MONDAY 11 APRIL 2022, 6:30 pm


  • New general,  Alexander Dvornikov “butcher of Syria” has a reputation for ignoring civilian populations.  Appointed to direct all Russian operations.  The Syrian military was not doing well, Russians intervened and bombed Aleppo.  Dvornikov was also in Chechen. 
  • Clapper (CIA): He (Dvornikov) is not operating in a friendly environment.  Can he muster combat power?  Weakened state of Russian military in Ukraine, he’s going to have his hands full.  More brutality towards civilians


  • Zelensky: “Mariupol is destroyed.”
  • The Donbas is familiar territory for the Russians with shorter supply lines.
  • Russians seized Izium last week.  They are trying also to solidify a land corridor between Donbas and the Crimean peninsula.
  • Satellite images show a Russian convoy moving south through Velykyi Burluk, east of Kharkiv and north of Izium. 
  • This is going to be a large-scale battle with hundreds of tanks and fighting vehicles.
  • There are also railroads in the east that are under Russian control.
  • Russian forces were largely confined to the roads, as they were not able to traverse the terrain.  They were vulnerable to attack. 

MSNBC: Ari Melber

  • Putin shuttered independent media sources.  Journalists have been prevented from using the word war to describe what’s going on in Ukraine.  Critics, activists have been shot, or poisoned, arrested.  2002, an opposition leader was shot.  An investigator investigating the bombings in Russia blamed on Chechen separatists was killed. 
  • And it’s not just activists, but those in government service who have been punished.   Veterans of the Kremlin who call out the government.  Litvinenko was part of the government, former KGB agent.  Accused the Security Services of leading the coup that ushered in Putin.   Litvinenko was poisoned in London.  One of the men who gave Litvinenko poison was given a metal. 
  • Boris Nimtsov, assassinated after criticizing Putin.  2011.  He said that Putin rigged the election.  Tapping into an opposition.  He was against Putin’s increasing incursions into Ukraine.  A year before he was assassinated, he talked with Anthony Bondain about being put in jail for opposing Putin.
  • Navalny is probably the most important of Putin’s detractors.  He is in jail.  There is a lot of interest in him internationally.  Putin won’t even say the name of Navalny.  The Russians claims Navalny is a terrorist. 
  • A Ukrainian candidate in the 2014 election was poisoned as well. 
  • An oil tycoon in 2003 decided to draw a line and criticized government corruption to Putin’s face.  Arrested on fraud charges, whisked to prison, businesses and holdings collapsed.  The message was that no amount of money or connections will save you if you contradict Putin.  Served ten years in prison.  Khodorkovsky speaking after being in jail, said he could have been murdered any time.  Willingness to negotiate means you are weak. 
  • Surviving two poisoning attempts Kara Murza has now been arrested again.  In 2016, he was in the US testifying before Congress.  He was arrested in Moscow today after he opposed the Ukrainian war in a video.  His wife is pleading forhim.

MSNBC: Joy Reid

  • Zelensky: “I don’t have the confidence that we will be receiving everything we need.”
  • Reid: Why won’t the world give them what they are asking for?
  • Clint Watts: The Ukrainians are saying we have to have offensive capabilities.  Boris Johnson appeared in Kyiv, but say we will give you everything except what you need to win.  The notion is that if we do anything to really back Ukraine it will provoke a nuclear war.  I’m not sure that’s true. 
  • (Note: If we let this window disappear it may be too late.)
  • Reid: “He’s decided he can get away with almost anything.”  She’s talking about Putin, but it’s also true of Trump.
  • McFaul: “we fear escalation in an irrational way.”  McFaul is nixing the no-fly zone.  Wimp.

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