Suppose for a moment that Putin never intended to conquer all of Ukraine: that, from the beginning, his real targets were the energy riches of Ukraines east, which contain Europes second-largest known reserves of natural gas (after Norways).
Combine that with Russias previous territorial seizures in Crimea (which has huge offshore energy fields) and the eastern provinces of Luhansk and Donetsk (which contain part of an enormous shale-gas field), as well as Putins bid to control most or all of Ukraines coastline, and the shape of Putins ambitions become clear. Hes less interested in reuniting the Russian-speaking world than he is in securing Russias energy dominance.
Under the guise of an invasion, Putin is executing an enormous heist, said Canadian energy expert David Knight Legg. As for whats left of a mostly landlocked Ukraine, it will likely become a welfare case for the West, which will help pick up the tab for resettling Ukraines refugees to new homes outside of Russian control. In time, a Viktor Orban-like figure could take Ukraines presidency, imitating the strongman-style of politics that Putin prefers in his neighbors.
If this analysis is right, then Putin doesnt seem like the miscalculating loser his critics make him out to be.
The drone operators who halted Russian convoy headed for Kyiv
Special IT force of 30 soldiers on quad bikes is vital part of Ukraines defence, but forced to crowdfund for supplies
Mon 28 Mar 2022 00.00 EDT
One week into its invasion of Ukraine, Russia massed a 40-mile mechanised column in order to mount an overwhelming attack on Kyiv from the north.
But the convoy of armoured vehicles and supply trucks ground to a halt within days, and the offensive failed, in significant part because of a series of night ambushes carried out by a team of 30 Ukrainian special forces and drone operators on quad bikes, according to a Ukrainian commander.
The drone operators were drawn from an air reconnaissance unit, Aerorozvidka, which began eight years ago as a group of volunteer IT specialists and hobbyists designing their own machines and has evolved into an essential element in Ukraines successful David-and-Goliath resistance.
However, while Ukraines western backers have supplied thousands of anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and other military equipment, Aerorozvidka has been forced to resort to crowdfunding and a network of personal contacts in order to keep going, by getting hold of components such as advanced modems and thermal imaging cameras, in the face of export controls that prohibit them being sent to Ukraine.
The units commander, Lt Col Yaroslav Honchar, gave an account of the ambush near the town of Ivankiv that helped stop the vast, lumbering Russian offensive in its tracks. He said the Ukrainian fighters on quad bikes were able to approach the advancing Russian column at night by riding through the forest on either side of the road leading south towards Kyiv from the direction of Chernobyl.
Lately the Best Picture seems usually to be a movie nobody has ever heard of.
That felt like old time Hollywood. And I knew who all the people were.
The New York Times
By Sophie Kasakove
March 27, 2022, 3:00 a.m. ET
GOLDEN, Colo. When Sarah Clement moved to the Golden Hills mobile home park two years ago, she felt like she had won the lottery. After years of squeezing into one-bedroom apartments with her, her 7-year-old son finally settled into his own bedroom, his toys splayed out in the yard and his school just at the edge of the park.
Ms. Clement loved the friendliness of her neighbors and getting to watch the sun rise over the scrubby mesa to her east and set behind the foothills of the Rocky Mountains to the west. And living there was affordable on her salary as an athletic trainer: After purchasing the manufactured home, the rent for the plot it sits on was just $625 a month.
But just six months after she moved in, the plot of land and all of the stability and comfort that came with it seemed suddenly ripped out from under her.
The Colorado couple that owned the park for years had put it up for sale. Ms. Clement and her neighbors knew that if the park was taken over by one of the big manufactured-housing operators who were buying up parks all over the state, the rents would dramatically increase.
Investors Are Buying Mobile Home Parks. Residents Are Paying a Price. https://nyti.ms/3utg69O
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