2022 Mar 27 - Ukraine Week 5

A new blood test can apparently diagnose Alzheimer's 30 years in advance, I guess if that’s the sort of thing you want to look forward too.
Parents in Wales are no longer entitled to smack. Which is good news of class-A drug users elsewhere.
Talking of which Taylor Hawkins from band the Foo Fighters has died. He was a drummer in Colombia so you can guess the rest of that story

This week there was a G20 conference to discuss the Ukraine situation and as expected it was about as useful as air conditioning on a motorbike. Russia which classes itself as a superpower is somehow managing to lose a war to a rag-tag collection of amateurs and even children who have been allowed to put down the x-box controllers in favour of actual military grade weapons. I saw a kid on the news who couldn't have been much over the age of 7, running around with an MP5 machine gun and I was fairly glad my son didn’t get any ideas of what he wants for Christmas. Mind you, it is a good example of how it may be relatively simple enough to beat standing armies but a determined populace and insurrection is always next to impossible to defeat. If Ukraine was an animal it would be a cat with 9 lives. Talking of which I remember years ago phoning a vet in order to get my elderly cat put down and the receptionist told me I'd have to book 9 appointments.

The one positive thing you can say about Vladimir is that he has at least been one of the most effective geography teachers in years with random folk down the pub now able to talk chapter and verse about cities that nobody had heard of 6 months ago although it might all be a waste of time he ends up leveling the place. Currently there's a solid possibility of that being the outcome, with huge stretches of no-mans-land in exchange for Russia annexing the Donbas region, all fairly similar to what played out in Cyprus 50 years ago. That is also outrageously ironic given how many Russian Oligarchs hold a Cypriot passport, in order to get EU citizenship. All in the meanwhile Western companies are facing demands not to sell their products in Russia. Curiously the tobacco industry are the latest to talk about pulling out of Russia, which makes you wonder whose side they're really on, the tobacco industry kills far more Russians every year than the Ukrainian army could ever dream of. Between that and McDonalds exiting Russia we may see the life expectancy jump 10 years, or it may all turn ugly, literally. Botox manufacturer AbbVie has decided to cease operations there after all. Perhaps that will be the twist of the screw that finally drags the shiny and suspiciously smooth skinned Vladimir Putin to the negotiating table...
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