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‘Trapped in Putin’s panic room’ – journalist receives Russian sanction



Some people might complain about receiving a speeding fine, or spilling your morning coffee… but how would you feel if you were sanctioned by Russian President Vladimir Putin?

WATCH – Exclusive interview with war correspondent Misha Zelinsky

Well, that’s the story for war correspondent Misha Zelinsky who received a warning from the Russian leader.

A massive list of 121 well-known Australians have been added to Russia’s blacklist, with the group “indefinitely” banned from the country.

The blacklist has been put together in response to “the growing sanctions of the Australian government, which apply to an increasing number of Russian citizens,” according to Russia’s foreign ministry.

“I woke up this morning, if you asked me earlier this year, what list I would likely end up with that included Gina Reinhart and Twiggy Forest, I knew it wouldn’t have been Australia’s richest 200 people, probably the least likely after that would have been Putin’s sanctions list,”

Misha told ticker NEWS

Misha is a war correspondent for the Financial Times, previously reporting in Ukraine as war atrocities unfolded before his eyes.

Now, Misha is banned from entering Russia.

Russia has accused the sanctioned figures of promoting a “Russophobic agenda”

Misha believes there’s a ‘tit for tat’ going on in regards to sanctions.

“Russians have been sanctioned all over the world, the wealthiest oligarchs are basically trapped in Vladimir Putin’s Panic Room nation. It’s a little bit a tit for tat going on. Russia is rich, Russians are stuck in Russia and unable to holiday, unable to go to London, unable to put their kids in private schools in Europe, versus people like myself are unable to travel to Russia, where you can’t get a Big Mac,”

Misha says.

“I’ll leave it up to viewers to decide who’s got the better deal there,” he jokes with ticker anchor Holly Stearnes.

However, jokes aside, Misha stands by the work he has complete in Ukraine, reporting on the horrific war.

“The biggest fear and concern I have is for people that are dying right now in Ukraine, myself, right now. I’m quite safe, and I’m feeling okay.”

Are journalist’s intimated by Putin’s power play?

Russia announced a similar move against dozens of British journalists on Tuesday, in what Moscow said was a response to Western sanctions and the “spreading of false information about Russia”.

Misha says getting reporting out of Russia, legitimate reporting has been extremely difficult for a very long time.

“You can’t really trust any social media or any reporting coming out of Russia in the sense that the government has enormous control of that information,” he says.

“There are ways to get information out of Russia, you get a lot of Intel out of telegram channels, and other websites. But I don’t think journalists are going to be intimidated on reporting the facts.”

So ultimately, Misha says people aren’t going to be intimidated from telling the truth here, “the truth is on your screens, it’s in your social media feed.”

“The truth is irrefutable that Putin and his cronies are committing war crimes every day in Ukraine, and every day that those stories get told is a critical one.”

The leaders of Europe’s three largest economies – France, Germany, and Italy have visited Ukraine, what does the war-torn country need right now? 

EU leaders gather in Kyiv (REUTERS)

Misha says if you listen to the words of Ukrainian leaders, they say they’ll enjoy support they really need weapons, at the moment of fighting is very localised in the eastern part of the country and Donbas region is almost back to where it started in 2014.

The war reporter says some estimates have the artillery advantage to Russia at a 15 to one “so the Ukrainians are desperate for weaponry, they’re relying at the moment on old Soviet era weapons and the polish and other Warsaw Pact countries have been giving the weapons.”

He continues to say that “they’re running out of the shells that go into that weaponry, and they’re desperate for long and medium range weaponry out of the west out of NATO allied nations. And the promises are on the table.”

However, there has been a delivery gap there and the Germans have been held up as one example of not really meeting what they’ve promised.

So – what do we need to see next?

Misha says it comes down to closing the gap between what’s promised and what’s delivered.

“That needs to happen urgently, joining the EU would be nice, but ultimately not win yet. Candidate status, it’ll probably take 10 years before you actually went from being a candidate to fully integrated because it takes a very long time to synthesise your laws and your legal system and all the bits and pieces that go into joining the EU,” he says.

“So right now that’s going to save lives or win the war, and that’s what’s desperately needed is an evening up of artillery power in the eastern part of Ukraine.”

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Trump’s campaign tactic – debase and disgrace the legal process



Donald Trump, former president of the United States, hated Arraignment Day I in Manhattan two months ago, the first time a former president had been criminally charged. 

Trump was being forced against his will into a proceeding he had utter contempt for.  He was being arrested and fingerprinted and photographed under an indictment under the jurisdiction of Manhattan in New York City for allegations of hush money payments and fraudulent bookkeeping practices to conceal criminal activity. Trump heard the charges read out against him and he entered a plea of not guilty.

Trump had a terrible day. Trump wore a scowl throughout. His countenance was fearsome.  What Trump hated most about his arraignment in New York is that he had to sit at a table with his counsel side by side with him — equal to him — and with the judge above him looking down on him. Trump could not control the discussion and could not interrupt to make his points.

Trump was subordinate to the judge. He was subordinate to no one as president.

Arraignment Day II

Arraignment Day II in Miami will be worse from Trump, even more stressful.  The charges are substantially more serious:  the alleged violation of federal criminal statutes involving the alleged mishandling and illegal possession of classified documents, lying to legal authorities, and obstruction of justice.  Potential penalties run to years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.

Trump throughout his business life had always crafted his affairs to avoid being a defendant. But in his term in office, he was caught up in it big time. He was a defendant in two impeachment trials – again, unprecedented events – and left office in disgrace.

But Trump does not feel disgraced. He never does.  Trump does not have a reverse gear.  He never retreats.  Never admits. Never concedes. Never yields.  Trump is never embarrassed. Trump never feels ashamed. When something goes wrong, it is always the fault of someone else.

And Trump never repents.

Trump can feel this way because Trump is waging war on behalf of his armies in “the final battle” for the future of the county. In his first, fiery post-indictment speech in Georgia, Trump said, “They’ve launched one witch hunt after another to try and stop our movement, to thwart the will of the American people.  In the end, they’re not coming after me. They’re coming after you … “Either we have a Deep State, or we have a Democracy…Either the Deep State destroys America, or WE destroy the Deep State.”

It is a powerful formulation, and his true believers love it.

Hours later, In North Carolina, Trump mainlined his distilled message for the Republican crowd:

“We are a failing nation. We are a nation in decline. And now these radical left lunatics want to interfere with our elections by using law enforcement.

It’s totally corrupt and we cannot let it happen.

This is the final battle.

With you at my side we will demolish the Deep State.

We will expel the warmongers from our government.

We will drive out the globalists.

We will cast out the communists.

We will throw off the sick political class that hates our country.

We will roll out the fake news media.

We will defeat Joe Bide and we will liberate America from those villains once and for all.”

Any lesser mortal would be staggered by these events.  Any other presidential candidate would be driven from the race.  But not Trump.

Debase and disgrace

Trump is using the same playbook today as he successfully triggered after being charged in New York:  debase and disgrace the legal process by terming it completely political.  Trump said the federal indictment is “election interference at the highest level.”

Almost every other Republican running for president has adopted this line, insulating Trump from pressure to leave the field.

Trump’s chief opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said after these indictments: “The weaponization of federal law enforcement represents a mortal threat to a free society. We have for years witnessed an uneven application of the law depending upon political affiliation.”

Republican congressperson Nancy Mace: “This is a banana republic. I can’t believe this is happening.” Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene: “Democrats are arresting their political enemies. and they work together in their corrupt ways to get it done.”

Trump is using his affliction to raise millions of dollars from his base.

Trump will likely face Arraignment Day III in Georgia in August.  A state prosecutor is expected to charge Trump with criminal interference in the certification of Georgia’s vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.

As of now, there is no sign of cracks in Trump’s support among Republican voters.  There is no surge to another candidate.  What remains to be seen is whether Republican voters, as they see Trump spend his days in courtrooms and his evenings at rallies around the country, reach a conclusion that this is a spectacle too far, too much to bear, and that they want to turn to another conservative populist who stands for them in the political trials— and not the criminal trials – of 2024.

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Donald Trump’s legal woes will serve him well



It’s not often that a U.S. President faces federal indictment, but if it’s going to happen to anyone, it might as well be Donald Trump first.

The news that Donald Trump is facing a federal investigation over the removal of secret documents from the White House in 2021 came as no surprise.

Keen watches of the Washington soap opera have seen this playbook before, albeit in a different form.

There is no doubt that Donald Trump is a Washington outsider. But as seriously damaged as he may be (thanks to the events of January 6), his support base has only grown whenever he faces scrutiny.

For his supporters, his legal woes mirror their own relationship with the government – a giant, unfair beast that picks and chooses its fights.

Trump is accused of storing sensitive documents—including those concerning matters of national security—in boxes, some even in a shower.

The documents were seized last August when investigators from the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago.

The Department of Justice has historically avoided charging people who are running for public office. Whether they should do that is a debate for another day. But it’s happening now. And it’s making it all too easy for Trump to claim there is a concerted campaign to get him away from the White House.

Trump exposed the deep state. IF they exist, they probably don’t want him back in power. Whether they exist doesn’t matter really, because plenty of Trump’s supporters agree with him, and believe the secret state is working against them. Call it QAnon, call it a conspiracy – it doesn’t matter in a democracy.

The DoJ now has to go all in. Failing to secure a conviction would be a serious embarrassment for the department.

This is the second time Trump has been indicted in recent months, yet the opinion polls show he only increases his popularity among MAGA and Republican voters. It leaves the Republican party in a difficult position. Support their leading candidate or support the law?

As other Republicans rallied around the embattled candidate, Trump held on to his loyal base of supporters.

For the Democrats, and for Biden, another reality will soon sink in – if Trump becomes President, and they lose office next year, how will a Trump-run DoJ deal with them?

Broadly, the tit-for-tat one-up-manship of U.S. politics is breaking tradition and potentially breaking the country.


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