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Germany Joins Effort to Cripple Russian Economy

This is a BIG deal.

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Germany, one of the most significant seats of economic power in the whole of the European Union, has long been reluctant to directly involve themselves in deterring Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through economic means.

This has been a bit of a hinderance to the EU’s ability to pressure Vladimir Putin, as Germany is the biggest domino to fall in their efforts.

This week, all that looks to be changing.

Germany says it’s making progress on weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels and expects to be fully independent of Russian crude oil imports by late summer, per the AP. Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that Europe’s largest economy has reduced the share of Russian energy imports to 12% for oil, 8% for coal, and 35% for natural gas. Germany has been under strong pressure from Ukraine and other nations in Europe to cut energy imports from Russia that are worth billions of euros, which help fill Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war chest.

There was also talk of preventing Russian blackmail.

“All these steps that we are taking require an enormous joint effort from all actors and they also mean costs that are felt by both the economy and consumers,” Habeck said. “But they are necessary if we no longer want to be blackmailed by Russia.” The announcement comes as the whole European Union considers an embargo on Russian oil following a decision to ban Russian coal imports starting in August. The bloc pays Russia $850 million a day for oil and natural gas, and Germany is one of its top importers of Russian energy. Germany has managed to shift to oil and coal imports from other countries in a relatively short time, meaning that “the end of dependence on Russian crude oil imports by late summer is realistic,” Habeck’s ministry said.

The move could hasten the EU’s energy independence, and provide a catalyst for what appears to be the inevitable collapse of the Russian economy.

Opinion

Pence v. Trump 2024? Former Veep Leaves the Door Open

WHOA!

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There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come.

For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary…

Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday.

‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head.

‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’

Trump was not thrilled with the idea.

Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.

Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.

 

There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come. For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary… Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday. ‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head. ‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’ Trump was not thrilled with the idea. Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence. In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election. Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.  

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Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial

This is just the first of many, certainly.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making.

As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia.

Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached.

In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war.

Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court.

His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal.

There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either.

Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney.

Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making. As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia. Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached. In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war. Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court. His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal. There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either. Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney. Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

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