Russia’s deplatforming is underway. Many of the conflicts in Ukraine are a continuation of traditional military warfare that involved tanks, weapons, supply lines, diplomacy, and missiles. But nonstate actors have started taking sides—well, taking one side—in ways that the world hasn’t seen before, with private sector businesses and international organizations responding to Russia’s attack on its neighbor by cutting ties with Moscow, and in some cases sacrificing huge sums of money. This mass exodus is being combined with sanctions from the United States of Europe and possibly motivated by them, and shows how even powerful countries can be punished by the market for unjustified and dangerous behavior.
Shell, General Motors and BP have all announced their intentions to invest in BP. Russia will be left out of the plans. FedEx, DHL (German-based shipping firm) have stopped shipping to Russia. Maersk, Denmark’s biggest container shipping business, said that it was considering stopping all shipping to Russia.
Nick Tsafos of the Center for Strategic and International Studies tells us that companies are saying “We don’t want be part in this.” The Washington Post. The Post Noting that many of these actions are taken despite high costs, Shell announced today it is ending several joint projects in Russia with Gazprom. This means Shell will have to sacrifice more than $3 billion.
The Cold War was over Bloomberg Reports indicate that Russian companies rushed to Russia in order to profit from a new market, which offered millions of potential customers as well as the nation’s abundant natural resources. These days saw a dramatic reversal in that rush with major international law firms and energy companies announcing plans either to reduce their Russian operations or leave the country altogether.
As foreign governments tighten sanctions on Russia and close their airspace, some countries lock out banks from the SWIFT money messaging service. Russia is now extremely problematic due to its falling ruble, and U.S. bans transactions with Russian central banks. Some businesses have decided to stop operating in Russia due to the high reputational risks and financial consequences.
This exodus does not only affect “hard” industries such as energy or banking. International sporting event organizers and entertainment companies have swiftly moved to ban, cancel or exclude Russia. Disney has been canceling all future film releasesRussia. In Russia. BatmanWarner Bros. has announced that film will not be distributed in Russia. Netflix also announced Monday it would not follow Russian laws requiring Netflix to broadcast state TV programming. This will lead to the streaming company being removed from Russian internet networks.
FIFA is now taking steps against Russia, even though it’s a corrupt body which oversees international soccer. FIFA declared Monday that Russia would be given the boot after several European teams refused to face Russia during World Cup qualifiers.
The 21st Century is witness to the first geopolitical cancellation.
— Jason Willick (@jawillick) February 28, 2022
Some companies, which may be able to help Russians in times of economic crisis are declining to join the parade. Binance, Coinbase and Coinbase, two of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges worldwide, promised to not ban Russian users.
A statement ViceCoinbase stated that it will work to prevent transactions and accounts linked to sanctions targets, but allow others to access the service. A spokesperson for the company stated that the company’s mission was to improve economic freedom around the globe. An unilateral and complete ban would penalize ordinary Russian citizens, who have suffered currency destabilization due to their government’s aggression towards a democracy neighbor.”
This is a difficult balance to achieve, one both government and private actors need to remember as war continues on both non-state and state-based fronts. Sanctions and economic warfare will devastate Russian civilians who have nothing to do with—and in many cases actively oppose—their government’s horrific actions in Ukraine. Of course war comes with collateral harm, but it’s important that we take measures to reduce this. Companies cutting ties with Russia should follow Coinbase’s example whenever possible—though that’s not really feasible for nontech firms like BP and Shell.
However, any Russian citizen who wishes to escape economic sanctions being applied to the Putin regime by Western countries should have the opportunity to access the open doors of the West.
EU officials have told me they are considering providing qualified Russian ????????. citizens EU ???????? To accelerate Russian economic brain-drain, passports
This is one of many creative measures to enhance the economic sanctions ???????????????.?
— Mujtaba (Mij) Rahman (@Mij_Europe) March 1, 2022
What was life like before the smartphone? It’s popular to condemn technology for all manner of psychological and social ills, but Matt Ruby offers a few—or, well, actually a lot—of counterpoints. You can find his Substack here. The Rubesletter
It was easy for me to become lost. Asking for directions was my first instinct. I would look up landmarks and fold maps. A guidebook would be handy as well. I didn’t know when the next train was going to arrive. I was patient and waited a lot.
I remembered phone numbers and jotted down notes in my notebooks. I had conversations at bars with random people, chatted to taxi drivers, made checks to the bank, and dreamed. I was extremely inefficient and very bored. My requests were rarely met and it took at most 8-10 business days to get them. My words were not searchable or archived.
Take the time to read it all.
Tonight’s State of the Union Address will be delivered by President Joe Biden. He may also give a few words of encouragement to the deficit-hawks. President Biden calls on Congress to pass legislation to lower the costs of daily expenses that working families have and reduce their reliance on government. deficitIn a press release distributed prior to the speech, the White House stated that it would reward work and not wealth.
This is an acknowledgement of the domestic political realities. After a year of trying and failing to convince Sen. Joe Manchin (D–W.Va.) The White House seems ready to adopt a different strategy after attempting to persuade Sen. Joe Manchin (D.W.Va.) for his deficit-inflating plan “Build Back better”.
• A family that escaped Afghanistan in August is now caught up in the refugee crisis unfolding in Ukraine.
• “Make the State of the Union boring again.”
• Russia may have committed a war crime by using a so-called vacuum bomb in Ukraine.
• Periodic reminder that nationalism is collectivist and gross:
All nationalism is based on the use of people as political pawns and cannon fodder. pic.twitter.com/DJLhgVskzv
— The Alex Nowrasteh (@AlexNowrasteh) March 1, 2022
• Remote work is proving to be more persistent than expected.
• Don’t forget to wear your mask and maintain social distancing while huddling in your nuclear fallout shelter.