Reporting last week suggested that Ukrainian fighters have successfully reclaimed suburbs of Kyiv, formerly captured by Russia. Russian officials said they are drawing back from the capital in a “goodwill gesture” as negotiations continue. The Ukrainian government is skeptical of the Russian retreat as reports of atrocities against civilians are emerging. Russia has accused Ukraine of blowing up an oil depot in a Russian town.

A number of analysts believe that President Putin may have been kept in the dark about the Russian army’s campaign which has failed to take any major city in Ukraine. One Russian media outlet claims that Putin has cancer. Whatever the Kremlin’s plans are from here, a draft of almost 135,000 men ordered by Putin suggests this war could drag on. 

While English-speaking media have concluded that Ukraine is winning the information war, one researcher says Moscow isn’t really targeting Western audiences. Making alliances in other parts of the world might be necessary for Russia. Politico writes that former Soviet nations remember the Communist gulags and Russia’s actions are galvanizing the region against it.

The price of natural gas in Europe jumped recently as Russia demanded that “unfriendly” countries make payments in rubles. The ruble has quickly recovered all its losses suggesting that sanctions are not working, especially when Europe is still trading in Russia. Europe could stop buying Russian gas and oil, but as a German CEO has warned, trying to replace 55% of your energy needs too quickly will result in collapse. The USA has agreed to provide the EU with gas to replace Russian supply by the end of the year.

President Biden has promised another $500m to help Ukraine, but this may be offering to solve a problem created by the US in the first place. In a recent Substack post, commentator Maajid Nawaz lays out why he thinks America is the real baddie. Nawaz says the bio lab issue is not insignificant and allegations that Hunter Biden was instrumental in securing funding for research on pathogens is looking less and less like a conspiracy theory. In addition, Margot Cleveland says that Hunter Biden’s infamous laptops are now a risk to national security.

Here’s an interesting visual: amount of nuclear warheads by country since 1945.

If you’re wondering where Rev Fisk got his fancy war talk, take a look at this fascinating video from S2 Underground, which walks through the broad developments in human warfare from Roman times until today. 

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