The Small Stories Inside

There is a lot happening in the world today, and so much of it is just plain bad. Gaza, Ukraine, West African Ebola – none of this is good news. But there are some smaller stories that are bubbling up that are worth taking a look at. Some of them are from territory we’ve covered before. But I’d hate to have this get lost in the shuffle. Welcome to a Barataria roundup of some smaller stories that may be missed in the big (bad) news of the day.  They are the little stories stuck inside the big ones, trapped like Matryoshka nesting dolls.
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Credit Where It’s Due

Part of the problem with the news today is that nearly everything in the world is interconnected. Stories have a tendency to bleed into each other for a variety of reasons, such as their equal usefulness as political tools or because the actors are involved in many different things at once. A good conspiracy theorist can link two stories together in ways that they probably shouldn’t be.

This may be one of those moments. Caveat Lector, let the reader beware.

There is little doubt that the theft of credit cards from Target last Winter could be traced to Ukraine – and, in so doing, the network of organized crime we might call the “Russian Mafia”. It is more accurate to refer to them by their own name for themselves, Bratva (Ukrainian for “Brotherhood”) because they are an international syndicate based in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine and operating nearly everywhere.

An estimate of their take from credit card fraud puts into perspective the scale of the problem in Ukraine,  We can estimate the resources they have as well as the stake they are fighting for as they resist the introduction of order and the rule of law. It also points to the US role in Ukraine – which is to say without sending in troops.

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