Current Affairs

Russia Vows A “Strong Response” To The First Tranche Of U.S. Sanctions

  • This week, the West has pushed out a coordinated effort to punish Russia following its move into separatist territories in Ukraine.
  • Moscow is now vowing a “strong” and “well-calibrated” response to the West’s actions.
  • Ukraine took a series of steps on February 23 to bolster its security, calling up military reservists aged 18-60 and preparing to declare a 30-day state of emergency.

Moscow lashed back angrily against sanctions announced by the United States, vowing a “strong response” to a series of measures unveiled by President Joe Biden against Russian banks and individuals.

“There should be no doubt — sanctions will meet a strong response, not necessarily symmetrical, but well-calibrated and sensitive for the American side,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on February 23.

Over the past two days, the United States and its Western allies have set a coordinated effort to punish Moscow with sanctions after President Vladimir Putin said he would recognize the independence bids of territories held by separatists in eastern Ukraine and send troops there.

The move came after Russia amassed at least 150,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, prompting fears of a full-scale invasion…read more.

Russia’s Recognition Of Ukrainian Republics Reverberates Around The Region

  • On Monday night, Russia formally recognized the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, a move that sparked stark reactions around the region.
  • The Caucasus has a large concentration of post-Soviet breakaway states and Russia has already recognized some of them such as Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
  • Putin attempted to reassure leaders in the region by claiming that Ukraine was different because it had been influenced by foreign actors and represented a threat to Russia.

Russia’s formal recognition of eastern Ukraine’s two separatist republics has been closely watched – with dread, celebration, or quiet concern, depending on the viewer’s own geopolitical situation – in the Caucasus, which boasts the post-Soviet world’s greatest concentration of unrecognized breakaway states.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the formal recognition of the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic (known as the DNR and LNR, respectively, using their Russian acronyms) in a late-night speech at the Kremlin on February 21.

The news reverberated heavily in the Caucasus, home to two self-proclaimed independent states that have been recognized by Russia since 2008 – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – and one that has not been, Nagorno-Karabakh…read more.

Coastal GasLink workers violently attacked

A Coastal GasLink work camp near Houston, B.C. is now a crime scene, following an early morning attack on workers yesterday involving an estimated 20 masked, axe-wielding assailants, who threatened workers, hacked up vehicles and caused millions of dollars in damage vehicles, equipment and camp trailers.

Houston RCMP say no arrests have been made yet, and that the camp is now a crime scene, as investigators comb through the wreckage looking for evidence that may lead to arrests.

According to Coastal GasLink and Houston RCMP, workers at a Morice River drill pad site off the Marten Forest Service Road were attacked early this morning in “a highly planned and dangerous unprovoked assault.”

RCMP say an officer responding to the attack was injured when smokes bombs and burning torches were tossed at RCMP by the assailants. This occurred at portion of road that had been blockaded with a bonfire.

The attack occurred in the same area where opponents of the natural gas pipeline had set up an occupation camp and blockade for 59 days, before RCMP enforced an injunction and cleared the protesters out in November.

“This coordinated and criminal attack from multiple directions threatened the lives of several workers,” Coastal GasLink said in a news release…read more.

Cost of B.C. vaccine booking hotline revealed: $47.66 million

The B.C. NDP government spent $47.66 million last year on the contract with Telus for the province’s vaccine booking hotline, documents obtained under freedom of information law reveal.

The hotline, plagued by initial problems, was designed to assist the first wave of those eligible for vaccines to easily book appointments at provincial clinics and sites. The documents reveal some of the early growing pains, including some challenges in tracking the hours worked by call agents.

The first invoice, for $20.4 million, was dated May 28, 2021 and reflected the initial setup of the Telus Elements call centre platform and costs for service from Feb. 28 to April 30. The actual number of hours billed was withheld under a clause in the freedom of information law that protects proprietary information, such as unit pricing…read more.

  • Joe Rogan said he’s not leaving for Spotify for Rumble and its looser content moderation rules.
  • The site, favored by the right, offered him $100 million to leave the streamer.
  • After a standup set Wednesday, Rogen said “Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably.”
    Joe Rogan has no plans to leave Spotify any time soon.

During a fan Q&A after an intimate standup set in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday night, Rogan said his controversial podcast would remain on the streaming platform, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“No, Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably, let’s see what happens,” Rogan reportedly said Tuesday night in response to fan questions about potentially taking his show elsewhere.

Rogan did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

As other artists left Spotify in protest of the company allowing his show to remain, the conservative-leaning video site Rumble offered Joe Rogan $100 million to host his podcast there…read more.