanctions than originally planned, and by that I mean, above all, the exclusion of the Russian Federation from the payment system,” President Milos Zeman said in a speech to the nation on Thursday.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an act of unprovoked aggression that needs to be strictly condemned. Not only in words, but also in deeds,” the president said.

“I like Russian culture, I respect the victims of the Russian people in WWII, but that does not mean that I will agree to a foreign army entering the territory of a sovereign state without declaring war. I examined in detail President Putin’s Thursday speech. I will react to it in one sentence. Alleged or actual mistakes, such as the bombing of Yugoslavia or entry into Iraq, cannot justify one’s own mistakes. Russia commits a crime against peace with this act,” Zeman added.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Natural Gas Prices Skyrocket Amid War in Ukraine, European Industry Under Threat

On the Amsterdam Power Exchange (APX), Europe’s normative market natural gas futures quotes rose 41 percent to €125 per megawatt hour on Thursday, the fourth consecutive daily rise.

Prices were already on the rise all week as tensions over Ukraine escalated, but after Russia launched rocket attacks at dawn on Thursday, the Ukrainian Interior Ministry warned that the capital, Kiev, was the target and called on the population to go to shelters.

The crisis is further jeopardizing Europe’s fuel supply, which is already in an energy crisis as more than a third of the continent’s gas supply is dependent on Russia, and low stocks have already pushed up prices to record levels last year.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Pics: Kyiv Scarred by Night of Battle With Russian Forces

(AFP) — Ukrainian forces repulsed a Russian attack on Kyiv (Kiev) but “sabotage groups” infiltrated the capital, officials said Saturday as a defiant President Volodymyr Zelensky vowed Ukraine would never give in.

On the third day of an invasion that Ukraine said has killed 198 civilians including three children, Russia also brushed off the barrage of Western sanctions and said it had fired cruise missiles at military targets.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia Bogged Down, Spin it as Pause for Talks

A NATO official has said that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is not going to plan, with problems over lack of fuel, proceeding far slower than expected and struggling with morale, however the Russian military are spinning the slow advance as being deliberate to allow time for negotiations.

An adviser to the Ukranian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that Ukraine were refusing to negotiate and that the Russians were “way behind schedule” and that “every additional day” of the invasion without carrying out its objectives was “very painful” for the Russians.

Videos circulating on social media have shown Russian vehicles stranded having run out of fuel.

           — Hat tip: DV [Return to headlines]
 

Russia-Ukraine War: Smartphone in Hand, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy Addresses Nation as Kyiv Under Attack

The morning after Russian missiles rained down on Kyiv, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addressed the nation in his favourite style: the selfie video.

Unshaven, wearing a khaki jacket and flashing a smile, he told the nation that contrary to reports of him trying to flee, he was staying put in the capital.

“Good morning to all Ukrainians! Lately there has been a lot of fake information online that I am calling on our army to lay down their arms and to evacuate. Listen. I am here,” he said, in a video that received 3 million views on Instagram in an hour.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia-Ukraine War: Internet Disrupted in Ukraine as Russian Troops Advance

Internet connectivity in Ukraine has been affected by the Russian invasion, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the country where fighting has been heaviest, internet monitors said on Saturday (local time).

Russian forces captured the southeastern Ukrainian city of Melitopol on Saturday, Russia’s Interfax news agency reported, as Moscow launched coordinated cruise missile and artillery strikes on several cities, including the capital Kyiv.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russian Government Websites Suffer Disruptions

The main Kremlin website and other Russian government websites were inaccessible Saturday amid reports of cyberattacks targeting Moscow in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine.

“Various #Russia government websites including the Kremlin, State Duma and Ministry of Defense are again down,” Netblocks, an internet observatory that monitors global traffic outages, said on Twitter. Network data was “consistent with previous cyberattacks,” it said.

It wasn’t immediately clear who was responsible for the disruption or what caused the outages. Anonymous, a loosely organized group that claims to engage in activist-oriented hacking campaigns, said on Twitter it had “ongoing operations” against Russia’s government websites and took credit for other hacking activity.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia Cut to Junk Rating by S&P, Ukraine’s Rating Lowered

S&P Global Ratings cut Russia’s credit rating to junk status and lowered its rating for Ukraine, citing risks following Moscow’s invasion of its neighbor.

The ratings company lowered Russia’s foreign-currency debt to BB+ from BBB— placing it below investment grade. The change could force funds required to own investment-grade bonds—seen as having a lower chance of default—to dump Russian debt that has already come under intense selling pressure since troops entered Ukraine. S&P lowered Ukraine to B— from B.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Russia Censors Facebook and Twitter After Facebook and Twitter Pulled Support for Some Russian Media

Earlier this week, Facebook announced restrictions to Russian media to “limit the spread of misinformation” about the war in Ukraine. Russia demanded that Facebook stop “fact-checking” content about the war on its platform, something Facebook refused to do.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Senator Mark Warner Asks Social Platforms to Curb Ukraine Misinformation

Big Tech giants are increasingly positioning themselves, and being positioned by politicians, as speech police. And ever-increasing crises are being used as a justification for it.

Despite the fact that Twitter’s attempts to police inauthentic activity regarding the conflict have already gone awry, and it’s almost always independent journalists that suffer the most, politicians are demanding more.

Virginia’s Sen. Mark Warner has written to all major social media companies, urging them to make efforts to become the police of misinformation on social media with regard to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

TikTok Sees a Surge of Misleading Videos That Claim to Show the Invasion of Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a flood of misleading and false material on TikTok. The popular app used by more than 1 billion people has been amplifying videos portraying old conflicts, scenes from movies and even video game battles as if showing on-the-ground live footage.

In times of crisis, social media platforms are always struggling to stay head of misinformation and make round-the-clock calls on when a viral post should be removed. But the flurry of conflict-themed footage now on TikTok has overwhelmed the platform in new ways, sending countless fake or videos framed as if depicting the war in Ukraine to millions of viewers.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

U.S., Allies Consider New United Nations Vote Targeting Russia

The U.S. and its allies are seeking to bring a vote to the United Nations General Assembly calling on Russia to withdraw from Ukraine, according to Western diplomats, after Russia vetoed a similar resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

The Security Council, presided over by Russia this month, has scheduled a meeting for Sunday at 3 p.m. There, some council members are expected to press for an emergency special session of the General Assembly beginning Monday. Russia wouldn’t be able to veto the emergency session because the vote would be procedural, according to the diplomats.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine Slows Russian Advance as Tens of Thousands Flee the Country

Kyiv — After three days of fighting, Ukraine continues to push back against Russia’s unrelenting assault. The United Nations said Saturday that it has confirmed at least 240 civilian causalities.

Oksana Markarova, Ukraine’s ambassador to the U.S., told reporters Saturday that Ukrainian forces have destroyed 102 Russian tanks, 14 fighter jets, 11 helicopters, 15 artillery pieces and 536 armored vehicles.

“We are defending our homes, we are defending our families, we are defending democracy, we are defending our choice to be sovereign, but we are also defending Europe,” the ambassador said.

CBS News’ Christina Ruffini reported Saturday that for the first time since Russia’s attack began Thursday, people were lined up at a crossing station on the Ukraine-Poland border trying to get back into Ukraine. Many of them were military-aged men who wanted to return to join the fight. However, tens of thousands of Ukrainians are still fleeing their country, prompting fears of a possible refugee crisis.

Meanwhile, dozens of residents still in the capital of Kyiv were sheltering in underground metro stations as Russian forces launched coordinated artillery and missile attacks on key sites in the city. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had warned Friday night that the city could fall to the Russians overnight. Instead, fighting broke out in the streets of Kyiv as Ukrainians stood up to defend their country.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine Embassy Launches Crowdfunding Campaign to Buy Weapons

Ukraine’s embassy to the Czech Republic launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for weapon purchases for Ukraine’s armed forces fighting the Russian invasion.

The embassy in Prague launched the campaign Saturday on social media, asking people to donate money that would be used to procure military equipment from a list of items drawn by the Kyiv command.

“We call on all to financially support the fundraiser for immediate assistance in procurement of military equipment for the Ukrainian Army and citizen self-defense units,” the embassy said Saturday on its Facebook page. “The Armed Forces and the Defense of Ukraine now urgently need military material to defend their homes, country and national sovereignty.”

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukrainian Soldiers Say They Drove Off Most of Russian Landing Force South of Kyiv

South of Kyiv, Russian airborne troops attempted a landing in the strategic town of Vasylkiv, the location of a Ukrainian military airfield. Firefights broke out during the night but by morning hundreds of Ukrainian troops and irregular volunteers armed with assault rifles patrolled Vasylkiv’s main road.

Along the highway running between Kyiv and Odessa near Vasylkiv, security forces and local volunteers wearing arm bands were looking for stray Russian troops who might be hiding in the woods. Ukrainian soldiers said they had driven off most of the Russian landing force in Vasylkiv.

Kyiv also said Ukrainian forces had downed a Russian Il-76 transport plane full of airborne troops near Vasylkiv. That claim couldn’t be independently confirmed. In the late morning, contrails of two jet fighters engaging in a dogfight could be seen in the blue skies above the town.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine Government Turns to Crypto to Raise Funds to Fight War

Crypto donations continue to come into Ukrainian aid groups, and the government itself is now raising funds digitally.

On Saturday, the Ukrainian government tweeted out a request for aid and gave addresses for bitcoin as well as ether and tether. By midafternoon in New York, the tweet had more than 20,000 retweets.

There was initially some concern about whether the tweet was legitimate. Crypto scams are endemic in the space, and transactions can’t be reversed once confirmed. Donations took off after several prominent voices, including Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin, vouched for its authenticity.

As of Saturday afternoon, ether had about 2,200 transactions worth about $3.7 million. Bitcoin had 1,800 transactions totaling about $885,000. All transactions for both were from Saturday.

Meanwhile, aid groups that support Ukraine and its military are also fund-raising through crypto. Come Back Alive, which buys equipment for the military, has raised more than $5 million since the invasion started.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine: France Seizes Russian Ship Over Sanctions

France has intercepted and impounded a Russian-flagged cargo ship suspected of breaching sanctions imposed because of the invasion of Ukraine.

The ship, the Baltic Leader, was heading from the north-western French city of Rouen to St Petersburg in Russia with a cargo of new cars.

It is being held at the Channel port of Boulogne.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine Announces Highest Honor to Soldier Who Reportedly Blew Himself Up to Stop Russian Tanks

The government of Ukraine claimed on Friday that Vitaly Skakun, a Marine battalion engineer, gave his life while destroying a bridge to prevent Russian tanks from advancing.

Skakun blew up the bridge, located in Henichesk, to halt the approaching tank column, the Ukrainian government news site, Ukrinform, claimed Saturday.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

YouTube Restricts Access to Russian Channels at Request of Ukraine

Google’s YouTube said it is taking several actions against Russia in response to the war, including restricting access to RT, a Russian state-controlled television network, and other channels in Ukraine.

The video platform on Saturday morning said the restrictions on RT and other channels came in response to a request from the Ukrainian government.

YouTube said it is also pausing several Russian channels’ ability to monetize on the platform, in line with recent sanctions, and “significantly” limiting recommendations to those channels.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Azerbaijan and Turkey Seek to Benefit From Russian Gas Supply Interruptions

Approximately 16.2 billion cubic meters of gas will be transported to Turkey and Europe through the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) this year, the pipeline’s CEO Saltuk Duzyol told an online news conference.

In the midst of a worldwide energy crisis and the volatility and unpredictability of Russia’s gas supply, attention is now focused on an otherwise largely neglected pipeline bringing natural gas to Europe from Azerbaijan through Turkey.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

India: ‘New’ Mosque in Vellore Opposed by Hindu Munnani

ENS | Vellore | Feb 24, 2022:: Tension prevailed on Sarkar Mandi street on Gandhi road after a group of people in the area opposed the construction of a new mosque on Wednesday. They alleged that the mosque was built without proper permission, and by altering a house overnight. They claimed building a mosque in the area would create friction between people belonging to different religions in the future.

In a petition to the district collector, the Hindu Munnani has alleged that the street has three temples that are 10m and 100m apart from the mosque, and that Hindu festivals and processions happen at the place.

According to police sources, the land, which belongs to a juice bar owner of the Islamic faith, was being used as a storage facility. Recently, they renovated the house and put up the board for a mosque. The locals, mostly belonging to a Caste Hindu community, reportedly opposed this.

Vellore SP S Rajesh Kannan pacified both groups at the spot and hundreds of police personnel and striking force have been deployed on the street. “The place belongs to Muslims who have used it as a personal worshipping centre. Now they have kept the board allowing public worship. The Hindu groups allege the place doesn’t have permission. The revenue department is looking at the records,” Rajesh Kannan told TNIE.

Vellore RDO Vishnu Priya, too, visited the spot and urged the public to maintain restraint. The district administration has asked both sides to present their views in a meeting. Meanwhile, the Muslim religious leaders and political representatives met the RDO at the collectorate and explained their side.

“The mosque has been there since 1866, and we have revenue records and Wakf board documents supporting that. They (Hindu Munnani) are now opposing this and trying to create religious tension in the area. We have submitted evidence to the RDO and urged the district administration to take action against them,” said GS Iqbal, Dravida Muslim Munnetra Kalagam (DMMK) president. Muslim groups have warned that they might resort to a protest on Friday if there is no further action.

           — Hat tip: Upananda Brahmachari [Return to headlines]
 

Australia Adds to Russia Sanctions, Seeks to Follow Others With Sanctions on Putin, Lavrov

Australia’s foreign minister on Saturday said the country would put sanctions on eight Russian oligarchs who are close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as 339 members of Russia’s parliament, and is seeking to follow other allies in sanctioning Mr. Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Marise Payne, Australia’s foreign minister, said the eight oligarchs close to Mr. Putin “deserve to bear the economic punishment and cost for Russia’s destructive behavior,” while calling the members of Russia’s Duma political facilitators.

She said she was seeking advice from Australia’s foreign department on taking similar steps to countries including the U.S. and U.K. in sanctioning Messrs. Putin and Lavrov.

“It is an exceptional step to sanction leaders, but this is an exceptional situation,” Ms. Payne said.

Ms. Payne said Australia will also take steps to sanction some members of the Belarusian government who she said were abetting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Journalists Spread Hoax That Proud Boys Are Sending Brigade of Fighters to Help Russia

Duped by a troll account, US and Australian journalists have spread misinformation that Proud Boys are traveling to eastern Europe to fight for Russia.

“We have lift off! See you when we return Australia. Brothers staying behind look after this great nation. We will return with great gifts for all! #Ukraine #bridewive,” troll account “Proud Boys Southern Tablelands” tweeted Friday. [The account had around 10 followers at the time of the tweet.]

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

New Zealand: COVID-19: Police Association Wants Unvaccinated Cops Back on the Job After Court Ruling on Mandates

The Police Association says officers who lost their jobs should be allowed to return to work after a High Court Ruling quashed a Covid-19 vaccine mandate.

And a lawyer says the ruling has implications for other employers.

Yesterday the High Court upheld claims that the Covid-19 vaccine mandate for police and defence force staff breached their rights under the Bill of Rights Act.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

New Zealand: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Reaffirms Commitment to Scrapping COVID-19 Vaccine Mandates as Protest Halts Traffic in

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has reaffirmed her commitment to ending vaccine mandates but still will not put a firm date on it.

It comes as thousands of anti-mandate protesters brought traffic to a halt in Auckland on Saturday as they marched along the Harbour Bridge, displaying a large banner off the side with the text: “Mandates gone 1st March”.

The Freedoms and Rights Coalition — one of the five groups representing the Parliament anti-COVID-19 vaccine mandate protest — has warned that if mandates aren’t lifted by March 1, there will be “mass rolling non-compliance actions”.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

New Zealand: COVID Anti-Mandate Protesters at Auckland Domain Defy Police, Put Up Tents

Police say a small group of ant-mandate protesters remain at Auckland Domain after marching over the Harbour Bridge on Saturday.

Videos on social media show protesters in Auckland Domain putting up several tents.

Police and Auckland Council have been in talks with protest leaders, who had promised to leave by 9pm.

In a video, one protester claims to have mana whenua status and they are occupying a pa site at the domain.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Anti-Illegal Immigration Poland Takes in Over 100,000 Ukrainians as Genuine Refugees

The UN Refugee Agency said Saturday that nearly 120,000 people have so far fled Ukraine into neighbouring countries in the wake of the Russian invasion.

The number was going up fast as Ukrainians grabbed their belongings and rushed to escape from a deadly Russian onslaught on their nation, including an attempt to take the capital.

[Comment: The article further down says, “…with the government reporting on Saturday morning that more than 100,000 Ukrainians had already crossed the Polish-Ukrainian border in the past 48 hours.]

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Hungary Offers Safe Haven to Ukrainian Refugees

Hungary’s newly assembled National Security Operative Group led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced after its first meeting that the country will provide protection to Ukrainian refugees.

They can also submit their application in Hungary, they said, adding that the government’s decisions on this will soon be published in the Official Monitor. Under normal circumstances, asylum applications must be submitted before entering the country.

In its statement, the operative group emphasized that Hungary must be excluded from the Russian-Ukrainian war conflict. As a member of the EU and NATO, Hungary supports joint EU efforts to restore peace, and is also preparing for border protection and humanitarian missions.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Mitsotakis: Greece Ready to Accept Greek Refugees From Ukraine

Greece will stand by the Greek communities in Ukraine and especially the community in Mariupol. If there are Greeks who want to leave Ukraine, we will warmly welcome them,” he told President Katerina Sakellaropoulou in a meeting at the Presidential Mansion.

His remarks come as EU interior ministers are set to discuss at a meeting this weekend the Ukraine situation and issues regarding a likely occurring refugee crisis following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Slovakia Permits Entry for Ukrainians Fleeing the War Without Valid Travel Documents

The Slovakian Ministry of the Interior has announced that all Ukrainians fleeing the war will be permitted to enter the country, including those who do not have a valid travel document.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Thumbs Up for Britain: Border Force Agents Bring 90 Migrants Ashore in Dover After They Crossed Calm Channel Waters in a Dinghy as Number of Arrivals This Year Hits 1,448

Around 90 migrants have been brought into Dover by Border Force agents in freezing conditions on the first day of arrivals after a yacht with migrants arrived on Rye Harbour.

The migrants came into Britain in inflatable dinghies on Saturday morning and were towed into Tug Haven, Dover by Border Force.

One group, mainly men, were brought in on the Border Force cutter Seeker while a second group were picked up by the Border Force vessel Hurricane.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

Ukraine Invasion: These Are the Procedures That Await Ukrainian Asylum Seekers in EU

Following months of raised tensions, on February 24, Russia attacked Ukraine, launching an invasion in the latter by land, air and sea.

The attacks that began on Thursday at 5 am local time, approved by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, as a “special military operation”, have been considered the biggest ones by one state against another in the European continent since World War II, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

While the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, has called on Ukrainian citizens who are ready to defend the country from Russian forces to come forward, Ukraine’s neighbouring countries are preparing for an influx of migrants.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

British Spy Boss: ‘LGBT+ Rights’ Are What ‘Distinguish Us From Putin’

“LGBT+ rights” are the most important “values and hard won freedoms” distinguishing “us” from Russian President Vladimir Putin, Richard Moore, chief of MI6, the UK’s Secret Intelligence Service, wrote on Friday.

Moore did not specify if his use of “us” was a reference to the United Kingdom, the Anglosphere, or the broader West.

           — Hat tip: Reader from Chicago [Return to headlines]
 

20 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 2/26/2022

  1. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is an Idiot.

    It seems to me that the only concern the politicians in Prague have is to make life tough for ordinary Czechs. Most Czech households use Russian gas for heating, but that is not a reason enough for our fearless leaders and providers to just shut up with their war mongering rhetoric against Russia. Last time I checked, the Czech Republic is not really in the same league with Russia, China, the USA etc, but our brave politicians speak like a 9 year old boys ready to kick 30 year old Mike Tyson’s butt.

  2. You must remember my old comments – I never praised Putin and never considered him an independent figure. Gauleiter – that’s what I used to call him.

    I think this Rosemary Baby is now fulfilling its true purpose.
    https://cdnn1.img.sputnik.tj/img/102518/77/1025187785_247:0:2295:2048_1920x0_80_0_0_01eee7bdfbdd55f4e752c9f8b8ad55f3.jpg

    Light version for you and Hard version for us. He clears the territory under the Kaganate. I think we are waiting for carpet bombing, famine, mass deaths and the division of the country.
    Why did Putin’s Jewish oligarchs allow this crazy adventure? Because later they will get even more benefits.

    Hard version for all of us – a new redistribution of the world and what is called “Human Harvest”.

    • I don’t know how many of Putin’s oligarchs are Jewish, Elena, and it really isn’t relevant. I do note that he claims that Ukraine is run by, among others, Neo-Nazis; since both the president and prime minister are Jewish, it’s clear that he’s increasingly delusional.

      • When the whole world (including us) thought that Putin was just doing his usual onanism, when he moved troops along the borders, and Masha Zakharova played a comedy on camera, Ukrainian (Jewish!) Oligarchs evacuated from Kyiv.

        I have always considered Putin a decorative figure put in place by Russian Jewish oligarchs who rob the country and smuggle money to the West.

        But now I don’t understand anything. I don’t see the logic.
        I don’t think this botox actor is crazy. It’s some kind of satanic game.

        And the words about the Nazis are Putin’s usual lies.
        Although yes. When Ukrainians were made anti-Russian, their identification was built according to the Galician Nazi battalions. They are like ubermensch, and Russians are like untermensch. Now Putin is playing on it.

        http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/red_odysseus/46364087/289805/289805_original.jpg

        Now Ukrainians have the main national hero – Bandera. Who during his lifetime was a hero only among a small part of this people. Everyone else cursed him. His followers carried out punitive operations in the Second World War. Including on the territory of Belarus, where there was a serious partisan movement.

      • I say that the Slavs are idiots. And among the southern Slavs, in addition to everything else, the head is heated by the sun. They combine the incompatible. And the president is a Jew and Nazi ideas. Such a noisy illogical tribe.

      • No, he’s not “delusional”. You just don’t know what’s going on. Azov are not actual Nazis, they just use Nazi symbols. They are directly linked to Atomwaffen, which is a satanic cult that pretends to be Nazis.

        The Azov battalion has been killing people in the East because they believe they can get magic powers from Satan.

  3. You in the West probably didn’t hear Putin’s statement made a few years ago. «Мы — в рай, а вы все сдохнете» “We are going to heaven, and you will all die” (I don’t know the synonyms of your language, but the word die in Russian sounds in a dismissive context, as if a rabid animal or a moral freak were dying)
    ————-
    “We are going to heaven, and you will all die” is not a joke, this is a short and clear confession of faith. Yes, probably, the supporters of this version of Satanism are not shamanists at all, as some suggest, those who profess it themselves consider it to be “true Orthodoxy” and formally belong to the Moscow Patriarchate, take communion in its churches, and certain movements within the Russian Church of the late twentieth century largely shaped the theology of this “ortho-voodoo” religion is precisely on a suicidal-apocalyptic basis.

    It must be understood that its supporters revel in the idea of ​​suicide and the destruction of humanity, despite all the alleged excuses about “we were forced.” It is worth looking into their eyes, listening carefully and seeing that this is so, even the cynical-rational no longer rules there, this is unalloyed Satanism under an external cover. And they infected a lot of basically good people with this. My old friend, the priest, told us about our mutual friend, a doctor and a church man who was kind in life, that he now says: “We must press the red button, they forced us, let everyone die!”

    https://ahilla.ru/suitsidalno-apokalipticheskaya-sekta-my-v-raj-a-vy-vse-sdohnete/

  4. Yesterday I checked the websites of state services – they all work.
    Regarding the “heroes of the Serpent’s Island”, allegedly dead.
    From our side, they show that the Russians took them all out, they are alive and well. Moreover, they write that Ukraine fired at the ships on which they were.
    But I do not vouch for the accuracy of this information.

    Today my husband and I went to the store and stocked up on tea and canned meat. He scolds me because of the panic.

    Ohoho… Why didn’t I reincarnate in Japan?

    Turkey and Azerbaijan are suspiciously quiet. Are they going to annex Ermenistan on the sly?

    • Elena: While you’re certainly right that the first casualty in war is truth, the claim that Russia captured the 13-some Ukrainian troops on Serpent Island and are holding them seems shaky, for this reason:
      If that were true, the Russians could get a huge amount of good PR simply by putting a video on the Net in which each of the men who’d been stationed on the would identify himself and say something to the effect of “Hi Mom and Dad, don’t worry, those of us on the island are fine.”
      It seems most unlikely that the Russians would ignore such a great opportunity. Which suggests the men weren’t captured.

  5. Sorry. I can’t do anything with my cynicism. It’s more than me.
    Of course Ukrainians are Nazis and racists.

    After Indian students, Africans face racial discrimination in Ukraine, allege that they are not being allowed to cross the borders
    Africans in Ukraine alleged they are facing racial discrimination and Ukraine’s security agencies are not letting them cross border to Poland

    https://www.opindia.com/2022/02/africans-say-they-are-facing-racial-discrimination-in-ukraine/

    Nigerian students trying to escape war-hit Ukraine have alleged that there is racial discrimination among evacuees trying to leave the country via neighbouring countries. Journalist Stephanie Hegarty of BBC published a series of tweets explaining the ordeal of the students. She said that a Nigerian medical student told her that while she was waiting to cross the border, the Ukrainian soldiers did not allow black people to cross and sent them back. She said, “They have to let ‘Ukrainians’ through first”.

  6. Putin is using Chechnya’s Islamic army in the invasion. I believe that none of you will be on the side of an Islamic invasion, as much as you have as disaffection the globalists who support Ukraine, but for your own interests with the war, and the conflict itself.

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