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This from The Economist

"Russia’s absurd and illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine—Kherson, Donetsk, Luhansk and Zaporizhia—before it could even establish full control over them, makes it a state with illegitimate territories and a fluid frontier. “The Russian Federation as we know it is self-liquidating and passing into a failed-state phase,” says Ekaterina Schulmann, a political scientist. Its administration, she notes, is unable to carry out its basic functions.The annexation will not deter Ukrainian forces, but it will create precedents for Russia’s own restive regions, including the north Caucasus republics, which are likely to head for the exit if the central government starts loosening its grip.

Another feature of a failing state is a loss of monopoly on the use of physical force. Private armies and mercenaries, although officially banned in Russia, are flourishing. Evgeny Prigozhin, a former convict nicknamed “Putin’s chef” and a front man for the Wagner Group, a private mercenary operation, has been openly recruiting prisoners and offering them pardons in exchange for joining his forces. Wagner, he says, has no desire to be “legalised” or integrated into the armed forces. The same could be said of the force controlled by Ramzan Kadyrov, a Chechen former warlord and now Chechnya’s president. Even Russia’s government security agencies are increasingly serving their own corporate interests.

From: https://www.economist.com/the-world-ahead/2022/11/18/the-world-ahead-2023
 

wopchop

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I have better but I'd prefer not to say things that advocate for crimes against humanity.

That being said it was merely an observation. My thinking was as I said before that in North America we are too delicate to fight a war.

Blame that on society, coddling, what have you but realistically if war broke out in Europe and Article 5 invoked not many people here would know what to do. Everyone would likely be raising objections to serving on mental health, cultural or religious grounds.

Compare that to Europe where military service and the thought you may need to serve is part of the culture, especially in the Balkans.
How many wars have these Europeans fought in the last thirty years?
My guess is more people from North America have seen real combat than European conscripts.
 

Richard White

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Just now I was on a live virtual tour of Kyiv on Heygo with a woman named Olga Dudakova and her son. I took some virtual postcards and thought I would share them with you.

She stated that they currently have 3 hours of electricity in Kyiv every day and 8 hours without. This takes the form of rolling blackouts. She mentioned that people are utilizing the grocery stores to charge their devices.

One thing she highlighted was that Russia tends to strike them earlier on in the week in the mornings. It was also pointed out that there was talk in Kyiv to have the entire city evacuated for safety reasons. She informed us that the government was considering evacuating the capital due to a lack of power.

The Ukrainian Government decided not to evacuate the capital once semi-reliable power was restored. She let us know that only a portion of the capital has power but as expected, the government quarter does consistently have power.

She lives on the 23rd floor of her apartment building but is contemplating leaving to Prague once again. She has 3 children and it is becoming hard for her (she is in her late 40s) to carry 20 litres of water up 23 floors every day.

During the tour, she showed us the hedgehogs set up in Kyiv to assist in defending against tanks. There is also a memorial in Independence Square for all the soldiers that have died in the country. From my understanding, when a soldier dies, the family places a flag in the ground to symbolize their death.

She does her best to host live tours from Kyiv regularly to keep us all updated but that is not always possible. Consider it almost like live reporting from a warzone. She does her best to give everyone an up to date Ukrainian perspective on the situation live from Kyiv.

Olgas tours can be found here: https://www.heygo.com/marvelouskyiv

Here are some pictures from the tour (with captions)

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Memorial to the soldiers who lost their lives in defense of Ukraine.

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Olga and a candle lit to remember those lost in the Holodomor

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Ukrainian House of Music as was described by Olga. I believe it some sort of opera house or like our Roy Thompson Hall.

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"Love Ukraine" sign with bomb damage

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Banksy art with a hedgehog in the foreground

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Independence Square - Kyiv

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Shoes of a 13 year old who had died as a result of a Russian attack on Kherson. From my understanding, the death occurred earlier this week.

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Main street of Kyiv.
 

Richard White

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Heat pumps are somewhat impractical for Canadian winters.

They definitely would not work in Winnipeg for example.
Richard. You are, again, incorrect. Heat Pumps can work in most climates - take a look at https://www.bchydro.com/news/conservation/2022/cold-weather-heat-pumps.html

I have been a UTer for 15+ years and generally like to read - and argue with - opposing points of view and over the years I have 'ignored' fewer than 5 people. I have added you to my (short) list based on posting, too often, statements that are incorrect, conflicted and contradictory or simply morally wrong. Farewell.
 

afransen

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Heat pumps are somewhat impractical for Canadian winters.

They definitely would not work in Winnipeg for example.
This isn't really true. Air source heat pumps work down to -30, which is what the vast majority of Canadian population experiences. I would have a backup heat source as well (maybe a gas fireplace, but you're unlikely to need it much.

 

Richard White

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Richard. You are, again, incorrect. Heat Pumps can work in most climates - take a look at https://www.bchydro.com/news/conservation/2022/cold-weather-heat-pumps.html

I have been a UTer for 15+ years and generally like to read - and argue with - opposing points of view and over the years I have 'ignored' fewer than 5 people. I have added you to my (short) list based on posting, too often, statements that are incorrect, conflicted and contradictory or simply morally wrong. Farewell.

No worries.

I've had enough of this from everyone here.

Deleting my UT.
 

APTA-2048

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My neighbour here in Cabbagetown just installed one, along with solar panels on roof to help operate it.
The federal government recently announced a grant to help get people off oil heating:


The federal government has announced details of a new grant aimed at helping low- to median-income Canadian households make the switch from oil to heat pumps.

The Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) Grant will provide households with up to $5,000 — depending on the household income — to cover costs that include the purchase and installation of heat pumps, necessary electrical upgrades and safe removal of the oil tank.
 

lenaitch

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Heat pumps are somewhat impractical for Canadian winters.

They definitely would not work in Winnipeg for example.
From Manitoba Hydro:

 

Admiral Beez

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The federal government recently announced a grant to help get people off oil heating:


The federal government has announced details of a new grant aimed at helping low- to median-income Canadian households make the switch from oil to heat pumps.

The Oil to Heat Pump Affordability (OHPA) Grant will provide households with up to $5,000 — depending on the household income — to cover costs that include the purchase and installation of heat pumps, necessary electrical upgrades and safe removal of the oil tank.
I think my friend in NB used this to install a geothermal system to heat his house.
 

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