A weekly round-up of geopolitical flashpoint and energy news we're keeping our eyes on, and trends impacting global markets, which will later be accessible for Premium members and above...
Finally the Ukrainian and Russian governments agree on something... but it doesn't bode well for the prospect of WWIII. Days ago Ukraine's defense minister called his country a de facto NATO member in a television interview. Well over a week has passed since the interview was published and even offered in English translation (which was done by Russian state media). And yet scant attention was paid in Western media - at least not on the level the remarks deserved. Here's what DM Oleksii Reznikov said...
"At the NATO Summit in Madrid [in June 2022]...it was clearly delineated that over the coming decade, the main threat to the alliance would be the Russian Federation. Today Ukraine is eliminating this threat. We are carrying out NATO’s mission today. They aren’t shedding their blood. We’re shedding ours. That’s why they’re required to supply us with weapons."
In follow-up to the rare, ultra-blunt assessment from a top Kiev official, independent geopolitical analyst Aaron Mate teased out the implications, particularly at a moment both sides have committed to a fight to the finish over Bakhmut. Matte writes:
Predictably, Ukrainian soldiers that “bear the consequences of war” are facing heavy losses. Speaking to Newsweek, retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel Andrew Milburn, who has trained and led Ukrainian forces for the private mercenary firm Mozart Group, reports that in the battle for Bakhmut, Ukraine has been “taking extraordinarily high casualties. The numbers you are reading in the media about 70 percent and above casualties being routine are not exaggerated."
Ukraine is now "taking high casualties on the Bakhmut-Soledar front, quickly depleting the strength of several brigades sent there as reinforcements in the past month,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “Western—and some Ukrainian—officials, soldiers and analysts increasingly worry that Kyiv has allowed itself to be sucked into the battle for Bakhmut on Russian terms, losing the forces it needs for a planned spring offensive as it stubbornly clings to a town of limited strategic relevance.” According to one battlefield Ukrainian commander, "the exchange rate of trading our lives for theirs favors the Russians. If this goes on like this, we could run out."
Consider the above with another very stark assessment of where things are headed (or perhaps, something which is already fast unfolding before our eyes but which the world is slow to acknowledge): prominent French historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd told France's popular daily Le Figaro that "The third world war has started." Read more of his words in the following thread:
Emmanuel Todd, one of the greatest French intellectuals today, claims that the "Third World War has started."— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) January 13, 2023
Small 🧵 translating the most important points in this fascinating interview.https://t.co/eYdKoBJx7B
Emmanuel Todd argues that "it's obvious that the conflict, which started as a limited territorial war and is escalating to a global economic confrontation between the whole of the West on the one hand and Russia and China on the other hand, has become a world war."
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Below are global developments we are closely following this week...
French historian and anthropologist Emmanuel Todd: "The third world war has began": UnHerd
Zelensky adviser resigns after blaming Ukraine for Dnipro apartment bombing: The Hill
Dnipro death toll rising as Kremlin rejects charges that it's forces are responsible: AP
Bloody Bakhmut siege poses risks for Ukraine: WaPo
EU calls grow for special tribunal for Russia’s 'war crimes' in Ukraine: Foreign Affairs
Ukraine and Russia agree... Russia is fighting NATO: MoA
CNN admits Ukraine has become a ‘Weapons Lab’ for Western arms: AW
MSM Admits Russiagate Farce... years late: CN
Walking Back the Russian Troll Scare: CN
US begins expanded training of Ukrainian forces in Germany: AW
Joint chiefs' Gen. Milley visits to inspect troops: Stripes
Russia confirms it will expand Army to 1.5 Million: BBG
Kiev still warning that large-scale new offensive imminent: WSJ
Russia posts record current account surplus of $227 billion in 2022: RTRS
Russian, Chinese businessmen to skip 2023 World Economic Forum in Davos: TASS
Worries in Davos that globalization is under siege: WaPo
Ukraine tells WEF over 9,000 civilians killed: AJ
Polish PM Decries WWIII, Says More Arms to Ukraine Will Prevent It: Ron Paul Inst.
Britain Urges Germany to Permit Supply of Tanks to Ukraine: RTRS
US, Taiwan talks raise hopes for free-trade pact: SCMP
China's Vice Premier at Davos: life has returned to normal, growth will return... open for investors: OP
Yellen to meet Chinese official in bid to ease tensions: AFP
China holds live-fire drills in South China Sea in wake of US warship entering: AW
Pakistan PM seeks India talks on ‘burning issues such as Kashmir’: AJ
Daughter of Thailand's Exiled Former PM Thaksin to Seek Premiership: RTRS
Firms in Europe, US helping Myanmar manufacture arms, report says: AJ
China's population falls for first time since 1961: BBC
China reports 3% GDP growth for 2022: CNBC
Saudi Arabia Says Open to Settling Trade in Other Currencies: BBG
Mexico seeks to tame tortilla prices by putting 50% tariff on white corn exports: BBG
Here are the fastest growing weapons manufacturers in the world: 247 WallSt
Chinese Foreign Minister calls on Israel to stop worsening Palestine issue with provocation: SCMP
Hamas publishes unverified video of Israeli citizen held captive in Gaza: MEE
Movement by Turkish far right to deport Syrian refugees: MEE
Over 90 countries at UN slam Israel's increasing crackdown on Palestinians: MEE
Jailed Iranian-American starts hunger strike, appeals to Biden: AJ
Europe’s gas emergency: A continent hostage to seller prices: The Cradle
Poland, Lithuania want lower Russian oil cap, nuclear curbs in new EU sanctions: RTRS
New York may be the first state to ban gas stoves: Ron Paul Inst.
UK and others: hottest year on record as Putin tried to squeeze Europe: EN
Oil Rises As OPEC Sees Chinese Demand Rebounding: OP
India’s oil imports From Russia jump 33 times to record high: OP
Germany will need to hold onto coal power for longer than planned: OP