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Tayyip Erdogan, a sort of a saviour image
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldIf the Ukrainian - Russian war will end with some sort of agreement or cease-fire, in my opinion, one man will come out of all this as a sort of Messiah: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the meeting between the US and Russian intelligence services was important to prevent an "uncontrolled" escalation in the field, the Turkish presidency announced on Friday, Reuters reports. Lesson for people out there. If you have issues in life, think about Erdogan, this man barely survived an internal coup to come back with an image as a saviour. And not only that, Turkey is pulling strings and benefits from both sides in this conflict. This man is what I call a skilled politician for one side. Now I understand why his people died in the streets in Ankara, Istanbul against the Gullen attempted coup to maintain his power. but this man has issues too, authoritarian issues, but that is for another thread. You don't have to like a man to respect his commitment to his interests.
Russian athletes - where do you stand?
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldIn terms of the Russian athletes participating in the Olympics, where do you stand? a) Allow them to participate but under no flag. b) Allow them to participate with a full flag, like it was a couple of years ago. c) Do not allow them to participate at all. Myself, I am still thinking about my view. I don't think b) is an option for me. The CBC article below gave me this random idea to start a poll: https://www.cbc.ca/sports/russia-sports-ban-one-year-1.6756198
The FSB's failure in Ukraine. The 5th Column.
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldI listened a few days ago to a former intelligence officer which worked for NATO. He was invited to an Eastern European program. I summed up some of his points below. Think this information deserves its own thread. You won't find this kind of stuff @ MSNBC or Fox News. The 5th Column, the FSB's game a) The number 1 priority was to circle Kyiv and take down the central government. The FSB started recruiting at a faster rate inside Ukraine people that wanted to turn against the current leadership. b) On January last year, the CIA director visited Ukraine with specific information that the Russians are going to attack. The Ukrainians were surprised, only 10 days after MI6 confirms it. They started realizing the intelligence is serious. c) Then, the Ukrainians started watching and starting arresting a lot of members of the so-called Fifth Column around Kyiv. What is The 5th Column? The Fifth Column is a terminology used since Franco's war in Spain when the nationalists took power by defeating the republicans through a Fifth Column which were recruited within the republicans, "internal collaborators." Men on the inside who were disgruntled, and angry supported the opposites. Traitors in other words. d) The FSB did not allow any time for the Russian military to plan where to avoid certain routes, not to mention the famous radio communications which the FSB failed to encrypt, being intercepted by Ukrainian students. e) The plan was for the FSB Fifth Column to act directly, the military being just a demonstration force. Fifth Column was supposed to guide towards direct locations where Russian special forces would go to take down the government or what route the military to avoid. f) The FSB had 4 lists about Fifth Column - Those who would be assassinated - Those who would be captured - Those who would be willing to cooperate but needed to be persuaded - Those who would assist, the traitors within, the real Fifth Column g) The FSB's information presented to Putin according to this was that the people are waiting for them. They also assured Putin that Fifth Column was ready to act and once the government was taken down, the plan would be easy to implement a puppet system. Why did it fail? - The CIA and MI6 Intelligence. - Massive arrests of Fifth Column members around Kyiv and suburbs by the Ukrainian secret service a few days before the invasion. It appears Fifth Column was more successful in other areas, but around Kyiv it failed. - Terrestrial forces of the Russian Federation could not initially reach their effectiveness due to faulty intelligence, routes to avoid, Fifth Column members being arrested inside Ukraine, inability to direct traffic in other words. - Rupture between strategy / operational tactic. - Tribal hatred between Ukrainians and Russians surprised even the CIA early reports on how the Ukrainians can resist. Ukrainians were waiting for a long time for payback. ---> I invite even FSB agents or supporters to comment and defend their organization's honor which goes from bad to worse on a daily basis. Please! just don't make the mistake of posting the Soviet Flag again. 😄 Fifth Column member arrested ---> There was also a negative from this operation against their traitors within. One hero of the Ukrainians was wrongly accused of being a double agent and was shot briefly after in another operation. Tragically, he was the one that presented the original intelligence from the CIA that the Russians were going to invade. Details here: https://repolitics.com/forums/topic/42438-secret-police-the-people-with-the-lists/?do=findComment&comment=1557071
Russia’s Road to Economic Ruin
Contrarian posted a topic in The Rest of the WorldThe Long-Term Costs of the Ukraine War Will Be Staggering: After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, the Russian economy seemed destined for a nosedive. International sanctions threatened to strangle the economy, leading to a plunge in the value of the ruble and Russian financial markets. Everyday Russians appeared poised for privation. More than eight months into the war, this scenario has not come to pass. Indeed, some data suggest that the opposite is true, and the Russian economy is doing fine. The ruble has strengthened against the dollar, and although Russian GDP has shrunk, the contraction may well be limited to less than three percent in 2022. Look behind the moderate GDP contraction and inflation figures, however, and it becomes evident that the damage is in fact severe: the Russian economy is destined for a long period of stagnation. The state was already interfering in the private sector before the war. That tendency has become only more pronounced, and it threatens to further stifle innovation and market efficiency. The only way to preserve the viability of the Russian economy is either through major reforms—which are not in the offing—or an institutional disruption similar to the one that occurred with the fall of the Soviet Union. The misapprehension of what sanctions against Russia would accomplish can be explained in part by unrealistic expectations of what economic measures can do. Simply put, they are not the equivalent of a missile strike. Yes, in the long run, sanctions can weaken the economy and lower GDP. But in the short run, the most one can reasonably hope for is a massive fall in Russia’s imports. It is only natural that the ruble strengthens rather than weakens as the demand for dollars and euros drops. And as the money that would have been spent on imports is redirected towards domestic production, GDP should in fact rise rather than fall. The effect of sanctions on consumption and quality of life take longer to work their way through the economy. At the beginning of the war, in February and early March, Russians rushed to buy dollars and euros to protect themselves against a potential plunge in the ruble. Over the next eight months, with Russian losses in Ukraine mounting, they bought even more. Normally, this would have caused a significant devaluation of the ruble because when people buy foreign currency, the ruble plunges. Because of sanctions, however, companies that imported goods before the war stopped purchasing currency to finance these imports. As a result, imports fell by 40 percent in the spring. One consequence was that the ruble strengthened against the dollar. In short, it was not that sanctions did not work. On the contrary, their short-term effect on imports was unexpectedly strong. Such a fall in imports was not expected. If Russia’s central bank had anticipated such a massive fall, it would not have had introduced severe restrictions on dollar deposits in March to prevent a collapse in the value of the ruble. Economic sanctions did, of course, have other immediate effects. Curbing Russia’s access to microelectronics, chips, and semiconductors made production of cars and aircraft almost impossible. From March to August, Russian car manufacturing fell by an astonishing 90 percent, and the drop in aircraft production was similar. The same holds true for the production of weapons, which is understandably a top priority for the government. Expectations that new trade routes through China, Turkey, and other countries that are not part of the sanctions regime would compensate for the loss of Western imports have been proved wrong. The abnormally strong ruble is a signal that back-door import channels are not working. If imports were flowing into Russia through hidden channels, importers would have been buying dollars, sending the ruble down. Without these critical imports, the long-term health of Russia’s high-tech industry is dire. Even more consequential than Western technology sanctions is the fact that Russia is unmistakably entering a period in which political cronies are solidifying their hold over the private sector. This has been a long time in the making. After the 2008 global financial crisis hit Russia harder than any other G20 country, Russian President Vladimir Putin essentially nationalized large enterprises. In some cases, he placed them under direct government control; in other cases, he placed them under the purview of state banks. To stay in the government’s good graces, these companies have been expected to maintain a surplus of workers on their payrolls. Even enterprises that remained private have in essence been prohibited from firing employees. This did provide the Russian people with economic security—at least for the time being—and that stability is a critical part of Putin’s compact with his constituents. But an economy in which enterprises cannot modernize, restructure, and fire employees to boost profits will stagnate. Not surprisingly, Russia’s GDP growth from 2009 to 2021 averaged 0.8 percent per year, lower than the period in the 1970s and 1980s that preceded the collapse of the Soviet Union. Even before the war, Russian businesses faced regulations that deprived them of investment. Advanced industries such as energy, transportation, and communication—that is, those that would have benefited the most from foreign technology and foreign investment—faced the greatest restrictions. To survive, companies operating in this space were forced to maintain close ties with government officials and bureaucrats. In exchange, these government protectors ensured that these businesses faced no competition. They outlawed foreign investment, passed laws that put onerous burdens on foreigners doing business in Russia, and opened investigations against companies operating without government protection. The result was that government officials, military generals, and high-ranking bureaucrats—many of them Putin’s friends—became multimillionaires. The living standards of ordinary Russians, in contrast, have not improved in the past decade. Since the beginning of the war, the government has tightened its grip over the private sector even further. Starting in March, the Kremlin rolled out laws and regulations that give the government the right to shut down businesses, dictate production decisions, and set prices for manufactured goods. The mass mobilization of military recruits that started in September is providing Putin with another cudgel to wield over Russian businesses because to preserve their workforces, company leaders will need to bargain with government officials to ensure that their employees are exempt from conscription. To be sure, the Russian economy has long operated under a government stranglehold. But Putin’s most recent moves are taking this control to a new level. As the economists Andrei Shleifer and Robert Vishny have argued, the one thing worse than corruption is decentralized corruption. It’s bad enough when a corrupt central government demands bribes; it is even worse when several different government offices are competing for handouts. Indeed, the high growth rates of Putin’s first decade in office were in part due to how he centralized power in the Kremlin, snuffing out competing predators such as oligarchs operating outside of the government’s fold. The emphasis on creating private armies and regional volunteer battalions for his war against Ukraine, however, is creating new power centers. That means that decentralized corruption will almost certainly resurface in Russia. That could create a dynamic reminiscent of the 1990s, when Russian business owners relied on private security, mafia ties, and corrupt officials to maintain control of newly privatized enterprises. Criminal gangs employing veterans of the Russian war in Afghanistan offered “protection” to the highest bidder or simply plundered profitable businesses. The mercenary groups that Putin created to fight in Ukraine will play the same role in the future. Russia could still eke out a victory in Ukraine. It’s unclear what winning would look like; perhaps permanent occupation of a few ruined Ukrainian cities would be packaged as a triumph. Alternatively, Russia could lose the war, an outcome that would make it more likely that Putin would lose power. A new reformist government could take over and withdraw troops, consider reparations, and negotiate a lifting of trade sanctions. No matter the outcome, however, Russia will emerge from the war with its government exercising authority over the private sector to an extent that is unprecedented anywhere in the world aside from Cuba and North Korea. The Russian government will be omnipresent yet simultaneously not strong enough to protect businesses from mafia groups consisting of demobilized soldiers armed with weapons they acquired during the war. Particularly at first, they will target the most profitable enterprises, both at the national and local level. For the Russian economy to grow, it will need not only major institutional reforms but also the kind of clean slate that Russia was left with in 1991. The collapse of the Soviet state made institutions of that era irrelevant. A long and painful process of building new institutions, increasing state capacity, and reducing corruption followed—until Putin came to power and eventually dismantled market institutions and built his own system of patronage. The lesson is grim: even if Putin loses power and a successor ushers in significant reforms, it will take at least a decade for Russia to return to the levels of private-sector production and quality of life the country experienced just a year ago. Such are the consequences of a disastrous, misguided war. https://foreignaffairs.com/russian-federation/russias-road-economic-ruin
Party lawmakers were blindsided by Monday's release of a letter calling for direct negotiations in Ukraine, according to several people familiar with the situation. House progressives on Tuesday retracted a letter calling on President Joe Biden to engage in direct diplomacy with Russia, less than 24 hours after it sparked intense backlash from other Democrats. The about-face comes as some Democratic lawmakers vent their fury that the letter backing talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin — originally drafted and signed in June — wasn’t recirculated before its public release on Monday. https://www.politico.com/news/2022/10/25/house-progressives-russia-diplomacy-00063338
Today we observe major military conflict that is developing now between two largest countries in Europe. It happened that no one stands on the sidelines and the warfare went far beyond the battlefield long ago. We do not intend to make any moral judgements, except that every war is horrible, we just state that non-military organisations are trying to impact the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. Sometimes the scale of such an impact is so substantial that these parties can be fully considered as war participants. Public relations has been always an effective tool of managing and disseminating information. What is more, PR agencies not only deliver the massage, they influence people’s perception of this message. The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is the world’s largest professional PR body. PRCA officials were among the first who made statements about the war in Ukraine. The mood of these claims made explicit whose side they support. PRCA director-general Francis Ingham said: “I simply felt unable in good conscience to be associated with anything Russian given the war unleashed by Russia’s president” The organisation has also urged its members to consider the reputational consequences of working for companies that are not sanctioned by the UK Government but have links with Russia. In March 2022, PRCA among with another UK PR agency ICCO (International Communications Consultancy Organisation) established a new project – The Ukraine Communication Support Network (UCSN) “to coordinate volunteer communications activity in support of the people of Ukraine”. In fact, the project is designed to promote the Ukrainian narrative and damage the reputation of Russia. For instance, UCSN pushes forward newsletters about military situation in Ukraine released by the Ukrainian think-tank the Centre for Russian Studies. The letters are intended to “inform and educate” international, English-speaking media and politicians. In other words, ‘legitimate’ Ukrainian propaganda replaces ‘malicious’ Russian disinformation. Several initiatives advertised by UCSN look simply absurd. Letter ‘Z’ that is considered as symbol of Russian invasion of Ukraine was suggested to be removed from the name of popular brands. It is remarkable that such garbage ideas turn into reality. For example, in March 2022, Zurich Insurance Group retired its short logo (a white Z in a blue circle) due to the symbol becoming associated with the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Next step might be total abolishment of letter Z from the English alphabet. This is just the tip of the iceberg. The largest and the most influential PR agencies play a critical part in the military conflict in Ukraine. These organisations affect people’s understanding of what is happening in the world. In fact, they decide what is right and what is wrong as well as determine and legitimate current scheme of values.
Since the first days of March EU and NATO have begun execution of their plan of global isolating Russia. Putin’s invasion to Ukraine was used as an excellent reason. This plan contained several actions which should have destroyed Russian economic and technological sectors and included strong sanctions, ban of the Russian energy import, including natural gas, oil and coal, declining Russian cooperation with the biggest world companies, cutting off their main banks form SWIFT, etc. Moreover, European countries began to intensify arms supply to Ukraine to withstand Russian aggression. At least 21 countries sent their weapon systems and supplies to the fighting zone, including tanks, helicopters, MLRS, UAVs and so on. NATO instructors were appointed to provide combat training to Ukrainian armed forces. One of the main goals of European leaders was to support Ukrainian refugees. To achieve this aim several actions were taken – simplifying border policies, creating all possible conditions for accommodation. It looked like Europe while being involved in escalating conflict would unite and follow one way together. But while European leaders are busy in dealing with foreign policy questions, Europe have begun to divide inside. Natural gas & inflation When the war began, democratic world responded with far-reaching sanctions against Moscow. In response to that Putin declared that “unfriendly” countries would pay for Russian natural gas in rubles, and if not import would be stopped for them. Of course this demand caused great indignation of European leaders, which unanimously rejected it on the G7 meeting saying that “all G-7 ministers agreed completely that this (would be) a one-sided and clear branch of the existing contracts”. That moment can be called the beginning of the European crisis. It’s important to point out that the EU depends on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas. So, if Europe admired to stop using it they should be able to find something that could be an equal alternative. As for now they could not deal with it. It’s undeniable that the gas prices had been already high before the war started. But when Europe refused to pay for natural gas in Russian national currency the “inflation bomb” finally exploded. As it’s presented in the graphics, inflation in Europe hits its celling for the first time in 40 years. Moreover, it’s not even a limit as experts make their predictions that CPI will be higher than nowadays. It’s not a secret that high inflation has an influence on a price of at least everything – from similar goods to high technologies and energy resources. It’s interesting to note that European leaders’ attempts to make an excuse for this serious fail looked very humiliating. Moreover, all their actions which were taken to stabilize the situation make the crisis in Europe more and more visible. For example, Romanian Deputy Prime Minister Hunor Kelemen said: “First of all, we, the European Union, will have to pay for the sanctions against Russia… Truth be told, we will all pay the price this winter while, unfortunately, there are no signs that the end of war is near… It well be a harsh winter, perhaps the harshest one in the last 40-50-60 years.” What’s the reason of such an aggravation of the problem? Despite the fact that G7 leaders decided not to pay for natural gas in rubles, some countries took a step back and did completely the opposite. And it was the key moment when national interests collided with alliance direction. This map shows which countries agreed (green) and refused (red) to pay for natural gas in rubles. Russia has already cut off supplies to Poland, Bulgaria and Finland. Countries which are highlighted by green are said to accept Russian demand and open ruble accounts at Gazprombank. At the beginning of July the European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said: “Energy prices are high. People – rightly so – expect us to do something about it.” So what’s the announced decision? Not so long ago EU Commission revealed their emergency plan which calls for public, commercial buildings and offices to be heated to a maximum of 19 degrees from autumn. EU does not want to pay Russia for natural gas but in fact they have got no choice. They should deal with this winter and then develop the plan what to do next. And it feels like European lives doesn’t matter because it’s clear that EU Arms supply Since the conflict broke out, European countries had begun to actively supply Ukraine with amount of weapons. But how was declared earlier, everything has got its limit and when it was clear that war would be long and slow, arms supply strongly reduced. The first country which was criticized for it became Germany for its decision not to send heavy weapons to war zone. While Ukraine strongly needs this kind of weapons not so many countries are ready to give it to them while being aware of potential escalation of conflict with Russia. Germany is not an exception. Now their government is catching critics not only from EU/NATO partners but from opposition parties inside the country. It’s truly disappointing for German chancellor Olaf Scholz, whose approval rating sinks lower and lower every month. One more European country which refused to send weapons to Ukraine was Bulgaria. Bulgarian Prime Minister Kiril Petkov confirmed that his government has no plans to send heavy weapons to Ukraine, saying that Bulgaria has “done enough” to help Kyiv with humanitarian relief. “We’ve done enough and we’ll continue to support Ukraine,” he said. Moreover, Switzerland also didn’t allow the re-export of Swiss war material to Ukraine. Following their policy of military neutrality it was declared that Bern rejected Berlin’s request to send around 12400 rounds of 35-millimetre Swiss ammunition for self-propelled anti-aircraft guns, and for Piranha III wheeled APCs to Kyiv. Similarly, Switzerland denied Denmark’s request to send 22 Swiss-made Piranha III wheeled APCs to Ukraine. Switzerland also vetoed Poland’s request to send Swiss-made war material to Ukraine. Hungary Decision-making inside the coalition is not as simple as it looks. There are a lot of examples when representatives from different countries cannot deal with each other discussing various types of questions. But Hungary made a significant step aside if we consider cooperation with EU and NATO. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during his race for election to a fourth consecutive term said that Hungary would stay out of Ukrainian war. “Russia looks at Russian interests, while Ukraine looks at Ukrainian interests. Neither the United States, nor Brussels would think with Hungarians’ mind and feel with Hungarians’ hearts. We must stand up for our own interests,” Orbans said. “We must stay out of this war… therefore we will not send any troops or weapons to the battlegrounds.” As a result, Hungary not only doesn’t support Ukraine by weapons but doesn’t allow the transit through its territory. It’s the whole opposite position in comparison with EU/NATO members. For example, nobody was surprised when Serbia declared that they would not join overall sanctions against Russia and its government while being considered one of the Russian allies; however, when EU and NATO member concludes that participation in the conflict even by supplying Ukrainian army would be harmful for the country interests, it feels at least unusual. This opinion can be a little bit controversial but at least it deserves some respect. When the interests of alliance contradict national interests and nation’s leader is brave enough not to blindly follow EU/NATO recommendations but stand on his way to improve lives of his country’s citizens – it’s kind of question for European leaders to think about. Who orders the music? It’s not a secret that armed conflict has got some visible reasons of its escalation and it serves for the people who are interested in it. On the one hand, it could be quite logical to find one to blame in conflict’s escalation but the complexity of this situation mean that it should be viewed not only from one side. If we are going to suggest that this war will end with Russia achieving all its goals – the so-called “release” of Ukraine and annexation of its territories as it was with Crimea – the last guy who laughs will be exactly Putin. But it’s not the only way possible. It’s important to find out who makes profit from the situation that armed conflict in Ukraine hasn’t any tendency to end soon. Anybody quickly can think about the United States, who has got their own interests in this war. US government is fighting for saving US dollar as a main world currency. The reason is that some countries including China and Russia are step-by-step refusing from mutual payments in dollar and beginning to make payments in national currency. This fact of weakening dollar of course is confusing US when they are fighting for its strengthening and, as a result, for stability of their economy. Moreover, Russian energy ban opens doors for the increased energy import from the US. The US will send 15 billion cubic meters of natural gas to the European countries. As a result, US economy will feel safer and Europe will depend on US stronger. In addition to that, also Russia in the last 20 years developed their economy as well as their armed forces. Putin declared that time for mono-polar world was over. It’s doubtful that US will agree with this statement so easy, and it’s indirectly confirmed by US enormous arms supply to Ukraine, including HIMARS (High Mobility Artillery Rocket System) which made a significant shift in this war. If we talk about arms supply - war in Ukraine is a good chance for some countries including US to send Ukrainians their old weapons and equipment. While it’s off to Ukraine, US supposedly will update their weapon systems. It will be wrong to admit that only US is making significant contribution to the Ukrainian conflict continuation. But it’s a matter of fact that US are trying to strengthen their position as a world leader by way of supporting the prolongation of this war. It’s not a secret that the large part of the above-mentioned problems – natural gas prices, inflation, pro-Russian governments – had existed long before the Ukrainian war escalated. Unfortunately, at this moment actions of the European countries’ governments and Russian counteractions have leaded only to negative consequences concerning EU citizens’ wellbeing. It’s the stalemate situation – on the one hand if EU/NATO countries follow US requests and approve economic sanctions against Russia it causes financial losses not only for Putin’s government but for themselves (for example, not so long ago dollar for the first time in 20 years exchanged for euro equally) and without any doubt makes their citizens angry. As a result British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Prime Minister of Italy Mario Draghi have decided to leave their posts because of their lack of ability to handle the situation. On the other hand if European leaders refuse to take measures against Russia which is based on their desire not to leave their citizens without cheap gas and fuel, - they are going through tough critics form their colleagues form EU and NATO. We can suppose how the situation in Europe will develop in the upcoming months. First variant – Europe follows its way of absolute support of Ukraine, refusing the cooperation with Russia, what makes a great advantage for US but not for Europeans. Second way is to stop confrontation with Russia and search for peaceful decisions of existing problems with Putin as well as between European leaders. Why is this variant look quite acceptable? Everything depends on the war ending and timing; analysts are making the different predictions, European leaders strongly hope that everything would be solved before the winter begins, but nobody truly believes it. Moreover, they don’t approach the end of the war while giving Ukraine enormous amount of weapons. What we have for now – Europe is frozen in waiting for the winter and its consequences, searching for US and Middle East natural gas and it is not clear now how long they could live using only their resources. Anyways, the majority of European governments would have decided to buy natural gas in Russia despite the fact that it would strengthen Russia’s economy. In a short-term perspective a lot of these problems could be solved by way of compromise and restarting the dialogue with Russian government. Can Europe follow this way? Without a doubt. Will they have a chance to do it? Probably not, because Europe depends on US as well as it depends on Russia. How can they find a decision which would be acceptable for anyone? It’s kind of question which can’t be answered for 5 months. It’s clear that Europe will soon collide with very cold winter. How is it justified and what will be Europeans attitude for these events, – upcoming half of the year will show us that. We can only wait what decision will be made by the leaders of “free” and “independent” Europe.
Canada Must Stop Funding Ukraine War
Zeitgeist posted a topic in Federal PoliticsNATO stirred the pot decades ago when it refused admission for Russia and encouraged former Soviet republics and satellites to join the western alliance at a time when the Cold War appeared to end and the opportunity for warm relations with Russia finally arose. Most Crimeans want to stay in Russia. It was originally part of Russia. Russia wanted the Donbas region to be independent because of the mixed groups (Russian and Ukrainian) and old Russian territory claims. Ukraine supported this plan in the Turkey summit with Russia until they realized that the US, Canada, and other countries would fund a proxy war. Now there’s no political resolution and endless suffering and war in Ukraine. How many more billions are Canadians willing to pay for Freeland’s war? We need a concrete timeline for a political solution.