Why NATO Can’t Move Into the Black Sea and Save Odessa
Plus, how 'compensanctions' can help rebuild Ukraine.
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BENJAMIN PARKER: Why NATO Can’t Move Into the Black Sea and Save Odessa.
Because Kyiv is the capital and main population center, most attention has been focused on the northern front, from east of Kharkiv to west of Kyiv. But look southward: From its initial staging area in Crimea, the Russian military has succeeded in wresting control of large parts of the coast from Ukrainian forces. While maps like this are of limited utility, and do not capture the intricacies of what “control” over a given area really means, it’s enough to understand that the most significant Russian progress has come along the Black Sea.
It’s worth considering exactly why that is while there might still be time to do something about it.
The ports along the Black Sea (southwest) and Sea of Azov (southeast) account for about 85 percent of Ukraine’s grain exports. Ukraine supplies 13 percent of the world’s corn and a similar share of its wheat—meaning that disruptions to trade along Ukraine’s coast could reverberate in food markets around the world. Ukraine’s seaports also account for about 80 percent of its ferrous metallurgical exports.
The major port cities that Russian forces have yet to occupy are Mariupol on the Sea of Azov and Odessa on the Black Sea. The former is under blockade, and the latter may come under attack any day. And the de facto blockade of Ukrainian ports by the Russian Navy began even before the recent land and air operations.
Whether it’s the disinformation that’s dividing Americans, or a hard problem in your own life, thinking more like a lawyer can actually help you sleep at night. Plus, Bill Barr’s one and only breaking point. Kim Wehle explains on today’s podcast with Charlie Sykes.
CHRIS TRUAX: We Need ‘Compensanctions’ for Ukraine.
Compensanctions are already starting to show up in proposed legislation in America. But compensanctions can—and should—be imposed by any country that is sanctioning Russia for its attack on Ukraine. And it’s easy to do. A country merely has to amend the sanctions regime it is already implementing to segregate proceeds from those sanctions and administer them for the benefit of the Ukrainian people. Countries can then use their existing foreign aid mechanisms to dispense the funds to Ukraine when and how they see fit. Compensanctions could even help support the Ukrainian refugees— over one-and-a-half million of them so far and mostly women and children—already forced to flee Ukraine to escape Putin’s bombs.
Ukraine needs our help not just now, in the immediate crisis, but once the immediate crisis is over. Not only is using assets confiscated from Russia to help rebuild a vibrant and democratic Ukraine poetic justice, it’s a vote of confidence in the people of Ukraine and their future.
Compensanctions are a way to guarantee Ukrainians that once the shooting stops, the rebuilding begins.
AMANDA CARPENTER: How To Know When They Mean It.
Understand this: People like Barr, Christie, Haley, and Pence will offer their criticisms when there is a whiff of opportunity—either in the form of speaking fees, book sales, or the ability to test future political prospects.
Then they start measuring the cost-benefit of their calculated risk. Do they get applauded as a strong, principled leader who could be the future of the party? Or are they ostracized by the influencers at Fox News, their donors, targeted voters, and future employers?
On paper, there’s an entire coalition of Republican officials who should be, if you take them at their words, “Never Again Trump.” But only a few of them—Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, and the former Trump aides who publicly campaigned against him in 2020—seem willing to make the necessary sacrifice of giving up some of their partisan identity to do so.
Crazy sells. The stark case of Arizona state senator Wendy Rogers.
The war in Ukraine reaches Wikipedia. You might be shocked to learn that there is some trolling of the Russians involved.
Fun times in Michigan. Meet Perry Johnson. He’s a stats nerd who loves him some Trump and wants to be Michigan’s next governor. He’s got weird hair. He has his own plane. And this ad. I’ve probably watched it half a dozen times today. It’s not Demon Sheep bad, but it’s… something. High production value, but a lot of bizarre editing decisions. As an Ohio-born guy, I try to ignore that state up north as best I can, but this governor race is something:
Other Republican candidates include former Detroit Police Chief James Craig, businessman Kevin Rinke, Michigan State Police Capt. Mike Brown, Grand Rapids entrepreneur Austin Chenge, former conservative online news host Tudor Dixon, Kent County businesswoman Donna Brandenburg, Lansing businessman Evan Space, Livingston County evangelist and substitute teacher Bob Scott, Oakland County pastor Ralph Rebandt, Ottawa County real estate agent Ryan Kelley, and chiropractor and conspiracy theorist Garret Soldano.
Why the West should help Russians learn the truth about Putin’s war in Ukraine… But the $20 million question is: how?
Let them fight… Apparently Matt Schlapp of CPAC is now not sufficiently conservative.
The Columbus Dispatch really messed up. By giving front page treatment to a far-right militia guy who is going to Ukraine to fight… and not doing their due diligence. Or issuing a decent correction.
How does the Javelin work? A look at what we’re giving Ukraine. (And yes, you can reload it.)
The dog ate my homework? A Utah democrat hoping to unseat Mike Lee… forgot to file as a candidate. Whoopsie!
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