Putin’s war economy ‘has grown weaker’ as West considers ‘zero trade option’ | Timothy Ash


Putin’s deadliest weapon yet has been revealed – and the West has no answer

“According to US intelligence, Russia wants to put a nuclear weapon into space. Such a weapons system, they believe, could be used to target Western satellites in orbit, knocking out communications and military targeting systems. These weapons would be utterly devastating if they were ever used.
Axiomatically, it makes a lot of sense to use nuclear weapons in space: the result of doing so is far more predictable than on land, where geography and the elements can make their deployment tricky. The outcome is also more calculable: given we are so reliant on satellites to communicate, move, and work, we would all feel the impact.

It’s for this reason the world has long agreed not to put such weapons in the ‘heavens’. But we know the tyrant Putin is no respecter of the rule book and international law. The development of so-called ‘Wunderwaffe’ – “wonder weapons” – is one of Putin’s obsessions. The fact this information is coming from US intelligence sources, not Putin’s usual idle boasts, suggest they at least have a grain of truth about them, though, and should be taken seriously. Very seriously.”


Zelenskyy says Putin is ‘inspired’ by Capitol Hill deadlock on Ukraine

“Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy kicked off his latest visit to Washington Monday by making the case for Ukraine as the West’s only defense against an imperialist Russia, arguing that squabbling in Washington only benefits Vladimir Putin.
“Let me be frank with you friends,” Zelenskyy told a room full of military officers from across the globe at the National Defense University, “if there’s anyone inspired by unresolved issues on Capitol Hill it is just Putin and his sick clique.””


The future of warfare: A $400 drone killing a $2M tank

“the Ukrainian defenders are holding on with the help of tiny drones flown by operators like Firsov that, for a few hundred dollars, can deliver an explosive charge capable of destroying a Russian tank worth more than $2 million.

The FPV — or “first-person view” — drones used in such strikes are equipped with an onboard camera that enables skilled operators like Firsov to direct them to their target with pinpoint accuracy. Before the war, a teenager might hope to get one for a New Year present. Now they are being used as agile weapons that can transform battlefield outcomes. Others are watching, and learning, from a technology that is giving early adopters an asymmetric advantage against established methods of warfare.”


Putin exposes the myth of Austria’s victimhood

“Austria’s continued reliance on Russian natural gas, which accounts for about 55 percent of the country’s overall consumption. Though that’s down from 80 percent at the beginning of 2022, Austria, in contrast to most other EU countries, remains dependent on Russia.
Confront an Austrian government official with this fact and you’ll be met with a lengthy whinge over how the country, one of the world’s richest, is struggling to cope with the economic crosswinds triggered by the war. That will be followed by a litany of examples of how a host of other EU countries is guilty of much more egregious behavior vis a vis Moscow.

The unspoken, if inevitable, conclusion: the real victim here is Austria.

The myth of Austrian victimhood has long been a leitmotif of the country’s bilious tabloids, which serve readers regular helpings of all the ways in which the outside world, especially Brussels and Washington, undermines them.”

“most Austrians only see the upsides to neutrality; yet that’s only because the West has refused to impose any costs on the country for freeriding.”