Friday, September 30, 2022

UN Secretary General Guterres And NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg Will Be Issuing An Unprecedented Joint Statement Later Today

WNU Editor: A friend told me this news just a few minutes ago. I have no way to verify its accuracy. The wire services are saying nothing. Both the UN and NATO press offices are quiet.

I also have no information on what will be said. 

My friend thinks it will be an acceptance of Ukraine's application to quickly join NATO. 

I doubt it. 

But if it happens a joint statement from the heads of NATO and the UN on a Friday evening is unprecedented. And if it is support of Ukraine's fast track application to join NATO, war tensions are going to escalate.

I am about to give a presentation to a business group on the current geopolitical situation in the world, and what I see trending in 2023. I will not be in front of a computer until later this evening. 

If this joint statement does come out later today, I will (of course) post and analyze it. If this is all a false alarm. I will be relieved, and will sleep easier tonight.

Update: In separate announcements, N Secretary General Guterres and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg denounced Russia's annexation of Ukrainian territory.

Ukraine President Zelensky Formally Applies For Fast-Track NATO Membership. Rules Out Talks With Putin


Reuters: Ukraine applies for NATO membership, rules out Putin talks 

KYIV (Reuters) -President Volodymyr Zelenskiy announced a surprise bid for fast-track membership of the NATO military alliance on Friday and ruled out talks with President Vladimir Putin, striking back at Moscow after it said it had annexed four Ukrainian regions. 

Zelenskiy signed the NATO application papers in an online video clearly intended as a forceful rebuttal to the Kremlin after Putin held a ceremony in Moscow to proclaim the four partially occupied regions as annexed Russian land. 

"We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine's application for accelerated accession to NATO," Zelenskiy said in the video on the Telegram app. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: NATO is not going to accept to Ukraine's application in the current environment. If accepted this would mean war between NATO and Russia. This has all the looks of desperation. 

Ukraine President Zelensky Formally Applies For Fast-Track NATO Membership  

Russia-Ukraine updates: Zelenskyy requests 'accelerated' application to join NATO -- DW  

Ukraine applies for Nato membership after Russia annexes territory -- The Guardian  

Ukraine Bids to Join NATO Despite Long Odds Against Wartime Move -- Bloomberg 

Ukraine formally applies for fast-track NATO membership -- Politico 

Ukraine has 'accelerated' NATO application in wake of Russia annexing territories, Zelenskyy says -- FOX News  

Ukraine applying for fast-tracked NATO membership, says Zelenskyy -- New Voice Of Ukraine  

Ukraine accelerates bid to join NATO after Russia’s annexation -- Al Jazeera

Putin Annexes Four Regions Of Ukraine

From left, the leaders of Kherson and Zaporozhye Regions, Vladimir Saldo and Evgeny Balitsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, as well as the heads of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Denis Pushilin and Leonid Pasechnik © AP / Mikhail Metzel / Kremlin pool  

Daily Mail: Putin annexes four Ukrainian regions and vows to use 'all forces' to defend them raising nuke fears: Ranting despot vows to 'SMASH' the West in blistering Kremlin speech - even as thousands of his troops are surrounded in Donbas 

* President Putin has declared that four region of Ukraine which his troops partly occupy are now part of Russia 

* He ordered Ukraine and its Western allies to stop attacks on them, vowing to use 'all forces' to protect them 

* That raises fears he will resort to using Russia's huge nuclear arsenal, as the war enters a dangerous moment 

* Vow could be put to immediate test, with thousands of Russian troops thought to be surrounded in Donetsk 

Vladimir Putin has declared that occupied parts of Ukraine are now part of Russia after staging sham referendums in four regions, vowing to use 'all our forces to defend them' as the war enters a dangerous new phase. 

The Russian despot, speaking in front of his cronies in Moscow, gave his own warped interpretation of events - saying that 'millions of people' in Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia had 'opted' to become vassals of Russia and he would accept their choice, despite voting being carried out at gunpoint and in the midst of a war.

'They are our people, forever,' he said to a standing ovation inside the Kremlin's grand Georgian Hall before calling on Ukraine and its Western allies to abandon hopes of re-taking them, repeating a threat to use 'all forces' to defend the 'new territories' - once again raising fears that he could escalate to using Russia's huge nuclear arsenal.  

Read more .... 

Putin Annexes Four Regions Of Ukraine 

 Live: Putin formally annexes four Ukrainian regions was conflict still rages -- France 24  

UPDATES: Putin Signs Documents on Accession of DPR, LPR, Kherson and Zaporozhye Region Into Russia -- Sputnik  

Live: LivePutin declares four areas of Ukraine as Russian in illegal annexation -- BBC  

Putin signs treaties annexing Ukrainian regions -- AP 

Putin annexes four regions of Ukraine in major escalation of Russia’s war -- The Guardian  

A defiant Putin proclaims Ukrainian annexation, vows to win war-- Reuters Putin signs decrees paving way for annexation of Ukraine regions -- France 24 

Putin declares ‘four new regions of Russia’ as Moscow illegally annexes parts of Ukraine -- CNBC  

Putin signs treaties on accession of former Ukrainian regions to Russia -- RT 

'People Have Made Their Choice': Putin Marks Support for Four New Regions' Entry Into Russia -- Sputnik

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 30.09.2022


WNU Editor: A lot of coverage on the encirclement of thousands of Russian soldiers by Ukrainian forces at Lyman.

Russia - Ukraine War Maps -- September 30, 2022 (Click on Images to Enlarge)

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

Picture Of The Day

A view of a flooded community in Fort Myers, September 29. REUTERS/Marco Bello  

WNU editor: The above picture is from this photo-gallery .... Hurricane Ian's long trail of devastation from above (Reuters).

Ukraine President Zelensky Calls Emergency Meeting Of Security Chiefs

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy meets U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his visit in Kyiv, Ukraine September 8, 2022. Genya Savilov/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo  

Reuters: Ukraine calls emergency meeting of security chiefs 

KYIV, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will hold an emergency top-level meeting on Friday where "fundamental decisions" will be taken in the wake of Russian plans to annex four Ukrainian regions, an official said on Thursday. 

The Kremlin says President Vladimir Putin will sign documents on Friday proclaiming Moscow's annexation of regions where Russia organised what Kyiv and the West said were sham referendums staged on Russian-held Ukrainian territory.  

Read more .... 

WNU Editor: With the Kremlin announcing the annexation of four regions later today and with 300,000 Russian soldiers being called-up to be deployed to Ukraine in the next few months, the war is now entering a very different phase, and Zelensky knows it.

Morgan Stanley Warns We May Be Facing Something Worse Than A ‘Normal Recession’


NTD/Epoch Times: Morgan Stanley Warns of Something Worse Than a ‘Normal Recession’ 

Morgan Stanley’s Chief U.S. Equity Strategist Michael Wilson said that he’s convinced a corporate earnings recession is coming—and that it could be worse than a “normal” recession. 

Wilson said in a Sept. 26 interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that his team at Morgan Stanley is looking closely at the U.S. business earnings story and the impact of corporate profits on equities, which have been on a wild ride in recent months. 

“We think it’s unavoidable … to avoid an earnings recession and that’s what matters for stocks,” Wilson said, with his remarks coming on the same day that the so-called Wall Street fear gauge soared to its highest level since mid-June when U.S. equities last hit a bear market bottom.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Today was another bad day for the markets .... Dow Jones Plunges 550 Points After Key Economic Data; Apple Stock Dives On Downgrade (Investors Business Daily).

Hungary Says It Will Not Support Any New EU Energy Sanctions Against Russia

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's opposition to EU sanctions on Russia is well-known. (file photo)

Reuters: Hungary cannot support any new EU energy sanctions against Russia - govt 

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Hungary cannot support the European Union's planned eighth round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine if those contain energy sanctions, Prime Minister Viktor Orban's chief of staff said on Thursday. 

The EU executive proposed on Wednesday fresh sanctions against Russia, including tighter trade restrictions, more individual blacklistings and an oil price cap for third countries. 

The proposed sanctions fall short of harder-hitting measures, including a ban on importing Russian diamonds, sought by Russia hawks Poland and the three Baltic countries. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's opposition to EU sanctions on Russia is well-known .... Hungary's Orban Blames EU's Russia Sanctions For Energy Crisis, Wants Them Scrapped (RFE). 

Hungary Says It Will Not Support Any New EU Energy Sanctions Against Russia 

Hungary PM Orban says EU sanctions on Russia have 'backfired' -- Reuters 

EU state threatens to block new anti-Russia sanctions -- RT  

Hungary warns that it will not support new EU sanctions against Russia if they affect energy -- News 360

US Tells Energy Infrastructure Operators To Be On ‘Heightened Alert’

Blooomberg: US puts energy operators on ‘heightened alert’ 

The US urged energy infrastructure operators, including LNG carriers heading for Europe, to be on high alert after suspected sabotage hit gas pipelines connecting Russia and Germany.

“Everybody should be on high alert,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday in Vienna. She called for an “expedited investigation” into who bears responsibility for three blasts that targeted the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines off the German coast. 

The Biden administration’s top energy official spoke in an interview at the International Atomic Energy Agency, where the US has this week been warning about Russia’s stranglehold on nuclear fuel markets. Germany’s Interior Ministry issued a general security threat on Wednesday after ruling out natural causes for the blasts on the Baltic Sea pipelines.

Read more .... 

Update: US puts energy operators on ‘heightened alert’ (RT) 

WNU Editor: I will not be surprised that besides the U.S. and northern Europe a number of other countries around the world are now increasing their security on critical infrastructure. The Nord Stream pipeline attacks have clearly shaken most governments, and I shudder on what would be the reaction if another attack that is equivalent to the Nord Stream attack should happen again somewhere in the world.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

U.S. And Allies Want China And India To 'Talk Sense' Into Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a meeting on the sidelines of a summit of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in the Japanese city of Osaka, June 28, 2019. (Xinhua/Xie Huanchi)  

Politico: Calls grow for China and India to talk sense into Putin 

“They could let Mr. Putin know what a disastrously bad idea any use of nuclear weapons would be,” one U.S. official said. 

The U.S. and its allies are hoping to rally the international community to send an unmistakable message to Vladimir Putin: Using nuclear weapons would prompt a crippling economic and diplomatic response, even from Russia’s friends. 

 In particular, calls are growing inside and outside the Biden administration to enlist China and India, two major powers with close ties to Moscow, to amp up the pressure on Putin by signaling that even a limited nuclear strike in Ukraine would sever what few global lifelines Russia has left.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: India is going to stay neutral, and China is not going to undermine their strategic partner Russia. In fact. Chinese state media is now openly "hinting" that it was the US that sabotaged the Nord Stream pipelines, and is the one that is escalating the Russia - Ukraine war .... Nord Stream pipeline leaks fuel West-Russia info war, intensify confrontation (Global Times).

China Opens Overseas Police Stations In US And Canada

FOX News: China has opened overseas police stations in US and Canada to monitor Chinese citizens: report  

Europe is home to the most Chinese 'overseas police service stations' 

China has opened dozens of "overseas police service stations" around the globe to monitor its citizens living abroad, including one location in New York City and three in Toronto. 

"These operations eschew official bilateral police and judicial cooperation and violate the international rule of law, and may violate the territorial integrity in third countries involved in setting up a parallel policing mechanism using illegal methods," reads a report by Safeguard Defenders, a human rights watchdog, released earlier this month. 

The report, titled "110 Overseas: Chinese Transnational Policing Gone Wild," details China's extensive efforts to combat "fraud" by its citizens living overseas, in part by opening several police stations on five continents that have assisted Chinese authorities in "carrying out policing operations on foreign soil."  

Read more .... 

Update #1: China Opened 30 Illegal Police Stations In 21 Nations To Promote Vested Interests: Report (Republic World)  

Update #2: China operating extrajudicial police stations in Canada (True North) 

Update #3: FIRST READING: Why Beijing is allegedly opening police stations on Canadian soil (National Post)  

WNU Editor: I am very uncomfortable with this. China is also expanding these police stations worldwide .... China Expands Its Secret Police Stations Around the World (Washington Free Beacon). More here .... China Opened 30 Illegal Police Stations In 21 Nations To Promote Vested Interests: Report (Republic World).

USS Gerald R Ford Is Expected To Deploy For The First Time Next Week


Business Insider: A first-in-class US Navy supercarrier is about to set sail on its maiden deployment for the first time in over 40 years 

* The US Navy is ready to deploy a new first-in-class supercarrier for the first time in over four decades. 

* The aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford will set sail on its maiden deployment next week from Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

* The Ford's first deployment comes four years after the ship was first expected to deploy. 

The $13 billion lead ship of a new class of advanced US Navy aircraft carriers is about to finally set sail on its first deployment after years of costly setbacks and delays that have at times made it the target of fierce criticism. 

The first-in-class aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford, which was commissioned over five years ago and has been over a decade in the making, will deploy for the first time next week on a short, service-retained deployment, Vice Adm. Daniel Dwyer, US 2nd Fleet commander, told reporters.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is going to be a very short deployment .... Much-Delayed Carrier Won’t Go Far in Its First Deployment (Defense One). 

USS Gerald R Ford Is Expected To Deploy For The First Time Next Week 

USS Gerald R Ford expected to deploy for first time in October -- Navy Times  

Carrier USS Gerald R. Ford to Embark on Short Cruise Ahead of Full Deployment Next Year - USNI News -- USNI News  

US Navy's newest carrier to deploy, train with NATO nations -- AP  

USS Ford Shakedown Cruise Set To Shake Up The Navy, Russia And NATO -- Forbes  

USS Gerald R .Ford to go on first deployment next week after yearslong delay -- CBS  

Bigger and better: Newest Navy carrier, USS Gerald R. Ford, will deploy from Norfolk on Monday -- Virginia Pilot

European Nations Tighten Energy Infrastructure Security After Nord Stream Gas Pipeline 'Attack'

FILE PHOTO: A general view of the Equinor's Johan Sverdrup oilfield platforms in the North Sea © Reuters/Ints Kalnins  

Euronews: Nord Stream: Norway and Denmark tighten energy infrastructure security after gas pipeline 'attack' 

Norway and Denmark will increase security and surveillance around their energy infrastructure sites after the alleged sabotage of Russia's Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea. 

Major leaks struck two underwater natural gas pipelines running from Russia to Germany, with experts reporting that explosions rattled the Baltic Sea beforehand. 

Norway -- an oil-rich nation and Europe's biggest supplier of gas -- will strengthen security at its land and offshore installations, the country's energy minister said.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The Nord Stream pipeline attacks occurred in a region where the maritime security was the responsibility of Denmark and Sweden. This is a major failure on their part, and not surprising they are now reacting to it. 

 European Nations Tighten Energy Infrastructure Security After Nord Stream Gas Pipeline 'Attack'  

Norway to deploy military to protect its oil and gas installations -- Reuters  

Denmark’s defense minister concerned about security situation in Baltic Sea region -- AFP  

"Heightened vigilance" at Swedish nuclear plants after Nord Stream leaks -- (Sveriges Radio)

China Tells State Banks To Prepare For A Massive Dollar Dump

Chinese Yuan banknotes are seen in this illustration taken February 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration 

Market Insider: China tells state banks to prepare for a massive dollar dump and yuan buying spree as Beijing's prior interventions have failed to stem its currency's worst year since 1994 

* Reuters reported that China told state-owned banks to get ready to sell dollars and buy yuan in an effort to prop up the local currency. 

* The move could stem the yuan's fall, as it remains on track for its largest annual loss against the dollar since 1994. 

* A hawkish Fed has pushed the dollar to 20-year highs this year, pressuring currencies around the world. 

The People's Bank of China has told major state-run banks to prepare to shed dollar holdings while snapping up offshore yuan, which has continued to fall despite prior interventions, sources told Reuters. 

The scale of this latest effort to prop up the yuan will be big and could provide a floor to the Chinese currency, according to the report. 

The amount of dollars to be sold hasn't been decided yet, but Reuters said it will primarily involve the state banks' currency reserves. Their offshore branches, including those based in Hong Kong, New York and London, were ordered to review offshore yuan holdings and check to see that dollar reserves are ready.  

Read more ....  

Update: Exclusive: China's state banks told to stock up for yuan intervention (Reuters).  

WNU Editor: IMHO there are three reasons why China will start to dump the US dollar. (1) The first is to prop up the yuan. (2) The second is to not possess US dollar reserves. China saw how the U.S. seized Russia's foreign currency holdings, and Beijing does not want to be positioned to have the same thing happen to them. (3) The third reason is that many in China believe the U.S. economy is on the road to a slow collapse, and what better way to bail-out is when the US dollar is as high as high as it is right now .... Is the US economy about to tank? (Gregory K. Tanaka, China Daily).

OPEC+ To Meet On October 5 To Discuss Production Cuts

Reuters: OPEC+ has begun talks on output cut at Oct. 5 meeting - OPEC source 

DUBAI, Sept 29 (Reuters) - Leading OPEC+ members have begun discussions about an oil output cut at the group's next meeting on Oct. 5, three sources told Reuters. 

 One OPEC source told Reuters a cut was "likely", while two other OPEC+ sources said key members had spoken about the topic. 

A source familiar with Russian thinking told Reuters earlier this week that Moscow could suggest a cut of up to 1 million barrels per day (bpd). The latest comments suggest that key OPEC members have started communicating over the matter, although the volume of any potential cut is still unclear. 

Next week's meeting takes place against a backdrop of falling oil prices from multi-year highs hit in March, and severe market volatility.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: My gut tells me that there will be a push at this OPEC+ meeting to cut production that will deliberately and significantly raise oil and gas prices to impact the US midterm elections, while bleeding the US strategic oil reserves at the same time. 

OPEC+ To Meet On October 5 To Discuss Production Cuts  

OPEC+ Is Considering A Substantial Oil Production Cut --  

Russia seen suggesting OPEC+ cuts oil output by 1 million bpd - source -- Reuters  

Crude Rallies on Reports Russia Will Push for OPEC+ to Cut Output -- Barchart  

How OPEC+ Could Send Oil Prices Soaring Again --

Afghan Taliban Signs Deal For Russian Oil, Gas And Wheat

Taliban fighters (C) stand guard along a road near the Russian embassy after a suicide attack in Kabul, on 5 September 2022 (AFP)  

Reuters: EXCLUSIVE Afghan Taliban sign deal for Russian oil products, gas and wheat 

KABUL (Reuters) - The Taliban have signed a provisional deal with Russia to supply gasoline, diesel, gas and wheat to Afghanistan, Acting Afghan Commerce and Industry Minister Haji Nooruddin Azizi told Reuters. 

Azizi said his ministry was working to diversify its trading partners and that Russia had offered the Taliban administration a discount to average global commodity prices. 

The move, the first known major international economic deal struck by the Taliban since they returned to power more than a year ago, could help to ease the Islamist movement's isolation that has effectively cut it off from the global banking system.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is not a business deal. This is Russian aid to prop up the Taliban. 

Afghan Taliban Signs Deal For Russian Oil, Gas And Wheat  

Islamic Emirate Signs Deal for Russian Oil, Gas and Wheat -- TOLO News  

Taliban Sign Deal With Russia to Buy Cheap Oil, Gas and Wheat -- Bloomberg  

The Taliban strike a deal with Russia for supplies of key commodities including oil and wheat -- Market Insider  

Taliban signs ‘preliminary’ deal with Russia for oil, gas, wheat -- Al Jazeera  

Afghanistan's Taliban sign import agreement with Russia: Report -- Middle East Eye

NATO Issues A Warning That Any Deliberate Attack Against Critical Infrastructure Will Be Met With A United And Determined Response


NBC: NATO issues warning about pipeline 'sabotage' after gas pipeline explosions  

"Any deliberate attack against allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response,” the military alliance said after the Nord Stream explosions. 

LONDON — NATO on Thursday left the door open to possible military action in response to what it said was deliberate sabotage after explosions on underwater natural gas pipelines between Russia and Europe. 

“All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage,” it said in a statement. 

Western governments have pointed the finger of blame for the leaks at Russia, which has flatly denied any suggestion it was responsible for explosions that caused them.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: The NATO statement is brief and very clear (link here) .... 

.... The damage to the Nordstream 1 and Nordstream 2 pipelines in international waters in the Baltic Sea is of deep concern. All currently available information indicates that this is the result of deliberate, reckless, and irresponsible acts of sabotage. These leaks are causing risks to shipping and substantial environmental damage. We support the investigations underway to determine the origin of the damage.  

“We, as allies, have committed to prepare for, deter and defend against the coercive use of energy and other hybrid tactics by state and non-state actors. Any deliberate attack against allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response. 

Even though Russia is the majority owner of the Nord Stream pipelines, it has European partners in what is (was) a critical part of Europe's energy infrastructure. 

Because some NATO and EU leaders are already pointing their finger at Russia being responsible for this attack, will this be used as a justification to respond .... Spain says Nord Stream gas leaks likely a deliberate act — and points the finger at Russia (CNBC). 

Is this a Reichstag moment

Will this be used to escalate NATO's involvement in Ukraine? 

Or is this a warning to Russia to not retaliate after the destruction of their pipelines? 

Bottom line. We are sliding down a very slippery slope. 

NATO Vows Retaliation for Attacks on Infrastructure, Blames Sabotage for Pipe Blasts  

NATO believes Baltic Sea gas leaks were sabotage -- AP  

NATO Vows Retaliation for Attacks on Infrastructure, Blames Sabotage for Pipe Blasts -- VOA NATO Formally Blames Sabotage for Nord Stream Pipeline Damage -- WSJ 

NATO condemns ‘deliberate, reckless’ sabotage of Nord Stream pipelines after fourth leak discovered -- FOX News  

NATO Sees 'Deliberate, Reckless' Sabotage In Nord Stream Leaks -- Barrons  

NATO labels Nord Stream pipeline leaks result of "sabotage" -- Axios

Brazilians Go to The Polls On Sunday


CNN: Brazil’s presidential vote is just days away. Voters are comparing it to ‘war’ 

Brazil’s upcoming presidential election has been shrouded by an unprecedented climate of tension and violence. 

As the Oct. 2 vote approaches, episodes of harassment and attacks have intensified, with even neutral players like poll institutes turning into targets. 

Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who aims to be reelected, is currently lagging in the main polls behind leftwing former President Luiz InΓ‘cio “Lula” da Silva. 

And the battle between these two very different household names has divided the nation – with experts saying the level of political anger is different this year.  

Read more ....

Brazilians Go to The Polls On Sunday  

Brazil election: A clash of titans as Bolsonaro faces Lula -- AP  

Lula Outright Brazil Win in Sight, DataFolha Poll Shows -- Bloomberg 

Lula Leads Bolsonaro by 14 Points Ahead of Brazil Vote -Datafolha Poll -- Reuters  

Lula’s lead over Bolsonaro widens days before Brazil election -- Al Jazeera

Bulgarians Go to The Polls To Elect A New Government On Sunday

Bulgaria's President Rumen Radev called for a snap election after Kiril Petkov's government collapse | Nikolay Doychinov/AFP 

Reuters: Weary Bulgarians Fear More Political Turmoil After Latest Election 

DAVIDKOVO, Bulgaria (Reuters) - Bulgarians bracing for their fourth election in less than two years face a winter of want amid soaring inflation driven by the war in Ukraine, making many yearn for good government and stability after years of political turmoil. 

At stake is the next government's ability to tackle rocketing energy costs and secure gas supplies at affordable prices after Russia's cutoff in April over Bulgaria's refusal to pay in roubles following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. 

But fractious coalition-building is expected to drag out after the Oct. 2 vote amid deep rifts within the political elite over how to root out entrenched corruption, and the failure of a smattering of new parties to build a sustainable voter base.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: This is the fourth election in two years, and there are 28 political parties on the ballot. And while more than half are defending or actively promoting the Kremlin’s positions, the expectation is that there will be no clear winner when the results are finalized. 

Bulgarians Go to The Polls To Elect A New Government On Sunday  

Bulgaria to hold election overshadowed by war in Ukraine -- AP 

Bulgaria's election: What's in store ahead of a difficult winter? -- DW 

”Trend” Survey: 77% of Bulgarians want Affordable Gas, Electricity and Fuel Prices from the New Government -- Novinite  

East and West clash in Bulgaria’s snap general election -- BNE

Russia - Ukraine War: Military Summary And Analysis For 29.09.2022


WNU Editor: Another must watch analysis on the Russia - Ukraine war.

Russia - Ukraine War Maps -- September 29, 2022 (Click on Images to Enlarge)

Tweets On The Russia - Ukraine War

Tweets Of The Day

In DMZ Speech Gaffe U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Hails Strong US "Alliance With Republic Of North Korea"


FOX News: Vice President Kamala Harris commends US alliance with 'Republic of North Korea' in DMZ speech gaffe 

VP Harris visited the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to show America's 'rock-solid commitment' to South Korea's security Vice President Kamala Harris made an unfortunate gaffe during her speech at the Korean Peninsula's Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Thursday, saying that the U.S. has a "strong alliance" with "the Republic of North Korea." 

 "It is an alliance that is strong and enduring," she added, intending to refer to the Republic of Korea, which is South Korea's official name. 

The vice president then continued her remarks by professing the U.S.' support for South Korea's defense against the increasingly aggressive North Korean government. 

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Oopppssss! 

In DMZ Speech Gaffe U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris Hails Strong US "Alliance With Republic Of North Korea"  

Harris hails US ‘alliance with North Korea’ in latest Biden admin botch -- NYPost  

Kamala Harris mistakenly praises ‘Republic of North Korea’ during DMZ trip -- The Independent  

Kamala Harris In High Stakes Gaffe At DMZ Hails Strong US "Alliance With Republic Of North Korea" -- Zero Hedge 

Korea a US Ally During Visit to Korean DMZ - Video -- Sputnik

In A Kremlin Ceremony Tomorrow Russia Will Formally Annex Four Regions Of Ukraine


CNN: Putin to host ceremony annexing occupied Ukrainian territories on Friday, Kremlin says 

Russia will on Friday begin formally annexing up to 18% of Ukrainian territory, with President Vladimir Putin expected to host a ceremony in the Kremlin to declare four occupied Ukrainian territories part of Russia. 

The ceremony would take place on Friday at 15:00 local time (08:00 ET) in the Kremlin’s St. George’s Hall, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. 

Putin will deliver a speech and meet with Russian-backed leaders of the four occupied regions on the sidelines of the ceremony, he added.

Next week, Russia’s two houses of parliament – the State Duma and Federation Council – will consider the annexation.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: Russia’s two houses of parliament, the State Duma and Federation Council, will make this into law next week. After this passage I expect the rules of engagement and deployment of forces to the Ukraine war-zone will be radically changing. For example. This will no longer be classified as a "special operation". Instead it will be classified as an "anti-terrorism" operation. 

In A Kremlin Ceremony Tomorrow Russia Will Formally Annex Four Regions Of Ukraine  

Kremlin reveals next step for former Ukrainian regions -- RT 

Russia to annex more of Ukraine on Friday at the Kremlin -- AP  

Kremlin to annex more Ukraine territories at ceremony Friday -- AFP 

Putin to sign treaty annexing territories in Ukraine, Kremlin says -- The Guardian  

U.S., UN Denounce Russia's Planned Annexation Ceremony Just Days After 'Sham' Referendums -- RFE  

Russian President Vladimir Putin to annex 4 Ukrainian regions in Friday ceremony -- FOX News

Putin To Give "Major" Speech As Part Of Ukraine Annexation Ceremony -- Zero Hedge  

Russia to annex four occupied regions of Ukraine on Friday -- Axios

Editor's Note

Just a heads-up. 

Giving a presentation in Toronto tomorrow. It is a rush thing, and I am preparing for it right now. Flying out tonight, and returning Saturday evening. 

I gave a presentation last week to a business group on what to expect geopolitically in the spring of 2023 and beyond. Apparently I freaked-out a lot of people who were there on what I see is trending, especially on the war, and after the Nord Stream pipeline attacks this week they now want me to present it to a larger audience tomorrow.

Needless to say blogging will be light until then, but I have time posted a number of interesting stories for Friday and Saturday that I know will be of interest to the followers of this blog.

Are Russian Draft Dodgers Becoming A Crisis For Russia?


CNN: ‘The worst is yet to come’: Russians rush to the borders amid draft fears  

Dariali, Georgia CNN — With one bag in each hand and another on his back, Denis makes his way up a hill on foot, having just crossed the border from Russia into Georgia. “I’m just tired. That’s the only thing I feel,” the 27-year-old says as he tries to catch his breath. 

Denis has just spent six days on the road, most of them just waiting in line to cross the border. He is one of the hundreds of thousands of Russians enduring a grueling marathon journey to leave their country. 

Though women and children are among those crossing, most are fighting-age men who fear the possibility that they will be drafted to fight the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine. 

According to the Georgian Interior Ministry, at least 10,000 have been coming through the Lars border crossing daily.  

Read more ....  

Update #1: 'My whole world collapsed': Russians on fleeing home after Putin's speech (Euronews)  

Update #2: Russia Will Not Give Out Passports to Mobilized People – Government (Moscow Times/AFP)  

WNU Editor: Some are wondering if this partial mobilization announcement is a step too far for Putin ..... Is Vladimir Putin's 'partial' Ukraine War mobilization a step too far for Russians? (Peter Weber, The Week). I do not think so. A certain percentage of Russians are against Putin and this war (I would estimate around 20%), and a certain portion of this 20% are the ones who are leaving and/or trying to leave. I expect this flood of Russians leaving the country to decrease in the coming weeks.

I do agree with the growing sentiment among those who are fleeing Russia that the worst is yet to come. 

The Ukraine war is seen by the Kremlin, and by the vast majority of Russians, as an existential fight that must be won at all cost. The US President is also on the public record that Russia cannot be permitted to win in Ukraine, and all the resources of the US government will be used to make sure that happens. In such an environment where there are no brakes to stop any escalation. It can only get worse.

New York Times Posts Audio Of Intercepted Russian Soldier Calls

Ukrainian army soldier Dasha, 22, checks her phone after a military sweep on the outskirts of Kyiv last Friday (April 6, 2022). Smartphones have been essential for combatants and civilians in the war and have provided a means to share footage directly from the scene of fighting. (Rodrigo Abd/The Associated Press)  

Mediaite: Stunning Audio of Intercepted Russian Soldier Calls Reveals Panic in the Ranks, Orders to Kill Civilians and an Utter Disdain for Putin 

Stunning audio intercepted by Ukrainian law enforcement of Russian soldiers calling home reveals potential evidence of war crimes and the rank and file’s pure contempt for Vladimir Putin. 

In the shocking audio obtained by The New York Times, the soldiers paint a truly dire picture of their circumstance and rage against the man responsible for putting them there. 

“Putin is a fool,” a soldier identified as Aleksandr said on one call. 

“He wants to take Kyiv, but there’s no way we can do it.”

“When I come home, I’m quitting,” said soldier Vlad. “Fuck the army.” 

“I’ve never seen so many corpses in my fucking life,” added a soldier named Sergey. 

“It’s just completely fucked.” In one call to his girlfriend, Sergey said that he’d been given an order to kill civilians.  

Read more ....  

WNU Editor: I read the New York Times article (behind a paywall), and I am skeptical. Russian soldiers are strictly prohibited (under heavy penalties) to have a cell phone as explained by Moon of Alabama below:

Russian media is also posting similar stories on what Ukrainian soldiers are saying on their cell phones. I am also skeptical about that. Ukrainian soldiers are now facing the same prohibitions of having a mobile phone in a war-zone. 

I do acknowledge that some soldiers will go out of their way to try and have a mobile phone in a war-zone. But the risks are great, and you are only painting a target sign on your back.