Losing what was Mariupol Monday: Headlines from Russian-created Hell Realms

Maria Prymachenko – A Dove Has Spread Her Wings And Asks for Peace, 1982. This work of art was lost when Russians bombed The Ivankiv Historical and Local History Museum to the ground on February 25th

It’s Monday Sky Dancers!

And Putin’s incompetent army from hell continues to focus on missile launches aimed at killing and terrorizing Ukrainians.  Here are just a few of the headlines via Twitter.  It’s time for NATO to do more.

Sadly, NBC News reports that “Mariupol on the brink as surrender deadline passes. There were no immediate reports of activity from Ukrainian forces in Mariupol, which has been the scene of the war’s heaviest fighting.”

Russia offered to spare the lives of Ukrainian soldiers fighting in Mariupol if they laid down their arms Sunday as the weekslong resistance in the besieged port city appeared to finally be coming to an end.

The offer, made “out of purely humane principles,” gave Ukrainian forces still fighting in the city until 6 a.m. Moscow time (11 p.m. ET) to surrender, the Russian military said in a statement reported by the news agency Tass.

There were no immediate reports of activity from Ukrainian forces in Mariupol. If it falls, it would be the first major city to be taken by Russian forces since the Feb. 24 invasion.

There was also no immediate response from Kyiv.

Russian missiles struck Lviv on Monday, killing at least seven people in the first reported deaths of the war in the western city, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people have fled to escape the fierce fighting in other parts of Ukraine.

The head of Lviv’s military administration, Maksym Koztyskyy, said three missiles hit empty military warehouses while a fourth hit a garage, killing and injuring civilians. He did not say whether all the casualties were from the garage strike, which hit a few hundred feet from a set of railway tracks.

“If the garage was the ultimate target, maybe they were aiming at the railway station,” he said. “There are no longer any safe or unsafe locations.”

The head of Ukraine’s railway service, Oleksandr Pertsovskyi, said he had no proof that the attack was aimed at the railway, which has some facilities near military sites.

NAMES, BIRTHDAYS, PASSPORT numbers, job titles—the personal information goes on for pages and looks like any typical data breach. But this data set is very different. It allegedly contains the personal information of 1,600 Russian troops who served in Bucha, a Ukrainian city devastated during Russia’s war and the scene of multiple potential war crimes.

The data set is not the only one. Another allegedly contains the names and contact details of 620 Russian spies who are registered to work at the Moscow office of the FSB, the country’s main security agency. Neither set of information was published by hackers. Instead they were put online by Ukraine’s intelligence services, with all the names and details freely available to anyone online. “Every European should know their names,” Ukrainian officials wrote in a Facebook post as they published the data.

Since Russian troops crossed Ukraine’s borders at the end of February, colossal amounts of information about the Russian state and its activities have been made public. The data offers unparalleled glimpses into closed-off private institutions, and it may be a gold mine for investigators, from journalists to those tasked with investigating war crimes. Broadly, the data comes in two flavors: information published proactively by Ukranian authorities or their allies, and information obtained by hacktivists. Hundreds of gigabytes of files and millions of emails have been made public.

Aid organizations say they’re seeing signs that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is driving up global food prices and pushing millions of people into hunger.

food price index tracked by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization shows that prices spiked 12% between February and March to its highest point since the index started in 1990.

Ukraine and Russia provide an outsized share of the world’s supply of key foods including wheat, corn, barley and more.

The impact on people who were already struggling to afford food has been severe, aid groups say. In Afghanistan a month ago, 55% of people were at crisis levels of food insecurity. Now the number has risen to 65%.

In some West African countries, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad and Mali, 27 million people are currently going hungry.

Aid groups are calling on wealthy countries to immediately step up assistance.

Kateryna Lysovenko draws on Delacroix’s ‘Liberty Leading the People’ © Kateryna Lysovenko

Don’t like high food prices?  Blame Putin and Texas Governor Gregg Abbot.  This is from Salon: ‘”Political theater”: Abbott’s border stunt could raise food prices after causing $240M in damages. “This is not just a localized issue. It’s going to hit you in St. Louis or up in Seattle,” advocate warns.’

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott — who is running for reelection in the 2022 midterms — made it much more difficult for goods and produce to enter the United States from Mexico when he ordered “enhanced safety inspections” of commercial vehicles at the Texas/Mexico border. Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee running against Abbott, has slammed the Republican governor’s political stunt as bad for business. And journalists Alicia Wallace and Vanessa Yurkevich, reporting for CNN in an article published on April 16, describe some of the difficulties that Abbott has inflicted on the supply chain.

“A week-long protest by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott against President Biden’s recent immigration policy reached a resolution on Friday, (April 15), but the gridlock it created has resulted in hundreds of millions of lost dollars and delays in shipments of everything from avocados to automobile parts that will have a longer-term impact,” Wallace and Yurkevich explain. “On Friday, Abbott reversed course on an order he put in place last week that required lengthier ‘enhanced safety inspections’ of commercial vehicles entering Texas. The efforts, he said, were to help stop the flow of illegal contraband and human trafficking.”

The CNN reporters add, “Abbott’s move, which Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller criticized as ‘political theater,’ ultimately created a logjam of trucks between the U.S. and its largest goods trading partner. Vegetable producers say their produce is spoiling in idling trucks and they are losing hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Woman with Dove, Angel of Peace, Olesya Hudyma

Since we’re on the topic of pathological despots here’s one from The Atlantic on the Cult of Orange Caligula. It’s written by Sarah Longwell. “Trump Supporters Explain Why They Believe the Big Lie. For many of Trump’s voters, the belief that the election was stolen is not a fully formed thought. It’s more of an attitude or a tribal pose.”    Mmmmm, or it’s about White Christianist Male Hegemony.

Some 35 percent of Americans—including 68 percent of Republicans—believe the Big Lie, pushed relentlessly by former President Donald Trump and amplified by conservative media, that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. They think that Trump was the true victor and that he should still be in the White House today.

I regularly host focus groups to better understand how voters are thinking about key political topics. Recently, I decided to find out why Trump 2020 voters hold so strongly to the Big Lie.

For many of Trump’s voters, the belief that the election was stolen is not a fully formed thought. It’s more of an attitude, or a tribal pose. They know something nefarious occurred but can’t easily explain how or why. What’s more, they’re mystified and sometimes angry that other people don’t feel the same.

As a woman from Wisconsin told me, “I can’t really put my finger on it, but something just doesn’t feel right.” A man from Pennsylvania said, “Something about it just didn’t seem right.” A man from Arizona said, “It didn’t smell right.”

The exact details of the story vary—was it Hugo Chávez who stole the election? Or the CIA? Or Italian defense contractors? Outlandish claims like these seem to have made this conspiracy theory more durable, not less. Regardless of plausibility, the more questions that are raised, the more mistrustful Trump voters are of the official results.

Perhaps that’s because the Big Lie has been part of their background noise for years.

Remember that Trump began spreading the notion that America’s elections were “rigged” in 2016—when he thought he would lose. Many Republicans firmly believed that the Democrats would steal an election if given the chance. When the 2020 election came and Trump did lose, his voters were ready to doubt the outcome.

Or it’s about White Christianist Male Hegemony and they really don’t want to proudly state they are racist, homophobic, and misogynistic out loud in less technical–more graphic–words. By now, we all know where this big dose of white male grievance and whining comes.

Here is the doyenne of that.  Lady Tuckums Carlson. He’s managed to produce the most homoerotic film in ages while remaining safely closeted at Faux News.

The promo for the new season of Tucker Carlson Originals incurred a veritable tsunami of mockery online for its montage of mostly shirtless men firing guns, wrestling, doing push-ups, swinging axes — and one stark naked fellow who was standing in front of some sort of machine that projected a red light onto his crotch.

Mediaite can now confirm that, yes, Tucker Swanson McNear Carlson’s new special, “The End of Men,” does in fact promote “testicle tanning” as a way that men can raise testosterone levels.

Here’s my personal tribute to shrinking Tucker Carlson’s testosterone level some more!

All of this is encouraging me to write a book called “WTF is the matter with White Men?”  My guess–but I would like to check with an expert–is not low testosterone.

Anyway, this is more than I can take and I have case studies to grade. Some of these folks really need to spend more time reading The Beatitudes and less time on Porn Hub and watching Fox news.

Anyway, I hope you have a good week. I seriously can’t watch the news anymore on TV so I’m glad we can get some glimpses of what we’re capable of and should be incapable of in the modern age.

Give yourself all hugs for me.  And I need them all back at me too!!

Here are two bits of hope to end on!

This is a double rescue from Russian attacks and gives us a bit of a happy ending.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

Peace out!