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Apparent Poor Planning by Putin of the Invasion of Ukraine

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

Eric Zuesse

Russia’s first strategy against further enlargement of NATO was to demand, on 15 December 2021, to the U.S. Government; and, two days later, to America’s main anti-Russian military alliance, NATO; that NATO would never add any new member-nations — especially not Ukraine (the only nation that’s within a mere 5-minute’s missile-striking-distance away from nuking Moscow). This very reasonable demand was firmly rejected, on 7 January 2022, by both America and its NATO arm. Worse yet for Russia: after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24th, hoping thereby to prevent at least that country joining NATO, both Finland and Sweden were so scared that they might be invaded next, that both countries expressed in early April 2022 a desire to join the anti-Russian alliance, and were welcomed by America and its NATO arm to apply to join. So, even if Russia wins its war in Ukraine, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine will have actually failed, because NATO seems now more likely even than before to increase — exactly the opposite of what Russia had been intending.

This is obviously failure on his part. His demand for a halt to NATO’s further expansion was essential for the national security of the Russian people against a possible repeat of Hitler’s “Operation Barbarossa” against Russia but this time with nuclear weapons, which might be the nuclear stage of an invasion that will start with a non-nuclear air-and-ground invasion to grab Russia. However, if there is to be a non-nuclear invasion of Russia, then Russia won’t wait but will immediately respond to it by unleashing against all of the invading countries Russia’s nuclear weapons in order to destroy as much of the U.S.-and-allied retaliatory weapons and command-structures as possible and thereby greatly reduce the intensity of the U.S.-and-allied nuclear response. 

In other words: NATO’s further expansion will lead inevitably to a world-destroying nuclear war. However, America and its allies made clear on January 7th, that they want this. Consequently, Putin had to act, because they forced Russia into a corner, and Russia’s geostrategic situation had become desperate because NATO already had expanded dangerously close to Moscow.

His big blunder was that he should NEVER have invaded Ukraine UNTIL Ukraine would FIRST have invaded Donbas. If he had done that, then many of the billions of people who consider him a war-criminal for his having been the first to invade, would not, and would clearly understand that Zelensky is (because he would have invaded first) and that everyone who participated in Obama’s 2014 Ukrainian coup and its aftermath that has led to this war is a war-criminal, but Russia is acting instead on the basis of the existential threat to Russia that Obama started and is guilty for. I consider Obama a psychopath and the most dangerously evil person in modern times because he started the path to WW III. However, if Putin had prepared in advance for an invasion of Ukraine that would be responding to Ukraine’s invasion to grab back its former Donbas region, then there would have been no cause for Finland, Sweden, or any other non-NATO-member-nation, to be seeking now to become targeted by Russia’s nuclear missiles (which certainly will be done if and when any new nation becomes added to NATO — such a nation would thereby be declaring itself to be an enemy of Russia, and would be treated as such BY Russia).

Given that on January 7th, America and its allies made clear, by their action on that date (saying no to Putin’s entirely reasonable demands), that they are determined to conquer and take over Russia, Russia needed to respond accordingly. However, if that response had instead been to wait for (the long-expected) Ukrainian invasion of Donbas, and invaded Ukraine only AFTER such an invasion was already launched by the U.S. side, then the public image of Russia around the world would now be vastly more favorable toward Russia than is now the case — and vastly less sympathetic to the Ukrainian side than it is. (Especially not favorable to Zelensky if they knew these things about him.)

The PR value to the U.S.-and-allied side, of Russia’s having invaded first, made a vast difference in favor of America’s gang, and against their intended victim, Russia. For example: it enabled the scandalous shipments of tens of billions of dollars worth of U.S.-and-allied weapons into Ukraine, that are increasingly tilting the battlefield into the Ukrainian regime’s favor, to be viewed favorably by Western publics. This wouldn’t have been the case if the war had started with headlines such as “Ukraine Invades Breakaway Republics.” It would instead be seen as arming the aggressor.

If, however, Ukraine — facing such a waiting-game with Russia — were instead to have decided simply not to invade Donbas, then Russia’s continuing waiting-game with all of the U.S. side would have greatly strengthened Russia at the expense of Europe, because Europe is massively dependent upon Russia for gas and oil to heat its buildings and run its factories. Europe’s suicidal choice to cooperate with the sanctions that both U.S. and UK imposed on Russia would cause their economic collapse and possibly even the end of the American empire. Every week of delaying an invasion of Ukraine was consequently adding to Russia’s power over the situation, and weakening America’s power over it. That Russian victory was a real possibility which Russia’s premature invasion of Ukraine likely will prevent (by spurring NATO’s growth). As the U.S.’s CIA Director William Burns said in his 9 May 2022 interview in the Financial Times, regarding the likely addition to NATO of Finland and/or Sweden, “These are choices that Putin himself has driven by the ugliness of his aggression against Ukraine.” Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine before Ukraine invaded Donbas was the worst geostrategic decision in modern times. However, it might not necessarily be fatal. My 28 April 2022 article “A More Effective Russian Strategy Against Further Enlargement of NATO” described what might be a way to eke out a win here — both for Russia and for the future of the entire world (except U.S.-and-allied billionaires, controlling owners of firms such as Lockheed Martin and ExxonMobil). It offers a shred of hope, but every day longer that goes without Putin’s doing it, is an additional nail not only in Russia’s coffin but in ours.

Also on May 9th, Putin delivered a speech, in which he said:

Last December we proposed signing a treaty on security guarantees. Russia urged the West to hold an honest dialogue in search for meaningful and compromising solutions, and to take account of each other’s interests. All in vain. NATO countries did not want to heed us, which means they had totally different plans. And we saw it.

Another punitive operation in Donbass, an invasion of our historic lands, including Crimea, was openly in the making. Kiev declared that it could attain nuclear weapons. The NATO bloc launched an active military build-up on the territories adjacent to us.

Thus, an absolutely unacceptable threat to us was steadily being created right on our borders. There was every indication that a clash with neo-Nazis and Banderites backed by the United States and their minions was unavoidable.

Let me repeat, we saw the military infrastructure being built up, hundreds of foreign advisors starting work, and regular supplies of cutting-edge weaponry being delivered from NATO countries. The threat grew every day.

Russia launched a pre-emptive strike at the aggression. It was a forced, timely and the only correct decision.

“Forced” there means that no alternative decision would have better served the national-security needs of the Russian people. I respectfully disagree with that. “Timely” there means that what had been, until February 24th, Russia’s long waiting-game with the U.S. regime and its current stooge-leader in Ukraine, ended at the best possible time and in the appropriate circumstances. I respectfully disagree with that, too. 

However, even if all of what he said there is true, then why is he not, right now, before Finland (the country that, other than Ukraine, has the longest European border with Russia) joins NATO, issuing to Finland the offer that I had described in my 28 April 2022 article “A More Effective Russian Strategy Against Further Enlargement of NATO”? The following is an excerpt from that, describing its core:

Russia will announce that its nuclear missiles will be targeted ONLY against the U.S. and its allies, including all NATO member-nations, no neutral or not-U.S.-allied nations. Consequently: Sweden, Finland, Ukraine, and any other nation that isn’t in NATO or otherwise treaty-bound militarily with the United States, will not be targeted by any Russian nuclear missiles.

In other words: any new NATO member-nation will thereby become a target added to Russia’s list for destruction in any WW III that might transpire between the United States and Russia.

Consequently, if  Finland or Sweden join NATO, then that nation’s likelihood of becoming annihilated if and when a Third World War starts, will enormously and suddenly increase, merely on account of that nation’s having become a NATO member.

Furthermore, Russia will simultaneously be announcing that if any nation wishes to have an assurance that Russia will never, under any circumstance, invade it, then Russia will welcome from that nation a request for such an assurance from Russia; and Russia will include in that announcement explicit invitations not only to Finland and Sweden, but to all other nations which have, at some time, expressed an intention or a possible future intention to join either NATO or one of America’s other anti-Russia military alliances, such as AUKUS.

In any event, regardless of whether Putin or I am right on the question of whether the “pre-emptive” nature of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was “forced” and “timely,” would it not — now and going forward on this — serve the interests of the Russian people, and the interests of the Finnish people, and the interests of the whole world (except perhaps U.S.-and-allied billionaires), for Russia, right now, to make this offer, right now? 

An alternative to joining the U.S. regime’s alliance to conquer Russia needs to be offered to any nation that is considering, or might consider, joining the U.S. gang. Is that not so? And is that not, really, the ultimate question here (regardless of whether or not Russia’s invasion on February 24th was not only forced, but, also, timely)? So: when will that offer be made; or else, why won’t it be? Shouldn’t Putin be asked that question?

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse’s next book (soon to be published) will be AMERICA’S EMPIRE OF EVIL: Hitler’s Posthumous Victory, and Why the Social Sciences Need to Change. It’s about how America took over the world after World War II in order to enslave it to U.S.-and-allied billionaires. Their cartels extract the world’s wealth by control of not only their ‘news’ media but the social ‘sciences’ — duping the public.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Richard
Richard
May 9, 2022
Rate this article :
     

Mr. Zuesse loses all of his hard-earned credibility whenever he starts playing armchair field marshall to Putin.

Ernest Judd
Ernest Judd
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

Far too much “hindsight is 20,20”!
Russia cannot do much about how far the “Empire of Lies and Chaos[” will go.
Russia will NOT use nuclear, as they have so many other decisive weapons to use on the same targets that are NOT the “dumb” nuclear.
Russia has “won” the war in Ukraine; does the U$A or ANY of the U$A vassal allies want to tackle them?

Seleukas
Seleukas
Reply to  Richard
May 9, 2022

100% agreed!

Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
May 9, 2022

“One thing that growing up on the streets of St. Petersburg taught me, was that when a fight is inevitable, you hit first and hit hard”. – Vladimir Putin.

Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
May 9, 2022

In the circumstances, being ex-mil (SAS), knowing the movements of the UAF in Donbass, I would have done exactly as VVP has done, almost to the letter. Better to save countless lives by thwarting a massive attack on Donetsk and Lugansk than to stand by and be too late to really do anything but fight a pitched battle inside the cities of the Republics.

Terry R
Terry R
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

And after such a response, how can you be sure that Finland and Sweden would STILL not seek NATO membership?

Terry R
Terry R
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

“reader-comments here seem to be closed-mindedly worshipping Putin as if he were a god” Although Putin had the final say, I am sure he was receiving lots of recommendations from the military who were in the best position to assess the threat. “It would have been largely solved if only Putin had simply continued to play The West’s waiting-game instead of preemptively invaded Ukraine as he did.” If you think that Zelensky attacking first would be condemned by the West then I feel you are mistaken. Unless the Western media reported such then Russian reaction would be still classified as… Read more »

Ravi
Ravi
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

Once again, your analysis is incomplete. What happens after the Donbass is subjugated by the Ukrainians and NATO? In the fullness of time, NATO puts nuclear missiles in Ukraine, and creates an existential threat to Russia. As such, it is of utmost importance to Russia that the NATO threat be neutralized as soon as possible. Giving up the Donbass would be suicidal to Russia. Given your inability to carry your analysis to their natural logical conclusion, I suggest you stop posting for some time, gather your thought and improve your analytical thinking skills, and then restart posting after a gap… Read more »

David
David
Reply to  Ravi
May 9, 2022

Your rude

АммА
АммА
Reply to  David
May 9, 2022

No he’s not. Ravi posted a framework for the only proper way to talk to an ignoramus like Eric Uesse. That wanna be “investigative historian” is completely and utterly incompetent to talk about any kind of warfare, including American “desire” to defeat Hitler (which is proven BS for anyone gathering fact outside of scope of History Channel and TIME). His posts about this operation in Ukraine are a bet between sad and pathetic, and whenever someone points that to Mr. Uesse, he calls for an ad-hominem. The whole planet is in trouble nowadays exactly because everyone wants to have an… Read more »

Ravi
Ravi
May 9, 2022

I think the author is making an incorrect assumption: an attack by Ukraine on the Donbass would have been considered an internal matter by the Western media and the Collective Western powers as they have not recognized the breakaway republics as independent entities. As such, any attempt by Russia to intervene on behalf of the Donbass after Ukraine’s attack on the Donbass would have had exactly the same response by the West as Russia’s pre-emptive stroke on the 24th of Feb, 2022. Russia would have been vilified and sanctioned to death no matter what. And Finland and Sweden would have… Read more »

Orion
Orion
May 9, 2022

Firstly, Ukraine had already invaded Donbass since the 2014 CIA and US instigated coup. There has been ethnic cleansing taking place by the Ukrainian forces ever since and the Russian speaking population subjected to killings and atrocities. Secondly, it is a huge assumption to say that the collective west would have viewed this conflict any differently had Putin waited till Ukraine attacked first. The collective west are all simply aligned with uncle sam and have never acted as independent states. Whatever action Russia had taken would have made no difference to the response by the US and the North Atlantic… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Orion
Orion
Orion
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

You are missing the bigger picture. Russia has always been the target for the NATO club. Their eastward expansion has been non-stop since the fall of the Soviet Union.

David
David
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

I wish you were correct but the west was determined to have a war when the Wu flu fell apart

Terry R
Terry R
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 10, 2022

I believe that a Ukraine invasion of Donbass would have been framed with such headlines as these in MSM; “Ukraine secures its Eastern borders in major operation” “Ukraine heroes defeat Putin’s proxies” The reader of Western Press would have been conditioned to believe that such an overwhelming attack by Ukraine was to “liberate” Ukraine communities in the East. Russia would have been helpless in controlling the narrative as West would simply censor it.

penrose
penrose
May 9, 2022

What the Russians could have done is to bring out their toughest guy (Shoigu ??) and let him tell Zelensky & Co. this: “We have lost patience with attacks on the Donbass (etc.) We give you 4 days to end those and start pulling back. Otherwise Kiev will get “The Hiroshima” treatment. Would you “Call his bluff” on this? Not me. The same thing could have been done in 1950 with North Korea. MacArthur could have told the North Koreans “For now we will keep the status quo. You have x days to get your troops back up above the… Read more »

Ravi
Ravi
Reply to  penrose
May 9, 2022

About Korea, I remember vaguely that Mac Arthur did want to use nukes on North Korea, he said it publicly and was forced to resign or was fired.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  Ravi
May 9, 2022

He didn’t need to use them, just threaten to use them. And not later, but sooner. That would have nipped the Korean War in the bud and prevented future problems. Of course, the Military / Spook / Industrial complex would not have liked this because it would have cut directly into their bread and butter. They would much rather continue with their lucrative activites and let young innocent soldiers pay the price. The last 72 years show us how that worked out.

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  penrose
May 9, 2022

…is working out.

penrose
penrose
Reply to  goedelite
May 9, 2022

Thank you!

Mr. Larsen
Mr. Larsen
May 9, 2022

Your analysis is flawed from the outset because you oversimplify Russia’s motivations for “special military action” in Ukraine into purely strategic considerations.

Strategic considerations were part of the motivation, I’m sure. But there are deeply-running spiritual motivations as well.

Michael
Michael
May 9, 2022

I suspect that even had Putin waited for the Ukraine to invade the Donbass, he would still be blamed for the conflict and Russia would still be on the receiving end of the sanctions and boycotts. A case in point is Georgia’s invasion of Ossetia and the Russian retaliation to push them out. This conflict is repeatedly called a Russian invasion in western media. During the first civil war in the Donbass the western media constantly talked of columns of Russian tanks which swung the war in the rebel’s favour, although there wasn’t strong evidence of the Russian military’s direct… Read more »

amike
amike
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 10, 2022

because Russia invaded IN RESPONSE TO Georgia’s invasion“…

No, Russia attacked at the best time to destroy the Georgian army, when the latter came out of its security zone. The goal was demilitarization, not the invasion of Georgia or the endorsement of public opinion.

goedelite
goedelite
May 9, 2022

I disagree with Mr Zeusse’s initial comments. I don’t think Pres Putin had, by February 24th, any choice except to invade. He had responded to Biden, Macron, and Stoltz requests for meetings, electronic and other, but they showed that Putin’s efforts to make his security concerns clear were in vain. Waiting for Ukraine to attack the Donbass Republics, they were already being attacked by heavy Ukrainian artillery. More delay would only have strengthened the Ukrainian logistics and commands. The entry of Finland and Sweden to NATA did not need encouragement from Putin. Finland and Sweden, like the other countries of… Read more »

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

The surge of weaponry from the US and EU is a response to the loss of Kherson, Mariupol and the dire situation of Ukr trapped in Azovstal as well as the encirclement of even more significant Ukr forces in the Donbas. Finland and the Swedes have no reason to think that Russia plans any invasions. Any reasonable assessment would tell them that Russia’s goal is the development of Russia rather than involvement in wars. Wars are what my country does, because the US ruling-class has no interest in advancing the interests of its workers or middle-class: only the advancement of… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by goedelite
goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

I find distasteful, to say the least, the frequent references to Hitler and NAZI Germany in comments and web opinions. I find no parallels between NAZI Germany from the end of Weimar to the Russian victory, seventy-seven years ago, to the present. Other comparisons are made between WW1 and Europe today. I find little cogency in these. Trying to draw lessons from the past is a worthy occupation, but the factors that are similar are confined to the character faults of the leaders, then and now, in my opinion.

Last edited 1 month ago by goedelite
Helga Fellay
Helga Fellay
Reply to  goedelite
May 10, 2022

Thank you for saying this. I have been offended by this insane way of trying to justify current events, which have nothing to do with what happened after the Weimar Republic, with Hitler and Germany of the 1930’s. All it tells me is that people aren’t able to really understand what is happening today, under the so-called New World Order, with what happened a century ago. It’s not only a different game, it’s played in an entirely different ballpark.

Guy Thornton
Guy Thornton
May 9, 2022

if the war had started with headlines such as “Ukraine Invades Breakaway Republics.” I think it’s naive to think there would have been such headlines. The West has ignored the fighting in the Donbas for eight years. They would have spun any invasion (by Ukraine) as Ukraine being forced to put a stop to “an outbreak of aggression by Russian backed separatists.” And when Russia stepped in, it would have been reported along the lines of “Look, the Russians are at it again!” And we would be where we are now, but with the Donbas much more on the back foot. The… Read more »

Seleukas
Seleukas
May 9, 2022

I disagree with this very gifted and informed writer. Even though I did not take the time to read the entire essay. First of all Sweden and Finland joining NATO at this time is immaterial. Just explain to me as cogently as the analysis here as to how and who will pay for that military expansion? NATO is essentially busted and will soon enough be bankrupt as will the USA. All the hype in the world cannot change that fact and very wisely Russia, and in essence China, are playing the waiting game for moment when the Axis of the… Read more »

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

The placement of weaponry in Finland is not dependent on de jure membership of Finland in NATO. It does depend on Finland’s willingness to install them. Finland now has every reason to believe that so doing would invite war with Russia. The Russian operation in Ukraine is a demonstration that Russia’s red lines are not bluffs. A Russian success in Ukraine would be a strong warning to Finland and to Sweden. Sweden’s behavior in the persecution of Julian Assange has cast a dark shadow over whatever it does. It is not “The Middle Way” country of Gunnar Myrdal. It is… Read more »

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

Do you think that being a launching base for US nuclear weapons is an inducement to NATO membership? I would think it a discouragement.

Ravi
Ravi
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 10, 2022

Really? How do you know that?

charles smith
charles smith
Reply to  Seleukas
May 10, 2022

I would like to suggest that you delve into the Amazing Discoveries, Total Onslaught series. Your monothematic (elephantine, singular) attribution of underlying untoward influences makes me feel you would find this series an important addition to a well rounded point of view.. It can be found on You Tube. It is presented by a former biology professor, well versed in world events. It approaches things from a historical and theological perspective and does a wonderful job of bringing out the influence of an elephant which may be different than the elephant you write of.

charles smith
charles smith
May 9, 2022

“YOU ARE KNOWN BY THE COMPANY YOU KEEP” I am flattered to be in the thoughtful and articulate company of those who have commented here. Eric, I hope you haven’t been offended. Did the responses here alter your views? Please allow me to make an additional point. You single out Obama as being behind much of what is problematical in Ukraine. I am not at all a fan of Obama, however, I do believe there was much behind Obama’s reference to the killings of the Kennedys and ML King in connection with his doing or not doing certain things.. It… Read more »

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

The US, my country, has had so many bad, indictably criminal (cf, N.Chomsky) Presidents since the end of WW2, that tempting as it may be to call any one of them – including Barack Obama – the worst, one hesitates as another comes to mind, GW Bush, Bill Clinton, etc. Which President, one may ask himself, had set the worst precedents? Dwight Eisenhower, perhaps? The overthrow of Mossadegh? Would the contemporary use of nuclear weapons elevate Harry Truman as the worst? Whatever category of criminality one chooses, there is no scarcity of Presidents to qualify for the top spot!

goedelite
goedelite
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 9, 2022

Eric Zuesse, I mentioned Eisenhower in the context of the worst precedents. Ike’s CIA overthrew, Mossadegh, the Iranian social-democrat at the behest of the British, whose oil interests were to be nationalized. It was a financial interest, not the defeat of ungodly, international communism, not counter-terrorism, not genocide, drug gangsterism…, just commerce, plain and simple! The same was true for the overthrow of Arbenz, in Guatemala. United Fruit opposed his land reform. Purely commercial! How much easier, later, to overthrow someone who was hiding WMDs, or selling drugs, or being a closet Commie, such as Allende! I don’t think Truman… Read more »

Helga Fellay
Helga Fellay
Reply to  charles smith
May 10, 2022

the fact that Biden’s son Hunter was paid $millions for sitting on the Board of the Ukraine’s Burisma, although he doesn’t speak a word of Ukrainian and probably never attended any board meetings, should give you a clue. And he is not the only one who managed to join the billionaire club after that 2014 coup.

charles smith
charles smith
Reply to  Helga Fellay
May 10, 2022

I was hoping for info implicating US Congressional members facing re-election, deep state members who would have to be fired or industrial magnates and EU kleptocrats who would not withstand the scandal, as implied in your “not the only one” comment. Biden and son are already implicated. Hard proof of corruption would be helpful in their demise

George Hartwell
George Hartwell
May 10, 2022

I do not agree that ‘NATO’s further expansion will lead inevitably to a world-destroying nuclear war.’ Nor am I as optimistic that Russia could have won a media war by waiting until Ukraine invaded. Putin prefers, I believe the strategic advantage of surprise by a pre-emptive attack to any possible gain in world opinion.

threepennies
threepennies
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
May 10, 2022

The collectif West with it’s Media lied for 8 years about Donbass and Lugansk. They threw nothing but dirt at Putin and the Russians… (From MH17 to Russian Athletes excluded from Sports – Fakes, Tampering and false Flags) the Russians had it coming.
Probably the first Shot of NATO would have been a Russian Shot.

threepennies
threepennies
May 10, 2022

Russia invaded when it was certain that this war would be inevitable, but more expensive with each passing day.
Russia should have reacted in 2014, but at that time neither the military nor the economy was sufficiently developed to sustain the concerted NATO response.
Apart from that, today it is also about the NWO, to which war has been declared, with China on Russia’s side.
It takes a lot of courage, as a bloody layman, to summarily dismiss the knowledge, considerations and decisions of the Russian general staff.

Boris dips into UK emergency fund. Azovstal & snake island. Disappointed Canadian sniper. Update 2

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