Tag Archives: Geopolitics

Companies’ Reactions after Sanctions

DISCLAIMER: This list might be correct, but it isn’t wholly trustworthy. Take it with a pinch of salt.

Apple Pay:  complete block
Apple: complete exit from the market
Adidas – refusal to work with the national football team
Audi – out of the market
AMD – a ban on supplying microchips and a ban on supplying video cards soon.
British Petroleum – selling 20% shares out of Rosnefty
BBC – Broadcast License Review
BMW – closing plants, blocking supplies
Bolt – 5 million euros of aid to Ukraine
Boeing – no maintenance for Russian airlines
Chevrolet: out the market
Cannes Festival – RF delegation blocked
Cadillac – out of the market
Carlsberg – export restriction
Cex Io – crypto platform banning ru users
Cinema 4D – app not working
Coca Cola – off the Market
Danone: out of the market
Disney – cancelling all movies
Dell – exit the market
Dropbox – will stop operating in the country in a few days
DHL – out of the market
Eurovision – Disqualification
Ericsson – exit the market
Exxon Mobil – recall all specialists from oil companies of Russia
Etsy is a block of all balances on ru accounts
Facebook is a ban on rf social media accounts
FedEx is a complete ban on supplies
Formula 1 – cancelled tournament in Sochi
Ford to close all stores
FIFA – disqualification of the national team for the World Cup and a ban on holding any international matches in the Russian Federation
Google Pay – Partial Block
Google – $15 million for humanitarian aid to Ukraine
Google Maps – info block for Russians
General Motors – Stop Exports
HP – no longer loading laptops
Harley Davidson – Deliveries Cut
Instagram is blocking propaganda
Intel is a ban on microchips.
Jaguar – off the market
Jooble – the service was deleted
Lenovo – exit the market
LinkedIn – preparing to leave the country completely
MOK – cancellation of all competitions
Mastercard – suspending card production, turning off several banks
Maersk – a delivery stop in/from the Russian Federation
Mercedes – exit from the country
Megogo – Deleting All Russian Movies
Metro – 10k employees – closing
Mitsubishi – employees of 141 service center – closing
Microsoft Office – a wide range of measures being discussed
Mobile World Congress – the delegation is not accredited
Netflix – a block for Russian subscriptions, stopping the production of Russian TV series
Nike – closing all stores
Nintendo – a ban on purchases in rubles
Nestle – closes all 6 factories in Russia
OnlyFans – shut down in the country
Landscape – Blocking
PayPal – freeze withdrawal accounts
Paramount – movie rental block
Parimatch – Franchise revoked
PlayStation – no payment possible
Pornhub – content ban
Porsche – exit from the market
Renault – exit the market
Samsung pay – service locking
Snapchat – out of the app in the Russian Federation and Blyadorussia, 15 million $ help Ukraine
Scania – exit from the Russian Federation
SpaceX – Starlink delivery to Ukraine
Shell – termination of contract with Gazprom
Spotify – impossible to pay a subscription
Sony – Movie Rental Block
Twitter – Russian citizens cannot register accounts
Toyota – closing
UEFA – cancellation of the Champions League final in St. Petersburg, ban on all clubs to participate in the Champions League and LE, $ 1 million in aid to Ukraine, break the contract with the general sponsor of Gazprom
UPS is a complete ban on supplies
Universal pictures – movie rental block
Viber – $ 9 million aid to Ukraine from CEO Rakuten
Visa – suspension of card production at least
Volvo – coming out of the market
YouTube – blocking hundreds of channels and their monetization
Warner Bros – Cancellation of all movie rentals
Webmoney – ban on transactions
Volkswagen – leaving the country
Zoom – review of software development licenses


Russia and Ukraine: Time to Think Without the Box

As William Faulkner intoned in Requiem for a Nun, “The Past is never dead. It’s not even past.” With Russia annexing the Crimea and the war in Dombas and Lukhansk, Ukraine has been hurrying to join NATO. Since it does not yet fulfill all membership requirements, a possible membership seems still a matter of many years to come. Notwithstanding that, Russia has been amalgamating approximately 130,000 troops near Ukrainian borders in the last months. Although until recently most of it has been about prepositioning hardware, recent movements indicate more troops and equipment are being deployed and being connected to the system of military logistics. Although it could mean an attack is coming soon, escalation aims to force Ukraine and the West to negotiate a settlement favorable to Russia. More precisely, to stop NATO’s expansion to the East. It is not clear how a conventional attack at this moment would achieve it.

A conventional invasion is only one option and military capabilities may be used in several manners, including to achieve non-military objectives. To understand Russian warfare, thinking outside the box is not enough. It is necessary to think without the box. Russian actions appear to be following a textbook example of the concept of escalating to de-escalate. Although it was developed within the scope of nuclear warfare, its principles are applicable to non-nuclear situations. They are simple. An impasse is created to force the opponent to negotiate a solution acceptable to, in this case, Russia. In other words, to de-escalate on Russia’s terms. Depending on the outcome of the negotiations, the de-escalation process takes place or further escalation happens. The process is not linear. One of the problems is that for the United States and NATO military escalation is a linear process. This can result in faster escalation.

Following Russian doctrine and examples from the operations in Ukraine and Syria, some possible actions in Ukraine might include launching high precision non-nuclear missiles targeting important Ukrainian infrastructure objects such as power plants, water sewage and cleaning facilities, transport hubs, and other with the objective of disturbing the normality of people’s quotidian lives, resulting in political leverage for reaching a settlement and even government change to de-escalate the situation; recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Lukhansk; increasing the intensity of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, including by creating and supporting new separatist movements in Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Zaporizhia, Kherson, Mykolaiv, and Odessa with the support of the troops already deployed near the Ukrainian border; using moles and other agents of influence to incite mass protests against the current government, just to cite few. 

To put pressure on NATO countries, some possible actions include deploying missiles in the Far East that could target Alaska; escalating in the Arctic region, for example, by blocking transit  in Russian exclusive areas or posturing near other countries’ areas of interest; conducting exercises in the Baltic Sea which include electronic warfare to disrupt telecommunications in the region’s countries and posturing to create panic within local populations; covert operations to make provocations and other possibilities; instigating protests against the Ukrainian or any other country government; cyber warfare in many forms, including to disrupt energy, water, finance, transit, and other basic services; submarines appearing very close NATO countries’ territorial waters; naval and air exercises, including missile range practice near other countries’ territorial waters and/or air space. These are only some possibilities. Some of them might be more effective and less risky than the conventional attack some believe might happen in the near future.

Russia will not stop to pursue its strategic interests. As a result, further escalation including demonstrative military activities and other actions that might include posturing near NATO and EU countries are to be expected.

This is of special importance, since the United States has been announcing an imminent conventional attack by Russia since December. More recently, the White House divulged that the attack to be on February 16, 2022. The risk is high and this possibility is real. However, taking into consideration the many options available for Russia discussed above, there is also a chance that the troops along the Ukrainian border are a diversion for something else. To know the concrete date of the possible attack American intelligence agencies must have a mole inside the Kremlin, one very near Putin. If this intelligence is real, the Russians are aware and this agent will soon be neutralized. There is another possibility, though. It is possible that the Russians are feeding the US with fake intelligence in what could be a textbook case of reflexive control. As a result, Moscow may and probably will act in an unpredictable way. A very probable scenario is the one creating “color revolutions” in Eastern Ukraine to break the country in two. One part stays with the West, another with Russia. It might include hybrid operations in the Baltic States, Poland, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Western Europe, the Arctic, and other regions to take NATO and the United States’ attention out of Ukraine.

The West has been trying to understand Russia in its own strategic terms. This is a mistake. The Russian strategic tradition is still based on dialectics, as Clausewitz. It considers all possible variables and outcomes. The West have a postmodern approach which is often looking inwards ignoring the specificities of each theater. It must be ready, united, and resolved, at the same time pragmatically evaluating the threat. It may be where we are not looking.


Putin’s Recent Remarks on Geopolitics: Russia is not Going to Let Itself Get Intoxicated by Military Passions

I believe many people in the West use to project their views on other people. This might explain the failure when dealing with Russia. I’ve been arguing that Russia, including Putin, are very clear about their world view, including Geopolitics. Please, read the man:

– We see how some of our partners continue stubborn attempts to retain their monopoly on geopolitical domination. They put to use centuries of experience in suppressing, weakening, and setting opponents against each other, and turn to their advantage enhanced political, economic, financial and now information levers as well. By this, I mean, for example, the practice of intervening in other countries’ internal affairs, provoking regional conflicts, exporting so-called ‘color revolutions’ and so on. In pursuing this policy, they sometimes take on as accomplices terrorists, fundamentalists, ultra-right nationalists, and even outright neo-fascists. We see direct evidence of the harm this policy causes right on our borders. Two years ago, the list of regional hotspots got the addition of Ukraine, much to our regret, where the flames of internal conflict were fanned at the cost of human lives, destruction of economic ties, and streams of refugees, including into Russia.

– We are not going to let ourselves get intoxicated by these military passions. It seems that others are trying to nudge us this way, provoke us into a costly and futile arms race so that we divert resources and effort from our great socioeconomic development tasks at home. We will not do this, but we will always ensure our reliable defense and will guarantee the security of our country and its citizens.

– Syria has found itself at the epicenter of the fight against terrorism. It is no exaggeration to say that Syria’s future will be decisive not only for the future of the Middle East. It is in Syria that the fight against terrorism is being decided, the fight against this same Islamic State that has gathered terrorists and extremists of all stripes under its banners and united them in a desire to expand throughout the entire Muslim world. We know that they have set the goal of gaining strongholds in Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan, the countries of Central Asia, the regions along our borders. This is why we responded last autumn to the Syrian government’s request for help in fighting this terrorist attack. I would .like to thank once again our military service personnel, who did all they could to push back the terrorists, prevent an illegitimate external armed intervention in Syria’s affairs, and preserve Syrian statehood.

– Brexit was a decision of the British and Russia is not going to interference into this process although it will watch the divorce of London and Brussels attentively.

– Russia will accept any choice of the American people and will work with any new president of the US. We want is to work in close cooperation with the United States on international affairs, but we will not accept the approach of that part of the U.S. establishment that thinks they can decide themselves in which areas we will cooperate and in which areas they will turn up the pressure, including through sanctions. We seek a partnership based on equality and consideration of each other’s interests.

– We must put up strong resistance to the Western media’s information monopoly, including by using all available methods to support Russian media outlets operating abroad. Of course, we must also act to counter lies about Russia and not allow falsifications of history.

Source: Izvestia, July 01, 2016.