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Best wishes to you. Normalcy bias and tuning out repeated cries of wolf affects everyone. I did think it looked like the invasion was going to be on this time, but your move was obviously underway before the flags went up. I was betting Putin would wait to move until the Covid surge in Russia ended, my brother pointed out he couldn't afford to because the Ukraine had mud season in the spring. Since omicron numbers started dropping like a rock in Russia February 10, it looks like Putin tried to split the difference. Maybe all his tanks and troop transports will bog down in mud anyway. Here's hoping. :)
 

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As a Ukrainian/Russian Jew (3rd/4th generation American depending on which side you look) with many Russian/Ukrainian relatives I can assure you that many Russians and Ukrainians speak and write good English.. A 1/3rd of my family in USA are actually refugees from Soviet Union.
Most Americans are bad at learning/speaking any foreign language, a result of usually not beginning to learn one until high school, often from teachers who read one better than they speak it themselves. (I certainly am bad at it, and my engineer brother only made it out of college because they allowed a programming language to be counted for his language requirement).

As a result, we're always impressed and slightly amazed when any foreigner speaks/writes English like it is a first language. :)
 

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They'd need to lock down the Romania/Moldova border and the short borders with Slovakia and Hungary as well as the border with Poland.

As for an International Brigade of volunteers while other nations themselves stay out of the fight, that didn't play out too well in the Spanish Civil War, although it's true that few nations were willing to sell arms to the Republican side in that, which does not appear to be the case with Ukraine now.
 

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Perhaps it is necessary and wise to dampen down the cheer leading, the conjecturing as to tactics, and consider the ramifications of the success of the western powers in this struggle.

In a 2018 documentary, President Putin commented that "…if someone decides to annihilate Russia, we have the legal right to respond. Yes, it will be a catastrophe for humanity and for the world. But I'm a citizen of Russia and its head of state. Why do we need a world without Russia in it?"

This thing was a set up long in the making, that put Putin between a rock and a hard place, and he responded as we knew he would. The negotiations before the invasion were a cynical joke. Generally speaking it was to hell with your security concerns Mr. Putin, now bend over and take it like a man from the west. He reacted as we knew he would, as he had to for his own survival and that of Russia. The west forced Russia into a choice of capitulation to our terms, or use of military force on their side to achieve their perceived security needs.

It seems people have thrown the concept of balance of power out the window.

Ukraine, the Ukrainian people are the sacrifice for the desires of the major powers in their struggles against one another. To me it is a staggering stupidity to sacrifice one's country, the lives of its people, in service to the desires of others, the western powers. For freedom the cry goes up, and they die, for Ukraine we go to war, and they die ........ hasn't anyone in the Ukraine government considered the cost benefit analysis of going up against the vast Russian army without any trustworthy back up? All those deaths and the same outcome for the Ukraine and its people, but Russia suffers in lives, treasure, and is isolated in the world, Nato is woken up .......... so who is benefiting by this carnage? It's all so clever, so cynical, so psychopathic, like it always is, and people just keep going along with it, and die by the millions. No wonder those who wield power in this world look at the common man as an easily manipulated fool to do with as they wish.

Now Russia is committed to their course of action, and vilified by the world for it. They are under economic attack, an increase from the economic warfare we have been waging against them for some time now.

The propaganda machines of the west are spinning at maximum speed and volume, the distortions and lies coming hard and fast to where people don't know what is real or manufactured with any degree of accuracy. So many just choose a side in accord with their biases, the easy thing to do, instead of rational thinking to see through the miasma of distortions.

It is sadly amazing how so many swallow the narrative they are being fed, forgetting the recent past, madly cheering on their collective madness, their headlong rush to nuclear war.

But hey now, Biden said don't worry about such depressing things, so I guess I'll leave it alone now, and people can get back to their pleasing delusions given to them by their overlords.

People are dying, great changes are afoot, but it seems like a ball game given the reactions of so many, disgustingly dangerous.
The century changes, the dancers change...but the dance always remains the same.

Kurt Jooss's The Green Table

(Choreographed in 1932 in Germany, performed again in NYC in 1933 after Jooss and his company had to flee from the Nazis, restaged by Jooss for the Joffrey Ballet in 1967, restaged for other companies by his daughter in 1973 and 1984, and most recently restaged for the Joffrey again in 2007. Regrettably, the original Joffrey version with Christian Holder as Death that I saw live at City Center is not online, but this one still does a fine job of representing "when will they ever learn"...)
 

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Throwing the terms "Nazi" and "Commie" around indiscriminately as insults and sometimes simultaneously at the same targets is one of the many proofs that our current educational system largely fails to educate. To paraphrase Tolstoy, totalitarian regimes are all alike, but every political philosophy gets to them in its own way.
 

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I think that's an anti-aircraft vehicle, not a tank.
Anti-aircraft vehicle, personnel carrier, tank, missile, or gun of any description, the Ukrainian government has kindly informed its citizens that there will be no need to declare any plunder on their income tax. (No word yet on whether they can deduct any prisoners of war taken as dependents.) :giggle:
 

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transitioned to renting out apartments in Kyiv. ( trust me, up till around 10 days ago owning apartments in Kyiv was quite enviable)
Owning arable land is always enviable. Owning buildings/rental properties is generally enviable in times of peace, but as you've discovered, a bit dicey in times of war. Especially so since everybody's insurance tends to exclude coverage for any damage due to acts of war, even assuming the insurance company outlives the conflict in question. The "is the insurance company still in business" catch applies to any other widespread major disaster scenario as well. (Of course any fiat currency itself that an insurance company might pay off in will not survive anything approaching TEOTWAWKI.)

My tenant, who is still in Kyiv, called and said that ukrainian tanks or whatnot are now using nearby buildings as cover, really close the apartment - I was really pissed at this.
Somehow, I suspect the guys in the tanks are majorly unconcerned about their effect on either the real estate market or your emotional state right now. Nor do I think that figures anywhere in the targeting decisions of the guys on the other side lobbing bombs and armor-piercing weaponry around. On the bright side, if they don't level the entire city and your apartment happens to survive, you will undoubtedly be able to raise the rent after the bombs stop falling, assuming an occupying army doesn't just commandeer your premises. Even half-destroyed cellars were rentable in post-war Berlin. Whatever happens, you are still in the enviable position of owning 2 somewhat separated dwellings and probably enough other wealth to get out of town/the country if they both get flattened. As they say, things could be worse. (They apparently already are for a number of people.)

As someone else in this thread has apparently just realized, it doesn't matter if you live in a fort if it happens to end up being on a battlefield or where the generals decide to dig their trenches. As for a bunker on the Maginot line, that works until it ends up surrounded in enemy territory. War sucks for civilians as well as soldiers, and time and chance happen to all men. Any illusion of perfect security is just that, an illusion. All anyone can do in life is play the odds and hope lady luck is with them.
 

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I don't exactly expect tanks to roll down our street anytime soon, but I'm pretty sure Yuriy wasn't expecting to hear cannon fire in the distance either.
The risk there is they roll down the streets near you, and your comfortable hilltop stronghold ends up the most defensible of the intact standing structures in the area, so the army informs you that you are vacating because it's being made into headquarters. The caretaking of commandeered buildings historically leaves something to be desired even if they do not become the target of enemy attack and are eventually returned to their owners. :( (Half my family was on the losing side of the US civil war, in territory that was invaded.)

ETA: On the subject of luck: One of my Southern great-great-grandfathers had a house on a high hill. From which he sighted blue uniforms moving down the road one fine day and realized his daughter (the eventual mother of my paternal grandfather) was in the fields down below. He started frantically shouting and waving his arms to get her back to the house as fast as possible. With the result those blue coats turned off the road towards his house and promptly arrested him and sentenced him to hang for trying to warn the rebels. Said rebels fortunately counterattacked just then, interrupting their plans, and eventually drove the Yankees off, so he lived to the end of the war after all. (The house didn't do as well in the end, though, since the opposing forces moved back and forth through that area several times.)

Now my paternal great-grandmother's house got burned down by Union soldiers after the cook ran to the woods with her in arms. Her mother did convince the Union commander to let her remove just a few personal things from the house first. No one ever checked the little sewing table she then walked out with, which had much of her good jewelry stuffed into the socks to be darned and hidden in the needlework half finished. (Got to watch it around those steel magnolias.) :) The sewing table is in my living room now, and her Georgian rosecut diamond earrings and her engagement ring are in my jewelry box. The rest of the good stuff got sold off in the hard times after the war, Confederate dollars then being worth nothing, as usually happens. My aunt in the Army had some nice jewelry she bought in Germany during the occupation after WWII, sold for the same reasons.
 

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Back to the washboard and mangle or whatever it was called.. 2 long cylinders that squeezed the water off. Coffee makers are a convenience. Espresso is a strong coffee right. Cowboy coffee the old fashioned way is pretty strong. My grandma would add some instant to her cup
Turkish coffee is the original Arabic version of coffee that they spread to the world and is as dark roast and strong as any espresso. And all you need is fire, water, very finely ground dark roast coffee beans (which maximizes your coffee production per bean as a side effect), and a pot, preferably taller than wide with a bit of neck constriction to help prevent boil over (especially likely when making it on that open fire of camel dung). :)

 

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Paper filters take out too much of the body from the coffee for my taste as well.

The secret to less fuss with reusable filters is to have at least a couple. Leave the grounds to partially air dry in the filter, and they dump out much more easily and neatly, and the filter just needs a hot water swish. (I actually knock my half-dried grounds out on a tray to finish drying and toss the fully dried ones into a bucket. With a little added scrap wax, they eventually get turned into coffee-ground briquets for the hibachi.) :)
 
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