Liza Dmitrieva was a happy, smiling four-year old Down’s syndrome child, clutching her teddy bear Thursday morning in her stroller outside Vinnytsia Hospital, where she was to undergo speech therapy.
Several Russian cruise missiles hit the hospital … killing Liza and 22 other Ukrainian CIVILIANS … including two other children.
Read the full horror of Liza’s story here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/17/ukraine-mourners-bury-four-year-old-liza-as-russian-attacks-intensify.
Russia’s cruelty knows no limits.
In the five months since Putin’s invasion began, estimates say the number of CIVILIANS killed are between 5,000 and 28,000; and thousands more CIVILIANS have been injured.
The Russians have bombed not just hospitals, but schools, pre-schools, music halls, theatres, apartment blocks, shopping centres, sports centres, downtowns, suburbs, rural villages … ANYWHERE where civilians live/shop or try to hide.
For Putin or his puppets in the Russian military to claim only military targets are being targeted … without producing a single piece of evidence of ANY rockets being fired from ANY of these sites … strain credulity.
Deliberately targeting non-combatants … even children … to kill Ukrainians, sow fear in survivors and destroy the country’s civilian infrastructure. Carried out by Russian barbarians who have not only rained death from the skies on the Ukrainian people, but whose ground troops have raped, pillaged, and summarily executed totally unarmed men, women, youths … even frail, elderly seniors who survived World War II.
And Putin will NOT stop … until the Russian people start FEELING and SUFFERING PAIN too!
The democracies have stood up for Ukraine … governments have stepped up politically, economically and with military aid. Sanctions have no doubt hurt hit the Russian high-tech economy, industry, the oligarchs, influential families, imports and exports.
Private Western corporations have also responded admirably … temporarily shutting down or pulling out permanently from Russia and its urban consumer market of more than 107,000,000.
Among the 1,000 Western companies that have suspended or closed their Russian operations are: McDonalds; Starbucks; Coca-Cola; BMW; GM; Ford: Apple; Amazon.
But let’s keep it real: it’s not enough!
NONE of that is enough to stop a psychotic murderous madman like Putin from pursuing his WAR, aimed at permanently annexing eastern Ukraine to establish a contiguous land mass from Russia to the Crimea and destroying the Ukraine as an independent democracy aligned with Europe.
Not even estimates of as many as 50,000 Russian troops killed or injured (so far) will deter the Russian dictator: https://www.rferl.org/a/russia-50000-casualties-ukraine/31947401.html.
Putin’s troops … like Hitler’s … are just fodder … expendable pawns in a campaign to achieve a Greater destiny … in this case, expanding Russia’s borders and enlarging its territorial land mass along the Black Sea coast.
And with NATO and the other democracies unprepared to get involved directly militarily or even impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, Putin has a GREEN LIGHT to continue his war of aggression.
So he is now expanding Russia’s aggression: pouring MORE troops into the invasion; stepping UP missile attacks: INCREASING bombings and shellings of civilian areas in ALL parts of the Ukraine … killing CIVILIANS, in an effort to bring the Ukrainians to their knees.
What will stop Putin?
The democracies MUST do more to BRING THE WAR HOME TO THE RUSSIAN PEOPLE!!!
Not with missiles or bombings or artillery barrages … but with PUNISHING new economic measures that will go well beyond Putin, the government, the oligarchs and their cronies … and SUBSTANTIALLY impact the Russian CIVILIAN population’s daily lives.
Make the Russian people suffer and the resulting domestic unrest will put a lot more pressure on Putin to stop his aggression … more than seeing Liza’s lifeless body or even a thousand more dead or wounded Russian soldiers.
Canadians, Americans, Europeans are feeling the heavy daily cost of Putin’s war: but average Russians so far are not.
Because countries like India, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have not only NOT imposed or respected sanctions, but have kept up and/or even INCREASED business dealings with Russia and made HUGE increases in discounted energy purchases!!
Russia’s barbaric, murderous rampage is despicable … but so are those countries that profit from it!
And as a result of their support, the ruble has regained strength to where it was before the war; the Russian economy continues to hum along and, average Russian consumers have been only minimally impacted in their daily lives.
I have no doubt Putin believes that an upcoming tough, brutal Winter (Russia’s great historical ally!) will split the European democracies’ solidarity and determination … and bring Russia victory!
The democracies MUST act NOW!!
We need NEW sanctions that hit Russian consumers’ DAILY lives … and also target those countries that are aiding and abetting Putin’s AGGRESSION and GENOCIDE against the Ukrainian people.
Meanwhile, little Liza was buried Sunday … with her teddy bear.
Her mother Iryna could not be at her graveside, because she remains in Intensive Care in hospital … another civilian victim of Putin and his Russian barbarians.
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I just spent the weekend finishing a little cardigan I was knitting for a three year old grand daughter of a friend of mine. She is off to Iceland in August on vacation with her family and by all accounts will have a wonderful future. That tiny little girl in Ukraine in the open coffin makes me so angry at the Western leaders. I cannot fathom a world that allows this to happen to a helpless child. I cannot fathom how PM Trudeau can sleep at night after agreeing to send the turbines back so Russia can make more money to kill more innocent people. Why couldn’t they have at least delayed and delayed about the repair? Even that would have been better than sending the turbines back. Someone should hold up that picture of the girl in the coffin everywhere a world “leader” goes, be it Trudeau, Macron, Biden, Johnson’s replacement, etc. Maybe then they will come to their senses and actually give a damn instead of playing games about peoples’ lives and issuing meaningless platitudes about what is going on.
(Response: The democracies seem to want to hurt Putin’s cronies, the oligarchs and high-tech Russian industries … but NOT the Russian people. Well that will NEVER make a violent dictator like Putin back down from his aggression. In fact, Putin is eagerly looking forward to Winter … probably hoping for a brutal one … so he can turn the screws on European oil/gas and increase public pressures for the West to back down. We need sanctions NOW that hurt ordinary RUSSIAN consumers in their daily lives … to increase the domestic pressures on Putin to STOP his War. h.o)
And here is Trudeau, Prime Minister Apologist is returning repaired turbines to Russia!
With allies like this, who needs enemy’s!
It is time to target all countries doing business with Russia!
Because countries like India, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, Israel and the United Arab Emirates have not only NOT imposed or respected sanctions, but have kept up and/or even INCREASED business dealings with Russia and made HUGE increases in discounted energy purchases!
Time to cut off all travel to these countries and stop all aide and isolate them. We must treat them as pariahs, but our traitorous and week kneed politicians will not think of that, oh no, just screw over the taxpayer.
Putin does not care, he is a coward, sending in thousands of men to their death.
Why has not the IOC expel Russia completely and expunge all Russian medals won to date?
And the UN, that snake pit of corrupt officials, all living off the taxpayer, achieving nothing but filling their pockets with other peoples hard earned money.
Ukraine is a proxy war, the final buffer between a NATO Russian showdown and if that happens, it will go nuclear as there is no other option.
We should be preparing for a very disturbing future but our politicians are too busy pretending they are important, all vying for summer time photo-ops for the next election. Not one of them is looking 20 minutes into the future.
(Response: Countries should not be able to stay NEUTRAL or, even worse, ACTIVELY SUPPORT Putin’s aggression against humanity in Ukraine, but still be able to enjoy unhindered trade with those of us sacrificing so much for freedom and democracy. THEIR actions … or inactions … are costing Ukrainian lives daily, helping finance/support Russian barbarism against civilians and contributing to the worldwide economic/food suffering as the war goes on. Time for the democracies to make those who aid and abet Putin’s War pay a price! h.o)
The PRC & India seem to be enjoying the discounted Russian oil these days. Nations which also order weapons from Russia all require sanctions, even NATO members like Turkey.
EU nations heavily dependent upon Russian oil & gas (Germany due to Schroeder & Merkel’s past energy choices) could use Canadian oil (conflict free, unlike some which fuels eastern Canada). but alas our energy exports are forever handcuffed by bills C-69 & 48, thanks to our PM. Idealism in the west is viewed as weakness in Moscow, no exceptions!
Decades of defense cutbacks (Canada had the worlds 4th largest saltwater navy in 1945), procurement politics run amok (Helos, Jets, Frigates, Submarines) have somehow escaped the scrutiny of our scribes? We do share a marine border with Russia, after all!
The politics of the left have done much to enable the Putins, Xi Jing Pins, Bashir Assads and the like. Iran soon will have a-bombs, Yemen’s proxy war is far from over, Lebanon is a time bomb, Iraq is an opportunity in waiting right next door. The despots who rule these nations are opportunist thugs, nothing else, any isolation of their nations should be in play, let them endure upheaval at home, isolation will only hasten regime change. Every average Russian has tasted western luxury, withholding some luxuries and niceties is the minimum.
Ending our reliance of foreign manufactured goods will cause some short term pain, but self reliance always insulates from supply issues abroad, no exceptions. Ending our urban growth and encouraging rural, resource, farm & construction suppliers and population growth outside of major urban centers would ease supply chain issues to come, the notion of settling most of our new arrivals in urban areas is a concept which is fairly new, and one that 5 decades ago was almost unheard of.
I’m a son of a Russian born father, his family left in 1917, the Russian people have endured many ruthless leaders, sadly they still have one. Marxists never admit the doors their dogma leaves open for greed & ego driven madmen, in the past 100 + years, Russia has learned how to become the most despicable governed nation, this will more than likely continue for decades to come, as it has for decades past.
(Response: Russia has a long history of barbaric leaders… all the way back to Peter the Great, who had his own son tortured to death; Lenin’s slaughter of his opponents; Stalin who had millions imprisoned, exiled, tortured and executed, plus starved Ukrainians to death; and, had “allied” Polish army officers massacred. So for Putin, who has had not just opponents, but even critics killed (hopefully only Russian ones) unleashing his own barbarism and having thousands of Ukrainian civilians killed … including babies …is nothing! But we MUST stop him NOW …or face more expansionist Russian land grabs (Moldova, Georgia, pieces of Lithuania, Latvia, Finland down the road, under the guise of protecting oppressed Russian minorities. h.o)
It’s not just China and India that have been buying oil and gas from Russia during this Russian invasion: Germany has been #1 or #2 all along, as shown in this dynamic graph (below). Europe is hooked on oil and gas, and Putin has that ace in his pocket — though coal (and maybe nuclear) are being fired up, as a back-up.
I heard last week that payments for Russian oil and gas have exceeded all funding sent to help in Ukrainian defence. Germany and other European nations have a big balancing act, going into the winter — and the return of the gas turbine gives them more options.
Maybe the BC Legislature can donate its log splitter…
(Response: Let’s keep it real: we ARE at WAR against Russian aggression and expansionism …led by a brutal dictator! So it’s about time OUR leaders get REAL and STOP him … not by sending in our own missiles, bombers and troops, but by STRANGLING Russia’s economy and causing major consumer pain inside Putin’s reich. If we don’t, Putin WILL kill, destroy, obliterate that country until even the bravest are on their knees The Ukrainians can’t take the barbarians on alone …even with donations of weapons. The democracies MUST increase the pressure on Russia and also those greedy, selfish nations who are profiting during Ukraine’s suffering. h.o.)
Sending the turbines back to Russia did not make me happy. However, I would suggest Trudeau had little choice. Germany wanted them sent back to Russia so their oil/gas would continue to flow. If oil/gas ceases to come from russia to Germany I expect there to be less enthusiasim for fighting the war. Some times there are only bad choices to be made.
From what I have read France has done little in terms of the war effort to assist Ukraine. Macron went so far as to say the west had to permit Putin to save face.
Its no surprise that Turkey is buying from Russia. I still don’t know why they were premitted to join NATO except perhaps as a barrier to the USSR. part of the problem is the country voted for Erdogan and he isn’t exactly a nice guy. more like Putin. He has signalled his intent to invade the part of Syria which abutts Tuirkey to drive the Kurds further into Iraq. That action will not only cause a lot of death for the Kurds but its going to cause problems for us. After the major hostilities ceased the Kurds were left to guard 10K ISIS fighters. They’re still doing that. However, if they have to go fight Turkey, those 10K prisoners are going to go their own way. Then there is the no small matter of 60K refugees the Kurds are trying to take care of.
While the civil war was going on in Syria, Russia gave them a “hand”. No one ought to be surprised at what Putin is doing in Ukraine. He did it in Syria–just ask the White Hats. They came about in part because the Russians were targetting hospitals and other civilian assets. Then there was Chechnia. Putin bombed them in the same manner he is in Ukraine. World just sat around and watched. Putin’s style of fighting a war is a good one, if you want to win. It genoicide, its a war crime, its uncivilized but its not going to stop until a few missles hit Moscow, well better St. Petersburg, its Putin’s pride and joy.
If Turkey starts a war with the Kurds in Syria it will be a distraction from the main event in Ukraine. It would be best if turkey were kicked out of NATO before they drag NATO into a war we don’t need and will be only to commit genocide–killing as many Kiurds as they can. NATO had to make a deal with turkey to have Sweden and Norway admitted to NATO. turkey took objection that there were Kurds in those country’s having been given asylkum.
As to causing the Russian people in general to be caused “pain” so they revolt against Putin, don’t hold your breathe. if they protest you can be assured Putin will simply order the police and armed forces to open fire on the protestors. End of problem. Putin doesn’t care about the citizens of Russia, beyond how much they can provide to him and his friends. Once Russian’s are deprived of things they need, Putin will be able to say its all the wests fault and the majority of russians will believe it.
The only way for Ukraine to survive this war is for NATO to step up and start fighting. Ukraine has 42M people. Five million are in E.U. countries. By the time this war is over and russia has won, we can expect there to be approx. 20 million Ukrainians to be dead or moved into russia for “re education”. At some point we are going to have to get our hands dirty and sooner than later would be better.
Canada does need to step up and get our Armed Forces properly equiped. we have relied on the U.S.A. to do “the right thing”, but what if they become the problem? If a Republican such as Trump were to become President again, where do Canadians think it will leave us? an american civil war would spill over into our country, Canada also needs to be able to assist countries such as N.Z. and Australia and other smaller countries in Asia, if the Chinese government becomes more agressive. yes, its going to take a tax raise to buy all that equipment but consider it an insurance policy to keeping our country the way it is and helping others.
Some may argue if we get too agressive with Russia Putin will send nukes over to NATO countries. He might, but he also knows he’ll get them in return. Economic strategies some times work, but they are long and drawn out and in the meantime millions could die. The only way to stop this war and Help Ukraine is for NATO to use their heavy equipment and also send a few misssilies into Russia. the first one should land on Putin’s house or where ever he is. If NATO does not take aggressive action against Russia, Ukraine will be destroyed and then Putin will start in on small countries until he has Moldovia, Poland, the Baltic countries, and then into Scandanavia. Putin is not some one who can be stopped just by economic sanctions. He personally isn’t being deprived of anything and he doesn’t care about the average Russian citizen.
(Response: Thanks for some really good background! Putin is a classic bully: he will threaten, intimidate, beat up, steal other people’s belongings and he’s immoral and psychotic enough to even even kill. Until someone stands up to him … and the heat gets too hot to stand! I believe the democracies though sanctions on his cronies, te oligarchs, Russian banks and industries would make him fold. NO. He wants Eastern Ukraine and wont stop until he gets that and more…. unless the pressure of the masses at home get too hot to handle. And the ONLY way to achieve that is by MORE sanctions ..this time making the Russian people HURT bad! And those countries aiding and abetting Putin’s WAR must be hit as well. Otherwise the war will go on and on and on …or the West will cave, encouraging the madman (just like Hitler’s early days of aggression) to pursue moreland acquisitions. h.o)
Sanctions are a tricky thing. Iraq was under draconian sanctions for about 15 years prior to the invasion in 2003. When Tony Blair visited Basra after the fall of the city, he asked a British General why resistance was so heavy. Why aren’t we being being greeted as liberators (as Cheney and Rumsfeld had predicted), he asked? The General told him the ordinary people despise us because of the hardships the West had created for them (including half a million children dead from disease and malnutrition).
The idea that there is some liberal democrat with pro-western views in Russia, waiting in the wings to take over from Putin, isn’t borne out by political reality. Sanctions that would really hurt the ordinary people in Russia would embitter them for generations and make any rapprochement with the Russian state impossible. Iraq is a perfect example: instead of becoming a pro-Western liberal democracy (as we were all told it would), Iraq is a de-facto satellite of Iran and isn’t very liberal (or democratic for that matter).
The sanctions policies since the beginning of the military operation in the Donbass have been ineffective in forcing a Russian withdrawal (which ought to be the diplomatic goal). Biden said he would destroy the Ruble. The Ruble has gained strength against the US dollar and the inflation rate in Russia is coming down. Western corporations may have suspended operations but Chinese consumer goods are readily available as an alternative for ordinary Russian consumers. Apple products are unavailable but you can by their Samsung equivalent, as South Korea is not sanctioning consumer goods. VPN’s allow Russian’s to use blocked social media. Yachts, mansions, and soccer teams owned by Russian oligarchs were seized (which made for good TV) but did nothing to stop the Russian military action. In any event, the Oligarch class is despised amongst ordinary Russians.
The Mir payment system (which was devised in 2018 after the Trump administration massively increased sanctions against Russia) allows them to bypass Western bank payment systems. More and more countries are signing up for it. Worryingly, the Yuan is becoming the preferred currency for transaction with Russia (countries such as India, Nigeria, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, are concluding business with Russia in Chinese currency). This could pose a major threat to the reserve currency status of the US Dollar in the near future.
The BRIC alliance is getting stronger, more countries are interested in joining the alliance. China is buying all the surplus energy and agriculture that Russia can produce (remember when Christy Clark said the Chinese would buy BC LNG? I doubt that will happen now!) as well as supporting them diplomatically. And this is the key point: the West has virtually no diplomatic or economic leverage against the PRC (the Biden administration is even going to cancel the Trump era tariffs against China without any quid pro quo, which is mad given the geopolitical stakes).
To a certain extent, the sanctions against Russia have boomeranged against us. Inflation is wrecking economies, even in Japan which has been deflationary for 20 plus years. Political instability, a product of inflation, is growing too: Mario Draghi is the latest victim of it today in Italy (along with Johnson in Britain, the disaster in Sri Lanka, etc.). Yesterday, the EU was forced to soften some of the sanctions on Russian banks in order to get trade moving in food and fertilizers. Boeing and Airbus are desperate for vital Russian metals under sanction, some exemptions may have to granted there to avoid production cuts and layoffs.
Where this all goes, who knows? Six months in, Russia continues to occupy the Donbass and absent direct military intervention by NATO (which is impossible, given the Nuclear element), they will likely be there for the foreseeable future. Long term, we probably go back to a Cold War type scenario: an Eastern bloc vs a Western one, though with China as the dominant Eastern power instead of the old USSR.
(Response: Appreciate the detailed analysis! Good, informative reading! What is happening in Ukraine is actually quite scary, in terms of history repeating itself. I see parallels with how the democracies dealt with pre-war expansionist Germany/Hitler: people were too complacent and governments were too afraid to hear, see, confront the real evil that was growing and becoming bolder by the day. And, of course, when you DON’T stop bullies early, they want more and more and more. Putin got away with seizing part of Georgia, then the Crimea ..and we did NOTHING ..so, of course, that encoyraged his ambitions to expand Russia’s territory. And now, I am convinced he is counting on inflation, gas shortages and a harsh winter to weaken resolve in the West and increase political pressures on our leaders. We MUST NOT waver … even if we all mutter every time we fill up our cars and have to cut back on our standard of living! Curbing the growth of Russia’s brutal dictatorship and murderous aggression is worth it. h.o)