Closing Thought–01Sep22

I remember back in the early days of the global pandemic and doctors were falling out windows, Russian doctors that is….well since those days there have been many Russians high placed that have met with untimely ‘ends’…..and we can add yet another one to the list.

What’s not being disputed is that the chair of one of Russia’s largest oil producers has died after falling out of a hospital window. What’s murkier, however, is what led to Ravil Maganov’s demise—what CBS News notes is the sixth death this year of a big-name Russian energy exec under eyebrow-raising circumstances. On Thursday, Russian state news agency TASS reported that the 67-year-old Lukoil chairman died by suicide after plummeting from a sixth-floor window, noting that Maganov had been in the hospital—IDed by the BBC as Moscow’s Central Clinical Hospital—for treatment after a heart attack. “In addition, he was taking antidepressants,” TASS added.

However, two sources who say they knew Maganov well tell Reuters they don’t believe he would have taken his own life. His employer, meanwhile, announced in a statement that Maganov had died “following a serious illness.” Lukoil, which is Russia’s largest private company, has taken an unusually assertive stand against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, pleading in a March statement for negotiations and the “soonest possible end to armed conflict.” The company’s former president, oligarch Vagit Alekperov, stepped down in April after the UK and the EU sanctioned him over the Russian-led war.

Other energy company bigwigs who’ve recently died under mysterious circumstances include former Lukoil board member Alexander Subbotin, who was reported in May as having been found dead in a basement on the outskirts of Moscow, supposedly after receiving a shaman’s “treatment” involving toad poison. A month earlier, Sergei Protosenya, a former manager for Novatek, Russia’s largest liquefied natural gas producer, was found dead, along with his wife and daughter, in a villa in Spain. Local police say he killed his family, then himself. One person who might be feeling uneasy at the moment: Nail Maganov, Ravil’s brother, who heads up another Russian fuels firm, Tatneft, headquartered in the Tatarstan region.

There sure are a lot of ‘unexplained’ suicides in Russia (wink wink)…..

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Who Wins In Ukraine?

This is a source of contention for many….but the question still needs to be asked…..After 6 months who is actually winning the conflict?

My question is asked because of the massive money and equipment that has poured into Ukraine from the US and the spigot is still full open……

He is a look into the conflict by VOX……

It has been six months since Russia invaded Ukraine, and it’s not obvious who’s “winning” the war.

The first stage of the Russian attack in February, a lightning thrust aimed at seizing Kyiv and decapitating the Ukrainian government, was a swift and humiliating failure. Stiff Ukrainian resistance forced the Russians to withdraw to the eastern part of the country, where their ambitions narrowed in the short term to a conquest of the Donbas region (much of which had already been controlled by Russian-backed separatists since 2014).

In the Donbas offensive, which began in late April, the two sides have been locked in an artillery duel — less rapid troop advancement and more firing shells and rockets from afar. This played to Russia’s primary strength, a numerically superior artillery corps, and led to high Ukrainian casualties and slow but steady Russian gains in the spring and early summer.

More recently, however, the momentum has started to swing back to the Ukrainian side. Western military aid — most notably an American rocket artillery system called HIMARS — has helped level the artillery playing field and wreaked havoc on Russian supply lines. Today, experts aren’t asking whether Ukraine will launch a counteroffensive aimed at retaking Russian-held territory, but when it will start and where it will focus.

Whether this means Ukraine is now “winning,” however, is a somewhat more complicated question to answer. We don’t know that the upcoming counteroffensive is likely to succeed; it depends on factors about which we have limited evidence, like Ukraine’s ability to conduct so-called “combined arms” offensive operations (ones that employ multiple components of military power simultaneously to accomplish a particular goal). Some important quantitative metrics, like the size of their respective ammunition stockpiles, are hard to estimate based on publicly available information. At this point, even leading experts on the conflict find it difficult to assess with real confidence who’s winning on the battlefield.

https://www.vox.com/world/2022/8/24/23311778/ukraine-war-russia-winning-six-months

As Vladimir Putin‘s war in Ukraine enters its seventh month now, a former U.S. diplomat said that more and more Russians support Moscow’s acts and want to eradicate its war-torn neighbor.

What Happened: Daniel Fried, distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council and former Ambassador to Poland, in a tweet on Sunday, said, “It’s not just Putin’s war. Many Russians now support the Kremlin’s campaign of national extermination of Ukraine.”

Again these are just observations…..and the lack of questions about this conflict proves the power of propaganda.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”