... to not repeat myself while elaborating on Putin's and Patrushev's interviews, I decided to give a very short, radically insufficient, overview:
Russia’s crude oil exports by sea have held above the 3 million barrels per day (bpd) mark in the past six weeks, after the EU ban on fuel imports from Russia took effect and after Moscow said it would lower its production by 500,000 bpd, tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg shows. In the most recent week to March 24, Russia’s seaborne crude oil exports fell by 123,000 bpd but were still above 3 million bpd, at 3.11 million bpd, per the data cited by Bloomberg’s Julian Lee. While weekly shipments can be very volatile, tanker tracking in the six-week period to March 24 also showed a similar small decline in Russian shipments. This suggests that Russian crude oil exports have held resilient this year, and the voluntary production cut hasn’t shown yet in Russia’s crude exports to the global market. Most Russian exports are headed to China, India, or “unknown destinations” in Asia, which, history shows, usually means that the cargoes end up in one of the two biggest Asian importers of crude.
But Tolstoy left us with those insights which are true and universally applicable:
Yes, it was like a dream in which a man fancies that a ruffian is coming to attack him, and raises his arm to strike that ruffian a terrible blow which he knows should annihilate him, but then feels that his arm drops powerless and limp like a rag, and the horror of unavoidable destruction seizes him in his helplessness.
Don't expect the crowd inside the beltway ever reading this novel, let alone understanding and learning from it.