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Why it matters so much: “in Russia, wealth comes right up out of the ground! The problem for authoritarian regimes is not economic growth. The problem is how to pay the patronage for their élites, how to keep the élites loyal, especially the security services and the upper levels of the officer corps. If money just gushes out of the ground in the form of hydrocarbons or diamonds or other minerals, the oppressors can emancipate themselves from the oppressed. The oppressors can say, we don’t need you. We don’t need your taxes. We don’t need you to vote. We don’t rely on you for anything, because we have oil and gas, palladium and titanium. They can have zero economic growth and still live very high on the hog…” Stephen Kotki, as interviewed in “The Weakness of the Despot: An expert on Stalin discusses Putin, Russia, and the West.” By David Remnick, The New Yorker, March 11, 2022 https://web.archive.org/web/20220318010635/https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and-a/stephen-kotkin-putin-russia-ukraine-stalin

Also read RU Tanker tracker here: https://www.trendsmap.com/topic/%40rutankertracker

Greenpeace International has done one of the best, and maybe the best, jobs at educating the public about Putin’s Russia. The tanker tracker is from Greenpeace UK.

(By window we mean the area below where it says “Tweets by ‎@RUTankerTracker”. If you go directly to Twitter, they now only allow people to see a few tweets without logging in.)

Russian Tanker Tracker @RUTankerTracker
Automated by @GreenpeaceUK
Beta version. Bot tracking oil & gas carrying supertankers leaving Russian ports using public AIS/satellite data from MarineTraffic. Stop fuelling the war!
Joined March 2022

BLACK ICE – the Story of the Arctic 30 [TRAILER]https://youtu.be/ZnqN6AaFE_I

Pinned tweet by @RUTankerTracker:
Russian Tanker Tracker @RUTankerTracker • Mar 11
Automated Welcome to the #RussianTankerTracker bot!
This feed is Inspired by the Oligarch Plane Tracker, unfortunately
tracking these supertankers is more inconsistent than with private
jets; vessels leave ports without a destination, change destinations
en route or simply wait at sea for orders. Additionally, some of the
data in this account is based on the information submitted by the
vessels themselves and therefore may not be fully representative
of actual movements. By providing a link to the free to use online
portal from which the data derives it is possible for anyone to
check the data themselves in order to verify what the bot is saying
is in fact what is happening (according to AlS). We did this work as
a rapid reaction to the attack upon Ukraine, our bot isn’t perfect
and neither are we, but at least we didn’t illegally invade someone
else’s country. please do bear this in mind when using it.