This country has been having a nationwide nervous breakdown since 9/11. A nation of people suddenly broke, the market economy goes to shit, and they’re threatened on every side by an unknown, sinister enemy. But I don't think fear is a very effective way of dealing with things—of responding to reality. Fear is just another word for ignorance.”

- Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist

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The past week of Russia’s war in Ukraine was remarkable, chiefly for something that happened thousands of kilometres to the east of a hardened battlefront.

In an apparent sabotage operation of breathtaking audacity, Ukrainian operatives blew up two freight trains in east Siberia travelling on a track believed to be used to shuttle North Korean-made ordnance to the Russian front lines in Ukraine.

On December 6 the Russian Air Force deployed Su-35S fighters to escort President Vladimir Putin on a rare visit to the Persian Gulf Region, which marks his third trip outside the territory of the former Soviet Union since the escalation of war in Ukraine in February 2022 following visits to Beijing and Tehran earlier this year.

The Ukrainian government can’t expect additional funding from the US until it has been approved in Congress, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby warned at a White House press briefing on Thursday.

On Wednesday, the Senate failed to advance the $111 billion spending bill that would have allocated over $60 billion in aid to Kiev, even after President Joe Biden argued that this would undermine US leadership and prestige.

Last week’s statements by David Arakhamia – who took part in the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations to end the armed conflict a year and a half ago – have caused a stir. The leader of Ukraine’s parliament only said what had been uttered by others before, but his input, for the first time, delivered official confirmation from Kiev.

The administration of US President Joe Biden is considering tightening immigration controls in order to persuade the Republicans to sign on to a behemoth security package for Ukraine and Israel, Reuters reported on Thursday.

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin reportedly told members of Congress that unless they approve more funding to Ukraine, Americans will be sent to fight Russia directly, former Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on Thursday.

According to Carlson, Austin spoke at a classified briefing for members of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, and at one point told them that “we’ll send your uncles, cousins and sons to fight Russia” unless Kiev gets the $60 billion in aid requested by the White House.

The Russian economy grew by 3.2% in the first ten months of 2023 and will post 3.5% growth by the end of the year, beyond the levels recorded prior to the conflict in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said during his address at VTB Bank’s ‘Russia Calling!’ Forum on Thursday.

Putin said Western states had aimed to destabilize the Russian economy “to make the Russian people suffer,” with financial sanctions imposed on the country since February 2022. However, these goals “set by our ill-wishers have clearly not been achieved,” the president added.

Drug-resistant germs are spreading in Ukraine among people who sustained injuries from the war with Russia and beyond, according to a new report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Iran’s president Thursday as part of a blitz round of Middle East diplomacy that also included visits to United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in efforts to raise Moscow’s profile as a power broker in the region.