The REAL Reason Putin is Invading Ukraine [video with transcript]
[Reporter] The Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Momentum is building for a war between Ukraine and Russia.
[Reporter] Tensions between Russia and the West
are growing rapidly.
[Reporter] President Biden considering deploying
thousands of troops to Eastern Europe.
There are now 100,000 troops
on the Eastern border of Ukraine.
Russia is setting up field hospitals on this border.
Like this is what preparation for war looks like.
A legitimate war.
Ukrainian troops are watching and waiting,
saying they are preparing for a fight.
The U.S. has ordered the families of embassy staff
to leave Ukraine.
Britain has sent all of their nonessential staff home.
And now the U.S. is sending tons of weapons and munitions
to Ukraine's army.
And we're even considering deploying
our own troops to the region.
I mean, this thing is heating up.
Meanwhile, Russia and the West have been in Geneva
and Brussels trying to talk it out,
and sort of getting nowhere.
The message is very clear.
Should Russia take further aggressive actions
against Ukraine the costs will be severe
and the consequences serious.
It's a scary, grim momentum that is unpredictable.
And the chances of miscalculation
and escalation are growing.
I want to explain what's going on here,
but I want to show you that this isn't just
typical geopolitical behavior.
Stuff that can just be explained on the map.
Instead, to understand why 100,000 troops are camped out
on Ukraine's Eastern border, ready for war,
you have to understand Russia
and how it's been cut down over the ages
from the Slavic empire that dominated this whole region
to then the Soviet Union,
which was defeated in the nineties.
And what you really have to understand here
is how that history is transposed
onto the brain of one man.
This guy, Vladimir Putin.
This is a story about regional domination
and struggles between big powers,
but really it's the story about
what Vladimir Putin really wants.
[Reporter] Russian troops moving swiftly
to take control of military bases in Crimea.
[Reporter] Russia has amassed more than 100,000 troops
and a lot of military hardware
at the border with Ukraine.
Let's dive back in.
Okay. Let's get up to speed on what's happening here.
And I'm just going to quickly give you the highlight version
of like the news that's happening,
because I want to get into the juicy part,
which is like why, the roots of all of this.
So let's go.
A few months ago, Russia started sending
more and more troops to this border.
It's this massive border between Ukraine and Russia.
They said they were doing a military exercise,
but the rest of the world was like,
"Yeah, we totally believe you Russia. Pshaw."
This was right before this big meeting
where North American and European countries
were coming together to talk about a lot
of different things, like these countries often do
in these diplomatic summits.
But soon, because of Russia's aggressive behavior
coming in and setting up 100,000 troops
on the border with Ukraine,
the entire summit turned into a whole, "WTF Russia,
what are you doing on the border of Ukraine," meeting.
Before the meeting Putin comes out and says,
"Listen, I have some demands for the West."
And everyone's like, "Okay, Russia, what are your demands?
You know, we have like, COVID19 right now.
And like, that's like surging.
So like, we don't need your like,
bluster about what your demands are."
And Putin's like, "No, here's my list of demands."
Putin's demands for the summit were this:
number one, that NATO, which is this big military alliance
between U.S., Canada, and Europe stop expanding,
meaning they don't let any new members in, okay.
So, Russia is like, "No more new members to your, like,
cool military club that I don't like.
You can't have any more members."
Number two, that NATO withdraw all of their troops
from anywhere in Eastern Europe.
Basically Putin is saying,
"I can veto any military cooperation
or troops going between countries
that have to do with Eastern Europe,
the place that used to be the Soviet Union."
Okay, and number three, Putin demands that America vow
not to protect its allies in Eastern Europe
with nuclear weapons.
"LOL," said all of the other countries,
"You're literally nuts, Vladimir Putin.
Like these are the most ridiculous demands, ever."
But there he is, Putin, with these demands.
These very, very aggressive demands.
And he sort of is implying that if his demands aren't met,
he's going to invade Ukraine.
I mean, it doesn't work like this.
This is not how international relations work.
You don't just show up and say like,
"I'm not gonna allow other countries to join your alliance
because it makes me feel uncomfortable."
But what I love about this list of demands
from Vladimir Putin for this summit
is that it gives us a clue
on what Vladimir Putin really wants.
What he's after here.
You read them closely and you can grasp his intentions.
But to grasp those intentions
you have to understand what NATO is.
and what Russia and Ukraine used to be.
Okay, so a while back I made this video
about why Russia is so damn big,
where I explain how modern day Russia started here in Kiev,
which is actually modern day Ukraine.
In other words, modern day Russia, as we know it,
has its original roots in Ukraine.
These places grew up together
and they eventually became a part
of the same mega empire called the Soviet Union.
They were deeply intertwined,
not just in their history and their culture,
but also in their economy and their politics.
So it's after World War II,
it's like the '50s, '60s, '70s, and NATO was formed,
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
This was a military alliance between all of these countries,
that was meant to sort of deter the Soviet Union
from expanding and taking over the world.
But as we all know, the Soviet Union,
which was Russia and all of these other countries,
collapsed in 1991.
And all of these Soviet republics,
including Ukraine, became independent,
meaning they were not now a part
of one big block of countries anymore.
But just because the border's all split up,
it doesn't mean that these cultural ties actually broke.
Like for example, the Soviet leader at the time
of the collapse of the Soviet Union, this guy, Gorbachev,
he was the son of a Ukrainian mother and a Russian father.
Like he grew up with his mother singing him
Ukrainian folk songs.
In his mind, Ukraine and Russia were like one thing.
So there was a major reluctance to accept Ukraine
as a separate thing from Russia.
In so many ways, they are one.
There was another Russian at the time
who did not accept this new division.
This young intelligence officer, Vladimir Putin,
who was starting to rise up in the ranks
of postSoviet Russia.
There's this amazing quote from 2005
where Putin is giving this stateoftheunionlike address,
where Putin declares the collapse of the Soviet Union,
quote, "The greatest catastrophe of the 20th century.
And as for the Russian people, it became a genuine tragedy.
Tens of millions of fellow citizens and countrymen
found themselves beyond the fringes of Russian territory."
Do you see how he frames this?
The Soviet Union were all one people in his mind.
And after it collapsed, all of these people
who are a part of the motherland were now outside
of the fringes or the boundaries of Russian territory.
First off, fact check.
Greatest catastrophe of the 20th century?
Like, do you remember what else happened
in the 20th century, Vladimir?
Putin's worry about the collapse of this one people
starts to get way worse when the West, his enemy,
starts showing up to his neighborhood
to all these exSoviet countries that are now independent.
The West starts selling their ideology
of democracy and capitalism and inviting them
to join their military alliance called NATO.
And guess what?
These countries are totally buying it.
All these exSoviet countries are now joining NATO.
And some of them, the EU.
And Putin is hating this.
He's like not only did the Soviet Union divide
and all of these people are now outside
of the Russia motherland,
but now they're being persuaded by the West
to join their military alliance.
This is terrible news.
Over the years, this continues to happen,
while Putin himself starts to chip away
at Russian institutions, making them weaker and weaker.
He's silencing his rivals
and he's consolidating power in himself.
And in the past few years,
he's effectively silenced anyone who can challenge him;
any institution, any court,
or any political rival have all been silenced.
It's been decades since the Soviet Union fell,
but as Putin gains more power,
he still sees the region through the lens
of the old Cold War, Soviet, Slavic empire view.
He sees this region as one big block
that has been torn apart by outside forces.
"The greatest catastrophe of the 20th century."
And the worst situation of all of these,
according to Putin, is Ukraine,
which was like the gem of the Soviet Union.
There was tons of cultural heritage.
Again, Russia sort of started in Ukraine,
not to mention it was a very populous
and industrious, resourcerich place.
And over the years Ukraine has been drifting west.
It hasn't joined NATO yet, but more and more,
it's been electing proWestern presidents.
It's been flirting with membership in NATO.
It's becoming less and less attached
to the Russian heritage that Putin so adores.
And more than half of Ukrainians say
that they'd be down to join the EU.
64% of them say that it would be cool joining NATO.
But Putin can't handle this. He is in total denial.
Like an exboyfriend who handle his exgirlfriend
starting to date someone else,
Putin can't let Ukraine go.
He won't let go.
So for the past decade,
he's been trying to keep the West out
and bring Ukraine back into the motherland of Russia.
This usually takes the form of Putin sending
secret soldiers from Russia into Ukraine
to help the people in Ukraine who want to like separate
from Ukraine and join Russia.
It also takes the form of, oh yeah,
stealing entire parts of Ukraine for Russia.
Russian troops moving swiftly to take control
of military bases in Crimea.
Like in 2014, Putin just did this.
To what America is officially calling
a Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He went down and just snatched this bit of Ukraine
and folded it into Russia.
So you're starting to see what's going on here.
Putin's life's work is to salvage what he calls
the greatest catastrophe of the 20th century,
the division and the separation
of the Soviet republics from Russia.
So let's get to present day. It's 2022.
Putin is at it again.
And honestly, if you really want to understand
the mind of Vladimir Putin and his whole view on this,
you have to read this.
"On the History of Unity of Russians and Ukrainians,"
by Vladimir Putin.
A blog post that kind of sounds
like a ninth grade history essay.
In this essay, Vladimir Putin argues
that Russia and Ukraine are one people.
He calls them essentially the same historical
and spiritual space.
Kind of beautiful writing, honestly.
Anyway, he argues that the division
between the two countries is due to quote,
"a deliberate effort by those forces
that have always sought to undermine our unity."
And that the formula they use, these outside forces,
is a classic one: divide and rule.
And then he launches into this super indepth,
like 10page argument, as to every single historical beat
of Ukraine and Russia's history
to make this argument that like,
this is one people and the division is totally because
of outside powers, i.e. the West.
Okay, but listen, there's this moment
at the end of the post,
that actually kind of hit me in a big way.
He says this, "Just have a look at Austria and Germany,
or the U.S. and Canada, how they live next to each other.
Close in ethnic composition, culture,
and in fact, sharing one language,
they remain sovereign states with their own interests,
with their own foreign policy.
But this does not prevent them
from the closest integration or allied relations.
They have very conditional, transparent borders.
And when crossing them citizens feel at home.
They create families, study, work, do business.
Incidentally, so do millions of those born in Ukraine
who now live in Russia.
We see them as our own close people."
I mean, listen, like,
I'm not in support of what Putin is doing,
but like that, it's like a pretty solid like analogy.
If China suddenly showed up and started like
coaxing Canada into being a part of its alliance,
I would be a little bit like, "What's going on here?"
That's what Putin feels.
And so I kind of get what he means there.
There's a deep heritage and connection between these people.
And he's seen that falter and dissolve
and he doesn't like it.
He clearly genuinely feels a brotherhood
and this deep heritage connection
with the people of Ukraine.
Okay, okay, okay, okay. Putin, I get it.
Your essay is compelling there at the end.
You're clearly very smart and wellread.
But this does not justify what you've been up to. Okay?
It doesn't justify sending 100,000 troops to the border
or sending cyber soldiers to sabotage
the Ukrainian government, or annexing territory,
fueling a conflict that has killed
tens of thousands of people in Eastern Ukraine.
No matter how much affection you feel for Ukrainian heritage
and its connection to Russia, this is not okay.
Again, it's like the boyfriend
who genuinely loves his girlfriend.
They had a great relationship,
but they broke up and she's free to see whomever she wants.
But Putin is not ready to let go.
[Man In Blue Shirt] What the hell's wrong with you?
I love you, Jessica.
What the hell is wrong with you?
Dude, don't fucking touch me.
I love you. Worldstar!
What is wrong with you? Just stop!
Putin has constructed his own reality here.
One in which Ukraine is actually being controlled
by shadowy Western forces
who are holding the people of Ukraine hostage.
And if that he invades, it will be a swift victory
because Ukrainians will accept him with open arms.
The great liberator.
Like, this guy's a total romantic.
He's a history buff and a romantic.
And he has a hill to die on here.
And it is liberating the people
who have been taken from the Russian motherland.
Kind of like the abusive boyfriend, who's like,
"She actually really loves me,
but it's her annoying friends
who were planting all these ideas in her head.
That's why she broke up with me."
And it's like, "No, dude, she's over you."
[Man In Blue Shirt] What the hell is wrong with you?
I love you, Jessica.
I mean, maybe this video should be called
Putin is just like your abusive exboyfriend.
[Man In Blue Shirt] What the hell is wrong with you?
I love you, Jessica!
Worldstar! What's wrong with you?
Okay. So where does this leave us?
It's 2022, Putin is showing up to these meetings in Europe
to tell them where he stands.
He says, "NATO, you cannot expand anymore. No new members.
And you need to withdraw all your troops
from Eastern Europe, my neighborhood."
He knows these demands will never be accepted
because they're ludicrous.
But what he's doing is showing a false effort to say,
"Well, we tried to negotiate with the West,
but they didn't want to."
Hence giving a little bit more justification
to a Russian invasion.
So will Russia invade? Is there war coming?
Maybe; it's impossible to know
because it's all inside of the head of this guy.
But, if I were to make the best argument
that war is not coming tomorrow,
I would look at a few things.
Number one, war in Ukraine would be incredibly costly
for Vladimir Putin.
Russia has a far superior army to Ukraine's,
but still, Ukraine has a very good army
that is supported by the West
and would give Putin a pretty bad bloody nose
in any invasion.
Controlling territory in Ukraine would be very hard.
Ukraine is a giant country.
They would fight back and it would be very hard
to actually conquer and take over territory.
Another major point here is that if Russia invades Ukraine,
this gives NATO new purpose.
If you remember, NATO was created because of the Cold War,
because the Soviet Union was big and nuclear powered.
Once the Soviet Union fell,
NATO sort of has been looking for a new purpose
over the past couple of decades.
If Russia invades Ukraine,
NATO suddenly has a brand new purpose to unite
and to invest in becoming more powerful than ever.
Putin knows that.
And it would be very bad news for him if that happened.
But most importantly, perhaps the easiest clue
for me to believe that war isn't coming tomorrow
is the Russian propaganda machine
is not preparing the Russian people for an invasion.
In 2014, when Russia was about to invade
and take over Crimea, this part of Ukraine,
there was a barrage of state propaganda
that prepared the Russian people
that this was a justified attack.
So when it happened, it wasn't a surprise
and it felt very normal.
That isn't happening right now in Russia.
At least for now. It may start happening tomorrow.
But for now, I think Putin is showing up to the border,
flexing his muscles and showing the West that he is earnest.
I'm not sure that he's going to invade tomorrow,
but he very well could.
I mean, read the guy's blog post
and you'll realize that he is a romantic about this.
He is incredibly idealistic about the glory days
of the Slavic empires, and he wants to get it back.
So there is dangerous momentum towards war.
And the way war works is even a small little, like, fight,
can turn into the other guy
doing something bigger and crazier.
And then the other person has to respond
with something a little bit bigger.
That's called escalation.
And there's not really a ceiling
to how much that momentum can spin out of control.
That is why it's so scary when two nuclear countries
go to war with each other,
because there's kind of no ceiling.
So yeah, it's dangerous. This is scary.
I'm not sure what happens next here,
but the best we can do is keep an eye on this.
At least for now, we better understand
what Putin really wants out of all of this.
Thanks for watching.
More on Current Events
Jared A. Brock
1 year ago
Here is the actual reason why Russia invaded Ukraine
Our Ukrainian brothers and sisters are being attacked by a far superior force.
It's the biggest invasion since WWII.
43.3 million peaceful Ukrainians awoke this morning to tanks, mortars, and missiles. Russia is already 15 miles away.
America and the West will not deploy troops.
They're sanctioning. Except railways. And luxuries. And energy. Diamonds. Their dependence on Russian energy exports means they won't even cut Russia off from SWIFT.
Ukraine is desperate enough to hand out guns on the street.
France, Austria, Turkey, and the EU are considering military aid, but Ukraine will fall without America or NATO.
The Russian goal is likely to encircle Kyiv and topple Zelenskyy's government. A proxy power will be reinstated once Russia has total control.
“Western security services believe Putin intends to overthrow the government and install a puppet regime,” says Financial Times foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman. This “decapitation” strategy includes municipalities. Ukrainian officials are being targeted for arrest or death.”
Also, Putin has never lost a war.
Why is Russia attacking Ukraine?
Putin, like a snowflake college student, “feels unsafe.”
Because Ukraine is full of “Nazi ideas.”
Putin claims he has felt threatened by Ukraine since the country's pro-Putin leader was ousted and replaced by a popular Jewish comedian.
He fears a full-scale enemy on his doorstep if Ukraine joins NATO. But he refuses to see it both ways. NATO has never invaded Russia, but Russia has always stolen land from its neighbors. Can you blame them for joining a mutual defense alliance when a real threat exists?
Nations that feel threatened can join NATO. That doesn't justify an attack by Russia. It allows them to defend themselves. But NATO isn't attacking Moscow. They aren't.
Russian President Putin's "special operation" aims to de-Nazify the Jewish-led nation.
To keep Crimea and the other two regions he has already stolen, he wants Ukraine undefended by NATO.
(Warlords have fought for control of the strategically important Crimea for over 2,000 years.)
Putin wants to own all of Ukraine.
The Black Sea is his goal.
Ports bring money and power, and Ukraine pipelines transport Russian energy products.
Putin wants their wheat, too — with 70% crop coverage, Ukraine would be their southern breadbasket, and Russia has no qualms about starving millions of Ukrainians to death to feed its people.
In the end, it's all about greed and power.
Putin wants to own everything Russia has ever owned. This year he turns 70, and he wants to be remembered like his hero Peter the Great.
In order to get it, he's willing to kill thousands of Ukrainians
Art imitates life
This story began when a Jewish TV comedian portrayed a teacher elected President after ranting about corruption.
Servant of the People, the hit sitcom, is now the leading centrist political party.
Right, President Zelenskyy won the hearts and minds of Ukrainians by imagining a fairer world.
A fair fight is something dictators, corporatists, monopolists, and warlords despise.
Now Zelenskyy and his people will die, allowing one of history's most corrupt leaders to amass even more power.
The poor always lose
Meanwhile, the West will impose economic sanctions on Russia.
China is likely to step in to help Russia — or at least the wealthy.
The poor and working class in Russia will suffer greatly if there is a hard crash or long-term depression.
Putin's friends will continue to drink champagne and eat caviar.
Russia cutting off oil, gas, and fertilizer could cause more inflation and possibly a recession if it cuts off supplies to the West. This causes more suffering and hardship for the Western poor and working class.
Why? a billionaire sociopath gets his dirt.
Yes, Russia is simply copying America. Some of us think all war is morally wrong, regardless of who does it.
But let's not kid ourselves right now.
The markets rallied after the biggest invasion in Europe since WWII.
Investors hope Ukraine collapses and Russian oil flows.
Unbridled capitalists value lifeless.
What we can do about Ukraine
When the Russian army invaded eastern Finland, my wife's grandmother fled as a child. 80 years later, Russia still has Karelia.
Russia invaded Ukraine today to retake two eastern provinces.
History has taught us nothing.
Past mistakes won't fix the future.
Instead, we should try:
- Pray and/or meditate on our actions with our families.
- Stop buying Russian products (vodka, obviously, but also pay more for hydro/solar/geothermal/etc.)
- Stop wasting money on frivolous items and donate it to Ukrainian charities.
- To protest, gather a few friends, contact the media, and shake signs in front of the Russian embassy.
- Prepare to welcome refugees.
More war won't save the planet or change hearts.
Only love can work.
1 year ago
As the world watches the Russia-Ukraine border situation, This bill would bar aid to Ukraine until the Mexican border is secured.
Although Mexico and Ukraine are thousands of miles apart, this legislation would link their responses.
Ukraine was a Soviet republic until 1991. A significant proportion of the population, particularly in the east, is ethnically Russian. In February, the Russian military invaded Ukraine, intent on overthrowing its democratically elected government.
This could be the biggest European land invasion since WWII. In response, President Joe Biden sent 3,000 troops to NATO countries bordering Ukraine to help with Ukrainian refugees, with more troops possible if the situation worsened.
In July 2021, the US Border Patrol reported its highest monthly encounter total since March 2000. Some Republicans compare Biden's response to the Mexican border situation to his response to the Ukrainian border situation, though the correlation is unclear.
What the bills do
Two new Republican bills seek to link the US response to Ukraine to the situation in Mexico.
The Secure America's Borders First Act would prohibit federal funding for Ukraine until the US-Mexico border is “operationally controlled,” including a wall as promised by former President Donald Trump. (The bill even mandates a 30-foot-high wall.)
The USB (Ukraine and Southern Border) Act, introduced on February 8 by Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT0), would allow the US to support Ukraine, but only if the number of Armed Forces deployed there is less than the number deployed to the Mexican border. Madison Cawthorne introduced H.R. 6665 on February 9th (R-NC11).
What backers say
Supporters argue that even if the US should militarily assist Ukraine, our own domestic border situation should take precedence.
After failing to secure our own border and protect our own territorial integrity, ‘America Last' politicians on both sides of the aisle now tell us that we must do so for Ukraine. “Before rushing America into another foreign conflict over an Eastern European nation's border thousands of miles from our shores, they should first secure our southern border.”
“If Joe Biden truly cared about Americans, he would prioritize national security over international affairs,” Rep. Cawthorn said in a separate press release. The least we can do to secure our own country is send the same number of troops to the US-Mexico border to assist our border patrol agents working diligently to secure America.
What opponents say
The president has defended his Ukraine and Mexico policies, stating that both seek peace and diplomacy.
Our nations [the US and Mexico] have a long and complicated history, and we haven't always been perfect neighbors, but we have seen the power and purpose of cooperation,” Biden said in 2021. “We're safer when we work together, whether it's to manage our shared border or stop the pandemic. [In both the Obama and Biden administration], we made a commitment that we look at Mexico as an equal, not as somebody who is south of our border.”
No mistake: If Russia goes ahead with its plans, it will be responsible for a catastrophic and unnecessary war of choice. To protect our collective security, the United States and our allies are ready to defend every inch of NATO territory. We won't send troops into Ukraine, but we will continue to support the Ukrainian people... But, I repeat, Russia can choose diplomacy. It is not too late to de-escalate and return to the negotiating table.”
Odds of passage
The Secure America's Borders First Act has nine Republican sponsors. Either the House Armed Services or Foreign Affairs Committees may vote on it.
Rep. Paul Gosar, a Republican, co-sponsored the USB Act (R-AZ4). The House Armed Services Committee may vote on it.
With Republicans in control, passage is unlikely.
11 months ago
Russia's nukes may be useless
Russia's nuclear threat may be nullified by physics.
Putin seems nostalgic and wants to relive the Cold War. He's started a deadly war to reclaim the old Soviet state of Ukraine and is threatening the West with nuclear war. NATO can't risk starting a global nuclear war that could wipe out humanity to support Ukraine's independence as much as they want to. Fortunately, nuclear physics may have rendered Putin's nuclear weapons useless. However? How will Ukraine and NATO react?
To understand why Russia's nuclear weapons may be ineffective, we must first know what kind they are.
Russia has the world's largest nuclear arsenal, with 4,447 strategic and 1,912 tactical weapons (all of which are ready to be rolled out quickly). The difference between these two weapons is small, but it affects their use and logistics. Strategic nuclear weapons are ICBMs designed to destroy a city across the globe. Russia's ICBMs have many designs and a yield of 300–800 kilotonnes. 300 kilotonnes can destroy Washington. Tactical nuclear weapons are smaller and can be fired from artillery guns or small truck-mounted missile launchers, giving them a 1,500 km range. Instead of destroying a distant city, they are designed to eliminate specific positions, bases, or military infrastructure. They produce 1–50 kilotonnes.
These two nuclear weapons use different nuclear reactions. Pure fission bombs are compact enough to fit in a shell or small missile. All early nuclear weapons used this design for their fission bombs. This technology is inefficient for bombs over 50 kilotonnes. Larger bombs are thermonuclear. Thermonuclear weapons use a small fission bomb to compress and heat a hydrogen capsule, which undergoes fusion and releases far more energy than ignition fission reactions, allowing for effective giant bombs.
Here's Russia's issue.
A thermonuclear bomb needs deuterium (hydrogen with one neutron) and tritium (hydrogen with two neutrons). Because these two isotopes fuse at lower energies than others, the bomb works. One problem. Tritium is highly radioactive, with a half-life of only 12.5 years, and must be artificially made.
Tritium is made by irradiating lithium in nuclear reactors and extracting the gas. Tritium is one of the most expensive materials ever made, at $30,000 per gram.
Why does this affect Putin's nukes?
Thermonuclear weapons need tritium. Tritium decays quickly, so they must be regularly refilled at great cost, which Russia may struggle to do.
Russia has a smaller economy than New York, yet they are running an invasion, fending off international sanctions, and refining tritium for 4,447 thermonuclear weapons.
The Russian military is underfunded. Because the state can't afford it, Russian troops must buy their own body armor. Arguably, Putin cares more about the Ukraine conflict than maintaining his nuclear deterrent. Putin will likely lose power if he loses the Ukraine war.
It's possible that Putin halted tritium production and refueling to save money for Ukraine. His threats of nuclear attacks and escalating nuclear war may be a bluff.
This doesn't help Ukraine, sadly. Russia's tactical nuclear weapons don't need expensive refueling and will help with the invasion. So Ukraine still risks a nuclear attack. The bomb that destroyed Hiroshima was 15 kilotonnes, and Russia's tactical Iskander-K nuclear missile has a 50-kiloton yield. Even "little" bombs are deadly.
We can't guarantee it's happening in Russia. Putin may prioritize tritium. He knows the power of nuclear deterrence. Russia may have enough tritium for this conflict. Stockpiling a material with a short shelf life is unlikely, though.
This means that Russia's most powerful weapons may be nearly useless, but they may still be deadly. If true, this could allow NATO to offer full support to Ukraine and push the Russian tyrant back where he belongs. If Putin withholds funds from his crumbling military to maintain his nuclear deterrent, he may be willing to sink the ship with him. Let's hope the former.
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1 year ago
A guide to NFT pre-sales and whitelists
Before we dig through NFT whitelists and pre-sales, if you know absolutely nothing about NFTs, check our NFT Glossary.
What are pre-sales and whitelists on NFTs?
An NFT pre-sale, as the name implies, allows community members or early supporters of an NFT project to mint before the public, usually via a whitelist or mint pass.
Coin collectors can use mint passes to claim NFTs during the public sale. Because the mint pass is executed by “burning” an NFT into a specific crypto wallet, the collector is not concerned about gas price spikes.
A whitelist is used to approve a crypto wallet address for an NFT pre-sale. In a similar way to an early access list, it guarantees a certain number of crypto wallets can mint one (or more) NFT.
New NFT projects can do a pre-sale without a whitelist, but whitelists are good practice to avoid gas wars and a fair shot at minting an NFT before launching in competitive NFT marketplaces like Opensea, Magic Eden, or CNFT.
Should NFT projects do pre-sales or whitelists? 👇
The reasons to do pre-sales or a whitelist for NFT creators:
Time the market and gain traction.
Pre-sale or whitelists can help NFT projects gauge interest early on.
Whitelist spots filling up quickly is usually a sign of a successful launch, though it does not guarantee NFT longevity (more on that later). Also, full whitelists create FOMO and momentum for the public sale among non-whitelisted NFT collectors.
If whitelist signups are low or slow, projects may need to work on their vision, community, or product. Or the market is in a bear cycle. In either case, it aids NFT projects in market timing.
Reward the early NFT Community members.
Pre-sale and whitelists can help NFT creators reward early supporters.
First, by splitting the minting process into two phases, early adopters get a chance to mint one or more NFTs from their collection at a discounted or even free price.
Did you know that BAYC started at 0.08 eth each? A serum that allowed you to mint a Mutant Ape has become as valuable as the original BAYC.
(2) Whitelists encourage early supporters to help build a project's community in exchange for a slot or status. If you invite 10 people to the NFT Discord community, you get a better ranking or even a whitelist spot.
Pre-sale and whitelisting have become popular ways for new projects to grow their communities and secure future buyers.
Prevent gas wars.
Most new NFTs are created on the Ethereum blockchain, which has the highest transaction fees (also known as gas) (Solana, Cardano, Polygon, Binance Smart Chain, etc).
An NFT public sale is a gas war when a large number of NFT collectors (or bots) try to mint an NFT at the same time.
Competing collectors are willing to pay higher gas fees to prioritize their transaction and out-price others when upcoming NFT projects are hyped and very popular.
Pre-sales and whitelisting prevent gas wars by breaking the minting process into smaller batches of members or season launches.
The reasons to do pre-sales or a whitelists for NFT collectors:
How do I get on an NFT whitelist?
- Popular NFT collections act as a launchpad for other new or hyped NFT collections.
Example: Interfaces NFTs gives out 100 whitelist spots to Deadfellaz NFTs holders. Both NFT projects win. Interfaces benefit from Deadfellaz's success and brand equity.
In this case, to get whitelisted NFT collectors need to hold that specific NFT that is acting like a launchpad.
- A NFT studio or collection that launches a new NFT project and rewards previous NFT holders with whitelist spots or pre-sale access.
The whitelist requires previous NFT holders or community members.
NFT Alpha Groups are closed, small, tight-knit Discord servers where members share whitelist spots or giveaways from upcoming NFTs.
The benefit of being in an alpha group is getting information about new NFTs first and getting in on pre-sale/whitelist before everyone else.
There are some entry barriers to alpha groups, but if you're active in the NFT community, you'll eventually bump into, be invited to, or form one.
- A whitelist spot is awarded to members of an NFT community who are the most active and engaged.
This participation reward is the most democratic. To get a chance, collectors must work hard and play to their strengths.
Whitelisting participation examples:
- Raffle, games and contest: NFT Community raffles, games, and contests. To get a whitelist spot, invite 10 people to X NFT Discord community.
- Fan art: To reward those who add value and grow the community by whitelisting the best fan art and/or artists is only natural.
- Giveaways: Lucky number crypto wallet giveaways promoted by an NFT community. To grow their communities and for lucky collectors, NFT projects often offer free NFT.
- Activate your voice in the NFT Discord Community. Use voice channels to get NFT teams' attention and possibly get whitelisted.
The advantage of whitelists or NFT pre-sales.
Chainalysis's NFT stats quote is the best answer:
“Whitelisting isn’t just some nominal reward — it translates to dramatically better investing results. OpenSea data shows that users who make the whitelist and later sell their newly-minted NFT gain a profit 75.7% of the time, versus just 20.8% for users who do so without being whitelisted. Not only that, but the data suggests it’s nearly impossible to achieve outsized returns on minting purchases without being whitelisted.” Full report here.
Sure, it's not all about cash. However, any NFT collector should feel secure in their investment by owning a piece of a valuable and thriving NFT project. These stats help collectors understand that getting in early on an NFT project (via whitelist or pre-sale) will yield a better and larger return.
The downsides of pre-sales & whitelists for NFT creators.
Pre-sales and whitelist can cause issues for NFT creators and collectors.
NFT collectors who only want to profit from early minting (pre-sale) or low mint cost (via whitelist). To sell the NFT in a secondary market like Opensea or Solanart, flippers go after the discounted price.
For example, a 1000 Solana NFT collection allows 100 people to mint 1 Solana NFT at 0.25 SOL. The public sale price for the remaining 900 NFTs is 1 SOL. If an NFT collector sells their discounted NFT for 0.5 SOL, the secondary market floor price is below the public mint.
This may deter potential NFT collectors. Furthermore, without a cap in the pre-sale minting phase, flippers can get as many NFTs as possible to sell for a profit, dumping them in secondary markets and driving down the floor price.
Hijacking NFT sites, communities, and pre-sales phase
People try to scam the NFT team and their community by creating oddly similar but fake websites, whitelist links, or NFT's Discord channel.
Established and new NFT projects must be vigilant to always make sure their communities know which are the official links, how a whitelist or pre-sale rules and how the team will contact (or not) community members.
Another way to avoid the scams around the pre-sale phase, NFT projects opt to create a separate mint contract for the whitelisted crypto wallets and then another for the public sale phase.
Scam NFT projects
We've seen a lot of mid-mint or post-launch rug pulls, indicating that some bad NFT projects are trying to scam NFT communities and marketplaces for quick profit. What happened to Magic Eden's launchpad recently will help you understand the scam.
We discussed the benefits and drawbacks of NFT pre-sales and whitelists for both projects and collectors.
Finally, some practical tools and tips for finding new NFTs 👇
Tools & resources to find new NFT on pre-sale or to get on a whitelist:
In order to never miss an update, important pre-sale dates, or a giveaway, create a Tweetdeck or Tweeten Twitter dashboard with hyped NFT project pages, hashtags ( #NFTGiveaways , #NFTCommunity), or big NFT influencers.
Search for upcoming NFT launches that have been vetted by the marketplace and try to get whitelisted before the public launch.
Save-timing discovery platforms like sealaunch.xyz for NFT pre-sales and upcoming launches. How can we help 100x NFT collectors get projects? A project's official social media links, description, pre-sale or public sale dates, price and supply. We're also working with Dune on NFT data analysis to help NFT collectors make better decisions.
Don't invest what you can't afford to lose because a) the project may fail or become rugged. Find NFTs projects that you want to be a part of and support.
Read original post here
10 months ago
I discovered a bug that allowed me to use ChatGPT to successfully web scrape. Here's how it operates.
This method scrapes websites with ChatGPT (demo with Amazon and Twitter)
In a recent article, I demonstrated how to scrape websites using ChatGPT prompts like scrape website X using Python.
But that doesn’t always work.
After scraping dozens of websites with ChatGPT, I realized that simple prompts rarely work for web scraping.
Using ChatGPT and basic HTML, we can scrape any website.
First things first, use ChatGPT's advanced version (Playground)
ChatGPT Playground's enhanced version is needed to scrape websites quickly. It generates code faster and has less constraints.
Here’s how it looks.
The classic ChatGPT display just allows you to type a prompt. Playground is more customizable and generates code faster than the basic version.
No more delays or restrictions.
In this tutorial, we'll write prompts underneath Playground.
How to Use ChatGPT to Scrape Any Website
To show you how to utilize ChatGPT to scrape any website, we'll use subslikescript, which lists movies.
Later in this post, I'll show you how to scrape Amazon and Twitter, but let's start easy.
If we try a basic prompt like “scrape the movie titles on this website: https://subslikescript.com/movies” it won’t scrape anything. Here’s when we need some HTML knowledge to build the right prompt for ChatGPT.Let's scrape the above movie titles. First, check the webpage. Right-click any element and choose Inspect.
Then see below.
We identify the element to scrape (those in the red box). The data elements are ul, a, and scripts-list.
Here's the prompt for movie titles.
Scrape this website: https://subslikescript.com/movies with Python and Beautiful Soup. Locate the element with tag “ul” and class “scripts-list”. Scrape all the “a” elements inside. Get the text attribute and print it.
import requests from bs4 import BeautifulSoup page = requests.get('https://subslikescript.com/movies/') soup = BeautifulSoup(page.content, 'html.parser') scripts_list = soup.find(class_="scripts-list") all_a_elements = scripts_list.find_all('a') for element in all_a_elements: print(element.get_text())
It extracts movie titles successfully.
Let's scrape Amazon and Twitter.
ChatGPT's Amazon scraping
Consider scraping Amazon for self-help books. First, copy the Amazon link for self-help books.
Here’s the link I got. Location-dependent connection. Use my link to replicate my results.
Now we'll check book titles. Here's our element.
If we want to extract the book titles, we need to use the tag name
class attribute name and
a-size-base-plus a-color-base a-text-normalattribute value.
This time I'll use Selenium. I'll add Selenium-specific commands like wait 5 seconds and generate an XPath.
Scrape this website https://www.amazon.com/s?k=self+help+books&sprefix=self+help+%2Caps%2C158&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_2_10 with Python and Selenium.
Wait 5 seconds and locate all the elements with the following xpath: “span” tag, “class” attribute name, and “a-size-base-plus a-color-base a-text-normal” attribute value. Get the text attribute and print them.
Code generated: (I only had to manually add the path where my chromedriver is located).
from selenium import webdriver from selenium.webdriver.common.by import By from time import sleep #initialize webdriver driver = webdriver.Chrome('<add path of your chromedriver>') #navigate to the website driver.get("https://www.amazon.com/s?k=self+help+books&sprefix=self+help+%2Caps%2C158&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_2_10") #wait 5 seconds to let the page load sleep(5) #locate all the elements with the following xpath elements = driver.find_elements(By.XPATH, '//span[@class="a-size-base-plus a-color-base a-text-normal"]') #get the text attribute of each element and print it for element in elements: print(element.text) #close the webdriver driver.close()
It pulls Amazon book titles.
Utilizing ChatGPT to scrape Twitter
Say you wish to scrape ChatGPT tweets. Search Twitter for ChatGPT and copy the URL.
Here’s the link I got. We must check every tweet. Here's our element.
To extract a tweet, use the div tag and lang attribute.
Scrape this website: https://twitter.com/search?q=chatgpt&src=typed_query using Python, Selenium and chromedriver.
Maximize the window, wait 15 seconds and locate all the elements that have the following XPath: “div” tag, attribute name “lang”. Print the text inside these elements.
Code generated: (again, I had to add the path where my chromedriver is located)
from selenium import webdriver import time driver = webdriver.Chrome("/Users/frankandrade/Downloads/chromedriver") driver.maximize_window() driver.get("https://twitter.com/search?q=chatgpt&src=typed_query") time.sleep(15) elements = driver.find_elements_by_xpath("//div[@lang]") for element in elements: print(element.text) driver.quit()
You'll get the first 2 or 3 tweets from a search. To scrape additional tweets, click X times.
Congratulations! You scraped websites without coding by using ChatGPT.
1 year ago
The Learning Habit
The Habit of Learning implies constantly learning something new. One daily habit will make you successful. Learning will help you succeed.
Most successful people continually learn. Success requires this behavior. Daily learning.
Success loves books. Books offer expert advice. Everything is online today. Most books are online, so you can skip the library. You must download it and study for 15-30 minutes daily. This habit changes your thinking.
Typical Successful People
Warren Buffett reads 500 pages of corporate reports and five newspapers for five to six hours each day.
Each year, Bill Gates reads 50 books.
Every two weeks, Mark Zuckerberg reads at least one book.
According to his brother, Elon Musk studied two books a day as a child and taught himself engineering and rocket design.
Learning & Making Money Online
No worries if you can't afford books. Everything is online. YouTube, free online courses, etc.
How can you create this behavior in yourself?
1) Consider what you want to know
Before learning, know what's most important. So, move together.
Set a goal and schedule learning.
After deciding what you want to study, create a goal and plan learning time.
3) GATHER RESOURCES
Get the most out of your learning resources. Online or offline.